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Asaad Dookhy

5 Easy-to-Set-Up SEO Tests

Asaad Dookhy
5 Easy-to-Set-Up SEO Tests

Testing is a crucial part of SEO, as the effects of implementing best practices differ from brand to brand (i.e Amazon may see a bigger effect from a title tag change than a start up in competitive niche), and you need data to push on with your plans and resource correctly.

I’m a fan of the SEO tests created and shared by Rand Fishkin and Dejan, but their experiments tend to be quite grand, which can be difficult to replicate. So, the purpose of this article is to discuss 5 easy-to-set-up SEO tests.

1. The Title Tag

What to test:

  • Using a call to actions (CTA) in the title tag
  • Testing the effect of a price-led CTA vs. a benefit-led CTA
  • Test category-specific USPs vs. company-wide USPs

SEO in Title

Choosing candidates:

  • Flat search volume throughout the year, so you can be confident the results aren’t attributed to peaks or low points in interest
  • Pages that have stronger USPs than the competition
  • Rank on the first page so you have enough data to measure the effect on CTR

KPIs to measure:

  • Organic CTR, as this is the main reason for running the test
  • Organic traffic, because to run the test, you may need to sacrifice a supporting keyword in the title tag
  • Effect on UX stats, as customers may follow through as they are aware of the USPs of the category and company
  • Although debatable, the rankings may be affected after the increase of organic traffic

2. The Meta Description

What to test:

  • Test different USPs, as most brands have multiple USPs that can’t all fit the 155-character limit
  • Sacrifice stronger company-wide USPs, such as delivery for category- specific USPs, like range
  • Test the effect of caps to make USPs stand out more

Test SEO in your meta

Choosing candidates:

  • Flat search volume throughout the year, so you can be confident the results aren’t attributed to peaks/low points in interest
  • Pages that have stronger category-based USPs than the competition
  • Rank on the first page, so you have enough data to measure the effect on CTR
  • Pages that the original meta description is actually being picked up in Google and not copy from the landing page

KPIs to measure:

  • Organic CTR, as this is the main reason for running the test
  • Effect on UX stats,because customers may follow through as they become aware of the category’s or company’s USPs
  • Although debatable, the rankings may be affected after an increase in organic traffic

3. Mobile Meta

What to test:

  • The mobile-friendly label means that you have less characters to work with on mobile SERPs; and if you have a responsive or adapted site, then you can test shortening to around 130 characters to the full meta description is displayed in the mobile SERP
  • A majority of people still use mobile for research, so test out messages specifically for researchers

SEO test for mobile

Choosing the candidates:

  • Flat search volume throughout the year, so you can be confident the results aren’t attributed to peaks/low points in interest
  • On the first page of the mobile SERP

KPIs to measure:

  • Mobile organic CTR vs. desktop: we want an increase in mobile CTR, but not a decrease in desktop CTR (you can see this data in Google Search Console)

Google Search Console

  • Effect on in-store traffic--difficult to attribute, but surveying customers could shed some insight on their journey
  • It’s crucial to research mobile, so look at the overall sales and correlate them to the increase in mobile organic traffic

4. Content Reaction

What to test:

  • Test out users’ reactions to content by posting in forums and asking for feedback; those who participate in forums are passionate about their interests and will give you real feedback
  • When posting on social media, also ask for feedback as RTs and favorites don’t give you enough insight to influence future campaigns

Content Reaction Test

Choosing the candidates:

  • Content campaigns that have just gone live or are in the preview stage, as you can react to any potential problems
  • Content campaigns that have active forums and communities – in order to get feedback

KPIs to measure:

  • Number of social shares after making edits
  • Quality and quantity of links after making edits

5. On-Page Type and Copy Placement

What to test:

  • Test out added on-page copy by comparing informational intent vs. transactional intent. With Google’s understanding topics better since Hummingbird, its important to be an authority on a topic and not just try to sell it, but inform and advise.
  • From my experience, copy at the top of the page has the biggest effect, but there may be an opportunity to add more text content; you shouldn't ignore this opportunity, so test to see if there’s an effect when adding content in the middle of the page and at the bottom

Test SEO in Ad Copy

Choosing the candidates:

  • Pages that aren’t ranked number 1, as the purpose is to test whether the additional content drives your relevance and authority and pushes you up for your target keywords
  • Keywords in the middle to difficult range (tools such as Moz can help you with this score), as you also need to balance out your time for creating this content and your potential returns

KPIs to measure:

  • Increase in rankings for target keywords
  • UX effect, as the additional content should be useful for the user

Summary

Above are five easy-to-set-up SEO tests that will provide some interesting data to further improve your SEO campaigns. Please share your SEO tests in the comments below! Let us know what has worked for you.

Asaad Dookhy is the Search Lead and Manager at Decathlon, responsible for the entire strategy and implementation of driving qualified traffic via search to the site. He has six years of experience in digital, both the retail and agency side, as well as freelance experience. Asaad is an all-round SEO, comfortable with technical SEO as well as content marketing.

Comments

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Kathleen Garvin
Kathleen Garvin
(Magda Savin, link removed]

And if we want to check a different website or blog?
For example I don't have an e-commerce page, I have an energy blog that is not selling products yet, only fresh and free content.
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