SEMRush Review: SEO Tool for Competitor Keyword Research


SEMRush Review: SEO Tool for Competitor Keyword Research

In this digital world, we all know the importance of online marketing and search engine optimization.

If you’re a blogger, you want your blogs to be read by millions of people on monthly basis, if you’re a business man and managing a website for the same, you want to reach across the entire globe or any specific area to make profit. It’s genuine, isn’t?

We arrange an online marketing team and spend millions to them to achieve the same.

But a big thanks to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Monitoring) tools. They’ve made online marketing easy.

Why we need SEO tools?

In the world of technology and Internet, the one who performs well in search results is the one who profits the most.

And to make sure your blog or website is appearing in search engine results when someone searches for some keywords, you need to continuously monitor the progress. That’s where the need of SEO tools emerges.

SEO tools play a vital role in promoting the business and attracting customers. For the same some of bloggers and business prefer running Google Adwords campaign. But only running a Google Adwords campaign is not sufficient. You need to keep an eye on the competitor’s strategy like:

  1. Keywords that are driving the traffic to them
  2. Backlinks
  3. Advertising technique etc.

Is there any such tool using which you can do all of this?

The answer is yes, SEMRush.

What is SEMRush?

SEMRush is a top paid SEO tool used for keywords research and a complete competitor analysis. Into the modern competitive niche and serious online business, you all know how important is to drive more traffic from search engines to your websites. And to increase your organic traffic you need to find profitable (high performing) keywords. One of the most effective ways to find profitable keywords is to research your competitors.

If you find and analyze the keywords that are used by the top blogs and websites in your industry, you will create better plan and marketing strategy to increase your overall search engine traffic.

Let me explain it with an example.

Flipkart and Snapdeal both are e-commerce websites and you use them for online shopping. According to the recent reports, Flipkart has more reach to the people than Snapdeal. It has happened because of their effective marketing strategy. And if Snapdeal can find out the keywords that are driving maximum traffic to Flipkart, they can change their strategy and plan out in a way to crush Flipkart. This will help in branding and attract more customers hence, more sales, and more profit.

Key Features of SEMRush:

We can categorize its features into following three categories:

  1. Analytics Report
  2. Tools
  3. Projects

Analytics Report: SEMRush provides various kinds of reports which help you in understanding your competitors’ strategy. Here’re the things which you can analyze by SEMRush’s analytics reports:

  1. Organic Research
  2. Advertising Research
  3. Display Advertising
  4. Backlinks
  5. Video Advertising Research
  6. Keyword Research
  7. Product Listing Ads

Tools: Using SEMRush tools you can do the following in just a few clicks:

  1. Estimate keyword difficulty
  2. Compare competitive domains
  3. Charts

Projects: After launching the global campaigns for your website, you can get all the necessary metrics, listed below, from one place.

  1. Position Tracking
  2. Site Audit
  3. Social Media Tool
  4. Brand Monitoring Tool

My experience of using SEMRush:

When I started blogging 7 years back, I used to decorate my blog by uploading better quality contents targeting some specific type of readers. I never knew the importance of its friendliness with the search engine and whether my blog is available in Google’s top 100 search lists.

While digging more, I learned the importance of SEO. So, I started learning about SEO and link building.

In the process, I tried many SEO tools like Ahrefs, Moz and others but I found SEMRush provides better features than others in much affordable price.

How to crush your competition using SEMRush?

Now, it’s action time. Let’s know how to use SEMRush to crush your competition and make profits.

  1. How to do Keyword Research using SEMRush?

The search traffic totally depends upon the keywords you use. So, using rich keywords is the key. And using SEMRush, you can do proper keyword research easily.

Let’s understand, how?

Step 1: Type a keyword in the box (highlighted as 1).

Step 2: Select the database where you want to do research (highlighted as 2).

Step 3: Click “Search”.

And you’re done. SEMRush will display two reports, in the “Phrase match report” (highlighted as 3) you can see the phrases matching to your search and in the “Related keyword report” (highlighted as 4) you can see the related keywords which are used by others.

Like, I have used the “budget travel” keyword, and searched it in the U.K. database, when I clicked on the “Search” button, I found the matching phrases and related keywords which I can use in my blogs to increase organic traffic.

  1. How to do Organic Research using SEMRush?

Let’s start with knowing your competition. This can happen by analyzing the “Organic Competitors Table” given below:

In the above table, we’ve found 13,376 potential competitors. That means your website is competing with these domains in Google’s top 100 organic search results. But analyzing all of them doesn’t make sense. Let me explain some important fields of the table, first:

Competition Level: Displays the level of competition.

Common Keywords: No of common keywords for which your competitor is visible in the top 100 search results.

SE keywords: No. of keywords which are driving traffic to your competitor’s website via Google’s top 100 organic search results.

In the above table, the domain with the highest no. of common keywords is your biggest competition.

After knowing your biggest competition, let’s find the specific keywords that are driving most organic traffic to your competitor’s website. This can be done by analyzing the “Organic Search Positions Table” given below:

This table will show all the keywords for which your competitor is ranking in Google‘s top 100 search results. Let’s have a brief look at all the fields of the table:

Keyword: Lists all the traffic driving keywords

Pos: Position of that specific keyword in search results

Volume: Average no. of exact match queries for that keyword in the local search

CPC (Cost per Click): Average CPC for the advertisement

URL: The URL to which that keyword is driving traffic

Traffic%: Total percentage of the traffic driven from that keyword

Costs%: Percentage of the total cost by that keyword

Com: Competition Check, shows the competition of advertisers for that keyword

Results: Number of search engine results

Trend: Graphical representation of the trend or fashion or use of that keyword for the last 12 months

SERP Source: What the search engine result pages look when typing in that key term

  1. How to do Backlink Analysis using SEMRush?

SEMRush provides you a detailed backlink analysis by which you can better understand your competitor’s link building strategy. Let’s understand how it works?

In the above screenshot, you can see that your competitor has “33.3K” referring domains. This huge data is enough to express the diversity of your competitor’s link profile.

Other important information is to know the type of backlinks your competitor is getting. You can find this data at the left side of the above screenshot, according to which almost 91% (739K) of his backlinks are “text” links. This also indicates its killer backlink profile.

You can also find follow links and the nofollow links in a pie chart fashion. Looking at the right bottom side of the screenshot you can find out that your competitor has quite a few .org backlinks. .org, .edu, .gov backlinks typically pass more authorities onto a website. The screenshot given below highlights your competitor’s referring domains in detail:

It shows a healthy mix of .com, .org, .net TLDs. You can also easily find the numbers backlinks coming from each domain.

You can also find the details of specific pages linking to the website just by clicking “Total Backlinks” metric. That will display the screenshot given below:

In the above screenshot you can easily find the origin of see the backlink, as well as the pages of your competitor’s website that received the backlink.

One more important thing to note here is that your competitor’s website has a healthy mix of brand, keyword and naked URL anchor text.

Now, you’ve a huge list of backlink URLs, plan out to use it for your profit.

  1. How to perform Site Audit using SEMRush?

After learning how to peep inside your competitor’s marketing strategy and plan out better to outrank him, now it’s the time to peep inside your own website. And it can be easily achieved in minutes by using Site Audit Tool of SEMRush.

Head over to the “Projects” tab, click “Site Audit”, enter your domain and set up crawler settings, and if necessary, allow/disallow URLs, remove URL parameters, schedule recurring reports and click “Start Site Audit”. On completion of the audit, SEMRush will display your websites health report as given below in the screenshot:

Here, you can see the total health score of your website, more the score better search traffic. It also lists issues of your website like no. of broken links error, no. of pages having duplicate content and no. of internal links containing nofollow links warning, etc. You can easily fix these issues and make your website’s search rankings going up.

Pricing and Discount of SEMRush:

SEMRush comes in following 3 pricing plans:

PRO $69.95 monthly
GURU $149.95 monthly
BUSINESS $549.95 monthly

Let’s know what features they are providing for each plan:

Results per report 10000 30000 50000
Reports per day 3000 5000 10000
Projects 5 50 UNLIMITED
Keywords to track 500 1500 6000
Pages to crawl 100000 300000 1200000
Scheduled PDF reports 5 20 50
Branded PDF reports NO YES YES
Historical data NO YES YES
Product Listing Ads NO NO YES
Multi-user management NO NO YES

Now, you can easily decide the plan best suitable for you.

If you’re a beginner, start with 30 days Free Trial and explore whether this toll is right for you. When you’re convinced, upgrade to the PRO version. Only in $69.95 monthly, PRO version provides a complete, detailed analysis of your competitor’s website.

What do I like most about SEMRush?

SEMRush is good for a blogger like me. Let me tell you why?

  1. All essential SEO works in one dashboard.
  2. Ability to measure my sites’ organic rankings for my keywords just by choosing a month.
  3. Easy keyword research.
  4. Tracking keyword’s position in all major search engines simply by adding it to the dashboard.
  5. Geographical location feature help me target specific countries like U.S, U.K, France, Singapore, India, Australia, etc.
  6. Competitive analysis features help me understand the online marketing I’m competing in and make me crush my competitors.

If you’re a serious internet marketer or blogger, you must have this tool.

What do i dislike about SEMRush?

It’s very hard for me to find a single reason to dislike this incredibly comprehensive SEO tool. But it has following limitations:

  1. There’re better Backlink analysis tools in the market.
  2. New display and video advertising reports are still in beta.
  3. SEMRush is not connected with Google Adwords or Google Analytics. So, I cannot have the real keyword data from my own Google Analytics or Google Adwords account in the keyword data of SEMRush.
  4. Current competitive analysis tool is not much satisfying.


SEMRush is an extremely adaptive and comprehensive tool which helps you in doing all your SEO in very less time. Not only its incredible features of keyword research, competitor research, backlink analysis and site audit but also its tools like “Domain vs. Domain” makes SEMRush stand above all.

We all are time poor; hence to cope up with fast paced nature of SEO industry, you must have SEMRush in your SEO tools arsenal.

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