Você está visualizando atualmente Semrush Review [2024]: test and tutorial on this SEO tool

Semrush Review [2024]: test and tutorial on this SEO tool

Have you ever tried riding a bicycle without pedals? Riding a bike without pedals is a bit like doing SEO without data: it doesn’t really make sense. Besides, it’s counter-intuitive.

You also need to have your wheels actually on the ground to move forward…

To make sure you don’t lose your footing and that you keep moving in the right direction, it’s best to rely on a platform to build your SEO strategy.

Semrush is one such platform. This article will help you discover it for the first time or get to know it better.

Once you’ve read this article, you’ll know in detail what this tool offers, how it works, and its value for the money.

You’ll also know how to use several basic features, such as keyword research.

And of course, WPMarmite will give you its expert opinion on Semrush.

So, is this really the platform for you? Find out below.

This article is sponsored and contains affiliate links to the Semrush website. This means that WPMarmite will receive a commission if you decide to use this platform.
Affiliate revenues enable WPMarmite to remunerate the research and writing work of the blog’s editors. However, we remain impartial. If a product isn’t worth it, we’ll say so (or we don’t write about it). Find out more about transparency in
our publishing policy.

What is Semrush?

Semrush is a premium online platform offering over 55 tools for digital marketing (SEO, advertising, content, PR, and social media marketing). It helps you increase your online visibility and manage your content marketing activities.

Semrush is an all-in-one software package offered in SaaS mode(Software as a Service). You access it from your favorite web browser, without having to download it to your computer.

The tool is frequently used to carry out a wide range of SEO-related actions:

  • Keyword research
  • Setting up audits
  • Analysis of competitors
  • Rank tracking
  • Searching for backlinks
  • Etc.

Sixteen years’ experience, over 100,000 customers

Launched in 2008 by Oleg Shchegolev and Dmitri Melnikov, the Boston-based firm today offers one of the most popular, if not the most popular, tools for optimizing your visibility on the web and creating compelling content for your users.

Listed on the stock exchange, Semrush recorded an annual recurring revenue (ARR) of $337.1 million in 2023, up 23% from 2022.

So it’s an extremely solid solution financially, and one that continues to grow and evolve over the years.

According to its own figures, the Semrush platform:

  • Serves 108,000 customers (as of December 2023)
  • Has already been tested by over 10 million users
  • Serves 143 countries
  • Employs over 1,000 people in 14 countries worldwide, mainly in North America and Europe

Many ultra-famous brands place their trust in the company, including Amazon, Tesla, Decathlon, Forbes, Samsung, Pfizer, and Booking.com.

And not for nothing. Semrush is a reliable and effective SEO tool, as evidenced by the many international awards it has won.

The platform has repeatedly been named the world’s best SEO software:

A gigantic database

One of the keys to its success is the gigantic database it makes available to its customers, making it a tool of choice for many SEO specialists.

At the time of writing, here are a few eloquent figures communicated by the brand on its “Stats and Facts” page:

  • 25.7 billion: The total number of keywords available in its Keyword Magic Tool. According to Semrush, this is“the largest keyword database on the market.”
  • 3.4 billion: The keyword database for the United States alone.
  • 43 trillion: The number of backlinks counted on the platform.

Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool has a database of 3.4 billion keywords for the United States alone.

Initially launched under the name SEMrush (with the letters S, E, and M in capitals), the brand was rebranded at the end of 2020. Since then, Semrush has been written in lower case (except for the initial “S,” of course).
The brand name is a nod to the acronym SEM, which stands for Search Engine Marketing. SEM encompasses organic search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine advertising (SEA).

What services does Semrush offer?

Semrush, a customizable toolbox

Semrush is best described as a “toolbox.” Think of the platform as a crate that can be opened at will to select a tool from the fifty or so it offers.

This is one of the major differences between Semrush and its competitors. Each individual tool gives you access to reports, statistics, and other graphs.

All this data can then be parameterized via filters and customized according to your needs. You can also export the data for analysis.

A look at the Semrush Keyword Overview tool.

Features ranging from SEO to social networking

In detail, Semrush’s functionalities fall into five main categories:

  • SEO: Keyword research, on-page SEO, local SEO, keyword tracking, backlink building, and competitor analysis.
    Each sub-category (e.g. “keyword research”) includes its own tools. For example, six tools are offered in the “keyword research” sub-category, such as the “Keyword Magic Tool” (more on this later).
  • Content: Content ideas, brief generation, writing wizard, sharing on social networks, etc.
  • Market research: Competitor and market analysis, paid advertising, and analysis of competitors’ PR campaigns.
  • Advertising: PPC (pay-per-click) keyword research and website monetization.
  • Social Media: Social network publishing and analysis platform.

Who is Semrush for?

A platform for “marketing specialists and professionals”

As you can see, Semrush’s options are legion! At first glance, therefore, any user wishing to optimize their online visibility could use this platform, since they should find at least one tool to suit their needs.

In practice, however, there are a few nuances. To begin with, Semrush’s About page tells us about its main target audience: “marketing specialists and professionals.”

It states that the software helps “companies of all sizes and industries to optimize their visibility across key channels and create engaging content for their users.”

As the software offers a wide range of SEO tools, it is particularly aimed at SEO professionals such as agencies, freelancers, consultants, and other site publishers.

You’ll find everything you need to carry out essential SEO operations: technical audits, competitor analysis, keyword research, rank tracking, and more.

Is Semrush the right SEO tool for simple keyword research?

Based on our experience and the use we’ve made of the platform, we can tell you that this SEO platform is perfectly suited if you want to set up and develop a global SEO strategy.

Now, is it suitable for carrying out just one or two very specific actions through the use of just one of its tools, for example to research your keywords?

The answer is yes — but. Yes, because you’ll be able to access its immense database and find satisfaction in your searches.

On the other hand, you’ll be under-exploiting its potential by depriving yourself of all its other options, all the while knowing that you’ll need to set aside a sizeable budget, as the tool has to be paid for in its entirety (you can’t access each tool on a case-by-case basis).

We’ll come back to this in more detail in the section on pricing, but the most accessible license costs over $100/month, which is a very substantial sum IF you just want to search for a few keywords for your next blog post.

Now that you’ve got a better idea of the tool’s background, services, and target audience, let’s find out how it works in the next section.

You’ll learn how to use its most commonly used options.

How to use Semrush: instructions for the most important features

By now, you know that Semrush is a feature-rich tool. As it would be too tedious to detail each tool individually, we’ve chosen to focus primarily on those dedicated to SEO.

To make our selection, we based ourselves on the famous three pillars of SEO: technique, content, and links.

In the following lines, you’ll learn about tools to:

  • Research your keywords
  • Conduct audits
  • Analyze your competitors
  • Help you write your content
  • Find backlink opportunities
  • Track your keywords positions

These are all classic and essential actions when deploying an SEO strategy.

But first, let’s take a look at the Semrush dashboard.

The Semrush dashboard: How easy is it to use?

A Semrush sidebar to find your way around…

Let’s say it right away. When you first log on to your Semrush dashboard, you’re both impressed and a little lost.

There are data, numbers, and menus everywhere. It’s hard to know which way to turn.

But don’t panic. Even if the interface is a little intimidating at first, you’ll find that once you get used to it and understand how it’s organized, you’llquickly find your way around.

To find your way around and select a tool, everything happens in the lefthand sidebar. Several drop-down menus classify tools and other options into seven main categories:

  • SEO
  • Local
  • Advertising
  • Social Media
  • Content Marketing
  • Trends
  • Agency Solutions

… and tools for research and analysis

To find the tool best suited to your needs, first select the category of your choice by clicking on it.

For example, if you want to search for a keyword, click on the “SEO” menu, then go to the “Keyword Research” sub-category. Finish by clicking on the tool of your choice, e.g. “Keyword Magic Tool.”

No matter which tool you use, you’ll get data and results in the central part of the screen:

To take things a step further, there are also options available in the top bar, which appears in black.

For example, you can access information on your customer profile, change the display language, or access resources (blog, videos, webinars, etc.) to help you figure out the platform.

Want to dig even deeper? We recommend this video from Semrush’s YouTube channel. It explains how to get started with the tools offered by the platform:

To sum up, yes, the Semrush dashboard is packed with options. Nevertheless, it’s relatively easy to get familiar with once you’ve mastered the organization of the interface, which is divided into 3 parts:

  1. You choose your tool on the left.
  2. Your data is then displayed in the center.
  3. You can take advantage of additional options via the top bar.

All in all, you have a clear, comprehensive, and useful tool in your hands. Let’s continue our tour with a subject that’s bound to interest you: keyword research.

Keyword research

Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool

Let’s start with a classic but indispensable tool: the famous “Keyword Magic Tool.”

This is the tool you need to use when you’re looking for keywords relevant to your business.

To illustrate, let’s take a concrete example. Let’s say you have a WooCommerce store selling gardening products.

You want to develop a blog to attract qualified traffic, then convert your visitors into customers by encouraging them to buy your products.

But what to write about? Well, type your generic keyword into the search bar. In this case, it would be “gardening.”

Select your country to obtain the most relevant keyword suggestions, then click on the “Search” button:

And then, magic! You’ll get a list of keywords related to your search, with multiple data such as:

  • Search intent: Commercial, informational, navigational, or transactional
  • Search volume: Average number of monthly searches over the last 12 months
  • Keyword Difficulty (KD): With a score from 0 to 100%, Semrush shows you how difficult it is to position yourself on a given keyword compared to the competition.
    Colored dots (green, orange, and red) also tell you the KD. Basically, the redder it is, the harder it will be to dislodge your competitors from the SERP (Google’s search results page).
  • The cost-per-click (CPC) paid by advertisers on Google Ads for the keyword
  • SERP features
  • When the displayed data was last updated

You can sort these results in ascending or descending order by clicking on the relevant heading.

You can also apply filters to refine your search. For example, you can choose to display only keywords with the easiest difficulty:

Overview of keywords

If you already have a more precise idea of the keyword you want to target for your next piece of content, you should go to the “Keyword Overview” tool first.

Type your keyword in the search bar. For example: “wordpress plugin.” You’ll then have access to some of the previous data (volume, search intent, difficulty, etc.), presented in a more visual way.

What’s really useful is that Semrush doesn’t just give you raw data and let you run with it.

Look at keyword difficulty, for example. In our example, it says that the difficulty is 91%, with a red color. Taken like that, it doesn’t mean much to you. Why is it so difficult? How is difficulty rated?

Well, Semrush explains it all. To position your content on a keyword deemed “very hard,” you need “a lot of on-page SEO, link building, and content promotion efforts. That’s a lot more straightforward.

What’s more, Semrush offers you:

  • Variants of the keyword you’ve just entered. This can be used to change the main keyword for your content if you feel that its difficulty is too high.
    These variants are also useful for improving your semantic field. Add them to your next piece of content to give Google even more context.
  • Related questions, which list the questions that web users are asking around your main query. Here again, you can retrieve them for use in strategic places in your text, such as an hn title or Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Keyword strategy. This is a super-interesting tool that will help you determine a keyword for your pillar page, as well as all the keywords related to your pillar page to be developed in sub-pages.

Further down the page, you even get an SERP analysis with a listing of pages already positioned.

Keyword Gap

Not sure where to start looking for potential keywords? Go to the “Keyword Gap” tool (in the “Competitive Research” submenu).

Enter the URL of your site, then that of one of your competitors (just below):

Semrush then displays a list of keywords you share with your competitor. But you can also find out which ones your competitor is ranking for… and you’re not.

To do this, click on the “Missing” filter. And there you have a series of keywords you could potentially attack:

Your competitors can be very useful in deploying your SEO strategy. In the next section, you’ll see that Semrush allows you to go much further in this respect.

Competitor analysis

Domain overview

Let’s move on to competitor analysis, to “easily identify the strengths and weaknesses of your competitor or potential customer,” as Semrush puts it.

This spying takes place in the Domain Overview tool. Simply enter the URL of your choice in the search bar, select your country and click on the “Search” button.

You’ll then be presented with a graphical and detailed result of multiple metrics, including:

  • Domain name authority
  • Organic traffic, with breakdown by country, traffic curve, and number of positioned keywords
  • Number of domain backlinks, classified by type and specificity (nofollow and dofollow)
  • Top organic keywords
  • Main competitors
  • Link anchors
  • Referring domains
  • Referenced pages
  • Etc.

Don’t hesitate to use all this data to get ideas for keywords, for example, especially in the “Best organic keywords” section.

By the way, you can take this a step further by using the “Organic Research” tool (also located in the “Competitive Research” menu).

If you go to the “Positions” tab, you’ll see details of all the keywords positioned on the site you’re analyzing. All that’s left to do is help yourself, when it’s relevant to your business.

Site Audit

Without further ado, let’s move on to the “Site Audit” tool (in the “On-page and technical SEO” menu). This is a must-have for discovering any technical problems on your WordPress site and/or those of your customers.

After entering the domain of your choice in the search bar, Semrush will offer you a digest of information on the following topics:

  • Site health score
  • Errors and warnings on crawled pages (pages crawled by Semrush)
  • Site crawlability (whether or not the site is correctly crawled by search engine robots)
  • Site performance
  • Core Web Vitals
  • HTTPS site security
  • Internal links

You’ll also find a list of the main problems at the bottom of the page. You can get an overview of the details for each metric by clicking on the corresponding button.

Writing content

Once you’ve audited the site of your choice, analyzed the competition, and found your keywords, you’ll probably want to start writing.

Semrush has a number of handy tools to help you create the perfect content.

Topic Research

If you’re stumped and have no idea what to write about, you can start by using the Topic Research tool (in the Content Marketing menu).

Enter a theme or a general keyword, for example, and you’ll find yourself with dozens and dozens of topic ideas and their monthly search volume.

An example of a mind map generated with the Topic Research tool.

SEO Content Template

Next, the SEO platform can help you generate what it calls a copywriting brief based on the keyword of your choice, via the “SEO Content Template” tool (“SEO on-page and technical” menu).

To be frank, this isn’t really a formal brief, but rather recommendations based on your competitors’ top 10 on Google.

For example, Semrush shows you:

  • Keywords semantically associated with your main keyword, to include in your text
  • The average readability score
  • Backlinks to acquire from different domains
  • Recommended text length

Semrush SEO Writing Assistant

Once you’ve written your text, head to the “SEO Writing Assistant” tool to optimize it (via the “Content Marketing” menu).

Semrush assigns a score out of 10 to your content, based on criteria relating to SEO, readability, tone (consistency score for English texts of over 100 words) and originality (to check for plagiarism).

Semantic hits are also offered (provided you subscribe to at least Semrush’s “Guru” package), similar to what is offered by a tool like YourTextGuru (though the latter offers a much more advanced feature).

Check out WPMarmite’s free guide to SEO. You’ll get a comprehensive overview of good SEO practices to apply.

Building backlinks

Once your content has been published, obtaining backlinks will often be essential in your bid to gain positions on the first page of Google search results.

Backlink analysis

To begin with, use the “Backlink Analytics” tool (“Link building” menu) to evaluate the link profile of your site (or those of your competitors).

For example, you’ll have access to data on:

  • The total number of backlinks, and their situation (up or down) in relation to the previous month
  • Referring domains
  • Outgoing domains
  • Authority score

If you scroll down the page, you’ll be able to see the referring domains and new and lost backlinks, with the option of viewing a detailed report.

Backlink audit

If you want to dig even deeper, the “Backlink Audit” tool lets you check the quality of your backlinks, and in particular their toxicity, based on criteria such as anchors, traffic, link attributes, keywords, and so on.

Thanks to this, you can add toxic backlinks to an undesirable list, then contact the site owners concerned directly from the Semrush interface.

It’s also possible to disavow any backlinks that seem suspicious, by transferring them to Google’s dedicated tool.

Finally, you can even be notified when you receive new, broken, and lost backlinks.

Link Building Tool and backlink opportunities

Finally, if you want to identify and create backlink opportunities, there are two tools you should use first and foremost:

  1. You can use the “Backlink Opportunities” tool to identify backlinks already active with your competitors. It works in the same way as the “Keyword Opportunities” tool.
  2. “Link Building Tool” to find the best quality backlinks in your niche. To discover the opportunities detected by Semrush, go to the “Prospects” tab:

Positioning tracking with Semrush

Finally, once you’ve launched your SEO campaign or published your first content, we recommend that you monitor its positioning on the SERP.

To do this, use Semrush’s “Position Tracking” tool (in the “Keyword Research” menu). The tool will first offer to track your local positioning.

If you’re interested, you’ll need to enter your company name as it appears on your Google listing.

You can then enter the keywords you want to track from a number of sources:

  • TXT or CSV
  • A specific campaign
  • Semrush suggestions
  • Google Analytics

And that’s it for this detailed overview of some of Semrush’s key SEO features.

That’s quite a lot of material. If despite our explanations you’re worried about getting lost when you start using the tool, don’t panic!

In the next section, we’ll explain how to deal with any blockages or other technical problems that may arise.

Customer service and SEO platform support

Semrush puts a lot of emphasis not only on user options, but also on the support it offers its (future) customers. To take advantage of this, you have two main options.

Option 1: Let Semrush support you

If you wish, you can first request a free demo of the tool to clear up any remaining doubts.

In this case, a software expert will show you the interface and offer advice tailored to your needs.

Once you’ve become a user, you can contact support:

  • Via online chat, by clicking on the little question mark icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your customer interface. You’ll get an immediate response.
  • By sending an email to this address ([email protected]) or using this contact form. The response time will be longer than with chat. Allow one working day maximum, on average.

Option 2: Find answers yourself

If you’d like to do it yourself, you can also draw on a wealth of free resources, such as:

  • A blog offering regular, in-depth content on digital marketing, SEO, content strategy, social networks, and more
  • Training webinars on digital marketing
  • Courses (e.g. content-driven SEO), with the possibility of obtaining certifications
  • A frequently updated YouTube channel featuring news videos, interviews with experts, and training videos:

Without further ado, let’s continue our review of Semrush by tackling the central question of the tool’s price.

How much does Semrush cost?

Three premium packages

Semrush is priced on the basis of three premium packages:

  • “Pro”: For beginners and small teams ($129.95/month)
  • “Guru”: For agencies and medium-sized companies ($249.95/month)
  • “Business”: For large agencies and companies ($499.95/month)

There are three major things to know about these packages:

  1. Each package is limited in terms of the projects you can create, the keywords you can track, and the results you can generate per report. The higher the package, the more projects you can create, keywords you can track, and so on.
  2. If you pay annually for a package, you can save up to 17%. For example, the “Pro” package costs $108.33/month if you pay once a year, rather than monthly.
  3. The platform offers a 7-day money-back guarantee. You can also cancel your subscription at any time.

Which package to choose?

When selecting a package, take into account your budget, of course, and above all your needs.

To do this, we recommend that you consult the usage limits for each package, to make sure you start with a package that meets your expectations.

To help you out, Semrush explains the following: “If you’re a freelancer, blogger or in-house marketing manager on a limited budget, then the Semrush Pro subscription will probably be the best option. If you’re a professional SEO consultant or an agency with many clients, then the Semrush Guru subscription will suit you better.”

How to use Semrush for free (is it possible?)

As you can see, Semrush comes at a price. If you don’t want to fork out a minimum of a hundred dollars every month, or don’t have the budget for it, you may be wondering whether it’s possible to use Semrush for free?

The answer is yes, but with some very serious limitations. To begin with, you can take advantage ofa 7-day free trial to see what the software has to offer. It’s a good way to find out if it’s right for you.

After this one-week period, you’ll need to choose a package to continue enjoying the platform without being restricted.

Do you just want a free Semrush account? Here’s what you’ll have to contend with:

  • You can only create and manage one project
  • You can track a maximum of 10 keywords in “Position Tracking”
  • Your “Analysis” reports will be limited to 10 queries per day (compared with 3,000 for a “Pro” package, for example)
  • You can’t extract all the data and use all the tools with Semrush free

What are the alternatives to Semrush?

If Semrush isn’t for you, either for budgetary or technical reasons (you may not like its interface at all, for example), you should know that it competes with other tools on the market.

Let’s face it, though, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a platform as complete as this one. In terms of data and features, its main alternative is Ahrefs, at a very similar price (from $129/month).

In the lower price brackets, you can also turn to less powerful and less comprehensive tools, but which are still very effective for carrying out certain classic SEO operations, such as keyword research:

Our final opinion on Semrush

To conclude this test and review of Semrush, let’s take a look at the strengths and limitations of this SEO platform, as well as our opinion of it.

Advantages of Semrush

  • An extremely complete and powerful SEO tool for building your SEO strategy.
  • You’ll find around fifty tools in one place, eliminating the need to use several different programs to perform different operations (e.g. keyword research and tracking, etc.).
  • The platform covers everything you need to set up an effective SEO strategy (keyword research, backlinks, competitor analysis, positioning tracking, etc.).
  • A gigantic database that ensures you benefit from extensive and frequently updated data.
  • A multi-application tool with an excellent reputation.
  • An SEO platform, but not only that: with Semrush, you can also take advantage of tools related to content marketing, social media, or even paid advertising on Google (SEA).
  • A wealth of resources are available (blog, videos, documentation, etc.) to help you use the tool.

Disadvantages of the SEO platform

  • The cost of the software (over $100/month minimum), which requires a substantial budget to use it. However, its main competitors, such as Ahrefs, charge equivalent rates.
  • A learning curve is required to grasp the interface’s modus operandi and subtleties once you start using it. But, frankly, it’s a quick learning curve.
  • A (necessarily) limited free version.

WPMarmite’s opinion

At first glance, Semrush is an SEO tool that can be a little frightening, due to its vastness. When you first discover it, you may feel a little overwhelmed, even discouraged, by the sheer number of options on offer.

Fortunately, this feeling fades fairly quickly. Once you’ve tamed the tool, a gigantic playground opens up.

In our opinion, it’s an excellent tool for building an SEO strategy from A to Z and achieving concrete results.

Yes, it’s expensive, that’s true. But with Semrush, you can do (almost) anything. And the price will quickly pay for itself if you take on several projects on a regular basis.

In short, we recommend it with your eyes closed if you’re used to creating SEO and marketing strategies for yourself (if you manage multiple sites yourself) and/or your clients.

Now it’s your turn. Are you already a committed Semrush user? Let us know what you think by posting a comment.

About the author

WPMarmite Team

WPMarmite helps beginners get the best out of WordPress with in-depth tutorials and honest reviews. Meet the founder, Alex, and his team right here.