It’s all well and good me telling you that this Price Comparison WordPress plugin is awesome, but I am sure you think: “well, you would say that!”
And that’s kinda true, I do believe in this service, or I wouldn’t have invested so much of my time and energy into it.
However, the best way to compare (ahem) whether this works or not – in my opinion – is to show some case studies. I’m not quite ready to reveal the URLs of my test sites just yet, but I can at least share some numbers.
Case Study Introduction
I plan to have at least 5 visible, professional and polished websites available for you to view before the Get Price Comparison plugin is launched.
For the moment, I only have two sites online as part of this test, and only one of them is using the plugin.
Let me explain:
I want to make this as objective as possible.
The last thing I want is for you to think the case studies show this software in an artificial / biased light.
I will be completely honest here – this WordPress Price Comparison Plugin may or may not work for you. The only way to know for certain is to try it. But as it’s not yet publicly available, that’s kinda tricky 🙂
Thinking about this, I decided the best way to validate whether or not this works is to create two completely new sites.
One site would use the plugin, and the other would not.
Then, I would compare the results and see if one showed a greater conversion rate than the other.
However, this can’t be a thoroughly scientific test, as (I think) that’s impossible.
Case Study Setup
To make this work, I have set up two sites. One site uses the plugin, and the other does not.
Both sites cover a very similar topic. But the content is not identical. This is partly why I say the test cannot be scientific.
If I were to have two different domains with identical content, likely Google would penalise the heck out of one, or both. And that would be of no use to anybody.
Instead, I am having to create high quality, unique, relevant and interesting content for both sites. Currently, I am doing this all myself. Researching, writing, posting, etc, it all takes time. All that time could be spent finishing the Price Comparison plugin and getting it into your hands.
Therefore, it is a balancing act. And as such, I am not creating enough content to bring in mega numbers of visitors.
Let me be absolutely transparent here:
Without good content, no amount of plugins / hacks / tips / formulas will make you any consistent number of affiliate referrals. At least, that has been my experience over the last 9 years of affiliate marketing.
Not only do you need good content, but you do need quite a lot of it to bring enough search traffic in to make a meaningful amount of sales.
The figures I am about to share are not yet working with enough traffic to validate anything. But they are the figures I have, so I am sharing them! 🙂
I know I need to outsource the content creation process.
Right now, I am doing too much.
Each article is lengthy, with a lot of links, pictures, and price data.
To give you some indication of how lengthy – my latest post was 5500 words on the plugin site. I am in the process of writing a similar length post for the non-plugin site.
I want them both to be as equal as possible, in order to rule out favouritism or content length questions regarding one or the other.
I cannot control how well either are indexed by Google / other search engines. I use Yoast SEO plugin, and go with the recommendations it provides. Aside from this, I use the same strategy I always use – provide content that is interesting, educational, and ideally, assists in the buying decision.
For both sites I use a similar layout of content – simple blog posts, much like this one.
For both site I have a similar theme, though not identical.
Both sites use WordPress.
The primary difference is in the use of the plugin. With the plugin, the pricing data is almost real time. When the visitor hits the page, they are shown the price that is stored in the GetPriceComparison API / database, and then immediately (but in the background), a new request is sent to the vendor to get the current price.
If there is a newer price, the plugin will update the price on the page. This doesn’t involve a page refresh, it just updates the price on the screen with a little notification that the price has been refreshed. I will create a demo video of this process, as I think it’s quite cool.
On the ‘static’ site, I instead simply show the prices as they were when I wrote the post, and put in words – “this price was accurate at XX/XX/XXXX. For the current price, click here.”
Each link has tracking on it, and I can see what has been clicked and when. I do this via Google Analytics.
At the time of writing this post, there are 8 posts on each site.
Price Comparison Plugin Income Report (August 2016)
Ok, so on to the numbers.
As I say, traffic to both sites is low. I expect these numbers to increase over time, but I would normally anticipate anything up to 12 months to bring a site to a worthwhile level of traffic.
What you see here is the stats from the merchants, rather than traffic to the sites themselves.
There have been sales. That’s a positive 🙂
In June and July I made two sales with Paid On Results, totalling £39 and change. Here is the smaller, more recent of the two:
And here is the recent months traffic:
Here is August’s traffic from a program I use on the static site only:
The fact that I am getting click-throughs is encouraging. The more traffic I can send, the more likely I am to determine some steady ratios.
Lastly, here is the really interesting one, as far as I am concerned.
These are the stats from Amazon for this month. The top tracking ID is the static site, and the bottom tracking ID is the site using the WordPress Price Comparison Plugin:
Truthfully, I know these numbers are too small to make any real conclusions. But it is nice to see that the dynamic / plugin site made the sale 🙂
It really is early days though, and honestly, I am not putting out enough content on either site to be generating enough traffic to prove anything at this stage. Still, it’s fun to share these numbers.
Price Comparison Plugin Progress
If any of this has been interesting to you, I guess you will want to know about the progress of the Price Comparison Plugin, and when it may be publicly available.
Initially the plugin will be available via a Closed Beta invite. To get an invite, please, join the mailing list:
After the closed Beta, there will be an Open Beta phase, followed by the official product launch. I am anticipating this date to be the end of November 2016.
The current status of development is that I have the plugin working for a small number of affiliate programs – Amazon, Paid On Results, and Affiliate Window.
For each affiliate program, I have not pulled in every product, nor merchant. Instead, I am only tracking a select number of products at this stage. This will be ramped up significantly as development progresses.
There’s so much more I will share during the run up to the launch. Keep an eye on this blog, and please do join the mailing list, and get in touch also. I’d love to hear from you if you are in any way interested in price comparison.