I regularly run experiments to confirm theories, ideas and opinions that I have about SEO. Without proper experimentation you are always relying on data, experiences and knowledge from third parties. The experiments I run are usually outside the scope of the 'user journey'.
On this page I'm sharing some tips for setting up your own SEO tests, and you will also find links to some of the experiments, I've conducted and their outcome.
What are SEO experiments?
There is no one answer to this question as SEO experiments can take many forms. However, some common SEO experiments include A/B testing, trying different title tags or meta descriptions, testing different keyword placements, or trying out different content formats, testing links and much more. The goal of SEO experiments is to test what works and what doesn't work in order to improve a website's search engine ranking.
How important are SEO experiments?
SEO experiments are important for a number of reasons. They help you understand how search engines work and what factors influence their algorithms. Additionally, experiments allow you to test different hypotheses about what works and what doesn't in terms of SEO.
Where should I start my SEO experiments?
There is no one answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors, including your website's current state, your goals, and your budget. However, here are a few general tips to get you started:
Before you start any SEO experiments, it's important to do your research and understand the basics of SEO. This will help you identify which areas you need to focus on and what potential changes could have the biggest impact.
I usually start my tests on a brand new domain, to rule out the possibility of (old) backlinks and (possible) penalties affecting the indexing or skewing my results.
Another important factor (at least with back link testing), is to use content and keywords that have zero searches. The content that I use looks something like this. (See image below)
Where do you need to be careful when conducting SEO experiments?
There are a few things you need to be aware of when conducting SEO experiments:
- Make sure you have a solid understanding of what you're testing. Otherwise, you could end up making changes that could have negative consequences.
- If testing on a live website, always test on a small scale first. That way, if something goes wrong, you can easily revert your changes.
- Be prepared to adjust your experiment as you go.