Using SERPsketch to identify cross-channel gaps in your SEO, SEM and Content strategies

In this video we use example sketches to explain what insights you can glean from SERPsketch that you cannot get from other SEO tools. 

We set up sketch examples for the brands Albaray and Beauty Pie. With SERPsketch, you don’t need to add any code to your website so can run a sketch on any brand so long as you know their domain.

To try SERPsketch for yourself, go to


Thanks for joining us today. You’ve been using SERPsketch for a few years now and I know that you find some quite useful insights from it for your clients. Do you want to just give us a really quick bit of background to what you do and how you use SERPsketch?
Yeah, sure. So I am the Managing director of an agency called Verkeer and what we do is all things digital marketing and look at it from an integrated perspective. So that’s SEO and paid search, social, advising on digital PR, the whole works. And what we love about SERPsketch is you can get that total view of page one of the SERP and the impact of your work to help make decisions on which channels to use and whether we’re doing the right thing and whether anything happening could be impacting performance elsewhere. So lots and lots of different ways.
Great. So let’s just make it clear to anyone watching the video. We’re not gonna run through how you set up a sketch or the ins and outs of the workings of SERPsketch from a setup point of view, because we’ve got lots of video content on our website for that. But you’re going to show us some examples and again, let’s make this clear these are not brands that were affiliated with these are just examples that we’ve created in SERPsketch, and you’re gonna show us what we see when we, when we use SERPsketch to run some keywords for a particular brand.
Yeah, absolutely. So I think one of the best things about SERPsketch is because you don’t have to install it, it’s all publicly available data, which means you can spy on competitors, you can use it for prospecting, for new business to have a little look at the market, use to build market reports. You can put any brand in, you don’t have to be working on the account.
So I thought I’d show you examples of just two brands that I like. Easier to talk about, things you’re interested in. So I’m going to talk to you about Albaray who are a clothing company and Beauty Pie who are makeup skin care products, that kind of thing.  And so maybe I’ll do some screen sharing. 
Brilliant. Thanks.
So what you can see here is a sketch that I’ve run for the company Albaray. For those of you that don’t know it, it’s the brand that Claudia Winkleman was wearing in The Traitors like the whole time. So it became increasingly popular over the last few months.
You can see here I’ve popped in the domain that they own, so the root domain. I’ve popped in some kind of partner like similar domains where maybe their products can could be stocked and just to kind of show the difference and then some competitors who I would say probably not the same audience and they’re not going to want to be fighting with in the SERP. Somebody shopping at Albaray is probably unlikely to also be shopping at PrettyLittleThing, for example.
And I think that’s really interesting because if you see these competitors taking a lot of space, maybe that tells us that actually they’re not ranking for the right keywords.
And you can see here where I’ve been tracking the data over time, probably since I saw that jumper with the little smileys on the elbows and started tracking in January.
And then you can select a point where you want to compare to. 
So I’ve thought we’ll track a couple of weeks worth of data and have a look and compare how the landscape changed over those last two weeks.
And then as you go down what you can see is for all of the keywords that I’ve set up tracking and see how much of that space on page one is owned by Albaray
And then how much is partner space and how much is competitor space and how much is the domain we haven’t put in.
I think this is interesting because it’s space rather than position, so you’re not just saying ohh we’re top of the SERP. We’re saying, well, how much actual real estate are you taking?
Yeah. And then if we click into a keyword, you can see that in action. So here you can see for this keyword black velvet miniskirt, the fact that you’ve got kind of shopping results at the top and how much space they take up in terms of unit. You’ve got organic space and then you can see people also ask the questions that are appearing.
I think what’s interesting here is you can kind of toggle between point A and point B. 
I really like that, being able to do that visual comparison I think is great.
Yeah, it’s so useful and that you can immediately see how Albaray took more space. We jumped from point A and into point B. You can see literally they’ve just started running shopping ads and they probably weren’t finding they were that profitable to start with. And then as their brand rose up in popularity, they’ve probably gone,
“Actually, these ads can work for us now. We’re more likely to get the clicks,” and it’s good to see them owning more space.
And then you can kind of also get some content ideas down here. So can you wear mini skirts after 50? What top would I wear with the mini skirt? 
All of that gives you some idea of what sort of content you could produce to kind of try and boost your rankings too.
Cool. So beyond, just like the individual keyword, I also really like this features tab. And and I like these pie charts. Well, doughnuts I guess that tell you how much space you’re taking up and how much potential space there is for that type of search so you can see, like loads of space, 10% of the space is shopping. So it’s really worth running shopping ads. And then you can also see 6% of the spaces images.
And that’s something that Albaray haven’t really optimised for yet. They only own 2% of that, but they’re competitors are all over it and that would tell me to maybe go and do some quick win image optimization. You might be able to kind of steal those rankings quite quickly if your competitors aren’t actively doing the work.
Cool. And then the other part of the tool that I really like is jumping into the people also ask so great.
Yeah, this is great.
Yeah. I just think it’s so interesting to see what people are searching for alongside your keyword. Like what else did they want to know?
So SERPsketch does this in a slightly different way to other tools, so it looks at number of instances. Normally a tool just like shows you if the People also ask appears once.
But what this does you can click in on it and you can see all of the keywords that triggered that search. 
So having three times this question appears means I should definitely write content on this, whereas if it was kind of maybe one of these ones that’s on the next page where you can see like our puddle pants still in that only appears once and and that’s something that only like recently one search. Is it worth doing when it’s one product that Albaray sell.
Probably not. Whereas you can see those ones that are appearing time and time again are the ones you’d focus your efforts on.
And in this view, if you could just scroll up a bit. So we’re looking at the total questions, but you can also then choose to look at the questions, specifically that Albaray owns, right?
Yeah. So I can then click here and set it so that it can. It shows me like what top goes with the sequence skirt and what are Albaray clothes made of. And you can start to see which ones they own and you can see they previously what like how that’s changed as well before.
So interestingly, they only own it there. It only occurs once now this question, whereas before it was occurring twice. Yeah. So that’s good to kind of understand fewer people are looking at that and.
Fewer people are searching for that now.
That’s what’s interesting about these results is obviously three out of the four that they own are specifically related to their brand name, but one isn’t.
Yes, and they had a particularly like famous silver sequin skirt. So it did really well. So you can jump back into your individual keywords
if you see something like that and Click to find it. And you can see actually just in that time period, we’re looking at their own space did increase. And they were taking away from partners and competitors.
Yep. OK.
And then when we’re in that keyword, what you can see is actually they have quite a high organic listing. You can see that images are appearing actually in the SERP.
So if they had an optimised image of like their famous silver sequin skirt, that would be the best way to take the space. Yeah. And then here you can see that question and see the fact their owning it.
If you wanted to see what page they’re owning it with, you can toggle up here as well and jump into URLs and then I can click on this and see like it’s actually the product page itself that’s owning that answer, rather than a particular content page.
Cool. So moving on from kind of Albaray, I think I’ll show you a little bit about Beauty Pie, which is another brand that I love. 
So again, I’ve set a date range here to compare two points, but I’ve left my sketch running over time, just in case I ever want to see anymore changes or have a look at a different time period. So I think that’s great because you know you can filter down, but also you can leave it storing data in the background for you for when you come back to look at it.
And I think what’s really interesting here is if I jump into the SERP features…
Wow, there’s loads.
Literally loads so much more than Albaray, I guess because it’s such a fast moving product. And what you can see is that PPC ads is owning space as well as shopping
So on this keyword set, there’s the intent for people to shop and buy, but there’s also the intent for people to maybe be browsing that’s less product driven and I think that’s just because like for those of you that are into skin care, you spend so long researching that those kind of more like informative more text-based ads, there’s still a place for them here as well as driving direct to product when someone’s ready to buy.
So just just before we move into any more depth on this, just can you just explain so this these are all the Google features that appear across the keywords that you’ve added it so this doesn’t appear for every single keyword that we added in.
Yeah. So it’s an average of the keywords that I’ve put in. So I think I put in about 50 keywords of various kind of beauty products that we know Beauty Pie stock just to get an idea of their landscape.
And that’s great for when you’re not actively doing SEO for them or actively doing paid. But if it was a client where maybe I was actively working on, I might pick one particular product vertical and focus on that and run a campaign sketch on that. And then also run a campaign sketch on the next vertical and compare.
If it was someone like ASOS, compare their shoe SERPs versus their women’s dresses SERPs and kind of start to segment it down that way. But here I’ve just used a bit of a random selection.
So here you can kind of see like on average what’s appearing in the SERP and start to understand those broader tactics. I think people also ask takes up a lot of space here, like 11% quite a large share of that SERP.
But also related searches. So that’s you know when you Google something and at the bottom it has the related searches simple search that’s that bit and that happens on searches where it’s like longer search journeys. 
We often see that there’s more and more related searches.
This now no one can own a related search. Unfortunately, it’s just Google that owns them, obviously because it just sends you through to another search. So this 0% is pretty normal, but I’d say this 15% is a really high share. So if I was out talking to those people as a client, I’d jump into the related searches tab and what you can see is OK, see more we know is a pretty standard thing Google put in, not a big deal. But then you start to see this, which is really interesting like related brands. So it’s interesting to show that normally when people are searching for Beauty Pie and their products, they also do a comparative search where they look at Beauty Bay and Look Fantastic and SpaceNK.
And that shows you that actually there’s a really big play here to capture that audience and get them to be a loyal customer because they’re so open to experimenting and looking at the alternatives.
And and I think the other thing that’s interesting is you can see the membership kind related query and reviews Trustpilot and it shows that maybe people just want to check it’s legit. So Beauty Pie sells products that are non-branded like they make it cheaper to access great products by effectively making an unbranded version. So a lot of people would instantly say why is it so cheap if it’s that good?
And I think seeing that this is a related search that people are going straight to check your reviews shows that for a client like this, they really need to focus on building reviews across every review platform and making sure they’ve got that positive image online. Otherwise they’re going to fight against that from getting people to sign up to membership.
I thought I’d show you an interesting keyword here, which is bronze eyeliner, so that’s one of the products that Beauty Pie have and you can see that they’ve had a good growth in the space that they own between the kind of two weeks we’re looking at here, which initially looks really positive.
When I click into the search to see what’s causing that, if I look at point A, I’ve got a a shopping result here for my molten bronze eyeliner, which makes total sense for the query. I don’t own the organic listing, which is a bit of a shame. Might need to work on the SEO there for the product.
And then lower down the page, you’ll see I don’t own any of the questions and actually some direct competitors do, which if we toggle there, you can see the direct competitors like Laura Mercier. Why do I always pick brands that I can’t say? Birdie who are reviewing the products and then Charlotte Tilbury, a direct competitor as well.
So looking back at to what’s changed, the main thing that’s actually changed here and their growth has come from this second shopping listing.
But what’s really interesting is like, that’s not a bronze eyeliner. Instead, it’s like a nice purple eyeliner, and I think that’s interesting. I’m definitely not saying Beauty Pie are doing anything wrong, because maybe when people search bronze eyeliner, typically a bronze might go with a kind of Hazel or a green eye. Maybe they’ll look nice a purple and they don’t experiment outside and seeing it, they might get a lot of conversions because potentially the purple stands out versus the other colours here.
But equally if it’s not converting, this could be a great sign as somewhere they could pull back budget and make sure that their products are tagged up by colour and that they don’t appear on different kind of searches. So it’s definitely SERPsketch won’t tell you what to do, but it will tell you what to look into.
And I think this shows a really great point for someone to go and speak to the paid team and say, “What are we seeing from this test? Should we be turning this off? Because do we really want to own that space?Or do we have a different bronze product that could be here instead?”
And then you can see further down the SERP they now have an organic ranking which is great. That molten bronze is coming up the SERP, but you’ll see that actually they still don’t own these questions. So I would then probably suggest they take this away and actually say should they be building up better reviews of their products for on Quora and also on that site before Birdie that was owning a lot. Should they be contacting those and trying to get better reviews?
But also they should probably be producing some content here that covers these, so there’s matching the colour of eyeliner to colour of eye. Seems a really common question, so having a piece of content that covers that and covers eye types and stuff could be a really great win and would help them cover off all three of these questions in one.
And probably a lot more variations if you broaden this across all their products set. 
So you talked about that obviously being quite useful within SERPsketch and what’s your experience with other SEO tools? Why don’t they present the data in the same way? Like why can’t you see that visualisation and be able to identify that potentially incorrect ad for that keyword?
So I think a lot of the other tools that we use are single channel. So it’s look at your SEO rankings positions one to 10, do you own the answer box and that doesn’t factor in what’s going on with paid on the same page and doesn’t factor in maybe those partner sites?
So instead what you normally see is a static SEO view which will list your position with a number and then you’ll see a paid like the paid teams always rely on their Google ads in platform kind of performance stats which doesn’t factor into what’s happening on the SERP. So they’ll be seeing,
“Great. We own 20% of shopping. That’s a great impression share for us for the amount we’re bidding. We’re happy with that and our conversion rates good.”
They won’t be factoring in, well, what’s the user actually seeing? What more is there to it? Because there isn’t another tool that does that and shows you what’s appearing around your ads.
So the other sketch that I had to show you was one that was set up just around kind of like flat rental in London. 
And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but living in London is outrageously expensive and we were kind of positioning it from a challenge of like what’s going on in the market? What are people searching for? And what you can see is we took all of the variations of 1 bed apartment to rent London, one bedroom for rent, 2 bedroom and so on
in order to build out a picture of what’s going on because what we were seeing is even if a website was ranking quite high up it wasn’t having much impact in terms of like actual inquiries and people engaging with that business and we found something really interesting in people also asked that I thought I’d show you.
So we ran this between November and December last year and what we saw was some of these questions increased in terms of instances (i.e. the number of times they appeared in a page one SERP in this keyword set) by 14 points 
That’s a big increase, isn’t.
Yeah, especially I think we’re looking at like only a handful of keywords here. So to be seeing it occur that much means this is basically occurring on nearly every keyword. Yeah. So any time anyone is searching for a variation of an apartment size for rent across London, it says, can you find it cheap? And I think that shows us really that the market has shifted. So the demand is people want something better priced and actually rankings are well and good. But those people are looking and shopping around for the best deal. So being able to answer this question is going to get you so much more visibility by being able to prove kind of the value for money that your service offers.
This you’re gonna get much more awareness and much more reach with your potential customers than purely owning an organic listing for something like one bedroom apartment to rent and you see that trend because it happens on “Are studios cheaper than flats?”
People asking about salaries and then these increases in like how much is the average rent,  and which is cheaper and all of those seeing increases shows that this market is shifting into price sensitivity in December which kind of makes sense like that’s a time when people aren’t desperate to move before Christmas. It’s a stressful time of year to be doing it.  Yeah, it’s a time when those who are moving probably have to shop around for a good deal. There’s probably a reason for the move rather than just because, so I think it kind of matches that market. And I’d say that’s probably like one of the most interesting things here about using people also ask to fuel a content strategy.
Normally I’d do a content strategy and decide what goes on page by using keyword research and search volumes. But they don’t get updated that often, the search volume data is kind of controlled by Google providing how often something searched and then you’ve got tools that provide search volumes. Nothing quite matches up, but it’s not updated weekly. It’s usually the past month’s average.
Whereas people also ask can change daily and SERPsketch can pick that up and show you this trend before it’s reflected in search volumes, which means you can be ahead of the market with what you’re doing in terms of your content and your on page optimization. 
That’s fantastic. So where do you see SERPsketch fitting in with other SEO tools? I mean I’m assuming you use it as well as some other things?
Yeah. So we use a couple of other tools for when we’re doing like our main keyword research and finding keyword opportunities. And then I would say like when we get going with the client in terms of on page optimization, creating content strategy, that’s where SERPsketch can really help us create those kind of like topical content clusters and help us understand what’s going on in the SERP from an SEO perspective.
And then we normally run an ongoing sketch across kind of a core set of keywords for each client, where we can compare all channels and use it as kind of an indicator as to if anything does drop in paid search and shopping or in social what could have caused it.
So we use it kind of as that maintenance, but also as that kind of like strategic piece. I think you can really easily when you’re getting set up like import your keywords. So you can either use a template or copy and paste them in from another tool and then yeah, we then export this, because you can export all of this data into a spreadsheet, and then we actually connect it back into Looker Studio as well.
We should probably make it clear, like when you’re adding a a campaign sketch into SERPsketch, you want to try and narrow your keywords into the topic clusters that you would typically do anyway. So if you’re Dyson, you don’t want to do one sketch that covers vacuum cleaners and hair dryers. You want to do and you possibly want to do individual sketches for the different types of vacuum cleaner, don’t you? I think that’s the best way to use it.
Yeah, exactly you want the data to be meaningful and obviously mainly you’re looking at an aggregate here across the keywords. So if you’re not, if you put in two broad a set it’s just not meaningful data to work with, yeah.
And we should also mention so in terms of paying for SERPsketch we run it on a individual credit basis as in every keyword is 1 credit. So actually if you’ve got 100 keywords in a campaign and you’re running it once a month, that’s going to cost you 100 credits.  And so it’s actually really reasonable and the credit amounts are teeny weenie. They’re like under 1p for one keyword. How often do you actually run your sketches? That’s probably worth asking. So I’ve just said 100 keywords in one month isn’t gonna cost much, but do you find you need to run it more often?
I think it really depends. So like that maintenance sketch that I was talking about where you have that kind of campaign just to check nothing crazy happens, I‘d run monthly, but then these kind of more tactical topical clusters. Here’s my focus on what I’m going to improve those ones I’d probably set them up weekly. The good thing about SERPsketch is that you can see here like you can trigger it to run and trigger your sketch to run at any point.
And then also when it’s actively running, you can pause it as well if you don’t want to run it the next time. 
So if you set it up weekly while you’re focused on it, you then maybe might pause it and say I’m gonna leave it to bed in, leave my work, see what happens, and then you might choose to run it as a one off a month later to see the impact. And then change the frequency.
Has there ever been a circumstance where you’d recommend somebody runs it daily.
If you’re in peak press times, I would absolutely run it daily.  So probably if you took that Albaray one as an example, if I was actively working for them whilst Traitors was out and Claudia Winkleman’s fashion was getting so much attention, I’d probably have been running it daily because you’d be pulling out like digital PR opportunities. So the same way like traditionally we’d all monitor things like Google mentions and see times our brand is mentioned well in SERPsketch if you were running it daily, what you could do is pull out instead the sites that start ranking for keywords that are related to you.
And start contacting those sites and saying, “hey, you’ve written about the outfit from last night’s show. That’s our jumper. Please, can you reference us?…We’d love to do an interview with you,” that kind of thing. You’d pick up those opportunities a lot quicker by running it daily. 
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