SEMRush is one of the most popular SEO and website management tools around. It’s used by individual marketers and agencies alike to get the most possible value out of their site. Deep down though, what is SEMRush?

That is, you might not have a complete grasp of what’s on offer in this monster of a tool.

This is because SEMRush actually offers a pretty broad range of functions. Depending on your needs, you may use all of these, or only a small number. The best known use for SEMRush is keyword research.

That’s because one feature of SEO involves making the very most of those all-important keywords by helping its users find the most profitable search queries to target. After all, the right keywords mean more traffic and more traffic means more potential leads.

Most all all, SEMRush simply takes the guesswork from picking the right keywords for your business.


However, this is just scratching the surface. Today, we’re going to explore more of what this giant of an SEO tool has to offer your business.


What Is SEMRush and Why Should I Use It?

SEMRush is a superb tool with a range of features geared around helping users with the SEO of their site. This includes keyword research and overview, traffic analysis, back-links, domain analysis and many other SEO tools.

Users can also perform a site audit showing the SEO health of the site.

Essentially, no matter what feature of SEMRush you use, the idea is to make more informed decisions about your website and marketing campaigns. In other words, SEMRush provides you with data and recommendations to inform your decision-making.

How Does SEMRush Work?

Although SEMRush is a paid service, users can have a limited time to access some of the key features for free. This means users can experience SEMRush before purchasing. Additionally, SEMRush operates on a credit based payment system, so you don’t pay as much if you don’t need as much SEMRush capacity.

Users can then help upgrade and improve their sites by finding errors throughout, take part in competitor analysis and monitor their own and competitor keywords.

When users log into their SEMRush account they will be brought to the dashboard. From there, they can see the many different features of SEMRush and can use any of them from the dashboard.

This includes a site audit, back-links, link building and many more other features.

Web Traffic Estimator: Google Analytics, Clicky, SEMrush, Similar Web, Ahrefs

Features of SEMRush

Of course, the most important question is ‘what can you actually do with SEMRush?’ As we said, SEMRush offers a pretty broad range of features. With that in mind, here’s a brief guide to some of the key features of SEMRush.

Site Audit

Digital Basics - What Is SEMRush - Site Audit
The site audit function is one of the biggest selling points of SEMRush.

The site audit feature of SEMRush is one of the better reasons to invest in the web tool. This feature crawls your entire site for errors relating to the crawl-ability, HTTPS, performance and internal linking.

The site audit will also show users the top issues on your sites. These are the issues that should be fixed promptly and can improve your site greatly. The great part about this feature is that it recommends simple actions, and offers the total health/score of their site.

Any issues flagged within the site audit can then be dealt with and fixed from here also.

Social Media Tracker

Digital Basics - What Is SEMRush - On Page SEO Checker
SEMRush also allows you to track your social media audience and engagement.

Another great feature of SEMRush is the Social Media Tracker. Users can link most of their social media platforms to their SEMRush account. This includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.

With this feature users can see the size of their following on all of their accounts, follower activities and also follower engagements. It will then show if this is an increase or a decrease in following, activity and engagements.

On-Page SEO Checker

Digital Basics - What Is SEMRush - Social Media Tracker
SEMRush’s on-page SEO checker identifies areas for improvement in your site’s content.

SEMRush also gives its users access to an On Page SEO Checker. Users will be given a list of pages that should be optimised on their site with a priority grade given.

This tool also shows different ideas for each page and how to improve the optimisation. Ideas can be such things as back-link ideas, technical SEO ideas, strategy semantic and even content ideas.

This tool is a great way to improve the SEO of a site, especially with technical SEO, which is quite more difficult to understand and master.

Organic Traffic Insights

Digital Basics - What Is SEMRush - Organic Traffic Insights
Unlock more keyword by connecting your GSC to your SEMRush account.

Users can also get organic traffic insights of their sites with the help of SEMRush. This means users can see how many users that have access their site, the average amount of time a user spends on the site and the bounce rate of user engagements on user sites.

This is the ideal place to see the amount of sessions completed on a site. You can then compare this number to the amount of users, giving a user an accurate indication if they have returning visitors or not.

Brand Monitoring

Recently SEMRush have started to include brand monitoring as a tool within their web tool. Users are now able to monitor mentions from other users online. This includes mentions in domains.

Users can also see statistics of mentions they’re within, on a day-to-day basis.
This tool gives users a better insight into their competitors and keywords within their industry.

Other Functions of SEMRush

Multiple tools within SEMRush can help users with their sites. This includes positioning tracking, which shows users daily updates of Google’s top 100 positions.

A social media poster also allows users to schedule posts on their opine profiles, PPC keyword tools and backlink tools. Which include a back-link audit and a new link building tool.

Semrush’s Keyword Analytics: Delving into the Keyword Landscape

Semrush’s keyword analytics tools provide a comprehensive understanding of the keyword landscape, empowering you to make informed decisions about your keyword strategy.

Keyword Difficulty Analysis:

Assess the difficulty of ranking for specific keywords, considering factors like competition, search volume, and website authority.


For the keyword “SEO tools,” Semrush might indicate a difficulty score of 85, suggesting a highly competitive keyword. This information would guide you to focus on long-tail keywords with lower difficulty scores or consider alternative strategies like content marketing or influencer outreach.

Keyword Ranking Analysis:

Track your website’s ranking for target keywords over time, identifying trends and understanding the impact of your SEO efforts.


Monitor your ranking for the keyword “digital marketing agency” over several months. Notice a consistent improvement from position 10 to position 3, indicating the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.

Keyword Research and Discovery:

Uncover relevant and high-potential keywords based on search volume, competition, and related keywords.


Explore keyword suggestions for the term “web development services.” Identify related keywords like “web development company,” “web design services,” and “custom web development.”

Organic and Paid Traffic Analysis:

Gain insights into your competitors’ organic and paid search performance for specific keywords.


Analyze the organic and paid traffic for the keyword “eCommerce solutions.” Identify competitors who are gaining significant traffic from both organic and paid search channels.

Backlink Analysis:

Understand the backlink profiles of your competitors, identifying high-quality backlinks that contribute to their authority and rankings.


Evaluate the backlinks for the keyword “marketing automation software.” Identify competitors who have backlinks from reputable industry publications and high-authority websites.

Rank Tracking: Monitoring Your Competitive Landscape

Semrush’s rank tracking features enable you to continuously monitor your website’s keyword rankings, staying ahead of your competitors.

Real-time Ranking Updates:

Receive real-time updates on your website’s keyword rankings, allowing you to react promptly to any changes.


Notice a sudden drop in ranking for the keyword “social media marketing.” Investigate potential causes, such as algorithm updates or competitor activity.

Comparative Ranking Analysis:

Compare your website’s keyword rankings against those of your competitors, identifying opportunities to outrank them.


Analyze your ranking for the keyword “SEO best practices” compared to your top competitors. Identify areas where you can improve your content or technical SEO to gain an edge.

Keyword Ranking Distribution:

Understand the distribution of your keyword rankings across different search engines, ensuring consistent performance across platforms.


Monitor your ranking for the keyword “content marketing strategy” across Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Address any discrepancies in rankings between search engines.

Custom Keyword Groups:

Create custom keyword groups to track the performance of specific keyword sets, such as brand keywords, product keywords, or campaign-specific keywords.


Create a keyword group for your latest marketing campaign, including keywords like “marketing campaign launch,” “content promotion strategies,” and “social media campaign management.” Track the performance of these keywords to assess the campaign’s effectiveness.

Semrush’s keyword analytics and rank tracking features provide valuable insights into the competitive landscape, enabling you to make data-driven decisions, optimize your keyword strategy, and maintain a competitive edge in the ever-evolving digital world.

How to Perform an SEO Audit

Capitalizing on Gaps: Optimizing Your SEO Strategy

By identifying gaps in your website’s SEO performance compared to your competitors, you can uncover valuable opportunities to enhance your search engine rankings and attract more organic traffic. Semrush’s comprehensive tools empower you to transform these insights into actionable strategies.

Keyword Gap Analysis:

Utilize keyword gap analysis to identify keywords that your competitors are ranking for but you are not. These keywords present untapped opportunities to expand your keyword portfolio and attract relevant traffic.


Analyze the keyword rankings for your competitors in the “ecommerce marketing” space. Identify keywords where your competitors have high rankings but you are absent. Prioritize these keywords in your content strategy and link-building efforts.

Content Gap Analysis:

Assess the content landscape of your competitors to identify potential gaps in your own content coverage. This analysis can reveal topics or themes that your competitors are addressing but you have overlooked.


Compare your content strategy to that of your competitors in the “SEO audit services” industry. Identify topics or content formats that your competitors are focusing on but you have not yet addressed. Create comprehensive content that fills these gaps and provides value to your target audience.

Technical SEO Gap Analysis:

Evaluate the technical aspects of your website compared to your competitors to identify potential areas for improvement. This analysis can reveal issues with website speed, mobile responsiveness, or structured data implementation.


Analyze the website structure and technical performance of your competitors in the “web design agency” niche. Identify any technical issues that could be hindering your website’s rankings, such as slow loading times or mobile compatibility problems. Address these issues to ensure your website meets Google’s technical SEO guidelines.

Link Gap Analysis:

Compare your website’s backlink profile to that of your competitors to identify opportunities for building high-quality backlinks. This analysis can reveal websites or industry publications where your competitors have established backlinks but you have not.


Perform a link gap analysis for the keyword “marketing automation tools.” Identify websites or publications where your competitors have backlinks from but you do not. Reach out to these websites to explore potential guest blogging or content collaboration opportunities.

By actively identifying and addressing SEO gaps, you can refine your website’s SEO strategy, gain a competitive edge, and achieve your digital marketing goals. Leverage Semrush’s comprehensive tools to uncover these gaps and transform them into opportunities for SEO success.

SEMRush Competitors

Online there are many SEO tools and competitors to SEMRush, many of which are very popular. Some are a little bit less well known.

Many are known for different features and for their better performance with certain features.

Some are better for creating backlinking strategies, some are better at keyword analysis and so on and so forth.

Here are some great SEMRush alternatives.

Moz Pro

MOZ logo
Moz is one of the biggest SEMRush competitors. Image credit: Moz

One of the biggest web tools other than SEMRush is Moz Pro. Very much like SEMRush Moz Pro offers an all-in-one SEO suite. This product offers a free trail and with your free trail, you can try out all of the SEO features which can help your sites climb to the top of the SEO mountain.

Users are able to crawl and audit their own sites. This helps users find issues and errors within their site, that they can then put right. Users can also track rankings for keywords and see if your site ranks within these keywords.

This feature can allow users to track their competition. Other features include optimising your pages and finding link opportunities. This is a unique feature which can help search engines map out user sites.


Conductor logo
Conductor is a tool aimed at content and audience analysis. Image credit: Conductor

Another online SEO tool giant is Conductor. Conductor offers many major SEO features including analysing your content’s performance, optimising your content, audience insights and more.

Conductor also works with other SEO tools including SEMRush, DeepCrawl and Dragon Metrics. This allows users to integrate all your SEO tools into one large stream of insights into your sites SEO management.

Conductor can also help users with their content strategy. It can discover content ideas and track the sites content activities.


Brightedge logo
BrightEdge are the creators of a range of different SEO tools. Image credit: BrightEdge

BrightEdge is a large SEO company that offers products to its users for content and SEO. The company has many products including ContentIQ, which allows its users to keep their websites SEP healthy and user friendly.

The main use of the ContentIQ tool is to perform site audits on any size of a website. Small or large. Users can find errors within their sites, organic searches and the traffic of your site.

This tool is a great way to keep track of your site’s performance.


What is SEMRush? SpyFu Logo
SpyFu is an excellent web-based SEO auditing tool. Image credit: SpyFu

SpyFu is a great online web tool, which allows its users to research their competitors keywords and ranking. This can help its users know what keywords to rank for. SpyFu also gives its users the chance to do Pay-Per Click competition research, this can allow users to capitalise on any mistakes previously done by competitors.

This tool is one of the best in the business for ‘spying’ on your competition. Especially, due to the fact that you can capitalise on your competitions mistakes.


Ahrefs logo
Ahrefs is one of SEMRush’s top competitors, with great focus relating to content research. Image credit: Ahrefs

Ahrefs is another very popular web tool. It works very similar to SEMRush. They offer many different tools including a site, keywords and content explorers, a rank tracker and a site audit and much more.

They are known for competing with the likes of SEMRush and Moz for monitoring search traffic and keywords.

With this tool, users can analyse their competition and capitalise on any mistakes by them. You can also easily monitor your niche whether you specialise in marketing or bmx. Monitoring your niche is very important.

Users can also perform back-link research, content research, rank tracking and web monitoring with this tool.


SerpStat logo
SerpStat is one of the top free keyword research tools. Image credit: SerpStat

Serpstat is an all-in-one SEO platform, made to help users with PPC, search analytics, SEO, marketing and content marketing. The best part of the platform is that it is free to use. Users can perform position tracking, back-link analysis, keyword and competitor research. All under the same roof. This contributes to a full site audit that a user can complete.

This is one of the most used competitor SEO platforms due to it being free to us. Although it sometimes doesn’t work to the same level as SEMRush and other platforms, however SEMRush does allow users several free searches, which Serpstat does not.

Is SEMRush the Right Option for Your Business?

Whether or not SEMRush is the right tool for you is hard to say. That is, there is a combination of understanding your personal preferences and the specific needs of your businesses at play here.

For example, through using SEMRush as well as its competitors, you might decide that there is a better option out there for you.

Instead of trying to create sweeping generalisations, the purpose of this guide is to help you figure out some of the key factors which go into deciding whether or not to invest in a SEMRush license.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is Semrush and what does it do?

Semrush is an all-in-one digital marketing toolkit that provides a wide range of tools and features for improving online visibility. It offers comprehensive solutions for keyword research, competitive analysis, rank tracking, content optimization, and more.

Q: Who can use Semrush and what are the benefits?

Semrush can be used by businesses of all sizes, from startups to enterprises, and by individuals who want to improve their website’s SEO and online presence. The benefits of using Semrush include:

  • Increased website traffic and visibility
  • Improved keyword rankings
  • Enhanced content optimization
  • Stronger backlink profile and domain authority

Q: How does Semrush’s competitor analysis feature work?

Semrush’s competitor analysis feature provides detailed insights into your competitors’ online activities, including their website traffic, keyword rankings, backlink profiles, and top-performing pages. This information allows you to benchmark your own performance, identify areas for improvement, and potentially replicate successful strategies from your competitors.

Q: What is backlink analysis and how does Semrush help with it?

Backlink analysis is the process of evaluating the quality and quantity of backlinks pointing to a website. Backlinks are considered a crucial factor in SEO, as they indicate a website’s authority and credibility. Semrush’s backlink analysis tools provide comprehensive insights into your website’s backlink profile, as well as that of your competitors.

Q: How does Semrush help with rank tracking?

Semrush’s rank tracking tools allow you to monitor your website’s keyword rankings over time. This data is essential for identifying trends, understanding the impact of your SEO efforts, and reacting promptly to changes in the rankings.


Semrush is a powerful and versatile digital marketing toolkit that can help businesses of all sizes achieve their online goals. Whether you’re looking to improve your website’s keyword rankings, increase website traffic, or gain a competitive edge, Semrush provides the tools and insights you need to succeed.

SEMrush has cemented itself as an essential tool for SEO professionals, digital marketers, and agencies to gain invaluable insights into the competition and optimize their own sites. With robust features spanning keyword research, organic and paid search analysis, backlink audits, rank tracking and more, SEMrush provides a comprehensive toolkit for developing data-driven strategies.

While free offerings can provide a surface level view, SEMrush’s extensive capabilities justify the pricing for serious experts. The depth of data, customization in reporting, and productivity features like task management streamline day-to-day workflows. With integrations with analytics platforms, taking informed action on findings is frictionless.

As search marketing continues to rapidly evolve, relying on intelligent tools for opportunity identification and gauging effectiveness is imperative for teams to plan ahead and gain an edge. Based on its vast database, strong roadmap, and popularity among leaders, SEMrush is likely to remain a top contender. Taking the platform for a spin can provide immense value for those looking to level up their SEO or gain an informed view of the competition.

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