When starting up your own website, SEO is normally one of the highest considerations to take into account, if you plan on generating organic traffic. If this is the case, you’re going to need a weapon that can take on a variety of SEO scenarios. Rather than subscribe to a many different tools, there are a few great products offering all you need in one, and one of these is SEMrush.

What is SEMrush?

With a selection of over 50 tools, SEMrush is a powerful suite of SEO tools that give you complete control of your optimization efforts. These tools provide not only insight but make the strategy and approach to optimizing your website tangible and easy to follow through on.

In addition to its SEO tools, it also caters to content marketing, paid advertising, and social media marketing. It is one of the few fully-featured toolkits online that make Internet marketing a breeze and fun to use.

The origin of this great product goes back to 2008, when it was founded by Oleg Shchegolev and Dmitry Melnikov. Since then, the popularity has only risen, and today it is considered to be the premiere SEO tool, alongside its major competitor, Ahrefs.

Main Features and Benefits of Using SEMrush

There’s a lot to cover with this tool, so for the purpose of having the best brief overview, only the primary services will be covered here. Those features are as follows:

  • Domain Overview
  • Traffic Analysis
  • Organic Research
  • Keyword Research
  • Backlink Analytics
  • Link Building Tool
  • Site Audit

These service mainstays of SEMrush have been neatly organized into the left sidebar for easy navigation. The hierarchy and position of them, it is worth noting, feel natural and follow a logical progression as you research and develop the best SEO strategy for your website.

Domain Overview

Here in the Domain Overview, you will get a broad look at many key factors of any website at a glance. It is likely that most of your research will take you here, especially when analyzing competitors. Authority, traffic, and backlinks can all be summarized quickly before you head on to utilizing the other specific toolkits.

These are the main metrics, but there are also a few others worth taking a look at:

  • Referring Domains: Alongside backlinks you can see a clear list of the top referring domains contributing to the growth of the website.
  • Top Organic Keywords: Segmenting into the organic research tool, this is a snapshot of the best organic keywords that the domain is tuned to.
  • Main Organic Competitors: While not always on-target, the main organic competitors section does offer insight into who may be competing with the domain.
  • Competitive Positioning Map: The graphical representation for the main organic competitors section.
  • Distribution by Country: Part of the traffic analysis, this quick overview breaks down the visitors to the domain by country so you can see the composition of each.
  • Keywords by Intent: A feature and competitive advantage of using SEMrush is its classification of keywords, into criteria: Informational, Navigational, Commercial, and Transactional.
  • Paid Search Traffic: If the domain is utilizing known paid search traffic channels then a snapshot of it will also be displayed.

Traffic Analysis

With the broad overview done, we can then begin to explore the finer analytics that SEMrush offers. One of these is the Traffic Analysis. Chronologically next, it gives a more detailed insight into the traffic makeup, which can include the following:

  • Monthly visitors, separated into desktop and mobile.
  • The average session duration, bounce rate, and pages per visit.
  • The top-performing pages of the domain.
  • Origin source of the traffic, as well as destination.
  • Residing country of the traffic.

Organic Research

One of the best features of SEMrush is its section dedicated to organic traffic and keywords. At a glance, you can easily see the number of keywords a domain is organically ranking for, by country, and its performance and variation over time.

Within the Positions tab you can see a complete list of all known organic keywords, their present ranking position as well as its most recent change, as well as % of traffic each is contributing, the total traffic each keyword brings in, and the difficulty of the keyword being ranked.

There is also a tab dedicated to Position Changes, which can give you a graphical representation of the changes different keywords have made over time for the domain. This is very good for reporting and representing SEO efforts.

Within Competitors, there is a more detailed list of what SEMrush has analyzed as the domain’s competitors. Sometimes accurate, other times not, it can still give good places to start further research.

Then there is the Pages section, providing a great list of all pages that the domain is ranking for, how many keywords are contributing to it, and the traffic for each.

Keyword Research

Well researched keywords make the foundation of SEO, and SEMrush gives you all the right tools to find the best. You can easily get an overview of any keyword, see related keywords, conveniently list and save them, then track them over time.

Keyword Overview – Broad view of any keyword, providing total volume, then broken down by country, along with keyword difficulty, intent, and the current search trend.

Keyword Magic Tool – Easily find related keywords to the seed keyword you’ve entered. This makes keyword research a breeze and lets you discover keywords you hadn’t previously considered.

Keyword Manager – Save all the keywords you find into lists, then view them again in the keyword manager where you can export reports and more.

Position Tracking – SEMrush is better than most at position tracking, providing regularly updated rankings on any saved keywords. Track keywords over time and learn where to focus your efforts.

Backlink Analytics

One of the best features of SEMrush, its backlink analytics, let’s you easily get an entire backlink profile on your site or your competitor’s with the press of a button.

It starts with the Overview, giving you authority score, number of backlinks, referring domain details, monthly visits, and toxicity score in a snapshot. You can also see the referring domains broken down by category, and a top anchor cloud showing the most used anchor texts for the backlinks used, if you scroll down.

From here you can also access the full list of backlinks at the top, which has many features to more finely sift the backlinks pointing to the domain, including by toxicity, which can give you a good idea of the backlinks that are better off removed.

Link Building Tool

One of SEMrush’s nice features is the completely integrated dashboard that can be used for your link building efforts. From here, you can easily monitor and track the prospects for links that you’ve requested. You can track those requests in progress, validate link prospects, and more effectively conduct your outreach campaigns from here.

Site Audit

The site audit feature is very useful, especially for onsite and technical SEO. When you audit a site, it will instantly be crawled, and analytics can provide insight on all the most pertinent issues negatively weighing it down. This is the recommended starting point for most SEO campaigns, because link building won’t be nearly as effective without the site having the right foundation.

The most common issues include the following:
– Slow loading times.
– Poorly optimized mobile and responsiveness.
– Duplicate content.
– Lack of SSL.
– Toxic backlinks.
– No title tags.
– No meta descriptions.
– No alt tag for images.
– Orphaned pages.

After the report is complete, you will be able to download it and analyze it in detail. The domain will also be graded on its Site Health, and clearly show how far it is from its most optimized state. By following the improvements suggested, any site can easily rank much better in the search engines.

User Experience with SEMrush

SEMrush is an excellent and feature dense suite of SEO tools that follows logical progression within the user interface as one would naturally move about a project. Within each tool there are relevant ways to jump through to other tools with ease.

Aside from the main SEO tools, there are plenty of trials available for additional services that SEMrush provides. One gets the sense that everything they will ever need is within reach, so long as they are willing to pay the price.

SEMrush Pricing Structure

SEMrush pricing ranges from $120 – $450 per month. While it can be quite expensive, the features prove their usefulness time and time again. Pro runs at $120 and includes all the core features, mainly missing higher data limits and the use of historical data. Guru at $230 does include historical data and expands the feature set along with data limits. The Business plan at $450 should only be considered for large agencies and has the highest capabilities, including API access.

Review Summary


SEMrush offers one of the best suites of SEO tools on the market. Data is normally far more updated than its competitors, and there is something for all stages of the SEO journey.

Ease of Use:

Tools are chronologically laid out in an intuitive way and are interlinked between the other tools to provide ease of use therein. Navigation is simple and can be picked up quickly.

Customer Service:

Customer service cares about your business and keeping you subscribed, so is naturally more responsive to queries and problems. Chances are that you will have an account manager available after signing on who you can pose questions to and clear any confusions.

Value for Money:

Overall great value for money even if it is more expensive than most tools. You get everything you need to do well in SEO and there are many other services and features available on the site that can help give you an edge, outside of the core services.

Overall Rating: