Multi-variant testing (or multi-variate, multi-variable testing) is often used to discover how consumers, site visitors and so on react to different layouts, colours, and so on. A/B testing is testing two options against each other.
In the real world example, we know that supermarkets use different layouts and place products in certain positions to encourage people to buy the msot expensive goods, to make snap purchases and so on. And it works! How many times have you spontaneously bought something from the displays near the checkout? How often do you look above and below your eyeline to find the cheaper products rather than those the supermarket chain wishes you to buy?
Multi-variate testing for SEO and websites has infinite possibilities, but it is often ignored, except for landing pages and so on where it tends to get more attention. Whilst it is never a good idea to expend considerable amounts of budget testing for the sake of it, the impact on sales or enquiries of a simple change to website layout, or even the colour of a button, can be astounding.
Today’s great site is Which test won? which offers a wealth of results from tests conducted across a huge variety of the options available to website owners, site designers, search engine marketers etc.
Some of the past tests are worth examining to see what results can be achieved by changing the position of a button, using a different layout, experimenting with photos, landing page formats, multi-page forms vs single page forms, and much more.
If your website is attracting visitors but not converting to sales, A/B and multi-variate testing might be well worth considering. But remember, what works for another website’s audience may not work for your own. You need to test with your target audience not rely on the results from A.N.Other company.