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Whether you admit it or not: SEMRush is one of the best-paid SEO tools for bloggers and marketing experts.
With SEMRush you can do an in-depth keyword research for finding profitable keywords. And, it doesn’t end here, with it you can also do complete competitor analysis which will help to take your site to the next level.
Plus, a lot of other amazing features packed in one tool. So, what are you waiting for?
You can try it out: 30-Days Free-trial Of SEMRush PRO Account
We all know it’s super important to do proper SEO on our sites, after all, it’s the only way to get organic traffic. Right?
But now, it’s getting harder and harder to rank on search engines as there’s a fierce competition among bloggers to rank much higher than others. You also want to rank your blogs on the top of search engines. Right?
Who doesn’t want to get more free traffic to their blogs? (Getting to the #1 position on Google is everyone’s dream.) I also want to, that’s why I use many SEO tools to make my work much easier.
One such SEO tool is SEMRush. It’s one of the most popular SEO tool & is said by many professional bloggers to be their favorite. There aren’t many great SEO tools but this tool stands out to be one of the best.
Do you know? You can rank higher by doing what your competitors are doing (if you’re in the same niche). But, how do you do research on your competitors?
By using SEMRush! It’s the only answer to these questions.
It will save you so much time & effort by seeing what’s working for your competitors and replicate them. But it can be hard. (If you don’t have the necessary tools.)
One of the best things about SEMRush is that it allows you to spy on your competitors and much more amazing things. So, here’s my review & tutorial of SEMRush.
So, What is SEMRush anyway? (And why should you even care about it?)
In simple words – having SEMRush is like having a spy in your competitor’s team. You can get all the information about what they do & how they do it. (Without any trouble!)
It’s like getting information from the spy and then using the same strategies to outrank your opponent. Using their strategies against them. Every successful business at some time takes ideas from their competition to beat them.
SEMRush is an amazing SEO tool which makes finding profitable keywords a piece of cake. It has more than 2 million users that tells you how much popular this tool is among bloggers and internet marketers.
They also have more than 100 geo-databases i.e, the ability to track your website’s SEO or SEM efforts from different locations. With 100 million domains and 800 million keywords. (These are really huge numbers.)
Quora, eBay, HP, and many more big brands trust SEMRush. It’s a tool which should be on the must-have list of every blogger & digital marketer. There are many uses of this tool – from finding keywords to link building opportunities.
So, are you still wondering what are the benefits of using SEMrush? If yes, then read below. After reading the benefits I’m sure you will start loving this tool. Start your Free Trial of PRO account for 30-Days.
Why Use SEMRush? (It’s Benefits)
Now, you may think there’s only one benefit of SEMRush i.e, to make your SEO better. But it isn’t, you can also use SEMRush to track your Paid campaigns i.e, watching what’s working and what’s not working.
It’s like you have an X-ray goggles looking directly at your competitor’s google analytics account. You can even check what’s worth of the traffic they are getting through search engines in us dollars.
Like I said, the main aim of using SEMRush is to help you drive more organic visitors to your blog through competitor analysis. If you know what your competitors are doing you can include that in your strategy.
You can also use the PPC ad part to get the maximum return on your ad budget. With this, you will get more exposure or value on every dollar you will spend. There’s also an option to check the ad copies for any selected keyword.
Here’s an example – Now, I’m going to do an Advertising Research on the keyword – “How to Start a blog“. Let’s check out the results.
As you can see, the ad copies i.e, ads which are currently running and the current rankings are present here. So, it’s not only made for SEO experts. It’s built for every kind of Digital Marketer.
Who Should Use SEMRush?
Now, a question arises who should use SEMRush. The answer to this question is very easy. SEMRush is good for –
- Bloggers who want to do their own SEO.
- SEO agencies & firms.
- Big brands who want more exposure.
- Small to mid-sized business with In-house marketers.
It’s for all those people who are doing internet marketing as a profession. Thus, many professional bloggers & SEO agencies prefer to use SEMRush.
It’s a complete package of many SEO tools i.e if you don’t wanna buy many different small SEO tools you can buy SEMRush.
Who Should Not Use SEMRush?
Those who fear numbers. (Seriously.) There are a lot of numbers, graphs, and tables in this tool. So if you’re the kind of person who gets intimated by them, don’t buy it.
Also, it has a ton of information. If you suffer from information overload and are unable to work after that, SEMRush isn’t for you.
How To Use SEMRush? (Tutorial)
You can how to use SEMRush with this guide. It’s an amazing tool from which gives you the power to take your site ahead of your competitors. And, level up your sites SEO.
Using SEMRush can be overwhelming. After all, there’s a ton of information. But, you will learn everything you need to use it without thinking it’s a lot of work. (Or, overwhelming.)
SEMRush’s dashboard is beginner friendly so you can use it even if you’re a newbie in internet marketing. Now, without wasting your time, I’m going to show you what you will learn in this guide.
What you will learn about SEMRush here –
- Competitors Research
- Managing Your Site
- Keyword Research
- Gap Analysis (Difference Between 2 Sites.)
You can see how the dashboard looks like in the image below –
In the sidebar – you can see there are almost 15 tools. But, there are more tools inside them. This is what makes SEMRush such a comprehensive tool.
With all these tools available, it’s not easy to get used to SEMRush in less time. But, you should not worry – I’m here to tell you all about this tool. I’ll try to cover everything that makes SEMRush such a great tool.
Competitors Research is the main highlight of using SEMRush. That’s why it’s also called one of the best tools to spy on your competitors. You can find everything that your competitors do with the help of SEMRush.
Here are things you will find about your competitors –
- Organic Traffic
- Campaigns & Statistics.
And, much more… Are you ready to know more about your competition?
Below, is a screenshot of the domain overview section of SEMRush. You can see many things here about which we’ll learn later. Right now we must focus on getting information on our competitors.
To do competitors research – first, we will need to put the domain (which we want to know about) in the domain overview section. And, then select the location from where we want to see the results. Remember, I told you about Geo-databases.
For this explanation – I will use “Amazon” as an example. (They are the biggest shopping site so they must be studied.)
So, let’s start our research.
After putting the domain – Amazon.com and clicking on search. Here are the results –
Here, you can see that the stats are divided into different groups. You can see how much organic traffic this site gets, how many backlinks the site has, its organic and paid keywords.
You can also change the location from where you want to see the results. Like – the current location is set to the U.S. if you want to change it, just select the other location. (Geo-databases)
There’s also an option for checking the data for mobile traffic. (It’s not complete, though.) The default data is always set for desktop traffic.
Next, you will see the top organic keywords i.e, the no. of keywords that this site ranks for in the SERPs. They are ranking for almost 70 million keywords, no wonder as it’s the biggest online shopping website.
Organic Position Distribution – means the keywords which bring most visitors to site i.e, their rankings. For example – we can clearly see that Amazon has 15 million keywords in the top 1-3 positions.
We can also see its main organic competitors and the competitive positioning map. (I’ll talk about them later.)
Branded Search – this means the traffic that comes from branded keywords like Blogging Loop, in this case – Amazon.
Branded Traffic Trend – means the change in the amounts of traffic which has come through branded keywords.
Top Paid Keywords – are the keywords for which this site is running ads. And, Paid Position Distribution is the position of paid keywords in the SERPs.
Then you will see the main paid competitors of Amazon like – Target and others. And, the competitive positioning map of the paid competitors.
Next are the example of what the Ads of Amazon look in the SERPs. (They have a lot of Ads.)
Backlinks – as we all know are one of the most important ranking factors (if not, the most important). Here you can see the backlinks – from where they are coming, their anchor text.
You can also see how many links are do-follow & no-follow. I guess you know the difference between no-follow & follow links. However, if you don’t know read about them here.
It’s also easier to know the top anchors and backlink type (text links, image links, etc.) with the help of SEMRush.
The last results on this page are of referring domains & indexed pages.
Referring Domains – are the domains from which the backlinks are incoming. (Or, which are pointing a link to your site.)
Indexed Pages – are the no. of pages that are indexed by Google. (For updating new content from the blog.)
These all results are shown on a single page. If you want to get into more details, you can click on “View Full Report” or click at the heading of each result. Let me show you how it’s done –
Organic Research feature in SEMRush shows the organic data about any site. You can get details about organic traffic, organic positions and much more.
Like at the start of researching we saw a small column showing about the organic stats.
But if we click on to Organic Search like this. We will get more detailed results. (Remember, there’s so much to this tool that most can only imagine.)
Here you can see the stats are in many details. There’s also a graph denoting the change in the top keywords & traffic.
You can also check the SERP features which are either linking to the domain or not linking to the domain.
Some of the SERP features you can see here are – Featured snippets, Reviews, Knowledge panel, etc.
Next, we have the Organic Search Positions – which means checking the keywords for which the site is ranking for in Google.
There are options to filter out the keywords on the basis of – position (which I’ve done), keyword difficulty, CPC, traffic, competition, etc.
If I want, I can check all the 70 million keywords this site ranks for (but then I won’t be able to do anything for weeks). So, this marks the end of our organic research, let’s head to the next feature of domain overview.
Traffic Analytics tool gives you full of your competitor’s domain traffic. It’s the same as getting a look into their Google Analytics data.
Before I tell you more about this tool, let me show you one thing which I don’t like about SEMRush.
Remember, above we saw the organic traffic the site gets. Here is the traffic data from organic research –
As you can see – Amazon gets 698 million organic traffic. (As seen above – in organic research.)
Now, we will go to the Traffic Analytic section.
But, here you can see the difference. Right?
In the organic section it shows 698 million traffic & in the traffic analytics section, it shows 421 million visits. Which one should you believe?
Of course, for traffic, you should only believe in the Traffic Analytics section. Organic Research section isn’t good for finding how much traffic a site gets.
Similarly, I tried this experiment with many sites and found the traffic data isn’t accurate in Organic Research section.
Now coming back to the Traffic Analytics, you can see exactly how much traffic a site gets. You can also get other data like – unique visitors, avg. page duration, pages/visit and even bounce rate. (Just like Google Analytics.)
In the same way, you can also find the traffic sources of any site. However, it’s only limited to desktop traffic. (Second thing I don’t like much about SEMRush.)
You can check whether the site gets search, direct, search or referral traffic.
Finally, you can also check which country most of this site’s traffic comes from. (And, its percentage.)
These were the features you can see in the Traffic Analytics section. Although I can get into more details it’ll take too much time. So, we will now go to the next section.
It’s not a secret that backlinks are damn important. Is it? Do you want to know more about your competitor’s backlinks?
I know your answer would be “Yes!”. So, let’s start digging into the backlinks of Amazon. (Thanks, without using a popular site this review wouldn’t have been possible.)
First, we head to the domain overview (where we have all the results). Then we will click on Backlinks to get the detailed report.
Now, you can see the complete information about the backlinks of Amazon. It has a ton of backlinks i.e, a whopping 2.7 billion + backlinks.
There is also information present about how many referring domains & IPs they have got. You can see the types of backlinks they have and their percentage.
The percentage of followed & no-follow links are also shown.
And, at last, you can see all the backlinks in a list. You can see everything about backlinks here, like – anchor text, external links, etc.
One thing I like about SEMRush is that I can export everything to check later. (Whenever I will have the time.)
List Of Organic Competitors
With the help of SEMRush, you can easily find who your competitors are (if you don’t know about them).
Main Organic Competitors – are the sites which are similar and its competitors. And, after that, we have the map showing each site’s ranking according to organic traffic.
In the Competitive Positioning map, we can see that the only site beating Amazon is Wikipedia (But it isn’t an online shopping platform). And, all others are behind them.
To get more details, click on view full report. Now, let’s see all the competitors of Amazon.
Here are all the main organic competitors of Amazon. This list can be filtered out as in many ways according to – competition level (I’ve selected this option), common keywords, search engine keywords, etc.
You can also use this feature to check the stats about your own site. Just put your URL in the domain overview search box and you will get all the results. But this tool is much suitable for competitors research.
To know more about your site – you should use projects on SEMRush. (Which I’m going to teach you next.)
Managing Your Site
Do you know – you can check the health of your site with SEMRush?
Yes! Now, you might be wondering – How?
Let me tell you – with the help of Projects feature of SEMRush. By using this feature, you can –
- Find & fix issues on your site.
- Boost your site’s SEO.
- Monitor your brand’s popularity.
And, much more. There’s everything you need to take your site to next level.
You can create many projects in SEMRush. (Depends on your plan.)
Here is how the Projects look like –
First, you need to set up the projects. Just click on – Create my first project. And, you’re ready to go.
Then put your domain and the project name. And, click on Save. (You can’t change the project details once saved.)
Now, there are many tools in the project dashboard. This is what it looks like (after completing the setup). The tools in the project dashboard are –
- Site Audit (To check your site’s health.)
- Position Tracking (To track the changes in the top 100 Google search results.)
- On-Page SEO Checker (Enough Said!)
- Social Media Tracker (To track your social media performance.)
- Social Media Poster (To schedule posts on Social Media.)
- Brand Monitoring (To track mentions.)
- Backlink Audit (To check your site’s backlinks.)
- Link Building (To find new link building opportunities.)
- PPC Keyword Tool (To manage your PPC campaigns.)
- Organic Traffic Insights (To find the missing data on Google Analytics.)
- Content Analyzer (To audit your site’s content.)
Even if there are 11 different tools in the Projects dashboard, but right now we will only talk about 5 of them. Because it will take a lot of time. It’s a comprehensive tool that makes it hard to review in a single blog post.
But for sure, after some time, I will write about every single tool. (That’s a promise!)
This Site Audit Tool from SEMRush will make sure that your site is always healthy. And, it will never need a doctor. (Ok, I apologize for the poor joke.)
You can check for any errors and fix them with the Site Audit tool. Let’s see how it works –
This is the results page we see after we run the site audit. At first, we can see the overall site’s score. The higher it is, the better. (I need to do a lot of work on my site.)
Next are the crawled pages errors and its stats. Then, there is errors, warnings, and notices.
At last, in the overview section – we have got the thematic score and the top issues of our site.
When we go to the next section i.e, Issues – it shows what’s wrong with your site. The Issue section has its own subcategories like –
- Total issues of your site.
- Total SEO errors (what’s wrong!).
- Warnings i.e. some serious issues that are harming your sites.
- And, at last – Notices which shows the things which you can improve.
That’s all at the errors section of our Site Audit. This feature as you may be knowing now is great for finding your SEO mistakes.
When you click on the next section which is Crawled Pages you can see the list of your crawled web pages (as the name suggests). Here’s the list of my pages which shows the rankings, page views, etc.
With this feature, you can also check your site’s structure. This feature is useful when you want to see the crawled status of your web pages.
Moving to the next section – Statistics. As the name suggests it shows some important stats about your site. The statistics can either be viewed in a list or a graph, it’s up to you which one you like.
Some of the important features in this section are – Markup, Crawl Depth, AMP Links, etc. All these statistic shows how your website’s SEO is doing in a metric manner.
This section is a little bit different than others. Here also the name tells what it does i.e, comparing the crawled pages. (I forgot to set some different dates while comparing, that’s my mistake. I apologize.)
When you use this feature – you can see the difference in stats over a period of some time. This will let you know if your site is improving or not. After all, comparing data is important!
Just like the section before it, in this section, you can also see the difference between your site’s health. It is just a little different than the compare crawls section. How?
This section represents the difference of site’s score, total issues and many more sections in one. As you can see above – My overall score decreased and the total issue also increased from the compared date.
On Page SEO Checker
On Page SEO Checker is the next feature which will help you in managing your projects. We all know that both On-Page & Off-Page are necessary for any site.
As the name says this tool is used to check the On-Page SEO of your site. Now let’s check out what this tool can do.
The first thing you see when you click on the On Page Checker tool is the overview section. The overview section, in general, is the summary of what you have to see or what you should be doing.
What you are going to see here – Total Ideas, SERP Feature Ideas, Content Ideas, etc. (I will tell you about each of them in details.)
And at the last, there is – Top pages to optimize which comes in the next section. So here we go.
In this section – you will get ideas about how to optimize your web pages for better results. As you can see there’s a lot of things here like web pages, their keywords, position, total volume etc
But what we need is to first select the web page that we need to optimize. So, I selected one web page and then clicked on ideas. Let’s see what happens next. Find out on the section of SEMRush On Page Checker Z. (Again, a poor joke. )
Here are the optimization ideas (and they aren’t less). Let’s see now what are the main ideas –
Strategy – It will help you to see if you can fix On Page SEO. And, will also let you know if there’s any keyword cannibalization.
SERP Features – This will show if your meta description is good or not. And, will also you know what your competitors are doing.
Content – This feature will tell you if your tags are optimized or not. You will also get some details about things you’re doing wrong with your content and what you should add to make your content rank higher.
Semantic – Helps you find the related keywords for your content which you aren’t using but are present in your competitors content.
Backlinks – Get some backlinks ideas. (Explained in details in backlink audit section.)
Technical Issues – As the name suggests – finds technical SEO issues of your site.
User Experience – Lets you know how user behave on your site. (To use this feature you need to connect your Google account.)
So, these were the features which are present in the optimization ideas section. Let’s head to the next section.
In this section, your content will be compared with the top 10 results for some keywords. Like the keywords “before starting a blog” and “best free grammar and punctuation checker” is being compared with some benchmarks.
The benchmarks you can see here are – Content-Length, Markups, Referring Domains, Keyword Usage, etc. It’s an easy way to compare your web page and keywords with the top sites in Google.
The last section we have in On Page SEO Checker is Idea Tasks which gives you suggestion about what you should do and fix. You will find all the information on this page and if you apply them it’ll boost your SEO.
This marks the end of the On Page SEO section but we still have much left. So, stay tuned.
Creating quality backlinks is extremely important for SEO. But how do you know that the backlinks you create won’t hurt your site? One way to check this is to use this feature of SEMRush.
In this Backlink Audit feature, you will learn how to check for harmful links and how to remove them, etc. Let’s get started.
The first section you’ll see in the “Backlink Audit” is the overview section. The information provided here is about –
Toxic score – the score which is calculated by counting the toxic domains. Referring domains are the domains pointing back to your blog. Then you have the total no. of backlinks which are analyzed by SEMRush.
Domain by toxic scores means the domains which are potentially harmful i.e, they can have a negative effect on your rankings.
Removed backlinks – the backlinks that have been removed till now. Disavowed items are the number of backlinks that have been disavowed until now. (As the name suggests.)
Anchor types – The kinds of backlinks I’ve made till now. And, the top anchors i.e, for what term the backlinks exists.
Here you will see your site’s Nofollow & Follow links. And, all the links in your domains with toxic backlinks.
This all was in the overview section i.e, it all was a summary, click on “View All” to get the full details. Moving on to the next section…
The “Audit” section is the most important. Here you can see all the backlink that you have made over the time, their anchor texts and toxic score. It’s like the big brother who watches what kinds of backlinks you are making.
You can also use the filters to modify your search, group by domains or URL and keep/delete them as per your wish. Searching for specific backlinks is also easy with this feature.
With the “Audit” you select the backlinks you want to keep or remove. Here I have filtered out the list with the toxic score and it shows the most toxic links at the top. The steps to remove (or disavow) the backlinks are easy.
You need to select the links, then click on delete at the right corner. After selecting the links you have to decide whether you want to disavow them or remove them. For better SEO you should disavow the bad links.
Here is the deletion page of backlinks i.e, the remove section. You will see the links which you’ve already selected for deletion. There are also some filters to sort out the list. (If you want to have a look before deleting them.)
If you want to disavow the links just move them to the disavow section by selecting them. (Which I told earlier.) Here you can see the links I have chosen for disavowing. You can select the links by domain or status.
However to disavow links using SEMRush you need to connect your Google Search Console account with it.
This section is about monitoring the backlinks. From here you can see new and lost backlinks. This section also shows the referring domains and the total number of backlinks.
The about section is “about” which tells the user about the use of this feature of SEMRush. Which is basically the same as what I’m doing right now. (Yup!)
Brand Monitoring is an amazing feature to check the mentions about your brand from all over the internet. In simple words, brand monitoring notifies you whenever your brand (or blog) is mentioned anywhere.
If you try to look for mentions manually, it will take a lot of time. Why waste your precious time when SEMRush can save you a lot of time and money. Time is money! Right?
You will learn more about this feature here. For Brand Monitoring, we will use “Wikipedia” as an example. Let’s see how many mentions does Wikipedia gets.
Wikipedia is a very popular site, but it gets more backlinks directly to inner pages than the main page. We can see there are only 836 mentions of the term “Wikipedia” in the last 90 days.
As usual, there are filters to sort out the results – either by links to the website or to a specified URL. I’ve checked the results of the last 90 days, if you want to you can check more old results.
Then at the side of results, there are stats and two options present – Track domain and Block domain.
The second section is “Statistics” which as the name suggests, tells you the stats of the mentions that have happened. With the “Mention Volume Trend” – you can check the stats about the mentions and backlinks over the period of days in a graph.
After the graph, you will be able to see the top domains which have mentioned you in the past. The details present in this table are – BM Score and Total mentions i.e, the amount of times your site is mentioned.
Then we will go to the “Resource” section from where you can add a site to track it. You just need to click on – Track domain (it is present besides the list of mention lists) and you will see it right here.
The “about tool” section tells you about how to use these features of Mentions. Time to learn “link building” with SEMRush.
Link building, in simple words – is the process from which you gain backlinks from other sites (or blogs). There are a lot of link building techniques. But now, you will learn to create backlinks with the help of SEMRush.
It’s very easy to outreach for backlinks with this feature. This is a great tool for all your SEO related queries. Let’s start learning how SERush is helpful for building backlinks to your site.
In the Overview section, you will find many details with which you can build new links. You will see domain prospects, building backlinks and monitored domains here.
To use this tool to its full potential you need to connect SEMRush with your Google Search Console account.
The real link building work starts in this section i.e, Domain Prospects. In this section, you will finds blogs which are ranked for similar keywords you want to rank for by simply adding prospects (or keywords).
The main purpose of adding prospects (or keywords) is to find sites from where you can get backlinks by outreaching to them. As you can see for the term “start a blog” I’ve 3,439 prospects and 2,881 competitors.
Then there are filters to sort out the results, the filters are – URL Type, Domain Score, Trust Score, and Ratings.
Now, this is a list of sites from where we get backlinks. I have selected 3 sites, the next thing I’ll do is clicking on – add with (you will get a drop-down menu). Then click on add link to article i.e, asking for a link in an existing blog post.
There are other options like – guest post, product review, manual link, etc. You can select the one which suits your needs.
When you click on – add link to an article, you will be taken to the next section. Here, you can send the outreach message to the website owner. SEMRush will get the details of the site owner, you won’t have to do anything.
After clicking on send an email this screen comes up –
You will get all the emails related to the site. What you should do next is to select the emails and compose your message.
To make it easier, SEMRush will provide you an outline of the message. Follow them and click on – Send and proceed to next. You can do the same to other domains by clicking on – Next domain.
This section is about monitoring the domains from where you’ve got your backlinks. From here you will be able to see the status of those backlinks i.e if they are active, broken or lost. (It’s the same as the option in backlink audit tool.)
You can easily see your backlinks here with some metrics. The other metrics are – anchor texts, backlinks ratings, trust score, and the day backlinks were first seen.
These were the ways in which you could use SEMRush for getting high-quality backlinks. There are no limitations to this tool, you can use it for SEO or even PPC strategy. You can even use this tool to get important metrics about your competitors.
So, these were the tools you can use boost your site’s SEO. In the next section, you will learn how to use SEMRush for keyword research.
Doing keyword research is the basis of SEO i.e, everything starts with keyword research. If you have been doing SEO for some time, you would understand that keyword research is damn important!
There is no one who can say that they have ranked for some keywords without doing proper keyword research. There are a lot of tools from which you can do keyword research, and SEMRush is one of the best.
To do keyword research with SEMRush, first, we need to go to the keyword overview feature –
This is what the keyword overview feature looks like. It has a minimal design, at the top there is a search bar and below there are some keyword ideas.
To get keyword ideas we first need to enter a keyword, we will use ‘web hosting’ and click on search.
After hitting the search button we will be taken to the overview section of the keyword overview feature. (Confusing. Isn’t it?) Here we will get the details about our main keyword “web hosting”.
Some of the details we can see are – Organic search, Paid search, CPC Distribution & Trend. This is the biggest section so more details will come below. (As the screenshot of this page will be too big if put as one.)
Then there are some phrase match keywords and related keywords. You can use these kinds of keywords in your blog posts to make it better. Using these LSI Keywords is known to be good for On-Page SEO.
Phrase match keywords mean the keywords which are used as a phrase. Related keywords are closely related to the main keywords.
You can also see the details about these keywords just beside them, like – volume, CPC and SERP.
Next, you will see the Organic Search Results for our keyword ‘web hosting’. You can see up to 20 results in the overview section.
Then there are ad copies which show the sites which are running ads for the keyword ‘web hosting’.
Going through the results, you will find ad history about the keyword. Ad history means the total ads which have been run for a keyword over a period of time. (You can export all these results. Like all the data present in SEMRush.)
Now, let’s know about the phrase match keywords in details. Just click on “View full report” and you will be taken to the next section.
The staring of phrase match keywords section looks just like the overview section. At first, it just has the details you already know like organic/paid search volume, no. of results, etc.
After scrolling down, you start to see the phrase match keywords. There are a lot of results, which can be filtered out in various ways.
I’ve filtered the results by search volume. You can filter the results according to your needs.
The next thing you’re going to learn is how to find related keywords. Let’s see how it’s done.
The process of finding related words is also easy (with SEMRush). You just need to scroll down in the overview section and find a column with related keywords. And, click on “View full report”.
You will be taken to the Related Keywords section. (At first, which is just like the overview and phrase match section.)
When you scroll down, you will find a lot of exactly related keywords which you can use in your content. It’s always best to have many different related keywords in your content than just stuffing a keyword again and again.
Next, we will see the keywords ads history. This is what the last section looks like –
As you can see above, here is a list of sites that have put ads on Google for the keyword ‘web hosting’. You can see all the sites here which advertise on Google, for any particular keyword. (It’s called spying of your competitors’ ads.)
With this feature – you can see how much your competitors are spending on getting traffic through Google Ads. Also, you can get the ads details by countries. (See the option below the search box.)
You can even see ads from any time. Say, if I want to see what ads were placed in August 2017, I can see them from here…
Keyword Difficulty Tool
The Keyword Difficulty Tool from SEMRush tells how much hard it’ll be to rank for a keyword. The difficulty level ranges from 1 to 100. The less the difficulty, easier it will be to rank for that keyword.
SEMRush is one of the best tools to check keyword difficulty. However, there are some tools which are better than it like – KWFinder, Ahrefs and Long Tail Pro (maybe)… Still, it’s one of the best, let’s check it.
To use the keyword difficulty tool, at first, you need to enter 2 or 3 keywords. For example – I’ve added 3 keywords which are – web hosting, best web hosting, and free web hosting.
After clicking on – show difficulty, the results appear just below. You can see the results box contains some important metrics such as keyword, difficulty %, volume, and total results.
There are also some other metrics i.e SERP features (things that the top results include), Trend and SERP.
Keyword Magic Tool
Keyword Magic Tool from SEMRush is like all the tools needed for SEO/PCC keyword research put in one place. This is a mixture of all the tools related to keyword research.
Using the Keyword Magic Tool is not rocket science, still, I will teach you how to use it (that’s my job anyway!) –
This is the page that shows up when you click on the Keyword Magic Tool option from the SEMRush dashboard. Here at the first, you will see a search box where you will need to put a keyword to see the magic.
Below that is just a small tutorial of how this tool works. After hitting the search button, this is what the results look like –
In the results page, you can first choose the type of keywords you want to see i.e, broad match keywords, phrase match or either exact match. Then you can select if you want to include or exclude keywords in the results.
After that, you can select the filters at a more advanced level like – words count, volume, KD %, CPC, etc.
Scrolling down, you have the results. This feature of SEMRush mixes all the keyword options into one. So, you can sort out these results as you want.
You should only target the keywords which have competition and high search volume. It’s not easy to get ranked for a high competitive keyword with a new blog. It’s too much rare to happen. (Just like Haley’s comet.)
I guess you would have learned how to do keyword research with SEMRush. Getting keyword ideas is easy and will take less time than other tools. Now, let’s see what is left of SEMRush that we haven’t explored.
The Gap Analysis tool of SEMRush helps to compare many sites with each other. With this tool, you can check the difference between keywords, backlinks, and many other things.
There are three sections in the Gap Analysis Tool –
- Keyword Gap
- Backlinks Gap
- Bulk Analysis
We will learn and use all of them. Let’s see what this tool has in store for us –
Keyword Gap (Domain vs. Domain)
This is the first section of Gap Analysis. Its use is to check the difference of keywords between sites. At one time, you can check and compare up to 5 sites.
For using the keyword gap feature, first, you need to enter 5 domains in your niche. One domain can be yours and others of your competitors. I’ve taken 5 blogs in the tech niche to see how they compare to each other.
The results are shown just below the domains. As you can see the total keywords of each domain are present. This is helpful in knowing how many keywords does your competitor have. (And how much effort you need to put.)
Now you can see the list of keywords. The unique thing here is that you can see the position of each site ranking in for a keyword. And then there are the usual metrics used in keyword research.
Backlink Gap tool is used to compare the difference in backlinks between different sites. Like the Keyword Gap tool, you can add up to 5 sites to know the difference.
We will make use of the same sites we used for finding the keyword gap between domains. You can use any domain you want for comparison. (It’s your own choice!)
There are results just below the search option. (Obviously, you will need to hit on the search button to get them.) First, the results show the total backlinks of all these sites in a graphical manner. Or, to simply say in a chart.
Each color represents a different site like blue for TechCrunch, orange for Mashable, etc.
Then you have a list of all the referring domains. (And again, a lot of different filters to sort out this list.)
Bulk Analysis, (as the name suggests) is used to find the backlink metrics of a lot of domains at a single time. With this tool, you can analyze up to 200 domain, which is a lot.
First, you will have to enter domains and they should be one per line. I’ve entered only 10 domains, but as you know you can add 200 domains. After hitting on “Compare” you will get the following results –
The filters to sort out the results are – authority score, backlinks, domains, Follow/Nofollow links, Anchor types, etc. What I like the most about this feature is you can compare many blogs. There’s a limit but it’s sufficient.
So, these were the features of Gap Analysis. And, I hope you also learned to make the best use of this tool. This is the end of SEMRush tutorial. Next, we will look at how much will it cost to purchase SEMRush.
How much does SEMRush cost?
SEMRush is SaaS i.e, Web-based software service and these services are expensive. With the immense value, this tool provides you can’t expect it to be cheap! It is also one of the most costly SEO tool available.
SEMRush has different pricing for everyone, here are what cost which you will have to pay if you want to use it –
SEMRush offers 4 different plans –
- PRO – 99.95$/month
- GURU – 199.95$/month
- BUSINESS – 399.95$/month
- ENTERPRISE – Depend on your requirements.
Each plan has certain specifications and is suitable for some kind of marketer. You should select a plan according to your plan and budget.
There are more than 2 million people using SEMRush for competitor research. So what are you waiting for? For your convenience, here is a 30-day free trial of SEMRush PRO account. (You can cancel anytime if you aren’t satisfied.)
Pros & Cons
So Now, we should look at the pros and cons of SEMRush. Here, I will talk about each Pro & Con. (Without being biased.)
Pros of SEMRush
- The Project Set Up is clear & deals with all the elements.
- Information is updated on an hourly basis. The metrics are not older than 3 hours. (From what I’ve seen.)
- Domain Comparision – To compare 2 domains, see the difference between keywords i.e keywords gap and rankings.
- You can integrate SEMRush with Google Search Console & Google Analytics.
- Some of the best innovative & detailed SEO metrics.
- SEMRush uses Clickstream Analysis data i.e, by using clickstream data, keyword volume is more accurate.
- Competitor Research, enough said. You can easily spy on your competition. Get their keywords, ad copies, backlinks data and what not?
- Site Audit – to see and fix any SEO problem on your site.
- You can easily track your rankings in SERPs. It’s an easy yet powerful feature.
- Finding PPC & Ad data is very easy. You can easily find Ad copies & Ad history for any given keyword.
- Easily find the value of traffic in dollars. This show the worth of your traffic (which comes through search engines).
Cons of SEMRush
- Backlinks data isn’t as good as other SEO tools. (Ahrefs is a better option for gathering backlinks.)
- There’s a limit of keywords & projects one can have and the no. of accounts. To remove the limit, you need to upgrade.
- It’s a little bit expensive & overwhelming for some people. (Compared to other SEO tools.)
- Other tools are better for finding long tail keywords & checking keyword difficulty. (Like KW Finder.)
- Sometimes, there’s little inconsistency in data. When digging deep into the tool these mistakes can be found.
- SERPs results could have been shown in a better manner, like other tools.
Nothing is Perfect! “Being perfect means you don’t have any room to grow”, this also applies here. This tool is also not perfect, it lacks in many departments but makes it for in the overall additional value it provides.
The Pros outweigh the Cons. (By a huge margin.) So, it’s a great idea to purchase SEMRush or try the free trial (which you can cancel anytime at no extra cost).
So, do you need a separate tool for finding profitable keyword? A tool for getting backlinks data? Maybe, you will also need another tool for spying on your competitors? Or, why not use a single tool that gives all these features.
There were a lot of features missed because it’s not possible to cover each of them in a short period of time. But I’ll make sure to update them as time passes. Nevertheless, this blog post still has a lot of information.
It’s amazing how one tool can have all features. And, of course, that SEO tool is SEMRush. It is without a doubt, one of the best-paid SEO tools. The other tool that comes close to SEMRush is Ahrefs (if not, both are equal).
Even if you’re a newbie or an experienced internet marketer you must use SEMRush one time. If you think that it’s not the right tool for you can cancel their anytime & it will cost you nothing. (Although, it’s rare to cancel after using it. You will love SEMRush)
Their features are damn good! So, if you have any questions before buying it, feel free to ask them in the comment box. 🙂