SEMrush Review: A SEM Tool To Research Competitors’ Keywords

Overall
5

Have you been looking for an SEO tool that lets you do keyword research, track keyword ranking, check backlinks, check competitor ranks, and do a complete SEO audit of your blog?

If yes, then let me introduce you to one tool which I have been using for over 7 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.

Quick background:

You can skip this section but it makes an important point for self-made SEO’s.

When ShoutMeLoud got hit by Google Panda & June 2019 core algorithm update, I had to completely change the way I was approaching to my SEO strategy. 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.

I managed to recover ShoutMeLoud from Panda, and in the process, I learned the importance of data-driven SEO. 

I needed to ask myself what I had done that might have caused Google algorithm 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.

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:

SEMRUSH Ranking overview
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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:

SEMRUSH keyword results
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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.

Backlink check with SEMRUSH
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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.

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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.

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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.

Site Audit:

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.

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The app is currently available for Android and iOS version coming out soon.

So back to the original question:

  • “Should I start using SEMrush?”

My answer:

  • YES!!!

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 pricing: Which SEMrush plan is best for you?

SEMRush offers multiple plans for the different use cases, and you could pick the one you would like to get started with.

  1. Pro plan
  2. Guru plan
  3. Business plan
  4. Enterprise plan
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SEMrush works best with the PRO account if you are an individual (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.

For Agencies, the Guru plan offers all bells and whistles like Branded PDF reports. 

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).

 Note: You can anytime upgrade or downgrade a plan.

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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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

51 thoughts on “SEMrush Review: A SEM Tool To Research Competitors’ Keywords”

  1. Hello Harsh,

    As I’m running a news website i can’t focus on particular Keyword but i can know the competitors keywords with SEMRUSH.

    Thanks Harsh….

  2. Haris Ali Barkat

    Thank!! These were nice information about Semrush.. It was very helpful for me.. Semrush is really a helpful tool for keyword research.

  3. Hai Harsh..
    First i though Yoast can simply make us rank in google but after reading your articles i do learned much about SEO .. Thank you .. Keep on going … All the best

  4. Hey harsh i have purchased the pro version of semrush but i am not able to understand the interface how would it be helpful for me getting confused i saw some videos but finding hard to undertsand can you suggest something

  5. Thank you so much for sharing nice information about semrush.. It was very interesting, informative and helpful. Being a new to blogging, I am searching and reading everything about Blogging and seo .

  6. Excellent post and very useful info. I find Semrush still to be one of the best bits of SEO software

  7. Marcin Lipski

    I’m targeting the niche market and I was trying to use semrush as a niche – long tail keyword finder and I find it absolutely useless. Semrush wont pick up niche data – only the big, generic kewords, which is a bad idea for most small businesse/bloggers. To balance out my opinion – Insights in the competition is a really cool feature.

  8. This tool is really helpful to read competitor’s keywords. I have a questions, ” Suppose I found many keywords from my competitor and now I want to write about those keywords too. Which keywords should I select? with more traffic, cpc or what?” Also tell me how to knockout competitor for that keyword?”

    Thank you so much.

  9. Kishore Krishna

    Hi harsh
    I am a bit confused .You said the report was generated for lab oil.org but he in the report the data is shown as shoutmeloud.com.Am I missing something here

  10. Harsh, can this toll be used in reverse – for example, if I want to find out which domains are ranking most frequently for a set of very high CPC keywords?

  11. Shivashish Singh

    I’m little confuse about How can I get number of monthly searches of keywords in domain overview.

  12. James Cornell

    Great review!
    I’m using SEMrush and it doesn’t prevent me to maximize results with other similar tool. I’m using quite a lot of these. Can recommend SERPstat for its price. And ahrefs is also indispensable.

  13. It’s a good tool. For manual long tail keywords research using google keywords planner could take many hours. But this tool takes only minutes.

  14. Jeffry Alexander

    Hi Harsh, thanks for your review..

    The competitors analysis tools is really awesome but I’ve seen SEMRush keywords research features and (unfortunately) seems they don’t have a regional database for Indonesia yet? 🙁

  15. thank you so much for this great review.
    i am planning to buy the pro version and to test it for a month to check the full features for my fitness blog.

    best regards!

  16. I just bought Semrush tool basic plan after reading this article,Tool is fine but the only issue i’m facing at this moment is that Semrush have limited amount of countries data.For example I wanted to know some keywords difficulty and CPC organic research for Pakistan but they seems not have enough data for Pakistan region which is why There is no option of Pakistan in the list and many other countries aswell unlike Longtailpro which has big amount of variety.since my blog is for Pakistani readers so I couldnt took much benefit from this tool.However mistake is from my end I should have done research about its complete features.apart from all this very informative Article Harsh Bro and overall Semrush is a good tool for SEO.

  17. Thanks Harsh for your review. SEMRUSH shows the keywords that are ranking for our site, it does not provide the list of keywords that actually sent the traffic to our site. We might rank high for certain keywords, but it does not mean that people are actually using those keywords and then being able to find us. Do you know any tool that gives a full list of keywords that people used to find our site? Google Analytics gives a short list, but shows the most as Not Provided.

    I also want to see our site ranking for certain keywords that I myself choose and monitor the rankings to see how I can improve the rankings by SEO implementations. Is there any easy-to-use tool to provide such historical data that can also be exported? I know AuthorityLab, but it seems that fetching data to their report is extremely slow. Is there any alternative tool? I don’t want to manually check site ranking for one keyword at a time, and then put the data to Excel manually.

    Your expertise is highly appreciated!

  18. Sir, Thank you so much for sharing nice information about semrush.. It was very interesting, informative and helpful. Being a blogger, i can say, semrush is a really awesome tool to beat our competitors in Blogging field

  19. Yep, After reading Shoutmeloud’s blog, SEMRUSH is one of the best SEO tools for me too. Especially I am using SEMRUSH to keyword tracking and positioning.

  20. Dear Harsh,
    I have been using free trial version of SEMRush for 7 days and it’s so helpful for a new blogger like me & I have Followed the same instruction explained by you about reviewing SEMRUSH to get free Review Account. And Surprise, I got Free Pro Subscription of same.It’s an awesome tool and must use by every blogger.

    Thanks.

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