What is Multivariate Testing?
Multivariate testing is defined under the umbrella of behavioral targeting & personalization, which is a set of methods that are used to increase the effectiveness and impact of websites, blogs, and online campaigns. These works by gathering data from actual site users to build user profiles and feedback reports that can be used towards improving the site.
Specifically, multivariate testing is a test method that can determine which version of a website can generate the most number of sales or conversions. It involves presenting a number of choices to site visitors and monitoring their responses to each variation to determine which option is the better one. The elements to be modified can be in the form of formatting, image placement, colour theme, and actual site content.
A/B Testing vs. Multivariate Testing
Several common testing methods include A/B testing and multivariate testing. For simpler sites and campaigns, A/B testing is recommended. In this method, only one element is varied and two versions are created for testing. On the other hand, multivariate testing involves modifying more than one element and is best used for sites where doing A/B testing would take much too long to complete.
Benefits of Multivariate Testing
When done right, multivariate testing can help webmasters and site designers come up with a site that’s designed to convert and make money. The way it does this is by analyzing user behavior and creating profiles to suit each unique site visitor’s tastes and preferences, so that user-specific content and offers are displayed instead of generic ones.
The number of multivariate tests you’d have to do versus A/B test would obviously be less, given the number of elements you will be testing out for each trial. This means that you are working on an accelerated learning curve because you will be able to implement sets of changes at a faster rate. Aside from that, multivariate tests also encourage breakthrough thinking.
Since so many changes can be made for each variation, it lifts the constraint on designers or publishers to think within the box and make changes carefully, which is what usually happens with A/B tests.
How Multivariate Testing Increases Sales
When you have a website that is optimized for users by actual users, you stand a greater chance of actually converting and making more sales. The logic that this stems from is plain and simple: behavioural targeting and personalization make sure that what you are showing site visitors is content that they would actually be interested in. Once you grab their attention, the rest follows, and making a sale will be a whole lot easier.
For example, if you run a blog, then you could use multivariate tests to create profile groups of the people who frequent your site. You can show posts from specific categories to users who prefer blogs posts that have been filed in that certain category. This means that they will spend a longer time on your site, thereby increasing the odds of them actually noticing the ads on the sidebar or the contextual ads in the text itself and making a purchase.
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About the Author
Tech writer EJ Parfitt has been writing for a while now and is a respected writer with many behavioural targeting & personalization sites. During his free time, you’re sure to see him competing in local chess tournaments in downtown Fort Lauderdale FL .