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What is Semrush? The Ultimate Guide & Handbook

what is semrush

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. i.e., if you sign up for their paid programs, I will get a commission, at no cost to you. Please rest assured that I only recommend software/ products I genuinely believe in, and trust to be good for you.

If you’re a digital marketer or involved in online business, you’ve likely heard the name “Semrush” thrown around in conversations about SEO, keyword research, and competitive analysis.

But what exactly is Semrush, and why is it such a vital tool in the world of digital marketing?

In this comprehensive guide, I will break down everything you need to know about Semrush, from its features to its benefits, and how to use it effectively. Let’s dive in!

What is Semrush?

Semrush is an all-in-one digital marketing toolkit that will undoubtedly help you to improve your online presence and performance.

It offers over 55 tools and features that cover everything from SEO and content marketing to advertising and competitive research.

Semrush Overview in Semrush Black Friday Deal

Think of Semrush as the ultimate digital marketing sidekick.

Whether you’re diving into SEO, creating killer content, or running ads, Semrush has your back. It helps you find those magic keywords, spy on your competitors, and fine-tune your business website to win the search engine game.

Semrush was founded in 2008 as predominantly an SEO tool but has since become much bigger than that, and a leading platform for digital marketing overall.

Why use Semrush? Benefits

Semrush is a valuable tool that makes your small business website and online marketing more effective and efficient, providing a competitive advantage in the digital landscape.

  • Keyword Insights: It helps you identify the most relevant keywords for your content and advertising, improving your chances of ranking well in search results and getting your website discovered by your audience online.
  • Competitor Insights: You can analyze what strategies are working for your competitors and adapt your own approach accordingly.
  • Website Health: Semrush identifies and highlights issues with your website, like broken links or slow-loading pages, and provides guidance on how to fix them.
  • Content Improvement: It offers suggestions to improve your website content, making it more appealing to visitors and search engines.
  • Efficient Advertising: For those running online ads, Semrush helps you manage your ad campaigns effectively, so you get better results for your budget.
  • Social Media Guidance: It provides insights into when and what to post on social media to increase engagement.
  • Local Visibility: If your business serves a local area, Semrush can help people in your vicinity find you more easily.
  • Informed Decision-Making: Semrush equips you with data-driven insights, enabling you to make informed choices about your website and online marketing strategies.

If you really want to see the benefits of using Semrush on your own website, try out all the features for free for 14 days.

Related: Small business SEO success stories

How does Semrush work? Toolkits

Semrush offers six different toolkits, and each one serves a specific purpose in helping you succeed in your online marketing efforts.

They help you see what your competition is doing, improve your online visibility, and decide what works best for your marketing campaigns.

1. SEO Toolkit:

Read my full guide and tutorial on how to use Semrush for SEO

2. Content Marketing Toolkit:

  • The Content Marketing Toolkit aids you in creating and fine-tuning your content strategy. It allows you to:
    • Generate content ideas based on popular topics.
    • Optimize your content for search engines.
    • Analyze your content’s performance.
    • Monitor mentions of your business brand and products online.
    • Audit your content for SEO improvements.

Read how to use Semrush for content marketing optimization

3. Market Research Toolkit:

  • The Market Research Toolkit provides insights into market trends and your competitors’ strategies, helping you:
    • Identify new market opportunities.
    • Research and analyze your competitors.
    • Understand market trends and customer behavior.
    • Discover and target profitable niches.
    • Create data-driven marketing strategies.

4. Advertising Toolkit:

  • The Advertising Toolkit is designed for effective paid advertising campaigns. It helps you:
    • Research and analyze keywords for PPC (pay-per-click) advertising.
    • Track competitors’ ad campaigns and strategies.
    • Create and optimize PPC ad campaigns.
    • Identify ad trends in your niche.
    • Analyze the performance of your ad campaigns.

5. Social Media Toolkit:

  • The Social Media Toolkit simplifies social media management and analysis. It assists you in:
    • Scheduling and publishing posts across various social media platforms.
    • Tracking your social media performance and audience engagement.
    • Analyzing your competitors’ social media strategies.
    • Monitoring mentions and engagement with your brand.
    • Generating data-driven insights to enhance your social media presence.

6. Agency Solutions Toolkit:

  • The Agency Solutions Toolkit is tailored for marketing agencies and larger businesses. It includes:
    • White-label reports for clients.
    • Customized limits and access.
    • Collaboration tools for teams.
    • Advanced SEO, content, and social media capabilities.
    • API access for seamless integration into your agency’s workflow.

These six toolkits within Semrush are like specialized sets of tools, each serving a unique purpose in the world of digital marketing.

Whether you’re focused on SEO, content marketing, market research, advertising, social media management, or running a marketing agency, Semrush has a toolkit that will provide you with the insights you need to excel in your specific domain.

Pro Tip:

It is important to remember that Semrush is only a tool that provides you with data and insights and helps you manage your campaigns.

It is not an execution tool. So for example, you can’t use the core tool of Semrush to write content or manage ads.

It is also worth noting that Semrush does not replace Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or any other Google tool. Google tools and Semrush should be used together, to provide you the best data.

Related: Semrush vs Google Analytics

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FREE Trial Period: 14 Days [Exclusive Deal]*

* The regular trial period is 7 days. You can get a 14-day free trial only with the above link. Enter your credit card to sign up for the trial. 

What does Semrush do? Features

Semrush is a versatile digital marketing tool that combines the typical features you’d expect from the best SEO tools with some unique extras that set it apart

Regular features

  • Keyword Research: Semrush helps you find the most relevant and high-performing keywords for your niche. It provides data on search volume, competition, and trends.
  • On-page and Off-page SEO Analysis: It evaluates your website’s on-page SEO elements and offers suggestions for improvement. It also assesses the quality of your backlinks and identifies potential toxic links.
  • Backlink Analysis: Semrush lets you explore your backlink profile, helping you understand who’s linking to your site and the quality of those links.
  • Site Audit: The Semrush bot performs a comprehensive analysis of your website’s health, detecting technical issues that might impact your SEO, such as broken links or missing meta tags.
  • Competitive Research: Semrush offers data on your competitors’ website traffic, keywords, and backlinks, helping you understand their online strategies.
  • Ad Research: You can explore your competitors’ advertising strategies, including the keywords they’re targeting, ad copy, and landing pages.
  • PPC Keyword Tool: Semrush aids in creating and optimizing pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns for better ad performance.

Extra Features

While all these features are great, what makes me fall in love with the tool every day is that it goes above and beyond with additional features that are extremely valuable for digital marketers. Here are a few of these extra features:

For example, Semrush’s Guru plan offers a content toolkit that not only assists with content optimization but also includes a content audit feature. This feature helps you identify gaps in your content strategy and prioritize what topics to create content around.

Topic Research: Semrush helps you find content ideas by suggesting popular topics and questions related to your niche.

Content Optimization: It provides content recommendations and checks the readability of your articles as you write, ensuring that your content is user-friendly and SEO-friendly.

Keyword Intent: This feature helps you understand the intent behind specific keywords. For example, it can tell you whether a keyword has a transactional and high intent (e.g., “buy smartphones”) or an informational intent (e.g., “how do smartphones work”).

This insight is invaluable when tailoring your content to match user intent. Read my post on the Semrush intent column to know more about this tool.

SEO Writing Assistant: The SEO Writing Assistant offers real-time suggestions to optimize your content for both readers and search engines. It checks for readability, originality, tone of voice, and keyword usage, ensuring your content is spot on. You can install it as a plugin on WordPress. It even checks for plagiarism.

Read my SEO Writing Assistant review to know more about this tool. Read my full post on Yoast vs Semrush on how the WordPress plugins differ in terms of the data and insights they provide.

Related: Is WordPress the best choice for your website?

Link Building Tool: This tool simplifies the process of building high-quality backlinks. It helps you discover potential link-building opportunities by analyzing your competitors’ backlink profiles. You can also track your outreach efforts and manage your campaigns within Semrush.

Local SEO: For businesses targeting local customers, Semrush’s extra features for local SEO are invaluable.

You can track your local search rankings, audit your business listings, and even discover local competitors to ensure your business shines in local search results.

Market Explorer: Market Explorer provides data to help you understand market trends and uncover new opportunities.

This is incredibly useful if you’re thinking about expanding your business into new territories or niches.

Traffic Analytics: The Traffic Analytics tool allows you to compare the performance of multiple websites in terms of traffic, visitor engagement, and audience demographics.

You also get the traffic cost, which indicates the value of the traffic; it’s the amount you would have to pay in ads to get the organic traffic you get now. It’s a valuable resource for understanding your competitors and your own site’s performance in the digital landscape.

Social Media Toolkit: Semrush’s social media management tools include a social media poster and a tracker, helping you schedule posts and analyze your social media performance.

These extra features not only make Semrush a powerful digital marketing tool but also a versatile one.

Whether you’re focused on SEO, content creation, paid advertising, local search, or social media, Semrush has a feature to help you excel in each area, making it a one-stop shop for all your digital marketing needs.

Why use Semrush? Is it the best SEO tool?

Semrush is considered a top SEO tool for these key reasons:

  • Huge Keyword Database: It offers a vast collection of keywords (25 billion in 130 countries) for precise targeting.
  • Extensive Backlink Data: With 43 trillion backlinks, it helps analyze website authority effectively.
  • Wide User Base: Over 10 million users rely on Semrush for digital marketing.
  • Trust: Approximately 30% of Fortune 500 companies choose Semrush, underlining its reliability and effectiveness.

Why Use Semrush

Try out Semrush for 14 days (exclusively with my affiliate link) and see the results for yourself.

How much does Semrush cost? Pricing

Semrush offers several pricing plans to cater to different needs and budgets.

1. Pro Plan

  • The Pro plan is the basic offering, suitable for freelancers, startups, and in-house marketers.
  • It provides essential tools for keyword research, competitive analysis, site audit, and more.
  • Pricing typically starts at around $129.95 per month when billed monthly or $108.33 per month when billed annually.

2. Guru Plan

  • The Guru plan is designed for small to medium-sized businesses looking to expand their online presence.
  • It includes all the Pro plan features and adds content marketing tools, historical data, and branded reports.
  • Pricing usually starts at approximately $249.95 per month when billed monthly or $208.33 per month when billed annually.

3. Business Plan

  • The Business plan is intended for agencies, e-commerce projects, and larger businesses.
  • It encompasses all the Guru plan features along with API access, extended limits, and white-label reporting.
  • The pricing typically starts at about $499.95 per month when billed monthly or $416.66 per month when billed annually.

Semrush pricing

4. Custom Plan

If none of the above plans suit you, you can get a custom solution tailored to your specific needs. Typically, large corporations and agencies need this type of plan.

It offers advanced features, custom keyword databases, custom limits, and unique add-ons. You’ll need to contact Semrush directly for a personalized quote.

Read my full post on Semrush pricing and Pro vs Guru.

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The Most Powerful SEO Tool

FREE Trial Period: 14 Days [Exclusive Deal]*

* The regular trial period is 7 days. You can get a 14-day free trial only with the above link. Enter your credit card to sign up for the trial. 

Semrush discounts and promos

Semrush is an expensive tool, but it occasionally offers various discounts and promotional offers, which makes it a whole lot easier to sign up for it.

Here are some of the common ones:

Free Trial

Semrush offers a 7-day free trial of its Pro and Guru plans, which allows you to explore all the features and capabilities for a brief period. With my affiliate link, you can get a 14-day trial.


Lifetime deals

Semrush offers a lifetime discount on annual billings. If you get an annual subscription, you get 17% off on the price, every year.

Black Friday offers

Semrush typically participates in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events, offering special promotions, including discounts and bonus features. These Semrush Black Friday deals can be an excellent opportunity to secure the tool at a reduced price.

Semrush alternatives and competitors

While Semrush is a formidable tool, it’s not the only player in the digital marketing field. There are several Semrush alternatives and competitors, such as Ahrefs, Moz, and SpyFu.

Compare their features, pricing, and user experiences to determine which tool best aligns with your marketing objectives and budget.

Semrush app center

The Semrush App Center is a hub for integrating additional tools into your Semrush account. You can find all kinds of apps to help you with digital marketing.

ContentShake streamlines content creation by providing content briefs and topic suggestions. Buzzguru assists in content optimization by offering keyword and topic insights.


In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, Semrush stands out as a valuable tool that can significantly enhance your online presence and help you maintain a good website.

From SEO and content optimization to competitive analysis and social media management, Semrush provides a wide array of features to support your marketing efforts. By utilizing Semrush effectively, you can boost your online visibility, attract more visitors, and ultimately drive business success.

Remember, success in digital marketing often begins with the right tools, and Semrush is undoubtedly one of the best in the business.

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