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What Type of Multivariate Testing is Right for You?

You may already be familiar with multivariate testing – the optimization tool used by businesses large and small to discover how changes to their marketing efforts can impact their conversions. But before you begin any multivariate testing initiative, it’s important to brush up on the methods available to test your content.

There’s little in conducting a full-blown test if only certain elements matter to you, after all. In this article we’ll touch upon these methods in helping you discover how multivariate testing can be used to its fullest potential.

Full Factorial

This is the most popular method of multivariate testing. With full factorial, traffic to your site is distributed equally among all variations of pages. So if there are 10 combinations, each one will receive one-tenth of all the website traffic. There’s no discrepancy as to which elements performed the best, as they all received the same amount of traffic.

This type of test requires a large amount of data, it’s best suited for websites with a large amount of traffic. Additionally, they’ll need a much longer period of time to gain results, which can take months.

Fractional Factorial

If you’re interested in testing specific elements on your site, fractional factorial will suit you well. Fractional factorial isolates a small sampling of combinations of options so not all pages are tested.

Not a lot of time is necessary to get statistically significant results and, as such, this method will work for those in a time crunch and/or those who don’t have a lot of traffic on their site.

The downside to this method is it comes with a heavy investment for the minimal testing that takes place. It’ll also benefit you greatly to have existing knowledge of multivariate testing, as you’ll need to design test arrays in addition to analyzing the results.

Taguchi Testing

Originally designed as a method to improve manufacturing quality, the Taguchi method is one of the lesser known forms of multivariate testing. With the Taguchi method, specific assumptions are made in order to decrease the number of combinations needing to be tested.

What Are Your Goals

Perhaps the best way to understand which methods works the best for you is to first identify your goals. Without this planning, your testing efforts may take more time and effort than you originally envisioned, with no guarantee the results will be statistically sound.

Perhaps you’re only looking to test a few elements contingent upon your conversion goal. In this case, fractional factorial testing would be the best option.

Getting Started

One of the simplest tools to use in multivariate testing is Google’s Website Optimizer.
Try this free tool before you invest more money into professional testing. You will need to know basic HTML and application of Javascript, but it’s a convenient tool in getting started.


Multivariate testing will produce different results for different users. Your best strategy before starting is to access the types of multivariate testing available in receiving the targeted results you’re looking for. Have you used either of these multivariate testing methods before? Let us know your experience in the comments!

Tech writer EJ Parfitt has been writing for a short time now and has already picked up steam with several tech websites and local news sites .  During his free time , you’re sure to catch him competing in local chess tournaments in downtown Fort Lauderdale FL .


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