Advanced SEO split testing for better results in 2024

December 27, 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 AB testing.

Well, there are various methods or techniques to test SEO, but the most sought-after method is split testing or SEO AB testing. 

So, today we are going to talk about various SEO split testing methods that will help in improving your site’s SERP rankings.

What Is SEO AB Testing?

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

Basically, AB testing SEO is like scientific testing, where you design a hypothesis, conduct the experiment, and determine whether the results match with the curated hypothesis or not.

The main reason for conducting AB testing SEO is to check which metrics might work wonders for the website and which ones can tank the site’s rankings. Based on the results, site owners can then implement the metrics throughout the website.

How Does SEO AB Testing Work?

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

1. Identify Pages that Need Changes

Two people identifying pages

The first step of the split AB testing is to identify 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 AB testing 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 AB testing 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 AB testing 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.

How To Derive The Results Of AB Split Testing?

Deriving results from AB split testing is quite difficult if you do not have a reliable tool. But, RankWatch emerges as a savior in this case.

There are 2 specific features that can help you determine the various results of the SEO split tests: website analyzer and SEO IQ.

With our SEO analyzer you can easily disclose the changes in technical SEO metrics that occurred after the split testing and compare it with the previous results.

RankWatch website analyzer dashboard

The same goes with SEO IQ as well. This on page SEO checker specifically states the various on-page SEO KPIs of the web page, and determines the SEO score after analyzing and comparing them with various competitors.

RankWatch SEO IQ dashboard

You can easily discover the change in SEO scores of the variant web pages after the SEO AB testing. It will help you understand whether the changes were relevant or should be discarded immediately.

Metrics To Consider For SEO AB Testing

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 which HTML meta tags SEO works and which ones don’t. 

RankWatch’s SEO IQ will be your Gandalf in this journey.

Gandalf entry gif

RankWatch’s SEO IQ can be of great help while tweaking the meta descriptions of your website content. It provides accurate suggestions on the various aspects of meta descriptions, including word count, usage of primary keyword, and competitive viewpoint for better analysis.

RankWatch SEO IQ Suggestions dashboard

Once you implement the suggestions provided by the SEO IQ, a certain change in score will be visible. Though tweaking meta tags might seem like a small change, it holds significant value in terms of on-page SEO optimization.

2. Engaging Titles

Three engaging titles example

Instead of creating titles around the keyword, try devising engaging and attractive title tags SEO that prove to be beneficial. 

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.

That’s why, we highly recommend creating engaging headings for your website content. And to do so, our SEO IQ is at your service.

The “Improvement Ideas” section of SEO IQ suggests the various changes that you can make in the headings to see noticeable changes.

RankWatch SEO IQ “exact keyword in H1” section

RankWatch SEO IQ “broad keyword in H1” section

Additionally, the tool also discloses a competitive analysis graph showcasing the metrics used for analyzing the heading tags of various websites and your site’s stand amongst them.

RankWatch SEO IQ “exact keyword in H1” section graph

RankWatch SEO IQ “broad keyword in H1” section graph

All these metrics can help you formulate engaging titles that can drive traffic to your website, and ultimately improve your conversions, clicks, and SERP rankings as well.

3. 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 factual data, valuable information, infographics, and as such. 

If your content is not evergreen, then you need to upgrade it continuously to fit in the first SERP page.

Additionally, you also need to maintain the content quality while upgrading it. That’s why we suggest you some fast writing tips that will help you maintain both speed and quality of the content.

Remember, If the content is not up to the mark, then it won’t garner much traction. 

4. 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.

5. Clean URLs For The Win

WIN written in red

Creating SEO friendly URL is the ultimate path 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 is a clean URL. 

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. 

To help you out, RankWatch’s SEO IQ is here. The feature also states the character count of your website URL, presence of the primary keyword in it, and whether the entire URL is up to the mark or not.

SEO IQ characters in URL

All the above mentioned points, along with the detailed competitive analysis graph, helps you redesign your site URL into a clean one for better results.

Benefits Of SEO Split Testing

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.

RankWatch SEO IQ score dashboard

Download the SEO IQ reports before and after the split AB testing to compare the results, and showcase it to the stakeholders in the next meeting to present the profit that SEO can bring to the company.

RankWatch Ranking overview dashboard

Moreover, don’t forget to use RankWatch’s 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. 

It is extremely important to check the Google updates timeline regularly to remain updated on all the changes that the search engine has made recently. Besides, you can use this information while designing SEO split tests in the future.

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 right 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

RankWatch Competitor Analysis table

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.

https://youtu.be/VAXr9TUtW3w

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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1 Comment

  1. Amazing insights on advanced split testing. I’ll definitely try these tips to level up my SEO results.

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