I’ve written in the past on multivariate testing, which I believe is one of the most important practices to continuously improve your Web site. Competitors such as Optimost and Offermatica have been joined in recent years by the free Google Website Optimizer, but I recently looked at a newer competitor called SiteSpect, which makes it easier to do multivariate testing than ever.
But, to me, the real excitement is that you can test things that older testing solutions did not allow, because they were not even on your Web site—such as Doubleclick banners—or just too dynamic. Because SiteSpect can swap any content on the screen, you can test absolutely everything on your site.
Here’s an example of what SiteSpect can do with a typical IBM home page:
With a couple of lines of instructions, SiteSpect reversed the layout on the page so the ad is under the navigation, rather than on top:
This magic is made possible by an increasingly popular kind of programming called “regular expressions,” which a Web developer can use to recognize any pattern in data and, in SiteSpect’s case, replace what it finds with what you want. Marketers need to understand the power of this approach, because it means you can run a test a few minutes after you think of it, rather than a week later after the IT team promotes the new code. In the hands of the wrong person, regular expressions can be dangerous in their effects (think: sculpting with a chain saw), but more and more programmers are becoming familiar with this powerful tool.
I’m taking Monday off for the U.S. Memorial Day holiday, but I’ll post the full interview with Overstock’s Seth Moore on Tuesday. In the meantime, think about whether SiteSpect might be the tool that finally makes multivariate testing possible in your organization. Google Website Optimizer made testing free but not all that easy. SiteSpect makes it easy, but not free. One of those will probably be what you need.