As a small business owner, you’re always looking for ways to improve your website and online presence.
This makes SEO very important, and one tool that can help is Semrush.
Semrush is a powerful analytics tool that can give you insights into your website’s performance, including traffic data, organic keywords, and competitor analysis.
I absolutely adore this tool and in full disclosure, I am an affiliate marketer for it.
However, Semrush also has its pros and cons, which you should consider before deciding whether or not to use it.
In this post, I’ll review the Semrush pros and cons from my experience so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to use it for your business.
What is Semrush?
Semrush is a comprehensive marketing toolkit that can help businesses of all sizes to improve their search engine rankings and achieve their marketing goals.
It offers all the essential SEO analytical features, some advanced SEO tools, content marketing tools, and also toolkits for link-building, advertising, social media, and more.
If you want to check out this tool while reading this post on the Semrush pros and cons, you can use my affiliate link to get an exclusive 30-day free trial.
The regular trial period is for 7 days.
Now let’s get into the Semrush pros and cons so you can decide if this tool is a good fit for you in the long run.
Semrush Pros & Cons
Semrush is a comprehensive SEO and digital marketing tool that offers a ton of value, but it has quite a few drawbacks which could prevent it from being the SEO tool for everyone.
Should you choose Semrush? Continue reading the Semrush pros and cons to decide!
1. All-in-1 Marketing Toolkit
One of the reasons I am a big fan of Semrush is that it is not just an SEO tool. It is an all-in-1 marketing toolkit that provides you with the insights and tools I need to improve my online visibility and reach my target audience.
It gives you detailed insights into your website’s traffic, SEO, PPC, social media, content marketing, and more. Basically, it helps you to track your progress and performance in all aspects of your internet marketing efforts.
Additionally, it can also help you to spy on your competitors and see what they are doing well or badly so that you can improve your own SEO strategies.
2. Wide range of SEO and content marketing features
A big Semrush pro is that it offers all the SEO features you can think of, including keyword research, competitor analysis, site audit, backlink analytics, and more.
In addition, it also offers tools that don’t come with all advanced SEO software:
- Backlink Audit: Scans your site for harmful backlinks
- Traffic Analytics: Shows the traffic sources of your competitors along with their number of visitors
- EyeOn tool: Alerts you of changes or updates in your competitors’ SEO/ SEM activities, like publishing new blog posts or launching Google Ads
Semrush also offers a comprehensive Content Marketing Toolkit with content optimization tools that make your content marketing easier and more effective:
- Topic Research: Helps you find the best low-competition topics and keywords for your content
- SEO Content Template: Provides you tips and recommendations on how to create the most optimized content for your focus keyword
- SEO Writing Assistant: Integrates with WordPress and Google Docs to optimize your content as you write it, and also checks for plagiarism
You can also use Semrush to find keywords and then enter them into an SEO plugin like Yoast or RankMath to optimize your content and on-page SEO.
3. The biggest keyword and backlink databases
The keyword database for Semrush is more than 22 billion, which means that you are assured of finding the best keywords to help you rank high on Google.
I have had pages ranking within days on page 1 of Google, by targeting low-competition keywords through Semrush.
Their backlink database is also the largest, covering 43 trillion keywords!
The size of this database means that you will always get the most accurate and updated data about yours and your competitors backlinks, which will help a lot when you create your link-building campaigns.
4. The best keyword research tool
The Semrush Magic Tool that lets you find low-competition keywords is one of the biggest Semrush pros, though not many people realize that if they don’t use the tool.Yes, literally. Semrush's keyword research tool is the best in my opinion, compared to all other SEO tools. @semrush #seo #keywordresearch Click To Tweet
As I already mentioned earlier, Semrush has the most comprehensive keyword database out of all SEO tools. So you can find the most relevant keywords and content topics for website optimization, no matter what industry you’re in.
4.1. Get the most up-to-date keyword stats
A big pro of Semrush is that besides being huge, the keyword database is also updated frequently, which gives you the most up-to-date information. You can also get the latest stats on a keyword by doing a manual update. See #1 in the image below.
If you see the circular symbol for any keyword, just click on it, and the keyword and SERP data will refresh instantly.
4.2. Easily discover search intent
Search intent is very critical for ensuring that you target your content according to the type of content your audience is looking for.
Semrush is the only SEO tool so far that shows you the search intent upfront for each keyword, including high-intent keywords, so you don’t have to guess and analyze SERPs. See #2 in the image below.
4.3. Find keywords with the most ranking potential
Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool is fabulous for finding keywords that can help you rank high on Google and increase your traffic if you use them well. You can find semantic keywords and filter down keywords by a specific word, volume, keyword difficulty, SERP features, number of words, and many other metrics.
I have been able to increase my traffic significantly by zooming into the best keywords for me by using these filters and by creating content around them.
4.4. Most accurate data on keyword volume
Not only does Semrush have the biggest database of keywords, the search volume accuracy of the data is also the best among all its competitors.
This is important because SEO and content marketing is tricky as it is, so you want to make sure you are relying on the most accurate data to develop your strategies around.
So when you are evaluating if a certain keyword is worth it because of the volume, you know you will get the best data that you can possibly get, the data that’s closest to Google.
5. Detailed competitor research
There is hardly anything you won’t find about a particular domain from Semrush. You will know their traffic, their best-performing pages, keywords, backlinks, and PPC data.
By understanding what your competitors are doing well, you can adapt and improve your own strategies to better meet the needs of your target audience. In addition, by knowing where your competitors get their backlinks from, you can identify potential link-building opportunities.
I especially love the Competitive Positioning Map. If you just type a domain in the Domain Overview tool, you will get a colorful map that shows you some competitive domains and the competitive positioning for each.
You can also see which kinds of keywords your competitor ranks the most.
No other SEO tool besides Semrush gives you this analysis about your competitor's domains. #seo #competitorresearch #searchintent Click To Tweet
The Traffic Analytics tool is almost like getting a peek at your competitors’ Google Analytics as it gives you data on their traffic sources and number of users, bounce rates, time on page, etc.
6. Robust link-building and outreach tool
Because of Semrush’s massive backlink database, you can find detailed backlink metrics for any domain with Semrush’s backlink checker. This helps you find plenty of link-building opportunities.
Semrush pros don’t stop at just research. It even goes one step more.
With the link-building tool, Semrush suggests to you relevant websites that you may be able to get backlinks from, and even lets you send them outreach emails through the platform itself!
It’s thus not just a tool for backlink analysis, but also for strategy and execution.
7. Comprehensive on-page and technical audit
On-page and technical SEO audits are essential for any website looking to rank higher on search engine results pages.
Semrush is one of the best tools available for performing these audits. It provides an extensive and detailed report for each audit, including both a summary of the findings and a step-by-step guide for fixing the identified issues.
The audit covers everything from site structure and code quality to content optimization and user experience. Best of all, the report is easy to understand and actionable, so you can quickly make changes to improve your site.
Why don’t you do a site audit for your domain right now, and see which improvements you can make?
Remember to use the link for a 30-day trial so that you can also check a couple of weeks later the SEO progress of your website.
8. Excellent support
I’ve been using Semrush for more than a year now, and so far their customer support has proved to be excellent. I’ve always been able to get quick and helpful responses from their team for any question or issue I had.
Depending on the issue, the time frame for a solution varied, but they took care to fix my issues, even when I was only using a free account.
They are also very responsive on social media and even respond to my tweets!
So far I’ve never had a problem that they were unable to solve, and they even followed up to make sure that I was satisfied.
If you are not an SEO expert this level of support can be extremely helpful, especially in the beginning.
9. Guides and tutorials
Admittedly, you need a bit of experience to get the hang of how to use the tool in the best way to get the most out of it. So this aspect is more of a con, as you will see later.
The big pro is that it has a learning portal called Semrush Academy that provides you with ample tutorials on how to improve your SEO by using its tools and features. This makes it relatively smoother for beginners to start using the tool.
Recently they even bought Backlinko and now they have one of my favorite SEO gurus, Brian Dean, conducting some courses.
Not just that, they also have beginner courses on SEO, to learn from scratch. Of course, you can learn SEO anywhere, but because they tie the courses to the tools, it makes it really easy to learn a lot about this topic step-by-step.
10. Longest free trial for an SEO tool
Semrush offers a free trial so you can try out their features before committing to a paid plan. The regular trial is for 7 days.
But wait for it…Semrush is the only tool that offers you a 30-day free trial period on both their Pro and Guru plans, through affiliate links. Click To Tweet
Most other SEO tools (except Moz) offer a trial period for a maximum of 14 days.
The extra 2 weeks that Semrush gives really help you understand the benefits and usage of the tool before you commit to buying it.
While the features of Semrush are no doubt fantastic, it is by no means a perfect SEO tool. Here are some aspects that you should consider before you sign up for this tool.
1. Provides data only for google
The first Semrush con is that it provides detailed SEO and website data that you could use to improve your marketing and SEO campaigns, but only if you want to rank high in Google Search.
Semrush collects and provides data only for Google search results.
You can also connect Semrush to your Google Analytics and Search Console accounts.
However, this means that you can’t use it to track your progress on other search engines, such as Bing, Yahoo, or Baidu.
Bing and Baidu are also localized search engines.
So if you are based in the US/ China or your target audience is in these countries, then you may need to consider other tools like SE Ranking which provides data on other search engines.
2. Hefty price point
One of the biggest Semrush cons is its price. Semrush plans start at $119.95 per month for monthly payments, which can be a significant investment for small businesses or individuals.
The Semrush pricing is similar to other sophisticated tools like Ahrefs and Moz, and they all have similar pricing levels, though the exact features in each differ.
Semrush, for example, has 3 plans:
- Pro: $119.95/ month for a monthly payment plan
- Guru: $229.95/ month for a monthly payment plan
- Business: $449.95/ month for a monthly payment plan
These are more expensive than for example an SEO tool like SE Ranking, which though not as robust, also offers quite a few features and starts at $23 a month.
This is what makes the Semrush pricing mostly worth it:
- The largest database of keywords and databases, which means you get the best data on keywords and links: the top two criteria for ranking!
- Plenty of additional tools like the Content Marketing and Social Media Toolkit let you create optimized content and post it on social media
It’s simple. More advantages = higher price.
So the only way to decide if this tool is worth the price is to try it out and see the advantages it offers and if you really need it. You can start with a free trial of 30 days.
3. Moderate learning curve
I would rate the learning curve for Semrush as moderate, depending on how quickly you can start using an SEO tool. If you have no prior experience with SEO, it could take some time to get used to the software and learn how to use all the features effectively.
Semrush has a wide range of features and options that can be overwhelming for newcomers.
It has taken me more than a year to familiarize myself with all the toolkits, and I am pretty sure I still don’t know everything I can do with this tool to improve my digital marketing.
The benefits and rewards you can get out of Semrush is enormous, you can skyrocket your SEO performance.
But, you have to use the tool regularly, and try out the features step by step, to get the most out of it.
The good news is that as you do more, you learn more, and then the rewards can be fabulous!
The tutorials and support help you go a long way, but if you sign up for Semrush, don’t give up in a couple of months. You will need time to really use Semrush to its full potential.
4. Some key features are only available in the more expensive plans
I mentioned earlier the Semrush Content Marketing Toolkit. While it is a fantastic tool, you cannot use it extensively with the Pro plan of Semrush, which is already quite expensive. You have to get the Guru plan, which starts at $191.62 per month for annual payments.
The Guru plan can be a bit expensive for small businesses and small-scale freelancers. But then again, if you have a very small business, you can already do a lot with the Pro plan.
If you are a mid-sized business or a full-time SEO consultant, the Guru plan is great. You need it, and most likely can afford it.
4. UX/ UI is not very beginner-friendly
While Semrush is possible to use by both beginners and SEO experts, it is still more of a tool if you want to take SEO seriously, and have some basic idea of SEO.
So you know what you have to look for, instead of everything presented to you on a platter and made to look simple with colored charts.
The UX is great and very intuitive once you have worked with the tool a bit.
5. Login limited to one device in the Pro plan
Sometimes I have Semrush tabs open on my laptop. But let’s say I step away for a bit, and want to open Semrush on my phone as well.
I can do that, but then it logs me out of my laptop 🙁
While this is not a big con for Semrush, if you are using the Pro plan, and you want to have multiple people in your team using Semrush, it can be a problem.
So if your business has 1+ members, which could also include a virtual assistant or freelancer from Fiverr, you cannot use Semrush simultaneously.
Semrush Pros and Cons Review 2022 Conclusion – Is It Worth the Money?
To recap, here is a summary of the Semrus pros and cons.
It does seem like Semrush’s pros far outweigh the cons, but it still doesn’t mean that it is the SEO tool that you should choose for your small business. If you are new to SEO or wondering if Semrush is a good fit for you, then a lot of the above information can feel overwhelming.
The only to understand the Semrush pros and cons fully is to see how the tool works to actually use and test it. Start with a free trial.
Do you use this SEO tool? What do you think about the Semrush pros and cons? Would love to know about your experience!