27 August 2022

How to optimize your website using ab testing or split testing

The term ‘split testing’ is often used interchangeably with A/B testing. The difference is simply one of emphasis: A/B refers to the two web pages or website variations that are competing against each other. Split refers to the fact that the traffic is equally split between the existing variations.

In a nutshell, multivariate testing can be seen as allowing website visitors to vote with their clicks for which content they prefer and will stand the most chance of their proceeding to a defined goal or conversion. The testing is transparent to the visitor with all commercial solutions capable of ensuring that each visitor is shown the same content on every visit.

A/B tests are useful for understanding user engagement and satisfaction of online features like a new feature or product. Large social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram use A/B testing to make user experiences more successful and as a way to streamline their services. In internet marketing, multivariate testing is a process by which more than one component of a website may be tested in a live environment. It can be thought of in simple terms as numerous A/B tests performed on one page at the same time.

Multivariate testing is currently an area of high growth in internet marketing as it helps website owners to ensure that they are getting the most from the visitors arriving at their site. Areas such as search engine optimization and pay per click advertising bring visitors to a site and have been extensively used by many organisations but multivariate testing allows internet marketers to ensure that visitors are being shown the right offers, content and layout to convert them to sale, registration or the desired action once they arrive at the website.

A/B tests are usually performed to determine the better of two content variations; multivariate testing uses multiple variables to find the ideal combination. The only limits on the number of combinations and the number of variables in a multivariate test are the amount of time it will take to get a statistically valid sample of visitors and computational power.

Multivariate testing is usually employed in order to ascertain which content or creative variation produces the best improvement in the defined goals of a website, whether that be user registrations or successful completion of a checkout process (that is, conversion rate). Dramatic increases can be seen through testing different copy text, form layouts and even landing page images and background colours. However, not all elements produce the same increase in conversions, and by looking at the results from different tests, it is possible to identify those elements that consistently tend to produce the greatest increase in conversions.

Testing can be carried out on a dynamically generated website by setting up the server to display the different variations of content in equal proportions to incoming visitors. Statistics on how each visitor went on to behave after seeing the content under test must then be gathered and presented. Outsourced services can also be used to provide multivariate testing on websites with minor changes to page coding. These services insert their content to predefined areas of a site and monitor user behavior.

A/B testing will become more used in UX design in order to optimize your website usability, scalability and overall performance. With A/B testing, you are able to improve every aspect of your website’s performance, so test often and test everything.

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Source: Wikipedia