Last Updated: October 2, 2023
In this article, we’re going to be discussing exactly what MarketMuse is, and who exactly it’s suitable for.
What Is MarketMuse?
MarketMuse is a cloud-based content optimization tool that uses artificial intelligence to provide data-infused on-page recommendations to users. It was first conceptualized by Aki Balogh and Jeff Coyle, and the first iteration of the tool was built in 2013.
During presentations and interviews that their co-founder Jeff Coyle gives, he makes it clear that MarketMuse was created with the most valuable intention, to help streamline the content creation process for corporations, business’, small business, and even professionals/freelancers.
How Does MarketMuse help streamline your workflow exactly? Well, it comprises of multiple features/apps within the interface. All of which we’ve gone into explaining directly below:
The research tab is very simple, it’s simply for researching more surrounding a particular topic, keyword or idea. Simply type in a keyword into the research tab and MarketMuse will construct a topic model based on the SERP corpus.
This tab can be used as keyword research, but doesn’t exactly provide results based on whether they have a similar meaning to the originally entered keyword. Instead, it provides a list of keywords which fall into the topic model that the top 100 results have indirectly created, through analyzing all of their content, and finding language patterns, and important keyword phrases which are necessary to indicate that the content is written by an expert.
The compete tab is great for doing competitor analysis, when it comes to assessing the content quality of the top 20 ranking results within the SERPs.
Marketmuse firstly constructs a topic model, and then compares all of the top 20 results (including your own website, if you enter it) against that particular topic model, to assess how comprehensive the content actually is.
The tool provides a fantastic visual heatmap of the SERP, with this information combined with the topic model and color-coded to show if competitors have covered a topic well or not, this color-code is essentially a visual way of showing a content score. We can see this from the image above and video below:
This tab is fantastic for figuring out which competitor has covered the topic thoroughly, and which competitors haven’t, but may instead be using other SEO means to rank (backlinks, citations, performance, etc).
Therefore, Marketmuse gives you the edge to see which competitors have created solid pieces of content, so that you can model their content and take inspiration. This is extremely useful when undergoing the content briefing process, so you can use MarketMuse, or another tool to create a content brief, with the aim to create content that surpasses these competitor pieces in the quality of information and overall comprehensiveness.
The optimize tab is a combination of the ‘research’ and ‘compete’ tab, but in more of a basic form. We’ve read that the output of the optimize tab is extremely similar to that of the separate ‘research’ and ‘compete’ tabs, but the ‘optimize’ tab doesn’t use as intricate algorithmic calculations, given that it has a lot of data to present to the user.
Finally, the optimize tab includes the combination of these features, because it includes a content editor, and is the place where users should be writing their content, whilst quickly referring to sub-sections of the optimize tab to see keywords to include, and overall competitor scores of the top-ranking pages which are in the SERP for the desired keyword phrase.
As content is written in the optimize tab, users are able to see their content score increase/decrease based on the input, and this is especially useful because MM provides a target content optimization score for users to try and attain.
The questions tab is an application in MarketMuse best suited for finding relevant questions surrounding a specific topic/query.
This is perfect for those who are looking to create sections for their blog post, and want some quick heading ideas. Not to mention, these are the perfect questions to include in a brief required for a MarketMuse First Draft (Their AI content creator), because it’s the output that MarketMuse’s system is providing, so their AI will most likely understand the phrasing more thoroughly, which should improve the output of the AI content.
Although it’s a little unclear where MarketMuse gets their output of ‘questions’ data, we’ve read that the tool uses a combination of sources, including Google’s People Also Ask, Related Questions, and Autosuggest, amongst others.
Connect is a MarketMuse app that provides internal and external link recommendations. In order to use the connect tab, it needs to be connected to a specific domain, so that MarketMuse can crawl the site and see the overall site structure. Only then can the AI assess the content hierarchy, and overall topical relevancy, to provide the most relevant internal linking and external linking recommendations, including anchor text suggestions.
Overall, MarketMuse is a fantastic research and content optimization platform for those looking to do content marketing at scale.
Since the software’s core function is to help you create content through the lens of an industry specialist, we see it as being a crucial step to create and optimize content with MM, to futureproof our websites and our client’s websites, for long-term SEO success. Afterall, MarketMuse’s objective to help users to create ultra-relevant and valuable content, ties in perfectly well with Google’s main objective, to show the most relevant and helpful content to the user. This means that over time, other SEO signals like site structure, backlinks, social signals, will get weaker (but that’s way into the future), and all that will be left eventually is the quality of the piece of content.
As we’re regular users of the platform, we’re in the process of writing a MarketMuse review article, which we’ll be releasing very soon!
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some FAQs which we get asked a lot, specifically surrounding the topic of MarketMuse.
Therefore, we’ve answered all of the questions below to help clear up any misconceptions.
For which types of content MarketMuse can be used?
What are the main MarketMuse software functions?
As we mentioned further above in this article, MarketMuse has 5 primary applications, which serve as the backbone behind the software. These are:
Additionally, depending on your content creation process/workflow, if you’re looking to outsource the creation of your content, then you may want to use the ‘brief’ feature, to create a detailed content brief for your writer(s).
Not to mention, the tool also has more advanced functionality, to provide AI-written content, which is created from the content brief’s instructions.
What are some of the characteristics of optimized content?
Optimized content should by nature, be optimized… This might sound obvious, but how does one determine what optimized actually means? In the case of MarketMuse, when analyzing a specific keyword term, MM looks at the top 100 results, and compares their content to that of the top 20. This allows for the tool to extract a wide sample size of data, to see correlations in certain factors, including language, topics, and entities used, so that optimization recommendations can be put together… This is called a topic model.
With that being said, optimized content should adhere to the rules/requirements of the topic model, including the recommended distribution of keyword/topic mentions throughout the content.
What are the most popular features of MarketMuse?
We can’t necessarily talk on behalf of other users, but taking into account we use the software on a daily basis, we’d say that our agency is more than able to accurately answer this question.
Therefore, the most popular feature in our agency has to the be ‘compete’ and ‘optimise’ tab. Why exactly?
Well, we use the compete tab to really identify the key competitors which have great content, and then we’ll overlay backlink information in top of this…We export MM data to excel so that we can manipulate the data and add ahrefs link information.
Once we’ve figured out which competitors have great content, we model their content and use the ‘optimize’ tab to begin writing and optimizing the content, based on MM’s topical model.
Do MarketMuse content scores really correlate with google rankings?
Not always, since Marketmuse is only looking at factors surrounding content and how that piece of content compares to their developed topic model. It doesn’t consider site structure, internal linking, backlinks, and other off-page factors.
What are the limitations of MarketMuse?
Given that marketmuse (currently) only looks at a page’s content, it’s not able to see the full scenario as to why a certain page is ranking. For example, it’s not assessing a website’s off-page, technical SEO or even their content strategy when it comes to the amount of content a site produces over time. This is ok for those who are more experienced in the industry, who have other ways to find this information, but for beginners, it still leaves a fair bit of information to be found out.
However, MarketMuse recently announced whilst on a video demonstration that they are working on adding their own backlink metrics to the tool, so that particular limitation will soon disappear.
One of the aspects to keep in mind here is that MarketMuse’s goal is to assess content through the lens of how an expert would discuss it, and not through the lens of Google… So those perspectives will be slightly different. However, Google’s ultimate objective is to provide the highest quality information, created by industry specialists, to their searchers… So with that being said, they’re moving ever-closer to the end-game that MarketMuse strives to achieve.
What is the pricing of MarketMuse?
You can find out about MarketMuse pricing in our article here. However, we’ve also briefly discussed some of the options below, for those interested:
- Free: $0
- Standard: $149 (Paid monthly)
- Premium: $999 (Paid monthly)
Does MarketMuse offer a discount?
Yes, MarketMuse does offer a discount, and you can learn more about this in our MarketMuse discount article here. However, to summarize, they provide discounts to those who pay for their account annually, instead of monthly.
Does MarketMuse offer a free trial?
Yes, you can learn more about this in our MarketMuse free trial article here. However, to summarise, they do provide a free trial (of sorts), in the form of a free account with limited usage (and slightly limited functionality).