SEMrush claims to be the world’s No. 1 marketing tool.
But is it worth giving it a 7-day free trial?
The world’s leading companies rely on SEMrush to run their marketing, content, advertising and SMM campaigns, including:
- BNP Paribas
And with 2.5 million users, SEMrush is certainly doing something right.
- Project-based campaigns
- Proactive recommendations
- Keyword suggestions
- Backlink tracking
- 28 advanced tools in one
- Top 10 benchmarking
- Starts at $99.95/mo.
- Backlink database is lacking
SEMrush plans start at $99.95 per month, and this is the base plan. You’ll be able to access most of the tools, but there are limitations. The base plan does not give access to:
- Historical domain and keyword analytics
- Historical traffic analytics
- Product listing ads for domain and keyword analytics
- Location information for traffic analytics
- Multitargeting for projects
- Read-only access sharing for projects
- Branded PDF reports
- White label PDF reports
- API access
But when you sign up for any plan, you’ll gain access to 28 tools that provide a boost to even the world’s largest marketing campaigns. The tools you’ll gain access to, and we’ll discuss some of them in more detail below, include the following:
- Ad Builder
- Advertising research
- Backlink Audit
- Brand Monitoring
- Content Audit
- Display Advertising
- Gap Analysis
- Keyword Difficulty
- Keyword Magic Tool
- Keyword Research
- Lead Generation Tool
- Marketing Calendar
- My reports
- On Page SEO Checker
- Organic Research
- Organic Traffic Insights
- Position Tracking
- Post Tracking
- PPC Keyword Tool
- SEO Content Template
- Site Audit
- Social Media Poster
- Social Media Tracker
- Topic Research
- Traffic Analytics
If you can’t leverage most of these tools, you’ re not using them properly. This is a marketing / SEO suite that aims to do it all.
These tools can help you:
- Increase your search engine rankings
- Analyze why rankings are falling
- Research backlink and keyword opportunities
- Determine which content is best to create for your audience
- Research competitors and understand their traffic patterns
- Eliminate SEO issues that are impacting your site
Projects and Reporting
The ability to categorize any of your websites into a project allows you to keep your campaigns under control with fluidity. You’ll have a seamless experience when creating projects, and this means you’ll be able to see all of your project data at-a-glance.
Projects allow you to bring up a navigation that includes all of your domain data in one centralized database.
For example, let’s say that you have a project for Google.com.
SEMrush will guide you through the initial setup, step-by-step, so that you have all of your project’s data available. You’ll need to include everything, from your social media account to phrases for mentions and keywords you want to track.
You’ll be able to click on your project and greeted with a dashboard that covers all of your centralized information in one area. After clicking the project, you’ll be able to gather:
- Health score. A score of your site based on the crawling data that’s collected by SEMrush.
- Position. Track your position in the SERPs.
- Audit. A quick and easy audit of your site.
And if you click on the menu, you’ll have quick access to many of the tools available to start your next campaign or perform research.
Project-based, the tool offers proactive optimization and suggestions. Simply run an analysis and you’ll be able to receive a few recommendations:
- Content ideas
- Strategy ideas
- Semantic ideas
- Backlink ideas
- Technical issues
Keep in mind that all projects can be linked to your Google Search Console as well as your Google Analytics account.
It’s also easy to start generating keywords based off of a seed keyword so that you can start optimizing your site and content further.
Reporting can be done effortlessly, with the tool able to create a PDF report for you to keep or give to clients.
Once your project is up and running, it’s time to start digging deeper and optimizing your site. The use of the audit tool is where I, and other SEO professionals, recommend that you start.
Open Up the Audit Tool and Start Your Audit
You need to know where your current site stands as far as optimization. An audit should be performed, and while a manual audit may suffice, it’s best to perform an audit in SEMrush to have all of the data at your fingertips.
When you open the audit tool, you’ll often find a prompt to add your site and then you’ll need to wait for the audit to appear.
An audit will provide you with the following data:
- Total score
- Top 3 issues
I recommend correcting all of these issues because your audit, which may not seem like much on the outside, is packed with information that can help your site rank higher.
You can also re-run the campaign and compare crawls to see how your site has improved over time.
Benchmark data is also available. You’ll want to go to the “Domain Overview” option and type in your domain name to bring this data up. What this data does is provide you with a wealth of information about your site, including:
- Organic keywords
- Organic search information
- Paid search information
- Traffic over time
You can also sort by country to get a better idea of how your site is viewed country-by-country.
Generate SEO Ideas and Perform a Backlink Audit
If you’re trying to increase your rankings in the SERPS, you need to use the SEO Ideas tool to start generating a few ideas for your site. You’ll come up with optimization ideas, and you’ll be presented with pages on your site and ideas that can be followed to optimize the page further.
You’ll be presented with ideas for:
- Page improvements
- Backlink opportunities
- Keyword options
This tool is undervalued, but it allows you to get a grasp of what’s going on with your site’s SEO, page-by-page.
And once you’ve made use of these suggestions, you can use the backlink audit tool to start understanding what your backlink portfolio consists of using 30 toxic ranking factors.
What this does is allow you to find those sites that may be toxic to your ranking, so you can select and submit these sites to be disavowed. Google wants you to take control of your backlink portfolio, and the backlink audit tool opens up an easy, fast way to get rid of those nasty links that are harming your website’s rankings.
These two tools allow you to start making sense of your SEO and make quick and easy improvements that can help your site rise in the rankings.
If you want to take this a step further, you can open the brand monitoring tool. Why is this tool important? It allows you to monitor everything being said about your brand. It’s an efficient tool, and you’ll be able to better understand:
- Who is talking about your brand
- Where people are linking to your site
You can use mentions to your advantage. While some site owners simply follow their mentions and pat themselves on the back, others know that this is an invaluable opportunity. You can use mentions to:
- Connect to influencers mentioning you
- Seek out lost backlink opportunities
And since the tool is neatly presented in your project, it’s easy to monitor everything that’s being said about your brand.
Start Digging into the Competition
You’re making positive changes to your site, and you’re working on leveraging the power of brand mentions. Everything’s in your favor at this point, but what is the competition doing? Are you doing enough?
SEMrush helps you breakdown what your competitors are doing to outpace you.
Don’t be outworked by the competition.
You’ll want to go into your Domain Analysis section, Organic Search and then click on Competitors.
And when you do, you’ll be able to have a visual representation of how well your site is ranking compared to the competition. You’ll also be able to see a variety of information, such as:
- Traffic your competition is stealing from you
- Keywords your competitors also use
- The overall level of competition available
- Who your competitors are
Some of the competitors listed may be competitors that you never knew existed. These are sites that may not have been on the radar, but they’re working on the same thing you are – beating the competition.
When you click on the competitor and see a complete overview of their site, including:
- Organic search
- Organic keywords
- Traffic over time
You’ll be able to look at data for both desktop and mobile traffic. It’s a great way to really dig deep into the competition and see how their rankings compare to yours.
Graphs allow you to see everything, from how your competitor is performing to when a new campaign has been launched.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg.
You can also start to pull up more information on the competition.
If you click view entire report, you’ll be able to see a complete report on your competitor. What this report allows is for a complete outline of what your competition is doing. You’ll be able to see keywords that the competitor is ranking for already. You’ll then be able to gain insight into each keyword to see where your competition is ranking for a particular keyword.
And when it comes to content, it may seem like everything has already been covered.
Even if you’ve done a great job with your content creation, you can get ideas and inspiration from the competition. This means sitting down and running the following: Domain Analytics > Organic Research > Pages.
You’ll then be able to see what content the competitor is ranking for best, and you’ll also be able to see the traffic percentage that the content contributes to as well as the keywords that are on the page.
The goal is to analyze all of this content and come up with a plethora of ideas for your own content.
It’s a powerful way to start generating content that you know works well.
You can then decide to follow in the competition’s footsteps and take it a step further by creating content that is more in-depth, keyword rich and answers the reader’s questions the best.
But just because you’ve dug deep into the competition, have taken a lot of the keywords they’re using and really understand their SEO efforts, this doesn’t mean that your job is over. SEMrush allows you to use keyword magic to really push your SEO efforts to a new level.
Keyword Magic is Your Powerful Secret
Keyword Magic is a new tool, and this brand new tool allows you to request keyword ideas that are refined and backed with data. This tool takes all of the hard work out of finding and researching keywords.
You’ll be able to find everything, including:
And this is just part of all of the tools under the Keyword Analytics bar. Put in your seed keyword, and you’ll find all of the relevant keywords on your site. You’ll also be able to find keywords that you’re missing.
You can export all of this data for further analysis, and you can put a million keywords into one file for further analysis.
Refining the keywords is also easy, and this allows you to eliminate keywords that are too difficult or have too much competition to compete with properly.
An overview is also provided so that you can analyze keyword data. This allows you to see everything, from how much organic search the keyword receives to CPP distribution, trends and paid search information.
Everything is provided for you in an easy-to-read dashboard.
If you view the full report, you’ll also be able to see a continually updated list of long tail keywords that all stem from your target keyword. This allows you to create content that is keyword-rich, relevant and natural.
Use this information when creating new content or modifying old content.
And if you want, you can also create a filter to eliminate all of the keywords that make no sense for your project. Phrase matches are also available to allow you to further refine your keyword data.
Keywords mean nothing if you can’t properly track them.
Track keyword performance from any location in the world. This means finding keywords that may attract UK buyers versus US buyers.
Keywords that you didn’t know existed or never considered may be used by your competitors to get the upper hand on you. When you see all of this information at your fingertips, you can start formulating your own keyword and content strategy to keep your competitors at bay.
It’s a powerful way to incorporate keywords into your content.
Certain keywords are too difficult to rank. Sure, there’s always a chance, but it’s easier to find low-hanging fruit than to compete with a Fortune 500 company that has $100 million marketing budget.
Under your Keyword Analytics tab, you’ll find the Keyword Difficulty tool that allows you to make a better decision on your keywords. What you’ll want to do is copy the keywords you want to add into your project and paste them into the tool.
When this is done, you’ll be able to analyze the difficulty of the keywords.
Data is provided that allows you to see how difficult it is to rank each keyword. It’s entirely up to you as to whether or not you want to try ranking for these keywords. You’ll see difficulty, volume and results as well as more information about the keyword.
Maybe there are keywords you’ll want to remove from your list because they’re unrealistic ranking targets that don’t make sense for your campaign.
Refinement makes SEMrush important, and these refinements allow you to perform keyword research based on:
- Specific keywords
- Keywords that exclude specific keywords
- Keywords that contain beginnings or endings that are specific (great for long-tail keywords)
- Keywords that have a certain search amount threshold
- Keywords based on monthly volume
- Keywords that have specific word counts
- Keywords that competitors are using
And this is just the start of what you can do with the SEMrush tool’s keyword offerings.
Ranking Information and Data
If you want to gather ranking information, you can go to the dashboard, enter in a domain name and then go to the sidebar and click Organic Research > Positions. This is a powerful tool that allows you to analyze an entire site’s rankings (tip: use it to spy on your competitors).
You can also do this with subdomains.
If you want to see a page’s rankings, you can also view all data from one page. This allow you to see how a page is ranking for a keyword that you want to target.
Want to target lower ranking pages?
If you want to dissect a page, you can find which pages the competition is ranking poorly for in Google, and maybe you can use this to create content that the competitor is failing to rank well. You can also find pages from the competition that are high ranking.
Historical ranking information is available with some packages, and this allows for an at-a-glance view of how a site ranked for a keyword over time.
And no ranking information is worthwhile if you can’t see the entire backlink profile of a site. You can enter a competitor’s site and access their entire backlink portfolio.
What this does is allow you to secure great links that the competition is already securing. You can reach out to the owner of the site, contribute content or ask for a link to your site if it’s a resource page.
Even referring domains can be seen under the Backlinks > Backlinks tab.
If you want to compare backlinks, there’s also a Backlink Comparison tool that lets you compare backlinks from up to 5 sites at once.
Backlink information can be refined by anchor text, and you can also see how old backlinks are if you want. All of this information allows you to have a complete understanding of the work that has been done to rank a website.
If you want to see how the competition is advertising, you also have a slew of tools that can help you understand the competition’s advertising efforts.
SEMrush is a well-balanced tool, and we just scratched the surface of the tools and complete functionality of SEMrush.
SEMrush comes with all of the bells and whistles that SEO experts and marketing specialists need in one easy-to-use dashboard.
It’s an innovative tool that can give every business a serious edge over the competition. You’ll be able to understand, analyze and outpace the competition all within one tool’s dashboard. It’s the SEO tool that professionals are using to help some of the world’s largest businesses market their products and services.