Fast SEO Competitive Analysis Part 3: Search Presence

This is the third and final part of a series on fast SEO competitive analysis. In the first article we went over the basic, but essential keyword research process. Focusing on more than just individual keywords, and looking specifically for search behaviorand categorizing target keywords.

In part two we identified where content gaps existed by looking at what was most relevant in Google search, compared to what Google found most relevant specific to a particular site. Step one, content. Step two, ranking eligibility.

Part three brings it all together as we look at detailed competitive analysis. Using SERP presence data to understanding the competitive landscape. Not just for our targeted keywords, but for each search behavior.

Tools Used:

Competition Segmented by Search Behavior

Starting from hundreds of searched terms customers are using to find Google Sites, our example used in part one, we were able to boil down search behavior into a single sentence. When customers search on Google, they want to build/create/make/start a Web page or site, and they want it to be free/easy/online.

Using the Advanced Web Ranking data from part two and VLOOKUP to pull in search volume, we can create a pivot table that will allow us to identify the most present SERP competitors for particular keywords or keyword combinations.

As seen in the video above, it’s possible to create a dashboard by grabbing the top 10 competitors for each identified search behavior. Below is an example of competition identified for the most basic components of the keyword combinations used to search for the offerings of Google Sites.


Using Search Presence to Form SEO Strategy

So much can be learned from understanding competition at a SERP and search behavior level. Just looking at the difference between “Build,” “Create,” “Make,” and “Start” in the image above, reveals how the competition changes depending on the search behavior/the keywords used.

Each of these keyword trends has different demographics and customers with different end goals. Take as little or as much of this into consideration as you’d like when beginning to form SEO strategy. Sometimes going with the gut works better than any amount of research, here we’ll do a little of both.

Referencing keyword research from part one to understand search volume and the Dashboard we just created to gauge competition, let’s focus on creating an SEO strategy for potential customers searching “build” a website or webpage, for “free.” Google Sites is a truly free solution, unlike some of their top competitors that have very limited free versions. This in combination with the domain authority alone, should be enough to compete in these target SERPs.

Using the Search Presence Pivot Table to show competition for keywords that contain both “build” or “free,”the top 10 competitors are:


Now that we’ve identified our target niche and top competitors, let’s pick out a specific keyword that is representative of SERPs in which we’d like to compete, free website builder.

Now, referencing the Content Comparison Dashboard from part two, we can see in the image below that Google doesn’t know about any relevant content about a free website builder on Feedproxy URLs that 301 redirect to other domains are currently showing up as most relevant. Immediate action items from this finding are:

  1. Look into removing URLs from Google’s index.
  2. Develop content describing Google Sites as what it is, a free website builder.
  3. Identify internal linking, external linking, social mentions, etc. at a SERP level.


It must be possible to find relevant content using the advanced search free website builder in Google Search, in order to compete in Google Search results for free website builder. Google needs to remove feedproxy URLs from the index, then develop content that compares to,, and other top competitors in this space.

SERP Competition and Technical SEO

Technical SEO can be applied using a competitive SERP presence approach. It helps illustrate a technical win within context of quantifiable search volume. It tells a story everyone can relate to within context of competition. Finally, it’s a benchmark that can be referenced as SEO recommendations are implemented.

Once content is developed and technical issues are fixed, using the “meet and beat” approach at the SERP and page level for all known ranking factors such as links, will provide context into other efforts necessary to competing.

Related reading

A screenshot of visual search on Pinterest. On the left is a picture of a copper angle-poise lamp, with the words 'Visually similar results' above it. Down the right-hand side are a number of pins showing similar lamps.
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