A quick intro on the different bits of SEOTesting.com, how they work, and how they can help you improve your Google rankings and get more clicks.
Thank you so much for trying out SEOTesting.com. This post will give you a quick intro to all the areas of the tool to get you up to speed quickly. The overall aim of SEOTesting is to identify things on your site to fix, content to improve or create, so you can get more relevant organic clicks from Google.
Upon registering and adding your first site to SEOTesting, or logging back in again, you’ll see the main dashboard.
This gives you an overview of the clicks per day for each of your sites added to SEOTesting.
On the dashboard, if you click on the site name above the Clicks Per Day graph you’ll be taken to a details view for that site. Here you’ll see clicks, impressions, average position and click through rate for the site.
The default view is daily, but you can summarise the graphs into weeks and months using the tabs along the top. It is often much easier to spot trends when viewing these graphs by weeks and months.
On the main dashboard at the top there’s a link to ‘Add a new site’.
When adding further sites, you can filter the data that comes back in the following ways:
Country - this allows you to add a site to SEOTesting so the reports and other functionality filter the results to searches from that country. Really useful if your website only sells to a specific country.
Dimension - this allows you to add a site where the data and reports filter by a query or url.
If you want to see a dashboard and reports on a subsection of a site, for example the blog, you could create a dimension filter such as this:
If you want to remove brand searches from the dashboard and reports, for example for a website such as Autotrader, you could create a dimension filter such as this:
Brand searches for the website Autotrader could include:
Unfortunately the Search Console query filter is relatively simple (ie no regex’s) so if you want to do a brand filter you need to consider which text is likely to be used in each brand variation. In our example above this is why we created a filter to exclude (notContains) the string ‘trader’. This would remove all the brand variations, but is specific enough not to filter out non-brand queries.
On the main dashboard you’ll see any tests the site has running below the clicks graph.
Here there is also a link to create a new test from scratch.
If you want to add other users to your SEOTesting account you can do this via the Account link on the left hand menu.
The reports built in SEOTesting are built with two uses in mind:
1, To give you an easy way to report on useful metrics to website/project stakeholders
2, To give you ideas on what can be created or improved on the site to improve rankings and get more clicks.
The winners and losers report is great to give project stakeholders an overview on big movements or changes on the site on a week to week basis.
This report compares the last 7 days, against the 7 days before that, and shows the biggest increases and drops in clicks and impressions for queries and pages.
This report can be used to spot big improvements or drops in rankings for individual pages or queries.
The query and page reports list what the site is appearing for in Google, showing the clicks, impressions, average position and ctr for whatever date period you select.
You can order these reports by clicks, impressions, average position and click through rate. The reports can also be exported so the data can be used with other tools such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.
If you are looking at the Query report, clicking on a query itself will take you to the Query Details page.
This shows you the pages that have ranked for this query over the last seven days, as well as overall performance of the site for this query over the last 16 months in graphs for clicks, impressions, average position and ctr.
If you have multiple pages that rank for a particular query, and your target url is not top of the list, you may want to investigate cannibalization issues around this keyword.
On the Pages report you can click on the url and get the same performance graphs for the url over the past 16 months. Below the graphs you’ll also see all the queries that this page is returned for in Google, this is useful for ensuring popular keywords are used in page titles, meta descriptions and the body of the page’s content.
Sites that have been around a while can often include pages that no longer get any search traffic.
Manually identifying these pages can take a long time, so the Content Quality report in SEOTesting can save you days of time.
Simply put your sitemap.xml url into the field to request the report and click the button.
The report runs in the background and you’ll get an email once it finishes. Large sites can take some time to complete.
When looking at the completed report, it is ordered by the urls that get 0 impressions in the search results. We therefore consider this page to be low quality in terms of organic search performance.
Once you have identified these low quality pages on your site, and you have confirmed they have no other purpose on the site (eg PPC landing pages) you can then decided whether to:
The results for this report are generated from the last 90 days, so you may decide that a page that has a low number of impressions or clicks, rather than just zero, should also be investigated and considered for one of the above actions.
Testing page titles and meta description changes are one the core uses of SEOTesting.
The Low CTR reports for both queries and pages are crucial in finding search terms or pages that would benefit from changes to the title and meta description and then setting up a SEO Test to see if there is an improvement.
There is a drop down so you can filter the results based on click through rate. Assuming your site has a decent amount of traffic, it is better so start with the filter value at 1% or 2% to get the queries or urls to work on that could lead to the biggest increase in clicks.
Google has recently been directing people to search more by questions rather than keywords.
One reason for this is more voice based searches from mobile ai assistants such as Apple Siri and OK Google, and also home devices such as Amazon Echo.
The second is the ‘People also ask’ section often displayed in search results.
The third is the FAQ schema mark-up which is used to mark up frequently asked questions within your content that Google could potentially surface in the search results.
The Questions to Answer report surfaces all the questions people have searched on Google that your site has been returned for. This gives you an idea of the type of FAQs you could be adding to your pages - either as structured data or even simple headings and paragraphs.
Including these Q&A type sections on existing pages, or as new content if it makes sense, can bring a nice boost in new traffic.
This report does the following steps for the top 5,000 pages on your site:
1, Takes each page in turn
2, Gets the top query for that page in terms of impressions
3, Checks to see if the top query is used in the page title and meta description of the page.
When a user searches Google with a query, if your site is returned in the search results Google will often make those query words appear bold within your page title and/or meta description in the search results.
(The red underlines are me! :))
A good way to boost click through rate, is to ensure your page titles and meta descriptions include the top query. Therefore Google bolds the query text in the search results, therefore making your listing stand out better and be more clickable.
Using this report you can find out which pages do not contain the top query in either the page title or meta description, and therefore decide whether to add them - and then run an SEO Test to see if it makes a difference to click through rate.
Striking distance queries are search terms that your site appears for on page 2 and 3 of Google.
If you can get your pages onto the first page for these queries, you’ll see a nice increase in click through rate and therefore clicks.
This report surfaces the queries that your site appears just outside positions 1-10. With a little bit of effort (content improvement, internal linking, external links) these pages have a good chance of breaking into positions 1-10 and getting a nice increase in clicks.
SEO Tests within SEOTesting.com are here to show you if the changes you make to your site or page - lead to an increase in click through rate, position, clicks, impressions, and the number of queries your page ranks for.
Based on these results, you can then decide whether to keep the change, roll it back, or even roll it out to other similar pages eg other ecommerce product pages or other blog posts.
The SEOTests work by comparing the data from a period before you made the change, to the period since the change was made.
By plotting the control and test periods next to each other, and a simple red/green traffic light system for key indicators - you can quickly see whether your changes are making the improvement you expected to see.
You can also back date tests for changes that were made within the last 16 months. You simply create these as you would do a normal test, and select the ‘Changed Date’ to be whenever the change was made. Within 15 minutes or so (while data is collected in the background), you’ll have full results to see if that change 6 months ago worked.
There are two simple ways to create an SEO Test within SEOTesting.com
1, From the main dashboard there is a ‘Create new test’ link underneath each site’s main graph. Also on the main Tests page from the left hand menu there is a ‘Create new test’ link for each site.
Using these links will open up the Create Test configuration page totally blank, ready for you to configure whether your test is site based, or based on a particular url or query.
2, On each relevant report, there is a Test Flask icon.
This icon will take you to the Create Test config page, importing the values for the url or query that you click on in the report.
This method makes it as simple as 2 clicks to setup and create a test for a page or url that you have worked on.
SEOTesting has the ability to rank track based on the average daily position reported in Google Search Console.
When adding a new keyword to track, you are also asked to add the target url. This allows us to report whether your target url is the top result from your site for that query (if not you may need to look into keyword cannibalization issues).
If you want to do Rank Tracking based on separate countries, you need to add a new site to SEOTesting for each country, using the country filter. Each keyword you then rank track using that site will then be filtered by the applicable country code.