SERP Analysis for Better Rankings - Here's How!

Nils Knäpper 3/22/2023

Without analysis, there's no competition - we'll show you how search result pages can help with content optimization.

Table of contents
  1. What is a SERP analysis?
  2. How are the SERPs structured?
  3. Why a SERP analysis?
  4. How does a SERP analysis work?
  5. Step-by-step guide
  6. Factors influencing ranking
  7. Conclusion

You probably know this: You have an exciting topic or a promising keyword at the start. Now you're wondering what content you should create for it. In such cases, the solution is: SERP analysis. In this article, you'll learn what it's all about, how to proceed most cleverly and how such an analysis helps you generate valuable content faster, with which you can ideally rank in the top positions on Google and Co.!

What is a SERP analysis?

A SERP analysis is an important measure in the course of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It examines the positioning of websites in the search results of search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo. SERP stands for "Search Engine Results Page" and refers to the page where the search results are displayed.

The importance of a SERP analysis lies in its ability to allow you to monitor and optimize your position in the search results. Because the higher your website appears in the search results, the more likely it is that users will end up clicking on it. A good position in the search results is therefore an important success factor for your domain.

A SERP analysis can also provide information about which other keywords and search queries are relevant for your website and what competition there is in the search results. Regular performance of a SERP analysis is therefore indispensable for successful search engine optimization and can help increase the visibility and reach of your online presence.

How are the SERPs structured?

To perform a SERP analysis, it is important to understand how search results pages are structured and which snippets play a role. A search result page usually consists of three main areas: the organic search results, the paid search results and the SERP features.

The organic search results are automatically generated by the search engine based on the search algorithm and are not influenced by advertising. They are usually displayed in a list of 10 results per page and contain the title of the website, a short description (Meta Description) and the URL.

The paid search results, also known as ads or sponsored links, are booked by companies and appear, depending on the search engine, either at the beginning or end of the search result page. They are usually marked with the note "Ad" and also contain a title, a description and a URL.

SERP features are special elements that are displayed in the search results and provide additional information. These include, for example, maps, videos, images or featured snippets.

For a successful SERP analysis, it is important to focus on the organic search results and analyze the relevant snippets. In particular, the following elements should be noted:

  1. Title: The title of a website is an important factor for ranking in the search results. It should contain the main keyword and be as concise and meaningful as possible.

  2. Description: The description, also known as meta description, gives a brief overview of the content of the website. It should also contain the main keyword and encourage the user to click on the website - for example, through a crisp Call to Action (CTA)

  3. URL: The URL provides information about the domain and the path to the website. A short, concise URL can give users insight into which level of your website they will reach if they click on your link.

  4. Rich Snippets: Rich snippets are special elements that can contain additional information such as ratings, prices or event data. They are automatically generated by the search engine, but you can store them in the structured data.

  5. Featured Snippets: Featured snippets are special SERP features that provide a brief summary of the answer to a search query. They are often referred to as "Position 0" because they are displayed before the organic search results. For a successful SERP analysis, these snippets should also be kept in view and analyzed, which keywords and questions are handled in them.

Why a SERP analysis?

A successful SERP analysis can help boost your content success and take targeted measures to optimize the ranking. What you can expect from such an analysis in detail, we have listed here in the following:

Goals and desired insights of a SERP analysis

  1. Identification of relevant keywords: By analyzing the search results, you identify relevant (secondary) keywords for your website. This can lead to targeted measures for content optimization.

  2. Monitoring your own rankings: A SERP analysis enables you to monitor your own ranking in the search results and take targeted measures for improvement.

  3. Analysis of the competition: By analyzing your competition in the search results, strengths and weaknesses of your own website can be identified.

  4. Optimization of the content: By analyzing the relevant keywords and snippets in position 1, targeted measures for content optimization can be taken. This can increase the relevance and quality of the content.

  5. Improving the user experience: By optimizing the content and ranking, you almost automatically improve the user experience on your website. This usually results in users engaging longer with your content and the bounce rate decreasing.

How does a SERP analysis work?

Various tools and methods are available for performing a SERP analysis. Some of the most well-known SEO tools include , , , and . These tools allow you to monitor the positioning of websites in the search results, analyze the competition and take targeted measures to optimize your rankings. A successful SERP analysis requires an understanding of the search intent behind the relevant keywords and an analysis of the snippet in position 1.

Understand search intent

To understand the search intent for keywords, you should ask yourself whether it's transactional, informative, or navigational:

  • Transactional: The users want to buy or receive something. An example of such a transactional keyword would be “buy red sneakers”

  • Informative: In this case, the users are looking for specific information. For example: “how to clean dirty sneakers”

  • Navigational: If a search query is navigational, users are trying to get to a specific place or website. For example: “sneaker shop near me”

It's obvious that the way you should address the respective search intent varies. However, note that a keyword cannot always be exclusively assigned to one category or the other.

Analyze snippet in position 1

The second measure should be to look at position 1 in the organic results. Consider the following points:

  • Title: How is the meta title of the top search entry designed? How is the keyword used?

  • Description: Which description does the provider use to address the topic of the underlying website?

  • Rich Snippets: Are there rich snippets that provide additional information?

  • Featured Snippets: Does the entry possibly even appear in the featured snippets, which provide a brief summary of the answer to a search query?

All this information helps you understand during the SERP analysis what users (and the search engines) are after with a particular query. Based on these insights, you can then align your content.

Step-by-step guide

Now that you know what to look for in the analysis, it's time to take a closer look at the process behind the SERP analysis. The following step-by-step guide will help you with this:

Step 1: Keyword research

Comprehensive keyword research can help identify the most relevant terms. You should make sure that the keywords are not too general and have a clear relation to your website and your products and services.

Step 2: Use SERP analysis tools

For your SERP analysis, you can use various tools. These include Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMrush or Ahrefs. These tools offer a variety of functions with which you can analyze and optimize the search results.

Step 3: Analysis of the search results

After you've identified the relevant keywords and selected a suitable tool, you can start the actual analysis of the SERPs. Reflect again on the following questions:

  • Which websites are placed in the first spots in the search results?

  • What content do these websites offer?

  • How is this content structured?

  • How are the meta tags designed?

  • How many backlinks do these websites have?

Step 4: Optimization of your own website

Based on the results of your SERP analysis, you can now optimize your own website. Feel free to orient yourself on the most successful websites in the search results. However, make sure that you don't plagiarize content and always stay authentic and unique. Also take care of finding qualitative backlinks.

Further best practices and tips for optimizing results:

  • Ensure clear structuring of your content.

  • Use relevant keywords in both the meta tags and in the content.

  • Ensure that your website loads quickly and is mobile optimized.

  • Create high-quality content that offers added value for your users.

  • Take advantage of social media to share your content and generate backlinks.

  • Regularly monitor your search engine rankings and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Factors influencing ranking

The higher a website is positioned in the search results, the more traffic and potentially customers can be gained. But which factors influence the ranking in the search results? In the following, we'll show you the most important aspects that you should consider. In our other guide article, we will show you in detail how to optimize your search engine ranking.

On-page factors: First, there are on-page factors that influence the ranking. These include, among other things, the quality of the content, the keyword density, the structure of the website, and the meta tags. High-quality content is particularly important because Google and other search engines pay attention to the content being relevant and useful to the users. A high keyword density, on the other hand, can be considered spamming and negatively impact the ranking. A clear website infrastructure and well-placed meta tags can help the search engines better understand and classify the content.

Off-page factors: In addition to the on-page factors, there are also off-page factors that affect the ranking. These include the number and quality of backlinks and the social signs. Backlinks are links from other websites that refer to your own website. The more high-quality backlinks a website has, the higher it will be placed in the search results. Social signs can also contribute to a website being better placed. These include, for example, likes, shares, or comments that you receive on your social media channels. Or in other words, if users share or like content on social media platforms, this can be considered a positive signal for the search engines.

Technical factors: Finally, there are also technical factors that influence the ranking. These include the loading time of the website, the mobile optimization, and the security of the website. Fast loading time is particularly important because users find a long loading time disturbing and often leave the website directly. Mobile optimization is also an important factor, as increasingly more people are accessing websites via mobile devices. A secure website with SSL encryption is also mandatory for you as it ensures the protection of user data.

Conclusion

A SERP analysis is an important part of search engine optimization because it can contribute to your website being better positioned in the search results, thereby gaining more traffic and potential customers. Through comprehensive keyword research, the use of SERP analysis tools and the interpretation of the search results, you can optimize your domain and orientate yourself towards the most successful search results.

Patience is the magic word here: Regular performance of a SERP analysis is important because the search engine rankings are constantly changing and this way you can stay up to date. Only by monitoring your rankings and adjusting your own strategy can you be successful in the long term.

Nils Knäpper
Author
Nils Knäpper

Nils ist SEO-Texter bei OMR Reviews und darüber hinaus ein echter Content-Suchti. Egal, ob Grafik, Foto, Video oder Audio – wenn es um digitale Medien geht, ist Nils immer ganz vorne mit dabei. Vor seinem Wechsel zu OMR war er fast 5 Jahre lang als Content-Manager und -Creator in einem Immobilienunternehmen tätig und hat zudem eine klassische Ausbildung als Werbetexter.

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