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.
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.

The depth of your articles impresses and amazes me. I love all the specific examples and tool recommendations. You discuss the importance of backlinks. How important is it to use a tool to list you on directories (Yext, Moz Local, Synup or JJUMP)? Will Google penalize you for listing on unimportant directories? Is it better to avoid these tools and get backlinks one at a time and avoid all but a few key directories?


Readability: The readability metric isn’t something new. However, the fact that gives you the opportunity to match your text’s readability to that of the top 10 competitors in the niche is interesting. A readability score of 56.4 is considered to be “fairly difficult,” to read and so the target is usually 60 and beyond if the niche requires it. For some texts, the readability should be more complex because that’s what the target audience expects and the tool makes that suggestion.

The organic search report provides SERPs or Search Engine Ranking Position that the competition is targeting. That will enable you to target the same keywords as you compete for the top spot. Also, SEMrush’s organic Search Report allows you see the best performing keywords that your competitors are using to drive traffic as well as a list of new competitors which may otherwise be missed or not been fully aware of with any other tool. It also allows for the monitoring of competitor rank changes of different domains you choose. So, you are always hot on their heels.
Pros: I love how simple SEMRush is to use and how intuitive their UX is. I've used their topic research tool for clients and it has helped inform their entire content marketing strategy, from the calendar itself to the amount of paid/organic attention we give each piece of content. Their tool is always fast, loads quickly and is easy for novices to understand.
Truly an insightful post Matthew, thank you very much for your awesome content. My first site is about to be launched and it’s been a ton of work to get to this point and I know that’s just the start. I would love to have a years membership of SEMRush to help my blog get off the ground. I have used the demo version a few times and it provides a lot of value. Thanks again for this amazing article and I hope I win.
Turnes out - yes, yes I do!!! From doing keyword research, to defining who my competition is in my own market, and what keywords THEY use, to defining weekly tracking on important metrics, both on my website AND social media channels, SEMrush has played a HUGE role in the way that I have started to see my small business as an actual business and not just a hobby.
The SEO Content Template helps to boost and streamline your ability to write optimized content. The template is created by using the targeted keyword and continues to monitor your article’s SEO value as you keep writing. Obviously, there is nothing much to it but still happens to be a must-have tool if you’re writing a lot of SEO content for clients or your own websites since it speeds up the process.

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.
Whether searching for a product or determining what others are buying, entering a keyword is the first step. Select the ebay longtail keywords from the list that are most relevant and download them. By typing the results into Ebay, you will quickly see if there is a demand for your product. As a buyer you will get the most relevant products to your search. 

Now the Domain vs. Domain tool is a rather unusual visual tool which allows you to compare up to 5 different domains. You can then compare and contrast data from all of the domains. It is handy for SEO experts who want to conduct and later update their competitive analysis of the industry and where they fit in. The Venn algorithm uses diagrams and other essential bits of data to give you a pretty good idea of where your website is placed in the grand context of the niche.
SEO and SEM go 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.
Cons: Unfortunately, despite being a comprehensive tool, you do have to keep in mind that not all the data is completely up to date or accurate. Not that it's unusable, but I did find myself wondering why it was showing my PPC campaign's "current real-time" ad was actually an ad I haven't used for 6 months. In addition, I found that many of the links in the backlink audit were not accurate.
Access to multitargeted tracking: Do you want to monitor your online activities and presence with precise targeting which includes multitargeted tracking such as location, device and language? SEMrush Guru account gives you access to that! That means, you can easily track any website’s search visibility across multiple devices and locations within a single campaign.

Monitor Changes in Statistics: The Display Advertising Feature also allows you to see the changes in statics which depend on the ads and the devices on which they are displayed. Your display campaign will be visible across tablets, PCs, smartphones, etc. All of which results in being able to see which devices are producing the most impressions, check if text ads are doing better than media ads or vice versa and adjust your campaign settings to allow for better interaction.
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.

As a professional blogger, I've always struggled with getting more traffic to my own websites and the websites that I handle. And one of the strategies that I routinely use is search engine optimization. SEO or Search engine optimization involves a lot of things. While On Page SEO is mostly done on the website, the OFF Page stuff is mostly done outside of your website. Ahrefs has helped me do a lot of the Off page stuff like analyzing what are my competitor's SEO strategies, what are their backlinks, where are they getting them. I've also used Ahrefs to find out my competitor's content strategy because I could easily check what are the content and pages that are getting the most shares and backlinks on their website.


Knowing how well your website is ranking is an essential part of doing SEO. It is important because it tells you how much all that hard work is paying off in the way of search engine ranking position or SERPs. Which of your pages are ranking, i.e., product, content, blog, etc. The Position Tracking tool allows you to monitor your regional, national and local rankings for any of the keywords you’re targeting.
There are other parts of SEO which you should pay attention to after your audit to make sure you stay competitive. After all, the technical foundation isn't the end of the road for SEO success. It's important to pay attention to your competition's SEO activity, keep an eye on the newest search engine best practices, and maintain local SEO best practices if your business depends on customers visiting a physical address. All of these are elements of a successful SEO strategy and should be corollary to your audit and ongoing SEO maintenance.
The depth of your articles impresses and amazes me. I love all the specific examples and tool recommendations. You discuss the importance of backlinks. How important is it to use a tool to list you on directories (Yext, Moz Local, Synup or JJUMP)? Will Google penalize you for listing on unimportant directories? Is it better to avoid these tools and get backlinks one at a time and avoid all but a few key directories?
This feature can definitely help your SEO campaign, specifically, your link building campaign because you now have the capability to see all of the domains that removed your link from their content, and you can contact the webmaster to see if you can reclaim the lost link – this means that you now have the opportunity to either improve or continue your outreach and overall link building goals.
The Competitive Positioning Map: It provides users with instant information of their direct competitors. The report is based on the domain’s natural traffic and the organic keywords they are ranking for in major search engines. The visual representation also shows rivals, your primary weaknesses, and significant strengths compared to the competition.
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.
The Backlink Audit Tool is one of the most important tools when it comes to maintaining and keeping your website up to date with the latest backlinks. You will know who is linking back to your website, which page they are linking to and if someone is running a negative SEO campaign against your site. Whether you’re doing SEO for a client or yourself, one of the goals should be to make sure that you are getting a healthy flow of backlinks from high authority website to rank well.
Recommended Keywords: In my opinion, this is the most important feature because it is hard to rank for a given keyword without using related keywords a couple of times. So, you can’t rank a plumbing page without mentioning water, pipes, and faucets. It recommends keywords which are marked in gray and once they are used those keywords turn green. That’s an excellent visual indicator of which keywords were used.

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.
I just tried and its working fine from my end. When clicking on the link, you should be taken to the SEMrush page where you should be able to grab SEMrush pro account for free for the next 14 days worth $47. Please clear cache for your browser and try then. Please let me know if you still face any issue in claiming the 14 days SEMrush pro account for free.
Hi Faizan, glad you found it useful. Yes, SEMrush is definitely one of the best SEO tools out there. When you’re doing keyword research, don’t go for KD score, instead pick low volume keywords with 100 or even 50 monthly searches. And target long tail keywords so you can get traffic from multiple keyword phrases. It might take a good 3 months to get the traffic from search engines if you go that way.
Hi, Brian. Thank you for the great article. I have a question about the part about 4 website addresses. Ours currently is set to https://www., and we would like to change it to just an https:// as the main website. Will this hurt our current link profile, or will everything stay the same? This might be a foolish question, but we are a bit worried. Thank you.
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.
Support for Multilingual Websites: Keyword research is available in 16 languages i.e. German, English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, Finnish, Danish, Italian, Polish, Russian, Turkish, Norwegian, Chinese and Swedish. So, regardless of the language or region, you’re targeting its possible to find the right keywords to reach them more effectively.
In our experience, the Lead Generation tool is pretty useful but perhaps most if you’re running a SEO business and want to collect sales leads. What it does not tell you is which pages were crawled. So, you better prepare an answer to this question just in case a prospect asks. Though in our experience it is a pretty useful tool which is packaged in an easy to use interface.
Love how you just dive into the details for this Site Audit guide. Excellent stuff! Yours is much much easier to understand than other guides online and I feel like I could integrate this to how I site audit my websites and actually cut down the time I make my reports. I only need to do more research on how to remove “zombie pages”. If you could have a ste-by-step guide to it, that would be awesome! Thanks!
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.
The relevant keywords that you target with your ads will bring the right audience to your website. Showing your ads to people that type relevant keywords will result in higher click-through rate (CTR), lower cost-per-click (CPC) and higher conversion rates for your business. As a result, you will spend less money on advertising and generate a better return on investment.
There are two ways to try SEMrush the first is to use our nifty little widget. Just enter the keyword or your website to get a detailed report. The report will outline things like keywords, search volume and a couple of other things. It gives you a sort of taster as to what kind of potential it has to offer, so you know what to expect when the tool is applied in the real world. The widget will convince most people if the tool is something they need from the get-go.
Readability: The readability metric isn’t something new. However, the fact that gives you the opportunity to match your text’s readability to that of the top 10 competitors in the niche is interesting. A readability score of 56.4 is considered to be “fairly difficult,” to read and so the target is usually 60 and beyond if the niche requires it. For some texts, the readability should be more complex because that’s what the target audience expects and the tool makes that suggestion.
Yes when I bought it few months back, It has nothing for Indian version of Google. So, I bought it for my client. Later, company extended my account for 3 more months for writing the review. 🙂 But I was not using it because my blog has very less organic traffic from other countries and I also write articles for Indian users. Now, I can do proper research for Indian users and track competitors 🙂
Faizan, since you have a new blog, so you should go for least competitive keywords. You can use SEMrush Keyword difficulty (KD) metrics while doing keyword research for your niche. Don’t target keywords that has more than 50 KD and monthly search volume should not be more than 500-600. Please let me know in case you have any additional question for me.

The Top 30 Report: This report shows you the top 30 of the best-performing advertisers’ websites, the media ads and texts they are using as well as the landing pages they are promoting. You’ll also see how many ad placements are used. The report also covers the competition’s calls to action (CTA) which are used to engage users, and also reveal publishers that are relevant to what they currently offer. Additionally, you’ll see publishers’ websites which are reaching thousands each day. If anything these are ideas which can be used to monetize your website or blog for better AdSense earnings.


An SEO audit should not be rushed. It simply takes time to uncover root causes of the issues affecting your online health. Depending on the size of your site, a proper audit can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks to complete. Due diligence is required when making major changes to any website, and an SEO specialist must conduct a thorough investigation to make accurate, impactful recommendations.
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