In a previous article, we looked at the benefits of testing your landing pages and how to carry out A/B testing with Google’s Website Optimiser tool. In this article, I’ll take you through the basics of Multivariate Testing (MVT), why you should be doing it (if you’re not already) and help you get your first test online.
Why Test Your Landing Pages
If you don’t know already why you should be testing your landing pages, here’s a quick recap.
The lifeblood of your dating site is registrations…you need to drive as many of them as possible to your site, at the lowest possible cost. The average Click to Registration is 10%, so if your performance is less than that, then you’re literally throwing money down the drain.
From A/B and Multivariate testing, we have improved landing pages’ performance by up to 100%. For you, that means halving your Cost Per Registration.
Are you convinced that you should be testing your landing pages?
What is MVT?
Whereas A/B Testing enables you to test one page’s design against another, MVT testing is more sophisticated. It enables you to test multiple “elements” on your landing page and helps you arrive at the optimum combination.
For example, let’s say you have a landing page and you want to test four elements, with 2 variations of each element. You could have, for example:
- The welcome header (x2)
- The introductory text (x2)
- The main page image (x2)
- The “Join” button (x2)
In this example, the MVT would serve up 16 combinations of your landing page, and will continue to do so until it presents you with a clear winning combination.
This tool is simply superb at helping you work out what elements of your pages work, and which ones you should ditch as soon as possible.
Decide what you want to test
Before starting the Optimiser, you need to decide which elements of your landing page you want to test. These may be things like the heading, text on the site, calls to action, or different graphics…basically you should test anything you think will affect the percentage of people who sign up on your site.
Tip: Don’t test too many things in one test (3 to 4 elements is plenty to begin with). If you test too many things, you’ll have a large number of combinations to test against each other, meaning that your results will take longer to come through.
Using Google’s MVT Tool
You can access Google’s MVT tool straight from your AdWords account (Reporting>Website Optimiser). From here you’ll be prompted to “Create a new experiment”. Name your experiment, and enter the url of the page you want to test (eg http://www.yourdomain.com/registration.html).
Assuming you know what you’re doing code-wise, you’ll be asked to add 4 bits of code to your site:
To the page you want to test, you’ll need to add:
- Control Script
- Tracking Script
- Page Sections (for each section or element you want to test)
To the “Conversion” page (ie the thankyou page), you’ll need to add:
- Conversion Script.
Tip: As Google can’t crawl the Conversion page, you’ll need to upload this to the Optimiser tool, so that it can be validated (ie to ensure all the tracking code has been entered correctly). Register on your site and save the /registration/complete page you finally land on. Upload this page to Google Optimiser where prompted to be validated.
The final step is to create the variations to each element, which Google takes you through in very easy-to-follow steps. Like I said before, unless you are sending oodles of traffic to this landing page, keep your variations to 2 at this stage. Even with a confined test such as this, you’ll still be testing 12-16 combinations…something which would take you a lot longer any other way!
Once you’ve got all these variations in place, and you’ve tested that each combination is showing correctly, all that’s left for you to do is launch the test and let Google take over. Depending on the amount of traffic you’re sending through, you’ll start getting results through within a few hours, and should have a clear winner within a day or two (Remember to run a follow-up test to validate your results – just to be on the safe side)!
Testing your pages like this is exciting because it delivers results for you very quickly. You’ll see your Click to Registration improve, and your Cost Per Registration come down! What’s more exciting than that? OK, England winning the World Cup, of course, but apart from that? Test anything you like in a completely safe environment, and see if they crash and burn or turn out to be a great idea. Either way, two things are happening…1. you’re saving money and 2, you’re learning about your users and what hits their buttons.
Good luck and keep testing. If you would like to learn more about improving your conversions or on A/B and Multivariate testing in general, please contact email@example.com.