I often get asked if MarketMuse is worth the investment. There is no simple answer.
It’s not an easy decision to spend thousands of dollars monthly on a search engine optimization tool.
This review will go over MarketMuse to see if it really is the best content optimisation tool out there.
It will discuss the key issues the MarketMuse software solves in your business. I’ll also show you live examples of the tool and compare them with other content analysis SEO tools.
Now, just to be completely transparent here…
This MarketMuse review has been thoroughly researched with information and testimonials that are available online to anyone in the public. Any conclusions drawn by myself are opinions.
Table of Contents
ProsWhat I Liked
Reduces time on research & content optimization
Improves search engine rankings
Easier content auditing
Streamlines content brief creation
ConsWhat I Didn't Like
Not enough for research and outline builder
Not so user-friendly
Long load times
And at the end, I’ll answer some of the most often asked questions regarding MarketMuse and AI-powered content intelligence and seo tool in general.
But most importantly, you’ll see the exact step-bey-step system that many others have used to grow their own successful online business to more than $40,000 a month in passive income.
What’s The Problem With SEO Today?
Google’s search engine algorithm changes constantly. The complexity, rate of change, and frequency of updates are all increasing.
An in-house SEO will always try to stay current, applying the “best practices” and the most recent SEO tricks.
The problem quickly becomes:
- What is the ideal title tag?
- What is the best keyword tool?
- Which is the best link-building tactic?
- How can you properly hide your PBN?
- How do you distribute your anchor text?
- What number of backlinks should I build to rank high in Google’s search engine?
These aren’t irrelevant questions, but they are, for average SEOs, a losing proposition. Either you’re losing your content strategies and churning sites, or both.
How can you stay ahead?
You can do this by following Google’s Quality Rating Guidelines.
You can bet that the current version of Google’s algorithm doesn’t measure all of these factors the same… but content depth, coverage, and topical expertise are the most prominent factors.
However, we don’t all have to go out and hire content creators and writers with creative writing degrees.
MarketMuse is your best bet. How would you optimize your content for the Natural Language Process (NLP) that underpins Google Search?
MarketMuse Back Story
MarketMuse was initially introduced to the stage as a single-page optimizer. It was simple. Just enter your URL and target keyword, and the algorithm will return suggestions for topics and keyword variations.
It worked well at a page level to optimize for high-quality content.
The company began to offer custom reports and data crunching for enterprise and agency clients. This is still what they do. MarketMuse learned from these experiences and added many features (and upsells) to its platform, including “content inventory,” a type of standing report that is updated frequently to identify content opportunities.
The page-level content optimizer is still my favorite and most widely used feature.
What Does MarketMuse Do?
MarketMuse is a powerful keyword research tool that uses industry-leading Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and helps publishers and bloggers compete on Google. It also provides a suite of content optimization and site audit applications that simplify topic research and planning.
It identifies the types of changes required to improve the content’s quality and make it more engaging to improve search engine rankings.
Who Should Use MarketMuse?
MarketMuse is best for content strategists, content marketers, marketing agencies, SEOs, publishers, and eCcommerce.
Anybody with a substantial content base to work with, whether as an agency, stand-alone, or large enterprise, should be a good match.
You need to know, though, that the tool isn’t cheap, and it is not usually a monthly contract. It’s better to get a demo and integrate it fully into your team, or you will be disappointed.
We’ll be discussing this more later.
How To Use MarketMuse?
Let’s begin with a LIVE example.
MarketMuse Optimization Example
For this purpose, we used the phrase “best running shoes” and ran it in MarketMuse.
The tool automatically pulls the URL text field and compares it to the target keyword.
The field to the right displays “Research” recommendations (Dist. = The current distro for this URL. Suggestion = The recommended additions + frequency range.
The “Compete tab” is another helpful field. It displays the top 20 organic search positions and their content scores for the specified term.
This example raises a problem. Why is “baldingbeards.com not ranking higher, given their dominant content score (62)?
Below could be some answers to this question:
- Links Still Matter: Although links may have declining importance as a ranking factor, it is still vital. Esquire.com, for example, probably survives on their relative link advantage.
- Overall topical relevance: I don’t think BaldingBeards.com has any particular expertise in running or shoes. Their knowledge in topical beard care and beard growth is likely.
- Content Efficiency Ratio: This content score is high relative to the amount of content. All of these competitors could have 6700 words written. This would result in a higher score. Although LONGER content scores higher, I believe the efficiency ratio is more important.
RunningShoeGuru.com provides a great example of a more effective piece of content and a relevant authority. Although they could improve their score to compete with RunnersWorld.com, links and domain authority over specific content marketing efforts are the main difference.
Specific Ways To Use The MarketMuse Software Platform
Two main ways MarketMuse is used in our content strategy are:
- New Content Porduction: We can maximize the content creation efforts of our talented writers by including Content Briefs (or for project managers). Content Briefs make sure that all-important concepts are covered. E.g., You can’t talk effectively about “best running shoes” without including overpronation or underpronation. It would be a brilliant idea to have a section about “pronation in our buying guide.”
- Content Optimization: After a site has 100+ articles, we like the “80/20 rule” to ensure that the content is within striking distance of a meaningful Google ranking. It could be ranked at #3, but we want it to rank at #2. This could mean that there is a lot of content at the top of page 2. We document the original score, timestamp it, and note the “optimized” score to evaluate later. We are trying to improve the rankings of existing content.
How NOT to Use MarketMuse?
Back in the “old days,” SEOs used to keyword stuff articles in your niche, literally repeating sequences of words to rank higher. There was no need for a complex optimization tool. That worked for a while. Then it came crashing down (not really aligning to the end user experience, right?).
Similarly, while MarketMuse suggests phrases to include, this doesn’t mean you just add them willy nilly (even if this might actually work right now).
How Do We Take This Lesson To Heart?
We usually evaluate writers with MarketMuse for five to ten initial articles. However, this is before we give them briefs. The scores are then compiled to create a quantitative “writer ranking.” Side note – Sometimes, our best writers don’t ask for the highest rates.
After identifying the naturally great writers, MarketMuse is introduced to our Editing Team to help them refine and optimize their content. This is part of our Kaizen strategy. A brief overview is rarely given to writers before they start writing articles.
Many writers can be described as artists. It is not conducive to creating authentic and engaging content within the context of creative writing if you ask them to use scientific data-driven processes.
Another way to look at it: Even if MarketMuse were to disappear tomorrow, we still would like to know the NATURALLY great writers (some of these writers have been with us for over 5 years).
MarketMuse is an effective tool, but it’s only for the right people. It may seem like it could work by simply hiring low-quality writers and then overlaying MarketMuse filters. But I wouldn’t bet my farm on that.
What Could Be Better
MarketMuse could improve in a few areas, including pricing.
- Integrations With CMS Software: A WordPress dashboard integration is ideal for optimizing content in one place. Although you can copy/paste back-and-forth, it becomes tedious and impractical for complex formatting. MarkerMuse does have a basic text editor.
- Keyword-Focused Opportunities: While the tool can identify topical coverage gaps (keyword recommendations) and other keywords to target, they don’t really focus on each client’s business case. E.g., An eCommerce store may care about terms other than an agency or review blog. It’s good to be able to identify topical gaps in an absolute sense. You will eventually want to cover all topics. However, it’d be nice to have a content inventory trigger/ alert targeting specific keywords, e.g., “Promo codes” and “review keywords” in the most relevant topics. It’s essentially an AI-powered keyword planner (or topical planner for content blueprints).
- Rank tracking and change detection: This is likely already in the product roadmap. However, tracking keyword rankings and MEASURE improvement on a site-wide level would be a huge bonus. MarketMuse’s high price and long-term contracts are the biggest obstacles to its use. The value proposition of MarketMuse becomes obvious if content marketers can easily measure the data in the tool.
MarketMuse is not cheap. Although they don’t publish their prices, you can expand to pay a recurring charge of more than $1000 and sign a long-term contract (not monthly). The more sites that you have in your “inventory,” the higher the prices. 2022 UPDATE: Now, it lists the prices. Yay!
It can be expensive even with the different pricing levels. They offer demos and free trials to serious prospects.
The bottom line is to ensure you have enough content to use regularly and the resources to help implement its powerful suggestions. Start with the Basic Optimize Plan to familiarize yourself with the interface, and then move up to the more advanced options if you find it useful for your workflow.
Using Content Services (That Use MarketMuse)
It’s worth noting that if you are on a limited budget, it might make sense to use a content service that subscribes to MarketMuse vs signing up yourself.
Here are the ones I know of:
Frequently Asked Questions About MarketMuse
How Do You Cancel MarketMuse?
MarketMuse usually locks you into an annual contract. You can also pay monthly, but it can be hard to cancel. Do not expect to pay for just a few months, then cancel.
Does MarketMuse Have A Free Trial?
Officially, no. However, MarketMuse will allow you to test drive the product for a specified time if you contact them for a sales consultation. UPDATE: Now they do! You can now get a free trial.
Does MartMuse Really Work?
It all depends on what you define as success. After 3+ years of using MarketMuse, I can tell you that it has helped me create better content, trained my team to become better writers, and provided further opportunities to optimize content (and rank in Google SERPs).
Is MarketMuse Worth It?
The questions for us were:
- Do we have enough content?
- Can we easily integrate it into our content production process?
Yes to both questions. There are more than 30 websites that use content planning and creation in different ways. Systematic content production and optimization process are also in place. MarketMuse is the pioneer of machine learning and AI in content and is also one of today’s emerging new content optimization tools.
Below is a MarketMuse customer review:
I was waiting for some good deal for MaketMuse, after some time I got it from Appsumo, Firstly I was a little bit lost, but Customer support provides good resource, in some time I can easily get benefit from this application. I easily improve my content by analyzing ranked articles for specific keywords, identifying weak points of my article, and work on that area is the most important feature for me. MarketMuse helps me to save a large time of research time for specific keywords.
You can find a lot of such a positive review online. But you have to remember that MarketMuse is still relatively new in the SEO world.
What Is My Top Recommendation For Making Money Online In 2022?
Our review team has come across a program in the real estate industry that is next level!
Although it’s not real estate in the traditional sense, it’s all digital.
Where MarketMuse falls short is in scalability.
You can’t realistically expect to be able to do SEO all day everyday.
It just takes too many resources (money included) for any regular person to bootstrap, not to mention some clients can be real headaches!
But what if you could make even more money off of little local websites without having to spend all your day monitoring different campaigns?
With this digital real estate program, you can profit off LOCAL traffic to your website every single day!
Sound too good to be true? Of course it does! But it isn’t…in fact, business owners wish they had this skill!
All you have to do is build and rank a LOCAL website and forward the jobs off to a business owner in town, you could even email it to them!
This works for literally any service based business, tree service, plumbing, towing, etc.
How do you get paid and how much?
Simple, after you forward the jobs off to a business owner and he makes some money off of them, you simply ask to make the deal beneficial for each other.
A fair price to charge per lead, depending on the industry is 10-20%…let’s just use the tree service industry for example and go by worst case scenario.
Let’s say you build and rank the site and only 10 jobs a month come in. The average tree service job is anywhere from $500-$2000!
That means at bare minimum you have an asset worth $500 a month!
See why they call it digital real estate now? That’s a rent payment. Because It’s YOUR ASSET
The great thing is how easy it is to scale. You don’t have to worry about clients that are headaches because you own the website.
Back to SEO, why land a small $500 SEO client that is treating you like an employee, when you can own your own asset with leverage?
This model actually allows you to collect HUGE FLAT RATE DEALS. Truly passive income!
The training program takes making money online to a whole other level. The owner of the program walks you through how to build and rank a site hand in hand, with the occasional voice over when he is sharing his screen.
You will learn the importance of keywords, website name, how to send call notifications via email, backlinking, etc.
Once the training program is completed you will also have access to a Facebook group much better than the other SEO groups in my opinion. This group is much more active.
Unlike SEO, where you’re getting maybe $250 per month, you could be getting 10-20X THAT.
A business will always want more leads and another job. In fact it doesn’t even matter that the job isn’t coming from their website name…they see it as it is…expanding digital real estate.
Unlike SEO, more people have been able to walk away from their 9-5 job as well.
Now, I know you probably have tons of questions…