The biggest downside I think is the inaccurate keyword volume sometimes. Previously, I was only using Google's keyword planner and it gave us more precise volumes. I guess it's easier for Google since it's their own tool and they can give better numbers. This confuses us because in Ahrefs we may see potential in various keywords but in the long run, after our articles are published – the traffic is not what we expect sometimes. Though, it's accurate enough for the most part.
Even though you may be running a pretty good backlinking campaign in a bid to get backlinks from highly reputed sources you can’t control the sites linking back. Also some website you may not want to be affiliated with in any way. So, to protect your website from being penalized because of being affiliated with so-called “bad websites” the backlink tool can help you find and disavow those links.
The total number of backlinks and their quality pointing to your complete website result in the overall authority of your domain. The external links that all point to a specific page will help this page to rank in the search engine results (SERPs). The relevance and quality of an external link are very important factors when you like to measure the impact / value of an link. To find out more about quality links have a look at this article on: the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog – https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2010/06/quality-links-to-your-site.html
Provides a way to track the effect of link building activity and demonstrate the impact on search traffic. Excellent for competitor analysis. Helps with researching what content to produce, which competitors are gaining in search and why, which keywords your site could realistically aim to rank for, and gives you enough information to plan how to do it.
Another function included in the backlink profile section is the data for Referring Domains. Basically speaking, it shows you the number of websites that are linking to the domain you’ve inputted in the search bar. So, in this instance, I’m using seo-hacker.com as the target website/URL, and the number of referring domains is shown with the corresponding details you will ever need:
Semrush is one of the best alternatives for SEO and marketing research. The platform provides a wide variety of reports on almost all aspects of marketing: competitive analysis, rankings, link building, keyword research, site health, advertising and social media. And that's not even the full list! It's one of the best options for any marketer looking for an all-in-one marketing research solution.
The PPC Keyword Tool is designed to help you create a successful PPC campaign by building the perfect keyword list. You can get keywords from various sources, narrow down the list, get rid of ones that cause competing ads of your own, remove duplicates and get recommendations. All of which can be further whittled down to ensure that you get the best bang for your buck with PPC campaigns.
A little expensive. Support responses can be slow. Interface can be rather confusing although they recently improved it a lot (see above re: regular updates). I couldn't get the Chrome Extension to work in any of my installations of Chrome, so I still use competitor toolbars in my browser. You can't ever change your login email address thanks to the billing system, so choose carefully.
Keyword Research: a lot of clients don't know what queries to go for, they just assume their best product is what's best to focus on. SEMrush helps determine what users actually search for. Competitor Research: again, most clients don't know who their true competitors really are. Site Audit: easily find and fix crucial issues in client websites that quickly increase organic search results. And there's so much more!
Check the duration of a campaign: If a competitor has been running an AdWords or any other advertising campaign for a while, there is a good chance it was a success. If the ad copy was only used for a short time, you could assume that either it was not bringing in enough traffic or it was because that was relevant to just a specific fashion, holiday or event.
The Marketing Calendar feature by SEMrush ensures that marketers don’t get lost in their marketing activities especially when there are multiple groups of people involved. Most marketers and SEM specialists often forget vital pieces of their campaign, and that results in numerous adverse effects. Now even though this isn’t the most innovative or out of the world tool, it is still extremely useful.

The thing that I liked the best about Ahrefs is that it contains a huge database of backlinks when I've checked my own website and my competitor's websites. This has allowed me to dig deeper and find out their exact linkbuilding and SEO strategies. Ahref contains a lot of tools and features that will make the life of an SEO professional or webmaster who wants more search engine traffic a lot easier. One of these features is the batch analysis feature. Basically, instead of entering your competitor's backlinks one at a time you could actually enter it once. This allows you to quickly check on the SEO metrics for a lot of competitor URLs in just one click.
Terrific blog post. So much great stuff here. Just wondering about Step #16. When you promote your Skyscraper post across multiple social media channels (FB, LinkedIn, etc.) it looks like you are using the exact same introduction. Is that correct? For LinkedIn, do you create an ARTICLE or just a short newsfeed post with a URL link back to your website?
However, if possible, I would like you to expand a bit on your “zombie pages” tip..we run a site where are definitely enough pages to delete (no sessions, no links, probably not even relevant with the main theme of the site, not even important for the architecture of the site)..Nonetheless, I am not very sure what is the best technical decision for these pages…just deleting them from my CMS, redirecting (if there is a relevant alternative) or something else? Unindex them on Search console? what response code they should have? ..
The other star feature of the Domain Vs. Domain tool is it provides you with a detailed report on the competitors’ domains. You can see all the common keywords their domains are associated with and compare their website’s position for each keyword to your own. This allows you to get some insight into what is working for the competition and mimic their success by optimizing your ad strategy and content marketing.
Depending on the plan, you are only allowed up to 100 domain searches a day. If you purchase their top tier plan you only get double of that. Sometimes it can take you several days to do certain types of research. This can start to get a little bothersome as we work with several clients and all of them need to use this software to make sure everyone is getting the best work that we have to offer.

Overall: The quality of the platform, although clunky is great but overshadowed by unethical billing practices. Their billing department will freeze your account if you add on new services and make you send pics of your drivers license and credit card? They'll send you 3-5 separate emails telling you how they are locking you out of your data IMMEDIATELY and also that they are deleting it ASAP. God forbid you're out sick or on vacation and you're paying someone to sit and stare at their screen because SEMRush is throwing a fit because your card didn't go through the first time they ran it. Who runs a business like this?

Depending on the plan, you are only allowed up to 100 domain searches a day. If you purchase their top tier plan you only get double of that. Sometimes it can take you several days to do certain types of research. This can start to get a little bothersome as we work with several clients and all of them need to use this software to make sure everyone is getting the best work that we have to offer.


Awesome tool. I like the SEMrush’s PPC tools best as it helps you to spy on your competitors’ Ads and you can find the ones that are working and you can reverse engineer and make your own that are similar saving you time and money of testing which Ads work. As a whole i think this is a great tool that all IM should have as it can really help you improve your site ranking and thus improve traffic and profits.

Pros: The range of features, and content management tools. The social tracking feature is incredibly valuable as our client can see at a glance how they perform vs competitors. The keyword ranking tool, landing page analysis also incredibly useful even for an SEO novice. I also like the new features that are constantly being tested, it keeps me hooked to the product (clever tactic).. the webinars and thought-leadership always super useful. The site audit is also a really nifty tool, and we can see the changes straight away.

Brian, I have a burning question regarding keyword placement and frequency. You wrote: “Use the key in the first 100 words … “. What else? I use Yoast and a WDF*IDF semantic analysis tool to check the content of the top10 rankings. Pretty often I have the feeling I overdo it, although Yoast and WDF/IDF told me I use the focus keyword not often enough.
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 as a gateway to ways in which more traffic can be diverted to your own website through search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others.

A big chunk of consumers is on social media channels. That is why it is imperative for businesses to be where their target customers are. These platforms can be utilized to maximize engagement and they also make it simple to measure the performance of a brand’s social strategy. By gaining visibility into that aspect, companies can find better ways to reach out to their audience and turn them into purchasers and SEMrush assists businesses in making that possible.
SEMrush is so feature rich it's like your most favorite desert and after dinner drink all in one - with second helpings included! The keyword data, the social posting tool, the competitor data and more is simply incredible. The training tools, special webinars, and all the support SEMrush offers clients is of tremendous value over and above all its functionality as an SEO/SEM tool.

The Backlink Analytics tool can provide lengthy lists of competitor's backlinks that can be exported in spreadsheet formats. You can see your competitors backlink strategies including legitimate (blogs, directories) and illegitimate methods for gaining domain and site authority on Google. I also appreciate the keyword rankings, as it allows for easy reporting and tracking of SEO optimization strategies and keyword campaigns. Great tools for tracking keywords campaigns against similar business as well.

Pros: I own a small ecommerce business so analytics is critical for our success. I've tried a few other SEO services in the past but nothing beats SemRush in terms of features and accessibility. While other services' interfaces are clunky and hard to understand, SemRush lays everything out on their page in an easy-to-use format. The features are incredible, especially the Site Audit, which compares your keyword goals to the content that is already on your site and gives you tips on how you can rank higher for your chosen keywords. Even more incredibly, they provide "SEO templates" which makes content creation easy and friendly. It's nice to have such an easy platform for writing excellent-quality articles that converst. When you're only using Google Analytics, there's still a ton of information about your content and backlinks that you're not really seeing. SemRush makes this information available to you.
I like the ability to compare a client’s website to it’s competition. This feature is awesome. Enables side by side comparisons on how you are doing vs competitors for key metrics such as back links, SERP Results, Domain Strength, etc. The information I can get on Organic Search, Paid Search and keywords is also extremely helpful to the work I do. Thanks Matthew for this article. I wish to win this :)
I manage our SEO and I needed another tool in addition to Google Search Console. We also didn't want to pay an SEO vendor, so we decided to go with this tool to help track how our keywords were doing. We had an issue with one of our tags and our keywords dropped off completely and I was able to see that this happened because of the charts in SEMrush, and we made the needed adjustments. If we didn't have this tool that could have been left for months.
The feature also gives you information about whether the competition is using high-volume keywords or ones with a long-tail to get their ranking. Plus, another important thing the report provides is a look into if the competition is using branded ad copy or branded keywords for better conversions. You’ll also learn how long the competitions’ ads have been around which tells you exactly how successful a campaign was during the year, season or specific periods. All of this is information which can be used to boost your own campaign.
First of all, you can cancel your SEMrush account anytime in 14 days during free trial. Money will be automatically deducted from your account after this time frame. If somehow you missed to cancel your membership within 14 days and not happy with SEMrush services, you can ask for full refund within 1 week time after time frame even. For this, you have to drop an email at [email protected]
Hi Anil, a fantastic post. I would like to know your opinion since in my case I do not have the budget to keep two tools at the same time. I currently use semrush since there are things that I like a lot but I have doubts about the speed of the backlink audit tool. Recently I have encountered a problem in which semrush has not detected backlinks that were potentially dangerous to my website and this has hurt me. This part worries me a little because I’ve already seen the ears of the wolf. On the price-quality ratio of the two tools, would you continue with semrush or would you go to ahrefs? Thank you very much!
Jonathan, when an Internet user searches through Google, then he enters, at that moment, his thoughts in the form of queries. For Google to analyze the query and display the results, there are rankings according to their own algorithms. However, Google also shows users the ads that are of interest related just to the users’ query. These ads at Google are called Adwords and they show an extremely high degree of success because they see ads directly related to the users’ query.
Removing Cross Group Negative Keywords: Cross-group negative keywords are bound to happen when you use the modified or broad match feature in your campaigns. These terms cause ads to compete with each other, and your CPC will grow as a result. However, while it is time-consuming to remove cross group negative keywords the ‘cross group negatives’ button will save you a great deal of time. You will stay on budget as a result and avoid competing against your own ads.

Setting up the SEO Writing Assistant is pretty easy and is available at present only for the Google Chrome browser and WordPress. It is compatible with Google Docs which is a good start. To begin with, you need to head over to the download page, log-in (if you don’t have an account one will need to be created), choose to install the browser plugin and activate it post installation.

You can schedule a weekly technical SEO audit and our Site Audit tool will automatically start crawling your website. You’ll get a notification when it is finished in your inbox. By running website SEO audits on a regular basis, you are tracking the progress of your website’s health. With the Compare Crawls and History reports, and mini-trends on the Overview, Issues, and Page reports, you can analyze the results of different SEO audits and track changes in the number of issues over time.
The total number of backlinks and their quality pointing to your complete website result in the overall authority of your domain. The external links that all point to a specific page will help this page to rank in the search engine results (SERPs). The relevance and quality of an external link are very important factors when you like to measure the impact / value of an link. To find out more about quality links have a look at this article on: the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog – https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2010/06/quality-links-to-your-site.html
If you are doing competitive analysis for clients or prospects this tool is a must have tool. The API interface is a great way to enhance links to other evaluation tools, but that part is probably is not for technically faint of heart. The site audits are fairly easy to use and exploit, for top level insights and seem to have a much greater depth of capability than I have taken advantage of just yet. Site audits are helpful for evaluating key clients, and provides on-going regular emails as to how each site is doing.
In general, I love Semrush. It's a lot of information. Even if some of the information in the database is a little outdated, the huge amount of data and ideas you can get from Semrush is worth it. You even get extra things like social networking tools. It is ideal for SEO and PPC campaigns. I can see the data on my website with a single click of a button. It also allows me to keep track of my keywords, but I think they are not as accurate or that the data has not been updated recently. SEMrush is a great tool for any online business. It helped us to rank higher in the search engines. In general, I must say that I would recommend the tool to other people. The speed of the scans is a great advantage, you can set up a scan in progress and in a matter of minutes it is complete.
In SEMrush, you can export to CSV and XLS right from Keyword Gap, Backlink Gap, Keyword Magic Tool, Keyword Difficulty Tool, Organic Traffic Insights, Bulk Analysis, Position Tracking, Ranks, Site Audit, Keyword Ad History, and PLA Research. SEO Content Template lets you export its ideas to DOC, On Page SEO checker and Log File Analyzer feature  XLS, CPC Map and PPC Keyword Tool – to CSV, and Display Advertising allows exporting to ZIP.
Removing Cross Group Negative Keywords: Cross-group negative keywords are bound to happen when you use the modified or broad match feature in your campaigns. These terms cause ads to compete with each other, and your CPC will grow as a result. However, while it is time-consuming to remove cross group negative keywords the ‘cross group negatives’ button will save you a great deal of time. You will stay on budget as a result and avoid competing against your own ads.

The dashboard is an easy way to get an overall picture of our ranking, backlinks, and organic traffic. And as a small company looking to drive brand awareness through search, their keyword exploration tools are essential to our SEO strategy. It's also a pretty straightforward tool to use, so can you jump right in and get a lot of benefits straight away.
Localize Ad Campaigns: Paid search like the one offered by AdWords differs in the way it works from one country to the next. If you are targeting international clients, the advertisements have to be adapted for a specific geography. The local ad campaigns feature allows you to analyze keywords and texts from over a hundred countries in more than twenty languages. You are able to look at what keywords Dutch, French and American users are typing into search boxes to find the services products, etc. that they want.
Pros: What I like most is that Semrush offers a lot of useful features and they are constantly adding new ones and developing the tool. Positions tracking is only small part of it - you cancreate different projects to automatically track changes in positions for keywords that are important for your business - for ex. by geo location, which is very useful for an international business.
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