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?
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.
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 :)
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]
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.
Keyword explorer, which was released few weeks back is one of the most exhaustive tools that we have see off late. Keyword Ideas, Phrase Match and KD help content marketers to align their content marketing efforts with organic search trends. Apart from that from an on page point of view, the tool gives everything that modern age webmaster need to track their overall performance.
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.
Your website is the “hub” of your online brand – so, it’s important to have regular checkups to ensure everything is in order. It’s also important to note that your website is a living digital property, it’s typically not stagnant for long periods of time. In any given year, content is added and/or removed from your site. It is for this reason that audits should occur on a regular basis. We recommend that websites be audited at a minimum of once per year. That allows your teams to fix critical issues as they arise.
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.
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 :)
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.)

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. 

This report can help you reverse engineer, down to the day, a link building campaign that your competitor is running (always good to be out in front of a big link push by a competitor) and can also help you evaluate your own link campaign or even help you spot a link growth issue that may have resulted in some kind of penalty or over-optimization filter.
The pricing policy. I purchased the tool for 12 months in end of Jan 2018. This included 5000 SERP updates with a standard plan and all of a sudden, Ahref changed this back to 1000 without any warning. Their pricing page wasn't even reflecting this change, and I was informed about that when talking to a support rep. I understand the Company wants to increase pricing based on improved tools, but when you have made a 12 months purchase in advance, you would expect this new pricing to apply by the end of your contract at least... Or potentially to be grandfathered in the old pricing. But No - Ahref will basically apply this very aggressively with no warning at all or heads up. It's sad, in fact very sad as it shows the company is definitely not customer-centric.
Get Product Feed Insights: While Google AdWords may use keywords to decide if an ad should be shown product listing ads tend to manipulate the product feeds. So, the competition’s PLA feed is a secret, but that’s where this feature comes in. The Position Report generated shows keywords that are signaling their listing to show ads, their PLA’s ranking in search results, the PLAs that are popping up for each keyword, and a promoted product’s price and title amongst a few other things.
I can recommend Ahrefs to anyone in search engine optimization, social media marketing or digital marketing. Ahrefs is perfect for keyword research, competitor research, viral content research, web page audit, rank tracking, competitor tracking and more. If you are looking to find great link opportunity then Ahrefs is the tool winning in that domain.
In addition to the core tools that are part of SEMrush’s main package, the company has over the years introduced a few separate tools addressing various aspects of content optimization. Some of these tools are still in beta while others are not. Also, they require a separate subscription apart from the main SEMrush suite. Though currently they are free if you’re already part of the SEMrush ecosystem and using their tools. But some things could change later on depending on how well these serve users and what additional features are added.

Hi Ankit, Good article. I just browsed through the website of wordtracker dotcom. I have a few doubts around keywords.What do you mean by long tail key words? Are there different kinds of key words available? Is it the same as key words..? I can think of at least a 100 key words at a given time. How many keywords does wordtracker offer at the rate it charges us at $27.
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.
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.
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. 

Longtail Keyword Research Made Easy: Every SEO specialist knows that relying on just the top 3 or 4 keywords isn’t the right thing to do. While you should focus on them since they have the largest volume but each day there are people using thousands of long tail queries which generate significantly less traffic, but the keywords are easier to target. Interestingly, these long tail keywords combined present on average 70% of search traffic. SEMrush collects long-tail keywords with a search volume of around ten queries a year. The keywords are shown in ascending order by volume. Since they have less competition, it is easier for your website to rank for them. Over time they can become a significant source of traffic.
Pros: SEMrush is a neat and powerful tool for any online marketing campaigns. It is great for SEO and PPC campaigns. I can see my website's data with a single click of a button. It also allows me to track my keywords but I think that they are not as accurate or the data is not recently updated. Their backlink checker works fine for me and I can see who's linking to my websites.
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.
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.

It is also an excellent tool for anyone searching for relevant long-tail keywords that apply to their business. Long-tail keywords help to create more opportunities for ad campaigns, copy, content, and anchor text which boosts SERPs. All of the best keywords that you’re interested in targeting can be combined into one list for easy later reference that way you have all the required data on hand when needed.

Check Domain Competitors: The Advertising Research tool provides a list of common keywords, online competitors’ AdWords spend, and estimation of paid traffic. The system will exclude results which aren’t from the real market of the domain by analyzing the overall number of keywords for every domain and the number of domains’ most common keywords. If the domains have a very high number of common keywords, they can be considered competitors. So, you can then focus attention on your PPC rivals.
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.

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.
Guess I’ve overlooked more than a few things that SEMRush has to offer. I’ve used it here and there in the past, primarily for PPC projects for me or a client. Content marketing is more of a foundation than a tactic for me personally. Looking like SEMRush can make things easier for me in regards to content research/marketing. Good guide and insights Matthew. Work smarter, not harder, right…
Ahrefs is incredibly comprehensive and straight forward. From keyword discovery to site audits I use ahrefs for all my SEO needs. It's the first SEO program I was introduced to when starting me SEM management career and has proven to be the best time and time again. I've used their competitors liker moz, SEM rush, and a couple other services- none of which have come close to stacking up.
The search console will list all of the links and also help you discover bad links, new ones, and compile a backlink sheet which you can then use to disavow all the backlinks you don’t want. Interestingly, the tool has automated that process as well by merely exporting the entire list directly to Google’s disavow tool with no edits or switching from the tool. The idea is to keep the backlink record clean.
The Organic Traffic Insights tool works by combining the Google Search Console and Google Analytics data along with its own algorithm to provide organic traffic data. The tool merges all the data in an easy to understand format which frees you from having to juggle multiple files in Excel. All of this makes it easy to identify which keywords are driving traffic to which URLs. This data comes in handy since you can now tailor the pages based on where the traffic is coming from to boost conversions even further. You will also know the reason behind major traffic swings.
Don’t know how many of your keywords are currently ranking at the top of Google search results? Or are you finding it hard to track all your keyword positions? If yes, SEMrush can help you track all of your keywords. It creates a list of all the keywords at one place and helps you check their positions whenever you logged into the SEMrush pro account.
It's easy to use to in terms of just dropping in a domain or keyword for quick metrics. I also like that you can compare 5 domains. It has been really easy for me to teach our content strategists how to use the tool, even thought they are not as technically savvy. This was the first tool I learned to use for SEO, and it's definitely easy to catch on as a beginner and you do not need extensive technical knowledge.
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.
Are you a business owner, online marketer or content creator? If so, most likely you would like more people to visit your website, read your content and buy your products or services. The easiest way to achieve it is to find out what your potential customers or readers are searching for on Google and create content on your website around these topics.
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.
With Ahrefs, users get the best backlink checking platform in the industry. With just a few clicks of the button, users have a crystal clear profile of any website or URL. From links to anchors as well as the strength of the backlinks, Ahrefs reveals them all in an instant. Users can also monitor backlinks and follow their growth overtime and deploy smart filters and advanced reporting features to quickly discover relevant data.
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.

SEMRush allows me to have a second opinion when it comes to SEO tools and techniques. It also provides a valuable keyword analysis tool. Additionally, it allows me to build links for local SEO which has been a huge help with local SEO link-building and monitoring. It allows me to monitor my back links in-depth to ensure that I don't have spammy or poor links connecting to my site, and to search for the best place to create new local links.
Pros: SEMRush is a full-fledged powerhouse for SEO building strategy and SEO audits. It's pretty beefy, so I would only recommend it if you have the time and patience for SEO, as the software gives a ton of outlets in looking up actionable items for your SEO Strategy. The first thing that I really liked with SEMRush was the initial SEO audit of my site -- I was able to see what's good and what's bad about my SEO, and the quick errors or warnings for title headers and ideas for gaining more traffic was awesome. Moving on, I found their analytics just as good as Google Analytics, showing me where my traffic is coming from and where I can improve my paid search positions. I haven't used the Social or Content aspects of SEMRush but social listening looks to be baked in well and integrated nicely. If you're in the market for seeing how your organic and paid search traffic plays a part, and then strategizing in how to improve your overall position against organic search and then your competitors, I'd recommend SEMRush.
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