Ankit, you have very nicely explained the difference between SEO and SEM. I understood them to be part of it each other, but never gave it a proper thought. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique that helps raise up our (search) rank bring more traffic to our website. While Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a larger concept that includes SEO as well. Internet Ads are an important component of SEM.

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.
Competitor backlink audit – Analyse the link profile of your competitor and research the opportunities, to match your, or even better outperform your competitors link profile and subject authority. When performing an competitor backlink audit you should also analyse inbound links pointing to top performing pages, so you don’t miss out on valuable link opportunities.
The software is very easy to use and understand, it comes packed with lots of features that you may need two or more software suites to do. I find it worth far more than we pay for it. It has payed for itself in a very short time. It allows me to get very granular with my searches and also lets me export a lot of information so that I can make business decisions based on the whole picture.
Brian is the founder of MeiggsMedia and has a love for digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and personal finance. Brian has been quoted in several online publications, including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, MSN, AOL, Discover, GOBankingRates, Student Loan Hero and more. When not helping others reach their goals, Brian can be found at the gym, traveling, exploring Washington DC, or helping bloggers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses succeed at MeiggsMedia.
Ahrefs is a well-known tool primarily used for checking backlinks, but what most SEOs forget to take into consideration is that it is capable of so much more. With their massive data index, Ahrefs is definitely one of the most sought-after SaaS tools out in the market. Tools such as this helped eradicate the days wherein Google gets played by unethical, black hat SEO tactics.  They helped the industry turn for the better, and SEO has never been simpler. With the tools such as Ahrefs being available in the market, it became simple for us to get better at what we do.

Pros: The biggest advantage of SEMRush is the ability to generate enormous amount of the actionable data on the subject you want to research in. That allows to own the reliable data according to what you can confidently make the right decisions from the perspective of the SEO Strategy. This tool is beyond productiveness if it's used to its full capability. It's an invaluable everyday asset in my SEO projects.
Sure…I do mostly affiliate stuff now but it applies to local too. Say I wanted to do an Amazon aff. site for laptops. I’d google some generic terms like “best laptop 2016” or “laptop reviews” grab the first three or four results of other aff. sites and run them through SEMRush to see what the competition is ranking for see the trends…etc and export the organic results. Lather, rinse and repeat until you have enough keywords.
It is very expensive for one user. Many companies are forced to share a login because purchasing additional user licenses is cost prohibitive for a small agency. Most small agencies and startups would only utilize the tool a few hours per week. Competitors are offering an unlimited user package, which is quickly becoming a tempting offer as their platforms improve.
Pros: SEMrush is a very effective tool for SEO. It has a simplistic approach and it allows users to see all the relevant data of any websites. It has a very detailed keyword analysis tool that can show many related keywords, traffic data and competitors. The backlink analysis tool is another great feature of this app. I can see all the websites that are linking to mine, their countries and IP addresses, their anchor texts and if the links are follow or nofollow.
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.
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.
Its interesting that you overlooked Ahrefs site audit tool. Unlike SEMRush which limits you to 20,000 URLs, Ahrefs can crawl very large websites. Their data explorer is by far the best in the business. SEMRush gives you a list of URLs with issues they want to identify. But no option to customize. Ahrefs, much easier to use and powerful Data Explorer are very powerful indeed.
What I like best is the number of tools offered to manage your client work. Two items I rely on weekly are site audits and search visibility tracking. In addition to this, there are tools offered for organic and paid competitor research which are fairly thorough, as well as optimization recommendations and backlink opportunity reports which can be useful, once the necessary setup has been process. Overall, SEMrush has become a fairly robust tool in the past couple years.
Having access to this type of insider information about your competitor makes it easier to refine your strategy and make it more effective. If you’re selling the same or similar product, this will allow you to grab the customers that they are trying to attract but do it more effectively. You also have the ability to compare competitive domains as well as estimate the difficulty of the keyword so that SEO and advertising decisions can be made accordingly.
It will also track how many shares your article got on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn. Additionally, it is possible to dig deeper and see the overall number of shares that have changed. It also allows you to track backlinks your article may have received and provide you with a so-called trust score in addition to a page score of the source of every backlink.
Thank you for the great checklist. It is really useful and gave us a couple of new hints on optimization process. We’ve been using WebSite Auditor and found it exremely helpful in site’s structure and content analysis, bringing all the statistical information on the validation errors, social mentions, duplicate stuff, etc. under one roof. Still there is so many different SEO information you sometimes cannot understand what to start with. Fortunately you answered this question. Thank you again!
the interface is quite nice. i like the feature that they can group all the things into a project, show the backlinks from each site and update sent to email in daily basis, sometimes it is quite busy that you cannot login and check all the metrics. Also, the competitors spending on ad is a good reference to see how and what have they done. And how we can react with them, like pay more to beat them or what. By the way, the backlink tool is very nice that we can remove toxic links linking to our site to prevent lowered ranking
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