You probably know that ranking on the first page in the search engines is not easy. SEO is getting harder and harder every year, as Google updates their algorithm.
But what if I told you that you can model what your competition is doing and get similar results?
I’m not saying that you should copy what they are doing. But in the end, Google is just a robot, which ranks websites based on an algorithm.
So it makes sense to do what successful websites are doing in order to get the same results as them. I was personally struggling with traffic when I first started out.
After I graduated from college, I was trying to make money here and there so that I wouldn’t need to go and get a corporate job. Because I hated it.
The problem was that my parents were pushing me into getting a normal job because they were worried I was going to end up as a failure. It was so frustrating because I knew that I could start making money by myself.
Also, I wanted to offer my parents the things that I wanted them to have. They supported me all my life and my dream was to send them a lot of money every week.
Obviously I failed at most of my endeavors, so I had to go and get a corporate job. Because I needed money…
After a couple of never-ending weeks and months of cubicle work, one of my friends told me that there are people who make money on the internet. I then became obsessed with this.
My plan was to then spend all my time and money into trying to make money online. Unfortunately, every time I was searching for something, there were fake “gurus” trying to sell the dream.
I got scammed many times (because I am not very smart). But after many struggles, I started to make some money. And then a little more and a little more.
I realized that if you work hard enough, you will be repaid. Also, I was able to repay my mother and father for all the support they gave me.
In the end, the most important thing is that my parents are now proud of me.
This is also why I started this website. To help people make informed decisions and prevent them to get scammed like I did.
So if you want to find out how to rank higher in Google and get more traffic, then you’re in the right place. By the end of this article, you will be able to make an informed decision on whether or not you should invest in SEMrush.
SEMrush Review: What Is It?
SEMrush is one of the best, if not the best, SEO tools out there at the moment. Its purpose is to take all the hard work away from you regarding competitor analysis and keyword research.
Basically, you can do absolutely anything with this tool, if you know how to properly use it. (you will, by the end of this article)
As a side note, have you seen those James Bond movies? There’s always a plot twist that includes an informant which betrays him.(1)
SEMrush is basically that informant that tells you what your competition is doing, and gives you tips on how to beat them 🙂
This tool provides the most useful information that you need in order to rank your websites on the first page of the search engines.
There are very few tools that can accurately tell you this kind of information (more on that later).
The logical way of doing things is to first take a look at your website, before you analyze your competitors. What sense does it make to see what other people are doing if you don’t have your stuff sort out in the first place?(2)
In order to outrank your competitors, you first need to have a clear understanding on how your website performs. So, how do you do this?
Any experienced SEO will tell you that the first step is to perform a website audit. There are many tools that allow you to do this.
But honestly, SEMrush does a much better job than all of them because it provides you with A LOT of information. I’ve never seen such a great detail when auditing my websites.(3)
So, how do you do this? Well, first you need to go to the “Projects” tab. After that, click on “Add new project” and “Site Audit”
You then need to fill out all the settings required in order to perform a site audit. After a few couple of seconds (or couple of minutes if you have a big site), you will receive a very beautiful and detailed breakdown of your site.
It’s like taking your website to the doctor, if you want to look at it like that.
After that, I recommend you download a PDF version of this report, in order to know what problems you need to fix.
Also, don’t rush things. Relax, take it one step at a time. Your site isn’t going anywhere.
If you try to fix everything at once, it’s possible to make mistakes. This happened to me before starting to use SEMrush. I though I knew everything I needed to know, but as you can imagine, I didn’t.
Fast forward to today, I am much more relaxed when doing a website audit because I have all the information I need.
Collect Benchmark Data
Just type your domain name in the search bar from the top of SEMrush. This will give you a very detailed breakdown about your site “authority”, if you will.
For example, you can see how many backlinks you have, the referring domains and the anchor text.
You can then try to get backlinks from the same domains that they have. This is a very powerful tactic.
This is, in my opinion, one of the best features of this tool. A couple of months ago, SEMrush said that this features is barely utilized by the users.
Why? Don’t ask.
I have no idea why people don’t use it. I do use it, and you should to.
This tool analyzes every page of your website, and gives you actionable steps on how to improve your SEO.(6)
This is huge because it tells you what to do for each individual page. This is worth the entire price alone if you ask me.
In order to access this feature, you need to click on “Projects”, then on “Select Site” => SEO Ideas
After you took a look at your own site, fixed all the problems and applied the tips that the SEO Ideas tool gave you, now it’s time to look into your neighbours yard to see what’s happening over there.(7)
Identify Your Competitors
First, you need to find who you’re really competing with. Fortunately, it’s very easy to do this inside of SEMrush.
You need to click on “Domain Analysis”, after that on “Show Entire Menu”, then on “Organic Search” and finally “Competitors”.
You will then see a page where you will need to insert your domain name. After that, just click and the tool will do the rest.(8)
After a few seconds, you will see a very detailed report with who you’re real competitors are and what keywords you have in common with them.
Also, you will see how high the competition is and what kind of traffic they get.
I remember when I first used this tool, it showed me some websites that I had no idea I am competing against. This was very useful because I could have lost a lot of money.
You can then analyze your competitors with relative ease (stay tuned).
One Click Competitor Analysis
You can just click on your competitors website and you will see a very detailed report with their traffic, backlinks and other such information.
Also, you can compare your website with theirs in order to see what chances you have of outranking them.(9)
You can even take a look at the traffic that they get from mobile.
If you click on “View Entire Report” option, you will be able to see a full list of the keywords that your competitor is currently ranking for.
You can analyze what keywords they are trying to rank for and how to compete with them (stay tuned for that). For now, look for new keyword ideas that you can outrank them with.(10)
Maybe you have more articles on your website for one specific topic, and you can rank for a more competitive keyword because you’ve built more relevance.
SEMrush Keyword Research
If you ask me, SEMrush is the best keyword research tool on the market. Why?
Because of the level of detail that it provides. Whether you’re looking for exact match keywords, long-tail keywords or broad match keywords, you’re in luck, because you can basically find the most detailed information about all of them.(11)
In order to access the Keyword Magic Tool, you need to click on “Keyword Analytics” and then on “Keyword Magic”.
After you entered your desired keywords, you will be presented with a huge list of related keywords along with their search volume, keyword difficulty and other such useful information.
You can (and you should) copy this list in a CSV file. There is a small green button on the top right of the page if you want to do this.
The Keyword Magic Tool from SEMrush is very good because of the analytics it provides. You can find keywords with high search volume and relatively low KD very quickly.
If you click on the “Mobile” option from the keyword research tool, you can see what searches are made from mobile devices for every specific keyword.
As you can probably tell, I really love the Keyword Magic Tool. I’ve spent a lot of money for a very long time on crappy keyword research tools.
They were showing me false data and I was wasting my time writing article after article and I couldn’t understand why I was on page 12 of Google. After a long time, I understood that the tool was showing false keyword difficulty scores.
Fast-forward to today, I use SEMrush for all of my websites and their keyword research tool is showing me good data (which is huge). Now I’m not wasting my time writing articles that will never rank.
This is another nice feature that was recently added. You can compare how your keyword perform in the search engines compared to your competitors. You can use this information to better optimize your pages so your competitors don’t come and steal your rankings.
Or if you’re sneaky, you can steal your competitor’s rankings by better optimizing for their keywords.(12)
Topic Research Tool
If you want to write about a specific niche, this tool helps you find related topics based on your search.
Also, you will see the websites that are ranking high in the search engines in that niche, and further analyze them. I found myself using this feature a lot.(13)
Sometimes you run out of ideas on what to write.
SEMrush Rank Tracker
As you can probably imagine, you can also check your competitor’s rankings in the search engines. You can see what keywords they currently rank for, as well as what are their best performing pages. You can use this information to model after them and get similar rankings.
You can get this information by clicking “Sidebar”, then “Organic Research” and “Positions”.
If you ask me, this is very cool. It’s like having a mole inside of your competitor’s website.
Also, you can check this information for your own site, so you can find out what you need to improve, what works and what new opportunities you have.(14)
Another cool feature is that you can track historical rankings. This is very useful as you can easily see the previous trends, as well as the future ones.
You probably already know that backlinks are still one of the most important ranking factors, and will probably stay like this for a long time.
SEMrush provides its users to do an in-depth backlink analysis in order to help them in their link-building campaigns, as well as removing the links that harm their rankings.(15)
You can enter your competitor’s website in the search bar and select the “Backlinks” option
This is one of the best ways to find out who you’re going up against, and whether or not it’s really worth it. If your competitors has backlinks from high authority websites such as entrepreneur.com or forbes.com, you might not want to compete for the same keywords with them.
Overall, I think SEMrush still has the best backlink checker out there. Why?
Because of the speed with which the tool finds the backlinks. Also, it’s very accurate. It finds the exact referring domains and anchor texts.
I can’t say the same about the tools that I was using before …
SEMrush allows you to filter out the types of backlinks that you want to find. That’s pretty cool, right?
I really like the metrics like the domain authority score and the backlink categories.
You can even compare the backlinks of 5 different websites at the same time.(16)
You can do this by clicking on “Backlinks” and then selecting the “Backlink Comparison” option.
SEMrush Advertising Research
This is one of the coolest features of SEMrush, and again, apparently it’s one of the most ignored ones.
I mean, why wouldn’t you use it? It’s so helpful when it comes to marketing and advertising.
You can literally see how much money your competitors are paying for their ads, and also how much traffic they’re getting.
This is pure gold. Imagine copying the exact ads that are working for your competition.(17)
If you’re into paid ads (like me), then you know how powerful they can be. You can get instant traffic and test different pages.
If your competition is spending money for a specific ad, that means that the ad is working. So you will find this feature very useful.
SEMrush Traffic Analytics
You can also see the traffic that your competitors are getting from other sources apart from Google. For example social media or forums.
If you’re familiar with SimilarWeb, this feature is quite similar with that (pun intended).
Also, this feature shows you what those visitors are doing once they arrive on your competitor’s site.(18)
SEMrush has one of the best customer supports out there. It’s even better than GoDaddy’s or SiteGround’s if you ask me.
They reply very fast and are very efficient in solving your problems. But honestly, I didn’t really need the customer support since I started using it (over 6 months).
I’m quite sure you won’t need it as well. Though it’s nice to know that it doesn’t suck.(19)
What I like about SEMrush
I really like the fact that it’s very easy to use, even if you’re a beginner. Most tools can be really overwhelming at the beginning.
I’m sure they kept that in mind when they designed the tool. Everything is easy to access and the platform is intuitive.
Also, I really like the huge amount of data that they offer. In my opinion, it’s much better than Ahrefs.
You can easily filter basically anything and find what you need. Also, another thing that I like and I use quite often is the feature that allows you to download files into your PC.
And as I said before, the keyword research tool is great. You will like it for sure.
It’s just the best keyword tool out there. I use it for all of my websites and in the past 6 months, I was able to find low competition keywords that I ranked for without much problems.
The Backlink tool is also very good. As I told you before, it’s very easy to use and provides a lot of comprehensive data. You will love it.
Also, if you have a problem, the customer support is there to help you.(20)
What I don’t like about SEMrush
In one month I decided to upgrade to the Guru plan in order to see if it’s worth the extra $100/month and I was a little disapointed.
Some of the features of this plan seem to have been added just as a filler and don’t really provide any additional value to the tool. In my opinion, you should stick with the “pro” plan.(21)
There are 3 plans that you can choose from: Pro ($99/month), Guru ($199/month) and Business ($399/month)
The Pro plan is the most affordable one. It’s very similar to Moz and Ahrefs basic plan’s.
The Business plan however is cheaper than the equivalent of what the competitors offer. So, if you’re a big SEO agency, I would recommend going with SEMrush because Ahrefs has a very expensive $999/month plan, and Moz has a $599/month one.
If you’re a small entrepreneur, the Pro plan at $99/month is more than enough for you. Anyway you can easily upgrade once you start getting bigger.
But honestly, I wouldn’t recommend going higher if you’re not running a SEO agency. As I said before, the Guru plan seems a bit of a filler if you ask me.(22)
But hey, you might like it. I just recommend you start with the $99/month plan.
You will like SEMrush. If you ask me, it’s the best SEO tool on the market.
I really like the keyword tool and the backlink checker. Also, the rank tracker is a feature that I use every day.
It’s the only SEO tool i use, and it’s more than enough for me. At least at the moment.
It’s really helpful regarding both On-Page and Off-Page SEO. You should go ahead and try it out.
Frequently Asked Questions
How accurate is SEMrush?
I found it quite accurate to be honest. Personally, I didn’t have any problems in the past 6 months that I used it.
What is SEMrush used for?
It’s a complete SEO tool that helps both your On-page and Off-Page SEO. If you ask me, it’s a must have tool if you’re doing SEO.
Who is SEMrush for?
It’s for whoever wants to take their SEO to the next level and rank for more competitive keywords and increase their traffic. If you’re a blogger (like me), then this tool is perfect for you. Also, if you’re an SEO agency, then this is really a must-have tool because it’s cheaper than Ahrefs and Moz, and basically does the same thing.
How much does SEMrush cost?
There are 3 plans that you can choose from: Pro, Guru and Business. They cost $99, $199 and $399. All the prices are paid monthly.
Is there a free trial? Luckily it is.