What is "share of search"?

June 10, 2021

Your brand and product marketing teams might be really excited about this metric we’re running into called “Share of Search”.

It’s simple to understand: who do people search for the most in our category?

And it’s easy to calculate, too – get the monthly search volume for your brand, and see what percentage that is of all brands in your category. For example:

  • If you have 10,000 searches a month, that’s 10,000 searches for you, and…
  • Your 5 competitors all have 5,000 each, that’s 25,000 searches for them, then…
  • Share of search is about 30% – your searches (10,000) over total searches (35,000)!

(A quick and very rough way to get a similar analysis is Google Trends, so start there if you don’t feel like doing a lot of math right now.)

Share of search is cool for a few reasons.

  1. It’s meaningful. The more present you are in search, the more you can expect to sell.
  2. To put it another way, share of search predicts share of market.
  3. It’s easy to calculate, understand, and validate. You can track it easily over time.

But most importantly, it helps you make the case for visibility in organic search – and therefore, in investment in content – in a way that should get your colleagues excited. (Or depressed? But then maybe resolute.)

How to get started:

  • Go in and explore Google Trends. Type in your name, and your competitors’ names. Adjust the time range.

  • Compare your competitors. If that didn’t work, tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs will usually have the data even if Trends doesn’t deign to include it.

You can take this one step further by seeing what your share of search is for certain topics.

You’ll need a tool for this, but look for a tab called “Competitor Analysis” or something similar, and enter the topics that are most important for your brand.

Share this data with your comms and product marketing teams.


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