Semrush Topic Research Tool: How to use + (Top Alternatives)

Keyword research is an excellent (and most used) method for finding ideas to write content. But, a keyword does not tell the whole story.

You might be familiar with cases where you found a perfect keyword, but you are uncertain which topic(s) to cover. That is why you should employ topic research as a part of your content strategy.

Benefits of Topic Research

  • Find which content people are looking for: Is it a review, comparison article, How to guide, or a video tutorial.
  • Find excellent blog post ideas
  • Identify niche topics that a typical keyword research tool cannot
  • Get to know burning questions people in your niche are asking

What is Semrush Topic Research tool?

Semrush Topic Research tool is a dedicated tool that analyzes Google for your targeted keyword and provides details on topics covered by websites.

Semrush Topic Research Tool lets you find topic ideas in two ways:

  1. By entering a keyword
  2. By analyzing content on a website

How Semrush Topic Research Tool works?

Basically, Semrush Topic Research tool scans the top 10 results in Google for your targeted keyword and related terms and categorizes each outcome based on the theme. For example, take the ‘SEO‘ subject. Under SEO, there can be many topics and sub-topics.

  1. Search Engine Optimization
    1. SEO Definition
    2. Webmaster tools
    3. Services
      1. SEO Optimization
      2. Content SEO
      3. ECommerce SEO
      4. Link Building
        1. Backlink Checker
        2. Domain Authority
        3. Guest Posting
        4. Link Outreach
          1. Email templates
          2. Find website info
        5. Broken Link Building
  2. Keyword Research
    1. What is keyword research
      1. Keyword Difficulty
      2. Cost per Click
    2. Tools
      1. Google Search Console
      2. Google Keyword Planner
    3. Long tail keywords
      1. Longtail keyword research
    4. Keyword Golden Ratio
      1. KGR keyword tools
  3. Content
    1. Content writing tools
    2. Audit
      1. Broken links
      2. Toxic backlinks
        1. Domain Authority
        2. Disavow
      3. Core Web Vitals
      4. TF-IDF
  4. Google Ranking
    1. Increase Google Rank
      1. Google rank factors
        1. Core Web Vitals
        2. UX
        3. Backlinks
      2. Click Through Rate
        1. Title grader
        2. Power words
        3. Meta title and description
    2. Google Rank Tracking
    3. Core Updates
      1. Panda
      2. Penguin

If you enter ‘SEO’ into any keyword search tool, you will find keywords, not topic and subtopic groups.

Also, you will rarely find that keyword research provides you terms related to Google rank tracking or site audit. Although they are semantically and topically correlated, most keyword tools do not hook them up.

That is why Semrush’s Topic Research Tool comes in handy. It picks up all the related subtopics of a topic by analyzing the top 10 results on Google, reverse analyzing their ranking keywords, and clustering results into different sub-groups.

Find Topics with Keyword

Semrush’s Topic Research tool is offered from Guru plan. Semrush Guru plan costs $299.95 per month. But you can give it a try for free if you sign up by clicking this link.

Your Semrush free Guru account will be available for a limited time and after that, you can continue subscribing or cancel the Semrush trial. (No stretches attached!)

Go to the Topic Research tool and enter your seed keyword. Next, select a location if needed. Suppose you are targeting a worldwide English-speaking audience, select United States.

semrush-topic-research-search-page
Topic Research Search page – Select region & language and enter the topic

I entered ‘Snake plant‘ as the keyword. After a moment, Semrush Topic Research Tool returned the screen below.

topic-research-cards
Semrush Topic Research Cards

As you can see, Semrush Topic Research Tool has found many sub-topics. Even it picked up a scientific name for a snake plant and gathered content surrounding it. Who would have thought they were correlated!

Click on the ‘Show more‘ link under any sub-topic to see the top 10 headlines (i.e., Google SERP for the first page), subtopic’s difficulty, and Topic Efficiency.

subtopic-details
Sub-topic details
  • Subtopic Volume: The total search volume for the keyword
  • Difficulty: Keyword difficulty
  • Topic Efficiency: A proprietary metric by Semrush. It indicates the ‘high volume + low difficulty’ of a topic.

At the bottom of each card, you can find related searches as well.

Card Options

Tick the ‘Trending subtopics first‘ and look for topics with low difficulty.

trending-subtopic-details
Trending sub-topics

Look for the ‘Questions‘ section to find questions that can be used as blog post ideas.

questions-semrush-topic-research
Questions related to a topic

Click on the three dots and click ‘Create SEO Template’ to generate a content writing template.

subtopic-actions-semrush-topic-research
Sub-topic actions

Explorer

Explorer tab shows content ideas under each subtopic and their social shares and total backlinks. Viral articles are displayed at first.

explorer-semrush-topic-research
Explorer

A perfect place to find popular topic ideas that get more social shares and backlinks.

Overview

Overview tab on Semrush’s Topic Research shows:

  1. Top 10 headlines by backlinks
  2. 10 interesting questions
  3. Top trending subtopics
  4. Top 10 related search queries
overview-semrush-topic-research
Overview

Mind Map

MindMap is similar to what you see on AnswerThePublic. It gives you a clear view of subtopics and relevant questions.

mindmap-semrush-topic-research-tool
Mindmap

Here is a visual tour of Semrush’s Topic Research tool.

Find Topics of Websites

Enter the topic you want to examine and the domain of a site. For example, I entered SEO as the topic and searchenginejournal.com as the site domain.

domain-topic-research
Find topics of a domain

Subtopics containing the pages from the targeted website are marked in green, as shown in the screenshot below.

website-subtopics
High-ranking topical web pages

How to use Semrush Topic Tool to Research Content Ideas

Some content goes viral and gets a higher ranking than most. This is because keyword selection is no longer the ‘only method’ to find content ideas. In fact, although keyword research is still essential to practice in your SEO content writing workflow, topic research is pretty important.

Essentially, Semrush Topic Research Tool gives you a complete picture of trending and low, competitive topics and which content ranks on the top 10 results.

Here are the steps you need to follow to use the Semrush Topic Research tool to find blog post ideas that rank.

Select your target location and enter a keyword phrase.

domain-topic-research
Semrush topic research tool

Find trending subtopics

Select one with low difficulty and moderate or high topic efficiency. For instance, high-quality solo ads are what most buyers are looking after. That is why the ‘High quality‘ subtopic has got a higher search volume and moderate topic difficulty.

semrush-trending-topics
Trending topic card

Pay your attention to questions that people ask.

Here are some questions related to ‘High-quality solo ads.’

You might find some of those questions can be used as blog post ideas.

Head over to SEO Content Template and generate an SEO content writing report.

When writing content, utilize ‘related searches’ words in your content. For example, ‘Solo ads marketplace’ is a related term to the ‘high-quality solo ads’ topic. You can use those keywords in sub-headings as sections to enrich the content.

Semrush Topic Research Tool Alternatives

I have been testing a similar app to Semrush Topic Tool called Topic Discovery in WriterZen.

writerzen-topic-discovery
WriterZen Topic Discovery Tool

I really like the interface of WriterZen and how it represents topics. Take a look at this short video.

However, when considering inside Semrush, you get access to 50+ other tools like On-Page SEO Checker, SEO Writing Assistant, Content Audit, Keyword Magic Tool, and Post Tracker, using Topic Research tool of Semrush will be comfortable in many ends.

Also read: What You Need to Know About Semrush Keyword Research Tools

Wrapping Up

Topic research is not an alternative to keyword research. But instead, it is going deeper than standard keyword research. In keyword research, you get keywords.

In topic research, you get topic ideas. Depending on the niche you are in, topic research will be more valuable than keyword research.

Semrush Topic Research tool is the one reviewed in this article. What are your thoughts on it?

Semrush topic research

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