SEO Tools

SEMrush Review: Link Analysis, Keyword Research, SEO Audits

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I wanted to write this in-depth SEMrush review to provide detailed information on this great product.

Before we explore its great features, I would recommend you to sign up for SEMrush 7 day free trial to experience this great tool.

What is SEMrush?

SEMrush is an all in one SEO, SEM, and content marketing management tool. What it means that you can find multiple SEO tools in one place.

If you’ve been doing SEO for a while, you already know how much it’s distracting and expensive to use multiple tools to manage SEO campaigns.

SEMrush becomes very handy at this point. It is a multi-functional SEO tool with advanced features and a ton of extras. If you have it, you don’t need to look for another tool for your SEO.

Although it has many features, it is still very user-friendly. I didn’t have any learning curve to use it effectively.

It is a truly outstanding tool that can support both organic search and paid advertising campaigns.

What can you do with SEMrush?

SEMrush offers a very comprehensive suite of SEO tools. Here are some of its core features commonly used by SEO specialists.

1. Check the overall health of a website

Every website needs a periodic verification of its overall health. SEMrush can help you perform comprehensive site audits that expose the overall and in detail condition of your website.

Here are some of the benefits that come with:

  • Prevents Google penalties if your site seeming to be in risky condition.
  • It helps you to clarify if you’re on track to achieve your goals.
  • Reveals new opportunities to further improve your SEO campaigns.

2. Keyword Research

SEMrush keyword research

SEMrush has a large keyword database. It is a go-to source to find long-tail keywords that potentially bring the highest ROI.

Discovering low competition keywords that have low keyword difficulty can help to bring more organic traffic to your website.

SEMrush is also used for the keyword research of advertising campaigns. It provides reliable metrics like keyword difficulty, the estimated number of impressions and CPC bids.

Keyword Magic Tool

SEMrush provides keyword magic tool that can give you over 2 million of keyword ideas. By using it you can pick the best keywords and save them in keyword analyzer.

The tool makes the keyword research task very easy by enabling you to change keyword research settings such as local SEO keywords, LSI keywords, etc.

keyword magic tool (how it works)

The edge it provides is finding those long-tail keywords no one else tapped before.

You can further segment your selected keywords by topic and export them to SEMrush tools. It currently allows you to create up to 50 target keyword lists.

3. Keyword Rank Tracking

We have already mentioned keyword research is an essential step for any SEO campaign. However, tracking the performance of our keywords are equally vital to optimize our content marketing strategy.

SEMrush provides a smart keyword tracking system that follows keyword performance metrics in a given time period.

Monitoring the performance of your keyword over time and charting it against the competitor’s keyword performance is one of its core features.

Tracking keyword rankings allows you to make better SEO & Marketing planning decisions.

This helps you save time and money. SEMrush as a ranking tracking tool, can provide on-demand keyword performance reports for monthly, weekly or daily time periods.

Keyword tracking is particularly useful to monitor changes in the SEO performance of your content.

This information is also valuable especially when an update to the Google algorithm is released. By using this information you can easily perform a detailed keyword analysis to see how your keywords perform.

SEMrush let us run Google Ads analysis that provides insight into paid advertising campaigns. Implementing that, we can spy on our competitor sites to get estimates of their Google Ad spending.

4. Backlink Analysis

SEMrush provides in-depth backlink analysis reports providing information on the quality and quantity of URLs and root domains that point to our site.

backlink analysis

Here is a detailed break down of what information provided by the tool.

🍏Conduct a deep link analysis

SEMrush, as an effective backlink checker, shows us the links should point our site to gain competitive link intelligence. It provides us the following information:

  • Incoming links pointing to our site (Both URLs and the root domains)
  • Information about the referring domain’s authority
  • The anchor text used to create the link.
  • Titles and URLs of linking pages.

The backlink audit tool is very useful for detecting “toxic” backlinks that we aren’t aware of many times. It analyzes backlinks in terms of the spam level which can save us a lot of manual work to detox our backlink profile.

🍏Understand referring domains’ authority

Search engines using AI and machine learning to stop spammy websites achieve higher search rankings.

referring domains authority

What is the #1 factor they use to make a decision?

Domain authority is the #1 factor Google uses as a measurement of reliability.

What determines the domain authority of a website?

The backlink profile of the site is a direct image of domain authority.

Websites that have links from high-quality authority websites are accepted as more trustworthy.

SEMrush backlink analysis tool can help us separate the high authority sites than the ones that are not.

Authority of the referring domain does really matter.

Most of the time having a handful of high-quality links is better than dozens of low-quality links.

🍏Check the type of backlinks

The most essential information about the type of link if it is a dofollow or a nofollow link.

Nofollow links don’t pass link juice and authority to the domains they are pointed to.

SEMrush link checker identifies each link in that aspect. You can also find out where your competitors are receiving their links.

Link checker also tells you if the links are text links or image links together with the anchor text they have.

🍏Learn Link Geolocation information

Unless you don’t have a local SEO campaign you need a balanced distribution of links from various geolocations around the world.

Referring IP geolocation

Local SEO campaigns should focus on obtaining more links from local TLDs and IP addresses.

For instance, if you run a local SEO campaign in Cape Town, you may want to have more links with .za domain extension. However, having too much of it may hurt your SEO if you run an international targeted SEO campaign.

If you have a large proportion of your links are coming from domains with the local domain extension, Google may think your website relates to a specific location.

SEMrush presents geo-distribution of your links in graphs, pie charts, and on a world map.

It informs you by providing the IP addresses of each linking domain, and their country-specific location in the world. It is also possible to access TLD (top-level domain) distributions.

5. On-Page SEO Checker

On-Page SEO Checker is a great SEMrush module that provides detailed recommendations to execute in order to achieve higher search ranking positions.

Here are some of the features provided by this module.

🍊Analyzes website with Google ranking factors

There are many factors Google takes into consideration when ranking websites. It is a difficult task to remember all of them and optimize our SEO strategy accordingly.

SEMrush On-Page SEO Checker can help us right at this point. It verifies if our on-page/off-page SEO elements are aligned with the good SEO practices.

It provides different metrics and recommendations for the quality of the content, quality&quantity of the backlinks, and E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trust) of our website.

At the micro SEO level, it verifies if the length of cour content, title tag, headings, and meta descriptions are all congruent.

Generally, the optimization process takes significant time and effort to be invested. On-Page SEO checker makes the job easy for us by providing an efficient path to follow.

It provides a very well structured list that sets out all the actions we need to take to properly optimize our website.

🍊Get actionable recommendations

The On-Page SEO Checker automatically provides practical suggestions by looking at the SEO strategies your competitors are using.

It provides an actionable plan for you to execute saving you long hours of data assembly and analysis process.

This tool comes with a ton of educational materials. It doesn’t only recommend what action you should take, but also explains the reasoning behind the action itself.

🍊Carry out an in-depth comparison analysis

The On-Page SEO Checker provides optimization suggestions by automatically gathering data in the detailed analysis report.

This report will provide you with all-encompassing data for your chosen landing page by comparing the site with the results obtained from your top 10 competitors.

The breakdown will include things such as:

  • Link building and referral traffic opportunities
  • Semantically-related words (LSI words, synonyms, etc.)you can complement your content.
  • The depth of your content compared with your top-10 competitors.
  • Keyword consistency on your page in comparison to your competitor pages.

Acquiring so much useful information from this tool you are halfway down the road achieving your SEO goals.

6. SERP Tracking Tool

If you cannot measure something you cannot optimize it. SERP tracking tool lets us monitor our keywords’ SERP position.

It allows us to have a broader perspective on keyword SERP performance metrics. The information provided by this tool:

  • Competitive keyword positioning on SERP.
  • Domain competition for a keyword on SERP.
  • Particular SERP listing for the keyword.

Information obtained by the tool can help you decide whether you should optimize your website to win a SERP feature (Featured Snippets), or save your efforts for other keywords.

7. Backlink gap checker

The backlink gap checker tool allows you to compare your link profile with the other competing sites.

SEMrush backlink gap checker

The information provided by this tool is very valuable. Because it lets you leveraging from your competitor’s backlink profile by building links they have but you don’t.

The backlink gap checker shows you missing link opportunities. It employs the link intersects technique that will bridge those gaps for your benefit.

8. Steal your competitor’s organic traffic

Have you ever wondered how could you steal traffic from your competitors?

I highly recommend watching this video since it will really educate you on what you can learn leveraging your competitor’s organic traffic.

9. Perform a keyword gap analysis.

The keyword gap analysis by definition is discovering the keywords that your competitors rank for, but you don’t.

SEMrush keyword gap

It is by far one of the most efficient ways to find niche-related keywords that your website has not yet used.

It provides you domain vs domain feature that is very helpful to have an educated opinion about our website against our competitors.

Spying our competitor’s organic keywords is a very effective, and totally legit way of generating that extra traffic we need.

10. Domain Analytics

You can run a batch analysis of multiple domains at the same time.

11. Perform a comprehensive website SEO audit.

🍍Crawl issues

Search engines crawl websites by using their search bots. Based on the collected information they include pages to their index. However, due to certain technical problems sometimes our pages may not be crawled.

The reasons for crawling problems can be blocking the page from indexing through robots meta tag, nofollow links or simply URL and server errors.

Whatever the reason it is, SEMrush SEO audit feature reveals any crawling issues with a website. It finds the root reason causing crawling problems and recommends actionable solutions.

🍍Broken Links

Whenever a linked page deleted, or an incorrect URL placed in an anchor, a broken link is simply created. Every website experience the broken link issues at some part along the way.

We know search engines crawl websites through their links. If there are not functioning links available on a site, crawling problems may occur.

SEMrush lists broken links on your site that lets you decide to point them either to your home page or another domain of your choice.

🍍Hreflang conflicts

It turns out that hreflang implementation errors can negatively affect SEO campaigns that have international targeting.

Websites that have many different versions in different languages are likely to face hreflang errors.

Problems with hreflang values can vary a lot. It may be unknown language/country code, using underscores, hreflang language mismatch or missing hreflangs by itself.

SEMrush can point out the hreflang issues and recommend solutions to fix the problems.

🍍Pages with 4xx status codes

4XX pages errors can harm your website’s crawlability, because search engine bots will cross-link to broken pages on your site. Also, it reduces the overall user experience of your website because people will inevitably navigate to broken pages.

Here are the most common 4xx errors:

  • 401 — Unauthorized
  • 403 — Forbidden
  • 408 — Request Timeout
  • 404 — Not Found
  • 429 — Too Many Requests

We definitely want to keep an eye on 4xx pages errors.

SEMrush site audit will reveal 4xx issues on your website and suggest possible solutions to fix the problems.

🍍Duplicate/missing meta information

Having duplicate meta description is like having duplicate content on a website. Search engines don’t like it and usually are forced to make a decision of which page to rank.

Not having a meta description for a page better than having a duplicate meta description. Because if Google cannot find the meta description of a page it will assign whatever meta description is most related.

SEMrush lists the content of meta titles and descriptions of entire pages on a website. It marks the pages that have missing and duplicate meta descriptions.

🍍Broken internal JavaScript and CSS files

The Site audit will review broken JavaScript and CSS files on your website. In addition, you will also be able to see Uncached JavaScript and CSS files and blocked resources in robots.txt if you have any.

🍍Duplicate content

Duplicate content has serious issues that prevent a website from achieving high search engine ranking positions.

Why do you need to pay attention to duplicate content issues?

Search engines don’t want to rank the same copy of anything. Because it doesn’t provide any value to users and the web.

The actual problem search engines don’t know whichever the version is the original and the others are only copies. The only way they make an estimation is by looking at the first crawling date.

Whichever the copy is found earlier is considered as the original source.

Duplicate content may occur internally as well. In this case, Google may choose to rank only one version and completely turning down the other version.

Guess what?

The version Google chooses is not always the one we want to rank.

SEMrush reveals for both internal and external duplicate content issues on our site.

🍍Missing title tags & the meta tags

The site audit will also provide information about the pages that don’t have titles and meta tags.

🍍Pages that load slowly

It is no surprise that site speed is one of the important Google ranking factors.

It matters both for mobile and desktop devices. Site speed depends on many factors like the chosen theme, quality of Webhosting, etc.

SEMrush helps you ensuring the fastest website experience providing a detailed site performance report in the site audit tool.

🍍Competitor’s Ad copy, Ad placement, keywords, and display ads

Competition can quickly drain any ad budget if uneducated decisions are given. Most businesses don’t have unlimited time and budget to test what may work for them.

We can pick a random domain that maybe our competitor and check their advertising campaigns on SEMrush. It informs us about both PPC and display ad campaigns of our competitors.

spy competitor ads

You can simply enter a domain or type any word or phrase in the search bar to search the relevant ads.

12. Lead Generation Tool

SEMrush lead generation tool provides you a custom widget to place on your website. By using this widget you can encourage people to opt-in your list in exchange for a sample website audit.

free site audit lead magnet

It is definitely very useful for those who are looking for a valuable lead magnet that offers high conversion rates.

The site audit generated by the tool is sent to the email address of the subscriber. It lets you fully customize your call to action and email message to appeal your leads into buying customers.

13. Content Marketing Platform

Content marketing platform offers all-encompassing collaboration tools to help you create great content.

It allows strategizing your content based on scientific data that is analytical and comprehensive. By using it, one can manage the entire content marketing workflow from one place.

The Content Builder helps you create SEO optimized content based on your keyword. They provide an SEO content template which makes it easy to develop great content.

It also helps to define pages that need more content to be added instead of creating new content from scratch.

14. Estimated traffic of the website

It provides information on enhanced traffic metrics that provide useful insight into traffic spikes over specific time periods.

It helps you to ignite your visibility by showing how much of your clicks are coming from organic search traffic. It also provides a snapshot of your traffic progress over time.

15. Social Networking analysis

SEMrush Social Media Toolkit is here to make social media management easier and more efficient. It helps the entire workflow of the social media manager, from content development to SERP performance tracking and benchmarking of overall progress against competitors.

The Social Media tool allows you to find out your best performing content on different social media channels. This information is particularly important for brand monitoring on social media.

The brand mention tracker checks citations and mentions of your brand on social media. The Social Poster feature can be used through its Chrome extension to schedule your posts.

16. Link Building Outreach Tools

SEMrush analyzes your site and informs you about link building opportunities. Its a minimalist management interface lets you run your entire outreach campaign in there.

Having this tool you can sort a large list of outreach prospects based on your target keyword and competitors.

The tool automatically retrieves contact information for the targeted websites so that you don’t need to spend extra effort to access this information.

Reports

SEMRush allows you to create fully customizable SEO reports for multiple websites at an affordable price. It provides Excel spreadsheets that can be downloaded. If you want you can create custom and data-filled PDF reports as well.

🥇Excellent Customer Service

The support team always provides answers and solutions to any issues. I’ve never had to wait more than a few hours for a reply to my support tickets.

SEMrush Trusted by reputable businesses like eBay, Quora, Booking.com and many more. It is very well trusted and graded as A(-) by BBB.

Abundant Amount Of Free Resources & Tutorials

There are so many free resources and training tutorials available to maximize the potential benefits you can get from it.

SEMrush resources

They released abundant amounts of videos and webinars for those who want to move their SEO skills to the next level.

Community

SEMrush has a very well established community around the product.

What Type Of Plans does SEMruh Offer?

There are Pro, Guru, Business, and Enterprise plans offered. You can find SEMrush price information here.

Who can benefit From SEMrush?

I have made a list of a potential group of people that can definitely benefit from the great features SEMrush offers:

  • Social media specialists
  • Social media marketers
  • Affiliate marketers
  • SEO Specialists
  • Content marketers
  • SEO agencies
  • Large corporations
  • SEO teams
  • Internet marketers

Obviously, the list is not limited to those groups of people.

Final Thoughts about SEMrush

All in all, SEMrush is a comprehensive collection of all SEO tools. I think it is like the Swiss Army knife of SEO that serves many different goals.

Thank you for reading this review post, and I wish you have great success with your SEO campaigns.

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