Make more from your traffic by multivariate testing

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September 29, 2011

Multivariate testing can help companies make more money by increasing website traffic and sales conversions. Companies evaluate each landing page to determine how the layout, colors, images, videos and other elements of the website affect their ability to entice customers to purchase products or services. The more appealing and user-friendly the website becomes, the more likely visitors will purchase a product from the site. Multivariate testing helps companies know definitively which website elements are most effective.

How to Increase Sales Conversions Using Multivariate Testing
Multivariate testing can be used by companies to increase traffic to the website and also to increase sales conversions. Multivariate testing is comprised of several tests running simultaneously. When these tests are performed, companies can evaluate the visitor’s behavior to determine which aspects of the website are effective. Only the layouts, content and designs that yield the most visitors and conversions will be selected for the mainstream public.

As the company receives more traffic, the company will have more opportunities to convert the traffic to sales. Relevant content, appealing layouts and designs are utilized to entice consumers. Most companies utilize page tagging to evaluate the behavior of the visitor.

A single line of code is provided on the web page to provide feedback to companies in real time. This dynamic feedback allows web developers to select the most profitable design from the multiple designs created and tested. Visitors vote on the designs by clicking and by making purchases. When consumers buy, this increases the company’s return on investment (ROI).

Companies that do not perform some sort of testing will not know definitively what makes their company profitable. Without performing the tests, companies may allocate their marketing dollars to banner advertisements, content or layout designs that are not effective. Companies with limited budgets cannot afford to waste money on a trial-by-error type of strategy. Multivariate testing uses test groups of visitors so that businesses will know what design will make them the most profitable.

Why Use Multivariate Testing?
Companies that are successful at generating traffic but are not successful at sales conversions have conquered half of the battle. These companies may want to evaluate their shopping cart layouts to determine why customers are not compelled to buy the product once they land on the website. The problem could be the design itself or the web page may take too long to process the order.

Alternatively, some aspects of the web page may not have logos indicating they offer secure checkout and may deter the customer from buying. The website content may also be confusing, too wordy, off-topic or simply not engaging enough to compel the visitor to purchase a product. Multivariate testing evaluates the website to pinpoint the issue.

What Types of Tools are Available for Multivariate Testing?
Many web developers are skilled in performing multivariate testing. Software tools are available that will guide companies through the process. Some of the most popular page tagging multivariate testing tools consist of the following: Google Website Optimizer, Conversion Works, TraceAd Analytics, Adobe, Maxymiser, Webtrends Optimize, Conversion Voodoo, Verster, Autonomy Corporation, Amadesa and Divolution.

Other companies may test at a server level as opposed to a web page level. Companies such as SiteSpect specialize in server-level multivariate testing of web pages. Both methods are effective and can be used to determine the effectiveness of promotional offers, purchase incentives or trial periods offered by the company. For those stating out Google’s Website Optmizer is easy to use and free plus also offers the less complex form of testing A/B testing which is ideal for sites with less traffic (A/B tests need less traffic than multivariate tests to produce results as less variables are tested).

The benefits of online multivariate testing are incredible. By contrast, telephone surveys and focus groups require more effort, time and money to gather the same information online. Companies save money with website multivariate testing and can also increase revenue. This method has the potential to produce larger profits.


Companies have the potential to significantly increase their profitability by increasing website traffic and sales conversions through multivariate testing. Each company should use a variety of methods to test their marketing strategies online to determine if the current strategy is providing maximum results. Multivariate testing is one method used to provide logical feedback about the effectiveness of a website or marketing campaign.

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