How to Use STAT to Find SEO Opportunities at Scale

Mar 2, 2023 | SEO News Feeds | 0 comments

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The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

You may already be familiar with STAT Search Analytics and its rank tracking abilities, but did you know it can also help you discover SEO opportunities on a massive scale? In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Cyrus shows you how to dig into STAT to do just that. 

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a larger version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Hi, everybody. Welcome. My name is Cyrus. Today the thing I want to talk about is how to use STAT to find SEO opportunities at scale, and I mean massive scale. 

Now a lot of you have probably heard of STAT. You may know that it has an excellent reputation. But it’s possible you haven’t actually used it or have a very good understanding of what it actually does. 

So that’s what I’m going to try to cover today and explain how powerful it is at discovering SEO opportunities in ways that can inform content strategy, competitive analysis, and a lot more. 

What is STAT?

So STAT, the full name of STAT is actually STAT Search Analytics. On the surface, what a lot of people understand is that it is a rank tracker, tracking thousands of keywords at a time anywhere across the globe. But underneath the hood, it’s actually a lot more than a rank tracker. It’s a rank tracker. It’s a competitive landscape tool. It’s SERP analysis and intent. It allows you to do some pretty incredible things once you dig into the data.

Keyword attribution

So let me dig into a little bit about how it actually works. So like a lot of keyword rank trackers, you start with keywords. But one of the differences is all the different attributes that you can assign to each of your keywords. 

So first is very familiar, the market or the search engine. So you want Canadian English results or Canadian French results. Any market in the world that’s available it’s pretty much available for you to use in STAT. 

The second is location, which is a slightly different concept. So you can define ZIP Codes, cities, be as specific as you want. This is very important for multiple location businesses or if you’re running an advertising campaign in a certain part of the country and you want to track very specific results. But you can define location very specifically for each of your keywords. 

Third is device, mobile or desktop, especially important with mobile-first indexing and increasing mobile results. But also tags, smart tags, and this is where the true power of STAT comes in, the ways that you can use smart tagging. 

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Smart tagging

So you can tag your keywords in multiple ways, assigning multiple tags to slice them and dice them any way you want. 

So different ways that you can tag keywords in STAT is anything that’s important to your business. For example, you can create keyword groups based on what’s important to you. On Moz, we tag keywords with “SEO” in it or anything that’s important to your business that you want to create a keyword cohort out of. Or location, like we were talking about, if you’re running an advertising campaign in Indiana and you want to tag certain keywords that you’re targeting there, something like that. Or all your Kansas city keywords or your London or Berlin keywords. 

Product categories. So if you sell multiple categories, you sell TVs, books, dresses, anything you want, you might want to tag all of those into a particular keyword category. Or attributes, such as a 55-inch television versus a 48-inch television, when you want to get very, very specific across your product line.

Also your brand. At Moz, we track everything with the word “Moz” in it, or Nike or Apple or whatever your brand is or if you have multiple brands. Basically, anything that’s important to your business, any KPI that you measure, anything that’s relevant to your marketing department or finance or anything else like that, you can tag, and that’s where the true power comes in, because once you tag, you’ve created a keyword cohort or a group.

Share of voice

Then you can see your share of voice across that entire market using just that group. So if you want to track yourself against a very specific set of keywords, you can see your share of voice, share of voice meaning how much visibility you have in Google search results, and STAT will show you your exact competitors and how you rank among those.

Hand drawn example of a STAT Share of Voice chart.

Generally, you want to see yourself going up and to the right. But if you’re not, you can see exactly who’s beating you and where their movement is, and how you’re doing for that specific keyword group, which is incredibly valuable when you’re working on a particular set of keywords or a campaign. 

SERP features + intent

But my favorite part — and this is where the true power comes in, because it can inform your content strategy and this is where the SEO opportunities are actually at — is the analysis of SERP features and intent. Because what STAT will do is, out of the thousands of keywords that you put into it, it will analyze the entire SERP of each of those and it will collect all the SERP features that it finds and tell you exactly what you own and don’t own and where your opportunities are.

Hand drawn bar graph showing examples of SERP features and ownership of those SERP features.

So let’s give an example that’s a little more concrete. So let’s say you track a bunch of keywords within a particular cohort and you see that most of the results have a featured snippet. STAT will show you exactly what you own and what you don’t own. Now what’s cool about this is you can click into what you don’t own and you can see the exact featured snippets that your competitors own that you can actually create some content strategy around and try and go steal those.

A different way is images or news. So let’s say that you notice that you’re selling TVs or something like that and almost all the SERPs have images and you don’t own any of them. So something like that can inform your content strategy, where you go to your team and you say, “Hey, folks, we need to create more images, or we need better structured data to get Google to show the images because this is the intent for this type of keyword, and we’re simply not owning it in this way.”

Same thing with news. If you notice a lot of news results and you’re not a news organization but you’re competing for these keywords, that can inform your content strategy and maybe you need to go after those news keywords or try something else. Video is another one. More and more SERPs have video results with video carousel and things like that. You can see exactly what you own and what you don’t own.

A lot of times you’re going to find that certain domains are beating you on those videos and that may inform, especially for the high volume keywords that you want to go after, you may want to be creating more video content for that. But it all depends on the SERP, and you’re going to find different feature sets and different combinations for every keyword cohort that you do.

So what’s important to you and what’s important to track it’s going to show up differently every time, but it’s going to show you exactly where the opportunities are. FAQs are another thing, rich snippets sort of results. You may find that your competitors are all using FAQ markup. You’re not using any. That could inform your SEO strategy, and you might start incorporating more FAQs because Google is obviously rewarding those in the SERPs and your competitors are gaining those and not you.

Other things, virtually any SERP feature that’s trackable. You can find local results. Twitter boxes. You may find that for certain queries Google is surfacing Twitter results and maybe that means you need to be on Twitter more than you actually are right now and see who’s ranking for those results instead of something that you’re doing on-site.

Maybe it’s you need to do more YouTube. It’s not all necessarily on your site. But this will tell you where you need to invest those opportunities. Review stars, podcasts, and more. All of this will tell you what’s important and where the opportunities are and where you’re winning and losing and the exact keywords that you can go after if you want to win and the exact feature sets where your competitors are getting traffic and you aren’t.

So I use STAT, I love it, every week. It’s a great tool. If you want to try it out, I encourage you to do so. That’s it for me. Thanks, everybody.

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