If you want to learn SEO, this starter guide is a great place to begin with.
Before we dive deep into this SEMrush review and tutorial on how to spy on your Top competitor’s SEO and STEAL their traffic, here are some proofs on why you should consider the SEO strategies that I’m about to share with you…
One of my niche sites, from an average of 10+ clicks/day to around 200-300 clicks/day
This site, TRAFFICSALAD.org is ranking for multiple top terms on Google for various money keywords
In this SEMrush rankings screenshot, i’m showing the top terms that are currently ranking for this site (you can go to Google and verify these rankings yourself).
You can see that people are willing to bid as much as $200+ per click on Google Ads for just one click of these terms because they are money keywords.
And I get majority of these clicks for FREE because I’m ranked to the top spots of the search engines.
A big reason on why I’m able to do that is because I know SEO and I use tools like SEMrush to know how to outrank my competitors in the top spots of Google, Yahoo and Bing.
What is SEMrush?
If you’re not familiar with SEMrush, it’s an SEO tool that can help you identify factors that can boost your search engine rankings and help your site rank to the top of search results.
This process of getting your sites to the top of Google is also known as search engine optimization. Here’s Google SEO starter guide from Google themselves.
The way that I think about SEMrush is that it’s like a hammer and chisel. On the hands of a sculptor you can create a masterpiece with just a rock, your talent, and your tools (the hammer and chisel).
But a hammer and chisel on the hands of ordinary people like most of us, we won’t be making a Picasso soon!
SEMrush is like that.
In the hands of a person that can optimize the technical and content aspects of their site, SEMrush is a powerful tool to getting your site ranked to the top of the search result.
While I might not be able to help you create a masterpiece, my goal in this article is to teach you how I get my sites to the top of the search results using tools like SEMrush.
If you’re ready, then let’s get started!
How To Use SEMrush
Once you get your login information into SEMrush, it can really be quite overwhelming as there’s a TON of options on where to get started.
I’ll show you my workflow and how I use it. From the first settings that I do to the last things that I use.
Fortunately, you’ll ONLY need to focus on 20% of the features inside SEMrush that brings you the most value for your business.
The other 80% are the bells and whistles that you can safely ignore.
So the first thing that you need to do is to CREATE a project and setup your domain, connect it with Google Analytics and Google search console.
This will help your SEMrush account connect with your latest Google data.
This is entirely optional, but I highly recommend that you do that because it will help you get more insights on your data, which is sometimes hidden or hard to find in tools like Google Analytics or Search Console.
Watcth the tutorial videos on this post to learn how to do this.
How to dominate the SERPS with SEMrush
In order to avoid yourself from getting overwhelmed by SEO and tools like SEMrush, I recommend this approach.
This is exactly what I do to get top rankings on multiple keywords and terms without hiring expensive SEO teams or agencies.
You can do this even if you’re the ONLY content marketer or writer for your online business.
I call it my 1-5-5 approach™.
I find one niche topic, I find 5 keywords that I like to write and then I focus on these 1 topic and 5 keywords in the next 5 weeks which includes keyword research, market research, competitor research, rank tracking, and promotion (link building, guest posting, social shares, etc).
I don’t jump or try to rank too many keywords that are totally unrelated.
Why 5 weeks?
I’ve found out that 5 weeks is enough time to getting my content created, published on my site and usually rankings for my targeted keywords starts to happen before 6 weeks.
Then I rinse and repeat the exact process again (If you have more time, you can definitely do more, but that cadence kinda sets the tone of what I’m trying to accomplish).
Always remember that SEO today is all about quality and not quantity. You don’t want your website to CHURN out content, day in and day out, only to be considered a site with thin content.
How To Get Top SEO Rankings Using SEMrush
As I’ve mentioned in my 1-5-5 approach, I pick a NICHE TOPIC that I’d like to generally rank for.
Let’s say I want to rank for the keyword One Funnel Away Challenge. I’ve picked this product because I wanted to share this to the world.
I went through the first One Funnel Away Challenge and it has helped me understand how to launch sales funnels properly.
So my main topic or keyword is the One Funnel Away Challenge.
Using Keyword Magic Tool inside SEMRUSH, I try to identify my other 4-5 keywords I’d like to optimize for.
After entering my keyword in the search box, I look into several types of information from the results.
- I look at the relevant keywords (the top terms are the most relevant)
- I look at the search volume of these relevant keywords. The higher search volume, the better. I’ll take a note of these terms and will usually make them the H1-H6 tags on my content.
- BONUS TIP *Watch My Video On How to Spy On Your Competitor’s Top Keywords and Snipe Their Lowest Hanging Fruits
*On a side note – You might be wondering how I decide which MAIN TOPICS or KEYWORDS TO PICK as my main one. I usually target MONEY KEYWORDS which means that there are commercial content for these keywords.
So that when a person comes to visit my site, there’s a higher chance that they’ll buy what I have to sell, they already some sort of intent to purchase.
If you don’t know how that works, watch my video on the 5 stages of awareness, because this will dramatically change your perspective on marketing and how to turn strangers into customers.
How To See Your Top Organic Competitors
Why should I bother with looking at my TOP Organic Competitors? The quick answer is because algorithmically you’re already RELEVANT to your competitor’s keywords.
SEMrush has competitive organic keywords data that you can use to find the weak points of your competitors and snipe the lowest hanging fruits and their best keywords from them.
But first you need to KNOW who your Top Organic Competitors are.
- Enter your domain.
- Go to Organic Research (under Domain Analysis)
- Pick Competitors.
- All your Organic competitors will be shown with metrics to compare with your website.
I have a new website, where do I start?
Try entering your website and see if you get any results with SEMrush. If there’s none, then enter your MAIN KEYWORD or TOPIC on the search box.
This will give you results of the top competitor in your NICHE or MAIN topic. If you don’t have a chosen niche yet, here’s a guide I created.
Pick the top results or domains that are not BIG retail brand websites like Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, etc.
Here’s an example for one of our physical brands: Christian T-shirts is our main topic or keyword and our main competitors are:
ChristianTshirts (an exact match domain)
I omitted the brands that are too big or are print on demand suppliers.
How To Spy On Your Competitor’s Keywords
You’re probably wondering why you should try to spy on your competitor’s top keywords?
Because tools like SEMrush shows that these are the keywords that are driving traffic to their website.
Of course, there’s a downside to this.
That also means that your competitors can use tools like SEMrush to spy on your keywords too!
This is because SEMrush crawlers are all over the web which means that there’s a big chance that they’ve crawled your competitor’s website and your website as well.
Nevertheless, this is a powerful strategy on how to find what terms your competitors are trying to target.
And if that makes sense for your online business, you might want to start creating content that targets those keywords as well.
So how do you find them inside SEMrush?
Once you have your list of Organic Competitors, just click on COMMON KEYWORDS (which are keywords that both you and your competitors are ranking for) and SE KEYWORDS which means the total search engine ranking keywords for that competitor.
Try to analyze both and see what keywords you can target on your next content creation.
Keyword Research Made Easy With SEMrush
I’ve already shared a bunch of ways to find keywords that are worth going after (competitor keywords and common keywords with your competitors).
But another reason to use SEMrush over other keyword research tools out there that are free or paid is the powerful FILTER option.
This SERP Features Filter can help you find different types of SERP features that are getting traffic from the search engines.
Let’s say I want to know the keywords that are worth creating VIDEOS for the MAIN topic: Sales Funnels.
SEMrush will show me the keywords that are getting traffic from the first page of Google that are actually videos.
I can then create VIDEOS that target these terms and upload that to YOUTUBE to try and rank for that term as well.
Top SEO Tips Implemented Using SEMrush
Auditing the technical aspect of your site can be done with SEMrush using their site audit tool.
It will help identify if your website is NOT optimized for the search engines.
This is the foundation and first part of SEO.
Your site needs to be technically ready for search engine optimization.
Things like robots.txt, index, Google search console, etc are part of the technical side of SEO and SEMrush can help identify some of these issues.
Why use SEMrush?
There are other SEO tools out there, and below I’ve shared some of the alternatives and options.
But I use SEMrush because I value my time more than anything. It’s true that I can do SEO stuff manually, like going to each keyword and looking at the top competitor’s in the search results or I can click 3 clicks and I can find who my organic competitors at that time (by the way, search rankings changes all the time) in just a few seconds.
If you’re ready to use tools like SEMrush to improve your workflow, don’t forget to check out my SEMrush bonuses to help you with your workflow.
SEMrush Pricing Plans and Trial
During special promotions like holidays and black fridays, you might find different pricing and promotions for tools like SEMrush.
But if you want to try SEMrush right now, here’s the current pricing as of February 2020.
There’s a FREE trial version if you’re not yet ready to commit to a subscription plan for SEMrush. If you want to save, an annual plan can help you save a lot.
You’ll need to enter credit card information to sign up for the free trial, but you can cancel anytime before your free trial ends.
They do this to ensure that your subscription and service access won’t stop when you decide to continue using the service (which I’m sure you’ll find many reasons to continue using if your priority is higher rankings and free traffic from the search engines).
Cancellations and Refunds
I was searching for their refund policy and I found it here. You can still request a refund within 7 days.
If you’re on a trial period, you don’t need to request a refund because your credit card is not charged (though they do a reversible $1 charge for checking if your credit card is legit).
SEMrush vs Google Keyword Planner
If you have seen the latest Google Keyword Planner you probably already know the answer why you should ditch it and use tools like SEMrush as your keyword research tool.
Unless you’re spending a significant amount of money on Google Ads, this is what the Keyword Planner would give out to you when you do research:
SEMrush Affiliate Program
Yes, SEMrush has an affiliate program and you can definitely join it if you’ve found it to be valuable. I’ve been an affiliate of SEMrush for many years because I really love using it and it has been my go-to software for anything SEO related to my online business.
SEMrush Competitors and Alternatives
I don’t want this article to be entirely about SEMrush because there are other RELATED tools, while they may differ in some aspects.
Definitely check these out as well.
SEMrush vs Ahrefs
Another popular SEO tool. The interface of Ahrefs looks like a millenial blog unlike SEMrush that can look intimidating because of the user interface.
The downside for Ahrefs for me is that their 7-day trial requires $7 payment. In a world, where there are too many SEO tools out there, I think that’s a move that would deter most people, including me.
SEMrush vs Ubersuggest
Neil Patel, a great SEO guy and marketer, bought Ubersuggest and is now part of his website.
The great thing is that it’s a FREE tool. There are no ads to payments to use the software, but you’ll get lots of popups to get to signup to Neil’s webinar and ultimately be upsold to his programs.
What’d I say? He’s a great marketer and does what most people teach.
SEMrush vs Serpstat
This tool really feels like a copycat of SEMrush. I got LIFETIME access to it when they had an APPSUMO deal way back then.
If it’s a monthly option, I’ll just stick with SEMrush.
SEMrush vs Moz
Totally different set of tools now than SEMrush. I’m avoiding Moz because, for most of my SEO needs, SEMrush is sufficient.
Congrats if you’re still reading up to this point. Check out the bonuses here.
I’d like to offer you these exclusive bonuses when you subscribe to SEMrush via my affiliate links (I’ll earn a commission without any extra cost on your part) as a way of saying thanks.
Simple email me at ryan (at) trafficsalad (dot) org when you signup for SEMrush and i’ll send you the BONUS training after your FREE trial ends. If you want the bonuses immediately, don’t get the FREE trial and signup to SEMrush immediately!
Let me know if you have any questions.
Can I Try SEMrush for FREE?
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me here. Happy hunting!