In this comprehensive Semrush review, I’ll weigh the pros and cons of this popular all-in-one marketing platform to help you decide whether it’s worth spending your hard-earned money on.
After all, while Semrush may have earned itself a large and loyal customer base along with plenty of critical acclaim from marketing industry experts, it’s far from the only name in the game.
So what makes this one so special?
What is it about Semrush that allows it to enjoy a reputation as one of the leading marketing platforms around?
It’s these questions that I’ll be answering today. I’ll also show you exactly how to use Semrush so that you can see what’s in store if you decide to sign up.
Semrush is a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform that provides a comprehensive array of tools to help you launch, grow, and promote your business online.
At its heart, Semrush focuses on helping you to plan and execute effective Search Engine Optimization strategies. However, it also provides several tools for developing your PPC (Pay Per Click), content marketing, and social media strategies too.
The platform began life in 2008 as a Search Engine Optimization tool with just two primary features.
Since then, Semrush has gone from strength to strength, adding more and more features to the point where today, it packs in more than 55 tools designed to help with just about any kind of digital marketing campaign you can think of.
This wealth of features has helped Semrush grow from strength to strength in recent years. Today, it boasts almost half a million active users as of 2022 and has increased its amount of paid subscribers by close to 25% in the past year.
To put it another way, this is one of the most widely-used marketing platforms, but features alone aren’t the only thing that has made this the go-to tool of choice for major brands such as Forbes, Wells Fargo, and PayPal.
The sheer amount of data it pulls in to help you grow your campaigns is equally impressive.
Over 800 million domains, 43 trillion (yes, trillion) backlinks, and 21 billion keywords are monitored and analyzed, giving you the most extensive amount of data you could need.
Semrush pitches itself as a tool to help professional marketers do their job better. That said, I’ve found that it’s an ideal platform for anyone who needs to promote themselves online, be it bloggers, business owners, or creators.
Though it’s not the most beginner-friendly marketing platform out there (I recommend KWFinder as the best SEO tool for newcomers), it is still fairly intuitive and easy to get to grips with.
As such, even users with limited technical experience will have no problems putting the following key features to work.
As I mentioned earlier, Semrush offers a menu of at least 55 features across all aspects of digital marketing.
Though it would take me far too long to talk about all of them in detail, here are some of the highlights of this all-in-one marketing platform.
Keyword research has been Semrush’s bread and butter from the very start. It’s something they do better than just about any other platform out there, which is why they beat out the likes of Ahrefs and SerpStat to earn my vote as the number one best keyword research tool.
The main highlight here is the Keyword Magic Tool which you can use to generate useful SEO keyword ideas for your digital content.
Simply add a keyword relating to your niche, and Semrush puts its database of over 21 billion keywords to work in delivering the most relevant and popular keywords.
Once you’ve got your suggestions, the Keyword Overview feature provides invaluable data about each.
This data includes:
The search volume refers to the popularity of any given keyword. In other words, it tells you how many searches are made for that term in your country and worldwide.
This informs you what readers are hoping to achieve when they search for a particular term. This can help you to write the most appropriate content to help readers meet that goal.
If the search intent is to gather information, for example, then you’d produce a piece of content that packs as much useful information as a reader could need. If the search intent is commercial, on the other hand, then you’d create content to lead customers towards a sale.
Listed as a percentage: the keyword difficulty tells you how hard it’s going to be to rank for your chosen search term.
A keyword with a great keyword difficulty is likely to need lots of quality backlinks and exceptional SEO to rank highly, so a low keyword difficulty will be much easier.
The Cost Per Click metric tells you how much you’d likely pay for each click if you run a PPC campaign around that keyword.
Related to the last metric: the competitive density shows you the level of competition between advertisers for your keyword.
Beyond standard keyword research, Semrush also provides a Keyword Gap feature to help you identify new opportunities that your competitors have missed.
There is also an incredibly helpful Keyword Manager tool that makes it easy to consistently track your most important keywords and share your research with other team members.
Getting your keywords right is only a small part of a much larger process when it comes to Search Engine Optimization.
Your site’s technical setup and, of course, your content also make a major difference.
Semrush understands this, which is why they expanded on their original keyword research tools to provide three easy-to-use on-page.
The site audit feature utilizes a high-speed crawler that goes through your entire website to reveal any issues that may be hindering your SEO progress. More importantly, it also suggests the most effective solutions to those problems.
Meanwhile, the on-page SEO checker analyzes your content and provides tips and suggestions on how to improve that content, target SERP features, and more.
Personally, I prefer to use Yoast SEO for on-page optimization, and you can read why in my guide to the best free WordPress plugins, where it ranks right at the top of the list. That said, though Semrush’s on-page authoring tools aren’t quite as comprehensive or intuitive as Yoast’s, they’re still very good in their own right.
That’s not to mention the fact that being able to do your on-page optimization checks from the same platform as all of your other SEO and marketing efforts simply makes life easier.
Along with in-depth topic research to help you find the best topics, headlines, and subheadings for your articles, Semrush provides you with a complete marketing calendar.
This helps to make life easier when managing your editorial calendar, scheduling social media posts, your content, and more.
This calendar allows you to assign tasks and streamline your workflows if you collaborate with others.
For me, one of the biggest highlights of Semrush’s content tools is the content templates. Within just a few clicks of a button, you can generate a custom template tailored to your niche that you can use to create posts that drive more organic traffic to your site.
Beyond that, there’s also a great brand monitoring feature. This helps you to identify the most relevant platforms for publishing guest posts and other content, as well as tracking down key influencers in your niche for potential collaborations.
All the tools you need to build a following on top platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Pinterest, are all included in your Semrush plan.
You can use this to create both organic posts and paid ads, as well as to track the performance of each post.
The platform also provides brand monitoring so that you can effectively track social media mentions of your company or products, measure your influence, and even monitor how your competitors are performing on social media.
A relatively new addition to the Semrush platform is its content marketplace.
If you don’t have the time, or possibly even the desire, to write your own content but you need it to help you promote your business, Semrush will hook you up with a professional copywriter to create your work for you.
Semrush provides a smart link-building tool that helps you to acquire backlinks from reputable sources and even put your entire outreach campaign on autopilot.
Once you start generating those backlinks, the platform offers complete backlink analysis, which shows you not only who is linking to you but also your competitors’ backlink profiles so that you can learn from them.
If you’re investing in Pay Per Click as one of the best ways to promote your website or blog, you may find Semrush becomes even more invaluable to you than ever.
The platform offers PPC keyword research tools as well as competitor analysis.
The latter allows you to look at what your competitors are doing and how their ads are performing so that you can learn what works and develop the most effective ad strategy possible.
Whether it’s blog posts, landing pages, social media content, or paid ads, the majority of Semrush’s services allow you to analyze your competitors’ performance in those areas.
The brand monitoring tool allows you to keep tabs on mentions of your competitors both on social media as well as websites and other digital content, while the social media monitoring tools give you valuable insights into your competitors’ posts on key platforms.
- Log File Analyzer
- SEO writing assistant
- Competitor analysis
- Post tracking
- Automatically distribute your business data to local directories
- SERP tracking
- Market research tools.
As you can see, Semrush packs an awful lot into its service. But unfortunately, using all those features comes at a premium price, with the platform being one of the more expensive on the market.
The company currently offers three plans which are priced as follows:
|PLAN NAME||PLAN DESCRIPTION||PLAN PRICE|
|Pro||5 x projects|
500 x keywords to track
Keyword, domain, and backlink analysis
|Guru||15 x projects|
1,500 x keywords to track
Content marketing tools
Google Data Studio integration
Plus all features of the Pro plan.
|Business||40 x projects|
5,000 keywords to track
Plus all features of the Guru plan.
The good news is that if you don’t have the budget for one of the above plans, you can always use the Keyword Magic Tool for free.
This gives you the freedom to create keyword suggestions, track your and your competitors’ search positions for particular keywords, analyze your backlink profile, and use most of Semrush’s features, albeit with restrictions on how much data you can generate.
If you’re worried that all those features are going to become too overwhelming to manage or simply too complicated to use, I’ve got more good news for you:
That just isn’t the case.
As I said earlier, there are some great beginner-friendly platforms out there that may be a good option if you really struggle with software, but they don’t provide the same quantity or quality of features as Semrush does.
Besides, that’s not to say that their platform is too hard to use.
While it’s true that the sheer number of features can seem like a lot, the navigation is clearly laid out in an order that makes sense, so you’ll never have trouble finding the features you need.
Once you’ve found it, each feature is pretty straightforward to use and even comes with easy-to-understand instructions and diagrams to help you use it.
Don’t just take my word for it, though. Let me show you in the following Semrush tutorial.
Semrush Tutorial: How to Sign-Up And Get Started?
1. Visit Semrush.com and enter either your domain name or keyword into the box provided. Then click ‘Start Now.’
2. Create an account by either connecting with your Google account or entering a username and password.
3. Enter your name and phone number
4. Complete the onboarding questionnaire so that Semrush can tailor its platform to suit your needs.
7. Once you’re successfully logged in, you can use the keyword magic tool to track keywords and come up with useful suggestions for your content.
9. Click on the feature you want to use and follow the helpful on-screen instructions to complete each marketing and analytics task.
Semrush may not be a difficult tool to use, but let’s face it, there are always those times when even the most experienced SEO pros could use a little helping hand.
So how is Semrush fair when it comes to providing the help you need?
Fortunately, they do pretty well.
First of all, there’s an extensive knowledge base with Plain English instructions as well as helpful drawings, diagrams, and videos.
If that doesn’t solve the problem, you can always contact the customer support team either via live chat, telephone, or email.
Though the availability of telephone support is pretty limited, their support agents do respond quickly and prove themselves to be highly knowledgeable, which is no doubt why they do so well at resolving the majority of problems in no time at all.
As you can tell, there’s a lot that I really like about Semrush, but if you’re really considering investing over a hundred dollars into a marketing platform, it pays to consider other people’s opinions too.
That way, you get a more well-rounded picture of what it’s actually like to use the software.
Over on TrustPilot, Semrush boasts 363 reviews which give them a 4.3 ‘Excellent’ Rating.
Most of the positive reviews focus on the quality of their features and the accuracy of their data.
The majority of the negative reviews criticize Semrush’s billing policies, pricing, and the difficulty in getting a refund.
Frequently Asked Questions About Semrush
What are the best Semrush alternatives?
KWFinder, Ahrefs, and Serpstat are some of the best Semrush alternatives for SEO.
How long can you use Semrush for free?
Semrush offers a 7-day free trial of its paid plans, though you can use the completely free Keyword Magic Tool for as long as you like.
Is Semrush keyword volume accurate?
Yes. Based on my research, I’m happy to report that Semrush provides consistently accurate keyword data.
At the start of this guide, I promised to answer all of the most important questions about Semrush to help you decide whether it’s the right platform for you.
I’ve shared with you my honest opinion that while the platform is certainly packed full of incredibly useful, easy-to-use features, it can also be pretty pricey.
Before I wrap up then, allow me to answer the most important question of all:
Is it actually worth spending all that money?
Honestly, I really think it is. At least for certain users.
If you’re a professional marketer, a blogger, or a business owner who is serious about growing their brand online, then yes, Semrush may prove to be one of the best investments you can make.
The keyword research tools alone provide a ton of accurate data that can be helpful for planning a variety of digital marketing campaigns that actually get results.
The only real downside to those tools is that they only provide data from Google. So, if you’re concerned about getting keyword data from other services such as Bing, Yahoo!, or even Amazon, you may be better off searching for a good Semrush alternative such as Ahrefs.
On the other hand, if you’re just starting out and not sure you want to throw so much money into marketing software, I highly recommend you try the free Keyword Magic Tool to get a taste of what Semrush is like.
That way, you can use it to begin growing your blog or website until you make enough money to reinvest in a paid plan. Not sure how to do that? Make my guide to the best ways to monetize your website the next thing on your reading list.