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A Highly Recommended A/B and Multivariate Web Page Testing Tool

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Marty Foley

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Mar 31, 2019
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Here's a brief but interesting story...

Years ago I hired a programmer to help develop a script to enable me to A/B split test web pages. It was written in the Perl programming language, and I named it Split Test Gold. It was pretty basic, with few features and no built-in tracking, but it got the job done.

Since I had benefited from using it, I decided to unleash it to the world. As far as I could tell from searching the web, it was the first commercially available script for A/B testing web pages.

A/B web testing eventually caught on and became a popular topic among the more advanced Internet marketers. (Frankly, the power of split testing is often given more lip service than it's actually practiced by marketers, but that's another story.)

Fast forward a number of years and the concept of multivariable, multivariate, or MVT testing, started to circulate on the web. So I got the ambitious idea to start developing my own software tool for multivariate testing web pages.

Around that time, Yanik Silver invited a number of entrepreneurs to present new and interesting marketing ideas or concepts at one of his Underground events (in Washington DC) and I was among the presenters.

In my Underground Seminar presentation I extolled the advantages of multivariate / multivariable (MVT) testing, versus the old (but still valuable, tried-and-true) A/B testing method. I also took the opportunity to "soft pre-launch" my upcoming software tool for multivariate web page testing.

Also around that same time - and out of the blue - the news came out about a big change that threw off my plans to develop multivariate testing software: Google released their own testing tool, named Website Optimizer, and it was free.

I knew it would be an uphill battle, at best, to even think of trying to compete with the Big G. So I scrapped those plans and adopted the strategy "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

I starting using and came to consider Google's Website Optimizer a great testing tool, but Google shut it down in 2012.

Fast forward to today. There are many more website testing tools on the market; some free, and some not.

Testing can work wonders at improving website conversion rates. And it's not so much which tool you use for testing, but that you actually DO IT.

My current favorite testing tool is another, newer one by Google, called "Google Optimize." It's free, allows you to set up A/B and multivariate tests, and is part of Google Analytics.

Here are some good Youtube videos to help you get started using Google Optimize:
View: https://youtu.be/1bkpuvyW_48


~ Marty Foley
 

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Marty Foley

New Contributor
Mar 31, 2019
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@Marty Foley Thanks for the heads up--and bringing VALUE to the Forum.

I didn't realize that GA had that built into it. Watched the vid, now to start implementing it.

Again, thanks for the story and the link.

Rep +

You're welcome, @million$$$smile. And thanks for the "Rep +", which I assume is a good thing (but don't know because I'm so new to the forum).

Speaking of the value of testing, Google's stance on it is very telling, as I recently read about in the book "What Would Google Do?"...

Melissa Mayer said that if an employee meets with Larry and Sergey to talk about users' needs, they'd better come with data to back it up rather than their own conclusions. Their immediate question is "How many people did you test?"

Apparently the reliance on data to make business decisions is deeply ingrained in Google's culture. No wonder they are so hugely successful: They let the market data show them what works, what doesn't, and the best way to go.
 

business_man

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Hey! I found that a lot of people still neglect A/B split test a lot. They start tweaking and changing things themselves instead of running scientific test. So I like this topic because it has to be adressed to anyone doing online business. This is one of the most important steps.

As for multivariable split testing, it is a way more costly option, although a lot faster.
 

million$$$smile

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@Marty Foley Thanks for the heads up--and bringing VALUE to the Forum.

I didn't realize that GA had that built into it. Watched the vid, now to start implementing it.

Again, thanks for the story and the link.

Rep +
 

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