First off, thanks to SEMRush for providing me with a free account for the very long time it took me to write this. I appreciate your patience. For those of you in a hurry, here’s a two-week Guru SEMRush Promo Code to get you started.
I have used a lot of SEO tools over the years. It’s a fragmented, confusing space. So from time to time I thought it would be helpful to offer my perspective on those that I like. Today let’s talk about SEMRush. SEMRush monitors the search engines for something like 90,000,000 keywords across 25 countries. It then slices and dices that data in a variety of ways so you can get amazing insights into how domains perform against various keywords and competitors.
Since everybody does tool reviews these days, I am going to focus on some of my favorite uses of SEMRush instead of an overall TLDR review. And we all know listicles are the coin of the realm these days. So here’s how I use the tool to look like a SEO wizard to potential clients:
- Blow New Client Prospect’s Mind
So I’m on the phone with a prospect like PrankPack.com. I pop their domain in SEMRush and immediately I can see a sample of keywords they rank for along with their average position in Google, estimated monthly search volume and average CPC:
So I can see that they rank #1 for “prank gift boxes” which is great, but digging a bit deeper into the report I see this gem:
They only rank #14 for “wake and bake”, a term that gets 4,400 monthly queries. Within seconds I have a great assessment of how the site is doing SEO-wise and the beginnings of a content strategy – Thinking a Wake & Bake Griddle recipes post could be the way to go.
- Quickly Get An Idea of Their Overall Organic Traffic Via Average Rankings
This little chart shows the average position of all of the keywords SEMRush tracks for the domain over a two-year period. A quick eyeball of this tool tells me that Prank Pack has been on the rise over the past year, but saw a downturn in Nov-Dec-Jan of 2013, which is troubling because that should be their big season. This data immediately causes me to inquire about whether or not PP has been engaging in any risky SEO behavior, which will help me craft a plan for them.
- Quickly Identify Competitors
SEMRush’s “Competitors in Organic Search” report looks at the sites that rank for the same keywords as your site. This instantly can help you understand how tough the SEO task will be. For example, PrankPack.com is going to have to compete against Amazon, YouTube, Ebay & Pinterest. Not for the faint of SEO heart, but you can do it PrankPack! And BTW who is this PrankPlace.com upstart?
- Drill Down on Competitor SEO Strategies
Competitive site data is perhaps the best part of SEMRush. I can quickly see that PrankPlace.com is doing a decent job of SEO by checking out their average rankings and top-performing keywords. This can give me a lot of quick ideas about new keywords PrankPack should consider targeting. Looks like this Xmas there’s going to be some Obama Toilet Paper and Liquid Ass in the stockings (they go together like peanut butter and chocolate):
- Get An Idea of Ad Budgets
Though we generally discourage clients paying for traffic, while we are waiting for the Liquid Ass Prank Pack to make it through the design committee, it might be helpful for PrankPack to start buying some Adwords. SEMRush makes it simple to quickly get a handle on PrankPlace’s ad strategy. It provides data for a domain’s Adwords campaign such as the target keywords, ad copy, estimated ad spend over time, etc. With this data in hand, I can quickly inform PrankPack, that we may want to consider budgeting a few thousand dollars a month for Adwords to compete with those bastards.
All of the above data took about two minutes to assemble and analyze. I find this stuff incredibly helpful for quickly steering calls with prospective clients in the right direction. There are many other uses for SEMRush, but I find that blowing a new client’s mind in two minutes is one of the better ones.