This SEMRush Review 2021 is an honest review of SEMRush, the pro’s and cons of using it and is it really worth it.
Driving traffic to your website is a never-ending process that takes a lot of time and effort. Not to mention, it can be tough to keep up with search engine optimization (SEO) tips and tricks since search engines are seemingly always changing their algorithms.
That said, no matter what changes you encounter in the online world, how much competition hits the market, or how advanced the search engines become, one type of tool will always be able to lend a helping hand: SEMrush.
What is SEMrush?
SEMrush started in 2008 as a way to help keep online competition fair and transparent. In other words, it sought to make success on the internet a reality for everyone, regardless of skill level, website type, or industry. Since then, SEMrush has developed into a leading research service centered around helping digital marketers push out valuable content their target audience will love.
With over 800 employees spanning across 4 countries, SEMrush strives to make online marketing as simple as possible. That’s why the team behind SEMrush has worked hard over the past decade to create a comprehensive, web-based SEO toolkit with everything you could need to promote your site’s content, tap into the competition, and build a stronger following.
Let’s take a look at what you get when you use SEMrush for your SEO needs.
What are SEMrush Top Features?
The neat thing about SEMrush is that there are a ton of search engine optimization tools packed into one easy to use interface. Whether you need to target new keywords, check out what the competition is doing, or publish better content, SEMrush has you covered. This is very different than many of the best SEO plugins or tools in the market.
For those that don’t know where to start, or are in a rush to analyze some keywords, you can type a keyword right into the dashboard section of SEMrush and start analyzing.
However, there is much more to SEMrush than the keyword analysis. Let’s take a look.
1. Domain Analytics
Part of knowing what will work for your website in terms of better search rankings is knowing what’s already working for others. After all, there’s no sense in reinventing the wheel. That’s why using SEMrush’s Domain Analytics tools is so helpful.
In the Organic Research tool, you can identify what you or your competitors are currently ranking for in search engines right this minute.
Doing this is a great strategy for discovering which keywords are going to actively drive traffic to your website (and away from your competition). It’s also a great way to gauge how much traffic your competitors are actually getting. Sometimes the most unlikely of industry competitors are the ones to look out for.
This tool provides data such as:
- Growth of keywords over time
- Top organic keywords and related data like position, volume, and traffic percentage
- Featured snippet information
- Top pages and subdomains
- Main competitors and related data like common keywords, traffic, and number of paid keywords
Backlinks help you determine the quality of your site’s pages. The more people link to your site’s content, the more authoritative you become in your industry. When this happens, search engines like Google reward you with higher rankings because it recognizes the value of your website.
Luckily, SEMrush helps you analyze the authority of your domain, or any domain for that matter (like your competition!).
For example, you can glean information like:
- Authority score (overall quality and influence of SEO)
- Number of referring domains
- Number of backlinks
- Monthly visits
- Top anchor text
- Backlink types (image, frame, text, or form)
Want to see exactly which websites have backlinks leading to your website? Click on the Backlinks tab:
The most important part of this tab is near the bottom, where all the URLs linking to your website are. Here you will see the types of sites citing your website’s content. You can even click on them and visit them to see just how your content is being shared with others.
Is advertising on your list of marketing strategies right now? One of the most helpful Advertising Research tools in SEMrush is the Display Advertising tool.
Here you’ll see an overview of the demographics of people seeing your ads in search results. For example, you can check out things like which gender sees the majority of your domain’s paid ads, audience age ranges, and even a breakdown of the interests of people that have seen your ads.
In addition, check out:
- Sample ads, complete with images
- The countries your ads display in
- Devices most likely to access your ads
- Image, HTML, and text ads
- Actual ads that display and how many times they’ve been viewed
- Domain landing page URLs
The key to successful marketing is knowing that what you’re doing is working. And part of that is knowing that you are targeting the right audience with the right kinds of ads. It won’t matter how great your ad efforts are if the wrong people are seeing them.
Analyzing your domain’s traffic is one of the best ways to gauge your SEO success and identify ways to make improvements. There’s a lot to SEMrush’s Traffic Analysis tool, so let’s take a look at the most helpful data.
In the Overview section, you’ll see standard data like the number of visits your site receives, pages/visit, average visit duration, and even your site’s bounce rate.
Understanding how much traffic comes to your site, the average time that’s spent on your site, and even your site’s bounce rate helps with boosting your site’s SEO. Remember lots of traffic and site engagement equal higher search rankings. But not knowing where your site stands right this minute makes improving hard to do.
You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken!
One of SEMrush’s newest tools is the Keyword Gap tool. With it, you can easily find out how you stack up against those targeting the same keywords. In fact, you can compare your keyword strategies against up to five competitors. That said, sometimes it’s easier to compare yourself against just one so you don’t become overwhelmed with too much conflicting data.
When you enter a competitor’s domain alongside yours, you’ll have access to data related to keywords such as:
- Traffic volume
- Keyword difficulty
- Average cost per click
- URLs displayed for the given keyword
You can even refine your comparison results based on device type, date range, country, and type of keywords (organic, paid, or product listing ad).
Perhaps most useful however, is the feature that allows you to display the keywords your competition ranks for but you do not. This will tell you exactly where you fall short and the opportunities you should be tapping into if you want to push ahead of your competition.
2. Keyword Magic Tool
One of the most favored keyword research in SEMrush is the Keyword Magic tool.
With millions of keywords in the SEMrush database, there’s no excuse not to come up with highly converting keywords that will help you rank well and provide your site visitors the content they’re looking for.
To use this SEO tool, all you have to do is type in a broad keyword you’re hoping to rank for and see what variations are doing well in search results.
In addition, find valuable information like:
- Longtail keywords you can rank for
- Average number of monthly searches per keyword
- Trending patterns
- Keyword difficulty
- Cost per click (for ads)
- Competition using the same words
- Number of SERP features found for the keyword
- URLs in SERPs displaying the keyword
On the left hand side of your results, you can also see accompanying words. For instance, we put in the keyword ‘search engine optimization’ into the Keyword Magic Tool. On the left hand side of the results, we found a list of words that are often found accompanying the term ‘search engine optimization.’ One of the most obvious keywords to rank for would be ‘local search engine optimization’ should you have a local business that you’re trying to rank for.
3. Marketing Insights
Is pushing ahead of the competition on your mind right now? SEMrush knows that analyzing the competition, especially when it comes to SEO isn’t easy. That is, until now.
Much like the Keyword Gap tool, you can enter a competitive domain into the marketing Traffic Analytics tool to discover what makes it so successful.
With this visual interface, you can compare things like:
- Number of visits
- Unique visitors
- Average visit duration
- Bounce rate
- Traffic sources
- Basic company info
Seeing your competition’s data right up against yours will give you the insight needed to make data-driven decisions that will effectively help you outrank them.
4. SEO Content Template
Though some will say keyword research is the most important strategy around, we find that the content using those keywords is just as important. After all, ranking well in search results is only half the battle. You have to convince people to clickthrough to your site and stay if you really want to boost your SEO efforts. Not to mention, this is how you build a following or increase sales.
One unique tool that SEMrush has is the SEO Content Template. Here’s a brief look at how it works:
- Choose the keyword(s) you want to target in your content and enter them
- Allow SEMrush to analyze the top 10 ranking pages for the entered keyword(s)
- Receive SEO recommendations for making your content fit those criteria to rank just as high
As you scroll below the top ranking URLs for the keywords you entered and the SEO recommendations (broken down into helpful categories like Related Words, Backlinks, and Readability), you’ll also see how your top rivals are actually using those keywords in their very own content.
Bu that’s not all. If you want your site’s content to outrank the competition, you’ll have to make changes to your content.
SEMrush makes this process super simple by creating an individualized content template created just for you. Simply enter the content you plan to publish on your website into the template and let SEMrush analyze it against its SEO recommendations.
From there, improve your content and publish it on your site for Google and other search engines to see. You’ll find it ranking higher than ever in no time.
Now that you know what SEMrush has to offer website owners of all kinds, it’s time to take a look at price. After all, the amount of money you have to invest in SEO tools for your online blog, business, or eCommerce shop makes a difference.
SEMrush has three premium plans to choose from:
Here’s a brief comparison of the features you get with each:
There are no hidden fees or contract obligations when you use SEMrush. In fact, you can upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time. And with a free 7-day trial available, there’s no guessing whether this suite of SEO tools will be helpful or not.
There is also a free, though very limited version of SEMrush you can use if you want. Here’s a look at some of what you get with the free plan:
Though still effective for helping boost SEO, know that the premium version of SEMrush will give you access to a whole lot more.
In the end, SEMrush is the leading SEO tool in the market for helping website owners of all levels succeed in the competitive online landscape. And while many SEO tools are individual and very specific, the one thing that helps set SEMrush apart is the fact that it’s a suite of SEO tools designed to help you in many areas related to search engine optimization.