Jul 20 2018

Doing Tests Vs. Blindly Following The Herd

Posted by Aj Aviado

As people that spend a lot of time going about trying to modify websites for them to run and perform better on search results, there’s a lot of grey area that gets missed out in the heat of the moment.

Let’s be honest, most times you get so caught up with things that you just end up following whatever is happening around you. Like when a stampede happens in the grasslands, clueless animals just run with the herd. In some cases, yes that can be a good thing. But, there’s always that shred of doubt at the end of the day. What if you went in the other direction?

Testing and experimentation is a very big chunk of what us SEO’s should be doing all the time. Which to be honest, if you are able to do, can give you a boost past your competitors. If you think about it, everyone else will be too busy following updates and trends, when you can go and test out for yourself what should and should not be done in these campaigns.

One funny example that happened recently that we had all the great honor to witness firsthand was that thing with Google increasing and then months later, reverting the meta description character limit.

Descriptions in Search

This event took the world of SEO by storm. It was like a revolution. SEO at the time seemed like a Pokemon in evolution. Things seemed like it was going forward so fast that it felt exciting. Every single company out there and website owners hastily re-wrote all their descriptions to try and hit more characters. Some were actually really good, in our opinion. They made use of that space to more articulately describe the page. But there were also those that just tried to stuff words and tried to have thick descriptions.

For a really long time there was this rush and trend of people doing this. Which made sense. Imagine if you’re already at the top page. You can bump out your other competitors on the next page if you had the combo of rich snippets, business listing and a really long meta description.

An interesting thing that happened though when all of this was going down was, there were people that never did anything. Some believed that all you have to do is remember what meta descriptions are for. And just honestly describe what the page is about. That’s it. No fancy keyword inserting mumbo jumbo is going to save a site.

And guess what happened just a few months later.

Like Steve Harvey trying to correct something, Google reverted the character limit back to 150+, leaving everyone that had increased their descriptions for their pages with a truncated mess of a wasteland on SERPS. It was, if you’re humor is dark like mine, quite a hilarious moment in SEO.

pia wurtzbach

What a lot of people missed out is that it didn’t matter if their descriptions were longer, the ones that had more meaningful and more straightforward descriptions still had the upper hand. But again for us watching, it was a fun experiment and a sort of “A/B testing” all around us.

The moral? Just chill and don’t forget the basics of things. Even if it seems like things are changing.

There are a lot of things online that can make you panic. But that shouldn’t derail you from what you’re doing and where you’re going. Never believe everything you see online. Set the details down, and test things.

Another example is the belief that meta taggings don’t directly affect rankings. Well, that statement is completely and actually correct. BUT, this is where you experiment and test things. If you just place a random title and no description, what will your potential audience feel or do? If you think they’d just float over and scroll on past your page on the search results, you’ve been unconsciously experimenting and understanding the data around you. (Good Job, mate!) And how does this affect the performance? That’s right. You drop a little bit, your traffic dwindles, you fade slowly down the deep well of un optimised websites.

But what happens if you actually put some effort on these things? People click on to your page result more, you get more traffic, you get closer to the top spot.

So in short, though the statement is correct, it means that you still shouldn’t take Meta Taggings lightly.

Imagine your situation right now if you just went with not fixing your meta taggings at all.

Lastly. An example for the target market.

If in Singapore your website is doing so well, and you feel like you can rank just as fine on other countries and never tested out the market first, you will for sure have a very hard time trying to figure out what’s actually going on.

What might be popular in one country can be unknown to another. That’s why you check and test out the searches and competitors on each country you’re to target. What’s the culture here? What’s the popular thing? What sells more in this particular country? These are just some of the minor details you should keep in your mind before you set up shop on other countries.

So to our little baby SEO’s out there, don’t just jump and fly off. The rocks below are steep and sharp. Not a very positive analogy, I know, but it’s a fair warning to all not to jump to conclusions in the world of search.


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