SERP Analysis

The purpose of a SERP analysis is to gain insights into the behaviour of search engines and how they rank pages, as well as to identify opportunities for optimisation and improvement of a website’s search engine visibility. It can help you to understand how your competitors are ranking for certain keywords, and to identify new keywords and topics to target in your content marketing strategy.

In this blog post, I will cover what a SERP analysis is, why it’s important for SEO, and how to perform one.

What is a SERP analysis?

A SERP analysis, also known as a Search Engine Results Page analysis, refers to the process of analysing the top search engine results for a particular keyword. It is an important part of keyword research and content planning to understand how search engines display results for a particular query, and to identify patterns and trends in the content and structure of those results.

During a SERP analysis, you typically examine the search engine results pages for a particular keyword or phrase, looking at factors such as the number of results, the types of content that appear, the format of the results (e.g. featured snippets, videos, images), and the domains and pages that are ranking. This analysis can help you to identify patterns and trends in the search engine results, and to develop a more effective SEO strategy.

Benefits of SERP analysis

SERP analysis gives you an edge over your competition because it provides valuable insights into how your competitors are performing on search engine results pages. By understanding what keywords your competitors are targeting and how they are ranking for those keywords, you can gain insights into which strategies they should be using in order to boost their own rankings. 

1. Identify user intent and keyword relevancy 

By analysing the top-ranking pages on a search engine results page (SERP) you can identify which keywords are relevant to your website and align with your content strategy. 

Sometimes, similar keywords might show different search intent. For example, the screenshot shows two very similar keywords for the U.S. market – [find apartment in italy] vs [find apartment in germany]. As you can see in the screenshot, SERP for Italy shows apartment listing sites while the top results for Germany shows more blog posts. If you’re aiming to create blog posts for your content, you might want to prioritise [find apartment in germany] for the maximum ranking potential.

Identify user intent for SERP anlaysis

2. Analyse competitive landscape 

When you’re researching a new topic or market, doing a SERP analysis can help you find out who your competitors are – from there, you can further investigate what kind of keywords they are going after and fine-tune your keyword research and content strategy. 

With SERP Analysis, you can also monitor how your competitor’s websites are outperforming yours in organic search rankings. Especially if you see a website with lower domain authority or backlink profiles ranking on top, you want to dig deep about their strategy and what makes their content unique.

3. Determine content type and angle

SERP analysis helps you to determine what kind of content type will be the most successful for a particular keyword or topic by seeing which types of content currently have the highest rankings on the SERP. 

It can also provide important insights into how competitors are succeeding with their content and which tactics they are using that you can apply to your own strategies. 

For example, if you notice video results are showing up, you might want to create a video to support your content.

Some other useful insights from SERP analysis would be “People Also Asked”, where you can discover commonly asked questions for your FAQ section.

If you have an established site, you may want to check out my guide on how to use Google Search Console to find question keywords.

How to check SERP?

There are several ways to check SERP:

  1. Use a search engine: The easiest way to check SERP is to simply enter a query in a search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo and look at the results page that appears.
  2. Use a rank tracking tool: There are several online tools available that allow you to monitor your website’s ranking positions in the SERPs over time, as well as track the rankings of your competitors. Some popular rank tracking tools include Ahrefs, SEMrush, and SE Ranking.
  3. Use browser extensions: There are several browser extensions such as MozBar, Ahrefs SEO Toolbar, Nightwatch, SEO Minion, and SEOquake that allow you to quickly check SERP rankings, as well as other SEO-related data for any website you’re visiting.

How to do SERP analysis?

1. Keyword research and mapping

Keyword research and mapping are essential components of SERP analysis.

Keyword research involves finding and analysing the most relevant words that potential customers are likely to search for when looking for a product or service. This process helps create a comprehensive list of keywords that can be used in content creation, website optimization, and other marketing strategies to attract qualified visitors.

Once the list of relevant keywords is compiled, they can be mapped to specific pages on the website (or landing pages) to target those queries with high-quality content. 

You may also like: 🔖 Google Sheets Formula for SEO analysis

2. Analyse your competitors

After mapping your keyword, you can start working on the SERP analysis for each individual page to validate the keyword relevancy and user intent. In this step, you can validate if your initial keyword research is correct and understand how you are currently positioning.

You can start with:

  • What’s the average word count?
  • Do they include any infographics or videos?
  • What are the SERP features and rich results – do they have maps, ads, Featured Snippet, Rating, People Also Asked etc?
  • What do they write about? What are the sub-topics and how do they structure their pages?
  • How strong is the backlink profile?

I usually do it manually with a separate document to write down my findings and next steps. But when I was doing research on this topic, I found SEO Frank’ guide on SERP analysis with a template – it is very comprehensive and systematic – which I will try it out myself soon.

3. Draw up action plan and optimise

Based on your findings, you can start to develop an action plan for your content strategy and prioritise the content based on keyword relevancy and ranking difficulty.

Here are some ways to implement the SERP analysis finding in your content:

  • Prioritise pages with the highest ranking and traffic potential
  • Plan the structure of  your content
  • Fill in the content gap and optimise for user intent
  • Cover long-tailed keywords
  • Optimise for Featured Snippet (if applicable)
  • Use schema markup (if applicable)
  • Create resources to support your content – such as gathering in-house data, create unique infographics and videos
  • Review backlink profile and replicate your competitors’ if necessary
  • Use the right headings and subheadings
  • Optimise meta title and description

4. Track the SERPs regularly

SERP analysis should not be considered as an one-off event – instead, it should be integrated as part of your SEO and content process. 

Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, and tracking SERPs can help you understand the impact of changes in search engine algorithms have had on your rankings. This knowledge allows for adjustments to be made to optimise content and adapt to the changes.

Tracking SERPs enables you to identify competitor activities and respond to them accordingly. Competitive analysis can be used to analyse the methods used by successful competitors and adjust SEO strategies.

By tracking SERPs regularly, you can measure the success of their SEO strategy and adjust tactics based on the results. So you can take a proactive approach to SEO rather than reacting to sudden changes.

Best SERP analysis tool

1. SEO Search Simulator by Nightwatch

Nightwatch Search Simulator

Nightwatch is a free-to-use Chrome Extensions and offers a unique search engine simulation feature, allowing users to simulate how their website would rank in different types of searches from local to international markets.

With this tool, you can quickly see types of content ranking on SERP now, if they have any Rich Snippet Features and what are the main user intent. The only downside is that it couldn’t show how the ranking changes over time.

2. SEMrush

SEMRUsh Keyword Overview

In SEMRush’s Keyword Overview report, you can easily see the volume, keyword difficulty and intent in a single view. You can also find the number of results, page domain, backlink. SEMRush also has its own Position Tracking tool.

3. Ahrefs

Ahrefs SERP Overview

With Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, you can easily see the SERP Overview and analyse the SERP competitiveness. You can see word count, domain ratings (DR) of your competitors’ websites, number of keywords and more.

You can also see the Position History of the keyword – if you notice the ranking of competitors fluctuating a lot, you may need to spend more time to investigate the reason behind.

4. KWFinder by Mangools


KWFinder makes it easy to see the most important data without scrolling down. You can easily find the keyword difficulty, trend and SERP overview alongside keyword data. 

You can also easily head to its SERPChecker, in which you can identify the impact of rich snippets on the organic results and you can quickly save the  snapshot of the current SERP for documentation.


Performing a thorough SERP analysis is an essential part of any successful SEO content strategy. By understanding how your website performs relative to your competition on major search engine results pages (SERPs), you can make informed decisions about where your marketing efforts should be focused in order to maximise visibility and increase traffic from organic search.

FAQs about SERP Analysis

What is a SERP?

SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page, and it is the page that displays the results after a user enters a query into a search engine. This page contains both paid and organic listings, which appear according to the relevance of each listing to the user’s query.

What is the difference between SEO and SERP?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) focuses on optimising a website and its content to increase its visibility in search engine results, whereas SERP (Search Engine Results Page) relates to the actual content that appears in the search engine results when a query is entered.SEO involves using techniques such as keyword research, link building, and other methods to ensure that the website can rank higher for relevant keywords or phrases. On the other hand, SERP is simply a term used to describe what comes up when a user enters a query into a search engine, which includes organic listings as well as sponsored links.

Aubrey Yung

Aubrey Yung

Aubrey is an SEO Consultant with 5+ years of B2B and B2C marketing experience.