SEMRush Review & Tutorial (All-in-one Marketing Tool) 2019

This is a complete and comprehensive review of one of the most popular tools for digital marketers.

In this SEMRush review, you’ll learn everything about this tool…

…and if you should use this tool or not.

Keep reading…

Overview of SEMRush

SEMRush has been around for quite some time now and is one of the most trusted SEO tools by professional bloggers, webmasters, and SEO agencies worldwide.

If you are into blogging, you need to create content that your readers will love to read. At the same time, you need to think equally about creating content that the search engines love! SEMRush helps you achieve this.

Put simply, SEMRush makes your keyword research a cakewalk. It lets you know which keyword on your site (or for that matter, any site) is ranking for and at what place.

One of the excellent features offered by SEMRush is the keyword research that you can undertake based on your preferred geological location. This can be an important aspect if you are looking to target a specific country or region.

The feature should work for you even if you are a global blogger as you will get an option to see how your site is ranking in different regions of the world.

SEMRush as a Competitor Analysis Tool

SEMRush can perform a host of tasks – all rolled into one single package. It’s toolkit includes all of these tools…

  • Traffic Analytics
  • Domain Overview
  • Organic Research
  • Keyword Gap
  • Backlink Analytics
  • Backlink Gap
  • Advertising Research
  • Display Advertising
  • PLA Research
  • Brand Monitoring
  • Topic Research
  • Post Tracking
  • Social Media Tracker

In addition to the keyword research, you also stand to gain in terms of the competitor analysis as well.

It was the first keyword research tool that came up with a unique approach when finding your keywords. It uses what is called Reverse Engineering for competitor keywords. This made it popular in the market as it was the first SEO tool to use this approach.

However, there have been many changes after that. So, is SEMRush still relevant and holds the same degree of excellence that it commanded when it was just launched?

That is what I will try finding out with this review. Let us check out the features of SEMRush one by one.

How does SEMRush perform Keyword Research?

For the initial years, SEMRush could not perform the keyword research. It was based on the competitor analysis and thus focussed majorly on that format to analyse and research your keywords.

But, recently SEMRush added the traditional keyword research with the inclusion of a feature called ‘SEO Keyword Magic’.

However, you may still not be able to find the same degree of traditional keyword research capabilities as in some similar tools like Ahrefs Keyword Explorer etc.

But, it excels with the competitor analysis feature as compared to others.

Competitor analysis is all about checking the sites of competitors in your genre and reverse engineering the keywords that they are ranking for in search results. Competitor analysis provides you with an opportunity to target the keywords that have already been proven to be successful.

If you are aware of which keywords are ranking for your competitor, you can have better chances of success by creating content that is similar but better in terms of quality.

Having understood that, let us now proceed to the detailed review of the service for a clear understanding.

Interface of SEMRush

The user interface can be a little overwhelming if you haven’t used SEMRush before. Multiple colours, huge lists on the sidebar and other options visible on the dashboard make everything slightly tricky when you have a look for the first time.

The tool is not that complicated as it may appear at first instance. However, the look could have been more straightforward and easy to follow.

For example, you can see in the above screenshot that there are two ways to add a new project – one just beside the search button and the other in the main interface. This wasn’t something necessary and only adds up to the clutter.

Search Engine Optimisation

How helpful is this when it comes to SEO as its core functionality? The first thing we found exciting is the organic search results that it provides you. This is where you can see the ideal keywords for your marketing genre.

This is one of the best techniques you can use for checking out what your competitors are up to. Organic research can help you dive deeper into what is working for your competitor.

Another tool is for checking the best-performing pages that your competitors have.

This can be quite useful in revisiting your content plans so that you can outperform your competitors and to get some content ideas.

The feature is quite equivalent to the ‘Top Pages’ you get in Ahrefs SEO Toolset. If you find some content that has a good ranking for them with a good number of keywords, you can add it to your future content strategy.

Moreover, it will give you an insight into the strength and weakness of your competitors, so that you can develop your counter strategy to outperform them.

The Keyword Magic Tool offered by SEMRush can be a more powerful tool in this regard. More on that later.

Content Marketing

If you are looking at SEMRush from the content marketing point of view, it is excellent for most of these needs. The ‘Topic Research‘ feature is meant explicitly for the purpose.

While the ‘Explorer‘ tab provides you access to the best possible content you can create content for the given topic range, the ‘Overview‘ section lists the best topic ideas along with captivating headlines.

The tool also shares information on the relevant questions being asked on the topic.

If you can combine these topic or content ideas with proper keyword research, it will help you develop attractive content for your blog.

Finding Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are useful for ranking fast and without a lot of efforts as they have low competition.

Is there any way you can explore the best ranking long tail keywords with SEMRush?

Well, yes, the tool does offer you a few good options for this specific purpose.

Once you enter your head keyword or the seed keyword, you will get of information on the organic and paid search results. Scrolling down to the ‘Phrase Match Keywords’ or ‘Related Keywords’ section, you can find a list of long tail keywords.

Clicking any of them will help you explore them further.

What’s more, the tool also shows the keyword difficulty and search volume metrics as well, thereby offering you a good insight into which keywords to use.

SEMRush Keyword Magic Tool

This is the latest addition to the SEMRush SEO tool and is in the beta stage as of now. You can find it under the Keyword Analytics section.

It lets you evaluate and develop a list of potential keywords and target the worthy ones among them.

You should ideally be able to export around a billion keywords in a single file. You can include or exclude any specific part of the keywords from arriving at the best keyword research possible for the exact genre you are looking for.

The Keyword Magic Tool lets you configure your keywords based on the specific requirements you may have. The following chart should give you a clear idea of the features offered.

Keyword Magic Tool can work efficiently to assist you in narrowing down your keyword research and find the keywords that precisely meet your needs.

Best Features of SEMRush

Having gone through the basic features of SEMRush and the advantages that it offers to bloggers and website owners, here an insight into a few more characteristics of the tool.

However, most of these functionalities are focussed on other SEO aspects of your site, and not on the keyword research alone.

Site Audit

The site audit in SEMRush is designed to help you find the on-page SEO or other technical SEO issues that might be present in your site.

Accessing the site audit feature is quite easy. Just head to create a new project and then click on ‘Site Audit’. You will now need to enter your website that you want to monitor. Let the tool crawl your site and offer you the results of the crawling.

Next, click on the Site Audit. You should now get a screen like the one shown below –

The areas marked in RED are serious issues and need immediate attention. Clicking on the errors will provide you with details of the exact issues you may be facing.

SEMRush also helps you address the issues that are affecting your site. You can set up a constant monitoring process on the select areas of your website.  

Backlink Audit Tool

Most of the search engines algorithms consider the number of quality backlinks pointing to your site while determining search engine rankings.

The Backlink Audit available on SEMRush can be a great option from that point of view.

Finding bad backlinks and fixing them can be a lengthy and difficult process. It can even take months to clear the mess. However, the Backlink Audit tool can help you take away some of these hardships.

The backlinks are checked for around 30 different toxic factors. Each of the link is given a ranking based on these factors. You can take appropriate action like disavowing them or go with any other suitable option after identifying such bad links.

Brand Monitoring

This is yet another useful feature. It lets you analyse your branding and provides you access to two major options – ‘Mentions’ refers to places on the internet where your business or your name is being mentioned and ‘Backlinks’.

On-Page SEO Checker

Formerly, SEO ideas Tool, the On-Page SEO Checker can be a powerful weapon in your overall SEO strategy.

Each of the pages on your website is analysed, and you provided with the actionable ideas for improving the on-page SEO. You can check out the suggestions and take necessary actions.

SEMRush Pricing Plans

By the inherent nature, SEMRush is all about improving your search rankings and beating the competitors in their game.

Of course, this will need you to invest substantially on a good and reliable tool for an excellent SEO performance of your site(s).

SEMRush has three different plans to choose from –

ProThe plan is priced at $ 99.95 per month. It is good for freelancers and those involved in in-house marketing. It should be an ideal choice if you are new to blogging. It provides you access to a total of 28 different tools.

Guru – This plan is targeted towards the marketing agencies and SMBs. It costs $ 199.95 per month. In addition to the Pro features, you also have access to Branded reports, Historical Data, and Extended limits.

BusinessThe plan is available at $ 399.95 a month, a great option for agencies, E-Commerce projects, and businesses. It will provide you access to White label reports, API access, and Extended limits and sharing options.

The prices will be reduced slightly if you are opting for annual billing.

SEMRush Free Trial

SEMRush offers a free trial for seven days if you sign up for the Pro plan. The plan comes with all the features available on the Pro plan. You will need to provide your credit card details for accessing the free trial option.

However, it also offers you a cancellation option. You can opt for cancellation of the subscription by sending an email to [email protected] along with your profile details and reasons for cancellation of the subscription.

You can also find special deals like SEMRush coupons and discounts that SEMRush offers in association with popular blogs and review sites.

SEMRush API

Don’t want to go into the standard user interface of SEMRush? Why not opt for the API offered by SEMRush? You can use it to pull valuable data on your competitor’s digital marketing campaigns.

SEMRush will handle the tasks in an automatic manner. You have access to an infinite number of options to pull the data available from SEMRush.

However, the API option is only available only if you opt for the business plan. In addition to the plan charges, you will need to opt for a special API package in tune with your exact needs.

SEMRush Chrome Extensions

SEMRush on its own does not seem to offer any extensions for Chrome or other browsers officially. However, there are a few third-party extensions that have linkages to SEMRush’s features.

1. SEMRush Social Media Poster

You are browsing through the web and want to share something interesting? The extension helps you post it straight away. The extension is useful in posting content to multiple social media channels.

2. Open in SEMRush

This is a third party Chrome extension that assists you in launching the current tab in SEMRush. It introduces a button on the toolbar and clicking on it will take the URL to SEMRush to arrive at the organic search and PPC keyword traffic statistics.

SEMRush Rank

SEMRush Rank refers to the ranking given by SEMRush the web properties on the internet. This is a proprietary ranking used by SEMRush to assess the organic visibility of a site.

The ranking is based on the monthly data in SEMRush database. You can pull the data for any of the regional databases as per your preferences.  

What does it constitute? Well, the SEMRush rank is made of several factors. Some of the factors used include

Search Engine Keywords – It represents the number of organic keywords that the site ranks for the first 10 Google search results.

Search Engine Traffic – This is an estimate for the traffic that the site gets from the search engine keywords. It can be the monthly estimate of organic search traffic.

Costs – Average price for getting the traffic that we estimated in the previous step. This is a measure for the estimation for the valuable organic traffic.

The ranking also takes into account other aspects like paid keywords and paid traffic as well.

SEMRush Rank can be an excellent option for several benefits. This will be helpful enough for an excellent competitive analysis reference, lead generation, prospecting, and global internet research.

SEMRush offers you access to several courses for an enhanced professional level performance.

If you are looking to become a certified SEO specialist or a certified content marketing specialist, this can be a golden opportunity for you.

This is how you can get a SEMRush certification and get the SEMRush certificate –

SEMRush Certification

  • Register a SEMRush account. If you are already a member, log in to your account.
  • Opt for the desired course and complete it.
  • If you think you do have the requisite expertise, you can skip the training and directly take up the exam.
  • Respond to the questions and check if you have passed.
  • In case you clear the examination, you will get the SEMRush certification.

Major Competitors of SEMRush

SEMRush is indeed a great tool for all your SEO requirements.

However, it may be a good option for competitor analysis and may not be best for the traditional mode of keyword research.

If you are looking for the alternatives to SEMRush, following are some of the tools available:

1. SerpStat

It is a great all in one solution with access to several features packed into one simple application. The complete SERP solution that provides you access to the best features of keyword analysis and SEO.

The tool comes with various features like advanced analytics, keywords grouping by tags, local search, domain-wise traffic distribution, in-depth backlink analysis, and competitor backlinks monitoring.

It also comes with a site audit feature as well. You have access to over 30 different SEO optimisation techniques. It also provides you access to competitor domains, visibility of keyword trends, and keyword maps.

The tool can be a great choice for content marketing, SEO, running and optimizing PPC ads.

2. Moz

Moz has been one of the promising tools for overall SEO performance. It has been considered as a great tool, but with the recent launch of Moz Analytics, the focus appears to be shifting towards inbound marketing rather than SEO.

One of the advantages offered by Moz lies in the competitor social media analysis. We would consider SEMRush a better option in providing you access to intuitive and accessible data for all your SEO tasks.

3. Keyword Spy

This is an excellent tool if you are looking for the best spying actions on your competitors. From that perspective, it should be a great option and a superior alternative to SEMRush.

However, it can be a little expensive when compared to the SEMRush tool. But if you are looking for the features and functions – SEMRush indeed beats the competition to the core.

The Concluding Thoughts on SEMRush Review

Once you begin using SEMRush, you will indeed come to know why is it so popular and why it is preferred for keyword research and SEO analysis.

There are new and constant updates introduced from time to time, and that is exactly what makes it a great choice if you are looking for the best in the SEO industry.

SEMRush changed the way how keyword analysis was undertaken in the past. Several similar options followed suit. In a way, SEMRush has remained a good player in the competition.

However, if keyword analysis is what you are looking to focus on, Ahrefs can be a good alternative in a few areas. Lack of better traditional keyword research is what makes it a little different. Rest of the features are, of course, impressive.

Have Questions? Ask Me Anything About SEMRush in the comments or contact me directly.

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