SEMrush Review: The Best Tool to Improve Your SEO and PPC


SEMrush Review: The Best Tool to Improve Your SEO and PPCIf you’ve been a frequent reader of this blog, then by now you’d probably know how much I love SEMrush.

Despite comparing SEMrush with close competitors such as Moz and Ahrefs, I’ve not yet done a review of SEMrush. So I thought now is about the right time to do a review of what is perhaps my favorite marketing service. 

In recent times, I’ve found myself spending considerable amount of time using other tools such as Ahrefs and Serpstat. But SEMrush still remains my go-to tool for any serious SEO work.


Because of its phenomenal capability to find profitable keywords in any niche as well as provide competitive research data like no other tool in the market.

Having used it extensively at my agency for clients from different industries, SEMrush is truly the swiss army knife of keyword research and competition analysis.

It is also the preferred SEO tool of marketing experts around the world and once you start using the tool, it’s easy to see why.

SEMrush was founded in 2008 by a small group of SEO and IT specialists who wanted to create the ultimate competitive research tool for online marketing. Almost a decade later, the company has over 350 employees with presence in four countries.

I first became aware of SEMrush through online forums and subreddits. There seemed to be a general consensus among SEOs that this was indeed the holy grail of all SEO tools. I was using Moz Pro at the time and was mostly dissatisfied with the results I was getting. I go into specific details as to why in this post here

I signed up for a 14-day free trial of SEMrush and was immediately swept off my feet with the tool’s functionalities. The site audit tool enabled me to fix most of the on-page and off-page SEO issues with my site and competition insight showed me what my site was lacking. 

Needless to say, I cancelled my Moz Pro subscription and signed up for SEMrush’s Pro plan.

These days, when I have a call scheduled with a prospective client, I prepare myself by using SEMrush to analyze their market, find relevant keywords in their niche and learn more about the organic and paid competitors. Yes, you could do this manually, but it’d take a massive amount of your time and time, as we know, is money. Especially at a bootstrapped agency like ours. Furthermore, the data you obtain through SEMrush is far more reliable and accurate.

If you’re reading this article, then you’re probably deciding whether it’s worth investing in an SEO tool that costs around $100 a month. Let me help you decide that by sharing my own experience with the tool and also highlight some of the features that I love and some that I feel could do with a few improvements. 

You’ll probably need to access SEMrush while reading this review to a get deeper understanding of the features. If you haven’t already signed up for a trial, you can do so by clicking on the link below. It will give you 14-day free access to SEMrush Pro. It will unlock all the features you’d need to use to vet the tool. 

Get 14-day FREE Access to SEMrush Pro (Value $49.97)

In this SEMrush review, we’ll evaluate the tool on the following:

  • Pricing
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Customer Feedback and Sentiments

SEMrush Pricing Plans

If you’d like to dominate search rankings in your niche and find out what your competitors are up to, you’ve got to be willing to invest a decent amount of money on a good, reliable SEO tool. Despite increasing the price of all the plans in January 2017, SEMrush is still competitively priced, with the basic plan costing about the same as the ones provided by Ahrefs, Moz, and Raven Tools (maybe even a tad cheaper).

SEMrush offers three monthly pricing plans.

  • Pro – $99.95/Month (Ideal for beginners and bloggers)
  • Guru – $199.95/Month (Ideal for small business owners and solopreneurs)
  • Business – $399.95/Month (Ideal for marketing agencies and marketing teams in big companies)

All three are recurring subscriptions.

The table below contains features and restrictions of each plan:

Keywords to track50015005000
Pages to crawl100,000300,0001,000,000
SEO Ideas Units5008002000
PDF Reports52050
Social Media Profiles50100300
Get 14-day Free Access to SEMrush ProVisit SEMrush to learn moreVisit SEMrush to learn more
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In addition to these plans, there is also a custom plan and a plan for enterprise clients.

If you’re managing 1-3 sites, I’d recommend you sign up for the SEMrush Pro plan. If you run an agency and deal with multiple clients and projects, then perhaps Guru plan might be the right fit for your requirements. 

SEMrush Review: Key Features

SEMrush is loaded with features and I’ve gone into detail on some of its competitive research functionalities in this post here. I wish to update this piece of content on a regular basis to make it easier for users to do competition analysis with the tool.

For the purpose of this review, however, I’ll be highlighting only those features which I find extremely useful and tools within SEMrush that new users should start experimenting with right away.

1. Analyze Your Website

Before starting your competition analysis, it’s always necessary to see how your site is performing on various parameters.

Here are the 3 most important things you should know about your site:

  • Top Organic Keywords
  • Organic Search Positions
  • Total Number of Backlinks

SEMrush helps you gather all this important information within a matter of minutes. 

Domain Analytics on SEMrush gives you a general view of how your website and your competitors’ websites are performing. 

Just type your domain name in the SEMrush search bar, select ‘Domain Analytics’ from the drop-down menu, and hit ‘Search’. 

The report will give you an overview of how your site is performing on parameters such as traffic from organic search and paid search, backlinks, organic keywords, paid keywords, and more.

SEMrush Review - Domain Analytics

Next, on the results page click on ‘Organic Search’ to obtain data on your site’s organic keywords, total traffic, and organic position changes.

If you invest in PPC ads, then you could also obtain some very useful data by clicking on ‘Paid Search’ and ‘Display Advertising’.

And finally, click on ‘Backlinks’ to learn more about the backlinks your site currently has, the number of referring domains, types of backlinks (text, image, form, etc.) and a percentage split of follow vs nofollow links.

SEMrush Review - Backlinks

For all of the above, you could export the results into an Excel or CSV file for later use.

If this is the first time you’re using SEMrush, I’d urge you to try this step before moving on to more advanced features such as site audit and position tracking.

2. Identify Your Organic Competitors

Identifying your organic competitors is one of the chief elements involved in dominating search results. The aim here to understand what your competitors are doing and then do it even better.

To identify your organic competitors, simply type your domain name in the SEMrush search bar and navigate to Domain Analytics -> Competitors tab.

SEMrush Review: The Best Tool to Improve Your SEO and PPC

When you scroll down, you’ll find the organic competitors table. 

SEMrush Review - Organic Competitors Table

Don’t be intimidated by the massive number of competitors you’ll see here. Pay close attention to these metrics: Competition Level, Common Keywords, and SE Keywords. 

These three metrics will reveal your closest competitors and these are the sites you’d want to outrank in search engines. 

3. Do a Site Audit and Fix Errors

Site audit functionality on SEMrush helps you do a diagnostic check of your website in order to identify and fix on-page SEO and technical SEO issues with your site. 

To do a site audit on SEMrush, click on ‘Add New Project‘, enter the details, and select ‘Setup Site Audit‘.

Select the number of pages you’d like SEMrushBot to crawl, skip all other steps for now, and click on ‘Start Site Audit’.

Select the number of pages you'd like SEMrushBot to crawl, skip all other steps for now, and click on 'Start Site Audit'.

This may take a few minutes, depending on the number of pages you select.

Once the audit is complete, SEMrush will display a report that will show the overall SEO health of your site in percentage and highlight errors and warnings that may be hurting your SEO.

SEMrush Review - Once the audit is complete, SEMrush will display a report that will show the overall SEO health of your site in percentage and highlight errors and warnings that may be hurting your SEO.

Errors highlighted in red are the most critical SEO problems your site is facing at the moment and the ones you should start fixing right away.

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4. On Page SEO Checker [Formerly SEO Ideas]

On Page SEO Checker is one of the latest tools to be added on SEMrush and it’s quickly become one of my favorite features.

With On Page SEO Checker, you can promptly check to see if your content complies with all of the on-page and off-page SEO elements, like your content’s relevancy and quality, backlinks’ trustworthiness and reputation, page title, H1, H2 tags, and meta description.

Each page on your website is analyzed and you’re given instant actionable SEO tips to optimize these pages.

SEMrush Review - SEO Ideas

Next, click on the Ideas button next to the page you’d like to optimize to view suggestions from SEMrush to improve your SEO.

SEMrush Review - SEO Optimization

5. PPC Analysis

I wouldn’t be doing SEMrush justice if I didn’t mention its powerful PPC tools.

Monitoring your competitors’ PPC ads is a vital step in staying one step ahead of your competition.

With SEMrush, you can keep a tab on the keywords your competitors’ are targeting, their rankings in SERPs, and even have a sneak peak at their ad copies.
SEMrush Review - Ad Copies

This way you can polish your own PPC ad copies and optimize your landing pages for maximum impact.

Ease of Use

SEMrush is extremely user-friendly. Nonetheless, it may take some time for you to acclimatise yourself with the user-interface, especially if you’re migrating from tools such as Moz Pro or Majestic. Plus, it’s loaded with features, so it can be a bit overwhelming at times.

Having said that, there is absolutely no reason to worry as SEMrush has a wealth of resources which you can dig into to get a step-by-step guide to mastering the tool. Also tune into their webinars (both past and upcoming) to keep yourself updated with all the new features and functionalities.

Customer Support

Customer support can make or break a company’s reputation. Needless to say, it’s one of the most important factors involved in a company’s success.

This is especially true in case of services such as SEMrush where there is bound to be questions and queries from a highly active SEO community.

SEMrush provides support mainly through their comprehensive knowledge base and email. They also organize webinars on a regular basis where they unveil new features and provide some actionable tips to improve your SEO and PPC.

SEMrush Review - SEMrush also organizes webinars on a regular basis where they unveil new features and provide some actionable tips to improve your SEO and PPC.

Here are links to resources which you should definitely check out to learn new ways to use SEMrush:

Customer Feedback and Reviews

SEMrush continues to be a popular tool among marketing experts and professional bloggers. Influencers like Neil Patel, Brian Dean and Robbie Richards feature SEMrush prominently on their blogs. At the same time, it has near-perfect ratings on review sites such as G2Crowd, TrustRadius, and Capterra.

SEMrush Review - Customer Feedback and Reviews

Here’s how SEMrush is rated on the three most popular review sites:

Final Verdict

Once you start using SEMrush, it’s easy to see why it’s trusted by so many influencers. The team constantly introduces new and exciting ways to do keyword and competition research, making it one of the most premium tools in the SEO software industry.

The only gripe I have with the tool would be its backlink analysis feature which needs some improvement. It’s a minor gripe, something that I think the SEMrush team will address in the near future. But until then, I’ll mainly rely on Ahrefs for backlink analysis and link building. 

So that’s my review of SEMrush. I suggest you try the tool yourself and see how you can improve your site’s SEO. Click on the link below to get a 14-day free trial of SEMrush PRO.

Get 14-day FREE Access to SEMrush Pro (Value $49.97)

Did you find this SEMrush review useful? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

If you have any questions about SEMrush, please feel free to ask them in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer them. You can also send your questions via email at 

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Ease of Use
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Sandeep Mallya is the Founder/CEO of Startup Cafe, a Bangalore-based digital marketing agency. He is an active member of the startup community, having worked with several early-stage startups and accelerators. 99signals is Sandeep's inbound marketing blog. Here you can find tips and insights to grow your site's traffic.


  1. You did a great job educating users in SEMRush. I’ve used it a couple years now and I love it. I am concerned though that since the SEMRush information is based on what they get from Google, that they may not be able to provide as much data as before concerning organic search. Do you have any insight on this?


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