SEMrush Review, Pricing & Free Trial: The 3 Best SEMrush Features & How to Use Them

SEMrush Review, Pricing & Free Trial: The 3 Best SEMrush Features & How to Use Them

The best mid-level search tool for keyword research, rank tracking, and competitive analysis. If that is what you are in the market for, SEMrush is your best option.

Pros

  • Keyword research tool will help you find popular search terms for paid campaigns & identify high-volume keywords to target with SEO
  • Excellent keyword rank tracking tool to monitor how well your site is ranking on Google over time
  • Cheaper than enterprise-level alternatives

Cons

  • Tools like DeepCrawl and ScreamingFrog are superior for on-page SEO intelligence
  • Link building features are less mature than competitors like Ahrefs
  • More expensive than free tools like Adwords Keyword Planner

Editor's Rating

5.0/5.0

What is SEMrush?

SEMrush is the best mid-level search software tool for keyword research, competitive analysis, position tracking, and more. It will save you hours finding new high-volume keywords to target in paid and organic search, give you visibility into your competitors' online marketing tactics, and help you monitor your website's SEO performance.

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Table of Contents

SEMrush Full Review

SEMrush is an extremely popular, best-in-class solution for any digital marketer that manages paid or organic search. Founded in 2008, the company has grown to more than 4 million users and 650 employees.

SEMrush Pricing & Cost

SEMrush pricing starts at $99.95 per month. All prices below are for one user:

  • Pro Plan: $99.95 per month
  • Guru Plan: $199.95 per month
  • Business Plan: $399.95 per month
SEMrush Pricing

SEMrush Plan Comparison & Free Trials

Here's a comparison of the three SEMrush plans along with links to free trials of each.

SEMrush PlanPlan is Best ForKey Differences
SEMrush Pro PlanSmaller websites & freelancers
  • 500 keyword limit for keyword rank tracking.
  • No historical data – you can't see competitors' historical search activity.
  • No multitargeting – you need separate projects for each device.
SEMrush Guru PlanSMBs & smaller marketing agencies
  • Can track up to 1,500 keywords.
  • Includes historical competitor data since 2012.
  • No Product Listing Ads feature that is included in Business Plan.
SEMrush Business PlanLarge companies & agencies
  • Can track up to 5,000 keywords.
  • Access to the Product Listing Ads feature.
  • Includes SEMrush API access.
  • Integrates with Google Data Studio for data analysis.

The 3 Best SEMrush Features and How to Use Them

All SEMrush plans come with over 28 different tools that will help your website generate more search traffic. SEMrush tools include:

  • Keyword Research
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Keyword Position Tracking
  • Competitor Gap Analysis
  • Advertising Research
  • Topic Research
  • Backlink Audit
  • Site Audit
  • On Page SEO Checker

To keep things simple, we want to focus on the three must-have SEMrush features that are truly exceptional compared to alternatives and will make the biggest impact on your organization. Understanding these features and how to use them is the best way to determine if SEMrush is the right solution for you.

Feature #1: Keyword Research

SEMrush is a super effective keyword research tool. For paid search, this will help you identify popular search terms and refine your cost-per-click bids. For organic search, this will help you identify high-volume keywords that are easier to rank well for.

The must-have keyword research offering in SEMrush is appropriately named the Keyword Magic Tool. With this tool, you can enter any keyword and SEMrush will provide a huge list of related search terms with the corresponding search volume, search trend, target cost-per-click, ranking difficulty, organic search competitiveness and SERP features. SEMrush organizes the keywords into categories to make it easier to focus your research. You can also see broad match, phrase match, and exact match keywords.

When you find the new keywords you want to target, you can add them to a list and export them for further analysis or uploading into Google Adwords. Here is an example of the Keyword Magic Tool result for the keyword "hello fresh":

SEMrush Keyword Research

If you're interested in reading more about keyword research, check out this in-depth tutorial on the SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool.

Feature #2: Competitive Analysis

It is easy to use SEMrush to understand who your search competitors are, their online advertising tactics, and to identify additional keywords to target.

In the image below, you can see a competitive positioning map for TechCrunch. Competitors are plotted by number of keywords and traffic. This is a quick and effective way to identify your online competitors.

SEMrush Competitive Analysis

In this report, you can click to see the actual keywords that you are competing for with any other website. The most valuable aspect of this is that you can find high-volume keywords where competitors are ranking well and you are not. In the example below, TechCrunch is ranking 77th for "tech news", while The Verge is ranking 1st. This keyword has 49,500 searches per month, and is something that TechCrunch would benefit by targeting for SEO.

SEMrush Keyword Gap Analysis

Finally, you can research the paid search tactics of any competitor. For example, TechCrunch could get competitive intelligence on the keywords that VentureBeat is targeting, how much they are paying, and see the actual ad copy that VentureBeat has used. Here is a screenshot of an ad that VentureBeat was actually running.

SEMrush Advertising Research

Feature #3: Keyword Position Tracking for SEO

Once you've identified your top keywords, you'll need a way to track how your well your website is ranking for them in search results.

SEMrush's Position Tracking tool tells you how well pages on your site rank over time for specific keywords of your choice. The Position Tracking tool also makes it easy to spot any big positive or negative shifts in your organic search rankings.

Here's how it works: depending on your subscription level, you upload a certain number of keywords that SEMrush will automatically search for on Google each day. Then, SEMrush records your ranking for each keyword and summarizes the data in the report.

To get the most out of the tool, we recommend uploading a mix of keywords from the list below:

  • Branded keywords
  • Short-tail keywords
  • Middle-tail keywords
  • Long-tail keywords
  • Keywords for different product or service categories

Good sources to find these are Google Analytics, Search Console and Ads. SEMrush allows you to tag each keyword you upload and then filter the reports by category. For example, you could tag and monitor the performance of your branded keywords only.

As in the SEMrush Position Tracking report below, you'll see a Visibility Score for your selected keywords. This Visibility Score is a summary of how your keywords are ranking each day: 100% means you are in the first organic position for all of your keywords, while 0% means none of your keywords are in the first 100 results. In addition to the Visibility Score, you can also see average position of your keywords, and rankings distribution.

SEMrush Keyword Rank Tracking

One super helpful feature of this report is that SEMrush records any known changes to Google's search algorithm. You can see the Google logos on the report above, each recorded on the date of the algorithm change with a description of specifically what changed.

For an in-depth guide to keyword rank tracking, check out this overview of the top three keyword rank tracking tools.

SEMrush Alternatives & Competitors

SEMrush competes with various search software tools. Here's a breakdown of top SEMrush competitors by category.

Software CategoryTop SEMrush Competitors
All-in-one Search ToolsAhrefs, SERPstat, Moz
Keyword Research ToolsAccuRanker, KWFinder, Long Tail Pro
Competitor Research ToolsSpyFu, Alexa
SEO CrawlersDeep Crawl, Screaming Frog

SEMrush vs. Ahrefs

SEMrush and Ahrefs are the two most popular all-in-one SEO solutions used by digital marketers. Both tools offer a wide range of components for keyword rank tracking, backlink building, on-site technical audits, and competitive analysis.

The key difference between the tools is their standout feature:

  • SEMrush is excellent for keyword research and keyword rank tracking.
  • Ahrefs is excellent for building backlinks and monitoring your backlink profile.

At SoftwarePundit, we use both SEMrush and Ahrefs. However, if you have to choose between SEMrush and Ahrefs, we recommend choosing based on the standout feature you need.

SEMrush vs. AccuRanker

SEMrush and AccuRanker are both exceptional keyword rank tracking solutions. The key difference between these SEO tools is the breadth of their offerings.

  • SEMrush is an all-in-one SEO solution that comes with tools for keyword rank tracking, competitive analysis, backlink analysis, on-site technical auditing and more.
  • AccuRanker is laser-focused on keyword rank tracking. As a result, AccuRanker is about half the price of SEMrush.

If you need an all-in-one SEO tool (i.e. you don't have one yet), go with SEMrush. If you specifically need a tool for keyword rank tracking, you'll be very happy with AccuRanker.

Is SEMrush Worth the Cost?

If you are looking for a professional, yet affordable tool to add rigor and intelligence to your paid and organic search programs, then SEMrush is a great choice. It is a no-brainer if your primary needs are keyword research, keyword position tracking, and competitive analysis.

If you are instead focused on link building, then we recommend Ahrefs. Alternatively, if you need a tool to help with on-site SEO improvements, then we recommend a crawler like DeepCrawl or Screaming Frog.

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Bruce Hogan is a consumer Internet expert that has launched and scaled online marketing channels for some of the largest Internet businesses in the world. He's spent almost 10 years managing paid search campaigns and has managed 7-figure paid advertising budgets.

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