Update (Jan 15, 2015): After you’re done reading this post, be sure to check out Han and Nate’s new keyword tool that makes it easy to scrape your competitor’s keywords and do bulk competition analysis.
This is the 2nd of 3 keyword research videos I did for interns that started in the summer of 2013. I’ve decided to just open up these videos. You’ll notice I’m using the old version of GAKT (may it rest in peace), but aside from that nothing has changed here.
The video is all about how to identify verticals in which the SERPs are being monopolized by a subset of sites or “category killers”. If you’re trying to compete with them you should think again. It also delves a little into universal search exploitation, an area with a lot of opportunity right now. It’s kind of just a brain dump on how I analyze SERPs. Like my brain, the video is a bit scattered and ends suddenly – but I think it’s useful in showing how to analyze SERPs and look at the big picture behind them.
Be aware of the nature of the SERP and how to take advantage of it.
Is it informational? If so pay attention to DA, take advantage of authorship. Pay attention to the # of indexed pages in the SERPs.
Is it generic? If so be aware of how Google attempts to diversify SERPs, take advantage of youtube, google+, Google News and Google Images where-ever you can. Understand that likely 2-3 of the SERPs are being placed there because of Google’s cluelessness (usually Wikipedia, Amazon/Ebay and Youtube).
Is it Ecommerce? Again be aware of DA, take advantage of using meta data such as ratings and reviews, both on-page and site-wide. Hard to beat.
Is it Navigational? Be aware that your SERP CTR is going to be at most 10% even if you rank 2nd (because of the authority site links). You can possibly get higher if you use a contraversial title.
Is it Monopolized? Is there a single domains or a ccTLD lean (.edu, or geo-specific) that take more than 2 results in the top 10? If so be aware that these are things you cannot beat.
And finally my mantra – “Match your competitors on-page and beat them off-page.” You know about expired domains, and they most likely do not.