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Can replacing the word 'Price' with 'Cost' in the title tag improve organic traffic?

Posted on April 5, 2023 by Noe Servin

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In this week’s #SPQUIZ case study, we asked our followers whether they thought that we could improve organic traffic by replacing the word “Price” with “Cost” in the title tag. How did this change impact SEO performance?

Here is what our followers thought:


 Twitter Poll - replace “price” with “cost” in title tags


 LinkedIn Poll - replace “price” with “cost” in title tags

The Case Study

We know that title tags play a large role in a page’s SEO performance. From our previous case study we can see that making more obvious additions can have a statistically significant effect on organic traffic, but what about a more subtle change? In this case study we are looking at a test by one of our customers in the health industry, testing whether a small change such as replacing “Price” with “Cost”  in the title tag can improve SEO performance. 

The hypothesis originated from Search Console data indicating that pages were getting traffic from search queries with the word “Cost” in them. We expected that there would be two main levers that could cause this change to increase organic traffic, click-through rate and increased/improved rankings. There is a possibility that users may respond better to having “Cost” in the title tag as opposed to “Price”, improving the click-through rate. Another way this may also improve traffic is by improving the rankings for “Cost” related search terms.

This is how the test looked on the search engine results page:


Here’s what the test result shows:


This test ended up with an inconclusive outcome, with no detectable impact on organic traffic after running for 20 days. It is possible that replacing one word with a synonym in the title tag is too small of a change to have a substantial enough impact on click-through rates or to increase the amount of ranking keywords. As this result had no apparent benefits, the customer decided not to deploy these changes permanently.

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How our SEO split tests work

The most important thing to know is that our case studies are based on controlled experiments with control and variant pages:

  • By detecting changes in performance of the variant pages compared to the control, we know that the measured effect was not caused by seasonality, sitewide changes, Google algorithm updates, competitor changes, or any other external impact.
  • The statistical analysis compares the actual outcome to a forecast, and comes with a confidence interval so we know how certain we are the effect is real.
  • We measure the impact on organic traffic in order to capture changes to rankings and/or changes to clickthrough rate (more here).

Read more about how SEO A/B testing works or get a demo of the SearchPilot platform.

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