Semrush : our review (2020) on the most versatile SEO tool 🏆
The report is brutal: 1.4 billion websites are available on the Internet. In this wild jungle where natural selection reigns, only the most powerful sites, knowing how to adapt to the trends and hazards of Google, dominate the results pages …
That’s what you might have thought before reading this article. In truth, to be able to “break through” and get the coveted “organic traffic”, some tools will allow you to pull the pin of the game. Large companies have understood and invest more and more in SEO. Today, I would like to introduce SEMrush, a tool dear to my heart that I use almost daily for over a year. Quite chatty, presentation of the beast.
SEMrush, in a nutshell
Semrush is an SEO tool that does a lot of things. For example, you can see in one click the estimated organic traffic received by any website.
What interest ? Well, it’s pretty simple. Traffic estimation will allow you to “gauge” your competitors. Indeed, as soon as you throw yourself (body and soul) in the creation of a website, you will find yourself in direct confrontation with sites dealing with the same subject. Thus, you will be able to see their “power” and the traffic they already harvest via the main search engines. This will allow you to understand that there is a demand for your “market”, which is welcome.
The other very interesting feature, and not least, is the ability to spy on the keywords of your competitors. The ones they focus on will allow you to guess their content strategy. Example for the site seen above (major French media).
Here is what we can draw from this image:
- Semrush shows you the keywords of your competitors
- It also indicates the position on each keyword (the graal obviously being the position “1” [insert link abundance])
- The volume! Often the favorite column of people discovering Semrush. Here, it is about the estimation of the number of times that the request is sought in France (or elsewhere, to indicate that multi languages ok
- The “KD” or keyword difficulty indicates how difficult it is to place yourself in the Google results. 100 = impossible, 0 = very simple.
- The associated URL that appears on the results pages
- The estimated traffic that this request brings to the site in question
- Other smaller columns (more SEA oriented)
Here, the example is not very speaking, but entering any site in your theme will allow you to reveal its keywords, and come to be inspired to define your content strategy. Why waste time from 0 when your competitors have already done the work for you? 🙂
Another feature (and not least) if you’re the type in a hurry, Semrush goes for you all competitors of the site that you have previously informed. Rather convenient to list all the sites that you have to “face” (and also to siphon all their keywords!).
Once your main competitors are found, you can use two other tools of “possibilities” in the heart of Semrush:
- The Keyword Opportunity Tool
- The backlinks possibility tool
The Keyword Opportunity Tool
For example, for our friend Numerama.com, we can enter his main competitors and extract the missing keywords from our friend Numerama. This allows you to find content ideas without much effort and very quickly.
A website is mainly two elements. Content, and links! Once you get both, you will get organic traffic from the search engines. This is good, Semrush will also allow you to find the best backlinks ideas of your competitors, and give you an idea of the “spots” that you can put aside to get a link.
Even if this feature remains practical, it remains in my opinion below that of Ahrefs which also offers the ability to track the backlinks of your competitors, while being more precise. I use Semrush primarily for keyword research and finding competitors, as well as for semantic audits. It can be used in complements of other tools.