The depth of your articles impresses and amazes me. I love all the specific examples and tool recommendations. You discuss the importance of backlinks. How important is it to use a tool to list you on directories (Yext, Moz Local, Synup or JJUMP)? Will Google penalize you for listing on unimportant directories? Is it better to avoid these tools and get backlinks one at a time and avoid all but a few key directories?
The total number of backlinks and their quality pointing to your complete website result in the overall authority of your domain. The external links that all point to a specific page will help this page to rank in the search engine results (SERPs). The relevance and quality of an external link are very important factors when you like to measure the impact / value of an link. To find out more about quality links have a look at this article on: the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog – https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2010/06/quality-links-to-your-site.html
I like it and it is a very good tool. But I mainly focus on small businesses, and I often find SEMRush a bit expensive. Plus, I do SEO and not SEM, and I'd pay less for a plan with SEO tools only. I recommend to do a trial first: the keyword and page analysis are amazing and I think they are really helpful when it comes to optimize every page of a website. Plus, SEMRush competitive analysis allows you to compare the SEO/SEM/domain strenght etc. performances of several websites of your choice, so that you can take action and improve your rankings.
Where do I begin? Keyword research, competitive audits, keyword tracking, social monitoring, local listing monitoring are just a few of the things you can do with the tool. It's got pretty much everything you ever need. I particularly like the historical data in the keywords report which allow you to track your historical listings/rankings on a page by page basis.