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If you want to succeed online you need an SEO strategy that includes carefully managed A/B testing. Without A/B testing for SEO you are merely throwing out ideas and changes without checking that they work first.

By now you will probably have realised that having a business website and having a business website that delivers sales are two different things. Getting your web pages to rank high in search takes hard work - even then with time as well as energy spent, it is still possible you won’t reap the results you want.

The reason? Ineffective A/B testing Strategy. It’s a bit like shiny object syndrome. If you can narrow down your strategies to those that work using A/B testing, you can understand what engages your target market and how to build your conversion rate.

Without A/B testing you have no way of properly knowing what works and why. Let’s take a look at what A/B testing is and how you can use it to secure better results for your business website.

A/B Testing for SEO: What it is and how to use it

A/B testing is a structured way of measuring what engages and converts your target market. Instead of implementing changes at will, with A/B testing you can track and measure the strategies that work.

To use A/B testing you will need to set up a controlled experiment where the variables are managed so you can measure which strategies work and to what degree. You will need to make a number of versions of the page that are similar apart from one change on each as well as a control.

You will then be able to compare how the differing presentations of content on the page perform against each other when faced with organic traffic.

When you look at the results, you’ll be able to see which type of content works best with users in terms of conversion rates and engagement. You can make tweaks and fixes as you go along until you get the content right.

A/B Testing is standard practice recognised by search engines so it won’t appear as duplicate content or slow your site down.

However you do need to have a really busy website with lots of traffic and plenty of clicking through similarly structured pages for it to work. For example, websites for shops, estate agents and online listings are ideal.

How to use A/ B Testing for SEO

To run successful A/B testing you need to think scientifically. The point of A/B testing is that it introduces scientific experimentation so you can gain measurable results and hone your content strategy.

To make your SEO A/B testing successful you will need to:

  1. Begin with a valid question that can be tested and measured. Make sure it is a SMART question with a deadline and a clear plan for how you will measure the results to ensure your A/B testing has a purpose.

    For example, will placing a booking call to action at the top of the page deliver a higher conversion rate than one placed in the middle of the page?

    To measure the results we will create one page template with the call to action at the top and another with the call to action in the middle, then we will compare the difference in the organic traffic and conversion rates for the different types of pages.

  2. Choose a large set of pages to test that all look the same and have similar levels of traffic. For example, category pages or product listings follow a set structure so are perfect for A/B testing.
  3. Carry out some in-depth analysis of the organic traffic the pages you are testing usually receive then produce a forecast so you can measure the results you gain from the test against the outcomes you would have had if you hadn’t made any changes.
  4. Put the pages into three equal groups, so one group has the call to action at the top, the second has the call to action in the middle and the third group of pages are the control pages.
  5. Remember to set up testing in a way it doesn't harm existing rankings. That means avoiding common SEO A/B testing mistakes such as content cloaking, monitoring page load times and using the rel=" canonical" tag to avoid duplicate content issues.

A/B Testing for SEO: What it is and how to use it

A/B testing is a time-consuming process. In addition to ensuring it is carried out correctly, the results need to be monitored, measured and adapted as they go along.

If you know you haven’t got the time to carry A/B testing out properly, get in touch with us today. We can execute sophisticated A/B testing for you as well as any other growth strategies you need to take your business to the next level.