MarketMuse Review: Will it Help You Outrank Your Competition?
This MarketMuse review will introduce you to an artificial intelligence-driven platform capable of helping you produce comprehensive content. MarketMuse will place your articles at the top of Google rankings and strongly define your site authority.
In a rush? You can sign up for MarketMuse right here!
MarketMuse will do the heavy lifting for your digital marketing efforts by helping you select content ideas and create content that will outrank your competition.
In the MarketMuse review, we will cover:
- What MarketMuse is
- MarketMuse features
- Plans and pricing
- Pros and cons
- MarketMuse alternatives
By the end of this review, you will be able to decide if MarketMuse is the right tool for you. Or if perhaps, you should look further into one of its alternatives.
MarketMuse is an AI-driven content planning and optimization platform. According to their website, they are a team of SEOs, content strategists, marketers, engineers, and data scientists passionate about improving content across the internet. With MarketMuse’s comprehensive toolset, you really can improve your website content and rank top in search engine results. Try MarketMuse here!
- Ease of use
- Head-to-head comparison with competitors (Compete application)
- Effective content marketing
- Effective SEO strategies
- Useful free plan
- Mediocre online support
- MarketMuse Review: The Best MarketMuse Alternatives
- What Is MarketMuse? An Overview
- MarketMuse Review: Tool Features
- MarketMuse Review: Ease of Use
- MarketMuse Review: Support
- MarketMuse Plans and Pricing
- Pros and Cons
- MarketMuse Review: Alternatives
- MarketMuse Review: In Conclusion
MarketMuse Review: The Best MarketMuse Alternatives
No time to read the whole article? MarketMuse is an excellent tool to improve your site's search engine rankings, but it is costly, and there are a few good alternatives.
Here is our list of the best MarketMuse alternatives for content planning and on-page SEO.
- Surfer SEO - a top keyword-based tool designed to help improve your website's ranking on search engines. On inputting a target keyword, Surfer SEO provides suggestions for word count, headings, paragraphs, images, and related keywords for your content marketing, giving a visual target score. With the help of this tool, it is easy to be at the top of search results.
- Frase - said to be the future of value-based marketing and the crux of content marketing strategies. It is perfect for solo content creators and content marketing teams. Frase is an invaluable tool that will remain at the core of content marketing.
- RankIQ - for blogging like a pro. RankIQ’s unique SEO toolset is designed specifically for businesses and bloggers who want to write perfectly optimized content in half the time. By telling you what relevant keywords to include in your post and title, the toolset takes the guesswork out of SEO so you can focus on what you do best - creating great content!
- Scalenut - an AI-powered content research and writing tool that helps you create original, high-ranking, long and short-form content. It uses AI and NLP technologies to help you write content that performs well with relevant keywords. Scalenut's seamless content creation processes make it easy to use and help you create content quickly.
- PageOptimizer Pro - an excellent on-page SEO tool that helps individual website owners, content writers, and small SEO agencies achieve top search engine rankings. With POP, avoid under-optimization or over-optimization when you create content and instead achieve optimum optimization for your website pages.
Want to find out more? Please read on to get to know all about MarketMuse and its alternatives.
What Is MarketMuse? An Overview
MarketMuse is a one-stop SaaS platform for content marketing supported by proprietary algorithms to generate search engine-optimized content.
Content creators, marketers, and agencies use suggestions provided by MarketMuse to create and improve their content.
All of this is achieved with applications providing:
- Content brief generation
- Content research
- Competition analyses
- Content optimization
- Linking suggestions
- Potential traffic and traffic value (which can help you prioritize content ideas)
- A Dashboard for planning
MarketMuse offers everything you need to create comprehensive content for maximum potential profitability and top EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) at your fingertips.
Note: This Market Muse review does not cover features available with the Premium plan, which is priced at $12,000 per year.
MarketMuse Review: Tool Features
Let's look at the straightforward platform user interface (UI).
On the main screen, you can find the following:
- The application in use
- The topic
- Url or title
- Snapshots (of previously run queries)
I will start with the Applications, which is where you will probably spend most of your time. We will look at a few examples to illustrate how MarketMuse works.
The Research Application
In this example, the topic or keyword is "market muse review."
This application will present you with the related topics. Related (or relevant) topics are the most important topics that should be addressed when covering a subject to create comprehensive quality content.
Those related topics are discovered by MarketMuse's patented topic modeling AI technology. According to MarketMuse, this AI model can search more web pages for related topics and variants than its competitors.
The relevant topics are presented on the left-hand side in order of importance from top to bottom. On the right, you will find the suggested number of times each related topic has to be included in the article and the number of variants it has.
Let's talk for a moment about variants. Variants, sometimes called LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) words or phrases, are "conceptually related terms that search engines use to deeply understand the content on a webpage," according to Backlinko.com.
To see the variants, click on the related topics with variants, and a window will open showing all the variants.
Tip: This is how to generate a cluster: Examine the user intent behind each variant, categorize the variants according to intent, and then use each category to write a new article. Clusters increase your site's authority in Google's eyes.
You can export the list of relevant topics and variants in an Excel format to your writers.
Note: As with any AI-driven application, "noise" is created. By that, I mean that some of the suggested variants may be irrelevant to your topic. You should use common sense, examine the related topics carefully and exclude those which, in your opinion, don't belong.
The Compete Application
Use Compete to understand how your competitors approach the topic keyword. You have two views: a heat map, and a list. Each view shows different aspects of the top 20 competitors.
The heat map is presented in colored squares.
- Blue - represents a relevant topic covered extensively, used more than ten times in the article
- Green - good cover, used 3-10 times
- Yellow - there is space for improvement, used 1-2 times
- Red - Not used at all
The heat map shows the top 20 positions in the SERP aligned left to right, the URL, and their score according to MarketMuse.
Note: The top 20 positions presented by MarketMuse in the heat map do not follow the order of the SERP at the time you run your query. The sites are ordered according to a MarketMuse algorithm.
The Compete list format is simple: Competitor URL, score, and word count.
Compete will help you with:
- Finding any content gap
- Finding 'nice to have’ topics
- Establishing the 'must have topics’
- Keyword research and cluster building (be sure to check out our list of keyword grouping tools)
You don't need a content strategist; use the heat map to find a content gap (mainly red squares in a row, relevant content but not covered by your competitors).
This is your opportunity to give Google something new. Just make sure the content gap is not "noise" generated by the MarketMuse AI.
Topics you must cover are topics covered by all your competitors extensively (blue and green).
Rows filled mainly with green and yellow are "nice to have."
Keyword Research Strategy and Cluster Building With Compete
Note: The following procedure may be confusing for beginners.
Keyword research can be a long process, but with MarketMuse, you can get good results in a few interactions.
You may ask, "How can it be done?"
I assume the following: examining the score of the top 20 sites in the SERP can indicate if I selected the right keyword to rank for.
Let's try and prove my assumption with an example:
Suppose you want to rank for the keyword 'backpacks' by writing an article. If you run Compete using the keyword "backpacks," you will be presented with the heat map seen below.
What you see here are many pages that are not boosted by content only, pages that are shops or eCommerce, driven to the top 20 by a strong authority with a buying intent (marked in red).
Conclusion: if you don't have the authority or backlinks, you will find it hard to rank for this keyword.
The solution is building authority with a cluster of articles, but where do you start? It would be best if you tried to find a relevant topic not covered adequately by those 20 top competitors in the heat map. In this case, we discover that "women's backpacks" is a content gap in this heat map.
Now you should validate that "women’s backpacks" is your solution by checking the competition.
If we repeat the previous process, using ‘women’s backpacks’ as the topic, we find out that we are in the same situation. Again, too many authority sites with backlinks (as shown in the image below).
Probably your solution is a long-tail keyword. To get some inspiration, you can run the Research application using "women's backpacks."
You will find keywords like "travel" and "travel backpacks" in the Research results.
Finding Long-tail Keywords
At the same time, you will find that variants of "travel backpacks" are long-tail keywords like "best * travel backpack." And you found it! This is your long-tail keyword: "best women's travel backpacks."
Now we can run a Compete analysis with this keyword and investigate the heat map.
As you can see, in this SERP, there are blogs and actual content (marked by green lines). Building around this keyword, a cluster will be the best content strategy and lead to an authoritative status regarding backpacks.
The Optimize Application
If you use an external content editor, paste your content into Market Muse or write directly into the Market Muse content editor.
As you write in the editor, the word count counter gets updated; if you use one of the topics, it is marked in green, and the Content Score gets revised. On the right-hand side, the distribution counter is updated at the same time.
You can check your performance against one of your competitors at any time. Just click on Compete and select the competitor.
The goal is clear: write to achieve the target word count and use the topics to increase your content score.
By the way, you can also import any existing content for an audit or optimization using a URL.
Now let's talk for a minute about the content score and explain how it is calculated.
How is the score calculated by the MarketMuse SEO tool?
The platform presents you with 50 topics, and each topic gets allocated 2 points. As we can see, 50 topics multiplied by 2 points per topic gives us a maximum score of 100.
There are many ways to achieve a particular target score. I believe it is a good idea to use as many relevant topics as possible. Don't forget that using many relevant topics will create an article with a depth of content.
The target word count is the average of the top 30 articles multiplied by a MarketMuse factor related to your domain authority.
The Questions Application
You can use the Question application:
- To understand user intent better
- See what questions are asked on Google when searching your topics
- To create subheadings in your article
- To create a FAQ section in your article
The Connect Application
To improve your article, you should include internal and external links.
Internal links should be made to relevant articles on your site, and the articles you connect to should enrich the reader with information regarding your main topic. At the same time, be sure to insert links from other articles on your site to the newly created article.
Use external links to explain essential terms in your new article that are beyond the scope of your article. Use highly authoritative sites for expertise and trustable knowledge.
MarketMuse will suggest both types of links that you should include. But again, be careful of AI noise and make sure that the recommended links are relevant and don't link to your competitors (even if MarketMuse makes the suggestion).
MarketMuse Review: Ease of Use
After using Surfer SEO extensively, PageOptimizer Pro, RankIq, and ScaleNut, I am confident that the MarketMuse UI is easy to use, and my experience was most pleasant.
MarketMuse Review: Support
The support options are:
- A chat line 9 - 5 Eastern time
- Guides and case studies
- Channel on YouTube
- On-platform videos
- MarketMuse Collective on Facebook
- MarketMuse Academy
I would say that the support is adequate. It is really worth the effort to review the available material to get the most out of MarketMuse.
MarketMuse Plans and Pricing
MarketMuse has three plans.
- Free - one user and 15 queries per month, with access to the basic applications such as Optimize, Research, Compete, Questions, and Connect.
- Standard - costs $7,200/yr for one user and allows for 100 queries/mo. You will have access to the basic applications like Optimize, Research, Compete, Questions, and Connect.
- Premium - this plan costs $12,000/yr and gives you team access, unlimited queries, all applications, on-demand audits, domain analysis for any number of pages, and unlimited content briefs.
I have to admit that the free plan is a nice gesture from MarketMuse, and any content writer or SEO should take advantage of this generous offer.
Pros and Cons
- Reduce research time
- Easy content auditing
- Free Plan
- Easy to use UI
- Expensive Standard and Premium plans
- Long loading time
- No Google docs plugin
- There are some very tasteless attacks on competitors in blogs on the MarketMuse site.
- Be careful of outbound link suggestions to your competitors (I don't understand why the developers did not use a filter to eliminate them!)
- Some unhappy users on the Facebook Group
MarketMuse Review: Alternatives
The MarketMuse price is one of the main factors motivating content writers and website owners to seek an alternative.
If you can justify spending $12,000/yr for a content marketing platform, you should definitely use MarketMuse. None of the MarketMuse competitors mentioned in this article can compare with the Premium plan; all the alternatives here compare only with the Standard plan in MarketMuse.
Uplift your content marketing strategies with Surfer, a cloud-based Search Engine Optimization tool that assists organizations in creating and optimizing better content.
Surfer is one of the top alternatives for MarketMuse.
Among Surfer features, I have to mention the following:
- Content planning
- Audit of old and new content
- External and internal link suggestions
- Correlation of many data points across the top 30 sites on Google
- Integration with Jasper.AI
- Instant share with Google Docs
- Chrome extension
- Instant content outline from your web browser to help create content briefs
Pricing Plans: Basic $49/mo, Pro $99/mo, Business $199/mo.
Read our Surfer SEO review to find out if it is the best all-in-one on-page SEO solution.
Frase is an all-in-one SEO and content creation tool that comes with an AI writer, an intelligent editor, and a content brief builder. With Frase, you can easily create high-quality premium content optimized to be ranked top by any search engine.
Features-wise, Frase is very similar to Market Muse and one of its big competitors.
The Basic plan is priced at $45/mo with a 5-day money-back guarantee.
Find out more about this all-in-one SEO content creation tool in our Frase review.
RankIQ is among the best marketing software for beginners. It is one of the simplest tools on the market. Do you want to start a blog? Is your main priority creating content? Then I recommend you use RankIQ, with a library of low competition, high-traffic keywords.
For a selected keyword, you will get your related terms and word count target. The only thing left for you to do is write the content. It will even help you compose the best title for your article.
Are you finished writing? Now place your text into the AI content optimizer, which will help with content optimization and lead you to achieve the maximum score.
If you are a beginner, use RankIQ to save time generating your optimized content and use the time left to learn SEO.
Don't forget to subscribe to their podcast, which is full of helpful information. For extra support, join the community of RankIQ users on Facebook.
RankIQ offers all these features for a flat price of $49 per month.
Find out if this AI SEO toolset is worth your time and money in our RankIQ review.
Scalenut is an AI-powered writer that can help you with short and long-form content. Cruise Mode makes it easy to create long-form content.
Scalenut's strong SEO component can help you and your SEO content writers create content that will outrank your competition.
The Cluster Builder helps you to plan content around your main keywords and become an authority in your field. In short, Scalenut has many features that can help you with your writing! Let's list some of them:
- An AI copywriter tool with templates like product description, social media posts, website copy, email copywriting, advertisement copies, and many more.
- It will help you generate a content brief by presenting the outlines of 20 top articles on Google. Then you can select the headlines you like and compose your own. It is maybe not as good as the MarketMuse content brief, but give it a try.
- Content creation with the option of calling upon Scalenut templates to help at any stage.
- Content creation in Cruise Mode, where your outline will be automatically imported, and the AI writer will take over and finish the content generation for you. BTW, this feature does not have to worry content creators; they will always be needed to improve the content quality.
- Generation of multi-keywords "topical clusters."
Is Scalenut for you? If you are not a born writer and need help, Scalenut AI can offer some inspiration. On the SEO side, it will help with related terms, word count target, and score.
Start the seven-day free trial and explore the platform.
Price: $29/mo for the individual plan.
Read all about one of the best new AI-powered writers in our Scalenut review.
Page Optimizer Pro
PageOptimizer Pro is an on-page SEO tool that makes it easy for a content marketer to create optimized pages that match the user intent.
POP is based on Kyle Roof's Scientific On-Page SEO Method, which has been tested more than 400 times against the Google Algorithm.
POP uses a US-patented ranking factor scoring system to help you understand what factors are most important in content optimization, resulting in more traffic and better rankings. This system can help guide your optimization efforts to ensure you make the most impactful changes.
PageOptimizer Pro will help you make informed content decisions by suggesting:
- Header tags
- LSI terms
- Keyword variations
I would not say that POP is for the absolute beginner (there are other options for you in this article). But with the Basic plan priced at $22/mo and a 7-day free trial, you have nothing to lose - try it out!
Here is our PageOptimizer Pro review – read it to find out if POP is really worth the money.
MarketMuse Review: In Conclusion
Unfortunately, I had no opportunity to use the Premium plan. After all, $12,000 per year is a significant investment! The price makes me ask many more questions, and one cannot even find a credible review of the features of the Premium plan.
But, MarketMuse is an excellent platform with an easy UI and pleasant UX. Everybody who can justify the cost and has the budget should use it or at least try the free plan. And maybe compare the results against any other platform, if possible.
Suppose you ask me which tool I would prefer. Personally, considering my experience with SEO platforms, price, and results, my answer is definitely Surfer SEO. Surfer offers a wealth of features at an affordable price. And in my experience, it delivers results - fast!
Finally, let's recap the alternatives we talked about in this MarketMuse review.
Surfer is a modern content optimization tool; it takes your input keyword and provides suggestions for word count, headings, paragraphs, images, and related keywords. With this helpful tool, you can easily improve your website's ranking on search engines and ensure your content is high-quality and relevant to your target audience. You can also use it to audit your existing content and see how you might be able to improve it.
Frase is often heralded as the future of content marketing, and for a good reason - it's a tool that allows you to focus on crafting content that is of value to your readers rather than just churning out pieces for the sake of meeting a quota. It's perfect for content marketers of all stripes, whether you're a solo creator or part of a team. With Frase, you can streamline your content marketing process and ensure that every piece you produce is of the highest quality.
If you're a blogger or business owner who runs a blog, the RankIQ SEO toolset is just for you. It tells you what to include in your post and title so that you can create perfectly optimized content with relevant keywords in half the time. With these tools, you'll be able to save time and energy while still producing high-quality content that will help your blog or business succeed.
Scalenut is the perfect AI-powered content research and writing tool for creating original, high-ranking, long and short-form content. By bringing together technologies like AI and NLP, Scalenut provides a seamless content creation process that helps produce content that performs. Scalenut offers a 7-day free trial.
And there you have it! All the best on-page SEO tools to help you beat your competition with brilliant top-ranking content!
Page Optimizer Pro
Page Optimizer Pro is a great option if you're looking for an on-page SEO tool that can help improve your website's ranking. It's designed to help individual website owners, content writers, and small SEO agencies get the most out of their on-page SEO efforts. With Page Optimizer Pro, you won't have to worry about under-optimizing or over-optimizing your web pages.
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