A tool to help your content marketing strategy and bring insights about your competition: learn now how to use SEMrush.
If you were interested in this reading, you probably already understand the basics of Content Marketing.
I think you also have a background in SEO and know how this is a vast, information-rich world.
Just in case you are not yet fully informed about SEO, I invite you to download the most complete guide on the subject on the Internet:
But you may face some challenges in putting all this into practice.
Questions such as “what keywords should I use”, “what keywords am I positioning for” or “how can I mount a good link building strategy” are quite common.
All right, that sounds wonderful, but how do you do it?
In this article you will find a complete tutorial on how to use SEMrush and how each feature will help you.
First of all: what is SEMrush for?
This is a fair question.
In the end, SEMrush is a paid tool and what advantages can be worth the investment?
This tool provides extremely relevant data and is considered one of the best tools for SEO analysis.
The strengths of SEMrush mainly involve thorough analysis for keyword searches, global site analysis and competitor analysis.
Oops! Competition analysis?
Yes! SEMrush data does not only refer to your site, but also to any domain you want to search.
And although there are several great tools for SEO efforts, SEMrush allows you to organize virtually everything that matters in one place.
The site is very intuitive and gives to find everything very easily, then we will investigate the possibilities it has to offer.
To get started at SEMrush, simply create an account on the site. When you do, you$0027ll find an initial panel.
In it, you can set up your projects.
At the top it has a search bar. There you can type in a domain or a keyword to get information that will be organized in panels according to the search.
In the sidebar, you will find the analysis options that are also displayed in the generated panels.
Analysis by domain
The name itself says so, doesn$0027t it?
Just type the domain you want in the search bar and SEMrush will present you the information about that specific domain.
That great for analyzing both your site and the competition.
You will find information about organic and paid search, backlinks, main keywords and competition.
When analyzing the domain, do not use https:// or www. Using these will direct you to a specific page and not to the domain as a whole.
After doing the search, select the relative country you are analyzing. In this case I put US, because I wanted the data from hubspot.com and not from br.hubspot.com.
There is a possibility to link Google Search console to SEMrush and get data together with the submitted report.
In this part, you will have access to the organic data concerning the domain:
- Main organic keywords: are the main keywords searched in Google that lead to your site. This is useful to understand what brings more traffic to the domain in question.
- Distribution by organic position: this traffic is very good and shows for how many keywords your content positions.
- Main organic competitors: this part shows the main competences for your same keywords.
- Competitive positioning map: it a very cool graph! It shows the main competition (each competitor is a different ball) on a graph based on the coordinates “organic keywords” and “organic traffic”.
Each report can be extended to show all results.
To do this, simply click on “View full report” or on each desired subtopic in the sidebar.
By extending the organic keyword report, we are able to see details of which publications are positioning for which keywords and their variations.
This is very interesting to analyze variations in positioning.
Let assume that HubSpot placed “Inbound marketing” in first place, but “what does Inbound marketing mean” in third place.
That variation can show you a possible subtitle, a simple phrase in the text or can point out, depending on the volume of searches, that it is not a relevant topic worth exploring.
I$0027m giving an example of the market giant, but that totally applicable to any business. Watch:
This is a blog about decoration, with tips for the house, life stories related to decoration and which has articles in the style of “do it yourself”, the famous DIY.
See how small variations typed by users in the search field result in different positions for the same url:
As we can see, most of this refers to variations in the written form.
However, some have terms like “decoration” and “paintings” and if we continue in the list we would see “room”, “kitchen” and other terms.
This dimensions what can be worked on, what people are looking for and what your item is serving, which helps in positioning.
Analyzing both your domain and your competition is healthy for understanding the trends and major issues in your market, as well as having insights into what can be explored.
In this session, you will have access to the same information mentioned above, but this time for paid means.
Backlinks are essential for the search engine to identify the authority of your site and your content.
Healthy links, i.e. coming from authoritative sites and pointing to your domain, bring credibility to your site.
SEMrush brings a backlink report that tells us how many and which domains are pointing to yours.
In this way, it is possible to identify the origin and destination of these backlinks, i.e. where they come from and which pages they point to.
The report also indicates the main anchors used, i.e. which text your link is being linked to.
In addition to indicating the type of backlink: whether it is linked to text or image, for example, and whether it is follow or non-follow.
This is useful to understand what your business is being related to and by whom.
It is also possible to understand the quality of the domain based on the backlinks through the Domain Score and True Score.
The Domain Score is related to the authority and quality of the domain. As for the True Score, it refers to the quality of the backlinks that point to your domain, i.e. links from sites with good domain score.
Remember that this information can be entered for any domain.
Therefore, all those possibilities I just mentioned for your site, also apply to the sites of your competition.
This is useful to identify what can be improved in your backlink strategy, which links to improve positioning, which anchors to explore and even who is relevant to your area.
It is still possible to obtain several graphs. The first one points to the backlinks won and lost over time.
Below, you will see other graphics that will point to the type of backlinks received from the different criteria.
All graphs can be expanded to receive a full report.
It is possible to get detailed information about each backlink, see:
Each backlink information is presented in detail according to the domain it comes from.
Assessing the quality of these backlinks, there is still the possibility of excluding unwanted backlinks, it is sufficient that SEMrush is linked to Google Search Console.
Domain x domain
In this part, it is possible to analyze two (or more) domains side by side.
The analysis makes a comparison according to the domains you choose based on keywords.
Let exemplify by comparing HubSpot to Moz.
As we can see, the two domains have 85,826 keywords in common. That a lot, considering that HubSpot has 766,585 keywords positioning.
Therefore, these domains are in strong competition with each other for positioning. The report also indicates what the position of that keyword is for each domain compared, in addition to information already known, such as the volume of the search and difficulty of the word in question.
It is possible to use filters to find desired words or even select the search field, and it is also possible to filter by position.
In the example below, we selected only the words that rank in both domains in the top 5 positions. Watch:
Thus, it is easier to identify similar contents, as well as faults and quantities in each one.
With this tool it is possible to analyze a keyword and evaluate its difficulty, cost in AdWords, positioning difficulty, among other variables.
Choose a keyword and enter it in the search field. Remember to always make the search based on your person, your context and demands, and make a choice according to the stage of the funnel you are in.
A report like this will be generated below:
The report will present organic and paid search data, CPCs by country, keywords with phrase matching, related keywords and the SERP results by position.
Let us better unravel each of the aspects present in the report:
Organic search and paid search
These are the first two aspects presented when searching by a keyword.
Its importance is to present in a summarized form, the volume of search and number of results for the keyword (organic search), CPC and competition (paid search).
In this case, I looked up the word “Inbound marketing” and selected the results for the United States. We see that:
- The search volume is 9.9k;
- There are almost 9 million organic search results;
- The CPC for AdWords is $21.78;
- The competition is 0.61
All these values are high for a keyword, and from that we can conclude that it is an extremely difficult keyword and one that requires a lot of effort to position.
Thus, it is possible to conclude that, being among the first results, the return will be great.
Therefore, this first basic result is a preview for you to understand the profile and difficulty of that word, which can be better understood based on the full reports.
Phrase matching points to keywords related to the one you are looking for, bringing variations of it.
The results are related to the users who click most when searching for the word you selected in the search engine.
This is useful for you to search for long tails, subtitles or even variations of SEO titles for your content. Which results, of course, in your positioning.
In addition to that, SEMrush will target data related to that keyword.
You can filter the results according to what you are looking for, be it difficulty level, unwanted terms or CPC, for example.
Although it looks like the same thing as sentence correspondence, it not!
Certainly, this section is related to the variations that the user enters to find the results of the keyword he is looking for.
In other words, each person can type in different keywords to find the same result, and SEMrush will show you what those words are.
Therefore, it is very common to find in this report, variations of singular and plural, differences of spaces and fingering errors.
Organic search results
This part will show you the organic search results for the keyword you are looking for.
For “Inbound marketing”, we can see that the first result is that of HubSpot, even before Wikipedia!
(It not for nothing, right? They$0027re the ones who practically invented inbound marketing.)
It is possible to analyze the domains in different positions, just by altering the tab between “1-20”, “21-40” and so on.
This allows you to analyze what the top performers are doing well and draw insights for your strategies.
In this way, you discover what works, what doesn$0027t and what needs to be well explored in your content.
It is very interesting to analyze the results between 10 and 30 to understand what they are not exploring and how that puts them on the second page of the SERPs.
So, when you plan your content, you already have a structure and its importance in mind.
This session is useful for those who invest in GoogleAds.
It will show you the most engaged ads and your content.
In this way it is possible to have insights into how to elaborate your ads, which texts hook and generate more clicks.
Keyword Magic Tool
This is a resource that is still under testing at SEMrush and can bring good insights to your keyword strategy.
Just type in a word and the Keyword Magic Tool provides variations for that word.
Thus, it is easier to make a selection based on factors such as search volume, percentage of difficulty and competitive density.
In the case of the keyword we use in the example, “Inbound marketing”, KeyWord Magic Tool provides over 41 thousand views. With such a large number, analysis becomes difficult.
That why there are filtering resources to narrow down the list and get to the keywords that really matter in your strategy.
Filters include, for example, number of words, word difficulty, and desired and unwanted words.
In the example below, I made the filter so that the list had only 3 to 5 words, difficulty level between 30 and 70% and I excluded the term “salts”.
Notice how the list was reduced: now, the list has only 13,720 keywords, instead of more than 41 thousand, as before.
It is still possible, using the box on the left, to select keywords belonging to the same group.
I used the term “content” as an example. In this case, SEMrush provided me with 8 keywords, already with the filter pre-selected and containing the term “content”.
This allows you to find long tails for your strategy that will bring good positioning results, as well as understand how diverse content can be built around a related topic.
From the configuration of your site as a SEMrush project, you will have access to some useful resources.
In general, Site Audit is a resource that will give you data about the health of your site through a note.
This will search and identify various related to the SEO of your site, such as unwanted links and broken pages.
In the panel, you will write down errors, warnings and notices in a general way, through graphics.
With all other reports, this can also be extended for more detailed analysis.
To do this, simply select the “Problems”, “Traced Pages”, “Statistics”, “Compare Trace” and “Progress” tabs.
This is very useful to identify errors that may be negatively affecting the positioning of your content.
In this part, it is possible to compare your domain and that of your competition, based on the SERP results.
The comparison is made based on the variety of the keyword and the positioning for those words.
The information is presented in a general way for a more visual and less detailed analysis.
The generated graphs can be of visibility, traffic and average position.
There is also the option to analyze in a more detailed way, each keyword and see the position of each domain, which ones have snippets or videos in the SERP, and other features.
Like almost everything at SEMrush, you can filter to find specific words or positions desired for your analysis.
In this report it is possible to identify all the backlinks and details about them.
SEMrush gives an overview of the backlinks, which can be extended.
You must be wondering the difference between the Backlink Audit and the domain analysis backlink report.
The basic difference is that, in the Backlink Audit, SEmrush itself points out the toxic links, from a note (Toxic Score).
That is, it does an automatic analysis and tells you what needs to be changed.
However, it is clear that this is no substitute for good human analysis.
As with everything in content marketing, it is essential that you understand the process and everything that is happening.
Organic Trafic Insights
The great advantage of this tool is to gather relevant data coming from the Search Console and Analytics in one single panel, facilitating the analysis.
SEO Content Template
For those who are starting to produce content or are uninspired, or even for those who already produce content and need to speed up the process, this can be a good alternative.
This allows you to create SEO-optimized content from the keywords you want, offering a template based on Google best results.
To do this, just choose the keyword, select region and language and SEMrush will generate a template from the data provided.
However, always remember to check if what you offer matches and fits your strategy.
Social Media Tool
This tool allows you to compare your social networks with those of your competitors.
This way, you will be able to understand what is working in your social network strategy, what needs to be improved and what trends to follow in relation to the market.
More importantly, it possible to understand what your audience is looking for and what they$0027re best suited for.
The channels that can be analyzed are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.
For each channel, it is possible to obtain a specific report of publications, audience, activity, interactions and hashtags.
In the publications report it is possible to identify the main posts of the selected period organized by interaction.
In addition to the numerical value, there is a hooking note given by SEMrush itself, beyond the data of each interaction (in the case of Facebook, reactions, comments and times shared).
Apart from this, it is also possible to compare the performance of your channels with those of other companies.
At the bottom of the page, you will find a general comparative graph of audience, activity and interaction for each of the selected blogs.
The bars are organized so that they point to all the channels and the social result generated by all, and are divided by color to point out the participation of each channel in total.
It is possible to obtain more detailed data in relation to your competitors.
To do this, simply click on the tab of each channel you are analyzing and select the aspect you want to analyze.
For example: selected Facebook – , Audience, we have this graph that indicates the evolution of likes for each selected competitor. The analysis can be done by days, weeks or months.
This graph may seem a little boring (and it is), but there are others.
If you select, for example, Facebook – Engagement, see how the graph looks for each competitor.