Consumer Experience

How to Calculate Share of Search

Are you looking for ways to better understand how and why shoppers find your products—or your competitors’ products—when they search on eCommerce marketplaces?

If so, then learning how to calculate share of search (SOS) is an essential part of managing your overall marketing strategy, from product launches to day-to-day optimizations. Share of search will give you insights into what keywords customers use in their searches, which can shepherd the direction of your next campaigns and further improve the ones currently in effect.

Sound good? Let’s get started with what share of search is and discuss how it can help you better understand customer behavior!

What Is Share of Search and Why Is It Important?

Share of search in the retail space refers to a product or a specific brand’s percentage of total search results for a given keyword or topic. For example, how many times does your brand appear in the search results—Google, Amazon, or another marketplace—when a shopper types in one of your target keywords?

Share of search is calculated by taking the number of searches for your brand or product and dividing it by the total searches across the entire category. Share of search is important because it indicates how much attention or ‘market share’ your company has for a particular topic or subject matter.

Brands and their products with a higher share of search are more likely to appear at the top of search engine results and receive more traffic, visibility, and business from searchers. Tracking share of search over time can help you understand how you are performing in search and if your product page SEO or content strategies need adjustment to increase or maintain your share.

Look for opportunities to improve content, internal linking, backlinks, site speed, and mobile-friendliness to grow share of search.

Be Mindful of Search Intent

Calculating a product’s share of search is a key metric for eCommerce sellers to measure performance and opportunities. The formula is simple: take the number of searches for a product and divide it by the total number of searches on the site or within a category. The result is the percentage of searches that a product represents, which can be tracked over time to monitor growth or decline.

However, the devil is in the details—accurately tracking searches and understanding the intent behind them is challenging. Using an array of data sources and machine learning algorithms can help produce a more precise SOS and enable your business to optimize your product offerings and site experience to boost share of search across the board.

What’s the Effectiveness of a Share of Search Calculation?

There are several methods for measuring a brand’s share of search. The most common approaches include:

  • Keyword Rank Tracking: Tracking the ranking positions of target keywords provides an indication of SOS. Higher ranks suggest a larger share, but this method is limited by only considering a subset of keywords and not the full spectrum of searches.
  • Impression Share: Tracking the percentage of impressions, or appearances in search results, provides a more comprehensive view of SOS. However, this method is limited by not considering clicks or actual traffic, and impressions are not equal in value. Higher positions and more prominent results get more clicks.
  • Click Share: Tracking the percentage of clicks on search results provides the most direct measure of SOS based on actual user behavior. However, this method is limited by the data needed to accurately track clicks at a large scale, and it does not account for variations in result prominence.

Each method has merits but also limitations, so the most effective view of SOS requires considering multiple approaches or additional data and metrics. An ideal measurement would capture all searches and user behaviors, but practical limitations mean there is no single perfect measure of Share of Search.

Best Practices for Increasing Your eCommerce Product’s Share of Search

Here are some best practices to increase your product’s share of search:

Optimizing your product listings for relevant keywords is critical. Place key terms in your title, description, and on the page to help search engines understand what your product is and rank it higher for customer searches. Include key specs and benefits, and use natural language to describe your product’s features and solutions to customer needs.

Creating high-quality images and videos showcasing your product from multiple angles and in use helps customers visualize how it can benefit them. This rich media also improves your listing’s appearance in image-focused platforms like Google Shopping.

Building relationships with influencers and media in your product’s industry to earn high-quality backlinks and coverage exposes your product to new audiences and builds authority and trust that search engines value. Run promotions and discounts to increase reviews and word-of-mouth that also impact rankings.

Staying up-to-date with search engine best practices and algorithms helps you optimize your product’s discoverability and keep its SOS strong against competitors.

How to Interpret, Analyze, and Improve Share of Search Results

To analyze your share of search, review your search rankings and traffic sources for key terms. Are you on the first page of results for your target keywords? If not, look for opportunities to improve content, internal linking, backlinks, site speed, and mobile-friendliness.

Track how your SOS and traffic change after optimizations. If your share of search is low for important terms, create a content strategy to target those terms, build relationships to earn authoritative backlinks, and ensure a fast, responsive website experience.

Monitoring SOS over time and making continual improvements will boost your visibility and organic traffic in search engines.

Optimizing your eCommerce catalog’s share of search can be a powerful tool to maximize profits, increase visibility, and stay ahead of the competition. Understanding the metrics used to calculate it and taking an informed approach with various methods for measuring it should position you perfectly for growing your brand performance. By studying successful use cases and following best practices, you will have insights to keep your company competitive and profitable.

Whether you need help interpreting and analyzing share of search metrics or developing strategies to improve them, we are here to assist: our Digital Shelf Intelligence product includes a share of search metric that makes measuring this data point easy and intuitive. Ultimately, your eCommerce products getting their fair share of searches is worth its weight in gold; knowing how to do so may be the key ingredient to success!

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