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How to Improve Your Conversion Rates with Multivariate Testing

Oct 30, 2007
The big drawback to A/B split testing is that you can only track one element at a time. So finding the elements that are most critical to your success could take weeks or months. Which is why multivariate testing allows you to improve your conversion rates much faster. With this method, you are able to isolate elements, determine which ones matter and which combination of elements work best together to improve your conversion rates.

Rather than just testing one page against a control, you have the ability to test 3, 4 or more versions at the same time. This A...n testing improves your likelihood of finding a winning combination of the major elements.

For example, say you want to test two elements of your sales page: your headline and your guarantee. So you can create four "recipes" with this information:

1. Control (old headline + old guarantee)
2. New headline (new headline + old guarantee)
3. New guarantee (old headline + new guarantee)
4. Both new elements (new headline + new guarantee)

Like with the A/B test, you can set up four different pages, each one having a different recipe. Then you can route your traffic to each of those four pages in equal amounts. You can run this test for the same amount of time but learn twice as much as in a regular A/B split.

With this type of testing, you almost always uncover a recipe that out pulls the control. However, if you have more than three elements or two alternatives of each element to test at once, the number of combinations dilutes the results because it takes too many visitors to run a test that provides conclusive results.

But what if you want to test your headline, guarantee and price at the same time? You can put Google's new and free Website Optimizer service to use. This tool lets you test various elements on your web page to see which ones have the most impact on your conversion rates.

By choosing to test three elements with two variations each, the number of recipes jumps to nine. With Website Optimizer, you can test up to 40 combinations.

To run your test, all you have to do is paste code given to you by Google on the pages you want to test. Then you choose what elements to test, like your headline, guarantee and price.

The next step is to replace your existing element with a variation in your HTML editor. You don't have to worry about saving it or changing anything on your web page. All you're doing is generating the code you need to paste into the Website Optimizer console.

Then the program goes to work for you. Google's servers begin inserting the recipes you created into your web page in real time and rotates all the recipes.

If you're working with two different headlines, two guarantees and two price points, your first visitor would see headline 1, guarantee 2 and price point 1. Your next visitor would see headline 2, guarantee 1, and price point 1. Your third visitor...well, you get the point: the program runs the test for you!
About the Author
Glen Hopkins specializes in teaching struggling entrepreneurs how to turn their small Online businesses into thriving money machines all while working less and earning more. To get more information, including Free Reports, Videos and CDs, visit: http://www.GlenHopkins.name
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