How to Increase Conversions With A/B Split Testing

As we all know, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is a powerful tool for driving traffic to your website and boosting conversions. However, success in the world of PPC ads isn’t guaranteed. To maximize the return on your investment, you need to continually optimise your ad campaigns. A/B testing is a vital component of this optimisation process, as it allows you to see what works and what doesn’t. We are after all data-driven marketers. We don’t know what idea is going to work until we test it.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts of A/B testing for your PPC campaigns, helping you make the most of your advertising budget.

The Dos of A/B Split Testing

In this section, we will cover everything you should do for successful A/B testing that moves the needle. These are tried and tested methods that I’ve used throughout my career that are both important to increase conversion rates but also click-through rates so that you can drive more traffic and sales.

Set Clear Goals:

Before you start A/B testing, define clear and measurable goals for your PPC campaign. Are you looking to increase click-through rates (CTR), conversions, or reduce your cost per acquisition (CPA)?

Understanding your objectives will guide your testing efforts. In general, for ad testing, you should be working to increase CTR, while with landing page tests, you will want to increase conversion rates (Conv %), for example.

The two most common forms of testing are either ad testing or landing page testing.

Both of these test types are designed to increase CTR and conversion rate respectively. Understanding what you want to achieve will show you what variables are important.

Test a Single Variable:

Yes, that’s right, only test for one metric at a time. A/B testing works best when you isolate a single variable to test.

This could be the headlines, call-to-action, or the single elements of the landing. Testing multiple elements simultaneously can make it difficult to determine what’s driving changes in performance.

It’s vital that you know what is having an impact on your ad copy and landing page and that you can keep it as simple as possible in your testing strategy. This will also allow you to logically and strategically move on to the next test as you will know what variable worked or didn’t work. For example, simply test the form on your landing page, as seen below.

Use a Large Enough Sample Size:

To ensure the results of your A/B test are statistically significant, make sure you have a large enough sample size.

A small sample can lead to unreliable results. Google Ads offer statistical significance calculators to help you determine when you have enough data.

An idea would be to test with your top-performing campaigns, in terms of clicks and/or impressions. This will allow for a large enough sample size, which also makes sure that any success can “move the needle”. This would naturally be dependent on your business needs.

If we use the below as an example, you can see that the trail has a higher click-through rate (CTR). However, it does not have statistical significance.

For the test to reach statistical significance, we will need to reach 30,000 impressions. It is more than likely that while the test was positive in this regard it will not be positive in a real-world environment.

Implement Proper Tracking:

Properly setting up conversion tracking is essential. It enables you to measure the impact of your changes accurately. Use UTM parameters and Google Analytics to track user behaviour and conversions on your website.

You need to make sure that you have as much data as possible. Make sure that you are measuring what’s important (and only what’s important) to your business.

These could be sales or leads through the website, calls and conversions imported from Google Analytics or third parties.

Run Tests for an Adequate Duration:

Don’t end your A/B test prematurely. Running tests for at least 1 month allows you to capture variations in user behaviour over time.

Seasonal fluctuations and other external factors can affect results, so be patient. This can be especially true when testing bidding strategies, as you will have to go through a “learning period”. Performance can decrease during this.

Remember, sometimes you need to “go down to go up”.

As you can see from the below example, the trial ad test was winning, until the 17th Oct. At this point, we saw a switch in performance where the base started to drive a higher CTR at a much higher rate. This completely changed the outcome of the test. Had this test been ended early and set live across the account, results would have been negative.

If vital that you don’t make assumptions about your test and that every decision is made in a data-driven manner.

Analyse and Document Results:

It is important that you create a test and learn section. Once your A/B test is complete, analyse the data carefully. Document what worked and what didn’t. These insights will inform future campaigns and improvements. I find it best to create a series of slides (or one-pagers) collected together and shared internally within your organisation. Please see the example below.

Following these steps will allow you to identify what to test plus how to interpret and track your data. This is the important aspect in creating a good A/B testing strategy which will put you on the right track for success.

It’s just as important to be aware of “what not to do” as it is to be aware of “what to do”. In the next section, I will dive into just that.

What not to do When Running A/B Split Tests

Ignoring Mobile Users:

Mobile devices play a significant role in PPC traffic. Don’t neglect mobile optimization when A/B testing. Ensure your ads and landing pages are mobile-friendly to capture this valuable audience. Performance can swing greatly depending on the device. As you can see from the example below.

For this account, CTR is greater on computers, but the conversion rate is better on mobile. This is something that must be considered when looking at a testing strategy. It’s possible to do separate tests on mobile versus desktop.

Not Having a Testing Calendar:

You have to plan correctly for your testing programme. Basically, you should be at least covering ad copy and landing pages.

But you can include strategy tests such as bidding, exact and phrase in a single campaign etc. You should create a testing repository of all ideas.

You can then create a testing calendar from this repository, as seen below.

It’s possible to test in a similar pattern as below or mix and match depending on your needs. The important thing is to make sure that you know what you are going to test, for how long, and what the variables will be.

Remember, if the test does not yield a positive result, you can still use this as an insight into what doesn’t work and tweak it if necessary. For that reason, your testing calendar can be quite flexible and open to change depending on business needs.

Neglecting Ad Extensions:

Ad extensions can significantly impact the performance of your PPC ads. Don’t forget to test various ad extensions such as site links, callouts, and structured snippets.

While ad extensions have their individual uses (such as the call extensions to drive calls), in the main they are important for increasing click-through rates on the main body of the ad.

Failure to implement ad extensions on the trail section of the A/B test will skew your data.

Overlooking Negative Keywords:

A/B testing isn’t just about what you include; it’s also about what you exclude. Neglecting negative keywords can lead to wasted ad spend. Continuously review and update your negative keyword list.

This is especially true with Google’s recent changes to its match-type targeting. Today, “exact” isn’t really “exact” and phrase is the new broad modifier. Broad modifier of course going the “way of the dodo”! Therefore, you need to pay close attention to the search term report.

Google has also started to show less data within the search term report, so any indication that a test campaign is driving irrelevant traffic should be taken very seriously.

As you can see below, sometimes you need to add negative keywords on a daily basis before you start seeing relevant traffic.

Ignoring Competitor Analysis:

Don’t operate in a vacuum. Regularly analyse what your competitors are doing in the PPC space. Their strategies can provide valuable insights and inspiration for your own A/B testing efforts.

Sometimes some of the best ideas are stolen. Remember that you are all fighting for the same paid search traffic. Therefore, if they are winning you are losing.

Also regularly monitoring the auction insight report, will give you a view of your place within the market and competitor movements in terms of spend etc, as seen below.

There are some great competitor tools out there such as SEM Rush, which will give you an idea of competitor ads and keyword strategies which should also be looked at.

A/B Split Testing: Conclusion

A/B testing is the cornerstone of successful PPC campaigns. When done correctly, it empowers you to make data-driven decisions, optimise your ad spend, and achieve your marketing goals.

By following the dos and don’ts outlined in this blog post, you can elevate the results of your PPC ad campaigns and stay ahead of the competition.

Remember, PPC advertising is an ongoing process, and A/B testing is your secret weapon for continuous improvement.

If you would like to discuss PPC strategies in more detail and what we can do for your business, please contact me at

PS: Our test and learn “one-pager” plus testing calendar are available here.





How to find link opportunities using the Snowball Method

How to find link opportunities using the Snowball Method


Building quality links takes time and patience. However, it can be difficult to find the right link opportunities for your business if your product/service is in a less popular niche. You might find yourself in a situation where you run out of link prospects very fast. Let’s face it, that’s the worst feeling ever. The best way to increase your chances of success is to always have a pipeline of link opportunities. What’s the secret to never running out of link opportunities?

The answer is simple: The Snowball Method

In this post, we’ll take you through The Snowball Method. This method will make it super easy for you to find an infinite amount of link prospects in a matter of seconds. Let’s dive right in!


What is the Snowball Method?

The Snowball Method is a link prospecting strategy on steroids that will help you find link opportunities for your business. How did it come about? Well, in 2022 while working on a particularly tricky link-building campaign, we found ourselves at a dead end. It was hard for us to find link opportunities because our client wanted to build links in a niche that wasn’t very popular. We had no other option but to be creative with our approach. With this approach, we were able to secure their links on high authority sites with DR 90+ and page traffic of over 1,000 visits per month.


Let’s be honest, finding link opportunities is easy when you’re in a popular niche such as marketing or sales. For example, if you’re looking to build links to a page about web hosting it’s not a niche that’s covered a lot, so you’ll run out of potential link prospects fast. You might find link prospects through listicles such as “Top 10 Best Web Hosting Providers 2023” which are a great starting point for link building but you will run out of these opportunities due to the nature of the niche.

The Snowball Method consists of three simple steps.


Step 1: Identify Shoulder Niches

With the Snowball Method, you need to identify shoulder niches in the industry you are in. This will increase your chances of finding link prospects.

What does that mean?

If you’re looking to build links to a page about SSL encryption, for example, your shoulder niches could be sites that talk about: 

  • How to start a business
  • How to sell online 
  • How to make more money online


Well if you want to start a business you have to have an online presence. Customers need to be able to find you online, so having a website is crucial. To sell your products/services online safely you will need SSL encryption. SSL protects online transactions and ensures that sensitive data is encrypted and transmitted securely. Jackpot…here lie your link opportunities!

Let’s explore another example…

If you want to build links to a page about web hosting your shoulder niches could be sites that talk about:

  • How to start a blog
  • How to create a brand
  • Affiliate marketing

Again all of these examples require a web hosting solution. You can’t publish a blog if you don’t have a web hosting provider. As with affiliate marketing, if you want to earn a commission by promoting a product or service, you need a place for people to find your links long-term, and having your website will boost your brand even further.

Always try to make your product/service as relevant as possible to the content already on the page. By doing this, you won’t need to go back and forth with the other person to find a suitable place for your link.

So how do you find these sites?

Go to Ahrefs > Keyword Explorer > Type in keyword/phrase > Export SERP overview

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and there you will find a ton of websites you can reach out to for a link-building collaboration. Export all of these sites into an Excel spreadsheet to make it easier for you to sieve out any irrelevant websites before you start your outreach.

It’s important to only reach out to relevant sites. If your link doesn’t fit naturally into their current content, it’s not a good fit. Make sure that you analyse the page you want to add your link to and specify where it should go. 

Once you have compiled your sites from your SERP overview we can dive even deeper to find more link prospects.


Step 2: Identify Keyword Variations for your Shoulder Niche

It’s important to have keyword variations for your shoulder niche. As this will increase your chances of finding link opportunities. If you’re stuck and can’t think of any keyword variations there are two ways to go about it.

  • Use Keyword Ideas in Ahrefs

Go to Ahrefs > Keyword Explorer > Type in keyword/phrase > Keyword ideas

The beauty of this trick is that you’ll never have to worry about running out of ideas. From this keyword example alone as you can see there are 32,339 results already. 

When you click View All you can also explore the monthly number of searches for this keyword. Getting your links seen by the right people can be achieved by optimizing your link-building strategy based on keyword search volume.

  • Use Top Pages in Ahrefs

Another great way to find keyword variations is through Top Pages in Ahrefs.

How does it work?

Analyse the shoulder niches you have found in Step 1 through the SERP overview as seen below.

Choose a website from your SERP overview let’s say for this example, we will choose the website

Go to Ahrefs > Site Explorer > Input your Website > Top Pages >Top Keyword

Look at the website’s top keywords based on their top pages. One of the website’s top keywords is “business ideas”. If we are to use this keyword in the context of trying to build links to a page about web hosting. There is a high chance that if you want to start a business you will need a website and that will require a web hosting solution to publish your website content on the internet.

Again once you have your new keyword put it into keyword explorer and export the SERP overview for your chosen keyword. As you can see below for the keyword “business ideas” there are infinite websites you can start reaching out to. Your outreach should emphasize how your site is relevant and how it adds value to the existing content.


Step 3: Identify the Competitor’s Website for more Link Opportunities

The Snowball Method quickly finds competitors’ websites you can use to build out your link prospect list.

How does that work?

As mentioned previously once you have your chosen keyword from your SERP overview pick any website from that list and insert that website into site explorer in Ahrefs.

For this example, let’s go with the website we used above to keep things consistent.

Go to Ahrefs > Site Explorer > Input your site > Organic Competitors

In the organic competitor’s section, you will find sites that is competing with and you can use these websites to analyse their keywords. This will help you find more keyword ideas you can use to find even more sites that might link to your web hosting page for example.

This is a great way to find top-performing pages that are ranking for your chosen keyword and further build out your link prospect list. This is the magic of the Snowball Method you can just continue snowballing and snowballing these link opportunities until oblivion. No matter what industry you find yourself in with the Snowball Method you can easily build links that will skyrocket your content up the Google charts.

A quick tip when you’re trying to get your link on any site make sure you reach out to:

  • The author of that specific page 


  • The marketing manager/content manager

These people will be your best bet at increasing your chances of getting a link on your desired page.

Happy Snowballing!

If you’re interested in taking your link-building to the next level in 2023, get in touch with our amazing Search team who will work with you to move your business up the rankings and help you find link opportunities.

5 super easy ways to find link opportunities

Link building is the process of getting other websites to link to pages on your site. Links from high authority sites carry a lot of value. 

However, it’s not always easy to obtain a link from authoritative websites. 

Although these links are hard to get, they can hugely impact your organic traffic and the good news is that the internet is literally bursting at the seams with great link opportunities, you just need to know how to find them.

You’re probably asking yourself “But how do I find these link opportunities?” 

Well, fear not, because we’ve got you covered! 

In this post, we’ll take you through 5 really easy link prospecting methods, that you can use to find hundreds of link opportunities and start implementing into your link building strategy right away!

Here’s everything that we’ll cover: 


1. The Snowball Method

In 2022, while working on a particularly tricky link building campaign, we invented the “The Snowball Method”.

The snowball method is like link prospecting on steroids and is a really easy way to get a lot of new link prospects, especially when your service/product is in less popular niches.

Finding link opportunities is easy when you’re in a popular niche such as marketing or sales. However, if you don’t find yourself in that bucket you’ll have to be a bit more inventive.

For example, if you’re looking to build links to a page about web hosting it’s not a niche that’s covered a lot, so you’ll run out of potential prospects after you’ve found a couple of hundred.

You might find listicles such as “Top 10 best web hosting providers 2023” (which are ideal for link building) but you will quickly run out of these opportunities due to the nature of the niche.

With the snowball method, you need to identify shoulder niches in the industry you are in. 

As mentioned previously if you’re looking to build links to a page about web hosting your shoulder niches could be sites that talk about:

  • How to start a business
  • Affiliate marketing
  • How to start a blog


Well if you’re setting up your own business, starting a blog or doing affiliate marketing, there is a high chance you will need a web hosting solution for your website that will keep your content secure when it reaches your customers.

So how do you find these sites?

Go to Ahrefs > Keyword Explorer > Type in your keyword/phrase > Export SERP overview 

At the bottom of the page, you will find a ton of websites you can reach out to for a link-building collaboration. Remember! 

If you’re doing outreach it’s important to ensure you’re not emailing your competitors so do a thorough check of the sites you’re choosing.

Once you have compiled your sites from your SERP overview we can dive even deeper to find more link prospects.

Choose a website from your SERP overview list let’s say for this example, I will choose the website

Go to Ahrefs > Site Explorer > Input your site > Competing domains 

In the competing domains section, you will find sites that is competing with and you can use these websites to analyze their keywords. This will help you find more keywords you can use to find even more relevant sites that might link to your web hosting page. 

How do you find these keywords?

Pick a website from the competing domains section for this example I will choose 

Go to Ahrefs > Site Explorer > Top Pages > Top Keyword

Look at the website’s top keywords based on their top pages. One of this website’s top keywords is “making money with Instagram” there is a high chance that if you want to make money through social media you will need a website link that your followers can use to learn more about your offer.

If you’re ever stuck for keyword ideas use Ahrefs free keyword generator.

You will find thousands of keyword ideas in seconds based on a phrase or question. The questions are a great way to see what people are searching for. Take note of the relevant keywords/phrases and input them into keywords explorer to find more link opportunities.

The beauty of the snowball method is that you will find infinite link-building opportunities for your niche.

Once you’ve identified the posts you want to get mentioned on, start building a list of the appropriate contact names and email addresses, then reach out to start building the relationship.


2. Unlinked Brand Mentions

Unlinked brand mentions are mentions of your brand on other websites that do not provide a link back to your site. 

This is a fast way to pick up links as they’ve already mentioned your brand, so may be more open to adding a link.

So, how do you find these pages?

Go to Ahrefs > Content Explorer > Type your keyword in quotes > Choose in content from the dropdown menu


Select the highlight unlinked filter, it highlights the pages that mention your brand but don’t link back to your website.

Export to a CSV file, and make sure you export highlighted domains only. This will ensure you’re looking at the right websites and not wasting time. 

Filter your prospect list after exporting it. You might have hundreds or thousands of mentions to sift through but not all of them will be relevant. Some of them might be 404 pages or some might already link to your website. 

Be prepared, this manual work is tedious but it’s worth it in the long run. The last thing you want to happen is to ask someone to link to you when they already do, it will just annoy them and make you look unprofessional.

Focus on the highest-value mentions after you have filtered your list. 


An authoritative website carries more weight than links from less-reputable sites. As a result, it can strengthen your page authority and thus increase your rankings. 

It’s important to personalize your outreach email so the individual opens it. 

So, how can you personalize your email?

  • Use the individuals name in the subject line
  • Keep the email short and concise (no waffling)
  • Mention something about the blog/article that resonated with you so they know you’ve read it
  • Offer them something in return (e.g. a collaboration/affiliate program)

Link building is about building relationships as much as it is about building links, so make sure you’re always willing to provide value to the other party. 

What happens if you reach out and don’t hear anything back? Don’t give up! 

Make sure to send at least two follow-up emails as the person might have missed your previous email. 

Research shows that the average worker receives 121 emails per day. Therefore, personalisation is crucial for your email to stand out and thus have a higher chance of being opened. If you don’t want to send your emails manually you can use a tool like Mailshake

Mailshake is a simple email outreach and sales engagement software. It has all the analytics you need to monitor opens, replies, and clicks for every email you send.


3. Listicle Outreach

Listicles are blog posts or articles written in a list-based format. This sort of link building may get  you extra visibility and referral traffic from websites that already rank well for keywords such as:

  • Best X tools
  • Top 10 X tools
  • Top products for X

If your product/service is in a popular niche such as marketing or sales you will find endless opportunities. 

Exclude the sites that already mention your brand when doing your search by using minus. Insert the minus in front of your brand’s name to exclude any pages containing that keyword within its content. 

This will make the process easier to manage.

Once you compile your list of sites it’s time to do the outreach. If you can’t find someone’s email address there are two things you can do:

  • Use Hunter or similar tools to find a person’s email address if their name is mentioned in the article/blog


  • Use LinkedIn to find a point of contact if no name is mentioned

Go to Linkedln > Type the company’s name > Click on people

If you want to be added to someone’s website look for people working in Marketing. 

They will be your window of opportunity. 

As mentioned previously, ensure your email/message is personalized and you’re being transparent about what you want. 

Remember! If you confuse them you lose them! 

If the marketing manager approves your link request it’s important to ensure your content matches the existing content already on the page.

What does that mean? 

Each listicle page is designed differently when it comes to its format. The listicle example below is from the site Digital Project Manager if you were going to write a blurb for them you must include the headings they are using. If not your content will look unnatural. Always analyze the format of the page before writing your content.


4. Digital PR

You know that saying: “Don’t wait for opportunity. Create it.” 

Link-building is all about being innovative and taking action when an opportunity presents itself. Digital PR is a great way to get links from high-authority sites and boost organic traffic. Digital PR is about creating linkable assets that journalists will be eager to share with their audience. There are many different PR frameworks you can use:

  • Reactive and Proactive
  • Product PR
  • Data led/Data Stories
  • Thought Leadership/Expert Led PR
  • Creative Campaigns or Stunts

We use Digital PR for our clients and for our own brand as well. 

For example, we published a data-led story that revealed which airports are the most stressful.

For Legacy’s Airport release, our Digital PR team used data from a variety of sources including flight-tracking apps, airport ranking sites, and sentiment analysis tools. 

Tapping into a topic that was already trending right before the Easter travel season began.

We secured 114 pieces of strong coverage in national, regional and broadcast publications worldwide, with features in publications such as:

  • Irish Examiner
  • Irish Mirror
  • Independent

But wait, there’s more…we also secured:

  • 40 links to our website
  • 400% increase in referral traffic over two days
  • 160 brand mentions

Also Legacy went from ranking at number 7 to number 6 for the term Digital PR service in the UK, as well as moving from ranking in nineteenth place to fifth place for the term Digital PR company, and from 10 to number one for the term online PR companies.

Meanwhile in the U.S., Legacy went from ranking in twelfth place to fifth for the term Digital PR agency, number 7 to number 5 for digital PR services and 10 to 3 for Digital PR service, also moving from 0 to 6 for Digital PR firms and 18 to 4 for Digital PR companies.


5. Guest Posts

Guest posting is the act of writing content for another company’s website. It’s a great way to acquire links and attract traffic back to your website. 

But I thought guest posting was dead? The truth is that this method still works.

When writing guest posts make sure you use the synonym method.

What is the synonym method?

Ryan Stewart from Webris showed us the synonym method and we’ve been using it for years.

The synonym method is all about finding people/sites that are in a related niche but aren’t your competitors. 

For example, if you offer a home painting service you would not be reaching out to other painters in your local area to be featured on their blog. As you are competitors, they would quickly tell you where you could stick your guest post. 

So instead you would reach out to websites in shoulder niches, EG:

  • Real estate agents
  • Roofers
  • Pest control companies

Real estate agents would be a good group to pitch your guest post ideas to. 


Well, real estate agents want to sell as many properties as possible. If you’re a painter you could pitch the following topic ideas:

  • 3 paint colours to sell your home faster
  • 3 paint colours that increase the value of your home 
  • Which colours to use for home staging

How do you find these local blogs?

Use search operators such as:

  • City + keyword + blog
  • City + keyword + blogs
  • City + keyword + bloggers

Once you compiled your list of sites make sure to mention in your email why you want to write a guest post for their site. 

Reasons could include:

  • You want to provide educational content their readers will find valuable
  • You want to share your expertise with their readers

Remember link-building is about reciprocity and buildings a relationship, so always provide something in return whether it’s:

  • A link 
  • Mentioning their brand in your next newsletter/blog
  • Mentioning their brand on your socials 
  • Offering an affiliate program


Happy Linking! 🔗

If you’re interested in taking your link-building to the next level in 2023, get in touch with our amazing Search team who will work with you to move your business up the rankings and help you find link opportunities.

Vampire Teeth in Google Search Console – Miss this, and it could suck all the rankings from your page.

Questions we will answer in this post :

What is “Vampire Teeth” in Google Search Console, and how do you spot it?
Why is it important to identify this “gift” from Google?
How to analyze “Vampire Teeth” for SEO benefit?
How to adjust the page content with the data on hand


So, what are Vampire Teeth and how to spot them?

Vampire Teeth is a name I use to describe a particular phenomenon in Google Search Console. It is not that common and sometimes difficult to spot, but it is extremely helpful to SEOs.

Any SEO that has ever ranked a page in the SERPs knows that impressions increase when rankings increase. It’s simple logic that’s been an in-field observation since the dawn of SEO.

Rank Better = Get more Impressions.

This also rings true when your rankings go the other way as well.

Rank Worse = Fewer Impressions

But what about when we see a sudden drop in the average rank of a page but impressions shooting up simultaneously?

This is what we call “Vampire Teeth“.

When two are close together, like in the following image, it’s also fairly easy to spot.

It’s when there’s only one that spotting this becomes a bit trickier.

What we are looking for is a sudden drop in the average rank with a sudden spike in impressions at the same time.

The timing is the key, when these two things happen at the same time, on the same day.


Why is it important to spot this, you ask?

Well, let’s look at what actually happens on this day.

We know that Google uses click data to confirm the relevancy of a page. Suppose Google gives impressions to a page in the SERPs, and searchers click on the result consistently. In that case, the click data confirm that the result is highly relevant to the search that was made.

And if the SERP result gets low to no clicks, then obviously, the page is less relevant to the search that was made.

Basic SEO 101.

From this simple observation, it’s safe to assume that the sudden increase in impressions and decrease in average rankings clearly indicate that Google is testing the page’s relevancy for a new set of phrases at a lower-ranking position.

Why is this significant?

Well, this proves that Google is not confident in what your page is about. Either current click data did not confirm what Google thought your page topic must be, or the page content itself is not “on-topic” enough for Google to make a clear decision on how to index and rank that page.

This should be seen as a gift from Google, and as SEOs, we know this doesn’t happen often.


How to analyze “Vampire Teeth” for SEO benefit?

We first need to determine what Google tested the page in question for. We want to see if Google tried the page for a set of common phrases or a group of random words.

To do this:

  1. Create a date comparison report within Google Search Console’s Performance report.
  2. Compare either the day before or after with the day the anomaly happened.
  3. Look at the queries tab and sort the Impressions column for the typical day from smallest to biggest.
  4. Identify all the queries with zero impressions on a typical day and with many impressions on the anomaly day are queries Google tested.

Random phrases indicate that Google has difficulty in understanding what the page topic is and really what the intent behind the page is. When this happens, a complete rework of that page should be considered.

You should:

  1. Make sure that the purpose of that page matches the searcher’s intent.
  2. Think about where you want your page to be positioned in the sales funnel and make sure the content reflects that.
  3. Keep to a single topic per page, and don’t try to stuff related keywords in there to try and rank for “all” the longtail terms.

When the phrases are common, meaning they are mostly related or even on the same topic, compare them with your target keywords. This will help you get an idea of what Google “thinks” your page could be about.

Use this analysis to identify words to either add or remove from your content. Yes, I said to remove it from your content.

Most of the time, when I come across Vampire Teeth in SEO, I find that Google is testing a page for non-related and off-topic search terms due to unrelated words and phrases on the page. Intent and poor grammar is also a common culprit.


How do we use this data to make positive adjustments to a page

The page we are using as an example is a page that shares information on the best curtain fabric to use when making curtains.

The page’s content starts by saying, “If your current curtains make you feel blue, then don’t buy ready-made eyelet curtains online. Rather make your own”. It then continues to share the best type of fabric to use when making these curtains.

We found that Google tested the page for these terms on four separate occasions over five weeks.

Remember that this page is not an affiliate page selling curtains, nor an e-commerce page selling ready-made curtains. The page is informational on curtain fabrics, yet Google tested it for sales-related terms. This is a classic example where I recommend removing words or phrases from a page.

When you find that Google is testing a page for terms closely related to your target terms, consider adding these words to your content. Do not just blindly stuff them onto the page. Use these to see if your page lacks some fundamental info. Try to restructure the page content to include them without compromising your content quality.

Google does not give us SEOs a gift like this every day, so use it to your advantage.