Product
April 9th 2020

MarketMuse Pro vs. SEO Power Suite Content Editor

16 min read

SEO Power Suite Content Editor is another inexpensive software that offers content optimization as part of its suite. Although it costs less than MarketMuse Pro, there’s no bargain to be had here. This post goes into more detail on the reasons why; here’s the summary:

  • MarketMuse patented method of topic modeling is superior to that of SEO Power Suite Content Editor, thus offering more insightful content optimization suggestions.
  • MarketMuse provides for a richer optimization experience.
  • MarketMuse allows for in-depth research while that provided by SEO Power Suite Content Editor is basic.
  • MarketMuse competitive content analysis heatmap instantly reveals content gaps from which the competition suffers. SEO Power Suite Content Editor has a crude approach to competitive analysis
  • MarketMuse content outlines are highly detailed and structured with a shareable link for use by your entire team. Not so with SEO Power Suite SEO Content Editor.
  • MarketMuse offers personalized content metrics. SEO Power Suite Content Editor doesn’t.
  • MarketMuse tracks your content inventory, analyzing your content and site for better content strategy and planning. SEO Power Suite Content Editor can’t.

Let’s get started!

Topic Modeling

First, we look at topic modeling because it’s crucial to providing relevant and insightful suggestions. A superior topic model provides better content suggestions for more successful content optimization. Read Topic Modeling for SEO Explained for more details on how this works.

How MarketMuse Creates a Topic Model

MarketMuse uses a patented system and method of semantic keyword analysis, which is a combination of:

  • Bayesian statistical methods (a collection of algorithms that measure, for example, co-occurrence). Our methods are generally patterned from Latent Dirichlet Allocation which was invented in 2003 and is substantially different from Latent Semantic Indexing from the ’80s and TF-IDF from the ’70s
  • Natural language processing that measures, for example, the relationships between concepts in the English language and their specificity. 
  • Graph analysis that looks at content as a collection of edges and vertices, in one document and across a collection of documents
  • Deep learning – neural networks that seek to learn and to understand documents similar to how the human brain processes them

For more detailed information, read How MarketMuse Identifies Topics That Make a Page More Comprehensive.

Perhaps the best way to understand how MarketMuse creates a topic model is to look at an example. Let’s take a look at the focus topic ‘how to make coffee.’

Partial screenshot of MarketMuse Research application.

MarketMuse presents a list of 50 semantically related topics sorted in descending order by relevance. Each item in the list shows the number of variants (clicking on the number reveals the corresponding list) and the suggested distribution (how frequently a topic should be mentioned). Suggested distribution is based on how often experts mention the topic when discussing the focus topic, in this case, ‘how to make coffee.’ 

Take note of the phrase length of the related topics. They’re not just one-word topics (unigrams). Instead, you’ll see several two-, three-, and four-word topics (bigrams, trigrams, and tetragrams). That’s a reflection of the model’s ability to understand the inherent complexity of topical analysis.

How SEO Power Suite Content Editor Creates Their Topic Model

SEO Power Suite Content Editor uses Term Frequency Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IDF) for its content model. Relying on only one algorithm to model a topic shows a lack of appreciation for the intricacies of human language. For more details, read Why TF-IDF Doesn’t Solve Your Content Problem. This TF-IDF FAQ page provides additional information.

Let’s look at the same topic, ‘how to make coffee’ to see what their model generated.

Video grab of Link Assistant SEO Content Editor.

Pay attention to a couple of issues from which their output suffers.  

  1. The topics are predominantly unigrams due to their very rudimentary topic analysis.
  2. The few bi-grams that appear are of poor quality; ‘coffee coffee’ and ‘rights reserved’ are two that stand out.
  3. The bi-gram ‘rights reserved’ suggests that they struggle to extract pure content from the pages they analyze.

Topic Model Comparison: MarketMuse vs. SEO Power Suite Content Editor

The purpose of a topic model is to reveal the story behind a subject, making it easier for writers to produce high-quality, comprehensive content. Let’s see how MarketMuse and SEO Power Suite Content Editor compare using our sample topic.

Output list of topics from MarketMuse.
MarketMuse related topics for “how to make coffee”.
Output list of recommended keywords from Link Assistant SEO Content Editor.

SEO Power Suite Content Editor recommended keywords for “how to make coffee”.

Since MarketMuse orders the topics by relevance it’s easier to understand the story behind the focus topic. That’s not the case with SEO Power Suite Content Editor.

MarketMuse provides more in-depth insight due to the type of topics surfaced. SEO Power Suite Content Editor’s basic analysis offers simple one-word suggestions.

MarketMuse’s suggested topics are on-target, whereas SEO Power Suite Content Editor has many irrelevant suggestions.

Content Optimization 

Creating sophisticated topic models that account for the complexities and nuances of human language is just a start. How that information is conveyed is equally essential. Ensuring an ideal user experience is critical if users are to achieve measurable productivity gains in the optimization process. Let’s take a look at the contrasting approaches between MarketMuse and SEO Power Suite Content Editor.

Content Optimization With MarketMuse

Like Google, MarketMuse analyzes articles as collections of semantically related topics. Read our topical authority primer to understand the difference between topics and keywords and the difference this approach makes.

The Optimize application presents a wealth of information organized conveniently to expedite the optimization process. On the left side is the text editor that highlights any mentions of the related topics shown in the list in the right section.

Screenshot of MarketMuse Optimize Application.

This list is consistent with the one found in the Research application. ‘DIST’ refers to the distribution of mentions in the text. “SUGGESTION’ offers a range of how many times the topic should be mentioned. These numbers are color-coded, so you can quickly see if your content matches with the suggestions.

Above the Related Topic list is the Word Count of the article, which updates as you type. Average and target word counts are provided to add valuable context to this metric.

Above the word count section is the Content Score, which also updates as related topics are mentioned in the article. This is a relative score, not an absolute one. You get one point per related topic mentioned up to a maximum of two points per topic.

Notice that the average and target Content Scores are also provided, once again adding valuable context to the metric.

Clicking on the Compete tab, located just above the Related Topic list, reveals the top 20 ranking pages along with their content scores and word counts. 

Screenshot of MarketMuse Optimize application.

Once again, this provides a valuable context for understanding the competition. Do they use lots of words but convey little information (high word count and low content score)? Do they create concise and topically rich material (low word count and high content score)?

Content Optimization Using SEO Power Suite Content Editor

SEO Power Suite Content Editor takes the keyword approach to content optimization. It allows for targeting multiple keywords in one optimization session. While this seems like a nice feature, it can be dangerous, confusing, and misleading. Remember English 101 – always have one subject in mind. Optimizing for multiple topics can result in an incoherent story.

In their application, there are no visual clues regarding keyword usage, and the color codes are confusing. 

Link Assistant SEO Content Editor recommended keywords.

In the above example, ‘SEO blog’ listed five times as a recommended keyword with different values and different colors. 

SEO Power Suite Content Editor presents an optimization rate (displayed as a percentage) that changes with the mention of suggested keywords. This is misleading. Your optimization may be better or worse than the competition, but it can never be perfect.

Feedback, in the form of alerts, is not very basic. ‘Use all target keyword on the page,’ ‘Use all target keywords in H1,’ ‘Use all target keywords in Title,’ ‘Use all target keywords in Meta description.’ 

Screenshot of Link Assistant SEO Content Editor

A powerful page can rank for dozens of keywords, if not hundreds. You’re not going to use all those keywords in your title or meta description!

In addition, a word cloud shows ‘what words are dominating your page.’ Cute, but hardly useful. The frequency of word usage is not an indicator of semantic importance.

SEO Power Suite Content Editor also provides a snippet preview of your document and top-ranking competitors. Their rationale is that you can “use it to figure out your target queries’ search intent.” Unfortunately, this is not enough. Read “How to Classify User Intent at Scale” for a better approach.

As previously mentioned, their topic modeling isn’t very good. They’ve attempted to solve the problem of poor quality by allowing users to remove keyword phrases and change the number of mentions suggested. In other words, they’ve put the onus on the user.

This makes no sense!

Video grab of Link Assistant SEO Content Editor.

It’s supposed to figure this out for you. If you knew the most relevant terms and how often an expert uses them, you wouldn’t need software!

Topical Research

Time spent researching is time well spent. It’s a fundamental part of content creation. Cutting corners or skipping this critical step often results in content that produces a less than stellar outcome. Some platforms downplay its importance or assume that keyword research is all that’s required. However, that’s not the case. Read Why Keyword Research Doesn’t Help Create Better Content to learn about a better approach.

Researching Topics With MarketMuse

There are two components of topic research in MarketMuse. The Research application creates a list of topics semantically related to the focus topic, exactly as seen in the Optimize application. Clicking on any of the topics in the list brings up a listing of variants related to that specific topic.

Screenshot of MarketMuse Research application showing variants of the topic 'drip coffee maker'.

Variants help in:

  • Understanding search potential through the volume of the synonyms
  • Surfacing different user intents
  • Building supporting content for cluster creation

Researching Topics With SEO Power Suite Content Editor

SEO Power Suite Content Editor offers very little for researching a topic. They have what they call a ‘Topic and questions module.’ But it appears to only provide a handful of questions which I suspect is sourced from “People Also Ask” boxes on Google.

Screenshot of Link Assistant SEO Content Editor Topic and Questions Module.

Competitive Content Analysis

Competitive content analysis is the process of analyzing the competition to determine what topics you must have, should have, and could include to differentiate yourself from competitors. In theory, this should be simple. After all, your chosen software platform needs to analyze that competitive content in the process of creating a topic model. Let’s examine how MarketMuse and SEO Power Suite Content Editor approach competitive content analysis and how they present that insight.

Competitive Content Analysis With MarketMuse

MarketMuse analyzes the top 20 pages in the search engine results for a given topic and assigns it a content score. It presents this information in the form of a heat map so you can quickly find any content gaps in your content or that of the competition.

Screenshot of MarketMuse compete.

The squares represent topic distributions and use the standard color-coding found in all applications; red = 0, yellow = 1 to 2, green = 3 to 10, and blue = 10+ mentions. This method is the most efficient way to display complex information such as this.

Competitive Content Analysis With SEO Power Suite Content Editor

SEO Power Suite Content Editor does the simple stuff while leaving it up to users to do all the hard work manually. They don’t offer any competitive content analysis, per se.

They list the top 10 in the search engine results page (SERP) for the target keyword. But how do they handle this when targeting multiple keywords? Clicking on a link opens the article with the target keywords highlighted. That’s not extremely helpful, requiring users to do all the heavy lifting if they want to conduct any analysis.

SEO Power Suite Content Editor allows users to modify the competitor list.

This is wrong!

You don’t get to decide who your SERP competitors are, only Google does. Modifying the competitor list changes the optimization guidelines leading to inconsistency, confusion, and incorrect comparisons.

Content Outlines

A content outline undoubtedly helps teams to scale their production while maintaining consistently high-quality output. A content outline can alleviate, if not eliminate, miscommunication, and the constant back-and-forth that can happen when creating content. The question is, what constitutes a good quality outline? Let’s look and see how MarketMuse and SEO Power Suite Content Editor differ in their approach.

MarketMuse Content Briefs

A good content outline, at MarketMuse we call them Content Briefs, gives writers everything they need to understand the following:

  • The target audience and buyer persona
  • The brand messaging, tone, and voice 
  • Where the content fits in the marketing funnel
  • The questions the piece of content should answer
  • Internal and external linking guidance
  • The related topics that must be covered for comprehensiveness
  • The desired word count
  • The target content score
  • Title and subheading suggestions

MarketMuse Content Briefs include a shareable link. Anyone with a link can access the content brief, and it’s associated Optimize application. They can be shared with your writing team and used to optimize the content without requiring platform access.

There’s a summary of the brief that’s useful for managers, while a detailed outline provides the guidance writers need to produce quality output.

Each subheading section of the brief contains its own set of recommended related topics. Allowing for some commonality between the topics in different parts, we’re still talking about a list of dozens of topics to cover in a typical article.

For more details on what’s included in a MarketMuse Content Brief, read What is A MarketMuse Content Brief.

Content Outlines From SEO Power Suite Content Editor

SEO Power Suite Content Editor provides a very minimal outline. According to the company, “your page’s main competitors, the recommended length, and keywords you need to use” constitute the “perfect guideline to writing and optimizing your content.” 

That’s all you get!

You can download a PDF of the outline, but there’s no shareable link. So each team member will need access to the software.

Content Strategy and Planning

More pages More problems. Content strategists everywhere suffer from having too many opportunities to pursue. 

  • Should you create new content or update an existing page? 
  • What topics should you use? 
  • What content will best enhance your site as an authority figure about your subject? 
  • What content is most likely to succeed?

Keyword research isn’t content strategy because it cannot address those issues. Keyword research deals with search terms and volume, that’s it.

Content Strategy and Planning With MarketMuse

What about keyword difficulty? That’s part of keyword research, isn’t it? Glad you asked!

The problem with keyword difficulty, as used by the industry, is that it’s not personalized. So, the keyword difficulty metric applies to everyone, regardless of the site’s focus. 

MarketMuse has created a difficulty score relative to today’s Google ranking factors, and the primary new factors are content-specific. We call this score Personalized Topic Difficulty. Read our post on Personalized Difficulty for details on how this works and the advantages this metric offers.

MarketMuse tracks the content inventory of your site as well as the topics for which its pages rank. We offer Filters and Insights as powerful ways to quickly segment a large inventory and find appropriate opportunities for creating and updating content.

Screenshot of MarketMuse Page Inventory.

Filters allow you to segment your page or topic inventory according to specific criteria. The types of metrics for which you can filter differ depending on the inventory. Insights offer profound understanding and appreciation concerning the state of your content.

There are eighteen in all, allowing you to quickly identify gaps, cluster requirements, low-quality content, and more. Read How to Use MarketMuse Filters and Insights for more information.

Once an opportunity is identified, you can quickly run it in any of the platform’s applications, add it to a plan, and order a brief. Here’s an example of Simple Content Planning With MarketMuse.

Content Strategy and Planning With SEO Power Suite Content Editor

Link Assistant does not provide any content strategy workflow. You need to choose whether to create new content or optimize an existing page.

Summary

SEO Power Suite Content Editor may be inexpensive, but it’s no bargain. Their approach to content optimization needs a great deal of improvement. Follow their suggestions, and you’ll waste valuable resources on things that have little impact on creating high-quality comprehensive content.