Admittedly: A few weeks ago I really noticed the term “Share of Voice” for the first time and dealt with it. And that’s because we received a request from a student for an interview, asking if we wouldn’t like to talk a bit about the SEO Share of Voice in practice. Yes, of course, we do, and in fact we work with it every day. However, I was more familiar with this metric under the term “organic visibility”, and not under the euphonious term SEO Share of Voice or SEO-SoV.
What is the Share of Voice?
Share of Voice literally means “share of voice” and more freely translated “share of customer contact”: how many voices out there are talking about me and my business or how high is the share of relevant customer contacts from my target group that I get in relation to my competitor. So in general, SOV is nothing more than own brand awareness compared to competitors. So it also makes a statement about one’s own market share.
There are several formulas to determine overall share of voice. Here are a few examples:
SoV = People Reached / Total Target Audience
So with a total target audience size of 20,000 people and 10,000 people reached by online advertising, the SoV is 50%.
SoV = (number of mentions of own brand) / (number of mentions of all brand names)
SoV = (value of brand visibility) / (total value of market visibility)
SoV= (number of target contacts through own advertising) / (number of target contacts through industry advertising)
So you can’t say there is only one concrete formula to calculate the Share of Voice. This always depends on the market segment in which one moves and what exactly is to be calculated.
How to calculate the SEO Share of Voice?
If we want to calculate the SEO-SoV, we move in the environment of organic, i.e. unpaid search. A better known indicator is certainly the visibility index (VI). It makes a very general statement about the visibility of one’s own website or brand in the unpaid search results. Or more precisely: the higher the number of keywords with which a domain is placed in Google, the higher the VI.
However, the visibility index alone does not provide any useful information about how well one’s own domain or website is ranked in the organic search. The data is based on a tool that calculates the SI according to certain criteria. In addition, without adjustments, irrelevant data also runs in and there is no percentage statement about the visibility of one’s own website in relation to the competition.
There are various methods and options for calculating the SEO Share of Voice. We can calculate it manually or use tools that – based on concrete numbers and calculations – already spit out the SEO SoV. The great SEO tool ahrefs, for example, can do that. In order to clarify the SEO-SoV key figure, we do this manually to a large extent in this case.
First, we make clear what we want to calculate or what we want to have a statement about. We want to know how visible our website is for certain search queries in organic search in relation to our competitors. Visibility means nothing other than: Someone searches for something in Google or other search engines Bing (yes, there is!) and our website shows up in a prominent position in the search results – in other words, it is visible. The knowledge about the pure visibility alone does not bring us anything, we want to know how much traffic it brings us and how we stand in relation to our competitors.
So first we define the formula for the SEO SoV as follows:
SEO-SoV = traffic of own website / total traffic (%)
Then we choose our keywordset for which we want to calculate our SEO SoV. This is useful to get more concrete numbers. The more specific the keyword set is, the more meaningful the number that comes out for the SOV in the end. We could also calculate our share of voice completely by hand, but that’s very time-consuming, so we use tools for that, in this case SISTRIX. So we want to know specifically what our SEO SOV is for the topic “mobile first”. To do this, we select the keywords that are relevant here, i.e. those that are searched for and for which we already rank. We disregard brand keywords, as they distort the result and are also not relevant here. For the sake of simplicity, we agree on three keywords, namely:
- Mobile First Index (100 searched per month)
- Google Mobile First (150 searched per month)
- Mobile First Update (30 searched per month)
Then we select our competitors, i.e. sites that also rank on top positions for the selected keywords. We only consider positions 1 to 5 here.
In addition to the search volume for the selected keyword, SISTRIX also provides us with the ranking pages and their positions, as well as an approximate estimate of the clicks that each page generates on average per month. The better the position, the more clicks.
We note the numbers in a table and do the same for the other two keywords that we want to include in the calculation. I have added the percentage of clicks that each domain gets just for the sake of completeness.
|Domain||Current Position||Estimated clicks per month||Shared clicks per month|
When we are done, we have three tables with numbers for our three keywords. Now we merge the data from the three tables and get a new table:
|Domain||Schätzung Klicks pro Monat||Shared clicks per month|
Now, to calculate the SEO Share of Voice for the mobile-first keywordset, we apply our formula:
SEO-SoV = traffic of own website / total traffic, so 35/257 = 16%.
hello-performance.de, for example, has an SEO-SoV of 16% for the defined keyword set. So we may assume that we grab 16% of the clicks generated via the three selected keywords. Of course, this statement is only an estimate.
It is important here to be clear why you want to calculate the SoV. Especially in search engine optimization, it is challenging to collect this key figure at all. Visibility is nice, we are happy about that, but the step after that, i.e. the click on the organic search results, which then turns into traffic and user actions, is what we are really interested in. Nevertheless, the SoV is helpful for an initial assessment to shed some light on the visibility of one’s own domain and the resulting traffic.