Semrush Review 2021: Is it Right SEO Tool for ME?

Semrush Review


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Once your start using Semrush you get to know why millions of users trust. They provide enough data for backlinks, keywords, ppc, and important SEO stats which makes it one of the most prominent tool in the SEO industry.

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Do you want to drive millions of traffic to your blog?


Do you want to rank your content on the #1 position in Google?

Whether you are running a personal blog or a business website, conducting in-depth keyword research and analyzing your competition is the primary thing you have to do.

There are many tools out there in the market like Ahrefs and Serpstat that let you optimize your website to rank higher in search engines.

Semrush is one such trusted tool that I have personally used for keyword research and competition analysis. It is an amazing SEO tool that helps you analyze your and your competitor's website to stay ahead in your business online.

Therefore, in this post, I am sharing a detailed review of the Semrush tool to help you decide whether it's worth it or not.

So, without wasting any further time, let's start:

Semrush overview

Semrush is one of the most advanced digital marketing tools used widely by 6 million people for optimizing their websites to rank higher in search engines. The tool is a go-to choice for almost every blogger like me to find high-volume profitable keywords and generate detailed competition analysis.

Advantages of Semrush

  • Simple, appealing, and easy to use interface
  • Exceptional site auditing and link building tools
  • A complete checklist to improve your on-page SEO
  • Extensive customer support available
  • 7 day free trial option

Disadvantages of Semrush

  • Provides data only for Google search engine
  • It only comes with one user account
  • Competitor analysis feature demands additional cost of $200 per month
  • The tool’s interface is not mobile friendly

When you use Semrush, you will realize that it offers several notable features to improve your online business presence.

Firstly, Semrush' Site audit tool' provides a comprehensive overview of your website's technical issues and related SEO problems. It will help you make any significant technical improvements in your website that are blocking your path to getting higher rankings in Google.

Next is Semrush' keyword research' that gives you the best suggestions for using keywords and phrases that can level up your content game.

You can also see how your competitor is doing – their keywords, traffic, and links to create a 10 X better SEO strategy to outrank them.

Further, Semrush enables you to find 'n' number of Backlinks opportunities to build high-quality backlinks that can help you get an edge over your competitors.

Sounds amazing, right?

Well, this is just the beginning of the enormous benefits that you can leverage with Semrush.

Now let's just dig deep into the main features of Semrush and how effectively you can use them to improve your website performance.

Domain Analysis

Domain overview is the first step towards any SEO analysis. It simply refers to checking the domain's visibility on desktop and mobile devices from an SEO point of view.

You do domain analysis majorly for three reasons:

  • To see your website metrics and what all improvements you can make to improve it.
  • To understand your competitor's website and how difficult or easy it is to outrank them.
  • To know how powerful or authoritative a particular website domain is in order to obtain a link from the same.

All you have to do here is just enter any domain name and then see its key metrics that contribute to its authority, i.e., Backlinks, organic ads, paid traffic, etc.

The main thing to observe here is, firstly, the 'authority score' of a domain which is calculated on the basis of:

  • The total number of Backlinks pointing to it
  • Organic search data- keyword positions and search positions
  • The total amount of traffic or visitors coming on a monthly basis

Here it is important to note that the traffic that Semrush accords to any website is a rough estimate and not 100% accurate.

After authority score, the next significant thing that domain overview shows is 'keywords by country and traffic trends.' Here you can see from which countries your website is getting traffic, further divided into organic and paid search separately.

'Organic search' lets you can see what all 'organic keywords' bringing your website to the top 100 searches of Google.

The information that Semrush provides about organic search constitutes the following:

  • Keyword position
  • Search volume
  • CPC estimate
  • Traffic Percentage

Under organic search, you can analyze 'main organic competitors.' These are the websites that are targeting the same group of keywords competing with one another.

Then there is the 'competitor positioning map,' which is extremely important that let you see how a particular site is performing in the SERP and how strongly it is competing.

The Semrush tool further categories the organic traffic on the basis of branded and non-branded searches.

The next important thing to consider in the domain overview is 'Backlinks' of your 'selected domain.' The types of Backlinks, whether 'do follow' or 'no follow,' pointing to a particular website, determines how strong its backlink profile.

Under the Backlinks section, you can view the

  • 'Top anchor text' used
  • Number of indexed pages and how many backlinks are pointing to it.
  • The last element of the domain overview is 'display advertising' that lets you view the number of ads running on a particular domain. It can help you create your own advertising campaign effectively.

    Keyword Research

    'Keyword research tool' is by far the best tool offered by Semrush for its excellent keyword research potential. The basic expectations while performing any keyword research is to know:

    • Search volume of a keyword- how many people are searching for it
    • Keyword difficulty- how difficult or easy a keyword is to rank
    • Top 10 SERP – who all websites are already ranking for that particular keyword
    • Related keyword suggestions

    You will be happy to know that the Semrush keyword researcher does all that for you. Enter a keyword to its 'keyword overview' tool, and you will quickly see the search volume, difficulty, ranking sites, and suggestions for the searched term.

    Other than this, Semrush has three various features of keyword research and each one comes with its own functions:

    Keyword magic tool

    Let me tell you that Semrush's 'keyword magic tool' has more than 20 billion keywords in its database. This means that you can generate lots of keyword ideas using this tool and finalize the best ones based on the competition, difficulty, and trend it follows.

    To access the 'keyword magic tool,' head over to the Semrush dashboard, then go to 'keyword research' and click on the 'keyword magic tool.'

    Now enter your 'seed keyword' and click the 'enter' button.

    Here you can see all the keyword ideas for your 'seed keyword.' You can further sort the long list from 'high to low search volume.'

    To make a list narrower, you can add modifiers like the broad match, phrase match, exact match, or related keywords.

    Further, on the left side, you can see 'keyword groups' and use it to find long-tail keywords that are easy to target and rank with low keyword difficulty.

    If in case you want to search for 'questions based keywords,' then just select the 'questions' modifiers and find keywords in the form of questions.

    To enhance your keyword research, use filters for 'search volume' and 'keyword difficulty' to find the best and most suitable keywords for writing the best piece of content.

    For instance, if I search for the seed keyword 'best headphones,' the tool generated over 5k results. Now it is complicated to find the keywords with low difficulty and decent search volume when there are so many keywords to examine.

    So, to narrow down the long list of keywords, I will apply filters for search volume in the range of 101-1000 and keyword difficulty to 0-39%, and then I got just 5 keywords.

    From this small list of keywords, I can easily pick the most suitable long-tail keyword for my article.

    So, play with filters as much as you can and find the most relevant keywords for your blog articles.

    Keyword Gap

    If you already have a website/blog and want to compare your keyword profile to that of your competitors, then the keyword gap tool is the right choice for you.

    To access it:

    • Go to 'keyword gap.'
  • After that, add your 'website URL' in the first box, 'you.'
  • Then in the following boxes, add your 'competitor's URL.'
  • Now when you click on 'compare,' it will take you to the keyword gap analysis dashboard.
  • When you will scroll down, you can see, the table of the dashboard shows you the different type of data:

    • Shared: It shows keywords that are common to you and your competitors
    • Missing: It shows keywords on which your competitor sites are ranking, but your site is not ranking
    • Weak: It shows keywords on which your site is ranking lower than your competitor's sites
    • Strong: It shows keywords on which your site is ranking higher than your competitor's sites
    • Untapped: It shows keywords on which you are not ranking, but one of your competitors is ranking
    • All keywords: It shows all the keywords for which you and your competitors are ranking

    To gather data from your competitor keyword research, you need to mainly focus on the 'weak,' 'missing,' and the 'untapped' keywords. These are the keywords that you are either not targeting or underperforming, so focus on them.

    Also, while picking the keywords from these lists, keep in mind choosing only those keywords relevant to your blog content. There is no point in inserting irrelevant competitor keywords into your articles that have no purpose and will not profit you anyway.

    Keyword manager

    Semrush' keyword manager' allows you to analyze up to 1000 keywords at once and provides deeper SERP insights into your selected keywords.

    You can use this feature to generate real-time results for your already selected keywords and know what new competitors are ranking for it.

    To access 'Keyword Manager,' go to 'SEO dashboard,' then keyword research, and click on 'keyword manager’.

    Keyword manager is highly useful when you are working in a competitive niche where SEO metrics for your keywords are subject to changes from time to time.

    Rank tracking

    'Rank tracking' of Semrush works similarly to most other rank tracking tools in the market. It reveals how your website is performing in the Google search engine for a particular keyword.

    To access it, go to its position tracker section and enter any domain name and keyword that you want to track. Once you do that, it will show you how and where your site ranks for that keyword.

    With the passage of time, when more of your site data is stored within Semrush, it will enable you to monitor your website progress with the changes you will make to rank higher.

    In addition to this, you can also track your competitor's website's rankings to understand the competition of a keyword. With that, you will also get regular updates from Semrush about your rankings through emails.

    Semrush also offers you the bonus of tracking your social media rankings.

    Backlink Analysis

    Backlinks have always been an essential factor that determines the success of any site in search engines.

    You can look for 'Backlinks Analysis' in Semrush in two ways- backlink analytics and Backlinks audit.

    Let's understand both one by one.

    Backlinks analytics

    For Backlinks analysis in Semrush, locate the 'Backlinks analytics' option on the left sidebar.

    Enter any domain name for which you want to find the list of Backlinks pointing to it.

    Now the Semrush will show you the following data:

    • Total Backlinks- Total number of incoming links pointing to your site. If from one particular website you got 10 links, then Semrush will calculate it as 10, not 1.
    • Referring domains- Total number of unique domains linking to your site. If from one particular domain you got 5 links, then it will be calculated as 1, not 5.
  • Referring IPs- Total number of unique IP addresses linking to your site.
  • Authority Score- It determines the quality of a backlink. The higher the score, the higher the authority of a site.
  • New and lost Backlinks

    When you scroll down the screen, you will see the section of ‘new and lost Backlinks'. It will show you how many Backlinks you have earned in a month, denoted by 'blue' color. Similarly, it shows how many Backlinks you have lost, indicated by the 'orange' color.

    Here you can see another chart that displays the total number of Backlinks from all time. It also shows whether the incoming links to your site have been increased or decreases. Usually, the graph shows an increase if you keep updating your website with fresh content.

    Distribution of different types of links –text, image, no follow, or do-follow.

    In this section, you can clearly see how many links to your site are textual links, how many are in the embedded form, how many have come from images, and how many are from iFrame.

    When you see the right side, you can quickly view the percentage of no-follow and a do-follow link pointing to your site. The more they do-follow links, the higher your rankings will be. However, you should always maintain a ratio between no-follow and do-follow.

    Top anchor texts

    Lastly, you can view the top anchor texts for which you are getting links. This is useful to know how people are linking to your content.

    Backlinks audit

    Another way to look at your Backlinks through the Semrush tool is that you perform a Backlinks audit. It will tell you the quality of Backlinks pointing to your site and overall site health.

    While Backlinks audit, Semrush compiles the list of all spammy links that are linking to your site. With this report, you can easily remove these links from the Google Disavow tool.'

    These links can damage your site SEO and rankings as Google penalizes the spammy sites with poor quality links.

    Site Auditing

    Semrush' Site Audit' provides you a clear picture of how your website performs and what all issues are there in it. It is far better than the free auditing tools that you use and highlights all your website issues that are negatively impacting your rankings, such as:

    • Errors in crawling your website
    • Overstuffing of keywords in the content
    • Problems related to SSL
    • Duplicate content issues
    • Missing headers

    For site audit, go to projects, add 'new project.'

    After that, enter the required information in the box like ‘project domain’ and ‘project name’ and setup' site audit'.

    Now select the number of pages you want Semrush to crawl and straight away click on 'start site audit’.

    The process may take up some time, depending upon the pages you have selected.

    Once the process gets completed, Semrush will show you a complete report of your website displaying all the technical and on–page SEO issues hurting your website growth.

    As you can see, some errors are showing with the 'red' color. These are the issues that are harming your website the most, and you should start working to fix them immediately.

    Semrush on-page seo checker is one of a kind feature that not only tells you the problems of your website but also suggests the improvements that you can make to level it up:

    • The keywords that should focus on targeting
    • Optimize your content according to word length
    • Improvements you can make in the title tags and Meta descriptions
    • Strategies you can use to rank in the featured snippets.
    • Backlinks opportunities from high authority websites ;
    • And interlinking techniques

    Therefore, the site auditing feature of Semrush is extremely useful as it not only suggests you the necessary improvements you can make to your website but also educates you on why to do it.'

    Semrush Pricing Plans

    When you decide whether to pay for Semrush or not thinking about the high monthly cost associated with the tool. In comparison to other SEO tools, Semrush is a little expensive.

    However, I can bet when you will use Semrush; you will realize it has such powerful features which you will not find anywhere else.

    Semrush provides four pricing plans:

    • Pro- It costs $99.95 per month

    Suitable for: For small companies and growing startups

    • Guru- It costs $199 per month

    Suitable for: Medium-sized businesses and agencies

    • Business- It costs $399.95 per month

    Suitable for: Large size businesses, Agencies, and Ecommerce

    • Enterprise – Here, you got the custom pricing options set when you configure your customer interface.

    Suitable for: Large scaling brands

    If you purchase any of the plans mentioned above on a yearly basis, you can save 16%.

    Semrush also offers a free 7-day trial which you can purchase to test out its features for a fixed duration before purchasing for a premium plan. The standard version is only available for 7 days, but you can avail of limited access for an extended period of 14 days.

    Ease of use and interface

    Overall, the user interface of Semrush is quite appealing, and you can easily navigate through all its features.

    Its interface is similar to that of other tools like Moz and Ahrefs that let you browse through a menu of options on the left to access all its functions. Here you can see all the categories of options grouped together- keyword research, link building, competitor analysis, rank tracking, on-page SEO checker, and reporting.

    The tool might feel overwhelming when you use it for the first time with a lot of data to comprehend. But as soon as you get familiarized with the tool, you will discover endless opportunities to make your website 100X better than your competitors.

    The only drawback that I found in the Semrush interface is that it is not mobile-friendly. When you open it on mobile, you see a desktop interface that is quite difficult to handle by default. However, Semrush does offer a mobile application for rank tracking. I hope it can add other features in its mobile app too.

    Customer support

    With the several technicalities associated with the usage of SEO tools, the significance of handy customer support becomes mandatory.

    So, here's good news for you that's Semrush customer support is excellent, and 24-7 available to look into your queries and suggest remedial solutions for the same.

    You can reach out to the Semrush customer support team by three options:

    • Phone
    • Email
    • Live chat

    It is good to note here that few tools come up with phone support options, but Semrush provides that. Also, you can easily spot the contact detail on its website. A helpful chat support option is clearly visible in the corner of each page. Similarly, you can found the phone number listed on the footer on their official website.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Is Semrush better than Moz?

    In comparison to Moz, Semrush provides a lot more data not juts related to SEO but PPC also. In addition to this, if you have to do a lot of keyword research and competition analysis, then Semrush is the best choice for you to consider.

    Is Semrush free?

    You can use Semrush for free only for 7 days and with limited functionalities for 14 days extended period. But after that, you would have purchase a paid plan from the three: Pro, Guru and Business. You can check the pricing for each plan above and take your decision wisely.

    How do I get started with Semrush?

    To start your SEO project with Semrush, do the following things:

    • Set up site audit to get a detailed analysis of your site performance and technical issues.
    • Set up position tracking to understand where you keywords are ranking in Google.
    • Check your site in on-page SEO checker to discover the areas that needs improvements.
    • Do competitor analysis to understand their strategies and tactics that they use for ranking.
    • Perform in-depth keyword research to find low competition keywords that are easy to target.

    Go to the tool and explore it yourself.

    Which is better- Semrush or Ahrefs?

    Undoubtedly, both tools have its own set of advantages and are excellent for SEO purpose.

    Ahrefs is best for those people who want to generate data based on multiple search engines. Also, the ahrefs pricing is much more comprehensive than Semrush.

    However, Semrush offers several competitive features that are not present in Ahrefs like detailed PPC data, CRM style link features and extensive phone support.

    Where does Semrush Gets Its Data?

    Semrush has not disclosed information regarding where it gets its data from. However, the company has claimed that it works with multiple data suppliers to generate its reports.

    Wrapping up!

    Considering all its outstanding features and immense scale benefits, Semrush is one of the dominating all-in-one SEO tools that you need to optimize your site based on accurate data analysis.

    I can bet that once you start using Semrush, you will realize why it is the most preferred choice of so many influencers, bloggers, and marketers. So, I would highly recommend you to purchase the Semrush plan according to your requirements, or you can also avail of its 7-day Free Trial to test the tool yourself.

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