Using Multivariate Testing to Increase Website Conversion


These days, it’s not about how much traffic you can drive to your website but how many visitors you actually turn into customers. Effective website testing, namely through multivariate testing, can help increase site performance and conversions.

With multivariate testing, you experiment with a variety of options for one design element in determining the winning combination. Dramatic increases can be seen through testing different copy text, form layouts and even landing page images and background colors. From looking at the results of difference tests, you can determine which ones produce the greatest increase in conversions. While the process takes longer than A/B testing, the results are often much greater.

The Impact of Multivariate Testing

The value multivariate testing brings to marketers is substantial. It can be used to test various offer combinations such as trial periods, purchase incentives, and price points quickly and effectively without having to rely on traditional methods which take significantly more time and money. Focus groups and telephone surveys are a thing of the past!

Additionally, with fewer testing iterations than A/B, multivariate testing can uncover key variables that drive conversions with minimal cost.

When and What to Test

You should begin testing after your sites launches and has a steady stream of traffic. Even if you feel your website is performing well, there’s always incentive for improvement, and multivariate testing will help you raise the bar.

Not only should you employ multivariate testing on web pages, but other marketing materials such as banner ads and email marketing campaigns can benefit from multivariate testing.

Design Elements to Test

The elements to test on your website vary and are usually contingent on your website’s goals, although it doesn’t hurt to run tests on all elements. Commonly tested variables of a web page include:

  • Headings and subheadings
  • Locations of various elements
  • Images and offers
  • Opening paragraph
  • Call to action and “Submit” buttons
  • Hyperlinks and colors

The Steps in Summary

  1. Determine what elements to optimize
  2. Come up with possible variations
  3. Use number of changes and options for each change to determine which runs/configurations are necessary
  4. Run each experiment on its own page
  5. Run Tests
  6. Measure results in your favorite platform

Running Tests

There are a number of professional software and service companies focused on variable testing. The simplest way to get started is with the Google Website Optimizer tool. As with most of their products, there is a plethora of rich information available on how to get started, use the optimizer, and analyze your data.

Becoming familiar with whatever platform you decide to use assures that your tests will run effectively and the results generated will be a useful cause to your website.


Multivariate testing has the ability to effect a business’ revenue and profits. Online consumers expect relevant and personalized content from a variety of sites to choose from. To achieve this, you need to identify offers and content that compels the audience to take action.

As you start the process of multivariate testing, you’ll oftentimes be surprised to learn what works and what doesn’t. Both web designers and marketers can gain incredible insights into customer preferences and user behavior through the use of multivariate testing.

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