If you have been working on or thinking about working on SEO, I’m sure you’ve heard of Semrush.
It’s one of the most powerful digital marketing tools and is used a lot by small business owners and marketers.
But did you know that there are three different types of Semrush accounts?
- Semrush paid subscriptions
- Semrush free trial
- Semrush free account
When I work with small businesses, they often get confused between all three, about which ones provide which features, and are not sure which one to use to improve the SEO of their branded website.
In this blog post, I’ll explain the differences between all of them, especially a Semrush free account and a Semrush free trial as that is the most confusing one.
I use this tool a lot, so I’ll also share my reviews after having tried all three versions, to help you decide which one is right for you.
So whether you’re just getting started with Semrush or you’re thinking about signing up for it, this post is for you!
Introduction to Semrush
Semrush is an all-in-1 online marketing toolkit that helps you improve the performance of your website and SEO.
Benefits of using Semrush
Some of the key benefits you can get by using Semrush are:
- Increase organic traffic
- Get the best keywords for your content marketing
- Improve your website rankings
- Get in-depth data about your competitors
- Improve the technical health of your website
- Track the performance of your website ranks over time
- Check and improve the SEO metrics for each website page
You get all these benefits by using the key features of Semrush.
Semrush divides its key features by toolkits:
- Local SEO
- Social Media
- Content Marketing
These are the key features the toolkits provide:
- Keyword Research: Research and analyze the best keywords to use for your website or blog.
- Competitor Analysis: Understand what your competitors are doing online, and how they are achieving their results.
- Site Audit: Semrush will crawl your website and identify any potential areas of improvement.
- Traffic Analytics: Track and analyze the traffic patterns of any website.
- On-Page SEO Checker: Optimize your web pages for maximum visibility in search engines.
- Content Marketing: Find content topics, write and optimize your content, and check for plagiarism
- Position Tracking: Track your progress in the SERPs over time, so you can see how your SEO efforts are paying off.
- Backlink Analysis: Understand the link-building strategies of your competitors so you can build more effective backlinks for your own website.
- PPC Keyword Tool: Find profitable keywords to target with your PPC campaigns.
- Social Media Tracker: See how well your social media campaigns are performing and where there is room for improvement.
- Ads history tracker: See which ads have been running on your competitors’ websites so that you can get ideas for your own campaigns.
- Reporting: Create custom reports that show everything from detailed keyword data to overviews of your website’s traffic sources.
For full details of Semrush and its features and benefits, read my Semrush guide, how it differs from Google Analytics, and the tool’s pros and cons.
Ready to explore Semrush with a free trial? Get started with an exclusive 14-day free trial.
Semrush paid subscriptions
A Semrush paid subscription is one in which you pay a monthly or annual fee to use the Semrush features and toolkits, in order to maintain an optimized website.
You can use a subscription to check hundreds of keywords and domains, run multiple site audits, and track multiple projects.
Semrush offers 3 kinds of plans and pricing levels, and they provide a different number of toolkits and features.
- Pro: Offers all the key features of the SEO toolkit.
- Guru: Includes all the Pro features plus added advantages like the Content Marketing Platform and Historical Data.
- Business: Includes almost all the features that Semrush has to offer.
Accordingly, they have different kinds of pricing levels too. Here are the monthly prices if you pay monthly:
- Pro: $119.9
- Guru: $229.95
- Business: $449.95
You can also take advantage of the Semrush lifetime deals and save 17% on the above prices every year, forever. Also check out the annual Semrush Black Friday deal! Read my full post on Semrush coupon codes for all Semrush offers and coupons.
Here is a snapshot of the plans and pricing.
For more details on the paid subscriptions, read my Semrush tutorial.
What is a Semrush free trial? What features does it include?
Semrush provides a free trial for its Guru and Pro plans for you to try out the features, get a hang of the tool, and see if it works for you.
With a Semrush free trial, you can get access to all the Semrush features of that particular plan as mentioned above.
For example, with a Semrush free trial for Pro, you will be able to use all the features of the SEO toolkit that the Pro plan provides.
No restrictions, no limitations.
It will be exactly like using the Pro paid subscription, except that you are not paying for it.
Similarly for the Guru plan.
However, since it’s a TRIAL, it’s for a very short, limited period.
A Semrush regular free trial is for 7 days only.
However, because I love and use the tool so much, I worked out a deal to provide my readers with an extended free trial for 14 days!
Just click on this 14-day Pro trial period link, and then you will be able to use Semrush Pro for free for 14 days.
Getting this 14-day free trial basically means getting the Pro plan free for 14 days. Which also means saving $119.95.
So it obviously makes more sense than a 7-day free trial.
But keep track of the number of days.
If after 14 days you don’t want to upgrade to a paid subscription, remember to cancel your plan!
Honestly, if you are a small business owner, blogger, freelancer, or solopreneur, the Pro plan is enough.
But if you want access to more advanced tools like the Content Marketing Toolkit, Traffic Analytics, etc., you can also get a free trial of the Guru plan. It would work exactly the same way as the Pro one.
Check out the free 14-day Guru trial.
You will have to enter your credit card details if you want to get access to the 14-day free trials.
Yes, I know, you don’t really like to enter credit cards for trial periods. Me neither.
But it is what it is.
Without entering your credit card details, you will not be able to access the free trial, unfortunately.
What is a Semrush free account? What features does it include?
A Semrush free account lets you try out a limited number of features of the Semrush toolkits without paying for them.
To get a Semrush free account, you don’t need to provide your credit card details.
But it is not the same as using the plans for free.
You have two kinds of usage limits on a Semrush free account:
- The data you can get
- The number of searches you can run daily
Here are some features you can use with a Semrush free account with their limits:
- Keyword Research: Up to 10 keywords per day, 10 results per keyword
- Competitor Research: Up to 10 domains per day
- Projects: Set up and track one project
- Position Tracking: Track 10 keywords for your project
- Site Audit: Up to 100 URLs for one domain
- Local SEO: Free audit with the Listing Management tool
- Content Marketing: Create one SEO Content Template and use the SEO Writing Assistant once
- On-page Checker: One On-page SEO Checker campaign
What is the difference between a Semrush free account and a Semrush free trial?
The biggest difference between a Semrush free account and a Semrush free trial is that:
- In a Semrush free account, you don’t need to enter your credit card details, and can try out a very limited number of features, forever.
- In a Semrush free trial, you have to enter your credit card details, and you can use all the features of a plan, for a limited number of days.
Here are some key features of a Semrush free account and its differences from a free trial/ paid subscription.
1. 10 credits per day
You can think of credits as searches or reports you run. Semrush also calls it requests. You can use these credits across the key features:
- Keyword Research
- Competitor Research
- Link Building
This means that if you search for one keyword, like ‘marinara sauce recipe’, that is counted as one credit.
You go to the Keyword Magic Tool to explore keywords related to ‘marinara sauce recipe’. That’s one credit/ request.
Then you search for another keyword: ‘simple marinara sauce recipe’. That is one credit/ request.
Then you analyze a competitor domain in Domain Overview. One credit.
Then you analyze a competitor’s backlinks. One credit.
And so on and so forth.
The difference with the free trial/ paid subscriptions: In a free trial or paid subscription of the Pro plan, you can get 3000 reports per day for the Keyword Magic Tool. You can also use filters to narrow down your search results, but you can’t do that in the free account.
My review: When I used a Semrush free account, I quickly used up 10 credits in getting insights for only one keyword and got frustrated that I couldn’t do more 😉
2. 10 results per report/ request
For any search, you get only 10 results and limited details. Let’s see this with an example.
Let’s take the keyword ‘marinara sauce recipe’.
So this is what the results will look like in the Keyword Magic Tool.
In the Keyword Overview, you can only see the pages that rank, but not their number of keywords, backlinks, or referring domains.
To see those, you will have to use the Domain Overview report.
But even then, you can only see the backlinks and keywords for a domain, not a specific page.
So for example, if you want to analyze the page “https://cookieandkate.com/simple-marinara-sauce-recipe/” to see why it could rank on position 2, you can’t, as you get no metrics for it.
If you enter that in Domain Overview, you get this notice:
The difference with the free trial/ paid subscriptions: In a free trial or paid subscription, you can up to 10,000 results per report. So for example, you can get 10,000 related keywords instead of 10. pages that rank for a certain keyword and their details. You can also see all the SERP details in the Keyword Overview Tool.
This is how it looks with a Semrush free trial.
My review: If you only want to compare your competitor’s domain to yours at a very overview level, the limited data in the free trial is fine.
But if you really want to target specific keywords to rank in Google, and you want to analyze what the top ranking pages are doing right to rank high, then the limited credits won’t be enough for you.
3. Track 10 keywords per project
In Semrush, you can set up websites to track over time. They are called projects.
You can track the traffic, SERP positions for certain keywords, backlinks, etc.
With a Semrush free account, you can set up only one keyword and track only 10 keywords for it.
The difference with the free trial/ paid subscriptions: In a free trial or paid subscription of the Pro plan, you can set up 5 projects, and track 500 keywords across all your projects. With the Guru plan, you can track 1500.
My review: If you are a small business owner with only one website, and are just in the starting stages, one free project and 10 keywords are okay till your small business website is growing.
But if you want to monitor competitors’ performance over time as well, as I do, the option of 5 projects is good to have.
Plus, if you and your competitors are also ranking well for some keywords, then 500 keywords will also be enough to track your progress over time.
4. 100 URLs per site audit
The Semrush Site Audit tool crawls your website and provides you with a comprehensive report of any issues that it finds. You can then use this report to fix errors and improve your site’s SEO.
With the Semrush free account, the Site Audit tool will crawl 100 URLs of your website only. These include all pages, archives, posts, cloaked affiliate links, sitemaps, etc.
The difference with the free trial/ paid subscriptions: In a free trial or paid subscription of the Pro plan, the site audit tool will crawl up 100,000 pages in the Pro plan/ trial and up to 300,000 pages in the Guru plan.
My review: The Semrush free account will give you a quick overview of your site health, and you will get a few tips on what to improve on your site. So if you have a very small site with a few pages, the free account will work okay.
But remember that the URLs don’t only include your content pages but also other links. So the limit of 100 URLs is used up quickly.
So if you really want to take a detailed look at your site to significantly improve its health, consider getting a paid subscription or at least a 14-day free trial.
Get a free 14-day trial for the Pro Plan
Get a free 14-day trial for the Guru Plan
Want to know more about the differences of the limits and subscriptions? Read more about them here.
Semrush free account vs Semrush free trial: Sign-up process
The first parts of the Semrush free account and free trial sign-up processes are the same.
Step 1: Go to the sign-up page of the 14-day free trial
Step 2: Click to start the sign-up process
Step 3: Enter your email and password
Step 4: Verify your email with the activation code you receive by email
Step 5: This is where the difference happens.
Semrush free trial: Enter your credit card details to get full access to the Semrush paid subscription for free, for 14 days.
Semrush free account: Hit the back button without entering your credit card. That’s how you get a Semrush free account instead of a free trial.
Who should use a Semrush free account and a Semrush free trial
A Semrush free account is really helpful if you want to get a feel of the Semrush tool and the user experience.
So it’s good if you want to just occasionally check out some keywords or analyze a competitor.
Or simply if you want to get an idea of how an SEO tool works. Semrush actually sums it up nicely.
If you want to seriously consider a tool for SEO and want to understand the extent of benefits Semrush can provide you, you should get a Semrush free trial. Here is another summary by Semrush.
Semrush free account vs Semrush free trial: Conclusion
So there you have it – the key differences between a Semrush free account and a free trial.
Here is a quick recap.
If you’re considering using SEMrush to improve your SEO, then you may be wondering whether you should sign up for a free account or take advantage of their 14-day free trial.
Both options have their benefits; it just depends on what you need from the tool. If you are serious about SEO and need all the tools that come with Semrush’s paid accounts but aren’t sure if it’s worth the investment just yet, then go ahead and sign up for the free trial.
However, if you’re on a tight budget or are still getting your feet wet with SEO, then stick with the free account until you’re ready to upgrade.
What do you think of the differences between a Semrush free account and a Semrush free trial? Which one would you use?