What is an SEO Platform?
Discover what an SEO platform can do, the distinction between a platform and smaller tools, the best SEO platform options on the market, and how to pick the right technology for you.
SEO Platform Basics
An SEO platform is a marketing solution that helps you manage, implement, and measure your brand’s presence in organic channels. It offers you a comprehensive view of your website’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
While marketers most commonly use SEO platforms for search engine optimization (SEO) and content strategy, SEO platforms can also provide greater value — as a key source of audience intelligence. Top SEO platforms show audience trends and topics that impact paid search, PR, sales and product launches, and beyond.
If you’re looking to level up your organic marketing efforts (also known as inbound marketing), your organization can benefit from a dedicated SEO platform. Your SEO platform should serve as both a system of record for changes on your site and a source of technical insights and content opportunities.
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What Can SEO Do For Me?
Organic search is essential for companies looking to create lifetime value. Research shows that over the course of its life, a piece of content that ranks well organically delivers 10x the value of its paid counterpart, which stops driving traffic as soon as the money runs out.
What’s more, the organic performance of content gives you insight into audience intent. Search engines are a proxy for what people want – what you can learn about your customers from organic search data provides value far beyond just your website. Those insights can drive decisions across your entire organization, aligning your strategy more closely to your customers’ needs at every level.
SEO Tools vs. SEO Platform
As a digital marketer, it can feel like you’re being pulled in a million different directions. One of the most important benefits of an SEO platform over SEO tools is a comprehensive view of the business value of your website and content.
Good SEO tools offer specialized analysis of a particular data point that can affect your search engine rankings. For instance, the bevy of free seo tools out there give related keywords as a form of keyword research. Data like this can be extremely valuable for particular optimizations, but only if you possess the time and expertise to use it well.
An SEO Platform is designed to give you the big picture when it comes to SEO and dig into the granular insights individual tools provide. Even if you had access to the top 10 SEO tools on the market, you wouldn’t be getting the same value you’d find in a unified platform. Platforms provide integrated insights and analytics, bringing together data from the best SEO tools to tell the whole story of your website’s value and performance. SEO platforms are designed to deliver insights to not only the search marketing team, but also others who are less familiar with search data. This ensures that your team is maximizing the impact of search intelligence across the org.
What Qualities and Capabilities Make the Best SEO Platform?
The best SEO platform should empower marketers to understand and satisfy their customers’ needs. Beyond hard technical metrics, your SEO platform should offer insight into and help with:
- Recommendations: Prioritize actions that will have the most impact on your goals, so you can cut down on time-intensive research
- Audience: Understand your audience, so you know who you’re serving
- Competition: Investigate competition, so you always have the edge
- Visibility: Track visibility, so you can record wins and losses
- Content analysis: Analyze content performance, so your customer journey is complete
- Content optimize: Optimize content, so you’re always moving forward
- Reporting: Report & share wins and insights, so your whole org can see the revenue you’re driving
- Efficiency: Save time for SEO professionals who would otherwise be inundated with data
- Collaboration: Offer collaborative opportunities for all team members, regardless of SEO fluency
An additional important consideration when evaluating SEO platforms is customer support. SEO platforms are most effective when combined with support that empowers your team to get the most value out of the platform’s insights and capabilities. Ask whether an SEO platform includes the right level of support; think of the decision as purchasing not just a platform, but a true partner that is invested in and working alongside you to achieve your organization’s goals.
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What SEO Platforms Are Out There and How Do I Evaluate Them?
The enterprise SEO platform space has three main players: Conductor, SearchMetrics, and BrightEdge. Don’t let the size of the field fool you – there are key differences between these platforms, so be sure to investigate thoroughly before choosing which is the best fit for your business.
Real customer reviews are a great place to start when evaluating potential SEO Platforms. We’re proud to be one of TrustRadius’s top-rated SEO technologies and a G2 Crowd Leader in the space. We wanted to share a couple of reviews we’re particularly excited about.
“The service and support are amazing. It makes me feel like I have a team working with the Conductor team. The tool is perfection, but the support really elevates it all.”
– Erin Ellis, Nordstrom Rack/HauteLook
“We love Conductor! The platform, the people – our relationship with you guys has helped our whole team to grow professionally as well as changing the business :)”
– Cassie Harris, P.C. Richard & Son
“If you are serious about enterprise SEO then you're going to use Conductor Searchlight. Besides being the best tool-set; their customer service and support blows away their competitors.”
- Aaron Sullivan, Director, eCommerce & Digital Marketing EMEA
Choosing a new piece of technology is tough, but the value an SEO platform can bring to your business is worth the effort. In fact, Forrester, the leading independent market research firm, stated that “an SEO Platform is a must for every in-house SEO team” in their evaluation of SEO platforms this year.