SEMRush Review: How to Gain a Competitive Edge in Search

Are you aware of the keywords for which your competition is ranking? Do you think you could use a summary report that tells you the ranking of your target keywords and whether your ranking is increasing or decreasing? Would it be helpful for you to see a comparison of the web traffic between you and your competitors

SEMRush provides answers to the above questions and much more. It’s a very helpful tool. That’s why I want to tell you what you can learn from it.

Note: To do this review, I used SEMRush’s paid tool. To use SEMRush’s free trial, just visit its website. While there are limits on what the free trial can do, there is enough functionality to be of help to you.

1. Receive a summary of traffic, keywords, backlinks and more

On your monitor, I see an overview screen. When I put my domain name,, in SEMRush, the screen displays:

Traffic: The approximate amount of traffic your website receives from its best performing keywords in a specific region. Remember, that’s not the total traffic. Rather, it’s the approximate amount of the best performing keywords based on their ranking in the search results. This metric is very helpful if you want to compare your traffic to your competition’s traffic, etc.
SEMRush lets you download the report in the pdf format. You can also adjust the date ranges to see the results from as far back as two years.

The following image shows you a portion of the overview screen and indicates the growth in traffic over a selected range of time.

A part of the domain overview screen

The next image displays the keywords for which a website is ranked, as well as the site’s leading organic competitors. Since the sites are ranked for many similar keywords, they are listed as competitors.

This screen displays the keywords for which you are ranked and also identifies your competitors.

It’s great to be able to know your competition. If they are higher than you in the search results for a specific search term, you can analyze their content and links and use what you’ve learned to improve your content to get a higher ranking.

What You Can Do
Check your dashboard weekly to watch your progress. If your rankings go down (and do not improve) this indicates it’s a good time to optimize.

2. Perform an analysis of your competition to get ahead of them in the search results

Put in your competitor’s name and choose their location in the first SEMRush screen. For example, I have chosen to examine a Pet store site called and I’m seeking their search results in Canada.

Type a domain into the search field below to get a domain overview report:

When I do the organic research, I am offered all kinds of helpful information. But for now, let’s look at the SEMRush’s organic search positions page. Here’s the keywords the queried domain is ranking for:

The keywords for which is ranked.

Here is a description of each of the sections:

  • Keywords: The leading keywords for which is ranked.
  • Position: Where is ranked for these keywords. (The bracketed number indicates the most recent evaluation of the search results by SEMRush.)
  • Volume: How much estimated monthly traffic is obtained as a result of these specific keywords (i.e., the number of times people search for these keywords).
  • KD: Keyword difficulty indicates the degree of difficulty in obtaining ranking for those keywords. As the level of difficulty goes up, the number also goes up.
  • CPC: The average price per click is the cost of advertising a keyword in US dollars.
  • URL: The web page that gets the traffic.
  • Traffic: The portion of all traffic that is obtained from this keyword. This is calculated as a percentage of total traffic.
  • Costs: How much it usually costs on Google AdWords to advertise for these keywords. (Note: Focus on the keywords with low keyword difficulty and high cost.)
  • Com.: A competitiveness indicator that estimates how much competition you will have when advetising on Google. The highest level of competition is indicated by 1.

What You Can Do
You may be thinking this is excellent information, but how can I use it to my advantage?
Why don’t you try to get the traffic for important keywords to your business instead of letting your competitor not only get ranked for the keywords but also get the traffic?

Note: Let’s make sure you fully understand the term “domain authority” because it is an important term. Domain authority is defined as how easy it is to get ranked for content. It is on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 indicating the easiest ranking. It is easier to take traffic away from your competitors if you have a higher domain authority.

So, your choices are:
a) When your post has not been optimized and your comepetitor has better ranking then you, you should post an article that is centered on those keywords if the KD is not very high.
b) Look for competitors (or the same kind of companies) with a lower domain authority. Then, use SEMRush to conduct some research on them. This will make the content easier to write and will rank higher.
c) Do not bother with getting ranking if your competitor’s domain authority is a lot higher than yours and their ranking is also higher (every page is ranked).

3. Perform Keyword Research

In some situations, you might only want to check the keywords to see if they will be difficult or easy to get ranking for.
SEMRush can help you with this goal. Go ahead and put the keywords into SEMRush and look for the number that indicates the monthly estimated search volume as well as the number of results.

Put in the keywords and see the level of keyword difficulty!

What You Can Do
Analyze all the keywords that you are interested in targeting by using this tool!