Everyone agrees that getting traffic on Google is difficult, if not impossible, if you don’t have a minimum of SEO tools.
Among the one that stands out most often, Semrush is a leader in the world of nature and even paid to reference.
What are its features, and what is it worth? Answer in this comprehensive test.
For those unfamiliar with Semrush, it’s an all-in-one SEO tool that can be used for both natural and paid SEO. As an SEO consultant, I use it every day since it offers a wide range of features:
- Site Audit.
- Organic traffic estimation.
- Keyword research.
- Competition analysis.
- Backlink analysis.
- Advertising research.
- Position Tracking.
- Content Optimization.
- Social Media Optimization.
- Brand monitoring.
In short, there are dozens of features, each as interesting as the next.
During this test, however, we will focus on those most useful for SEO because we must admit that this is where the tool’s strength lies.
The interface is spotless and visually pleasing. However, a downside of Semrush is its navigation.
If you are not used to using the tool, finding your way around the many features will take some time.
We find in the sidebar on the left the different functionalities grouped by sections:
- Domain analysis.
- Keyword analysis.
- Opportunity analysis.
One of the first things to do in SEO is to analyze the strategy of our competitors to see what is already working for them to do them even better!
Let’s test with a well-known site that conducts tests and comparisons in the high-tech sector. I invite you to do the same by trying this feature that I included in the article:
This is the main tab in the “Domain Analysis” part. This will give us an overview of all the data for that particular domain name:
We can see, among other things, the number of keywords positioned, the number of keywords purchased on Adwords, the evolution curve of organic traffic, the main competitors, or the backlinks. We can, of course, see the detail for each of the elements.
Clicking on “Organic Search” and then “Position” gives a graphical view of the keywords, including additional information such as search positions, search volumes, cost per click, keyword competition, etc…
So there is a lot of information here that will allow us to enrich our list of keywords.
Still, in the same subsection, this time, we go to the “Page” tab. It is interesting to see the content that generates the most traffic by analyzing all the keywords positioned for each of the most important pages.
Obtaining backlinks by contacting web admins, influencers and bloggers is a crucial and challenging step in natural referencing. Fortunately, some tools are there to analyze the links and find some ideas.
On this side, Semrush gives exciting information, such as the total of backlinks, the number of referring domains, the anchors, or the proportion of following/no follow links.
However, compared with other tools like Majestic SEO which remains the reference for the analysis of backlinks, we realize that some links are not recognized, which is a bit of a shame.
Let’s go back to the left menu and go to the “Keyword analysis” section and then “Overview.” The first thing we want to do here starts with an identified keyword. Here, I took, for example, “b2b marketing“.
After entering the keyword in the search box, we can look at organic and paid search volume, competition, and search trends.
Concordance and associated keywords
The other interesting information during the search for keywords is the concordance and the associated keywords to broaden the semantic field of our query. This is where we can get other keyword ideas too.
Keyword Magic Tool
I would also like to show you a handy new feature, which is well worth the investment in SEMrush. It is, therefore, the “Keyword Magic Tool” found at the bottom of the “Keyword Analysis” section.
By typing any keyword, you end up with the entire semantic field around a given theme.
The tool also helps us group these keywords into particular niches and analyze them further. It’s a considerable time saver when you want to establish an SEO strategy.
The site audit
SEO is not limited to keywords; the technical part is also essential. Semrush’s Audit feature covers technical SEO and on-page optimization of your site.
To perform an audit, go to the “Projects” section and click on the “Add new project” button. Then indicate our domain and the number of pages to crawl (be careful, your page limit depends on your package). We have to wait a few minutes before we get our results.
With the audit, it is, therefore, possible to check the overall health of our site, find specific errors and thus prioritize the problems to be corrected. We can see each element that interests us in great detail.
For consultants and agencies , it is perfect to know that the audit can be customized and export as a white label in various formats.
Thanks to its rank tracking tool, Semrush also makes it easy to track changes in Google’s SERPs from month to month and even day to day.
To do this, you must go to “Projects” and resume your site’s project (or create a new one). Next, we will go to “Position tracking” to configure our domain, the keywords to track, and even the leading competitors.
As for the audit, it is possible to extract the data in PDF, CVS, or XLS to send the reports to your customers, for example.
If your strategy is not only based on SEO but also paid to reference. In that case, Semrush can help you by showing you the types of ads other companies in your industry serve and how they work.
The tool will even give you an idea of how much budget competitors spend on their search ads, the keywords they use for their paid search campaigns, the ad formats, the devices they appear on, and how often. They appear within the Google Display Network.
Semrush also allows you to monitor ad text and competitor ad landing pages.
Similar to Similarweb, this tool not only tells you the traffic volume for any domain but also shares information about traffic sources, platforms, main pages, and subdomains.
Semrush also gives insights into audience overlap. In other words, it will tell you if you and a competitor are battling for the same traffic.
You can also use this tool to get a bulk analysis of competitor websites. Connect multiple domains and see how they all compare to your environment.
SEO Writing Assistant
Content is the cornerstone of SEO today. The Semrush writing tool gives you several recommendations depending on your targeted keyword. In particular, it will suggest semantically related phrases in your content.
Semrush also alerts you to keyword over-optimization (which can be harmful) and advises you on word count, title, and content issues.
Beyond that, Semrush will analyze the readability of your articles or the tone used (only for English for the moment). Finally, Semrush will also check for plagiarism.
Semrush 2023 Pricing: Which Plan to Choose
There are three types of packages: the monthly or annual subscription. The prices have also changed for this year and next year, 2022-2023:
Here is a summary table to compare in detail the features and limitations of each of the packages:
- Pro ($119/month or $99/month billed annually): This plan is ideal for freelancers and start-ups
- Guru ($229/month or $191/month in annual billing): This formula is more suitable for agencies and SMEs
- Business ($449/month or $374/month in annual billing): This formula is especially ideal for large agencies and companies.
To start, the PRO package is enough, and you can try Semrush for free for 30 days through my unique link
Semrush also offers customized solutions for companies with special needs. This may include providing databases of custom keywords, removing certain limitations, training on the tool, and many other requests.
Semrush also allows you to track your online reputation through mentions of your brand across the web.
Usually, finding mentions of your brand takes a long time. Semrush’s Brand Monitoring tool saves you that time by crawling the web for you and providing you with a report detailing your mentions.
Advantages and disadvantages of Semrush
To summarize, here are the pros and cons of Semrush:
- An all-in-one tool that integrates all the essential features for SEO.
- Semrush has some of the most comprehensive metrics on the market.
- A huge database of keywords.
- Allows you to manage both the SEO and SEM strategy.
- The ability to estimate traffic from competing sites or any domain.
- Comprehensive keyword research.
- Information is refreshed daily.
- Many features added regularly.
- The SEO audit saves a lot of time for agencies and consultants and can be used as a white label.
- The tool can integrate with Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Disadvantages of Semrush
- Navigating the interface was a little trying at first.
- Some improvements should be made in building and analyzing backlinks.
- Traffic analyzes remain only estimates.
If you still have trouble using Semrush for your natural referencing, I invite you to watch this explanatory tutorial on the different SEO features.
Semrush is the most powerful and comprehensive tool for natural and paid SEO and surpasses its competitor Ahrefs.
Having used it for several years, I realize that the tool has evolved in the right direction and that new features are regularly found.
In addition, Semrush is very attentive to its community and involves it both in developing its tools and sharing best practices.
We can also see on their Youtube channel that they are relatively active in the USA market.
Finally, Semrush deserves its place as the current leader in the SEO tools market, and after my personal experience with semrush I can only recommend it to those who are still hesitant.