When developing a content marketing strategy, the right SEO tools will help discover opportunities in your vertical to see what your competition is doing and monitor your own organic rankings, backlink profile, and more.
In short, there’s a lot to a good search engine marketing tool.
Searchmetrics is one of the more popular tools that positions itself as a viable solution for digital marketers working at smaller agencies or small businesses.
But there’s still a wide variety of needs within small businesses and agencies. SEOs, in particular, can be highly discerning when it comes to using an all-in-one tool, such as Searchmetrics.
To help you figure out if the Searchmetrics Suite is right for you, we put together this review.
In our Searchmetrics Suite review, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of this platform and go over its pricing structure, but first, we’re going to go over the basics of the service.
Note: The best SEO tool kit in the world won’t deliver the kind of content that ranks. At Codeless, we help take SEO-driven insights and combine them with high-quality content that’s designed to rank and convert. If you’re looking for content marketing services, get a free quote today.
Whether or not Searchmetrics will work for you depends on whether or not you’re dependent on a Google ecosystem. Not having a Google docs add-on feature isn’t ideal.
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What is Searchmetrics?
Searchmetrics (founded in 2010) works to offer data-driven insights that help inform your content marketing and SEO strategies.
Searchmetrics looks to be your all-in-one SEO toolkit.
To help achieve this lofty goal, it has four main modules.
- Research Cloud. SEOs can use this tool to get an analysis of the SEO landscape. The Research Cloud analyzes your existing pages and assigns your domain an SEO Visibility score, that’s supposed to help gauge the impact of your domain in the SERP.
- Content Experience. The Searchmetrics Content Experience — which will be the main focus of this article — deals with writing content that is data-driven and designed to rank in the SERP.
- Search Experience. Search Experience lets your SEO track keyword performance across your content campaigns and your competitors’. This way, your team knows if your efforts are working or if you need to update your strategy.
- Site Experience. Site Experience helps with technical SEO, by offering tools such as internal link validation, advanced auditing for common indexing issues, and providing actionable next steps for any high-risk issues that could adversely affect traffic.
Pros of Searchmetrics Content Suite
Let’s start by taking a look at the pros of Searchmetrics Content Suite.
Data shows that when someone does a Google search, they are 43% likely to click on the first result, whereas only 19% of users click on the fourth result and just over 3% click on the tenth result.
Yet, only 5.7% of new posts will get to the first page of Google within the first year.
To get your blog post on the first page and within the top three results, you’re going to need really good content.
As content marketers, we know that can sound vague. That’s why content optimization tools, like the tools offered in Searchmetrics, work to help SEOs and content writers estimate the quality of their content.
Let’s say you wanted to write about avocados. You’d put that topic in the Searchmetrics Topic Explorer and get a topic-map like the one below:
These sub-topics may not be the point of your article (maybe you’re writing about the health benefits of adding avocados to your diet), but they can get your writers thinking of how to build out their article, so it’s relevant and comprehensive.
For example, the first section of the article can cover the health benefits of eating avocados. Then you can have a section on how to tell if an avocado is ripe, and end your section with six recipes that heavily feature avocados.
Searchmetrics’s Topic Explorer helps you shape the article in your mind before you even start drafting.
The different colors show different types of search intent. For example, a blue circle means the topic is “informational,” while a yellow circle means a topic is “navigational.”
But that’s just the beginning of writing good content. The actual words you chose matter, which brings us to our next pro in our Searchmetrics Suite review.
Content optimization: A real-time text editor to help you during content creation
Content optimization tools usually work by pulling data from the top-ranking results in Google. Then the tool breaks down common factors to give you, the content marketer or your team of freelance blog writers, an idea of what topics need to be covered within a post to be successful.
Searchmetrics describes their tool as “not relying on data from third parties,” with most of their data coming from their “250 billion continuously updated data points.” This data is supplemented from data their crawlers “gather every day” to help keep your content relevant and up-to-date.
By looking at word count, sentence structure, keyword coverage, and repetitions in your piece, Searchmetrics is guiding your content. This content score isn’t a guarantee. Any SEO can tell you that plenty of low-score content outranks high-score content, as SEO is an art, not a science.
But content optimization tools like this one in Searchmetrics are a good place to start.
We also like that the content optimizer has a Microsoft Word add-on. This makes it easy to optimize your content in a Microsoft Word file.
This means you don’t have to worry about additional logins for Searchmetrics. You can get all of your writers working on their piece with an SEO tool to guide them by checking for keywords and relevant topics.
Plus, you can target up to five Keywords in one piece of content. Sometimes you want your content to target more than one keyword.
Say you were writing a post on “the best mattress of 2020.” You may also want your piece optimized for “the best mattresses of 2019” and “the best online mattresses.” Perhaps those topics aren’t important enough to stand on their own, but they are important enough to be included in the article you’re writing.
Instead of running multiple reports for the same piece, Searchmetrics lets you target up to five keywords in one content piece.
This saves your writing and editorial team and also helps you publish competitive content that is designed to rank for more than one keyword.
Searchmetrics recommends you use this feature to “find topics that are semantically related and have the same search intent.”
Finally, the Searchmetrics content optimization tool has a built-in plagiarism checker.
Due to the nature of content writing – researching topics and looking for angels to set yourself apart from the competition – plagiarism is never acceptable. When you’re scaling up your content marketing operations, it gets more and more difficult for your editorial team to check for plagiarism.
A plagiarism checker is a must. While third-party plagiarism checkers exist, it’s convenient that Searchmetrics offers it within the same tool.
Backlink analysis: Check the quality of your backlink profile
Content is king, but there’s a lot more to Searchmetrics than just content optimization and topic explorers.
There’s also backlink analysis, which is probably where most SEOs spend their work week – focusing on backlinks, disavowing spammy backlinks, and leveraging quality content to get highly-relevant contextual links from sites with a good Domain Authority.
Since backlinks are critical to SEO performance, an SEO tool is incomplete without several layers of backlink analysis.
Through Searchmetrics, you can look at new links and research which links were lost over time, allowing them to filter the data down to follow or nofollow links. Plus, you can sort the links by industry and country and compare your backlink performance against your competition.
What we like most about the backlink analysis at Searchmetrics is that it gives you suggestions on where you get backlinks. Finding backlinks is a long and tedious process. You can search for sites within your industry and look for broken links on their page, and pitch your value-driven content (thanks to the content optimization tools offered by Searchmetrics) as a replacement.
Cons of Searchmetrics Content Suite
Searchmetrics comes with some great features — but there are also drawbacks.
No Google Doc add-on for content optimization
In our experience, content writing mostly happens in Google docs. There are exceptions, of course. However, as Gmail accounts become more and more commonplace, teams are switching to a Google Drive ecosystem.
While Searchmetrics offers API integration with your CMS system and a Microsoft Word add-on feature, we couldn’t find anything that said Searchmetrics works with Google Docs.
While this app won’t allow you to export to WordPress in 1-click, Wordable will allow you to export from Google Docs to WordPress seamlessly. It will not only clean and properly format your HTML, but also compress images, open links in a new tab, automatically set featured images, or create a table of contents, and lots more.
SEO visibility score: An unhelpful metric
Searchmetrics is proud of its SEO visibility score which is a proprietary algorithm Searchmetrics uses to give you an idea of the visibility rating of your page.
On the surface, this sounds like a great feature. It gives your page a score, much like how the content optimizer gives your content a score, which you can then work to improve.
The problem arises in that no one really knows what this score means. It’s based on Searchmetrics logic, not Google’s. This is a common fact of all SEO tools but the difference here is Searchmetrics markets this score as a KPI worth paying attention to.
Given the number of ranking factors that go into a whether or not a post ranks well, we think the visibility score does more harm than good – just imagine being an SEO who executes a strategy on the best practices of years of working in SEO only to have a director-level employee reference Searchmetrics Visibility score and ask for a change in approach.
Not a standalone tool
You may want to use Searchmetrics content optimization tools without buying into their entire SEO tool kit. However, this isn’t an option.
Plenty of content marketers (and content marketing clients) are very specific about the tools they use. Tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Screaming Monkey are popular amongst SEOs and content marketers. Getting someone to completely switch over their SEO preferences to utilize an average content optimization tool seems unlikely.
To clarify, when you’re using the Context Experience features that are a part of Searchmetrics, it’s because you’re also using the platform’s Research Cloud.
Less than amazing user interface and a sub-par user experience
Based on several reviews, we aren’t the only ones saying this. While we think the UI for content optimization is strong, the rest of the suite is lacking.
This may or may not be a deal-breaker, as some of this stuff can be subjective. But if you’re an SEO who is going to spend hours upon hours nose-deep in an SEO tool, then having a strong UI and UX will allow you to work faster – whereas bad UI and UX will cause you to work slower.
Searchmetrics Pricing and Plans
While there are prices reported online through various review sites, there isn’t any transparent pricing on the Searchmetrics site except for the Essential plan, which is $69 a month (billed annually).
This is a little frustrating, as what Searchmetrics wants you to reach out for a sales call so they can figure out what it is you need and don’t need and give you a custom price. While we get that sentiment, it makes it more difficult to compare Searchmetrics to other SEO tools, which usually have at least a few tiers of ready-made-packages that have pricing available.
For the Essentials plan, you’re getting:
- Limited Research Database
- On-Demand Research Tool
- 10,000 rankings per report
You’re not getting the things we like most about the tool, which are content optimization features and the backlink analysis features.
Do We Recommend the Searchmetrics Suite?
Without knowing matter-of-fact pricing, it is difficult to come out and recommend Searchmetrics. Plus, it’s impossible to recommend the content optimization tools of Searchmetrics without getting the entire Searchmetrics suite.
That’s a big change. Plenty of SEOs and Content Managers like to use individual tools based on their strength and are wary of an all-in-one tool kit.
While it definitely depends on price, it may be worth considering finding a third-party content optimization tool, such as Frase, while using your go-to SEO research tools, such as Ahrefs or SEMRush for keyword research, backlink analysis, and SERP tracking.
Finally, whether or not Searchmetrics will work for you depends on whether or not you’re dependent on a Google ecosystem. Not having a Google docs add-on feature isn’t ideal. If you’re managing a dozen writers (all of them remote) and aren’t able to utilize the shareability and editing features of Google docs, your light might get more complicated, not less.