Getting More Clicks with Competitor Analysis on The SERP
18 Nov, 2020
Every business owner is aware of the competition. Whether it’s from the bakery around the corner or a chain store. Before marketing went digital, knowing who these businesses were may have been enough. Competition is built into the very structure of how search engines work. That’s why we call them rankings and not spots. After all, when we are talking about getting top rankings, who do we think is below us?
But now everything is online, businesses are no longer just competing against one another. Without the right strategy, your business won’t just be falling behind its competitors, you may be wasting valuable time and resources to appear in places where customers are not even looking. If we are chasing the wrong keywords the site could appear in the wrong results. That is to say the searches of people who are not interested in buying your products. Checking where your competitors are rankings on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), can help with this problem. By making sure your website is in all the best places where your competitors appear on the SERP and finding the valuable searches they don’t rank for, You are securing a good spot for your business in the digital marketplace.
Using the SERP to Find The Wrong Competitors
Search engines have completely altered the concept of competition. When we are talking about the competition on the SERP, we aren’t just talking about other businesses that sell the same products as you. We are talking about any results that stop our website from being chosen by a searcher who uses the keyword we are chasing.
For all intents and purposes what can be found on a search engine is limitless, so are your keyword choices. Meaning if you get it wrong there is endless potential for creating needless competition. We can use the SERP to help us pick the right keyword battles. A site selling products for dental hygiene won’t get many sales from outranking links to a video for the world’s largest electric toothbrush or the toothbrush fence in Hamilton New Zealand. Keywords need context and competitors provide that. It’s common sense that not everyone looking online for a Toothbrush is looking for one to buy, but we need to build this into our SEO strategy and the SERP can help.
Let’s say we are a US-based online dental product store looking to find the right keywords for our toothbrush product page. If I check the Google SERP for the most obvious choice ‘toothbrush’, I get the following results:
Only the first and third results are actually a page where the searcher can buy a Toothbrush.
The fact the other results are for searchers looking to do other things such as looking them up on Wikipedia or checking reviews (NYtimes), shows that searchers using this term have multiple intentions. Our business’s product page doesn’t want to compete for the attention of searchers who aren’t intending on buying a toothbrush. This SERP tells the business owner that they need to add more words to their search phrase. This will eliminate competition from searchers who won’t lead straight to a sale.
Using the SERP to Eliminate the wrong competitors
The SERP is also a great source of inspiration for longer keyword phrases. By adding more words to the term we start to remove the competition from results from searchers with different intentions. Adding additional words to target more specific searches is called building longtail keywords. Simply by adding ‘online’ to create the term ‘toothbrush online’ we remove the Wiki and review results and add in more sales pages to the top 5.
Using The SERP to Find The Right Competitors
Despite ‘toothbrush online’ having more potential than ‘toothbrush’ for a selling page, there is still plenty of room for improvement and change. All these websites look like big players that a small business might find hard to compete with when they first start with SEO. By adding more and more keywords to our long-tail, a business can find its niche. For example, you find smaller businesses and even Etsy pages for the term ‘organic toothbrushes online’. This is definitely a niche that a small business can target and win.
Keyword tools like those found in rankingCoach can make this process quicker and more accurate, because for each term it tells you the competitiveness, its average monthly search volume, and suggests valuable long tails that your business can rank well for.
Getting Keyword Inspiration from the SERP
Note in the URLs of these results for toothbrush online we also see other useful keyword suggestions such as brand names (oral B) and category terms (oral care), these can also be potentially added to our long-tail used for other page ideas. If your store sells oral B toothbrushes this should be in your keywords. On the other hand, if it doesn’t you might want to try oral B Toothbrush alternatives. It’s also important to check the keywords used in the site’s meta title and meta description. For instance, the CVS oral care subpage has the meta title
Oral Care Products - CVS PharmacyOral Care Products - CVS Pharmacy
And the meta description
Shop oral care online at CVS. Find great deals on essentials like toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, and more! Plus, enjoy FREE ... Personal Care. Oral Care.
By paying a little closer attention to the SERP we can get some great ideas and a better idea of the kinds of descriptions we need to get top rankings.
Improving Your SEO Content With the SERP
We can also use the SERP to improve the content on our less direct sales pages. Content quality is a big part of rankings. If we want to target a top ranking. We should feel confident that we can create content that is at least as good as the content that currently has the minimum ranking we are aiming for.
This doesn’t mean that you can never take a top ranking from someone with longer content than yours but don’t expect to knock quality content off the top rankings with meaningless word spam. Top-ranked results are there for a reason you can learn a lot from them. If you think they have missed a key point on the topic they are covering, then this is your chance to push for that ranking. Perhaps you can add images or go a little deeper on a topic. This makes the SERP a great place for finding out what you have to offer.
I hope this article has helped you to see the SERP differently. To get the best out of your SEO strategy you need a little help from SEO keyword tools that rankingCoach 360 offers
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