What is Share of Voice in Marketing? Why do you need to calculate Google Share of Voice?

What is Share of Voice in Marketing? Why do you need to calculate Google Share of Voice?
Ramesh Karki |
Google SERP Share of Voice SOV

The term share of voice (SOV) refers to the total media spending by your brand in comparison to total media spending in the market.

According to Wikipedia “Share of Voice in advertising is a measurement model within advertising. It measures the percentage of media spending by a company compared to the total media expenditure for the product, service, or category in the market.”

                                        Share of voice=Your media spending/total media spending

In traditional advertising channels like TV, radio, newspaper, flyers, and hoarding boards, it is difficult to analyze and get information on the total media spending of competitors in your industry. However, these days digital channels are so popular that eventually, your traditional way of brand building and advertising should converge to reflect your brand’s popularity on digital platforms like Search Engines and Social media. Therefore, measuring the online share of voice is crucial for brands to understand their market coverage compared to their competitors.

Google is the most popular digital platform covering 88% of the global search engine market.

What is Online Share of Voice?

Online share of voice is a measure of your brand’s popularity or visibility across all online channels like search engines, social media, and other digital channels compared to your competitors. The aspects of measurement for Online Share of Voice across digital channels are:

1. Brand Popularity

You need to understand your brand’s popularity in digital channels. This is a measure of the popularity of your brand that includes the calculation of your brand mentions on social media and the volume of searches your customers are doing on various Search Engines like Google and Bing. Such calculations help you understand your brand’s popularity in digital channels compared to your competitors.

2. Inbound visibility

The essence of online share of voice calculation is the ability to understand your brand’s products/services and have visibility on users’ search queries to find solutions to their problems across digital channels. Monitoring and comparing these metrics with your competitors gives you strategic marketing insights to understand your total online advertising visibility and the effectiveness of your paid and organic advertising strategies. It also helps you acknowledge the need for additional budget mobilization and optimization across the channel to get better online visibility than your competitors.

Weighted Share of Voice can be defined as a dynamic metric to calculate the estimated click share of your ads compared to your competitors in the SERP across paid and organic search features.

Accurately measuring the share of voice is difficult as it involves numerous digital channels like social media, search engines, etc., and several other dynamics like SEO, advertising, search volume, etc. In this article, we will take an example of Google Share of Voice to understand how to calculate the share of voice correctly. Also, it is the most popular digital platform covering 88% of the global search engine market. It is also an extremely complex platform with a lot of dynamics involved which helps you to know many aspects of accurate share of voice measurement.

What is Google Share of Voice?

Google Share of Voice is a dynamic measure of calculating your coverage compared to your competitors in its SERP. As mentioned above in the concept of online share of voice there are also two broad aspects of calculating Google Share of Voice.

1. Share of Search

Share of Search is the measurement of your market coverage for branded keywords. It is the measure of how many people are searching online for your brand compared to your competitors which indicates the popularity of your brand vs your competitor’s brand on Google.

2. Inbound Share of Voice

Inbound share of voice, also known as the non-branded share of voice, is the measurement of your market coverage on non-branded keywords. It measures your brand’s visibility compared to your competitors on Google for non-branded keywords targeted via paid and organic advertising.

How to calculate weighted Google Share of Voice?

Generally, Google Share of Voice is calculated based on your ad impression on the Google SERP. However, the major limitation of this simple approach is that it does not consider several important factors like paid and organic feature types, ad position in the SERP, search volume of the keyword, and estimated CPC.

Therefore, the concept of weighted share of voice is essential to measure your share of voice compared to competitors on Google. It is crucial to consider the type of SERP features, the kind of URL visibility you are getting with the keyword, the true position of the ads in the SERP, and possible click shares from that SERP.

Weighted Share of Voice

Weighted Share of Voice can be defined as a dynamic metric to calculate the estimated click share of your ads compared to your competitors in the SERP across paid and organic search features.

As the boundary between Organic and Paid listings is getting blurred on Google, the calculation of Weighted SOV is important for a holistic search strategy. It is equally helpful for SEM and SEO managers to understand the Share of Voice in Paid Search and Organic features.

Share of Voice in Paid Search (PPC) is the measure of the SOV for the paid listings on the SERP and their position in the SERP impacting paid CTR. Weighted SOV lets you perform holistic calculations for paid SERP features – google text ads and google shopping ads.

Google Ads Share of Voice allows you to understand the tactics to win bids on keywords, evaluate the status of focused keywords, and the relevancy of competitors for your product or service. You can analyze your visibility compared to your competitors on details like the keyword’s display URLs, site links, prices, special offers, product ratings, and the number of reviews, google shopping ads annotations. Advertisers can understand their true rank by considering all the elements in the SERP and also analyze their ad position by Above-the-fold impressions or Below-fold impressions to evaluate the best bidding strategy.

Share of Voice in SEO

Share of Voice in SEO is the measure of the SOV for the organic listings on the SERP and their position in the SERP impacting Organic CTR. It considers different SERP features like featured snippets, PAA (People Also Ask), Rich snippets, Knowledge Panel, Sitelinks, etc. Weighted SOV gives you insights into the URL visibility for keywords, keyword rankings, SERP layouts, and SERP ranking fluctuations.

With SEO intelligence, you can track the search rankings and the SERP features for important queries and focus on keywords you want to rank for to maximize Organic CTR.

Calculation Factors for Weighted SOV

Weighted SOV includes many factors for calculation that reflect the click share and estimated traffic share from the SERP. It also considers the true ranking in the SERP along with SOV strength.

The multiple factors that influence Google Share of Voice calculation are:

  • Category Order – The order for these features changes depending on the search keywords. More than 50% of Google Searches end without a click to other content based on a study by Search Engine Land. This means that it is even more crucial to show up on SERP features like Featured Snippet, Knowledge Panel, Google Popular Products, etc. to increase visibility.
  • Page Order –Page Order considers your overall position without looking at the SERP feature. i.e., if you show up on the first position of the organic search result, but the organic search result is below the five shopping ads, 2 text ads, and 3 People Also Asks then, your page order would be 11.
  • Page number – This is just looking at what page you show up on the Google search. The first page of Google captures as high as 92% of search traffic clicks while the second page only gets 6% of the clicks. So, it is important to rank on the first page as showing up on the third page (even if you have all the links on that page) does not have many benefits.
  • Search Volume of the Keyword –This is important because it shows you whether you are ranking on the right keywords (or the keywords that people are searching for). It is comparatively easier to improve your rankings if the search volume is lower, as it means that there is less competition for that keyword. So, the calculation should account for this and allocate the weight for the search volume of the keywords accordingly.
  • SERP real state coverage –It calculates the number of possible organics and paid positions in a SERP of your brand. Taking up increasing real estate on the SERP is extremely important for a brand’s digital ecosystem. Use SERP features like FAQ, featured snippets, and People Also Ask to increase your SERP real estate coverage. Learn about SERP real state coverage with GrowByData Market Pulse.

Benefits of Calculating Google Share of Voice

Share of voice is a valuable metric that gives insight into how your brand is performing which leads you to use smarter strategies on different channels. Calculating Share of Voice is a great way to understand how your marketing efforts are paying off. The three broad advantages of measuring the share of voice at the SERP level include:

Understand Competitive Landscape

Weighted SOV helps to perform competitive research and get SERP features insights on how much a target market is worth, the share of the market you have, and which competitors have the greatest share of voice on paid & organic listings. It allows you to perform competitive SERP analysis on a market-wide scale to better understand your competitors, know the competitiveness of the category, and measure your online presence compared to the competitors in your industry. You can also learn about your strengths and weaknesses within major regional markets and demographics to learn areas to improve your advertising campaigns across the channels.

Competitive Landscape on the Google SERP

Brand Popularity

By using weighted SOV, we can evaluate a brand’s popularity by tracking online mentions and PPC for better visibility and performance. You can get data on the number of conversations around your brand which prepares you to monitor and manage your brand reputation and measure it against that of your competitors. So, capitalize on the opportunity to leverage your SOV data to grow your share of voice and uncover valuable customer insights.

Monitor and Audit the Campaign

As a manager, with the holistic share of voice data, you can easily track several campaigns running in the marketplace, and evaluate the success of each marketing campaign, and create a holistic search strategy. It will help you monitor the click share and search visibility by geographic locations over time to improve your future campaigns. According to the concept of Search marketing intelligence, you can analyze competitors’ campaigns to better understand what resonates with the audience in your industry and create impactful holistic search strategies. The SOV data will also help you expand your reach, get involved in social conversations, drive search traffic, and ensure your voice is expanded across marketing channels.

Tips to improve Google SERP Share of Voice

A great way to improve your share of voice on Google can be finding out what features are missing by performing SERP monitoring and optimizing your content for those missing SERP features. You need to build up and improve your share of voice on different channels as it helps your brand come up in relevant conversations and be considered a leader in the industry.

Monitor Opportunities in New and existing SERP Features

Tracking emerging ad formats and then optimizing your content/ads to show up for that ad format might be the fastest way to increase your chances of getting on the first page and “above the fold” on Google. As an advertiser, you should look to detect new SERP features and quickly optimize for them.

All keywords will have organic results, but other SERP components vary. This means that the most popular SERP feature varies per keyword. So, finding out what features are missing and optimizing your content for the missing SERP feature is another way to improve your SOV on Google.

SERP Competitive Analytics: Gateway to the Holistic SERP Page

Competitive SERP Analysis helps you understand keyword relevancy, content relevancy, user experience, and page loading speed to find gaps where content may be under-optimized. Create optimized content to occupy these gaps to outperform your competitors, and increase your click share on the Google SERP.

Compete with the Right Content

Creating great content related to your brand’s products/services can immensely help you increase your click share. But to create relevant content, you need to know what is being seen on the SERP for a keyword, what kind of content is missing, and who are your competitors in the SERP. For example: as per our search engine features analysis, “People Also Ask” generally has a higher percentage of ‘What’ questions. In a very competitive keyword dominated by product and category pages, advertisers can look to compete with informational content.

PAA Prefix Distribution

Optimize across SERP features in your strategic keywords

With an ever-changing algorithm, the availability and order of the SERP components vary along with your positions. Therefore, the goal should be to acquire a higher rank in every SERP component to maximize your click shares. It is important to get the top position in each SERP component listing to strengthen the Google SOV for important Keywords over increasing your keyword breadth.

Get Leverage with Google SERP features

Paid SERP features such as Shopping Ads and Text Ads and Organic listings like People Also Ask, Feature Snippets, Local 3-Packs, etc. can be used to optimize sites in multiple ways to increase their visibility, traffic, and click share on the SERP. By optimizing FAQs, reviews, and ratings you can get leverage on both paid and organic Google SERP features to maximize SERP real estate. You can also use shopping ads, text ads, and Ad extensions on google shopping to improve your Google ad ranking and Google quality score to have a positive impact on your ad impressions & rank.


You can optimize your total Share of Voice across the shopper journey with holistic organic and paid digital shelf analytics. The weighted SOV gives you a better breadth of insight into who is showing up, who is visible to shoppers, and where your brand stands in the marketplace.

With Search Intelligence solutions you can measure your Vs competitors’ online Share of Voice by geo-targeted locations, search devices, organic and paid search features, product categories, and other customized dimensions. Out of the several ways to improve a brand’s share of voice explained above, the key takeaway would be to analyze and understand your competitor’s gaps on the SERP and fill those gaps to displace and outperform them. We hope these insights are helpful for your brand to boost your google share of voice.

If you want to learn more, check out GrowByData Webinars on Share of Voice.