Multivariate Testing Basics for Those That Don’t

Ruben Corbo, Freelance Writer

Multivariate testing does sound a bit too technical and daunting especially to those who don’t know a thing or two about algorithms, traffic, web design and software operations. But rest assured that once you understood the core of the process, going through the complexities of the test would come across as a breeze.

Everything becomes easier when you get the right kind of help.

With this said, it is imperative to fill your self with materials that simplify the discussions about the procedure.

Simplest Definition of Multivariate Testing

Suppose you decided to merchandise a shirt. As a businessman, it is not wise for you to just pick out any piece from your supplier and place them straight on the shelves. It is a must to consider who your customers are, how large are their budgets, what design is more likely to appeal to them, etc.

Selling shirts for executives, for instance, is not the same as selling shirts to teenagers.

This mimics the planning stage of web design.

Assuming you decided to cater to teenage fashionistas. The options for shirt merchandise can be endless. You can have a hundred cuts, thousand colors, and gazillion prints. A blank shirt could be pink with rose designs or green with psychedelic prints. Your choice depends on what you think your customers would want.

This is where things get a little tricky: defining the exact penchant of customers. In the real world, it is impractical to buy items that you are not even sure someone would buy. It is also impossible to invite your customers to the supplier store and have them try the shirt one by one to pinpoint the ideal pieces for your store.

With multivariate testing, nonetheless, this is possible.

The shirts become your webpage and the designs become several versions of your webpage. These versions will be shown to unsuspecting customers in order for you to monitor how they react to the designs. In principle, you are allowing them to put on the shirts before you buy them from the supplier. That is, letting them try the variant before you implement the design permanently on your website.

From such experiment, you can have a heads up on what your customers want and deliver exactly what they are asking for. This is how multivariate testing becomes beneficial to online businesses.

How Multivariate Testing is conducted

A website is comprised of components. These include:

– Banner

– Headline

– Tabs

– Buttons

– Text Content

– Images

– Call to Action

Other sites can have more parts, but these are the basic foundation of a business website. These can be combines and used to carry about multivariate testing.

The process starts with the determining of goals. Would you want to increase your traffic or improve your conversions? The problem that you want to resolve is your basis in choosing the elements to test. If you want more hits, then choose components that possibly attract visitors. If you’re targeting more sales, choose elements that influence the purchasing behavior of the consumers.

Suppose you have chosen to test the headline, text body and image. You decided to create two variants of each. This leaves you with 8 combinations:

· Headline 1 + Text 1 + Image 1

· Headline 1 + Text 1 + Image 2

· Headline 1 + Text 2 + Image 1

· Headline 1 + Text 2 + Image 2

· Headline 2 + Text 1 + Image 1

· Headline 2 + Text 1 + Image 2

· Headline 2 + Text 2 + Image 1

· Headline 2 + Text 2 + Image 2

The software you use for the test will then split your traffic into 8 paths – each leading to specific variants.

As the webmaster, you are required to monitor the activity of the visitors on as they view the distinct versions of your webpage. Raw data may be in the guise of:

number of clicks within the page

–     amount of sales

–     volume of visitors who clicked a link

–     number of views on the landing page

The information you get from the records will be analyzed at the end of the test period (6 weeks is the most ideal). The variant that performed better than the other versions will then be implemented in your website.

Important Information About Multivariate Testing

  1. 1. Several components can be tested all at the same time.
  2. 2. You’ll need reliable software for the experiment.
  3. 3. It is vital to set goals and metrics that will guide you through the process.
  4. 4. You can opt to hire an expert when you are not too well-rounded with results analysis.

Multivariate testing can be too much to digest, but knowing the ins and outs of this process can give your business its much needed boost. Get as much information and start your progress as soon as you can.

Ruben Corbo is a freelance writer that writes about technology, gaming, music, and online marketing especially topics about A/B Testing and multivariate testing. Ruben is also an avid gamer and music composer for short films and other visual arts.

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