Want to run time based SEO tests on multiple urls or queries?

Written by Nick Swan. Published on 01, June 2021

Having the ability to run a single SEO test with multiple urls or queries is really useful for people who want to track the results from several pages and see how their work affects the clicks and ranking position in Google. This would be without the overhead of running a full SEO split test.

You can now run time based SEO tests on multiple pages and queries within SEOTesting.com.

It was possible to do this before using the ‘contains’ filter, but that didn’t always suit every scenario when urls and queries didn’t contain the same set of characters that could be used as the filter such as existing in a specific sub-folder.

You can now add any url from across the site - which is great for agencies that work on a subset of pages on a site, or for people who want to set up and test topic clusters they have been optimizing.

Results of an SEO group test in SEOTesting.com

These tests are time based, so the results compare a period of time before the changes were made, to the period of time after. You do need to be careful with spikes or changes due to seasonal events or algorithm updates - but these time based tests are a good starting point in analyzing the SEO impact due to site and page changes.

Setting up these tests within the SEOTesting platform is also a good way of remembering what you’ve changed. Each test you create gets rolled up into the Site Changelog report and annotated on the page or query details graph. This will help you remember what changes you made to a page 10 months ago when the graph makes a big spike upwards.

You can also retrospectively run these tests on historical data from Google Search Console as long as the test and control period are within the last 16 months.

How to run an SEO Group Test

1, Make the changes to your pages that you wish to test.

2, Pop into Google Search Console, and request the reindexing of these pages.

3, In SEOTesting, from the Launchpad click on the site you are working with, then click on SEO Tests from the left side menu.

4, Click the button to ‘Create a new SEO Test’, and from the following screen click the button to create a new ‘Group Test’

5, Complete the setup form for the new group test. It’s a good idea to give the test a meaningful name, and also add as much detail in the description field as possible. This is so you can remember exactly what it was you are testing when you look back in 12 months time.

Setup screen for an SEO group test.

If you want to run the test on historical data you can set the ‘Date change was made’ date picker back to whenever the changes were made.

6, Upon clicking the Create button you’ll be asked to confirm the individual dates for the control and test period. These will be pre-set based on the date change and test period you selected on the previous screen. Usually you leave these as they are, but you can move them around if you need to.

Behind the scenes, SEOTesting will collect the available data for the control and test periods and update you with an email notification if you choose.

If your test period starts today, bear in mind that Google Search Console data available through the API is two days behind so it’ll take a couple of days at least before you start to see some test results.

What’s coming next…

Next we’ll be working on a new type of test that will allow you to test url changes. This could be where you redirect a number of urls to a new url, or where you break out a single url to a group of urls to create a topic cluster.

If you want to learn more about SEO testing in general, check out our Complete guide to SEO testing.