Should You Test That? When to Engage in SEO Split Tests

This blog was written by Tim Mehta, a former Conversion Rate Optimization Strategist with Portent, Inc.

Running A/B/n experiments (aka “Split Tests”) to improve your search engine rankings has been in the SEO toolkit for longer than many would think. Moz actually published an article back in 2015 broaching the subject, which is a great summary of how you can run these tests.

What I want to cover here is understanding the right times to run an SEO split-test, and not how you should be running them.

I run a CRO program at an agency that’s well-known for SEO. The SEO team brings me in when they are preparing to run an SEO split-test to ensure we are following best practices when it comes to experimentation. This has given me the chance to see how SEOs are currently approaching split-testing, and where we can improve upon the process.

One of my biggest observations when working on these projects has been the most pressing and often overlooked question: “Should we test that?”

Risks of running unnecessary SEO split-tests

Below you will find a few potential risks of running an SEO split-test. You might be willing to take some of these risks, while there are others you will most definitely want to avoid.

Wasted resources

With on-page split-tests (not SEO split-tests), you can be much more agile and launch multiple tests per month without expending significant resources. Plus, the pre-test and post-test analyses are much easier to perform with the…

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