SEMRush – Search Engine Optimization Tool – SEO


It’s time for my comprehensive review of SEMRush.  If you’re an SEO or want to learn about Search Engine Optimization to grow your business, this may be one of the most important articles you ever read.  SEMRush has been a core tool in my arsenal for the last two years and was a big reason I and my affiliate marketing partners have been so successful on google search.

Try SEMRush Free for 14 Days

We want you to be good at SEO, and this is an Affiliate Tinder exclusive! The normal trial is just 7 days.

Start Hacking SEO

Search Engine Optimization – SEO

I am strong willed about a lot of things, but Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and keyword research may be the most fundamental hot buttons in my process of achieving success. You can find me speaking in public a lot about SEO because it is a core belief of mine that the first thing any brand should be talking about is FREE traffic.  These unique visitors are acquired commonly through social media marketing, word of mouth, and direct URL entry’s.

The most popular way of getting free traffic is of course through the google search engine or “googling it.”  Staying up to date with google is vital and the practice is now commonly referred to as Search Engine Optimization and thrown around like it’s some sort of magic.  The truth is that SEO is a process that requires discipline and practice.  The fundamentals of how to stay up to date and build a top Search Engine Optimization process can be found within our top SEO tool: SEMRush.

Today we hear all sorts of things about PPC, AdWords, and Display Advertising.  With Facebooks recent stumbles, these digital marketing acquisition methods seem to be the avenues advertisers are flocking to.  It all drives me absolutely nuts.  Why pay when you can have something for free?  All it costs is time.

The reason is that advertisers need revenue and they need it quickly.  That makes SEO a tougher game to be successful at as retailers have been time pressed.  This is why some big box retailers have had so much trouble progressing to online implementations.  If getting supply chains and ecommerce implementations up wasn’t difficult for now defunct brands like Target and even Comp USA, finding a way to be relevant on search engines might have been the real thing that killed them.

So let’s get right what they got wrong.  Let’s focus on the fundamentals.

SEO has never really been that difficult and when it comes down to it it’s all about three things.

  • Content - A Content strategy that is constant and targeted. This means creating 500-1000 word articles multiple times each week that are interesting and fun to read.  Some prefer to write articles before they research.  Others reformat articles after they research.  Regardless, you need a tool to research what words to put into your articles and SEMRush does just that.
  • Backlinks – What sites are linking into your website? Are they good ones?  Having links in from websites with relevant content helps where you rank on a search engine.
  • Website Speed – How fast does your website go.
  • Mobile Responsiveness – Does your website respond to the way you move your phone or adjust your desktop browser? This one does, and that’s because it has mobile responsive technology behind it.

Of these 4 qualities, SEMRush knocks out two of the four services and makes you sharper.   There is no better tool for content and keyword research than SEMRush.  The SaaS tool is also competitive for backlink research and that just makes it more valuable when you consider the four core strengths of SEO.

Let’s dive into the things that make SEMRush valuable.  At just $99.95 per month on a pro subscription, we think you’ll see the reasons why this is one of the best bargain tools on the market once we’ve completed this deep dive SEMRush Review.

SEO Keyword Research

Explosive search engine growth is possible with SEMRush. This is one of my own sites.

The hardest thing for me when I consult businesses in today’s world is hearing about the lack of “sight” they have around where they stand on google.  Many businesses are still adjusting to the fact that Google Search is something that can be optimized.  Plenty think it’s a scam and don’t think there’s any skill to it.  Regardless, these businesses don’t have any idea where they stand on google search when I meet them.  They don’t do any SEO Keyword Research.  Even worse, they don’t even know what there current SEO Keywords are or if they’re winning their own branded search terms.

SEO Dashboard – Keeping Your Vitals

While the lack of SEO Keyword knowledge is frustrating to me, it’s a common problem for marketers across the world.  SEMRush has a remedy for what ails us as SEO marketers, and that remedy is the SEO Dashboard.

Fully customizable for your brands and websites, a tool like SEMRush quickly changes the lives of growing businesses and will yours too.  The first thing you see when you login to SEMRush is the SEO Dashboard.  This is the command center of the SEMRush Platform and it has several bellwether type of charts and readings that measure your SEO standing and placements.  The readings come once every 24 hours which is as close to real time as you’re going to get.

When you plug in your website to these, you’ll get something like the image below.

The SEMRush Dashboard is your site vitals.

With the 24 hour refresh, these give great visibility.  Think of the SEO Dashboard as your website’s heart rate monitor.  Every vital for your site in search is measured and even comes with improvements and ideas for content edits.   SEMRush gives sight and transparency to something that was previously confusing.

Once you have plugged in your existing sites to the SEO Dashboard, you’ll begin to see the keywords that you’re ranking for.  This may look gaudy at first, but that’s ok.  In just a few weeks, you can make a big impact on

Keyword Research

SEM rush offers a tremendous amount of functionality and you can navigate to almost everything off of  the home page.  Once you leave the homepage, you’ll begin to see the elements of keyword research that are so valuable.  I recommend starting by searching a keyword that you consider to be important to your website.

Here’s a brief look at what the term “fantasy football” returns in the console.  Considering it’s almost football season, I thought the trend and volume were interesting with these.

SEMRush Keywords are easy to discover on search!

Look at the sheer volume fantasy sports bring in the USA and how seasonal it is.  Amazing!

As you scroll down the chart, you will get more and more keywords with less and less volume.  All of these will be close or will relate directly to the term you were looking to target.  Even better, all of these charts are exportable to CSV and Excel and from there you can use them in all sorts of ways and even distribute them to your writing team.

Breaking down data is a strength of SEMRush, both in Excel and on the website itself.  All of the charts are engaging and interactive and you can manipulate how they render by sorting nearly all of the available variables in chart setups.

Alphabetical order is available for sorting along with volume and Pay Per Click (PPC) Cost Per Click (CPC) data being another valuable field.  Com. on the image and the chart stands for competition score.  It represents the number of advertisers bidding on the term.  You can normally expect less SEO competition than PPC competition, so this serves as a great barometer for money terms and their true value to us and retailers and publishers.

SEO Tip 1: Lower competition scores are easier to rank for on SEMRush but may not always as valuable and also may not drive the overall volume as some of the biggest money terms.

By searching general keywords, we begin to get a better understanding of what is available not only for what we’re thinking of, but also terms we aren’t thinking of.  It’s a great way to get at volume out there that you aren’t currently and targeting a wider range of longtail keywords is generally great for business.  This is just one of the ways that SEMRush makes keyword research a breeze.

Keyword Magic Tool

SEMRush asked me to do this piece for them and I accepted on one condition: they had to let me talk about the new SEMRush Keyword Magic tool.  While the product is in Beta testing, it is available to users right now and will soon be rolled out in full. SEMRush let me write about the topic and are even going to let me give you a test drive of the thing.  We’ll get to that later.  First, let’s talk about the SEMRush Keyword Magic tool.

The name delivers and it’s that simple.  The keyword magic tool makes finding new related and longtail keywords a breeze.  The Keyword Magic Tool acts as a search engine.  You simply add in your key term and get the results below:

The SEMRush Keyword Magic tool at work!

We searched “fantasy football” again this time using the SEMRush Keyword magic tool.  In the image below, you can see that our search came back with 87,901 keywords that were like our desired term.  Yeah…even if you think you’re good at SEO…this tool pretty much says you’re not.  In fact, it makes a guy like me constantly work because what it’s saying is you can always get better.

You  can see how the sort works here.  These are the most profit-oriented terms on the “fantasy football” magic keyword example list.  With a competition score of 1, everyone and their mothers is bidding on terms like “fantasy football trophy” and “fantasy football championship belt.”  Those may be the terms you want to go after, but it’s good to know that they also might not be the easiest to achieve.  At least you’re coming at it from SEO and not SEM aka Paid Search or PPC.

With tools like Keyword Magic and basic keyword search in SEMRush, you really don’t have an excuse to not buy this.  For the price, it’s basically like acquiring a full time analyst for your SEO terms.

Traffic Value Estimates

One of the cooler but more inaccurate aspects of SEMRush is its ability to analyze how much your traffic is worth.  With the ability to see PPC values, the service can essentially equate the clicks you’re receiving in search (on an estimate) and what that would be in terms of value to someone who was paying for click.  You can see here that this site is worth $16,700 based on estimated desktop traffic and what vendors would pay for your clicks.

While not always accurate, traffic value gives site owners an idea of what they have.

The traffic value estimates on SEMRush aren’t perfect, so don’t go spouting off that your site is worth x or y in forward earnings.  Remember, it’s one thing to have clicks.  It’s another to create profitable revenue off of them.

SEO Tip 2: Ranking outside of your niche can be difficult, but it’s possible through interlinking and being creative with your “related terms.”


Backlinks are a vital part of SEO strategy.  Backlinks are defined as “do follow” links that are clickable over to a URL that you own.

In plain English, the sites that link into us are used as validators by google search engine bot crawlers.  The better the site linking into you, the more credible your site is.  It’s a lot like how it is in society.  We trust friends of friends inherently.  Google treats content a lot like that.  If you’re friends with their friends and they positively refer you, it’s a good recipe for ranking well.

Backlinks are powerful.  In the same way they can quickly and positively impact your website, they can equally disrupt or harm it.   Bad friends will bring bad friends of their own to the party.  Having a backlink from a less than reputable site can also hurt an SEO backlink profile as much as it helps it.

There are two values to backlinks and they both need to be addressed.  One, you need to monitor the health of backlinks that are coming into your site.  The other is to build new healthy links through outreach efforts.  SEMRush does a good job with both aspects of backlinks.

Backlink Audit

Much like SEMRush’s ability to mine keyword data, they are also able to monitor backlinks coming into you and how they grade out in terms of trust with google.  SEMRush’s Backlink Audit really serves as a background check when we look into other websites that are “giving us” their valuable (or not so valuable) link juice.

Backlink audit helps you police what happens to your backlink profile.

The goal is to have a healthy backlink profile.  That means keep your toxic backlinks under 30%.  There are some industries where this doesn’t matter, but in most, toxicity of backlinks only indicates link buying and shady activity.  No, keeping it at 30% with an aggressive disavow file is advised and easy using the SEMRush Backlink Audit tool.

Link Building

Another new Beta tool to look at is SEMRush link building.  I have yet to test out this tool to its full extent, but it does look cool.  Link building and finding new places to seek out link opportunities can be difficult, but SEMRush seems to have solved that problem with this.

The link building tool takes all of the keywords your site is ranking for and maps competitors and opportunities for “link swapping” or “link building.”  Many disagree on how to go about this and Google’s rules around soliciting backlinks.

Just know this.  Backlinks help.  Having them from the right people helps.  This identifies the “people.”  The right and wrong of finding each site after that and whatever steps you take are out of my hands.  I’m simply here to identify the tools.

If you want to start a soliciting campaign for backlinks, this is a good place to start.

Social Media Brand Monitoring

The final piece of what makes this SEO tool valuable is the SEMRush Social Media Brand Monitoring feature of the SaaS product.

As you can see here, you can set up you Social Media campaigns on the site and track engagement and rates.  You can even track your top content and posts further down in the page.  With a competitor feed much like the other toolsets, Social Media Brand Marketing is a special feature you wouldn’t expect out of an SEO tool and it adds nice flash and value.

SEMRush Price

Let’s start with this.  SEMRush typically costs something, but we’ve secured a 14-day free trial for you just for being an AffiliateTinder reader.  SEMRush was nice enough to visit me at my session on Advertiser Best Practices at Affiliate Summit.  This really is a special offer we were able to get for you to try and improve your SEO game!

The normal trial is 7 days, but by using any of the links on this page, you’ve secured an extra 7 days on your trial.  Thanks for being an awesome reader and for coming over to the website.

SEMRush Plan
SEMRush Pro
SEMRush Guru
SEMRush Business
Price $99.95 $199.95 $399.95
Included Users 1 1 1
Max Added Users 1 2 9
Price Per Additional User (per month) $70 $140 $140/mo
Branded PDF Reports No Yes Yes
PDF Reports Per Month 5 20 50

Try SEMRush Free for 14 Days

We want you to be good at SEO, and this is an Affiliate Tinder exclusive! The normal trial is just 7 days.

Start Hacking SEO

SEMRush Pro

SEMRush Plan
SEMRush Pro
Free Trial 14 Days
Price $99.95
Included Users 1
Max Added Users 1
Price Per Additional User (per month) $70
Branded PDF Reports No
PDF Reports Per Month 5

SEMRush Pro is the most basic version of SEMRush and is what’s available with our 14-day free trial.  Once the trial is over, Pro is just $99.95 a month and it’s really easy to get that value back.  If you can’t do it continuously, at least do it for one month to get your SEO house clean and bow out.  That’s what I always recommend for those who are price conscious as some can’t swing $100 and I know that.

SEMRush Pro is recommended for freelancers, startups, and marketers who work on their own publishing in house.  The tool includes over 28 different advanced tools, the core of which have all been discussed in this article.  The biggest value for the customer here is full visibility of your own ranking and the ability to attack competitors’ terms.

SEMRush Guru

SEMRush Plan
SEMRush Guru
Price $199.95
Included Users 1
Max Added Users 2
Price Per Additional User (per month) $140
Branded PDF Reports Yes
PDF Reports Per Month 20

SEMRush Guru is recommended for small to medium sized business.  It’s $199.95 per month which makes it double the price of SEMRush Pro.  It provides lot more than double the volume of pro, so there’s certainly value in upgrading and spending the extra money even if you’re not a medium sized business.  The differences here are mostly on the amount of things you can track in addition to the multitargeting capabilities.

Pro only allows for 1 location tracking per project.  That means your 500 tracked search keywords will be limited and will probably only provide you with the location you are in or one location you are looking to market to and will also only be on one device.  For most mid-sized businesses, that type of tracking won’t do.  Guru allows you to segment the geography data, device data, and other facets without starting a new project.

In addition to the 50 project bandwidth and the 1500 keywords allowed for tracking, Guru gives you 10 more OTI Campaign crawls.  That means you get 10 more pages of your competitors most trafficked pages.  Pretty digitally deadly.

Perhaps what’s most exciting for Guru is the ability it gives marketing agencies to brand SEO PDF reports.  With 20 allotted in SEMRush Guru, you can give 20 clients reports from SEMRush that are all labeled with your brand.  It will still have a hint of SEMRush on it, but it’ll look like yours up front!

SEMRush Business

SEMRush Plan
SEMRush Business
Price $399.95
Included Users 1
Max Added Users 9
Price Per Additional User (per month) $140/mo
Branded PDF Reports Yes
PDF Reports Per Month 50

SEMRush Business is the most robust plan the SEMRush advertises to the public.  It’s $399.95 per month and is meant for enterprise businesses that are selling a myriad of different products in several verticals.

SEMRush business allots for 5000 results per report, 200 projects in total, and 5000 total keywords tracked.  It also commits to 2000 SEO ideas for new articles and give 50 competitive reports as compared to 30 and 40 provided by SEMRush Pro and SEMRush Guru.

With SEMRush Business, you’ll be able to white label reports and present the entirety of the allotted 50 schedule PDF reports per month without any mention of SEMRush.  If you’re in a corporate position, that could be golden as you look like you pulled all of these reports with copious time, when in reality they’re all provided.

SEMRush Free Trial

Try SEMRush Free for 14 Days

We want you to be good at SEO, and this is an Affiliate Tinder exclusive! The normal trial is just 7 days.

Start Hacking SEO

Our opinion of SEMRush couldn’t be higher.  I’ve used this site for my own success and yes it has even helped get you here to this exact page on AffiliateTinder.  I know you’ll be in good hands with this tool as I have.  Your sites SEO will improve, and you could see a substantial increase like this one on google like this one.

The point is, it’s worth using this tool and a free trial of 14 days is a generous amount of data to give you for free as all of these reports can be downloaded.  You can see the results through someone like me and the graph above, so go get it for yourself.

What are you waiting for?  Your free 14-day trial of SEMRush is just 1 click away.

Happy hunting! (Digitally and with terms!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *