Full funnel testing - SEO and CRO together

Full Funnel Testing is the ability to be able to measure SEO and CRO impacts at the same time. SearchPilot launched as an SEO split-testing tool, which enabled SEO teams to be able to measure with confidence what the SEO impacts were of website changes. Now with Full Funnel Testing, we can add CRO into the mix.

For a long time, SEO teams and Product teams have been in conflict in a lot of organizations. SEO teams want to make changes that will bring in more traffic, and traditionally haven’t been interested in what users do once they land on the website. Conversely, Product or UX teams have been accused of caring too much about the look, feel and functionality of a website without taking into account what the impact is on traffic.

With full-funnel testing, we can put that conflict to bed, and bring harmony between SEO and Product. SEO teams can test the changes that they believe will bring more users to the website, and rest assured that they can also demonstrate that conversion rates aren’t adversely impacted. Meanwhile, Product teams can roll out the latest functionality for the website and know exactly what its impact is on organic search traffic.

How does it work?

Let’s look at CRO first. To run a CRO experiment, we cookie users randomly, and show them a landing page design based on that cookie. From then on, they’ll then always see that version of a webpage when they move between pages.

The result is we know the impact on conversion rate, but we don’t know the impact on SEO. CRO-only tests like this do not allow us to measure SEO impact because there is only one Googlebot (which does not accept cookies), so Google will always see the same version of every page. In SEO testing, we need a control group of pages in order to compare performance.

When we do pure SEO testing, we split pages,notusers and look at the different impacts on search traffic to the control and variant pages:

The result of this framework is that we know the impact on SEO but we don’t know the impact on conversion rate:

A new framework - Full-funnel testing

With full funnel testing, the site is set up initially in the same way as in the pure SEO testing scenario - and then when someone arrives on a landing page, the SEO testing part of the experiment is complete:

We can then pivot into a CRO experiment by dropping a cookie for that user to make sure they see the same template that they first landed on when moving between pages:

Note that, having landed on the Unicorns page initially, they now see the “A” template version on all subsequent page views even on pages like Cats and Badgers that would be set up with the “B” template for anyone landing directly on them as a new visitor:

The result is that we are able to measure the impact of changes on SEO and CRO at the same time.

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