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?
Like all backlink monitors, it doesn't pick up anywhere near all backlinks and is slow to pick up new backlinks. However, all backlink tools have this same problem and Ahrefs is the best of those tools. One of my biggest gripes is that Ahrefs drops backlinks and count them as a lost domain, but after looking into the dropped campaigns you find that a majority of them are still there and Ahrefs dropped them from your backlink profile for an unknown reason.
Brand Monitoring also allows you to get insights into how competitors and other industry leaders are creating opportunities which you can seize. You can research their present and past activities which then means you’re able to adopt their best practices and find ways to distribute your content saving you time and money which would otherwise be spent on trial and error. So, in a way you are learning from what the competition is doing right.  
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.
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 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.
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.

We love the Intersecting Link Opportunity report, which helps us plan our link-earning strategy based on the semantic Web and relevancy. There really isn't a better way of finding industry websites to market with that could result in organic link wins. Our team has been using Ahrefs for as long as we can remember, mainly because it offers a higher volume of discovered links when weighed against similar tools.


Top Referring Content – This displays the most popular page that links to your target website. They determine the popularity of the page through the number of social shares it has. You can use this to help your SEO campaign by knowing which page/website has a decent social media following, and you can partner with them for more link opportunities to improve your backlink profile.

Each keyword is categorized with a difficulty that’s associated with a colored number alongside the data so you can make an educated decision if that particular keyword is worth the effort. One of the ways to use the Keyword Difficulty tool is to find low competition yet high traffic keywords and then target those keywords more effectively. You’ll know a low competition keyword when it is marked green. The keywords in orange and red are tough, and so that will require excellent preparation.

A few years back we decided to move our community forum from a different URL (myforum.com) to our main URL (mywebsite.com/forum), thinking all the community content could only help drive additional traffic to our website. We have 8930 site links currently, which probably 8800 are forum content or blog content. Should we move our forum back to a different URL?


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.
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.
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!
Another feature of Ahrefs that could potentially help you take your campaign to even better heights is their content gap feature. It gives you the option to check which keywords your competitors are ranking for so you can stay one step ahead at all times. Basically speaking, Ahrefs gives SEOs the ability to overtake their competitors through knowing which keywords to target and focus on.
I’m a big fan of Semrush however I do find the data more reliable for the bigger markets like the UK and the USA as opposed to Australia or Asian sites. I have generally used it in the past when I have specific projects going on in these larger markets as opposed to subscribing continuously. It is actually quite easy to start and stop the subscription. If I had the ongoing need I would definitely have an ongoing subscription.
Check if there are governmental or educational links: EDU and GOV links are some of the best as they help to improve authority.  So, every SEO professional knows the value of these links as they directly result in an SEO boost. Just a handful of these links can mean a great deal for your website. The tool shows if there are any of these backlinks to your website.
A few years back we decided to move our community forum from a different URL (myforum.com) to our main URL (mywebsite.com/forum), thinking all the community content could only help drive additional traffic to our website. We have 8930 site links currently, which probably 8800 are forum content or blog content. Should we move our forum back to a different URL?

Quick tip: While doing keyword research with SEMrush, do not select the keywords with search volume more than 1000 per month, as they require a lot of efforts to get required traffic for your site. Choose the keywords between 500 to 1000 per month search volume (or even below) so you can get top 3 or at least first page rankings even if you’ve a new website.
Overall: SEMrush is a must have for anyone involved in search engine optimization as we are. The information handled is at our fingertips in seconds and can be passed on to clients or other members of the team efficiently and coherently. SEMrush is amazing for performing audits, the SiteAudit tool kit is extensive and can be adapted to fit each client in order to provide an on point and targeted campaign. The tools provided by SEMrush are invaluable and after using it I can't imagine running a successful campaign without it.
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…
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.
On page and OFF page SEO I like to use this SEO tool. This tool helps to find our competitor backlinks and his traffic source. Not Only this you can also analyze that what organic keywords your competitor rank. If you are new to SEO then this tool is very helpful for you this tool suggest you what improvement need on your site. This tool is a good source for finding keywords. By using this tool you can see your competitor keywords and add some additional keywords that you research using this tool and boost up your site within 2 to 3 months easily.
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.
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.
The tool will help you see where a website’s traffic comes from; how their audience engages with their site; what devices visitors prefer to use; how multiple websites’ audiences overlap and much more. The market intelligence insights found in Traffic Analytics makes it one of the most powerful tools on SEMrush for market researchers, marketing managers, business development teams, and sales teams.

We consider the backlink checker the single most advantageous tool for anyone who wants to improve their backlinking strategy. It also helps you view sources of referral traffic so that you’re aware precisely as to where they are coming from. Not to mention the fact disavow traffic or backlinks from spammy websites. Speaking of spammy websites the backlink checker helps keep you up to date on the latest backlinks, and if you spot a series of links from bad sites, there is a good chance someone is running a malicious campaign against you. So, you have the opportunity to stop it before Google ends up sandboxing your website.


We consider the backlink checker the single most advantageous tool for anyone who wants to improve their backlinking strategy. It also helps you view sources of referral traffic so that you’re aware precisely as to where they are coming from. Not to mention the fact disavow traffic or backlinks from spammy websites. Speaking of spammy websites the backlink checker helps keep you up to date on the latest backlinks, and if you spot a series of links from bad sites, there is a good chance someone is running a malicious campaign against you. So, you have the opportunity to stop it before Google ends up sandboxing your website.

After auditing your site this tool gives you suggestions where your site needs changes. It gives full details about how many external backlinks your website has and you can make more backlinks by see your competitor site backlinks details. This tool also helps to find which keywords are helpful for our website & which keywords give organic traffic.
Over the past few months, we have been receiving a lot of requests from people to review SEMrush. One big reason is that it is touted as one of the best SEO software out there especially when compared to competitors like Ahrefs and Majestic. Don’t take me wrong both Majestic and Ahrefs are great, too but SEMrush has its own set of unique strengths that when leveraged properly can yield excellent results in the form of favorable rankings. That’s why we’ve taken the time and put in a lot of effort to write this SEMrush Review.

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.

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.

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.


AHREFS is certainly a great tool for bloggers and internet marketers. You have explained every functionality in great detail. I liked the link intersection part. It provides ou with a great opportunity to get backlinks from sites which are usually linking to your competitors. Further, its adds to the fact that these types of backlinks would be easier to get as compared to the ones that we search manually for any website. Plus, these would be niche specific too!
the interface is quite nice. i like the feature that they can group all the things into a project, show the backlinks from each site and update sent to email in daily basis, sometimes it is quite busy that you cannot login and check all the metrics. Also, the competitors spending on ad is a good reference to see how and what have they done. And how we can react with them, like pay more to beat them or what. By the way, the backlink tool is very nice that we can remove toxic links linking to our site to prevent lowered ranking
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.
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.
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.
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.
We love the Intersecting Link Opportunity report, which helps us plan our link-earning strategy based on the semantic Web and relevancy. There really isn't a better way of finding industry websites to market with that could result in organic link wins. Our team has been using Ahrefs for as long as we can remember, mainly because it offers a higher volume of discovered links when weighed against similar tools.

Have you ever received a warning from Google Chrome to not visit a page? It will block the page and prevent you from going there because of some security issue. We begin by ensuring your website passes a SSL Certificate Validity Check. This a whole range of security protocols that should be within your website’s coding or built-in to the domain. It shows the world that your site is trustworthy!

If you are interested in having the SEO Audit Tool on your web platform, you can have a free seven day trial of it. By embedding this tool directly on your page, you can generate great leads from your users by seeing their websites or the websites they are interested in. From here, you can target a more specific audience and see great improvements in your conversion rates!
The biggest downside I think is the inaccurate keyword volume sometimes. Previously, I was only using Google's keyword planner and it gave us more precise volumes. I guess it's easier for Google since it's their own tool and they can give better numbers. This confuses us because in Ahrefs we may see potential in various keywords but in the long run, after our articles are published – the traffic is not what we expect sometimes. Though, it's accurate enough for the most part.
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!
SEMrush’s Marketing Calendar is a work in progress. It isn’t the most powerful tool which will make it worth a purchase yet. Though if you’re already part of the SEMrush ecosystem, this is free for you to use. But it is only useful if you’re managing multiple campaigns. Plus it falls short in the sense that it does not prompt you about approaching deadlines, and events which would be a useful feature in a future update.
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.
Pros: I use the free version for my small e-commerce website. I have been able to link up my social media accounts so I can keep track of how they are doing and how much more (or less) engagement they each get week-on-week/ month-on-month. I've input my competitors so I can see how they are doing when comparing to mine (it's nice to know if my rankings have reduced and others have, it's perhaps a seasonality thing) SEMrush gives you masses of tips to help you improve your website, really drilled down into tips per page. My account is limited as it's the free one so I get updates monthly as to how my page tips are doing (such as I need to add ALT tags) but I actually like monthly reviews as it gives me plenty of time to get cracking and make a dint in my to-do list.
SEMRush has helped me in driving relevant traffic to my website, with the help of the ads and the keywords in the search engine. It has effectively provided mu website with more visibility. The PPC strategy of SEM has provided my website with immediate visibility on different search engines. The database of this wonderful tool has been impressively updated. SEMRush has provided me with a perfect analysis of the contributions that the different keywords gave to my website.
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