Considering using SEMrush for SEO or digital marketing research/analysis? In our hands-on SEMrush review, we’ll help you decide whether or not this tool is right for you.
We’ll discuss each feature and see which parts of SEMrush make it a viable solution for certain businesses.
Given that its cheapest plan is $100 per month, we’ll also talk about whether or not SEMrush is worth the investment for your business. It’s pricey, but it could provide the keys required to significantly boost your profits.
To begin, take a look at the following chart to understand how we feel about SEMrush in the primary categories:
|Pricing||Features||UI||Rank Tracking||Keyword Research||Competitor Analysis|
As you can see, pricing is the main problem with SEMrush. However, just about every other category stands strong and could provide the boost you need to make more money.
Our complete SEMrush review
If you’re interested in the gritty details, and how we score each area for SEMrush, keep reading to see an in-depth SEMrush review.
Overview of the best features
One of the major advantages of having an SEO and keyword analysis suite like SEMrush in your toolbox is that you’ll probably not run out of features to improve your business. One month, you might start looking into competitor analysis, the next month you could explore something entirely different.
As such, the feature list from SEMrush is rather long. Yet, these are the features that we find most important/impressive:
- Domain and keyword analytics with historical data and keyword metrics that update on a regular basis.
- Competitive analysis that utilizes elements like market exploration, traffic, and competitor benchmarking.
- Project management, where you develop a plan for checking on keywords, tracking those keywords, and analyzing a wide range of other elements for your brand, such as social profiles and search engine results.
- Highly advanced reports that you can send to other stakeholders in your business (or clients). The reports include options for white labeling, branding, and scheduling.
- A full content marketing platform that audits your content and the competition’s content as well. You can track posts and work with SEO content templates, while also finding the right topics to research.
- A local SEO listing management module that utilizes local rankings, tracking, and other areas like local heatmaps and customer review management. These features cost extra.
When deciding whether or not to pay for SEMrush you may initially scoff at the idea of paying a minimum of $100 per month for an SEO tool. However, SEMrush has features you can’t find anywhere else, and each of the features is specifically designed to bring you a return on your investment.
It really depends on where your business is currently at. Are you in the early stages with a tight budget? Well, maybe SEMrush isn’t for you right now. But rapidly growing brands with some cashflow should have no problem justifying this purchase.
Here’s what to expect from the pricing plans:
- Pro – $99.95 per month. Designed for smaller companies and startups.
- Guru – $199 per month. Decent for agencies and medium-sized businesses.
- Business – $399.95 per month. Best for agencies, large businesses, and eCommerce operations.
- Enterprise – Custom pricing that’s set when you configure your custom interface. This is for large, rapidly scaling brands.
These are monthly prices. You can save 16% if you opt for the yearly payment plan.
There’s also a free trial that lets you test it out for free for a short time.
Extra (optional) costs
There are some other optional costs to consider:
- Extra users – Starting at an additional $70 per month per user.
- Competitive intelligence add-on – $200 per month for traffic analytics, a market explorer, and more.
- Basic local listing management – $20 per month for distributing business information and more.
- Premium local listing management – $40 per month for everything in the basic plan plus local heat mapping and the ability to respond to customer reviews.
Now, let’s get into the more hands-on part of our SEMrush review.
There’s no doubt about it, the SEMrush dashboard is intimidating. However, it doesn’t take long to play around with the tools and understand where everything is located. It’s kind of like Excel or Photoshop – you won’t ever use all the features, but it’s nice to have them as your business grows.
The dashboard features several modules for analyzing your domains and checking traffic. You can also type in keywords to track those for extended periods of time.
Overall, everything is in-view when you’re on the SEMrush dashboard. It’s a treasure-trove of features that you can constantly work with.
We also like the customer support and dashboard resources. SEMrush includes links to all customer support outlets, and you receive little tips as you scroll over features, explaining what each one does. Not to mention, the direct customer support is only one click away.
Rank tracking from SEMrush combines reports and SEO checking tools to reveal how well your website is doing compared to others in your industry.
Most of these tools are under the Projects tab in SEMrush. The On-Page SEO Checker has you upload and link to all of your website pages. After that, it makes suggestions as to how you can improve your SEO.
The rank tracking tools are also great for content marketing, seeing as how you can type in specific keywords and see how your pages and blog posts rank when average users search for those keywords.
All in all, the SEMrush rank tracking features seem intuitive and powerful enough to help you constantly keep an eye on how well you’re ranking in the search engines. You also get the bonus of social media tracking.
Keyword research in SEMrush appears confusing at first, but it’s essentially an advanced version of the Google Keyword Planner.
Your research all begins by typing in potential keywords. SEMrush will then display search volume numbers and trends, along with suggestions for keywords that may be easier to rank for.
You can search for broad, exact, and phrase keywords, all of which are excellent for finding keywords you may not have thought about before.
Competitor analysis tools
The SEMrush keyword suggestion and search engine ranking tools are high-quality, but SEMrush truly excels with competitor analysis.
It’s the ultimate spying tool where you type in keywords, then SEMrush compares several competitor websites with your site. It displays the top-ranking keywords from all of those sites, with information on whether or not you can compete by targeting those keywords.
There’s also a feature called Market Explorer. Essentially, the Market Explorer takes your website and reveals similar websites. You can see how those other sites get their traffic and establish a plan to focus on things like referrals, search, or social marketing.
Finally, we enjoy the Topic Research feature, where you search a keyword and then see a large mindmap and list of the headlines that come from your competition on that topic. It’s one of the best options I’ve ever seen for generating blog post topics, seeing as how it’s a direct look into your competition.
Our final SEMrush review analysis
Before summing up our review, take a look at the comparison table one more time.
|Pricing||Features||UI||Rank Tracking||Keyword Research||Competitor Analysis|
If you’re still struggling with whether or not your organization could benefit from SEMrush, take a look at our final suggestions below.
Go with SEMrush if…
- You run a small or mid-sized business with a decent budget.
- You run an online store.
- You manage a large brand that’s rapidly scaling.
- You’re looking for the best competitor analysis tools on the market.
- You want top-notch SEO and marketing features all packed into an easy-to-understand suite.
- You need a tool for finding keyword suggestions and improving your content marketing.
- You’d like the bonus of receiving some social media analysis features as well.
Skip SEMrush if…
- You’re stretched for cash and could find some cheaper or free ways to get similar results.
- You’d rather stick to a more simplified method for keyword suggestions and tracking.
- You don’t find the interface appealing. This is a personal preference, but you can easily test the SEMrush free trial and then compare it with a similar solution like Ahrefs.
If you want to see some other options for the keyword research portion of SEMrush’s features, check out our collection of the best keyword research tools.
Or, if you’re on a tight budget and scared by SEMrush’s pricing, you also might want to browse our collections of free keyword research tools and free SEO tools. They aren’t as good as SEMrush, but they’ll work in a pinch if your budget is limited.
If you have any questions about our SEMrush review, or you’d like to share your own thoughts on the platform, let us know in the comments below.
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