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SEO Split Testing for eCommerce Websites

Use A/B testing to prove which changes will have the biggest impact on your organic search performance

Getting started with SEO A/B testing

If you're new to the concept, you might find it useful to read a bit of background about how SEO A/B testing works in general before diving into the industry-specific advice below.

The biggest complaint most SEO teams hear from management is that a lack of ability to connect activities to outcomes results in a lack of accountability. SEO A/B testing is perfect in ecommerce environments: by avoiding guesswork, and gathering data with statistical confidence, SEO teams can make better changes, avoid harmful impacts, and demonstrate value to the business. In ecommerce, with the direct connection between visibility and revenue, you can outstrip your competitors by accurately measuring the scale of benefit available from different changes, testing the impact on search visibility and conversion rates, and rolling out winning changes immediately.

If you’re interested in hearing more about what SearchPilot can do for your eCommerce site, get in touch here.

Customize titles and meta data to maximize organic traffic potential

Updating titles and meta data may seem like the most basic of SEO changes, and are often overlooked in favor of more ‘exciting’ advanced SEO projects. In our experience of SEO split testing, title and meta data changes can often be the most impactful changes you can make in terms of organic traffic when you’re working at enterprise scale.

On ecommerce sites, we are able to test, for example:

  • Adding stock level, pricing, delivery information, or additional context to product page titles
  • Including USPs, information about size and scale of ranges and more to category page meta information
  • Simplifying page titles, or conversely adding additional information e.g. brand or manufacturer information
  • Adding or removing the ecommerce / shop brand from page titles

Test changes to on-page content

We see two typical kinds of challenges with on-page content in ecommerce at scale:

  1. Category pages often have sparse content or no content at all. If they do have content, it may be templated and uncompelling
  2. Product pages may use manufacturer or brand copy, and struggle to differentiate themselves effectively from other pages on the site (if the majority of the content is generic) or from other websites (if the product is also available elsewhere).

In either of these cases, SearchPilot can test changing, removing, reordering, or adding to the content already on the page. The ability to upload large amounts of content into the SearchPilot platform makes it quick and easy to test at scale, and to roll out winning variations across the whole site.

Ecommerce sites may consider testing:

  • Adding custom or templated content to product or category pages
  • Comparing custom written to templated content
  • Changing headings
  • Bringing content out from behind tabs
  • Adding/removing user generated content (like reviews)

Mark up your site with the most valuable structured data

Some structured data markups can have a big impact on your pages’ appearance in search results. With so many options for markup, it can be impossible to know which will provide the most ROI.

Test markups like:

  • Product
  • AggregateOffer
  • Breadcrumb
  • Reviews
  • FAQ
  • And more

Test alternate internal linking strategies

Changes to internal linking can have huge sitewide impacts. Testing new internal linking strategies with SearchPilot allows you to make a data-backed SEO case for or against linking changes.

You may consider testing:

  • Linking to related products
  • Linking to parent or child categories or other related categories
  • Adding breadcrumbs
  • Adding or removing template links from the page template e.g. in menus or footers
  • Linking to featured products

Test new page layouts

As UX and page experience become more pivotal in organic search performance, optimizing your page templates for users as well as search engines is crucial. SearchPilot allows you to test the SEO impact of all kinds of layout changes from seemingly harmless tweaks to entirely new designs.

For ecommerce sites, this may include:

  • Moving, adding or removing elements like specifications, content, or reviews
  • Expanding tabbed content or placing content behind tabs
  • Loading elements in alternate orders
  • Testing purely conversion-rate-centric changes designed to convert more visitors to understand the SEO impact as well as the conversion rate impact

SearchPilot also allows you to measure the impact of any SEO test on conversions via our Full Funnel testing feature. Read more about Full Funnel testing here, or get in touch using the demo form below.

Make improvements to site speed and measure their impact on SEO

Optimizing your site for speed and user experience is becoming increasingly important, as Google now directly takes these factors into consideration when evaluating rankings. Make the case for or against site changes that have an impact on metrics like first contentful paint, DOM content loaded, and first input delay.

Testing the SEO impact of these changes gives you the evidence you need to communicate effectively with dev teams on how to prioritize site improvements.

Using SearchPilot as a meta-CMS

Make quick updates to offers and more across all pages in a section

Our ecommerce customers have found it useful to be able to make agile changes across all pages on the site, all pages of a particular kind, or all pages in a section. In addition to the kinds of changes we have discussed testing above, these have included:

  • Adding or removing offers or timely information (e.g. delivery details)
  • Modifying, adding, or removing calls to action
  • Redirecting pages temporarily or permanently
  • Fixing broken deploys

Our meta-CMS functionality allows for changes to any part of on-page content or meta information in the event you’re unable to get these prioritized in your dev queue. Read more about our meta-CMS feature here.

If you’re interested in hearing more about what SearchPilot can do for your eCommerce site, get in touch here.

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