Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important aspects of marketing for any online business or website. Essentially, the purpose of SEO is to direct traffic from Google to a specific website. This means that the site also ranks higher on Google.
SEO executives have challenging and stressful jobs. They have to optimize all website content, monitoring page speed, social signals, backlinking, title tags, internal linking, and many other factors.
That might not sound so difficult, but some websites have thousands of pages, and if these aren’t organized or built well, it makes SEO much more difficult. That’s where companies like Brightedge come in.
Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to supercharge SEO return on investment (ROI) certainly seems like a revolutionary idea that will shape the future of marketing practices. Below, you can find an analysis of Brightedge and its competitors to see whether this tool truly has the power to take the market by storm.
Brightedge: An Overview
Funded by some of the biggest venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, Brightedge is an artificial intelligence-based platform that offers search engine optimization (SEO) and content performance marketing solutions for businesses.
It was founded in 2007 by Jim Yu and Lemuel Park and is headquartered in Foster City, California, with additional offices in London and New York.
Brightedge allows marketing teams to plan, optimize, and measure campaigns based on content performance. It has over 1,700 customers globally, including Microsoft, Macy’s, and Audi.
It is perhaps unsurprising that Brightedge counts 57 of the Fortune 500 companies among its customers, given that its price point is so high. The most basic cost of a license starts at around $400 a month according to ITQlick, a price that is unlikely to be feasible for smaller businesses.
In 2015, Brightedge hit the $50 million revenue mark, and since then it has continued to grow, generating roughly $84.47 million in sales (figure modeled).
In 2018, it was predicted that 60% of enterprise marketers were set to use artificial intelligence in content marketing strategy, showing real demand for Brightedge’s services.
Brightedge Business Strategy
Brightedge’s business strategy allows it to reach a broad range of different industries and markets by creating products that serve marketing teams, SEO executives, and any companies who want to drive more organic traffic to their website. Prominent clients include Adobe, Microsoft, L’Oreal, Twilio, and Marriott.
The company operates a subscription revenue model for the various services and products it provides:
- Instant – real-time research and content optimization.
- ContentIQ – full-scale SEO audits.
- DailyPulse – actionable insights.
- Data cube – keyword research.
- HyperLocal – drives local traffic through search volume.
- IntentSignal – Search result page (SERP) content ranking.
- Keyword reporting.
- Market insights.
- Opportunity forecasting.
- Page reporting.
- Share of voice.
- Site reporting.
- Story Builder.
Brightedge’s key value proposition is its extensive suite of tools which all use cutting-edge, market-leading technology. The tech industry evolves rapidly, so companies must gear their business strategy towards constant innovation, giving the software and tools they produce a competitive edge. This is how Brightedge operates.
In 2019, as part of this strategy, Brightedge acquired new mobile technology developed by Trilibis to help power self-driving SEO. Automation and AI are integral to the company’s competitive advantage.
The company’s employees are split into three key teams: sales, engineering, and customer. They receive benefits such as medical insurance, competitive salaries, and free Friday lunches.
It also runs an internship program that is tailored to each participant. By offering excellent employee benefits and fostering a positive work environment, Brightedge has ensured its customers also receive the best service possible, resulting in several awards.
Brightedge has ten executives and four board members. In 2018, Krish Kumar, a former leader at Google, joined Brightedge as the Chief Operations Officer (COO). Kumar’s extensive knowledge of the landscape of the tech industry will play an important role in the company’s ongoing success.
Brightedge SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis assesses the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to a business. It is cost-effective and extremely useful for generating business insights.
- Strong financial position.
Five key companies have invested in Brightedge, including Insight Venture Partners, Dell Capital, and Altos Ventures. This means that even if Brightedge wasn’t a market leader, it would still have strong financial backing. However, the company’s comprehensive suite of tools means that its revenue is strong even without additional investment.
- Innovative Product.
Brightedge is the leading SEO software company because its tools are extensive. Customers do not need to go elsewhere to solve particular SEO issues; they can do everything in one place, making customers both satisfied and loyal.
- Customer satisfaction.
Brightedge has won awards for customer service, indicating not only that its product is excellent and customers are pleased by its features, but also that its employees are well-trained and highly skilled at maintaining a positive user experience.
- High price point.
Brightedge does not display any prices on its website; instead, it encourages potential customers to get in contact for a quote. This can be off-putting for some small and medium businesses who will assume the price point is beyond their budget. Moreover, it has been indicated by some users that Brightedge’s pricing is above the industry average.
- Industry incompatibility.
Some users have shared on G2 that Brightedge is not compatible with some industries such as firearms because the keyword function does not work. However, negative comments make up a very small proportion of reviews, which overall are extremely good.
- Increased demand.
The global pandemic has pushed many companies to develop online strategies, to refocus some of their attention on the digital marketplace, or to move entirely online. Certainly, a large number of businesses will have had their eyes opened as to the importance of having a website that performs. As such, Brightedge has the opportunity to attract these new customers.
- Customer feedback.
With a rapidly expanding customer base, Brightedge has the chance to make changes to its product that matter. The more it pays attention to customer feedback and acts upon it, the better Brightedge’s software will become, in turn attracting even more customers.
- Industry competition.
Many competitors within the SEO software industry are all clamoring to make the best technology, gain the most customers, and achieve the biggest market share. This means there is a considerable amount of pressure to develop new technologies and tools that are both unique and powerful. If Brightedge takes its foot off the pedal – so to speak – for even a second, it could easily fall behind.
Furthermore, a saturated market is also likely to create competition in terms of pricing. Since Brightedge’s pricing system is reportedly higher than most of its rivals, this is an area where it could easily lose customers to cheaper platforms.
Since Brightedge’s platform is entirely cloud-based, data security is extremely important. Laws can differ from country to country, and they are constantly being reviewed and updated, so Brightedge faces a particular challenge in this respect. Any data breaches would seriously damage the company’s reputation.
Brightedge Competitor Analysis
Brightedge certainly has one of the most comprehensive suites of SEO tools on the market, but it also has several competitors who offer similar services at a lower price point.
According to its website, Brightedge is the only SEO solution to give marketers insights, recommendations, and rankings in real-time, but the software solutions landscape is constantly shifting, and this competitive advantage is not likely to be unique to Brightedge for very long.
Below, you can find an analysis of some of Brightedge’s key competitors.
Semrush is online visibility and content marketing SaaS platform that was founded in 2008 with the hope of making online competition fair and transparent. It is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, and has 7 offices across the globe with over 900 employees, including in Prague, St. Petersburg, and Limassol.
Rather than marketing itself as a tool specifically for SEO, Semrush caters to digital marketers across the whole spectrum, offering 48 tools in total for content, market research, SEO, advertising, SMM & SERM.
Semrush is undoubtedly one of the best marketing tools currently available. In 2020, it generated almost $125 million in revenue, up from $92 million in 2019. A year later, it also announced the decision to go public, trading as SEMR on the New York Stock Exchange.
While Semrush spends a considerable amount on marketing – $54.5 million in 2020 – this is paying off since the company is seeing positive growth. It is also worth mentioning that it received $40 million in funding in 2018, putting it in a strong financial position.
In addition to offering an impressive suite of marketing tools, Semrush also hosts its online learning platform, Semrush Academy, which offers training and certification. The company says over 300,000 students have used the academy, with over 130,000 certificates being issued.
This dedication to creating a positive user experience has led to Semrush winning awards, including “Best SEO Software Suite” at Global Search Awards, and also being recognized as “One of the Best Global Software Sellers” by G2.
Semrush subscriptions begin at just $119.95/month, going up to $449.95 for the Business plan. However, the company has expressed concern that customers who fail to upgrade their plans or purchase additional products could harm business and operating results.
Moz Pro began life as SEOmoz in 2004 and was originally a blog and online community where some of the world’s first-ever SEO experts came together to share ideas. SEOmoz created “The Beginners Guide to SEO” before evolving first into a consulting firm and then into a creator of SEO tools.
After receiving its first round of funding in 2007, followed by a series B investment from The Foundry Group, Moz Pro finally came to life fully in 2013. It has been estimated that the company generated around $70 million in revenue in 2020.
Moz Pro offers four free tools – link explorer, keyword explorer, domain analysis, and MozBar – as well as a few different paid plans. Moz Pro is the most comprehensive of these, allowing customers to understand website visitors, track rankings, crawl and audit sites, optimize pages, find link opportunities, and create custom reports.
The company’s subscription revenue model is based on tiered pricing which differs depending on company size. The standard plan is just $99/month, while large is $249 and premium is $599.
Much like Semrush, Moz Pro also has an SEO learning center that includes how-to guides and webinars. Moreover, the company hosts an annual marketing conference called MozCon where industry leaders in SEO, search marketing, mobile, conversion optimization, and local search come together.
Raven Tools LLC is a comprehensive cloud platform for agencies, consultants, and in-house marketing professionals who require SEO and SEM tools with deeper competitive insights. It was founded in 2007 by two advertising executives in Nashville, Tennessee, to make the best and most affordable SEO platform on the market.
In 2017, Raven Tools was acquired by TapClicks, Inc, a venture-backed company based in Silicon Valley that provides unified marketing operations, analytics, and reporting solutions.
Raven Tools’s offering is split between “Raven Reimagined”, which aims to give deeper insights, and “Raven Classic”, which is the original SEO platform. The latter allows users to create and share white-labeled SEO reports, utilize rank tracking, auditing, and backlink research tools, and integrate Google Analytics and Search Console metrics.
The company generates roughly $747.5K in revenue. Its pricing is split into four plans: free, basic ($39/month), pro ($159/month), and custom ($6/website). As such, it is considerably cheaper than its competitors.
Although Raven Tools is cheaper, it also offers its customers fewer tools and less support, giving them overall a less satisfying experience. It has some good integrations and its reporting capabilities are notoriously excellent, but it is probably more suited to smaller companies.
Ahrefs offers an all-in-one SEO toolset that caters to everyone from junior marketers to SEO experts. The company was founded in 2011 and has since grown to have a multinational team that is headquartered in Singapore.
Initially, Ahrefs was nothing more than a backlinks index, but this soon formed the basis for the company’s first version of Site Explorer. Today, Ahrefs updates its index with the latest backlinks every 15 minutes, and it has a crawler that processes up to 8 billion pages a day. Impressively, that’s more than Googlebot.
In addition to its suite of SEO tools, Ahrefs also offers an Academy feature – like Semrush and Moz Pro – which allows users to expand their marketing knowledge with a series of informative video courses.
Ahrefs prides itself on its “clear and caring interface” which aims to make the user experience more pleasant and intuitive. This is one of the best ways for SEO software companies to differentiate themselves from the competition. Having a comprehensive set of tools isn’t enough; they must also be easy to navigate and implement.
In terms of pricing, the Ahrefs Lite plan starts at $99/month, Standard is $179, and Agency, the biggest plan available apart from Enterprise (for which the price is not shown online), costs $999.
Ahrefs’ customers include SurveyMonkey, Facebook, Netflix, Uber, and several other internationally renowned companies.
Crucially, Ahrefs operates a business strategy that is strictly product-led; this is what powers the company’s +65% growth year on year. It employs a team of 50 people, 10 of whom are marketers, and none of whom work in sales. By focusing strictly on product performance and innovation, Ahrefs has essentially eliminated the need for a sales team.
Indeed, this strategy is highly profitable – Ahrefs generates over $50 million in annual revenue.
How Brightedge Stands Out
Brightedge’s use of artificial intelligence to power its suite of SEO tools gives it a clear competitive advantage. Moreover, the extensive funding which the company has received over the past decade means that it is financially secure, allowing it to invest in developing new technologies which push the boundaries of SEO.
For Brightedge to maintain its advantage, it must use its finances wisely, investing predominantly in research and development (R&D) practices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Which SEO platform is the market leader?
Answer: Brightedge and Semrush are both closely matched in terms of size and success, but it is generally agreed that Semrush is the better platform. On Capterra, for example, Semrush consistently outranks Brightedge in terms of ease of use, customer service, features, and value for money.
That being said, Brightedge’s AI-powered tools, though more difficult to use, are somewhat more powerful, meaning this platform is better suited to bigger businesses.
Question: What is Brightedge’s competitive advantage?
Answer: Brightedge’s competitive advantage is its AI-powered tools which are also capable of machine learning. Its customer service is also excellent, making users more likely to remain loyal and feel that they are getting good value for their money.
Question: Who is Brightedge’s biggest competitor?
Answer: Both Ahrefs and Semrush are strong competitors within the SEO software industry, with similar revenue figures and tools. However, it’s important to recognize that Brightedge faces competition from all angles; each SEO company has something unique and desirable to offer, meaning that to get and maintain an advantage, companies must focus not only on their products but on how they can make the user experience as enjoyable and straightforward as possible.
Question: Why choose Brightedge?
Answer: Brightedge has won awards for customer service, so you know you are in safe hands. The company has a large suite of innovative SEO tools that are used by some of the most well-known brands in the world, such as Microsoft. Ultimately, these two key factors make a convincing case as to why you should choose Brightedge.
The SEO software industry is undoubtedly a good place to be, with many companies realizing the inherent value of having a streamlined, high-performing website. However, companies like Brightedge must constantly innovate to maintain a solid market share.
The technology industry is expanding faster than almost any other, and with growth comes competition. Thankfully for Brightedge, it is in a strong enough financial position that it can continue to invest in developing the best tools on the market.
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