In my last article, I defined multivariate testing and how it can optimize your Web marketing, as well as five common errors to avoid. Let's now look at what to measure in your tests and how to define your criteria for success.
Before you start formulating a test hypothesis, or begin running your tests, the first and most important step is to ensure that you have clearly defined objectives for your Web site. You'll want to examine your marketing goals in order to determine the appropriate success factors that all of your organization's stakeholders can agree upon.
Let's start with typical measureable Web site goals:
It's important for all stakeholders to agree on the goals of your Web site, because when a decision is made to adjust or optimize something on the site, everyone's needs should be addressed. You'll want to make sure you are testing the things that truly matter for your organization and balancing performance across all stakeholders.
Once you determine the goals, the next step is sifting through potential key performance indicators (KPIs) to decide which will accurately measure progress toward your specific marketing goals and benchmarks. For example:
Beware of scenarios where an increase in one desirable KPI can cause a decrease in another (perhaps more valuable) KPI. This cannibalization can sometimes be a Catch-22, so the best practice is simply to track both KPIs to provide increased visibility of user behavior.
This article originally appeared in the June 2008 issue of MarketingProfs. You can read the original version here.