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.
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.
The Intersecting Link Opportunity report we love could offer an automatic version that takes into account the top 20 listings for a given keyword phrase, saving the researcher copy/paste time and having to run multiple requests. Their Most Popular Content list is definitely helpful, but doesn't give us the semantic relevancy we get from the intersecting report.

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 :)
Traffic over time: You can find out the traffic trend of the competitor website from this chart. Very useful to know their content marketing strategies. A steady increase of traffic line showcases that they use white-hat SEO strategies and use proper content marketing strategies. On the other hand, quick bump up of traffic and a quick breakdown of traffic reveals that the particular website has used black-hat SEO tactics and Google has penalized it.
Start by going to the Keyword Magic Tool or click on the Topic Research, enter in a seed keyword that you’re targeting and analyze the table of all the related keywords. Then choose one with a difficulty score of around 65 or below. Open the SEO Content Template, enter the selected keywords from the tool and review the template suggestions. The template will continue to provide you with recommendations and allows you to see how well it's going. It also ties in with the SEO Writing Assistant plugin for WordPress and Google Docs.
Ranking data is updated on a fairly regular basis and is extremely accurate in regards to where you’re ranking for the keyword. It will allow you to see how well all that SEO hard work is paying off and if it is not then you’ll learn to retool it for better effectiveness. Plus, you can track competitor’s keywords and compare that with yours. It can be seen as a sort of your website vs. the competition joisting for better ranking.

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.
Pavan, I would suggest you to give a try to it. Its a win-win situation for you as you will have free access to SEMrush pro version worth $47 for 14 days and you are not going to lose anything. If you like it, continue using it. With the kind of features SEMrush is offering, there is no alternative as such. With SEMrush, you can track 500 keywords with Pro version (price $99.95) and with Moz, you have to pay $99 for tracking 300 keywords only. So feature wise, SEMrush is much better than Moz or any other SEO/SEM tool available in the market.

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.
Topic Research is an innovative and useful tool currently in beta and free for paid SEMrush users. However, once the beta period is over those who wish to use the tool may have to pay a currently undeclared amount of money. Now with that out of the way the Topic Research tool works by helping marketers discover the most popular content within their niche across the internet. You’ll find hundreds of headlines which could potentially resonate with your target audience. Also, a list of FAQs is presented which ensures that you’re answering all the questions that your target audience may ask.
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.
Google cares about Content first and Links second when it comes to how it ranks a page within it's results. This tool allows us to see where competing domains are earning links and insights into the specific content that attracts links for the competition. This insights assist us in creating an actionable strategy for our clients using a CRM such as Buzzstream to import data into.

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.


One of the things that AHrefs is best at is helping with a content marketing strategy. Though it's best known as a backlink index (which it's great at and I'll get into that), coming up with good content ideas is one of the things I get the most use out of it with using the content explorer. I find articles that do well for the topics I want to target and it's clear what already resonates with your audience which is powerful.
Cons: SEMrush is an advanced tool for sure, not for newbies with little knowledge. However their support and tutorials are great. I'd like some more customization and styling options for the report tool, since we use SEMrush as our main report generator. Now we end up pasting images or combining it with other separate reports. I'd also like a client-facing dashboard for easy reporting. The keyword research tool isn't as good as the google one used to be, but now that google is making their keyword research tool more and more ridiculous, SEMrush is looking pretty good.
Ahrefs boasts the best link database among any system out there. It does most everything -- link monitoring, alerts, calculated metrics, the richest clickstream blend out there, and much more. Its UI is cluttered in a good way and the company has quick and polite support. And Tim Soulo -- the public face of Ahrefs -- has done a ton of good for the SEO community.
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.

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.
Google Webmaster SEO Starter Guide - Originally written for Google Employees to improve website performance with users and search engines. Related Terms: SERP - Search Engine Rank Position  |  PageRank (PR) - Named for Google Co-founder, Larry Page. The PR Scale of 0-10 rates a web page. In the past, rank was based on the number of high ranking links pointing to the website. Recently factors like relevance and quality have gained importance. This website's current PR rating: 
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.
Start by going to the Keyword Magic Tool or click on the Topic Research, enter in a seed keyword that you’re targeting and analyze the table of all the related keywords. Then choose one with a difficulty score of around 65 or below. Open the SEO Content Template, enter the selected keywords from the tool and review the template suggestions. The template will continue to provide you with recommendations and allows you to see how well it's going. It also ties in with the SEO Writing Assistant plugin for WordPress and Google Docs.

As of September 2014, YouTube's own keyword tool stopped working. It was moved over to Display Planner's AdWords video keyword suggestions. To use it, you need to have an Google Ads account. Just like the non-existent YouTube keyword tool, it was created to facilitate paid video and ads promotion. Which is why keywords that you will find there might not be closely related to the topic that you want to cover.


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 :)
If you’ve gone through the whole post, we have clearly mentioned that we’re using SEMrush for a long time and also got a lot of better results with it (it means, we’re clearly mentioning that SEMrush can be a great choice for bloggers). But that being said, Ahrefs is not a bad tool either. In fact, both these tools have almost similar features with similar pricing plans. First, give a try to SEMrush with our free trial once and you’ll mostly end up using it.
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] 

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!
One of the things that AHrefs is best at is helping with a content marketing strategy. Though it's best known as a backlink index (which it's great at and I'll get into that), coming up with good content ideas is one of the things I get the most use out of it with using the content explorer. I find articles that do well for the topics I want to target and it's clear what already resonates with your audience which is powerful.

Ahrefs is a worthy tool, although I feel they should give new users a free trial instead of the $7 for 7 days trial, which is hardly enough trial period to adequately track a competitor’s website. For individuals/freelancers in the SEO digital space, the subscription pricing is quite high when you’re just starting, but once your clients start to see the benefits, it will be worth it as you get more business. Otherwise, there’s little I found to dislike about Ahrefs.
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 🙂
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? ..
Thanks so much for offering this helpful tool. It is very useful. In case you want feedback, I think it would be great if you could please also consider including another column to display the linked page (i.e., the actual page that the backlink goes to on the domain). When selecting “All pages on this domain” it is difficult to know which page each backlink is going to on the domain. Thanks for your consideration.
What would be the purpose of/reason for moving back to a different url? If its been a few years, I’d leave it alone unless you watched everything decline since moving to the main url. Moving the forum to a new url now would probably be a bit chaotic, not only for your main url but for the forum itself…. Only reason I could imagine myself moving the forum in this scenario would be if all those links were really awful and unrelated to the url it currently sits on…
The feature allows users to check all incoming links from various URLs to their website’s domain and root domain. Plus, it gives them insight into their domain’s authority and geolocation. The anchor text linking to their website along with URLs, target web pages, titles of linking, etc. combined with the link’s weight of the competitor’s domain is more than enough information to form of a killer SEO strategy.
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