How to Overtake Competitors in SEO with SEMRush

How to Overtake Competitors in SEO with SEMRush

Last updated on
Review of: SEMRush
Price:
Free/Varies by Plan
SEMRush

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On November 2, 2011
Last modified:March 1, 2013

Summary:

There are only 2 SEO tools I use in my business, and SEMRush is one of them. It's amazing how much info I can dig up to get more SEO traffic with SEMRush! Not kidding...

Yes, Google has done it again.

Pissed off every website owner in the world wide web – all in the name of “user privacy“.

I am all for privacy, but isn’t it Google’s job to deliver the best possible results to the users?

And how am I supposed to optimize my blog for those results if Google stops telling me what it is that the users are searching for and how they are finding me?

Let me back up a bit.

Google is in the process of switching to encrypted search for all its logged-in users BY DEFAULT.

In other words, if you are logged in to your Gmail, Google Plus, or whatever Google service you use (and let’s face it: Google and each one of us are attached at the hip in some way) and decide to perform a search at http://www.Google.com, you’ll be automatically redirected to Google SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) search https://www.Google.com.

Notice the “s” at the end of the last URL.

You can learn more about this change from the horse’s mouth.

The Problem

What does it mean to webmasters in practical terms?

It means that in cases of SSL searches, Google will no longer pass the “referrer” data, so we will no longer know which keywords brought the visitor.

It’s already showing up in Google Analytics:

google analytics settings

google analytics not provided keywords

Google would like for us not to worry about missing out on this essential data. Ha!

Their reasoning:

1.  The percentage of SSL searches will be low.

Matt Cutts estimated even at full roll-out, this would still be in the single-digit percentages of all Google searchers on Google.com.

2.  Google Webmaster Tools will still provide keyword stats.

According to Google, you can still view the top 1000 daily search queries and top 1000 daily landing pages for the past 30 days.

They mean like this?

google analytics youtube keyword

Does Google really expect me to believe that my blog ranks for the keyword “youtube” AND even brings me traffic through it?

Of course, not.

Not on the first 10 pages anyway.

What this means is that my blog does rank for some sort of YouTube-related keyword, but Google Analytics won’t tell me what specific keyword it is or which post ranks for it or where it ranks.

Some statistics intelligence…

Well, here’s what I have to say to Google: I don’t need you to tell me what keywords bring me traffic any longer!

The Solution

All rank checkers work the same. You feed them with the number of keywords you WOULD LIKE to rank for and they’ll spit out your current rankings for these keywords.

What if I want to know what OTHER keywords my blog is actually ranking for – the ones I am not optimizing for?

“Accidental” rankings, in other words.

What if I wanted to see what my competitors are ranking for and “borrow” their keywords I KNOW bring traffic?

What if I wanted to research new affiliate products in demand?

SEMRush to the Rescue

Here it comes to save the day! (sounds much better in my head when I sing it)

SEMRush is an advanced keywords/competition research SEO software from the makers of the popular SEOQuake.

In a nutshell, it gives you a bird’s eye view on how your site is doing in Google search engine rankings, as well as takes a look at what your competitors are doing, both in organic results and AdWords.

SEMRush dips into its constantly updated database of some 35+million most popular, most searched for, and most expensive (Google AdWords) keywords to find every keyword any site ranks for in the top 20 positions.

Just like this:

semrush problogger keywords

Click on the image to enlarge

Here I am able to see that Problogger.net

  1. ranks for some 7,000 keywords in the top 20 results for Google organic search.
  2. isn’t buying any keywords through AdWords (why should they with the amount of traffic they get, right?). If they DID pay for any keywords, that would give us some additional information on what keywords are profitable, i.e. will bring us a lot of buyers if we manage to get ranked organically for the same keywords.
  3. what their top keywords are in terms of the percentage of traffic they bring regardless of their placement within the first 20 results (as you can see in the image above, keyword “adsense” brings them the most traffic even though they are positioned #7 for the keyword).
  4. which exact page ranks for any given keyword.
  5. a bunch of other great insights; take a look at SEMRush to see for yourself.

By the way, this is how I sometimes come up with the new content ideas for Traffic Generation Cafe – see via what keywords my competitors are bringing their traffic in and then write a better post on the topic.

As you can see from the image above, Problogger.net is ranking #1 for one of the most competitive keywords in internet marketing “make money blogging“.

There’s probably a slim chance you and I can outrank them for the keyword; however, SEMRush.com can give us some ideas of other related keywords we can take a look at.

semrush make money blogging keyword

Click on the image to enlarge

The resulting SEMRush search produced 204 results sorted by the volume of searches each keyword gets on a monthly bases, compared to only 100 results provided by Google Keyword research tool.

SEMRush Is Perfect…

…If you are looking to find more profitable niche-related keywords.

For instance, if you are in any internet marketing niche, you can easily find keywords that will bring you the most search engine traffic.

…If you want to make sure you stay on top of your competitors.

You can easily look up just about any domain name in SEMRush.com and find out which keywords your competition ranks for and you should probably rank for as well.

…If you are looking for profitable affiliate products to promote.

This is definitely a huge money-maker.

I discovered tons of great products that might be of interest to my readers as well as bring in a healthy amount of buying traffic from Google.

…If you want to find the “low-hanging fruit” keywords.

i.e. good keywords that you are ranking for on page 2, but can easily build some links to and move it up to page 1.

It’s always much easier to improve your existing rankings, than to start from scratch.

…If you have no idea where to even start doing your keyword research.

If you are in a difficult or diverse niche and have no idea what keywords your blog should rank for, this is the perfect solution for you.

Just plug in your competitors’ domains and see what THEY are ranking for, then simply “borrow” their keywords.

…If you provide any kind of consulting services.

This is priceless information you can provide for your clients to help them to define their niche better, find the best keywords to optimize for, find the kind of content their potential customers are looking for – the possibilities are endless.

semrush review affiliate banner

SEMRush: Free or Paid?

Free

SEMRush.com free version will give you access to the top 10 results for any given search up to 10 searches per day.

Pro: $69.95/month

This is the SEMRush version I use; there’s no way 10 results are enough for me.

As a matter of fact, I use it so often that I keep an open tab with SEMRush loaded at all times to check on the websites I stumble upon, content ideas, potential products to use and review, etc.

With this plan you can access up to 10K results per search up to 3K times per day.

Pro: $79.95 for one month access

This is perfect if you want access to all the research, but don’t think you’ll need it in the long run.

Get in, do all the research you need, and get out.

Guru: 149.95/month

This plan is insane – I don’t think my research demands will ever get anywhere close to the number of searches it can perform, but then again, some of their clients are giants like PayPal, Expedia, Forbes, Remax – I am sure their research requirements are slightly higher than mine.

SEMRush Wish List

1. Doesn’t track less frequent terms.

They have a HUGE database of keywords – close to 40 million, but there are still some keywords that simply don’t get enough searches for them to be included.

That will include recent products, rising stars in any particular field, etc.

Some of them I can do without; some of them I wish they had.

They do constantly expand their database though.

2. Provides 20 tops results only.

Granted, most Google search users will never go beyond page two of the results, but it would still be good to know what potential keywords you might need to build links for to move them up in the results.

3. Only tracks Google.com results.

But then again, who cares about other search engines anyway, right?

4. Doesn’t provide any backlink information.

If I want to see how my competitors got to the top of Google for their keywords, I still use SEO Competition module of my Market Samurai.

SEMRush.com Marketing Takeaway

I don’t cry about the loss of Google Analytics data any longer.

As a matter of fact, SEMRush provides me with all the intelligence I need to take over Google.

Now, it’s only a matter of time…

Maw-ha-ha-ha!

Still laughing with the evil laugh,

traffic generation cafe

traffic generation cafe comment below

Google+ Comments

120 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Hello Ana,
    I am confused as to what the best way forward is when doing SEO.
    I have Market Samurai and I do look at Semrush on occasion but, are you saying that the best approach is to use both, or if you only had one option would you just use Semrush?
    The amount of varying opinions is what causes my confusion, but as you have now won my trust which begets loyalty; I would like your opinion and I’ll go with that.
    Regards,
    Michael
    P.S
    Have you written an article on alternatives to Google analytics?

    • Ana Hoffman

      I understand where you are coming from, Michael.

      Personally, I am using SEMRush more and more and barely ever MS. It seems like I can find a lot more precise results much faster that way.

      Also, SEMRush gives me more variations. For instance, if I want to write a post on a subject, I check the potential keywords in SEMRush. Of course, that could give me more ideas of what kind of keyword rage I can get into.

      Then I check the websites that are currently ranking for that keyword. That gives me even more data.

      Overall, I am not as precise with my keywords as I used to be. SEO is changing and so is keyword research. I find it that SEMRush is also following the trend.

      And no, I’ve never written about GA alternatives. I do track my stats, but don’t get carried away with them; thus, I’ve never made the effort to check out other tools.

  2. Very handy review Ana, its nice to see independent reviews by experts :) I’m currently using word tracker’s Linkbuilder package but I’m a bit underwhelmed if we’re being honest

    • Ana Hoffman

      It’s been a while since I wrote the review, Carl, but I am still sticking with everything I said. Still love SEMRush as much as the first time I used it.

  3. Clara

    Now that Scroogle has closed up shop, it seems people are left fewer and fewer quality free resources. I’ve hired Fiverr gigs that used SemRush, but looks like I need to seriously think about buying my own copy.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I had no idea it closed down, Clara – not that I used it that much, but it was nice to have the option…

      SEMRush is definitely great. One of those tools that my business depends on on a daily basis.

  4. Hi Ana,
    Nice review. I think I am going to try the free version to understand better the whole process and its use. I am just wondering one more time if this tool works for another language than english. I had the same question about Market Samurai (if you remember) and I actually found out that as market Samurai is based on Google Keyword Analysis Tool it does work for over languages than English.
    I am working on local greek niches so I look for tools that could benefit me in every other language than english!
    Thank you for this review!
    see you!

    • Ana Hoffman

      As I am sure you already checked, Lenia, SEMRush works for several languages, but Greek is not one of them.

  5. Blugh. I’m finding all these cool tools, and not really looking forward to paying for them each month. (I know that’s just how business is though.)

    But I’m glad I read this. I was being pushed by a few people to use Google Analytics on all my sites. I set up an account, put it on a couple sites, and was just confused by what it was telling me.

    I also finally said “no – screw it.” Because it’s GOOGLE. They can’t leave it alone for very long. I had a feeling that they would blow up their own program, leaving those who leaned heavily on this source of information feeling lost and betrayed.

    Why? Cuz that’s what Google does. Apparently.

    So I’m glad in this case that I followed my instinct. SEMRush sounds like a much better way to go. Now I just have to make more money so I can subscribe. : )

    • Ana Hoffman

      Google Analytics can be helpful to give you an idea of what’s going on, Lindsey, but it’s not the hard statistics you can RELY on. As a matter of fact, take several tracking tools, put their stats for the same website side by side, and they all will be vastly different.

      I know what you mean about paying more for more tools…

      SEMRush and Aweber are the only two I am willing to pay a monthly fee for. And hosting of course.

      • *facepalm* Maybe I’m just being cynical today, (scratch that, I KNOW I am) but sometimes I’m convinced it’s a big conspiracy.

        Several tracking tools giving vastly different stats for the same website is like several weather channels/websites giving vastly different forecasts for the same region. It is so one of them is bound to be right?

        LOL! Sorry, had to toss that out there.

        Thanks again for the information. I’m definitely going to get SEMRush soon. Would you recommend the free version if you just want a little bit of data a day and just want to get a feel for the product?

        • Ana Hoffman

          I’d definitely give the free version a shot, Lindsey.

          It really depends on how much you are going to use it. I quickly discovered that I had to have the full version; however, your needs might be different.

  6. Tim Gardine

    Having given a reasonable amount of time to see how big a portion of my traffic falls into the (not provided) category, it hasn’t proven as much of a big deal, but still stands at about 8%. 35% or more would have me feeling very nervous.

    I would have thought it I was in a niche where everyone who visits is interested in internet marketing, that would be a very different story. I certainly don’t sign out of Google to do a search…!

    You’re right about SEMRush. I’ve always got it open in at least one tab, and they’ve even got a rudimentary backlink tool, at the moment. SEO pivot is a great addition, and can provide a few interesting surprises.

    • Ana Hoffman

      My “not provided” number is also at about 8% right now; however, that’s 2,500 visits I don’t know anything about.

      SEMrush certainly helps me to cut through that.

  7. I have been using the same tools well sort of. I use stat press plugin to tell me what search keywords brought traffic to my website. I use the first page of Google to see if I can out rank good enough to beat the competition. I use the Google free tool to find keywords I want to rank for. I quit using the Fire Fox browser because it is not compatible with any plugins anymore . I use Chrome because it is better faster and I can use seoquake with it.I use Traffic Travis instead of wasting money on market samorii . I am thinking of trying your tweet adder idea to get more traffic and dropping Build My Rank which is not doing that so far. I am not sure to use tweeet adder or pay someone at fiver $5. per thousand followers to get them for me but I do understand tweetadder also sends out your tweets on a schedule you set your self? I am not positive on that one.

  8. Hey Ana,

    Good info to know. I’ll definitely be checking out this two week trial of SEM RUSH, it really is an expensive service, so it’ll be good to see what it’s all about. Cheers!

  9. Ana Hoffman

    SEMRush has close to 40M search results in its database, but it doesn’t have everything, Mark.

    I see that you have a niche site; that might be the reason SEMRush is not showing anything for you – your search terms might be more on the obscure side.

  10. Hey Ana,

    I wasn’t even aware of these latest Google changes.

    Even though I own Market Samurai, you mentioned a few points from SEMRush that made me raise my eyebrow a number of times.

    Definitely going to check them out, thanks for the very detailed and thorough review.

    Sergio

    • Ana Hoffman

      I still love my Market Samurai, Sergio; however, they do use Google database for their keyword research and these changes will no doubt affect their keyword results.

      Plus, with SEMRush I can find the keywords that are already WORKING for my competitors, so I know for a fact they are a good pick.

  11. I think Google’s decision is absurd. I bet you this much: Google won’t be denying themselves these analytics. No, they’ll be going right into the Google database, as usual. Have heard of SEMRush but never used it. Looks like they have analytics for Bing in addition to Google. I wonder how they get access to this info, and whether they’ll eventually be shut out from accessing it.

    • Ana Hoffman

      They don’t have to go into Google database to pull the info, Thomas; they simply comb the first 20 listings for any given keyword.

  12. Hey Ana,

    I am beginning to really dislike google. The big G is trying to keep us down and Matt Cutts saying that the SSL search es will be low, BS. SO many people have google accounts and if they are like me, they are always logged into it.

    I have already signed up for a free account at SEMRush and will most likely be paying for the pro account soon enough. Man google makes me angry sometimes.

    Thanks for sharing Ana and have a great day!

  13. Very thorough Review Ana!

    Between SpyFu and SEMRush, with a sprinkling of Market Samurai, this whole area is quite neatly sewn up.

    Although I like some of the more major steps Google is taking these days, this one seems kinda daft. But who are we to question the will of the great ‘G’?

    • Ana Hoffman

      We can certainly question it all we want, but what’s the use, right?

      SpyFu is on my list of tools to try…

  14. I am using semrush for a long time to study my concurrence and analyze my site.
    The only thing that bothers me is the price which is quite high. But giving the fact that it is a very good and known tool I guess is normal. SEMrush will be very helpful in the future and I think the popularity of it will increase.

    Thanks for this great info’s.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I suppose it depends on your requirements and the results it brings. But the free version is sufficient for many of us.

  15. Chukwuka Okwukwe Chukwuka

    Hi! Ana,

    It’s been long. How are you?

    In reference to Google, I really don’t know what they are up to any longer. I’ve been following your posts and I don’t want to get really scared. :-D

    SEMRush is good. I’ve used it quite a couple of times after I read your resources page where you recommended it and I noticed I was ranking 11th for an accidental keyword. Still on the free version though. I believe there’s an alternative or rather, solution to every problem.

    SEMRush = Anti-Google.

    Long Live SEMRush. Hehe :-D

    • Ana Hoffman

      Chukwuka – yes, long time indeed! I’m very well, thanks.

      There’s one thing that’s constant with Google and that is change. LOL!

      Long live SEMRush!

      • Chukwuka Okwukwe Chukwuka

        Glad to know you are doing well, Ana.

        Yes, you’re right about Google’s constant characteristic being change. Bloggers and webmasters should emulate that to meet up with the task ahead and also the competition.

        Take care.

  16. So.. indeed SEMRush is an extraordinary tool for competitive analysis and keyword research.
    However, by no means it replaces Google Analytics in everything that this tool offers. And there’s a lot more to do with keywords in Google Analytics, other than keyword research. That’s what worries me.

    • Ana Hoffman

      No question about it, Frank – SEMRush won’t replace GA in all aspects and that’s not what the goal is.

  17. Ana, since I last visited your post here, it seems Google is hell-bent on re-arranging everything it can’t destroy. My switch to WordPress may indeed come sooner than even I have anticipated.

    The latest changes, involving https for searches (I noticed my Google doing that today), factoring in anything people post in FACEBOOK into search results, and de-glorifying anchor text and keywords, should be sending WARNING BELLS across the blogosphere! Thankfully, I know that the Traffic Generation Cafe is here to help deal with these dilemmas!

    Blog On!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks, Dave – always a pleasure to see you around.

      Let me know how the move goes. It’s about time!

  18. I think I might try subscribing to the trial and see if it can help our boss’ site . If it can improve the site, I will definitely suggest purchasing a pro version. Thank you Ana for this one.. :)

  19. Hello Ana,

    SEMRush is a good source but I don’t believe in numbers for monthly searches.

    For example (you can check too). My website is ranked FIRST (Google USA) for such a strong keyword as Forex trading system with 5400 searches.
    And according to GA I’m getting no more than 12-15 visitors daily from that keyword.
    Where is the truth? I don’t think that my description is so disgusting and nobody clicks on it.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I see that “forex trading system” shows 2,900 monthly searches, Alex.

      1. SEMRush numbers will depend upon which Google data server you are closest to – the same way Google results vary.
      2. Google doesn’t track all the traffic that comes through any given keyword.
      3. Just because you are ranked #1 for a keyword, it doesn’t mean that people will actually click on your listing. You might need to take a look at your title and description to see if you are making it attractive enough for your visitors to actually check out your site.

  20. Scott

    Ana,

    Thanks as always Ana for GREAT information! I use SEOQuake all the time, but never even looked at SEMRush. I will definitely give this a try and see how great it works.

    On a side note, the podcast you posted from Steve from endthegrind and Penelope Trunk has helped to change my life and focus. I have told Steve this and now I want to say thanks to you for sharing it.

    Have a great night!
    Scott

  21. I heard Google was going to be doing this, but didn’t really read up on it that thoroughly. Thanks for the detailed explanation and Semrush tip. It seems like Google has made more changes in the past year or so then they have since they started. Maybe not quite, but is sure seems like it lately.

  22. Hi Ana,
    Never heard of this before, but any competition for Google os OK by me.
    Going to check it out for sure. My blog needs some help anyway.
    Thanks

  23. As usual Ana you deliver great, practical advice on generating traffic with white hat techniques. I’ve been less than thrilled with Google analytics even before this. Now that I know there is an alternative I’m excited. Just got my trial account and looking forward to taking it for a spin.

  24. Everyone loves bashing Google.

    The thing is, Google exists for:
    1) their own bottom line
    2) searchers
    3) webmasters

    Google will always place searchers interests in front of those of webmasters. This is how they keep searchers using their services and clicking their ads.

    On another note, even if Google encrypts data for logged in users, most users will not be logged in. You should still be able to get a good amount of keyword data from analytics from those who are not logged in.

    Also, if the data is encrypted, other analytics platforms will be affected as well.

    • Ana Hoffman

      What would we do without having something to bash in our lives, Daniel? LOL

      I think only time will tell what kind of impact SSL search will have.

  25. Hi Ana, I’m a little confused. Doesn’t Google want us to waste money chasing keywords on AdWords? How does this move make sense for them? :) You know I’m SEO challenged so I need a little more insights here.

    Btw – I’m trying to rank for the term YouTube – does that give you an idea of how SEO clueless I am? But you know that they say “Reach for the stars and you might catch the moon”.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Good point about AdWords, Ileane – before businesses bid on them, they better know what keywords actually bring traffic!

      Yeah… YouTube… Nothing wrong with reaching for the stars, as long as we know we can’t get them. LOL

  26. This was an interesting move by google. The silver lining is that it will encourage the use of more third party SEO tools such as SEMrush. Webmasters need this kind of data and will still find a way to get it.

  27. Hey Anna

    Pissed off every website owner in the world wide web – all in the name of “user privacy“.

    Reckon I must not be pissed off because I’m a blogger and not a webmaster :D

    Seriously if it wasn’t for this post I wouldn’t have known because I hardly ever bother checking my analytics. Heck the only time I do is when I want to use it for a blog post and that isn’t all that often.

    That Semrush site looks pretty cool and again because I’m not all that fussed about analytic the free version results will do me fine.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I am too obsessed with search engine traffic to not look at my GA, Sire. LOL I need to relax more…

      I’ve used the free version for a while too, not that bad of a deal if you are not into keywords and rankings too much.

  28. Sheri Bruneau

    Hi Ana,

    Again, thank you for informing us and keeping us up-to-date with such great info. I’m going to give the free version a try first to get a feel for it.
    Thanks again!
    Sheri

  29. I’m sure glad that you write these posts because I’ve been so busy I wasn’t aware of Google’s impending actions. I said many years ago that they were too “big for their britches” and need taking down, and I still feel the same way. I’ve never used Sem Rush before, but it looks like it would be ideal for finding a new niche to work in. I wouldn’t need it as a subscriber, so your service that you advertised would be a lot more cost effective. I’ll be sending you an email later today.

  30. Hi Ana. Awesome post about SEMRush. I haven’t heard about this program before I came across your article. I think I’ll go with a free version to begin with, take a look at it’s performance and then maybe buy pro account. But anyway, thanx for great post!

    • Ana Hoffman

      You’re welcome, Jude. Yes, while the trial version doesn’t include all of the benefits, it is a good way to get to know the program.

  31. SEMRush is cool and I can see why you would want the pro version.
    As for Google they are a monopoly doing what monopolies tend to do. That is forget they have customers. I think Mr Cutts (according to his blog) is more interested in growing hair above his upper lip this month:)

    • Ana Hoffman

      You are right – that’s what monopolies do. That’s also what creates opportunities for the competition.

  32. LOL! The solution would come from the producers of SEOQuake.

    I absolutely LOVE that extension. I am sure Google engineers curse the day it was scripted. Yeah, its that good…;)

    Excellent recommendations Ana…:)

    Mark

  33. Another great article post, Ana.

    Strangely enough I did hear(Read) somewhere about Google eventually not providing the referrer data(I must be doing way to much web browsing).

    SeoQuake is a fantastic free tool that I have a bad habit of using a little to often. SEMrush Seems like it would be very useful although, I think the paid versions would be better suited to the more established Blogs(Websites) . I may pop over to the SEMrush site now to sus out the Free version, just to get a better overall idea of what it has to offer.

    • Ana Hoffman

      LOL! Daniel, it seems that way indeed.

      Check out SEMRush – perhaps it will be a good addition for you.

  34. sam

    Nice Info!!!!

    We need to spend some money to purchase this tool but i know it’s too useful. Which all points you mentioned regarding that it’s all are very useful for get good response.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Sometimes we have to invest in tools to improve our business, but as long as the investment pays off, it’s worth it!

  35. Great Anna like this very much.

    You have given us perfect alternative to Google Analytic…

    Thanks a lot for this highly informative post about this new tool.

  36. Sunil Sharma

    Hi Ana,

    I agree with you about Google Keyword Tool. But it has one more bad secret that it does not show exact figure. It shows different numbers in three different conditions i.e. (i) you are not logged in any google service, (ii) you are logged in any google service whether it is gmail, g+, webmaster, google analytics, etc. (iii) you become logged out after logged in a google service .

    Thanks for suggesting Semrush as an alternate to google keyword tool, I hope it will people more accurately.

    Regards,

    Sunil

    • Ana Hoffman

      Google Analytics is definitely not a great tracking solution, Sunil – too many shortcomings, including the one you mentioned.

      Thanks for the resource!

  37. Chris

    Really nice review of SEMRush Ana. I really like the tool a lot, and it’s really fun to play with. But I never found myself using it enough to justify the monthly fee.

    Also, one other thing to keep in mind is that the ranking data you see isn’t “live” I don’t think. If I remember correctly their data seems to get updated once a month or so. Still, you can learn a lot from it regardless.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I decided to try them out for a month, Chris, and after I saw the potential, I was hooked. LOL

      Yes, they do say that they update their entire database at least once a month.

      However, I see my rankings change a lot more often than that and they are always true to what I see with incognito searches, so I think their data is pretty accurate.

  38. I have been so pleased with Market Samurai that I have never considered using other another keyword/competition tool, but SemRush looks like it could be a useful companion to MS, I’ll give it a try. Thanks for more useful information Ana.

  39. Hi Ana. The SEMRush seems like a useful tool. I took a look at it before commenting here and created an account. It seems like it doesn’t work if you put http in front of the website. I did get it to work after watching the tutorial video and seeing how they entered microsoft.com just like I’ve entered it here.
    Thanks for showing us how to outsmart google again.

    • Ana Hoffman

      It is cool indeed.

      Outsmarting Google is a full-time job with the rate at which they change things. LOL!

  40. Thank you for the heads up on another great SEO tool. You always prove to me (and I’m sure others) that your website is required reading for Traffic Generation and SEO tips, software, and recommendations.

    I have been looking around for a different piece of keyword analytic software ever since Google’s annoying “SSL Switcheroo” announcement and am on my way to see this SEMRush for myself.

    If you believe in Karma, you may be satisfied to know that today Google’s new Gmail for iPad/iPhone app was launched today and had to be pulled within hours because of a “push notification bug”.

    Anyway, I have to go try SEMRush now.

    Thanks again,

    Duncan

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks, Duncan.

      LOL! I don’t wish Google any harm, but thanks for sharing that interesting nugget.

      Hope you like SEMRush.

  41. You did a great job Ana educating users in SEMRush. I’ve used it a couple years now and I love it. I am concerned though that since the SEMRush information is based on what they get from Google, that they may not be able to provide as much data as before concerning organic search. Do you have any insight on this?

    • Ana Hoffman

      Glad you love it as much as I do, Tom.

      SEMRush gets its numbers directly from SERPs and has nothing to do with how Google reports stats in Google Analytics.

      So this recent change won’t affect SEMRush results.

  42. Ana, thanks for showing me how I can stay on top of keyword research. I know I have to stay active to keep my blog at the top of search results because that is how search traffic is bringing me sales in my business. A new customer ordered the Avazzia Bio Feedback electric stimulation device last night and he found my blog from his home in Maui.

    If anyone figures out why Google does what they do, please let us all know!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Search engine traffic is definitely great, Danielle. I wish more bloggers would realize it!

      Google certainly keeps us all on our toes…

  43. Ana, you are so far ahead of the curve you drive me nuts! Of course, I just rushed out and signed up on SemRush.com!

    Fellow bloggers: do what I did: bookmark Ana’s page—she always has a solution for blogger’s biggest challenges!

    Way to Go! Blog On, Ana!

  44. Sam Adodra

    An awesome post, Ana. I’ve been running my blog for a few months but I haven’t taken the time to invest seriously into seo – yet. Thanks for the info anyway! Sam

  45. Great minds must think alike. I just signed up to SEMRush last week. As you point out in your article, it is not perfect, but I still use it on a daily basis.

  46. Hi Ana

    I check my Google Analytics stats on a daily basis. And I have tried and purchased quite a few of these SEO tools over the years.Services such as SEO Elite,Keyword Elite and IBP are 3 of my more expensive purchases.

    But in my experience.

    Getting targeted traffic to your web site still boils down to the basic rules of SEO..

    A domain name that accurately describes what your web site is about. A keyword rich headline on every blog post or article that you write. And finally.

    Make sure that the body of your article always delivers on the promise of your headline.

    • Ana Hoffman

      On-page optimization is definitely very important, Paul.

      Before you try to optimize it though, you need to know what keywords to optimize it for – it all boils down to your keyword research.

  47. Hi Ana,

    Today I see you everywhere :)

    I didn’t know that news about SSL. In terms of privacy lately you can do everything but you’ll lose vital stats ;)

    I’ve been using SEOQuake and SEMRush (free) but not intensely. Seeing the internal cook of SEMRush is evidently useful, a good point to consider!

    Really good post Ana :)

    Cheers,

    Gera

    • Ana Hoffman

      I had 4 guest posts published this week, Gera… I am exhausted from responded to comments. LOL

  48. Well, to be honest, I’ve never used it and didn’t even know it existed. I’m not in that league as yet, and am barely fighting to stay on the surface of the blogging world. In fact, I’m not even at the surface yet :-)

    There’s a lot I need to learn. I don’t make much, so spending on stuff like this can’t be justified. Very enlightening blog post about semrush. I appreciate the way you reviewed it.

  49. Dave Doolin

    I *hate* chasing keywords. Would rather create keywords and have everyone else chasing me. Fortunately, my business doesn’t really require it. My writing and technical interests seem to intersect an area of relative “hotness” with long tail paucity. So I do well on odd searches which, strangely, bring me readers and customers.

      • Dave Doolin

        Very lucky indeed.

        I should come clean: I am working keywords pretty hard on a programming blog, and I’m about to start a new blog to promote a new project. I’ll pounding on keywords for that as well. You will see that one in this feed in the future.

  50. Hey Ana,
    Yes, Semrush is an awesome tool. It basically gives you endless keyword ideas when you are trying to dominate a niche. I use raven tools to track all of my links for myself and my clients. Raven actually integrates Semrush into the reporting and will give me up to 100 results. So I can get more results without having to pay the extra money. So it was a nice bonus to be able to integrate the awesome reports from Semrush.

  51. See what happens when you feed me……….

    I used a keyword once; I had too many comments to respond to so I quit.

    Actually, this is very good information. For now, mine is just a personal blog and I’m not pro-actively trying to drive traffic. At some point it might change, but my day job (which I like) keeps me busy enough and I will be writing for out website (insurance) when we roll it back out in the next week or so.

    Thanks for sharing this; looks like you really know your stuff.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Pleasure to see you at Traffic Generation Cafe, Bill.

      Your personal blog seems to be doing quite well for someone who isn’t trying too hard; if things fall through at work, you know what to turn to. LOL

  52. I use SEOQuake to check on sites all the time. I love it.

    That said I have only bounced into SEMRush a few times. With Google’s changes I will most likely be heading over there more frequently. It is great to hear how you are using it.

    Thanks.

    • Ana Hoffman

      SEOQuake’s got to be one of the coolest free tools out there, Troy.

      I know you’ll love SEMrush as well.