There are thousands of SEO tool and depending on what your aims and objectives are, the tool you will use will vary according to your objective and style.
One SEO tool that can help you understand your competition and give you insight into developing a strategy that can dominate them is SEMRush.
When it comes to dominating the search landscape, competitive analysis is important. You need to
- Keep an eye on the competition
- Understand their strength and weakness
- but most importantly competitive analysis is done to help you get an insight into how you can improve your own strategy.
As a result, we will talk about SEMRush and how you can use it to dominate your competitors and improve your SEO strategy.
What is SEMrush?
SEMRush is a competitive analysis tool which gives you important metrics about your competition.
There are two type of accounts. The free or trial account gives you a tip of the iceberg information while with the paid account, you have access to the full comprehensive data about your competitors ranging from what keyword is sending traffic to them, to the kind and type of backlinks they have.
You can also adjust your settings filter so you personalise the results depending on which Google domain you want to explore.
How to use SEMrush
There are different ways to use SEMrush. Your initial strategy will depend on your focus. Since my focus is organic SEO, I usually pay attention to the organic, keyword and backlinks research tab.
Before we begin, there are some important SEMRush terminologies you need to know:
SE Keywords: The total number of keywords bringing users to the website via Google.
SE Traffic: The total traffic brought to the website.
Cost: Estimate price of the organic keyword. This means the amount you will spend via Google adwords if you where to bid on the (SE) keywords
Ads Keywords: Keyword the website is buying via Google adwords
Ads traffic: The total number of traffic brought to the website via Google adwords.
Ads Traffic Price: Estimate of the monthly amount spent on Google adword.
Now let us use SEMRush rush to understand and probably crush our competitor.
- Get a list of your top competitor. You can conduct a quick Google search using your target keyword or if you already know who your competitors are, ( I bet you should have done this at the beginning of your seo planning stage) simply throw their URL into the explorer bar.
For this example, I will use aisleperfect.com ( This website is used only to illustrate a point.)
- Click the search button
- SEMRush fetches the result for the domain as shown below.
The result shows you all you need to know about your competitor. You can now drill down and look at the sections you are interested in. As said above, we will take a look at the organic and backlink tab and try to analyse the result.
Click the organic
The organic position gives you a quick overview of the keywords that is bring traffic to your competitor’s website, the volume of the keyword, the share of traffic the website receives as a result of this keyword based on the position it occupies, the url on your competitor’s page and the SEO competition (which is the number of organic result displayed for that keyword)
What can you do with this information to dominate your competitors?
Order the result by volume to give you the keyword driving the highest traffic to your competitor’s page or alternatively you can order by result tab. If the number of results shown in this tab is low, then it means the keyword has low competition. This is the kind of keyword that you should be targetting.
Keyword Research Tab
Sometimes you do not want to start your competitive analysis with a URL. Sometimes you want to start with a keyword you have in mind. SEMRush can also give you enough details to let you decide if the keyword is worth targeting.
Enter your target keyword into the search explorer. I will use “party supply” as my target keyword. Immediately we see the a set of data that can help us decide how best to approach this keyword. The first result you will see is the overview.
This tab show:
- Organic search volume
- Paid search information
- CPC distribution country- wide
The next tab of interest is summary the “phrase match keyword” which is perfect for ads campaign. You can also use the related keywords to give you ideas or a starting point for further keyword research
The last tab of importance in the layout of the SERP for your target keyword where you can see
- website dominating the organic SERP – This gives you an idea of who your real competitors are
- ads copy dominating the serp – gives you creative ideas for ad copy.
Backlinks is a very important aspect of SEO. With the right mix of backlinks, you can improve the ranking of a website, increase traffic and brand visibility for a website.
You probably know that anyway.
Let’s look at how SEMRush can help you understand your competitor’s backlink profile.
Right away you get a result that looks like this.
This view immediately shows us
- Total backlink the target website has
- Distribution of the backlink. You can see from this view that the website has a lot of backinks pointing to images ( Wandering thoughts I guess)
- Type of link -Do follow or no follow. In the link building world, do-follow links are the creme la creme of link building but who says a no-follow link is bad. If the do-follow are hard to get, then start with the no-follow link.
The second segment in the backlink overview shows you the TLD (top level domain ) distribution and referring countries.
Armed with this information, you can select the TLD that you want and explore how to get links from them.
SEMRush is a powerful tool that gives you a live update of who your competitors are for a particular keyword, what they have been up to and help you design a strategy to conquer them.
Enough of talking! Let’s get down to what we know how to do best, “dominating the SERP landscape”.
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