Share of search: The potential marketing metric

The concept of ‘share of search’ is sending a wave of excitement through the marketing industry. Being praised as a measure of performance and a potential leading indicator for future success. Is it possible for Share of search to become a desirable metric for marketers and replace Share of voice?

Share of voice is a measure of the market your brand owns compared to other brands in the same industry. It gauges brand awareness and customer engagement to show you how you stack up to the competition. In the traditional sense, Share of voice determines how big your media spending is compared to that of your competitors.

Share of search shows the number of organic searches a brand has received as a proportion of the total number of searches made for every brand in its industry. As well as gauging brand health, Share of Search can be a reliable indicator of market share. This makes sense because if more people are searching for your brand, you’re probably going to land more sales. Most consumers only search for a brand by name if they plan to buy one of its products or they already own one. When searches are large relative to your size, it’s a positive sign of growth.

Share of voice is a key metric for setting budgets and predicting growth. However, as digital marketing channels have grown, it now encompasses various elements of digital marketing and advertising, makes it impossible to calculate accurately by using Share of voice. Therefore, understanding your share of search queries is a simple alternative.

The rising importance of Share of Search

User behavior changes with the growth of online advertising, demonstrating the benefits of share of search.

1. Share of Search is the new easy and quicker alternative

You can figure out your Share of Search with a calculator tool and some search volume data – Google’s Keyword Planner for example, which is available for free. The data can be pulled together much faster than a Share of Voice report. You don’t need to spend much time researching competitors either. Your SEO tool will highlight them for you.

Share of Search reports are accessible to brands of every size and can be assessed on a regular basis effortlessly. The company can even make it one of your key eCommerce KPIs to keep track of your brand’s health and growth.

2. More reliable frequency data

Share of search should be more predictive than Share of voice. Even in low-involvement categories like FMCG, the balance of one brand’s share of total search in a category should still be revealing.

Advertising budgets are indicators that can be used to measure. However, it doesn’t take into account the quality of the advertising or any PR crises that a brand may be going through. It also ignores the fact that 96% of consumers simply don’t trust ads.

Share of search could be used not only to measure a brand’s salience versus other brands but also to indicate which other brands should make up that set in the first place. However, measuring Share of Search instead of Share of Voice allows you to track consumers who are actually engaging with your brand through Google. By tracking activity that takes place a little further down the conversion funnel, you will have a more accurate predictor of your market share.

3. It’s an more universal assessment tool

Because Share of Search isn’t based on advertising spend, it is a more universal metric. It applies to industries, like B2B, where advertising isn’t hugely important. Brands that don’t invest in traditional advertising can also use it. Moreover, get the data on a weekly basis with your brand and your competitors will be very helpful instead of the annual report.

Share of Search is also better because many brands invest in modern marketing tactics that don’t require any ad spend. Think video, social media, and email. Dollar Shave Club managed to take a piece of the razor market and it all began with a viral video is an ideal case study.

For all these reasons, Share of search has huge potential to become one of the most exciting and useful marketing metrics of the foreseeable future.

Sources:, 2.

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