"Test & Learn" and SEO, the perfect combo!
Do you know the essential quality of a good SEO? Without a doubt, his curiosity and his ability to adopt a "Test & Learn" approach in his daily work. Olivier Andrieu, a young retiree from the SEO sphere, talks about it in this video: "SEO? Test and Learn!"👇👇👇. A minor change can have a major impact on your business. Simply, you have to dare and be able to deploy this change. We will see in this article why this "mindset" is particularly adapted to the SEO business. We will also answer the crucial question: how can you deploy your tests if you lack resources in your IT team?
What is "Test & Learn"?
Test & Learn" consists of testing different strategies, analyzing the results and determining improvements to be implemented in a next iteration. This process accelerates innovation by minimizing risks through continuous learning. The success of this approach relies mainly on 5 criteria:
- Setting clear and specific objectives. This type of approach requires defining clear and measurable objectives for each test.
- The quality of the tests. Tests must be rigorously designed or they will be counterproductive. You must implement reliable methodologies to collect accurate data. This is a very important point in the context of natural referencing where the expected results are not immediate and a multitude of criteria can disrupt a test. For example, an update of the algorithm.
- The ability to analyze the data. The data collected must be analyzed and interpreted to draw lessons that will result in the implementation of concrete actions: iteration or deployment on your entire site.
- The ability to make quick decisions. Teams will be able to work in an agile manner and adapt quickly to results.
- The implementation of a continuous improvement process. The success of "Test & Learn" depends on the ability of teams to iterate quickly to continuously improve results.
"Test & Learn" and natural referencing, the winning combo!
As you can see, this methodology lends itself particularly well to the SEO profession. The SEO evolves in a very fluctuating environment. He has to face a double challenge: Google's algorithm which is updated regularly and competitors who are fighting on the same query. In this context, the "Test & Learn" appears to be the ideal solution to adapt quickly.
A "Test & Learn" approach favors data-based decision making versus intuition.
Your developers don't have unlimited bandwidth to handle your SEO tickets. If you come up with a site evolution that should increase SEO traffic by 50% (your hunch 😉 ) and you hardly reach 5%, you'll probably lose credibility. The risk is that in the next sprint your tickets will no longer be prioritized. By adopting the "Test & Learn" philosophy, you have reliable data to estimate the ROI of your actions. This is an important asset to move your requests to the top of the backlog.
A "Test & Learn" approach minimizes the risk of errors.
In SEO, some changes can have unexpected consequences and make you lose visibility in the SERPs. It's always a bit embarrassing to ask for a rollback of a change that was supposed to propel you to the top of the SERP. What do you think about it? The good idea, once again, is to be able to set up a test to validate the expected result. This will avoid putting your whole site at risk and losing business.
A "Test & Learn" approach facilitates adjustments to respond quickly to Google updates.
Have you ever felt that feeling of helplessness after a Google update? You have no way to implement changes on your site to capture the traffic opportunities offered by the search engine. I experienced this feeling at the time of the deployment of "FAQ boxes" in search results. I saw dozens of articles and tweets on the subject explaining how to implement how to set up the associated structured data. The only solution was to make a JIRA ticket and prioritize it with the development team. I had no way to value a percentage increase in traffic related to this implementation and even less to prove a ROI. As a result, I watched my competitors take visibility in the SERPs 😢.
A "Test & Learn" approach promotes a better understanding of the ranking factors.
Do you know how an SEO starts an answer when asked an SEO question: "it depends on the context". SEO is not an exact science and the context of the SERP is important to take into account in the actions you will deploy. Positioning yourself on the keyword "insurance" is not the same as "bakery in Sassetot-le-Mauconduit". It is important to be able to test and understand the criteria used by Google to rank sites in the SERPs.
A "Test & Learn" approach reduces IT costs.
By applying "Test & Learn", you will reduce your IT costs. It is probably not intuitive, because to set up your tests you will have to call on your IT team. However, imagine that a solution makes you autonomous to deploy your tests. You instantly free up bandwidth for your technical team to focus on other issues. The IT team will only be asked to deploy features that have shown an impact during the testing phase. ROI is king 👑.
How to deploy your tests without asking your developers?
Test & Learn" is the mindset to adopt when practicing SEO. Testing strategies on your website, learning, iterating and finding the right ingredients to overtake your competitors is the workflow that every SEO dreams of. However, how do you deploy testing when your CMS is not flexible and your IT team lacks the resources to handle all the company's projects? You're already unable to deploy your SEO roadmap so trying to prioritize tickets for testing seems unthinkable!
Today, with the rise of technologies such as CDN and Workers you will be able to take control of your site "at the Edge". At Fasterize, we have developed the EdgeSEO solution that allows SEO teams to free themselves from the technical limitations of their CMS and deploy their SEO strategies independently. A unique solution that allows you to apply your SEO recommendations and deploy your tests in a few clicks. To learn more about the concept of "Edge SEO", I suggest you read our article on the subject.
Test & Learn" is the exciting part of the SEO business, right? Finding strategies to be first in search results is going to become a priority. Even more so with the AI that will reshuffle the cards in the SERPs. As we have seen, the "Test & Learn" approach allows you to make decisions based on data, which will minimize the risks on your business. Moreover, by adopting this type of philosophy, you will become more agile in front of Google's updates and learn from each test to improve your understanding of Google's algorithm and rank higher. If you want to get ahead of your competitors and implement the "Test & Learn" approach using our EdgeSEO solution, request a demo! See you on the other side?