When you’re running an online business, you need to maintain profitability and visibility. You usually need two separate software for this, but there’s a tool that helps you both with SEO and ad campaigns.
In this article, we’ll explore the features and benefits of Semrush and how we actually use it to maintain our e-commerce businesses.
What Is Semrush?
Semrush is an SEO and marketing tool that helps brands and individuals increase their online visibility and profitability.
In terms of SEO, it provides useful metrics such as keyword ranking and analytics, backlink opportunities, and site traffic and engagement. On the marketing side, Semrush allows you to manage your PPC, analyze competitors’ current ads, and more.
Semrush is a multi-awarded company that was founded in 2008 by SEO and IT specialists. At present, they have 13 offices spread across North America and Europe and have more than a thousand employees.
What Can You Do With Semrush?
Semrush has multiple features that give brands invaluable data to improve site content and traffic and manage their ad campaigns. Here are the most useful things you can do:
Semrush Helps You Audit and Analyze Your Site
Semrush gives you an overview of your site. Here, you can see your site’s health as well as the errors (issues with high severity) and warnings (issues with medium severity).
This is useful since you want to make sure you are consistently addressing site issues. This is crucial for your overall ranking as search engines like Google rank sites based on how optimized they are.
Semrush not only allows you to see a breakdown of your errors and warnings. It also provides a short explanation of what the issue is, why it’s occurring, what optimization category it affects, and how to fix it.
In addition, it provides an easy reference for historical audits, which is helpful because it shows you your progress when you’re doing site fixes.
As for traffic monitoring, Semrush provides an easy way to determine how much traffic you’re getting and where they are coming from.
Semrush Allows You to Know and Analyze Your Competitors
You should be able to determine who your competitors are to see how you’re doing compared to them and what you can improve.
In terms of organic traffic, Semrush gives you a list of your organic competitors. These are sites with a high number of common keywords that are ranking in Google’s top 20 organic search results. For example, for EcomCrew.com, we see a couple of expected domains, but two of our top competitors stem from a single article that blew up.
We are in no way specializing in liquidation or returns pallets, but because one of our top articles garnered unusually high traffic, these competitors show up on the list.
Semrush also provides a more visual representation of your position compared to your organic competitors.
Semrush also allows you to compare your traffic with 4 competitors at a time using its Traffic Analytics feature.
This way, you can monitor how your traffic is doing and how much more you need to improve if your goal is to be the top performer in your category (which it should be).
Aside from the numbers, you also get to determine the sources of the traffic.
Another Semrush feature that lets you analyze your competitors is Advertising Research. It shows you the keywords, traffic, search positions, and cost of your competitor’s Google ads.
However, it doesn’t stop there. Semrush also shows you the exact ad copies plus the keywords, volume, and CPC for each ad.
Semrush Strengthens Your Linkbuilding Opportunities
Anyone familiar with SEO knows how important backlinks are. Backlinks signal to Google and other search engines that your site has authority, especially when the sites linking to your pages have high domain ratings.
Semrush helps you optimize your site by giving you an overview of your site’s backlink profile and opportunities for improvement.
The referring domain categories listed make sense since our site focuses on business and e-commerce.
Another helpful graphic shows the number of new and lost referring domains and backlinks. Viewing the report allows you to determine which backlinks you’ve lost and contact the site for possible reinstatement.
And when you’re ready to actively look for backlinking opportunities, Semrush provides a list of prospects based on the keywords you want to rank for and your list of competitors.
Another useful backlink feature Semrush has is its Backlink Gap. This allows you to compare your backlinks with at most four competitors. Here, you can get an overview of your authority scores and the number of referring domains.
Semrush Makes It Easier to Create Your Content Calendar
Perhaps one of the most useful tools Semrush has for content creators are those relating to keyword research and page analysis. We know because we’ve created our media calendar for the whole year using these features.
Here are some of our most used and abused tools:
Keyword Magic Tool
This shows you related keywords that you can rearrange by volume, keyword difficulty, and CPC, among others.
Clicking on a keyword will give more in-depth information from which you can develop topics for your blog articles. It shows the keyword variations, related keywords, and most importantly, related questions that you can use in your outline.
Semrush has a way to compare your site with those of your competitors and determine which keywords you’re missing from your site. This will help you add these topics to your content calendar.
SEO Content Template
Once you have a keyword and topic in mind, you can further optimize your articles with Semrush’s suggestions. The SEO Content Template compares your competitors’ content containing your chosen keyword and suggests related words, backlinks, and text length.
There is a lot of useful information here, but we usually ignore the readability score because the goal is to always be as simple and as clear as possible.
An additional feature that may be helpful to those who don’t have a writing team in place is the ability to order content from Semrush. A 500-word article will cost you $45, while the most popular length—1,500 words—costs $110.
We haven’t personally tried out their writing services because we already have full-time writers, but Semrush promises original and plagiarism-free articles that will be ready in 5 business days.
Semrush has a plan for every business, no matter the size. The Pro plan is perfect for small teams while the Guru and Business plans are best for mid-size and large enterprises, respectively.
We equate one project with one brand, so if you have more than five brands like us, you should go for the Guru option.
If you’re not yet sure about whether to get Semrush, you can try it out for seven days. However, because you're an EcomCrew reader, you can get a 14-day trial for Semrush Pro.
Semrush’s prices are comparable with its main competitors, Moz and Ahrefs. Its lowest tier is admittedly the most expensive (Moz and Ahrefs start at $99 per month), but the difference is not that significant.
Pros and Cons of Semrush
- Keyword Analytics boasts 23.7 billion keywords in its database
- Keyword analysis and related keyword suggestions help with SEO and content calendar creation
- Covers multiple countries and languages
- Tracks backlinks and determines backlink opportunities
- It’s mainly an SEO powerhouse, but its marketing tools are also up to par
- Makes it easier to manage social media content and interaction
- Some data like the readability score are not that useful
- Users report that the Google Chrome extension has issues
Is Semrush Worth It?
After months of using Semrush for content planning and SEO, we are just about ready to use it exclusively for all of our brands.
Overall, Semrush provides brand owners and content managers with invaluable tools and information to improve site visibility. There are almost always graphical representations of important data, and they are always adding more tools (a lot of new ones are currently in their Beta versions).
Semrush is already an indispensable part of our arsenal, and with more features coming, we can say that it’s well worth the investment.