Multivariate Testing for Freelancers

Many freelancers have created and are selling their own products through their websites. Whether you’re marketing a WordPress theme, an eBook, a training course, or something else–if you’ve made the transition from selling freelancing services to marketing some products along with your freelancing services, then it is worthwhile to learn some internet marketing techniques and tools.

In this post, I’ll discuss one of those marketing tools. That tool is multivariate testing.

What Is Multivariate Testing?

You’ve probably heard of multivariate testing in the past couple of years. You may be wondering what it’s all about and how it can dramatically impact your online marketing efforts. Unlike A/B testing, multivariate testing tests many aspects of a system at a time to learn of the relative impact of that change. Through utilizing this optimization tool, you can learn the best combination of page elements–things like headlines, product images, and price points, to increase your sales and conversions. Not only do you learn what works best, but you can then determine which combinations of elements are most successful in conversions.

Why Bother?

If you’re not sold on the potential effects multivariate testing can have on your business goals, can you use more of the following?

  • Visitors that stay longer on the website
  • Visitors who interact more with the site
  • Visitors who request a consultation or join a newsletter
  • More visitors who buy from the site

If you’re involved in a very competitive online market multivariate testing should be an integral part of your marketing strategy to ensure that you’re heard above the competition. It also ensures you’re getting the most out of your marketing dollars–if you double your conversions you’ve essentially doubled your revenue as a result of conducting some simple tests.

Call to Action

With a host of services available on the web, it’s your job to make the user feel they will get value from what you’re offering. What about your product is unique so that the customer will gladly choose it over another? Many times people don’t click simply because the verbiage and design doesn’t speak to them. This is where you can utilize multivariate testing to figure out what call to action is the most effective.

It’s important to first determine the goals of your website. Only then can you begin to target the issues that can be resolved through multivariate testing. Perhaps you want to increase sign-up rates and reduce bounce rates. Maybe you want to increase newsletter subscriptions. Whatever the goal is, you should determine an area that needs improvement and work on one challenge at a time.

Get Started

The easiest way to get off the ground with multivariate testing is to use Website Optimizer from Google. There is a five-minute demo video and plenty of help to get the ball rolling with your website’s testing. Increase conversions, implement variations, and analyze data once you have let some traffic run its course on your site. There are more involved and professional testing software and companies, but this website optimizer is a great start for many.

What to Test

The elements to test on your website vary and are usually contingent on your website’s goals, although it doesn’t hurt to run tests on all elements. Commonly tested elements of a web page include headings and images. Other variables include:

  • Subheadings
  • Opening paragraph
  • Images
  • Call to action
  • Offers
  • Hyperlinks
  • Submit button
  • The location of different elements
  • Colors

Tips for Conducting Multivariate Tests

There are a few things to keep in mind that help any multivariate test to run smoothly. Following simple protocol helps insure the most effective use of your time and data collected.

  • Set dates when you can review the reports of your tests. Track the reports on a spreadsheet to ensure that you’re testing the right elements each month.
  • See what competing sites in your niche are doing and make sure to test the same elements on your own site.
  • It takes time to get the results you’re looking for. Implement multivariate tests on high-traffic pages of your site and determine how long you want the test to run. The length of the test is usually determined by the amount of traffic your website is receiving.

Your Turn

If you’re a freelancer who is also selling products, multivariate testing is a great strategy for making sure your website is working the hardest it can. Perhaps the best part of multivariate testing is having the answers on what works so you can implement this knowledge going forward.

Are you currently utilizing multivariate testing and have the results had a positive impact on your online marketing? Share your answers in the comments.