Ever Wondered What it takes to rank your website to the top position in Google and drive tons of organic traffic?
Here is the basic formula suggested by most of the SEO Experts and digital marketers.
- Choose a topic or keyword.
- Create a great piece of content.
- Build Links to your content.
Sounds very simple and straightforward, right?
But here is a little secret – The process is simple, but only if you use the right tool and strategies to do the job.
What do I mean by that?
Well, there are lots of question that needs to be answered before create a content. Like:
To answer all of these questions, you need a powerful SEO tool that can assist you with research and strategy.
Though there are many great SEO Tool out there like Ahrefs, Mangools, Moz, SpyFu, but I have been personally using SEMrush from last more than 18-20 months for my blog and niche sites.
In this mega SEMrush review, I’ll show you how you can leverage this tool to get more Backlinks, Increase Organic Traffic and boost your blog growth.
Let’s jump in.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- What is the SEMrush tool?
- How to use SEMrush?
- Using SEMrush for Competitor research
- How to use SEMrush for Keyword research
- How to Use SEMrush for building links
- Take Your Content Marketing to the Next Level with SEMrush tool
- Using SEMrush for Site Audit
- How Much Does SEMrush Cost?
- SEMrush FAQ
- Conclusion- Is SEMrush Tool worth your money
What Is SEMrush (And Why Should You Care)?
Let’s start this SEMrush tool review with a quick overview of what SEMrush actually is.
SEMrush is an all-in-one Search Engine Optimization (SEO), competitor analysis and Digital marketing suite that consists of numerous tools that are very useful for Bloggers, Digital marketers and SEO professionals.
It can be used to tackle several tasks such as:
1. Perform Keyword Research: All search traffic begins with a keyword (Queries in the search engine), SEMrush helps you find keywords that aren’t too competitive and yet popular enough to drive good amount of traffic to your site.
2. Competitor Analysis: SEMrush helps you identify who are your top competitors. As well as which keywords bring them the most traffic, where they get links from and many other important metrics that will help you develop your best / most advanced marketing strategy.
3. Position Tracking: This feature allows you to track the daily rankings of all of your target keywords. Not only that you can get live reports of how your website is performing in search engines.
4. Backlink Analysis: No doubt Backlinks are one of the main factors for ranking in Google. SEMrush offers powerful tools to find link building opportunities and create email outreach campaigns to build more links to your site.
5. Website Audit: SEMrush allows you to analyze the health of your website. It provides you with a list of issues that make it easy to see where exactly your site is struggling and how you can fix those issues to boost your website growth.
6. Content planning and marketing: SEMrush’s content marketing toolkit is designed to help you manage your tasks and create content that resonates with your audience. This amazing toolkit makes it easy for you to improve your existing content plan or research, write, and audit new content.
7. PPC Research: SEMrush Advertising Toolkit is your one-stop-destination for planning a Google Ads campaign. Here you’ll find everything (Plenty of ads related tools) that are going to benefit you while you set up and run your advertising campaigns.
8. Social Media Marketing: As I mentioned earlier, it is an all-in-one digital marketing solution, SEMrush also offers Social Media Toolkit that assists the workflow of a social media manager. The tools allow you to create posts and monitor their performance, while also benchmarking your progress against your competitors.
Furthermore, With SEMrush, You have everything you need—under one roof—to boost your website traffic.
Though there are lots of other SEO tools out there to perform similar tasks, SEMRush is leading the pack.
In this SEMRush review, I’ll cover each feature of SEMrush in details and equally guide you on how to practically use these features to carry out specific tasks.
➜ HOW TO GET STARTED
Getting Started – How to Use SEMrush?
In this short section, I’ll explain how you can get started with my SEMrush review to get real-life experience of its every feature.
First of all, click here to claim your 7-day free trial for SEMrush Pro. (This will make it easier for you to experience SEMrush feature for free of cost)
Once you have created your account, the next step is to create a project for your domain.
Like most of the top-notch SEO tools, SEMrush has a dashboard section that shows a quick overview of your active campaigns.
To create a new project, enter your website/blog URL in the “Projects” card and click on ‘Create’ button. Or alternatively, you can click on the “+” icon appearing next to the “Projects” button and fill in the details.
The moment you’ll click on Create button, SEMrush will immediately shows off its lineup of recommended marketing and research tools.
Take note that you can also access some of these tools directly from your ‘Dashboard’ from the main menu.
As you can see in my above screenshot, I’ve already configured “Position Tracking” to track few of my keywords ranking in Search result. (Don’t worry, I’ll explain Position tracking in detail in this article).
In the meantime, let’s take a glance at the rest of the tools you can access from your dashboard:
1 Site Audit: SEMrush’s Site Audit tool is an excellent starting point if you’re new to SEMrush. It lets you detect issues related to SEO, content, crawlability, and Link on your blog. (It can insanely help you in your blog growth, I’ll explain this feature in detail later)
2 Position tracking: It lets you check visibility % of your main domain for the target keywords in your campaign.
3 On-Page SEO Checker: This tool offers a complete and structured list of SEO recommendations to improve Search engine optimization for selected blog posts of your website.
4 Social Media Tracker: Connect your social media account to track your audience growth and compare yourself with your competitors. Plus you can also analyze how well your audience interacts with your social content to improve your social media campaigns.
5 Brand Monitoring: The Brand Monitoring tool allows you to track all mentions of your and your competitor’s brand on the web and social media platform.
6 Social Media poster: Publish and schedule posts across major social networks, save time on social managing, analyze your content performance and more! (No need to pay extra money for Social Media scheduling tools)
7 Backlink Audit: Though getting new links can hugely help you with SEO, at the same time low-quality links will also negatively affect your site’s SEO. SEMrush’s Backlink Audit tool lets you discover and disavows toxic backlinks which can lead to penalties by search engines.
8 PPC Keyword Tool: The PPC Keyword Tool offers an easy way to plan and set up an optimized Google Ads campaign..
9 Link Building: The Link Building tool collects a list of potential link building opportunities for your website and provides you with a sleek management interface to run an outreach campaign to acquire links.
10 Organic Traffic Insights: This tool lets you combine your Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and SEMrush data all into a single dashboard to utilize the whole data in the best possible way.
11 SEMrush Sensor: The “SEMrush Sensor” monitors SERP volatility based on daily changes in rankings to monitor any signs that could indicate an update to Google’s algorithm. You can also view your volatility score to determine if your website is affected by any Google updates.
12 Content Analyzer: This tool can help with two main functions. Auditing your own website content’s engagement and measuring the reach of your off-site content like guest posts.
➜ COMPETITIVE RESEARCH TOOLKIT
SEO Competitor Analysis: Use Competitive Analysis to Make Your Blog Irresistible
Your competitors are a goldmine of information that can inform every aspect of your SEO strategy and help to skyrocket your website’s organic traffic.
In concrete terms, performing an SEO competitor analysis lets you:
- Learn what works and what doesn’t in your industry.
- Find competitors’ weaknesses, and capitalize on them.
- Find competitors’ strengths, and replicate them.
- How difficult it is going to be to beat the competition in the SERPs.
SEMrush’s Competitive research toolkit allows you to examine your competitors’ strategies in categories such as SEO, contents, social media and paid ads.
In this section, I’ll walk through a series of tasks to demonstrate how you can use competitive analysis to build a rock-solid SEO strategy to get quick success in Search engine.
1. Identify Your Top Organic Search Competitors
Identifying your top organic search competitors is the very first step of competition analysis.
These are the websites that are competing for your desired keywords in organic search.
To get started Select SEO Toolkit >> Click on Organic Research from the left- side menu >> and enter your own website URL in the search box.
Next, go to ‘Competitors’ tab to view a list of sites that rank for the same organic keywords as your domain.
The Competitor Positioning Map highlights the top organic search competitors for your selected domain.
TIPS: Hover over the bubbles to see the exact numbers of keyword and traffic for each domain:
In our example, I had entered www.backlinko.com (Brian Dean’s blog). His blog contains a treasure trove of SEO and marketing articles.
Therefore, it was no surprise to find that the blog shares a lot of common keywords with top SEO blogs like Ahrefs blog, Moz, Unamo and Neil Patel’s blog.
Scroll down from the Competitor Positioning Map to see the complete list of domains that are competing with your site.
This table highlights all of your organic search competitors and allows you to drill down and find loads of actionable data.
Don’t be frightened by the massive number of competitors list you’ll see here. Just pay close attention to the following metrics in the table.
- Competition Level – This metrics is calculated based on the number of keywords of each competitor and the number of the common keywords of both competitors. The larger the number of common keywords, the higher the level of perceived competition.
- Common Keywords – The keywords for which multiple domains rank in the top 20 Google search results.
- SE Keywords – The number of keywords bringing visitors to a website via Google’s Top 100 organic search results.
I’d recommend starting with the Common Keywords column to filter out the domains currently ranking in the Top 100 search results for the same keywords you’re ranking for.
2. Check how much traffic your competitors get?
Have you ever wondered how much traffic your best competitors gets?
Spying the competitor’s traffic with SEMrush tool is a lot easier than you might think.
Simply head over to the Traffic Analytics section appearing beneath the Competitive research section tab.
From there, Enter the URL of website that you want to analyze and click ‘Search.’
Now SEMrush will show you a comprehensive report sprinkled with pertinent traffic analytics data.
The first metrics you’ll see includes:
- Visits – Total monthly visitors to the website
- Unique Visitors – Total unique visits to the website in a month.
- Pages/Visit – How many pages a user visits in one session on the website.
- Avg. Visit Duration – The average amount of time spent by the user on the site during each visit.
- Bounce Rate – The average bounce rate of the website.
Below the quick metrics, you’ll see a line graph that shows the traffic trends for the website.
By default, it is set to the past 6 months, but you can change it to 12 months or All time.
These line graphs are useful in understanding the seasonal trends associated with the website you’re analyzing in Traffic Analytics.
These data will help you figure out if spikes in the traffic are associated with a creative marketing campaign or some other trend you need to research into.
Below the line graph, you’ll see 4 more widgets which are:
- Traffic Share – It shows the proportion of estimated traffic coming to a site from Mobile device vs Desktop.
- Subdomains – Percentage of total traffic coming from each subdomain of a website.
- Traffic Sources – Sources of website traffic over the past 6 months. (In the case of Backlinko, a majority of their traffic comes from organic search(64.69%), followed by Direct (27.01%), and then Referral (5.59%).
- Traffic By Countries – Breakdown of traffic based on the geographical location of total traffic.
💡 TIP: You can click on the View full report button for a more in-depth look at these data sections.
Below Traffic source data section, You should see an exhaustive list of the referring sites, search engines, and social media networks that supply your competitor with traffic.
This report will help you identify which channels in your niche are working for your competitors. So that you decide which channels are worth your time and investment.
3. Find out which keywords are currently driving traffic to your competitors’ sites
Keyword research doesn’t have to be that hard. Especially when you are working in a niche where there are lots of your competitors already performing well in search engines.
With an all-in-one SEO tool like SEMrush, you can easily find keywords that are guaranteed to bring results.
Means, rather than performing keyword research from scratch, you can directly check which keywords are currently driving organic traffic to your competitors’ sites.
Here’s how to do that:
To get started, head over to ‘Domain Overview’ tab, enter your competitor’s website URL and click the ‘Search’ button.
The organic research overview page will reveal some valuable metrics that relate to your competitor’s site SEO performance, such as the number of organic keywords, projected traffic cost, and average organic traffic.
Now switch to the ‘Positions’ tab to view your competitor’s organic search positions. More precisely, it shows the list of keywords your competitor’s site is currently ranking in Google’s top position.
By default, the Organic Keywords report shows keyword rankings for the country that generates the most search traffic for the sites. If you want to see keyword data for a different country, Just hit the three vertical dot and select any other country.
Above the organic keyword metrics, you’ll find the drop-down menu that controls the filter option.
By clicking on the ‘Positions’ filter, You can select a specific range. Scanning the top 10 positions should be a great place to start as most of the website traffic is generated from the top 10 search results. (source)
Once the page is refreshed, you should see the keywords that you competitor’s rank for in top 10 positions of Google.
Now from here, you can easily find out keywords based on the traffic potential (Volume) and keyword difficulty (KD%) that are proven to drive results in your niche.
EDITOR TIPS: These keywords are radically different from the keyword suggestion you get with the traditional keyword researching approach because these are the already proven to bring result..
4. Find your competitor’s featured snippets
Why Featured snippet is important for you?
In 2020, Google’s search results are now full of much more than just plain links. Featured snippets are the first thing that most people see when searching for a term in Google.
They’re also becoming more and more popular each year. According to one of the Ahrefs latest study, Out of 112 million keywords in their US database, almost ~14 million had featured snippets in the SERP.
They are not just helpful for normal internet users to get quick answers. But featured snippets also gives chance to bloggers a chance to beat competitors, boost conversions, and drive traffic right to their blog.
TIP: Hubspot research has shown that Content with featured snippet get 2x higher click-through rate.
So, if you get your blog post in Google’s featured snippet, you can give your organic CTR a serious boost.
For example, I was recently able to rank in the 0th position (Featured snippet) for this keyword:
And according to my search Console report, organic CTR for that page is 21.12%.
With that being said, here’s how to use SEMrush to find your competitor’s featured snippets.
To get started, head over to ‘Organic research’ tab, enter your competitor’s website URL and click the ‘Search’ button.
Now switch to position tab to view all the kwyoreds your competiotr’s site is ranking for.
Now apply SERP feature filter to view only those keywords which have certain SERP feature on SERP (Like featured snippet, Knowledge panel, FAQ,etc.)
So, lets say you just want to check only those keywords which has featured snippet for your competition’s domain. So select Featured snippet from drop down items.
Bingo! Backlinko blog has more than 27.7k Featured snippet. That means if our competitors rank for a lot of featured snippets, there could be an opportunity for us to do the same.
5. Find your competitors’ most popular content
By finding your competitors top contents you can figure out which of their articles are:
- ranking for a ton of keywords
- pulling in loads of traffic
Then you can write about those overarching topics on your blog and earn some sweet long-tail traffic.
For that firstly head over to the ‘Organic research’ tab, enter your competitor’s website URL and click the ‘Search’ button.
Now switch to Page tab to uncover all the popular pages of your competitor’s site.
On the page list, you will see which pages of your competitor’s site are ranking in the top 100 Google search results along with the total amount of traffic the page gets per month.
Then you can also check which keywords the pages are ranking for so that you can get lots of useful data to work with.
You can also click on any page link to get an overview of that exact web page rather than the entire website.
On the overview screen, you’ll be able to see:
- The number of backlinks pointing to it
- Total number of organic search traffic the site generates with that specific page
- Exactly which keywords this specific page is ranking for
- All the ranking positions.
6. Check your competitor’s backlink profile
SEMrush lets you easily analyze your competitor’s backlink profile. Within a few clicks, you can uncover your competitor’s total number of backlinks, referring domain, follow/no follow split, and top-level domain distribution.
These data will help you better understand your competitor’s link building strategy and highlight new source you can tap into to build links for your site.
To get started, head over to Backlink Analytics tab from the side menu, Enter the domain you want to analyze and click the ‘Check It’ button:
On the next screen, the Overview report tab will gives you a high-level view of your competitor’s backlinks:
EDITOR’S TIP: Pay close attention to the number of referring domains, as it is a strong indicator of the diversity of your competitor’s backlink profile. Plus a large number of the relevant referring domains will boost a site’s overall DA (Domain authority)
Further down, you’ll see more details of your competitor’s backlink profile.
For example, 97% of total backlinks of backlinko’s blog are text links and and 62% of the total backlinks are ‘follow’ links. Both the the metrics are signal of a strong backlink profile.
Next Referring Domains tab highlights the TLD distribution (A breakdown of referring domain by their top-level domain type) and originating country of the backlinks:
Backlinko blog gets the majority of links from ‘.com’ sites but there are also links from ‘.gov’, ‘.edu’, and ‘.org’ domains, which will typically pass more authority onto your site.
Upon scrolling down a bit, you’ll be also see a table of domains (websites) linking to Backlinko.
In our example, you can see Backlinko has hundreds of high authority referring domains, including Neil Patel blog, Kinsta, BBn times, Wikidot and Sparktoro.
Ok, so by now you know which domains are linking to your competitor…
Now, its time to check which specific pages are linking and see exactly how they are getting links for that page. (Guest Posting, Directory submission, Forum Marketing or any other)
So, for that Click on the “Backlinks” tab.
Here you can get detailed overview of:
- the page and trust scores
- the backlink source
- the anchor text
- the page that received the backlink
- the type of link (text, image, etc.)
- the follow/no-follow tag
Now here you can go through each links and see if there are any backlinks you can replicate in your own link building campaign.
➜ KEYWORD RESEARCH
How to Use SEMrush for Keyword Research
I am sure there is no need to waste time persuading you that keyword research is one of the most important SEO activities that is essential for the success of your website/blog content.
Keyword research will impact every other SEO task that you perform, including finding content topics, on-page search engine optimization, promotion, and even outreach.
The SEMrush keyword research feature helps you check some of the most vital metrics of each keyword like CPC, Search Volume, the number of total search results for that specific keyword, Keyword competitiveness and more.
Here’s how you can use SEMrush tool for Keyword research.
1. Keyword Overview: Get a Quick Analysis
Head over to Keyword overview tab >> enter your desired target keyword in the search box >> select your target country and click on Search.
On the next screen, the Keyword overview tab will display standard metrics that measure a keyword’s value.
- Volume — The average number of monthly searches for the target keyword over the last 12 months in your target country.
- Keyword difficulty — The keyword difficulty index (from 1 to 100%) shows you how hard it would be to rank a new website on the first page of Google for the target keyword. (The higher the percentage, the harder it will be to rank in top position)
- CPC — CPC value reflects the amount advertisers are willing to spend on paid search placements. (The higher the CPC value, the more lucrative the paid keyword)
- Global Volume — The total number of monthly seat=rches for the target keyword from all over the world.
- Results on SERP —The number of URLs displayed in organic search results for the analyzed keyword.
In SEO, it’s ill-advised to pin all your hopes on a single keyword.
It doesn’t matter how lucrative your main keywords look like on paper. you need keyword diversity as a relevancy signal to search engines like Google and increase your chances of ranking for multiple keywords.
Extracting ideas from the “keyword variation”, “Questions” and “Related Keywords” sections is a step in the right direction.
You can just click on view all keywords to reveal all keywords from a particular section. Right off the bat, SEMrush will also display metrics for each keywords that can help you estimate the traffic potential and profitability of keywords like CPC , KD% and Volume.
2. Use the Keyword Magic tool for streams of long-tail keywords
The “Keyword Magic” tool is considered the centerpiece of SEMrush’s keyword analytics capabilities.
It offers you access to an extended database with over 18.9 billion keywords and a streamlined interface for organizing your research.
By just entering a single word or phrase into the search bar, you will receive a responsive table with millions of related search terms broken down into topic-specific subgroups.
For example, I entered Wireless headphones in Keyword Magic tool and within a moment I got a massive list of 96,333 related keywords whose total volume is more than 2 million and average Keyword difficulty is 83.62%
Note: Don’t get overwhelmed with such a large list of keywords, in the next section I’ll tell you about filter option which will help you find only Juicy keywords.
Set Match Modifiers:
There are a few modifiers that you can use to get more specific results from your target/seed keywords.
Four most important match modifiers:
- Broad Match is the default report and it will show all keyword ideas for the seed keyword in all found forms and without the exact order.
- Phrase Match provides keywords that include the exact phrase of your seed keyword but in various orders.
- Exact Match shows all keyword ideas for the seed keyword in the exact same form as the seed keyword and in the exact order.
- Related keywords show the keywords that are highly related to your seed keyword
Filter For Question Keywords:
Another way to narrow down your keyword list is with the Questions button. Hit this button to only see keywords in the form of a question.
Exploring Question-based keywords can be a great way to find ideas for blog posts, campaigns, featured snippets to target and more.
Filter Keyword with Groups and Subgroups
This is one of my personal favorite feature of SEMrush tool, it basically lets you choose exactly what the suggested keywords from a seed keyword should be about.
For example, in the screenshot below, I choose to see only “review” related keywords:
So, now SEMrush is only showing those keywords which are related to product review. Like- Wireless headphone review, JBL wireless headphone review, etc.
3. Using Advanced Filters on SEMRush to Find the right Keywords
With the SEMrush tool, you can easily make use of Advance filters to find the right keywords. In my option, this is one of the hallmarks of keyword research.
Being able to find keywords that are specific & targeted to your business and optimizing your content for these specific search terms is the key to improving your organic search ranking.
To enable the filters interface, just click the ‘Advanced filters’ appearing on the top of keyword list.
1 Get Keywords that Include or exclude certain words
You can use this filter to get only those keywords which includes or excludes specific words of your choice.
For example: Upon entering word “BEST” in include field, SEMrush is now showing me only those keywords phrase which has Best word in it.
Similarly, if you want to exclude a specific word from your keyword phrase list, Just enter that word in Exclude field.
2 Find Long tail keywords with Word count filter
Focusing on Long tail keywords in 2020, is a great SEO tactics.
Long-tail keywords are key phrases that are more specific and usually longer (more than 3 words) than more commonly searched for keywords.
Many SEO beginners often think that Long-tail keywords have usually less search volume (Search traffic) so it doesn’t make sense to target those keywords.
But it is a big misconception, though they have less search volume but they are 5-10 times easier to rank in top position compared to general keywords.
With SEmrush you can apply Word count filter to only shows long tail keywords for your seed keywords.
For example: In word count you can set minimum words to 4 and maximum to 8 to get only those keywords which has at least 4 words.
3 Get Keywords with a specified Monthly search volume
If you’re looking for keywords with at least 1,000 monthly search volume or lower, there’s a filter for that as well.
Just enter your minimum and maximum search volume and click apply filters.
4 Get only those keywords which are easy to rank
SEMrush also allows you to shortlist your keyword list on the basis of Keyword difficulty %.
The KD% (keyword difficulty score from 1-100%) shows you an estimate of how difficult it would be to outrank your competitor in the Google top 100 with a particular keyword.
For an average site maximum 50-65% Keyword difficulty is fine. (The lower KD% the higher the chances to rank in top position)
But if you have an high authority site you can always target keyword with even 80-90 KD %.
Similarly you can apply other filters like CPC, Competitive Density and Results in SERP to get more targeted keywords.
4. Establish a Keyword Difficulty Baseline (And See If You Can actually Outrank the Competition)
You have found hundreds of potential keyword to target, but what are the chances of actually ranking for those keywords.
Unquestionably, the best possible way to gauge the ranking difficulty of a specific keyword is to manually analyze the SERP and use your SEO experience.
But that is something you can’t do at scale of hundreds of keyword at once. This is where SEMrush Keyword difficulty tool comes in use.
It allows you to simultaneously assess the level of competition for a large batch of keywords.
Just head over to Keyword Difficulty tool, enter up to 100 keywords you’d like to analyze and click on the Show Difficulty button.
And you get a difficulty percentage from 0-100%. (The higher the percentage, the more difficult it’ll be rank for top position in SERPs.)
5. Using the SEMrush’s Keyword Gap Analysis to reveal some lucrative keyword ideas
Though I have already talked about Competitive Keyword analysis at the beginning of this SEMrush tool review, but one more SEMrush’s specific feature related to Keyword research which is worth mentioning here is ‘Keyword Gap Analysis.’
Keyword Gap tool basically let’s you analyze your website keywords with your top 5 competitors (at a time) keywords and at the end shows you a list of keywords that LOTS of your competitors rank for but you don’t.
In this example, I am going to analyze “The penny Hoarder” (A personal finance site) with its top competitor’s site like Wise Bread, Nerd Wallet, The Simple Dollar, and Money Under 30 (All are very popular personal finance sites)
Now on the next screen, Scroll down to bottom to get the keyword data in a table form, where you can dig into details of each site and how their keyword profile intersect with their competitors.
The Five main intersection type you can view:
- Common: keywords for which every site entered has a ranking including you.
- Missing: keywords where all of your competitors have rankings but your site has no ranking.
- Weak: keywords where you have a ranking but it is lower than all of your competitors’ rankings
- Strong: keywords where you are ranking higher than all of your competitors
- Unique: keywords where you have a ranking but none of your competitors do
Now obviously, you need to select Missing tab to reveal only those keyword where all of your competitors has ranking but you don’t have.
In my example, The Penny hoarder website is not ranking for more than 17.8k keywords but their four competitors (entered in the beginning) are ranking for those keywords.
Don’t get overwhelmed with too many keywords, Just make use of the Position filter to ONLY see keywords that your competitor’s sites rank in the top 10 for.
Backlinks are one of the most important factor in Google’s organic ranking. So building and managing a solid backlink profile is a major part of Search engine Optimization.
Though SEMrush had link building feature from very beginning but honestly their data was not as strong as Ahrefs (Another popular SEO tool)
But last year SEMrush made a a major improvement in the quality of their backlink data. With their new renovated database, now SEMrush is also as powerful as Ahrefs.
dir=”ltr”>Whoa! @semrush has revamped their backlinks section, with more/better data as well as reports/segmentation/comparison features 👌 Looking good! pic.twitter.com/hO0SU67t2K— Aleyda Solis (@aleyda) June 11, 2019
So, let’s see how you can make the most of SEMrush’s Link building tools.
1. Check Exactly What Is New in Your Backlink Profile
Many SEO professional will recommend you to check your link profile on every 2 week (As that is typically how long it takes Google to index new links)
Time spent on monitoring your backlink profile will pay off for several reason.
Let’s start with a good one, tracking the result of your success.
Just enter your domain URL in the Backlink analysis tool and switch to the Backlink tab to view the links pointing to your site.
Now choose the quick filter “NEW” backlinks and as an option pick only the “FOLLOW” types of links to check the most valuable ones first.
This way you can check whether your previous outreach activities, viral PR campaign, or any other kind of marketing cooperation ended in failure or Success.
Secondly, monitoring your new links can easily help you detect and more importantly eliminate the harm from the toxic links that you didn’t expect to get.
The latter could happen due to automatic profile links, rival spam attack, or a variety of other reasons.
So, just stay in the backlink report tab, Click “ALL LINKS” and choose ascending sorting by “PAGE SCORE” which is a good detector of an undesirable referring domain.
Once you find a suspicious link, just add it to the Disavow list by clicking on “PLUS” icon appearing in the last right column. Once you have added the link to your disavow list, you’ll be able to add it to the Disavow tab in your current project, so that you can send it to the Google Disavow Tool afterwards. (Don’t worry, I’ll explain about toxic links removal process in a moment)
2. Get Everything You Have Lost Back
Getting new backlinks for your site each time is a kind of big deal. So you want to make sure that you are not losing your valuable links.
When using SEMrush backlink analysis tool, choose the “LOST” backlinks from your profile and add the “FOLLOW” filter along with descending sorting by the page Score.
This way you’ll find all the valuable links you have lose in the past.
Try to reach out to those website owners/editors and get back your link.
3. Find competitors’ most linked content and then create something similar
If you have been in the Blogging industry for a while then you must have heard about Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Technique.
Here are the 3-steps that make up The Skyscraper Technique:
Step 1: Find link-worthy content.
Step 2: Make something even better.
Step 3: Reach out to the right people.
Here’s how you can leverage SEMrush tool to get new links with this Technique:
First, we need to find proven topics that get links. So, for that just open to Backlink Analytics tool enter any of your competitor’s site URL. Continuing with our example, here I entered Backlinko blog URL.
Now Switch to INDEXED PAGES tab to see see what pages attract the biggest number of links for your compettiors.
In our example, Backlinko’s some of the most popular content has been linked by more than two thousand different websites.😮
So, from here you can get a pretty good idea of which type and topic of contents get most links, then you can create a similar but even better piece of content for the same topic.
Once your content is ready, Show your it to everyone who links to your competitor’s content and ask them to swap out the link in favor of your superior content.
If you are wondering how we can find out who links to our competitor’s content, all you need to do is click the number under the Referring domains column, and you’ll see all the sites linking to that page.
4. Find New Backlinks Opportunities with SEMrush UNIQUE Link Building tool
Last year SEMrush launched a very unique and interesting Link Building tool.
This tool basically lets you collect link building opportunities for your content and provides you with a management interface to run an outreach campaign in order to potentially acquire links.
Sounds pretty cool na?
Let’s have a look at how this super-interesting tool works:
To get started, Just go to your project dashboard and click on the setup button in the Link Building widget.
Now in the configuration window enter up to 10 keywords that you wish to earn a higher ranking for.
Now in the next tab, Enter up to 10 competitors URL (make sure to enter only those competitor with whom you are competing for the keyword entered in previous step). This will help SEMrush find websites sending the most links to your competition and suggest them as your opportunities.
Finally Click on start link building button.
Within a few seconds, you will find all your prospective link building targets under the Prospects tab.
After exploring and filtering the prospects here, you’ll be able to send some to the In Progress tab and have the others rejected.
After that from the progress tab, You can select a specific outreach strategy you want to use for your prospect and then click on the Contact button to proceed.
Now SEMrush will automatically pull out the contact details of the website for you, so the only thing you need to do is customize the email template as per your need and click on the SEND button.
Once your email is sent, you’ll be able to monitor the status of your email, knowing whether your email was delivered, replied or not delivered.
After your email is sent you will be able to monitor the status of your inquiry, knowing whether your email was delivered, replied to or not delivered.
TIP: If your email is not replied within few days, you can also send Follow-up email to your target prospect within just one click.
➜ CONTENT MARKETING
Take Your Content Marketing to the Next Level with SEMrush
Being a content marketer, you face more than your fair share of challenges; ideation, Strategic analysis, content creation, SEO optimization, distribution and at last measuring performance – all of these tasks take time and demand extra resources.
But could you create content faster and more effectively without getting sidetracked?
Of course – all thanks SEMrush Content Marketing suite which provides a wide range of solution for developing content strategy to creating content that both reader and Google loves.
Here’s how you can use SEMrush content Marketing platform:
1 Audit your existing content
Just adding more and more content to your site is not enough, before creating new content, you need to understand what you have done right how you can improve what you are already sharing with your target audience.
SEMrush has a very interesting Content audit tool that lets you review all your existing content in one click and tells you the current status of your SEO and content along with recommendations of what’s good, bad, and needs to be fixed.
To get started just head over to Content audit tab and enter your website/blog link in the search box and click Start Audit.
Depending upon the number of total page being tracked, it will take some time for content audit to gather the data and actually generate a report for you.
💡 EDITOR’S TIP: To unleash the tool full functionality and be able to see your content performances from different standpoints, Connecting your Google analytic account can do the magic.
Once content audit process is completed, you can see and sort your all content by Session, average page session duration, and even bounce rate.
As mentioned above, After connecting your Google search console account with the content audit tool, you’ll be also able to see which queries each page is getting traffic from. By knowing the search queries for a specific piece of content, you’ll be able to gain insights into how your target audience finds the post and what other keywords can be relevant for you to target.
All of these metrics put together indicates one simple important thing – Whether your audience likes your content or not.
Now switch to the content set tab which will become unlocked once you connect your Google Analytics account.
Here, depending on your content metrics from the Content Audit data, the tool will break down all your content into four categories:
- Rewrite or remove.
- Need to update.
- Quick review.
- Poor content.
To streamline your work with under performing pages, the tool offer statuses and tasks that can be assigned to each URL. Just click the start analyzing button in any category and you’ll be able to jump to workflow section with the preview of one of your pages.
Additional resource: Watch this step by step content audit process video by SEMrush team itself.
2. Using the Topic Research tool for winning content ideas
One of the most difficult part of content marketing is coming up with new content Ideas that’ll actually resonate with your audience.
I’ve been in this situation many times myself — feeling unsure about what content to create that’ll actually drive traffic to my blog.
But thankfully, there are many online tools that help me coming up with fresh content ideas.
SEMrush, of course, is one of those tools.
SEMrush has a very interesting tool called “Topic Research.” This tool is basically a treasure chest of new content ideas based on keywords, trending topics, related searches, and questions people ask.
To begin with, all you need to do is think of a topic or keyword of your interest that you want to cover on your blog and enter it into the Topic Research search bar.
Once you’ve entered your topic and clicked on the ‘Get content ideas’ button, you can see numerous content ideas for your future article at a glance.
To help you decide which topic is worth writing about, the tool offer prioritization option.
You can sort topic either by Volume, Difficulty & Topic efficiency.
- Volume – Topic based on the average monthly search for a certain topic.
- Difficultly – Topic based on how hard it’ll be to actually rank for the topic.
- Topic Efficiency – Ratio between Volume and Difficulty. Higher topic efficiency corresponds higher volume and lower difficulty.
Once you found the suitable sub topics, Click ‘Show more’ to expand a card and reveal top headlines and questions relevant to the chosen topic.
3. Create well-crafted SEO-friendly content
Now that you’ve some good ideas of topics to cover on your blog, its time to go to the next stage – Content creation.
When it comes to creating SEO friendly content, SEMrush SEO Content template feature can be very useful for you.
Whenever you enter a key phrase or a set of keywords, the tool analyzes the top 10 website ranking for those keywords and gives you actionable recommendations on what type of content you need to create and the websites to acquire backlinks so you can rank on Page #1.
To get started head over to SEO Content Template tool from the SEMrush left menu. Then type your target keyword or keywords of the content you have in mind in the search box.
On the next screen, the first data you’ll get is a list of clickable URLs of your competitors ranking in the Google Top 10 position for each keyword you entered in the search box.
Upon scrolling down a bit, you’ll get key SEO recommendation based on an average summary of your rivals’ content, namely:
- Semantically related words – Keywords to include in your article for better ranking.
- Backlinks – Domains to get backlinks from
- Readability – Average readability score
- Text length – Minimum length of your article.
Next, to save your time and simplify competitor research process, the tool allows you to check how exactly your competitor’s site use each of your target keywords on their article.
Finally SEO content template provides you tips on the length of your page title and meta-description and suggests to place your keyword in the page title, heading and text itself.
4. Use SEO Writing Assistant tool to Optimize your Content for SEO
SEO Writing Assistant is one f the latest addition to SEMrush content marketing tool suite.
It enables you to analyze how well your article is written compared to the top-performing content on that topic and provides you with ideas on what exactly should be improved in your piece of content.
To get started head over to SEO Writing Assistant tab from SEMrush’s left side menu and click on Get recommendation.
Now paste your complete article in Text field, then in the right hand side box enter up to 30 keywords that you intend to target or already targetting with your copy.
Now the SEO Writing Assistant will provides an overall score based on four areas:
- Readability – ease of reading, word count, title and content issues.
- SEO – target keywords, recommended keywords (semantically related), link issues, keyword stuffing.
- The tone of voice- based on the words you’re choosing to use, the rhythm, the word order, and pace.
- Originality – checks for signs of plagiarism.
You can further follow the recommendations to improve the readability and ranking of your content.
So, whether you write your content directly in WordPress Post editor or use Google Docs, You can install the add-ons on your preferred platform.
➜ SITE AUDIT
Using the SEMrush’s Site Audit tool to Boost Your Google Rankings
The SEMRush Site Audit Tool can quickly help you identify, prioritize, and fix technical and on-page issues that your website may have, with minimal fuss and preparation.
Audit reports are ready within a few minutes which are easy to understand even for the most inexperienced user.
The best part is the tool itself gives you practical solutions to resolves issues and guidance for further detailed investigation if required.
The tool automatically crawls your whole website and check it against an extensive set of industry expectations and standards when it comes to usability.
I won’t list the full set of tests in this article, but some notable features of the site audit includes:
- Identify Broken Links – Internal, External & Images are checked
- Page Meta-Review – Titles or Descriptions too long, too short, missing or duplicate?
- Canonical URLs – Duplicate content issues
- Page Headers – Check 404’s, 301’s and other internal redirects
- On-page – Canonical, H-tags, Alt Tags and other best practice on-page optimization
- Structural – Sitemap.xml, robots.txt & AMP page validation
- Page Speed – Does the site load quickly enough for all devices?
- hreflang – International/multilingual site checks
To get started just go to your Project tab and click on setup site audit.
Although the site audit configuration page outline six different steps, the majority of them can be skipped. What’s important is that you set the limit of checked pages accordingly. Once you are ready just click the ‘Start Site Audit’ button and wait for notification that the crawl is complete.
After the report is ready, you’ll see your site’s total health score based upon the total number of ‘checks past’ to ‘checks failed’ ratio. This will give you an instant overall idea of your site’s current SEO status.
You’ll also see the total number of errors, warnings, and notices that will assist in your further on-page SEO optimization.
Clicking on any of the numbers will show you everything you need to fix in order to have an SEO-friendly site.
For instance if you click on Site error, it ‘ll show you all the issues related to broken links,
Site errors, for example, are related to issues like broken external links, missing pages, and mixed contents.
It may take some time to browse through each tab of errors and warnings. But once you have fixed all those issues on your site, it’ll give you an incredible boost in your overall site growth.
How Much Does SEMrush Cost?
Well, honestly speaking SEMrush is not the cheapest SEO tool out there, Especially for bloggers on a tight budget.
SEMrush offers three options for monthly subscriptions:
- Pro — $9.99 per month
- Guru — $199.95 per month
- Business — $399.95 per month
SEMrush Plan Comparison
Plan is Best For
Individual blogger & freelancer
Small businesses and Small Digital marketing agencies
Large companies & agencies
Note: You can also avail your 7-day free trial to get a live experience of how this amazing tool works before committing to its monthly or yearly subscription.
FAQ Related To SEMrush tool
Final Words on SEMrush tool Review
You made it all the way here.
How are you feeling?
This SEMRush review is one of the longest review article I have ever written on my blog!
What I demonstrated above are just a few ways SEMrush can be used by Blogger and Digital Marketers to make their life easier and perhaps more interesting by revealing data that otherwise is too difficult to manually find and analyze.
I’ve been using SEMrush for many years and I have sticked to his SEO tool because it actually works for me. Though I have used other SEO tool like SERPstat, Ubbersuggest, Ahrefs, and SpyFu in the past but none of them will give you the features SMrush offer at this price point.
I have been a happy user of SEMrush and that’s the reason why I am sharing my experience with you. I hope you’ll find our SEMrush review useful.
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I have been a happy user of SEMrush and that’s the reason why I am sharing my experience with you. I hope you’ll find our SEMrush review useful.
Before you go, let me know what you think about SEMrush tool by leaving a comment below.