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What Are The Differences Between Split Testing and A/B Testing?

Donald Ng
October 2, 2023
5-star rating
Reviews on Capterra

There’s been quite a buzz around the terms ‘A/B testing’ and ‘split testing’. These phrases are often used interchangeably. Yet, are they the same thing or not?

This article aims to clear up the confusion. We’ll highlight the similarities and differences between the two methodologies. So, whether you’re a newbie or an experienced marketer, you’ll gain deeper insights into the nuances of these pivotal marketing strategies.

Let’s dive right into it!

What Are A/B Testing and Split Testing?

We’ll begin by defining these two terms:

A/B Testing

A/B testing, also known as bucket testing or split-run testing, is a process of comparing two versions of a webpage, email, or other marketing assets to see which one performs better. You show the two variants, Version A and B, to similar visitors at the same time. The one with better conversion rates - be it clicks, purchases, downloads, signups - wins.

Split Testing

Conversely, you might have heard marketers speak about ‘split testing’ - leading to an array of mixed messages and assumptions. Don’t fret! The mystery isn’t as cryptic as it seems. The truth is, split testing is the same as A/B testing. Yes, you read that right!

Any difference lies not in their fundamental definition but more in how people use the terms in various contexts.

Contextual Differences

While the basic methodology of A/B and Split testing is identical, the terms can sometimes be used differently based on the complexity of the variations being tested.

A/B Testing in Narrow Setting

In some situations, A/B testing is used to refer to simple changes such as headline or image changes. A simple tweak in the color of a Call-to-Action (CTA) button or the layout of a landing page can significantly impact the number of people who click on it.

Split Testing in Broader Scope

On the other hand, the term ‘split testing’ is sometimes used when referring to the testing of drastically different variations. For instance, you might design two completely different versions of a landing page, with different layouts, text content, and images.

Already Cross-wiring Your Brain? Let’s Simplify it.

Think of all testing as ‘split testing’, meaning you are dividing your audience to test one thing against another. A/B testing is a specific type of split test where you’re comparing two versions of the same thing.

In other words, all A/B tests are split tests, but not all split testings are A/B tests. You can have multivariate testing (MVT), which involves changing and testing multiple elements at the same time, where Version A might have a blue button and short-form copy, and Version B might show a red button with long-form copy. That is still a split test, but not strictly an A/B test.


Regardless of the terms used and their semantic differences, the important take-away is that testing - in whatever form it assumes - is an essential practice in digital marketing and CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation).

However, successful testing is not just about mindlessly creating versions and launching them to see what sticks. It needs a strategic approach, a clear hypothesis, dedicated resources, meticulous tracking, and intelligent, AI-powered tools like

Mida is an AI-driven A/B testing platform designed to help businesses like yours automate A/B testing. With capabilities to support up to 50K unique users free of charge,  can help you break away from uncertainties and make data-driven decisions that boost conversions and maximize ROI.

Remember, the more you test, the better you understand your audience. So, start testing your marketing assets today and unlock the growth potential of your business!

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