For those who don’t know; I worked at iProspect for 3 years as a SEO and Content Manager. Saying that, I have a lot of experience to share with you all. However I will start with reviewing my favorite tools here and as the title itself is self-explanatory, the first SEO tool I will be reviewing will be SEMrush.
SEMrush actually is not limited to SEO, it offer various types of analysis that help you get insight for your PPC campaigns as well. But, this review will be about its SEO features and how you can utilize the insights for your SEO campaign.
Please note that I will use my website for the demo and unfortunately I don’t have much data to show you. Still, what matters is how SEMrush is used to spy on your competitors. Let’s start!
This is the page where SEMrush shows brief information about the domain name you queried. In this screen you will see the amount of organic and paid traffic that the website is getting. This is a calculated traffic based on the search volume of the keywords you are ranking for and your website’s positions for these keywords.Since I already know how many people visit this website on daily basis, I can easily say that these metrics are not accurate, but still can give an idea.
For your record, I don’t use SEMrush for backlink analysis because their data is not as good as their competitors, like Ahrefs and Majestic. I will write about these tools later. However, SEMrush’s keyword database is more frequently updated and better than other competitors like Searchmetrics. To be honest, their keyword database is the largest among other tools.
This is one of features of SEMrush that you will be using the most. Basically, it shows how many keywords my website is ranking for, my website’s position for those keywords and position changes over the time.
When you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you will notice the list of keywords. You can filter these keywords based on their position, search volume and simply exclude or include keywords containing certain words.
Imagine that you’re an affiliate marketer who tries to sell drones, simply get the keyword list of Amazon.com and filter keywords by “drone” word to see what keywords, including long-tail keywords, people search on Google and what page at Amazon.com they are landed. Then you can create new content or optimize existing pages using your new insight.
Position Change tab in your SEMrush panel shows you the latest changes in your ranking keywords. You can filter your newly ranking keywords, declined and lost keywords along with keywords whose position is improved. If you’re checking your own website, you should rely on your Google Search Console data instead.
If you see that your competitor is improving their positions on certain keywords quickly, you can check their pages, content structure and number of backlinks referring to that page to understand what goes on.
Besides keywords, SEMrush also allows you to get the list pages with the most ranking keywords. I frequently use this report to understand what pages drive traffic to a website.
As I stated in the beginning of my review, SEMrush is not my favorite tool when it comes to analyzing backlinks but if you don’t have an extra budget for buying a backlink audit tool, you can still use it. Let’s take a quick look at what SEMrush is capable of in term of backlink audit.
This is the overview screen of Backlink Analysis tool. As you already see it gives you the number of backlinks, root domains and IPs. Authority Score is an algorithm defined by SEMrush, its calculation is based on various metrics such as Page, Domain and Trust Scores and it basically shows the strength and popularity of your domain name. There are similar metrics in other SEO tools too. While it gives an overall idea about a domain name, I wouldn’t take this metric too serious.
Just like other backlink audit tools, SEMrush also shares new and lost backlinks over the time and a trend line that displays the total number of backlinks for a root domain.
As of today, July 1 2018, SEMrush shows 173 referring domain for this website, while the number is 218 in Ahrefs and 481 in Majestic. Hope this clarifies my views about SEMrush’s backlink audit feature.
This is one of my favorite tool in SEMrush. It basically compares your domain name with one or up to 4 competitors. What it does is that the tool finds common keywords or backlinks; or keywords and backlinks that your competitor has and you don’t have and vise versa. Let’s see how it works:
In the screenshot below, you will see that I asked SEMrush to list me the common keywords both wpcrumbs.com and wpbeginner.com have. This report gives you an insight about how you can improve your existing pages against your competitors.
Similarly I can list the keywords that my competitors rank and I don’t, so that I can get more content ideas. You can always sort the keywords based on their search volume, position, CPC (useful if you’re running AdWords) and other metrics.
Backlink Gap tools works in the same logic as Keyword Gap tool. This tool finds you backlink opportunities by giving you the list of backlinks your competitor has but you don’t.
Despite all these great features that outperform most other SEO tools, SEMrush has a very competitive pricing model that is worth your every penny. The have 4 subscription models that can fit in various needs of solo-entrepreneurs, like me, small businesses and enterprises. I placed their current subscription models and prices below. (Last updated: July 2018)
That’s all, fellow digital marketers! I tried to keep it short by writing about the core SEO features of SEMrush. I hope you find this review useful and leave your comments below!
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