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I had heard good things about the tool, so wanted to try it out. I was curious to see if it could help me improve my processes and provide more value to my clients. I initially tried the SEMrush 7-day trial to get a feel for what it could do and what I might use it for.
Later I signed up to the SEMrush Pro Plan, which gives you:
- Up to 5 projects (or websites)
- 500 Keywords to track
- 100,000 pages to crawl per month
- 20,000 pages to crawl per project
- 500 SEO ideas
- 50 Social Profiles for Monitoring
- Scheduled PDF Reports
The Pro Plan costs $99.95USD per month.
With the higher level plans you can also get historical data, data on product listing ads, multitargeting for tracking different devices and locations, branded reports, API access and plagiarism checks.
Traffic Analytics can be purchased as an add on to any of the SEMrush plans.
Projects in SEMrush
I set up a few projects and played around with various components. The first of which was the Site Audit Tool.
1. Site Audit Tool
The Site Audit Tool provides information on Errors (high risk issues), Warnings (medium risk issues) and Notices (things you should do) to help you troubleshoot issues with your website.
You can drill down in to most of the issues to find out more information on the problem. For example ‘X number of pages are missing metadata descriptions’, when you click on the issue, you see a list of pages (with handy links) which this applies to.
This report uncovered issues I probably wouldn’t have found unless I went through every page with a fine tooth comb! From speed issues to content issues, this is a great tool.
In addition, there is an export as PDF or CSV feature so if you aren’t technically inclined you can easily send the issues off to your web developer to fix.
2. Position Tracking
Position Tracking allows you to input competitor domains to compare how you are ranking against your competitors.
It also gives you opportunities for getting that coveted place on Featured Snippets in Google, now who doesn’t want that?!
3. Online SEO Page Checker
Online SEO Page Checker gives ideas on how to improve your web pages in order to rank higher.
Ideas are organised by:
- Strategy Ideas
- Backlink Ideas
- Technical SEO Ideas
- User Experience Ideas
- SERP Feature Ideas
- Semantic Ideas
- Content Ideas
4. Social Media Tracker
Input the URLs for your competitors as well as your website URL so that you can do a comparison on social media activity.
This is great for:
- Seeing which of your competitors posts drive the most engagement
- Getting ideas for different types of posts
- Identifying how often your competitors post – you may want to match or do more than this, afterall social activity is an factor for SEO
- Look at your own engagement rates on posts to see which are the most beneficial or most likely to drive engagement with your audience
5. Social Media Poster
Use Social Media Poster to plan and schedule your social media posts for:
It also provides analytics and tracking competitors for some of these channels.
There is a handy email reminder tool for posting Instagram posts (it’s not possible to automatically publish Instagram posts).
6. Brand Mentions
Use this tool to track keywords related to your brand. Mentions could be your company name and any variations that are used and key members of your team.
This is a good way to find out what people on the web are saying about your brand online, from forums to social media posts.
There is a filter to allow you to select mentions by positive or negative intent.
If you find your brand is being mentioned on a particular resource, you can track that resource on the resources tab.
7. Backlink Audit
Use Backlink Audit to find out if there are any spammy sites linking to your site.
Sites with high spam scores are likely to harm your SEO efforts.
You can create lists of sites that you don’t want linking to your site. Next, email the webmasters of those sites asking them to remove those links and or add them to a disavow list to upload to Google Search console.
Likewise if you see sites on this list which are not spammy then you can add these to a whitelist.
8. Link Building
Link Building gives you a list of link building prospects.
You can go through the list to mark off any prospects that you think are unrelated to your industry or are irrelevant.
Then start contacting the remaining to see if you can get links to your site.
Mark each prospect with a different outreach method such as:
- Manual Link
- Add link to article
- Product review
- Link from mention
- Guest Post
- Recover Lost Backlinks
Customise your outreach categories as needed and keep track of who you have contacted and how.
Add your own prospects to the ‘In Progress Tab’ by selecting the import button on the right hand side.
Finally, email the prospects within SEMrush or separately via your email tool.
9. PPC Keyword Tool
PPC Keyword Tool will help you manage your Google Ads campaigns.
Keep organised by choosing keywords that are within your budget and aren’t too competitive, yet will get you results.
Use negative keywords to make sure that your ad isn’t found for terms that are not relevant to your product or service.
Create campaigns and ad groups, search for keywords and import keywords.
Once you have your campaigns set up you can then export and upload your list to Google Ads.
Want to know more? You can read more on PPC Keyword here (SEMrush site).
10. Ad Builder
The Ad Builder helps you create ads which will be appealing to your audience, you can then assign the keywords to the ad and preview it.
See what your competitors are doing to see if there are any ideas you can incorporate in to your ad strategy.
Need to make new variations of ads? Simply duplicate them and make your changes.
Wondering what ads your competitors are running? Search for a competitor or keyword to see what ads are already running:
Create your ad:
Then add relevant extensions to your ads.
11. Organic Traffic Insights
This tool combines your SEMrush, Google Search Console and Google Analytics data all in one place.
Why is this so great? It helps to uncover those ‘not provided’ keywords which are hidden in Google Analytics.
You can see metrics such as:
- New vs all users
- Bounce Rate
Drill in to the keywords per page , to see which keywords are ranking, what their position is, clicks, impressions and click through rate.
No longer do you need to log in to GA and GSC separately to get valuable insights into your SEO efforts.
12. Content Analyzer
Content Analyzer helps you assess the success of your page content both on and off your site.
It provides information on:
- Social shares
- Keyword rankings
- Google Analytics data
This tool is good for finding out of date content, underperforming pages and on page issues which need fixing.
Do you write guest blog posts? If so this tool can help you assess how well those posts are doing.
So that covers off projects, but what other cool tools come as part of the Pro Plan? I won’t list all of them but here are a few:
Other Features on the Pro Plan
Under this section there are 3 components:
- Keyword Gap – this allows you to compare keyword profiles across 5 different domains so you can compare what you are ranking for against your competitors
- Backlink Gap – you add up to 5 domains and this tool will uncover backlink opportunities for you to target
- Bulk Analysis – allows you to compare up to 200 URLs to see metrics such as number of backlinks, proportion of follow/Nofollow links & authority score.
Input your keyword and location and see which websites are appearing for that search.
This list can then be sorted by trending topics, look at the top 10 headlines by backlinks, view sub topics.
Topic Research suggests questions you could use as titles for your blog post, which would be pretty useful if you are stuck for content ideas.
Filter topics by volume, difficulty and efficiency.
SEO Writing Assistant
SEO Writing Assistant helps you ensure that your content is optimised for SEO.
It provides feedback on your copy including:
- Paragraph length
- Tone of voice
- Recommended keywords
- Number of words
- Overall score
Lead Generation Tool
If you offer SEO services then this widget could help you to get new leads.
You place a small block of code on your site and it will display a lead generation form.
Visitors to your site input their domain and email address and they receive a short report highlighting any issues with their site.
Here it is on our homepage:
This is a new tool to SEMrush and provides a service for posting and updating your online business listings for $20 AUD per month.
It will send your details to the following sites:
- Baidu Map (Overseas)
- Google My Business
- CK Maps
- Find Open
- Amazon Alexa
- Pitney Bowes
- Where To?
Read more about Listing Management (SEMrush site).
CPC Map is useful if your serve a wide audience or have an online store. It allows you to compare the cost of advertising on Google ads based on location. This will help you plan for the costs associated with an ad campaign and optimise your ad spend.
This tool allows you to look at search volume and advertising costs against different industry.
Probably one of the most useful tools in the set.
You can create reports based on predefined template or create your own from scratch.
Here I clicked on the blank template:
You have the ability to change the title and subtitle, upload your logo and then drag in the relevant reports from the left hand side.
If you are a business owner this is a great way to combine reports (eg: Audit reports) to send to your developer to fix issues.
Or use it as a checklist if you are able to fix the issues yourself. For SEO’s; it’s a great way to set up automated reporting to send to your clients.
In conclusion, SEMrush is a great all round digital marketing tool that will help you manage your marketing and SEO efforts. This tool would be great for an agency or anyone who manages numerous clients as it can help improve efficiency across reporting, social media posting and more.
Equally those businesses who are looking to improve their own SEO would benefit from using SEMrush as it can provide you with a wide range of insights and functionality. An extra bonus is that new features are added regularly, so it’s an ever evolving and improving tool set.
Interested in other SEO tools? Take a look at our deep dive article on Ahrefs.