In earlier times, you didn’t need special bells and whistles to break through and stay visible on the web. The internet was presumably smaller and far less complicated. Today, smarter engines, smarter competition, and cornier algorithms make any internet endeavor considerably difficult.
Whether you’re a writer, marketer, or some other sort of Internet-wielding crusader; you’ve probably realized by now that it isn’t just quality content that you need to churn out. You’ve found, probably the hard way, that to stay visible you have to pay attention to a host of factors; like building and tweaking the quality of your links. Yes, links…those arteries of the internet?
Publicized as one of the best SEO tools out there, this post will explore what makes SEMrush such a fan favorite. And also, help you discover if it is a worthy investment.
What Exactly Is SEMrush and Why Use It?
Created by Oleg Shchegolev in 2008, SEMrush is a digital marketing solution provider. Featuring, according to the company, a large user base of over 5 million users; it is one of the most popular SEO tools currently available.
SEMrush is a one-stop suite for digital marketing tools to help you grow your online footprint. Simply put, it helps you optimize your website for search engines. SEMrush is also one-of-a-kind in the sheer number of services offered, which is the one reason why it’s so popular with the professionals.
SEMrush is particularly eye-catching in that it is packed with specialized and incredibly robust tools that will help you keep track, manage and improve the required strategy (and desired aim) for your website, social media, or marketing campaigns.
Whether you’re a green-eared or experienced blogger/influencer, business, a marketing agency, or anyone at all with an online business; SEMrush is designed as the full package. One moment, you’re using it to conduct a site audit and track website analytics. The next, it turns into a writing assistant. It can help you with SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, market analysis, and competitive analysis.
This versatility is what makes SEMrush many different things to many different people. Kinda like the Handyman of digital marketing services. Whether it’s increasing qualified traffic for your websites, or sales for your online store, or better advantages against the competition; it is safe to say SEMrush could be the stuff you’ve been missing.
Moreover, having all of your data in one place is just fabulous, and more importantly, the data you’re going to get from SEMrush will be way more robust and accurate than what you’ll find from free tools.
And although this review centers on SEMrush’s SEO capabilities, it’s not wrong to state for the record that SEMrush is so much more, and would be invaluable for anyone working with e-commerce, social media, content marketing, PR, and market research in any industry.
Key Features and Tools
When SEMrush was described as “robust” above, it was the next best euphemism. SEMrush has so many tools and features that it is not practically possible to cover them all; something which interestingly counts in several reviews as a disadvantage since it can be daunting for new users.
SEMrush works by giving you a lot of information, which you can use to either:
- create new web content that is likely to attract traffic,
- identify (backlink auditing and) link-building opportunities,
- tweak technical aspects of your site content so that it achieves a higher search ranking. SEMrush can give you keyword suggestions (based on phrases you enter) that can be used as the basis for writing blog posts that are likely to perform well in search results,
- It can also tell you how difficult it will be to rank for specific search phrases.
- It also suggests websites that might be worth approaching for backlinks.
- And it allows you to perform an “SEO audit” on your website to find out if there are any technical improvements you can make to it that will help you achieve better search results.
And that’s just the beginning, there are many other tools and features provided by SEMrush that are designed to help you improve your site’s position in search results. All, broadly categorized into five (5) “toolkits”;
Tools that specifically help you with keyword research, competitive analysis, on-page optimization, and link building opportunities.
Includes;Keyword Magic Tool, Keyword Difficulty tool, Site audit, SEO content template, Link building tool, Backlink Audit tool, Backlink gap tool, Bulk Analysis tool, and Rank Tracking.
Tools specifically focused on paid advertising and helping you find keywords that will get you results and traffic (without breaking the bank).
Includes; Advertising research, Keyword research, Keyword grouping and management, Ad builder, etc.
Social Media Toolkit
It helps you schedule, plan, and track all of your social media efforts. Since these days SEO and online marketing are pretty cohesive things.
Includes; Social performance analysis and benchmarking, content scheduling and posting, Trends identification, Facebook post booster, SM Ads creation, etc.
Content Marketing Toolkit
These tools help you ensure that not only are you creating the right content but that you’re doing everything you can to optimize it and give it the best shot at ranking.
Includes; Topic Research, Content optimization, SEO writing Assistant, Post tracking,
Content Analyzer, etc.
Competitive Research Toolkit
Everything you need to reverse engineer what your competitors are doing including backlink analysis, domain overviews, traffic analysis, and organic research.
Includes; Traffic Analytics, Keyword Gap tool, and Market explorer.
SEMrush’s SEO Capabilities
As highlighted above, SEMrush SEO capabilities are very robust. SEMrush has the right combination of features to make it a great fit for most online marketers, bloggers, or e-commerce owners. Especially when you factor in some of the available social and content optimization tools. But if you have a site, are starting to see a little search traffic and you want to grow it significantly, them SEMrush is the tool for you. Some of the most significant tools are:
SEMrush is packed with useful features that make it easy to find relevant and strong keywords that do not necessarily have as much competition. SEMrush’s site audit finds errors, warnings, and things that harm your content.
The audit tool evaluates and looks for broken links on your site, pages returning 404 errors, duplicate or missing title tags, missing metadata, and content issues like missing H1 tags, low word count, etc. It can also generate automatic SEO reports on your clients’ behalf.
The tool is so thorough, that no matter how good your SEO is from a technical standpoint, the site audit tool will find problems to solve.
That sounds like it’s not necessarily a good thing, but the more time you spend with it, the better you are at seeing what is mission-critical and what is okay to defer or ignore. SEMrush also does a really good job of explaining what all of the different elements of the audit are, so you feel confident in your ability to go and fix them.
If you aren’t sure what’s working and what’s not, then there’s no way you can continue to test and improve. This is why tracking is the most important part of SEO.
SEMrush’s position tracker is top-notch; capable of showing you where you rank for all your most important keywords, how far up or down from the last time, all of the improved search rankings for each term. So, it will tell you if the result has a review, featured snippet, video, etc. and it will also tell you if you have any of those spots.
Keyword Magic Tool
Powerful and useful enough to perhaps be the icing on the cake that is SEMrush; The Keyword Magic Tool makes it super easier to find relevant keywords. This tool is supported by a database of over 20B+ keywords, with 20M+ ideas for a single keyword across 118 GEO databases.
It allows you to get statistics in the form of search volumes, the difficulty and the competition for a certain keyword with the click of a button, SERP functions, the cost of each click, and much more.
It’s also great for finding low volume keywords, as well as new keyword opportunities. Once you enter a keyword and click “search”, you’ll see the number of matches (in the first 100 results displayed) for any given keyword that the website has rankings on Google.
On-Page SEO Checker
Reminiscent of the Site Audit, it focuses more heavily on individual pages and how you can optimize them to have the best chance of them ranking well.
For any individual page, it does a detailed content analysis of keywords, word counts, structure, etc. It will then work to compare that against competitors ranking in the top 10 for your desired keywords so that you can make edits as necessary.
It will also give you specific strategy ideas for how you can win featured snippets, get enhanced rankings, and a ton more.
SEMrush also has a peculiar, one-of-a-kind feature: a mobile app that will let you view your keyword position from the comfort of your mobile app. It appears no other SEO suite quite has that yet.
In closing, here are other things you should know.
Why Choosing It
SEMrush can be the one for you for a variety of reasons. It simplifies competitor benchmarking; it’s a one-stop solution for all SEO needs; It has a powerful keyword research tool; It’s suitable for all types of businesses and agencies and; has a comprehensive suite of digital marketing tools.
On the other hand, it can be intimidating to beginners since it requires some technical knowledge. Also, there are too many features that can confuse new users. Finally, paying a minimum of $100 per month for an SEO tool can be daunting especially where budgets are tight. But, SEMrush with all its features, is practically made to bring you a return on your investment.
Thankfully, there is a 7-day free trial that lets you test it out for free for a short time. Click on the banner below to know more!