A Review of SEMRush: Is it Still a Leading Tool Trusted by Experts?

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We’re living in a competitive digital world — this means that you need to make sure your website is highly visible online so customers can find you!

There are over 1.8 billion websites on the internet, and Google changes its ranking algorithm over 500 times a year.

If you’re an entrepreneur or marketer trying to compete in search engine optimization (SEO), you’re going to need a great tool to keep up.

SEMRush is a very popular SEO tool with a Capterra rating of 4.6/5.

Our in-depth review will help you to decide whether SEMRush is the SEO tool you need for your online business.

1. What is SEMRush?


Source: Backlinko.com

SEMRush is an all-in-one tool that comes with specialized toolkits for SEO, content marketing, market research, advertising, and social media.

It consists of a suite of utilities that offer a variety of insights to help you build brand awareness, reach new customers, and generate sales.

Founded in 2008, the company now has over 7 million users — which makes SEMRush one of the most popular SEO tools.

Its major customers include leading brands like Tesla, Apple, Samsung, Walmart, and the prestigious Decathlon Sports.

Their website further boasts that 30% of the Fortune 500 companies use SEMRush as their go-to marketing tool.

SEMRush works by giving you loads of information, which you can use to:

  • Discover what people are searching for online
  • Create new web content that’s likely to attract traffic
  • Identify link-building opportunities
  • Tweak technical aspects of your site’s content so that it achieves a higher organic search ranking

SEMRush can give you keyword suggestions (based on phrases you enter) to help you write blog posts that are likely to perform well in search results.

It can also tell you how difficult it’ll be to rank for specific search phrases.

SEMRush will suggest websites that could be worth approaching for backlinks to improve the authority of your website.

Plus, you can perform an SEO audit on your website to find out if there are any technical improvements that you could make for better search results.

That’s just the beginning!

SEMRush provides other features that are designed to help you improve your search ranking.

With promising features like these, we had to take a look inside to see whether SEMRush really lives up to the hype or if it’s just great marketing.

2. SEMRush’s features

SEMRush offers over 40 different tools for running an online business, so you’re bound to find the functionalities you’re looking for.

But it’s also easy to become overwhelmed by the avalanche of features!

Let’s have a look at its features in more detail.

2.1. SEO toolkit

SEO toolkit

Source: SEMRush.com

SEMRush comes with a complete SEO toolkit that includes 26 tools designed for keyword research, rank tracking, link building, and more!

Here’s a quick overview of what you can do with this popular SEO tool:

  • Domain analysis and on-page SEO — Audit your website, and get ideas to improve your SEO performance for higher rankings
  • Keyword research — Discover effective keywords to target
  • Local SEO — Optimize your website for local searches, and convert more local customers within your business’ geographical area
  • Rank tracking — Track daily changes of your target keywords, and research domains with the most organic visibility
  • Link building — Find unexploited opportunities with a dynamic database of over 43 trillion backlinks, and track your progress
  • Competitor SEO analysis — Find all of the keywords and content in your competitor's strategy, and analyze their organic search rankings

Since SEMRush is best known for its SEO capabilities, our review will delve a little deeper into its top SEO features.

2.1.1. Domain analysis

SEMRush’s Domain Overview SEO Tool

SEMRush’s Domain Overview SEO Tool

Most SEO projects start with basic domain analysis.

This means that you get a simple overview of the quality of your domain from an SEO perspective.

In SEMRush, it’s easy to perform domain analysis: You can enter any URL in its ‘domain overview’ section, and you’ll get an immediate sense of how it’s performing in search results — pretty handy!

The competitive positioning map feature is worth mentioning because it gives you an idea of where a particular website fits into a particular market.

This can help you to put your website into context against your competitors.

2.1.2. Keyword research and suggestions

Keyword research and suggestions

Keyword research is the first and most important part of your SEO strategy.

Before writing content, you’ll need to identify high-volume search terms.

To find basic statistics about keywords in SEMRush, you’ll enter a phrase into its ‘Keyword Overview’ tool to see:

  • The number of monthly Google searches for that keyword
  • Its ‘keyword difficulty’ score
  • A list of the sites that are ranking for it
  • Some suggestions for alternative keywords to target

As with domain analysis, you can do this on a per-country level too, which is helpful to see what sites are ranking well in which countries.

SEMRush’s keyword overview tool looks like this:

SEMRush’s Keyword Overview tool

SEMRush’s Keyword Overview tool

SEMRush also gives you a metric for keyword difficulty where a higher percentage shows you that it’s going to be harder to rank for that keyword.

Another useful feature is that SEMRush shows you the number of backlinks that it’ll take for you to rank for your target search phrase — but this is sometimes replaced with vague SEO-related advice.

The Keyword Magic feature provides you with a list of keyword suggestions related to your target keyword.

All in all, SEMRush’s keyword tools provide you with a lot of information you need to make decisions on which keywords to target for SEO.

However, the data provided is for Google searches only. It would be better if metrics were available for some other search engines too.

SEMRush also has tools that allow you to track the ranking of your keywords over time, so you can monitor your progress or compare the performance of your keywords against that of your competitors.

2.1.3. Backlink analysis, link building, and audits

Backlink analysis

The performance of a website in search results largely depends on the number of backlinks it has (external sites linking to it).

In SEMRush, there are 2 ways to look at your website’s backlinks:

  • Backlink analysis — This tool lets you enter a domain name and view a list of all the backlinks that SEMRush can find for that website
  • Backlink audits — SEMRush compiles a list of links that it thinks are spammy, which you can then upload to Google telling the search engine to ignore these links which can improve your search rankings

This is what SEMRush’s backlinking tools look like:

SEMRush’s Backlinks Tools

SEMRush lays out the information very clearly, giving you insights into:

  • When a domain has gained or lost backlinks
  • The value and quality of the backlinks
  • The performance of your competitors’ backlinks

As a bonus, the accuracy of SEMRush’s backlink analytics depends on the size and quality of its link database, which is currently over 43 trillion URLs — this is a lot more than its major competitors (Ahrefs and Moz).

Link building is the process of getting other websites linked to yours.

This is vital to ensure the success of any SEO project because search engines reward websites with more links with better search rankings.

SEMRush’s link building tool works by:

  • Determining who your competitors are and what they’re ranking for
  • Examining the content on your site
  • Asking you what keywords you want to rank for

It then provides a list of ‘prospect’ websites that it thinks are worth your time to approach for a backlink or a guest post opportunity.

SEMRush’s link-building tools can also help you with broken link building to make sure that you maintain a good user experience (UX) for better rankings.

It involves recreating the ‘dead’ content that it previously pointed to, then asking anybody who used to link to the dead content to link to yours instead.

This lets you build up new backlinks to your content which will make your website perform better in search results.

2.1.4. Identify your organic competitors

Source: Aeoflex.com

Identifying your organic competitors is one of the main things you need to focus on to rank high on search results — you need to understand what your competitors are doing and then do it even better!

SEMRush lets you identify your organic competitors by simply entering your domain name in the search bar and then navigating to ‘Organic Search’.

You can get access to information such as the keywords used by your competitors and their website traffic.

You can use this information to your advantage with SEMRush’s visual representation of where your website stands against your competitors.

By researching your competitors, you can then determine where they’re advertising and take advantage of this information.

2.1.5. Website audits for on-page SEO

Website audits for on-page SEO

One of SEMRush’s really useful features is its website auditing functionality.

This allows you to run a site audit to find issues that have a negative effect on your website’s search rankings, such as:

  • Slow-loading content and webpages
  • Duplicate content
  • Missing headings
  • Overused keywords

It will give you a list of issues to address — and (as a nice touch) allows you to export tasks to the popular project management app Trello!

It’s important to pay attention to both on-page and off-page SEO:

  • On-page SEO shows search crawlers what a website is about — it helps search engines choose relevant and useful search results
  • Off-page SEO helps search engines see that a page is a good search result because the brand and website are authoritative and popular

SEMRush’s built-in on-page SEO checker looks like this:

SEMRush’s On-Page SEO Checker Tool

SEMRush’s On-Page SEO Checker Tool

This tool scans your entire website and gives you actionable tips for what to improve on each page — this can be scheduled to run on a weekly basis.

These actionable tips can include suggestions on which keywords to add and cues on how to improve your content and meta descriptions.

Another thing that’s great about SEMRush’s site auditing features is that it doesn’t just tell you what things to do, it tells you why you should do them.

SEMRush’s SEO features are quite useful and comprehensive for those looking to improve their SEO, but that’s not all that this tool has to offer.

Let’s have a look at SEMRush’s other toolkits.

2.2. Advertising toolkit

Displaying ads is one of the most popular website monetization strategies.

In its Advertising Toolkit, SEMRush offers you a few different tools focused on monetizing your website and running paid search campaigns:

  • Keyword Magic Tool — Find profitable niche topics, spot semantically related long-tail keywords, and build a paid keyword list for your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns
  • PPC Keyword Tool — Organize your keywords at the campaign and ad group level, search local volume and Cost-Per-Click (CPC) data, and build a master keyword list
  • Display Advertising — Analyze your successful competitors from every angle by looking at their ad placements, the top interests of their audience, and more

It’s unlikely that your entire digital strategy consists of only SEO — you’ll probably run a few online ads as well.

If you’re going to run online ads, SEMRush can help by showing you the kinds of ads your competitors are running and how they’re performing.

In fact, the tool will even give you some insights into how much money competitors are spending on their search ads.

In addition to that, SEMRush also shows you how much a competitor’s ad budget has changed over time, so you can take advantage of it to ensure the success of your own ad campaigns.

2.3. Content marketing toolkit

Content marketing toolkit

Source: SocialToaster.com

SEMRush’s Content Marketing Toolkit gives you 14 tools to implement content marketing on your website and monitor your performance.

These tools include features such as:

  • Topic Research — Find popular topics, headlines, and questions asked online to draw up a successful content marketing plan
  • Marketing Calendar — Manage content strategies, plan editorial calendars, and collaborate with your team
  • SEO Content Templates — Generate a custom brief for SEO-friendly content with recommendations based on your competitors’ strategy
  • SEO Writing Assistant — Check your SEO score and originality, plus improve your readability to write good content
  • Brand Monitoring — Find the most relevant platforms for content distribution, and track your competitors’ brand mentions online
  • Post Tracking and Content Audits — Measure the performance of your external publications or your competitors’ content
  • Content Optimization — Get recommendations on optimizing your content to drive more organic traffic to your website

SEMRush provides you with tools for creating an effective content marketing strategy to boost your website’s SEO.

2.4. Social media toolkit

Social Media Toolkit

More than 3.78 billion people spend a lot of their time actively scrolling social media — which is why your website should get a slice of all that action!

SEMRush doesn’t just enable you to track competitors in the search results, it also shows you how well they’re doing on social media.

SEMRush offers 2 tools in its Social Media Toolkit:

  • Social Media Poster — Schedule posts on social media platforms, and track their performance automatically
  • Social Media Ads — Create, launch, manage, and optimize ads for Facebook, and get actionable improvement recommendations

Use the social media tools to track follower counts, engagement metrics, and hot topics on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.

These tools also highlight the most engaging posts for each social network, and you can find out who’s mentioning you or your competitors.

Let’s take a look at SEMRush’s pricing plans.

3. SEMRush’s pricing

SEMRush’s pricing plans

SEMRush’s pricing plans

Compared to other types of tools, SEO tools like SEMRush are expensive.

That’s understandable because you’re not just paying for a tool’s functionality — you’re also paying for access to really large quantities of data.

But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t shop around to find a tool that fits the needs and budget of your online business.

Luckily, SEMRush’s pricing is straightforward, and we like that!

With SEMRush, you can cancel your subscription, downgrade, or upgrade your plan at any time. If you cancel within the first 7 days, you’ll get a full refund with no questions asked.

In terms of length, this trial is better than Ahrefs’ offering (a paid-for 7-day trial) but less generous than Moz’s 30-day free trial.

You’ll have to enter your credit card details when you sign up for the free trial.

SEO tools like SEMRush tend to be complex in nature, but the good news is that you get 3 channels of customer support: phone, email, and chat.

Let’s dive into the price plans and add-ons that SEMRush has to offer.

3.1. SEMRush Pro plan

This entry-level plan is aimed at freelancers, start-ups, and in-house marketers with limited budgets — this plan is ideal for newbies.

It’s billed at $119.95/month (or $99.95/month if you choose to bill annually).

With this plan, you get access to:

  • 5 projects
  • 500 keywords to track
  • Keyword, domain, and backlink analysis
  • 10,000 results per report
  • 3,000 reports per day
  • 250 keyword metrics per month
  • 100,000 pages to crawl per month (and 20,000 per project)
  • 500 SEO idea units
  • 50 social media profiles you can monitor
  • 5 scheduled PDF reports

The Pro plan is useful if you want to analyze your competitors’ strategies, manage social media, improve on-page SEO, and do keyword research.

3.2. SEMRush Guru plan

This mid-level plan is aimed at small or medium businesses, growing agencies, and marketing consultants.

It’s billed at $229.95/month (or $191.62/month if you choose to bill annually).

With this plan, you get everything in the Pro plan and access to:

  • 15 projects
  • 1,500 keywords to track
  • Historical data
  • A content marketing platform with 800 SEO templates
  • Google Data Studio integration
  • 30,000 results per report
  • 5,000 reports per day
  • 1,000 keyword metrics per month
  • 300,000 pages to crawl per month (and 20,000 per project)
  • 800 SEO idea units
  • 100 social media profiles you can monitor and 30 for posting
  • 40 pages for organic traffic insights campaigns
  • 20 scheduled PDF reports with sharing enabled

This plan is perfect if you’re growing your business and want to focus on your content’s effectiveness, topic research, and building brand awareness.

3.3. SEMRush Business plan

This top-tier plan is designed for large agencies and enterprises.

It’s billed at $449.95/month (or $374.95/month if you choose to bill annually).

With this plan, you get everything in the Guru plan and access to:

  • 40 projects
  • 5,000 keywords to track
  • Voice metrics and API access
  • 50,000 results per report
  • 10,000 reports per day
  • 5,000 keyword metrics per month
  • 1 million pages to crawl per month (and 100,000 per project)
  • 2,000 SEO idea units
  • 300 social media profiles you can monitor and 50 for posting
  • 50 pages for organic traffic insights campaigns
  • 50 scheduled PDF reports with sharing enabled

This plan is for you if you want to get involved in the more technical coding side of things such as API access, custom dashboards, and PLA analytics.

SEMRush also offers custom plans if you don’t find a price plan that suits your business’ needs, making it useful for really big enterprises.

3.4. SEMRush Add-Ons

SEMRush offers a few add-ons that you can add to your subscription if you need to increase your plan’s limits — these include:

  • Impact Hero — Break down your content according to your buyer personas for more effective marketing campaigns ($200/campaign)
  • Listing management for local SEO — $20/month for basic location services and $40/month for premium, interactive location services
  • Additional account users — For every extra user it’ll cost you $45/month (Pro), $80/month (Guru), and $100/month (Business)
  • SEMRush trends — Analyze the traffic of any company’s website, and research competitors’ tactics and strategies (for $200/month extra)
  • Agency Growth Kit — Automate your business’ most important workflows for increased revenue (for $100/month extra)

We like the customization options of SEMRush’s price plans, but we can’t deny that it all comes with a hefty price tag!

4. Pros and cons of SEMRush

To make it easier for you to decide whether or not SEMRush is the tool for you, we’ve compiled all its pros and cons (from real customer reviews):


  • Gathers all the metrics and data you need on one platform
  • Easy to navigate the dashboard to find what you’re looking for
  • Fast exports of data
  • Helps you to produce content with specific keywords
  • Has lots of useful toolkits focusing on specific areas of an online business


  • Sometimes produces inaccurate data that can’t easily be spotted
  • Access to only 1 user per subscription is challenging for teams
  • Import features are slow and limited
  • Lacks useful filtering options in the results list for keywords and metrics
  • Focuses a lot on analyzing website traffic mainly from the US
  • Display ads tools don’t seem to offer much value
  • Quite expensive with a massive learning curve

The bottom line: SEMRush has a set of industry-leading features that are backed by a large index of keywords, backlinks, and ad copy — which is why SEMRush has become one of the most popular marketing tools.

So, if SEO is a big part of your marketing, you’ll get value out of SEMRush.

Now, let’s take a look at whether SEMRush is right for your online business.

4.1. Recommended if . . .

We recommend SEMRush if you:

  • Want to implement SEO using a variety of tools to get the most data
  • Have a dedicated SEO expert for your business because all the features can become very overwhelming and hard to keep track of
  • Are looking for tools to conduct thorough competitor analysis

4.2. Not recommended if . . .

We DON’T recommend SEMRush if you:

  • Have a tight budget and need a smaller SEO tool to get the job done
  • Have very little SEO experience, as there’s a steep learning curve
  • Have a large SEO team, as SEMRush only provides for 1 user seat per subscription which can become quite a hassle
  • Would rather stick to a more simplified method for keyword suggestions and tracking that doesn’t have an intimidating dashboard

5. Conclusion

SEMRush’s logo

SEMRush’s logo

SEMRush is a solid SEO tool with a variety of features — for a steep price.

Its standout features are the link building and website auditing tools which give you a highly useful style of building backlinks and a super-easy checklist of ways you can improve your on-page SEO.

The main downsides are that SEMRush only provides data for Google’s search results, and all subscriptions only come with just 1 user account.

If you still find these tools won’t fit in your current budget, you’ll find other complete tools for less than half the price.

By complete, we mean that with systeme.io you can run your entire business all from one easy-to-use platform.

We’ve even got a forever Free plan to get you started!

Why would you want to opt for a more expensive tool that doesn’t give you everything you need?

Choose systeme.io and turn your business into a booming success!

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