Here are some ways that the free SERP Sonar browser extension can help improve SEO results and increase rankings. And these are just ten ways! There are more (and even more still, soon to be released).
1. Optimize Title Tags & Meta Descriptions
Doing allintitle and exact in-title analysis on the SERP can give good initial ideas as to whether Google is rewarding use of the keyword directly in the title. It also helps confirm whether an exact match is OK or if a variation would be better to use.
But seeing when and how Google rewrites the original publisher title also gives incredible insights in the ‘brain’ of the AI. The SERP Sonar Title Delta Report makes it easy to see all Google title tag changes, with the original title, the H1 tag and the associated meta description.
…if Google is doing this in high-ranking results, it probably means there’s an under-supply of more targeted, quality pages.
Seeing when Google changes page titles to more closely match the keyword wording and structure is very informative. Even more interesting is when it changes the original intent.
In the example below, Google replaced the title with the H1, changing the intent entirely. But then it also completely rewrote the meta description to re-include all the original search term words (“free serp analysis tool”).
And if Google is doing this in high-ranking results, it probably means there’s an under-supply of more targeted, quality pages. That’s your opportunity for better rankings and to potentially jump straight into the top 10.
NOTE: The example here is drawn from a recent page optimization and rank improvement case study.
2. Do Relative Value Analysis With Sonar DepthTM
Checking average word count, average image count, etc for a keyword is a standard part of SERP analysis. Many tools provide certain averages for the top 10 search results. The idea is that these are the top ranked pages, so seeing the averages and other data for those gives us an idea of what Google wants.
Seeing the characteristics of the winning pages is helpful but so is seeing why lower ranked pages are losing.
Of course, SERP Sonar makes it easy to see these top page averages. But, with the Sonar DepthTM feature, you can also see how these top pages compare to the top 20, top 50 and all ~100 pages ranking for the keyword. Seeing the characteristics of the winning pages is helpful but so is seeing why lower ranked pages are losing. This can give valuable additional insights into the SERP.
3. Measure True Allintitle and Exact-in-Title Count
The Google ALLINTITLE search operator is broken. If you use it, you know. If you don’t, it’s probably because it has been broken for a long time, so you have forgotten how useful it can be.
If you want to measure allintitle (as you should) then SERP Sonar is there for you. First, the plugin scans the first 100 results and captures both the (original) page content and the SERP titles as Google provides them, and delivers accurate totals.
By scanning the actual, local and real-time Google results SERP Sonar provides a true allintitle.
Some saas tools out there claim to include allinititle stats, but it’s unclear where (search location) or when this data was pulled. SERP Sonar gives you accurate real-time and location-specific allintitle counts.
By scanning the actual, local and real-time Google results SERP Sonar provides a true allintitle. No false positives, no missing allintitle matches, accurate results every time.
4. Confirm Keyword Golden Ratio (KGR) Compliance
Active users of the KGR formula are well aware of its benefits as a simple and reliable measure of supply/demand imbalance. Having an accurate measure of allintitle (noted above) is crucial to correctly calculating the KGR.
SERP Sonar…makes the typically slow, manual process of KGR calculation quick and easy (and also more accurate).
SERP Sonar goes a step further, by integrating search volume data from Keywords Everywhere to automatically check if the target keyword is KGR compliant. The KGRt field in the App Bar (and Report) will show the KGR calculation. When it’s a KGR_compliant keyword the field will highlight in green.
This makes the typically slow, manual process of KGR calculation quick and easy (and also more accurate).
5. Identify Weak Competitors With SERP Overlay Flags
The SERP Overlay displays a variety of indicators that show potentially weak competitors, at a glance. These are ranking pages that, for various reasons, may be easy to displace.
These are not just visually included on the SERP Overlay, but also incorporated into report metrics.
Non-HTML (eg pdf) results are highlighted. Pages with error codes or redirects are shown. Another ‘soft target’ is top ranking pages that are not targeting the keyword (no AIT) but which Google has served up and re-written the title to match the query.
Additional, soon-to-be-released Overlay flags will include UGC content, forums and web 2 sites and some special, secret signals. And all these are not just visually included on the SERP Overlay, but also incorporated into report metrics.
6. Rules-Based Suggestions Provide Easy Analysis and Quick Wins
The Summary section of the report provides quick, at-a-glance information about the keyword and suggestions for how to potentially improve rankings.
The Summary report is useful for client sharing and discussions.
SERP Sonar uses rules-based logic that incorporates data pulled directly from the SERP and competing pages. It then uses absolute and relative metrics, and other contextual information to generate these suggestions.
Also, helping clients achieve better SEO results is a little easier with data. The Summary report is useful for client sharing and discussions. There are lots of report enhancements still to come so watch this space!
Hey, you got somethin’ to say? Leave a comment below! Is there a point in this post you disagree with, want to add to or totally love? Then let everyone know! Thanks!
7. Assess SERP <> Keyword Compatibility
Sometimes we think we have found an extra easy search term. When we search for the term it seems to have few if any pages directly targeting it. Why does this happen and is the page you are trying to rank really compatible with that keyword?
Distinguishing one of these scenarios from another is crucial to determining the plan of attack…
There are a few reasons that apparent lack of supply can occur.
- The searcher is wrong. This means your understanding of the keyword might be different from most other searchers (and the Google algos).
- Google doesn’t yet ‘understand’ the term. There may be pages targeting the query but the AI doesn’t rank them (happens with long tail keywords or ambiguous searches).
- There’s not enough quality results to fill the SERP for a given search term. That is, there’s less supply than demand (which the KGR also helps identify).
Distinguishing one of these scenarios from another is crucial to determining the plan of attack, or whether it’s even worth trying to go for a keyword.
Taken together, the collected and derived data, Overlay and Report features of SERP Sonar make it much easier to assess which case applies to the SERP you are competing for.
8. Validate Google Intent Visibility
What can bold words and related search values in the SERP tell us? SEO pros might say bolded words in the SERP are an unreliable indicator. And I generally agree.
But they can be helpful in confirming Google’s ‘understanding’ of the keyword intent (or lack of the same). Related Search terms can also give insight on this.
A complete lack of variations may indicate that the Google AI doesn’t grasp the meaning or intent of the term…
A broad cross-section of comparable variations on the search term generally suggests that Google ‘knows’ how it wants to handle the keyword. If these variations are also what you (as searcher and SEO) expect to see, all the better. The example of this in the image below is detailed in a recent page optimization case study.
You DON’T want to see conflicting word combinations, which may suggest that the intent or understanding is different than you expected. Also, a complete lack of variations may indicate that the Google AI doesn’t grasp the meaning or intent of the term, or is averse to guessing (testing).
9. Get Full Depth SERP View With Detailed Report Data
The full report would require multiple articles to cover in detail (and those posts are coming). But there are multiple, unique features and data attributes that SERP Sonar has pioneered. These can help see deeper into the SERP than ever before.
Many saas tools pull data (including SERP data) from undisclosed, third party sources.
Also, because this data is extracted on a real time basis, and is based on the precise location you are logged into, the results will always be fresh and accurate. Many saas tools pull data (including SERP data) from undisclosed, third party sources. It is also common to warehouse data for reuse on repeat keyword requests (to lower server and processing costs).
SERP Sonar gets the latest data from the live (and local) SERP every time.
10. Export File With SERP Extract Details For Up To 100 Results
It’s still rough around the edges, but this feature could potentially be the most powerful of all. The export function allows you to download a CSV file that includes data for all ~100 results for the keyword.
With continued development, this means that all the raw data extracted by SERP Sonar plus any derived stats associated with the URL can be available for download. And that makes it possible to leverage this data in other tools, or to incorporate other data sources for further analysis.
…doing better SEO and getting better rankings is possible if you have the right tools.
As with all the other functions discussed here, this will remain a fully free to use feature of SERP Sonar.
More SEO Solutions To Come
There are many more features to come, and we can’t wait to share them! In the meantime, tell us what you think! Comment below or find SERP Sonar on the socials.
It gets harder every year to increase rankings and improve SEO, but doing better SEO and getting better rankings is possible if you have the right tools. So, tell us what you need in a SERP analysis tool!