By Clark Boyd

Search Engine Watch sister publication ClickZ has launched an innovative new series of buyers guides, created with the aim of cutting through the complexity of the technology landscape to help our community of readers to make better decisions about vendors.

The second guide in the series is dedicated to enterprise SEO tools.

With $80 billion predicted to be spent on SEO services annually by 2020, these software packages play a vital role in helping marketers derive insights from masses of data.

The core component (60%) of the ClickZ SEO tools vendor guide scoring comes from our customer survey, which received over 1200 responses and evaluated technologies across the following six areas:

Scores were awarded across 36 sub-categories, with six grouped under each of the categories highlighted in the image above.

A further 20% of the scoring came from the ClickZ expert advisory board, which features representatives from Vodafone, LEGO, GroupM, and Macy’s.

The author attended interview sessions with all six vendors in the guide, along with at least one other member of the advisory board. The output of these interviews were scores that make up the final 20% of the results seen in the guide.

Across all aspects of our technology review, BrightEdge consistently impressed as a leader in the enterprise SEO field and the company’s innovation roadmap looks set to ensure that it will retain this position.

Content produced in collaboration with BrightEdge.

BrightEdge: Company profile

BrightEdge is an established player in the enterprise SEO space, boasting over 50% of the Fortune 100 as current clients. The technology has developed significantly as of late, evident through the introduction of functionalities that address the needs of SEO practitioners beyond rank tracking. Central to this strategic focus have been the development of the company’s proprietary data and the application of machine learning to uncover automated performance insights.

In 2014, the company launched Data Cube, which was the most commonly-cited highlight of the platform by current customers, followed by the strategic insights the technology unveils.

In 2015, the successful launch of its content performance marketing methodology helped shift the ways marketers approached the convergence of SEO and Content Marketing.

The following year, they introduced DataMind, a deep learning technology that powers the prescriptive page optimization recommendations, technical SEO audit and automated new content topic insights.

Recently, the company has taken an AI-first approach that is driven by products like Data Cube and DataMind (deep learning technology that is natively integrated into the platform) and launched an SEO automation application called BrightEdge Insights. This brings together data driven insights into an intuitive interface and presents just a few well vetted actionable recommendations each week. The company provides dedicated customer success manager for every customer, which was reflected in the very high scores the company received in this section of the survey.

BrightEdge covers almost all the bases in our report and covers them very well.

Overall, BrightEdge is the most comprehensive solution in our review for enterprise-level SEO.

BrightEdge: The ClickZ customer survey results

The three areas in which BrightEdge received its highest scores from current customers were innovation, data, and strategic insights. These aspects came through as highlights during the vendor interviews, too. All of the vendors take a slightly different perspective on the future of organic search, with BrightEdge placing emphasis on the importance of AI in deriving maximum value from SEO and content marketing data.

This has led to an extensive innovation roadmap that should see its customers avail of the benefits of both automation and deep learning algorithms.

BrightEdge has invested heavily in its content marketing offering, resulting in the launch of ContentIQ and the deep learning engine, DataMind. As a result, this vendor scored highest for its integration of these content marketing technologies with the core SEO features in the platform. This means that content is tied back to performance metrics, aided by the scope of the company’s index of URLs. BrightEdge was highlighted as a very strong performer when it comes to generating insights to create more effective content.

This vendor has also developed a robust backlink index that drew praise from customers for the competitive insights it provides. Driven by integrations with MajesticSEO and Moz, BrightEdge’s index tracks link activity and ties this back to keyword, traffic, and conversion performance. In particular, customers from larger businesses gave high scores to BrightEdge in this category for its ability to synthesize backlink data with other information sources within one interface. It is also possible to manage backlinks by assigning them a status and delegating the activity to other users within the organization.

BrightEdge also hosts a range of community events, which allow users to meet and discuss newly-launched features, and this contributed to very positive feedback in the customer experience category. Some customers did note that, while the technology is thorough and impressive, it can be expensive if users want to track a lot of keywords across locations and devices. Once more, this decision will ultimately come down the each brand’s perception of the value they receive for their investment.

Combined with the insights drawn from its deep learning technology and the widespread use of automation in the platform, BrightEdge provides a very comprehensive reporting solution. Analytics integrations are also available for all major technology providers. No vendor performed particularly well in the cross-channel insights, which was interesting to note given the increased prominence SEO has assumed in digital marketing strategies.

In summary, BrightEdge performed impressively in both the ClickZ customer survey and in the vendor interviews across the core elements of a modern SEO strategy. It remains the market leader in the enterprise SEO space.

To find out more information about BrightEdge you can download their ebook ‘How Smart is Your Content?’ here.

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