Conversion Guru - Online Secrets to Success

Friday, May 05, 2006

Split Testing with a Custom Redirect

If you have the capabilities to do split testing on the server side with cookies, that is what I recommend you use for your testing. However, there is no reason you need to spend a great deal of time and effort working on a programming solution in order to do your split testing. Spend your time working on better versions of your landing page in order to increase conversions instead of spending it on programming solutions.

To do the testing, you will simply need to use your Web Analytics program to track the user. Google Analytics, ClickTracks and others give you this capability. You will need to determine how many users went to each page and what percent of the users at each page made it to your confirmation page, or whichever page it is that lets you know that the user has taken the desired action.

To run the test, you will need to create at least two different pages. You can create more pages if you would like, but it is recommended to only change one variable. Choose a variable that you believe will highly impact conversion, for example, the header. It is a good idea to test anywhere from 2-5 different variations of the variable. Keep in mind, the fewer page versions you have, the quicker you will be able to get a large enough sample size to determine which version converts the best. After learning how to analyze multivariate testing, changing more than one variable at a time is possible. Upload the pages to your site and then you will be able to randomly redirect users to one of those pages by using the code provided.

To use the code, download it from:

You will need to replace the URL’s in the conversion code with the URL’s you would like to test. The code currently has 4 test URL’s, you can use more or less, just delete the ones listed and replace them with your testing URL’s. Be sure to include a comma between each of them.

Once you replace the URL’s, simply save this file as a .php file and upload it to your site. You need to have PHP installed on your server for the file to work correctly. You will want to direct visitors to this newly created page and it will randomly redirect them to one of the pages you have included. Now you can just sit back and wait for the data to flow.

I recommend you only do this testing on PPC pages so you don’t affect your organic search engine rankings. You may even want to block these pages so they aren’t even indexed by the spiders. Use your Web Analytics software to determine the percent of visitors that convert for each of your pages. After you find which variables effect conversion and which variations of the variable increase conversion, you may want to consider making those changes throughout your site.


  • For true multivariate testing and analysis, neither Google Analytics nor ClickTracks will give you detail of which variables impact visitor behavior. Rather, they'll only tell you how the aggregate of all variables impacted behavior, which is basically (unfortunately) the same as low-resolution A/B testing.

    The essense of multivariate analysis is a mathematical regression that isolates the impact of individual variables (factors) from the context of having tested many combinations. Here, it actually does not matter how many total combinations of content ("recipes") you are testing, but rather how many of each variation are shared across all combinations.

    For bonafide multivariate analysis, you need to use a dedicated multivaraite testing solution such as SiteSpect, or a high-end analytics package like Visual Sciences.

    By SiteSpect A/B Split and Multivariate Testing, at 11:19 AM  

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