How To Make SEO and Conversion Rates Work Together
One of the best methods to improve the conversion rates that your landing page is getting is through A/B split testing. There’s hardly anything that comes even close to it, and that’s due to the fact that when performing a split test, you’re actually working with real visitors who come to your site for specific purpose.
There’s just one problem here, conversion rate optimization and SEO don’t always work well together.
Here’s how to overcome some of the common problems and make your conversion rate optimization efforts in tune with SEO.
Don’t Produce Duplicate Content
Google is not a fan of duplicate content. One of the company’s goals is to make the web more accessible to everyone and thus making sure that only original (not copied) content can be found in the index. If Google finds any duplicate content on your site, they might get the impression that you’re replicating the same page to increase your number of indexed pages.
The real problem here is that most split testing setups ultimately create a number of duplicate content pages. Most of the time, you’re testing only against one detail of the page, so everything else is exactly the same. You don’t want Google to find and index those pages. To prevent that, always put the rel=”canonical” parameter on your split test variants.
One more benefit this gives you is that you’re avoiding the risk of having the wrong page indexed. In short, whenever Google finds duplicate content on two pages, it will rank the one that appears to be of higher quality. Now, what Google thinks is of higher quality doesn’t necessarily have to coincide with what you think, so you can end up with a lower converting page in the index.
That’s unless you remember about the rel=”canonical” parameter and only let Google index the pages that are your new control.
Be Careful Not to Lose Pages From the Index Completely
Split testing single pages is a fairly straightforward thing and it rarely results in any significant SEO trouble. However, when you begin testing whole processes or conversion funnels, some pages can end up being left out from the index altogether.
For example, when you’re optimizing the user’s path from point A to point B and removing some steps (pages) along the way, this can lead to those pages being ultimately deindexed. This happens because Google can no longer find the links pointing to those pages.
That being said, this is more of a long term consequence, but we need to be aware that it can eventually occur if we keep running our tests for a couple of months.
At the end of the day, various SEO-related issues are not that tough to deal with when working on conversion rate optimization for your site. The main thing to keep in mind is that standard SEO rules always apply, and if you’re creating another variant for your split test, you should treat it just like any other page on your site (SEO wise).