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There are really two types of testing in SEO, which we'll explore in this piece.  The first is a the scientific approach, a true A/B test where you split templated pages and measure a statistical difference.  The second is a more artful approach, where you measure before and after.  And finally, we wrap up a piece explaining why often testing should be the last thing on your mind, and why some things aren't worth testing.  Here we go.

  • ML

    Mark Lindquist

    3 months ago #

    I think you make a good point that with many parts of SEO, we know in broad strokes what works and what doesn't, and you should do what should work and trust that it will eventually. People want to give themselves analysis paralysis to avoid doing the hard, long-term, hard-to-measure stuff like linkbuilding. Just do the work you know you should be doing and to hell with trying to test it.

    • AB

      Alex Birkett

      3 months ago #

      Agreed. Testing is an opportunity cost in many cases and particularly in SEO, there are many less measurable factors. The mature marketer/analyst knows when to use data/optimization and when to simply trust the process (and build links), knowing it will likely work in the long run

    • MM

      Marcus Meissner

      3 months ago #

      Spot on - thanks for reading.

  • JH

    Jake Hill

    3 months ago #

    Beautiful piece. I haven't heard too much hype around testing for SEO, making this an interesting read. Google wanting us all to "live in a fairyland where we ‘just focus on the user’" is the most accurate and hilarious comment! I'm going to have to check out the parts of this little series that I missed. I'm wondering though, if there is a way to test which types of links to a page make the most impact. Thoughts?

    • MM

      Marcus Meissner

      3 months ago #

      Never had someone call my writing beautiful before, but I'll take it.

      To your question, I'd file that under the category of things that aren't worth testing. Instead, pull backlink data from a number of sites (ideally your own) and look at the pages that are ranking highly and the number, quality and quantity of links pointing to them. That should give you _somewhat_ of a sense. But again, maybe just do what you know works and rankings should follow.

  • JG

    jalil ghorbanpour

    3 months ago #

    Thanks for sharing your offer about Seo.....

  • LC

    Luiz Centenaro

    3 months ago #

    I love how you write an article about A/B testing and then tell us now to A/B test lol. Let the people test if they want.

    Distilled offers a platform for AB testing SEO. https://odn.distilled.net/ I haven't tested it out but it would absolutely make sense for large eCom stores, as you mention "templated sites" .

    I like your top 9 SEO tips for 2019 though.

    -Beefing up landing pages with UGC
    -Adding all proper schema markup
    -Producing quality content relevant to your niche consistently
    -Ensuring all pages are crawlable
    -Ensuring your highest intent pages are heavily internally linked
    -Making sure keywords and synonyms are used in the right places
    -Ensuring your website loads quickly
    -Generating pages to rank for all possible search intent
    -Building links

    • MS

      Martijn Scheijbeler

      3 months ago #

      Agreed. In the end, it's usually a lack of knowledge and not a lack of ability to implement a testing framework for SEO or having to come up with tests within your organization. Having the ability to implement an actual SEO test is (and should be) a very easy task for most engineers.

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