Why your SEO needs better testing.

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150 150 Claire Archer-Davis

If you’re new to the world of SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, then it is worth knowing that good SEO relies on pages that fulfill the needs of its visitors, pages that provide quality content and pages that have high credibility, but there is a lot more to SEO than just these things. Through lots of little changes and alterations, different impacts can be seen throughout your website, and it is worth learning about what works and what doesn’t for your website.

Why Your SEO Needs Testing
SEO is sometimes called an ‘art’, and sometimes called a ‘science’, and as with all sciences, it is worth testing different theories and approaches to see what achieves the best results. If there was a way to get 100,000 more visitors to your website just by making a few changes, wouldn’t you want to know how?

How to Test Your SEO
Just like all scientific tests, testing your SEO falls into two basic steps that you can replicate for each and every test you want to carry out.

1 – A hypothesis

Don’t get confused by the technical term, a hypothesis is simply a theory that you would like to test out to find out if it is true or not. It can be as simple or complicated as you like, but we suggest starting with something quite easy and building up to the harder stuff.

SEO - hypothesis

2 – A clear goal

There is no point in carrying out an SEO test if you don’t know what you are looking for. There needs to be a point or a goal to your tests, or you could just be wasting your valuable time and effort. Would you like more traffic? A smaller bounce rate, or even to appear higher on Google’s search results? There are all clear goals, that good testing can help you achieve.

SEO Goals

3 – A way to measure your results

You will need to have an established baseline so that you can measure your SEO test results against. This will help you to see any differences that occur from each of your tests, so you can see the impact that they make.

Measure SEO

4 – A control

A control set is vital so that you know whether or not your changes are having any impact on your results. Having pages that are not in the test allow you to compare the results so that you know whether or not external factors are making a difference.

Control SEO

Areas of SEO That You Should Test
It can often seem overwhelming trying to think about where to start, or even how to start testing your SEO in order to achieve better results on your website. So here are a few examples of SEO tests that you can carry out on your own website:

Internal Links
Internal links and their structure within your website can make a huge difference, so it’s a good idea to test them every now and again, plus, it’s one of the easiest tests you can carry out! For example, you can choose a few pages that are not currently linked to from your landing page – this is your test set – then you can choose a few more pages that are not currently linked to from your landing page – this is your control set – and then link to the test set from your landing page and see if the rankings change in a different way than the control set. This is just one of many internal linking tests you can carry out for SEO purposes, but whatever you test, be sure to always have a test and a control set to compare against each other.

Whether you want to test the title tags or heading tags for your website’s pages, the test is the same: your control set is a set of pages that remain the same, whilst the test set contains the changes that you make to the tags. You can then record the rankings changes for your test set and control set pages to see if the changes are due to external factors or the changes that you have made. Once you achieve positive changes on your test set, then you can alter the rest of your pages to benefit from these changes too.

Many people end up using a template for their website’s meta-descriptions, so it is always worth testing a few alterations to see if these templates are holding your content back. Start by getting a baseline by going into the Google Search Console and seeing what your average CTR is on your SERPs for some of the pages that use your existing meta-description template. You can then see if a new meta-description template has an impact on your results by changing around 50% of your meta-descriptions and monitoring the results over a set period of time. Use the original CTR to compare the CTR of the changed and unchanged meta-descriptions to get some good results. You can continue to test the meta-data by changing your descriptions until you get the results you are looking for.

Content Blocks
Testing whole blocks of content can alter the impact rankings of both ‘long tail’ and ‘chunky middle’ keywords, so be sure to check out changes in your traffic as well as the rankings. Set up a test set and a control set and then monitor these changes to see what works and what doesn’t. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of changes, but over time huge results can be seen through this type of testing.

Testing your SEO can be frustrating, confusing and time consuming, but after all the toil and trouble it is definitely worth it when you start seeing results. By making a definitive list of the tests that you would like to run and researching the best and most efficient way of carrying these test out, you can really achieve some noticeable changes to your traffic and ranking, but be sure to carry out each test multiple times to ensure that the results are true to life and not just an anomaly!

If you would like help with your SEO then please get in touch with us here at The Bright Click. We have an experienced team of experts and will work pro-actively with you and your business to improve both your on-page and off-page SEO.

Contact us today on:

08433 832732

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Claire Archer-Davis

All stories by: Claire Archer-Davis