SEMrush is hands down the best tool for keyword research. I love that you can do competitor analysis and find the keywords people are searching to go to your competitor's site. You can add all your projects in one big dashboard and see a quick overview of your keyword rankings (I do this every other day to check if my sites were penalized/keywords dropped). The reporting feature is also a great alternative to Google Analytics and we send automated reports to our clients.
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.
The Backlink Analytics tool can provide lengthy lists of competitor's backlinks that can be exported in spreadsheet formats. You can see your competitors backlink strategies including legitimate (blogs, directories) and illegitimate methods for gaining domain and site authority on Google. I also appreciate the keyword rankings, as it allows for easy reporting and tracking of SEO optimization strategies and keyword campaigns. Great tools for tracking keywords campaigns against similar business as well.

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.


The feature also gives you information about whether the competition is using high-volume keywords or ones with a long-tail to get their ranking. Plus, another important thing the report provides is a look into if the competition is using branded ad copy or branded keywords for better conversions. You’ll also learn how long the competitions’ ads have been around which tells you exactly how successful a campaign was during the year, season or specific periods. All of this is information which can be used to boost your own campaign.
Pavan, I would suggest you to give a try to it. Its a win-win situation for you as you will have free access to SEMrush pro version worth $47 for 14 days and you are not going to lose anything. If you like it, continue using it. With the kind of features SEMrush is offering, there is no alternative as such. With SEMrush, you can track 500 keywords with Pro version (price $99.95) and with Moz, you have to pay $99 for tracking 300 keywords only. So feature wise, SEMrush is much better than Moz or any other SEO/SEM tool available in the market.

After the audit has been completed, your team will be invited to a presentation in which your SEO specialist will talk through the findings and recommendations. The Three Deep SEO team will walk you and your team though the roadmap to completion so you know what to expect and when. In addition, you will receive a comprehensive analysis of your site’s health. All of these are customized to you and your specific situation.
Brand Monitoring also allows you to get insights into how competitors and other industry leaders are creating opportunities which you can seize. You can research their present and past activities which then means you’re able to adopt their best practices and find ways to distribute your content saving you time and money which would otherwise be spent on trial and error. So, in a way you are learning from what the competition is doing right.  
Another excellent feature is the ability to create keyword lists. It allows for the creation of 50 lists, which is great for anyone working on several websites or even several pages on a single website with each one having a separate set of target keywords. You can easily create and organize your workflow across numerous projects and then assign keyword lists to every client. Once again it is an excellent feature for professional SEO experts. 

Faizan, since you have a new blog, so you should go for least competitive keywords. You can use SEMrush Keyword difficulty (KD) metrics while doing keyword research for your niche. Don’t target keywords that has more than 50 KD and monthly search volume should not be more than 500-600. Please let me know in case you have any additional question for me.
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?
We consider the backlink checker the single most advantageous tool for anyone who wants to improve their backlinking strategy. It also helps you view sources of referral traffic so that you’re aware precisely as to where they are coming from. Not to mention the fact disavow traffic or backlinks from spammy websites. Speaking of spammy websites the backlink checker helps keep you up to date on the latest backlinks, and if you spot a series of links from bad sites, there is a good chance someone is running a malicious campaign against you. So, you have the opportunity to stop it before Google ends up sandboxing 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.
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!
SEMRush is one of the best solutions I have found for discovering site errors, getting a great explanation on how to fix it, and even posting for social media. It covers end to end so many of the varied areas of SEO, that it's become an invaluable part of my business. My favorite has been utilizing the ranking tools to see how we compare against competitors, and also tips on getting featured snippets (which we achieved for one client this year!)
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.
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!
Many thanks for the insightful write-up on today’s approach to business building. I am particularly intrigued by your detailed explanation on keyword research and what better way to do it than to leverage on a tool that is a cumulation of years of marketing experience. SEO has evolved more and more into a complex and more buyer-focused process and I’m glad that there are people and tools like SEMRush to assist. Looking forward winning a copy.
If you are interested in having the SEO Audit Tool on your web platform, you can have a free seven day trial of it. By embedding this tool directly on your page, you can generate great leads from your users by seeing their websites or the websites they are interested in. From here, you can target a more specific audience and see great improvements in your conversion rates!
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 relevant keywords that you target with your ads will bring the right audience to your website. Showing your ads to people that type relevant keywords will result in higher click-through rate (CTR), lower cost-per-click (CPC) and higher conversion rates for your business. As a result, you will spend less money on advertising and generate a better return on investment.

I’m very local service oriented and I have several pages that our on the first page of google and I do get traffic. I see that I have a 1 rating DA and PA. There is decent competition for some of my keywords. Is possible to have a website that generates traffic with only a 1? It’s a young site and I’m trying my best to get it going stronger. I hired someone but that clearly hasn’t worked out well if I’m still at a one.


SEMrush was originally created to provide e-commerce entrepreneurs with a host of powerful tools which they could use to boost their marketing efforts. The tools focus on every aspect of marketing like PPC, SEO, content marketing, keyword research, SERPs, backlinks, content marketing, social media, etc.  We provide a complete and detailed analysis of each tool and feature in the context of how it helps businesses improve their reach and consequently do more business below.
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).

their tools for seo and sem are great, especially the audit tool and campaign tracking. I rely on their customer friendly graphs and competitive intelligence to show customers where they measure up to the competition and where they're performing well. It's really hard to estimate traffic to any particular site, but SEM Rush has some algorithm that calculates it. They also produce great content on their blog and with webinars. They really know who their audience is. I've also found their support to be top notch and are helpful walking you through using the tools features. Campaign tracking and SERP monitoring are also very useful. I've used the site audit feature for years now too.
There are two ways to try SEMrush the first is to use our nifty little widget. Just enter the keyword or your website to get a detailed report. The report will outline things like keywords, search volume and a couple of other things. It gives you a sort of taster as to what kind of potential it has to offer, so you know what to expect when the tool is applied in the real world. The widget will convince most people if the tool is something they need from the get-go.
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.
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