There comes a time in your web development life when you’ll have to test one or more elements on a web page to determine which one is better or more favorable to your website visitors. Should you use A/B testing or multivariate testing?
The short answer is, it depends.
A/B testing allows you to test one version of a single element against another version of the same element. For instance, if your web page currently has the lead photo on the left side of the page, you can move it to the right side of the page and present both versions of that web page to a sample of your site visitors to see which one gets more views, fewer bounces, and a more generally favorable rating.
Multivariate testing is a little different. It allows you to test multiple elements on your web page at the same time.
For instance, you can test the image on the right and left sides of your page, rewrite your headline, and look at one and two sidebar versions of the web page. You can test each of these elements simultaneously. The downside to multivariate testing is it doesn’t tell you what users think about each element you are testing. It only tells you whether they like one version of a page better than the other. Still, multivariate testing has its uses.
One time when you might use multivariate testing is when you are trying out a new web designer. Have him or her redesign a page on your website. Then, conduct a multivariate test on that version of the web page and your current page. The test will reveal which version of your web page users like better.
Testing is a good way to determine which elements on your web pages are working for you and which ones you should ditch.