Spying on competitors have become the norm these days. Without knowing what and how your competitors are doing, it is difficult for a marketer to decide on a marketing technique that will not only drive traffic but also enable conversion. When it comes to website ranking, only paid ads do not serve the purpose. Although paid ads are a quicker way to come to limelight, organic search results are what actually ensure yours stability in the market. Tools like SEMrush helps in digging out the tiniest information about your competitors and thereby, improve your search ranking considerably.
However, if possible, I would like you to expand a bit on your “zombie pages” tip..we run a site where are definitely enough pages to delete (no sessions, no links, probably not even relevant with the main theme of the site, not even important for the architecture of the site)..Nonetheless, I am not very sure what is the best technical decision for these pages…just deleting them from my CMS, redirecting (if there is a relevant alternative) or something else? Unindex them on Search console? what response code they should have? ..

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.

Website Audit can be a tiring and time-consuming process. It is easy to lose track of different pieces for the content and a Website audit would suffice the need for answering the various question of the online presence of the blog. Such as improving the technical SEO component of the blog, Meta description, etc, Interlinking of the posts, Content audits are helpful when managing a website that mainly concentrates on content.

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.
The feature allows users to check all incoming links from various URLs to their website’s domain and root domain. Plus, it gives them insight into their domain’s authority and geolocation. The anchor text linking to their website along with URLs, target web pages, titles of linking, etc. combined with the link’s weight of the competitor’s domain is more than enough information to form of a killer SEO strategy.
SEMrush Advertising feature helps in achieving the maximum ROI from your PPC campaigns. SEMrush gives you valuable data on your competitors’ PPC campaigns, like keywords, budget, campaign activities, and so on. Using these data, you can improve your own campaign and get the maximum ROI possible out of it. This not only helps you avoid certain mistakes, it also saves your time and cost. You cease from burning money in a campaign that gives no or least return.
Another essential sub-feature of the Display Advertising feature is their SEM AdSense Publisher’s Report. The report outlines the other websites on which your competition is advertising and enables you to find sites you’ve yet to use to promote your own business. This type of information is excellent for local advertising where an ad on the right local website can make a huge difference.
I purchased SEMRush last week and completed a Site Audit I couldn’t believe my site had so many problems. The only problem I have is that there are a lot of recommendations but no instructions on how to fix them. For example, the software advised me to use follow links on my posts instead of the No-follow links, several duplicate contents, meta description problems etc. Do you have nay ideas I can use to rectify the SEMRush problems?
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?
Thanks so much for offering this helpful tool. It is very useful. In case you want feedback, I think it would be great if you could please also consider including another column to display the linked page (i.e., the actual page that the backlink goes to on the domain). When selecting “All pages on this domain” it is difficult to know which page each backlink is going to on the domain. Thanks for your consideration.
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.

Spying on competitors have become the norm these days. Without knowing what and how your competitors are doing, it is difficult for a marketer to decide on a marketing technique that will not only drive traffic but also enable conversion. When it comes to website ranking, only paid ads do not serve the purpose. Although paid ads are a quicker way to come to limelight, organic search results are what actually ensure yours stability in the market. Tools like SEMrush helps in digging out the tiniest information about your competitors and thereby, improve your search ranking considerably.
Another essential sub-feature of the Display Advertising feature is their SEM AdSense Publisher’s Report. The report outlines the other websites on which your competition is advertising and enables you to find sites you’ve yet to use to promote your own business. This type of information is excellent for local advertising where an ad on the right local website can make a huge difference.
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.
Keyword research is the bread and butter of any SEO campaign. You can’t have a SEO campaign without a defined list of primary and secondary keywords along with long and short tail keywords. It is so important that we don’t think that there is an SEO tool out there that does not have a keyword research tool in one form or the other. However, SEMRush’s keyword research tool is amongst the best.
First of all, you can cancel your SEMrush account anytime in 14 days during free trial. Money will be automatically deducted from your account after this time frame. If somehow you missed to cancel your membership within 14 days and not happy with SEMrush services, you can ask for full refund within 1 week time after time frame even. For this, you have to drop an email at [email protected]
Check Domain Competitors: The Advertising Research tool provides a list of common keywords, online competitors’ AdWords spend, and estimation of paid traffic. The system will exclude results which aren’t from the real market of the domain by analyzing the overall number of keywords for every domain and the number of domains’ most common keywords. If the domains have a very high number of common keywords, they can be considered competitors. So, you can then focus attention on your PPC rivals.
Now the Domain vs. Domain tool is a rather unusual visual tool which allows you to compare up to 5 different domains. You can then compare and contrast data from all of the domains. It is handy for SEO experts who want to conduct and later update their competitive analysis of the industry and where they fit in. The Venn algorithm uses diagrams and other essential bits of data to give you a pretty good idea of where your website is placed in the grand context of the niche.
Track Competitors’ Ranking: The tool also makes it possible to track competitors’ keywords ranking. If anything, the best and easiest way to know how well you’re doing is to pull up a side by side comparison of yourself versus a competitor for all the search terms you’re targeting. The ability to add up to ten competitors as part of the tracking campaign means that you can easily keep an eye on the top 10.

Brian, I’m going through Step 3, which is referring to the one version of the website. I found a very good free tool (https://varvy.com/tools/redirects/) to recommend. It checks on the redirect and gives you a visual number of hops. More hops mean more delay. For example, if I use your manual method to check on https://uprenew.com, all looks good. However, if I use the tool and check, I realize there is an unnecessary 1 hop/delay, whereby I can fix it. Hope this helps. : )
SEMrush is an extremely popular SEO software which encompasses a host of tools for social media, website audits, rank tracking, etc. It is considered the gold standard when it comes to competitive analysis features. The features provide users with valuable information about their competition, link building, display advertising, organic search, and paid search. All that information allows you to see how well the competition is performing which in turn helps you decide which are the best strategies to use in your own SEO campaigns. Plus, it shows why some of the competition is doing poorly so that you can avoid what clearly isn’t working for them.
Competitor Backlink Audit: Analyze the link profile of your competitors and look for opportunities that can help improve your own link building and search performance. Whenever you perform a competitor backlink check or audit, you must also check the inbound links that are pointing to top ranking pages so you wouldn’t miss out on important link opportunities.

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.


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.
In our experience, the Lead Generation tool is pretty useful but perhaps most if you’re running a SEO business and want to collect sales leads. What it does not tell you is which pages were crawled. So, you better prepare an answer to this question just in case a prospect asks. Though in our experience it is a pretty useful tool which is packaged in an easy to use interface.
Many websites rely on other traffic generation methods such as traffic from social media, email, referrals, and direct traffic sources over search engines. For sites like these, SEO errors aren’t as important because search engines aren’t their #1 traffic source. For a smaller website, a couple of errors can have a much bigger negative effect than those same errors on a larger website.

Check if there are governmental or educational links: EDU and GOV links are some of the best as they help to improve authority.  So, every SEO professional knows the value of these links as they directly result in an SEO boost. Just a handful of these links can mean a great deal for your website. The tool shows if there are any of these backlinks to your website.
However, most people prefer to use their local language so the queries generated by American customers will differ from Europeans. Also, some search terms will be misspelled because people are in a hurry to find what they want or maybe using a mobile device to type. So, knowing which keywords international users are typing in to get what they want will provide additional advertising opportunities which could yield better results with a lower price tag.
SEMrush is an extremely popular SEO software which encompasses a host of tools for social media, website audits, rank tracking, etc. It is considered the gold standard when it comes to competitive analysis features. The features provide users with valuable information about their competition, link building, display advertising, organic search, and paid search. All that information allows you to see how well the competition is performing which in turn helps you decide which are the best strategies to use in your own SEO campaigns. Plus, it shows why some of the competition is doing poorly so that you can avoid what clearly isn’t working for them.
Localize Ad Campaigns: Paid search like the one offered by AdWords differs in the way it works from one country to the next. If you are targeting international clients, the advertisements have to be adapted for a specific geography. The local ad campaigns feature allows you to analyze keywords and texts from over a hundred countries in more than twenty languages. You are able to look at what keywords Dutch, French and American users are typing into search boxes to find the services products, etc. that they want.

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.


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!)
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.
Even though you may be running a pretty good backlinking campaign in a bid to get backlinks from highly reputed sources you can’t control the sites linking back. Also some website you may not want to be affiliated with in any way. So, to protect your website from being penalized because of being affiliated with so-called “bad websites” the backlink tool can help you find and disavow those links.
The Organic Traffic Insights tool works by combining the Google Search Console and Google Analytics data along with its own algorithm to provide organic traffic data. The tool merges all the data in an easy to understand format which frees you from having to juggle multiple files in Excel. All of this makes it easy to identify which keywords are driving traffic to which URLs. This data comes in handy since you can now tailor the pages based on where the traffic is coming from to boost conversions even further. You will also know the reason behind major traffic swings.
Its simple all that’s required is to log-into your SEMrush account, click on the Lead Generation Tool on the left. The Widget Settings will open up, and you can fill out the form with all the required information that you want visitors to see. Then personalize the subject and response message in the email and hit ‘save.’ The opt-in form can be further personalized with updated colors which reflect your website’s design or branding.
We have been using Semrush in our company to manage the SEO part. This tool is helping our team to build backlinks by discovering the new link building opportunity. Moreover, this tool help us to discover all onpage issues in our website and help us to resolve those problems. This tool is comprehensive and we don't need any other tool apart from this to manage SEO of our website
Provides a great deal of data in an easily consumable format and with the ability to export to excel which makes adding SEM data to our reports simple. SEMrush makes doing keyword, organic and competitor analysis lightning fast which reduces our time spent gathering data and gives us more time to work with the metrics and provide better strategies to our clients.

Ranking data is updated on a fairly regular basis and is extremely accurate in regards to where you’re ranking for the keyword. It will allow you to see how well all that SEO hard work is paying off and if it is not then you’ll learn to retool it for better effectiveness. Plus, you can track competitor’s keywords and compare that with yours. It can be seen as a sort of your website vs. the competition joisting for better ranking.
Ranking data is updated on a fairly regular basis and is extremely accurate in regards to where you’re ranking for the keyword. It will allow you to see how well all that SEO hard work is paying off and if it is not then you’ll learn to retool it for better effectiveness. Plus, you can track competitor’s keywords and compare that with yours. It can be seen as a sort of your website vs. the competition joisting for better ranking.
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.
There are other parts of SEO which you should pay attention to after your audit to make sure you stay competitive. After all, the technical foundation isn't the end of the road for SEO success. It's important to pay attention to your competition's SEO activity, keep an eye on the newest search engine best practices, and maintain local SEO best practices if your business depends on customers visiting a physical address. All of these are elements of a successful SEO strategy and should be corollary to your audit and ongoing SEO maintenance.
Quick tip: While doing keyword research with SEMrush, do not select the keywords with search volume more than 1000 per month, as they require a lot of efforts to get required traffic for your site. Choose the keywords between 500 to 1000 per month search volume (or even below) so you can get top 3 or at least first page rankings even if you’ve a new website.
Quick tip: While doing keyword research with SEMrush, do not select the keywords with search volume more than 1000 per month, as they require a lot of efforts to get required traffic for your site. Choose the keywords between 500 to 1000 per month search volume (or even below) so you can get top 3 or at least first page rankings even if you’ve a new website.
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.
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.

However, most people prefer to use their local language so the queries generated by American customers will differ from Europeans. Also, some search terms will be misspelled because people are in a hurry to find what they want or maybe using a mobile device to type. So, knowing which keywords international users are typing in to get what they want will provide additional advertising opportunities which could yield better results with a lower price tag.
Truly an insightful post Matthew, thank you very much for your awesome content. My first site is about to be launched and it’s been a ton of work to get to this point and I know that’s just the start. I would love to have a years membership of SEMRush to help my blog get off the ground. I have used the demo version a few times and it provides a lot of value. Thanks again for this amazing article and I hope I win.
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.
Track Competitors’ Ranking: The tool also makes it possible to track competitors’ keywords ranking. If anything, the best and easiest way to know how well you’re doing is to pull up a side by side comparison of yourself versus a competitor for all the search terms you’re targeting. The ability to add up to ten competitors as part of the tracking campaign means that you can easily keep an eye on the top 10.
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.
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!
Quick tip: While doing keyword research with SEMrush, do not select the keywords with search volume more than 1000 per month, as they require a lot of efforts to get required traffic for your site. Choose the keywords between 500 to 1000 per month search volume (or even below) so you can get top 3 or at least first page rankings even if you’ve a new website.

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.
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.

Any SEO specialist worth his salt knows the importance of backlinks. No SEO campaign can be complete without good quality do-follow and no-follow backlinks from forums, blogs, news websites, etc. within the niche. The Backlinks Report provided by SEMRush provides thorough information regarding geolocation, rank authority and the number of incoming links. These links are seen as votes in favor of your website’s relevance to the subject or niche, in addition to being voted up for credibility and trustworthiness.


We realize that when you make a decision to buy SEO Software it’s important not only to see how experts evaluate it in their reviews, but also to find out if the real people and companies that buy it are actually satisfied with the product. That’s why we’ve created our behavior-based Customer Satisfaction Algorithm™ that gathers customer reviews, comments and SEMrush reviews across a wide range of social media sites. The data is then presented in an easy to digest form showing how many people had positive and negative experience with SEMrush. With that information at hand you should be equipped to make an informed buying decision that you won’t regret.
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… 

Bearing in mind that the content on your website is the bread and butter of your SEO, SEM and advertising campaign it needs to be very good. That’s where the Content Analyzer tool can help. The tool enables you to understand the audience you’re engaging with. You can view essential metrics like visitor sessions, bounce rates, durations, backlinks, social shares, etc.
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.
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.
Their SEO content template tool is also a great one for beginners. You have to just put the keyword you want to rank for and the target geo and it will provide you a template to do that. It'll tell you the keywords you need to use in your content and on-page elements and the domains from which you need to rope some backlinks to make your piece rank on the first page.
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!
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