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SEO is an integral element of a successful digital marketing strategy, yet measuring and testing for SEO performance can be daunting.
Testing is essential for understanding how well your site is doing and which areas require more focus. After all, we can’t manage what we don’t measure!
Identify Your SEO Key Performance Indicators
No matter the size of your business, SEOs and marketers alike should be well-aware of the significance of key performance indicators (KPIs). These metrics help businesses assess the success of their marketing initiatives and measure success.
KPIs come in many forms, but those that directly impact business growth should be monitored. These could include conversion rates, search visibility, page views, domain authority and other elements.
Conversions are an integral component of any website’s success and should be measured closely. You can measure conversion rates on your site by setting up goals in Google Analytics – these could include anything from reading an article to watching a video to becoming an email subscriber or enrolling in a course.
Another metric to monitor is your website’s load time. This indicator of page loading speed directly impacts user engagement and bounce rate; an ideal load time should fall between 2-5 seconds.
Page views are another key metric to monitor, and you can obtain this data by entering your website’s URL into WebPageTester. This will generate a comprehensive report in seconds, including information regarding your page’s loading speed.
A high page view count can indicate your website is receiving plenty of attention from potential customers. It might also mean you’re ranking on the first page of search engines for keywords related to your company or product.
Search visibility is an essential metric for SEO and should be monitored closely as it reflects market share. It’s often referred to as SERP visibility and shares of voice are another important marketing KPIs that measure how much a brand or business receives from a particular target market.
Monitor your website’s search visibility using tools in Google Analytics or other software like Databox. This is an effective way to keep tabs on the progress of your SEO strategy and assess its success in real-time.
Create a Test Plan
Test plans are essential for software testing as they provide a roadmap of how the testing process will proceed. They also guarantee all necessary resources are gathered and ready for testing activities.
A test plan should define the objectives (what you want to verify or validate), scope (what will be covered), and scheduling for testing activities. It also should contain a risk management section which identifies any risks that might occur during testing and what steps need to be taken to mitigate them.
Constructing a test plan can be an extensive and laborious task, particularly for large projects. Usually, it falls to the test manager or other leadership to create one and may then be distributed throughout the organization for review and input from other team members.
A test plan should be concisely and clearly written, without any unnecessary technical jargon. If you’re uncertain of what should go into one, consult with an experienced testing professional for assistance.
Create a test plan either using an existing template, or by starting from scratch. Utilizing templates can save you time and minimize the likelihood of missing important details.
Test plan templates come in many forms, all of which can be found online. Some are free while others require payment; whatever the case, make sure the template meets the needs of your organization.
A well-written test plan is essential for software testing, and it will make the process more efficient. It ensures everyone is on the same page and keeps your team focused on what matters most.
In addition to your test plan’s general framework, it’s wise to create an exit criteria list. These indicators will indicate whether a test was successful and when to stop testing.
Constructing a test plan can be tedious, but it’s an essential component of software testing. A well-written test plan will enable your team to quickly and accurately locate bugs, enhance SEO performance, track results, and assess trends over time. It also serves as the basis for reviewing trends and making adjustments accordingly.
Create a Variable List
Variable lists are collections of values used by tools to process data received. These variables are stored in a batch grid and the tool can access them to perform its operations on the data.
To start, decide the type of value you wish to store in a variable list. You can create either a simple string value or use dates or numeric data; either way, these values must be defined in the text file containing the data.
To begin, open the Variable wizard and select a type of value. Finally, click LoadComplete to launch the Generate Values wizard.
When selecting a date or numeric value for a parameter data type, the LoadComplete data generator will convert it to the relevant parameter data type and pass the information along to the test server; finally, the result will be shown in the output of the test.
Text files can also be used to store numbers, dates, e-mail addresses and other types of data. This is particularly beneficial when testing different scenarios that require the values for a variable to be available.
When working with a list, it’s essential to specify the order in which values should be retrieved. Doing this can guarantee more realistic behavior for your test cases.
For instance, you might want to record a user’s login name before they log in or have the value changed for each virtual user that sends a request to the server. Utilizing loop commands can make this possible.
The Variable List window is similar to MAXQDA Stats data view, allowing you to search and filter for specific criteria just like in MAXQDA. When searching a column, the status bar at the bottom right of the window displays how many rows meet your requirements.
Set Up Your SEO Tests
When creating tests for your website, it’s essential to avoid creating brittle tests that could fail if a change is made. Utilizing testable page objects and locators that won’t change is one way of averting this issue.
One example of a surprise test that may be beneficial for SEO performance is one where you make changes to a page and compare its performance with how the page performed before the change was made. For instance, if you were to alter the meta description on a page, running this type of experiment can help determine how that impacts its organic ranking.
Google usually gives you a couple of days to check the results after making changes, so that you can monitor how it performed in Google Search Console. Once you’re satisfied and the test results are green, then you can go ahead and implement them across all pages on the site.
Another strategy you could try is dividing up your pages into two buckets – a control group and variant group. Each should receive comparable levels of traffic from each other.
This allows you to compare each group against one another without affecting your rankings or traffic to your site. It may also be beneficial for testing new content or landing pages to get a good indication of their performance in terms of SEO and organic traffic before launching them.
Once you’ve created your control and test urls, you can now specify when the page was last altered. By default, this is set to today; however, you may select a time in the past to run tests against changes made previously.
Once you’ve done that, click “Create” to create your test. Here, you can enter a detailed hypothesis statement and the URL or query for testing against. Additionally, you will be asked to confirm the dates of both control and test periods selected. Once this is complete, your test is ready for pre-processing.
GB Digital is always happy to help you evaluate your current SEO, make a measurable improvement plan, and help you execute that plan. We also provide training so that you can manage your own SEO.