A/B SEO Testing: How To Do It The Right Way?

Reyra Lerina August 4, 2023

A/B SEO Testing – A/B SEO testing is an effective way to know whether your digital marketing strategy will work or not. Know how to use it for your business now.

If you want to start something new, it’s important to experiment with it first to determine whether it’s a good fit for you or not. Just like starting a new digital marketing campaign, you need to test it first to gauge how much your business can benefit from it. This is what A/B testing is all about.

What Is A/B SEO Testing?

A/B testing or split testing is the only way to obtain data directly from your customers to be able to test your conversion funnel and marketing campaign.

From the term “split testing,” this process involves comparing two versions of a web page, marketing asset, or email and evaluating their performances. To check how each variation performs, you give one version to one group and the other to another group. It’s like a competition – you’re pitting two versions of a website, email, or marketing technique against each other to find out which one wins. By doing so, you’ll be able to make informed decisions in the future, which can save you a lot of time and money.

These are the on-page SEO elements that you can A/B test.

  • URL structures
  • Calls to action (including colors, texts, and button shapes)
  • Meta titles and descriptions
  • Headlines
  • Images or videos
  • Product descriptions
  • Sales copies

Why Is A/B SEO Testing Beneficial For Your Business?

1. Improves User Engagement

There are several elements of a page, email, ad, or app that you can A/B test. These include headlines, subject lines, images, calls-to-action (CTAs), languages, fonts, layouts, and colors. Evaluating the changes you want to make will help you determine which ones will affect user behavior the most and in aggregate, will improve user experience.

2. Makes Content Better

You will need to test ad copies to determine the improvements you can show to users. The process of evaluating different elements of ad copies can weed out certain things, like ineffective language, which can ensure the final versions will be a lot better.

3. Reduces Bounce Rates

Testing different parts of a website will help you pinpoint the elements that will entice visitors to stay on your site or app longer. By making visitors spend more time on your site, the more they’ll discover the value of the content you offer, which could ultimately lead to engagement and conversion.

4. Increases Your Products Values

Through A/B testing, you’ll find a website design or content that will increase your conversion rate. Once you discover the right elements that will improve your conversion, do a more refined test to get more conversion to enhance the value of your higher-priced items and services. By doing so, you’ll discover that customers would be more than willing to pay for more expensive options as long as they offer more value.

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5. Allows Multiple Functions

You can A/B test just about any marketing and advertising campaign, whether online or offline. This means that split testing does not only apply to designs, layouts, colors, images, and texts but virtually every element. Through A/B testing, you’ll find out that, sometimes, it’s the smallest tweaks that make the most difference, especially when it comes to engagement and conversion.

6. Reduces Risks

When making revisions to your site, product design, or campaigns, A/B testing can help you mitigate the risks and increase your chances of success. This is because split testing allows you to target your resources to achieve maximum efficiency and effect, helping increase your ROI, whether it’s based on long-term customer loyalty, short-term conversions, or other crucial metrics.

7. Can Be Used In Low Data Rate Testing

Split testing doesn’t require a lot of data for you to be able to analyze results. This doesn’t mean that you should get easily persuaded by early outcomes. Rather, it means that you don’t need millions of page views or variations to determine which versions will have the best results. Even if your site has a low conversion per day, A/B seo testing can help you determine which version your target audience will find most engaging. There are split test calculators with certain parameters, including conversion rate, number of variations, average number of visitors, and more, that will help you figure out certain elements, including test duration.

8. Minimizes Cart Abandonment

A lot of businesses suffer from cart abandonment, which is the act of placing items in an online shopping cart and leaving without checking them out. It is estimated that cart abandonment rates range from 40% to 75%. There are several reasons why a potential customer will abandon the items they placed in your shopping cart. One, it could be when and where shipping costs are displayed. Two, it can be the layout or design of the checkout page. All of these can be eliminated if you conduct A/B testing to find the perfect combination that will entice customers to follow through with checkout.

9. Boosts Sales

Because A/B seo testing can help reduce bounce rate, improve user experience, increase conversion, minimized cart abandonment, and offer other stellar benefits, it all boils down to the most important advantage – increased sales. All you need is to learn everything you need to know to do it the right way.

How To Run An A/B Test The Right Way?

Running a split test starts with determining a hypothesis, which is a single statement explaining your desired results.

Just like any experiment, it’s usually an if/then statement, like the following:

  • “If my URL structure is shorter, then Google will understand my page’s content better, helping me rank higher in SERPs.”
  • “If my meta descriptions include my keywords, then my click-through rate will increase.”
  • “If I include videos on my page, then people will stay longer on my site, reducing bounce rate.”

Your hypothesis will give you a clearer understanding of the results you want to achieve. By focusing on the outcome, you will be able to determine whether your hypothesis – your initial expectations – is accurate.

Aside from a hypothesis, you will also need these three proven-and-tested techniques to run an A/B test successfully.

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Google Optimize

You can use Google Optimize congruent with Google Analytics, which you use to track the results of your SEO strategy, to run A/B tests on certain websites. What’s great about this free tool is that you can tweak a few elements on certain pages and check their impact on your website. This allows you to determine the changes you want to make without altering the actual page.

A famous Swedish audio streaming app uses this tool to split test the content of their landing pages. Both Google Optimize and Google Analytics revealed that German customers are more interested in audiobooks than traditional playlists. So, they changed a landing page showing their audiobooks collection and targeted Google Ads to drive more subscribers from Germany towards the new landing page. This increased their revenues by 24%.

Clickflow

Clickflow is a tool designed to make A/B SEO testing easier. It works in conjunction with your Google Search Console account to help you find areas where there’s a high impression but with a low click-through rate. This means that your content shows up in the SERPs, but no one is clicking it.

To use Clickflow for your new SEO test, you just need to click on the New Test button and choose the correct option. Are you testing one URL or a group of URLs?

Next, assign a name for your test and add your site’s pages that you want to experiment with. Then, test those pages you’ve selected to determine if your hypothesis is correct. You’ll find the results in the reports section.

What makes Clickflow popular among marketers is that it suggests A/B tests that you might need by checking your site’s average CTR for top-performing pages and providing you an overview of the potential revenue if you improve your site’s important SEO metrics.

One of the benefits of A/B seo testing is that it doesn’t need a lot of data to analyze the results. This means that you won’t need to wait for a good amount of time to be able to find out the best course of action to take. What you can do is to use Google Ads to run your split SEO tests before implementing the changes. If you want to change the text of your campaigns, for example, you will need to do it through Google Ad variations, which should allow you to split test which copy type works best. Then, you can apply the results of your paid advertising testing to your SEO strategy.

When Do You Stop Your A/B Test?

When running a split test, it’s important that you don’t end the experimentation too early or too late. You’ll be wasting a lot of time and resources if you end the test too soon and the results could have proven reliable had you waited a bit longer. Similarly, you also won’t be able to retrieve enough data, especially if you don’t have that much sample.

To know exactly when to stop your A/B test, here are some tips you can use.

  • P-Value – or the probability value of your hypothesis, which is between 0 and 1. A lower value means there is strong evidence of a poor hypothesis. If the p-value is more than 0.5, then there’s a high probability that your hypothesis is accurate.
  • Statistical significance – before declaring the final result of your experimentation, you must first prove that the p-value is accurate. Most split tests are stopped after a certain period and the results are analyzed to determine which control won. However, your site’s conversion rate, Google algorithm, and other factors can influence the testing timeframe guidelines, which could make it virtually impossible to set a time limit for your A/B test.
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What Are The Best Practices For A/B Testing?

The two core tenets of A/B seo testing are trustworthiness and scalability. An experiment is only successful if its results can be trusted and if every change in the product or website can be exposed. But before you start your first split test, it’s important that you set the ground rules first to avoid wasting precious time and resources.

Here are three of the best practices for A/B testing that you should always keep in mind.

Isolate The Different Elements You’ll Be Testing

It’s easy to get carried away when you want to see the results as quickly as possible. So, you might be tempted to rush your split testing to immediately see what works. Well, haste makes waste. If you run numerous A/B tests all at the same time, you could ruin the results. Experts say that it’s best to isolate one element at a time to avoid noise and to easily determine whether it’s that one thing that is making a difference. You can run the test for a good amount of time – at least 1,000 impressions but the more the better – to be sure that the one thing you’re testing is what’s affecting the rankings, conversions, and click-through rates.

Make Sure Don’t Cloak Google Bots

Cloaking is the act of showing different content to search engine bots and human users. Because this process provides users results that are different from what they expected, cloaking is considered a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Now, this might sound confusing because the point of A/B testing is to create different versions of the same page to find out which one works best. What you need to do is not index the duplicate pages. This will ensure Google bots that they are indexing the right page.

Develop An A/B Testing Mindset

Running A/B SEO testing can be scary, especially on a website that has a lot of things that can go wrong. Experts say that it’s not about best practices. Rather, it’s about having a strong experimentation mindset to successfully embed A/B testing in your company’s decision-making process. This means that you need to practice and run lots of experiments that follow guidelines to ensure they are done correctly and safely.

A huge online lead generation platform runs 30 split tests in a month and does so efficiently. They have instilled an A/B testing mindset into their team by encouraging some of their engineers to own at least one split test by hosting hour-long monthly workshops on A/B testing, sharing intensive documentation that details how their tests are done, and offering sample calculation tools to help staff better understand the outcome of the experiments. All of these have helped boost their team’s confidence and eagerness to test regularly to achieve incredible results.

Conclusion

As you can see, A/B SEO testing is crucial for your business. It can help increase conversion, improve user experience, and boost sales.

Follow the tips outlined in this post if you want to run your first A/B testing. Keep the information provided here to ensure that you’ll be able to make the most of such experimentation.

Reyra Lerina

Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.

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