The core differentiator between A/B and multivariate tests is that MVT enables you to test multiple elements simultaneously.
A/B testing is a common approach used by marketers to optimise a website's performance. The key performance indicator in the test is a conversion of some sort. It is important to identify this conversion so that the performance can be measured in an objective fashion. In A/B testing, two versions of a page are created - one acts as a "control" element, enabling you to establish a performance baseline, while the other serves as a "challenger", allowing you to determine if the new versions perform better than the control one. An example of an A/B test could include something like this:
The key to A/B testing is that you are specifying one particular element that could make a difference to the performance and testing one or more variations of that element.
- Will more people click on that button if it's red or green?
- What message will entice people to sign up - "10% off" or "$200 off"?
Multivariate testing involves testing several elements at once and generally requires a considerable amount of traffic in order to test all paths and options available. Multivariate testing is more complex and enables marketers to understand the impact that each of the tested factors has on the conversion rate. The MVT tool tests all possible combinations of elements against
predefined success criteria and identifies the most successful one.
Any company investing in a comprehensive SEO and SEM campaign should strongly consider integrating a testing component to their overall strategy. There is a very strong ROI proposition when it comes to your testing investment including: increase sales by driving the correct user actions, direct increase in revenue, decrease customer dissatisfaction and churn and avoiding lost revenue.
So, what's the best type of testing for you? That really depends on your budget, site traffic and previous experience. To start off with, A/B testing is probably the simplest form of testing and the most cost effective. There are numerous subscription model testing products out there and also a range of free ones including Google Website Optimizer.
If you are interested in discussing your website testing, please get in touch.