The cringe-inducing phrase “content is [redacted]” has been used over and over like a wet dishrag.
We get it. Let’s move on.
It doesn’t have the same impact in today’s digital landscape where everybody and their mother already has great content on their site.
If you want to rise above the pack and claim the throne in your industry, you’ll still do it with content. However, you not only need great content but optimized content.
Content and SEO are the two halves of a whole, sustainable digital marketing strategy.
Therefore, a more appropriate phrase nowadays is:
Content plus SEO is king.
SEO helps businesses increase their online search visibility so they’re more easily found by their target audience. In fact, SEO continues to be looked upon by 82 percent of marketers as one of the most efficient ways to reach their audience. And 42 percent of people in the same study believe that its effectiveness continues to increase.
We used to be able to do SEO without content—those were different times, full of keyword stuffing and gaming the search engine algorithms.
While content marketing came a bit later in the game, its impact on the digital marketing industry is being felt more than ever. In a recent study conducted by Hubspot, 53 percent of marketers said that their top inbound marketing priority in 2017 is blog content creation. It was only beat out by “Growing SEO/Organic Presence,” which 61 percent of the same marketers noted as a main priority.
Done right, content can guide customers down your sales funnel. According to a Demand Gen Report study last year, 47 percent of clients read 3-5 content pieces from businesses first before talking to a sales rep.
While both tactics can be approached separately, the power of SEO and content marketing is amplified when combined. More than that—SEO and content marketing are now fused together, to the point where you can’t do one without the other.
If you don’t agree, then you’re among the 3 percent of marketers who consider them to be two separate disciplines:
Is that where you want to be? Don’t be like that 3 percent.
If you want to get in touch with your online audience, then you need to recognize the relationship between SEO and content marketing and use it to your advantage.
How to Utilize the SEO + Content Marketing Combo
So, now we know that SEO and content marketing go hand in hand.
SEO will make you more visible to potential customers and get visitors to your site. Content will keep them reading your site and propel them through your sales funnel.
Even so, it seems like there are no dedicated tools that help you manage both areas seamlessly.
While there are popular and highly-rated SEO and content marketing tools in the market, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single tool that does both jobs effectively.
This fact is particularly the case for enterprise-level business. There’s a huge demand for large companies to conduct comprehensive market research online and launch a scalable content strategy in the most efficient way possible.
If 55 percent of B2B marketers are unsure of what constitutes “content marketing success,” then it’s clear that there’s a void left by not having a tool that will help them connect SEO and content marketing to get big results.
This is the reason why Searchmetrics plays a vital role in today’s burgeoning digital marketing industry.
What Is Searchmetrics?
Searchmetrics is an enterprise tool that provides “search experience optimization solutions.” In layman’s terms, the tool aims to help you develop scalable campaigns that combine SEO and content marketing practices.
It’s perfect for large businesses looking to unearth mountains of user data in the simplest and most efficient way possible.
Searchmetrics helps you find answers to the following questions, which are ones that most businesses don’t have answers for:
- How can we find the right target audience? Searchmetrics helps you accurately refine your target audience so you can attract the right people to your business and easily convert them into sales.
- What is our target audience searching for online? This tool can help you increase your organic search visibility (for the right people) by finding out the keywords your target audience types into search engines.
- What kind of content should we create? With Searchmetrics, you’ll create content that both search engines and your audience will love, and that brings readers down a smart sales funnel.
- How does our competitor fare against us? Get in-depth data about your competitors to see tactics that you can replicate and areas of weaknesses that you can capitalize on to overtake them in the search engines.
In this review, I’ll discuss with you how you can answer these questions for your business using Searchmetrics and how it fares as a digital marketing enterprise tool overall.
Review: How Searchmetrics Optimizes Your Content Creation Process
To help you integrate SEO and content marketing into your campaigns, Searchmetrics offers two main features: Research Cloud and Content Experience.
1. Research Cloud
The Research Cloud allows you to find an extensive amount of data about any site to help you piece together a digital marketing strategy that best fits your business.
It all begins with the Domain Overview.
Here, you can type out the domain that you want to analyze (whether it’s for your site or your competitor’s site).
For this example, I’ll be researching amazon.com in the Google US database.
The results will show you the site’s visibility statistics. With this information, you should get a better sense of the kind of SEO campaign you’re running and how many people are seeing you after typing queries into search engines.
You can also compare your competitors in the Domain Overview so you can benchmark your performance against theirs right from the very start.
If you want to compare the data regarding search engine visibility, you can do a side-by-side analysis of your website performance in the following areas:
- SEO vs. paid visibility
- Desktop vs. mobile searches
- Organic vs. paid rank
- Organic and paid competitors
From the data, you can see your strengths and the weaknesses that you need to further develop and capitalize on.
When you’re looking at campaigns that don’t produce results you’re happy with, you can decide whether to discontinue them to cut costs or find ways to improve them.
Going to the Rankings tab, you’ll be able to access even more valuable data.
Here, you’ll see the following:
- Organic keyword rankings — This shows keywords that you’re ranking for, which position they’re in on organic search and the traffic volume of each keyword. You’ll also see pages with increased and decreased rankings in search results.
- Paid keyword rankings — If you’re running a paid campaign of Google or other search engines, you can view all the pertinent data in this section, similar to organic keyword rankings.
- Mobile keyword rankings — Mobile SEO is on the rise given the increasing number of mobile users online. If you want to track the performance of your mobile and voice SEO campaigns, then this section will help you parse all the data for your review.
You can rebuild your SEO strategy or find low-hanging fruit opportunities using the figures that Searchmetrics will provide you with in this section.
For example, if one of your site’s pages is close to ranking for a target keyword with high traffic, then you might want to optimize that page further to generate more organic traffic.
The Content Performance section will help make sense of your whole SEO campaign, starting with content performance and continuing on to your bottom line.
The overview will quickly show you the number of URLs your site has, the number of keywords your site is ranking for, the estimated potential for traffic and the value of its potential.
Scrolling down the page, you’ll see a graph of the top-performing URLs based on the amount of organic traffic each generates over a period of time.
The X-axis shows the Traffic Index or the amount of traffic a page receives according to the tool. The Y-axis shows its Traffic Index Potential.
If the page has a low Traffic Index but a high Traffic Index Potential, then it can be optimized further for it to realize its full traffic potential and increase the number of visitors your site receives.
You can toggle the pages that you can view on and off by selecting from the top, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 1,000 pages of your site.
You can drill down on each URL so you can view the number of keywords the page is ranking for, average keyword position, traffic index and value. Filter out the URLs by the various factors to see which URL scores the highest for each factor.
2. Content Experience
Content Experience provides swift and organized communication between you and content creators for your site regarding projects and assignments.
On the Dashboard, you’ll see an overview of the active briefs and contents that your content team needs to complete and analyze.
In the Activity List section, you’ll see the different factors that Searchmetrics measures your pages with.
The Word Count shows the number of words your content has and the number of words the tool requires you to meet. Great longform content means greater chances for search engines to rank your page higher for your target keyword.
Not only do search engines care about which pages have more words, but your audience cares too. When you’ve written a lengthier piece of content, members of your audience are more likely to stay on your pages, read, share and convert into sales.
Therefore, you’re not just catering to search spiders with longer content, but also to actual people that you’re looking to convert into customers or clients. Having more than enough words to supply your readers with information can help increase your conversion rate.
The Content Score shows you an aggregate score of your page according to the metrics designated by the Searchmetrics tool. The lower the score, the more work you need to put into your content to improve its overall score and thus its SEO performance.
Ready to create some new content? It all begins with briefs in Searchmetrics. The brief is like the pitch, outline or summary of any piece of content. It’s where you’ll gather information and plan out what kind of content you’re going to create. You can also use briefs to plan improvements or updates to existing pages and content.
If you want to start a new brief that your content team will complete, choose a keyword that you want to assign to an existing page on your site.
If you don’t have a page for the keyword yet, you can build it later on for this brief. In the example below, the core topic of the page is “esprit.”
Once you’ve created the brief, you can break down the core topic into related longtail keywords that you might want to consider ranking for first, which you’ll see in the Ranking Opportunities section.
On the Top Ranking Topics tab, you’ll see the Search Volume, Traffic Index and Traffic Value of the keyword.
These metrics will help you determine the keyword that you ought to target. For instance, Amazon is in thirteenth place in organic search results for the keyword “esprit.”
Considering that it has the highest scores for all metrics and the fact that the site isn’t far from the top result, you can double down on your SEO campaign and amplify your strategy to reach first place.
If you don’t have a well-established site yet, then the Quick Wins tab will show you easy keywords to rank for due to weak competition.
The Search Volume of the suggested keywords won’t be much, but if you want to get some organic traffic flowing your way, then you work your way to the most relevant keywords in this list.
If you’re selling seasonal products or those that sell well on particular seasons (beachwear for summer; jackets, and scarves during winter), then the Seasonal Topics tab will help you find keywords to target.
In the Seasonality column, you’ll see months when the keywords are most searched online. The darker the bar on the graph, the higher the searches are. Therefore, you’ll want to create a campaign that lets you optimize for that keyword when it’s being searched for more often.
If you want to drill down keywords based on user intent, then click on the Search Intent tab to view keywords related to your core topic.
The keywords branch off from the core topic and have sub-keywords under it, which helps users find keywords that are related so they can formulate a content campaign based on the interrelatedness of the search phrases.
On the Sales Funnel tab, you’ll see the details of the brief, such as the search volume and seasonality of your keyword, plus the search intent and sales funnel.
Profiling the brief using the information in this section allows you to understand the role of your content in your sales funnel, thus helping you organize all the content on your site using this tool.
If you want to optimize your page for your target keyword further, Searchmetrics finds suggested keywords for you, too.
The suggested words are those used by your competitors ranking for the same keyword. Using them in your content allows you to position your site page alongside theirs, if not exceed it!
To help you answer the most relevant questions related to your keyword, Searchmetrics shows you potential subheadings that you can use within the content by way of question. Each item is grouped under the four W’s (what, when, where, why) and one H (how).
To help you answer the most relevant questions related to your keyword, Searchmetrics shows you potential subheadings that you can use within the content by way of question.
Once you’ve finalized the on-page SEO details that your team needs to observe when developing the content, you can complete the brief by setting targets that the writer needs to achieve and the required minimum word count before assigning it to them.
Then the writer can create or edit the page according to your brief. Easy!
The Pros of Searchmetrics
As an SEO/content creation tool, Searchmetrics is head and shoulders above the rest.
No other tool seamlessly combines the rigorous tasks of SEO and content creation better than this one. It allows you to comprehensively create highly-organized briefs to be assigned to your writers that include your SEO research and goals.
All your writers have to do is follow the guidelines you set out on the brief and make sure they meet the minimum score before publishing the content to your site.
As an enterprise tool, Searchmetrics is perfect for established businesses that want to scale their SEO and content creation further and measure the performance of their campaigns. The tool allows you to leave the content creation and SEO strategy to the designated people in your business and let them make magic together.
Also, the interface of the tool is easy enough for content writers to understand. Your SEO guy will probably have a field day sifting through the amounts of data that the tool provides for them, and your writers can focus on putting words together with your clear, simple briefs.
The Cons of Searchmetrics
The main downside of Searchmetrics is that it’s a little bit pricey. It’s not bad, just a wee bit pricey. See its plans and pricing here. Given how high-powered this tool is, you might find it well worth the cost.
For smaller businesses that have a limited budget for this kind of tool, it may be better to search elsewhere for more affordable tools. The trick is, more affordable tools tend to be smaller in scale. You’ll likely need to have one dedicated SEO tool and one dedication content creation tool—then flip between them. It’s a pain, but it can save a little cash.
For example, you might use tools like Ahrefs (for SEO research) and CoSchedule (for managing content creation projects) and potentially get similar results at a fraction of the price of Searchmetrics.
But Searchmetrics allows you to manage everything for SEO and content creation in one place, something that no other tool can claim.
Another downside to this tool—something that’s prevalent among enterprise tools—is that it doesn’t let you sign up for a free trial. You need to schedule a demo with Searchmetrics first to help you understand how the tool works before you can request access.
Also, the pricing for the larger tool suites isn’t shown on their site—you’ll have to contact them to discuss pricing at that point. Again, these quirks exist among other tools geared towards bigger businesses like Marketo and BrightEdge, to name a few. As of writing, I have yet to hear word from their representatives about the pricing of the more extensive version of the tool.
All in all, Searchmetrics is certainly ahead of the pack when it comes to enterprise SEO and content marketing tools.
Its robust interface and user-friendly features should help businesses optimize their SEO and content creation process, letting them scale their performance more efficiently than any other tool.
So, if you’re working for a larger organization and are ready to compete in the online space at a serious level, you should highly consider trying out Searchmetrics.