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Discover the Most Effective Version of Your Website and Optimize Your Pages with A/B and Multivariate Testing

by Fani Kondova

Creating and maintaining a website takes a substantial investment of time and money. According to a recent study conducted by Forrester Research on ‘How Much Are Companies Spending On Digital Design Projects?’ website redesign costs can rise up to $1.8 million per project depending on the size of the company. Therefore it’s extremely important to optimize the website to maximize the reactions it’s producing.

How does A/B and multivariate testing work

An A/B or multivariate test begins with a desired reaction (goal) and then extends to include the different tactics (variations) for producing that reaction. Once the goal and variations have been established, automated software will administer the test by applying the variations to visitors and watching their reactions relative to the goal.

AB Testing of Pages

A/B testing vs. Multivariate testing

Both A/B and multivariate tests are based on variations. However, the difference stems from how these variations are packaged, tested and presented to visitors. Through an A/B test, Page B might perform more effectively. However, this result doesn’t explain which element(s) were responsible for this increased effectiveness. In fact, a combination of Page A and Page B might be ideal. Multivariate tests allow these variations to be mixed and matched. This measures the contribution of each individual modification to the overall result.

AB Testing of Pages

Use A/B tests if:

  • You’re new to experimental design testing;
  • There are a small number of variations being tested;
  • The variations are very page-centric and not easily mixed and matched.

Use multivariate testing if:

  • You’re comfortable with experimental design testing;
  • There are several variations to be tested;
  • The variations can be randomly mixed and matched to assemble a variety of page outcomes.

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