SEMRush Review: How to Beat Competitors in Search

SEMRush Review: How to Beat Competitors in Search

SEMRush Review: How to Beat Competitors in Search

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semrush reviewWould you like to know what keywords your competitors are ranking for?

Would you like a report on where you are ranking for your top keywords and if they are going up or down?

Would you like to get an idea of how your traffic compares with your competitor?

SEMRush provides this functionality and a lot more!

It’s such a useful tool so I want to share with you what is possible.

Note:   For the purposes of this review we used the paid tool.  You can go to the SEMRush website and start using SEMRush free trial.  There are some limitations but it’s still useful.

Quick Jump Menu

 

Note:  If you want a free trial (exclusive to Razorsocial) – Click here

What is the purpose of SEMRush?

SEMrush is a website analysis tool to help you analyze and optimize SEO strategies.  If you want more traffic you need to understand more about the keywords you or competitor rank for (or don’t rank for), links etc.

The best way of explaining SEMRush is going through some key pieces of functionality that’s available in the platform.

You can try it out here or read the article first!!

1. Get an overview of traffic, keywords, backlinks and more

When you enter a domain name in SEMRush you will be displayed an overview screen.  This will show you:

Traffic – The estimated traffic for a particular region your site gets for the top performing keywords on your site.  This is not all the traffic but it’s an estimate of the top performing keywords based on where they are in search results.  This is really useful when you want to do a comparison of traffic for you, competitors etc.

You can download the report produced by SEMrush as a pdf and also change the date ranges so that you can see progress over the last year or two.

Here’s one part of the overview screen, which shows  traffic growth over a period of time.

The following two images shows the keywords a site is ranking for and also the main organic competitors.  The reason these are listed as competitors because the sites are ranking for a lot of similar keywords.

keywords competitors
This shows you the keywords you are ranking for and who are your competitors

 

It’s awesome knowing who you are competing against.  If they are above you in search results for any particular search term you can analyze their content and links to see if you can optimize your content for better rankings.

 

Action

Monitor your dashboard on a weekly basis to keep an eye on your progress.  When you see your rankings drop (and not recover) this might be a time to optimize it.

2.  Analyze your competitors so you can beat them in search results

From the first SEMRush screen, enter your competitor’s name and select their location.  In this SEMrush review we are focussing in on a social media news site called Social Media Today and we have specified that we’re interested in their US search results.

 

semrush competitor search
Enter your competitor and location

 

When I run the research I see lots of very useful information but lets focus in on the SEMRush competitor keyword tool.  This is the screen I see:

Social media today
Keywords Social Media Today is ranking for

 

Here is a breakdown of the sections:

  • Keywords:  The top keywords that Social Media Today are ranking for.
  • Position:  Where they are ranked for these keywords (the number in brackets is their ranking the last time SEMRush evaluated search results).
  • Volume:  The estimated monthly traffic that is generated from these keywords (i.e. how many times people search for them).
  • KD:  The keyword difficultly.  This shows how difficult it is to rank for those keywords.  The higher this number the harder it is to rank for these keywords.
  • CPC:  The average price of a click if someone advertised based on this keyword (in US Dollars).
  • URL:  The web page generating the traffic.
  • Traffic:  The average percentage of all traffic the website is getting from this keyword.
  • Costs: Estimate cost to advertise on Google adwords for these keywords (Hint:  High cost with low keyword difficulty are good ones to focus on)
  • CD:  How competitive this in Google for advertising.  1 means the highest competition.

 

Action

I know you’re thinking that this is great, but what do we do?!

If a competitor ranks for keywords that are relevant to your business, why don’t you try to get that traffic instead?

Note:  You also need to understand your domain authority.  A domain authority is a number out of 100 and the higher this number is the easier it is to rank for content.  If your domain authority is higher than your competitors then there’s a better chance of taking some of their traffic!

See our article on domain authority – Click here

So, your options are:

a).  If your competitor is ranked higher but the post is not keyword-optimized, write an article focussed on those keywords if the keyword difficulty is not too high.

b). Find competitors (or similar companies) that have a lower domain authority and research them using SEMrush.com.  It will be much easier to write content that will rank higher.

c). If their domain is much higher and the page rank is high (each page is also ranked) then ignore it and move on!

3.  Do Keyword Research

Maybe you just want to enter in keywords and find out if it’s going to be difficult to rank for those keywords or not?

SEMRush make this very easy.  Enter the keywords and find out the number together with the estimated volume of searches on a monthly basis and number of results.

 

 

keyword research
Enter the keywords and find the difficulty!

 

Action:

Use this tool to analyze every keywords that you are trying to target!

4.  Analyze the competitors of your competitor

What about the competitors of your competitor?

SEMrush does an analysis to find other companies that are ranking for very similar keywords, which it then ranks in a list. Based on this list you can see an estimate of the amount of traffic these companies get from their top keywords so you can get a good idea of their traffic levels. The traffic is always estimated but it can be useful if you want to compare A with B.  For example, if competitor A has 60k of traffic and B has 20k, you know that A has roughly 3 times the volume of traffic.

 

semrush competitors
The competitors of your competitor

 

  • Domain:  The website name of the competitor
  • Competition level:  How competitive it is to rank for those keywords
  • Common keywords: The keywords in common with the site we are analyzing that are ranked in the top 20 search results.
  • SE Keywords:  The number of keywords this site has in the top 20
  • SE Traffic: The estimated monthly traffic from these top 20 keywords

Action

Pick out the competitors you think are really relevant and do a full analysis on their competitors.  You’re looking for the same again i.e. keywords that get traffic that you could rank on.

5.  Monitor ranking changes for keywords

It’s important to keep an eye on where you are ranking in search results for keywords.

Are these rankings going up or down?

Can you optimize your content for rankings that are going down?

SEMRush allows you input a range of keywords or automatically load up keywords detected by SEMrush you rank for.

You can then track these on a weekly basis.

The following shows the ranking of a keyword over a specific time period:

 

 

ranking
This shows the ranking of one keyword over time

Action

Set up SEMRush to monitor your top 100 keywords.

Sort this by most traffic and keep an eye on keywords that are loosing ranking.

Also, look at keywords that are ranking outside of the top 10 and use suggestions provided by SEMRush to optimize the content.

The keywords just outside the top 10 are the low hanging fruit keywords i.e. the easier ones to pick off and improve ranking.

6.  Implement suggestions for ranking improvement by SEMRush

SEMrush helps you track the keywords you are ranking for but it doesn’t stop there…

… they also give you suggestions on how to improve the ranking.

For example, it will analyze other competitors that are ranking for similar content and find words related to the keywords you are targeting that are not in your content.

If they make sense then add these to your content to help with ranking.

Action

Analyze all your content and implement the most relevant suggestions!

7.  Find advertising opportunities before your competitors do!

There are websites paying for traffic, through Google AdWords, while you are driving your own traffic for free. AdWords can be quite expensive, so if you were able to find these companies you could make money by suggesting they put their ads on your site directly.

In our SEMrush review we can show you that the tool makes this easy. It looks at all the keywords you are ranking for and then identifies companies that are advertising based on these keywords and displays them in a chart.

semrush ad traffic
These are the sites that are paying for traffic that you are getting for free

In this chart you can see:

  • Domain:  This is the website paying for the traffic
  • Common keywords: These are keywords they are bidding on that you happen to rank for.
  • Ads keywords: The keywords they are targeting.
  • Ads traffic: The traffic generated from these ads.
  • Ads traffic price:  The cost of driving this traffic.

One of the companies listed is Sproutsocial.  If I click on the column that shows common keywords, I see the following:

semrush ad options
View the keywords you are ranking for in the top ten that sprout social are advertising for

 

This is a list of some of the keywords that RazorSocial ranks in the top 20. They are also targeted by Sprout Social when they pay Google for AdWords Ads. The first one I highlighted is for Twitter analytics.  If you look at the image below you’ll see the ad run by Sprout Social and my organic search result.

 

semrush advertising potential
Sprout Social are paying and our result is organic

 

If you look further down the list and see ‘free twitter analytics’, we are ranked number 1 for this term and SproutSocial are advertising.

Action

SEMrush is a great way of sourcing opportunities and partnerships with companies that are spending money on keywords that you rank for.

Search out some relevant companies and approach them to see if they want to put ads on your site.  This can be especially successful if you find that they are spending a lot of money advertising for keywords you already rank for.  Because they are shelling out on Google ads, you are in a great position to negotiate good rates!

SEMRush Review Summary

You can see how valuable SEMrush can be for analyzing your performance and that of your competitors.  We use this tool on a regular basis and you should consider it too.  The free version does provide some useful analytics to start with. If you find you are benefiting from what it has to offer, you might want to go ahead and get the paid version.

You can also use the SEMRush API if you want to access data from SEMRush externally.

SEMRush Pricing:

Pro for $69.95 per month

Guru $149.95 per month

SEMRush have provided us with an exclusive 1 month free trial for Guru which is $149.95 per month, click on this link to avail of it.
semrush free trial

What’s Next?

Here are some potential actions after reading this SEMRush review.

1.  Try out SEMRush initially on a trial for free.

2. Put a comment in the box below and tell us what you think of the post.

3.  Share the SEMrush review post with all your friends.

4. None of the above – do something that I haven’t thought of yet!

Do you know of a good SEMRush alternative?

Thank you!

Ian

SEMRush is an awesome tool for driving more traffic to your site for free!!!

Even if you don't know much about optimizing your content SEMRush is really helpful.

Here's a summary of some of the key functionality so you can decide if it's worth reading the full post:

  • Analyze your competitors to find out the top ranking keywords driving traffic to your competitor
  • Find out what you need to do to optimize your content to get more traffic
  • Do keyword research and find out how difficult it will be to rank for content on Google
  • Find out what companies are advertising for on Google that you are ranking for!!
  • Get an audit of your site to find out any SEO type issues!

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