Should You Test That? When to Engage in SEO Split Tests

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Posted by Portent This blog was written by Tim Mehta, a former Conversion Rate Optimization Strategist with Portent, Inc. Running A/B/n experiments (aka “Split Tests”) to improve your search engine rankings has been in the SEO toolkit for longer than many would think. Moz actually published an article back in 2015 broaching the subject, which is a great summary of how you can run these tests. What I want to cover here is understanding the right times to run an SEO split-test, and not how you should be running them. I run a CRO program at an agency that’s well-known for SEO. The SEO team brings me in when they are preparing to run an SEO split-test to ensure we are following best practices when it comes to experimentation. This has given me the chance to see how SEOs are currently approaching split-testing, and where we can improve upon the process. One of my biggest observations when working on these projects has been the most pressing and often overlooked question: “Should we test that?” Risks of running unnecessary SEO split-tests Below you will find a few potential risks of running an SEO split-test. You might be willing to take some of these risks, while there are others you will most definitely want to avoid. Wasted resources With on-page split-tests (not SEO split-tests), you can be much more agile and launch multiple tests per month without expending significant resources. Plus, the pre-test and post-test analyses are much easier to perform with the calculators and formulas readily available through our tools. With SEO split-testing, there’s a heavy amount of lifting that goes into planning a test out, actually setting it up, and then executing it. What you’re essentially doing is taking an existing template of similar pages on your site and splitting it up into two (or more) separate templates. This requires significant development resources and poses more risk, as you can’t simply “turn the test off” if things aren’t going well. As you probably know, once you’ve made a change to hurt your rankings, it’s a lengthy uphill battle to get them back . The pre-test analysis to anticipate how long you need to run the test to reach statistical significance is more complex and takes up a lot of time with SEO split-testing. It’s not as simple as, “Which one gets more organic traffic?” because each variation you test has …

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Should You Test That? When to Engage in SEO Split Tests

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Posted by Portent This blog was written by Tim Mehta, a former Conversion Rate Optimization Strategist with Portent, Inc. Running A/B/n experiments (aka “Split Tests”) to improve your search engine rankings has been in the SEO toolkit for longer than many would think. Moz actually published an article back in 2015 broaching the subject, which is a great summary of how you can run these tests. What I want to cover here is understanding the right times to run an SEO split-test, and not how you should be running them. I run a CRO program at an agency that’s well-known for SEO. The SEO team brings me in when they are preparing to run an SEO split-test to ensure we are following best practices when it comes to experimentation. This has given me the chance to see how SEOs are currently approaching split-testing, and where we can improve upon the …

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SEMrush Review: Details, Features & Pricing

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Here is my complete review of SEMrush . In this post you’ll see: What SEMrush does well What SEMrush doesn’t do well My opinion of SEMrush’s SEO and PPC features Whether SEMrush is worth the monthly fee A whole lot more Let’s get started. Domain Analytics This is a big picture overview of a site’s overall SEO and PPC marketing efforts. And if you want to dig deeper, you can get details on a site’s organic traffic, backlinks , PPC campaigns, engagement metrics (like bounce rate ), the site’s main competitors in Google search, and more. This report is helpful if you want to quickly see how much traffic a site gets from SEO or Google Ads . But the real value here comes from each of the detailed subreports. So let’s break down a few of these right now. Organic Research This feature is simple. Yet super powerful if …

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How to craft a winning SEO proposal and avoid getting a silent ‘No’

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Let’s take a typical story of how the pitching process works. Sarah, the CEO of a successful SEO agency, gets introduced to the CEO of another successful e-commerce company through a common friend. She rallies her team and meets the client over Zoom. They have a wonderful conversation, and both of them are excited to start a great partnership. Filled with optimism, Sarah assigns her best colleagues to craft an insightful SEO proposal. They analyze the competitors, do the keyword research, take the organic opportunity into account, and form a unique strategy on how they can reach impressive results. The day of the presentation comes, and the e-commerce team gathers around, continuously nodding along with each slide. By the end of it, everyone feels excellent. Sarah is thrilled. Checking emails stopped being a chore for Sarah. She quickly scans all of them, looking for confirmation on starting the project. She …

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How to Detect and Improve Underperforming Content: A Guide to Optimization

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Posted by SamuelMangialavori Content, content, and more content! That’s what SEO is all about nowadays, right? Compared to when I started working in SEO (2014), today, content is consistently one of the most popular topics covered at digital marketing conferences, there are way more tools that focus on content analysis and optimization, and overall it seems to dominate most of SEO news. Don’t believe me? Here’s a nice Google Trends graph that may change your mind: Google Trends screenshot for “content marketing” as a topic, set for worldwide interest. But why is it that content is now dominating the SEO scene? How vital is content for your SEO strategy, actually? And most importantly: how can you be content with your site’s content? Puns aside, this post aims to help you figure out potential causes of your underperforming content and how to improve it. Why content is key in SEO in …

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Title Tags SEO: When to Include Your Brand and/or Boilerplate

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Posted by Cyrus-Shepard If your websites are like most, they include a fair amount of extra "stuff" in the title tags : things like your brand name or repeating boilerplate text that appears across multiple pages. Should you include these elements in your titles automatically? To be fair, most sites do. Alternatively, could it help your SEO to actually include less information in your titles? (Or at least in specific circumstances?) We know from a handful of studies that titles of a certain length tend to perform better. A now-famous study from the engineers at Etsy showed how shorter titles performed better than longer ones . SEOs speculate that this could be because shorter titles can have more focused relevancy (by focusing on core keywords), might earn higher click-through rates, or some other reason we can't imagine. When choosing which part of a title to shorten, brand names and boilerplate …

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How to craft a winning SEO proposal and avoid getting a silent ‘No’

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Let’s take a typical story of how the pitching process works. Sarah, the CEO of a successful SEO agency, gets introduced to the CEO of another successful e-commerce company through a common friend. She rallies her team and meets the client over Zoom. They have a wonderful conversation, and both of them are excited to start a great partnership. Filled with optimism, Sarah assigns her best colleagues to craft an insightful SEO proposal. They analyze the competitors, do the keyword research, take the organic opportunity into account, and form a unique strategy on how they can reach impressive results. The day of the presentation comes, and the e-commerce team gathers around, continuously nodding along with each slide. By the end of it, everyone feels excellent. Sarah is thrilled. Checking emails stopped being a chore for Sarah. She quickly scans all of them, looking for confirmation on starting the project. She …

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How To Focus Your SEO Strategy: A Quick Guide for Businesses New to Online Optimization

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Posted by AnnaleisMontgomery With businesses making the move to serve their customers primarily online and the footfall of customers in physical stores dropping dramatically, the value of SEO has been rediscovered. Businesses are now paying closer attention to their online experience and how they can compete on the internet. This post will offer a guide to businesses looking to enhance their organic reach and traffic, by providing some SEO solutions to issues they might be experiencing. This includes information suitable for businesses that haven’t engaged with SEO as a channel before, as well as those who have had more experience with it. The goal is to gain more traffic and increase conversions. Scenario 1: You don’t know what keywords you should be ranking for Targeting the right keywords is central to getting a return from SEO. Targeting the most valuable and relevant keywords to your product/service is crucial. How to …

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How to Get Quick Results With SEO Sprints: The DriveSafe Case Study

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Posted by ChristopherHofman Currently, many businesses face challenging times and are moving their SEO budget to disciplines which offer quicker wins. But you can also create instant results with SEO, and it can be done on a small budget even when you are up against bigger players in your industry. In this blog post I will show you my framework to do SEO sprints. I will show you how you can use Google’s ability to index and rank faster to your advantage. Later, you will be presented with a case study, where we used SEO sprints for a chain of opticians. The result: an increase in bookings of vision tests of 73%. But first, let's have a look at the layout on page one of Google (for most queries). Google never took SEOs into account when designing for the user. As a result, their transformation over the last few years …

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Identifying Advanced GSC Search Performance Patterns (and What to Do About Them)

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Posted by izzismith Google Search Console is by far the most used device in the SEO’s toolkit. Not only does it provide us with the closest understanding we can have of Googlebot’s behavior and perception of our domain properties (in terms of indexability, site usability, and more), but it also allows us to assess the search KPIs that we work so rigorously to improve. GSC is free, secure, easy to implement, and it’s home to the purest form of your search performance KPI data. Sounds perfect, right? However, the lack of capability for analyzing those KPIs on larger scales means we can often miss crucial points that indicate our pages’ true performance. Being limited to 1,000 rows of data per request and restricted filtering makes data refinement and growth discovery tedious (or close to impossible). SEOs love Google Search Console — it has the perfect data — but sadly, it’s …

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Opting-Out of Google Featured Snippets Led to 12% Traffic Loss [SEO Experiment]

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Posted by Cyrus-Shepard Note: This post was co-authored by Cyrus Shepard and Rida Abidi . Everyone wants to win Google featured snippets. Right? At least, it used to be that way. Winning the featured snippet typically meant extra traffic, in part because Google showed your URL twice: once in the featured snippet and again in regular search results. For publishers, this was known as " double-dipping ." All that changed in January when Google announced they would de-duplicate search results to show the featured snippet URL only once on the first page of results. No more double-dips. Publishers worried because older studies suggested winning featured snippets drove less actual traffic than the "natural" top ranking result. With the new change, winning the featured snippet might actually now lead to less traffic, not more. This led many SEOs to speculate: should you opt-out of featured snippets altogether? Are featured snippets causing …

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