How to go about SEO split testing the professional way?

SEO is a dynamic and ever-changing field. Some newer concepts and tools are being designed or implemented all around the world. Depending on your venture needs and requirement, it is essential to grab hold of such innovative concepts. A split test is an essential tool that allows you to focus on data and is especially important following the Google Core updates. 

There are various practical concerns with SEO, and certain tools need regular usage to have a clear idea about the target audience and the strategies that work. One such vital aspect is the A/B testing. A/B testing is vital for CRO or Conversion Rate Optimization. Similarly, the SEO split test is a practical aspect of SEO services that you should focus on if your primary concern is generating web traffic. 

SEO split testing: The basics

To clear out the misunderstanding with SEO split testing, the first thing to understand is the basics of the tool.

SEO split test is all about ensuring the page versions that will do better than others when it comes to organic traffic generation. The point is contrast is the CRO testing, where you can compare variant pages with a contrast page. This allows for the selection of the right page that can get you increased traffic numbers. The CRO testing is pretty basic and uncomplicated only because you can assign users to buckets and use every variation for different versions of the site.

For the split test, this bucketing doesn’t work. This is due to the fact that the Googlebot version has a single page release. This means the CRO approach won’t do you any good in the case of the split test. To get it right, you need to view sections of the website that has the same template and add changes accordingly. All you need is an expert SEO agency to get you through with the split test. 

The common mistakes to avoid with a split test

If you can get it right, there are several advantages to an SEO split test. However, there are a few common mistakes that you need to avoid while performing a split test. Let us have a look at the mistakes.

The canonical URL error

The primary facet of a split test is developing two versions of a page for the users to view. With the split testing, you can keep track of various metrics like buying, the click-throughs, and the subscriptions. This will allow you to get better conversion. However, you need to keep in mind that with such pages, the search engine might not understand which page to index. This confusion might lead to incorrect search results. So, split testing might be useless if you do not create the Canonical URL. The use of the canonical URL will alert the search engine about the viewable version of the page. 

About prolonged run time

Split tests shouldn’t be run for an extended period of time. If you are running the split test for an extended period of time, it will interpret negatively at the SERPs. The search engine might even try to classify your SEO strategy as black-hat and blacklist the domain entirely. So, always make sure that you perform your split tests for a short period. Try for smaller runs and figure out the outcomes as fast as possible. Halt once you have attained your targets. 

You can block the crawling on the duplicate content

Keep in mind that you can manually block the crawling on the duplicate content. All you need to do is edit the robots.txt files on the pages. The robot.txt file is what directs the crawling bots once they are loaded on the web-page. So, the first fix to stop the crawling on the duplicate content is to block these crawlers manually.

However, this might not be the best strategy to implement under various circumstances. For example, Google suggests that a warning should accompany blocked robot.txt files since it will be easier for the search engine to understand what to do with the duplicate pages.

There is another additional consideration, as well. Keep in mind that anyone can have a look at the robots.txt. This means that other players on the market can check the pages that are not getting indexed to optimize their page by using the data and design. To avoid this problem altogether, you can either use the canonical URL or a 302 redirect that will better inform the crawlers about the treatment of the duplicate pages.

Complete removal of the duplicate page

Once you are done with the split test, you can have a clear idea about the winner page and the “loser” page as well. Most think it is quite natural to remove this poorly performing page completely. But there are advantages of keeping this duplicate page in use due to the following reasons. Firstly, if you remove the page, it will take away the important test results and all the information. Secondly, the deleted page might end up confusing search engines as well as online users. A user might come across this page and click on it and get the 404-error message. So, even if it is natural to delete the poorly performing page, there are other ways to go about it instead of confusing the users. 

Try using a 301 redirect at the low-quality page to the improved one

Keep in mind that various online tools can allow you to split test and archive the test pages. Tools like the Visual Website Optimizer are extremely popular and handy to use. Another key consideration is the 301 redirect that you can use on the low-quality page to redirect the traffic to the better-quality web domain and page. 

Keeping in mind these simple and easy to use tips while performing the split test will be beneficial for your venture as far as SEO is concerned. Always remember to work with a third-party expert SEO agency to get the best solution and guidance regarding the strategizing of SEO.