Google keeps changing and updating its search algorithm to provide more relevant results to its end users. While their users are appreciative of this, it also means that content marketers and producers have to be on their toes to ensure they produce content that ranks on Google SERPs (search engine result pages).
Also, a SERP doesn’t only contain organic results but other elements too, such as paid ads, shopping results, snippets, and more. It provides ample opportunities for marketers to utilize and make the most of the content they produce.
Given the dynamics, performing a SERP analysis manually in 2022 can be a task. So, marketers often take the help of paid or free SERP analysis tools to help them crack the code and optimize their content.
This article discusses the top five SERP analysis tools and the features to look for while choosing them for yourself.
The most critical SERP ranking factors in 2022
Over 7 million blogs are published daily, so there is a lot of competition.
So, instead of merely publishing content without any direction, it is imperative to crack the search engine's algorithm and find ways to ensure your pages rank higher.
The way search engines rank pages has evolved over the years. Today, they are more conducive to understanding the underlying human intent and product results a user is more likely to find useful.
As search engines become more dynamic, we see the rise of a plethora of search ranking factors that content marketers must adhere to for ranking on SERPs.
Here are some of the most important SERP ranking factors to know in 2022 and beyond:
Even though not directly associated with SERP rankings, EAT signals are considered important for sites that matter, especially those intending to help people, such as financial resources. It means that content coming from a well-known brand with established expertise in that particular niche is likely to get priority in SERP results.
The recent Google Helpful Content update reiterated that Google’s top priority is to rank pages whose content holds in-depth insights about a particular topic. Therefore, regularly publishing fresh, up-to-date, original, and timely content will contribute significantly to your SERP ranking.
A marketer cannot just assume that their readers consume anything and everything they produce. Instead, it is imperative to understand that you must decipher user intent to succeed. Understanding what your target audience is looking for and why and finding ways to get the same delivered goes a long way in helping you garner a good SERP ranking.
Content quality and depth
Keyword optimization remains relevant, but content quality has taken the top priority for SERP rankings. Search engines today prefer content curated to cater to the user’s search intent and is informative and valuable. Also, engines like long-form content that deals with a particular subject in-depth.
Search engines want to organize globally produced information and make it available easily. Your brand authority depends on your online engagement and how well you meet the user’s search intent. Higher brand authority is a critical contributor to your pages showing up on top of Google SERPs.
What is SERP analysis?
Content marketers need real-time information about whether they are ranking for a particular keyword on a search engine.
This is why marketers perform SERP analysis. The term ‘SERP analysis’ refers to the process of examining top-ranking websites critically.
By ‘critically,’ we mean figuring out what the top-ranking pages are doing right, what you can learn from them, and the potential gaps that can help you outrank them.
SERP analysis is vital because it paves the way to understand keyword relevancy, find ranking opportunities for a particular keyword/s, and determine ranking difficulty to ascertain whether it makes sense to target a specific term.
Given the intricacies involved, most businesses prefer subscribing to SERP analysis software. There is a myriad of paid or free SERP analysis tools that can enable you to automate the SERP analysis process and find results with greater accuracy.
To get a comprehensive understanding of SERP Analysis, read our pillar blog on what is SERP analysis and how to do it.
Features to look for in SERP analysis software
A SERP analysis tool can help showcase the correlation between rankings, traffic, and conversions with greater efficacy. It is also capable of monitoring rankings in real-time and providing alerts as and when they drop across search engines.
If you want to utilize multiple aspects of SERP, such as featured snippets, organic traffic, carousels, images, and more, a SERP analysis tool plays a perfect fiddle to your success.
Given the slew of options available, you must look for a software that ticks all of the following boxes and can integrate with your existing stack:
Provide accurate and real-time data
In most cases, we have realized that SERP positions change frequently. While the reason behind this can vary, it is vital for you to choose software that can accurately provide you with real-time data. It will enable you to better plan your SEO strategy.
Scalenut's SEO Hub goes through the search engine in real time and provides SERP analysis of the top 30 search results for your target keyword and location.
Provide SERP results specific to a location
While having a well-rounded feature pack is necessary, the specific details make the difference. For example, a software that offers localized SEO should be preferred over another providing generic SEO chops. It would enable you to create localized content by feeding specific details to the SERP analysis tool with optimum ease.
While generating an SEO report via the SEO Hub, Scalenut users can choose the location where they want to develop the keyword report. It allows you to create targeted pieces with enhanced context and localized SEO benefits.
Provide competition overview
When you want to rank on SERP, keeping a tab on the competition is an integral part of the task. So, you would like to have real-time updates about how they are performing. A SERP analyzer tool can help you derive insights from SERPs to help you understand what your competition is up to and what you need to do to topple them.
For example, Scalenut offers a section, ‘Top Page Statistics,’ where users can get insights pertaining to the top 1-10, 1-20, and 1-30 SERP pages. It covers aspects such as average word count, readability score, content grade, and more for a deeper competition overview.
Uncover granular details on content
When you are looking to rank on the first page of a search engine, you will have to focus on acing the content in its entirety. It means the focus would be on granular or more nuanced details, such as content quality, headings, NLP terms, and more. These work in tandem to help you develop a piece that ranks high on SERPs.
Scalenut allows users to gather granular details pertaining to the keywords in contention. In addition to key terms (NLP), it also showcases H2s and H3s covered by the top pages on the SERPs. In addition, you will also find the H1s or the titles used by your top competitors for greater clarity.
Decode user intent
As mentioned above, Google and other search engines focus more on catering to the user’s search intent and ensuring that the SERP results reflect the same. So, from a marketer's POV, it becomes vital that you create content capable of matching the intent of the target customer.
For this, Scalenut packs social listening features to help marketers address the commonly asked questions in their pieces. It showcases the list of questions people are asking about a particular topic, making it easier for you to decode user intent. Answering these questions can significantly improve the chances of your content ranking on SERPs.
For those who wish to know more about SERP and how it works, head over to our article titled ‘SERP Analysis Pillar Page.’
Top five SERP Analysis Tools for content marketers
Back in the day, SERP analysis tools provided access to historical information, such as pages that rank, the CPC (cost-per-click), featured snippets, and the search volume for the keyword.
While this information is helpful, content marketers need to delve deeper to understand why a page ranks for a particular keyword.
So, we saw the arrival of a flurry of new-age tools like Scalenut, which not only generate the aspects mentioned above but also present finer details, such as the content included on the pages that rank and the NLP terms used.
These tools have brought about a revolution in the content industry and had a significant impact on the way content is produced and marketed. While some of these tools are paid, others offer certain functionalities for free and even provide custom packages to cater to specific needs.
We have curated a list of the top five SERP analysis tools that content marketers can use for their content creation —
- Google Search Console (GSC)
Google Search Console is suitable if you are looking for a free tool for SERP analysis. Given that it is developed by Google, it already starts ahead of the competition, but there is more to it.
GSC is excellent for identifying basic website issues, such as site speed, site crawling, mobile compatibility, and more. It allows you to submit sitemaps to Google for crawling and can measure the performance of your target keywords based on KPIs, such as CTR (click-through rate) and clicks. In addition, it can also take location into context to provide deeper insights.
The Google Search Console is a perfect tool to be used in conjunction with others capable of performing deeper analysis and visualizations.
Pricing - Free for all users.
If you are looking for a value-for-money offering for SERP analysis, Scalenut would inadvertently top the list.
Scalenut presents a comprehensive SEO report for the top 30 ranking pages for your keyword research. This report includes several metrics, such as average search volume, NLP terms, themes, and questions, which are vital to understanding user intent.
In addition, it can also output detailed competitor research, which includes factors such as average word count, average quality score, key terms present, headings, and more for the top 30 SERP pages for a keyword.
In addition, it also has a dedicated editor with WordPress Publisher integration, which allows you to get real-time feedback on all the important aspects related to SERP ranking, such as NLP terms used, readability score, social listening aspects, such as common questions asked, and more.
- Starts at USD 10 monthly for the Individual plan
- Starts at USD 29 monthly for the Growth Plan
- Starts at USD 52 monthly for the Pro plan
In addition, Scalenut offers a free plan too to let you use some of its features without subscribing.
Visit Scalenut’s Pricing page for more information on the plans.
Are you looking for an all-rounder tool to perform most of your SERP analysis tasks? If yes, SEOmonitor is the one tool you should consider.
SEOmonitor is an SEO software for agencies providing a wide gamut of tools. Given its focus, several specific features would help agencies, such as reporting tools for clients and dashboards. In addition, it is also capable of SEO forecasting, rank tracking, cluster keywords tracking, and landing page tracking.
One of the best features that SEOmonitor packs is its visibility metric. It is expressed as a percentage of the user’s impression share compared to the total search volume. The metric helps bring clarity by letting you understand your visibility share compared to the competition’s.
Pricing - Pricing starts at USD 29.9 monthly for every 1,000 keywords with a minimum of 5,000 keywords.
- Ahrefs’ SERP Checker
Ahrefs’ SERP Checker tool is excellent for breaking down the results you see on the first page of SERP results.
Ahrefs generates a plethora of metrics that content marketers can use to position their pages better and create content more likely to rank on SERPs. This SERP checker tool tracks the keyword difficulty metric, which uses an in-house algorithm to predict the difficulty of ranking for a specific keyword or a combination of them.
In addition, it also packs several SERP features, where you can analyze the SEO metrics of top pages on the SERPs and their performance over time. Ahrefs has also integrated its SERP Checker into its tool to ensure a more immersive and well-rounded user experience.
- Ahrefs Lite starts at USD 99 monthly
- Ahrefs Standard begins at USD 199 monthly
- Ahrefs Advanced starts at USD 399 monthly
- MOZ SERP Analysis
If you are looking for a SERP analysis tool, MOZ SERP Analysis is another option to consider. It takes a snapshot of the first page on the SERP and the authority metrics for a keyword as soon as a user enters it and then analyzes it to produce in-depth results for your marketing team.
One of the great features of this tool is the ‘difficulty’ metric. It showcases keyword or ranking difficulty and indicates how hard it may be to rank on SERPs for a given keyword. The ‘potential’ metric is another key feature worth exploring and combines a plethora of KPIs to indicate whether a keyword is worth pursuing.
Users also get access to PA (page authority) and DA (domain authority) metrics, where they can understand the performance of their competitors and also compare the results against themselves.
Pricing - 10 free queries per month. Moz Pro pricing starts at USD 99 monthly.
Time to start using SERP to your advantage
SERP has become integral to every content marketer’s journey, and cracking their algorithm is key to their success.
To do so manually can be an extremely taxing task. That is why we have seen a rise in people using SERP analysis tools to rank on the first page of search results.
Before you begin your quest to find the best SERP analysis tool for your needs, it is imperative to answer, “what do I mean by SERP tracking?”
When you know what you want to gain out of it, you are more likely to find the right tool. It would also enable you to perform the right functions to help address the gaps and reach a broader and more meaningful audience.
Whatever your goals, a SERP checker tool can be extremely handy in streamlining your online strategy.
An AI-powered SEO and content marketing platform. Scalenut is a platform for content creators, marketers, agencies, and anyone looking to increase their online presence and build a sustainable brand. We cover the entire content creation cycle, from planning, research, and execution, to optimization.
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