Thanks for the article, really gives some clear insights.I am currently testing out Ahref’s and have tested Moz and Semrush in the past as well. In my opinion Ahref’s UI is the best and clearest. I will have to test Moz and Semrush again i am afraid to be sure which one to start using. Have been using SE Ranking for rank tracking mostly but have noticed rank positions are not accurate most times.

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. 

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.
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.
Awesome tool. I like the SEMrush’s PPC tools best as it helps you to spy on your competitors’ Ads and you can find the ones that are working and you can reverse engineer and make your own that are similar saving you time and money of testing which Ads work. As a whole i think this is a great tool that all IM should have as it can really help you improve your site ranking and thus improve traffic and profits. 

The tool also helps you discover and follow the hottest topics in your niche via the nifty hashtag reports. You can see which hashtags are making posts more engaging and take a peek at what your competitors are doing. Plus, it allows you to see who has mentioned you, your brand or products with a comprehensive “Mentions” report. The report also helps you discover PR opportunities.

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.


Truly an insightful post Matthew, thank you very much for your awesome content. My first site is about to be launched and it’s been a ton of work to get to this point and I know that’s just the start. I would love to have a years membership of SEMRush to help my blog get off the ground. I have used the demo version a few times and it provides a lot of value. Thanks again for this amazing article and I hope I win.
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!
The only weakness and something we’ve mentioned above briefly is its somewhat limited backlinks database. The backlink monitoring tool and others aren’t able to grasp the entirety of most link building campaigns. Many backlinks go unreported. While the new hook up with Majestic’s database does improve things slightly, it still isn’t as good as the competition. So, some work needs to be done to enhance backlink audit results. Though this is in no way, a deal breaker especially compared against the backdrop of solid reporting and insights.
Setting up the SEO Writing Assistant is pretty easy and is available at present only for the Google Chrome browser and WordPress. It is compatible with Google Docs which is a good start. To begin with, you need to head over to the download page, log-in (if you don’t have an account one will need to be created), choose to install the browser plugin and activate it post installation.
Hi Anil, both are great SEO tools I would say because I’ve been using both of them for a long time now. SEMrush offers even more incredible features and their databases are even bigger and regularly get updated when compared to Ahrefs. But as you said, Ahrefs is equally good and I really like their keyword analysis data to be precise when compared to any other tool.
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.

Awesome tool. I like the SEMrush’s PPC tools best as it helps you to spy on your competitors’ Ads and you can find the ones that are working and you can reverse engineer and make your own that are similar saving you time and money of testing which Ads work. As a whole i think this is a great tool that all IM should have as it can really help you improve your site ranking and thus improve traffic and profits.
Overall: I think SEMRush is a valuable tool in SEO strategy and audits. It's helped us identify what we can improve on and there's a ton more to it. This is a great tool for not only a solo-preneur who's in the market to understand how and what affects their search ranking, but also for an agency who manages SEO for their clients. Nothing to dislike considering the fact social listening comes included with SEO listening, which social profiles play a huge role in branding and reach nowadays.
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.
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.
In SEMrush, you can export to CSV and XLS right from Keyword Gap, Backlink Gap, Keyword Magic Tool, Keyword Difficulty Tool, Organic Traffic Insights, Bulk Analysis, Position Tracking, Ranks, Site Audit, Keyword Ad History, and PLA Research. SEO Content Template lets you export its ideas to DOC, On Page SEO checker and Log File Analyzer feature  XLS, CPC Map and PPC Keyword Tool – to CSV, and Display Advertising allows exporting to ZIP.
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.

One thing I don't like is that Ahrefs sometimes does not provide exact keyword search volume. Instead – it provides approximate numbers which confuses us in cases when we think a keyword should get more traffic that it actually does once the SEO content is published. To get the most up to date and exact numbers, you'd better off use Google's keyword planner.


A recent survey of SEO experts from around the world asked about their favorite SEO tool. A total of 50 experts were surveyed out of which 30 of them recommended using SEMrush. It continues to be recommended as the best keyword research and competitive analysis tool on the market. While our above-mentioned review is pretty comprehensive and outlines every feature that SEMrush has to offer you’re really not going to know if this is the right tool for you unless you use it. But most people wouldn’t want to pay 99.95$ just to trial run software or tool they haven’t used before, and that’s where we can help you. 

Social media is by far one of the best ways for a business to engage with their target audience and consequently create brand awareness. The Social Media Tracker tool by SEMRush affirms the need for companies to use social media but turbocharges their effort. The tool provides information on things like the top performing posts by competitors so that businesses can see what they have done correctly to engage with people then compare that with their own engagement. This type of comparison is invaluable since it allows companies to hone their social media campaign based on what’s working for the competition.
SEMRush is one of the best solutions I have found for discovering site errors, getting a great explanation on how to fix it, and even posting for social media. It covers end to end so many of the varied areas of SEO, that it's become an invaluable part of my business. My favorite has been utilizing the ranking tools to see how we compare against competitors, and also tips on getting featured snippets (which we achieved for one client this year!)
Anyone who has done SEO or continues to do it knows that Google keeps changing its algorithm. That constant change comes in the way of unannounced updates to the algorithm. The On-Page SEO Checker tool ensures that you’re always up to date on the latest updates by ensuring that your on-page and off-page SEO meets the requirements. It checks things like backlinks, content, and the quality of optimization. Plus, it offers changes that you can make to on-page SEO which improves your ranking.
The dashboard is an easy way to get an overall picture of our ranking, backlinks, and organic traffic. And as a small company looking to drive brand awareness through search, their keyword exploration tools are essential to our SEO strategy. It's also a pretty straightforward tool to use, so can you jump right in and get a lot of benefits straight away.
SEMrush is an online visibility management and content marketing SaaS platform ensuring businesses get measurable results from online marketing. Trusted by over 3,000,000 marketing professionals, SEMrush offers solutions for companies in any industry to build, manage, and measure campaigns across all marketing channels. With 30 tools for search, content, social media and market research, data for more than 140 countries, SEMrush is now a must-have solution for all companies serious about online
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!
Relation building – Find influencers in your market, who already published well performing content. For example: Best SEO Tools For.. , Top 10 products, etc. You know these authors are interested in your subject and are possible able (when they like your product or service) to get you in front of your audience and earn you a valuable link doing so. To quickly identify list post, resources and authors for your subject have a look at the Link Building Tool.
Find Foreign Keywords: SEMrush has 26 regional databases that contain keywords for each of these languages. The databases are pretty expansive containing keywords for the US, Canada, UK, Russia, France, Germany, Australia, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Israel, Denmark, Netherlands, Ireland, Finland, Norway, Hungry, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore, Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong, Turkey and Argentina.
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.
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.

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.
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.

The Keyword Magic Tools provides you with over a million keywords from which to choose by merely entering into one so-called “seed” keyword. You can then sort through the results based on ranking difficulty, search volume, competitiveness, CPC information and much more. Furthermore, the results can be narrowed down by search topic so that you can home in on the most relevant keywords to your business.
SEMrush is an online visibility management and content marketing SaaS platform ensuring businesses get measurable results from online marketing. Trusted by over 3,000,000 marketing professionals, SEMrush offers solutions for companies in any industry to build, manage, and measure campaigns across all marketing channels. With 30 tools for search, content, social media and market research, data for more than 140 countries, SEMrush is now a must-have solution for all companies serious about online
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 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.
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.)
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.
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.
Support for Multilingual Websites: Keyword research is available in 16 languages i.e. German, English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, Finnish, Danish, Italian, Polish, Russian, Turkish, Norwegian, Chinese and Swedish. So, regardless of the language or region, you’re targeting its possible to find the right keywords to reach them more effectively.
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