What is SEO A/B Metadata Testing?
SEO A/B Metadata testing is an SEO & CRO strategy which aims at finding the optimum variation of Metadata for any webpage in order to understand and improve both rankings and Click Through Rates.
The goal of SEO A/B Metadata testing is to get the best out of your current rankings, by updating your pages with fresh new Metadata which sit well with Google, and more importantly, with traffic coming through Google.
If your Metadata can stand out from the other SERP rankings, then not only will you see higher Click Through Rates, but you’ll see increases of traffic and sales to your site thanks to the magic combination of improved rankings and more engaging copy.
How does it work?
It’s really quite simple! Instead of writing one Metadata variation on a webpage, you write two or even three (or four if you like to walk on the wild side!).
You note the date you start uploading the first variation and take down the current page ranking and Click-Through Rate for your desired keywords as a baseline performance index. You then leave the variation for X amount of time, usually 10-14 days, to allow Google to index the new variation and to collect the necessary data to understand the impact your new metadata variation has on the page’s on positions and CTR.
Once this is complete, you repeat the process with the test’s remaining variations. Once all of the variations have been completed, you can collate and compare the data results and find the optimum variation which has the best rankings and CTR rates.
How many times should I run tests?
Honestly, it’s really down to your industry and niche. Some pages may only require a few tests until you find the optimum set of Metadata and may only need re-testing to confirm your performance remains the same a few times a year, whilst other pages will need more frequent testing based on the nature of the industry and the pace in which the industry changes.
For example, if you’re working in the fashion or electronics industry, it’s quite likely you will encounter multiple sales campaigns, Black Friday campaigns, and seasonal offers and trends throughout the year which require your Metadata to reflect these events in the best possible way to maximise your potential organic rankings and increase your user engagement through timely and topical copy in your metadata.
Does SEO A/B Metadata testing always work?
It really depends on how well you craft Metadata and the variations. From analyzing user campaigns, overall we generally see most pages will increase and see improvements, whilst other pages may see a decline.
In these decline cases, we recommend users to rethink their Metadata variation and try again, there is always a good variation out there, you just need to find it.
In some circumstances, your original metadata may actually be the optimum meta for your page. In which case you can easily restore it and know that your meta is performing at its best instead of just assuming.
Do other SEO ranking factors affect my results?
Not always, but they can do depending on how long you run a test for.
For example, if you run an A/B Metadata test for 1 month or more, you increase the chances of external ranking factors affecting your overall SEO performance (such as new Google updates affecting rankings, new links / lost links etc).
However it really depends on the type of page you test. Your webpage should ideally be on the first or second page for whatever search term you are targeting. This reduces any external rankings affecting your results as pages are already ranking. The aim of A/B Metadata testing is to improve those pages in good positions even further.
How long should I run SEO A/B tests for?
You can run a test for as many or few days as you want, but we do recommend testing should be from 10 to 14 days per variation.