Times have changed, and it takes a whole lot more than a pleasing site design to really catch a user’s eye. With the exception of a few pages, most websites exist to make a sale of some sort. This includes product revenues or conversion in the form of subscriptions or registrations. It could also include user participation in online advocacies or forums where the goal is to encourage discussion to further the reach and audience of the site.
The truth is, only a few sites have been really optimized to make these kinds of conversions. Fortunately, the process to make that change has been made easier thanks to methods and techniques under the umbrella of behavioral targeting and multivariate testing.
Behavioral targeting is defined as a set of tools and methods that are used to make campaigns and websites more effective by recording and using data generated from site visitors themselves. This data is utilized to create user profiles so that targeted ads and content can be served to them accordingly. This provides them with an enriched user experience while they browse the site and increases the rate of conversions being made in the process.
Multivariate tests belong under behavioral targeting and personalization methods because they allow online publishers and webmasters to modify the look and feel of a site, based on data gathered from actual users. Multivariate testing is a method where variations of a single website are created, and each version will differ from the other in a number of ways. In fact, they could look entirely different because of these variations.
The different versions are then served to website visitors during the testing period. Using online tools and software, the response of users to each of these pages are recorded and serve as the basis to determine which version of the site was better. The success of each site is gauged based on metrics such as conversion rate, visit duration, and so on.
Before getting started, it’s recommended that you conduct an evaluation of your site to come up with a shortlist of items that could use some improvements. These would serve as the basis for the changes that you will be making to your site or landing page when you conduct your multivariate tests.
Going about the actual tests are made easy with the availability of online tools and software, where one of the most popular tools being used is Google’s Website Optimizer. It’s made available by Google free of charge, although there are some limitations, given its availability and nature. However, small site owners and first-timers can make use of this tool in order to familiarize with how these tests are conducted for future reference.
As you might have already gleaned from the earlier discussion, multivariate testing is more like a trial-and-error process. At times, you will be able to come up with designs that get favorable results, while you might find yourself getting disappointed over the lackluster response from some other variations. A useful tip to work with when it comes to multivariate testing is to go about it with a balanced mind. Don’t make changes that are too varied or radical from what you have implemented originally. But at the same time, make sure not to constrain yourself to the usual choices and think outside of the box, too.
Remember that your goal is to come up with the best version of your site, blog, or landing page so you can start getting better results from it. Run trial upon trial of multivariate tests as you see fit until you are satisfied with the end result.
Tech writer EJ Parfitt has been writing for a while now and is a respected writer with many tech and sports sites. During his free time , you’re sure to see him competing in local chess tournaments in downtown Fort Lauderdale FL .