Have you tried using SEMRUSH?

But if you are already using SEMRUSH (free trial here) and are searching for tutorials on how to use it, then you've come to the right place.​

This Ultimate guide on how to understand and utilize SEMRUSH will help you navigate the competitive SEO and PPC landscape in 2018. 

So let's get started.​...

There is a BIG Reason why SEMRUSH is one of the favorite SEO tools of the top internet marketers...

It's because it offers a unique perspective on your competitor's search engine optimization and pay per click advertising strategies (more details below).

​How does SEMRUSH Work?

​SEMRUSH is a paid subscription (monthly or annual) and delivered as a web service (SAAS - software as a service). The free version does offer some type of keyword and competitive research, but on a very limited scale.

I recommend that in order to get the most out of this tutorial and training, ​grab a trial of SEMRUSH and follow along.

​How to use it for keyword research?

After Google limited the search data it provides for people who are using the Google Keyword planner, marketers had to find other ways to do their keyword research.

Previously you can check the search volumes for keywords, but now you won't be able to do that with the keyword planner unless you're using Google Adwords.

That is why some resorted to using Bing Keyword Planner to get the *search volume data that they need. While I tried that, it didn't provided me with the keyword data that I was looking for.

*Search Volume is the measure of demand for a par

So I went to SEMRUSH for all of my keyword research needs.

Doing Keyword Research in SEMRUSH is like market research on steroids!

​The fastest way to get started is to enter any seed keyword into the SEMRUSH search box.

Let's try to use "SEMRUSH" as the seed keyword, and these are the results that I got:

SEMRUSH Overview

​In this screenshot, you'll be able to quickly see an overview of this keyword. SEMRUSH provides the trending data for this keyword, the organic and paid search opportunities, as well as phrase match and related keywords data.

After analyzing the overall picture for this keyword, I'll then move towards the phrase match keyword data for a deeper dive into it.

​View Full report for the Phrase Match keyword data

In this full report, I'll be able to identify relevant and important keywords that have search volumes. Targeting a keyword with search volumes is one way to do keyword research. The only time that I don't consider search volumes when doing keyword research is if the keyword I'm targeting is for something in the future.

Let's say I'm anticipating that the keyword phrase "best seo tools for 2017" will have search volume in the future, I might not be able to find search volume data for this yet because not a lot of people are searching for these phrase yet.

Phrase Match Report

​With the Phrase Match Report, you'll also be able to find out the KD (Keyword Difficulty), the suggested CPC (in USD), the Competitive Density (PPC), the number of Results (in Google), the Trend for this particular keyword and if you would want to quickly just to the SERP results there's a link for that as well.

​SEO Keyword Magic Tool to Group Keyword Data

​This is a beta tool from SEMRUSH. You can still use it for free while it's in beta. It provides a quick way to organize and find groups of keywords for your research and analysis.

Keyword Magic Tool

Remember, doing keyword research is first all about looking at the search volume and the keyword difficulty for a particular phrase. If there is little to no search volume for this particular keyword, try targeting multiple phrases in one article.

Keyword difficulty is another way to assess if a keyword is worth going after. This is not set in stone but rather requires a little bit of art than science. I've seen my sites to personally get to the top of the search results with keywords that have a KD of 80+, while for some keywords with a KD of 70+, I wasn't able to rank for those keywords.​

For me, it's not just about getting those top rankings. It's also providing my website with tons of great value and information. Even if it doesn't have enough search volume, or if the keyword difficulty is too high, but the content that I'll be able to write from this keyword is going to provide tons of value to my readers, I'm still going to optimize for this keyword.​

​How to do SEO Competitor Research

Would you like to know what keywords and phrases are driving traffic to your competitors?

Would you like to know the exact keywords and ads that they are trying to bid on?

Would you like to know where your competitors are getting their backlinks from?

I'll teach you and show you how to do all of these things in this section. Let's get started.​

I'm really excited to share this strategies with you because this will allow you to gain that competitive advantage by "spying" what's already working for your competitors.

Doing competitor research on SEMRUSH alone is already worth the investment for this SEO tool, and I'll show you how the PROS perform competitive research.

It all starts by knowing who your top competitors are. I'll assume that you probably know who your top competitors are. Start with the Top 5 competitors that are directly competing with what you have to offer. Then look at the Top 5 indirect competitors. indirect competitors are those who offer different products and services to the same customer demographic.

Just in case, you don't know who your top competitors are, you can use SEMRUSH to find out they are.

The way that I do that is by entering my OWN domain in SEMRUSH. And then I go to the Main Organic Competitors Section of SEMRUSH. Here's what it looks like for my site.

Organic Competitors

SEMRUSH quickly shows my top competitors based on the current organic traffic and rankings for my website. This is really powerful because this data provides me with information on keywords that I'm already ranking for and the exact competitors for these keywords.

But you still need to do some manual checks here. What I do is I manually choose the top 5 competitors in this list. I look at their current website (their design), their current SEO Traffic (the higher the better), and what they have to offer (what works and what doesn't). 

Armed with this data, I can then formulate a plan of attack for content creation and link building. ​

Let's analyze one of the top sites in my niche: Nichehacks​

Increasing Organic Traffic

​The organic traffic for Nichehacks is going up steadily in the past few months. That's a great thing. Now let's go to the next step: looking at your competitor's keywords.

Competitor Keywords

You can then take note of these keywords that are driving traffic to your competitors websites. If you think you could create a better article and content for this particular keyword and it would make sense for your business, then I recommend that you go after that particular keyword.

Our competitor research is not yet done. We're just at the tip of the iceberg, there's more.

Another great way to "legally" spy on your competitor's strategies and keywords is by looking at the Pages report under Domain Analysis.

The Pages report gives you a quick overview of all the pages of your competitors that are getting traffic. This is huge, because you've not only discovered their BEST keywords, you'l also discovered their best content. It's a huge goldmine that is waiting to be tapped.

​I look at both the traffic percentage (an estimate of the percentage of traffic from organic search results), and the number of keywords (the higher the number, the better).

Now, how do I use the information that I've just learned?

Simple, I create a "better" article on my own blog.

As part of my content calendar strategy, I have a list of upcoming and published articles​. This is where my readers can see a full list of what they can find on my website, grouped in a nice way

​How's the backlinks? Analysis for Higher rankings

​Backlinks are still considered as one of the most important factors in getting a site ranked to the top of the search results. 

And if the top competitors are already ranking in the first page of Google, then it makes sense to look at their backlinks. SEMRUSH makes it very easy. 

When looking where your competitors are getting their backlinks from, it's equally important to sort it based on the Trust Score of the domain and webpage where they got the backlink. The higher the Trust Score the better.

Getting backlinks and ranking higher to the top of the search engines will be discussed in a different article. If you're interested in SEO, make sure you're subscribed to the newsletter.​

There's another cool backlinks feature of SEMRUSH. The indexed pages will allow you to see which pages of your competitors has several backlinks.

Would you like to know the most profitable ads and keywords that your competitors are running? You could use SEMRUSH to do that legally.

SEMRUSH allows you to "spy" on the exact keywords that your competitors are bidding on as well as the exact ads (text and display) that they are currently running.

Note: This technique will only work if your competitors are running Adwords or Pay Per Click Advertising. In this example, I'll use for this analysis. They are one of the biggest websites when it comes to product reviews.

Ads Research

​You can find out the Ads History for the keywords that your competitors are bidding on. Here's a quick tip, if a competitor is bidding for a particular keyword for several months, it can be a safe bet that it's a profitable keyword for them. Why would they continuously run paid traffic to this keyword if it wasn't profitable for them.

​Analyzing Amazon's Top and Bestselling Items

​Amazon has tons of 1st page rankings for product keywords. If you plan to build an amazon affiliate website, then looking at the keywords that Amazon ranks for is one of the best places to start. 

SEMRUSH Alternatives

If you've tried SEMRUSH before and you're still looking for alternatives, here's a list of similar SEO tools that does the same thing.

  • Long Tail PRO - Helps identify long tail keywords
  • Market Samurai - Helps you analyze long tail keywords, identify keyword search volumes (but data is from Bing Keyword Tool so search volume is also lower).
  • Ahrefs - is another similar tool that works like SEMRUSH.

​Huge Discounts and Deals

​You can get up to 20% discount on SEMRUSH if you get the annual option (that's a great deal if you have the budget). Click on this affiliate link to get the best deal on SEMRUSH.

​Grab your 2 weeks Free trial of SEMRUSH

You can do competitive research, market research, keyword research and more with SEMRUSH. There's no other tool out there that's like it. SEMRUSH created it's own database to create these results. Try it for 7 days so that you can see the results for yourself.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me here. Happy hunting!

Ryan Cruz has been featured and mentioned in the following brand websites
About Me
About Me

Hi, my name is Ryan Cruz and I help people deal with tech-overwhelm and information overload so that they could focus on what really matters to build, optimize, grow and scale their online business.

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