When it comes to effective multivariate testing, remember D-I-R-I-D. This is the magic word, not because it reads similarly backward or forward, but because it underpins all your online marketing efforts and can help you optimize your website and eventually increase conversions. Also known as multi-variable evaluation, multivariate testing aims to appraise one or more variables in a website, running multiple iterations and choosing the best one—or optimal variation. This is why multivariate testing goes hand in hand with website optimization as well as the variety of tools and tactics that modern-day SEO requires that you use to increase your corporate portal’s visibility. The five key steps to performing effective multi-variable appraisal—same thing as multivariate testing—include design, iteration testing, result analysis, implementation and deployment (D-I-R-I-D).
In this step, you choose the variables, or attributes, you want to evaluate on your website. You do the legwork, set the tone, establish the priorities and allocate resources—in time, money and equipment—to make the multivariate appraisal a success. You make a deal with virtually every important member of your team to make sure he or she can focus 100% during the test. Collective focus is important to keep everyone on track and prevent the costly operational delays you often see in poorly coordinated projects. According to the Entrepreneur Magazine, website attributes you can test are diverse, including content, accessibility, layout, contact information, presentation clarity, third-party validation, security, and ease of use and navigation—what I call “site ergonomics.”
After lining up the features you want to test, get the different site versions ready. You can break down the overall work into small pieces that specific team members can handle. For example, if you want to gauge four different scenarios, assign to Option A, Option B, Option C and Option D to Team A, Team B, Team C and Team D, respectively. The idea here is consistency and coordination. Also, seek consistency in timing, so you can evaluate all four options, say, every other day at the same time.
If performed well, effective multivariate testing can be a force for operational good—the kind that eventually improves your Internet marketing approach and brings money into your corporate coffers. So pay attention to the results of your multivariate test. If your company runs a complex operation, it’s better to seek assistance from your in-house IT team or to hire SEO connoisseurs who can help decode the results. Alternatively, you can use specialized Web tools like Maxymiser, which may be a cheaper alternative, depending on your business and analytical needs.
After reviewing the test results, figure out the best combo of profit and operational fitness, and implement it. For example, consider the four options below:
1.Option A: Conversion rate +20%, 1-year incremental revenue $2 million; and incremental cost $1 million
2.Option B: Conversion rate +30%, 1-year incremental revenue $3 million; and incremental cost $1.5 million
3.Option C: Conversion rate +50%, 1-year incremental revenue $4 million; and incremental cost $3 million
4.Option D: Conversion rate +60%, 1-year incremental revenue $ 7 million; and incremental cost $6 million
All things kept intact, Option B, in this case, is the best alternative because it yields a net +1.5 million at the end of the first year.
Deployment simply means adopting the best practices learned from earlier steps and implementing the results in a newer version of your website. Simple as that, but you may need to perform periodic appraisals to make sure actual results meet or exceed expectations. Again, you can rely on your in-house team’s expert or use online web analytical tools to help spearhead this exercise.
A multivariate test doesn’t have to be complex. Just do your homework in advance and remember D-I-R-I-D. Also use the right online tools, talk to specialists and constitute an in-house team of marketers and SEO specialists to help in the effort. A multivariate appraisal can help promote your corporate brand and strengthen your organization’s competitive stature.