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Beth Corneglio
M Posted 7 years ago
t 5 min read
Digital Marketing

I am Beth Corneglio an SEO/Traffic Consultant at Relevance™. I've worked with multiple Fortune 500 clients to assist with their SEO and inbound marketing needs. One of the biggest challenges SEOs face in improving search performance is identifying true competition and their focus areas in SEO.  I will walk through a live example on how to gain this powerful insight using BrightEdge Share of Voice.

Filtering Out The Fake Threats With Share Of Voice

Clients and SEOs alike are always curious about who their actual search competitors are. Unfortunately with the rising use of Google’s personalized search, it’s increasingly difficult to “just go check the SERPs” to find an accurate list of companies that may be cutting into your business. How can you be sure who is an actual competitor in your niche, and who simply shares the keyword? With the help of the Share of Voice Tool provided by BrightEdge, you can figure it out quickly and easily. This tool can vastly increase efficiency by uncovering search competitors, and I’ll show you how. Here’s how the inbound marketing consultants at Relevance™ use the tool for clients—and how you can use it to keep track of your own search competitors.

Step 1 - Create A Grouping Of Related Keywords

In this example, let’s say I own a women’s bracelet store and am trying to hone in on my competition specifically for charm bracelets.  After some keyword research around “charm bracelets,” I create a small grouping of keywords in BrightEdge. This grouping allows us to analyze multiple keywords at once, rather than tediously running one-off searches.

Step 2 - Run Share of Voice Report

Running the Share of Voice report for my keyword grouping generates a report that lists the top 25 performing sites for the “charm bracelet” group. This data is based on how many of the keywords in my group are ranking on the first two pages of Google’s search engine results page, domain authority and a number of other factors BE has predetermined. Here is the Share of Voice overview for my charm bracelet keyword group: The report produces a breakdown of websites that control the majority of the SERPs for my grouping. Remember, these are pure rankings that have not been personalized by users being logged into Google accounts. So, based purely on rankings, I can identify Amazon and CharmsOffice.com as owning a lot of SERP real estate. However, “Other” sites are still occupying 30 percent of the pie chart, so I’ll need to investigate further to narrow my list of competitors.

Step 3 - Analyze the List

Share of Voice shows which keywords in my grouping rank well and also provides the ranking landing pages. Looking at the landing pages, I can immediately narrow threats to my store and discard sites that can be ignored. Let’s take a look at the “Other” slice of the pie to narrow down my list of competitors: This information helps me determine who’s a real competitor and who isn’t. For example, Wikipedia doesn’t sell charm bracelets—so they are a non-threat search competitor. “Non-threat competitors” are search competitors that won’t affect the bottom line of my business. And Michaels.com sells charms for people who want to make charm bracelets themselves; while they are relevant to “charms,” they’re not a threat to my target audience. With some deductive reasoning, this list can be condensed to a more client-tailored competitor list. The remaining sites from the “Other” segment listed above are larger brands that offer a wide variety of jewelry items. But since my store specializes specifically in bracelets, I can crowdsource these landing pages for a specific recommendation around my product.

Step 4 - Digging Deeper – On-Page/Off-Page Comparison

Using this kind of comparison provides information on a more granular level. Not only can I see where my competitors are ranking, I can also see what on-page and off-page factors may be influencing their positions. If you haven’t heard of a specific competitor you can drill into the landing page and assess the website for yourself or you can analyze multiple sites for a broader recommendation. At a click, you can analyze each landing page’s header tag, title tag, meta description and any available alt-text. With another click, you can evaluate the number of external links pointing to the page and where they reside. You can also see how much social media engagement the page has received on Facebook and Twitter. This quick competitive landing page analysis can narrow down particular recommendations that will offer the most value to a client in minutes.

Manually Analyzing Competitors' Source Code & Pulling External Link Reports Is A Thing Of The Past

Having all of this information in one place is incredibly efficient. And since you can generate a Share of Voice report once a month for your keyword grouping, you can see how your industry changes seasonally and adjust your strategy accordingly. But, isn’t any website ranking above yours (or at all for your keywords) a competitor? Not necessarily. Search algorithms are becoming more reliant on websites that create useful content for searchers and on brand authority. They are much better about assessing brand perception and relevancy from a number of different channels, social sites included. Then, they adjust rankings accordingly for personalized search! Because of the developments in search algorithms, websites need to worry more about who in the pure SERPs is a real threat. The Share of Voice tool can help you narrow down your competitor field, your keywords and more in just minutes. How do you use Share of Voice to keep an edge on your competitors?

About Beth Corneglio

Beth Corneglio is a SEO/Traffic Consultant at Relevance™. She has worked with multiple fortune 500 companies to assist with their SEO and inbound marketing needs. She also likes to hike, paint and play music in her spare time. Follow her on Twitter at @bethcorneglio. Read more from Relevance™ here.
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