Creating Effective A/B Testing for SEO to Improve Conversions

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  • A/B testing subject lines can increase your chances of getting people to click
  • A/B testing allows you to find the ideal balance between content depth and conversion rate
  • 70% of consumers rely on opinions from online reviews to make purchase decisions

If you are struggling to gain visibility and website traffic from Google, you are not alone. You can make all the tweaks and changes to improve conversions and click rates, but how do you know you’re doing the right strategy? If you’re not A/B testing your SEO content, you are wasting your money, time, and effort with no clear results.

What is SEO A/B Testing in Digital Marketing?

A/B testing also known as split testing or bucket testing is the process of comparing two versions of a web page, email, or app with just one varying element against each other to determine which one performs better. For example, if you’re A/B testing a headline, you would create two versions of the same page by changing only the headline.

After your variations are ready, you present each version to half of your visitors/subscribers and test which version proved most popular among your audience based on specific metrics, such as time on page or conversion rate. Performing a split test enables data-informed decisions that change business conversations. By measuring the outcome that is apparent in your metrics, you can ensure that every tweak produces feasible results.

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How Does A/B Split Testing Work?

When A/B testing, you take an app screen or a webpage and make a few modifications to create a second version of the same page. The modification can be as simple as redesigning the page, single headline, or button. Then, half of your audience is shown the original version of the page or the page A known as the “control”, and the remaining half are shown the modified version of the page or page B known as the “variation”. In a broader sense, the process should look like this:

  • Group the pages randomly into the control and variant groups
  • Choose the test to run across the pages
  • Determine the set of pages you want to improve
  • Measure the resulting changes and declare a test success of the variant group outperforms its forecast while the control page does not.

As visitors are served either page A (the control) or page B (the variation), their engagement is measured and collected in the analytics dashboard and are analyzed through a statistical engine. This will determine whether changing the experience had a positive, negative, or no effect at all based on visitor behavior.

You need to understand that all A/B split testing needs a certain amount of elaborate statistics to identify whether the change has had an effect, and its possible outcome. As for A/B testing for SEO, there is an additional level of complexity from the fact that the pages A and B are not even statistically identical. Instead of simply being able to compare the performance of the two pages directly, you need to forecast the performance of both sets and determine that a dry run is a success when the control group matches its forecast, and the variant group beats its forecast by a statistically high amount.

Not only A/B split testing cope with the differences between the pages, but it also protects against site-wide effects like unrelated changes to the site, seasonality or spikes, and a Google algorithm update.

The Benefits of A/B Testing SEO

Running an email marketing or creating a website is just the first step in marketing. Once you have your website setup, you’ll want to find out whether or not it helps to improve your sales. A/B testing lets you know what elements like words, testimonials, phrases, videos, and images work best. Even the slightest change can affect conversion rates. Organic-search traffic is the best success metric for an A/B split test alongside the improvement of rankings as these can sometimes be identified more quickly.

Split testing your SEO strategy saves you money and time and an SEO strategy that isn’t effective at all needs fixing. However, if you change something across your entire site without understanding the full potential outcome could make you lose the SEO results you’ve already gained. Benefits of A/B split testing for SEO are:

  • Justifying further promises in promising areas
  • Avoiding disastrous marketing decisions
  • Improved user engagement
  • Improved content
  • Reduced bounce rates
  • Increased conversion rates
  • Higher conversion values
  • Quick results
  • Ease of analysis
  • Reduced risks
  • Everything is testable
  • Reduced cart abandonment
  • Increased sales

Doing a single A/B test is not enough. Testing should be done continuously so you can optimize your marketing and advertising creative for your visitors.

Best Elements to A/B Split Test

Some elements of marketing contribute to better conversions more than others. Since time is of the essence here, spend your time and resources on the most impactful elements on your web page or email marketing campaigns. Here are some of the most effective elements you should be A/B testing right now:

Headlines and Copywriting

This is the first thing that people will see when they arrive on a web page. It if isn’t interesting or attention-grabbing, your visitors will not bother to stick around.

Call-to Actions

CTA’s tell readers what you want them to do now. It should be enticing to the readers to act on your offer because it’s hard to resist. Your CTA’s text color, size, contrast, shape, and button color can influence conversion rates.

Video, Audio, and Images

Examples of these are podcasts, infographics, and videos. If you have a video library at your disposal, it is ideal to A/B test video testimonials against written ones. If you don’t have a resource page or video library yet, even stock images can impact you’re A/B testing.

Subject Lines

Email subject lines directly impact open rates and if subscribers don’t see anything interesting, the email will likely be deleted. A/B testing subject lines increase your chances of getting clicks from your subscribers. You can consider using subject lines with or without emojis and try questions versus statements.

Content Depth

You should test content depth by creating two pieces of content. One should be longer than the other and provide deeper insight. Content depth can significantly influence SEO, as well as metrics like time on page and conversion rates. This is not only limited to blog posts and other informational content. It can also affect landing pages as well.

Product Descriptions

Consumers want easy-to-digest content that gives them significant information about a product and short descriptions. This tends to work best on eCommerce marketing. Test longer descriptions against shorter ones to determine which converts better especially if you have a more complicated product.

Social Proof

Displaying social proof on your product pages, email copies, landing pages, and other marketing assets can increase conversions, but you have to present it the right way. A/B test testimonials against star ratings for one. You could also apply the same thing to videos vs. static images with quotes.

Email Marketing Campaigns

Marketing emails are easy to split test. You send version A to half of your subscribers and the version B to the remaining half. If version A outperforms version B by 76%, you know you’ve found an element that significantly impacts conversions.

Landing Pages

Your landing pages need to convert visitors to customers on whatever offer you laid out for them. If they don’t, they’ll eventually leave, and you’ll lose a potential sale.

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Final Thoughts

Split testing various SEO strategies is complex, but if you’re doing it the right way, it’s worth it. If you’re interested in hearing more, improve your conversion rates, and how you can turn your site visitors into customers and would like to start split testing your SEO strategies, reach out to our Digital Resource team today.

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