“Should I run an A/B test or a Multivariate test?”
This simple yet fundamental question always pops up in planning for conversion rate optimization.
A/B testing is the default and most common procedure in CRO programs. In some cases, though, running a multivariate test can add a significant value. Other times, you have room for both tests interchangeably.
The great benefit of testing? You give your visitors a voice in the design process.
When implemented correctly, testing removes the guesswork from conversion optimization and you move to the stage where every action you take is a result of an informed decision.
In previous chapters of our guide, we presented the conversion framework principals and plentiful practical applications to use on your website. You must always remember that every website is unique and what works for one site, may or may not necessarily work for yours.
Increasing conversion rates starts with understanding your target market, creating personas to represent that market, and, then, applying the elements of the conversion framework within the context of these personas.
These best practices are great in theory but their actual application is no walk to the park. However, the more time you invest understanding them, the more likely you will receive accurate and approximated results.
Before starting with A/B and multivariate tests, keep in mind the following few guidelines. When implementing and launching tests, you are looking for a design that increases conversions:
- For an e-commerce website, you are looking for a design that generates more sales.
- For a lead generation website, you are looking for a design that generates more leads.
- For a subscription website, you are looking for a design that generates more subscribers.
You start any test by defining the action you want to enhance as a result of the new designs.
In some instances, you might look for a design that increases the average order value, or a design that keeps visitors more engaged, or even one that generates more social shares.
It is typical for team members to disagree on the best website or landing page design, the best visitor flow, or the best sales. Stakeholders usually have different views of what changes you should make on your website. Trying to resolve the differences is challenging. Your goal is to use better designs, copy and visitor flow that persuade more visitors to convert.
But how do you determine which design, copy and visitor flow increase conversions?
You test any modifications you introduce to your website against the old one and compare the impact on conversions. Split testing software allows you to carry out the comparisons.
By testing two or more variations of a page against each other, you can observe which designs result in higher conversions. For example, split testing software permits you define which of two main home page designs is better for conversion. If the main home page receives 15,000 visitors per day, then the software can direct 7,500 visitors to one design and 7,500 visitors to the other design. The software then records which of the two designs generated more orders.
So, what are the differences between A/B and multivariate testing?