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An Epic New Approach to Predicting Content Success

10 min read

Content strategy is the ongoing process of taking business objectives and goals and transforming them into a plan that uses content as a primary means of achieving them.

If you’re trying to determine if your content strategy will move you closer to your desired results, you need to be able to predict with some level of certainty whether or not the content you create will move the needle. 

Content can be used for a variety of purposes. Different content types are better for achieving different goals. For example, if you have a business goal of increasing conversions, improving your product page content could be one way to work toward that goal. 

If you want to get more qualified traffic to your site, search-focused content that attracts users when they’re searching for relevant information can do that. This is the kind of content many content strategists tend to focus their efforts on. It’s often the first touch-point users have with your company, so if we’re going to predict how well our content is going to perform, we might as well start at the beginning.

After you’ve decided on your content strategy, predicting content success ultimately comes down to having the right data. Being able to pull relevant and accurate metrics from multiple sources is a major asset when it comes time to justify investing in new content. Let’s see how Similarweb can help you build an effective content strategy.

A Solid Strategy With Similarweb Data to Back It Up

One thing for sure you need to start with a strategy that you’re confident in, and the best way to do that is to base it on real-time data.

Similarweb gives you the insights you need to inform your strategy. You can decide which types of content and channels are worth your investment based on what you discover about your market. For example, if you discover there is an opportunity to use organic search, you could consider creating content focused on search engine optimization (SEO). Running a  competitor analysis can help you pinpoint which topics and the keywords will help you rank higher on search engines and reach the most people. Having access to real-time and accurate data gives you a clear picture of what performs well now and how you can win your market share. This will therefore help you to predict time and time again what content your audience (and Google) not only wants but needs to read.

Let’s see how it’s done the Similarweb way: 

Here we can see the traffic distribution for content strategy. We can benchmark MarketMuse against industry leaders like HubSpot and the Content Marketing Institute. 

SimilarWeb traffic distribution analysis graph.
SimilarWeb traffic distribution analysis

When we break it down further, we can see that MarketMuse has gained some traction in the last couple of months, adding almost 62% in traffic in the last month, moving them into an average of the second position for organic search.

A list of keywords, their position in Search, and their share of traffic along with percentage change from last period.
SimilarWeb keyword’s organic traffic breakdown

Now, let’s use these metrics to take an in-depth look at the content strategy topic for MarketMuse to see how to outrank the industry giants.

Keyword Research Plus Gaps  

Considering MarketMuse is showing strength in organic search, we want to go further and dig  into keyword research. The focus: competitive keyword analysis.

For this, we’ll look at the Search Competitors Tool, which is available both for organic competitors and also paid competitors. This tool uses actual traffic data (not just Google ranking) to help you understand who your true search competitors are. For SEO Content competitor research, we’ll look at Organic Competitors in the Competitive Analysis.

SimilarWeb graph showing total traffic and search overlap score based on percentage of shared keywords.
SimilarWeb organic competitors analysis.

From this view, we can see that has the highest Search Overlap Score, a 0-100 metric calculated based on both the number of overlapping keywords and how closely they rank. Content Marketing Institute is a close second, and HubSpot is in eighth. 

Then you can leverage wins, losses, and opportunities to pick the right keywords to focus on in your articles using the keyword gap tool seen below. 

SimilarWeb keyword gap analysis showing groups of keywords as overlapping circles.
SimilarWeb keyword gap analysis.

Look over the different recommendations and check the top search terms for your competitors. Use the table at the bottom to select high traffic keywords of interest, such as “content brief template.”

Then click “Create New List” to add chosen keywords to a Keyword List so you can analyze and monitor them further. At this point, you can also change the time period and country filters again to discover even more opportunities.

Once you start creating Keyword Lists, you’ll have lots of fresh, new keywords saved that you can monitor over time. You can then compare key metrics at a glance:

SimilarWeb benchmarks showing list of keywords, traffic share, month over month share, volume, trend, CPC and leader.
SimilarWeb benchmarks.

Bam you have a whole list of new topics based on keywords to base content on and you can track and measure it to see how you are creeping up on those top competitors.

Predicting Content Success With MarketMuse Metrics

Modern SEO is less about mapping individual pages to keywords and more about understanding how well a page covers a topic and the breadth of coverage on the topic across your domain. 

It’s almost impossible to rank for competitive keywords and topics if you don’t have a foundation of content that solidifies you as an authority on that topic. Predicting if a piece of content has a high likelihood of success requires understanding the following:

  • Your existing authority
  • The comprehensiveness of the content in a topic cluster
  • The potential upside in terms of leads generated, Revenue per 1,000 visits, or value per visit.

So how can you actually quantify things like “authority” and “comprehensiveness” so you can determine if a piece of content is worth creating?

MarketMuse’s AI can take the topic ideas you found from your analysis in SimilarWeb and give you additional insights that will help you predict the likelihood of success on those topics.


Your overall authority on a topic can be difficult to quantify manually. MarketMuse calculates Topic Authority for every topic in your content inventory

MarketMuse topics inventory showing a list of topics plus topic authority and rank.
MarketMuse Topics Inventory

Topic Authority is a metric that takes your:

  • Breadth of coverage on the topic 
  • How comprehensively it covers the topic
  • Content’s performance and ranking
  • Competitors’ relative performance on the same topic

That data makes it possible to predict the likelihood of success if you create and optimize clusters of content on that topic. The higher your Topic Authority score, the more likely your content will rank highly for your chosen topic.

Personalized Difficulty 

Keyword Difficulty is a common metric used to determine how difficult it would be for an average site to rank highly for a topic or keyword. 

This can be helpful but not always granular enough to understand how difficult it will be for your site to get rankings and traffic. That’s where Personalized Difficulty comes in.

MarketMuse Difficulty, Competitive Advantage, and Personalized Difficulty showing this plotted on a line with the width representing the Competitive Advantage,
MarketMuse Difficulty, Competitive Advantage, and Personalized Difficulty

Like the classic Difficulty score, a lower score here means lower difficulty for you to rank for a topic. What makes Personalized Difficulty different is that it considers how well your domain has covered similar topics to the one you’re looking to cover. In other words, you might be able to rank well for a high Difficulty topic if your Personalized Difficulty is low.

Personalized Difficulty also helps you predict content success by showing you the amount of content needed to be competitive on a topic. 

Generally, a Personalized Difficulty score of less than 30 means that one good page will be enough to rank for a topic. As the score gets higher, you’ll likely need more supporting content around that page to see the results you’re looking for.

Content Score

MarketMuse Content Score is a proprietary measure of content comprehensiveness. The AI analyzes hundreds to thousands of pages on a topic to identify an ideal set of concepts and topics that a subject matter expert would include in comprehensive content for a particular topic.

While Content Score isn’t a ranking factor, it’s a metric that allows you to quantify how well you’ve covered a topic based on the topic model.

MarketMuse Optimize editor showing text along with a list of topics, their number of mentions and the suggested usage.
MarketMuse Optimize

Ensuring all your content hits its Target Content Score can give you greater confidence that your content will rank more highly and provide a better experience for your readers.

ROI Estimation

Improving your organic traffic is great, but ultimately, you want to know how that traffic is converting into revenue. 

MarketMuse allows you to add your own Value Per Visit data to determine how much value you’ll get by improving your rankings on a topic.

MarketMuse Potential Value for a Topic

This data can help you understand how much value a piece of content could drive. Starting with your high-value topics and pages can help content teams show value faster.

MarketMuse and Similarweb: A Winning Combination

MarketMuse and Similarweb offer powerful tools when developing an effective content strategy. With Similarweb, you access insights and data that ensure you’re writing strategically, and MarketMuse gives you the tools to craft evergreen content that tops the competition and gets a standing ovation from Google. 

To build a flawless content strategy and predict that very content’s success, both are essential tools. 

This article was written in collaboration with Similarweb. Chelsea Feil is a Content Marketing Manager at Similarweb.

What you should do now

When you’re ready… here are 3 ways we can help you publish better content, faster:

  1. Book time with MarketMuse Schedule a live demo with one of our strategists to see how MarketMuse can help your team reach their content goals.
  2. If you’d like to learn how to create better content faster, visit our blog. It’s full of resources to help scale content.
  3. If you know another marketer who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.