Analyzing SERP competitor rankings is a step every marketer takes to get insight for optimizing their website and boosting visibility.
I know because I’ve analyzed dozens of pages both manually and with tools over the last 20 years, testing different methods until I found the one that gives the best results.
I’ll share the fastest approaches for analyzing SERP competitor ranking with and without a tool that will save time for both beginners and experts and help you outrank your competitors.
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How to do a SERP analysis in six steps with Serpple
This is the easiest and quickest way to do a thorough SERP analysis using Serpple, the best competitor keywords analysis tool.
- When you open our dashboard, click on the left side of the screen to open the menu, and choose Competitor AI.
2. Click on one of the competitors you’ve already added or add a new one by clicking the button at the top right corner.
3. You’ll get the full list of your SERP competitors, or websites that are ranking for the same keywords.
Our AI-powered competitor tracker will help you discover competitors that are a potential threat to your rankings.
Choose the competitors whose ranking you want to track, and the number of competitors you can track will depend on the plan you’ve chosen.
4. This is what your Direct competitors dashboard looks like. You can see all your competitors and changes in their ranking in one place.
Under the name of each competitor, you can see how many matching keywords you share with them, and whether there were any recent changes in their rankings.
If you want to dive deeper and get a detailed comparison with a particular competitor, choose the one to start with and click on View keywords.
5. Our dynamic dashboard updates frequently and it automatically shows you any changes in ranking positions, both for your website and your competitor, making it easier to compare.
You get to see:
- For how many keywords you’re holding the first position on SERP
- For how many keywords has your ranking improved or declined
- Whether your website is present in featured snippets, ads and reviews
6. Scroll down to see a comprehensive table analyzing the rankings of all the keywords you share with a particular competitor.
We pay special attention to all the SERP features, such as featured snippets, local packs, images, and so on. But you don’t have to be an expert or keep all this info in mind. We’ve included the SERP legend explaining all the details you should consider.
Although Serpple updates its ranking data daily, you can click on the purple avatar at the top right corner if you want to re-do SERP analysis and get fresh data instantly.
And the best part is that you don’t have to track your SERP rankings manually. I know that you’re busy and probably don’t have time for that.
That’s why Serpple has real-time notifications that inform you whenever a competitor outranks you for any of your shared keywords. Serpple also notifies you when your competitors use any of the shared keywords for their paid ads.
How to do SERP analysis without a tool
While it’s possible to do a SERP analysis without using SEO tools, this process can be time-consuming and often less accurate because there are many factors to consider, and you might overlook some of them.
However, I’ll show you the best and most comprehensive way to do it manually.
- Start with keyword research
Identify target keywords you want to rank for by analyzing what your competitors are writing about and what your target audience wants to know.
2. Do manual SERP analysis
Enter your target keywords in the search engine one by one, and analyze search engine results to see which websites hold the top positions for those keywords.
3. Look at the featured snippet
Analyze what kind of content is featured for specific keywords, whether it’s a list, paragraph, table or something else, and pay special attention to rich snippets (local packs, reviews, etc) if there are any.
4. Analyze content type
Check what kind of content ranks first for your targeted keywords, whether a blog post, how-to guide, listicle or something else.
5. Figure out the search intent
Try to understand the intent behind those search queries and check whether the top search results align with that intent.
6. Check the meta-data
Apart from keywords, you should also pay attention to the meta-description and title tag of the #1 articles on the search results page.
7. Review competitor web pages
Go beyond SERP results and fully analyze competitor sites to understand their architecture, organization, URL structure, and factors like domain authority and loading speed (you might need additional tools for the last two, but there are some free options available).
8. Don’t forget the backlink profiles
You should analyze both the quantity and quality of the backlinks and referring domains.
Again, you might need a dedicated tool for this, but you shouldn’t overlook backlinks as they’re one of the key factors to rank higher on Google and might explain why some web pages rank high even though their content quality could be improved.
9. Look at the paid results
Although you should focus primarily on organic search results, check whether there are any paid ads for your specific keyword and observe their content.
There you have it, but remember that you’ll have to repeat the whole process for all relevant keywords if you want to do a proper competitive analysis and get the full picture of your SERP rankings.
SERP Competitor analysis vs standard keyword tracking
The biggest difference between the two is that while a keyword tracker simply monitors your rankings, SERP competitor analysis provides you with some additional information and competitive intelligence that can help improve your rankings.
Now, if you’re already using a tool to automate search engine position tracking, you may wonder: Do I really have to do competitor analysis? Is it worth it?
I’d say definitely yes!
Standard keyword tracking is focused on monitoring your keyword performance on search engines and changes that can happen over time. I’ve written a full guide explaining how to track search engine rankings.
On the other hand, the Serpple Competitor AI tool provides you with additional data and gives you insights into your competitors’ SEO strategies, their strengths, and weaknesses that can help you adjust your own SEO strategy, optimize your content for search engines, and outrank them.
The benefits of SERP analysis
Here are the three biggest benefits you can expect:
- It helps you discover competitors you haven’t even been aware of, which is not only crucial for search engine optimization but also gives you valuable insights into your target market.
- It can also help you find new content opportunities and uncover content gaps – topics and queries that are not adequately addressed by existing search results or SERP features that are not filled with relevant content.
- With these insights, you can generate content that will fill voids and provide a better answer to user’s search intent.
That being said, these two features are complementary and not mutually exclusive. I believe that you should still be doing daily rank tracking to stay up-to-date with all the changes, and I can honestly say that Serpple is the best keyword rank-tracking software on the market.
How to outperform your SERP competitors
Now that you have all this data, how can you use it to improve your position on the search engine results page and outrank your competitors?
You can use these insights to find content gaps, update your articles, improve your on-page SEO, and strategically optimize your content for featured snippets and rich snippets.
Of course, Google’s search ranking systems are constantly changing, but the following strategies are evergreen.
Create quality content
This one might seem obvious, but don’t forget to check the quality of your content; make sure that it’s engaging and readable and that it matches the search intent. You should go in-depth and try to provide some unique statistics, examples, or use cases.
Optimize on-page SEO
Add elements like meta-description, title tag and internal links. Optimize the images by compressing them and adding ALT tags. Finally, make sure that your website is mobile-friendly and optimize page-loading time.
There’s no need to do this manually when you can do a comprehensive site audit with Serpple’s on-page SEO checker, which can find everything that needs to be fixed and improved in only a few seconds and provide suggestions on how to fix your on-page SEO.
Do keyword research
If I were you, I wouldn’t waste time on regular research, and instead, I’d focus on finding low-competition keywords that are easier to rank for by doing long-tail keyword research.
Serpple keyword explorer is doing exactly this, giving you suggestions on high-impact keywords you can rank for before your competitors discover them.
Serpple also provides you with insights that your competitors don’t know. For example, did you know that long-tail keywords are the key factor for voice search optimization?
With Serpple, you’ll always be one step ahead regarding the latest SEO techniques.
Optimize for feature snippets
The best way to do so is to create content that answers common questions in a way that’s concise and easy to understand, which can increase your chances of appearing in the snipped section and boost your website’s visibility in the organic search.
Optimize for rich snippets
Use structured data to increase the likelihood of your content appearing in the rich snippet section of the results page (reviews, knowledge panels, videos, etc). No one can guarantee you that your content will appear in rich snippets, but this content strategy helps the search engine to better understand and interpret your content
Get quality backlinks
Throughout the history of search engines, the importance of backlinks has grown exponentially, and it’s difficult to imagine ranking on them without having a strong backlink profile.
When talking about backlinks, it’s essential to find the balance between quantity and quality. You should build a diverse and authoritative backlink profile through different link-building strategies, just make sure they are ethical.
If you already have quality backlinks, it’s essential to monitor them to notice any changes. Serpple backlink manager can automate this process. Its comprehensive dashboard not only shows you all your backlinks, their anchors and data like domain authority and ranking, but it also updates you in real-time about any changes that occur so that you can promptly react.
Update your content regularly
Finally, don’t forget to keep your content fresh and up-to-date to maintain relevance and authority. You should stay informed about Google search algorithm updates and adjust your content accordingly.
Every few months, you should add relevant keywords, update statistics and data, check whether there are any broken or outdated links and add new information if necessary.
If you’re looking for a tool that can automate SERP analysis, competitor ranking, and keyword tracking, together with other advanced features such as finding ranking opportunities, site audit, and backlink monitoring, look no further.
Serpple is the tool for you, as it offers everything I just mentioned, and more.
All you have to do is enter your parameters and multiple keywords you want to track, and Serpple will do the rest, providing you with real-time updates and 99.5% accurate data.
Just imagine how much time you’d save if you didn’t have to track those things manually. You’d be able to direct your SEO efforts toward things that matter more and require your strategic approach and expertise.
Try it out for free and see your rankings skyrocket!
It’s the process of analyzing and evaluating search engine result pages that appear when you search for a particular query. It consists of analyzing SERP competitors rankings, snippets and their overall websites.
SERP analysis helps you understand how your content performs on search engines while also analyzing your competitors ranking. This gives you insights to optimize your content and increase its visibility for target keywords, which helps you boost organic traffic to your website.
The benefits are getting more people to your website by using the same approach that got your competitors to appear in featured snippets and top positions.