Pros: SEMrush is our primary SEO tool and it really does it all, especially with the massive upgrades in the last year. It tracks keyword ranking positions, offers a few keyword research tools, and compares the domain to others related to it. You can automate reports that are white labeled, too. It also does domain analysis, backlink tracking, and site audits which we use all the time in our SEO business. They have recently rolled out link opportunity and outreach tools as well as brand monitoring on social media, though we haven't used those as much lately (but plan to).
SEMrush is hands down the best tool for keyword research. I love that you can do competitor analysis and find the keywords people are searching to go to your competitor's site. You can add all your projects in one big dashboard and see a quick overview of your keyword rankings (I do this every other day to check if my sites were penalized/keywords dropped). The reporting feature is also a great alternative to Google Analytics and we send automated reports to our clients.
Your article reaches me at just the perfect time. I’ve been working on getting back to blogging and have been at it for almost a month now. I’ve been fixing SEO related stuff on my blog and after reading this article (by the way is way too long for one sitting) I’m kind of confused. I’m looking at bloggers like Darren Rowse, Brian Clark, and so many other bloggers who use blogging or their blogs as a platform to educate their readers more than thinking about search rankings (but I’m sure they do).
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.
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.