Split testing is at the heart of every response-based marketing campaign. Split testing allows you to take an idea and statistically prove whether it’s more or less profitable than the previous version.
The core principles of split testing apply to banner ads, websites, emails and just about every other medium where you’re communicating with potential buyers.
There are two primary different kinds of split tests you could run: An A/B split test and a multivariate split test.
An A/B split test is where to you take Version A of a website (or banner) and test it against Version B. You measure the response, then take the winner and make it the control. Rinse and repeat.
A multivariate split test is where you pit a wide number of different variables against one another in one test. For example, you test a headline, an image, a price and a design framework all at the same time.
Multivariate tests allow you to get more accurate data than sequential A/B split tests, but require more data to run effectively.
Here are the top 10 split testing tools on the web.
Tool #1: Split Test Accelerator
Split Test Accelerator is a very powerful testing software that’s installed on your own server. It includes Taguchi testing which allows you to mathematically calculate the best version of a website, based on incomplete data. It’s less accurate but faster than full factorial. It’s good for small sites looking for fast results. Using Taguchi with Split Test Accelerator is optional.
Tool #2: Split Testing Pro
Split Testing Pro is a simple and easy tool for split testing web pages. It uses the traffic rotator model, where you create multiple pages for different variables you want to test.
All you need to use Split Testing Pro is the ability to copy and paste a simple line of code. Just upload all the pages you want to split test, plus the line of code on those pages and Split Testing Pro does the rest of the work.
Tool #3: Visual Website Optimizer
Visual Website Optimizer is designed to be an advanced split testing solution for non-tech oriented people. If you don’t know HTML, if you don’t have a system administrator and if you don’t want to do any programming whatsoever, Visual Website Optimizer can help.
What makes Visual Website Optimizer unique is that it can make the installation process so simple and tech-free, while still delivering advanced features like multivariable testing and geo-location based page delivery.
Tool #4: Split Testing
Split Testing is a tool that allows you to calculate the statistical significance of an advertising split test. Just enter in the number of clicks and CTR you got on two different ads and Split Tester will tell you how likely it is that you have a statistically significant winner.
It’s fast, simple and easy. Don’t end a split test without making sure that your statistical significance is 99% or higher. Remember: 95% means that 1 out of 20 times, you’ll be wrong. That’s huge when you’re running dozens of tests.
Tool #5: Open X
Open X is technically a banner ad server. However, if you’re running banner ads, you can register yourself as an advertiser and use it to split test banner ads.
This is especially useful if you do a lot of affiliate advertising on your site(s). Instead of using split testing software to test banner ads, which can be quite cumbersome, just use Open X instead.
Open X will allow you to test a large number of different banner ads, pit them against one another and see which one gets the highest CTR.
Tool #6: CrazyEgg
CrazyEgg isn’t a traditional split testing tool. Instead, it’s a tool that can tell you what you need to split test and how people are perceiving your various split tests.
What CrazyEgg does is create heatmap impressions of where people clicked on your site. For example, if you find that a lot of people click on an image on your site that isn’t actually a button, it might be a good idea to make that picture clickable.
Use CrazyEgg to gather data about how people are using your site, then redesign or split test accordingly.
Tool #7: Five Second Test
Five Second Test can give you a preview of what people think of a page you’re going to test, before you test it. It can also help you identify what elements on your page you should split test.
Here’s how it works.
First, you provide Five Second Test with a page or an image. For example, you might give them your squeeze page.
Then, you craft a question. For example, the question might be “What was the main offer?” or “What caught your attention first about the page?”
The user looks at your page for five seconds, then it automatically closes. Five Second Test then asks them to answer your question.
Use this tool to identify strong headlines, good designs or weak areas of your site that need to be fixed.
Tool #8: Boost CTR
Boost CTR is a very unique AdWords tool that makes improving your ad copy a cinch.
Instead of writing your own ad copy to split test, Boost CTR allows you to go into a pool of qualified copywriters and have them write it for you. Only the best ads are then split tested against your ads.
Basically, this tool allows you to get access to dozens of world class copywriters for pennies on the dollar. They’ll write ads that out convert yours and you only have to pay them if they can beat your controls.
These are the top 8 split testing tools on the web. We’ve covered everything from heatmaps to AB testing to multivariable tests to AdWords and banner ad split tests.