The famous proverb says that fools rush in where angels fear to tread, but with SEMrush you’ll go beyond all guesswork and avoid any rash decisions when it comes to your SEO.
Learn how you can improve your own website’s SEO, get new optimization ideas, and find out what makes your competitors so successful (and maybe even steal some of their spotlight).
What is SEMrush?
SEMrush advertises as all-in-one marketing toolkit for digital marketing professionals. The toolkit contains 28 advanced tools and features for almost anything digital marketing-related. Over the years, it has earned the trust of eBay, Quora, HP, Booking.com, BNP Paribas, and many other big names in various industries.
If we were to take a look at some of the figures, SEMrush has more than 1 million users, 800 million keywords, 100 geo databases, 130 million domains. In other words, it offers an outstanding amount of organic and paid search data to a great number of users.
Whether it’s SEO, PPC, social media, or content analysis, SEMrush might just be the right tool for all your digital marketing needs. In this article, we are first going to show you three effective ways to get valuable SEO data using SEMrush and then we’re going to tell you which of its features might come in particularly handy for achieving those goals.
3 Effective Ways of Using SEMrush to Obtain Valuable SEO Data
Do Extensive Keyword Research
SEMrush Keyword Research enables you to increase your web presence by finding the best keywords for your SEO and PPC campaigns. For each of the 800 million keywords in its database, you’ll get the most relevant metrics such as volume, the number of results, CPC, trends, and ad copies.
That being said, SEMrush acts as a powerful keyword generator, which can supply you with phrase matches and relevant keywords, as well as the extremely valuable long-tail keywords.
Gain Invaluable Competitor Insights
Using SEMrush is like having your own informant in your competitors’ marketing sector. This digital marketing mole will provide you with all the necessary data straight from their office. It will allow you a behind-the-scenes look at some of your best-performing competitors. Sounds almost unfair, but still, it’s completely legit.
Nowadays, with so many competitors and new businesses appearing every day, it’s hard to ‘reinvent the wheel’ and come up with the next big idea that will outshine everyone else’s. If you’re just starting out, our advice is – DON’T even try to do this.
Instead, use real-time data to plan and launch profitable campaigns. How can you do that? Simply – learn what’s working for your competitors and try to outperform that. By finding out what works for your competitors, you’ll be able to spot gaps in your own marketing strategy and fix them. This way, you eliminate the guesswork and base your campaigns on data with a proven track record.
SEMrush organic search data gives you an insight into your competitors’ organic content marketing strategy. It also enables you to discover new organic competitors. In addition, the SEMrush competitive positioning map helps you understand and analyze your direct competitors, while the SEMrush organic competitors report shows all the domains you’re competing against in the Google top 20.
Check the Value of Your Backlinks
Link building is vital for any effective digital marketing strategy and it has always been one of the most important Google ranking factors. So, in addition to creating high-quality content, you need to make sure to dedicate enough time to creating an effective link building strategy. By doing so, Neil Patel, for instance, managed to grow their traffic by 193% in one year.
Consider each backlink as a ‘thumb up’ for your website trustworthiness. How to monitor the number of thumb-ups? SEMrush Backlink Audit tool helps you analyze your and your competitors’ backlinks. The more websites are pointing towards your website, the more will search engines like it, which will lead to a higher ranking. By conducting a deep backlink analysis, you should also be able to locate new traffic sources and improve your overall link building strategy.
Another important thing you can do with SEMrush is checking the referring domains’ authority. Although Google’s ranking algorithm changes all the time, their approach to backlink valuation essentially remains the same – quality is valued over quantity. Some studies show that, typically, it’s more effective to get a single link from a trustworthy domain, than 100 links from low-quality pages. So, it’s been proven that high domain link authority actually correlates with high Google rankings (as can be seen in the graph below).
As we know, it may be easy to get lost in a feature-rich tool such as SEMrush, we’ve pinpointed 5 features we consider the most important for performing the necessary checks and achieving the above-mentioned goals.
Top 5 SEMrush Features (In Our Humble View)
In order to be able to optimize, you have to evaluate first. SEMrush Site Audit is actually an SEO analysis tool that helps you locate and fix the on-site issues related to SEO. It enables you to quickly check your site’s health and make the necessary fixes in order to make it more accessible to search engine robots and ensure better user experience.
Once you’ve located the issues (that can be related to content, links, images, accessibility, crawlability, coding, etc.), the tool helps you prioritize them so that you focus on fixing the most critical errors first.
Every attempt of optimization can be futile if you don’t find a proper way to track progress and results. This is where SEMrush also comes in. Its SEO analysis reports enable you to track your website’s health on a regular basis. With SEMrush Site Audit, you can also fix hreflang mistakes, perform HTTPS checks, and detect AMP implementation issues.
The SEMrush Keyword Difficulty feature will give you an idea of how difficult it’s going to be to rank for a particular keyword. With that in mind, it’ll help you choose keywords with less competition. It makes it easier for you to optimize for exactly those keywords for which you have a fair chance of outranking your competitors in the Google top search results.
The higher the percentage, the more difficult it’ll be to rank for a keyword and outrun your competition. Instead, you should choose some of the less difficult keywords (SEMrush will instantly tell you which ones) and reserve yourself a top spot in Google’s organic search results.
In just a few clicks, you’ll have all the info you need to evaluate the keyword difficulty and whether it’ll be worth your time and effort to optimize for it.
This SEMrush feature enables you to easily assess the value of your content. As with backlinks, the emphasis is on quality rather than quantity. It gives you an overview of the most important content-related metrics, divided into user-behavior metrics, social impact, and the websites linking to your content.
After publishing a piece of content, naturally, you’d like to know how well it is performing on external sources. Using the SEMrush Content Analyzer, you can measure, track, and evaluate the content you publish. This includes, but is not limited to, the number of shares on some of the major social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
Not only that, you can also compare the performance of various content pieces, to see what works and what doesn’t. Or if you wish to determine which of your articles/authors is the most successful.
Domain vs. Domain
Although it may sound like the name of a new Clash of the Titans sequel, this is just another one of SEMrush features. But, a powerful one – it enables you to perform side-by-side domain comparisons.
It makes it easy to gather competitive intelligence, enabling you to better understand your competition. You can use it to find out what are the common keywords used by both you and your competitors. Also, knowing their unique keywords may reveal to you some search terms that you haven’t considered or failed to utilize. SEMrush also enables you to visualize data in order to make the assessments easier and faster. It uses Venn algorithm-based diagrams to depict visual representations of domains’ keyword relationships.
Backlink Audit Tool
With a database of over 1 billion backlinks, SEMrush will help you find all your backlinks (all the domains referring to your website). SEMrush Backlink Audit tool also enables you to check the backlink types (text links, image links, form links, or frame links).
The SEMrush backlink checker also allows you to find out the geographical distribution of your backlinks.
Furthermore, every backlink checked by SEMrush comes with a ‘follow’ or ‘no follow’ note. If a backlink has a ‘no follow’ attribute, it means that it’s unlikely to bring any link juice to your site.
Even more importantly, it helps you detect and remove potentially ‘toxic’ backlinks that could negatively affect your Google rankings or get you penalized. SEMrush Backlink Audit tool also performs a regular recrawl of your website on a two-week basis in order to keep your backlink profile clean.
SEMrush Pricing and Alternatives
You can choose among four paid plans, Pro, Guru, Business, and Enterprise, the last one giving you the possibility to customize the solution according to your special marketing needs. All four SEMrush plans include 28 tools and features (only some of which we described above), while the extent to which you can use their functionalities differs from one plan to another.
When it comes to the alternatives, there are other big industry similar-range names to consider, such as Moz and Ahrefs. Or, if you’re a less advanced user (or don’t really need all of the advanced features), you may want to check out some of the free tools, like Ubersuggest.