What is an SEO Platform?

An SEO platform is a marketing technology that helps you manage, implement, and measure your brand’s presence in digital channels like Google’s organic listings. SEO platforms offer you a comprehensive view of your website’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Fully understanding their offerings and capabilities will help you choose the best SEO platform and ensure it aligns with your brand needs.

Capabilities of an SEO platform

Understanding SEO Platforms

While marketers most commonly use SEO platforms for search engine optimization (SEO) and content strategy, SEO platforms, also known as SEO management platforms, can provide greater value — as a key source of audience intelligence.

Top SEO platforms show audience trends and topics that impact:

  • Local foot traffic
  • Online visibility
  • Paid search
  • PR
  • Product launches
  • Sales
  • Website traffic
  • 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.

 

What Can SEO Do For Me?

Over the course of its life, a piece of content that ranks well organically delivers 10x the value of its paid counterpart.

Organic search, or SEO, 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 SEO insights can drive decisions across your entire organization, aligning your strategy more closely to your customers’ needs at every level.

 

Diagram of how an SEO platform helps inform all parts of a business

Important capabilities of an SEO platform include content optimization and competitive analysis.

Content Optimization

To succeed with SEO, you need to follow the right steps. Skip a step and you won’t get the results you’re hoping for. Optimize your content with SEO in five steps:

  1. Determine your content topic. When you take the time to understand what your audience is searching for with keyword research, you can craft content that feeds them what they’re craving.
  1. Understand your content’s audience. Think about the types of audiences that your topics will attract. Write content in the language and terminology those audiences use.
  1. Identify your competitors. Look to see who’s appearing at the top of search results for the topics and keywords you’re targeting. Your competitors might be different across multiple verticals, so determine who owns the space.
  1.  Implement SEO best practices. Start by optimizing on-page elements like title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags. These elements can be standardized across your website, helping to draw the right audience.
  1.  Evaluate content performance. Monitoring performance is imperative to know what’s working and what’s not. Evaluate your content’s performance over time to determine if further optimization is needed to match the intent of your customers.

Competitive Analysis

Competitive analysis in SEO is the process of identifying any website that outranks you in search results for keywords and topics related to your business. You can analyze the competitive landscape in four steps:

  1. Identify your competitors. Analyze your competitors based on the search terms they’re ranking for. This will help you better understand their business initiatives, what content drives traffic for them, or how they position themselves in your industry.
  1. Compare content and rankings with the competition. During your analysis, you’ll likely discover previously unknown competitors ranking for your target keywords. This will allow you to identify the full scope of brands and publishers that are competing with your content.
  1. Discover content opportunities to outrank the competition. One rule of a competitive analysis is to never assume. Base your SEO efforts on facts obtained by assessing the competitive landscape, conducting on- and off-page analysis, and analyzing your competitor’s marketing strategies.
  1. Optimize existing content or create new content. Identify where your pages rank for target keywords and look for opportunities to optimize existing content. “Striking distance” keywords, or keywords that rank on page 2 of search results, often present the best opportunity for optimization. If your target keywords are ranking too far outside of the striking distance – or aren’t ranking at all – consider creating new content that better addresses customer needs.

 

What Is the Difference Between an Enterprise SEO Platform and SEO Tools?

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 with enterprise scale.

SEO Tools

An SEO tool is technology, training, and insight that helps you create impactful content and reach customers through search engines.

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 SEO optimizations, but only if you possess the time and expertise to use it well.

Here’s how you can use an SEO tool for your website:

  • Measure the current performance.
  • Uncover technical site issues.
  • Discover content opportunities.
  • Research the needs of your customers.
  • Find new keywords and topics to guide your content creation.
  • Explore original research to grow your digital marketing skills.
  • Present leadership with the financial impact of great SEO and content.

Enterprise SEO

An enterprise SEO platform is designed to give you the big picture when it comes to SEO and allows you to dig into the granular SEO 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 SEO platform.

Enterprise SEO 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 organization.

You need tools that can assist with immense SEO tasks. An enterprise SEO platform should have features that help with the following:

  • Innovation: An enterprise SEO platform should give you creative ideas for future campaigns, such as keywords that may not have been accounted for during the content ideation process. Generally, a theme for a campaign is first decided, but you may later find that audiences are looking for the same content in other ways. An SEO tool can be a great asset for discovering keywords that can turn searchers into customers.
  • Automation is essential in enterprise-level reporting. An enterprise SEO platform should be able to aggregate large data sets into a report that can be sent weekly, monthly, or quarterly. You’ll save time when you don’t need to dedicate time to put raw data into a readable format.
  • Integration is necessary for enterprise-level companies that use all digital marketing channels. Strategies and verticals need to be aligned between teams. Campaigns are more successful when there’s a team goal – not a personal goal.

 

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 SEO 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 SEO visibility, so you can record wins and losses
  • Content Analysis: Analyze content performance, so your customer journey is complete
  • Content Optimization: Optimize content, so you’re always moving forward
  • Reporting: Report & share wins and insights, so your whole organization can see the revenue you’re driving through SEO
  • 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.

Interested in an SEO Platform?

Request a free SEO assessment to show how an SEO platform may help your business.

 

What Reporting Features Should You Consider in an SEO Platform?

SEO has evolved into a critical strategy that influences and informs your business decisions. Effective optimization can expand your reach and web presence, but an SEO platform is needed to measure and report on your efforts.

SEO Platforms Have Many Reporting Capabilities That Include:

  • Audience insights
  • Click-through rate
  • Content optimization opportunities
  • Conversion rate
  • Keyword rankings
  • Organic traffic
  • Page-level traffic
  • Page speed
  • Traffic source
  • Website health

Our Picks for the Top 3 SEO Reporting Features:

  1. Competitive insights. Competitive intelligence allows you to monitor your competitors at all times. You need to be aware when the competition creates new content that climbs the ranks, and you don’t rank for it.
  1. Content activity reporting. Show the impact of your content on revenue and traffic by automatically tying together search visibility, activity tracking, and analytics.
  1. Workspace customization. Creating a report should be easy. Leverage templates that you can personalize for internal or external use. Incorporate widgets, images, logos, and more.

 

What Enterprise 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 SEO 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 enterprise SEO Platforms. We’re proud to be one of TrustRadius’s top-rated SEO technologies and a G2 Crowd Leader in the SEO space. We wanted to share a couple of reviews we’re particularly excited about.

Reviews of Our SEO Platform

“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

Check out all of our customer reviews on TrustRadius and G2 Crowd.  For a side-by-side comparison, compare Conductor reviews to BrightEdge.

 

The Value of Our SEO Platform

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.

Recognition graphs: Conductor is the best SEO platform on the market

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.

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