To run a SERP Analyzer query, input your keyword(s), set region, and choose mobile or desktop results. In this tool, you can choose to enter several keywords by placing them on separate lines; simply hold the shift key while pressing the enter key on your keyboard. We recommend searching with screenshots enabled as these will allow you to see your page as Google bots do.

Choose from a wealth of filters to display graphically what top-ranking pages are doing with their content. The tool will default to charting word count (Y-axis) against ranking position on a SERP (X-axis). You can choose to add metrics to this, or replace it with one or more different metrics.

There are a plethora of metrics available for you to choose from. This tool is where Surfer began, and it’s meant for the professional that wants to get granular in their approach to optimization. There are five categories of metrics to choose from:

  1. Search visibility - Chart how much traffic, and the number of keywords the top-ranking pages are earning.

  2. Backlinks - We all know backlinks are important for off-page SEO, but track its influence by a number of referring domains, URLs, or both here.

  3. Structure - Those familiar with HTML will recognize the core elements represented here. Specify your analysis to the nth degree

  4. Quality - This tab breaks page speed and structured data down, and also allows you to chart content score.

  5. Media - Simply determine to what extent the SERP favors pages that are image-heavy or not.

Each category has a multitude of factors to consider and apply at your discretion. The tool will default to averaging the data per 10 results, however, this can be adjusted as you like. We advise analyzing averages with a view to identifying trends and turning the average tab off (AKA analyzing individual pages) when looking for deviations. You’ll notice the correlation indicator change when you switch between the two. The icon color reflects the strength of correlation between the X and Y axes.

Don’t forget to check your search results and review Surfer’s suggested competitors. We advise excluding all pages, to begin with, and then curating a top-10. You can specifically add them to a chart you’ve customized, or exclude it from your analysis using the buttons to the side of the page names and meta descriptions. Give particular attention to competitors’ search intent, and apply common sense when considering especially strong domains, which you may be unlikely to dethrone. Nevertheless, we do advise only comparing your page to competitors with a ranking higher than yours.

When reviewing competitors, it’s often a good idea to click on Content Outline to discern some really useful information related to page structure.

Alongside charting data, the tool provides a host of other features available in the tabs presented alongside the defaulted ‘Search results’ tab. The information provided will be familiar to you if you’ve used Surfer’s Audit tool.

  1. Keywords - Find a list of suggested keywords. For each of these keywords, you can open a secondary list of top-10 similar keywords, how many of your competitors rank for this keyword, search volume, and relevancy expressed as a percentage. Surfer strongly recommends learning from your competitors’ content.

  2. Questions - Surfer presents similar questions, so-called because at least 2 of the top-20 ranking pages for your keyword also rank for the questions presented. Questions often make great headings and can guide your content creation strategy by giving insight into what people are looking for.

  3. Popular words - See what words are most often used by your competitors on their competing pages.

  4. Popular phrases - The same as popular words, however, a phrase is defined as being up to 4 words.

  5. Common words - Unlike the prior two tabs, common words don’t break the data down by each individual competitor. Here, you will find the most common words found in the top-10 of SERPs, with generalized info on how many of these pages include the specific word(s).

  6. Common phrases - As with Common words, but with phrases that include up to 4 words.

  7. Prominent words and phrases - A word is prominent when it’s found in both common words and common phrases. These tabs in particular relate to Surfer’s utilization of True Density, which helps to determine both content gaps and oversaturation.

  8. Common backlinks - This tab provides a handy list of backlinks that at least 3 of your competitors benefit from. Having a strong backlink strategy is extremely beneficial to SEO.

While sharing a SERP Analyzer result isn’t as simple as with our premium tools, you are able to export a .csv file and share that with collaborators.

Additional resources:

Surfer Knowledge Base

Surfer Blog

Surfer YouTube

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