How To Use SERP Analysis To Rank Top of Google
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In 2018 we held a one-day workshop call Dominate 2019. We're now making the recordings of that workshop available for free. In this video, SEO Ninja David Bain discusses how to do SERPs analysis.
Learn a few ideas from our one-day workshop in London.
a little while back we ran a one-day workshop in london for business owners and marketing managers where a bunch of ninjas from exposure ninja came in to talk about each of the areas that they worked in and some of the latest developments in those spaces really the goal of the dave is to prepare attendees for the next year and help them get to a position where they're really gonna dominate their digital marketing we decided to put the recordings of these workshops online on youtube so enjoy okay so i'm david i'm an seo specialist at exposure ninja and um today i'm going to be talking to you about a really valuable tactic how to use serp analysis to rank top of google now at this stage it's important to note that we use several tactics for our clients this is just one tactic that we use and we feel this is really beneficial to understand outside what the competit what the competitors are doing
Explore what your competitors are doing specifically in the top 10 ranking.
uh specifically in the top 10 rankings how they're putting together their pages how much content they've got do they have any interactive elements so various various tactics that they're using that we can replicate for your campaign and get you ranking higher so first of all before i continue what is cert there's a lot of acronyms in seo seo being one of them um it's it's basically stands for search engine results page so these are the top 10 blue links that you see ranking organically so i guess the question we're posing to you today is how will you attract and meet the needs of your users 2019 and beyond as you've heard from various various presenters this morning it's it's getting ever more difficult to rank and to show relevance it's no longer good enough to throw some content at a page and have a basic page set up you need you need to have a little bit more than that so what's the significance of ranking in
How to analyze top 10 results in terms of click-through rate? Commercial keywords.
first position well it was recently some studies done by smart insights and what they did was they they analyzed the search results of hundreds of websites and they measured the click-through rate compared to the ranking so along the bottom you've got the exact position from 1 to 21 and along the side you've got ctr which is click-through rate so how many what was the percentage of those that clicked through and as you can see first place in google sound like a price isn't it inc receives 28 to 34 of organic traffic so that is hugely beneficial so if you imagine that you're ranking for a keyword with over a thousand searches a month on average and you'll be taking driving generating almost 300 250 to 300 users through to your site you've got to bear in mind obviously if it's a highly commercial keyword that ppc adverts will be appearing above you so you'll actually be in fifth this has never been because google has monetized its platform to such an extent it's never been more it's never been more important to rank in top position in google so search engine results pages have changed dramatically over the years so in the past in the past five years um we now see that ppc ads sit at the top of the page um often there are four of them especially for highly commercial keywords what do we mean by commercial keywords these are the keywords that are gonna drive traffic to your site and these users have the intent to purchase so we're going to talk a little bit about that so think about it in this way so we like to use the ada model when we're talking about search intent so attention interest desire action that is that they're kind
How to target keywords and use site rank analysis?
of the four you what you're looking for is that final user down there who hits the target but how are you going to get them from attention down to being a customer i'll give you a couple of examples so here's a couple of examples of informational versus commercial keywords as you can see the top example if you're an accountant this is an accountancy example small business accounts and leads that is a highly commercial keyword that advertisers actually pay 24 pounds 99 per click for just that keyword so that it just that's an indication to us seos that that is a hugely commercial keyword there is going back to the um if we can click back going back to the ada model they're ready to take action so we would be recommending that on your key service pages we're looking to target this keyword only if you're obviously working in leads that's enough not if you're working in wales that's not gonna work um the second example is much more about how we're gonna drive traffic to your blog and again if we just skip back people with attention and interest awareness attention and awareness kind of interchangeable there so if there's a what we're trying to do with your blog is create awareness create interest around either your product or your service so how do we do that might work so how do we do that well first of all we target informational keywords so how to prepare management accounts is something that is perfect for a blog we're getting lots of traffic it's not too commercial it's more about raising awareness of an accountancy based issue if people if users are searching for how to prepare management accounts you're pretty damn sure they're going to be needing an accountant somewhere down the line it's a complex you know it's a complex approach that needs professional advice so again if we target kind of query based questions for the blog we drive traffic create awareness create interest and hopefully desire an action and through the blog we can point people back to your key service pages and that's how we get them to convert we're not going to get all of them but we are going to be creating and positioning your brand in order to sell those services in i'm just going to give you a couple of examples um of how the serps look and how they've changed over over time so this is plumber in london if you were a plumber in london you'd probably be thinking this is the one for me this is this this has to be the the one we we need to rank for maybe as a long term but this is a highly competitive keyword as you'd imagine uh we've got four ppc adverts at the top we've also got the local three pack this is based on proximity so google works out in comparison to where you are in the country in the world works out where's closest to you and that's how it's really based but also if you notice here going back to dell's chat earlier about getting reviews getting trust from google we have uh the top the top um plumber in london there who's named himself the best plumber in london so he's like seoing his own business just at the start which is interesting um but what we've what we've got there is a five star rating and we feel that um obviously we we can only speculate as to the as to the weighting of an algorithm but we feel that google getting google my business reviews as well as the proximity actually you know it plays a role so again please please make sure you are collecting google my business reviews from you know from your customers um specifically
Get feedback from your customers and target their needs.
i would say target them sort of seven to ten days after they've received the either the product or the service and this way that you know they're still feeling warm and fuzzy about it hopefully and they'll give you a good review and this that you know it works really well for ranking in the local three pack so here's a better example of a keyword that we would target so if you're a plumber in kensington london we would say target hyper local first and then work up to plumber in london so target something if we were targeting something like plumber in kensington obviously the volume drops from 4 400 searches a month to 90. we know that the cpc average bid is still there still ppc advertisers are paying over 10 pounds per click so there's still a lot of um value in this keyword and if you are based in kensington then you know you're going to be able to service users needs because you're based there you do plumbing that's what they want and if they've got a leak they'll need you so my recommendation would be to target local first to target long tail keywords especially if you're establishing your business and then move on to tougher keywords and we can we can come to that so here's another example of an informational keyword which as you can see is so we've looked at best mortgage deals we've got what's called a featured snippet in the top position there below the ppc ad and this is where google takes a table or an answer from a website and includes it at the top of google rankings in what we call position zero it's a great way of hovering up traffic it's complex to do but in this example we can see that google has got it wrong because we've asked for best mortgage deals and they've given us the largest mortgage lenders by market share so google is not perfect but as you can see it's a very different looking serp we've got people also ask box here at the at the bottom this is people in the discovery phase of the journey so just think about it in from your own business perspective where where do you think you know this is this is at the awareness stage the interest stage you're trying to build build that awareness of your business of your service so again best mortgage deals might not be the right uh might not be the right keyword for you but it's certainly somewhere towards your blog rather than a key service page so on to google's algorithm so google interprets the user's need based on the search term returns pages that fit answer or resolve that need so it's really important to ask yourself every time you build a new page on your website how are you going to how are you going to service the user's needs how what what are you going to how are you going to answer those questions are you going to get rid of those barriers is there anything that they might be afraid of within there is it is there anything they could be worried about going back to the trust talk that dale did just a little while ago so it's really important to try and service those uh users by giving them the most relevant information and if you can do that we think that if you answer every one of those needs we we believe that you will be in a really good place to rank higher so what are some of the factors that might determine how well a page fits the search intent well first of all we see it all the time when we take on new clients um it's really important to get your meta page title and description correctly uh correctly implemented and this means an optimized length so no more than 60 characters or 580 pixels and for the title and for the description no more than one five five characters after that point it truncates so you're probably left with something that looks a little bit unfinished and you don't really want to be presenting that as your brand especially for your key service pages it's really important so it's really important to write really engaging meta page titles and descriptions it's going to raise your ctr your click-through rate from the serps and imagine this scenario if you're in 10th position and your key competitors in fifth your click-through rate is ten percent and theirs is five percent google will recognize that in in the in whichever serp you're in and you'll probably get a bump and we've seen this we've seen this many times before when working and optimizing meta for uh for various pages if you if you are consistently out click through i don't know whether that's a word your competition um you'll you'll definitely see a bump so it's really important to have optimized meta descriptions make sure the keyword is at the start of the sentence that still bears truth in 2018 and beyond and you should be in pretty good shape second one is quality factors um so again this is about meeting users needs if the user clicks through to your site and they're not getting what they were expecting they're probably going to bounce and you may never get them back and worse worse than that google is going to recognize that high bounce rate and probably demote your site so it's really important to really match the user's intent with the keyword and make sure that you're meeting those expectations and then secondly engagement so any other engagement factors such as number of pages clicked per session even conversions we we strongly believe google is pretty much watching everything at this stage and measuring lots uh that we don't even know about so really get your website in into shape and get it get it converting get get lots of tech not not get lots of text on there but get describe your product or service in a way that will meet the user's needs and finally there's other on-page and off-page factors we'd have a chat shortly about uh backlinks etc so those those are still important aspects of seo but we believe that going into 2019 on-page factors are going to become more important and and cro as well as conversion rate optimization factors are going to be equally important so what is serp analysis so it's using pages which are already ranking to determine the factors that those ranking pages are using so what elements are they using on the page how many words are they using how many backlinks have they got et cetera you can go really deep with this but it's a great kick off if you're building a new page or you've got your priority keyword and you want to figure out how to rank for it so what do you need to start so if you every good seo campaign starts with keyword research so identify maybe two three priority keywords the ones that you think are achievable so it's feasible to do this and the ones that are the most commercial start with those prioritize those and then template uh user use template to record your findings so i'll show you pretty seeing what what the template looks like if anyone is interested in in understanding how we do keyword research we also have uh a page on that a guide on that so if that's um sorry i should have
shortened this link if anyone's writing all of that down i believe we'll be getting the presentations afterwards hand it out say that's fine so this is this is our serp analysis template it looks fairly crude it's not it's not that fancy but what it what it does do is it gives us the opportunity to look through each of these pages who are our main competitors in the top 9 10 ranking ranking positions for our priority keyword what we can do is establish which elements we feel are having a beneficial impact on their rankings so the process so the first step is type the keyword into google sounds like a simple step and it is so in this example we give we've given you quite an arbitrary example here but we'll go through it anyway um so this example is for snowboarding lessons so first what you do is you establish the the top three ranking pages and we're just going to take a deep dive into into one of them so we're just going to look at the top one okay so this believe it or not is the top ranking page for snowboarding lessons doesn't look anything too fancy if i was on an seo campaign um selling snowballing lessons for a client i'd be rubbing my hands together because there's nothing on here that is um you know in terms of we we could beat this but if we if we look if we break it down try not to look at the web the web page try and break it down into elements when you're when you're actually analyzing these pages so what have we got on this page we've got a contact we've got a contactors form above the fold i would recommend that all of you have a contact form above the fold give it a tap that's fine um we have we have a h1 that is relevant we would add more to this we would we'd add more context to this but they've gone for snowboard lessons which is very imaginative of them um they also have and you wouldn't believe the amount of times we see this but they also have a relevant image of someone doing snowboarding the amount of times we click on to a an accountant's website and there's a picture of a fast car on the home page we'd probably stick to something a bit more relevant to your business show you know it needs to it needs to be relevant at all stages but i think the thing that they've nailed here i was i was racking my brains to what they've actually nailed but i think the thing that they've nailed is the is the um in terms of categorization um they've gone for beginner improver and advanced lessons and that's exactly how skiers and snowboarders sort of categorize themselves isn't it that's the you're you're you're in one of the three camps and so i think that's a really impressive thing that they've done they've broken that down and if i'm a user i'm definitely clicking on beginner so what we what we what we do with that information is we break down those elements and we start to categorize those and and map them onto our template so once we've done that we can go through the whole we the whole of our competitors to establish what we feel is the are the strongest elements on the pages what do we do with that information so we're looking for common elements so do the top three pages all share similar a similar element is there an element present on all ranking pages that we absolutely need to have and are there any opportunities to outrank the competition in this case yes loads so i just wanted to show you a very quick example of something that i think would work really well for the snowboarding lessons analogy and this is video video in a recent moz piece of mars
What are On Page and Off Page ranking factors?
research um is uh they do correlation studies with various ranking factors and video is on the rise um as you would expect certainly with the mobile first stuff as well it video is so such uh a go-to now the advent of so many people on youtube etc but imagine this you go you go to buy a suit you might pay more for your suits than this this is 180 pounds of the suit but um in terms of what it actually gives would you necessarily buy a 200 pound suit if you couldn't see it you just got some pictures of it so what what asos did was um this is a asos website i should say they created a 10 second video of a model walking down a catwalk there's no sound there's nothing special about it but it just gives context of what the fit looks like and how it how it and then you can imagine how it will look on you et cetera so it just gives you that extra bit of context going back to the snowboarding analogy be the same wouldn't it in terms of if you're if you actually looking for lessons you can see what the instructor is like he seems really experienced you might be able to see the slope and get an idea of just get an idea of where it is what it's like um and you might you might be able to answer questions such as do i need my own gear to to come to the beginner lessons things like that trying to try and answer anything that might be a pain point for the customer through anything that you can do through interactive design so once you've identified these i would incorporate these valuable elements onto your own into your own page design um this is this is this is really important but the the part that's important here is this is just the research phase of a longer campaign and what we tend to do is we'll do we'll do things iteratively so we'll make changes see what the result is review it and then continue making changes so this is a this is an ongoing process and in terms of fresh content on websites i think we all are aware that it's really important to keep keep your website looking fresh keep it looking um like a website in 2018 or 90. you know so that's that's the most important thing so consistent testing and you know to gain insights and to see what's working for your customers because i don't really believe in best practice i think best practice is your business your customers so i don't think i don't think there is such a thing there is guidance out there but it's really important to test it with your user base to see whether they're responding to it so lastly match the key word to the user intent really important try and answer all of their questions on page analyze the search results to identify opportunities how many you know how many words what's the average word count of each of the pages ranking in the top 10 which of them have a contact form above the fold etc go through it try and break it down into elements as soon as you do that you make it much more about opinion and you can you can then start to make some informed decisions using that then the last thing is just to implement them really and once you've done that constant testing iterative approach to consistently improve um your overall number of users your ranking and hopefully conversions as well so that was that was it so if you've got any questions [Applause] hi there mate um you mentioned at the beginning um acceptable bounce rates um time on page pages pages per session et cetera what to you is an acceptable bounce rate and pages per session there's two there's two answers to that so what you can expect is that for your for your blog posts we you would expect a higher bounce rate so for your blog posts you know we could we can see if you get it down to around 60 for your blog post that's pretty good because remember if you go back to the ada model awareness interest they're they're not as invested as those people that are right down at the bottom of your sales funnel so anything from i i would say 50 to 70 you're doing pretty well for blog posts for key service pages we would try and reduce it to around about 40 to 50 if we could as a target minimum but again it it really depends on your industry uh the industry vertical you're working in um etc so yeah i would i would say don't be too worried if your blog posts are slightly higher than the rest of your page you can see that if you can see that in your analytics you can split the two out um yeah if you're aiming for about forty percent as a that'd be a good target to aim for when you're doing your keyword research so i i work in my particular profession i know what i think i would look for but i don't know what my customers are looking for is there a way of of doing sort of preliminary research to figure out what keywords you should search for before you go through how do they rank yeah well if you are connected to google search console you can actually use that to so if you verify that through so if you have your google analytics open you can verify through something called google search console i can chat to you about this afterwards um but essentially you can go into there and you can actually see what people are actually searching for so it might give you a really good start in terms of understanding which keywords to target other than that um you could use things like to get to get going especially for blog topic research we use something called answer the public answerthepublic.com um and you can actually type into your uh you can type what we call a seed phrase into there so you can type in i don't know what what is your business in would you hearing aids right so because i've been hearing aids into answerthepublic.com and then we can see all the questions that people tend to ask about hearing aids so we can start to build an idea of all of the informational keywords that we would need so that that that would be kind of my that would be my aim and that's where i would start but google search console first to see what's actually happening with the campaign any other questions thank you david thank you you
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