Deprecated: Hook custom_css_loaded is deprecated since version jetpack-13.5! Use WordPress Custom CSS instead. Jetpack no longer supports Custom CSS. Read the documentation to learn how to apply custom styles to your site: in /nas/content/live/ondigitalmark/wp-includes/functions.php on line 6078
Share of Search: The Ultimate Competitive Metric

Share of Search: The Ultimate Competitive Metric

by | Aug 24, 2023 | Blog

Back in the day, share of voice was THE key metric in marketing. It influenced budget allocations and strategy. 

But with the dawn of the digital age, share of voice has fallen out of use, and in its place, we now have Share of Search—the most important metric you’ve probably never heard of. 

At this point, the skeptics among you might start to wonder why they should care about, let alone track this new, and seemingly meaningless metric. 

Well, in the words of Strategist James Hankins, “… [Share of Search] can become a powerful and extremely useful source of long-term time series data.” 

He holds that the information from Share of Search will have applications in analysis and predictions for long-term business success. But Hankins isn’t the only believer.

Marketing Week columnist and Mini MBA founder, Mark Ritson, suggested in one of his columns that instead of focusing solely on the link between share of voice and share of market, we should also compare online searches for different brands—Share of Search.

According to Ritson, because of its position further down the marketing funnel, Share of Search can be “more predictive than share of voice.”

Clearly from this preliminary introduction, Share of Search sounds like it’s definitely worth considering. But you may still be on the fence, or perhaps looking for a bit more information to get you across the line. 

So join us as we take an OnDigitalMarketing-style deep dive into Share of Search, including:

  • Its impact on your digital marketing strategy
  • How to work it out and maximize its benefits
  • How to quantify its effect on your content strategy 
  • How to stay in the know with all things Share of Searc

But first, let’s get you better acquainted with your new favorite analysis metric.

What is Share of Search?

US Share of Seaches pie chart

Share of Search is a metric that measures the percentage of total search volume for a specific set of keywords that your website, brand, or product receives in comparison to your competitors

Your Share of Search metric allows you to better understand your online presence and visibility in the context of the larger market, thereby providing you with valuable insights into your competitive position.

Role of Share of Search in Digital Marketing

When talking digital marketing, understanding your brand’s Share of Search is essential for several reasons:

  • Competitive analysis: Understanding your Share of Search will help you identify your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses so you can craft a more effective digital marketing strategy, based on their successes and avoiding their mistakes.
  • Brand awareness: A high Share of Search indicates greater brand awareness with your target audience. This can lead to increased web traffic, more significant customer engagement, and ultimately, higher conversion rates.
  • Market share: Your Share of Search is directly related to your brand’s market share. A high Share of Search usually correlates with a larger market share, suggesting that your brand is well-positioned in the industry.
  • Customer insights: Analyzing your Share of Search will reveal valuable customer insights, such as their preferences, needs, and search behavior. You can leverage this information to refine your digital marketing strategy and tailor it to better serve your target audience.

Importance of Share of Search in SEO

Share of Search is a critical component in your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it provides with you valuable insights and opportunities for your digital marketing strategy. For instance, Share of Search will help you identify your keyword opportunities. 

An understanding of the keywords that drive the most traffic to your website and the ones currently dominated by your competitors helps you focus your SEO efforts, boosting your online presence. 

Analyzing your Share of Search will also help you optimize your content by giving you an idea of where you have gaps in your content. This way, you can create new, valuable content that resonates with your audience and improves your organic search performance. 

Through this process, you will be able to tailor your content to your target market, driving more traffic to your website, and ultimately increasing your brand visibility

Monitoring your Share of Search further allows you to track the progress of your SEO efforts. Regular assessments will give you a clear measure of the success of your initiative, informing you when you need to adjust or pivot your strategy to achieve your desired results. 

Indeed analyzing your Share of Search gives you a data-driven approach to ensuring your SEO tactics and other paid search campaigns remain aligned with your strategy contributing to your digital marketing success. By comparing your organic and paid search performance, you can make informed decisions to optimize your ad spending and ensure that your marketing budget is allocated effectively.

Key Takeaway: Analyzing Share of Search boosts online visibility, attracts traffic, and informs SEO strategies for improved brand awareness and market share.

For more on how you can take advantage of Share of Search to maximize your return on investment and drive more traffic conversion and revenue for your business, check us out OnDigitalMarketing

Here you will find a collection of digital marketing resources and case studies from the top minds in online marketing, guaranteed to transform your marketing efforts. 

Share of Search: A Powerful Indicator of Brand Awareness, Market Share, and Online Presence

Share of Search provides valuable insights into several aspects of your digital marketing strategy. Let’s take a closer look at how you can leverage it to make data-driven decisions and optimize your marketing efforts to build your brand awareness, market share, and online presence. 

Impact on Brand Awareness

Consistently appearing at the top of organic and paid search results builds familiarity, leading to higher brand recall and recognition.

You see, when your brand dominates the search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords, it demonstrates your brand’s authority and expertise in your industry. A strong Share of Search is also a key indicator that your content resonates with your target audience. 

It places your site as a reliable source of valuable information, making users form an association between your brand and the solutions they need.

The table below highlights various techniques that can enhance your brand’s visibility, reach, and credibility, ultimately strengthening your brand awareness and recognition.

Strategy Description Benefits
Influencer partnerships Collaborate with influencers or industry experts to increase your brand’s visibility and reach through their established networks Expanded reach, credibility, and engagement
Online reputation management Monitor and manage your brand’s online reputation to ensure positive customer sentiment and enhance brand awarenes Building trust, brand credibility, and positive online presence
User-generated content (UGC) Encourage users to create and share content related to your brand, leveraging their social influence to increase brand visibility Amplified brand exposure, authentic engagement, and loyalty

Connection to Market Share

There is a strong connection between Share of Search and market share. Research has shown that companies with a higher Share of Search tend to have a larger market share since they are more visible to potential customers. 

If you’re able to dominate the search landscape for relevant keywords, you will be able to capture a larger portion of the market and, consequently, generate more revenue.

Additionally, a higher Share of Search will lead to increased word-of-mouth marketing—happy customers are more likely to recommend your brand to friends and family—further boosting your market share. 

Role in Improving Online Presence

Share of Search plays a crucial role in improving your online presence. As we’ve established, when you dominate search results, your brand becomes more prominent in the digital landscape. 

This increased visibility helps you reach a wider audience, attracts web traffic, and generates engagement on your website and social media channels.

Additionally, by leveraging the information you get from analyzing your Share of Search, you can focus on targeting the right keywords and optimizing your content, so you can maximize your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, and improve your SERPs ranking.

dashboard of Google AdWords keyword planner

Optimization Tip: Leverage Share of Search data to identify target keywords and optimize your content for improved search engine rankings and enhanced online presence.

Expanding Your Knowledge With Additional Resources

For an in-depth analysis of how Share of Search can improve your brand awareness, market share, and online presence, check out OnDigitalMarketing’s textbook “A Beginners Guide to Digital Marketing and Social Media.” 

Chapter 12: Strategy and Trust shines a light on the importance of building trust with your target audience. Share of Search is a crucial component in this trust-building process, as it helps establish your brand as an industry leader and a trustworthy source of information.

This trust-building process is essential for fostering long-term relationships with your customers, leading to higher retention rates, and a sustainable competitive advantage in the digital marketing landscape.

Calculating and Tracking Share of Search

formula for Share of Search

Calculating and tracking your Share of Search involves several steps that allow you to accurately analyze your brand’s performance in terms of search results compared to your competitors. 

Here’s the low-down on how you can track and calculate your Share of Search:

  1. Identify your relevant keywords: First, compile a list of keywords relevant to your industry, niche, and target audience. Focus on keywords that cover the main topics and search queries related to your business.
    You can use keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to identify popular keywords and their search volumes.
  2. Identify your competitors: These are mainly the businesses and websites that compete for the same keywords and target audience as your brand.
  3. Analyze search results: Perform a Google search on each keyword on your list and analyze the search results. Take note of the top-ranking websites as well as any paid ads appearing on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
  4. Calculate your Share of Search: Do this by dividing the number of times your website appears in the top search results (organic and paid) by the total number of times any website appears in those same results, then multiply the result by 100 to get your Share of Search percentage.
    Do this for each keyword and calculate the average across all keywords to get an overall
    Share of Search percentage.
    Share of Search = (Brand Search Volume / Total Industry Search Volume)
    Share of Search Percentage = (Brand Search Volume / Total Industry Search Volume) x 100
  5. Track competitor performance: Repeat the above calculation for each of your competitors to get their Share of Search percentages.
    This information will allow you to compare your brand’s performance and identify areas where you need to improve your search visibility.
  6. Monitor regularly: The Share of Search metric is dynamic and changes over time as search algorithms update, competitors adjust their strategies, and new content is published.
    Monitor your Share of Search regularly (e.g., monthly or quarterly) to track your progress and adjust your SEO and digital marketing strategies to stay on top.

Additionally, you can use tools such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz, and Google Analytics to automate your process. These will save you time and provide more accurate results by continuously monitoring search rankings, keyword performance, and competitor analysis.

To complete your digital marketing arsenal and set yourself apart from your competition, check out our digital marketing courses and resources on OnDigitalMarketing

Here you’ll find all the latest and most effective ways to elevate your marketing strategy and transform your digital content, as prescribed by some of the greatest minds in the online marketing space. 

Interpreting Share of Search Results and Identifying Areas for Improvement

All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.

— Sun Tzu

Analyzing your Share of Search results is a crucial step in understanding your brand’s position in the market and the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts. 

In the previous section, we covered how you can calculate and track your Share of Search. Now let’s decipher and interpret the information you got from your calculations, and explore how you can identify areas of improvement from that data. 

So then, here are some steps you can take to help interpret your Share of Search results from the previous section.

  1. Benchmark against competitors: Compare your Share of Search results with that of your main competitors. This will help you gauge your brand’s relative performance within the industry, and most critically, against your biggest competition.
  2. Analyze trends: Examine the historical trend of your Share of Search and take note of any seasonal fluctuations or significant changes over time. This will help you identify potential opportunities or challenges in your marketing strategy.
  3. Evaluate keyword performance: Break down your Share of Search results by individual keywords or keyword groups. This will clarify the search terms driving the most traffic and contributing the most to your overall Share of Search.

Identifying Areas for Improvement

Once you have interpreted your Share of Search results, it’s time to identify areas for improvement. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to do this:

  1. Optimize underperforming keywords: Identify underperforming keywords and develop targeted strategies to improve their Share of Search.
    This may involve optimizing your website content, adjusting your paid search campaigns, or conducting further keyword research.
  2. Focus on high-potential keywords: Determine what keywords have the highest potential for driving traffic and conversions, and prioritize them in your marketing strategy. You may need to reallocate resources to focus on high-potential search terms.
  3. Analyze competitor performance: This will help you identify areas where they may be outperforming you, highlighting opportunities to enhance your digital marketing strategy and gain a competitive edge.
  4. Refine your content strategy: Identify gaps in your content based on your Share of Search analysis, and revise your content strategy to address the needs and interests of your target audience.
  5. Continuously monitor and adjust: Regularly review your Share of Search results and make necessary adjustments to your marketing strategy to stay competitive.

Enhancing Customer Understanding and User Experience

The success of your digital marketing strategy depended on your understanding of your customers and their needs. Analyzing your Share of Search results is one of the most effective ways you can build this knowledge. 

It helps you narrow down your potential areas for improvement and gives you valuable insights into your target audience and their search intent. Share of Search can also be a tool for refining your user personas so they accurately reflect your target audience’s needs and preferences. 

Another important aspect of understanding your Share of Search is how it helps improve your content strategy. An analysis of your Share of Search will help direct adjustments to your content strategy so better aligns with your audience’s search intent through targeted keywords. This is one of the major ways through which you can build and retain a customer base.

Take Action: Start analyzing your Share of Search data today to gain insights, improve your user experience, and drive your digital marketing strategy forward.

Clearly, Share of Search is integral to your business success, so how can you make the most of it? Well, here’s how …

Tips and Strategies for Improving Share of Search

The competitive digital landscape demands that you constantly adapt and optimize your strategies to maintain and grow your online presence. Here are some of the methods you can use to improve your Share of Search to effectively compete in the market.

  • Perform thorough keyword research: Seek out highly relevant keywords for your niche, focusing on search trends and long-tail opportunities to improve your ranking.
  • Optimize on-page SEO: Make sure that your content, titles, headings, meta descriptions, and image alt tags are optimized for target keywords, and create engaging content for your audience.
  • Build high-quality backlinks: Build authoritative and relevant backlinks through guest posting, content partnerships, and other strategies to strengthen your domain authority and boost your search engine ranking.
  • Leverage social media: Share content on social media platforms to increase visibility, drive traffic to your website, engage with your audience, and identify trending topics through social listening tools.
  • Monitor and measure your progress: Regularly track website performance using analytics tools, adjusting strategies as needed. Keep an eye on keyword rankings, organic traffic, and conversion rates to ensure your efforts yield results.

The table below provides a comprehensive overview of key performance tracking metrics for monitoring the success of your marketing efforts.

Metrics Description Key Tools Benefits
Organic Traffic Measure the number of visitors from organic search results Google Analytics Evaluate SEO effectiveness
Conversion Rate Calculate the percentage of website visitors who convert Google Analytics Assess campaign performance
Click-Through Rate Determine the ratio of users who click on a specific link Email marketing platforms Optimize email campaigns
Return on Investment Measure the profitability of an investment or marketing effort Marketing analytics tools Assess overall marketing effectiveness

There you have it—an in-depth look into the Share of Search metric and how you can use it to boost your market share, establish your online presence, and potentially turn your content strategy into profit. 

But to give yourself and your business a leg-up, you’ll need a bit more …

Unlocking the Power of Share of Search: Elevate Your Digital Marketing Strategy

With its insights into your brand awareness, competitive analysis, and market share, Share of Search is arguably one of the most essential aspects of a successful digital marketing strategy

But how do you make the most of your Share of Search? Well, this is where OnDigitalMarketing comes in. 

At OnDigitalMarketing, we provide a comprehensive range of courses and resources geared towards helping you make the most digital marketing strategy, including through optimizing your Share of Search. 

These resources are compiled from the latest and most effective trends in digital marketing, and a cohort of experts from Google, MailChimp, and Meetup, including our founder, Jake, who has about two decades of experience.

In addition to these resources, we also offer the textbook “A Beginners Guide to Digital Marketing and Social Media.” A comprehensive digital marketing asset that covers:

  • Foundations of digital marketing
  • Research fundamentals
  • Strategy development
  • Campaign management
  • Online analytics

So if you’re ready to master online marketing, and learn how to make the most of your Share of Search, visit OnDigitalMarketing to get started. You can also get in touch with us at with any questions or comments, and sign up for our newsletter to stay on top of the latest developments in the world of digital marketing.

Jake Cook


I'm a forever curious entrepreneur that works across ecommerce, analytics, and AI. I've been creating and teaching courses on ecommerce, design thinking, and data science at Montana State University and University of Montana since 2007. Most recently, I've been lecturing and assisting with research and case study development for Harvard Business School.


Our Mission

We help educate aspiring digital marketers and entrepreneurs on how to use the power of the web, social media and analytics to grow their brands and causes.