Now Reading
Why You Should Track Competitors in BrightEdge

Why You Should Track Competitors in BrightEdge

Avatar

SEOs have a lot of options when it comes to keyword tracking tools, but one of my long-standing favorites is BrightEdge. Keyword and page tracking? Love it. Custom dashboards? So convenient! Data Cube? Thank you very much.

That said, the BrightEdge tool that I’ve grown a deeper appreciation for in the past year is competitor tracking. And more specifically, the visualizations that are available out of the box from the “Competitive Share of Voice” dashboard template.

Stay with me readers, for I know that competitor tracking is far from a new feature within the BrightEdge platform. However, based on an informal poll I conducted on Twitter earlier this week, I learned that 20% of respondents didn’t even know about this particular feature, and another 37% only found it slightly useful.



Throughout the remainder of this post, I’ll aim to sway this majority’s (56%) to become more enthusiastic about BrightEdge’s “competitive share of voice” data. Specifically, I will share how this data can help SEOs better communicate two, highly valuable things to stakeholders:

A) The current landscape for VIP keyword groups (i.e., the size of the opportunity at hand).

B) A reliable forecast of the business impact of your campaign idea (i.e., the predicted outcome).

This data can help SEOs better communicate two, highly valuable things to stakeholders: A) The current landscape for VIP keyword groups and B) A reliable forecast of the business impact of your campaign idea.

To make this article a little more fun, I’ll use an example from FOX Entertainment’s The Masked Singer.


But First, Let’s Get On The Same Page. Remind me what exactly BrightEdge is, again?

BrightEdge is a SEO keyword tracking and research company who boasts some seriously high-profile clientele–Adobe, FOX Networks, Microsoft, IBM, United Airlines to name just a few. According to BrightEdge’s website, it’s used by 57 of the Fortune 100 companies’ to help track performance of their SEO/content marketing campaigns. Given the tool’s popularity, I thought it would be a worthwhile tool to do a writeup on!

BrightEdge is used by 57 of the Fortune 100 companies’ to help track performance of their SEO/content marketing campaigns. Given the tool’s popularity, I thought it would be a worthwhile tool to do a writeup on!

The BrightEdge platform has a lot of handy features baked in–such as Data Cube, keyword reporting, opportunity forecasting, page reporting, share of voice, and more. Plus, it integrates with all of the major web analytics tools like Adobe Analytics, Coremetrics, Google Analytics, and even Facebook.

You can learn more about the platform here. Or, get a detailed comparison of seven of the top, SEO keyword tracking tools written by Beau Pendraza of SEJ here.


How Tracking Competitors Helped FOX.Com (FOX Entertainment)


The Opportunity:

FOX Entertainment finished its fourth season of The Masked Singer in mid-December, 2020. And for those who don’t watch, a large part of the show is having fans use weekly clues to guess the masked contestants’ true identities. 

The SEO team wanted to maintain updated clue packages for each masks throughout the season–which had never been done before.

We saw that many editorial websites were generating tens of thousands of clicks a month to their “clue package” pages–and so the goal was to capture a larger share of voice for “The Masked Singer clues” keywords visibility in Google. One, to drive traffic and two, to improve the fan experience for users visiting FOX.com.

The goal was to capture a larger share of voice for “The Masked Singer clues” keywords visibility in Google. One, to drive traffic and two, to improve the fan experience for users visiting FOX.com.


Example of Entertainment Weekly’s #1 ranking in Google for “The Masked Singer clues” query.
Last month, it generated an estimated ~15.1K SEO clicks/month.

We also knew that we were going to need some hard data to show to stakeholders in order to execute this plan. After all, it would take the help of numerous teams/individuals to complete.

As it turned out, BrightEdge’s competitive share of voice data helped us communicate to stakeholders the current landscape of “The Masked Singer clues” keywords (AKA how editorial sites were killing it in this area) as well as the forecasted business impact of completing this initiative (AKA: the amount of SEO traffic and content starts we anticipate from completing this project).

In the coming sections, I’ll review how to collect this type of data in BrightEdge, how to analyze said data, and reliably forecast business impact. (Sorry, no hard numbers will be shared–this post is more SEO tool oriented than case study oriented.


How We Collected the Data (Setting Up Competitor Tracking in BrightEdge):

In the numbered list below, I’ll walk you through how to access competitive share of voice data in BrightEdge, using the FOX.com’s Masked Singer clue packages as an example:

1) Setup Tracking For Top Competitors

To find worthy competitors to track, I recommend digging into incognito search results and identifying which sites rank well for queries you’d like to rank well for.

(Another bonus for this exercise? Being able to unearth who your site’s top competitors are on a given topic, vs relying on first impressions/instinct alone).

For example, for our The Masked Singer campaign, I searched for queries such as: “Masked Singer clues” “Mushroom clues”, “Sun clues”, etc. We found that Entertainment Weekly, Good Housekeeping, and People Magazine (to name a few) were succeeding in the space we were interested in pursuing.


Screenshot from BrightEdge UI: To set up competitor tracking for your own website, go to Settings > Admin Settings > Your Sites & Competitors.

2) Set Up a New Keyword Group Dedicated To The Theme You Are Interested In Growing

A nice mix of short tail and long tail keywords with high search volume is key. If you have the space, try tracking 20+ relevant keywords. Be sure to take care in curating this group tracked keywords, because you will be using it in an attempt to accurately benchmark your site’s share of voice on a given topic.

Examples of keywords that were included in our “The Masked Singer clues” group included: “Masked Singer clues”, “Mushroom clues”, “Sun clues”, and more).

Take care in curating this group of tracked keywords, because you will be using it in an attempt accurately to benchmark your site’s share of voice on a given topic.


Screenshot from BrightEdge UI: To set up a new keyword group for your own website, go to Settings > Keyword Management > Keyword Groups.

3) Create A “Competitive Share of Voice” Dashboard

After allowing about a week for the data to populate in BrightEdge, you’ll be able to create a “Competitive Landscape Share of Voice” dashboard in BrightEdge. Technically, you don’t have to a wait a week, but I think it helps ensure that the data is as complete and accurate as possible.

Remember to filter the report for the specific keyword group you are interested in analyzing, as well as hit “save” so that you can quickly access this report again from your dashboard drop down.

This is a screenshot of the BrightEdge UI. To create the same report for your site, go to:  “New Dashboard” > “Competitive Landscape Dashboard”.

Analyzing the Current Landscape (Size of the Opportunity):

Within the dashboard you just created, you’ll find various visualizations automatically created for you to help understand how your site is performing for against tracked competitors. Remember, this data is just for the tracked keywords you chose.

The dashboard can be filtered by custom date ranges, to track your progress over time. Here is an example of one such visualization:


Before:
Screenshot of BrightEdge UI: Week of November 8, 2020 (midway through season). FOX.com’s share of voice for tracked keywords was 11.11%

This information is highly useful when having conversations with stakeholders about the the size of the competition. For us, showing that some editorial sites owned 27.76% of tracked “The Masked Singer clues” keywords while FOX.com owned 11.11% was compelling data that we had room to grow the site’s share of voice. (To be clear, we love that these sites write about The Masked Singer. This is just good benchmark data for us as we aim to improve the fan experience on FOX.com 🙂 ).

See Also


Forecasting Impact:

One of the biggest challenges SEOs face is reliable forecasting of the business impact from SEO campaigns.

However, I’ve found the following a “good”, “better”, “best” share of voice template works well. Below is an example of how you can set this up. Fill in the brackets with your own website/data:

  • Good: If [FOX.com] was able to improve its share of voice from [11.11%] to [12%], we could anticipate a [8%] lift in SEO traffic to /the-masked-singer/credit pages.
  • Better: If [FOX.com] was able to improve its share of voice from [11%] to [13%], we could anticipate a [17%] lift in SEO traffic to /the-masked-singer/credit pages.
  • Best: If [FOX.com] was able to improve its share of voice from [11%] to [14%], we could anticipate a [26%] lift in SEO traffic to /the-masked-singer/credit pages.

I’ve found that this method is more accommodating than offering just one fixed projection. And sure beats an “it depends” answer or a case study that was conducted ages ago. 😉

This method is more accommodating than offering just one fixed projection. And sure beats an “it depends” answer, or a case study that was conducted ages ago. 😉

Simple But Important Notes On This:

  • I highly recommend that you can start conservatively with your “good” forecast and work your way up to higher numbers for “better” and “best” estimates. For instance, a 1% share of voice lift (from 11.11% to 12%) is actually an 8% percentage increase.
  • To calculate percentage share of voice lift, I like to use this tool from Calculator Soup.
  • If you also want to include conversion estimates (like content starts), make sure to take into account that conversion rates often decrease as traffic increases. Consider cutting the estimated conversion lift by as much as half. This may seem like a lot, but it will save you potentially tough conversations down the line if your numbers are off.
  • The important detail in this template is the “to” part. The lift in traffic that you estimate is to the specific page(s) in your campaign, not the site as a whole. I know, obvious. But make sure this language is clear when you sync with stakeholders.

The Optimizations:

Once The SEO team was able to communicate the current landscape of “The Masked Singer clues” keywords’ share of voice and a business impact forecast, we were able to garner the support needed to start the Clues Package project.

Once The SEO team was able to communicate the current landscape of “The Masked singer clues” keywords’ share of voice and a business impact forecast, we were able to garner the support needed to start the project.

The final product was a credit page built for for each masked contestant. The pages included each mask’s clues, songs, judges’ guesses, and revealed dates–loosely following the model of successful editorial pages. Here is an example for Sun:


Screenshot of one of FOX.com’s /the-masked-singer/credit pages.


The Impact:

By the end of the season, were able to grow our share of voice from 11.11% to 13.61%.


After:
Screenshot of BrightEdge UI: Week of December 16, 2020 (end of season). FOX.com’s share of voice for tracked keywords was 13.61%.

What’s more, our forecasts were within our predicted range. Specifically, Fox.com experienced a 23% improvement in share of voice from start to finish of our SEO campaign–landing us right in between our “better” and “best” forecasted outcomes (at +17% and +26%, respectively).

Fox.com experienced a 23% improvement in share of voice from start to finish of our SEO campaign–landing us right in between our “better” and “best” forecasted outcomes (at +17% and +26%, respectively).

/The-masked-singer/credit pages experienced a +30% lift in SEO entries season over season–just slightly above our “best” forecast (at +26%). Content starts also increased season over season, but at about half the amount of SEO visits (+15% lift vs a +30% lift).


Conclusion

Two of the most difficult–and valuable–responsibilities that SEOs have when pitching new campaign ideas are: 1) communicating the size of the opportunity at hand and 2) communicating a reliable business impact forecast.

Fortunately, BrightEdge’s competitive share of voice data enables SEOs to simply and effectively communicate these items to stakeholders.

It’s my hope that this post has provides SEOs with some fresh perspective and enthusiasm on how BrightEdge share of voice data can be used. And more importantly, I hope that it helps SEOs to generate more support for campaign ideas!

Scroll To Top