Let’s face it. When it comes to blogging, there is no room for guesswork.
You can’t just work in the dark and expect to grow your blog.
In order to succeed at blogging, every keyword you target, every blog post you publish, and every backlink you create needs to be supported by data.
And this is where tools like SEMRush comes into the picture.
If you’ve been in the blogging or digital marketing industry long enough, then chances are you might have already heard about the “mighty” SEO tool called SEMRush.
And in today’s SEMRush review post, I’ll be explaining everything there is to know about the tool so you can decide if it’s really worth purchasing SEMRush over its competitors.
SEMRush is basically an all-in-one marketing tool. It was founded by Oleg Shchegolev and Dmitry Melnikov in 2008.
It was originally launched as an SEO browser extension called SEOQuake.
But over time, they have grown it into now a totally badass all-in-one marketing suite by adopting the SaaS model.
In my opinion, SEMRush is by far the easiest and most feature-rich SEO tool in the market right now.
Today, it has over 5 million users and offers multiple toolkits for SEO, PPC, Social Media, and Content Marketing, which I will be explaining in detail right below.
Part of the reason why SEMRush is widely popular across the globe is because of its SEO toolkit features.
In this section, I will walk you guys through all the SEO toolkit features that SEMRush has to offer and explain how they’re better compared to other SEO tools in the market.
The SEMRush SEO toolkit has the following 5 key features:
Let’s look at each of these features in detail and learn how to use them the right way.
With competitor research, you can analyze any of your competitors, perform keyword gap analysis, backlink gap analysis, and do organic research.
Here’s a quick video by SEMRush explaining exactly how to perform all of those tasks:
As you can see, to perform competitor research, all you need do is enter your competitor’s domain URL under the Domain Overview section and it will instantly display all important data about your competitor.
This data generally includes your competitor’s website traffic, the number of backlinks & referring domains, organic keywords your competitor is ranking for, and organic traffic in the form of a graph.
From this screen, you can dig deep into any of the specific metrics.
For instance, let’s suppose you want to check how much mobile traffic your competitor is getting.
For this, just click on the Organic Traffic metric as shown in the below image.
After that, find the Device drop-down list and change it from Desktop to Mobile as shown in the below image.
Once you select the Device – Mobile, it will only display the mobile traffic data.
In addition, SEMrush has also recently launched an extremely useful feature called Traffic Analysis.
With this feature, you can now see detailed metrics of your competitors such as the number of page views, average page visit duration, number of unique visitors, bounce rate, top traffic sources, and so on.
This is truly one of the most useful features to look for in any SEO tool and SEMrush just does this job way better than other SEO tools in the market.
The next useful feature of the Competitor Research is the Keyword Gap Analysis.
This is a great feature to instantly identify the common keywords between among your top competitors.
This list of keywords can help you to come up with new content marketing strategies and target valuable keywords on your blog that your competitors are already ranking for.
Now, the last useful feature in the Competitor Research is the Backlink Gap Analysis.
Similar to Keyword Gap Analysis, you can also find out the backlinks your top competitors have in common that you should also consider generating a backlink to your blog or website as well.
In fact, if you’re just starting out and looking for ways to boost your backlinking game, this is a great starting point to identify the right backlink sources.
For keyword research, SEMrush offers a bunch of useful features such as keyword overview, keyword difficulty score, and keyword magic tool to name a few.
These features basically help you get various important data such as a keyword’s volume, difficulty score, number of search results, and CPC value.
In addition, you can also find the exact match, phrase match, and related keyword suggestions for your seed keyword using the Keyword Magic Tool.
There is also a trend graph that helps you determine if a keyword is worth ranking for and what amount of traffic to expect in the near future if you rank.
Besides this, SEMrush also provides a unique section with questions to help you find low-competition, long-tail keywords.
These long-tail keywords are extremely useful for anyone who is just starting out and is just not yet ready to target high-competitor keywords.
And once you make the list of potential keywords to target, you can use the Keyword Difficulty Tool to determine if the keywords you’ve selected are worth pursuing or not.
Lastly, SEMrush also provides an Organic Traffic Insights feature. With this feature, you can check the keywords that are driving traffic to your blog or website.
However, in order to get accurate data, you’ll need to connect SEMrush with your Google Analytics as well as Google Search Console. But, it’s fairly easy to connect them as you’ll only have to approve access for SEMrush.
This is will be the tool you’ll need to use whenever you want to do blogger outreach, guest posting, or any other link building activities.
To get started, first open the Backlink Analysis as shown in the below image.
Now, enter your competitor’s URL and click on the Check It button.
Upon clicking, SEMrush will fetch and display all backlinks, their anchor texts, referring domains, other link-related metrics.
Besides this, SEMrush will also provide you important scores such as Page Score and Trust Score, which will ultimately allow you to identify the top most powerful backlinks your competitor has created that improved their rankings.
Apart from this, you can also perform a backlink audit of your own blog or website by using the Backlink Audit Tool.
You can find the backlink audit tool right underneath the backlink analysis tool as we saw earlier.
However, in order to audit backlinks of your own blog or website, first you’ll need to set up your domain for audit in the SEMrush.
To add your domain, head over to the Dashboard and click on the Add Domain button as shown in the below image.
Now, complete the configuration guide and your domain will be added in the SEMrush.
Once it’s done, the backlink audit process will take somewhere between 2 to 5 minutes for the first time.
And its report will basically reveal the number of backlinks, their toxic scores, referring domains, and potential link sources.
You can also analyze each of your backlinks individually and decide whether to keep it or delete it by adding it to the disavow list based on its toxic score.
Overall, performing a regular backlink audit is crucial if you’re actively engaged in link building activities. The regular audit will help you identify spammy toxic backlinks that might negatively affect your search visibility.
I personally review my backlinks every week to make sure there aren’t any spammy backlinks created without my knowledge.
SEMrush offers an incredibly useful tool to track the ranking of your pages or blog posts based on the keywords you’re targeting.
To use the Position Tracking tool, you’ll first need to set up the keywords to track for your website.
You can add your keywords either from Google Analytics, enter them manually, or simply import a file.
After adding your keywords, SEMrush will generate and email you the position tracking report every week or so. These weekly reports will help you be up to date about changes in the rankings for keywords you’re targeting for.
So, if you lose ranking for a specific keyword, you can instantly take action by either updating your content, building more backlinks, or by performing other such activities to reclaim your rankings.
With these two features, as you can guess, you can perform the on-page SEO audit and analyze the technical SEO of your blog or website.
Both of these features help to analyze different aspects such as your site structure, speed, crawl depth, broken links, internal linking, and so on.
You can even set up the on-page SEO & technical SEO audit to run periodically and receive regular reports.
Though you can also manually perform on-page and technical SEO audit, but the process is just really time-intensive, which is why the automatic audit is always recommended.
The On-Page SEO audit tool basically helps to import and analyze all webpages on your blog or website. Specifically, it analyzes your keywords, backlinks, and content against your top competitors and provides actionable strategy suggestions that you can implement.
Of all these, I really liked the top 10 benchmarking feature.
It allows us to benchmark your content metrics against your competitors.
In simple words, the top 10 benchmarking feature analyzes the wordcount, video usage, readability, and other such metrics of your content against the top 10 ranking webpages on Google.
This ultimately helps to identify all the common elements of all top-ranking webpages.
Besides SEO tools, SEMrush also offers a feature-rich toolkit to manage your advertising/PPC campaigns.
In fact, if you’re planning to regularly invest in paid marketing for your website, this is a must-have tool for you.
Here’s a video by SEMrush explaining all features of the PPC toolkit in brief.
In this section, I’ll be explaining each of these features in detail and how to use them effectively.
There are a total of 5 features in the PPC toolkit.
Let’s take a look at each feature individually and see how to use them the right way.
Just like the Competitor Research in SEO Toolkit, you can fetch your competitor’s entire PPC report by entering their domain URL as shown in the below image.
Specifically, it will display all the keywords they are ranking for and its PPC traffic.
In addition, you can also check the position changes, ad history, ad copies, etc. with Advertising Research.
The Ad Copies section, for instance, can help you identify all the PPC ads that your competitor is currently running.
And the Ad History, on the other hand, shows you the archive of their past PPC ads. We will talk about this section later in detail.
Apart from Advertising Research, there is also a tool called CPC Map, which helps you know the Google Ads CPC prices all around the world.
The tool also allows comparing the CPC features multiple countries as well as categories with its “compare feature”.
So, whenever you’re planning to invest in PPC marketing and trying to figure out which countries to target for your PPC ad campaigns, the “compare feature” can be really helpful for benchmarking numbers, plan your marketing campaigns, and most importantly, estimate your ad campaign’s ROI.
The Ad History tool, as I mentioned earlier, basically helps to fetch all the ads your competitors have used in the past.
This data can basically help you determine the keywords that your competitor targeted earlier and the outcomes of their ad campaigns.
In simple words, the Ad History tool lets you know about all the display ads that your competitor is running on the Google Display Networks.
Along with the above tools, SEMrush also comes with an in-built Ad Builder tool that basically helps you build profitable ads based on data, which ultimately takes away the guessing work involved in the ad creation process.
Apart from this, the Ad Builder also allows using your competitor’s ads as a template using which you can copy their entire ad settings for your own ad.
Overall, the Ad Builder tool by SEMrush is really good for creating profitable ads backed by data.
Lastly, SEMrush also offers a separate feature called PLA Research to help you create profitable shopping ads for your dropshipping or eCommerce store.
In PLA Research, you can basically enter your competitor’s domain URL just like Competitor Research of SEO toolkit or Advertising Research of PPC toolkit, and SEMrush will fetch all PLA (Google Product Listing Ads) keywords of your competitor along with its positions.
This is truly helpful for new eCommerce businesses to instantly identify the top PLA keywords their competitors are targeting and form a strategy based on concrete data.
For example, let’s say one of your top competitors is Etsy. And they’re spending a good amount of money on Black Friday deals and getting good returns.
In this case, you can just enter Etsy’s domain URL in the PLA Research tool and get data of all their top PPC keywords.
Apart from this, you can also check the PLA trend of your competitor (as you can in the above image) and prepare your strategy accordingly.
You can’t win at SEO game if your content is thin and/or poor in quality.
Fortunately, SEMrush also comes with a useful Content Marketing Toolkit to help you create SEO-optimized content for your blog or website.
Here’s a video by SEMrush explaining all features of the Content Marketing Toolkit in brief:
In this section, I’ll be explaining all features of Content Marketing Toolkit in detail and how to use them effectively.
There are a total of 5 features in the Content Marketing Toolkit.
Let’s take a look at each feature individually and see how to use them the right way.
The SEO Topic Research is an incredibly helpful feature especially for beginners as it lets you analyze subtopics of a topic and helps to identify common characteristics of articles with most backlinks.
To use SEO Topic Research, all you need to do is enter a topic that you’re thinking to write about.
And as you click on the Get Content Ideas button, it will give you dozens of topic ideas for different purposes in the Cards view.
In fact, if you’re a content marketing agency or a consultant, the SEO topic research tool can be extremely helpful to you for instantly generating unlimited content outlines for your clients.
SEO Content Template, as the name suggests, helps you create a content outline for your blog posts.
For a blogger, this can be very helpful for writing effective blog posts.
In addition, the SEO Content Template feature also suggests semantic keywords, competitor’s content, and keywords that you should target in your blog posts to rank higher in the Google SERPs.
Besides this, what I personally like the most about SEO Content Template is its SEO writing assistant for Google Docs.
It basically checks your content for SEO friendliness in real-time as you write in Google Docs, which is really useful especially for bloggers like us.
The Brand Monitoring tool basically alerts you whenever someone mentions your brand on the internet.
Now, if you’ve already started to compare this with Google Alerts, let me tell you that unlike Google Alerts, this tool comes with many advanced features.
Not only it alerts you about each and every mention of your brand, but it also automatically identifies the brand mention sentiment.
This can be incredibly useful when you’re trying to improve your brand image or run an online reputation management company.
And in addition to brand mention sentiments, this tool also helps you identify all the mentions that didn’t link to you, so you can just reach out to them and ask them if they maybe forgot to link to you when they mentioned your brand.
Content Analyzer basically helps you discover how much the number of social shares and backlinks has grown for specific content.
To use Content Analyzer, just enter any of your or your competitor’s URL and the Content Analyzer will display the current total number of social shares and backlinks for that particular URL.
Market Explorer is helpful for anyone who is entering or planning to enter a new market or niche.
It basically helps you discover competitors, identify top influencers in your niche, analyze new & upcoming trends, and set the right benchmarks in your business.
To use this tool, you need to just enter any URL and it will instantly display the most important data such as traffic metrics, traffic sources, market-relevant sites, and much more.
This data will ultimately give you a clear idea about what you should expect when entering into any given niche.
The last toolkit of the SEMrush tool is the Social Media Toolkit.
The Social Media Toolkit lets you easily schedule and publish your social media posts.
You can connect most social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Youtube.
In addition, you can also schedule all your social media posts for all platforms and view your entire schedule in the SEMrush Posting Calendar.
Now, you may already be using Hootsuite or Buffer for scheduling your social media posts.
But, one good reason to switch to SEMrush is that apart from post scheduling, it also provides an ability to track your competitor’s social media strategy using the social media tracker.
This feature allows you to see what content they’re posting and get weekly email reports of all their social media posts.
Lastly, SEMrush also offers a “Publish Regularly” feature in its Social Media Toolkit.
With this feature, you can publish a specific post on a regular basis to consistently drive traffic to your old blog posts.
So, these are all the features and tools you get with SEMrush.
In the next section, we will discuss how SEMrush performs compared it other SEO tools in the market.
Let’s compare SEMrush with two of the most popular tools – Ahrefs & UberSuggest.
To be honest, both SEMrush and Ahrefs are quite similar in regards to tools and features.
SEMrush, for example, has a slightly better balance between tools, insights, and information that help to assist in improving our digital marketing efforts.
In addition, SEMrush has also recently updated its backlink database, which is now bigger than Ahrefs.
But, on the other hand, Ahrefs is a superior tool when it comes to link building side of things.
In addition, Ahrefs also has a more popular blog as well as a Youtube channel and they’re just so much better than their competitors when it comes to marketing the benefits and features of their tool.
The bottom line is, there is no clear winner here.
The choice ultimately comes down to your individual needs.
If you’re primarily focused on link building things for your website and need the best possible tool available in the market, then you should get Ahrefs.
On the other hand, if you want the largest keyword database with more accurate metrics, a bigger backlink database, and tons of tools for all your digital marketing needs, then SEMrush would definitely be a better choice.
As for the pricing, both SEMrush and Ahrefs come at a similar price. And from the number of tools & features’ perspective, SEMrush certainly offers better value for money.
Most of you might know UberSuggest as a free SEO tool.
So, you think that comparing SEMrush, a paid SEO tool, with UberSuggest, a free SEO tool, does not really make sense.
But, let me help you catch up to speed. – UberSuggest is no longer a free SEO tool anymore.
Neil Patel, the founder of UberSuggest, recently launched its paid plans a few months back.
So, I guess now it makes sense to write about SEMrush Vs UberSuggest comparison.
Now, one good thing about UberSuggest is that even though it’s been converted into a paid tool, the pricing is relatively low compared to SEMrush.
This could be very helpful for you if you’re bootstrapping and wants to stay lean.
UberSuggest comes with all the important SEO features such as Site Audit, backlink analysis, competitive analysis, and keyword research.
While these are not sufficient features, but they can surely help to get the job done if you have a strict budget.
But when compared with SEMrush, UberSuggest is nowhere near as technical and in-depth as SEMrush.
Secondly, there is also no custom report option UberSuggest, which is one of the most useful features.
Overall, SEMrush is just a way better SEO tool. And UberSuggest is only recommended when the budget is tight and you only need limited features that UberSuggest has to offer.
So, now that you know in what ways SEMrush is a better SEO tool than Ahrefs and UberSuggest, it’s finally time that we discuss its pricing.
Along with pricing, I will also explain which SEMrush plan is best for you and why!
Now, SEMrush is not cheap, especially for new bloggers who have a strict budget.
However, paying annually will definitely save you some money compared to its monthly payment cycle.
For example, when you purchase the Pro plan with the monthly subscription, you pay $99.95 per month.
Whereas, when you purchase the same Pro plan with the annual subscription, you only pay $83.28 per month.
If we do the math, you pay $1,199.40 for the Pro plan with the monthly subscription, while the annual subscription of the same Pro plan costs only $999.36 USD, saving you almost $200 yearly.
So, I always recommend everyone to go with the annual subscription.
Next, we will dive into all 4 plans that SEMrush offers and discuss which one would be the right plan for you.
First of all, open this link and scroll down to the “Feature Comparison” section to see all the features that each SEMrush plan offers.
This will give a basic idea of what to expect from each SEMrush plan.
Now, let’s discuss how to identify the right SEMrush plan according to your individual needs.
Pro plan is the most basic plan that SEMrush offers and it is suitable for bloggers, freelancers, bootstrapping startups, and small business owners.
This plan allows you to add up to 3 projects, which is more than enough for any blogger, freelancer, startup, or small business.
Plus, the pro plan is packed with all the necessary features to help you optimize your website for SEO, perform keyword and competitor research, backlink analysis, and so on.
In fact, if you’re serious about purchasing SEMrush, you can even use my special link that gives a 7-days free trial. This will help you check out the tool thoroughly before purchasing its monthly or annual subscription plan.
In the SEMrush Guru plan, you can add 15 projects at a time, which is more suitable for growing digital marketing agencies.
The Guru plan comes with all Pro plan tools and features but with extended limits. In addition, SEMrush has also included other features such as Content Marketing toolkit, historical data, and branded reports.
One of the reasons to get the Guru plan, besides being a growing digital marketing agency, is that it can help you prepare the best content strategy for you and your clients and get highly-accurate data of competitors.
Again, if you’d like to check out all features of the Guru plan, sign up using my special link to get a 7-days free trial.
Both business & enterprise plans are suitable for enterprise businesses and/or large-scale digital marketing agencies.
Purchasing this plan is only recommended when the expense is not a restriction.
The business plan costs around $399 per month or $3,999.6 annually, while in the enterprise plan, you can negotiate a personalized price according to your features requirements.
Unfortunately, SEMrush is a paid tool and therefore you cannot use it for free. Although, you can get a 7-days free trial when you sign up using my special link.
SEMrush is for anyone who wants to take their site to the next level, increase rankings and traffic, and spy on their competitors. So, whether you’re a blogger, freelancer, small business, agency, or an enterprise company, SEMrush can help you grow your website.
SEMrush has a live update algorithm that updates data of all of its databases on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
Yes, you can most certainly cancel your SEMrush account whenever you like. For this, you can either drop a cancellation email to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can simply visit the “Subscription Info” page and change your “Recurring” status into “inactive”.
You’ve made all the way here.
So, how do you like the tool so far?
Be sure to sign up using my special link to get a 7-days free trial to check out all the features I explained in this post.
After that, share your opinion in the comments. 🙂