I’ve been meaning to write this review for some time now. About 4 months to be exact. I’ve had a hard time getting going on it because I just couldn’t see the any real value add in SEMRush over their competitors. Sure they do some of the basic stuff well, but their interface feels less polished and a bit confusing/overwhelming when you first log on.
Today, however, I decided I had to get the review done, being that the year is nearly over, and I’m wanting to start fresh. So I logged in once again to SEMRush to have a look around for the 20th time and see what my SEMRush contact was all hyped up about. As it turns out, I found a couple of real gems that will likely lead to me forking over the $69.95 monthly fee for access to the Pro version of the service.
First, let me tell you, SEMRush has the usual array of features. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Over 80 million keywords, More than 44 million domains, All held in 11 databases – Translated: A sizable data set to search against
- Keyword data showing Volume, Cost Per Click, Competition, # of Results and Trend data on one screen
- Organic and Paid Search competitor data
- See PPC Ads from the report page
- Data results based on domain, keyword/keyphrase or URL
Those are all fine and good, but what really sets SEMRush apart? Here are 3 things I’ve discovered that will make your life easier and give you the opportunity to generate more money more quickly.
1. Consolidation of data onto one screen
Let’s face it…time is money. Anything you can do to make your life easier will ultimately make you more money by allowing you to get more done in less time. SEMRush gives you access to a number of critical functions and data points, all in one interface. Whether you’re looking to find keywords to focus your organic or paid search efforts on for an existing site, or wanting to do research on what keywords you want to focus a niche site on. SEMRush has you covered. I particularly like the concise report interface that puts the essential data on a single line per keyword/keyphrase. This is the same for both keyword as well as domain searches.
In my testing, I plugged in the phrase “Porsche 911″ and came up with a nice report showing additional keywords I should consider, the sites, and more specifically, the URLs ranking holding the top rankings for the keyphrase, plus the ads currently showing for along with what URLs they’re sending traffic to. Invaluable data. Here’s a screen shot:
Big time saver. Plus you can drill into individual keywords to see even more.
2. Potential Ads Buyers
This feature and the next one I’m betting are overlooked by many evaluating the SEMRush tool. The first is the Potential Ads Buyers. This report shows up when you plug a domain into SEMRush. It’s a list of sites that buy ads in Google for the same keywords that the searched on site (in our case Porsche.com) has traffic for. Take a look at what comes up for Porsche.com:
What a lot of people starting out in blogging, Internet marketing, etc. don’t realize is you have to work to earn. You can’t just put up a site, throw up ad spots and expect that people will come rushing to give you money to place ads on your site. Even if you have a significant amount of traffic, north of 50k visitors a month, you’re still going to need to work for your money if you want to earn something significant. That means beating the virtual “streets” online and finding people who will advertise on your site.
Here’s what’s freakin cool about the Potential Ads Buyers report. SEMRush gives you a list of nearly 1400 sites in this example that you can hit up to buy traffic from you or take ads out on your site. It’s highly targeted, and available at the click of a button. That’s a big time saver and can easily pay for the monthly price of admission from just one ad sale for a site with 5k to 10k visitors a month.
What’s more, if affiliate marketing is your thing, then hit up the top sites for a keyword or phrase you’re ranking well for. Find new sources of income and places to send your valuable traffic you’ve tapped into. The possibilities for using this data are endless.
3. Potential Ads Sellers
The second of the the diamond in the rough reports is the Potential Ads Sellers report. This is the reverse of the Potential Ads Buyers report in that it gives you a list of sites that get traffic from Google AdWords for the keywords the searched on site has traffic for. Check out this sample for our Porsche.com example:
What I find extremely useful about this report is it’s a list of sites that rank for the keywords I want to rank for. With this data, I have a couple of options. First, I can go to the sites directly and look to buy traffic from them. They’re great sources for placing ads, setting up partnerships with, buying reviews from, etc.
A second option is to see if cheap traffic is available through another source on the site I want my ads to appear on. Google Adsense for instance. Lots of sites use various methods for monetizing their traffic and you can, oftentimes, buy the traffic cheap through those mechanisms.
You could also take this data and determine how those competing sites are ranking for terms you want to rank better for. Our sample list for Porsche.com contains over 53k sites ranking for the same keywords. You’re sure to find some valuable ideas that will lead to boosting your SEO efforts.
The Bottom Line
Is SEMRush worth it? That depends on what you do, what your budget is, and how much money saving time is worth to you. For me personally, one of my goals for 2012 is to put systems into place that save me time. SEMRush is on my list to consider.
What I would highly recommend, even if you’re certain you wouldn’t pay for SEMRush, is to jump over to their site and have a look at the sample data. You can plug in your domain name, keywords, etc. and see real time results from actual data. That alone may generate some ideas for your next SEO or SEM campaign. The best part is it’s free!
Check out SEMRush here: SEMRush.com