How to Use SEMrush Efficiently – The Ultimate Guide
Have you been coveting to know where you are ranking for your top keywords and if they are going up or down?
If you want to know what keywords your competitors are ranking for? or need to get an idea of how your traffic compares with your competitor?
SEMRush provides all of this functionality and a lot more! It’s such an amazing and effective tool, so I want to share with you about this tool and how it was helpful to me.
What is SEMrush & Why it is So Popular?
SEMrush is a most versatile SEO and Search Engine Marketing tool. It is marketed as an all-in-one marketing software that gives all the essential SEO tools for professional SEO analysts, digital marketers, bloggers, SEO & digital marketing agencies to research, analyze and create effective SEO strategies.
I used lots of SEO & digital marketing tools like SEO PowerSuite, Moz, Open Site Explorer, BuzzSumo, etc. But, SEMrush is not just another keyword tool. I use it every day for my personal and client search marketing projects. It is mainly best known for its competitive analysis features, which provide you valuable & essential information on your competition, including data about display advertising, link building, and paid & organic search, etc.
It also allows you to get a behind-the-scenes look at your top performing competitors and use the insights to build effective campaigns right from the beginning. Moreover, it helps to find valuable keywords, precise high-converting ad, and landing page copy, audit backlink profiles, analyze competitors content strategies, identify new website monetization, track metrics in real-time and much more.
Let’s have an in-depth look at SEMrush’s features and how to use it efficiently.
Find Your Top Organic Search Competitors
If you want to know your top organic competitors, just enter your domain into the search bar and go to the “Domain Analytics” >> “Competitors” tab.
Then you will see a visualizing competitor positioning map emphasizing the top organic search competitors. This dynamic map presents a quick ready snapshot of where you are rank in the competitive landscape regarding the number of keywords ranking in the first hundred search results, and the amount of search traffic belonging to the domain:
Once you click on the bubbles at the competitive positioning map, you will get a dashboard incorporating many organic keywords, backlink data, paid ads.
When you scroll down from the competitor positioning map, you will see the organic competitors table. This table highlights the lesser-known market competitors, as well as it allows you to delve in and get loads of actionable data:
These are domains your website is competing within Google’s top hundred organic search results. Along with this, you will see the following metrics of your top organic search competitors.
This metric is based on the analysis of the number of keywords of every domain, and the amount of the domain’s common keywords. If the domains have a large number of common keywords, they could be think about competitors.
You will find out how many of the same keywords your competitor is ranking for in the Google’s top hundred search results. This will sort out the domains currently ranking in the search results for the same keywords you are ranking for.
The number of keywords bringing users to a website through Google’s top hundred organic search results.
Find and Fix Your Website Issues with Site Audit Feature
Are you struggling to increase your search traffic even if you are planning & building a great content? This is the first step/action you should really take. It is a fast and painless way to quickly find simple technical or basic on-page issues your website may have.
In case, your website has some SEO related issues. Or you may have broken links or title tags that are too lengthy. This is where SEMrush comes in handy. It also helps you quickly identify and fix your website issues. It is the best website analysis tool I have seen.
To fix your website issues, Just go to the “Projects” >> “Site Audit.”
Then you will see the complete error report like the following screenshot.
Moreover, it not only provides you a list of your website issues such as broken link errors, duplicate content warnings, no-follow attribute warnings, etc. Once you fix them on your website, in a short while, you will see your search rankings going up.
Get Comprehensive SEO Ideas
Google’s algorithm is continually changing so you must be up to date with everything by using SEMrush’s On-Page SEO Checker tool. This tool allows you to check whether you are handling Google’s on-page and off-page SEO terms like your content, backlink, optimization quality and it will also offer particular changes you can make to enhance your on-page SEO.
This On Page Checker tool will provide you all the errors with a detailed website analysis. Besides, the ideas will be broken down into the following categories: backlinks, strategy, content, semantics, user experience, SERP features, and technical SEO.
To get SEO ideas, just go to the “Projects” >> “On Page SEO Checker.”
Then you will find the complete SEO ideas of each landing pages.
Extensive Backlink Audit Tool
Google had made it strongly clear that your backlink profile is your responsibility. If you are not taking care of it, finally, you are going to suffer.
With this backlink audit feature, you can check incoming links for a URL, domain. You can also find the domain authority and geolocation, see the anchor text, view the URLs and titles of linking and target web pages. Besides, you can compare the incoming link’s authority on the competitor’s domain.
This backlink checker is a sophisticated tool to use for helping you to improve your backlink building strategy. Because it’s an effective way to view and monitor new referral traffic sources, so you are always informed of where they are coming from.
Moreover, this tool is independent of the rest of the website audit tools. It also performs a comprehensive backlink search and validates them against 30 toxic ranking factors. It shows you which links may only be holding you back:
You can find your backlinks through these steps: “Projects” >> “Backlink Audit.”
Here you can see that one of the links steering back to Esearch Advisors website is really toxic.
Get Comprehensive Keyword Data
The amount of search traffic you get is directly equivalent to the keywords you discover and use. Keyword research is the #1 method to increase traffic to any website or blog. So, you need an easy way to collect the keywords.
SEMrush is the best keyword research tool and it helps you to find the most profitable keywords. You can drill down into the long-tail keywords while remaining especially appropriate to your target.
Go ahead the Keyword Overview by the following method. “Dashboard” >> “Keyword Analytics” >> “Overview.”
Then just enter one of your target keywords in the search bar. For example, I’ve given the keyword “affiliate marketing” – and hit enter.
Next, that will bring up a dashboard with a complete host of information like the following screenshot.
Now, you can see the following metrics:
- CPC Data
- Search Trends
- Current Rankings
- Phrase Match Keywords
- Related Keywords
- Number of Results
Track Your Social Media Growth
Social media is an enormous part of many successful businesses. SEMrush’s Social Media Tracker tool will help you make the greatest of your social media strategy. You can see your competitor’s top performing posts, and you can know what they did accurately to engage their followers. Furthermore, you can compare your engagement with your competitor’s engagement to recognize how you measure up.
When you enter your information & connect with your social media accounts, the overview screen will show you all of your metrics data like the following screenshot:
“Projects” >> “Social Media Tracker”.
Right here you can see:
Whether it’s better, worse or the same, you can see your average activity on your social media content.
You can see your total audience for all platform and whether it’s growing, or getting smaller.
You can see your audience’s activity of: liking, commenting, or otherwise interacting with your social media posts.
This is the easiest way to see your results in real time. But, you can get even more in-depth and see real growth in activity in the forms of graphs and charts.
Social Media Poster
There are various tools that give automated social media posting services. Although, with SEMrush you won’t need a separate tool to do all that for you! Utterly, use their Social Media Poster to schedule and manage Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts from one place. Therefore, you can save time and always have organized content & ready to go platform.
There is no need for you to go to your Facebook page several times a day to track new likes, shares, other engagement metrics and audience growth. You can also analyze your posts’ engagement and performance with this SEMrush Social Media scheduling tool.
You can easily move your posts to another time or date utilizing the ‘Drag and Drop’ feature. Furthermore, you can schedule your posts weeks and months in advance with an ability to multi-schedule for future dates.
Get a Benchmark Data of Your Competitors
SEMrush is the best SEO competitor analysis tool which gives a comprehensive data. Before getting to start any competitor analysis, it’s an always a better idea to review how you are currently performing over organic and paid search channels.
To get your competitor’s data go to the Domain Analytics >> Overview tab.
Then enter your competitor’s domain. For example: zoho.com
This comprehensive report will give you high-level benchmark data in many areas. You can see if traffic is going up or down if your rankings are growing or getting worse, backlink data, display ad metrics, top organic and paid keywords, and more.
Track Entire Site Rankings
If you need to know more about where your competitors have and where I can get the upper hand, SEMrush is the right place to get that much data.
To get their entire site rankings, you should enter their domain (without the www: or HTTP:) into the search bar.
Then it will give you all of their website information. In order to see all of their rankings by use the following way:
Sidebar > Organic Research > Positions
View Your Competitor’s Backlink Profile
If you want to see your competitors backlinks, just enter your competitor’s domain into the search bar. Then you need to select “Backlinks” option from the drop-down menu.
For example: I have given the domain – ahrefs.com
Then it will drive you to this page where you can view all of the overview backlink data of the website:
This page will show your competitors entire backlink profile. It is an excellent way to know how well established your competitor is, where their audience is located and the authority of the websites linking back to them.
Find Your Competitor’s Organic Search Performance
When you select the domain of a top competitor, you should navigate to the Organic research >> Positions report.
Then you will get an in-depth insight into your competitor’s organic search performance, and the number of keywords the domain is presently ranking for in Google’s top 100 search results. Also, you will get the amount of organic traffic the website receives every month and the estimated cost of the organic keywords.
Moreover, this will tell you if the number of keywords and amount of organic search traffic your competitor is receiving is increasing or decreasing across the time.
Read this article on “How Artificial Intelligence Can replace Digital Marketing Jobs in Near Future“
Then, you should scroll down to the “Organic Search Positions” table:
Organic Search Positions Report
This helps to see which particular keywords are making the most organic traffic to your competitor’s website.
This organic search table has some metrics, including –
CPC: How much advertiser are bidding on the keyword in the Google AdWords PPC auction.
Search volume: It shows the average number of monthly searches for all keyword.
Traffic Percentage: The percentage of traffic every keyword drives to the website.
URL: Which content is ranking for the provided keyword.
SERP: Take a real-time snapshot of the SERP and evaluate the competitiveness for all keyword.
Competition: It can help you to determine if the keyword is a sensible target in your search campaign.
Identify Your Paid Search Competition
You have already determined how to find organic search competition is in the above feature. So, now it’s time to see your paid competition.
To access your paid search competition, follow this pathway:
Domain Analytics > Advertising > Competition
Now you can enter your domain into the search field at the top of the page.
For example: spotify.com
Then it will give you all of your main, peripheral and paid search competition. So, you can see:
- How much competition they are
- How much their ad spend is
- How much traffic is made as a result
- How many keywords you compete for
The above metrics will look like the following screenshot:
You will probably discover more competition here than you did with the organic search.
Find Your Competitor’s Current Google Ads
If you want to see your competitor’s Google ads, just enter your competitor’s domain.
For example: I have entered the domain – pandora.com
Then you will see the domain overview page. You should just scroll down the page and find the section titled, Sample Ads. It will look like the following screenshot.
Moreover, this is a live-updated stream of the ads they are running currently.
If you want to get the complete spread of their adverts, just click on the View Full Report option. Then you will get to notice a breakdown of their ads running right now.
Save Money and Hours in Wasted Ad Spend
Here, I need to say this, SEMrush is one of the first tools I used to start planning out my campaigns. It is one of the best PPC marketing tools I have seen. It also allowed me to view which keywords my competitors are bidding on and where they were ranking. Additionally, it enables me to see the ad copy and destination URLs they are used to improve quality score and conversions.
Identify Your Top PPC Competitors
Before you can analyze and learn from your top PPC competitors, you first need to determine who they are.
So, just enter your domain into the search bar.
Then click the “Competitors” tab.
Initially, you will look at a competitor positioning map presenting the top competitors by the amount of paid search traffic and number of paid keywords:
Then click on any of the bubbles to take Paid Search Overview for the provided domain.
Next, scroll down the page, and you will see the Paid Competitors table:
Additionally, you will be able to look at some valuable metrics, including:
You can see the number of keywords your competitors are bidding on in paid search.
Get to know how much traffic the paid ads are sending to your competitors’ website.
Ads Traffic Price:
You can see how much your competitors are spending every month on their paid ad campaigns.
Get to know the higher number of common keywords = higher competition level.
Find High Converting Ad Copy
SEMrush allows you to determine when, and how often your competitors bid on each keyword. You don’t require to spend loads of time and money testing ad copy and keywords.
You can also find and reveal which ad copy is running actively by looking at their historical data.
Just go to the Advertising Research >> Ads History and enter your competitor’s domain.
Then you will see a table that looks like the following screenshot:
If the cell is filled blue in that table, then your competitor was bidding on the keyword that month. If the keywords are shown in blue, every month are likely high performing as they have decided to bid on them for over a year.
Once you clicked on a blue cell, you will see which ad copy they are using to target all keywords.
Moreover, it gives profound insights into the different types of ad copy of your competitors have been testing. If you notice that they have used the same ad copy for a long period, you can divine that this ad copy converts well.
SEMrush Pricing and Plans:
Finally, I come to the pricing. There are three SEMrush pricing plans ranging from $99 to $399 per month. The SEMrush Pro account will cost you $99.95/month, and the Guru account will cost you $199.95/month. Additionally, you have to pay $399.95/month to use their business account.
The $99 pro plan will be sufficient for most entrepreneurs, bloggers, and small businesses. If you are an SEO consultant or digital marketing agency, the Guru or Business pricing plans are better suited.
So in a nutshell, SEMrush is powerful, frequently updated, and constantly improving. Definitely, it will be a superior weapon for all bloggers, digital marketers, and eCommerce entrepreneurs. I hope my SEMrush review will be helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions, before buying it. I would be glad to answer all your questions.