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I am a search marketing geek. Work as APM for one of the leading companies in UK. Interested in socializing and helping others.

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December 02, 2008

A/B Testing & Multivariate Testing

You have a website but you want to test the variations of your site to better suit your visitors. If the questions like
  • where should the title be to draw the attention,
  • which place I should place the display image,
  • where should be the content of the page, etc
are troubling you, then the better way is to test your website in order to better serve your visitors in a better way. There are two methods to test the website and/or webpage
  1. A/B Testing, and
  2. Multivariate Testing

A/B Testing

A/B Testing process, allows you to compare the two different versions of the same page. The process lies in creating the two different versions of the same page, and then testing the performance of the pages in terms with the users/visitors. In A/B Testing a large number of alternative web-pages can be created for the testing purposes.

When to use A/B Testing method?

A/B testing is useful when you want to,
  • test the webpage of your website to the other webpage, than indiviual section of the webpage
  • traffic levels are low
  • you want to check the results fast
The major drawback of A/B Testing is that, it is able to look only one change at a time. More about A/B Testing, read here

Multivariate Testing

The multivaraite testing, as the name suggests, is defined as testing multiple values for multiple variables. The multivariate testing option provides to test the headline, the image, call to action and the promotional text. The multivariate testing process is not fast, and this is it's disadvantage, it takes time to show up the results.

The multivariate testing algorithm has the potential to give the best combination of the website, by testing several different combinations, and providing the best design for the website. The multivariate testing provides the quantitative data, as to A/B testing method.

But both the methods are good way to analyze the webpage for your website, and at times one method can outperform the other.


strive4impact said...


Good overview of the kids of testing and how beneficial it can be. Do you have posts that go more in-depth on the topic of testing?


Jonathan Kraft

Eric Hansen said...

Fyi, here is a related article that talks about A/B and multivariate testing for mobile devices:

Mobile Site Optimization Through Multivariate Testing and A/b TestingEnjoy!


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