What is an SEO Platform?
An SEO platform is a software solution for discovering, creating, measuring, and managing content for SEO success
What Is the Difference Between an SEO Platform and an SEO Tool?
The differences are signicant. Understanding the distinction between the two will be important in selecting the best solution for your business needs.
SEO platforms offer multiple SEO tools in a suite for more efficient management of tasks relating to organic search optimization. Platforms tend to cater to enterprise SEO needs and are built for end-to-end SEO management. A platform provides a holistic solution to a number of digital marketing and organic search needs through built-in technology to optimize workflow, productivity, user management, and advanced reporting capabilities. Additionally, SEO platforms can integrate data and processes that span departments or teams (often including access to an API) and easily and reliably integrate with the major analytics providers, like Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Coremetrics, and Webtrends, as well as content mangement systems like Adobe Experience Manager, web backlink software like Majestic SEO, and a variety of social platforms.
Another aspect of enterprise-grade SEO software is seen in the team of support provided to customers. These range from SEO experts to experts on the technology itself and include customer success managers, solutions managers, online support, and professional services consultants.
Most SEO tools serve a single purpose and are designed to help with one specific area of your business or SEO. For example, it's relatively easy to find tools that help marketers with keyword research, link analysis, or analytics, but it's rare that one of these tools would provide more than one function let alone all the functions needed to run a successful SEO practice. SEO tools usually have capacity limits that restrict their ability to scale up to the millions of keywords and pages an enterprise user might need. This means users will need to toggle between different tools and manually manipulate data from different sources in order to gain a holistic view of the true performance of your website content.
What Should an SEO Platform Provide?
Robust SEO platforms should address the following functionality:
- Managing keyword and content discovery
- Creating optimized content
- Analyzing backlinks
- Auditing the site for technical and performance issues that affect SEO
- Measuring SEO rank and business results on a site-wide and page-by-page basis
- Creating compelling dashboards that help elevate SEO wins
- Forecasting the ROI of tactics and strategies
- Enabling collaboration and coordination across teams
- On-platform and live human support
- Assigning and tracking tasks and events
- Self-guided certification
- Integration with other software and analytics
Search engines aim to deliver results that best address their audience's needs. Because of this, the SERPs are constantly updating, creating both opportunities and challenges for SEO and content marketers. Successful SEO is the result of proper digital marketing where every element of your marketing strategy is fully optimized. Succeeding in SEO requires that your web pages are relevant, original, and authoritative to satisfy the search engine's algorithms for specific topics.
Matching your content to search ranking factors and user intent means the amount of data you need to track and analyze can be overwhelming. To be effective at scale requires an SEO platform to decipher the data in a way that allows you to take action. Your enterprise SEO solution needs to not only show your ranking position for each keyword, but also provide actionable insights in an instant given the ever-changing world of SEO.
What is the SEO Platform Framework?
Every website is different and your SEO strategy will be unique to your business' objectives and goals. However, there is a basic framework you should consider when evaluating SEO platforms. The following 5 capabilities are essential to a successful SEO strategy. You should ensure the SEO software you select will enable you to be successful at each step of the lifecycle of website content optimization. If you are evaluating platforms you will want to ensure all 5 sections are well represented to maximize your value and increase your SEO and content marketing performance.
1. Technical SEO
First and foremost, your SEO platform should identify and prioritize key site errors for you to fix, so your content outperforms the competition on search engines.
BrightEdge ContentIQ is an advanced site auditing solution that can support site crawls for hundreds of millions of pages. ContentIQ helps marketers easily prioritize website errors before they impact performance. This technical SEO auditing solution is also fully integrated into the BrightEdge platform, allowing for automatic alerting of errors and direct integration into analytics reporting. This technical SEO data enables you to find and fix problems that can be damaging your SEO.
2. Discover Search Demand
You need a powerful SEO research solution to prioritize and formulate successful search and content strategies. A good SEO platform should enable you to discover, prioritize, and segment keywords easily.
Data Cube is the industry’s most powerful SEO research solution to help you prioritize and formulate successful search and content strategies. Powered by DataMind, Data Cube reveals which web page URLs and content types are winning the top spots on SERP (search engine results pages) for any search keyword.
The SERP layout is always changing with various content types taking over the precious above-the-fold space on the SERP. Your platform needs to evaluates the true organic ROI for every keyword and assesses whether your content is strong enough to win the top spots on SERP for any keyword group or content category. You can, therefore, easily segment target SEO keywords into sub-groups and create targeted work plans, to either defend your winning content, optimize existing content, create new content or pull in PPC team to maximize high-quality traffic acquisition for the website.
SEOs often need to lead through influence because they don’t direct everyone who can impact the performance of the website. A quantifiable business case is critical to help secure those lateral resources. BrightEdge Opportunity Forecasting makes it easy to develop projections of SEO initiatives by automatically calculating the total addressable market and your potential gains in revenue or site traffic with the push of a button.
If you want to use a website to drive offline sales, BrightEdge HyperLocal is a key capability you must have in an SEO platform. The same search query from two adjacent cities could yield different search results. HyperLocal maps out the precise search volume and ranking data for each keyword in every city or country that Google Search supports. HyperLocal connects the dots between online search behavior with increased foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar stores.
Insights - Improve your website with confidence. Your platform should act like your personal data analyst to pull in all data relevant to improving your website’s performance and recommend content strategies, such as Quick Answer opportunities in addition to highlighting key technical errors or competitive insights.
3. Benchmark Competition
One of the most important capabilities of a winning SEO strategy is to know your competition and stay a few steps ahead of the competitors, so you can maximize your visibility to acquire as many ideal customers as possible. A good SEO platform must provide you an easy way to understand who is winning the top spots of SERP for the keywords you want to own. It will then help you discover high- performing keywords that your competitor is winning over your content and reveal actionable insights of how your competitor is winning.
Your platform needs indispensable functionality called “Keyword Gap Analysis”. Entering a domain or a URL of a competing site, you will easily see a full list of keywords that they are showing up for, but your website doesn’t. This becomes are a great source of new topics to create content for.
Besides ranking position, it is also important to understand how much Share of Voice you own when aggregating the search volume of each keyword under a similar content category. Calculate your organic Share of Voice based on both the ranking position of you and your competitors and the total addressable search market (as measured by search volume of each keyword), to give you a snapshot of where you stand amongst your competitors on the SERP. Share of Voice also shows organic competitors for any keyword and content category. From there, the platform automatically dissects competitors' web page content to help you ideate content strategies to win back the market share in organic search.
Backlinks - Search engines leverage backlinking to grade the relevance and authority of websites. BrightEdge provides page-level backlink recommendations based on the top-10 ranking pages on the SERP, which helps you to identify authoritative and toxic links. Using artificial intelligence, BrightEdge Insights automatically surfaces authoritative backlinks recently acquired by you or new competitive backlinks for you to target.
4. Create and Optimize Content
Improve the SEO performance of your site with prescriptive instructions for every content page. The key actions in SEO are to create new content, optimize existing content, or launch website technical enhancements.
Recommendations compares each page vs. the top-10 ranking pages in the SERP to give prescriptive page-level recommendations. Pair multiple keywords per page for the highest impact. Recommendations help you improve organic visibility and relevance with your target audience by providing detailed SEO recommendations of your existing content. Review detailed optimization instructions and assign tasks to relevant team members.
5. Measure Results
An effective SEO platform should always provide you with a comprehensive knowledge center of SEO performance to enable you to know where you are winning, where are opportunities for growth, and what optimization plans worked, so you can scale further. It should have dashboards that make it easy to report wins and losses to colleagues and executives.
For every word you need to know whether your SEO optimization efforts have worked in the direction you desired. Page Reporting shows you the high-value keywords that drive results in the least amount of time.
To support different stakeholders, you need to create content performance reporting based on web content pages. Page Reporting provides deep insights to help you identify the content that drives business results. Slice and dice the data to develop page-level insights or click to review detailed SEO recommendations with the power of the platform.
All good marketers are storytellers and SEO marketing is no exception. A central reporting and dashboards capability is critical to help you thread all the points together across SEO optimization projects. BrightEdge StoryBuilder is that mission control interface. With robust and flexible visualization capabilities, StoryBuilder can help you make data-driven decisions and elevate the role of the website and the contribution of SEO. Use executive dashboards to showcase the positive impact on brand equity and revenue from website optimization efforts. Build convincing business cases for additional resources.
Organic doesn’t operate in a vacuum - it needs to synchronize with other channels. You need to analyze clicks and impressions to understand how often your content pages show up on SERPs, how that visibility trends over time, and how often customers click on your content links, translating into organic traffic. Also, you need to know which channel’s contribution to your site traffic is growing and where you and other parts of your organization should focus on for the next week, month, or quarter.
What Are the Security and User Controls Needed in an SEO Platform?
It is critical to have the highest data securtity standards and reliability. It is also important that the platform is easy to use for advanced user management, so each platform user is focused on their areas of work.
Security - Look for ISO 27001 Certified, audited and confirmed to meet ISO standards. Look for a platform that offers flexible password policies, sophisticated session settings, and trusted IP address ranges.
Integrations/Partnerships - Web marketing requires a full understanding of the impact of SEO on the outcome of the website. Toggling between SEO platform, web analytics, and Google Search Console or manually attempting to combine data in one place requires significant time and resources. The platform should do the heavy lifting for you by integrating web analytics data, social data, and Google Search Console data into the platform, providing a complete view and single source of truth for your organic programs.
Enterprise SEO capabilities - If you have global operations or manage a number of domains for a large corporation, you need your SEO platform to also have extensive capabilities to support the needs of enterprise SEO. Capabilities you want to look for include global support, flexible password management policies, custom fiscal year, ability to audit sites with custom rules using RegEx.
Are you ready to learn more about how BrightEdge could be the best SEO platform for your business?