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What exactly is split testing?  Why would you use it?

Split testing is a way to test exactly what functionality or graphic design works on a website. It’s the method of providing a visitor with two alternative experiences. We do this by including experimental variations of the same row or module. The measured outcomes provide data. The data shows which variation has given the best results or conversion rate. Ultimately it shows which option appeals to your visttors the most. It indicates what does and doesn’t work on your website.

Split testing is sometimes referred to as A/B testing or multivariate testing. Traffic to a website is distributed between an A (control) and a B (variable). This happens without the visitor knowing they are part of a randomised testing event. It creates a completely controlled experimental environment. The site visitors behaviour, or lack of behaviour is noted and able to be analysed. These behaviours could include interactions such as clicks, form completions and product purchases. The purpose is to determine which of the variants, A or B, creates the best outcome or desired result.

Although the best or optimum outcome differs for all sites, most of the time increased sales or lead generation is what we are looking to achieve. At Woodswork we like to say that wherever a goal can be measured, it can be improved. This marketing method can be used to test alternative strategies for any website feature. They are often used on calls to action, signup forms and registration pages. Once the split test is in place, the tester waits for any significant data changes to emerge.

split testing

What would you change?

The reality is it could be time to test a change if you are getting visits but not sales or calls. Testing changes on your checkout logic and functionality could help to determine if any factors may increase conversions. It may increase traffic from one page to the next and this may mean increased orders rather than page exits.

What may seem to be a subjective choice about web design can be made objective using split testing. Button colours for example are a simple visual distinction. Would a red button work better than a grey button? With split testing it’s easy to see. The data collected from experiments will either support or undermine a hypothesis. You will know which content gave the best result.
Because tests are created with a goal in mind, demonstrating ROI (return on investment) for a testing platform can be measured easily. 

If you would like us to help you with your website, get in touch. We are happy to have a no obligation chat about your goals.