SEO tests allow you to confirm — with data — that your changes, optimizations, and SEO efforts are making a positive impact on your organic search traffic. 

If your tests result in a negative outcome, you can undo the changes altogether. Testing in SEO also allows you to justify projects, earn buy-in, and save time.

What Can You Test in SEO?

Testing is a crucial element of any SEO strategy. The most common SEO tests are:

  • Meta title and description
  • URL structure
  • Headlines
  • Call to action
  • SEO copy
  • Product description
  • Images or video
  • Schema 
  • SERP features
  • Internal links

Any site element that you have control over can be tested.

We've put together a list of different tests you can run to strengthen your SEO efforts. 

These changes can affect rankings, click-through rate (CTR), the user experience (remember: search engine optimization should be thought of as search experience optimization), and ultimately engagement metrics like bounce rate.

What Makes SEO Testing So Difficult?

Many data providers have delayed data, which limits your ability to pinpoint exactly when changes made a difference.

This makes SEO seem like it’s not in real time. By the time the test results come back, they seem outdated because of the delay.

Other limitations in keyword or page tracking limit your point of view.

The most time consuming part of SEO testing is data collection and compilation. You can use Google Search Console, Google Analytics (among other analytics tools), rank tracking tools, site crawlers, and more to gather data, but piecing all this together takes up the majority of many SEOs' time.

With so many steps in the data collection process, there is less time to actually make testable optimizations. seoClarity brings all of these elements together for automatization and ease of access — allowing you to execute your SEO strategy instead of only forming it. 

seoClarity’s Unique Advantages for SEO Testing

seoClarity offers daily rank tracking, so your data is always fresh. With Research Grid Live, your data tells you the latest story.

With the ability to slice and dice your data, you can run on-the-fly analysis and segmentation. See the powerful analysis yourself with our free version of the Research Grid.

Let's say you want to run an SEO test for a SERP feature. Our SERP Features analysis in Rank Intelligence shows you your performance for the Answer Box, for example, so you know when you’ve secured it. This is helpful for when you conduct content tests for certain keywords to win the Answer Box.

You’ll have the data to verify if your test worked, and the insights to further test or implement changes if you so choose. 

(SERP Features Analysis in the seoClarity platform.)

With free unlimited dashboards, you can view different data sources and metrics like traffic and CTR to measure SEO performance. By integrating with Search Console and Google Analytics, all of your data is centralized under one roof.

This allows you to know if your tests affect click-through rate. Optimizing elements like the metadata can make all the difference for users clicking your listing in the search results. 

To see the power of testing title tags and meta descriptions as they relate to CTR, see how a simple SEO test improved a site's organic CTR.  

(Number of top 3 rankings for a variety of domains.) 

Plus, with annotations, you can remind yourself when the SEO test began and ended.

How to Run an SEO Test in seoClarity

To get started with your SEO test, the first thing you need to do is decide how many pages you want to test. This depends on your test and your specific use case.

For example, technical changes may be site wide while content may be a group of pages.

You may even have a staging site to run the test before it goes live. This is one of the reasons why we built Page Comparison — an seoClarity feature that lets you compare the content of two pages, whether they’re live or in development.

This is helpful prior to test deployment to ensure that only the elements that you plan to test are different on the page, while everything else remains the same.

This standardization of testing allows you to confirm that it was your tested elements that resulted in a change, not an outlying factor.  

Page Comparison Image New

(Page Comparison in the seoClarity platform.)

We explain a simplified approach to SEO testing in another post, but here I want to show you the power of the seoClarity platform.

Organization is a key part of SEO testing. seoClarity helps keep your workflow clean, and identify what worked and what didn’t. 

With unlimited keyword and page tags, you can segment your site and keyword portfolio for any specific projects.

All tags back-process automatically when changes are made. Making tweaks to the scope of a project is often required through the process, so seoClarity’s ease of tagging saves a lot of time when measuring SEO performance.

Annotations make it easy to see what changes have been made to your site, and how it has affected performance over time. Individual tags can also be annotated.

For example, if you launched refreshed content only in a certain folder, that folder could be flagged on launch day to isolate the specific project. This is especially useful for large teams who have multiple projects running at all times.

(Use annotations to mark site changes, like when a test started or ended.)

Let’s say we want to test for SERP features, as we discussed earlier. 

SERP Features in Rank Intelligence allows you to see which keywords trigger a variety of features, and also which your site currently captures. This allows for competitive analysis and helps guide your SEO efforts.

We talked earlier about the Answer Box, but in this vertical we see an uptick for Video and People Also Ask.

(SERP Features' trend over time.)

Since this data is available day-over-day, users were able to immediately focus on capturing these SERP features in the search results.

With integrations with GSC, you can see your data in one place, and build out a dashboard with widgets side-by-side to see if there was a rise in CTR.

(Use dashboard widgets to easily gauge the success of your SEO test.)

Next Steps: After the Test

A successful SEO campaign shouldn't stop growing. Use the insights from the test to inform your next move.   

Depending on the test results, you can make more changes to your site, or remove the changes if the results are negative. 

SEO testing can bring about positive results to your website, you just need to closely monitor the effects to ensure a proper outcome.

Further Reading