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Multivariate Testing

Top 10 eCommerce Websites (by Conversion Rate)

Posted in A/B Split Testing, Multivariate Testing on

The Nielson Company regularly releases data for conversion rate of different websites via its MegaView Retail service. The data (as of March 2010) for top 10 online retails by conversion rate is analyzed in this post. The objective of this list is to give you an idea about to what extent these retailers have been able to optimize their conversion rates. Top 10 Websites with Highest Conversion Rate Note the eligibility criteria for this list: To be considered, e-commerce sites must have had a minimum of 500K unique visitors during the month. Conversion-rate data is based on visitor conversion rates, not session conversion rates: i.e., No. of unique customers/No. of unique visitors. Schwan’s: 40.6% conversion rate is an online grocery store and food delivery business. A conversion rate of 40.6% sounds too good to be real but Schwan’s is an old company which started home deliveries of food in…

Landing Page Optimization tips: analysis of 50+ sites to find out what increases sales and conversions

Posted in A/B Split Testing, Multivariate Testing on

Last week I offered free conversion rate optimization advice on a popular forum (known as Hacker News). Within a single day I got 50+ requests for help. It was definitely an enriching experience analyzing and dissecting all those websites and landing pages. As I was replying and providing my feedback to those 50+ sites, I started sensing a few common issues that affected conversion rates of all those pages. Without naming any specific URL or site, in this post I will detail where those sites lacked and what you can learn from my analysis to fix your homepage or landing page. Four common issues with landing pages According to my analysis, one of these four issues (if not all) were the most common causes of poor conversion rates. As you go through the list of issues below, try to relate them to your landing page (or homepage). Here are the…

Impact of A/B testing on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Posted in A/B Split Testing, Multivariate Testing on

Update: there is even an official confirmation from Google’s Matt Cutts that split testing does not impact search rankings. A lot of our potential customers are concerned whether A/B or multivariate testing will have an effect on their search engine rankings. They (obviously) aren’t looking to improve their rankings by using A/B testing, rather their concerns relate to the myth that testing may negatively impact search engine optimization efforts. Broadly, there mainly two major concerns: Content Cloaking: the act of showing different content to search engine bots and actual human visitors. A/B testing software (such as Visual Website Optimizer) swap content on the page using JavaScript, so some users see different content (of variations) and bots see original page only. Duplicate Content: the act of copying content from elsewhere and hosting it on your site. Search engines penalize for such stealing of content because you cannot expect to rank on…

Rules-of-thumb for A/B and Multivariate tests

Posted in A/B Split Testing, Multivariate Testing on

I recently got interviewed on Unbounce blog as a conversion hero. In the interview, I shared few rules-of-thumb related to A/B and multivariate testing which you may find helpful. I developed these heuristics while observing and advising hundreds of tests created by Visual Website Optimizer users. So, in this post I will paraphrase and expand on some of the things I shared in the interview. A/B or Multivariate, which test methodology to choose? Three main criteria will help you in choosing the right methodology between A/B testing or Multivariate testing: Traffic on test page: MVT requires lots of traffic to get any significant results Design resources available: MVT requires less number of design resources Objectives of the test: MVT is used for optimizing existing design and A/B test is used for optimizing conversions by testing a completely new design Quoting from the interview, here is an elaboration on these three…

Server-side A/B testing using phpA/B: what is it and why should you care

Posted in A/B Split Testing, Multivariate Testing on

Most A/B testing solutions, including Visual Website Optimizer, fall into a category known as client-side testing. What “client-side” means is that a variation of your test page is created (before displaying to the visitor) by doing manipulations on the browser using clever JavaScript. Your web server always sends the same default version of the page as it would normally do. Since the changes needed to display a variation happen on visitor browser (and not your server), this technology is called “client-side”. There is another breed of testing frameworks known as “server-side” A/B testing. Using such frameworks, no modification happens on browser level. In fact, when the browser requests your page, a randomly picked version of your test page is sent from your server. While this means you need to involve your developers for implementing changes in your website code, it does give you unlimited flexibility of testing. The server-side A/B…

How to create an A/B split test in 2 minutes [video]

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We recently revamped the introductory video for Visual Website Optimizer by adding a voice-over and updating it by including some new features (e.g. heatmaps). From start (entering the test page URL) to end (interpreting test results), all it takes to run your first A/B test is just 2 minutes. And you thought testing is a dark art? Watch the video below: Do you think video can be improved? Please leave a comment to let us know what can we add, remove or change to make A/B testing using Visual Website Optimizer even more exciting.

A/B Testing + Clickmaps = Awesomeness

Posted in Multivariate Testing, News on

Do you know where visitors are clicking on your website homepage? Do you know which parts of your website are hotspots that attract visitor attention? You can, of course, fire up your web analytics tool and tell me that 20% visitors go to sign up page after visiting homepage but that information doesn’t tell you the whole story. First, some stats about Visual Website Optimizer homepage: 30% of visitors who come to homepage visit the sign up page too. Of course, this figure is unsurprising because we have a giant Sign up for FREE 30 day trial button right in the middle. So, a lot of visitors must be clicking on it to arrive on the sign up page? That is what we believed all the while. In Visual Website Optimizer, we had recently released an experimental feature called clickmaps & heatmaps. Clickmaps provide complete click statistics on the web…

3 controversial A/B testing tips that you may not agree with

Posted in A/B Split Testing, Multivariate Testing on

There are tons of A/B testing articles on the Internet. In fact, Visual Website Optimizer blog is full of them. But let’s admit it, all those guides, tips, tricks ultimately start sounding similar to each other. I decided to write a post on tips that do not have a straightforward logic and are not popularly discussed on the Internet. In fact, people usually do the opposite of what I am going to discuss in this post. Don’t announce to the world that you are doing an A/B test I won’t paste links here but a quick search on Twitter will confirm that people love raving about the A/B test they are currently running. You should absolutely not do this. Apart from having no real benefit, you can actually skew your results big time. With an A/B test, you want to determine how well variations work on your usual website traffic….

Optimization v/s Validation – two distinct uses of A/B testing

Posted in A/B Split Testing, Multivariate Testing on

It is a myth that A/B testing can only be used for optimization and you need to fully establish a process optimizing it. In other words, many people think that A/B testing is best meant for big guys who already have an established conversion funnel, and now want to squeeze an extra 0.01% out of it. As a natural consequence to this logic, it may appear that A/B testing cannot be used at initial stages of a project (or startup) because there is nothing to optimize yet. Wrong. There are actually two distinct uses of A/B testing: a) optimization; b) validation. How to use A/B testing for Optimization? As mentioned in the opening paragraph, this is the activity with which A/B testing is usually associated. Typical scenario: you are running an advertising campaign where you collect leads. You get 10 leads for every 100 visits and you realize at this…

How RIPT Apparel increased their sales by 6.3% using Visual Website Optimizer

Posted in A/B Split Testing, Case Studies, Multivariate Testing on

RIPT Apparel is a Chicago-based online retailer of one-of-a-kind designer tees and wearable art. They sell one new design by a new artist every day starting at midnight CST for $10 and it is only available for a period of 24 hours. After that period, the design rests in peace forever in the T-shirt graveyard and a new one takes over its place. The sense of urgency created by limited availability of the design can be used effectively to drive sales and that is what RIPT Apparel did in their first A/B test. They had never done A/B testing before but were intrigued by the concept and wanted to give it a shot. The tool they selected for this purpose was Visual Website Optimizer. They tested their current buy button against a new buy button to determine which would have the best conversion rate. The conversion rate here being sales…