SEMrush Review: Search Engine Marketing Made Easy
When I first started out my blogging career, I thought it’s a silly thing to analysis my competitors and especially find what keywords my competitors are using. But, after a few months, I determined what is actually silly. Blogging without any research (write about what comes to mind) or blogging with proper research.
In fact, it was a debate between guessing and planning.
But, when I understood the importance of keyword research and the competitor analysis, I was too late. People who started blogging after me had overtaken me. I was in the first level of blogging, by thinking how to increase my traffic (in that time, I didn’t know either CRO and SEM).
Luckily, I met an amazing search engine marketing tool called SEMrush that many people didn’t know about.
SEMrush tools changed my blogging style and the way I think about search engine optimization and conversion rate optimization. Now I am a strong believer about proper competitor research and use of appropriate tools for my SEO, blogging and other tracking aspects.
This is my first review. Till today, I didn’t think to share SEO tool reviews on ProBlogTricks. But, this powerful search engine marketing tool inspired me to write a review about SEMrush. In this SEMrush review, I will explain why you should use SEMrush tools for your blogging and marketing affairs.
Before we start the SEMrush review, let me introduce SEMrush first.
What’s SEMrush? And who are behind the SEMrush?
Literally, as my opinion, SEMrush is the best search engine marketing tool in the internet today. Yes, you don’t need to admit my opinion. And don’t do it anyway!
But, after the end of this SEMrush review, you can decide where SEMrush tool does rank on your best SEO tools arsenal. At the top of your list or bottom…
…The smart guys behind this awesome SEM tool are the people who made SEOquake. SEOquake is a useful SEO extension for web browsers which reveals so much information about any particular web page/website you’re visiting.
If you haven’t installed the SEOquake extension on your browser, I recommend you to install it. Click here to install SEOquake browser extension for Google Chrome and click here to install it on your Mozilla Firefox browser.
Main sections of this SEMrush review:
This SEMrush tool review post is a little bit too long. So, I thought, it will be easier for you to read this post by cross-linking each main sections. Use below links to jump into any section of this SEMrush review post.
- SEMrush keyword research
- SEMrush competitors analysis
- Backlink checker tool
- Full site audit
- Keyword tracking/position tracking
- Domain comparison
- Advertising analysis tools
- All in All, Should You Buy SEMrush?
- SEMrush Prices
- SEMrush Free Trail Pro Account
I have a very special gift for you. If you pleased reading this SEM rush review and want to test-drive the features of SEMrush Pro account for free, at the end of this post, you can grab the link for SEMrush free trial Pro account which is valid for two weeks. (Note: It’s a limited time offer. Generally if you’d purchased SEMrush it would cost you $69.95 in initial price. But, with this special offer, you can save $69.95! )
SEMrush review: Pros and Cons of SEMrush Tools
SEMrush keyword research
There are a lot of keyword research tools in the internet today. A few of them are keyword suggestion tools which suggest related keywords to your query and others are keyword generators. They only generate a few related and/or phrase-match keyword set that don’t show the average CPC, monthly search volume, keyword ranking difficulty scores etc.
SEMrush keyword tool stands out from other keywords tool in a few occasions. If I take Google Keyword planner as an example, GKP generates similar phrase match keywords regularly. Let’s say my target keyword phrase is “grammar checker”.
Look at the keyword suggestions i see on Google keyword planner tool.
These are the related match keywords I got on Google keyword planner.
- free grammar checker
- online grammar checker
- english grammar checker
- grammar checker online
- free online grammar checker
Can you see the “grammar checker” keyword is repeated on all those search terms. That’s one big disadvantage we face when researching keywords using Google keyword planner.
In fact, it is not a surprise why all those keywords shown in Google keyword planner are super competitive.
You write content around those keywords and other 1000’s of people make content around those keywords too.
You can get just more than 800 keyword ideas using SEMrush. It is another advantage you’d receive as a search engine marketer.
Let’s think you want to find a few thousands of keywords for your next search engine marketing campaign (Ex: Bing Ads campaign). By using SEMrush keyword tool, you can generate keywords that fits to your product/service you are going to promote on Bing.
Now let’s find some keywords using SEMrush.
I entered “American food” keyword into SEMrush search box and selected US database. In fact, it is selected by default. Google US search engine is referred to Google.com. So, i get search results for www.google.com. If you want to change the search engine, you can do it selecting your desired search engine from the menu.
Within a few seconds, I got the search result for the “american food”. This screenshot will show you how “american food” keyword performs on Google.com
Key takeaways from above report:
- “American food” is a popular keyword. Over nine thousand times, on average, people enter this search query on Google.com to find/learn/get american foods in every month.
- It is a competitive SEO keyword. There are over 1.4 billion web pages competing for this keyword alone.
- Advertisers have a clear desire to get more clicks from US residents over others. CPC Distribution demonstrates it pretty well.
- Organic search trend of this keyword is normal. ‘American food’ is a ever-green keyword that can drive steady traffic stream to your website, if your landing page ranked on a higher position of SERP.
If we take into the keywords section, we can see two main sections for keywords. They are Phrase match keywords and Related keywords.
Just like in Google Keyword planner, you will also get some phrase-match keywords too. But, take a look at related keywords.
- Food truck
- Kogi truck
- Junk Food
- American food recipes
- Most popular food in america
- Food dishes
These are the real gems of keywords you miss when you use only Google keyword planner to find keywords.
Let’s check what related-match keywords SEM rush keyword tool shows us for “grammar checker” keyword phrase.
- Grammar check: Similar type of people who use “grammar checker” query could use this keyword as well.
- spell check: People who want find grammar errors could also want to find spell mistakes on their articles too.
- grammar: Learn more about grammar. As this is a broad keyword, there could have lots of meaning for this keyword.
- grammarly: A proofreading tool and service.
- Spell checker: For people who want a grammar checker also might want a spell checker too.
AS you see, SEMrush keyword research tool is so powerful and accurate. I have a SEMrush Pro account. So, i can check these all 2300+ keywords in another time and write articles around them. Just check the search volume of these keywords. And CPC values.
And remember that this keywords search result is ONLY for Google’s US search engine. You can guess how many unique keyword ideas you can find though other search engines. 😉
Not only that, you can also find the top 20 websites ranking for a certain keyword as well.
Now let’s find some Adsense profitable keywords using SEMrush.
I added some conditions to filter targeted keywords.
Therefore, I will get only keywords with higher CPC value than $5.00, monthly search volume more than 20 and competition level below at 8.
I still got ~1,881 keyword ideas. I ordered them as CPC descending level.
I am not sure the real keyword intent of “free checker”. But, all other keywords are highly targeted for “grammar checker”.
Check out the highlighted long-tail keywords. Don’t you think that they are real blog post ideas that can drive constant and converting traffic in every month?
If you think that they are competitive, look at the competition ratio.
And with a few seconds of work, i was able to find some laser-targeted long-tail keywords.
Do you want to know how i generated these unknown long tail keywords within a few seconds. Here’s the trick. I just added a condition to filter keywords which contain “how” word!
All in all, what can you say about SEMrush keyword research tool? Fantastic. Am i right?
Analyze Competitors With SEMrush
Let me tell you one thing about Search Engine Optimization.
If you are a newbie blogger, i recommend you to analyze others SEO strategies and move the way they are going.
Because, if you see an established website in your industry or niche, seems like they use proper keywords to drive high targeted traffic.
Keywords == Marketing research.
No targeted market == No niche-specific traffic.
No relevant traffic == No conversions.
No Conversions == No money.
No money == No existence.
No existence == No business.
I don’t recommend you to copy others content. It’s illegal and one complaint can drop your all website rankings from search engines.
But, stealing others’ traffic is not illegal. Lots of Pros follow this step i am going to show now and increase their traffic steadily.
Ready to steal your competitors traffic? So, let’s do it!
Step #1: Go to SEMrush over here and input your competitors website URL. I typed “copyblogger.com” into search box.
Here’s the main report of copyblogger.com.
Key terms of this report:
- Traffic: According to SEMrush, traffic number is the average daily traffic the website/web page received from the particular search engine. So, CopyBlogger.com receives averagely 37,100 traffic from Google.com daily.
- Keywords: The total number of search terms that CopyBlogger’s web pages ranking for on top 20 results.
- Traffic cost: The cost to get the similar traffic amount through Adwords (as Google.com). Remember that this number could shift in every day even traffic are similar. Becaue of Adwords’ keyword competitions change every time and so CPC values too.
- SEMrush Rank: This number is just like Alexa traffic rank. SEMrush ranks website according to organic traffic volume and traffic cost. More traffic doesn’t mean that it has a higher SEMrush rank. It depends on a few factors especially on traffic cost.
- Paid Search traffic: Bought traffic from Google Adwords or Bing Ad centre. In this example, CopyBlogger receives 169 paid visitors from Google.com alone.
- Paid Search Keywords: The number of search terms that bring the traffic to particular website.
- Traffic Cost: Cost for traffic acquisition through Google Adwords or Bing Ads.
- Backlinks: Number of inbound links and unique domains & IPs.
- Display Advertising: Banner advertising stats.
- Organic keywords pie-chart: Traffic distribution over traffic sources. Mobile-US = Percentage of mobile organic traffic come from Google.com. US = Google.com search engine. This pie-chart will give you an idea from which countries your competitor website receive most traffic.
- Traffic over time: You can find out the traffic trend of the competitor website from this chart. Very useful to know their content marketing strategies. Steady increase of traffic line showcases that they use white-hat SEO strategies and use proper content marketing strategies. On other hand, quick bump up of traffic and quick breakdown of traffic reveal that the particular website has used black-hat SEO tactics and Google has penalized it.
Once you get familiared with above metrics, you can easily determine the status of any website for any search engine.
Step #2: As we are going to spy on competitors keywords, let’s move to the next section: Organic keywords.
This section includes two sub-sections: Top Keywords and Keyword Position Distribution
AS above information, CopyBlogger’s web pages rank for 4780 keywords within top 20 results. And the branded keyword (copyblogger) has a significant traffic volume too.
CopyBlogger ranks for 444 organic keywords within top 3 results on Google.com.
You can get keywords using any type of these two methods.
Step #3: Here are some organic keywords of CopyBlogger.
Key terms in this report:
- Keyword: The Search query.
- Position: SERP rank position of particular landing page for the keyword. SEMrush shows the previous and current ranking position.
- CPC: Google Adwords or Bing Ads Cost Per Click value. Usually shown in US dollar metric.
- URL: Landing page address that ranks for particular keyword.
- Traffic %: The percentage of traffic volume over overall organic traffic. Very useful to determine the traffic amount each keyword drive in each day or month. For an example, “Content” keyword drive approximately ~2226 traffic on daily basis to CopyBlogger.
- Cost %: This is similar to ‘Traffic %’. Cost percentage will change according to the CPC, traffic volume and the paid ads competition.
- Competition: The difficulty of ranking for particular keyword. It ranges from 0 to 1. The highest number is 1. Keyword difficulty depends on a few factors such as the number of organic results and top authority websites rank for the keyword.
- Results: The total number of organic results complete for the keyword in current day.
- Trend: Keyword search trend or keyword interest shows the popularity of keyword over time.
- SERP source: See the cache result of the Search Engine Result page.
- Last Update: The last time SEMrush updated the database. This is one of biggest advantages you’d receive by using SEMrush tools.
Step #4: As you found the keywords of your competitors, you can download the keyword report as am .XLS file and write content around each keywords.
Also you can find some awesome long-tail informational keywords with decent search volume using filter options.
There are lots of ways you can use SEMrush tool to find keywords of your competitors. I am using this tool since a some time and have got great results so far.
Unlike “guessing & writing”, this method is proven to work. Because, you know that your competitor websites get traffic using these keywords and they converts pretty well.
In fact, SEMrush stands out from other competitor analysis tools as its complete competitors analysis tool. I give it the ten of ten scores.
Backlink checker tool
Apart from finding keywords of your competitors are using, you can also find backlinks of your and your competitor websites using SEMRUSH as well.
Let’s take CopyBlogger as an example.
Although SEMrush’s backlink checker tool is not thorough as Open Site Explorer and Ahrefs, you can still get an better idea about the distribution of inbound links.
Here’s the backlink comparison report between copyblogger.com vs hubspot.com vs moz.com
Full Site Audit
Auditing your website’s SEO healthy is very important as an search engine’s point of view and a visitor’s view.
What if you have linked to a 404 error external page?
What if your website have tons of broken links? And have images with no ALT attribute? And even worse have deep-links with nofollow attribute?
You will not see anything despite of NOT increasing your search traffic. Probably will see the decrease of SERP rankings.
I said in above that i thought analysing my competitors is a silly thing. Rememeber?
Well, I also thought that the everything i do on my blog is perfect. No any errors, no broken links and so on…
But, once i heard that SEMrush introduced a new tool to audit website SEO performance, i was curious to know the healthy of my blog.
So, i head over to SEMrush Site Audit tool and create a new project. Added domain, set number of pages to crawl and give the command to check errors and warnings of my website.
Within a few hours, i got my full website SEO audit report.
Oops! Tons of issues.
- Linked to external pages which show the 404 page.
- Linked to external pages which redirect to another pages.
- Internal links with nofollow attribute.
- Images with no ALTernative text.
- Broken external images.
- Not XML sitemap
In fact, there were lots of site errors. That day i thought, If i were Google, i won’t send more traffic to that website.
Who likes to visit a website which has tons of broken links? Who likes to visit a website which doesn’t show proper image?
After fixing a few simple errors of ProblogTricks blog, i saw this website SEO audit report.
At first, the total score for my website was 53%. That’s terrible, as a point of me. However, after a making several tweaks suggested by SEMrush, I was able to increase the total score from 53% to 61%. That’s a good movement. My next challenge is to take the total score up to 75%.
The higher your total score is, search engines will more likely to increase your search engine rankings. As Backlinks is not the Future SEO’s backbone, you should take your special attention to on-site optimization.
Not only that, you can also find the errors on individual web pages.
After analyzing this post page, i found one external broken link and a few other warnings that can be fixed within a few minutes.
Yes, i can do some of these SEO audit tasks manually. But, i don’t know how much time it will take.
For an example, let’s say there is a website with over 700 published blog posts and a few static pages.
If you started a manual SEO Audit campaign, you would have to spend a few days to complete the SEO audit. That time could even increase, if you have linked-out to thousands of external resources. And manual SEO Audit is not 100% accurate as humans can make mistakes.
But, SEMrush Site Audit tool can save lots of hours and also a few thousands of dollars too. Think about the long term benefit of using SEMrush Site Audit tool for your website in every single month.
Personally, i am trying to recrawl my entire website once a week at least. I know i would not be able to fix all those errors. But, i know that external broken links and links to external malicious web pages and ruin my website reputation and rankings.
I give this tool another ten of ten scores as YOU get this tool free with SEMrush subscription package.
Keyword Rank Position Tracking
As SEOs, we work with our best effort to increase SERP rankings of blog posts as possible as we can, right?
Like Email marketing and PPC advertising, tracking is the real key to to quick success.
For an example, in PPC advertising, you can track each keywords, clicks, CTRs and conversions. By analyzing conversions/sales, you can determine which keywords drive most sales for you.
Even though those keywords have higher CPC values, you should increase the bid, tweak the title to increase positions, CTRs and eventually get more clicks. Why?
Because, you found that those keywords performed well for your product.
Just like that, in Search Engine Optimization, you should track Everything.
Everything are keywords that drive traffic to your website, their traffic volumes and rank positions etc.
In fact, there are a very few ways to track your keyword rankings. Using Google webmasters data and Google analytics data is the two most popular ways.
But, both of them have a BIG disadvantage. Can you guess what it is?
Yes, they don’t update their rankings regularly.
But, Luckily for you, SEMrush have an organic keyword tracking tool.
This tool allows you to track keyword rank position for any search engine. Ex: Google.com, Google,co.uk, Google.br.
And importantly, SEMRUSH updates their rank tracking database on daily basis. So, you can know the exact positions your web pages ranking on search engines.
Here’s the visibility trend for my tracking keywords in last 5 days.
And here’s the rankings distribution of my keywords.
By using this report alone, you can get LOTS information about your landing pages, keyword optimization and also competitors behaviors.
SEMrush reports me the changes of my rankings on weekly basis. But, I don’t stop there. I check the SERP ranking changes of my keywords in every time i can.
Domain Comparison is yet another tool of SEMrush. This tool allows you to compare domains.
By comparing website, you can find common keywords and rankings of each website. For an example, take this domain comparison report between ProBlogTricks and ShoutMeLoud.
As you see ProBlogTricks and ShoutMeLoud has a few common keywords ranking within top 20 results.
You can use this tool and analyze common keywords in different search engines.
One clever use of this SEM rush tool is compare two big websites that have tons of content. Your aim should be to find common keywords. After getting some common keywords, order them as low competition level.
You can see that keywords such as ‘improper grammar’ and ‘most common grammar mistakes’ are easy to rank keywords.
How do i know this?
Just look at the competitive level between these big two websites.
No competition level == No websites compete for certain keywords
No website compete for certain keywords == More chances to get your blog post rank higher on SERP.
AS a Search engine marketing tool, SEMRUSH provides various tools. Domain comparison is such a one of untapped tools. Properly use of this tool can reveal lots of information, especially about the competitiveness of SEO keywords.
As a Search Engine Marketing tool, SEMrush provides a few various tools for online and offline marketers as well.
PLA (Product Listing Ads) is such a tool that reveals the competitors’ PLA Ads information such as keywords, title, CPC, cost and paid traffic.
This report is really helpful to find out competitors advertising strategies. This PLA information will not only increase your revenue, but also will save thousands of dollars by NOT letting you spending thousands of dollars for non-performing ads.
Look at the screenshot below. It’s the SEMrush’s search result for Apple’s PLA Ads. As you see Apple runs thousands of product listing ads to drive high converting traffic. The amazing thing is Apple bids for their branded keywords as well.
SEMrush PLA research is used by large co-operations, companies and top brands. If you are working for such large company and want to find out the PLA ads of competitors, so you will have to have a SEMrush Guru or SEMrush Business account to get the full access for PLA reports.
But, as i said earlier, these information could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars while increasing your income.
Advertising Research is a slight similar tool to PLA research. But, this tool fits pretty well for medium businesses and search engine marketers with a small budget.
If you use search engine marketing (PPC advertising) to drive traffic to your landing page or squeeze page to collect contact details of your prospects, so “Advertising Research” tool of SEMrush would be very useful for you.
I know lots of marketers use PPC advertising as a method to drive traffic to their websites. They are aware of these three things when doing PPC advertising either on Google or Bing.
- Get high quality, targeted traffic spending less amount of dollars. (Usually from tier-1 countries)
- Minimize the initial cost. (When doing PPC advertising, you’d have to have at least $500 to test ads)
- Get higher position in Paid Ads listing and high CTR. (Strategies to get high quality traffic with a higher CTR rate)
For an example, take these Google Adwords Ads ran for Dell.com.
You can copy title, Ad’s body text, keywords and make appealing Ads that get the attention of your potential buyers.
I know many of marketers use Bing Ads as a medium to drive traffic for their landing pages. You can spy on Adwords ads and repeat their strategies for Bing Ads.
SEMrush Advertising Research tool works pretty well for Adwords. But, SEMrush still need to develop the side of Bing Ads.
All in All, Should You Buy SEMrush?
In this SEMrush review, i showed different sides of SEMrush; how keyword research tool work, how to spy on competitors keywords, how to increase revenue by spying on competitors PPC advertising strategies.
If you regard your website/blog as your business, you should use SEMrush as it supplements every part of SEO such as keyword research, competitor analysis, keyword difficulty, backlink checking, SEO Audit, domain comparison and keyword position tracking.
By using SEM rush tools, i was able to increase ProBlogTricks’s organic traffic consistently. And these days, i use this tool so often to find out competitors keywords and new blog post ideas. This Twitter unfollow tools and Twitter tools posts were created as a result of competitors keyword research.
As you noticed, i personally use a SEMrush Pro account. But, i have an idea to upgrade to Guru plan soon because, it has very specific features such as getting full access to Historical data.
If you are a search engine marketer (PPC Advertiser), you can test-drive SEMrush Pro features and decide to buy it later. If you get a success with this tool, you can continue using this tool. But, as i showed, getting success with PPC advertising within a short span time using SEMrush is really easy.
The price tag is really important for any business. Like other membership sites, SEMrush has a few different membership plans with different features and tools. Although you can create a free SEMrush account, you’ll not get the right tools and unlimited access to SEMrush.
SEMrush pricing starts with Pro plan which is worth $69.95 per month. Here’s the screenshot of SEMrsuh pricing which will show a few differences in each plan. You can go to SEMrush Pricing page to see all the plans (like Business) and their features, limits and compare with each one.
Yes, Plans such as Business charges higher fees. But it’s worth having a higher SEMrush membership plan, because you will receive more tools and materially, unlimited access to historical data.
FREE SEMrush Pro Account for 14 days – (worth: $69.95)
As I promised earlier in the SEMrush review, I will give you a chance to create a SEMrush Pro account for free which is valid for two weeks.
To get this limited time offer, click the link below (coupon code added) and fill the account and billing information.
SEMrush coupon code: PROBLOGTRICKS-P75X32HF
After filling necessary information, read “Terms and Conditions” and then click on “Place Order” button.
If you already have a SEMrush free account, you can always activate this SEMrush promo code for your account too. Here’s the step by step on how to upgrade from free account to a Pro account.
Step #1: Go to SEMrush.com and login to your account.
Step #2: Now open this link in your web browser and fill the billing information.
Step #3: Read the terms and conditions and click on “Place order” button.
In this SEMrush review 2015, I showed you benefits over features of SEMrush you get by using this Search Engine Marketing tool.
If you are a blogger, i recommend you to at least use SEMrush Pro features for two weeks using above coupon code. If you NOT see an increase of your quality traffic, growth of your blog, you can always downgrade or cancel your account.
But, that happens in very rare occasions. That’s why many SEO experts and professional Internet marketers recommend SEMrush SEM tool for everyone. So, I too recommend you to use SEMrush and see how this tool helps out you.
NOT only you will get secret SEO and PPC strategies your competitors are using through SEMrush blog, but also will know about new trends of Search Engine Marketing by participating to their live webinars too.
I put SEMrush at the top of my SEO tools arsenal. So, where do you place this tool? Top or bottom?
Have I missed any special thing to showcase in this SEMrush review? Share your reviews about SEMrush below comment form.