Semrush review

Last updated: March 2023

Semrush SEO tool homepage
  • Fantastic access to competitor keywords
  • See what keywords your competitors are ranking for
  • Also includes Paid Search competitor keyword data

What is Semrush?

Semrush began in 2008 when a team of SEO and IT specialists got their heads together with the aim of making online competition fair and transparent.

This ‘equal opportunities for all’ mantra led them to create what is now regarded by some as the world's leading competitive research service for online marketing.

Semrush is a huge keyword research and competitive analysis tool, revealing insights into your competitor's organic and paid search activities.

It even shows you exactly what search terms your competitors rank for in Google, and where they get their traffic from.

What does Semrush do?

The SEMrush dashboard is organised by the following features:

Organic research

This allows you to see your competitors’ best keywords and also suggests other competitor sites you should analyse.

All of the keywords that your competitor ranks in the top 20 of Google or Bing are displayed within Semrush, along with data like search volume, position, estimated CPC and lots more. So you can get a lot of new keyword ideas directly from your competitors.

Advertising research

This part of the Semrush tool allows you to get a better idea of your competitors’ Paid Search strategy.

As well as showing you the keywords they might be bidding on, Semrush also shows you the ad copy currently being used by your competitors for any given keyword.

Whether you are running a PPC campaign, or strictly using Semrush for SEO purposes, this level of data can be invaluable.

Display advertising

Similar to the above, this module provides a wealth of information regarding your competitor's display ad campaigns – which sites their banners are hosted on, analyse their designs etc…

You can also use this to see who the top websites in your niche are for hosting ads, and the data within here can be used to help enhance your own AdSense earnings.


Although Semrush is a competitive analysis tool that is predominantly focused on keyword research, it also has a more than decent backlink checker.

With this you can conduct a detailed link audit on a domain and see the usual data like the number of links, referring domains, referring pages etc…

The backlink checker can also group the inbound links into types, e.g. “follow” and “nofollow” links, text links, image links etc…

Video advertising research

Semrush constantly analyses all the top YouTube channels and searches for the ads within those videos. This gives them a huge list of video ad placements and landing pages – which is data you can get stuck into straight away to inform and enhance your video advertising campaigns.

Keyword research

As well as all the valuable competitor keyword data you can uncover with Semrush, it also offers a more traditional keyword research tool that can be used to develop new keyword ideas.

This is especially useful to identify more long-tail keywords that you can target in your on-page optimisation plans.

Product listing ads

Finally, the product listing ads module gives you a wealth of competitor intelligence regarding Google Shopping feeds.

You can instantly see exactly who your competitors are, how many PLA keywords you are both bidding on, estimate how much they are spending on PLAs and compare ranking positions.

The best part about this aspect of the tool is that you can see exactly what keywords trigger your competitor's Product Listing Ads, what landing page they point to, what the search volume is and so on – putting a massive amount of competitor data at your fingertips.

Who needs Semrush?

If you’re involved in any form of search marketing, then you need to give Semrush a try.

The level of competitive intelligence you get from the tool is invaluable and, along with the other modules, can actually make a positive difference to your day job.

How much does Semrush cost?

There are three different Semrush account tiers available:

Pro - $119.95

Guru - $229.95

Business - $449.95

All of the main features of Semrush are available with whatever account level you opt for, with the differences in prices giving you more data in your reports.

For instance, each keyword report you run on a Pro account returns a maximum of 10,000 results – whereas on the Guru account you get 30,000 and with the Business account you’ll get 50,000.

For most SEOs, the Pro account is more than enough – giving you 3,000 reports a day, a total of 5 projects to run concurrently, 500 keywords to track and 100,000 pages to crawl.

Good points about Semrush

The wealth of competitive data available within Semrush is the one and only reason you need to give it a try.

Being able to see exactly what keywords your competitors rank for, alongside search volumes and difficulty scores would be enough – but you also get so much more: PPC campaign data, Product Listing Ad data, Display Ad data and so on.

All of this can be fed straight into your own online marketing activity, giving your campaigns that extra spark you were looking for.

  • Fantastic access to competitor keywords
  • See what keywords your competitors are ranking for
  • Also includes Paid Search competitor keyword data

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About the Author

Luke Glassford

Luke Glassford is an SEO expert with over 15 years’ experience.

During his time working in SEO, Luke has set-up an SEO agency, worked as an in-house SEO for a major national company and managed his own successful SEO consultancy - using a lot of different SEO tools along the way!