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Although 15% of the web’s top 10,000 websites are currently A/B testing, optimization is still fairly new to many organizations*. Despite easily quantifiable ROI and growing ubiquity, creating a testing culture can be difficult to implement and spread when not everyone at your organization knows the lingo. Understanding the jargon of conversion rate optimization is essential to communicating the awesomeness of testing to your entire team!

To help you and your coworkers learn to talk the talk, we’ve created a list of the most commonly used terms in optimization, complete with pronunciations, use cases and even a few pictures.

A/B Test |ˈā-ˈbē ˈtest |


1.  An experiment in which a single element of a web page is altered to create one or more variations of  a page. Visitors are then randomly directed to one of variations and conversion goals are measured to determine a statistically significant winner.

Synonyms: Split Test, A/B/n Test

Example: We ran an A/B test on our homepage to determine what button color would yield the highest conversions.

Baseline |ˈbāsˌlīn|


1. The original version of a page. This is the control of an experiment and what goals are measured against.

Synonyms: Original

Example: After running the experiment for a week, the green button reached statistical significance with a 100% chance to beat the baseline and a 10% lift in conversion rate.

Call to Action |kôl,to͞oˈakSHən|


Please click

1. The link or button on a given page that a website wants the visitors to click. This can be a “Buy Now” button, a sign-up button, or a “Request More Information” button.

2. Because it is the area of a site that requires visitors to take a specific action, it is often how specific goals are measured.

Synonyms: CTA

Example: In order to try and attract more clicks on our call to action button, I changed the color from red to blue.

Experiment  |ikˈsperəmənt|


1. A project where visitors to a website are directed to one of several variations of a page in order to test a hypothesis and gain insight into a visitor’s behavior on a given site. An experiment can be an A/B test, multivariate test, or funnel test.

Synonyms: Test

Example: To test our hypothesis that green is associated with go, therefore more people will be encouraged to click, we ran an experiment where we directed 50% of our visitors to the page showing a green button and 50% of our visitors to the page showing a red button.

Full Factorial Multivariate Test  |\-ˈver-ē-ət, -ˌāt,test\|


1.  An experiment where more than one element or section of a page is changed to create multiple variations on the original. Visitors are then randomly directed to every possible combination of the modified sections on the page.

Synonyms: MVT

Example: We wanted to see if changing the button copy would have an effect on conversions as well as button color, so we ran a full factorial multivariate test.

Funnel Testing  |ˈfənl,test|


1. An experiment that includes more than one page of a website.

2. This method can be used to test an e-commerce checkout flow, multistep sign up or any other multipage process.

Synonyms: Multipage testing

Example: In addition to making our “add to cart” button green, we created a funnel test to make changes to each page of the checkout funnel.

Hi.P.P.O.  |ˈhipō|


1.  The opinion of the highest paid person. This often takes precedent over other valuable opinions within an organization and is best avoided by collecting data to support business decisions.

Synonyms: Highest paid person’s opinion

Example: Our CMO was sure that our visitors would love the redesign, but ultimately it decreased conversions by 10%. We realized that we should have tested the design before going with the Hi.P.P.O.


M.U.V |em, yo͞o, vē|


1.  The number of individual people who visit a website each month. This differs from monthly site visits in that each visitor is counted only once, regardless of how many times they visit a page. This is important  in testing because each person should only be counted once in an experiment. Also, each visitor should see a consistent variation each time they return to a site while a test is running.

Synonyms: Monthly Unique Visitors

Example:  We saw statistical significance after running 5,000 M.U.Vs through our checkout funnel experiment.

Primary Conversion |ˈprīˌmerē  kənˈvərZHən|


1.  The most ideal action that a visitor can initially take on a site. For an eCommerce site this would be the “Add to Cart” button. For a subscription site, this would be a “Sign-up Now” button.

Synonyms: Primary call to action, primary goal

Example:  In order to make out primary conversion stand out, we changed the button color to green and moved it higher on the page.

Secondary Conversion |ˈsekənˌderē  kənˈvərZHən|


1.  The next best action a visitor can take if they are not yet ready to click on the primary call to action. For an eCommerce site this could be viewing product details or for a subscription site this could be requesting more information.

Synonyms: Secondary call to action, Secondary goal

Example:  Although we ultimately want to increase sign-ups, our primary conversion, our secondary conversion is a great lead generation tool as well.

Targeting  |ˈtärgitiNG|



1.  Directing an experiment to only a particular group of individuals. You do this based on characteristics of your visitors like age, location, language or any other information you collect. This is often used to show a different, more personalized experience to certain segments.

Synonyms: Personalization

Example: In order to learn more about our mobile visitors, we ran an experiment targeting only visitors coming from iPhones, Androids and Tablets.

Testing Hero |test,iNG hi(ə)rō|


1.  A person who brings big wins to their organization through encouraging data driven business decisions and testing strategy. This person understands what is possible through testing and is able to creatively implement test that aide in overall success.

Synonyms: Testing Evangelist

Example:  After Jane, a true testing hero, increased conversions by 10% by running a homepage experiment, the testing culture really spread at our company.


Variation |ˌve(ə)rēˈāSHən|


1. A version of your page that differs from the original or baseline. This can be as simple as a button change or as drastic as a page redirect.

Synonyms: Recipe

Example: Because the first variation had a green call to action button in contrast to the red button on the original, I think it will convert at a higher rate.

Visitor Segment  |ˈvizitər,segmənt|


1.  A group of visitors that are defined by a common characteristic. This is used when analyzing the results of an experiment to get a more granular look into what experience each type of visitor prefers.

Synonyms: Audience

Example: After we ran the experiment we looked at the different visitor segment’s results to learn that mobile visitors prefered the green button.

Final Thoughts

With this blog post, you are now well equipped to discuss the major benefits of optimization and testing within your organization. The next step to becoming a true testing hero is to put your newfound knowledge into action by setting up a test on your own site. To do so, simply paste your URL below to start creating your first experiment!