How to Do a SERP Analysis?

In the digital age, ensuring your website's visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) is paramount. A SERP analysis is a critical tool in your SEO toolkit, helping you understand how your site stacks up against competitors and what you can do to improve its ranking.

Written by

Will Robertson-Brown

November 2023

What is a SERP Analysis?

SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page – this is the page that displays the results when you perform a search on Google, Bing, or any other search engine. A SERP analysis involves evaluating these results to understand the characteristics of the pages that are ranking well for a specific query.

SERP Analysis plays a pivotal role when creating an new SEO strategy as it tells the SEO specialist everything he needs to know about Google’s understanding of the industry which will allow them to create a campaign which perfectly aligns with this. 

Why is it important to do a SERP Analysis?

Conducting a SERP analysis allows you to:

  • Identify Your Competitors: Understand who is currently dominating the SERPs for your targeted keywords.
  • Assess Content Quality: Analyse the content on ranking pages to determine what quality standards you need to meet or exceed.
  • Understand SERP Features: Recognise the different types of rich snippets and features that appear in the SERPs for your target queries.
  • Gauge Domain and Local Authority: Evaluate the authority of the domains that are ranking well to understand how your own site compares.

SERP Anagram

How to Do a SERP Analysis

Now, let’s delve into the step-by-step process of conducting a SERP analysis:

1. Identify Your Target Keywords

Start by compiling a list of keywords that are relevant to your business or the content on your website. These should be terms that your potential customers might use to find products or services like yours.

2. Analyse the SERP Landscape

For each of your target keywords, perform a search and analyse the first page of results. Take note of:
Types of Content Ranking: Are they blog posts, product pages, Videos, ect.
Content Length and Quality: How comprehensive is the content? Is it well-written and informative?
Domain Authority: Use tools like SEMrush’s Domain Authority checker to gauge the authority of the domains in the top positions.
Local Authority: If applicable, consider the local authority of the businesses appearing in local pack results.
SERP Features: Are there featured snippets, image packs, or other rich snippets appearing for this query?

3. Evaluate Your Own Performance

Compare your own pages to those that are ranking well. Consider how your content, domain authority, and local authority stack up against the competition.

4. Identify Opportunities and Draw Conclusions

Based on your analysis, identify areas for improvement and potential opportunities. This might involve:
Improving Content Quality: Ensure your content is at least as comprehensive and high-quality as that of the top-ranking pages.
Building Domain Authority: Work on building backlinks from reputable sources to boost your site’s domain authority.
Optimising for SERP Features: If applicable, optimise your content to take advantage of featured snippets or other rich snippets.
Focusing on Local SEO: If local authority is important for your business, make sure your local SEO is up to scratch. This means making sure you have clearly included the names of the areas you are targeting and additional information which would be relevant to people searching in that area.

A SERP analysis is a valuable exercise for anyone looking to improve their website’s search engine performance. By understanding the landscape of the SERPs for your target keywords, you can identify what it takes to compete and uncover opportunities for improvement.

Remember, the goal is not just to rank higher, but to provide the best possible answer to users’ queries. So, focus on improving your content, building your site’s authority, and optimising for relevant SERP features to achieve the best results.


Competitor SERP Analysis Example

As you can see from the SERP it is made up of multiple different pages and snippets.

RED Boxes – Market Leader

In the top ‘Red Box’ is the post on one result, which was Nim’s Fruit Crisps. This is an established brand whose flagship product is similar to Snakz, Fruit Crisps. It is important to identify the brand which is performing the best in SERPs as you can look into what marketing strategies they have implemented and then consider using the same strategies on your website.

The second ‘Red Box’ is evidence of how relevant Google think this site is to the search query as it is called an Indented Search Result. It is different to Site Link Schema and is only awarded by Google, if a site is very relevant to a search. This offers a greater click-through rate for the site as it has two of it its pages appearing in the SERP and it commands more space too.

The third ‘Red Box’ is a link to an Amazon store owned by Nim’s Fruit Crisps. This shows that Nim’s markets its products on Amazon and it gets a lot of traffic to rank high in the SERP. This is important to identify as it shows a new marketing opportunity for your business by using Amazon Advertising to push sales through Amazon’s platform.

Blue Boxes – Rich Results

In the first ‘Blue Box’ there is a featured snippet called a Recipe Rich Result, this shows that Google believes that some people searching for ‘Fruit Crisps’ want recipes. This could create a small issue for retail websites trying to rank in this SERP as Google is telling us that some of the traffic for this query is informational and not all transactional. A Recipe Rich Result is acquired by creating a good quality recipe page on your website and then uploading Recipe Schema to it. This is a small bit of HTML code which will help highlight certain aspects of the page to Google, in this case, it will highlight the recipe information.

The second ‘Blue Box’ contains a People Also Ask Rich Result. This gives us an idea of what some of the traffic for this query, are looking for. “What is a freeze-dried fruit crisp?” & “How are Emily veg crisps made?” are the questions asked. Both these questions have informational intent, which you can target through the use of FAQ schema on your pages.

Purple Boxes – Recipe Sites

You can see in the ‘Purple Boxes’ that there is evidence of Google’s understanding of the SERP, which is the traffic searching for ‘Fruit Crisps’ are people looking for recipes with informational intent. But this isn’t bad as you can see from the first ‘Purple Box’ that Sainsbury’s has released recipe pages on how to make your own fruit crisps, even though they sell fruit crisps. You could follow a similar approach with your SEO, because by capturing this informational traffic you will be able to advertise your own products.

Green Boxes – Supermarket Retailors

The ‘Green Boxes’ contain supermarkets and wholesalers who are selling fruit crisps online, this could be a great opportunity for you if you get your Fruit Crisps in their stores, as it means customers may be able to buy their products online whilst doing their weekly shopping. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of people started doing their weekly shopping online on their chosen superstore’s website as it is more convenient.

Orange Boxes – Online Retailers

The ‘Orange Boxes’ contain more online competitors who are also selling Fruit Crisps online.

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