SEMrush 2020 Review | Better Than Ahrefs?

What Is SEMrush and is it Better than Ahrefs?

Is semrush worth it?

SEMRush is one of the most powerful search engine marketing tools and a true pioneer in the SEM industry.

Search Engine Marketing isn’t easy, and it’s even more difficult if you don’t have the proper tools.  The online marketing industry has changed significantly over the past 3 years leading to more competitors, and lower page rankings.  You may have an amazing article that you spent hours on, but no one will ever see it.

Thankfully, SEMrush’s products and tools will give you the advantage to get your website or blog out there, and also will help you spy on your competitors.

In this SEMrush guide, I’m going to show you how to use the SEMRush tool like an SEO pro, and why it’s a better solution than Ahrefs, MOZ, Spyfu, Ubersuggests, or any other SEMrush alternative.  Let’s get to it!


5 Key Ways to Use SEMrush for SEO

#1. Competitor Analysis & Trend Analyzing​

One of the major reasons most bloggers use SEMrush competitor analysis is to do competitor’s research. Your competitors already spy on you if you are performing well for few keywords on Google. Now it’s time for you to spy on them too!

If you want to find the best performing keywords that drive majority of the search traffic to your competitor’s websites, use SEMrush. Competitor analysis is the single biggest success factor that makes a huge difference between a successful blog and a normal blog.

By knowing the weaknesses and strengths of your potential competitors, you can better understand how to compete with them strategically. This is where SEMrush tool pro account helps you do a thorough competitor research.

Here’s the organic search traffic keyword report for This tool not only give you a detailed information on the number of keywords they use, but it shows the estimated traffic that it gets every day.

semrush domain overview

Similarly, you can enter any of competitor’s website URL to find out their current website traffic. Most of the time, SEMrush gives you accurate traffic information that a website gets. Because it updates its databases very frequently, so you will get the fresh data every single time.

Trend Analyzing

These traffic numbers are nothing more than estimates from SEMRush keyword based on the search volume and click-through rate of the keywords you’re ranking for. Take this section with a grain of salt.

However, it can be useful if you don’t have access to Google Analytics and you need a high-level overview of performance. That said, Google Analytics will show you your true organic search traffic numbers.

And not to be captain obvious, but you want to see these “Traffic Trend” numbers rising.

If they’re declining or flat, then you’ll need to investigate further. Conducting an SEO audit is a good first step.

Brand Search

Your branded search volume is an indication of how well you’re marketing your company. In general, your goal should be to increase branded search volume overtime.

That’s because it’s the most reliable type of organic search traffic.

For example, let’s take a doomsday scenario.

One day you wake and Google decides to strip you of all your non-branded keyword rankings. If you hadn’t been working to grow branded search volume, your revenue from organic search would go to $0.

However, if you’d been working to grow your branded search volume, you may still have 20-30% organic search traffic.

Branded search can be the difference between surviving and going out of business. It’s critical.

Traffic Trends

These traffic numbers are nothing more than estimates from SEMRush based on the search volume and click-through rate of the keywords you’re ranking for. Take this section with a grain of salt.

However, it can be useful if you don’t have access to Google Analytics and you need a high-level overview of performance. That said, Google Analytics will show you your true organic search traffic numbers.

And not to be captain obvious, but you want to see these “Traffic Trend” numbers rising.

If they’re declining or flat, then you’ll need to investigate further. Conducting an SEO audit is a good first step.

#2. Indentify the Low Hanging Fruit

I classify “low-hanging fruits” as any keywords that are ranking from positions #2 – #15. These keywords often just need a little push.

That means you can grow your organic search traffic without a huge investment.

These types of keywords should ALWAYS be your targets at the onset of any campaign. That’s because you’ll be able to score some quick wins out of the gate.

Fortunately, SEMRush makes it super easy to find these low-hanging fruits.

Click on “Organic Research” and then “Positions”.

These keywords should be your targets at the beginning of any campaign.

Sometimes some additional on-page SEO is enough to push these terms up. However, if they’re competitive, you’ll likely need to acquire more backlinks to these pages.

If both of those actions don’t move the needle, then you should add more content to the page.

#3. Your Competitors Keywords

Some of your competitors are likely ranking for keywords that you aren’t. SEMRush’s new Keyword Gap tool can help you narrow the gap.

Click on “Keyword Gap” under “Domain Analytics”.

Then enter 1-4 of your competitor’s domains.

The “Keyword Overlap” section will give you an idea of how many opportunities you’re missing out on.

But the real value is when you scroll down and get to see all of the keywords that your competitors are ranking for. By default, SEMRush will show you “Shared” keywords.

The “Missing” tab is where you should focus because these topics can become targets for future content and pages.

Keep in mind, you still need to go through the process of keyword qualification. You also need to always compare your website against your competitors.

For example, Moz has a much more powerful and established domain than Gotch SEO.

Therefore, it makes sense that they can compete for some of these highly competitive keywords. It would be a waste of time and resources for Gotch SEO to attempt to compete on some of these.

That’s why it’s critical that you always qualify your keywords.

#4. Quality Keywords

Using SEMrush, you can find the best performing and unused keywords for your blogs to increase your search traffic.

Are you struggling to find the best keywords to increase your overall website search traffic? Fret not, SEMrush can help you find the most profitable keywords in any niche. It doesn’t matter whether you want to find better keywords for PPC ads, AdWords, Bing Ads or simply for your own blog content, SEMrush is the right keyword research tool

Just enter any keyword related to your blog’s topic and SEMrush gives you the most accurate data about the keyword you enter. In the above screenshot, you can see the volume of the keyword along with the CPC distribution and trend for blogging tips keyword.

With these details, you can easily decide whether the keywords you enter are perfect match for your site or not. Not only that, SEMrush also gives you a list of all the Phrase Match keywordsquestion based keywords and Related keywords that you can use to increase your blog traffic. See the screenshot below to get a clear idea.

From the above screen, you can see this tool has 150 plus phrase match keywords and another 1990 plus keywords around blogging tips. So you can easily find the most profitable and useful keywords for your websites and blogs.

Important point to remember: SEMrush updates its database daily and multiple times a day to give you accurate details about the keyword ranking positions and traffic of a website. Thus, it helps you find the latest report on keyword phrases for your targeted seed keywords list.  You can then take these keywords and put them into your landing pages or blogs.

Take Advantage of the "Keyword Difficulty" Tool

This tool can give you a nice high-level overview of the keyword competition. Go to “Keyword Analytics” and click on “Keyword Difficulty Tool”.

Just enter your target keywords into the box and start the analysis:

The Keyword Difficulty tool will show the estimated difficulty, the search volume, the total number of search results, the quantity SERP features, and even how well the keyword is trending.

#5. Adding Quality Backlinks

Backlinks are the backbones of any site that get more organic traffic. If you have a new blog and want to increase your search traffic, tap more backlink opportunities to boost your traffic.

I’ve been using a lot of backlink checker tools online and let me tell you one thing: 90% of the backlink checkers online won’t give you accurate results (because most of them are free and are not updated frequently).

Whereas SEMrush is an advanced marketing tool that helps you analyze the links of any website that you enter. It gives you accurate results and you can use that data to uncover the link building strategies.

For instance, by knowing who is linking to your favorite blog or competitor website, you can reach out to them and ask them to link to your sites too (if you have valuable stuff, they will link to you!).

Here’s where SEMrush pro free account comes in handy. When you enter any of your competitor’s website URL in the backlink section on SEMrush, it gives you the details of the Page Score (newly launched this feature), the titles of the backlinks and URL’s of source along with all the additional details like Anchor text, External links and Internal links to the URL you enter.

Want to find out all the incoming links (including do-follow links) of your competitors? Just enter their domain and this tool gives you a list of all the data of total backlinks it has.

It doesn’t matter whether you are trying to increase your organic traffic or analyzing your competitor’s website traffic, you need one important data and that is backlink analysis. If you know how many links are pointing to a site, you will be able to easily create a perfect SEO strategy for your sites to increase its rankings.

Performing backlink analysis is easy by using SEMrush report. It shows all the links in dofollow and nofollow pie chart option to find out the number of quality backlinks of any site.

It also shows you how many total backlinks a site has including the referring domains. This is a good metric when analyzing the backlinks of a site to boost your overall search traffic.

You can also uncover link building opportunities from this backlink analysis report. I’ll explain you here how.

Once you click on the “Referring Domains” under “Backlinks” section on SEMrush dashboard, it will show you a list of all the Domains that are pointing to your competitors site.

You simply have to email outreach all the bloggers who are already linking to your competition (by providing them value).

If you want to boost your search engine traffic and rankings for any keyword, you need backlinks. Link building is the only effective strategy that helps any website to rank higher in Google search results.

Once you have access to the full version of SEMrush, you will be able to find all the link opportunities from competitor websites. You will be able to analyze the total number of links a site gets including the dofollow backlinks.

Once you find out who is linking to your competitors, you can use guest posts or blogger outreach strategy to start building backlinks for your sites.

You can uncover most of the link building opportunities by using this tool. Most SEO experts are trying to take advantage of this tool to crush their competition. So it all depends on how you use this tool to your advantage.

After all, search engine traffic is all about finding the right link building opportunities. Once you have the list of all the sites where you can get links from, you will only see huge improvement in your site organic traffic.

You can also use their Backlink Audit Tool which you can use to get rid of all the toxic links that may decrease your rankings.

Here’s how the overview looks like:

As you can se above it’s showing our overall toxic score high which means, we can click on the “Toxic links” and use Google’s Disavow tool to remove all the bad backlinks.

SEMrush Pricing Options

SEMrush offers 3 affordable pricing options to choose from:


$ 99
95 Month
  • Results per report: 10,000
  • Reports per day: 3,000
  • Projects: 5
  • Keywords to track: 500
  • Pages to crawl: 100,000


$ 199
95 Month
  • Results per report: 30,000
  • Reports per day: 5,000
  • Projects: 50
  • Keywords to track: 1500
  • Pages to crawl: 300,000


$ 399
95 Month
  • Results per report: 50,000
  • Reports per day: 10,000
  • Projects: ULTD
  • Keywords to track: 6000
  • Pages to crawl: 1,000,000

Pros and Cons of SEMrush

Most of the SEMrush reviews that you find on Google search don’t actually cover its pros and cons. So let’s cover them as well.


  • Finding high potential keywords is really easy (as they have accurate data)
  • Want to know how good or bad a website is performing on Google? Simply use their site audit tool and you’ll get all the site issues
  • SEMrush has the largest database in the world and it gets frequently updated
  • It’s an all in one SEO tool (you can save a ton of money just by using this one tool, you don’t need access to other premium tools like SpyFu, Ahrefs, Moz, Long Tail Pro etc)
  • You can easily find and estimate traffic of any site
  • You can track your keyword rankings
  • You can easily find profitable keywords
  • Competitor research is incredible
  • SEMrush Support is outstanding


  • The pricing is bit of a downside (but still, that’s a great package) especially for starters.
  • Sometimes, the backlinks data is inaccurate (backlink analysis is really great from Ahrefs tool).
  • You need some time to get used to it. Although their interface easy to use but you need to watch some of their training videos or read some tutorials to get good feel of it.

SEMrush Conclusion: Our Thoughts

Do I recommend SEMrush? Absolutely yes, I recommend SEMrush.

If you’re going through this detailed SEMrush review, you might already have fallen in love with SEMrush. It’s perfect for people who want to crush their competitors and dominate Google SERPs.  Their beta tools, no matter how good they are performing, for now, show that the company keeps growing and the team is constantly building out fresh features.

SEMRush is undeniably the ultimate SEO tool that will help you to easily spy on your competitors’ keywords as well as analyze their backlinks.

Leverage this tool to your advantage to boost your overall search engine visibility.  This is the right SEO tool for freelancer, blogger, startup business owner, digital marketing agency, and everyone who like to dominate their competitor and Google search engine ranking.


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