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Split Testing for SEO - 9 Months of Learning

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What have we learning from 9 months of SEO split testing?

What works and what failed? How do you run your own tests? All of that and a free tool. Hooray free.

If you want something a little more comprehensive, all these tests were run by me with DistilledODN our split testing platform. Find out more here! - https://odn.distilled.net/

Published in: Marketing
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Split Testing for SEO - 9 Months of Learning

  1. 1. @dom_woodman
  2. 2. This talk is about split testing
  3. 3. Money.
  4. 4. Talked ourselves out of money How to get the money back
  5. 5. Talked ourselves out of money How to get the money back
  6. 6. How did we talk ourselves out of the money?
  7. 7. Part 1
  8. 8. Not knowing things is scary
  9. 9. ?
  10. 10. We’re paid experts, of course we should know
  11. 11. 3 Part 2 Fear
  12. 12. SEO is hard to measure
  13. 13. Before
  14. 14. Before After
  15. 15. Not money. At least we’re on sessions
  16. 16. Still not money. Now we’re on clicks.
  17. 17. What on earth is search visibility?
  18. 18. Seasonality
  19. 19. Seasonality Industry Demand
  20. 20. Seasonality Google Industry Demand
  21. 21. Seasonality Google Industry Demand
  22. 22. Ranks
  23. 23. Ranks CTR estimates
  24. 24. Ranks CTR estimates Handwaving
  25. 25. No-one cares when the going is good
  26. 26. Fear Measurement Part 3
  27. 27. Part 3: SEO has become more individual
  28. 28. More ranking factors Which interact in more complex ways
  29. 29. Fear Measurement Complexit y
  30. 30. So how does this all fit together
  31. 31. So how does this all fit together
  32. 32. So how does this all fit together
  33. 33. So how does this all fit together
  34. 34. So how does this all fit together
  35. 35. So how does this all fit together
  36. 36. So how does this all fit together
  37. 37. So how does this all fit together
  38. 38. So how does this all fit together
  39. 39. So how does this all fit together
  40. 40. So how does this all fit together
  41. 41. So how does this all fit together
  42. 42. So how does this all fit together
  43. 43. So how does this all fit together
  44. 44. So how does this all fit together
  45. 45. So how does this all fit together
  46. 46. So how does this all fit together
  47. 47. So how does this all fit together
  48. 48. SEO Manager: Jan 2016 - Jan 2017 ● SEO Manager at T-Shirts and Shorts. ● Completed 4 major projects. Reduced Dev backlog. ● Removed a penguin penalty. Regularly audited backlinks. ● Organic traffic went up from 100K ~ 150K What does my CV look like?
  49. 49. SEO Manager: Jan 2016 - Jan 2017 ● SEO Manager at T-Shirts and Shorts. ● Completed 4 major projects. Reduced Dev backlog. ● Removed a penguin penalty. Regularly audited backlinks. What does my CV look like? -- If I’m unlucky
  50. 50. Talked ourselves out of money How to get the money back
  51. 51. Stop making guesses about our results
  52. 52. CRO and growth hacking are doing it right
  53. 53. Learning from split tests
  54. 54. What does an SEO split test look like? Control Variant
  55. 55. This is a traditional CRO test Control Variant
  56. 56. I’m about to show you 2 graphs a lot. This is the first.
  57. 57. Black is the variant, treat blue as the control
  58. 58. In this case the blue line is higher, it’s a negative test
  59. 59. This is the start date
  60. 60. The second graph shows the total additional sessions
  61. 61. The fans show margin of error
  62. 62. The test is significant when the fan crosses 0
  63. 63. In this case it happened here:
  64. 64. Here they are together.
  65. 65. 1.Adding ALT tags 2.Removing SEO category text 3.Using JS to show content 4.Setting exact match title tags 5.Adding structured data
  66. 66. 1.Adding ALT tags 2.Removing SEO category text 3.Using JS to show content 4.Setting exact match title tags 5.Adding structured data
  67. 67. Established wisdom would say ALT tags on images are good for SEO
  68. 68. We found adding ALT tags to images had no effect
  69. 69. 1.Adding ALT tags 2.Removing SEO category text 3.Using JS to show content 4.Setting exact match title tags 5.Adding structured data
  70. 70. How does SEO text on category pages perform?
  71. 71. E-commerce site number 1 - No effect/negative effect
  72. 72. E-commerce site number 2 ~ 3.1% increase in organic sessions
  73. 73. 1.Adding ALT tags 2.Removing SEO category text 3.Using JS to show content 4.Setting exact match title tags 5.Adding structured data
  74. 74. We can render Javascript!
  75. 75. What happens if your content is only visible with Javascript? Javascript EnabledJavascript Disabled
  76. 76. Making it visible increased organic sessions by ~ 6.2%
  77. 77. 1.Adding ALT tags 2.Removing SEO category text 3.Using JS to show content 4.Setting exact match title tags 5.Adding structured data
  78. 78. Title tag before: Which TV should I buy? - Argos Title tag after: Which TV to buy? - Argos What happens when you match title tags to the greatest search volume?
  79. 79. Organic sessions decreased by an average of 8%
  80. 80. 1.Adding ALT tags 2.Removing SEO category text 3.Using JS to show content 4.Setting exact match title tags 5.Adding structured data
  81. 81. Category pages have lots of images and not much text
  82. 82. Adding structured data to category pages
  83. 83. Organic sessions increased by 11%
  84. 84. Running your own tests
  85. 85. 1.How much traffic do you need? 2.How long should you run a test for 3.What kind of things are easy to test? 4.How can you do all the maths?
  86. 86. 1.How much traffic do you need? 2.How long should you run a test for 3.What kind of things are easy to test? 4.How can you do all the maths?
  87. 87. Average of 1,000 organic sessions per day to your set of pages
  88. 88. 1.How much traffic do you need? 2.How long should you run a test for 3.What kind of things are easy to test? 4.How can you do all the maths?
  89. 89. Typically takes 2 - 3 weeks to reach significance.
  90. 90. 1.How much traffic do you need? 2.How long should you run a test for 3.What kind of things are easy to test? 4.How can you do all the maths?
  91. 91. Anything where you’re making changes to a page
  92. 92. 1.How much traffic do you need? 2.How long should you run a test for 3.What kind of things are easy to test? 4.How can you do all the maths?
  93. 93. distilled.net/diy-splittester
  94. 94. bit.ly/testing-lessons
  95. 95. Thanks! @dom_woodman

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