Yab testing vs multivariate testingou want to improve your website conversion rates. The best way to achieve that goal is through testing and analysis. By testing your landing page or any page on your website, you’ll be able to improve its performance, convert more traffic and get more sales.

Testing reveals how users respond  and how to better guide them toward the actions you want them to take.

There has been some debate between conversion rate optimization experts about whether split testing or multivariate testing is the methodology that is best suited to do the job. Let’s take a look at the differences between A/B testing and multivariate testing.

What Is A/B Testing or Split Testing?

Split testing, also commonly referred to as A/B testing, is an analytical concept that was first developed for direct mail and print advertising campaigns. Different campaign messages were sent out to small sample groups and tracked via different phone numbers to determine which one yielded the best results so that it can be sent to the larger mailing list.

The concept is the same for web pages. Split testing divides incoming traffic between two or more different versions of the page being tested to compare behavior and results.

The ways in which the different versions vary can range from minute differences to entirely different designs, layouts, wording, and offers.

The Benefits of Split Testing

The benefit of a/b testing vs multivariate testing is that a/b split testing can allow for the comparative analysis of completely different and distinct design and layout options. It can help to provide an objective outlook on what were subjective choices by backing them up with concrete data. There are no constraints regarding which elements or sections of the page you may wish to test.

Split testing can be completed faster because it does not require the high volume of traffic needed for multivariate testing.

The Disadvantages of Split Testing

If the objective is to measure and quantify the interactions between disparate elements on the page, deliberate and careful planning will be required.

Furthermore, if several options of different elements need to be tested, each of the various possible combinations will have to be created manually.

What Is Multivariate Testing?

Multivariate tests involve modifying specific parts of a page to measure which combination of these achieves the greatest success.

In other words, the overall layout of the page remains consistent; however, different headlines, images or calls to action, for example, can be substituted in each of the various test versions. Here too, incoming traffic is divided between the different versions for comparative analysis.

The Benefits of Multivariate Testing

A large number of different versions can be created based on the page elements you wish to include and the number of variations of each of these that will be tested.

For example, if you wanted to test three variations of each of the following elements: headline, image, call to action and background color; a total of 64 different combinations would be possible.

Each of these page variations can be automatically generated and tested to ascertain which combination achieves the greatest conversion rate.

The ability to drill down to smaller page elements can provide a better understanding of their individual impact on the overall conversion rate, as well as how the independent elements interact to create a compound effect on conversion rate optimization.

This kind of statistical analysis of individual page elements can also help to identify which ones might be superfluous and helps to reduce clutter on the page.

The Disadvantages of Multivariate Testing

Multivariate testing does not allow for the comparative analysis of significantly different layout and design options.

The large number of variable combinations required by multivariate testing necessitates a much higher volume of traffic to achieve statistical significance for each of the variables.

Additionally, all of the variations of each page element must fit in with the overall context of the page and with all of the other variations.

So, Which Option Is The Best For Conversion Rate Optimization?

At Lead to Conversion, when looking at a/b testing vs multivariate testing we feel you can get the best bang for your buck with split tests.

These tests will go a long way towards honing in on the most effective and successful version of your webpage possible, with an emphasis on the page layout, copy length, and content and call to action placement.

Later on, when your page has achieved a greater level of sophistication, multivariate testing might be a viable option to have a closer look at the correlative effect of the different elements on the page.

Send us a message and let’s discuss your conversion rate optimization project and start turning your website traffic into more leads and sales.

Matthew Travers

Vice President of Digital Marketing at Lead to Conversion
Matthew Travers is the Vice President of Digital Marketing at Lead to Conversion. He’s been helping businesses of all sizes for the past 11 years improve their online visibility through an integrated marketing approach. He specializes in SEO, while also having expert knowledge of social media, paid advertising and content marketing.

Matthew is not only passionate about online marketing, but also staying active and living a healthy lifestyle. He enjoys electronic music, cooking, working out and consistently learning. Having the opportunity to build relationships with various colleagues throughout the industry, and working with such talented people is a part of Matthew’s career he’s very grateful to have.

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