Semrush Review: All You Need to Know + (Alternatives)

Whether you are a blogger, freelancer, agency owner, paid advertiser, or a digital marketing firm, Semrush can be helpful.

But, how? Is Semrush worth it in 2021 considering there are dozens of services like Semrush?

That is what you are going to find out in this Semrush review (updated for 2021).

What is Semrush?

transparent semrush logo
Semrush Logo

Semrush is a SaaS product that provides over 40 tools and features to improve your business’s online presence via organic and paid traffic.

Semrush has been known among the business community as an industry-leading search engine optimization tool with vast data.

Semrush.com

Semrush was founded by Oleg Shchegolev and Dmitry Melnikov in 2008 initially as an SEO tool and browser extension. They are the ones who also developed the SEOquake browser extension.

Their headquarters is located in MA, Boston, though they have seven offices located in five countries.

Semrush Users

Semrush has over 3,000,000 registered users, and it is used by over 7 million users already. Also, Semrush helped thousands of businesses from small to enterprise-level business entities to grow traffic and revenue. These success stories are evidence for it.

Recently Semrush went public (SEMR) was listed on the New York stock exchange. Semrush Holdings, Inc. raised $10 million in initial funding by selling a total of 10,000,000 shares with $14/share. Previously, before the IPO, Semrush.com raised $40 million in total funding.

According to Semrush, their customers can grow organically with minimum investment and demonstrate a 10x revenue increase in under a year.

If you wonder how Semrush gets its data, they have a crawler called Semrushbot. They have partnered with other leading companies such as Majestic to make an excellent digital marketing toolkit with tons of data for every need.

7 million users who already tried Semrush

20 billion keywords

142 GEO databases

808 domain profiles

ToolkitStats
Keyword Analytics20B total keywords
20M ideas for a single keyword
Backlinks43T backlinks
25B URLs crawled per day
1.6B referring domains
Domain Analytics543M desktop keywords
774M desktop domain profiles
80.1M mobile keywords
32.1M mobile domain profiles
Web Traffic Data & Market insights500TB raw data
190 regions and countries
200M panelists
1B events analyzed per day
Display Advertising5.2M total advertisers
3.5M total publishers
310M total ads
M = Millions, B = Billions, T= Trillions, TB = Terabytes

What is Semrush Used for?

You can use Semrush to do:

  • Keyword Research
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Content Marketing
  • Local SEO
  • Rank Tracking
  • On-page SEO
  • Social Media Management
  • Link Building
  • Content Optimization
  • Market Analysis
  • Paid Advertising
  • Competitor PR Monitoring
  • PPC Keyword Research

The accumulated Semrush tools are 69, and they are adding new tools regularly.

semrush-tools

Review of Semrush Tools

Semrush is a lot of things — It can find research, analyze, audit, optimize, track every aspect of SEO, Advertising, Social Media, Content Marketing, and PR.

Hence, I will review Semrush in terms of:

  • Domain analysis
  • Keyword research features
  • Site auditing
  • Ease of use
  • Value for money
  • Pricing and discounts
  • Support
  • Competitors and comparisons

How to Use Semrush

The foundation of management of Semrush’s tools is based on the “Projects.” Projects in Semrush work as dedicate workspaces for specified brands or websites.

Sign up on Semrush and Create your project

First of all, you need to have an active Semrush account to use its features. Its pricing starts from $119.95/mo (Pro). But, you can create a free trial account by clicking the button below.

Now click on the ‘Projects’ button at the top and create your first project. A project is a workspace where you manage a brand/website. In it, you can track keyword rankings, schedule social media posts, audit websites, check not-provided keywords, etc,

create your first project on semrush
Semrush Projects notification

Enter the domain name and a name for the project.

semrush-create-project
Select ‘Autosetup tools’ if you want to set up position tracking straight away

Once created the project, you will be redirected to the SEO Dashboard, where you can configure your Semrush project and monitor progress (related to Search Engine Optimization) under one dashboard.

semrush-projects-dashboard
Semrush Project SEO Dashboard

Note: Semrush has grouped each tool in different categories and you will get a dedicated dashboard based on the category. (i.e: SEO Dashboard for SEO)

Here are several Semrush project settings.

  • Site Audit — Detect issues related to crawling, content, site structure, links, coding, images, etc. Semrush will periodically crawl your site, detect any issue, email you, and list on the SEO dashboard.
  • Position Tracking — Track keyword positions in Google. Semrush allows tracking SERP ranking on region level.
  • On-page SEO checker — Analyze content and get suggestions to improve keyword ranking and traffic.
  • Social Media Tracker — Measure engagement across different social media pages
  • Social Media Poster — Manage social media posting
  • Brand Monitoring — Monitor your brand’s mentions on the web and social media.
  • Backlink Audit — Analyze your backlink profile and identify toxic backlinks and ways to build high-quality backlinks.
  • Link Building — The link-building tool allows you to manage your link-building campaigns in one place.
  • PPC Keyword tool — Find lucrative keywords for paid advertising campaigns.
  • Ads Builder — Create ads, spy on competitors’ most profitable ad copies, and more.
  • Organic Traffic Insights — Discover opportunities to improve your organic traffic by uncovering “not provided” keywords.
  • Content Analyzer — Analyze your content and find ways to improve traffic.

Semrush tools are divided based on category. While some sections overlap each other most are unique to their own.

Semrush SEO Toolkit review

The stronghold of Semrush is SEO by compared with its competitors and the depth of data. SEO toolkit consists of dozens of tools and each one has grouped in its own sub-category.

  • SEO Dashboard
  • Competitive Research
    • Domain Overview
    • Traffic Analytics
    • Organic Research
    • Keyword Gap
    • Backlink Gap
  • Keyword Research
    • Keyword Overview
    • Keyword Magic Tool
    • Keyword Manager
    • Position Tracking
    • Organic Traffic Insights
  • Link Building
    • Backlink Analytics
    • Backlink Audit
    • Link Building Tool
    • Bulk Analysis
  • On-Page & Tech SEO
    • Site Audit
    • Listing Management
    • SEO Content Template
    • On-Page SEO Checker
    • Log File Analyzer

SEO Dashboard

If you intend to use Semrush primarily for SEO & content optimization, SEO Dashboard is the place you would be using often. It’s where all your SEO-related tasks such as Position Tracking, Site Audit, Keyword Position Changes, Backlinks Analytics, and other widgets are shown.

semrush-seo-dashboard

Domain Overview

One big advantage of using Semrush over others particularly is you get to spy on competitors’ SEO and PPC strategies. At Domain Overview, you get to know the rough estimation of organic traffic, backlinks, top keywords, etc.,

Head over to Semrush’s Domain Analytics tool and enter your domain, subdomain, or URL of a webpage and select the location. Worldwide is selected by default.

semrush-domain-overview-1
Semrush Domain Overview

You will find tons of details about the domain in a matter of seconds. Check out this video.

Several things you can see on this page:

  • Check domain traffic
  • Analyze top regions and compare traffic by region
  • Drill down traffic statistics by desktop and mobile
  • Check historical performance
  • Compare domains
  • Find top winning keywords and worst losing keywords
  • Export data as PDF and spreadsheet
  • Check successful ad copies

Top 3 domain overview features

Here are some overlooked features in Semrush that would come in handy on numerous occasions.

  1. Growth comparison
  2. Domain comparison
  3. Check traffic overview for URL

As a blogger, my favorite part about Domain Analysis in Semrush is the organic keywords and top pages. Essentially, you can get high-performing organic keywords and topic pages with the highest traffic percentage.

If your competitors’ organic traffic spread is spread equally, the site is doing well by diversifying the traffic. If not, the site is dependent on a few blog posts and the mercy of Google. These are some lessons you can quickly grasp.

Organic Research

The Organic Research tool in Semrush facilitates you to research high-performing organic keywords of a website.

semrush-organic-research
Enter your domain, subdomain, or URL and select the GEO location and click the ‘Search’ button.

Watch the Semrush Organic Research tool Showcase video below to find out features and filtering options.

Review of Semrush Organic Research report

Top 5 Organic research features

  • Find easy to rank (Lower Keyword difficulty) keywords with a high search volume of a competitor website. Learn more.
  • Filter long-tail keywords with buyer intent (i.e: keywords that include words such as best, under, cheap, vs, discount, coupon, sale)
  • Find out new, lost, improved, and declined keywords
  • Organic competitor research based on common/shared keywords
  • Identify all sub-domains of a domain
  • Analyze keyword profile based on the URL

If you are intending to use a tool for search engine optimization of your site, Semrush could be a perfect candidate because of its keyword research capabilities. Out of 7 unique ways to use Semrush for keyword research, Organic Research is used by many, loved by most, and helped a lot.

Keyword Gap

Another unique tool in Semrush Competitive Research is Keyword Gap Analysis.

semrush-keyword-gap-tool
Semrush Keyword Gap tool – Compare strengths and weaknesses of keyword profiles of multiple websites

Suppose you are in a niche where there is fierce competition. In that case, finding low competitive targeted keywords is gold. Keyword Gap Analysis tool can help you find out top low-hanging fruits used by competitors but not you.

Semrush lets you compare the organic keyword profile of five domains (i.e: four competitors). Plus, you are allowed to specify a certain Google domain. The Google United States is selected by default.

semrush-keyword-gap-settings
Type domains, select Keyword type (Organic keywords, Paid PPC, PLA), select Google database, and click the ‘Compare’ button.

Keywords will be shown and they will be categorized based on five segments.

  1. Shared – Common among you and competitors
  2. Missing – Your site is missing those keywords
  3. Weak – You are underforming against competitors
  4. Strong – You are doing a great job
  5. Untapped – Opportunities

Here is the Semrush report for Keyword Gap Analysis among three competitors of Pitiya as of writing this Semrush review.

semrush-keyword-gap-analytics

Notice winning domains are highlighted in green background color in corresponding cells. Keyword Overlap Venn diagram is one of my favorite parts of this tool. It gives you a clear graphical picture of where your site is standing against competitors.

Here is a show video that reviews Semrush’s Keyword Gap tool.

Top 5 Keyword Gap Analysis features

  • Find keywords your site is doing poorly against competitors
  • Get to know keyword opportunities with untapped search terms
  • Analyze URL vs URL to find missing keywords from a page
  • Compare Paid keywords against ad competitors in Google
  • Compare PPC keywords profile against PLA (Product Listing Ads) keywords

Based on Semrush’s Keyword Gap Analysis, I posted several articles and already seeing good results. Basically, you want to filter keywords that are very easy to defeat competition on Google and write better, quality pieces of content.

The latest tool that is put in the Competitive Research in Semrush SEO toolkit is Backlink Gap. Like in Keyword Gap, here, you are comparing backlink profiles of domains.

Go to Semrush’s Backlink Gap Analysis tool and enter your domain, and other domains (up to four), and click on the ‘Find prospects’ button.

In a bit, Semrush’s Backlink Gap tool will represent data based on backlink profiles of your site and competitors. Watch this video for more details.

  • Find link building opportunities (Some of your competitors might have used easy-to-get backlink resources)
  • Compare domain authority against referring domains over time
  • Find weak backlinks of competitors

Two of the advantages of Semrush’s Backlinks Gap Analytics tool over others is that you can analyze backlinks at the page level and get access to a new level of data spectrum.

Keyword Overview

Keyword Overview is the first tool in Semrush Keyword Research tools.

semrush-keyword-overview-page
  1. Click on the Keyword Overview menu link at left sidebar
  2. Enter keywords (up to 100 separated by commas or one per line)
  3. Select Google database. Google United States is selected by default.
  4. Click on ‘Analyze’ button.

The purpose of the Keyword Overview tool is to provide insights into keywords.

keyword-overview-semrush-report-page
Main Keyword Overview report – Easily understand key details of a keyword

As you could see, it provides details such as:

  1. Search Volume
  2. Total number of results in Google
  3. CPC, Competition, PLA and PPC ads details
  4. Keyword trend over time
  5. Keyword Difficulty
  6. Keyword variations, questions and related keywords

Like most other Semrush tools, the Keyword Overview report is customizable according to your needs. Currently, it allows you to change the Google database, switch between mobile and Desktop data and alter the state of the Google search engine (i.e: date).

keyword-overview-database
Change Google database on Semrush

SERP analysis will come in handy when you want to check keyword ranking for a particular region.

serp-analysis-keyword-overview-semrush
SERP Analysis report – Get to know Page Authority Score (AS), Referring domains, Backlinks, Search Traffic and URL Keyword of all ranking websites of first 100 results in Google

Keyword Magic Tool

Semrush Keyword Magic Tool is the main keyword research tool for SEO & PPC campaigns.

semrush-keyword-magic-tool
Enter your keyword into the search box, select the Google domain/database and click the ‘Search’ button.

Keywords are grouped by two sections: By Number and By Volume

keyword-magic-report-semrush

Keywords report can be customized with search modifiers.

serp-ads-features-filter-semrush-keyword-magic
An instance of finding keywords with Google ads (PPC and Shopping) on Google SERPs

Click on the down arrow icon near the keyword phrase to see more details.

keyword-information-semrush-keyword-magic-tool
Semrush’s Keyword Details box is filled with all essential data you need (Only available for paid customers)
  1. Click on the down arrow icon
  2. Check traffic distribution of countries and global search volume
  3. Understand what SERP features can be seen on Google and details like CPC, Keyword Difficulty, and search trend
  4. Get Question-related keyword phrases
  5. Analyze SERP and find Page Authority Score (Semrush’s), Backlinks and Keyword Ranked of top 10 results in Google

Easily add keywords to your Keyword Manager in Semrush (need to have a paid subscription) or export data.

export-data-semrush-keyword-magic-tool
Exporting generated keywords in Keyword Magic Tool

Top 3 Keyword Magic tool features

  • Find question-based keywords (perfect to add to a FAQ section)
  • Find keywords in different languages
  • Filter keywords based on the SERP feature

Be it SEO content marketing or PPC (Pay-per-click) Google ads campaigns – Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool got it for you. Categorizing keywords based on their topics is also very helpful when you want to understand keyword intend.

Learn more in this complete guide to Semrush Keyword Magic tool.

Position Tracking

SERP position tracking tool of Semrush lets you track keyword ranking in Google and Baidu search engines based on different criteria. If you want to track local keyword rankings, Semrush got it covered too!

semrush-position-tracking-tool
Unlike other rank tracker tools, Semrush lets you monitor Google ranking on desktop and mobile separately and get automated recurring PDF reports via email. Perfect if you manage clients’ rank tracking projects

Depending on your Semrush plan, limits might vary. For instance, the Semrush Guru subscription plan allows tracking up to 1,500 keywords.

start-tracking-semrush
Add keywords manually or via Google Search Console or generate from Semrush and tag them to analyze later easily

Reporting is refreshed every day.

position-tracking-semrush-dashboard

Rank tracking statistics contains many parts critically important to your business like:

  • Top competitors
  • SERP features and how your site’s content performing
  • Cannibalization health
  • Positive and negative impacts
  • Overall visibility score

Read this guide to tracking Google search positions to find more details about Semrush Position Tracking and watch the video below to see what information Semrush Rank Tracker shows you.

Top 4 Position tracking features

  • Ranking distribution comparison against competitors
  • Share of Voice
  • Multitargeting locations
  • Google Data Studio integration
  • Mobile applications for Android and iOS to get always in touch with your sites’ keyword rankings wherever you go!

If you already paying a monthly fee for a dedicated SERP position monitoring tool, now you can use Semrush as a quality substitution.

Organic Traffic Insights

Organic Traffic Insights report in Semrush facilitates you to analyze your traffic at the keyword level. After integrating Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts, Semrush provides more insights and critical information such as not provided keywords.

organic-keywords-semrush-organic-traffic-insights

The downside of Semrush Organic Traffic Insights is that it collects data on your Google Search Console and Google Analytics. If you do not want to share data with Semrush, consider using a tool like Keyword Hero which does not store data on their servers but shows on your Google Analytics account.

If you are wondering whether Semrush can be helpful to build backlinks, you are going to be happy because its Backlinks database not contains over 134 billion backlinks (largest in the industry), and new links are added to the Semrush backlink database within 15 minutes after being indexed (fastest in the market).

Semrush Backlinks Analytics consists of many details. Look at the screenshot below. It represents the backlink profile of Backlinko.com and according to Semrush, it is apparent that the website has consistently increased quality links. Anchor texts indicate inbound links are natural.

Learn more details about the Semrush backlink checker.

Here is a video review of the Semrush Backlink Analytics tool.

  • Identify growth of backlinks and their impact based on the actual ranking
  • 360 view of backlink profile including follow to nofollow ratio, low-quality backlinks, referring domain categories
  • Find backlinks to subdomains and URLs
  • Compare backlinks
  • Get access to competitors’ backlinks

You might be wondering how Semrush compares with its counterpart which is Ahrefs in the Backlinks region. Basically, both tools are excellent ones. While Ahrefs is mostly used by marketers for link-building campaigns, Semrush is used for many reasons (as you’ve found out some in this Semrush review already).

However, Semrush has geared up its game and improved the Link Building toolkit a lot in past years. This takes us to the next Semrush backlinks tools…

Backlink Audit tool of Semrush analyzes your website’s backlink profile and provide insights on which links to disavow etc.,

Toxic backlinks are one reason why many websites are penalized by Google Penguin. Semrush’s Backlink Audit tool does not only identifies them but also provides you easy-to-use disavow workflow to regain lost traffic.

semrush-backlink-audit-overview-report

Watch this video on the Semrush Backlink Audit tool.

  • Semrush Backlink Audit tool analyzes all your backlinks even nofollow links
  • AI algorithm suggests backlinks to remove which you can review
  • Integrate Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and Majestic to empower backlink auditing even further
  • Import backlinks to Semrush Backlinks tools
  • Find Lost backlinks
  • Analyze referral traffic generated from backlinks
  • Easy Backlink disavowing process
  • Add mailbox (Gmail, Outlook, Office 365, Exchange Online, and SMTP/IMAP) to send emails on your behalf and track the email threads initiated in the Semrush interface.
  • Profile insights alert on the suspicious distribution of anchor text, Toxic domains detected from suspicious IPs, Errors in target pages, and more.
  • Schedule recrawl process, receive periodic emails on the new backlink audit report, and export data via PDF and CSV

Semrush’s Link Building Tool is the dedicated service to build backlinks via email outreach. If you previously used a tool like NinjaOutreach, Buzzstream, MailShake, now you can finally replace all of them with Semrush because its Link Building tool supplement almost every aspect of link building!

  • Find new backlink sources
  • View detailed information about the website and people affiliated with it like contact information, social web info.
  • Outreach module to send personalized, relationship-based messages
  • Monitor backlinks to ensure it never disappears
  • Contact site owners right away if a link has been taken down

Semrush’s Bulk Backlink Analysis tool lets you analyze up to 200 domains. If you are wondering how to find competitors’ backlinks that you too can capture, you can do it with Bulk Backlink Analysis in Semrush.

Semrush bulk backlink analysis
Bulk Backlink Analysis tool

Site Audit

If you ever used any additional SEO tool to audit your website before, now you can stop paying for it and instead use Semrush’s!

Semrush Site Audit tool offers many features including periodic crawls (as you specified).

schedule-crawling-site-audit-semrush

Set the limit of checked pages and crawl sources.

domain-options-site-audit-semrush

Configure which bot should crawl your site.

crawler-settings-site-audit-semrush

Semrush’s Site Audit report is also filled with many details.

site-audit-overview

The Overview page gives you a clear picture of which state your site is actually on. With Site Health score, you can compare it with the average score of your industry and get an idea of where your site is at.

The issues tab includes all the errors, warnings, and notices, Semrush Site Audit tool found that is related to the website performance.

Unlike most other Site Audit software and tools, Semrush reviews each issue and gives you details about the issue (and how important it is) and how to fix them.

why-and-how-to-fix-it
This figure shows details about the broken internal links and how to fix them.

Overall Statistics categories data Semrush Site Audit found. It is based on:

  • Markup – Using proper schema.org, OpenGraph markups will improve Google ranking (i.e: adding review markups will add star ratings on Google SERP for instance)
  • Crawl depth – How easy is it to search engine bots to find your content. The shorter the crawl depth, the better it is.
  • HTTP Status Code – A proper working site should have a higher percentage of 2XX.
  • Canonicalization – Gives you an idea of the quality of your SEO content in terms of uniqueness and accessibility. Learn more about Canonicals.
  • Incoming Internal Links – How good is your internal linking strategy
statistics-semrush-site-audit

Learn more about Semrush Site Audit tool.

Top 3 features of Semrush Website Auditor

  • No need to install software on your PC unlike WebSite Auditor so it runs smoothly on Semrush servers
  • Automatic website crawls and receive updates via email
  • Export data

One of the best site auditors I have used is WebSite Auditor by SEO Powersuite. The downside of it is that you need to have a computer to run it and should have some measures (i.e: proxies, powerful computer) to actively crawl your site without blockades. Semrush’s Site Audit tool’s real advantage is it does everything for you.

SEO Content Template

Ever wonder how to make a great piece of content that actually rank on Google?

That is why Semrush introduced the SEO Content Template tool.

audience-targeting-semrush-content-template

Essentially, it analyzes top 10 rivals on Google SERP for your targeted keyword and provides you recommendations on structuring your content rightly so that it could rank on Google.

Semrush-SEO-Content-Template-recommendations-report

Semrush SEO Content Template has three major sections:

  1. Key Recommendations: It includes semanticallu related words that you can use to add sections to article, backlinks to acquire, readability score and length of text.
  2. How rivals are using targeted keyword: Get a quick view on keyword implementation by SERP competitors
  3. Basic recommendations: Little things you need to know but some times you forget!

Learn more about Semrush SEO Content Template.

SEO Content Template is basic when compared with dedicated tools like MarketMuse, Frase.io, and other content outline builders like WriterZen. However, if you are looking for a simple tool to get content structure recommendations, Semrush’s SEO Content Template is sufficient.

Content Marketing Toolkit Review

Semrush’s Content Marketing Toolkit has got seven parts; one dashboard and six tools. Those Semrush Content Marketing tools are:

  1. Topic Research
  2. SEO Content Template
  3. SEO Writing Assistant
  4. Brand Monitoring
  5. Post Tracking
  6. Content Audit

I will digest some tools in this Semrush review.

Topic Research

Semrush Topic Research is a solution to find topics covered in Google in a certain niche or subject. For example, take ‘SEO‘. People might be searching on Google topics related to:

  • SEO Definition
  • SEO benefits of social media
  • SEO Company
  • Meta description
  • Google Index
  • Organic search
  • Quality content
  • SEO agencies
  • SEO report
  • Black hat
  • Backlinks
  • Search engine rankings

Standard keyword research tools will not research topics for you. You will have to use a topic research tool like AnswerThePublic. But, with the help of Semrush Topic Research tool, you can easily find diffeent topics to talk about on your content marketing campaigns.

semrush-topic-research-cards-seo
Semrush Topic ResearchCards for SEO topic. Boxed ones are known as subtopics

Semrush’s Topic Research information are represented in four ways.

  1. Cards
  2. Explorer
  3. Overvoew
  4. Mind Map

One of the coolest parts is the Overview in Topic Research. In this area, you can find top headlines by backlinks, top subtopics (based on Topic Efficiency, Difficulty etc.,), 10 interesting questions, and related searches.

overview-semrush-topic-research

Check this complete guide to Semrush’s Topic Research to learn more details.

Here is a short review of the Semrush Topic research tool.

SEO Writing Assistant

Semrush’s SEO Writing Assistant is a dedicated content optimization tool that analyzes your content and delivers recommendations based on four factors:

  1. SEO
  2. Tone of Voice
  3. Originality
  4. Readability

Since Semrush’s SEO Writing Assistant can be used on Semrush, Google Docs, and even on WordPress, you can optimize your content efficiently. Up to 30 keywords and one location can be optimized at one time. There is no limit on the number of words of an SEO Unit or SEO Content Template.

after-adding-content-swa

However, Semrush plagiarism checker can be used from and above Guru subscribers. Learn more.

Watch this short video to find out the features of Semrush SEO Writing Assistant.

I’ve already covered in-depth on Semrush’s SEO Writing Assistant. Read full Semrush SWA tutorial here.

Top 4 features of Semrush’s SEO Writing Assistant

  • Find SEO content optimization suggestions
  • Check content originality
  • Use on your WordPress post editor
  • Improve score as you write real-time

Unfortunately, SEO Writing Assistant is provided from Guru and above. It’s not provided for Semrush Pro subscribers.

semrush-content-marketing-platform-pricing
SEO Writing Assistant’s limitations are put under SEO Content Templates in Semrush

Brand Monitoring

Have you ever used Google Alerts, Mention, Awario or other mention tracking tools before and wondering if you can have more flexibility?

Well, thanks to Semrush Brand Monitoring tool, you can track brand mentions all over the place easily without additional fees!

semrush-brand-monitoring-web-mentions-report

Not only reporting mentions from web, forums, Twitter and Instagram, but also the Brand Monitoring tool lets you compare alerts with another one and keep tracking on a mention.

If reputation management is a big part of your core business strategy and you are reviewing Semrush if it’s worth solely for brand mention monitoring, I recommend tools like Awario and BrandMentions.

Semrush Competitive Research Review

One of the strongholds and edges over its competition of Semrush is its Competitive research toolkit. It consists of many sections (based on the need and sector) and different tools.

  • .Trends
    • Traffic Analytics
    • Market Explorer
  • SEO
    • Organic Research
    • Keyword Gap
    • Backlink Analysis
    • Backlink Gap
  • Advertising
    • Advertising Research
    • Display Advertising
    • PLA Research
  • Content and PR
    • Brand Monitoring
    • Topic Research
    • Post Tracking
  • Social Media
    • Social Media Tracker

Since most tools are covered in this Semrush review already, I will examine other tools.

Traffic Analytics

If you are running media buying campaigns or a digital marketing firm that is looking for websites with high growth to improve clients’ businesses, Traffic Analytics is exactly what you need.

It’s like having Google Analytics with competitors’ data.

semrush-traffic-analytics-overview-page

The following video shows which detail you can find inside the Traffic Analytics tool. As you’d find if you want to access to historical data, country and device-specific statistics and more details on top pages so on, you need to purchase .Trends add-on which currently costs $200/mo.

Market Explorer

Market Explorer tool in Semrush Competitive Research essentially analyzes your market based on the traffic portfolio and provides insights based on competitors and related data.

semrush-market-explorer-overview
Semrush Market Explorer

According to Semrush, it uses an AI algorithm at the core. It analyzes multiple parameters such as audience interests, website categories, number of backlinks, common organic keywords, and SERP positions. Based on the competition for online visibility, Semrush determines similar websites within a market and make an industry.

It could be slightly similar to what Alexa, SimilarWeb, or Complete.com uses. However, Semrush’s Market Explorer comes with some nifty features and insights that might not be able find elsewhere.

Top 3 features of Semrush Market Explorer

  • Find out market leaders, niche players, established players, and emerging players
  • Find our your businesses market cap and how much you can grow
  • Understand the traffic generation strategy of competitors and how you can learn from them

Market Explorer is unlocked in the Guru plan and some of its features are available in the Business plan. Find out more.

Advertising Research

Advertising Research in Semrush is an excellent tool to spy on competitors’ successful ad campaigns. If you are utilizing Google Ads traffic as a driver to get quality leads and sales to your business, Semrush’s Advertising Analytics on competitors can be really helpful.

advertising-research-semrush-positions
Ads positions, keywords, traffic % and more are available in Semrush’s Advertising Research tool

Semrush lists not only all the paid competitors but also common keywords and PPC competition level too.

paid-competitors-advertising-research
Find where your business is competing and with whom easily

The ability of finding all the keywords along with ad copies is hassle free.

ad-copies-semrush-advertising-research
Ad copies in Semrush

Not only that you can see keywords a particular brand has advertised on Google for a longer period of time. It indicates those traffic generated many sales or a higher ROI to business.

ad-history-semrush
Find out how long a brand has advertised for a set of keywords with Ad History

Looking for how to find all successful ad copies and keywords that lead to a particular page? By using exact URL in Semrush Advertising Research, you are able to all those details including estimated paid traffic and cost.

landing-page-keywords-ads-positions-advertising-research
Get an estimation on paid traffic amount and cost

Plus you can change the Google Ads database to any specific location (perfect to find advertising secrets in local ads run by agencies etc.,), get history of previous advertisements, find all sub-domains (great to spy on successful advertising landing pages) and much more.

Semrush’s Advertising Research is a complete tool for any media buyer. If Google ads traffic is a crucial part of your business, you should give this tool a try.

Display Advertising

Display Advertising tool of Semrush is the equivalent of Advertising Research for basically banner ads and HTML and text advertisements. Since display ads aren’t shown in Google SERPs and displayed in publisher websites, the Display Advertising tool delivers many stats not just related to keywords.

display-advertising-overview
Semrush Display Advertising report

Finding display advertisements that were run for a longer period is hassle-free.

display-advertising-ads

Plus higher converting landing pages too.

display-advertising-landing-pages

Even better you can find out the publishers (i.e: websites the ads have been running) of any competitor easily.

display-advertising-publishers

Get access to all display ads run by a business on a particular publisher.

display-advertising-publisher-research

Already a great tutorial on Semrush Display Advertising is published on Pitiya. You can check it out to learn more in detail.

Here is a video review on Semrush Display Advertising tool.

Top 4 features of Semrush Display ads tool

  • Check ads of a website as advertiser or publisher
  • Get access to ad creatives and details like first seen, last seen, etc,
  • Change database and find ads specifically run on a particular region, date, or even desktop or mobile devices including iOS, Android, etc.,

PLA Research

PLA stands for Product Listing Ads. Product listing ads or Google shopping ads can be seen on Google search results particularly when searching keywords with buyer intent.

pla-research-positions

If you have an eCom store and want to get high-quality traffic via Google shopping ads (i.e: PLA ads), the PLA Research tool can be really helpful not only to spy on successful PLA advertisements by your competitors but also to improve your advertising strategy and increase ROI.

pla-copies

Not all features of Semrush PLA ads tool are available for Guru plan subscribers. You will need to upgrade to the Business plan in order to get unrestricted access to data and exports.

Other Semrush Tools and Features That Can Not Be Neglected

In this Semrush review, you found out several tools of Semrush and the benefits of using them. Here are some essential features of Semrush.

Business Lead Generation Tool for Agencies

Generate business leads for your online agency or service by giving away a free website SEO audit report for a given site. (up to 25 pages are audited)

semrush-lead-generation-widget-setup
Business Lead Generation Tool – SEMRUSH

If you are running a digital marketing agency that provides SEO services, you can embed the Semrush Lead generation widget on your site and collect high-quality business leads easily.

Listing Management

Local SEO has become more important as Google, and other search engines started providing user-based and location-based results.

Suppose you are particularly running a local SEO agency and wondering how Semrush can help improving listing on search engines and review and reputation management services such as Yelp, dozens of other maps, apps, search engines, and directories. In that case, you should try the List management tool by Semrush today!

Or, if you want to build citations for your website and improve search engine ranking by increasing brand mentions on reputable sites, you should try the Semrush List Management tool today.

business-listing-distribution-management-semrush
Manage Your Business Online Presence with SEMRUSH

As for writing this Semrush review, Semrush distributes your business listing over 300 different sites and directories.

Content Marketplace

Semrush Content Marketplace is an all-in-one place for business owners to order content online. Currently, it offers seven content offers.

  1. Articles
  2. Product Description
  3. Website Copy
  4. Email Newsletter
  5. Press releases
  6. EBook
  7. Inforgraphic

Content Marketplace has two plans.

  1. Free
  2. Premium

And pricing for each content type will vary.

Semrush Content Marketplace is already integrated with other tools. So, you can find topic ideas with Topic Research, track performance with Post Tracking, track keyword ranking with Position Tracking tools, etc.,

If you are managing content for medium to large-sized businesses and want content-on-demand that works, Semrush’s Content Marketplace is a good candidate for your needs.

Semrush Affiliate Program

Semrush’a affiliate program is running for a long time and it has gotten many influencers and affiliates’ attention because of the high payouts and resourcefulness.

If you manage clients (or are a freelancer), you can sign up for Semrush Affiliate Program and make a commission every time someone signs up through your Semrush affiliate link. Berush.com is the website that manages Semrush’s affiliate program and its details are below:

  1. Free sign up: $0.01
  2. Free trial activation: $10
  3. Successful sale: $200
  4. Cookie method: Last-click attribution

There is a first-click and recurring commission model Semrush Affiliate Program but it’s closed for new affiliates currently.

Best Semrush Features

In this Semrush review, you found various tools and how they can be beneficial to your business. But Semrush is more robust than most of its competition due to the features it offers as well. Here are some key features of Semrush.

Semrush reports

I’ve been using many digital marketing tools since 2013 and one thing I most love about Semrush is its reports.

As a business owner, you must get accurate and meaningful data to make important decisions as quickly as possible. Not only are Semrush’s reports reliable than most other ones due to how Semrush collects data and proceeds them but also how they represent them.

Dashboards

Semrush is a lot of things. But if you are engaged in SEO, you might not be interested in even seeing PLA or social media reports on your dashboard and vise versa. That is why Semrush has structured its interface so that you have dedicated Dashboards for every arrangement.

If you want to use Semrush for SEO only, there is an SEO dashboard. It includes details like keyword rankings, organic traffic insights, site audits, and SERP tracking statistics.

If you are interested in using Semrush for advertising research, Semrush has a dedicated dashboard for people like you as well.

If you review other tools you will find that most of them are not as organized as Semrush.

Build your reports

One unique feature I have only seen on Semrush but its competitors is the report builder.

semrush-my-reports-builder

Reports builder is not for everyone. But in case someone asks for an SEO report, you can easily build a custom one tailored to your customer needs and deliver high-quality service.

That is why Semrush has been using my many digital marketing firms and agencies over others — Its reports are 100% customizable. Even you can rebrand and whitelabel Semrush reports.

Notes

Digital marketing, particularly Search Engine Optimization is an ever-changing space. It changes rapidly by force and by competition.

Semrush Sensor keeps the hook for any drastic change on the Google algorithm.

In your Semrush account’s Notes section, you can find a list of notes and impacted tools. For example, the screenshot below shows the notes list related to position tracking.

semrush-notes-list
Notes list

As you’d see Google replacing the title tag with H1 for some pages is a radical move and it definitely impacts the organic traffic of sites.

Semrush Marketing Calendar

When you have a team to manage all your online business activities, it could be tiresome if you had to use a different task management tool like Trello.

But, Semrush’s Marketing Calendar smoothly integrates with all other Semrush tools and eases the process for you and your team to use the platform and plan your routine & one-off tasks efficiently.

Client Manager

Semrush is not just used by solopreneurs. But many agencies, freelancers, and digital marketing firms use Semrush for their professional work. If you are one of those, Semrush client manager (CRM) would be a really time-saving, helpful tool.

Automate tasks

Another feature I like most is automation. According to many studies, automation is a key and essential part of many businesses going forward. That is why Semrush’s automation can be really useful.

For example, you can set up automation to recrawl your site every week.

Or send email reports about position tracking every week. Semrush automates wherever it is possible.

Collaboration

A successful business is maintained by successful people behind. Semrush gives you the full advantage to invite team members and virtual assistants to work on your project.

share-projects-semrush

Apps

Semrush recently introduced an App Center where you can power up your existing Semrush toolkits by integrating third-party applications such as AdClarity, Abyssale, and Semrush-exclusive apps like Agency Growth Kit, ImpactHero, and Semrush Local.

semrush-apps
Semrush Apps

Semrush Rank

Semrush has developed an entire website ranking system like Alexa.com. Semrush Traffic Rank is based on organic traffic coming from Google’s top 100 organic search results.

semrush-ranks

Semrush Prices

The price tag is significant for any business, whether you run a B2B or B2C business. If you read this Semrush review from start to this point, you would find out that Semrush is not an ordinary, just another tool.

It provides tools for EVERY marketer.

If you combine all other tools that provide similar services such as… keyword research, backlink checking, SEO audit, PPC assistant, social media brand monitoring, SEO Content Optimization, and marketing insights, it would cost you at least four figures per month.

Take a look at the table below for a rough estimation.

Purpose Best Semrush Alternatives Comparable Price Rating of Semrush Competitor Tool
Keyword Research KeywordTool.io$199/month3/5
Backlink checkingAhrefs$99/month 4/5
SEO AuditWebsite Auditor Software$125 + $15/month 4/5
Marketing InsightsSimilar Web$199/month 3.5/5
Tracking Social Media MentionsAwario$89/month 5/5
Build PPC adsWordstream$264/month 4/5

However, Semrush pricing is not that high. Semrush has packages for every business owner (small, medium, or enterprise-level businesses). Take a look at the pricing table below.

semrush-prices-plans

If you are looking for the best Semrush plan for your needs, take a look at the feature comparison table in the middle of the pricing page of Semrush.

semrush-price-plan-comparison

Which Semrush plan is suitable for you?

If you are a small business owner like a blogger, choose the Semrush Pro plan. The only significant difference between Semrush Pro and Semrush GURU is the Historical data access.

Because you will most likely use Semrush for keyword research, positing tracking, and link building, you will not see a difference.

Suppose you are running a medium-sized business such as a media buying company or an agency that provides SEO services. In that case, you should select the Semrush Guru plan not only because it unlocks features like Historical data and Multitargeting, but also you can brand the PDF report.

  • SEMRUSH PRO — for bloggers, content marketers
  • SEMRUSH GURU — for digital agencies and freelance service providers

Is Semrush worth it?

In this Semrush review, I showed you how powerful Semrush is and how it can drastically grow your online business even you are not aware of current SEO trends and strategies that work TODAY.

If you are seriously considering using a toolkit for your business, be it Semrush. I am using Semrush tools since 2013 and have got excellent results. Semrush is the tool that helped me a lot from moving this blog from BlogSpot to WordPress and widen my online estate network while growing my existing business based on pure white-hat SEO strategies.

You have seen why millions of online business owners like YOU use Semrush daily to grow their businesses. If you want to become an expert in your niche and always be a step ahead of competitors, I recommend putting your hand on Semrush from now.

Why?

Because taking action is far more critical than searching for that *perfect* tool that can do EVERYTHING preciously!

Semrush is not perfect. But, it is one of THE best tools in the market. (according to me my experience, Semrush is the best tool I have used for search engine optimization and content marketing)

Semrush Alternatives

Semrush is a robust and cheap SEO tool comparing what values you get for the money. But, you might be looking for some Semrush alternatives before giving Semrush a try.

In this Semrush review, I talked about how to use Semrush, features, pros, and cons, 

I will share some of the best alternatives to Semrush. For a complete list, check out this article: https://www.pitiya.com/semrush-alternatives.html

Here are some of the best Semrush contenders.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is probably the best alternative to Semrush. Both tools provide very similar tools, while each one has strengths and weaknesses.

Semrush vs Ahrefs

Feature Semrush Ahrefs
Free planYesNo
WordPress PluginYesNo
Keyword researchYesYes
Link building toolsYesYes
Site Audit YesYes
Content optimization tools YesYes
Rank tracking tools Yes Yes
Traffic Analytics tools Yes No
Market Explore tools YesNo

Watch this video about Ahrefs vs Semrush to find more details.

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest might be a good free Semrush alternative, particularly for keyword research.

Feature Semrush Ubersuggest
Free planYesYes
WordPress PluginYesNo
Keyword research YesYes
Link building tools Yes Yes
Site AuditYesYes
Content optimization toolsYesNo
Rank tracking toolsYesYes
Traffic Analytics toolsYesNo
Market Explore toolsYesNo

Final words about Semrush Review

In this Semrush review 2021, I showed you the benefits of Semrush’s features by using this Search Engine Marketing tool.

If you are a blogger, I recommend using Semrush Pro features for two weeks using the above coupon code. If you NOT see an increase in your quality traffic and your blog’s growth, you can always downgrade or cancel your account.

But, that happens very rarely if you take action and full advantage of the Semrush toolkit.

That’s why many SEO experts and professional Internet marketers recommend Semrush for many digital marketing activities, from keyword research to competitive analysis.

If you are nervous and still don’t know if Semrush is for you, then I recommend creating a free Semrush account over here and see if it can fulfill your requirements.

Overall, Semrush takes an IMPORTANT role in my digital marketing toolkit. So, where do you place this tool? Top or bottom?

Have I missed any particular thing to showcase in this Semrush review? Share your thoughts about Semrush below the comment form.

Resources & Further reading

Semrush Review $119.95
  • Domain & Keyword Analytics
    (5)
  • SEO Tookit
    (4.8)
  • Traffic Analytics
    (5)
  • Content Toolkit
    (4.7)
  • Projects
    (5)
  • Reporting
    (5)
  • Data & Coverage
    (5)
4.9

Summary

Although there are dozens of SEO tools to choose from, Semrush is one of its own kind. Be it search engine optimization or social media marketing, or content marketing. Semrush has got you covered with versatile yet easy-to-use tools and features. Also, Semrush’s stats are extensive and on par or better with Ahrefs.

It converts complex algorithmic data into eye-catching charts and tables and represents you so that you can make smart business decisions. Give Semrush a try for free.

Pros

  • Extensive database
  • High-quality tools for different marketing purposes
  • Helpful guides and content
  • Worth your money

Cons

  • Take some time to get accustomed
semrush review

8 thoughts on “Semrush Review: All You Need to Know + (Alternatives)”

  1. This is highly informatics, crisp and clear. I think that Everything has been described in systematic manner so that reader could get maximum information and learn many more.

    Reply
  2. Very detailed article and yes, SEMrush is one of my most favorite keyword research tools. I am using this tool since last couple of years and very much satisfied with the results. Recommended to all.

    Reply
    • Yes Sam, SEMrush keyword research tool is one of best SEM tools. I too use SEMrush since a some time and got better results. Thank you for sharing your review of SEMrush in comments.

      Reply
  3. iSpionage.com is another tool that businesses can use to download their competitors’ top PPC and SEO terms, ad copy variations, and landing pages.

    Reply
  4. Wish it wasn’t so expensive. Sometimes all you need is your brain, excel, and free tools. I’m in e-commerce and with mid to small projects I’m doing fine with Serpstat for just $15/mo, and if there’s a need I back it up with SEMrush.

    Reply
    • Yes, some plans are little bit cost. But, it provides various tools for SEO and SEM. SEMrush can speed up for your marketing growth seriously.

      Reply

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