Blogging SEO

How to Rank on Google in 2019 — A MarketMuse Review

This submit might include affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

One of many largest challenges faced by bloggers, digital advertising businesses and on-line publishers of all sizes is making certain their content performs properly on Google — a activity that has turn out to be more and more urgent over the past couple of years.

That’s as a result of in 2017, the search engine behemoth is estimated to have referred about 35% of all internet visitors, outpacing the runner-up Facebook (25%) for the first time since 2014. Google’s referral dominance is predicted to not solely continue, but broaden. In accordance to, visitors from social media sources has been dropping steadily since no less than early 2017, with Facebook visitors being hit the hardest.

Among the most vital elements behind Fb’s diminishing position in driving visitors to external websites (like this one) is the company’s focus on populating users’ newsfeeds with a better proportion of content from friends and family and less from blogs, companies and news retailers.

The shift in technique, which is meant to improve the platform by encouraging personal contact, has despatched shockwaves throughout the web publishing world. A current whitepaper co-published by BuzzSumo and Buffer exhibits that the sharing of content material on social media platforms plummeted by 50% over a current 18-month interval.

This implies it’s more necessary than ever to have an efficient search engine marketing (web optimization) strategy that helps your content material rank properly on Google. That’s why I lately started utilizing MarketMuse, a content material technique and optimization software that makes use of machine learning and synthetic intelligence to assist individuals write better, extra detailed, and extra authoritative articles.

I began utilizing the service about 5 months ago, and thus far the outcomes have been promising: natural visitors for content material I’ve optimized based mostly on MarketMuse’s recommendations has doubled on common because of significantly better placement in Google’s search outcomes.

Improve in organic visitors on

On this article, I’ll unpack a few of MarketMuse’s key functionality and present you ways I exploit it to produce higher long-form content. But first, I feel it’s necessary to talk about why sure articles perform better on Google than others.

MarketMuse Review

Google uses a proprietary search algorithm (which is up to date multiple occasions throughout the day) to analyze and rank virtually all the content on the online. A lot of the variables that comprise that algorithm are secret, however we do know a number of the basic characteristics that Google considers essential.

@MarketMuseCo is an #search engine marketing device that helps bloggers understand what readers need, write higher content material, and rank greater on Google. Click To Tweet

Among these are off-page and technical elements, which have traditionally been a key focus of web optimization efforts. These elements embrace things just like the number and high quality of backlinks (i.e., different web sites that hyperlink to your content) and web page loading velocity, which is increasingly relevant as increasingly customers eat content on cellular units (typically over cellular knowledge connections).

But crucial factor by far is what’s on the web page itself. In different phrases, the standard and relevance of the content material.

Google’s aim is to determine the searcher’s intent after which ship probably the most relevant, helpful and reliable results as efficiently as potential. The corporate needs searchers to find what they’re on the lookout for shortly, with out having to sift via pages of results or repeat their search.

Through the years, Google’s strategy to determining what content material is relevant, helpful and reliable has grown staggeringly refined and sophisticated.

A decade ago, a seek for “ketogenic diet tips” may need delivered an inventory of outcomes that contained a precise match of that phrase, ranked largely based mostly on a now-deprecated metric referred to as Web page Rank (which was a 1 to 10 score that represented an internet site’s supposed authority, integrity, and general stature).

Right now, there’s an analogous metric referred to as Domain Authority, and it’s nonetheless one of many main rating elements. However Google is way extra concerned than it used to be about whether or not the content on the web page helps the consumer fulfill his or her intent — which, in the case of this example, is learning how to get higher results from their keto eating regimen.

Satisfying Searcher Intent

Google’s aim is to deliver search outcomes that assist the searcher reply the crux of their question — even if that wasn’t part of the unique search time period itself. In order to do this, the ranking algorithm evaluates content material based mostly not solely on the given search phrase, but in addition on key phrases and questions which might be correlated with and related to that search phrase.

For example, individuals who seek for “ketogenic diet tips” may additionally generally tend to search for “benefits of a ketogenic diet,” “what foods can I eat on keto” and “what are the risks of going keto.” Google knows this because it has a hen’s-eye view of worldwide search conduct, and is more possible to assign a high rank to an article that addresses each of these related subjects than one that merely supplies an inventory of food plan ideas.

Similarly, as Google collects extra knowledge on the search term “ketogenic diet tips,” its algorithm might begin to develop preferences for certain forms of content over others. If a number of highly-trusted web sites which are seen by Google as material specialists publish articles containing comparable ideas, those phrases may be deemed necessary to the search query; in contrast, content material that doesn’t handle those subjects could also be seen as relatively less authoritative.

Given all this, bloggers like me face a predicament: How do we all know what Google thinks makes an article authoritative, and how do we know if we’re serving to the searcher satisfy their intent?

I’ll have a good suggestion for a weblog publish on a subject in which I’m an issue skilled. I’ll sit down and write nice, distinctive content that provides worth for readers. Then I’ll publish it, sit back, and watch for visitors that never comes because my article is caught at 60-something in the search outcomes.

In instances like that, there’s an excellent probability that I’m failing to adequately tackle the questions readers have concerning the matter.

That’s the place MarketMuse comes in.

What MarketMuse Does

MarketMuse Inventory and ApplicationsMarketMuse menu

MarketMuse contains a suite of instruments designed to assist you to higher understand what subjects and concepts ought to be addressed in order to compete with the best-performing content material for a given search term. It makes use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to scan content related to your target keyword and determine the questions searchers are asking about that subject, and it offers you with actionable suggestions for optimizing your content material to make it extra helpful to readers.

There are two primary sections within MarketMuse: Stock and Purposes.

Stock contains a set of strategy and planning instruments designed to assist publishers conduct a website audit and create a plan-of-action for updating and optimizing their content material. For me, probably the most helpful part of Stock is the “Topics” section, which scans my content catalog and exhibits me what keyword alternatives I’m lacking.

Except for that, Stock is extra targeted to bigger publishers, because it provides them the power to create “briefs,” which might be assigned to writers within their group. I’m a solo blogger and I don’t use those elements of the software, so I’m going to focus on the Purposes section.

In the event you’d like to study extra about MarketMuse’s planning tools, you possibly can learn this write-up that describes how their software program helped content advertising wiz Neil Patel double his natural search visitors.

MarketMuse Purposes

MarketMuse options 5 purposes:

  • Analysis
  • Compete
  • Questions
  • Join
  • Optimize

Right here’s a rundown of all of them apart from Connect, which is used for figuring out inner and exterior linking alternatives.


Once I determine to write a blog publish a few specific matter, one of the first things I do is determine the key phrase phrases I would like to goal with that content. I exploit for this, as a result of MarketMuse doesn’t have a built-in key phrase search software that exhibits numerical estimates of keyword quantity.

Sticking with the previous instance, let’s say I’m going to write a list-based article about how to get probably the most out of your keto food regimen, and my objective is to get into Google’s prime 5 search results for the target key phrase phrase “ketogenic diet tips.”

I flip to MarketMuse earlier than I even start writing. Operating “ketogenic diet tips” by means of the Questions app produces an inventory of questions associated to my targeted phrase. Right here’s a screenshot of the outcomes:

MarketMuse QuestionsQuestions related to the focused search time period

As you’ll be able to see, not all the questions the AI spits out are related or helpful. “Is this the same as the keto diet” doesn’t even make sense given the search term, and I clearly can’t answer the query “Why?”

With that stated, this listing nonetheless offers invaluable insights into a number of the content that’s intently associated to my matter. From this record, which is ranked based mostly on MarketMuse’s steered degree of importance, I can infer that any article about ketogenic eating regimen ideas should reply the next questions:

  • How do you stick to a ketogenic weight-reduction plan?
  • What is keto cycling?
  • What are good carb and milk options while on this food regimen?
  • What are the most effective and worst fat to eat while on keto?

This data allows me to write a extra detailed article that is extra useful to readers. Without these insights, I’d find yourself producing great content based mostly on my information of keto eating regimen greatest practices whereas simultaneously failing to tackle the elements of the topic that readers are most in studying about. Consequently, Google would deem my content less related and authoritative, and my search ranking would endure.

It’s necessary to notice that my aim in using this software just isn’t to attempt to reply every question on the record. Fairly, I’m aiming to set up material expertise — I would like Google to acknowledge that I’m an professional when it comes to ketogenic eating regimen ideas, and that my content supplies the whole lot a searcher needs to find out about that matter. As such, I solely reply the questions which might be truly related to the article I’m writing.

Moreover, I solely use this info to increase my content — not to dictate it. If there’s one factor Google hates, it’s content material that simply paraphrases present articles. For content material to perform properly, it needs to be unique and distinctive in addition to complete. So nearly all of my article about ketogenic weight loss plan ideas shall be based mostly on my experience and opinions, and I’ll use this record of questions to fill out the gaps and make the article more complete than it otherwise would have been.

I additionally use this software to optimize present content material. Revising older articles to make them extra comprehensive is a relatively quick and straightforward course of that can outcome in a big increase in rankings.


After I’ve identified the key questions associated to my target search time period, I exploit MarketMuse’s Analysis app to generate an inventory of subjects that the AI deems as being necessary parts of content that already ranks properly for that specific time period.

Analysis outputs those subjects as keywords in an inventory format, as shown under. Discover that there are two columns on the fitting aspect of the display: “Suggested Dist.” exhibits the beneficial density of those keywords, whereas “Current Dist.” is used when analyzing present content. In the event you’re using the app to plan new content, the values in the “Current Dist.” column will all the time be null.

MarketMuse Research ApplicationKey subjects associated with the focused search time period

Whereas Questions helps you understand the overall sorts of data searchers are in search of, Analysis digs into the best-performing articles themselves and exhibits the precise items of data which are sometimes included in authoritative content material on a given topic.

As you possibly can think about, this data is extremely helpful.

Let’s say that certainly one of my keto weight loss plan ideas was going to be “choose healthy fats from high-quality oils.” Nicely, I can see from taking a look at this record that I want to particularly handle the merits of both coconut and MCT oils, as opposed to merely discussing the merits of “good” oils in common. Which may appear to be widespread sense — in any case, it’s all the time higher to be particular moderately than obscure. But I can’t speak about every part in one article, so without these insights I might inevitably end up overlooking issues that could possibly be helpful to readers.

This info makes my writing more environment friendly by empowering me to keep away from or minimize extraneous subjects that don’t matter to readers while focusing extra on what they actually care about.

As with Questions, you may also use this app to enhance your present content material. Here’s what the output seems like once I analyze an thrilling article (Paleo vs. Keto Food regimen: Which One is Greatest?) for the search phrase “ketogenic diet tips,” relative to content from other publishers:

MarketMuse Optimize ApplicationMy matter protection compared to competing content

I’m doing fairly nicely, but as the 0s in the “Current Dist.” column present, I’m utterly lacking a number of key pieces of data. My article never talks about ketogenic weight-reduction plan ideas, internet carbs or meal plans. Including content material that addresses those subjects might improve my search ranking for the focused time period.

Nevertheless, before updating this article, I would wish to stop and think about whether the “missing” subjects are literally relevant to the prevailing content material. If they’re not, including them quantities to key phrase stuffing, which reduces the standard and readability of the article and can kill your rating in the long run. MarketMuse’s artificial intelligence is powerful and effective, however it may possibly’t be used as an alternative to your personal judgment and discretion.


MarketMuse’s Compete app outputs primarily the same info as Analysis, nevertheless it permits you to visualize that knowledge in a very invaluable format.

Whenever you first use Compete to process a search term, you’re given a ranked listing of the top-performing content for that specific phrase or phrase (including a content rating, which we’ll talk about in the subsequent part). Nevertheless, notice the option, in the higher right nook, to toggle between “List” and “Heatmap.”

MarketMuse Compete ApplicationOutcomes from the Compete app in record format — discover “Heatmap” in the top right

Clicking “Heatmap” produces the following output:

MarketMuse Compete HeatmapMatter protection grid

As you’ll be able to see, the record of subjects (i.e., keywords) in the left column are the identical (and in the identical order) as once we analyzed the content material via the Analysis app. The highest row accommodates a ranked record (from left to right) of the best-performing content material for the search time period. And the grid gives a visualization of how nicely each of those articles covers crucial subjects.

In MarketMuse, matter coverage is colour coded:

  • Blue – wonderful protection
  • Inexperienced – good coverage
  • Orange – average protection
  • Pink – no protection

Analyzing this grid permits me to view the overall content landscape from a few totally different views.

First, analyzing each row from left to proper exhibits me how properly a subject is covered across all the best-performing content material.

As an example, out of the 20 ranked pages, 10 have either good or complete protection for the subject “weight loss,” while four have average protection. That’s an excellent sign that Google views info relating to weight loss as being an important element of high quality content material about ketogenic food plan ideas. If my content material doesn’t speak about weight reduction, it needs to.

One fascinating factor to word is that solely one of many top-ranked pages for “ketogenic diet tips” truly mentions that phrase.

As I wrote earlier, Google’s search algorithm relies on extra than just keyword matching. So this example illustrates the crux of what makes MarketMuse so priceless: it drills down under the surface of a question to reveal what searchers want to know, slightly than just the time period they’re utilizing to attempt to discover that info.

I may also analyze my rivals’ content vertically, which exhibits matter coverage on a page-by-page foundation. It’s in all probability not shocking at this level to understand that the best-performing articles completely cowl a number of key subjects.

Right here’s what the grid seems like once I use it to examine my present content (Paleo vs. Keto) to the competition (notice that my content is the left column on the top row):

MarketMuse Compete HeatmapGrid displaying my matter coverage (left column) in contrast to my competitors

As you’ll be able to see, my content stacks up fairly properly towards the competitors. So why doesn’t my page rank for this search term?

Properly, search engine optimization can be straightforward if only one variable was concerned. However as I discussed in the intro, content material is just one slice of the pie. On this case, my Keto vs. Paleo article was solely just lately optimized, so the modifications I made might not have been observed by Google yet. Additionally, slightly bit of quick research suggests that the top-ranked websites for this search time period have a considerably larger Area Authority score than I do. That places me at an obstacle, all other issues being equal.

Nevertheless it’s necessary to keep in mind that no know-how answer, regardless of how sensible its synthetic intelligence is, can present a surefire means to crack Google’s code and pressure each article to the highest of the charts. What they will do is offer you extra info to work with so that you’ve one of the best opportunity to be as competitive as potential.

Compete additionally permits you to view your matter coverage head-to-head towards your competition. Here’s how I fare towards the #1 article, revealed by

MarketMuse Compete Heatmap Details How I stack up head-to-head vs. the highest search outcome


After I’ve thought-about associated questions, researched key subject areas, and evaluated the subject coverage of my competition, I exploit MarketMuse to examine my work and fine-tune my content material.

The Optimize app analyzes your article and assigns it a content material score of 1 to 100. This score is predicated on how nicely your content material matches MarketMuse’s advised key phrase distribution for the subject in query. As part of the report, Optimize also exhibits the typical rating of your rivals’ content material, and a “target score” that it is best to attempt to hit.

Moreover, the app exhibits a present, common and goal phrase rely.

Content material length is believed to be a factor in search rating because it relates to breadth of matter coverage and degree of element. If nearly all of “expert” content material on a given subject makes use of four,000 phrases to adequately tackle the searcher’s intent, it’s unlikely (although not inconceivable) that an article of just one,500 words can match that protection.

That isn’t to say that Google thinks lengthy content is best, per se, however slightly that lengthy content could also be relatively more detailed and comprehensive — and is thus extra probably to fulfill the searcher’s intent.

I view MarketMuse’s goal phrase rely as a framework for appearing upon the app’s optimization recommendations. Figuring out that I want to add five lacking subjects to hit my goal content material rating, and 1,000 words to hit my goal word rely, helps me plan and work by means of the process successfully, without feeling like I’ve added too little or too much.

MarketMuse Optimize ApplicationOptimize allows you to shortly check how revisions affect your content score

In Optimize, you possibly can add content immediately in the text editor (as pictured above), and your content rating and phrase rely will replace in real time. Nevertheless, the editor has a notable enter lag, and there’s no approach to export the modifications you make back to WordPress. So I often just make an inventory of the subjects I would like to add or increase, revise the textual content instantly in WordPress, after which re-check the up to date content material by way of Optimize. Copying and pasting into the textual content editor is fast and efficient.

What I Love About MarketMuse

MarketMuse helps me produce higher content extra shortly. And I do imply “better” — not simply “better performing.”

Bloggers typically think about search engine marketing as being disconnected from content high quality; there is a sense that what readers need is one thing, and what Google needs is one other thing. That leads individuals to take a look at search engine marketing as a means to attempt to recreation the system.

For my part, that’s the improper approach to think about it.

Google’s ranking algorithms are incredibly refined and sophisticated. The company has a hen’s-eye view of just about the complete internet and may see how searchers work together with totally different sorts of content material. Consequently, it is aware of what searchers are on the lookout for far better than bloggers do.

Actually, by drawing on its hundreds upon hundreds of knowledge points, it might know what searchers are on the lookout for better than the searchers themselves.

MarketMuse provides writers like me a method to tap into that information, in that it allows us to shortly see what subjects and subtopics we must be focusing on.

And while it’s true that a few of MarketMuse’s performance could possibly be carried out manually, the time required can be monumental. As an alternative of spending numerous hours making an attempt to suss out the hyperlinks between high-performing content material each time I begin a new article, I can get right down to the business of writing.

Is MarketMuse Value It?

I feel MarketMuse is an enormously powerful and extremely priceless device. For me, it’s been money nicely spent. But there are a few things to contemplate before you make the leap:

  • Are you able to afford it? MarketMuse isn’t low cost. I’m very lucky to have a blog that is extensively read and generates a strong stream of revenue, and I consider investing in MarketMuse helps me improve my visitors and earn extra. Nevertheless, it’s definitely not a device for the casual blogger. Prices differ relying on your wants and contract. I’ll embrace pricing info right here as soon as MarketMuse has completed restructuring its worth record and gives, which must be completed by the primary week of June. What I pay proper now’s completely value it. But the current and new pricing may be prohibitive for many.
  • Are you dedicated to using it for the fitting reasons? For those who consider search engine optimization as being about keyword stuffing, MarketMuse could be a tantalizing product. Simply add the beneficial key phrases and watch your content score grow! However that’s not what the software is designed to do, and such a process is unlikely to yield the results you’re in search of. MarketMuse’s suggestions provide help to focus on what matters, cowl content gaps, and write content that higher satisfies searchers’ intent. That requires work, which often consists of increasing the size of your articles to hit their goal word counts. That takes time — particularly when you have to research and study concerning the subjects you’re adding. MarketMuse solely is sensible when you’re committed to utilizing the knowledge to truly enhance your writing.

Attempt MarketMuse

Ceaselessly Asked Questions

Do MarketMuse content material scores really correlate with Google rankings?

Not all the time. There are lots of elements aside from matter protection and material experience that Google takes under consideration when ranking pages — together with many that we don’t know or don’t absolutely perceive. You’ll typically see pages with very low content scores outperform their competitors.

Nevertheless, what I can say is that each time I’ve used MarketMuse to optimize a page, its general search performance has improved — typically by a bit, but typically by a dramatic margin.

Where does MarketMuse derive its knowledge?

MarketMuse makes use of present net content to regularly improve its artificial intelligence. It constantly downloads pages from throughout the online, analyzes them, and compares their efficiency on Google relative to competing content. This means its recommendations truly improve over time, because it higher understands how modifications to content positively or negatively have an effect on search placement.

Does the analysis embrace search quantity for every key phrase?

Not particularly. MarketMuse does provide a demand score (High, Medium, Low) for matter alternatives it identifies in your present content inventory, however I nonetheless use for specific keyword quantity research.

Do you have to do another search engine marketing?

Absolutely. There’s a lot more that goes into your rating on serps than just on-page optimization. Probably the most necessary elements is Domain Authority (which has to do with backlinks), so it’s crucial that you simply’re producing high-quality, unique content that encourages hyperlink building. Also, writing a visitor publish for different publications might be a good way to safe official, high-quality inbound hyperlinks.

And as I noted in the evaluation, web page velocity is crucial as Google penalizes sites that take a long time to load their belongings. You possibly can run a quick audit of your website by way of Google’s PageSpeed Insights device.

How are you able to guarantee your web site content is effective?

One of the issues I wrote about repeatedly in this assessment is the thought of satisfying the searcher’s intent, which it’s also possible to take into consideration as finishing his or her “experience.” What meaning is that you really want to determine not only what they’re looking for, but in addition the questions they’re making an attempt to answer and/or the problem they’re making an attempt to remedy. Your objective ought to be to be sure that they by no means have to search for a similar time period again.

You also needs to think about whether or not your content material provides value for the reader. Does it supply a singular perspective that solely you’ll be able to provide, or does it merely repackage content that’s obtainable elsewhere? You’ll be able to create added value for readers in many various methods — resembling by providing a extra detailed evaluation than your competitors, or by providing an opinion that contradicts or challenges the dominant place on a topic. Take into consideration what distinguishes your content from the rest of the sector.

Finally, writing an awesome blog publish is about extra than simply including sufficient relevant content. The thoroughness of your analysis and the insightfulness of your commentary don’t matter if your article is boring. It’s essential to construct your first few sentences so that they seize the reader’s attention and draw them into the story. That’s why I didn’t begin this assessment by launching into the professionals and cons of MarketMuse. As an alternative, I set the scene by talking about one thing broad (declining social media visitors) and narrowed the main target of the article because it progressed, making it extra particular part by section. This is referred to as an “inverted pyramid” structure, and using it could assist you to scale back your bounce price, which is an element in your content’s search ranking.

Does MarketMuse supply guides, tutorials and/or customer help?

My expertise with MarketMuse’s customer support has been exceptional. I’ve a devoted customer support rep who I can attain out to at any time by way of telephone or e-mail, and I’ve never had to wait long for solutions to my questions. The workforce personally trains new users on how to use to software program, so I by no means needed a information or video tutorial. With that stated, there’s a wealth of priceless info relating to the software (and search engine optimisation in common) on their weblog and useful resource web page.

MarketMuse Review Summary

I took the plunge and invested in MarketMuse, and I’m glad I did. As famous in the intro, my articles persistently rank larger and my natural search visitors is rising consequently. I’m writing better, more comprehensive blog posts that provide readers more detailed details about the subject matter — and I’m writing more of them, thanks to how much the software program accelerates my content creation process.

MarketMuse options an distinctive key phrase research device, driven by industry-leading artificial intelligence and machine studying, that helps bloggers and publishers compete on Google without the necessity for an in-house workforce of web optimization specialists, and offers a set of website audit and content optimization purposes that streamline matter analysis and planning.

Should you’ve been using MarketMuse, I’d love to hear about your experience. In case you have any questions, be happy to ask them in the remark part under.