From SEO to social media management, SEMrush is able to serve and satisfy about 5 million users in 2020.

That’s why I came up with this thorough and fair SEMrush review. We’re going to review their service from A to Z. Hence, you’d be able to decide whether it’ll be good for your website.

So, without any further ado, let’s dive right in! If you are in a hurry, one of the best ways to get a feel for SEMRush is through giving the platform a try below:

SEMRush Overview

SEMrush is a SaaS company that provides a wide collection of services for digital marketers. They were originally named as SEOdigger and SEOquack before becoming SEMrush in 2008.

By 2016, they had 1 million active users from more than 100 countries. They doubled that number in 2018 after they secured a $40 million fund. Additionally, they won the title of best SEO Software Suite in 2018 and 2019.

Today, SEMrush features 18 billion keywords in their database. They even claim that they work with 25% of people on Fortune 500.

What is SEMRush?

Any digital marketer can benefit from SEMrush one way or another. They’re mainly focused on SEO services, like keywords, competitor analysis, backlinks, audits, etc. Yet they offer a lot more.

The SEMrush platform has a total of 4 toolkits: SEO, advertising, social media, and content marketing. Hence, freelancers, startups, and all kinds of businesses can find SEMrush essential for their workflow.

Guesswork aside, you can always opt for a 7-day free trial to view the service in depth.

Pros and Cons at a Glance

In a hurry? We’ll quickly review what SEMrush is great at with this list of pros and cons.

Pros

  • All-in-one suite
  • Provides the most thorough competitor analysis
  • Compares your website with your competitors
  • It can predict changes in Google algorithm that might affect your rankings
  • Fairly priced service

Cons

  • Can be overwhelming for beginner digital marketers
  • Its traffic estimates can sometimes be inaccurate
  • All the plans give access to 1 user only

SEMRush General Features

As we established, SEMrush provides a lot of features. Therefore, we’ll divide the features into broad and numbered categories. Let’s go!

1. Competitive Analysis

SEMrush lets you base your marketing decisions on your competitor’s success and failures. This is crucial for any business to always have the upper hand on the niche. Here’s how:

Domain Overview

SEMrush, as we’re going to see, has a lot of features. The SEO toolkit has nearly 20 sub-services. The domain overview is a great way to quickly navigate through them.

Type in the competitor’s domain you want to search for. SEMrush will give you a general overview of this domain’s keywords, backlinks, traffic, advertising, you name it.

You can also use this tool to analyze your website, especially when you need a quick way to assess your strategy.

Nearly all the SEO suites have this feature. However, it often comes as nothing more than plain text and graphs.

On the other hand, SEMrush’s overview is like a short preview to all the features on the platform. This means that you can click on each item to dive into more details.

Traffic Analytics

Once you know who your true competitors are, it’s time to analyze them. Knowing the source of your competitors’ traffic can help you in optimizing your strategy. SEMrush gives you a sneak at the most specific data about your competitors through the traffic analytics tool.

For example, you can know about their average desktop and mobile traffic, their most effective affiliate and which domains are using them as backlinks. It’s almost like you took access to their Google Analytics account!

If you’re interested in local markets, you’re going to love this feature. It allows you to analyze the behavior of your country’s visitors in terms of pages/visit, average visit duration, and bounce rate.

This will save you a ton of market research. You’ll instantly know what interests your audience and what bores them.

Keyword Gap Tool

A perfect strategy can’t be built without knowing where you stand between your competitors. And the keyword gap tool is the most suitable way to do so.

After entering your competitors, SEMrush will analyze the data and come up with the following results:

  • All keywords: A list of every keyword used by you and your competitors.
  • Common: A finer list of the most common keywords your competitors are ranking for.
  • Missing: Keywords that your competitors are ranking for while you’re not.
  • Weak: Keywords that you rank for but lower than your competitors.
  • Strong: Keywords that you rank for more than your competitors.
  • Unique: What you’re ranking for while your competitors aren’t.

By using this tool, you can optimally craft your strategy. For example, you can use the weak and missing keywords to try to win some of your competitors’ traffic. On the other hand, it might be a good idea to boost the strong and unique words even more by ads.

Moreover, to make the assessment of your strategy easier, you can add and track all of these keywords in the Keyword Manager tool.

Keyword Research

A keyword is the main link between you and your customer. That’s why SEMrush has given it quite large attention.

Keyword Magic Tool

This is my favorite tool in this category. With the keyword magic tool, you can simply enter a seed keyword and SEMrush will offer you an elaborate list of suggested long-tail keywords.

For every suggestion, SEMrush saves you a lot of time by viewing all the data you’ll need in one place. These include:

  • Average keyword search volume
  • Keyword ranking difficulty
  • The average cost per click (CPC)
  • The amount of SERP features

To make things easier in the future, you can pick your favorite suggestions and export them to the Keyword Analyzer tool. This is where you can analyze them further and proceed with your finely selected list to the actual tracking.

Why is this important? Well, if the user is searching with more specific long-tail keywords, this means that he did a ton of research and he’s likely ready to take action or make a purchase.

Hence, ranking for these keywords will increase your likelihood of generating profit.

Moreover, they provide a list of user questions that involve your seed keyword. This way, you’ll be able to anticipate the interests of your audience and build your content accordingly.

As of this moment, their keyword database supports over 130 countries with higher than 9.4 billion keywords.

Keyword Difficulty Tool

After you craft the last list for the keywords you’ll be working on, SEMrush can help you prioritize it. By using the keyword difficulty tool, you’ll know which keywords will easily grant visits and which will waste your time in vicious competition.

You can enter up to 100 keywords at a time. SEMrush will analyze the domains ranking in the first 20 results and calculate the difficulty percentage accordingly. The bigger the percentage, the more SEO resources you’ll need.

But what I absolutely like about this feature is the graphic representation of the SERP features availability, like featured snippets, images, videos, reviews, etc.

Analyzing this data will make it easier for you to know what your website is likely missing and what keywords have a higher chance of generating more organic traffic.

However, I wish they would add a numerical representation of the available SERP features. This way, it’ll be easier to sort them out based on this data. Right now, you can only sort your keywords based on the difficulty, the user search volume, and search results.

Backlinks

For Google to know that you’re a valuable website, others will have to backlink to you. This makes a huge difference in your ranking.

Backlink Analytics

Analyzing the backlinks of your competitors is one of the most important steps toward effective SEO. This is how you can have a better understanding of the content that other websites, and audiences, prefer.

With the backlink analytics tool, you’ll get a thorough report about your competitor’s popular anchor text, referring domains and IPs, popular landing pages, and much more.

Link Building Tool

With the link building tool, SEMrush makes it so much easier to acquire high-quality backlinks.

To start, enter your domain, keywords, and competitors. SEMrush will analyze this information to come up with prospects. This is where you’ll find a list of domains that are likely to link to your website.

When you decide on a domain, you can easily proceed with your outreach strategy within the SEMrush platform. This is possible through the built-in Gmail integration.

And this is where it gets interesting. SEMrush provides email templates for different outreach strategies. For instance, if you own a blog that reviews products, you can select the respective strategy and make use of its customizable template.

Moreover, there’s a template for follow-up emails to use when the domain doesn’t get back to you in days.

When you finally earn a backlink, you can add it to the monitoring section. From there, you can quickly know if a backlink is lost or if the domain gets broken. Should any of these happen, simply restore the domain to the “in progress” section to email them again.

Rank Tracking

You don’t want to waste all of your hard work on your website, do you? That’s why it’s important to always keep track of your ranking in the search engines.

Position Tracking

Keeping an eye over how your website ranking changes is essential for any SEO strategy. Otherwise, you’d be implementing a dozen ideas and campaigns without knowing which works and which doesn’t.

Through SEMrush’s position tracking tool, you’re able to track your keyword ranking on two search engines: Google and Baidu.

Moreover, you can view ranking and traffic data from desktop, mobile, and tablet platforms. And for local businesses, SEMrush can show results based on specified geolocations.

To measure your ranking, SEMrush uses an index that’s quite unique. They call it “visibility index”. It ranges between 0 and 100%.

A zero visibility means that your website doesn’t rank for the top 100 search results. On the other hand, a 100% visibility means that your website retains the first search result.

This tool is also great to benchmark your competitors. In this case, you’ll see a graph that compares your visibility indexes over time.

Site Audit

A powerful site audit should be your friend if you want to get the most out of your SEO. SEMrush’s audit tool will crawl over your specified page count to search for possible problems.

With a total of 120 tests, it hardly misses anything. It identifies small issues like duplicate content and broken links. And it can also go deeper to inspect the AMPs, HTTPS certificates, readability, etc.

It’s possible to make the audit more specific. For instance, you can set it for a domain, a subdomain, or a subfolder. Moreover, SEMrush allows auditing your desktop and mobile versions separately.

To simultaneously save time and ensure quality, SEMrush enables you to run scheduled audits every day or week.

Social Media Toolkit

Managing multiple social media accounts for a single domain can be tiring. You’re left to imagine how hard it’s to manage more than two domains at the same time. That’s why having a social media toolkit is a must.

Social Media Tracker

Once you enter the domains of your competitors, SEMrush will crawl into the web to automatically add their accounts on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.

What I find interesting in SEMrush’s social media tracker is the wide implementation of graphs. For instance, there’s a bar graph that shows the total number of followers a competitor has while highlighting the percentage of every social media account in a separate color.

This way, you’d quickly know which platform is more popular with your audience, to avoid wasting time on the wrong one.

Once you’ve done that, you can dive into your selected channel for a closer look. SEMrush shows you a complete list of your competitors’ posts for you to analyze. You can sort them by total engagement, shares, comments, and reactions.

SEMrush also gives you insights about your competitors’ post timing and format. With all of this information, it’ll be much easier to craft your next posts to the optimal engaging level.

Twitter Tracking

Nearly all the features I mentioned apply to Twitter, yet SEMrush can do much more on this platform. For instance, you can analyze hashtags used by your competitor and sort them based on the engagement.

Moreover, SEMrush gives you access to your competitors’ mentions. This is a great way to recognize the possible problems or complaints their followers have so that you can avoid them.

SEMrush also provides you with a list of your competitors’ most followed mentioners. Those people can be included in your outreach campaign.

Social Media Poster

Like any typical social media suite, SEMrush enables you to manage and schedule posts on your various social media accounts.

Aside from the basic scheduling on a specific time, you can set the post to publish regularly every day, week, month, you name it.

Additionally, if you post on regular time every day, you can tell SEMrush to add the posts in the first available time slot in a queue, then automatically post them without having to schedule each one separately.

One of the things I like here is the built-in post timing graph. You don’t need to waste time checking another page before posting, you conveniently have a small graph that highlights the time you selected so you can easily decide whether your fans are going to be online.

Post Inspiration

Stuck with no creative ideas to post? No problem. Instead of going from a blog to another, SEMrush has an RSS feed that collects posts from all your favorite blogs and websites.

Furthermore, if you found an article that you think would benefit your followers, you don’t need to stop surfing the web to post it.

Thanks to SEMrush social media poster chrome extension, it’s possible to post articles, tweets, and even plain text by a simple click. It even shortens long links via its integration with Bitly to allow you to post easily on Twitter.

Managing multiple social media accounts for a single domain can be tiring. You’re left to imagine how hard it’s to manage more than two domains at the same time. That’s why having a social media toolkit is a must.

Social Media Tracker

Once you enter the domains of your competitors, SEMrush will crawl into the web to automatically add their accounts on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.

What I find interesting in SEMrush’s social media tracker is the wide implementation of graphs. For instance, there’s a bar graph that shows the total number of followers a competitor has while highlighting the percentage of every social media account in a separate color.

This way, you’d quickly know which platform is more popular with your audience, to avoid wasting time on the wrong one.

Once you’ve done that, you can dive into your selected channel for a closer look. SEMrush shows you a complete list of your competitors’ posts for you to analyze. You can sort them by total engagement, shares, comments, and reactions.

SEMrush also gives you insights about your competitors’ post timing and format. With all of this information, it’ll be much easier to craft your next posts to the optimal engaging level.

Twitter Tracking

Nearly all the features I mentioned apply to Twitter, yet SEMrush can do much more on this platform. For instance, you can analyze hashtags used by your competitor and sort them based on the engagement.

Moreover, SEMrush gives you access to your competitors’ mentions. This is a great way to recognize the possible problems or complaints their followers have so that you can avoid them.

SEMrush also provides you with a list of your competitors’ most followed mentioners. Those people can be included in your outreach campaign.

Social Media Poster

Like any typical social media suite, SEMrush enables you to manage and schedule posts on your various social media accounts.

Aside from the basic scheduling on a specific time, you can set the post to publish regularly every day, week, month, you name it.

Additionally, if you post on regular time every day, you can tell SEMrush to add the posts in the first available time slot in a queue, then automatically post them without having to schedule each one separately.

One of the things I like here is the built-in post timing graph. You don’t need to waste time checking another page before posting, you conveniently have a small graph that highlights the time you selected so you can easily decide whether your fans are going to be online.

Post Inspiration

Stuck with no creative ideas to post? No problem. Instead of going from a blog to another, SEMrush has an RSS feed that collects posts from all your favorite blogs and websites.

Furthermore, if you found an article that you think would benefit your followers, you don’t need to stop surfing the web to post it.

Thanks to SEMrush social media poster chrome extension, it’s possible to post articles, tweets, and even plain text by a simple click. It even shortens long links via its integration with Bitly to allow you to post easily on Twitter.

Advertising Toolkit

Running Google Ads is simple, yet it has to be correctly planned. SEMrush’s set of tools will help you with this task.

Advertising Research

Through SEMrush’s advertising research report, you’ll take a close look at your competitors’ Google Ads strategies.

For instance, you can view the exact ads your competitors used over the last year. They’re even sorted by their efficiency for convenience. You can click on each ad to know what are the targeted keywords and the respective landing pages.

Analyzing how your competitors dealt with every single ad in the course of a year will save a ton of trial and error. That’s why I really like this feature.

CPC Map

As you might already know, the cost per click changes between different areas. Hence, if your service doesn’t depend on a specific location, you can get a cheaper CPC with a higher search volume if you found the right geolocation.

That’s where the SEMrush’s CPC map comes in handy. It gives you the average CPC in different areas.

What’s even better is that you also know the specific CPC for more than 15 topics like electronics, fitness, travel, etc.

However, they offer this service for a few countries only. Check their website to see if your country is included.

Ad Builder

Using the SEMrush ad builder is the easiest way to create Google ads. If you find an ad you like while you’re researching your competitors, you can transform it into a customizable template that fits your business. It’s also possible to build it completely from scratch.

Moreover, you can add extensions to your ad, like a callout or a snippet. This will make it more relevant and clickable.

Once your ad is ready to be published, simply export it to a Google Ads compatible file to instantly start your campaign.

Content Marketing

Content is king, don’t you agree? Enhancing it to its optimal state will serve you even more. How can SEMrush help? Let’s see.

Content Audit

With the content audit tool, SEMrush can crawl into your website or blog to extract data about how your posts are performing. This includes social media and Google Analytics stats such as the number of sessions, session duration, and bounce rate.

As always, SEMrush sorts the articles according to the performance. Once you highlight the problem, you can start applying the recommended edits. This way, you won’t leave your older content in a poor state while also keeping things simple.

Topic Research

This is one of my favorite tools in the SEMrush platform. Why? Well, everyone has suffered from writer’s block. It’s quite common to run out of fresh and engaging ideas. Even worse, you could be writing topics that don’t interest your audience.

If you can relate to this, and I’m sure you can, then the topic research tool should be right for you. All you have to do is enter the general topic and your country of choice.

SEMrush will crawl the web and come up with headlines, questions, and ideas you can use to write your next article.

Room for Improvement

Nobody is perfect, period! SEMrush has some disadvantages that you should put in mind before subscribing.

Can Be Overwhelming

As we established, SEMrush has a big variety of tools in multiple toolkits. I don’t really see this as a disadvantage, yet it can be overwhelming for most digital marketers, especially the beginners. Hence, I thought I should mention it so you’d get the full picture.

This feeling should resolve on its own after using SEMrush for a couple of weeks. To speed up the process, make sure to check the educational content on their blog, knowledge base, and Youtube channel.

Occasionally Inaccurate Data

While I was searching online, I found multiple users complaining from inaccurate numbers on the SEMrush platform.

The vast majority of users said that the web traffic estimates differed a lot between SEMrush and their Google Analytics accounts.

To be fair, this is not a problem that SEMrush solely experiences. Nearly all the SEO suites have a varying degree of inaccuracy. However, SEMrush is among the most inaccurate.

In a study conducted by Screaming Frog, SEMrush was the least accurate suite by underestimating 30% of traffic estimates. On the other hand, SimilarWeb and Ahrefs both ranked first by an error of 17% only.

User Multi-Login

If your teammate logged into the account you’re currently using, you get logged out automatically. It doesn’t even block access for the person trying to log in, it goes on and cuts whatever you’re doing instead.

All the SEMrush plans come with only 1 user. If you want to add more users, you’ll have to pay additional fees and you’re also bound with a user limit.

For instance, you can only add 1 user in the pro plan for $70. The guru and the business plans allow for 2 and 9 additional users respectively, each charging $140/user.

What’s Unique About SEMrush?

Don’t get me wrong. Some of the features we mentioned before may have unique criteria that are not found elsewhere. But the following features are compiled based on users’ feedback plus my personal opinion.

Competitor Analysis

This is one of the features SEMrush excels at. It gives you a detailed profile of the competition.

Take the traffic estimates for instance. You can know how many users came from mobile and desktop, by which backlinks and at what rate.

And it’s not only SEO, but SEMrush also enables you to look at your competitors’ mentions and mentioners on Twitter.

Bouncing from one page to another to be able to properly track your competitors is an arduous task. That’s why this feature is super important. This way, you’d have more time to actually plan and implement.

SEMrush Sensor

This is one of the features I like on a personal level. Why? The SEMrush sensor allows you to anticipate one of SEO’s worst problems, unexplained rank fluctuations.

This mainly happens due to changes in Google’s algorithm. And although SEMrush might not predict all of the changes, I think that every successful prediction will bring you closer to your SEO goals.

The SEMrush sensor displays a value between 1 and 10. Higher values mean more fluctuation. It also gives you quick tips about what you should and shouldn’t do.

Because no two categories are alike for google, the sensor provides separated value for more than 20 topics. The list includes news, health, games, sports, real estate, etc.

Backlink Audit

Google considers having backlinks form toxic websites as a crime! Even though you didn’t add those links yourself and you probably didn’t know they exist in the first place.

That’s why I consider the backlink audit tool as a must-have for your website. SEMrush will audit all of your backlinks through their integration with Google search, Google Analytics, and Majestic.

Then, they analyze these links and sort them out based on their potential toxicity level. Fortunately, they don’t stop here as most services do.

Instead, SEMrush gives you a chance to take action. Firstly, you’ll be able to send emails to the toxic domain owners requesting link removal. This is applicable through the built-in Gmail integration.

Secondly, you can make a disavow list that contains all of your toxic links. Then, simply export this file to Google’s disavow tool to tell Google to ignore these links.

Backlink Gap Tool

As you might’ve guessed, the backlink gap tool performs similarly to the keyword gap tool but with backlinks.

After you enter your competitors, SEMrush will build a list of all the referring domains that backlinks to your competitors.

One of the things I like about this feature is the “matches” parameter. This shows how many of your competitors are listed in the selected referring domain.

In other words, if you entered 4 competitors, a domain with a 4/4 match backlinks to all of your competitors. On the contrary, a domain with a 1/4 match backlinks to one of your competitors only.

Why is this important? It’s the easiest way to plan your outreach campaign. A 4/4 match is probably a credible source that directs a big number of visitors to valuable websites. Hence, it’ll be a good outreach target.

All-In-One Tool

As we established, SEMrush has 4 toolkits: SEO, advertising, content marketing, and social media. This is great in terms of staying organized and saving some additional dollars that would be, otherwise, spent on separate platforms.

Fairly Priced

If you take a quick look at other SEO suites, you’ll find that SEMrush plans lie within the same price range. Then, how is this unique? Simply, you pay the same amount but get a whole lot of features in SEO, advertising, social media, and more!

These are the available plans on SEMrush:

Pro Plan

This plan enables you to run 3 projects and track a total of 500 keywords. It’s perfect for personal use on your blogs or website. It also suits freelancers, startups and in-house marketers who don’t have more than 3-4 clients.

This plan costs around $100 if billed monthly and about $85/month if billed annually.

Guru Plan

Subscribing to a guru plan will give you access to 15 projects and 1,500 keywords. There are two main differences that make it better than the pro plan.

Firstly, you gain full access to the content marketing toolkit. Secondly, SEMrush unlocks the historical data feature. This means that you can go back in time and analyze competitors’ data from 2012. This, of course, allows for a whole new level of analysis and SEO planning.

That’s why it’s the go-to plan for small to medium-sized businesses and marketing agencies. It costs approximately $200 for the monthly option and around $165/month for the annual option.

Business Plan

The most elaborate plan on SEMrush gives 25 projects and 5,000 keywords. Moreover, you’ll be able to fully edit your PDF reports, get full API access and Google Data Studio integration.

Therefore, it suits large agencies and businesses that mainly depend on their social presence. It costs about $400 if billed monthly and close to $335/month if billed annually.

Need more projects and keywords? SEMrush can give your enterprise a customized plan to perfectly fit your needs.

As the smallest information can make or break the deal, take a look at SEMrush’s full plan comparison before subscribing.

To Sum Up

SEMrush is a must-have if you want to get the most out of your online visibility. It has a wide collection of tools in SEO, advertising, social media, and content marketing. This makes it a highly valuable and irreplaceable tool.

The great thing is that you’ll pay nearly the same fees as any other suite. Hence, opting for this all-in-one tool will give you the best value.

My only take about them is the possible inaccuracy in traffic estimation. Then again, every suite experiences a similar issue.

I hope this SEMrush review has answered your questions. Remember, if you’re still in doubt, go on and get your 7-day free trial before subscribing.

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