Thank you for the great checklist. It is really useful and gave us a couple of new hints on optimization process. We’ve been using WebSite Auditor and found it exremely helpful in site’s structure and content analysis, bringing all the statistical information on the validation errors, social mentions, duplicate stuff, etc. under one roof. Still there is so many different SEO information you sometimes cannot understand what to start with. Fortunately you answered this question. Thank you again!
Spy On Competitors’ Best Performing PLAs: Which of the competitions’ product listing advertisements are showing up the most on Google? What do the ads look like, well that’s where this tool can help. The PLA Copies report shows you copies of the competitions’ advertisements via Google’s Shopping. You’ll see each ad as well as the number of keywords that bring up those ads in Google Shopping Results. This allows you to pick up the top performing ads used by the competition, analyze how they work, and you’ll know what Google prefers the most and then use them for yourself. The tool’s filters allow you to sort data by Product Price or Product Title. Plus, you can narrow the search to ads that are relevant to your business. Also, all reports can be exported in CSV, XLS and CSV formats.
Terrific blog post. So much great stuff here. Just wondering about Step #16. When you promote your Skyscraper post across multiple social media channels (FB, LinkedIn, etc.) it looks like you are using the exact same introduction. Is that correct? For LinkedIn, do you create an ARTICLE or just a short newsfeed post with a URL link back to your website?
What I like the most about Monitor Backlinks is that we can keep track of every single link, and that we can see the status of those links when they change or become obsolete. The details and the whole overview of Monitor Backlinks, is exactly what I need and no more, because there are a lot of SEO programmes on the market today, which promise to do what's necessary, but don't. Monitor Backlinks is exactly what I need for my SEO, and no more than that needed.
I am using SEMRUSH for the last 3 months and found it the best keyword research online tool which every blogger and internet marketers should use. Especially after they add Indian data on their database, more and more Indian webmaster are using this amazing keyword research tool. But, in my opinion they still need to do some improvement in it, especially with the User-Interface which is cumbersome for a new webmaster.

As of September 2014, YouTube's own keyword tool stopped working. It was moved over to Display Planner's AdWords video keyword suggestions. To use it, you need to have an Google Ads account. Just like the non-existent YouTube keyword tool, it was created to facilitate paid video and ads promotion. Which is why keywords that you will find there might not be closely related to the topic that you want to cover.
The CPC Map is a handy tool which will give advertisers a good overview of the prices they can expect to pay for a particular niche in a particular region. However, the tool still needs more work, and the markets need to be expanded further especially into non-English speaking territories. That said the ones it currently operates in are pretty big and most people will be targeting English speaking regions anyways, so it is still worth exploring.
The detailed analysis provides you with related phrases and words which can be added to the content. These additions will make the keyword dense, where you should add backlinks in the content, length of the material in comparison with the competition and how keywords are used compared to the competition. So, if one of your goals is to mimic your competitions’ SEO success the On Page SEO Checker makes life very easy.
It's easy to use to in terms of just dropping in a domain or keyword for quick metrics. I also like that you can compare 5 domains. It has been really easy for me to teach our content strategists how to use the tool, even thought they are not as technically savvy. This was the first tool I learned to use for SEO, and it's definitely easy to catch on as a beginner and you do not need extensive technical knowledge.
Brian, I have a burning question regarding keyword placement and frequency. You wrote: “Use the key in the first 100 words … “. What else? I use Yoast and a WDF*IDF semantic analysis tool to check the content of the top10 rankings. Pretty often I have the feeling I overdo it, although Yoast and WDF/IDF told me I use the focus keyword not often enough.
An SEO audit should not be rushed. It simply takes time to uncover root causes of the issues affecting your online health. Depending on the size of your site, a proper audit can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks to complete. Due diligence is required when making major changes to any website, and an SEO specialist must conduct a thorough investigation to make accurate, impactful recommendations.

In this article, I will discuss about this SEM tool that can be used to research competitors’ keywords – SEMrush, which I have used in many projects. Writing is no more about just putting up what your readers love but also about searching and finding what readers have been searching and putting them into post, so, that it can drive relevant traffic from search engine. Or, putting it the other way, using these keywords, you can drive highly relevant traffic through ads in search engine.


Check the duration of a campaign: If a competitor has been running an AdWords or any other advertising campaign for a while, there is a good chance it was a success. If the ad copy was only used for a short time, you could assume that either it was not bringing in enough traffic or it was because that was relevant to just a specific fashion, holiday or event.
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.

One of the biggest predictors of your SEO success is the difficulty of the keywords targeted. The more difficult and highly competitive that keyword is the more effort, time and money it will require. Even though it is a generalized SEO statement using the Keyword Difficult Tools helps to predict if you’ll be able to rank for that keyword. It uses a number system and overall system which ranks the keywords based on how hard it is to target.


Get Product Feed Insights: While Google AdWords may use keywords to decide if an ad should be shown product listing ads tend to manipulate the product feeds. So, the competition’s PLA feed is a secret, but that’s where this feature comes in. The Position Report generated shows keywords that are signaling their listing to show ads, their PLA’s ranking in search results, the PLAs that are popping up for each keyword, and a promoted product’s price and title amongst a few other things. 

Jonathan, when an Internet user searches through Google, then he enters, at that moment, his thoughts in the form of queries. For Google to analyze the query and display the results, there are rankings according to their own algorithms. However, Google also shows users the ads that are of interest related just to the users’ query. These ads at Google are called Adwords and they show an extremely high degree of success because they see ads directly related to the users’ query.
Here’s where SEMrush pro free account comes in handy. When you enter any of your competitor’s website URL in the backlink section on SEMrush, it gives you the details of the Page Score (newly launched this feature), the titles of the backlinks and URL’s of source along with all the additional details like Anchor text, External links and Internal links to the URL you enter.
Relation building – Find influencers in your market, who already published well performing content. For example: Best SEO Tools For.. , Top 10 products, etc. You know these authors are interested in your subject and are possible able (when they like your product or service) to get you in front of your audience and earn you a valuable link doing so. To quickly identify list post, resources and authors for your subject have a look at the Link Building Tool.
Here’s where SEMrush pro free account comes in handy. When you enter any of your competitor’s website URL in the backlink section on SEMrush, it gives you the details of the Page Score (newly launched this feature), the titles of the backlinks and URL’s of source along with all the additional details like Anchor text, External links and Internal links to the URL you enter.
Traffic over time: You can find out the traffic trend of the competitor website from this chart. Very useful to know their content marketing strategies. A steady increase of traffic line showcases that they use white-hat SEO strategies and use proper content marketing strategies. On the other hand, quick bump up of traffic and a quick breakdown of traffic reveals that the particular website has used black-hat SEO tactics and Google has penalized it.
You can hire me for as low as $2500 to do pure white hat SEO boosting this page’s authority and this site’s authority as a whole, which enables you to rank up higher in Google when you write a new post or it even boosts your already written live posts. You now have my email :) if you need me, just drop me an email, and we can take it on from there… 

Setting up the SEO Writing Assistant is pretty easy and is available at present only for the Google Chrome browser and WordPress. It is compatible with Google Docs which is a good start. To begin with, you need to head over to the download page, log-in (if you don’t have an account one will need to be created), choose to install the browser plugin and activate it post installation.

It is also an excellent tool for anyone searching for relevant long-tail keywords that apply to their business. Long-tail keywords help to create more opportunities for ad campaigns, copy, content, and anchor text which boosts SERPs. All of the best keywords that you’re interested in targeting can be combined into one list for easy later reference that way you have all the required data on hand when needed.
Offer Details: Offer expires 9/30/2018 (midnight Pacific Time), and is available only to qualified advertisers who meet the following eligibility criteria: Open to new and verified Bing Webmaster Tools account holders who own their own Website and open a new Microsoft Advertising account; a “new” account is one that has been open fewer than 30 days prior to the date of coupon redemption. Your account will be evaluated daily to verify you meet the eligibility criteria. When criteria is met, a Microsoft Advertising coupon will be sent to each qualified advertiser by email in approximately 3 business days from date of verification. See full offer details here.
I like the keyword position tracker and the site auditing with the competitor comparisons. It's really useful to see where my website is with a side-by-side comparison with our competition in regards to specific keywords we're targeting. The site auditing tool helps to identify issues with the website that can easily be fixed in order to get a better grade and be more relevant on search engines.
Setting up the SEO Writing Assistant is pretty easy and is available at present only for the Google Chrome browser and WordPress. It is compatible with Google Docs which is a good start. To begin with, you need to head over to the download page, log-in (if you don’t have an account one will need to be created), choose to install the browser plugin and activate it post installation.

Ahrefs isn't cheaper and has a less appealing interface and layout. SEMrush is aesthetically pleasing, but you need to be willing to allocate budget to it and to make use of the comprehensive array of tools it brings to the table to recoup that investment. Free plans might suit if you only want 10 keywords to look at; if not, buckle up. Use it right, and it'll be worth it.
Spy On Competitors’ Best Performing PLAs: Which of the competitions’ product listing advertisements are showing up the most on Google? What do the ads look like, well that’s where this tool can help. The PLA Copies report shows you copies of the competitions’ advertisements via Google’s Shopping. You’ll see each ad as well as the number of keywords that bring up those ads in Google Shopping Results. This allows you to pick up the top performing ads used by the competition, analyze how they work, and you’ll know what Google prefers the most and then use them for yourself. The tool’s filters allow you to sort data by Product Price or Product Title. Plus, you can narrow the search to ads that are relevant to your business. Also, all reports can be exported in CSV, XLS and CSV formats.
Check the duration of a campaign: If a competitor has been running an AdWords or any other advertising campaign for a while, there is a good chance it was a success. If the ad copy was only used for a short time, you could assume that either it was not bringing in enough traffic or it was because that was relevant to just a specific fashion, holiday or event. 

Sure…I do mostly affiliate stuff now but it applies to local too. Say I wanted to do an Amazon aff. site for laptops. I’d google some generic terms like “best laptop 2016” or “laptop reviews” grab the first three or four results of other aff. sites and run them through SEMRush to see what the competition is ranking for see the trends…etc and export the organic results. Lather, rinse and repeat until you have enough keywords.
What's not to like? There are comprehensive tools to make your search engine marketing (SEM) as strong us possible. With organic and paid search insights, you can find ways to align your keyword strategy and PPC strategy to meet your budget and understand what you're up against and, subsequently need to do. Within a keyword, you can analyse the types of content you are up against: long form, white papers, long blogs, video, if the term has PPC copy topped and tailed, if a snippet exists.

Topic Research is an innovative and useful tool currently in beta and free for paid SEMrush users. However, once the beta period is over those who wish to use the tool may have to pay a currently undeclared amount of money. Now with that out of the way the Topic Research tool works by helping marketers discover the most popular content within their niche across the internet. You’ll find hundreds of headlines which could potentially resonate with your target audience. Also, a list of FAQs is presented which ensures that you’re answering all the questions that your target audience may ask.

Absolutely love their keyword research tool. Its phrase and related keywords reports give some really good suggestions and the metrics make it possible to decide upon not just the focus keywords but also some related keywords which make way for a strong keyword strategy. And, the fact that they are building a separate mobile database for keywords is also amazing.
I really like the projects you can set up in SEMrush. We have a lot of different solutions so I create projects for each one with specific keywords. Then I used the project dashboard to see how that set of keywords is ranking, trending, SEO suggestions, social etc. I also like that within the project you can see specific landing pages and what keywords are ranking for that landing page.
The Content Analyzer tool also helps you compare different posts against each other and provide you with suggests as to how to improve the content for Google. The other neat feature of this tool is it tracks the performance of the content published on external websites. The Post Tracking sub-feature of the Content Analyzer provides the necessary metrics needed to evaluate how well the material is doing on a partner or referring websites.
Pros: The main thing about Semrush is versatility and SEO functionality, but beside SEO there are lot of things you cqan do with, such as: brand monitoring, position tracking, SEO ideas and backlink audit. If you are not familiar with it, you can watch tutorials which are extremely helpful, but the one thing you should now is that you might be overwhelmed with lot of information about this platform. The price is affordable but it might be expensive for small size businesses. I like the competitor tracking because it is useful and it allows you to see competitor backlinks.

The Competitive Positioning Map: It provides users with instant information of their direct competitors. The report is based on the domain’s natural traffic and the organic keywords they are ranking for in major search engines. The visual representation also shows rivals, your primary weaknesses, and significant strengths compared to the competition.
SEMrush is so feature rich it's like your most favorite desert and after dinner drink all in one - with second helpings included! The keyword data, the social posting tool, the competitor data and more is simply incredible. The training tools, special webinars, and all the support SEMrush offers clients is of tremendous value over and above all its functionality as an SEO/SEM tool.
The Advertising Research report is mainly intended to improve your advertising campaigns by providing a glimpse into what the competition is doing. You will find out how the competition is leveraging PPC investments by viewing their traffic, volume, CPC estimations, etc. for every keyword. Plus, you’ll discover valuable information which allows for businesses to improve their PPC system and work on reducing the advertising budget by yielding better results. After all, there is a lot you can learn from a seasoned competitor who may have spent thousands of dollars honing their campaign.
The Marketing Calendar feature by SEMrush ensures that marketers don’t get lost in their marketing activities especially when there are multiple groups of people involved. Most marketers and SEM specialists often forget vital pieces of their campaign, and that results in numerous adverse effects. Now even though this isn’t the most innovative or out of the world tool, it is still extremely useful.
Ankit, you have very nicely explained the difference between SEO and SEM. I understood them to be part of it each other, but never gave it a proper thought. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique that helps raise up our (search) rank bring more traffic to our website. While Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a larger concept that includes SEO as well. Internet Ads are an important component of SEM.

Brand Monitoring is essential since it allows you to figure out how popular the brand is becoming. Each time a customer or some other business mentions your brand on a blog or social media post it has a positive effect on your image and also on SEO. The tool will provide you with information if someone or some entity has mentioned your brand. So, you know who is talking about the brand and if what they are saying is negative, positive or neutral. That will give you some ideas as to if you should follow up on those mentions or leave them alone.
Here’s where SEMrush pro free account comes in handy. When you enter any of your competitor’s website URL in the backlink section on SEMrush, it gives you the details of the Page Score (newly launched this feature), the titles of the backlinks and URL’s of source along with all the additional details like Anchor text, External links and Internal links to the URL you enter.
The other way is to get a no-obligation 7-day free trial by clicking here. Using it for 7 days will give you a very good idea as to what you can expect from the tool. It will give you a ton of insights and keywords which can be leveraged effectively to boost traffic and engagement. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be able to test everything we’ve said in this review and put it into practice for yourself. What’s more is that you’ll see a visible improvement in your engagement and traffic at the very least.
We have done the comparison posts around these tools here https://bloggerspassion.com/semrush-vs-ahrefs-review/ and here https://bloggerspassion.com/moz-vs-semrush/. Please go through both the review posts and go with the SEO tool which fulfil your needs. You can also try Free trial for these SEO tools. And go for the premium version of a SEO tool which you feel is best for you.

Competitor backlink audit – Analyse the link profile of your competitor and research the opportunities, to match your, or even better outperform your competitors link profile and subject authority. When performing an competitor backlink audit you should also analyse inbound links pointing to top performing pages, so you don’t miss out on valuable link opportunities.

If you are doing competitive analysis for clients or prospects this tool is a must have tool. The API interface is a great way to enhance links to other evaluation tools, but that part is probably is not for technically faint of heart. The site audits are fairly easy to use and exploit, for top level insights and seem to have a much greater depth of capability than I have taken advantage of just yet. Site audits are helpful for evaluating key clients, and provides on-going regular emails as to how each site is doing.
The tool will help you see where a website’s traffic comes from; how their audience engages with their site; what devices visitors prefer to use; how multiple websites’ audiences overlap and much more. The market intelligence insights found in Traffic Analytics makes it one of the most powerful tools on SEMrush for market researchers, marketing managers, business development teams, and sales teams.

Over the years as professionals, we’ve run into many social media posting tools that automate the process and provide useful information. However, with a SEMRush subscription, they have made sure that there is no need for an extra tool to do all of that. The tool allows users to schedule and then manage social media posting to Twitter and Facebook. This saves time and helps organize content more easily.
Awesome tool. I like the SEMrush’s PPC tools best as it helps you to spy on your competitors’ Ads and you can find the ones that are working and you can reverse engineer and make your own that are similar saving you time and money of testing which Ads work. As a whole i think this is a great tool that all IM should have as it can really help you improve your site ranking and thus improve traffic and profits.

Love how you just dive into the details for this Site Audit guide. Excellent stuff! Yours is much much easier to understand than other guides online and I feel like I could integrate this to how I site audit my websites and actually cut down the time I make my reports. I only need to do more research on how to remove “zombie pages”. If you could have a ste-by-step guide to it, that would be awesome! Thanks!


Your article reaches me at just the perfect time. I’ve been working on getting back to blogging and have been at it for almost a month now. I’ve been fixing SEO related stuff on my blog and after reading this article (by the way is way too long for one sitting) I’m kind of confused. I’m looking at bloggers like Darren Rowse, Brian Clark, and so many other bloggers who use blogging or their blogs as a platform to educate their readers more than thinking about search rankings (but I’m sure they do).
Hi Faizan, glad you found it useful. Yes, SEMrush is definitely one of the best SEO tools out there. When you’re doing keyword research, don’t go for KD score, instead pick low volume keywords with 100 or even 50 monthly searches. And target long tail keywords so you can get traffic from multiple keyword phrases. It might take a good 3 months to get the traffic from search engines if you go that way.
Spy On Competitors’ Best Performing PLAs: Which of the competitions’ product listing advertisements are showing up the most on Google? What do the ads look like, well that’s where this tool can help. The PLA Copies report shows you copies of the competitions’ advertisements via Google’s Shopping. You’ll see each ad as well as the number of keywords that bring up those ads in Google Shopping Results. This allows you to pick up the top performing ads used by the competition, analyze how they work, and you’ll know what Google prefers the most and then use them for yourself. The tool’s filters allow you to sort data by Product Price or Product Title. Plus, you can narrow the search to ads that are relevant to your business. Also, all reports can be exported in CSV, XLS and CSV formats.
The search console will list all of the links and also help you discover bad links, new ones, and compile a backlink sheet which you can then use to disavow all the backlinks you don’t want. Interestingly, the tool has automated that process as well by merely exporting the entire list directly to Google’s disavow tool with no edits or switching from the tool. The idea is to keep the backlink record clean.

Monitor Changes in Statistics: The Display Advertising Feature also allows you to see the changes in statics which depend on the ads and the devices on which they are displayed. Your display campaign will be visible across tablets, PCs, smartphones, etc. All of which results in being able to see which devices are producing the most impressions, check if text ads are doing better than media ads or vice versa and adjust your campaign settings to allow for better interaction.

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