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I let Ezoic mess this site up and they made it better

© April 2015 Anthony Lawrence

What's Ezoic? It's a "Website Improvement Platform". They take your content and repackage it in various ways to "improve" your site. What does improve mean? That depends on you - it might be more advertising revenue, it might be more visitor engagement.

Setting Ezoic's goals

They accomplish this by multivarate testing - that is, they keep throwing out different versions of pages to see how the visitors react.

Honestly, I was not crazy about the idea. I don't like cookie-cutter templates and I don't think this site gets enough traffic to be able to make decisions about layouts in any reasonable amount of time. No page here gets more than a few thousand visitors per month and total traffic is currently only around 50,000 per month. I may be wrong, but I don't think that's enough for this sort of testing.

Still, for the good of others who might be interested, I signed up for a trial run. I learned that I was wrong.

First impressions

Cloudflare: I use Cloudflare here. I thought that might cause problems, but no, Ezoic is a Cloudflare partner and they have an app that works with that. Very easy!

Templates: I don't like the cookie-cutter templates. I've looked at sites that are using this and they are ugly. On the other hand, as they point out, ugly isn't important: results are. As one site owner noted, the layouts may be "painful", but he saw "a significant increase in traffic, time on site and revenue".

And actually, after eight months of using it, I find myself liking their layouts more and more. Yes, sometimes the ads are in bad positions, but they now have a number of ways to control that, so if I see a page I don't like, I can fix it. I cannot complain about that.

Ezoic  templates

Images: I didn't like the images they offered to use as site headers, so I uploaded some that I feel are more relevant, though really I don't like unrelated images cluttering things up. Again, that worked out fine and I am happy.

Ezoic images

Menus: I had disabled menus here when I switched to responsive design, so Ezoic couldn't find any. They let you add menus in their settings, so that's what I did. They work nicely.

Logo: They can find your logo themselves, but to avoid any confusion, they also let you upload it. I chose that.

Ad Types: Ezoic lets you choose some optional and more "in your face" ad types. I dislike some of those intensely, so I shut off the types I do not like.

Excluding pages: I decided to leave my main index page untouched. I don't want ads there no matter how much they might be worth.

Ezoic says: "Instead of excluding the entire page from testing, I would suggest just disabling ads on the page. If you exclude a page from testing, the original layout will be shown so it will be confusing to your users when they go to another page of your site and see a test layout. You can simply disable ads by page in your Ezoic settings -

So there we are - waiting for this to go live. I know that I won't like it, but I'm going to suck in my cheeks and let it try.

Update November 2015: I am very happy with Ezoic. My income continues to improve and they keep adding new improvements and capabilities. I have found them to be very responsive to every problem and issue I have encountered - I highly recommend them.

See Ezoic Day 2 also.


Why I switched to Ezoic

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