Mar 15, 2021 @ 8:43 pm

SEMrush Review (Unbiased) – The Best All in One Seo Tool (2021)

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Today I am reviewing one of the best and most powerful all in one SEO tools – SEMRUSH.

In this review you will be able to see the practical use of each tool listed on SEMrush.

This keyword research tool is also being used and recommended by eBay, Quora, Booking.com, HP, Wix, Vodafone and many others in the same league.

I have been using SEMrush keyword research tool since 2016.

Therefore, I have no hesitation in suggesting it to you and other fellow digital marketers.

So, here is my Honest and Unbiased SEMrush Review (2021)

As you must have noticed, I only recommend tools that I am personally using or used in the past.

In screenshot below, you can see my subscription details:-

semrush subscription - explorehowto.com

Since SEMrush comes with a hefty price tag, I sometimes thought to cancel my subscription and try other cheaper tools like Keyword tool io, Long tail pro, Spyfu, SE Ranking, SEO Powersuite, Advanced Web Ranking or any other tool for instance.

I am not saying other tools are bad, but they aren’t all in one SEO TOOLS, you will have to use them in combination with other seo research tools.

I even tried SEMrush’s closest competitor and most powerful backlinks analysis tool Ahrefs, which costs nearly same as SEMrush.

My Ahrefs Subscription Details:-

Ahrefs subscription - explorehowto

I loved its interface and the way it reflects the backlinks and other data.

But after exploring it for a few days I discovered that its keyword position tracking tool is just for desktop devices

And if you want to track your mobile keywords it costs another $37.38 on top of $157.86 on Standard Plan.

To get the similar functionality as SEMrush, you will have to choose Ahrefs $399 Plan. Which was a setback for me.

Not just that, I loved Ahrefs for backlinks but for any other research SEMrush was my go-to tool.

Get SEMrush Free Trial Now

During these years I tried and tested many seo research tools but keep coming back to SEMrush.

I will take you through the SEMrush’s interface and show how powerful it is for your website’s seo.

Also, how it can be used to discover untapped keywords, generate new backlinks, competitor analysis, backlink audits, site audit and keyword position tracking.

See SEMrush features and how you can use it improve your website’s presence in SERPs.

1. Domain Overview

Domain overview gives you the quick insights of a domain name. In the example below we searched for : SEMrush.

And see how beautifully it reflects all the data.

domain overview in semrush tool

You get a quick snapshot of website’s authority score, PPC traffic, display traffic, backlink profiles and the number of keywords ranking organically in Google SERPs.

There isn’t a single thing this tool can’t do.

You can use this tool to analyze not just your site’s data but also your competitors websites by adding their domain and discover the areas of improvement.

Another thing which I love about SEMRUSH tool is traffic breakup.

Upon checking SEMrush’s website I found that they get most visitors from the following locations:-

  • US – 80.9K (check above image for reference).
  • Spain (ES) they get around – 30.5K,
  • Mexico they get around 21.6K.

This data comes handy when you are doing website analysis and competitive research.

Based on this geographical data, you can decide what geos to expand and what not to touch.

semrush competitor analysis - explorehowto

If we go down this page, we see more important seo metrics.

You will have a complete list of top organic keywords along with CPC and search volume.

Also, you will get a graphical and tabular representation of your top organic competitors.

organic keywords of domain - semrush

2. Traffic Analytics

In this tab, you can benchmark your website against your competitors.

traffic analytics - Semrush

In the below example we tested SEMrush against Ahrefs and Moz.

With the help of traffic analytics tool you can pull up the following stats:-

  • Visits
  • Unique Visits
  • Pages/Visit
  • Avg. Visit Duration
  • Bounce Rate
semrush bounce rate traffic analytics tool

Not just that, you also get some vital information like traffic sources

If you look at the screenshot below, the graphical representation shows the following metrics:-

Traffic Sources Comparison semrush.com ahrefs.com moz.com 2021 02 01 all regions all devices
  • Direct Traffic – The traffic that comes directly to the brand
  • Referral Traffic – The traffic that comes through blogs, forums,  etc.
  • Search Traffic – This is the traffic that comes through various search engines like Google, Bing etc

Also you can see the amount of traffic your competitors getting across various countries.

Traffic By Country semrush.com ahrefs.com moz.com 2021 02 01 all regions all devices

If you go deeper into the data, you can pull competitors organization details, like below:-

organizational data traffic analytics

Here you get diverse information on company’s funding, services they offer and the number of employees associated with them.

3. Organic Research

Organic research can help you find out competitor’s keywords along with their traffic volume and positions in SERPs.

You also get to see following information:-

  • Number of keywords your competitor is ranking for
  • How much traffic they are generating each month
  • The approx. cost of traffic based on the CPC
  • Breakup of branded and non-branded traffic
semrush organic research tab
  • Top pages of your competition
  • Top subdomains
  • Main organic competitors along with common/shared keywords
top pages of competitors - semrush tool

4. Keyword Gap Tool

This is another excellent tool built within SEMrush, where you can put in other websites, explore opportunities and stay ahead of your competition

Keyword gap tool semrush

In the screenshot below you will see various tabs like Shared, Missing, Weak, Strong, Untapped, Unique.

Each tab has its own strengths

  • Shared Tab – It show the keywords shared with your competitors along with their position in Google SERPs.
  • Missing – It means your site doesn’t rank for these keywords but your competitors do.
  • Weak – The keywords your site rank lower than the competition.
  • Strong – The keywords for which your website rank better than the competition.
  • Untapped – Untapped keywords mean, that your site doesn’t rank for these keywords but at least one of your competitors is using it. You can include these keywords on your website as SEO strategy.
  • Unique – This tab shows you keywords that only your site is ranking for.
keyword gap opportunities tab

You can also use filters to narrow down your search.

This can be achieved by applying conditional filters.

Simply exclude or include any keyword, similarly sort your list based on Volume, Keyword Difficulty, CPC, Competition and Research.

advance filters in semrush seo tool - explorehowto

Keyword gap is a terrific tool for anyone who wants to explore untapped keywords. You can use these undiscovered keywords to create new pages and create a compelling copy around it.

And you will have a fair chance of ranking higher in SERPs since there is no competition for these keywords.

You can export these keywords in Excel, CSV and CSV Semicolon format.

As you know backlinks are still very important factor to achieve higher ranking in organic results.

Be it Google, Bing, Baidu or any other search engine. They all give weightage based on the quality links pointing to your domain.

Creating an amazing copy or writing in-depth article isn’t enough, you also need at least few backlinks to show google some authority of your blog.

Some niches are very difficult to rank and sometimes it is very hard to get backlinks in competitive niches like Gambling, Dating, Health, Insurance etc.

Fortunately, we have a backlink gap tool in SEMrush where you can find prospects for your domain.

This tool run backlink analysis across the domains you entered in the competitor field and breaks up the data by Best, Weak, Shared, Unique links.

Therefore, you can always sort the data based on what you are looking for.

backlink gap tool in semrush

You can also sort the list based on the following parameters:-

  • Authority Score
  • Country IP
  • Country Name
  • Zone ID
  • Zone ID
sort list by advanced filter semrush seo

You can also export this data in Excel and CSV format. Which gives you better control on your data and makes your life easier.

6. Keyword Overview

This is one of the best tools within SEMrush to do keyword research and get insights of the given keyword.

Lets see how it works…

In this given example we checked overview of keyword : best seo tool

For this test, we have chosen our demographic as : United States of America (USA)

Upon searching the keyword we got the following data:-

insights keyword overview semrush tool

Here you can see the total searches (volume) in US and other geographical locations.

Apart from this, it also shows the difficulty level to rank this keyword in Google SERPs.

CPC (Cost Per Click) along with the competition grade is another important metric displayed here.

This data is helpful not just for your organic research but also help you decide PPC strategy.

The most of advantage of this tool is that you get to see keyword variations of the searched keyword.

Not just that, keyword overview tool also gives you related keywords and questions along with their search volume of the keyword.

7. Keyword Magic Tool

With the help of keyword magic tool you can research keywords by broad search, phrase search, exact match and related keywords.

Also, you can use advanced filters to sort data by volume, cpc, keyword density and word count.

keyword magic tool semrush

8. Keyword Manager

Here you can create a list of your favourite keywords and add keywords from keyword magic, organic research and keyword gap or you can import them manually.

keyword manager semrush

once the keywords are added to the list, you can later send most prominent keywords to position tracking and PPC keyword tool.

Also you get an option to export these keywords to an Excel file or CSV.

keywords manager from kw magic

9. Organic Traffic Insights

Organic traffic insights give you the ability to connect Google Search Console and fetch traffic driving keywords.

Organic traffic insights
organic dummy data semrush

Once you the connect traffic analyzer with Google Search Console, you will see data in a tabular format.

Here you can see SEMrush and Google search console keywords along with user sessions, page views, bounce rate and goal completion if you had set any.

10. Content Analyzer

It will fetch URLs from your root domain based on the site structure defined in sitemap.xml file.
You can select the URLs from the list and tick them to audit.

content analyzer - semrush seo tool

And then there is an option of Post Tracking, here you just need to enter the post url of your competitor’s website and it will give you all the insights such as :

content analyzer post tracking - semrush
  • Referral Traffic
  • Keywords
  • Shares
  • Backlinks
  • Estimated Reach
  • Author

Enter your competitor’s or your domain name to check the following data:-

backlink analytics
  • Authority Score of a website
  • Number of referring domains
  • Number of backlinks
  • Monthly visits to the entered domain
  • Number of keywords a site is ranking for

You can sort backlinks attributes by follow, nofollow, Sponsored, UGC backlinks.

Also, you can see the type of backlinks, whether they are from Text, Image, Form or Frame.

Similarly, you can check backlinks Anchor texts and number of referring domains.

These domains can further be sorted by IP addresses.

Here you can check toxicity level of a referring domain.

backlinks audit semrush

Each referring domain is presented by a toxic score coded by Red, Orange or Green.

backlink audit for review


The domains with the highest score marked in Red are most toxic. Based on the score you can take action from the action panel, which have 3 categories:-

  • Move to whitelist
  • Move to remove list
  • Move to disavow list

If you click on move to disavow list, it will create a compatible file with all the disavow URLs listed in it.

All you need to do is connect Google Search Console (Formally Google Webmaster Tools) and submit.

This is an amazing tool, which reconcile your site along with competitors links and find gap and present you with the prospect domains.

domain prospects link building - semrush tool

In other words, it shows you the domains back linking to your competitor’s site but not yet linked to your website.

All the prospect domains are presented in a list view followed by their Authority Score and Rating.

Based on these metrics you can move these domains to prospect list.

You also get an option to upload prospects manually.

The domains you don’t like can be moved to Reject list.

The link building feature in SEMrush automate your task and saves a lot of time reconciling the data.

Within link building there is a Brand Monitoring tool, which allows you to mention keywords you use in your business, marketing or want to get backlinks for.

mention keywords to find prospects

14. Position Tracking

This is one of my favorite tools within SEMrush as it allows me to keep track of ranking keywords along with their position updates.

position tracking tool in SEMrush

Position tracking tool allows you to set various rules.

For example: I have set my most important keywords to get notified as soon as they entered in top 3 positions.

ranking overview

Similarly, I have set other competitive SEO keywords to be notified as soon as they enter in top 10 in Google SERPs.

The tracking can be set for Desktop as well as mobile traffic.

15. On-page SEO Checker

Like any other popular on-page seo checkers, this tool also checks the most important aspects of On-page SEO elements on your website.

onpage seo tool semrush

16. Social Media Tracker

This tool allows you to add popular social handles like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Once added you can track followers, subscribers and get post video engagement metrics along with engagement rate and growth percentage.

You can check these metrics by date, month, quarter, year.

connect social network to track performance

17. Social Media Poster

You can schedule posts in social media network profiles added in tracker.

Most importantly, you can track the performance of each post from one centralized place.

social media poster

You don’t have to signup on multiple tracking providers.

18. Social Media Ads

This tool allows you to create and manage Facebook ad campaigns.

With the help of this tool you will be able to see low performing advertisements and optimize them.

social media ads semrush

19. Social Media Analytics

You can measure performance and get detailed analytics report of your social media accounts.

social media analytics

It will show you detailed information on the following metrics:

  • Audience growth
  • Post reach
  • Engagement

You can’t see metrics in above image because I have not added my social media account yet.

So these images are just for your reference to get the basic understanding of SEMrush SEO tool.

20. Topic Research

Topic research is a new feature introduced in SEMrush Tool.

In this example, I tried searching for ‘Best Holiday Destinations’ and it returned results in the card format.

Some of these results returned the following results with trending subtopics:-

  • Coffee Shops (2.2 M) with subtopics as you see in the image below
  • San-Francisco (823.0k)
  • Bora Bora (673k)
topic research - semrush all in one seo tool

Each card returned with various subtopics/articles on it.

Similarly, you can research for any topic you want to cover on your website.

If you can click on the drop down you will get more detailed information about the subtopic

More subtopic details

In my opinion, this is an amazing research tool for literally any industry.

No matter you are a blogger, small business owner or a digital marketing agency.

I tried using other tools that were costlier or equal to SEMrush subscription but failed miserably because they couldn’t offer all in one SEO tool like ‘SEMrush’ does.

 See SEMrush service as an investment and not an expense. 

21. Site Audit

Before planning on page and off page seo it is important to perform site audit of your website.

You don’t want all your hard work to go in vain, Right?

Because there are times when you need to make changes with the site’s structure or code.

So, lets see how we can access SEMrush’s site audit tool and what errors can be fixed using this tool.

 Go to SEO>Site Audit>Add New Project 

With the help of site audit tool you can check and fix the following:-

  • 404 Errors and other http status code
  • Missing or Duplicate Title Tags
  • Duplicate meta descriptions
  • Broken internal and external links
  • Duplicate content
  • DNS resolution issues
  • Broken images
  • Missing alt attributes
  • Sitemap related errors
  • Robot.txt errors
  • Hreflang related issues
  • Expired SSL certificate
  • Canonical URLs
  • Slow speed
  • Invalid structured data
  • Slow page load speed
  • Issues with broken JavaScript and CSS files
  • Redirects, conflicts
  • Cannibalization
  • AMP links (starting from Business Plan)
  • Crawling related issues
  • Core web vitals
  • International SEO

In an image below, you can see the audit results for explorehowto.com

site audit run campaign

Generally, most site auditing tools are more or less same. You can use any free tool to perform the site audit if you don’t have SEMrush’s subscription. But free tools do come with limitation and perform only basic checks.

SEMrush Plans and Pricing

SEMrush has 4 plans:-

  • Pro Plan
  • Guru Plan
  • Business
  • Custom
semrush pricing revised 2021
SEMrush Plans (revised) – 2021
  • Pro Plan:- It is suitable for most of the bloggers, business owners, webmasters and inhouse Digital Marketing and SEO experts, who have just started and managing small projects.
  • Guru Plan:-  This plan is mostly suited for bigger and established web portals and growing agencies. With this plan you can add more projects, track more keywords and see historical data.
  • Business Plan:- Recommended for agencies, E-commerce projects and businesses that manage huge projects and have big presence across the web.
  • Custom Plan:- This Plan is for huge corporations that require more features and tools than Business plan.
semrush stats and facts

See SEMrush Full Facts and Figures

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is SEMrush tool free?

SEMrush tool is free but with very limited functionality. You may need to upgrade to Pro or Guru to take advantage of their advance tools

How to get SEMrush free account?

You can signup for a 7 day trial, where you need to enter credit or debit card details. During these 7 days you will have access to full features. If you don’t cancel within 7 days, your card will be charged depending upon the plan you chose.

Which is better Ahrefs or SEMrush?

Ahrefs and SEMrush are nearly same. For checking backlinks Ahrefs has a little edge over SEMrush. For everything else including Keyword research SEMrush is better.

What is SEMrush used for?

SEMrush is an all in one seo tool used for Traffic Analytics, Organic Research, Backlink Audit, Link Building, Website Audit, Keyword Position tracking (Desktop and Mobile), PPC Keyword Tool, Social Media Ads Tracker, Brand Monitoring, Topic Research, Content Audit, Post Tracking and more.

Is SEMrush right for me?

It depends, if you are a hobbyist blogger then you need to ask yourself whether you want to spend hundreds of dollars on SEMrush. For everyone else like professional bloggers, small businesses, digital marketers, startups, affiliate marketers, agencies. SEMrush can be a game changer.

How much does SEMrush cost?

In 2021, SEMrush revised their prices on monthly subscription. You can check their prices here


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