Your SEM Rush Review (All SEO-ers Welcome)
A keyword tool is one of the most useful tools in a content marketer’s toolbox. Keyword tools help you discover new keywords, peek into your competitors’ keyword strategies, and build your own strategy to dominate Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
But which keyword tool is the best? And how can you tell if a keyword tool has all the features that you need for your own SEO work?
Among the many keyword tools on the market, SEMRush is one of the best-known and feature-packed tools available. SEMRush was founded in 2008 by a group of SEO and IT specialists who wanted to crack Google’s secret search engine code and provide expert advertising insights to all. Today, the company boasts over 200 employees and a robust tool that provides data, reports and insights into many facets of SEO.
What Is SEMRush – And Why Do You Need It?
SEMRush is a keyword research tool. There are others on the market, including Google Keyword Planner, but none make it quite so easy to find competitive keyword information as SEMRush does.
Yes, you can peek under the competitor’s curtains in a completely ethical and legal way and take a look at what keywords their sites are ranking for when you use professional tools like SEMRush. Not only can you find organic keyword rankings, you can also find competitive data on paid search traffic but more about this later.
If you want to run a successful blog or website, or you’re serious about getting your content to rank well and generate more clicks and social share, then you need SEMRush. Without it, you’re limited to the free tools available online which provide some top-level data but not much else. Most importantly, you’ll also save a great deal of time and labor uncovering keywords and developing a strong backlink strategy (link to article on backlinking)
Features of SEMRush
SEMRush offers the following tools on their basic membership:
- Seven types of analytics reports
- Four keyword tools
- Five project-based tools, including social media tools and site audits
Now if all of these terms mean nothing to you, then take a deep breath. You’ll learn soon enough that SEO is more than picking a few keywords and weaving them into your content.
SEMRush Dashboards: Analytics Reports
Let’s start with SEMRush’s Analytics Reports. From the top menu, you get a dropdown menu of the seven analytics reports available.
- Organic research lets you evaluate your competitors’ keywords, discover new competitors, and see how your competitors position in the search results changes over days, weeks or months.
- Advertising research enables you to do your homework before spending ad dollars. SEMRush tracks many companies’ AdWords spend, and can analyze competitors’ budgets and spending to help you refine your keyword strategy. Research what your competitors are doing and develop your own strategies to counteract them.
- Display advertising offers similar tools to the advertising research, but focuses on digital display ads instead. See who the top display advertisers are in your market and observe the difference among various display devices.
- Video advertising research also uses similar keyword tools and analysis to Advertising and Display research so that you can spend your dollars more wisely to achieve better video advertising results.
- Backlinks reports lets you conduct deep links analysis, create lists of potential sites to cultivate for backlinks, and shows you who is linking into your site, your competitors’ sites, and more.
- Product listing ads help you define your markets before setting up Google product listing ads, as well as research competitive keywords for your ads. You can enhance your current listings or create new ones based on intense research.
- Keyword research tool offers a robust way to generate keywords with all their associated volume and competition data quickly and effectively. You can research long tail keywords and plug in URLs to discover keywords used to help sites rank well online.
The next dashboard on the site offers SEMRush Tools. These are a set of four tools to help you with your keyword research and strategy. Among the tools are specialized searches designed to help you find keywords with low competition, so you can find niches to dominate, as well as tools to compare two domains’ keywords. You may be able to spot keyword gaps and uncover clues as to why a competitor’s site ranks better than yours.
Charts provide graphical insight into your research, while the MyReports tools gathers everything into one convenient research bucket so you’re not jumping from one menu to another on the site.
The last area of the site offers project-based tools for site managers. These tools range from a site audit, which can help you track down reasons why a site isn’t ranking well, to social media monitoring and other tools to help you gain visibility and produce a great website. Local tools include Position Tracking, so you can assess local search versus national and global search.
The Brand Monitor report and project tools helps you monitor online reputation and backlinks. If you haven’t yet heard of reputation monitoring and management online, it’s a good idea to learn more as this is rapidly becoming an important topic.
Brands today need help gathering all information on what’s being said about them online. With the proliferation of social media channels, forums and comment sections on websites and blogs, it can be difficult to catch everything said about your company.
Brand Monitor helps you monitor what’s being said about you online and take proactive steps to repair any possible damage to your reputation should something negative be said about your company.
Access to SEMRush is offered on a monthly contract. You can pay for a year in advance and receive a lower price.
- The PRO level is currently $69 per month.
- The GURU level is $149.95 per month.
- The PROFESSIONAL level is $549.95 per month.
The different prices reflect the amount of data you can retrieve from the system in a given month. At the PRO level, for example, you can run 3,000 reports per day, while the BUSINESS level allows you to run 10,000 reports per day. A 30-day free trial is offered, but the trial is very limited, and provides access to only top-level information.
SEMRush Review: The Pros and Cons
Given how important SEO is to many businesses, it’s vital to choose a good tool for your business. SEMRush offers many pros and some cons.
- It’s fast. Running keyword reports takes only seconds.
- Competitor insights and tracking offers an astonishing amount of data at the click of a button. What used to take weeks to find manually now takes seconds to run on reports from SEMRush. If you have a lot of competitors, or you’re in a highly competitive industry, this feature alone is worth the price.
- The site offers lots of details, or you can winnow down to exactly what you need.
- It’s best-known for its keyword research capabilities and it’s great for planning content marketing strategies as well as paid advertising.
- Customer service is excellent. They offer phone and online chat support for the USA and Europe. The hours are limited, but clearly stated, and there’s an excellent FAQ as well as training videos for troubleshooting and help.
- User new to running SEO reports and campaigns may find this keyword tool difficult to navigate at first. The site does offer plenty of training and support, including demonstration videos, but if you just want to jump in and start using the keyword tool, it’s a steep learning curve.
- The site offers so much that you may not use all of the tools if you run a small business.
The Final Analysis: SEMRush Is the Best SEO Keyword Tool
If you’re really serious about keyword research, then SEMRush is the best SEO keyword tool for you. While others can give you basic information on traffic and volumes for specific keyword phrases, nobody gives you competitive intelligence at this depth and breadth like SEMRush.
Another gem with this tool is its helpfulness when planning paid advertising campaigns. Display, video and product ads all benefit from the various features of the site. The insights, tips, and keyword research for these types of advertising can keep you from wasting your ad dollars on things that won’t work and start off with things that have the best chance of working.
All in all, when compared with tools like AdWords, SEMRush can’t be beat. If you are new to the world of SEO research, start with the lowest tier plan, the PRO plan, and try that for a few months. It will probably provide you with all that you need, but you can easily upgrade to GURU or BUSINESS plan if necessary.
SEMRush is a winner for novices and experts alike. If you’re serious about SEO, this is the best keyword tool available.
Full Disclosure: When you purchase using our referral link, at no additional cost to you, we will receive a small commission. We would get this referral fee for recommending just about any other company, but we only recommend products that we personally use and/or believe will add value to our readers. SEMRush is one of them!
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