Advanced SEO split testing for better results in 2023

May 17, 2023 | Advanced SEO

If you are a digital marketer, you must be aware of Google’s ever-changing algorithm and the struggle that we SEO professionals have to face for that. 

Burning the midnight oil to find ways that will work for our website, continuously experimenting with new SEO tactics to get a break-even point, and so on.

exhausted tom gif

The salt to our wound is that Google never discloses what tactics will work perfectly to achieve that number 1 position on SERP rankings. Well, it’s fair enough as everyone would start using those techniques, and it would be chaos.

However, there is a way to escape from breaking your back the moment Google changes its algorithms, and it is SEO testing.

curious eyes gif

Well, there are various methods or techniques to test SEO, but the most sought-after method is Split testing or A/B testing. Here, we will talk about SEO split testing methods that will help rank your website in 2023.

What Is SEO Split Testing?

SEO split testing is an experimentation process that shows the impact on your site’s rankings after making a few changes in the SEO metrics.

RankWatch SEO IQ score dashboard

You can easily view the results of the A/B split tests with our SEO IQ feature. 

  1. Visit the SEO IQ section of RankWatch
  2. Enter the URL address, primary keyword, and location for which you want the results
  3. Select the “Search” option, and the tool will display the results

Ensure you measure the results after performing all required changes to get an in-depth analysis of all on-page SEO metrics.

Our patented tool analyzes and scores your website based on several on-page SEO factors, like meta tags, keywords, headings, and as such. Besides, you can also view how the experiment has changed your rankings amongst competitors. 

Ideas For SEO Split Testing That You Can Use

There are certain factors that you can consider while running an SEO A/B testing for your website. Here are some small but important metrics that might provide you with good results.

1. Tweak Meta Tags

girl changing meta tags

Meta tags are one of the most important on-page SEO factors that can either promote or demote your website rankings.

That’s why making small changes in meta tags from time to time will let you know what works and what doesn’t. 

Don’t worry, as RankWatch’s SEO IQ will be your Gandalf throughout the split test.

Gandalf entry gif

For example, in this case, you can use SEO IQ to determine whether the meta tag changes improve your score.

RankWatch SEO IQ Suggestions dashboard

If the scores are lower than expected, then implement the suggestions provided by SEO IQ in your meta tags. Go through the “Improvement Ideas” section, see what suggestions are mentioned for meta tags, and start working on them.

2. Internal Links

Three people deriving internal links

Internal linking helps search engines decide whether your website is trustworthy or not. Additionally, they also help improve your EAT score, ensure authenticity, and increase traffic.

However, there’s a possibility of dead and broken links lingering around your website that can severely affect your SEO game. Our backlink analyzer will help you find all such links to remove and enhance your SEO rankings.

Besides, internal linking is a difficult game, and a tool like RankWatch’s online backlink checker, can help you excel in it.

3. Engaging Titles

Three engaging titles example

Instead of creating titles around the keyword, try devising engaging and attractive ones. 

You never know if changing the keyword-based title to a more story-based one will bring you more conversions. There’s no hard and fast rule for SEO, and what works for other websites might not work for your domain.

RankWatch website analyzer headings section dashboard

If you are confused about whether your headings are working, you can conduct a website analysis with our SEO analyzer. It will help you understand what changes you need to make in the headings to improve rankings.

Besides, our website analyzer also conducts complete website analysis to provide valuable information like website speed, mobile friendliness, link overview, etc., for a complete overview.

4. Content Quality and Format

Two people pointing at “CONTENT” on webpage

The saying “content is king” goes for everything, including SEO A/B split testing. 

It’s wise to make changes in your content, upgrading it to include new things, like facts and new information. If your content is not evergreen, then you need to upgrade it continuously to fit in the first SERP page.

You can also get significant results by including quality and informative images that are relevant to your content.

5. Say NO to Bold Tags

Two people holding “NO!” written posters

Like keyword stuffing was looked down upon by Google, so are bold tags. Bold tags were randomly used throughout the content to highlight keywords, quotes, or other specific parts to capture the user’s attention.

Currently, Google disapproves of these bold tags and decreases the rankings of websites that use such tactics to capture users’ attention. 

If any of your website page content or blog content contains such bold tags, remove them during the SEO A/B split testing process and wait for the results to arrive.

6. Clean URLs For The Win

WIN written in red

A Clean URL is one of the ways to SEO’s heart. What do you mean by a clean URL? One that contains the primary keyword has no unnecessary characters and is to the point. Clean URLs improve your on-page SEO metrics, in turn improving your rankings.

It’s better to add the title of the web page or blog in the URL to make it concise and to the point. 

If you are not sure how to rewrite URLs, take help of a URL rewriting tool. They can easily convert any dynamic URL into a static one that is crisp, clean, and comfortable to the eyes.

Benefits Of SEO Split Testing

When it comes to the benefits of SEO A/B testing, there are many. If you are still unsure how SEO A/B testing can help your website’s rankings, these benefits might change your point of view.

1. Justifiable SEO Value To Stakeholders

SEO professional justifying SEO value to stakeholder

Split testing shows how small changes can affect your site’s rankings. It shows the value of SEO and how it can make or break your brand. 

As most stakeholders and investors do not give SEO much value, split testing provides evidence of how SEO can affect the business that the team can present before the stakeholders.

RankWatch SEO IQ score dashboard

You can download the SEO IQ reports before and after conducting the SEO split test to compare the results.

RankWatch Ranking overview dashboard

You should also use our Rank tracking feature to get in-detail insights on rankings, SOV, top landing pages, etc., and use it for analyzing the experiment’s outcome.

If there’s a positive outcome, like improvement in score, CTR, traffic, etc., you can provide these reports to investors to finalize the budget for implementing changes.

2. Keep Up With Google’s Changing Algorithms

Two people viewing webpage with magnifying glasses

Google is known for constantly changing its algorithms without giving any warning. 

You might think that you have done a great job in rectifying your SEO issues and the website will rank soon, but the next day, there’s a new algorithm change, and all your hard work is thrown right down the drain. 

But, with SEO A/B split testing, you might be able to hold on to your website’s ranking reins a little while longer. 

Our Google updates timeline contains details on all updates that the search engine has made till date. You can use it for designing future SEO split tests.

3. Stay Ahead Of Competitors

Three figures running through hurdles

As you continue A/B testing in SEO, you always stay ahead of the competition. It helps you have the edge over your competitors and please Google’s algorithms. 

Don’t believe us? Use our Competitor analysis, and the results will be before your eyes.

Before you start SEO testing, conduct a competitive analysis and store the reports for later usage. Once the experiment is done, wait for a few weeks, and conduct another competitive analysis with our tool, and you will see a significant change.

RankWatch Competitor Analysis dashboard

Besides, our competitive analysis provides in-depth insights on where you stand amongst your competitors, ranking keywords, top URLs for each website, and other metrics that will come in handy.

Here’s a complete tutorial on how to use our Competitor analysis tool.

How Does SEO A/B Testing Work?

As stated earlier, the A/B process is quite long and detailed. There are five basic steps that you need to follow so that the SEO experiment goes right.

1. Identify Pages that Need Changes

Two people identifying pages

The first step in a SEO split test is identifying the pages where you want changes. For example, you can select some content-based or e-commerce pages of your website and make small changes that the search engine won’t mind. 

2. Group The Pages

Six people grouping pages

After figuring out the pages that need changes, divide them into two groups: control and variant. 

The control group contains the pages that won’t have any changes and remain constant throughout the SEO experiment, while the variant group contains pages where you will perform the changes. 

3. Set Hypotheses For Each Group

Four people designing hypothesis for each group

Once you have sorted out the pages, it’s time to set up hypotheses for each group. 

For the variant pages, you need to set a bar based on several metrics like CTR, impressions, conversions, etc., and then use it as a benchmark for depicting the results.

The same goes for the control pages, as the SEO experiment will somehow, though negligibly, affect the control pages. If not, then other external factors might affect the control pages in a small way. So, state a hypothesis for the control group as well.

4. Run The Experimental Tests

Two people running experimental tests

Make small changes in the variant pages, like tweaking the meta tags, changing certain words in the titles, etc.

Do not make any significant or major changes, as the search engine will get confused and mark it as cloaking, which can eventually drop the rankings.

5. Report The Results

Several people reporting results

Now comes the step of noting down the results. You need to give some time for the results to come in. SEO split tests usually take around 21 to 50 days to give specific results.

We can say that the SEO experiment was successful, if 

  1. For Variant pages, the results outperform the bar set in the hypothesis. The results should also outperform the control group results to consider the changes as significant.
  2. For control pages, the results should match that of the predicted hypothesis to consider the changes as significant.
  3. If the results of both variant and control pages are equal, that is, they match completely, then the change is considered insignificant.

Summing Up…

As stated earlier, SEO A/B testing is essential to cope with the ever-changing Google algorithm. It helps you stay ahead of time and efficiently handle all upcoming risks. Besides, with RankWatch, you will always have a mentor to guide you throughout the SEO experiment process.

Hope this blog was useful to you.

See you soon!

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