This is significant because not all keywords are created equal. Some are more difficult to rank for than others...

SERP analysis is a process that helps you determine whether or not you can rank for a specific keyword and whether the effort is worthwhile.

This is significant because not all keywords are created equal. Some are more difficult to rank for than others, so choose wisely.

This blog will teach you how to analyze a SERP to see if it can be cracked.

Let's get started.

Receive a high-level overview of the SERP

The first step in a SERP analysis is to get a general idea of the traffic and ranking difficulty opportunities.

We can accomplish this by utilizing two of Ahrefs' core metrics: Keyword Difficulty and Traffic Potential.

  • Keyword Difficulty (KD) on a scale of 0 to 100, estimates the difficulty of ranking on the first page of Google for a keyword.
  • Traffic Potential (TP) is the total estimated monthly search traffic to a keyword's top-ranking page.

We will be able to get a high-level overview of the SERP using these two metrics and determine whether it is worth further investigation.

Look into whether (and how) you can rank

We can now consider other factors using the SERP overview in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer, now that we have completed our top-level overview.

When investigating the ranking difficulty, we should consider four key elements in our SERP analysis:

1. Domain Rating (DR)

DR is one of the most popular SEO metrics. On a scale of 0 to 100, it represents the relative strength of a website's backlink profile.

Although it is not a Google ranking factor, there are a few reasons why high-DR sites may rank higher on Google:

  • Internal links can help a page's strength - high-DR sites have a lot of strong pages. They can direct some of this power to specific pages via internal links.
  • They are frequently trusted brands - People may prefer to click on these SERP results. They may also have more topical authority, which may be advantageous.

These are the reasons why 64.9% of SEOs consider DR when analyzing their chances of ranking

While outranking a higher DR site is certainly possible, a good rule of thumb is to look for pages ranking in the top 10 with the same DR as you or lower. We can increase our chances of appearing on the SERP by doing so.

While DR is an important first step in our SERP analysis, there are other factors to consider, such as links.

2. Links

If you ask an SEO what the most important Google ranking factors are, they will almost certainly mention "backlinks" in their response.

But, exactly, what is a backlink? Backlinks are simply clickable links from one website to another.

Backlinks are also very important for Google ranking because they are one of the eight confirmed ranking factors.

There are eight proven Google ranking factors:

  • Backlinks
  • Relevance
  • Freshness
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Page speed
  • Core Web Vitals
  • Intrusive interstitials

KD can give us a general idea of how many links we'll need to rank, but actual link counts will vary from site to site.

We must now consider the role of search intent on the SERP.

3. Intention to search

The term "search intent" refers to the primary reason for an online search. In other words, it identifies the reason why the user entered their query into the search engine in the first place.

But, in terms of our SERP analysis, what does search intent mean?

In a nutshell, our webpage must provide the best answer to the query in order to rank high on the SERP. Identifying the dominant search intent on the SERP can help us decide how and whether to compete.

Most internet content falls into one of the following categories, which makes sense for our SERP analysis:

  • Blog posts
  • Category pages
  • Product pages
  • Landing pages
  • Videos

Analyzing search intent can help us inform our SERP strategy and decide whether or not to compete.

Let's take a look at the content quality now.

4. Content Quality

It's important to understand that the quality of content Google expects can be much higher for certain topics.

If a website with high-quality content appears in the SERP, you should consider whether you have the resources to compete with and outrank them.

Look for other possibilities

The last step in our SERP analysis is to look for any additional opportunities. SERP features are one of the most important opportunities you can exploit.

Google appears to have hinted at it as one of its search priorities as early as 2007. Marissa Mayer, the then-representative, stated:

“We [Google] want to assist you in finding the best solution, even if you don't know where to look.”

But what exactly is a SERP feature, and how do we spot one?

Any result on the SERPs that is not a traditional organic search result is referred to as a SERP feature.

In summary, the following are some of the most common SERP features and their fundamental requirements:

  • Featured Snippets - Provide a clear response to a query.
  • Video Carousels - Create a YouTube video about video carousels.
  • Image Packs - Display an image that is relevant to what people are looking for.
  • Top Stories - Share relevant news stories about the subject.
  • People Also Ask - Respond to a related question on the subject.

In the final point, if you have the resources, targeting SERP features is worthwhile. Instead of only appearing for a single organic result for a search query, winning SERP features allow us to acquire more SERP real estate.

Last thoughts

Conducting a SERP analysis may appear daunting at first, but Keywords Explorer simplifies the process by providing an overview of the key metrics to consider.

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