Analysing and understanding the content present on the first page of Google is an essential step in any SEO strategy in 2021 and also for the creation of your blog articles.
By understanding the elements present on the search engine result page such as organic results, content and other SERP features – Google tells us what it wants to offer its users.
Understanding SERPs allows us to shape the best possible response, and thus align ourselves as closely as possible to the intention behind a search.
Today we are going to see how to understand Google’s SERPs step by step and at the same time I am going to present you the latest version of thruuu, a SERP analyzer that will automate many of your daily manual tasks.
Table of Contents
What is thruuu?
thruuu is a free SERP analysis tool, and it will help you with your SEO and copywriting activities.
With thruuu, you get Google SERP Data in one click.
In one sight, you get a complete and detailed overview of the top 100 results on Google Search for any keywords, any countries, any languages, any location and any devices.
For every single SERP, thruuu scrapes every organic result and extracts on-page information such as the title, headlines, meta-data, JSON schemas, number of words, publication dates and a lot more.
The additional analysis informs you about the topics covered on the SERP and keywords frequency.
Why scraping and analyzing the SERP?
When I started doing SEO and writing for the web, I was doing over and over the same process.
Once the topic of my article is defined and main keywords researched, my very next step is to look at the SERP of Google in detail.
So I open my favourite web browser and:
- Google my main topic
- Start looking at the top articles
- Open every single page
- Extract data from all pages such as headlines (H1, H2, H3)
My goal is to understand what are the topics covered on these pages and in which order.
This process helps me to get a “feeling” of the structure of each article.
Additionally, I could find topics on these articles that could be missing or not detailed enough. These content gaps help me to create something more meaningful and complete for the readers.
Finally, the new article I’m creating must span over most of the search intent.
Yeah, I dropped the term: Search Intent… (and not only to be trendy).
Why are some pages ranking first on Google? (what a great question.)
Because Google considers that these pages offer the best “answers” to a specific search query.
These first pages offer the most accurate information and are aligned with what the user is looking for.
In other terms, these pages, their “shape” and content are aligned with the search intent.
By understanding the SERP, pages and elements displayed to the users, you could assume a particular user intent and create content going in that direction.
Through the SERP, you see the search intent
It is fascinating to observe the SERP.
To see what articles rank first. What SERP features are displayed.
The content and SERP features are here to offer the best “search” experience.
Also, they indicate to us (SEO experts and copywriters) how we should shape our content, videos, website and any other digital assets that can surface on Google Search.
Let’s have a practical example by analyzing the SERP step by step.
Step 1 – Understanding the SERP overview
Our search starts on the French Google page, and we are looking at “a tutorial about designing a logo“.
Here what we can observe on the SERP:
- A lot of organic pages
- An image bloc at the third position
Already an interesting sign: Images might be important for this search as the image block is high in the SERP. Users are looking for something visual.
Step 2 – Shape, number of words and images
Let’s dive a bit more into the SERP and extract essential information such as the word count and image count.
For this SERP, (on average) the number of words is 2’149, and the number of images is 25.
We can take another note here: Readers prefer long articles for this search. Or let’s phrase it differently: the article must be quite long to offer a complete answer.
Let’s continue our dive into the SERP by zooming at the first positions.
Step 3 – Focus on the top results and their structures
The first article is the longest in term of words and contains about 20 images in its body. Another sign that images or visuals are significant for this search.
We can as well see that the top articles have a lot of outbound links. What does it mean?
Outbound links offer annexe information to the readers. They help him to shape his vision on the searched topic.
Finally, the JSON Schema found on the pages tells that the content must be a type of “blog” or “article”. It makes sense here as we did not assume news or product landing page to rank well for this query.
We continue and look deeper at the on-page structure of each article.
The first result is the one offering the “richest” structure with a lot of sections.
We can also note that a “step by step approach” seems to be a great way to explain the topic.
Of course, we will have to continue our exploration and define in detail the topics to be included in the page. The most important thing remains the content, not the form.
The next step would therefore be the semantic analysis of the contents. (But we are not here to do a complete tutorial on SEO copywriting and search intent, we will save this for another article).
For the example, I assume that we have already discovered important information, and above all: you have understood the how to analyse the SERP.
Step 4 – Summarise the search intent
Finally, we can summarise the search intent for this SERP as follows.
When a user searches for “tutorial design logo“, he wants to learn a lot about the topic and he expects a detailed content with a lot of visuals.
The best answer has most likely the following shape:
- A long content like an article or blog post between 2’000 to 3’000 words
- With a detailed and comprehensive structure
- Including a step by step approach
- With several images
- And containing mentions to related articles and references.
By understanding the SERP, we can figure out what the reader wants and make an excellent copy to rank first.
Keep in mind it is not an exact science and also that search behaviour can change over time.
Finally this is why I created thruuu, an Awesome SERP Analyzer: To help understand the search intent through the SERP.
More than a SERP Tool
thruuu is more than a SERP Analyzer, and it should be in every SEO Toolbox.
Why? It is user-friendly and will save you a lot of time.
Indeed, you don’t need to open each page of the SERP, having 30 tabs open in Chrome, then scrape each of them with your favourite Chrome extension.
Also, thruuu will avoid you spending 2 hours debugging a python file because it doesn’t scrape the correct headlines.
thruuu is a time saver and helps you automate many tasks when it comes to SERP analysis.
Furthermore, thruuu is collecting on-page information and giving you a comprehensive view of Google Search to prepare your next articles.
Why SEO experts and copywriters use thruuu
Since the first version of thruuu back in Summer 2019, more than 200’000 SERP have been analyzed by the tool.
Many users use it daily or weekly. Here an overview of who they are and what they do.
They use thruuu to scrape and understand the SERP, and to be more precise, what they highlighted are:
- Spying on competitors’ page structure
- Understanding the user intent
- Getting content idea
- Making content audits
- Comparing the top rankings pages word count
- And finally saving time
I asked some users their best tips for using thruuu, and here’s what they said.
“It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the fancy data in popular SEO tools.” says Nia Gyant, a Freelance Writer and Brand Strategist. “thruuu focuses solely on what matters (AKA what’s currently ranking and what opportunities exist as a result). It shifts your mindset to focusing on what your audience needs from your content first and foremost, while still taking into account what search engines want and prioritize. thruuu speeds up the content creation process and, ultimately, helps me to help my clients rank better.”
A lot of SERP data. Fast
Dave Nillson, Director of The Converted Click, a London based SEO agency, shares the following: “I was looking for an effective tool to gather as much SERP data as possible quickly and efficiently. I came across the Thruuu SERP analyzer tool and was really impressed with how much data it shows you in such a way that enables you to gather core metrics relating to competition and SERP overview. The tool is extremely accurate and fast. My team has found it the tool to be an essential part of our daily content marketing, article briefs and general SEO efforts. I highly suggest grabbing Thruuu as it is a really powerful addition to any marketing set up.”
Discover fresh topics and unveil competitor content strategy
“I’ve been enjoying using this easy-to-use tool for a few months now. I publish articles on a new senior care blog, and the topics can be really complex” explains Greg Wilson Publisher at SeniorAffairs.com. He continues “I am able to learn about my fresh topic, discover my competitors and get lots of inspiration from the search results. It’s gotten a lot faster, and I find the info about the tags, heading and performance rating gives me an advantage.”
Google Search data are one click away
It could be the main feature of thruuu: in one click, you get a lot of data about the Google SERP and On-page information for every single result.
No need to code, no need to configure anything. If you know how to click on a button, that’s enough.
Let’s have a look at the other great features offered by thruuu.
International and local SERP at your fingerprint
You can scrape any SERP on Google by selecting the Google Search Engine of your choice together with country, language, device up to 100 organic pages (a.k.a search results).
For local SEO, you can as well indicate a location.
A comprehensive view of the SERP and on-page information
Once you click on “Scrape the SERP”, you get a detailed view of the SERP.
You get great insights such as word count, image count, creation date and last update.
Also, you get different views of the SERP.
The main one “Results” displays all the results with their on-page information. You have to click on a page to unveil more data and the table of content.
This view is kind of handy when you start planning your next article. You can easily filter and sort the SERP for instance by the longest page or the most recent. It gives you an interesting way to see the SERP and stay focused.
Other tabs display more information about titles, sections, descriptions, questions, keywords frequency and more.
Core Web Vitals and page performance
In May 2021, Google will use the Page Experience and Core Web Vitals as a new ranking factor.
Three page signals represent the Core Web Vitals
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures page loading performance
- First Input Delay (FID) measures the “responsiveness” of a page
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures visual stability
With thruuu, you get a view of the SERP against the page performance.
It helps you gauge how good or bad your page performs against the SERP landscape and decide whether you should focus on the performance topic as a priority.
Indeed, if you see that your page performs better than most of the pages on a SERP, maybe you could focus on other aspects of your SEO first. (This is just my 2 cents.)
For more detailed information, you get a panel “Performance” displaying two groups of data.
The first data are coming from Lighthouse (Page Speed Insights) and represent the lab data, and the second is coming from CRUX and represent the field data.
The latter is the one used by Google for the ranking factor related to the page performance.
Export Google Search results to Excel
Exporting Google SERP data to Excel with thruuu is also done in a click. It cannot be more simple.
For every SERP scraped, you have access to an Excel export.
So if you were wondering, how to export google search results to Excel, now you have your answer.
You will find more data in the Excel file like outbound links and JSON schema for every single page.
If you want to learn more about the other features of thruuu, I invite you to follow the next link. It will open the product page of thruuu.
Finally, if you are really curious, the best will be to try for yourself.
Create an account and start scraping the SERP with an Awesome SERP Analysis Tool.
Thanks to mentors, early adopters and contributors
If you follow my journey, you know that I started SEO as a beginner back in early 2019.
One of the very first sources of inspiration was Rory Truesdal, and especially one of his articles “How to Mine the SERPs for SEO, Content & Customer Insights“. (As you can see it also inspired the title of this current article).
This reading shaped my vision of SEO and copywriting. Naturally, it also guides the development of thruuu and will shape the vision for its future.
Also, I would like to give credits to the early users and especially the first people giving me some help to translate thruuu. It was amazing that the tool got translated into more than ten languages that quickly. Again, I would like to thank all of them.
My journey into SEO is not over, and the fascinating aspect of it is that there is something new to learn and experiment with every day.
Other sources inspired me a lot, such as the articles from Kevin Inding where he speaks about the SERP and user intent.
Finally, if you agree with my view of SEO, copywriting, and keen to dig more into the search intent, we can continue this journey together.
Hopefully, thruuu will continue to help you.
Samuel – Excellent walkthrough and content. We all have our own methods. Its always nice seeing the creators methods because you have your reasons for adding certain features. Being an ecommerce consultant, Ive always found success much easier evaluating their products in the same fashion. How many of my competitors creating content make this effort to know their competitors? Obviously none or at the very least there would be more FAQs and snippets focus. That makes this tool the competitive edge that at times can be very elusive. Thanks for your efforts!
thanks for your feedback. Indeed, I wanted to explain my thought process and SERP analysis. I could develop further in another article, I have more to say ;-)And you are right about opportunities. So many niches do not leverage the empty spots such as FAQ, Featured Snippet, Video block….