Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Yuliana Kronrod on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, February 8, 2018).

Paid landing pages

Paid landing pages generally use noindex. However, if a copy of the homepage is used for paid testing (on a separate url), and a winning variation may then be pushed live to replace the current homepage: should this be treated almost like a test, and a rel-canonical is warranted (to the canonical HP) rather than a noindex? Also to prevent human error when the test version is pushed with noindex still there :)
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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Richard Hearne: If you migrate a winning challenger to the homepage spot then of course you should remove any NOINDEX directive that the page had as a test challenger, and the homepage should always self-canonicalise. The human error you mention would not be welcome at all, so great care should be taken to avoid that particular misstep.
  • Yuliana Kronrod: Richard Hearne definitely don`t want that to happen. Do you see any issue with canonicalizing vs noindex for the test HP?
  • Richard Hearne: Yuliana Kronrod what`s the goal of the test? What hypothesis is being tested here?
  • Yuliana Kronrod: CTA variations
  • Stockbridge Truslow: I agree with Richard - your landing page for the paid search is going to have traffic keyed from only the keywords you`ve bought and nothing else. The traffic is more specifically targeted and may be better or worse qualified than traffic going in organically to the main home page. You can`t learn much that way. If you really want to see which of two pages is converting better - look up A/B Split Testing and read a bit. There are plenty of tools for most CMS systems that will help you randomly (and evenly) split which page is seen as a landing page. Google Analytics has tools to help you track which one is converting better, too. It can be a bit daunting when you first look at it because it`s sometimes got a bunch of steps to set up properly - but most tools for most CMS`s will have plenty of walkthroughs, documentation, and even sometimes videos (if that`s your thing) to help you through it.
  • Yuliana Kronrod: And for more context - split tests of the homepage are being run independently of the paid program, with yet another version of the homepage that’s canonicalized and not noindexed.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, February 8, 2018).

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