What is Semrush Traffic Cost and How to Use It Effectively

If you have used Semrush before, you will notice there is a metric called Semrush Traffic Cost. Some people neglect this metric. But ones who understand it utilize the Traffic Cost Semrush metric to grow their businesses.

Semrush What is it?


Semrush is one of the best online marketing toolkits with over forty different tools to help you grow your business online with Search Engine Optimization, Content Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, and Social Media Marketing. Learn more in this Semrush review.

In an earlier article, I talked about the Semrush tool price. But, Semrush has built up, or rather calculated, traffic costs based on estimation for any website.

What is Traffic Cost in Semrush?

In simple terms, Traffic cost in Semrush is an estimation of how much it would cost to bid on organic keywords through Google Ads.

So, It is a great way to understand the money savings through your content marketing campaigns compared to Google Ads PPC campaigns.

How is Semrush Traffic Cost calculated?

Semrush has one of the largest keyword databases of any SEO tool. And its crawler, Semrushbot, crawls every day to make its index fresh and more extensive. Since its large data capacity, Semrush can estimate any website’s traffic.


In fact, it has a dedicated tool for traffic estimation called Semrush Traffic Analytics.


Basically, here is how Semrush estimates the worth of traffic.

  1. Calculate the estimated traffic for a given keyword: Semrush uses these variables: SERP position for the given keyword on a particular day, average CPC (Cost-per-Click) value for the keyword in the Google Ads database.
  2. Estimates the average CTRs (Click-through-rates) for given keywords: In general, the top 3 placements in Google get a large chunk of total traffic volume. Semrush uses clickstream data to estimate the average CTR of any site’s keyword.
  3. Estimates the total traffic share of a given keyword: By using the CTR and average search volume on a particular month, Semrush calculates the total traffic volume.
  4. Multiply the total traffic received by average CPC (both estimated) to calculate the traffic cost in Semrush for a given keyword. One downside of Traffic Cost in Semrush is that it does not provide traffic cost for individual keywords.
  5. Add up all Traffic cost data.

Semrush Traffic Cost for organic research

If you head over to the Semrush website, enter a domain name and search for its organic search metrics, you will see a screen similar to the one below.


To see traffic cost Semrush details, click on the ‘View details‘ button and head over to the Organic Keywords research section.

In this part, you will see a traffic cost value that indicates how much it might cost for you on average per month to drive the same quality and quantity of traffic through Google PPC Ads.

Semrush Traffic Cost for Advertising research

If you run paid advertising campaigns on the Google Ads platform, you can determine the cost estimation in Semrush by entering the domain address on the Advertising research tool of Semrush.

Please note that these statistics are estimates. Semrush Traffic cost for advertising research has these downfalls.

  • Semrush cannot calculate the traffic cost for ad campaigns running only on the local level, shown at a particular time of day that does not correspond with Semrush update time, triggered by keywords that Semrush does not have in their database.
  • Data is based on the national level, not the local level. Hence, if you run a PPC ad campaign for any local business, Semrush Traffic Cost and your actual Google Ads cost might have discrepancies.
  • Semrush Traffic Cost is calculated using average click-through rates and positioning the domain in the top 8 paid positions on Google Ads for the keywords that Semrush has in their current database. So, any small difference could impact the Semrush estimated traffic cost.
  • If your ad campaigns are set to target a specific group of interest, age, etc., it is possible that Semrush won’t capture data for those ads.

Why is Semrush Traffic Cost Important?

Whether you are an ordinary content marketer who wants to use SEO to drive traffic and make money or a Google Ads advertiser who wants to get a higher ROI from ad campaigns, the Traffic Cost of Semrush is important.

Benefits of Semrush Estimated Traffic Cost For Google Advertising

  • Compare your ad budget with your competitors.
  • Identify the most-paid keyword traffic for any competitor and their landing pages.
  • Reverse engineer competitors’ most profitable PPC ad campaign funnels
  • Study your competitors’ past ad campaigns and their spending

Benefits of Semrush Estimated Traffic Cost For Search Traffic

  • Get a basic picture of how much money you will save on your marketing budget by investing in content marketing as a traffic-driving channel for your business
  • Calculate the estimated ROI (i.e., est. ROI = (traffic cost in Semrush – total cost of content marketing)/total cost of content marketing * 100 )
  • Take business decisions – Sometimes, it’s better to invest in Google Ads than SEO. Also, in some cases, it’s better to spend money and time on SEO than on optimizing Google ad campaigns. Use estimated Semrush traffic expenditure to calculate risk evaluation and make future-proof decisions
  • Know your competitors’ strengths – Not all keywords drive values equally. CPC is a key indicator of the performance of keyword traffic in your funnels. Filter organic keywords of competitor websites by most traffic share and determine which points/keywords are strongholds and weaknesses.
  • Find buyer keywords – The ESPK (Estimated Sales per Keyword) is a crucial metric that most SEOs do not know or use regularly as they should. It is better to spend 80% of your time on buyer intent or transactional keywords than 20% of your time. Because at the end of the day, you want buyers, not freebie seekers. Examine a competitor and find the most lucrative keywords to get the highest ROI possible.

Semrush Traffic Cost is a volatile metric. But, it gives you an idea, a path on what direction you should go and what decisions to take.

How to increase Semrush Traffic Cost?

People used Alexa ranking metrics in the 2010s and earlier days to determine a site’s value. Basically, people involved in niches such as banner advertising, guest posting, sponsored posting, and joint ventures used Alexa ranking as a measurement of a site’s authority in terms of traffic received and quality of engagement.

But, the birth of services like Semrush and values like Authority scores (DA and PA) changed it completely. Nowadays, very few people even trust Alexa rankings because it’s possible to boost rankings artificially.

Since Semrush is an established tool used and trusted by marketers, the Semrush Traffic Cost metric has become the go-to score to assess a site.

So, if you are a website owner who wants to increase Traffic Costs in the Semrush tool to increase your website valuation and get more direct sponsored ads, articles, and product listings on your site, follow the steps below.

Let’s take a look at what makes the Traffic Cost Semrush metric briefly again.

  • CPC – Higher CPC, the better valuation would be ( Very Controllable)
  • SERP Position & CTR – Higher the SERP position and CTR are, the better your traffic cost would become (Half controllable)
  • Traffic volume of the keyword
  • Competition

So, here is how to increase Semrush Traffic costs.

  • Keyword research strategy is paramount – Ensure you find lucrative, high CPC keywords.
  • Use long-tail keywords to rank higher on SERP – And overcome competition from authoritative sites. The benefits of using long-tail keywords do not limit to competition but more reasonable aspects too.
  • Use keyword clustering to rank a single page for multiple related keywordsWriterZen uses NLP (Natural Language Processing) technology to uncover keywords with the same intent. Google’s AI uses NLP to rank a site for multiple related search terms.
  • In-depth content typically ranks for more keywords – Aim for at least 1,000 words longer piece of content.
  • Keyword Golden Ratio (KGR) – KGR shows the best keywords to use on your content marketing campaigns to rank higher on SERPs and drive more sales. I recommend using this tool to calculate KGR. Learn more about KGR from here.
  • Use higher potential value keywords (aka money keywords) – Some advanced keyword research tools have functionalities to suggest keywords based on the average sales generated based on Google Ads PPC campaigns. With keyword tools like WriterZen, you can increase Traffic Costs in Semrush.

How to calculate the visitor cost with Semrush

In this guide to Semrush Traffic Cost, you learned what Semrush Traffic Cost is and how to use it. But, there is a cool trick that you can use to estimate the average visitor cost.

The equation is simple.

Estimated Visitor Cost = Estimated Semrush Traffic Cost / Estimated Semrush organic search traffic

As shown in the screenshot below, Semrush estimated that Pitiya’s monthly Google US search traffic would be 920 visitors. And it is estimated that Semrush traffic cost would be $2.5K. If you take a closer look, even though the traffic increased by 13.86% compared with the previous period, Traffic Cost has risen by 42.43%. That is well over three times of traffic increase percentage-wise.

The reason for the Semrush Traffic cost increase like this is that Pitiya ranked higher on Google US SERP for high CPC keywords. In other words, it ranked for more transactional keywords.


So, according to the data above, the average estimated visitor cost would be $2.717. Your site’s average visitor cost would vary depending on your niche and keyword selection strategy.

Now you can go through other traffic channels such as social traffic, referral traffic, and solo ads traffic and calculate the most effective medium to drive traffic to get a higher ROI as possible.

What is the point of the traffic cost metric in the Semrush organic?

1) Understand the estimated traffic value in terms of Google ads expenditure
2) Decide whether it’s beneficial investing in SEO if you can acquire the same traffic volume through PPC ads
3) Estimating ROI from SEO content marketing campaigns and adjusting your SEO budget

How does Semrush estimate traffic percentages?

Semrush uses clickstream data to determine how much traffic a site gets for every keyword and provides the overall traffic in terms of a percentage of the entire site’s organic traffic.

For example, if keyword A gets 20 clicks per month and the entire site’s search visitors are 100/mo, then the estimated traffic percentage of keyword A is 20%.

What is Semrush SE traffic price?

Semrush Search Engine Traffic Price indicates how much it would cost to drive the same amount of traffic through Google Ads. It is measured based on the current CPC (Cost per click) values from Google Ads. Hence, the Semrush SE Traffic price metric is a variable that changes based on many factors.

Final thoughts

Semrush is one of the tools that I cannot live without. If you are yet to give it a try, I recommend signing up for a free trial over here. Learn more about your Semrush free trial in this article.

Semrush Traffic Cost metric is one that I have been paying close attention to when I want to evaluate a site. Also, many agencies and small to enterprise-level businesses use Semrush Traffic Cost in their business decision-making process as a rough measure.

So, have you ever known the Traffic Cost Semrush metric would be that important? How would you use it in your business? Let us know in the comments below.

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