I use SEMRush for various things and it seems like the more features they add, the more I like it.
The main things I use it for is:
- Site Audit
- Keyword Research and Brainstorming
- Keyword Tracking
- Content Ideas (Started doing this recently).
Hands down, this is one of the most consistent SEO tool and a must for any real SEO specialist.
I’ve used this for about three years and when I start working with a client, the first thing I do is find out what the issues are using SEMrush’s site audit.
So why not start this party off with how SEMrush’s site audit works . . .
SEMRush Site Audit
Now keep in mind, this is not a childish “You have 4 broken pages” on your site kind of deal with some interesting graphics.
This thing really goes in!
Once the Site Audit is complete, in 99% of the cases, all you need to do is just implement their suggestions. Obviously this depends on the site but in most cases it’s a great way to get started.
That said, there are a few things I don’t agree with like removing a ‘nofollow’ tag on external links. If this was true, Pinshape wouldn’t have grown so fast and I would have never created my own “NoFollow” external links tool.
Overall SEMRush is awesome so hopefully in the future they can work on that.
Anyways, it all starts with something that looks like this:
You get a list errors, warning and notices.
Errors being the most deadly of them all.
These are the ones that need to be fixed asap.
Get rid of these errors asap and the site will start moving in the right direction.
For the rest, you can usually fix them as time goes by (Depending on the issues of course).
However, the sooner the better.
At least now your link building work won’t go to complete waste as the ‘link juice’ will start to flow properly.
That is if you already started your link building campaign. Hopefully you did as that is what I like to do you.
Yup! Link building for me starts from day 1 but hey . . .what do I know about SEO right?
Except get top 10 rankings on high volume keywords *Oh snaps!*
Also keep in mind that literally all sites have at least some issues. It’s just the nature of the beast. So don’t worry about fixing all of them. That’s never going to happen. Fix the main ones and keep moving forward.
Once these are taken care of, start digging into the rest (Warnings and Notices).
Next step is to get into some juicy keyword research . . .
Keyword Research and Brainstorming
When it comes to keyword research, there is no comparison. SEMrush takes the cake and then some. I think you’ll really enjoy this section.
So when I start to get into the content side of things, there are just so many ways to find some amazing keywords with SEMrush.
Here are the ones that I use:
- Phrase Match
- Keyword Magic Tool
- Organic Research
Your classic keyword tool.
Enter a phrase and get the search volume directly from Google plus tons of related terms. It’s simple and to the point.
The phrase match tool also shows you the CPC for all you PPC animals, KD (SEMRush’s own keyword difficulty metric) and a few others.
For me, as long as I know the search volume for a certain keyword is as accurate as possible, I’m good.
Keyword Magic Tool
Freakin love this tool. I use this tool to brainstorm, find low competition keywords and more. I love the fact that I can type in somthing general like ‘SEO’ and get a whole bunch of questions on it.
Yes it has a dedicated ‘question’ tool.
In fact, most of the questions on my FAQ section are from here.
Spend some time on this one. The Keyword Magic tool can help you uncover an insane amount of low competition keywords.
Not sure why I didn’t come across this tool sooner but boy am I glad I did.
This tool tells you the exact keywords that are driving organic traffic to your competitors. In addition (I love this part), it also shows you the percentage of traffic each keyword is bringing in. Isn’t that awesome? It’s an estimate but great way of looking at data.
So I wanted to check what kind of keywords my main competitor is using to drive traffic. As you know, my main competitor is you guessed it . . . Rosie O’Donell.
Wow! With all that star power, she only gets 40k people a month? OUCH!
Anyways, have a look at the third column from the right . . .
Traffic % 🙂 – Yeah now you can figure out exactly which keywords are sending the most traffic to not only your site but your competitors as well.
Great way to write content on topics that matter and you can even use this data for your PPC campaigns. For PPC folks, this tool doesn’t show the CTR (Click Through Rate) but good for testing out different keywords.
Keyword Golden Ratio:
Also known as KGR. I heard about this through the one and only Doug Cunnington. I would love to explain this concept but I’ll leave this to Doug. Although the idea is to use them in your title, you can even throw them in the body of your content and get great results.
Since this is done manually, a lot of lazy people won’t follow through it. Consider this a a good way to dig out keywords that will get you ranked fast.
Visit Doug’s site to learn more about the KGR – I took his coaching program as well. Awesome dude!
SEMrush for Tracking Rankings
Another reason I love using SEMRush is for tracking.
They have a whole section dedicated to this called Position Tracking.
Which on it’s is divided into an additonal 7 parts.
Like the Site Audit feature, SEMrush also allows the user to compare rankings from the previous week and in other ways. Which really helps in keeping track of how your keywords are performing. On top of that, you can add your competitors on there as well.
This is what you get when you click on ‘Rankings’.
This is the obvious one. Where you can see what you rank for and you can also add your competitors. Great way to monitor all sites.
Another additional feature of this tool is seeing the rankings and the traffic in a graph form:
Average Position Graph:
Estimated Traffic Graph:
I really like this feature because if my rankings suddenly drop, I can immediately compare them with my competitors.
If we all go down, it usually means it’s a trend or Google is updating it’s algorithm.
If it’s just mine, I have to check what’s going on or it’s a new kind of negative SEO attack.
Regardless, tracking is super important and SEMrush does a great job with it.
There are tons of other features and I haven’t really tested them out. To be honest, I just use other tools for ‘link building’ but like I said, SEMrush helps me find the issues first before I dive into any thing else.
I’m excited to see how SEMrush evolves though.
I like to use certain tools for certain things. Just to get a different perspective on a site.
Check PPC Budget
I also use SEMrush to check PPC budgets of site. This not only helps me gather information about what keywords to go for (If our competitor is bidding on them, they are most likely converting) but also to find clients.
Paying clients 🙂
If I find a site that has a PPC budget of 5 thousand or more but their SEO traffic is non existent, that is a good company to contact.
So as you can see, SEMRush for me is a multipurpose tool. It helps me with my clients and it helps me to find clients as well.
I always say that each SEO has their own style and own set of tools that they go by, but if you ever get a chance to check out SEMrush, go for it!
Last but not the least, Like most tools, you can setup all kinds of alerts as well.
I don’t personally use them cause I’m always checking SEMrush manually like every few seconds. Life of an SEO I guess 🙂
Feel free to check how your own site will look on SEMrush below: