When we talk about ‘Search’, we predominantly talk about Google Search results. Whether it is organic or paid search, companies both big and small are busy trying to take the first few slots of the Google search result. That is how they can pull the maximum traffic to their websites.
Traffic pulling and having a successful conversion rate is the first and only priority for any and every company. Mostly, marketers indulge in Search Marketing. Real time analysis and competitor monitoring acts like a gateway to ways in which more traffic can be diverted to your own website through search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others.
Search Marketing is a broad term that branches out into SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing). While SEO is mostly about acquiring users based on the visibility on search results, SEM is more about pulling traffic through ads placed on search result pages.
In this article, I will discuss about this SEM tool that can be used to research competitors’ keywords – SEMrush, which I have used in many projects. Writing is no more about just putting up what your readers love but also about searching and finding what readers have been searching and putting them into post, so, that it can drive relevant traffic from search engine. Or, putting it the other way, using these keywords, you can drive highly relevant traffic through ads in search engine.
According to a recent Adobe report published on Marketing Tech, the year-on-year growth of Search Engine marketing spend has grown by 12%, with Google being the dominant player.
Way back in 2011, Techcrunch had reported that Yelp.com gets around 75% of its traffic from Google, out of which 50% people start searching on Google and eventually reach Yelp’s page, while 25% search using ‘yelp’ keyword in search.
Before I talk about how SEMrush aids to organic SEO, let us have a quick overview on how SEM is different from SEO.
SEM vs. SEO
SEO and SEM goes hand in hand, but are very much different from each other. Search Engine Optimization is a technique by which you improve your search rank and drive traffic to your website. Search Engine Marketing is rather a broader term that encompasses SEO as well. It includes paid or sponsored advertisement, ensuring more visibility of your website.
Arguments on which is better than the other are in galleons. Organic SEO is definitely cost effective since it does not incur any spending. It relies more on the content quality and the way you use social media platforms to market your website.
SEM includes various strategies like Paid Per Click (PPC). This is a good way to obtain immediate visibility on the search engines. The traffic is essentially targeted. Most clicks ultimately reach the end of the marketing funnel: conversion. This is mostly carried out through effective landing pages in online ads.
It is entirely need-oriented decision for a company to address any of the two. However, having said that, relying on PPC on a long-term basis might be hazardous idea because, without organic SEO, it is difficult to stay afloat. Needless to say, traffic coming from organic SEO has a better ROI till date.
SEMrush is a wonderful tool that has an impressive updated database. It is a highly competent tool that engages with SEO in a way that adds value to your marketing strategies. Here’s few ways in which SEMrush helps in organic SEO–
- It easily helps in finding the relevant keywords. SEMrush effectively gives an idea of which keyword has had gains or loses, which keyword has risen or fallen in the specific time frame.
- Competitive analysis is much easier with SEMrush. You can have a clear view of where you rank, what is your position and the same in terms of your competitors.
- It helps in understanding the growth of your competitor in organic search, and also shows you how you rank, what you need to pay and how good is your search volume.
Features of SEMrush
SEMrush has the perfect tools to design your advertising strategies while tracking your competitors simultaneously.
It broadly distinguishes its benefits in three categories-
- Analytic reports: It gives insights into strategies that your competitors are using, whether in paid search, organic search or link building.
- Tools: Helps you do a detailed competitor analysis in terms of domains and keywords.
- Projects: Your global campaign will help you gain all the detailed insights of your competitor- keywords, rankings, on-page and off-page health, and so on.
Finding the right keyword is extremely essential when you are trying to reach your target audience via organic search engines. This feature helps you dig out the keywords that can help you increase and improve your search engine ranking. Along with that, you can also know the content strategy your competitor might be using to drive the organic traffic to their website.
- Know the best keywords your competitors are using
- Discover other organic competitors that you did not list down earlier
SEMrush Competitive Positioning Map shows you immediately where you rank in comparison to all your competitors. You can have a direct comparison in terms of the top 20 in Google’s or Bing’s search results.
The SEMrush Position change Report gives you a detailed knowledge of the domain position change of your competitors as well as yours. In this way, you can have a fair understanding of where your strategies are lagging or what is working in your favour.
SEMrush Advertising feature helps in achieving the maximum ROI from your PPC campaigns. SEMrush gives you valuable data on your competitors’ PPC campaigns, like keywords, budget, campaign activities, and so on. Using these data, you can improve your own campaign and get the maximum ROI possible out of it. This not only helps you avoid certain mistakes, it also saves your time and cost. You cease from burning money in a campaign that gives no or least return.
- Get a close-up of your competitors’ ad budget and strategies
- Scrutinize your rivals’ Ad copies and keywords
- Unveil new competitors in AdWords and Bing Ads
- Analyse keywords and ad texts in around 26 regions and 16 languages.
Get access to the top ranking keywords and the best ones that your competitors are using. Along with that, know how long an ad has been running to have a better overview of how you are doing.
There is no denial that paid ad is extremely competitive. To out beat your competitors, you have to know who are your major rivals. SEMrush provides a list of domain’s competitors, estimation of keywords and paid traffic, and how much your rival is spending on ads.
Product Listing Ads (PLAs)
This feature is important if you have an e-commerce website. SEMrush Competitors report can help you in-
- Defining your competitors on Google Shopping
- Know how many common product listing keywords you and your competitors have
- Know which keywords actually trigger your competitors’ PLAs to get visible in paid search ads
- Get an estimation of how much your competitor might be spending on AdWords in comparison to PLAs
- Use the Domain vs Domain Tool to compare the PLA rankings of your competitors
By generating SEMrush Positions report for a competitors’ domain, you can have a detailed insight on every PLA that pops up for each keyword, the PLA ranking in SERPs, and much more. The PLA Copies Report gives you access to the PLAs that has performed the best for your competitor.
Google’s display ad network is home to a millions of websites. Bidding for impressions in this crowded place is very tough. SEMrush Top 30 report shows the best performing advertisers’ sites along with their texts, media ads, landing pages and how many ads have been used by them.
With SEMrush Display Advertising data, it is easier for you to analyse your competitors’ ads and other leading ads. You can know how many impressions were given to each of these ads, and what is the display ratio between text ads to media ads. These insights will help you have a detailed knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.
Not only analysis, but SEMrush AdSense Publishers Report enables you to discover where exactly your competitors are advertising. You can confidently pick up the highest performing placement and use it to your favour.
Last but not the least, you can also get to know how the statistics change according to the device being used by your audience to view your ads.
Performance of link is completely dependent on the quality of backlinks. SEMrush provides the option of conducting deep analysis of which link is pointed towards your website. Effective backlink checker helps you keep a check on incoming links, how authoritative it is, where is it located, and its comparison to competitors’ domains.
After having this report, you can not only improve the quality of backlink you receive but also discover new referral traffic sources.
- Know whether the backlinks you have received are genuine or spam
- Check for .edu or .gov links so that your website gets a boost in SERPs.
- Know from where your competitors are getting their strong backlinks
- Know whether the backlinks you have received are from images or texts or forms, and so on
- Get the unique IP addresses of your backlinks. Thus, you can know from which location you have been referred.
I personally found this feature quite useful for SEO purpose, because this is the similar feature which we used from Moz, SEOMajestic or Ahrefs.
Keyword Research with SEMrush
SEMrush Keyword Research feature gives you tried and tested keywords that can help you in improving your website rank in Google’s and Bing’s top results. It also provides you with the value of these keywords in paid as well as organic search, and which top players are using them in their landing pages. There are ton of useful data outside Google Adwords.
- Get a complete list of best, tested and tried keywords
- Match keywords as well as phrases. Know about other related keywords
- At times only top keywords may not do the trick. Get hold of long-tail keywords which consequently takes up almost 70% of the total search traffic.
- Breaking the shackles of languages and regions, explore keywords that are region specific.
SEMrush is definitely a great tool to track your competitors and consequently improve your own SEO ranking. But SEMrush is not the only one in the market. There is a host of SEMrush alternatives available that concentrate on one or more analysis of marketing segments.
Before you decide on SEMrush, I will tell you briefly how this tool is better in comparison to other available alternatives.
SEMrush vs. Moz
Moz is a great SEO tool and has been in the market since 2004. However, with the release of MOZ Analytics seems like it is moving away from SEO, more towards inbound marketing.
For me, SEMrush is a winner if social media reporting and inbound marketing is not your main target.
- In about 30 seconds, you are aware where your website ranks with SEMrush
- Set-up is minimal to get data with SEMrush where else MOZ is all about plugging in of data and then wait for several weeks
- SEMrush provides intuitive and accessible data
- It works great for non-technical clients
- SEMrush, however, doesn’t have competitor social media analysis unlike MOZ
Moz comes for $99-$499/month while SEMrush Pro begins at $69.95/month.
SEMrush vs. Wordtracker
Wordtracker gives you the best suggestions when it comes to keywords for your website. It is not a Business to Business rated tool, but is still highly reliable to hundreds of people. It was only sometime back that Wordtracker bid goodbye to Google AdWords API and implemented SEMrush instead of it. Why they needed SEMrush?
- SEMrush provides more competitive data
- Each keyword is backed by a long history- how popular it is, who has used it, what is its value, and so on.
- SEMrush has a host of data. Unlike Google’s 800 keywords, SEMrush now allows Wordtracker to offer their users upto 1,000 keyword for each search, of course if they are available in the database.
Wordtraker starts at $27/month only.
Keyword Spy vs. SEMrush
Keyword Spy is another SEMrush competitor that does almost the same functions of spying on your competitors. However, Keyword Spy is essentially more costly than SEMrush. although in terms of functionality and database, SEMrush can easily out beat the other.
Also, in various forums, Keyword Spy’s data hasn’t been really appreciated in comparison to SEMrush’s accurate and intuitive data.
Keyword Spy starts at a price of $89.95/month!
SEMrush Pricing Details
After having skimmed through few competitors of SEMrush, it is now time to take a look at the pricing model of this tool. SEMrush is extremely pocket friendly and it provdes a FREE TRIAL before you decide to purchase.
The pricing model goes as follows:
PRO begins at $69.95/month
- 10,000 results per report
- 3000 reports/day
- 5 projects
- 500 keywords to track
- 100,000 pages to crawl
- Annual Subscription comes at $699.50
GURU comes at $149.95/month
- 30,000 results per report
- 5000 reports/day
- 50 projects
- 1500 keywords to track
- 300,000 pages to crawl
- 20 scheduled PDF reports
- Branded PD reports and historical data
- Annual Subscription comes at $1499.50
BUSINESS comes at $549.95/month
- 50,000 results per report (for each of 4 users)
- 10,000 reports/day
- Unlimited Projects
- 6000 keywords to track (for all users)
- 1,200,000 Pages to crawl (for all users)
- 50 Scheduled PDF reports
- Branded PDF reports, Historical data, PLAs and Multi-user Management
- Annual Subscription comes at $5499.50
Spying on competitors have become the norm these days. Without knowing what and how your competitors are doing, it is difficult for a marketer to decide on a marketing technique that will not only drive traffic but also enable conversion. When it comes to website ranking, only paid ads do not serve the purpose. Although paid ads are a quicker way to come to limelight, organic search results is what actually ensure yours stability in the market. Tools like SEMrush helps in digging out the tiniest information about your competitors and thereby, improve your search ranking considerably.
This tool is worth a try if you are hoping to drive more and more organic traffic to your website.