Semrush is one of the superstars among SEO tools. Why this is so and whether it lives up to its reputation, I would like to show you in my Semrush review. Since I’ve been using the tool for many years, my personal experience will surely help you.
I would like to show you in my Semrush review why it is one of the superstars among SEO tools and whether it lives up to its reputation. Since I have been using the tool for many years, my personal experience will surely help you.
My Semrush review became a bit longer than planned. If you are looking for specific information, use the table of contents below. You can also search directly on the website with CTRL+F.
What is Semrush?
Semrush is an international SEO tool with a wealth of tools for your daily online marketing tasks. The SEO and marketing toolbox is one of the most used worldwide. Both the range of features and the data quality make Semrush stand out from the crowd.
The website and platform are available in 11 languages. Among them is German.
You get data for more than 120 countries.
The big advantage with such big players is the gigantic database for keywords and backlinks. The databases are collected by constantly crawling billions of websites. Smaller competitors cannot provide this wealth of data.
Semrush itself claims to have more than 6 million active users.
The major main topics are:
- SEO (search engine optimization)
- Local SEO
- Social Media
- Content marketing
For each of these areas you will find numerous solutions with which you can run your analyses and evaluations. More about this later.
Semrush was originally founded in 2008 by Dmitry Melnikov and Oleg Shchegolev in Russia. Due to its international focus, the main location quickly moved to the USA. Currently, there are 23 locations worldwide, including the USA, Russia, and Germany.
The Light plan was going for $19.95 back then. Today’s prices are a far cry from that, but the features are also nothing like they were in 2008.
The SEO toolbox has grown extremely.
How much does Semrush cost?
There is even a free plan, but it is very limited. You can only do 10 queries a day and you also only get 10 result rows each.
Semrush basically offers the three plans Pro, Guru and Business. These differ in the available tools and the number of projects, keywords and reporting results.
You can find the prices in more detail in the following table:
|Queries per day||3,000||5,000||10,000|
|SEO, social media and PPC tools:|
Competitive analysis, keyword research, website audit, advertising as well as social media
|Content marketing toolkit, historical data, tracking for multiple sites and devices, GDS integration||no||yes||yes|
|Share of voice, extended limits, API access, PLA analytics, free migration from third-party tools||no||no||yes|
|$ 119.95 / month||$ 229.95 / month||$ 449.95 / month|
If you choose the annual payment method, you save up to 17 percent. It starts at $ 99.95 per month.
If you need additional user accounts, a Pro-User costs $ 45.00, a Guru-User $ 80.00 and a Business-User $ 100.00. Each monthly. This can get expensive quickly for larger teams.
I currently use the Guru account and don’t miss any features and get along well with the limits. With the 15 included projects I can also analyze my customers well.
Use your 7 days trial access
Semrush is not cheap, but you can use the 7-day trial access to test all features extensively. No matter which plan you choose, your credit card will only be charged after seven days.
If you’re sure you want to cancel your trial after seven days, choose the medium account. This will allow you to get much more data out of it.
Use the following 7 days as extensively as possible for Semrush. You can especially do keyword research for a year in advance. Be creative to get the most out of this week.
If you plan to use the SEO tool permanently, however, the Pro plan will probably be enough for you.
How do I get started with Semrush?
The first step is to create your project. You do this when you create your account. Depending on the size of your project, collecting the data may take some time.
Info: Since I prefer to use the English interface, the screenshots are all in English. But you can switch to German yourself at the top.
Afterwards you will find yourself in the SEO Dashboard.
Here you can see the most important data about the active project. Especially the graphics are very interesting, because you can see at a glance how the domain is developing. On the screenshot you can see that the visibility has dropped by 0.29% compared to the previous day.
In order for Semrush to really get all the necessary data, you should link your Google Account and allow access to Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
To do this, click on the gear icon in the upper right corner and select the menu item “Google account setup”.
In the subsequent pop-up, connect your Google account and select your Analytics account and the matching Google Search Console account.
With this you have laid the foundation for your work with Semrush.
How to use Semrush
The order of the following steps is not necessarily the optimal order for your project. Depending on where you are in the process of optimizing your website, it may make different sense for you.
Site audit and on-page optimization
When I tackle an existing project, I always do an audit first.
It’s important to know the current state of the site and if there are any major problems that need to be fixed.
I do this step even if I might be working on a completely different area of the site.
The site audit brings even the smallest problems to light. However, most of the time you really only have to worry about the errors. Warnings and information are mostly of a technical nature that have no impact on your SEO.
In this example, there are seven broken internal links that I should definitely check. Neither search engines nor readers want to see a boring 404 page.
Here I can save checking in WordPress, since these are image links from my CDN. I’m sure they’ve been fixed long ago.
Try to fix all errors here if possible. In the second step, you can still look at the warnings and make improvements if necessary.
The left menu at the top is all about competitor research.
The available programs are called:
- Domain Overview
- Traffic Analytics
- Organic Research
- Keyword Gap
- Backlink Gap
First, you need to identify who your competition is in the SERPs (search engine results).
To achieve this, call up Organic Research. In the slot, enter your domain, select the country and click Search.
Now you just need to select the Competitors tab.
Here you will see the domains that most often compete with you for the top positions. Scroll down a bit to see a longer list of domains.
It’s best to make a note of your main competitors for future reference.
You see how easy it is to work with powerful search engine software. Without it, the effort for this task would have been much greater.
Use the Domain overviewto get a more detailed picture of your competitor. Here you can get helpful information about how this website works and how successful it is.
A really cool tool is the keyword gap analysis. With it, you compare your domain and that of at least one competitor and find out which topics your competitors are covering, but you are not. Semrush even suggests the previously determined competitors to you.
You can find your completely missing keywords further down in the tab “Missing”. Right here you will find great ideas for new content.
Backlink-Gap works similar, but with links.
You surely want to have a recommendation from the websites that all your competitors are linked from as well.
We discussed how to get keyword ideas from your competitors above.
Semrush has a whole section on keyword research with these five tools:
- Keyword Magic Tool
- Keyword Manager
- Keyword Tracking
- Organic Traffic Insights
I always start the keyword research in the Keyword Overview Tool.
The keyword overview report is really well done and provides you with all important information about the entered keyword.
Among them are the search volume, difficulty (please be careful), CPC, keyword variations, questions, related keywords and the ranking pages for the selected country.
Here you can determine if your keyword is even worthy of more detailed research. The SERP analysis will show you how strong your competitors are and whether your website is strong enough for the topic at all.
But this is only the beginning of the research!
Keyword Magic Tool
As always, you enter your keyword at the top, select your desired target country and click on “Search”. Afterwards, you can also limit your search by language. However, this is usually not necessary.
Depending on whether you want to sell a product or write an informational article, you can narrow down by search intention.
The best part of the Keyword Magic tool is the left column, where all the therms found are grouped.
In my example, I searched for “content marketing“. I have now expanded the group “Agency” and get even more subgroups. So, I can show all keywords for content marketing agencies in Berlin.
But what do we do now with the found search phrases?
Select all relevant keyword combinations and move them into a list.
For my keyword research, the Keyword Manager is one of my most powerful tools. Because here all found therms run together and can be revised thus also clearly.
Important: Use as many lists as necessary and meaningful list names. Within a list, you can further group with tags.
If you prefer to work in Excel or Google Spreadsheets, you can also export your lists as .CSV or .XLSX.
There is one more thing I would like to tell you about keyword research.
Don’t rely stubbornly on the data. The tools help, but the research is still thinking-intensive work.
Use your mind and listen to your feelings!
Note: In the first 60 days, the position is updated every 1-2 days. After that only weekly.
When creating a tracking project, you will be asked for the following parameters:
- Search Engine
- Company name
These settings will apply to all added keywords. You cannot change the device per keyword.
To choose the device, it’s best to check Google Analytics to see which device most of your visitors are using.
Basically: If your offer is primarily aimed at private individuals, you should select “Mobile”. If your offer is aimed at businesses, your visitors will primarily arrive on “Desktop”.
Then select the appropriate country and language.
In the next screen, enter one keyword per line and start with “Start Tracking”.
If you use the Guru plan, take a look at the “Cannibalization” tab. Here you can see if several pages rank for the same keyword. You should avoid this at all costs!
Unfortunately, you need at least the Guru plan to use the Content Marketing Platform.
If you want to start a new text, you start directly in the Content Marketing Dashboard.
Here you’ll be guided through the entire process, from researching to revising and improving.
Find subtopics, appropriate headlines, and questions for your FAQ section.
You elegantly plan your content for the blog and social media in the marketing calendar. Tasks are generated from this, which in turn are distributed to your team.
Semrush SEO Writing Assistant
You can use the SEO Writing Assistant directly in Semrush, as a plugin for Google Docs or as a plugin for WordPress. It’s best to try all three options briefly. But the data is always the same.
You can install and activate the WordPress plugin called “Semrush SEO Writing Assistant” directly from the WordPress admin. Have you never installed a plugin before?
If the plugin doesn’t hover above the editor sidebar, you’ll need to scroll all the way down and connect the plugin to Semrush.
Over support for link building
If there’s one thing I hate, it’s link building in any form!
But it’s part of business and without strong referrals, your project won’t bear fruit either.
I always start with the backlink audit. To do this, go to the menu of the same name, connect the Google Search Console and Analytics and start the crawl
Now, this takes some time. Depending on how big your website is. With this, you have the current viewpoint for now.
For me, the backlink audit looks superb. Found 1,820 links from 273 domains. With a follow share of 39 percent.
My authority score is unfortunately low. So, I should work on content that attracts more links.
The Authority Score evaluates your external recommendations and what influence your website has on search engine results. Similar to the Domain Rating from Ahrefs. The higher the Authority Score, the more likely your website is to rank well for a keyword.
The Toxid Score is good. The 5 links classified as toxic doesn’t even exist anymore. Those were aggregators that Google ignores anyway. You usually don’t need to panic there.
Link Bulk Analysis
I would also like to show you the Bulk Analysis.
The platform is interesting if you want to compare a list of domains regarding link authority. Maybe if you are looking for guest post partners.
There you just throw all domains or even links into the field above and click on “Compare”.
in the screenshot, “AS” stands for “Authority Score”. The other columns are self-explanatory. As you can see, this gives you a great overview with which you can roughly estimate the link juice.
Semrush Link Building Tool
The actual link building process you do with the link building tool. You will be guided to valuable links in three steps.
Search for suitable candidates for link building.
In fact, Semrush does the candidate search for you. To do this, you specify your competitors and important keywords when setting up the campaign. Based on this data, the Semrush crawler searches for domains that match as well as possible.
The fine selection is ultimately done by you.
You send good candidates to the processing with one click.
2. In processing
The outreach process is usually super annoying. Semrush takes care of all that for you. Whether that’s a good thing or not, I don’t feel like evaluating in this Semrush review.
However, you have the option to personalize every single email. For this to run cleanly, you should also connect your mailbox so that it sends from it.
Once you have taken on the work of building new backlinks, you should also do everything to keep them.
Semrush also takes care of this step for you. With one click you send an email to your link partner asking what happened to the link.
You can also add backlinks from other sources and have them monitored.
A really good tool!
Online marketing and PPC
In online marketing, it’s common to run a mix of search engine optimization and paid advertising. Paid advertising also includes advertising on social channels. In the jargon, it is usually simply referred to as PPC, or Pay Per Click. The click on an ad therefore first triggers costs.
That’s why Semrush also has a whole suite of programs for researching, planning and managing advertising in its program.
For spying on display ad competitors, Semrush has developed its own SaaS service called AdClarity, which costs an additional $169.00 per month.
With the Advertising Research tool included in the price, you can also monitor competitors’ paid ads, just not as extensively.
To list all the features of Semrush would make a really long list. No other service is so comprehensive.
The most important Semrush features:
- Manage SEO projects
- Keyword research
- Competitor analysis
- Technical Aduit (Onpage SEO)
- Content Marketing
- Rank Tracking
- Backlink research
- Link building
- Marketing and PPC
- Local SEO incl. Listing Management
- Social Media Management
Strengths and weaknesses
Every SEO tool has its advantages and disadvantages. With Semrush it is certainly complaining on a high level.
Positive is certainly the quality of the data. Moreover, you won’t find the abundance of tools at any competitor.
For private website operators, the platform is hardly worthwhile, there are free alternatives.
Tip: Use the personal training right at the beginning of your booking.
As a layman, the amount, and depth of the tools may be daunting at first. But you get the opportunity for a personal training right at the beginning of your booking, where you can ask all your questions.
Who is Semrush suitable for?
The Semrush solution is suitable for anyone who wants to
- his website,
- or marketing success
Even though other competitors may be better in sub-disciplines, Semrush is the most comprehensive web stuff if you want to push your website and marketing.
That’s why it’s best to use my link and try Semrush for free for 7 days. Unfortunately, there is no discount code.
Freelancer, Blogger, or In-House Marketer
Especially if your monthly budget is limited, the Pro Plan is a great way to optimize up to 5 websites.
Agencies and SEO consultants
For agencies and consultants, with a larger client base, at least the Guru plan is recommended. With this, you can manage 15 clients and track 1500 keywords.
Large agencies know very well which software package they need. Semrush comes with everything you need to manage 40 clients/projects, starting with the Business package.
If that’s still not enough for you, you can always request a custom package.
Semrush Agency Growth Kit with CRM
If you are an SEO agency looking for new leads and a way to manage your clients, the “Agency Growth Kit” might be worth considering.
First, though, you’ll need to get certified as a Semrush agency partner. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how time-consuming this is, since I haven’t gone through this step yet.
Afterwards you will be listed in the partner directory and can participate in tenders. Directly in Semrush, at the “Bid Finder”.
- CRM for customer management
- Data on potential customers and leads
- Planning and tasks
- Customer portal
- White label reports
Go to the agency growth kit.
Other tools from Semrush
Semrush operates other SEO tools under its own domain, but their prices are not included in the main tool. That’s why I only list them in this Semrush review:
- ImpactHero – AI-Powered Customer Journey
- PageImprove – Onpage optimization in real-time
- Content Marketplace – Buy English texts and other content like infographics
- SplitSignal – Enterprise SEO A/B Split Testing
- Surround Sound – Brand monitoring
- Content Outline Builder – Create content briefings
Small brands have little chance of keeping up with the big players. The reason for this is the immense amount of data that needs to be accumulated and processed.
Real Semrush alternatives are:
- Ryte (Website User Experience)
- Surfer SEO (Onpage SEO)
- SEO PowerSuite (Windows, Mac and Linux software)
Semrush offers many channels for direct help.
To start with, you should take a closer look at the Getting Started section, where 90 percent of your questions will be answered.
In the Knowledge Center, the Blog and the Academy you will find detailed tutorials and use cases explained.
If all of this doesn’t help you enough, you can contact support via form or live chat.
I always use the chat and have always received immediate help.
Questions and answers
In my opinion, Semrush is the best all-rounder. Regrettably, however, it is also more expensive compared to the competition.
I like tools that cover as many use cases as possible. That’s why I love Semrush. The results and strategies have never disappointed me.
I especially like the Keyword Magic tool. It makes keyword research really enjoyable. Competitors can’t do that as well.
Semrush Review Rating
Honestly? For me, only Semrush, Ahrefs and Sistrix come into question as SEO tools. At the time of this Semrush review, I also have Sistrix active and would like to really familiarize myself with it over the next few months. In the time, I will probably cancel Semrush because the data from a tool is enough for me.
How I will continue after that, I don’t really know yet. I used Ahrefs together with Semrush for a long time. That was also a superb combination.
You see, I don’t really want to commit myself regarding SEO tools. Semrush will definitely stay in my SEO toolbox.
It’s best to check out the trial version and decide for yourself.