Have you been looking for an SEO tool which lets you do keyword research, track keyword ranking, check backlinks, check competitor ranks, and most importantly, do a complete SEO audit of your blog?
If yes, then let me introduce you to one tool which I have personally been using for over 3 years and is trusted by many professional bloggers and SEO agencies. The tool I’m talking about is SEMrush.
I get asked this question a lot:
- “Should I start using SEMrush?”
I will answer this question in my review, but before that, let me give you some details about my SEMrush experience.
When ShoutMeLoud got hit by Google Panda, I had to completely change the way I was blogging. I realized that instead of just writing content that readers loved, I had to make sure my content was also loved by search engines!
This is when I started learning more and more about search engine optimization and link building (which is still an ongoing process). I managed to recover ShoutMeLoud from Panda, and in the process, I learned the importance of focusing on content quality to improve my blog’s SEO.
I needed to ask myself what I had done that might have caused Google Panda to hit my site so hard.
The answer was right there on my analytics stats board. Apart from thin content, I had ignored the importance of keyword research.
I quickly learned that having quality content was not enough! I also needed to build quality links, do timely audits of my site’s SEO, and pay attention to a few other important factors.
I tried using many tools in the process (including Mangools, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and a few more). While all of them worked well, I liked SEMrush the best because of its great features and how it allowed me to get all of my SEO work done in one place.
In just one dashboard, I can get everything done. I will show you what I mean in a moment.
Before I move ahead with my SEMrush review, it is important to let you know that my knowledge of SEO is self-taught through the use of trial and error and from paying attention to the latest SEO industry updates.
- Note: If you browse the SEO category of ShoutMeLoud, you can find the latest information from the SEO industry.
What is SEMrush? – A Hands-On Review
Let’s explore what makes SEMrush such an amazing SEO tool and a favorite among millions of users.
SEMrush makes it really easy to find what keyword your site (or any other site) is ranking for. In short, it makes keyword research a piece of cake.
Once you are done doing your keyword research, you can add in keywords and track their positions in all major search engines based on geographical location.
I emphasize the geographical location feature as it’s important for those who target specific countries like Spain, the U.K, Australia, India, the U.S., etc. For a global blogger, you can also use this feature to see how your site ranks in specific countries’ search engines.
It is an essential SEM (search engine marketing) tool that I believe every serious blogger and internet marketer should have in their SEO tool arsenal.
SEMrush is a product from the maker of SEOQuake, a popular SEO addon for Firefox.
At the time of this writing, SEMrush has:
- more than 130,000,000 domains and
- more than 800,000,000 keywords in their database.
SEMrush will allow you to find all of the keywords for which any existing web page on the internet is ranking. You can also find more statistical details regarding specific keywords and related keywords which you can rank for.
Sound a little confusing?
Here is a screenshot which will justify my statement that SEMrush is essential for all bloggers and serious internet marketers:
Let me walk you through the process…
- Note: You can use it for any site. Serious internet marketers are encouraged to try it with their competitors’ sites.
All I need to do is add the domain name at the top, and here is the information I receive:
Let me explain a few of the fields on this report page…
- Keyword: The keyword for that specific ranked page.
- Pos: The keyword’s position in the specified search engine. In this example, I have selected Google’s US database (default), but you can change it to other locations and search engines too. You can also use the Free Keyword Monitor for verification.
- Volume: Number of exact match queries for that keyword in the local search. In this example, I have once again used Google’s US database. (This data was taken using the Google Keyword planner tool which I have also verified the accuracy of myself.)
- CPC: Average cost per click for the keyword.
- URL: Corresponding URL to which that keyword is driving traffic.
- Com: This shows the competition of advertisers for that keyword. A lower number means little competition and a higher number means greater competition for that term. (How can a search engine marketing tool be complete without a competition check?)
- Results: Number of search engine results. (A lower number here is better.)
- Trend: This is one column which I find very interesting. In order to find profitable keywords, we need to make sure the traffic trend for that keyword is not dying. This column pulls up the search trend for that keyword over the last 12 months.
In addition to all of the information resulting from our search, there are two columns that, as a blogger, interest me the most.
It’s here that you will find the top 200 organic keywords for that domain and also receive a detailed backlink report for any domain along with the link’s anchor text.
For me, the most interesting factor here is the ability to find the top keywords driving traffic to any domain. For a serious marketer or company, knowing a top competitor’s keywords is the holy grail.
SEMRush features: A complete walkthrough
As I mentioned earlier, SEMRush is full of features and to make it easier for you to navigate, below I’m sharing about major features of SEMRush that you should know of.
Keyword Magic tool:
Apart from the Keyword research technique, I shared above, you can always use the conventional way of researching keywords using SEMRush keyword magic tool.
You will quickly get metrics like search volume, keyword difficulty, competitive density, SERP features, cost-per-click data. Do try the related feature of Keyword magic tool, which helps you discover keywords that you might have missed otherwise.
Once you have selected the keywords you want to work with, you can then move these keywords to Keyword analyzer tool. The automatic grouping and seed keyword feature will help you group the cluster of keywords that you picked in stage 1.
Do pay attention to click potential column, as it helps you to understand how many clicks you can expect for your target keyword after ranking for #1. This step saves a lot of overhead as you move ahead with content production.
This is another popular feature of SEMRush which is idle for your own sites or if you are an SEO agency, you can run and create a white label report for your clients. For improving the technical SEO of your website, a single site audit could potentially reveal a plethora of SEO changes you could make on the target site to improve the rank significantly.
You have the option to run an SEO site audit for desktop or for mobile separately. Every report can be exported in .pdf or excel format for your SEO team to take action on.
Position tracking mobile app:
SEMRush also has a mobile app which will let you view your keyword position from the comfort of your mobile app. This is another feature which I haven’t found in any other SEO suite yet.
The app is currently available for Android and iOS version coming out soon.
So back to the original question:
- “Should I start using SEMrush?”
Why should you start using the SEMrush tool right away?
As bloggers, we work day and night to write posts hoping to increase the amount of traffic coming into our blog. But we often don’t focus enough on how we’re generating that traffic. If you check your analytics, you will realize that only a couple of your blog posts are contributing all of the traffic to your blog.
But when using the SEMrush SEO tool, you can find keywords which are driving traffic to your competitor’s website and you can write quality content based around those keywords. This will help you get a better position for certain target keywords in your niche.
If you want to try it out and see how well it can work for you, they offer a free 14-day trial.
SEMRush offers multiple plans for the different use cases, and you could pick the one you would like to get started with.
- Pro plan
- Guru plan
- Business plan
- Enterprise plan
SEMrush works best with the PRO account (as you will get a complete report), but for a beginner who is new to search engine marketing (SEM) research, you can always start with the free trial.
Once you are accustomed to its various features, you can upgrade to the PRO account to get a complete, detailed analysis of any website (like yours and your competitor’s).
I hope this SEMrush review has helped you to understand the benefit of this awesome search engine marketing tool. Always remember, SEMrush (or any other SEM tool) is useful for research and analysis, but at the end of the day, it’s your hard, smart, and quality work which ultimately puts you at the top.
Have you used SEMrush before? How’s your experience been using it to supercharge your website’s SEO? Let us know in the comments!
Do you know someone who can benefit from this excellent tool? Share this review with them on Facebook SEO Group, Twitter, or Linkedin!
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