I ran across this article on how to do “split testing” also known as “A/B testing” in WordPress. Basically, this process uses a Google Website Optimizer Plugin and Google’s Analytics tools to handle all the heavy lifting. Once you create the control, test, and goal pages you would configure your Google Analytics account to look for trends in which of the two pages, the control or the test, performs better.
I’m not crazy about this method which relies on Google Analytics for two main reasons:
- Most importantly, it does not appear to swap control/test content for users. Rather, it appears to simply observe which of the two concurrent pages works better. This literally requires twice the marketing effort, since you would have to publicize both links to see which works better. I prefer the ShrimpTest method which swaps out specific content in a single page. This way all of your efforts can be concentrated onto one single page.
- This Google Analytics method is too complex and requires too much coordination between the website and Google. Now, I love me my analytics. I like seeing the ebb and flow of visitors, downloads, etc – and few people do it better than Google. But, with A/B testing I just want to know as quickly as possible whether A or B is better. Nothing else matters. I want that knowledge as soon as possible so that I can move on to A/B testing something else. With ShrimpTest I just need to configure the plugin, make the control and test content, and wait for a result.
I’m getting ready to launch a new product on this other website that I run. I’ve already got ShrimpTest configured and ready to roll. I cannot wait to see what happens.