I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
Driving traffic to your website is really hard work!
And if that’s not bad enough, competition is fierce.
But I’m going to let you in on a little secret:
You can save a lot of hassle by just copying what is working for your competitors.
Why go through all of the hard work testing what works when you don’t need to?
So my SEMRush review is going to show you exactly how to find out what your competitors are doing.
Then you can find the same success with your site!
CLICK HERE TO GET SEMRUSH TOTALLY FREE FOR 14 DAYS!
SEMrush Review: What SEMrush Does
SEMRush is a complete digital marketing research tool that helps you to understand precisely how and where your competitors have found success, so that you can replicate it for your business as well.
There’s nothing you can’t do with SEMRush when you know how to use it (which you will by the end of this guide).
The simplest way I can put it?
SEMRush is like having a mole in your competitor’s marketing department.
Someone who gives you all the data, results and information straight from their office floor. And, then shows you how to build a strategy to win.
It focuses on saving you time, money and showing you the perfect opportunities to get marketing results that matter. There’s no vanity metrics here; the only measurables are the ones that will make you money in the long.
You can see the moves your competition are making and create a solid strategy to combat them. Let’s take a deeper dig into the how with my full SEMRush review & walkthrough.
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Before you look at your competitors, it’s important to understand what you can do to improve on your own site.
This gives you a clean, strong and ready to build on platform to attack your competitors from.
1. Audit Your Website
The first step you should really take is to perform an audit on your site.
This goes above and beyond your usual free audit tools and gives you an incredibly clear picture of your site. To do this simply follow these steps:
Projects > Add New Project
Then enter your information into the box like so:
You’ll then need to click on ‘Site Audit’…
Fill out the audit settings….
Wait a couple of seconds – or minutes depending on your site – and you’ll be presented with a lovely, complete audit of your site.
Here’s the results for this site so you can get a real behind the scenes look at me, too:
While on the surface it may not look like you’re getting the most in-depth audit ever, you’re actually getting the information you need without any of the fluff.
Take some time to look around on here – or save it as a PDF – before heading on to the next stage.
2. Collect Benchmark Data
This is your platform. Your checklist, if you will. You can find out just how your site is performing and what you’re going to need to focus on.
Simple type your site name into the search bar like so and select the Domain Overview option from the drop down:
Hey-presto, that gives you a whole insight into the world of your site (almost) through the eyes of Google themselves. You can see a wide range of results which are easy to track in movement – both good and bad – within a really easy to view dashboard.
Here’s a visual breakdown of what you can track:
3. SEO Ideas
Keeping the focus on you for just a few more minutes, the SEO Ideas tool is a potent weapon in your arsenal.
According to the official word from the SEMRush team this is one of the most undervalued tools by users, but that makes no sense to me, because this is awesome.
Each page of your site is analysed and you’re given instantly actionable SEO advice. For example, let’s take a look at this results from my analysis:
By clicking on the Ideas button it takes you to a page like below where it suggests keyword options, possible page improvements and backlink opportunities from specific sites:
If you want even more depth you can see the data behind these suggestions as well by clicking the Get Data Behind It button.
To access this hidden gem simply follow this path:
Project > [Select Site] > SEO Ideas
Get The Inside Scoop On The Competition
Competitor Research is everything you can do in SEMRush, so don’t be fooled by this section being standalone.
Instead what you’re going to get here is the tools, in isolation, that can have the most impact on your campaigns.
4. Identify Your Organic Search Competitors
Identifying your Organic Search Competitors couldn’t be easier. First, follow these four steps:
Domain Analysis > Show Entire Menu > Organic Search > Competitors
That’ll take you to this screen where you can enter your domain name. Drop it in the search bar and hit submit.
You will get a complete breakdown of:
- Who your organic search competition are
- The level of competition
- Your keywords in-common
- The competitions traffic
- Visual representations of how you stack up
This competitor list can give you a truly stunning list of competitors you didn’t know existed, either.
Like, these sites weren’t even really on my radar:
Don’t quit this page yet, though, because it brings you squarely on to the next step.
5. One Click Competitor Overviews
Take the list of competitors at the bottom of the analysis and choose, say, three of the sites on the list. They can be known competitors, or ones you’ve never heard of. Then ctrl and click on the links of the site.
This will open up a domain overview (like you saw for your site earlier) of your competition.
You can see a tonne of information that we’ll come to a little later, such as: top keywords, backlinks, their competition and how they stack up in the rankings, too.
6. Take a Behind-The-Scenes Look at Your Competitor’s Organic Search Performance
On the same page you can get an incredible insight into your competitors organic search performance.
This is located in the top portion of the page, right here:
And you can get this information for their mobile SEO traffic too:
These graphs allow you to see trends and observe when they’re launching a new campaign.
This could be that they’ve found a new keyword, started creating better content, focused on link building or any of the above.
This is where it pays to do further research, as you’ll find out how to do in the next few steps.
7. Find Your Competitions Keywords
On the overview page you’ll also see a list of Keywords that are performing well.
Take some time to look at this in more depth by hitting the view entire report button:
This gives you a complete breakdown of every keyword they’re ranking for and the complete insight into them – more on that in the Keywords section – so you can see what they’re currently ranking for, or trying to, rank for.
Now, like me, you might have a lot of branded results that show up.
After all, Majestic have done a great job of branding themselves. You can filter out these results to get to the heart of the keywords you want to compete for right here:
That gives you a more actionable list of keywords you can pay attention to and look to leapfrog them with.
Next Level Keyword Research
SEMRush is often considered one of the best keyword research tools. And, for good reason.
You can get super specific results for your target keyword – whether that’s for long tail research, cost per click data or anything between – and make more informed keyword decisions.
8. SEO Keyword Magic
Let’s kick this section off with another brand new tool, shall we?
The Keyword Magic tool is designed to make your keyword research easier by giving you more refined results, with more data to back them up.
While you still get your usual data – CPC and Volume – you can also get a deeper insight into: Keyword Difficulty, Competition and SERP features.
You can access this tool through:
Keyword Analytics > Keyword Magic
Enter in your target keyword(s) into your search bar and submit:
That’ll bring you to a page where you can find all of the most relevant keywords for your website. And, if you choose to, you export up to one million of these keywords in a single file.
On the side bar you can drill down your searches in less time, and get suggestions you may not have considered, like this result for PDF’s:
You can filter out based on anything you want.
You can take out specific words, rates of competition, costs, and difficulties.
Less time searching; more results. Not a bad tool to have under your belt.
9. Comprehensive Keyword Data
What makes SEMRush an even better keyword research tool is the detailed keyword analytics it provides. You can drill down into the long tail keywords while still remaining incredibly specific to your target.