Featured Keywords SE Optimization

SEMRush: A Must-Have Tool for Keywords and SEO

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It isn’t too often that an online marketing tool comes along that truly stands out. Hundreds of tools are launched every year with the aim to help digital marketers achieve optimal results for their online efforts. While some of these new tools have their fair share of neat bells and whistles, few compare to the cutting edge features of SEMRush. As one of the ultimate keyword research tools available on the market, SEMRush also provides valuable data in terms of SEO.

If you are looking for a no-nonsense research tool that delivers, SEMRush is a must-have for your marketing toolkit.

SEMRush Streamlined Dashboard Makes Searching a Snap

SEMRush’s beautifully designed dashboard displays everything that you need in a way that makes perfect sense. Keyword and SEO tools can tend to be a bit cluttered, with organization features falling short. SEMRush has the organization element down pat, with a sidebar full of options on the left, neatly displayed custom stats in the center, and a convenient search bar right at the top.

Another benefit of SEMRush’s design is that you don’t have to dig much to get information. One thing that I dislike about Google Analytics is that there are way too many sections that you have to dig through, and Google is a big fan of moving things around in the dashboard on a regular basis. Analytics is a bit too cluttered and congested for my taste, but SEMRush does an excellent job of displaying categories without going into information overload. For the most part, you get the information you are looking for within 1-3 clicks; just the way I like it.

In-depth Keyword Research For Marketers

Want to know, well, everything, about a particular keyword? SEMRush has an in-depth keyword tracking system that gives you valuable keyword data that is refreshed on a regular basis. Once you search for a specific keyword, the dashboard fills with SEO-related data from cost per click to the number of search results.

The keyword summary is a snapshot that tells you how much competition you are facing with that keyword, and how many people are searching for that term to date. The cost per click is helpful for those researching for an Google Adwords campaign, because it gives real time data with how much that keyword is costing at the moment.

SEMRush Knows What’s Trending

Another advantage of SEMRush is that it displays the search trends for a specific keyword during the year. Christmas lights is a seasonal keyword, and you can clearly see the trend spike in the graph.

The live update feature also gives you a glimpse if a keyword is currently trending, which you can judge by search volume and the number of search results.

Keyword Opportunities: Exact Match And Related

There is no shortage of keyword data on SEMRush with both its exact match and related keyword categories.

The phrase match report outlines any keyword containing the exact phrase of Christmas lights. SEMRush displays the top 10 most popular extract phrases for the moment, with the option to view the entire report or export it into an Excel spreadsheet.

The related keywords report outlines terms that are similar to your keyword, but not an exact match. You can find some interesting keyword opportunities in the related report, and I always default to it when I am looking for new terms. The related keywords can range anywhere from competitor names and websites, to more specific terms relating to color or style. In any case, you can usually find some good opportunities when you dig a little bit in the related keywords report.

SEMRush Will Crush Competitor Search Data

In terms of keyword data, you can find nearly everything that you need to know about your competitor on SEMRush. For example, if I am an online retailer that sells Christmas decorations, a competitor of mine might be christmascentral.com. I type their web address into the search bar, and the results load in the dashboard.

You can see here that their top keywords are mostly their brand name, but you also have the product keyword of fiber optic Christmas tree. According to SEMRush, this website has over 7,000 keywords. You can view the entire report on the dashboard, or export it into an Excel spreadsheet as well.

The traffic feature is a tool where you can see what percentage of traffic a particular keyword brings to a website. Judging by the data, the Christmas Central brand name brings approximately 10 percent of the company’s traffic.

Two other useful features for analyzing competitor data is the organic and paid traffic pattern graph, and the backlink data. In this instance, you can see that Christmas Central ran a pay-per-click campaign over the course of January 2013-2014. Judging by the organic vs. paid traffic patterns, it did not look like the paid campaign was too successful. There is no way to know a conversion rate, but the traffic pattern speaks volumes. It also looks like their PPC campaign was discontinued for the following season.

The backlink feature is new to SEMRush, and as usual, the platform does not fall short on providing valuable information.

Running a backlink report on Christmas central, SEMRush displays over 6,000 sources linking to the website. You can see all the backlink details here, from anchor text and external links, to the exact source URL. There is a lot of great data when you want a close look behind the scenes at your competitors’ backlink overview.

SEMRush Puts Competitor Research Tools to The Test

While there are compelling advantages of SEMRush featured here, there are many other components of the platform to be explored. From organic research, new and lost keywords, position tracking and more, there is undeniably loads of invaluable information to gain from SEMRush. If you are looking for a few new investments for your 2015 marketing goals, SEMRush is an excellent addition to every marketer’s toolkit.

About the author


Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She's earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.


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