SEO Testing Case studies

SEO Split-Testing Lessons from SearchPilot: Forcing Google to Respect Meta Descriptions

This week on Twitter, we asked our followers what they thought would happen to organic traffic when we forced Google to respect meta descriptions, instead of pulling content from elsewhere on the page into search results. This is what they thought: This was by far our closest #SPQuiz result so far, with a tie for Positive and Inconclusive, each on 35.7%, and Negative not too far behind in third place. It seems our followers’ opinions were incredibly divided, with no consensus on what would happen.

Sam Nemzer

4 min read

SEO Split-Testing Lessons from SearchPilot: Changing microdata to JSON+LD

This week, we asked our Twitter followers what they thought happened to the organic traffic of pages when we replaced microdata markup with the equivalent JSON-LD structured data. This was what they thought: It turns out those 61% of people were correct! This change had no measurable impact on organic traffic, despite JSON-LD being Google’s preferred way of adding structured data to a page. The Case Study We have run hundreds of tests implementing different schema to win various rich snippets over the years.

Emily Potter

3 min read

SEO Split-Testing Lessons from SearchPilot: Adding Prices to Titles

This week, we asked our Twitter followers what they think happened to organic traffic when we added the price of a product to the title tag on an ecommerce client’s site. This is what our followers thought: Nearly 70% thought this had a positive impact. In this case, the majority was incorrect. This had a negative impact on organic traffic. Surprised? Read on for the full case study. The Case Study There are a lot of ways to make product pages stand out in the search engine results page (SERP) from rich snippets which may show rating stars, price, and availability, to leveraging titles and meta descriptions to give users valuable product info before clicking through.

Siena Sara

3 min read

SEO Split-Testing Lessons from SearchPilot: Restructuring HTML

For this week’s #SPQuiz, we asked our Twitter followers what they thought would the result of restructuring the HTML, to bring the most important content above the sidebar. This was with the intention of improving the user experience, and therefore improve performance in terms of organic traffic. This is what people thought: The response was very one-sided: 61% of people thought it would have a positive result, with only 3% thinking this would have a negative impact.

Lauren Macalalad

3 min read

SEO Split-Testing Lessons from SearchPilot: Emoji in Meta Descriptions

For this edition of the #SPQuiz, we asked our Twitter followers what they expected to have happened when we replaced numbers with emoji in meta descriptions. The response was mixed: No answer gained an overall majority of votes, but the largest group thought that this change wouldn’t have a significant impact on organic traffic. Only one in four of our Twitter followers thought that this change would be negative. In this case, it turns out that the minority was correct.

Sam Nemzer

4 min read

SEO Split-Testing Lessons from SearchPilot: Adding Confidence Messaging

This week we asked our Twitter followers what they thought happened when we added a confidence banner to a travel client’s website (this test was run pre-COVID). The test was a full funnel experiment, so we measured the impact on user metrics (conversion rate and bounce rate) and on organic traffic. The consensus from our followers was that this experiment had no detectable impact on organic traffic and was positive for conversion rate.

Emily Potter

4 min read

SEO Split-Testing Lessons from SearchPilot: Reconfiguring Page Layout

This week, we asked our Twitter followers what they think happened to organic traffic when we moved a travel client’s flight search widget from the bottom of the hero image to the top. This is what our followers thought: 55% believed that there was no detectable impact, followed by 35% who thought this change had a positive impact… In this test though - moving the search widget from the bottom to the top of the hero image had a negative impact on organic rankings.

Emily Potter

3 min read

SEO Split-Testing Lessons from SearchPilot: Increasing Internal Linking

This week, we asked our Twitter followers what they thought happened to the organic traffic of higher level category pages when we ran an internal linking test on a grocery website where we added links to some lower level category pages. We shared that the lower level category pages saw an uplift in organic traffic. This was what our followers thought: Most believed there was no detectable impact on the higher level category pages….

Emily Potter

4 min read

SEO Split-Testing Lessons from SearchPilot: Adding FAQ Schema

FAQ schema is a form of structured markup that can get rich snippets in search results. It was released in 2019 and allows web pages to mark up FAQ content on their web pages so that it appears for users in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). When implemented, it can transform your web page’s search result to look like this: Not only can these rich snippets readily provide informative content to users, they also created quite a buzz in the industry when SEOs discovered they could be used to take up more real estate on the SERP, pushing competitors further down the page.

Emily Potter

5 min read

SEO Split-Testing Lessons from SearchPilot: Bringing Content Out of Tabs

The constant dialogue between webmasters and representatives at Google has always been littered with SEOs sharing case studies with examples of when what they’ve seen out in the wild hasn’t lined up with what the powers-that-be at Google claimed should happen with its algorithm. Single examples, however, are generally not sufficient evidence to confidently dispute information that comes from the horse’s mouth. There are often a multitude of factors impacting organic traffic, so while a chart of organic traffic over time with an arrow pointing to the date we made a change to our website can present a strong argument of a cause-effect relationship, we still often lack the backing of a controlled experiment.

Emily Potter

3 min read
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