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How to Test Your SEO Strategy and Guarantee Success Before You Even Begin

January 25, 2013 · 5 comments

in SEO

SEO is a fantastic tool for any webmaster hoping to make some money, and the most beautiful part of it, is the simple fact that it needn’t cost you anything.

This means that even the smallest start up or loneliest entrepreneur can compete with the big guns and get their site to number one as long as they’re smart and they’re willing to put in the work to get themselves there.

But there is one way in which SEO does require an investment, and that’s the investment of time. For many of us the prospect of building all those thousands of links, and of writing multiple thousands of words in on-site content is just far too daunting to get our heads around and this can lead to us never even beginning to do the work we need to get our sites to number one.

And what really compounds this problem is the fact that SEO is not guaranteed. In other words you can do all that work, put in all that effort, and then find out that you’re no better off for it because you’re still not making much money. And then there’s the matter of losing it all by making one bad decision – how do you know that a site redesign won’t just flush all that hard work down the toilet?

The solution then is to think like a business and to really test your strategies before you commit to doing any major work. Here we will look at how you can do that, and how you can be certain that you’re going down the right road before you start staying up all night writing content and sharing links.

Better Keyword Research

The main idea behind keyword research is to make sure that the keyword you’re targeting is actually popular before you aim to get to the top of the SERPs for that term. But even the Google Keyword tool doesn’t guarantee a keyword that will work for you, so instead why not try spending a week at the top of a few and then choose the best one?

How is this possible? Simple – by using AdWords to be the sponsored link on a few different search terms and to see which ones bring you the most traffic and the most clicks/sales. Just because ‘make money online’ is more popular than ‘work from home online’ (this is an example, I don’t know if that’s the case) doesn’t mean that the latter might not get you more clicks if it’s more closely related to what your blog is about. So by using an AdWords campaign to test the quality of the traffic on both links you can say with much more certainty which one you should aim for.

Experience

The way businesses work is to release multiple products and to keep on iterating their offering in the hope that something sticks. They can’t afford to put all their eggs in one basket and try a single approach, so instead they test the water using several different strategies and that then tells them which area to invest in.

This is precisely the way you should operate with your SEO and it’s precisely why you should be putting feelers out. Rather than focussing on one website, try having a couple of sites and blogs – at least initially – and use slightly different strategies for each (you might build lots of links on other blogs for one, and focus more on social marketing for the other)so that you can quickly see what works.

And if you don’t want to do that then another strategy is to just check the archives and look into your previous projects. You probably have some old blogs or sites, or at least one with lots of different pages, so try looking at what’s currently the most successful and then ask how you can emulate or exaggerate that success going forward.

Split Testing

Now that you’ve chosen your keyword and your SEO strategy, you should think about your web design and your AdSense layout. You want to have a layout that minimizes your bounce rate and maximizes your click through rate.
And here there are all kinds of tiny factors that can work in your favour or against you – things like the size of your font, the colour of your AdSense units, or the number and location of them around your pages.

So how do you scientifically test which combinations work best? It’s called split testing and it means using a PHP script to funnel your traffic into two slightly different versions of your site – an ‘A’ site and a ‘B’ site. The A site will be your website as it is currently, and the ‘B’ version will be the site with a minor tweak to one of the aforementioned factors. Now you simply look at the stats for each – which one has the most clicks or keeps your traffic for the longest – and you go with the site with the best results. This is a sure-fire way to iterate because it means you’re only launching changes that havealready been tested in a real environment.

By using this kind of thinking it’s possible to create a fool-proof system for developing and enhancing your site. Think like a business, look before you leap, and you’ll greatly increase your chances of success.

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Ben Austin is founder and managing director of UK based seo agency SEO Positive Ltd. Ben has dedicated himself in researching the techniques and tricks that truly achieve the best results, and had discovered that he had a natural flair for understanding the intricate algorithms behind Google and the various other major search engines.

Ben has written 1 awesome articles for us at Opportunities Planet

Twitter: @seopositiveltd |

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex January 27, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Thanks for the tips. Always useful for someone who is new at this.
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Svetlana Koslov January 28, 2013 at 1:04 am

This is great advice as SEO is vast and very interesting subject. Now that I’m empowered reading this post I’m going to do a split test measuring everything you mention.
Svetlana Koslov recently posted..Doggie Drive: World’s First Driving DogMy Profile

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Shathyan Raja February 4, 2013 at 11:09 am

Yes I truly agree with your statement. Before tarting a blog, we need work on SEO and mainly on Keyword Research on what we going to start a blog.

Keywords plays the important for our success in online.

Thanks for your article.
Shathyan Raja recently posted..Price of Samsung Galaxy S 4 in US, UK and IndiaMy Profile

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Robbins Thapa February 8, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Thank you for your concise and pragmatic way of SEO and this strategy really help to boost ranking as well as traffics. i always focus on keyword research what people are most searching in internet and how can i fight with other niche competitors. quality content also help to boost SEPR.
Robbins Thapa recently posted..Search Engine Optimization Guide to Your SiteMy Profile

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Sarah Park February 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm

These are such helpful tips. Newbies should do this before going farther with their plans.
Sarah Park recently posted..How to Get Something You WantMy Profile

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