SEO testing

SEO Testing

If you are unsure whether making a change to your website will positively or negatively affect SEO, running an SEO test might be the solution. SEO testing is the superpower that can help internal SEOs and agencies to demonstrate the value and return of their work. In your work practices if you build a test-driven SEO approach it will allow you to have a continuous method of improvement to make sure your website does not stagnate. 

The process of measuring and evaluating the results of a change you make to a page or your site about organic search traffic is what SEO testing is. It shows you what works. Running a website change as an SEO test allows you to evaluate all the ideas and see whether they work on your site. You can confidently roll out the change to other pages just after seeing a positive result once. 

If the results are not positive you can roll the change back. Then to optimize and test you can move on to the next thing. Systematic testing turns ad-hoc website changes into a methodical approach of collecting insight about what works for a particular website when long term, test-driven SEO tends were being done to result in a snowball effect and often it is visualized by exponential growth curves. 

One of the more challenging aspects of SEO is to prove that the juice is worth the squeeze, especially with eCommerce websites. It can be difficult to directly attribute improvements in organic performance to SEO initiatives with so many moving parts. In return, on both ends convincing your company or client to invest in those initiatives can take a lot of time and frustration. Proper SEO testing can help. 

There are now more resources than ever to quickly and efficiently pinpoint what does and does not work in SEO marketing — and how a business should invest in SEO strategy moving forward. If you are not using an SEO testing tool yet then you are missing out. Big decisions are going to be made by you based on the results you gather from SEO tests so it is important to run your experiments in the right way. 

After that these best practices we have put together from running and analyzing thousands of different tests across many websites need to be checked out. Firstly practice picking pages and keywords that already get impressions. While you are looking to optimize around a keyword or page you should ensure that there is enough search traffic to allow the test to show results. Secondly to form a Clear Hypothesis. 

If without a clear question you go into Google Analytics you are trying to answer, you will likely get distracted before you find something useful. For each measurement, ten days is an absolute minimum time, and sometimes Google’s algorithm is reacting slow, even after the page is cached. You will want to at least eyeball a noticeable difference before switching cases back and forth. 

An SEO test will only be successful if you start with a clear hypothesis and try to prove or disprove it. And one of the most important is that if you want things to be done a bit quicker, you can avoid the back and forth and just take 20 straight days of measurements for each case. This means there will be less time waiting for things to cache. One concept must be kept in mind that the possibility of other factors playing a part of the role is going to be a lot higher. 

Some business cases in which SEO testing is very helpful are first to find out what works in a business and scale it up. Implementing a change across an entire site can be costly, and it can also be risky if you do not know how the change will affect rankings. You can make your change to a single page, or a group of pages, and track the results by using an SEO testing approach. 

You can roll the change out across the site, or to a larger test group after getting a positive result if you want to make sure the initial test results replicate. Your confidence after changing a small part of the site and testing to roll out changes across an entire site. 

Secondly to discover opportunities. To take on larger incumbent websites that are not as nimble and cannot make changes quickly the only prime way is running tests and experiments. You don’t get those kinds of clean experiments in SEO. 

Most SEOs will tell you it is flat out impossible to test SEO theories and that you have to approach the whole thing with pure intuition and the touchy-feely advice of industry experts. If you are one of these larger established websites that are building out a platform so that your website can quickly rollout page and content changes to adopt a test-driven approach which is critical to not having your lunch stolen from the bottom up competitors. 

Next SEO testing is also very helpful for avoiding costly mistakes. When running an SEO test you can quickly see if a hypothesis is incorrect and the results have gone south. If it is conclusive over a few days that a change to the page title and meta description has led to a decrease in click-through rate, reverse the change and track the CTR in the test to see if it recovers need to be continued.

 You should always remember to stop guessing about what will work and stop forgetting what you have changed. SEO testing must be conducted precisely. Like any good experiment, you cannot adjust a bunch of variables and expect clean results. You will need to choose one change to make, set it up with a control group, and then see what happens. 

If you conduct testing on your product pages incorrectly, you might find yourself doing damage control a few weeks later — watching organic traffic fall for your product pages and sales numbers take a hit. 

Quiz

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SEO testing

 Increase your knowledge

1 / 5

When conducting a test, it should work to uncover _______________.

2 / 5

What does “Variant A” in A/B Testing usually represent?

3 / 5

Branded SEO is _______ because SEO is about being _______ and nobody is more _______ for your brand than you are.

4 / 5

What elements should text links consist of to ensure the best possible SEO performance?

5 / 5

Your client is interested in testing six-second bumper ads. What are two tips you can share with them about these ads? (Choose two.)

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