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Wouldn’t it be nice if you could place your blog on the first page of Google (or rather the first 3 positions on the first page) for your target keyword?
How about getting to know what terms other sites are using to get more search engine traffic that you and using them in your own SEO strategy?
Seems like too good (or too costly) to be true?
Today, we’ll talk about a SEO tool called SEMrush, that let’s you do just that plus much more without denting a hole in your pocket.
Let’s see how!
SEMrush Review 2020: What is SEMrush Used For?
Our version of SEMrush free trial comes with a mini review of the same too!
Well, SEMrush is one such Swiss army knife for SEOs and website owners.
With SEMrush in hand, you can identify competing websites, spy all their organic keywords, see what sites are linking to them (their complete backlink data) and also find out what paid keywords (PPC marketing) they are using to get more clicks and sales.
Excited and can’t wait to try it out?
Grab this 14 day SEMrush free trial promo code and explore SEMrush to skyrocket your SEO.
In case you’re wondering how to use SEMrush?
Let’s have a detailed SEMrush review and see how it can help you in getting more search engine traffic by outranking your competition.
1 Using SEMrush for Site SEO Audit
Well, before we talk about crushing our competitors on Google search results, you have to make sure your website’s SEO strength is foolproof.
With SEMrush, you can conduct a quick site audit and fix common SEO mistakes like:
- It helps you to find duplicate content on your site.
- It can find broken links on your site.
- It finds the pages that doesn’t have meta description.
- Check for pages with broken images.
- Amazingly, it can find the problems that are troubling your on page SEO techniques like internal links, broken links, external link audit etc.
- It also can find pages where there is low text to HTML ratio.
With SEMrush site auditing you can review and find SEO related errors on your site that you are not aware of. You can see total number of errors, warnings and notices.
- Errors will be shown in red color and usually it means the most severe issues on your site.
- Warnings will be shown in orange that represents issues of medium severity.
- Notices are in blue which are considered less severe than errors or warnings. However, it contains information that some people finds it useful for fixing a site. These notices never impact your site’s overall health.
- Plus, if you’re an SEO professional and run SEO campaigns for clients, you can download PDF reports of your client’s SEO performance and show your progress to your clients.
To conduct a site audit using SEMrush, you simply need to create a project with your domain name and SEMrush shows you all the errors and warnings that your site have.
Here is the step by step guide to conduct a site audit using SEMrush.
First off, create a project for a domain of your choice. By selecting the plus icon, besides the project button at the top of the page, you can start a new project.
On the next screen, select the “setup” button in the site audit section of your project.
Here, you can choose either to “Start Site Audit,” that will immediately run an audit of your site with default settings, or proceed to customize the settings of your audit to your liking.
Once you’ve created the project, it shows you a site score. The more your site score is the better it is for your SEO.
Analyze your errors and fix them as soon as possible along with the broken links. If there are too many broken links on your site, it hurts user experience and SEO. With the help of redirection plugin, you can remove all broken links or redirect them to relevant posts/pages on your website.
Once you remove all fowl links, perform the test on SEMrush site audit tool to check how your site is performing in terms of SEO score.
Apart from this, SEMrush site audit gives you a range of other mind blowing optimization and tracking options like:
- Track brand mention of both your and your competitors.
- Get full report of your PPC campaigns (paid traffic) and also creation of ads directly from SEMrush.
- Social media monitoring
Now that you have fixed your website’s SEO errors using SEMrush, the next step is to spy your competitors’ top performing keywords and backlinks.
Let’s see how to effectively do competitor research using SEMrush.
2 Backlink Analysis With SEMrush
SEMrush is one of the best SEO tools to spy your competitors and reverse engineer their SEO tactics to outrank them.
Next in this SEMrush review, we will see how to do exactly the same even if you have no clue about who your competitor is.
Step 1: Identifying Your Competitors
If you don’t know who you are competing against, just type any of your primary search phrase on Google and see who else is ranking against you. Take one site that appears the most times in this process.
Now head over to SEMrush and use this domain as a starting point to get extract the whole list of all your potential competitor sites.
In the above screenshot, I entered “bloggingtips.com” for domain overview and SEMrush shows me all the necessary information like:
- Organic search traffic
- Paid search (if any)
- Total number of backlinks and many more details
Now, navigate to the “Domain Analytics” and then click on “Competitors tab” Under “Organic Research” section.
What you get is a competitor positioning map that highlights your top organic competitor sites.
BONUS TIP:You can click on each competitor URL in the above cloud to view a fresh list of sites they are competing with. Their competitors are also your competitors on Google so you got a fresh list of sites to analyze and keep a tab on.
Here are few important metrics you can focus on while compiling your competitors list (see the above screenshot for reference):
- Competition level: The more the number of keywords, the more the level of competition.
- Common organic keywords: From this, you can understand how many of the same keywords your competitor is ranking for the top 100 search results.
- Search Engine keywords: These are the number of keywords that brings visitors to a website through Google’s top 100 search results.
With the above information you can easily decide which site from the list is best to compete with.
Step 2: Know Your Competitors’ Search Performance
In the above step using SEMrush, we found the relevant competitors in a niche. Now let’s discuss about how they are performing on Google search (in terms of traffic and keywords) so you can easily eliminate all the underperforming competitors.
To know your competitors search performance, simply fire up your SEMrush account (Use this exclusive SEMrush coupon code to get free access to 14 days trial)
Navigate to “Organic research” and click on “Positions report”.
Did you just see that?
You just got a HUGE resource that can be used to find a ton of potential keywords to boost your search rankings and sales.
This is pure gold because you get access to keywords that are already performing well on search engines and bringing your competitor traffic and sales.
And guess what?
This above list of keywords is what is tested and proven to bring traffic to your competitor’s site so you could use them as well and write better articles to outrank them.
With SEMrush, you can sort and filter each single parameter to find the perfect result you are looking for. You just need to filter the ones you want based on the following metrics:
- Keywords: These are the search queries that your competitors’ content is ranking for. Filter them based on number of words to find long tail keywords & LSI keywords.
- Search Volume: The exact number of searches that particular keyword has.
- Traffic percentage: The percentage of organic traffic that the website gets from any given query. This is important because you wouldn’t want to target a keyword that gets you no traffic or check what mistakes your competitor is doing that is costing him the traffic.
- Keyword Difficulty (KD): This is the approximate difficulty level of each keyword to be ranked. KD1 is the easiest to rank while the competition is maximum and nearly impossible to rank for keywords with KD score 90 and above.
- URL: Links to the article that ranks for that keyword.
Step 3: Spy on your competitors “top performing” content
Sometimes, you might want to actually see what are the top performing landing pages of your competitors. With SEMrush, you just plug a domain URL and SEMrush will show you the top pages of that site based on the most amount of organic traffic they get from Google.
In this step of our SEMrush review, we’ll discuss about how you can actually find great content that has the ability to attract more links.
When you know your competitors’ top performing content, you will get tons of keyword ideas to grow your backlinks and traffic.
Click on “Pages” under Organic Research section to find out all the top performing pages of your competitors.
While spying on your competitors top pages that receive the most organic traffic, here are 3 things that you’ll need to mostly focus on:
#1. Keywords (know which keywords bring organic traffic to that page)
To get this report, under “keywords” tab, click on the blue link and gives you access to all those traffic bringing terms.
#2. Content idea or the actual post that ranks for them
Once you got the information about keywords then look into content. Click any link to open the page or post.
Once you got the information about the search queries then look into content. Click any link to open the page or post.
Check what type of content they are using. How they are optimizing on-page SEO for target keyword (along with all the other details like no. of social shares, no. of images used in the post, quality of content etc).
#3. Competition of the primary keyword and if it is feasible to outrank or not.
Observe the level of competition for each term the specific post or page is ranking for.
The above 3 steps are all what you need to evaluate your competitors, find their best performing content and attract more links to you improve your site’s performance in search engines.
No more blog hopping, no more spending countless hours to find keywords using Google keyword planner.
For this, you have to launch SEMrush in the next tab. (TIP: Use this link to try SEMrush for 14 days without paying a penny).
3 Keyword Research with SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool
When it comes to SEO, keyword research is the most important factor. You need to create content around profitable queries to get massive organic traffic and SEMrush helps you with it.
Let’s now talk a bit about keywords in general, then we’ll talk about how SEMrush can help you with this.
There are basically three types of keywords:
- Head keywords: These are usually (not necessarily) single or double word searches and they do have a very high search volume. For example, “yoga”, “car”, “loans” are head keywords. They generate the most search traffic but targeting such competitive phrases is a bad idea as they are highly competitive and will demand time and link investment.
- Body keywords: These are 2 to 3 word phrases that gets decent search volume. It extends the head term with some additional information. For example, “yoga poses”, “life insurance”, “car loan” are body keywords. When compared to the first group these have very less competition but still highly competitive.
- Long tail keywords: These are very specific and have a low volume of searches. For example, “yoga poses for spinal cord”, “car loan interest rate” are long tail keywords. They get less search volume but it converts very well.
Step 1: Find long tail keywords from short tail or seed termss
Once logged in, you will see links in the left side column. Scroll down to “keyword analytics” and click on “overview”.
Now, enter any seed term to research further and find out long tail keywords from it.
SEMrush displays a HUGE keyword analytics data including:
- Organic search
- Phrase match
- CPC distribution etc
Let’s take the keyword “email marketing tools” as a demo.
SEMrush’s keyword research tool also displays data such as Traffic volume, Average CPC, Competition density, Results, organic search, paid search etc and we have discussed in the above section.
If you want to see detailed report then click on “View full report” under Phrase match report. It will give you access to a full list of phrase match queries that SEMrush had found for the topic.
For example, I searched for “email marketing tools” but it also revealed phrases such as “email campaign tools”. It clearly means that related keywords displays not only closely relevant but also related terms.
If you want to attract new readers then this report is very useful. You can identify content opportunities to build related content. Now, repeat the whole process for every other topic that you listed to build a HUGE database that can be used to write search engine friendly topics.
Once you have a list of content ideas, your job is to eliminate the bad ones and focus only on those that are tend to attract more search traffic. Let’s see how you can do that now.
Step 2: Analyze Keyword Difficulty For Your Phrases
To get the most traffic, you need to target queries that are easier and are within your site’s capability to rank.
Here’s the result for “email marketing tools” keyword.
Yes, “email marketing tools” is very competitive. It’s hard or nearly impossible to rank for this term even if you have a lot of links. This is where you need to be smart while picking keywords. Make sure to select the ones with less KD (preferably less than 40) to rank faster in Google search results.
Step 3: Check Content Gap Using SEMrush
Earlier in this SEMrush review, we have already covered that SEMrush allows you to check and export competitor data. Now, we have an even more exciting feature to it!
You can now compare 2 or more sites and see what common terms they both are targeting. This can give you a clue about how important a given term can be and if you’re missing out on the ones that most other content sites in the SERPs are targeting.
The tool is called Domain vs. Domain and it allows you to compare up to 5 domains to see common and unique keywords for each domain.
You could use this feature of SEMrush to see what type of content is commonly targeted in your industry. If 5 websites are using the same variation, that sure must have profitability or some buyer intent.
To start, simply navigate to “Tools” section and then click on “Domain vs. Domain”.
You can specify up to 5 domains in this tool.
Select keyword type either Organic, Paid or PLA (Product Listing Ads) to choose what data to compare and click GO.
For the sake of convenience, I’m comparing two related websites in the blogging niche – bloggingtips.com and bloggingwizard.com.
With this domain vs domain feature of SEMrush, you can tell current position of each domain per keyword. That’s how you can easily compare your domain with your others to unveil great content opportunities.
Please Note: Domain vs domain tool of SEMrush is just a starting point, to get maximum benefit you can take these , add them to the keyword analysis for further research and get much more untapped valuable and low competition phrases.
SEMrush Pricing 2020: How Much Does SEMrush cost?
SEMrush costs $99.95 for the beginner plan and has upgrades for enterprise level SEOs at $199.95 and $399.95 per month.
Does $100 sound like a big investment to you?
Yes it is a big investment but trust me it is worth every penny.
When you buy a product offline, even something like a good coffee costs $10 easily and SEMrush is something that can take your business to the next level by giving you an unfair advantage over other sites.
I recommend SEMrush because I use it and it has helped me in getting profitable results.
I am definitely not trying to sell you off.
Pros and Cons of SEMrush
Here are the pros and cons of SEMrush:
Pros of SEMrush
- Perform a complete site audit using just SEMrush.
- PPC research (we have not covered it in this SEMrush review since it’s only fair to talk about things we’ve explored)
- See what queries you are ranking for and optimize the low hanging fruits.
- Get access to competitors’ organic and paid traffic
- Check their most backlinked pages and who is linking to them.
- Compare 2 or more sites to find out common trends you’re missing out.
- Get exclusive SEO tips based on your articles and analytics data to get more traffic.
Cons of SEMrush
- If you’re a beginner blogger, you will find SEMrush pricing bit expensive (their starting plan starts at about $100). But that’s why we have the SEMrush 14 day free trial!
- The user interface feels a bit old and could be redone to give a fresh new look because bloggers like me sometimes spend the whole day inside their dashboard.
If you made it till this part of the post, you’ll agree that this is not only a review of SEMrush, but also a tutorial to leverage SEMrush and boost your SEO.
With SEMrush, you can get access to competitor data, crush them by reverse engineering their working SEO, link and content strategies and get yourself more traffic, more revenue.
I have created the following action plan for you to leverage SEMrush for competitor analysis and research.
The best thing about SEMrush and other SEO tools:
The best thing about SEMrush?
You can use SEMrush no matter what niche you’re blogging in or at what stage of blogging you are.
You can accelerate your new blog, give even more growth to your already existing blogs or build a completely new money-making blog using SEMrush.
Take charge, and make the best of SEMrush. You can either buy the package from their official website or try it free using my 14 days free trial promo code. Don’t worry you can cancel your account any time.
FAQs About SEMrush Free Trial
What is SEMrush free trial?
SEMrush free trial is a discount coupon that allows you to use the SEMrush pro plan (worth $99/95) for 14 days without paying anything. It helps bloggers and marketers on a budget giving them access to SEMrush to dig profitable keywords, spy on other sites, get complete backlink profile, site SEO audits and even expert SEO reports.
How good is the free trial of SEMrush?
SEMrush free trial is good enough. You get 10000 results & 3000 reports per day along with single user license. It is good enough for most of the work needed by marketers or bloggers.
How do I cancel SEMrush free trial?
To cancel SEMrush Pro free trial simply call them via their dedicated phone lines or send them an email. I suggest cancelling a few days before the end of your trial period to avoid last minute issues.
Is there a free version of SEMrush?
No, SEMrush doesn’t have a free version. You can however try Serpstat, an alternative to SEMrush, that offers a free plan of most of the things SEMrush does. Other tools that are perfect free SEMrush alternatives can be found here.
How do I get SEMrush for free?
You can get SEMrush for free using this link without having to pay anything. Please remember the free trial will last for 14 days after which you’ll be charged at the regular price. You can, however, choose to continue with the paid usage or contact them to end your free trial account before the end of 14 days to avoid being charged after that.
How to get SEMrush trial without credit card?
It is not possible to get SEMrush trial without credit card. Though they won’t charge your card during the trial period, they need to your credit card to reduce fraud registrations.
What are some great SEMrush alternatives?
Ahrefs, Serpstat, Moz, SE Ranking etc are some great SEMrush alternatives that you can try.
SEMrush Free Trial