The SERP Analyzer by Surfer SEO has one of the user-friendly interfaces among its competitors. Yet, if you’re just getting started with the tool, it’s challenging to interpret what needs to get optimized.
What do those colored bars mean on the left-hand side?
How do I change the graph only to include one on-page factor to only include one on-page factor?
How do I compare my site to the competition so I can see it on the SERP analyzer graph?
What do I do before optimizing for target & variation keyword density?
All these answers and more are what went through my mind when I first started using the analyzer. We’ll answer the questions above and more in this article.
Table of Contents
How to Use Surfer’s SERP Analyzer
Getting to the SERP analyzer screen is quite easy with Surfer, as the SERP analyzer search bar is the default screen once you’re logged in.
Type in your target keyword and choose your geolocation. You can also select the desktop or mobile SERPs from the desktop and mobile icons.
Lastly, you can enable the toggle, and Surfer will take screenshots of the competitors ranking pages (so you don’t have to open them individually – giving them extra dwell time).
When you press the “enter” key on your keyboard Surfer will load the data for your settings and show you the SERP Analyzer screen:
Understanding the Correlation Bars and Graph
As you can see, a lot is going on here. To simple it down, though, there are three main components here:
- The ranking factors on the left-hand side (along with colored correlation bars/meters).
- A graph representing the SERP competition and how they rank among the on-page ranking factors.
- The tabs below the graph which indicate keywords and variations the competitors are using in their content.
The left-hand side has the main on-page ranking factors Surfer takes into account separated by categories.
Surfer’s on-page categories are:
- Search Visibility
- Backlinks (new)
By default, the analyzer starts with the Words checkbox selected filed under Structure > body. You can see there are correlation meters next to each analyzed ranking factor. Green means a higher correlation factor, while red is lower (you can hover over them to get a percentage).
Checking off a second checkbox will let you compare two sets of on-page factors on the graph at the same time.
Furthermore, to manipulate the way the graph displays chosen data factors, you can click the Averages toggle and get the exact word count (for example) each of the top-ranking websites has.
Comparing Your Site to The Competitors
To examine your site with the rest of the competitors ranking in the SERPs, you can enter your page URL in the section below the graph.
Clicking the Compare button will now include a horizontal graph in the graph that will be displayed when you analyze different factors in Surfer.
You can take your competitor analysis even further by clicking the orange Exclude all page eye icon and choosing your competitors manually and then comparing your website!
Filtering down your competitors can lead to better on-page optimization changes.
Are you starting to understand the power of Surfer? This is just one of their main on-page SEO tools. Their second primary tool, which is equally as powerful, is their Content Editor, which allows you to create content or outsource content that’s already pre-optimized based on selected competition.
Both Surfer’s SERP Analyzer and Content Editor come included in all their pricing options. You can check out the Surfer SEO pricing options in our latest Surfer review.
Anywho, we’re not done with Surfer’s SERP Analyzer’s capabilities yet. Surfer’s audit feature takes things to the next level.
Advanced SERP Analyzer On-Page Audit
Surfer’s on-page audit is one of the easiest things you can run and optimize for once you understand how to choose your competitors, as I explained above.
To run a Surfer audit, you need to have selected your competitors and entered your page for comparison. Once you’ve clicked on the comparison button, you’ll need to click on your URL’s Audit button.
Once you’ve clicked the Audit button, you’ll see a smaller native Surfer screen titled Surfer Audit for your specific target keyword on-page “to-do lists,” all based on your competitor selection.
It basically breaks down all the on-page correlation factors you see in the SERP analyzer but in a more instructive format. For example, this is where you’ll get keyword density optimization recommendations.
This will make sure you’re not over-optimized or under-optimized for words and phrases on your page.
To get a better understanding of how the audit works, watch the video below by Matt Diggity, who lost one of his #1 rankings and recovered it using Surfer’s Audit tool.
Surfer SEO’s audit is a fantastic tool. I’ve heard Matt talk about it on a podcast this past year, and it’s catching steam by SEOs all around the world.
If you still don’t have Surfer, make sure to get started with your trial ASAP and start beating your competitors in the SERPs!