In the conversion rate optimization process, A/B and Multivariate Testing are basic methods to improve the performance of websites. But, do you know when to use A/B Testing or MVT? In this article, we’ll break down this topic, and compare these two methods so that you can see which one best fits the needs of your website.
Before we tackle more about this, let’s take things step by step and see what is an AB Test and an MVT. After this, we’ll check the advantages and disadvantages of each procedure.
A/B Testing is a method of website optimization in which you compare two versions of a page (version A and version B) using live traffic. When you perform an A/B Testing experiment, you split the traffic (most of the time it’s 50/50 split) between each page.
With A/B Testing optimizations you first determine the results and then make the actual changes in the website’s code.
The Multivariate testing is a method that allows you to make changes to multiple elements on a webpage. The main purpose of a MVT test is to give you the big picture of which elements on a specific web page perform better and play an important role in increasing conversion rate and achieving the objectives of that page.
In other words, a Multivariate test reveals more information about the design combination that is more effective on a certain page and how the involved variables interact with one another.
Doing MVT experiments will draw the macro picture of what visitor like more and what type of design makes them convert. Out of all possible combinations, MVT points out the ones that perform better and score higher conversion rates. Multivariate testing needs more traffic on site than A/B Testing and it doesn’t work very well for new companies and beginners.
Multivariate testing comes with one disadvantage: modifying too many variables at once in a single test won’t tell you which of the variables has a positive impact on KPIs. As I said before, it gives you a macro perspective and does not analyze details. Therefore, you assume the risk of seeing a drop in conversions after you implement the winning version.
Also, since a multivariate test involves many possible combinations, the high amount of traffic needed for the experiments to be relevant is a big downside for MVT. Compared to an A/B Test, where most of the time the traffic is split in two, in a MVT you can split the traffic in 3,4,5, etc. variations, depending on the number of combinations tested.
The main advantage of an MVT is that it allows to test different layouts and identify the design that makes visitors convert more. Once you know the winning layout, you can start A/B Testing elements from it and improve the pages on site.
A/B Testing Disadvantages
In an A/B Testing experiment there’s a limited number of tested elements. In a single A/B Test you can only change one variation at a time and it might take a while to test all the elements you want on a web page.
A/B Testing Advantages
A/B Testing reveals the impact of a change in the website’s design or copywriting on key performance indicators such as conversion rate or revenue.
A/B Testing is easy to implement and track. The A/B Testing feature from Omniconvert requires no programming skills and you can track the results with a web analytics free tool.
So, why chance it when it comes to changes on your website? A/B and multivariate testing are great tools for those who understand that in online marketing you cannot have the right answer without proper analysis and testing. Testing the changes you want to make to a website is a great way to save money and time.