Optimizely vs. Unbounce: A Side-By-Side Comparison

Conversion Optimization
By Tyler Brown | August 22, 2016 | 4 min read

Updated 3/30/21.

The world of conversion rate optimization can be so valuable when executed properly, yet so often there is much confusion surrounding it. There are hundreds of tools you can use to get the job done, but for the purpose of this article, I want to focus on two of my favorite CRO tools and some of their key functionality and differences.

First, I wanted to provide a brief descriptor for those who have never used either tool. Optimizely is best used for A/B testing on-page elements of existing pages with the overall goal of increasing engagements and conversion rates. Unbounce, on the other hand, allows you to create a completely new page that does not use the existing site design. It is often used in conjunction with page search campaigns as a standalone landing page, but can also be used in the short-term as a static page on the website for all site traffic, including traffic from organic search.



In order to start running tests, you’ll have to access your site’s code and place the Optimizely script before the closing </head> tag. It is recommended that you implement the script as high as possible in the header of your website to prevent what is known as “page flashing,” where the original version of your website flashes before the test version loads.


The Optimizely interface is quite intuitive and allows a clean drag and drop style process. You’ll want to know some basic HTML before you do any major changes, but depending on your experience level, it’s generally pretty simple. You might be surprised what a slight layout change coupled with a well-placed, perfectly colored call to action button will do for your engagement rates and conversions.


You might be wondering…after I’ve run my test and obtained amazing results, what should I do? The quick answer is, do more of it! Honestly, though, we recommend that you should always be testing. On top of testing, we recommend actually implementing what has worked into your whole site design. The motto here is rinse and repeat. If you are not testing, you are not improving.


When used properly, Optimizely can be a powerful tool. You can improve conversion rates and return on investments for multiple channels in one fell swoop. We ran a test for an e-commerce client recently. The only difference we tested was a black “add to cart” button versus a red “add to cart” button. The results are outstanding!



Integrating Unbounce with your website is a bit trickier than Optimizely. But for those who have full access to the domain registrar, it shouldn’t be a major roadblock.

  1. You’ll start by creating a CNAME record with your DNS provider.
  2. After completing that step, you need to add your domain to Unbounce.
  3. Finally, you’ll simply need to change the URL of your landing page to reference the domain you just added. It’s really that simple.


Once you get the hang of it, building a landing page with Unbounce is quite intuitive. The drag and drop interface along with heaps of tried and true templates allow you to achieve the look and feel you need to drive results. Even better, Unbounce has the functionality to integrate rich media, icons, and great looking conversion-friendly forms. If you are in need of a platform to provide a great experience for building standalone landing pages, Unbounce has the whole package.


Unbounce can be used as a standalone landing page tool for paid search campaigns, and I might add, it does that very well. You may not know, but Unbounce can also be utilized as a landing page that is fully integrated with your site and can be used to rank organically on search engines. Unbounce provides the functionality to either index, or noindex the page, and add SEO elements like title tags, meta tags, headings, and just about every other attribute you would need to optimize the perfect Unbounce page. If you haven’t noticed already, we love Unbounce.


Unbounce can help you get some serious traction out of your lead generation efforts. Through testing, we’ve seen an improvement from 3 variations of landing pages. This includes going from a 2.72% conversion rate to 8.17%, and finally to 11.30%. That’s over 400% improvement in conversions! Don’t forget to implement the proper tracking with Google Analytics and goals, and you’ll be well on your way to the same(ish) results.

Unbounce results

We Can Help With All Your Conversion Rate Optimization Efforts

Whatever your specific situation calls for, we highly recommend trying one or both of these tools and giving it a go for yourself. If you have used either one of these tools, we’d love to hear from you! Don’t know how to start? Contact us today and let us find a solution that works for you.

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