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.
Pros: SEMrush offers insight into all things digital. In my experience with a few similar tools, SEMrush is the most comprehensive and easiest to use. It offers insights, reporting, tracking and planning for our clients' digital programs. We can even gain tons of insights into prospects' current digital marketing initiatives which helps close leads. It integrates with numerous other tools and is definitely a tool that will be the leader for at least the next few years.

In this article, I will discuss about this SEM tool that can be used to research competitors’ keywords – SEMrush, which I have used in many projects. Writing is no more about just putting up what your readers love but also about searching and finding what readers have been searching and putting them into post, so, that it can drive relevant traffic from search engine. Or, putting it the other way, using these keywords, you can drive highly relevant traffic through ads in search engine.


As a long time Moz user and I might even say a super fan of their product, it feels really odd to be writing a review of Ahrefs. But here we go--I love Ahrefs. The design, the UI, the gigantic keyword database and now the newly redesign site audit are a thing of beauty. I continue to be impressed by the data they provide, features that are added frequently and my favorite feature has to be the top pages report. (Not sure why I love that so much--but it just makes it extremely simple to research a site or competitor with that report.)

As a long time Moz user and I might even say a super fan of their product, it feels really odd to be writing a review of Ahrefs. But here we go--I love Ahrefs. The design, the UI, the gigantic keyword database and now the newly redesign site audit are a thing of beauty. I continue to be impressed by the data they provide, features that are added frequently and my favorite feature has to be the top pages report. (Not sure why I love that so much--but it just makes it extremely simple to research a site or competitor with that report.)


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.
Google’s bots crawl your site to determine its quality, and correct technical on page optimization is one of the main signals used. When you optimize your page based on the recommendations of the website analyzer, you can increase your organic traffic, improve ranking positions, and stay competitive against other sites ranking for your target keywords.

Another advantage of using Ahrefs is their “Fresh Index” “Live Index” switch that displays backlinks that Ahrefs’ crawler found. The main difference between the two is that the Live Index is updated every 15-30 minutes to show live links in your site. For Fresh Index, it is updated at a much longer timeframe, but it still displays dead links which give you the chance to reclaim or change the dead link.
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!
Many businesses use Google’s massive Display Network to improve their search advertising. So, the SEMrush Display Advertising feature is another great addition since it gives you information regarding other companies using the display network. You’ll also find out which are the most successful display ads leveraged by the competition. By analyzing leaders in your niche it allows you to tweak your own images, ad headlines, call to action and ad copy amongst other things. You can also see how many ad impressions they received and if it had any conversion potential. Finally, the other important aspect of the feature is being able to compare media banners with text only advertisements to see what is working better for the competition.
Great article. Before reading this I was practically sold on SEMrush. However, after reading this article and the comments from other readers, I’m realizing I shouldn’t be so quick to pull the trigger and that Ahrefs may in fact be what I’m looking for. I will most likely do the trial period for both before deciding, but this article definitely opened my eyes to Ahrefs possibly being my best option (instead of SEMrush). Thanks for taking the time to write this article. Great work.

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.

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.
With SEMrush, companies can compare their advertising approaches with those of their rivals. By doing so, brands are able to find what makes their competitors popular with the consumers advertising-wise. This also allows them to adjust their budgets by uncovering the ad spend and return their competitions have. Thus, they can further enhance their campaigns with newly acquired knowledge and localize their messages.
Not only does SEMrush give you a great deal of actionable information but also insights into what competitors are doing and you need to figure out what works. While some of the data is arguably speculation, others are the real deal. For instance, knowing what AdWords advertising is working for the competition will help develop your own killer strategy without spending on trial and error. The same goes for other aspects like social media engagement, domain authority, brand mentions, and long tail keyword discovery amongst others.
The Overview Report shows issues which are of the highest priority, and the ones which are most frequently found on the website. If you want to fix a problem that’s reoccurring throughout the website then click on the Issues Report, and it shows all the URLs of all the pages which are affected. While the Page Report shows all the issues on a particular landing page.
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.

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!


If you are looking for keywords in languages other than English, you will find Keyword Tool's features very useful. Keyword Tool allows you to pull keywords from 192 Google domains and use 83 Google language interfaces to generate keyword suggestions. That way we make sure that the generated keywords will be relevant to the country and/or language that you are creating your content for.
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.

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.
The Lost Links tab has the same interface as the New Links report does. For your own domain you might want to consider tracking your own links in something like Raven or Buzzstream but this tool does report dropped links down to the day. Combine that with their crawling preferences (better links = quicker attention) and you can spot drops of substance quickly.
Keyword research is the bread and butter of any SEO campaign. You can’t have a SEO campaign without a defined list of primary and secondary keywords along with long and short tail keywords. It is so important that we don’t think that there is an SEO tool out there that does not have a keyword research tool in one form or the other. However, SEMRush’s keyword research tool is amongst the best.
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 Keyword Magic Tools provides you with over a million keywords from which to choose by merely entering into one so-called “seed” keyword. You can then sort through the results based on ranking difficulty, search volume, competitiveness, CPC information and much more. Furthermore, the results can be narrowed down by search topic so that you can home in on the most relevant keywords to your business.

You can hire me for as low as $2500 to do pure white hat SEO boosting this page’s authority and this site’s authority as a whole, which enables you to rank up higher in Google when you write a new post or it even boosts your already written live posts. You now have my email :) if you need me, just drop me an email, and we can take it on from there…
Pros: Mostly all SEO Specialists nowadays are using SEMrush (in combination with other tools), and it is effective either for your small personal site or blog, or ever for larger corporation sites. On SEMrush you will find different tutorials in order to get started, SEO audit check, plenty of features in order to analyze your keywords rankings, organic traffic, PPC progression and how to analyze your competition.
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.
I thought I was the only one confused between these two tools. I wasn’t sure which SEO tools to use and whether I should prioritize Ahrefs over Semrush or the other way around. I know they have different features. When it comes to keyword research, Semrush is better, but for backlink analysis, it’s Ahrefs. This comparison helped me decide which one to get. Thanks for the article! The comments above also helped me in my decision.
The Overview Report shows issues which are of the highest priority, and the ones which are most frequently found on the website. If you want to fix a problem that’s reoccurring throughout the website then click on the Issues Report, and it shows all the URLs of all the pages which are affected. While the Page Report shows all the issues on a particular landing page.
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.
Easy to use & manage multiple projects. I love the interface, the help features, all of the SUPPORT with the blogs and videos. Even if you are not an SEO expert, you can quickly get inundated with all of the help available. It covers absolutely every area of SEO - social media, backlinking, tracking rankings, keyword research. And I find it to be pretty affordable compared to using multiple tools.
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. 
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