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The Ins And Outs Of Multivariate Testing

If you need to test multiple factors on a Web site, like the main page's title, body copy and product sample, then you need to run a multivariate test. Ian Lurie offers a thorough explanation of what multivariate testing is--complete with screenshots--and explains why it's important to test "every possible combination of the variables" available.

"Multivariate testing lets me compare more than variables," Lurie says. "It lets me compare combinations of variables, quickly and efficiently, and then use some mathematical wizardry to find the best possible page configuration."

The tests can help end disputes over which possible Web site elements will work (like a prominent call-to-action) and which probably won't (like using an obscure pun in the headline), as well as helping to save money by reducing design cycle time, and improving conversion rates. "It avoids some of the catastrophic failures you might otherwise see, especially in landing page design," Lurie says.



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