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.
Cons: On the backlink side of things, I'd like to see a more strategic way of reaching out to potentially high-value domains. I don't think to send an email to each of the website owners actually worked in terms of exchanging links. Other than that, other suggestion and audit, on page check are all great working together. We have a Thai team who also uses the same tool, however the report doesn't show up on the local language. Which actually is not a turn down, you can still the keywords translated within the tool.
The issue with all Analytics platforms is that they have, by their nature, a cluttered UI. While SEMRush allows users to customize their dashboards with the widgets of their choosing, it doesn't have a collection of custom-built templates like the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery. In short, use more contrast, negative space, and useful graphics, make it easier on my eyes.
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.
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.
Hi Anil, a fantastic post. I would like to know your opinion since in my case I do not have the budget to keep two tools at the same time. I currently use semrush since there are things that I like a lot but I have doubts about the speed of the backlink audit tool. Recently I have encountered a problem in which semrush has not detected backlinks that were potentially dangerous to my website and this has hurt me. This part worries me a little because I’ve already seen the ears of the wolf. On the price-quality ratio of the two tools, would you continue with semrush or would you go to ahrefs? Thank you very much!
Pros: The main thing about Semrush is versatility and SEO functionality, but beside SEO there are lot of things you cqan do with, such as: brand monitoring, position tracking, SEO ideas and backlink audit. If you are not familiar with it, you can watch tutorials which are extremely helpful, but the one thing you should now is that you might be overwhelmed with lot of information about this platform. The price is affordable but it might be expensive for small size businesses. I like the competitor tracking because it is useful and it allows you to see competitor backlinks.
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.
The tool is quite easy to use and it does pretty much what you expect it to. If you are into link research you should give this tool a try. The database appears to be a fairly good size for a new database and the ability to slice and dice that data from right within the web interface is a solid feature. If you do try it out, let us know what you think! We are also adding their link data to SEO for Firefox & the SEO Toolbar today.
SEMrush is an extremely popular SEO software which encompasses a host of tools for social media, website audits, rank tracking, etc. It is considered the gold standard when it comes to competitive analysis features. The features provide users with valuable information about their competition, link building, display advertising, organic search, and paid search. All that information allows you to see how well the competition is performing which in turn helps you decide which are the best strategies to use in your own SEO campaigns. Plus, it shows why some of the competition is doing poorly so that you can avoid what clearly isn’t working for them.
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.
SEMrush is so feature rich it's like your most favorite desert and after dinner drink all in one - with second helpings included! The keyword data, the social posting tool, the competitor data and more is simply incredible. The training tools, special webinars, and all the support SEMrush offers clients is of tremendous value over and above all its functionality as an SEO/SEM tool.
SEMrush provides great insight into a prospect's pain areas, and where they might need help. It provides a data driven evaluation, that prospects appreciate when they see how their website is seen from the outside. I believe this tool helps me build relationships with prospects, that improves their confidence in my resources for evaluating their situation and to give them strategic insights.

I’m very local service oriented and I have several pages that our on the first page of google and I do get traffic. I see that I have a 1 rating DA and PA. There is decent competition for some of my keywords. Is possible to have a website that generates traffic with only a 1? It’s a young site and I’m trying my best to get it going stronger. I hired someone but that clearly hasn’t worked out well if I’m still at a one.
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!
Ahrefs is a system that offers users with the world’s largest index of live backlinks. The service provides businesses of all sizes and individuals with a reliable and solid backlink checker tool that delivers detailed backlink profiles for any URL or website. This backlink application gives users with a very large and clear image of any website or URL’s background. Ahrefs allows users to see what websites link to a particular URL, they anchors that they deploy, how strong the backlinks are and more.
Monitor Changes in Statistics: The Display Advertising Feature also allows you to see the changes in statics which depend on the ads and the devices on which they are displayed. Your display campaign will be visible across tablets, PCs, smartphones, etc. All of which results in being able to see which devices are producing the most impressions, check if text ads are doing better than media ads or vice versa and adjust your campaign settings to allow for better interaction.

SEMrush is one of the most comprehensive SEO and SEM tools out there. However, it is not a tool for the budding entrepreneur who is still getting to grips with laying out their website or has no idea what a landing page is. It is a powerful tool that requires a degree of experience. Some tools are obviously more complex than others. Then there are tools that some businesses may never use. Though in the grand scheme of things the goal of every feature ranging from its backlinks monitoring to keyword research, competitor analysis is to give you a leg up on the competition.


Cons: To an untrained eye, SEMrush can be a little overwhelming just because of the amount of data everywhere on the screen. It took me a whole week just to have some understanding of the program when I was first introduced to it. Even 2 years later..and I still find new things I didn't know before. So is it a con? Maybe not so much but to some it could be.
What's not to like? There are comprehensive tools to make your search engine marketing (SEM) as strong us possible. With organic and paid search insights, you can find ways to align your keyword strategy and PPC strategy to meet your budget and understand what you're up against and, subsequently need to do. Within a keyword, you can analyse the types of content you are up against: long form, white papers, long blogs, video, if the term has PPC copy topped and tailed, if a snippet exists.
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.

Many thanks for the insightful write-up on today’s approach to business building. I am particularly intrigued by your detailed explanation on keyword research and what better way to do it than to leverage on a tool that is a cumulation of years of marketing experience. SEO has evolved more and more into a complex and more buyer-focused process and I’m glad that there are people and tools like SEMRush to assist. Looking forward winning a copy.


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?
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.
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!
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.
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.

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).
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.
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