A/B Testing With Visual Website Optimizer

Ascertaining what aspects of your web page appeals to your visitors and which do not can be a very tricky business. Now that there are so many competitors available in even the smallest niches online, converting traffic into business is key to success. You just can’t wing it by going with your gut alone.

Website optimization is more of an art than science. You will need tools, techniques and some patience to tweak & re-tweak things untill everything is just about right. Today we’ll take a look at how Visual Website Optimizer can help you optimize your website using A/B and multivariate tests.

Overview

Visual Website Optimizer aims to make it simple for anyone to perform A/B tests on their website. Optimizing websites is critical for conversion goals and hence is among the top priorities of successful Internet companies large and small alike. With Visual Website Optimizer it is now extremely simple for you to test different variations of the website instead of hiring an expensive SEO expert.

Overview

Overview

Signing up for the service is simple and for the 30 day free trial account, you do not have to submit a credit card. No email activation is needed either.

Pricing

Visual Website Optimizer has a three tiered pricing plan with the base plan starting at $49 a month. Number of simultaneous tests, multiple logins, number of visitors tested, mode of support are the key determinants in the pricing structure. There is a prominently advertised 30 day free trial period for users to test the service before subscribing. The free trial plan lets you conduct only one test on up to 1000 visitors to your web page.

Pricing

Pricing

As for the number of visitors tested in subscription plans, the unused visitor count is rolled over to the subsequent month. For example, if you have a 10000 visitor plan and only use 7000 visitors, the remaining 3000 will still remain available to you. So, the following month you will have total 10000+3000=13000 visitors in your account.

What is A/B Testing?

To put it simply, A/B testing is exactly what it sounds like. You have two versions of the same sample (A and B) and a formula that defines success. To see which version of the sample performs better, you put both the versions of the sample through the same experiment simultaneously. Based on the results of the experiment, you pick the version of the sample with a better score for production.

Also known as Bucket Testing, A/B testing is a classic direct mail tactic, and in recent times has been adopted to test tactics such as banner ads, emails and landing pages. Significant improvements can be seen through experimenting with elements like copy text, layouts, images and colors. The test, in order to be effective, must reach an audience of a sufficient size.

How it Works

Beginning the Test

Beginning the Test

Immediately after logging in we are taken to the test page. Enter the URL of the web page you want to put to test and after a few seconds you can see the web page in front of you. As Visual Website Optimizer notes, no changes will be made to your webpage during this process.

Selecting Sections for Variations

Selecting Sections for Variations

Now it’s time for you choose the sections that you want to experiment with different variations. Just point and click on the page to choose website sections and the selected portions will be highlighted with a dotted border. Here in the example, I chose to try a new name for the Quick Look section as a variant.

Choosing a Section

Choosing a Section

Creating a Variation

Creating a Variation

The editor for creating a variation is a WYSIWYG editor and you can type in the text you want to change, add some styles, change fonts, upload images etc. Name it appropriately for easier identification if you plan to add more sections. As you can see, I now am trying Know More instead of Find Out More in the variant named Button.

Creating another Variant

Creating another Variant

In the same manner, you can create new variants for the same section or newer sections altogether with their own relationships. The entire hierarchy of sections and the variants can be tracked at the bottom right corner of the page.

The Hierarchy

The Hierarchy

Setting Conversion Goals

Specifying Conversion Goals

Specifying Conversion Goals

Once you have selected all the sections that need to experiment with, let us go ahead and set up conversion goals to see how well each variant performs. In our case, my goal is to ensure that the link (button) gets clicked. You have other options like filling forms, bounce rate, visiting a page and more to choose as conversion goals.

Reports & Analytics

Real Time Statistics

Real Time Statistics

After adding the code generated for the test you have created in the web page, Visual Website Optimizer gives you real time report on the test performance.

Google Analytics Data

Google Analytics Data

Visual Website Optimizer also integrates nicely with Google Analytics and hence you can pull deeper, custom reports based on internal traffic metrics. A heatmap of all the hotspots of your website is available as well.

Final Thoughts

The downside to using Visual Website Optimizer is its pricing. It is a bit surprising that the least priced plan starts at $49/month. There’s absolutely no doubt that this is a very powerful tool, but considering the fact that users will constantly be testing out new elements often, thereby being subscribers for long, the prices might be able to be a little less steep. It might also be hard for small businesses to see a justifiable Return on Investment month after month.

A/B testing is a proven method to test conversions on a web page and if your business is heavily leveraged online, take Visual Website Optimizer for a spin. I highly recommend the service with a rider—do not sign up for subscription until you use the free trial and satisfied with the results.

Share Your Thoughts!

What is your take on Visual Website Optimizer? Is there is a lesser priced solution available with similar set of features? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Thanks!


Summary

Visual Website Optimizer is a web app that allows anyone to perform A/B testing, split testing and multivariate testing to optimize their website.

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