The Ultimate Guide

So you’ve read, seen, or heard about single variable SEO tests, but you are just not sure how exactly to do it? Where do you startHow do you set them upWhat can you do with the results?

This step-by-step guide will help you streamline the whole process for running SEO tests from acquiring a domain to testing different variables as well as give you all the free tools you need. Read it, love it and download as PDF for future use.


Step 1: Acquiring the Domain

The first step is acquiring a domain that will be used solely for testing purposes. Register a domain name that will not in itself be a ranking factor.

Use GoDaddy to search for a cheap domain name and use a fake keyword for the domain. It is very important to use words that do not appear in Google SERPs. Use a tool such as Soybomb to find a fake keyword* (a word that does not appear in Google’s search engine results).

*Double-check to make sure that the fake keyword you choose does not appear in the SERPs at all by searching for the term before registering the domain.


Step 2: Creating The Pages

Once the domain is established, you’ll need to set up WordPress on the domain and create your test pages.

There are strict rules on how the pages are created in order to be used for a single variable test. Make sure to follow the below procedure correctly to obtain accurate results and for replication purposes.

The first stage: set up the test environment

  • Create 5 pages at the same time, all optimized for the same fake keyword and have the same content.
  • Add your fake keyword as the title to all five pages. The title should then be followed by one or two other nonsense words. These can be found using the Soybomb tool. It's important to create a way to differentiate the pages in the set without affecting rank. Each page should have different nonsense words following the fake keyword. But the nonsense words should all have the same number of characters as each other. For example:

Page 1 Title = Idalbattsban Hicx Rdco
Page 2 Title = Idalbattsban Uixo Qzit
Page 3 Title = Idalbattsban Nsoa Wnit
Page 4 Title = Idalbattsban Lamy Dsjf
Page 5 Title = Idalbattsban Qlsj Nbso

The second stage: add content to the pages.

  • Add content on each of five pages using lorem ipsum. Each page will be 500 words and optimized 2%. The fake keyword should be then be added to the lorem ipsum paragraph text. 

As you can see in the following screenshot, the fake keyword appears in the title and in the paragraph text.


Step 3: Ranking The Pages

All of the newly created pages need to be then submitted to Google Search Console fetch and render. Wait for pages to settle in their natural SERP positions. We wait until there has been no page movement for at least 4 days.


Step 4: Testing Variables

This is where the fun begins, and ranking factors can be tested! 

When running tests, we make a change to just one variable, whatever factor it is you wish to test. This variable should be implemented on the number 3 ranked test page. We also recommend running a reverse test – implementing changes on the numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5 ranked pages while leaving the number 3 page unchanged.

List Of FREE Tools To Set Up An SEO Test

Use GoDaddy to search for a cheap domain name and use a fake keyword for the domain.

Lorem Ipsum Generator

There are a lot of Lorem Ipsum Generators on the web, we like the most. 

Soybomb generates nonsense words based on a frequency list of phonemes as they occur in legitimate English words. Learn more here

After you've created a page, submit it to Google Search Console fetch and render and wait for pages to settle in their natural SERP positions.