Are you looking for an SEO tool that could let you easily spy on your competitors, know their top ranking keywords, keywords search volume, backlinks, keyword trends and along with that performs a complete audit on your site showing what areas you should work upon?
SEMrush is the all-in-one answer to all your needs. A perfect SEO tool for known for keyword research and ranking because it gives you everything you would ever need for your website.
The real-time data provided by SEMrush is totally unparalleled when it comes to getting the one SEO tool that gets you everything you need as a blogger or website owner who wants to dominate the search rankings and traffic.
Nothing could be better than having a huge amount of data that shows you what works and what based on which you can easily create your strategy. There are absolutely no guess works since everything is in front of you.
Why Use SEMrush?
Working hard on writing posts to improve our blog performance but many fails and lack of proper keyword targeting is one of the reasons. Along with that, you must know that you are targeting traffic oriented keywords which you can easily do using SEMrush as it helps you see all the keywords using which your competition is ranking.
How to use SEMrush to find the top keywords using which your competitors are ranking
The moment you enter a domain in SEMrush and press enter it will show you the complete data like the organic search traffic, paid search traffic, total backlinks, backlinks type ratio, top anchor texts, referring domains, top ranking organic keywords, main organic position and strength of your competitors, total number of indexed pages, landing pages, text ads, video ads, main positioning of paid competitors and their strength
Suppose “example.com” is your domain or your competitor’s domain and you want to see their complete data then here is what you will get to see in your SEMrush dashboard.
An overview of the domain
So from the above image, you get to see the “domain category”, “organic search traffic”, “paid search traffic” “total backlinks”, “display advertising data” for the domain and its presence in Google display ad network. Plus SEMrush has a new feature through which you can also see if they are running video ads.
Top Organic Keywords and their Position in SERP
As you can see in the graph on the right that shows the organic position of the keywords with which the domain is ranking. It is one of the best features of SEMrush every serious marketer needs because if “example.com” would have been your competitor then you can easily see which all keywords their domain is ranking along with the position and you could target those keywords with better content to outrank them. For example, you want to see the keywords “example.com” is ranking between 4-10 position in Google SERPs then just hover on the “4-10” graph and it shows “14” keywords clicking which it will land you in another dashboard you can see those keywords along with their SERP position, search volume, keyword difficulty (KD), CPC, landing page link, traffic share estimate, estimated cost of the given keywords in Google Adwords, competitive density of advertisers, total number of URLs displayed in Google search, keyword trends, snapshot of the SERP result and last updated time of the keyword.
What else you need as a marketer or a blogger? You get everything in front you.
Want an overview of your competitor’s domain? Get 14 days FREE Trial and know how your competition is doing.
How to perform the right keyword research on SEMrush
Writing a great post is definitely a boon in online marketing and but even if you are writing a great article and not getting enough traffic from the search engine then you have chosen the wrong keyword. Perfect Keyword research is still one of the most discussed topics and before SEMrush it was a process of more guess works in which newbie bloggers and marketers fail most of the time.
Most bloggers make the huge mistake by targeting keywords based on their search volume only. Keyword research is not just about finding the high search volume search terms rather it is about getting those keywords which may have less search volume but conversion intent and low competition so that outranking your competitors could be an easier task.
Target Long-Tail Keywords
The primary reason I am emphasizing you to target long-tail keywords is because their intent is much clear and close in compared with the short or one & two words keywords. For example, a user searching for “android phones” probably just wants to see some android phones whereas if he/she searches for “best android phones under $200” has a very high chance that he/she is planning to buy one.
The best part with long-tail keywords are that they have very low competition which makes them easier to rank. Plus you can expect a huge amount of new visitors every month towards your site with long tail searches.
On an average 70% of online searches are performed with long tail keywords.
You can easily find which all keywords your competitor is ranking for and their positions along with the search volume, competition, CPC etc. So, if “example.com” is my competitor
How to Write Attention Grabbing Headlines for Ad Copies
Suppose your target keyword for ads is “finance calculator” and you want to drive traffic using Google Adwords. CTR matters a lot when it comes to online ad copies and if you are not getting proper clicks your ad effort goes in vain.
Headlines are reason for over 70% traffic to a website.
But SEMrush has an amazing feature using which you can check a keyword in it and the top Adwords ads history. For example, I checked the history of “finance calculator” and it displayed a list of sites (competitors) who performed Adwords campaigns with this keyword.
As you can see the list of sites doing ads with the target keyword and on the right the number of ads keywords they have used. Just click on the numbers and you will get to see all their ads and headlines by hovering on to the “Google’s ad” icon you can see the ad headline. Not just that along with the ad you get to see search volume of the keyword, targeted landing page, CPC, ad placement block in Google’s SERP, keyword trends, costs, the percentage of traffic received. Refer the image below:
You can make a copy of all those headlines based on the traffic scale and use these as title/headlines in your ad campaigns or next blog post or social marketing campaigns.
How to find amazing and untapped link building opportunities which you have been missing
Almost everyone knows about link building but after the evolution of Google’s quality search algorithms, it has been difficult for many to build links that could help not just achieve search rankings but traffic as well.
SEMrush provides this secret opportunity to see what all backlinks your competitors have along with the referring domain and other metrics. You need to go to backlinks > Overview and add the domain you want to spy on. For example, if you are in gadgets review niche then “Fonearena.com” is one of your competitions and here is what you will get to see.
Now you can see that foneareana.com has over 25K backlinks but that is not something to focus. Check the number of referring domains because it matters most when it comes to top the top Google ranking factors. More than 1400 different domains have links to the website that means more than 1000 domains refer this site in any way and Google just loves this. Multiple sites referring a domain forms a solid domain authority and Google will always prefer such domains. Plus if you will click on referring domains then you will see the list of websites linking to it, domain quality, the number of backlinks, domain’s IP and caching dates. Refer to the image below:
Now you can make use of this data to shape your link building strategy as you will be able to see many sites that link similar content so your site will also fall within the category. You can create better content for your audience and since 99% of the referring sites will seek and serve similar audience you can contact then as a part of your link outreach strategy. Generally, new site owners and bloggers can expect 30%-40% success with link outreach if their content is great. So, that means if you contacted 100 sites/blog then you can expect 40 high-quality backlinks from different domains that will boost your website’s ranking.
Domain vs Domain – Know where your Domain Stands against your Competitor
Building links, content, driving traffic is definitely great but unless you are not aware of where you stand in the market against your competition there is still certain strategy is left to be implemented.
SEMrush’s “Domain vs Domain” feature makes it possible to analyze 3-5 of your competitors with reports in one dashboard. Just go to Tools > Domain vs Domain and enter up to five competitors whom you want to keep track of.
For example, if you are in the parenting niche like parenting advice, baby care etc and your site is “Parentalguide.org” then you can add EmpoweringParents.com, KidsHealth.com, FamilyLives.org.uk as your competitor domains in the box.
I checked with the first two domains i.e.: EmpoweringParents.com and KidsHealth.org and here is the result I got:
You can see in the image above that I got not just the keywords with which my competitors has considerable rankings but along with that I got search volume, keyword trends, competition, intent, and difficulty score as well and based on these data I can shape my next SEO strategy.
Check your domain or keyword analytics for free
Being honest, I cannot deny the fact the cost of SEMrush may sound a bit more to new bloggers but then I also cannot deny that this SEO tool totally worths it.
They have 3 pricing packages based on user’s requirement and need.
PRO at $99.95/month – As a beginner, you can go for PRO package. Trust me you will be thanking me for suggesting this tool.
GURU at $199.95/month – One of the most popular packages
BUSINESS at custom price – This package is mainly meant for large businesses managing multiple sites of clients.
Also, if you will go for an annual subscription then you can save a lot of money. For example, with an annual subscription on PRO you save $199, on GURU you save $399 and with BUSINESS packages you save $1100 which is huge.
Enjoy this tool for 14 days absolutely free. Go for the FREE Trial.
To be very frank, SEMrush is a boon for online marketers, bloggers and website owners who really want to dominate search rankings with ethical techniques in less time.
Do you have experience of using SEMrush before? Or do you know any other awesome keyword research tool that saves time and gives amazing results? Please share in comments below.
Are you looking for quality link building techniques that will work for your new website?
Link building is still one of the most researched skills as it has over 14,000 average monthly searches in Google search. New SEOs struggle really hard keeping up with the right link building techniques and waste a lot of time in experimenting.
If you have a new website or you have started a new blog then this blog post this for you. Check out absolutely FREE and effective link building techniques that will help you charging up your website.
1. Build Relationship – The Venerable Link Building Technique
Relationship building is the never outdated link building techniques.
If your whole focus of marketing will be on building relationships with companies, strangers, bloggers then you never need to worry about links. Make sure that your relationship is built on the benefits of values you give to them either by helping them in growing, recommending them, sharing their works, adding advice etc. You can start with creating a list of such high authority blogs and associated bloggers to target. While choosing the blogs to add to your list filter them on the basis of their domain authority, recommendations and links back from other blogs, link score. To determine the quality of the links and other important factors you can use tools like OpenSiteExplorer, Ahrefs, OpenLinkProfiler etc…
Before making the move you must know:
Why are you doing this?
Are these the right blogs/website you should target? If you finally have the list of the right influencers or industry leaders you want to target it’s time to start the work now.
Start by following them on social networks (especially twitter & google+) and try to engage with them by commenting on their latest posts. Best if you add some value by giving advice or even asking a genuine question.
Subscribe to their blog and become an active visitor and commenter. Make sure you read their blog posts and comment your genuine views. Bloggers appreciate good commenters and even remembers many of them so the chances of accepting an offer increase.
Point out any mistake you find anywhere on their blog. This helps them understand that you actually read their posts.
2. Build Opportunity Backlinks with Broken Link Building
Broken link building is one of the coolest link building techniques for getting some really juicy links from the sites that are linking to deleted pages, expired domains, sites that change its name etc… Your work is to find such sites and let their owners know about it.
So, here is how to perform a broken link building process step by step:
#1. Find expired domains within your niche: You can search for expired domains within your niche in ExpiredDomains.net. You just need to search within the site with your keyword as some sites use to add keywords in the domain. For example, if your domain is weight loss then fitness, weight loss are one of the most competitive keywords. Once you will get the list filter it by the number of backlinks. (Refer the image below)In the above image, you can a pointer on the left which is on CSV icon. It is important to know that not all the links will be of use by which I mean that few sites might have been penalized, spammed, low quality, have low DA. You need to filter accordingly and then finally you must be left with the sites you should work upon. After this check each website in Ahrefs or OpenSiteExplorer for finding the sites linking to them. Another way of finding expired domains is to search on Google. You need to use search strings like: “rebrands as”, “website name changed”, “page does not exist”, “company closed”, “closing services” and sometimes you can also try for strings targeted to websites soon to close with “closing our services”, “closing it’s services”, “shutting down”.
#2. Email the site owners: Now once you have the list of sites pointing to broken pages and domains send them an email with information about it. Make sure your email clearly seems to intend that you wanted the owner to be aware of the broken link he has placed on his site. In the end, of the email body, you can offer your relevant link replacing the broken and request to add if he/she find it worth. I shall recommend you to check a more creative and actionable way of link building which is quite similar to broken link building but more scalable, it’s “The Moving Man Method” by Brian Dean.
3. Forums & Online Communities
If you will spend time engaging with members of forums & communities related to your niche you can really obtain some high-quality backlinks. I am not talking about just those profile backlinks from forums, in fact, I find it a cheap way to building links. One must contribute effectively to forums, not just for the backlinks but also help other members with their questions and even learn from others. This link building technique is for the patient link builder.
Here is how you can build quality backlinks from forums:
#1. Search for forums within your niche and register with the 5 most popular forums. To determine the popularity of forums you can consider their Alexa rankings as the point to note and forums with rankings below 20,000 are quite well to give a go. You can use FindaForum.net, Board Reader, to find a relevant forum within your niche/category or perform a search on google using these strings keyword + forum, inurl:forum + keyword, inurl:thread + keyword, inurl:discussion + keyword. Refer the image below and see how string-based searches found results within two popular niches “table tennis” and “gluten-free diet”.
Create a list of forums within your niche in an excel sheet and start creating accounts. At the initial stage, you can start with five most popular forums by Alexa ranking.
#2.Create Profile & Engage: Once you have your accounts create your profile and write in detail about yourself. Few forums may allow you to add links in the signature which may or may not appear with your forum posts (thread discussions). You will also get an option to add a link to your website so altogether these links are absolutely free even at the initial stage. Once done you can start contributing either by answering questions or by asking questions that matter. The topic of discussions in forums is called a “thread“. To build links the quality way is that you should try to write blogs questions that really matter for the community members and paste link to you post mentioning important points you have discussed in this regard. Not just you will get the backlink but also get traffic on that blog posts plus your thread can get a lot of thanks from users which will further help in distinguishing you as an expert in the niche.
Sometimes you may not get links in the signature you can add your brand name as signature line after ending your answer. Remember, the more you engage the more you will have chances of becoming an authority on the forum. Try answering the questions in detail manner and be generous. Marketing on forums can give great ROI.
4. Pick Local Links from People & Network Around You
With this link building technique, many have the misconception that it justifies building links for only local businesses. It is important to understand that any business will have a location and building links from local areas referring to it will always work in a positive way for it. When it comes to local link building for a new site then the first thing that comes to mind is adding your business on GoogleMyBusiness, FourSquare. Further, you can move toward building links with online local business directories and Hubspot has an amazing list to refer. With citations, be as descriptive as possible so that visitor could easily know who you are. Apart from citation sites, you can target relationship building by attending local events, seminars, public speaking, the local chamber of commerce. You can talk in the news as an expert on services you provide and once they will publish it, you will get a link back from their site. So, basically with local link building you need to make everyone aware that you are available for speaking, interviews, attending events and advising.Target local business directories sites by searching them on google using strings like – site:.YOURTLD “add a new business”, site:.YOURTLD “add new”, site:.YOURTLD “claim your business” YOUR CITY NAME Directory. Let’s say you have business in India then you can search for site:.in “claim your business”and you will get several local directories that list Indian businesses like TripAdvisor.in that is specifically for listing hotels, guest houses, holiday homes and tourist service based businesses, then you have QuickSearch.in, MagicPages.in, StartLocal.in, where you can add your business.
Here are few things you can give away for free to get a backlink:
Free genuine consulting related to your service, like a Marketer can give free advice to few companies willing to improve their leads and sales and can ask them for a link back as credit.
One-day free lunch to people in old age homes. Doing something like this can also get you local news coverage and a link back from news site along with old age home’s website.
Get an app developed and give it away for free. Being a marketer you can always target your every single investment with an ROI. For instance, if you are a Doctor then you can get an app developed targeted to unfit people advising them regularly about what to eat based their weight and height. For any issue further to it you can add a consultation advice directly from you online or offline which can be paid or free again.
Give away free ebooks with loads of relevant information on most searched topics within your niche
Getting a link by giving testimonial for a product/service you have used
Giving free scholarship to college/school students
Write for other blogs by offering how-to guides, whitepapers, infographics, vlogging and get a link back along with free promotion on their company social pages.
Giving report or insights on queries asked by a reporter
6. Blogging to Earn Solid Backlinks
Blogging is one of the most popular link building techniques to get quality links as recommendations and references. Internet Marketers like Neil Patel writes 8 blog posts a week and his blog Quick Sprout receives an insane amount of traffic which is around 7,00,000 a month. Writing blog posts that are unique and gives value to your readers can only get you links backs. General backlinks you can get from sites like Scoop.it by sharing your posts but you really need to be detailed with your posts along with supporting your claims or mentions by data.
7. Guest Blogging
Guest posting is already a popular method to get quality links. It was much discussed in 2012-2014 and especially after Google’s Matt Cutts warned against it because of its spammy practice. However, it is still one of the best ways to build links because you get authority backlinks from top sites, establish yourself as an industry expert, building a relationship with other bloggers and getting tons of referral traffic towards your website.
So, how to do Guest Blogging the way Google will love? Check out below I have mentioned in 4 steps to finding guest blogging opportunities along with how you can do it without getting penalized.
Step 1. Find + create a list of sites in your niche accepting guest publications. You must add DA (domain authority) and Moz trust in the column so that you can filter which one to use. I will recommend to only use sites that are having a domain authority above 40 and trust score above 6.
To finds you can use the following ways:
#1. Google Search: Perform search on google using the best search strings like: Your Keyword “this is a guest post by” , Your Keyword “looking for guest posts”, Your Keyword “contributing writer”, Your Keyword “submit blog post”, Your Keyword “become an author”, Your Keyword “become a contributor”, Your Keyword “guest author”, Your Keyword “contributor guidelines”, Your Keyword inurl: “guest post”, Your Keyword inurl: “guest blogger”.
Let’s say I want to find a blog in the health niche where my keyword is “healthy snacks” and the other in home improvement niche where my keyword is “home improvement“.
#2. Twitter & Google+: Twitter and Google+ are one of the most beneficial resources yet underused by even experts. Twitter is far more than just retweets and followers. You can use twitter’s search for latest tweets with guest posts within you niche by using this string ‘ “Your Keyword” + “guest post”. Similar kind of string can be used in google+ search as well. For example, when I searched for guest posts in mental health on with keyword “bipolar disorder” and in photography with the same as keyword then here is what I got:
#3. Facebook Groups: There are many groups on facebook specifically targeted to guest blogging. You can join those groups by searching them. You need to search “guest blogging” or “guest bloggers” or “guest posting” in graph search, select “Groups” and you will get a list to choose from. Join those which has more than 1,000 members.
Please make sure that once your joining request gets approved by the group admin you should check how much active the group is. If any group you find to be dormant for more than 25 days then leave the group right away.
Few important points you should keep in mind before requesting for a guest publication or responding to any request looking for a guest blogger.
You must read the guidelines specifically on the site before sending or pitching the site owner.
Make sure that the site is within or near your blog/website’s niche.
Do check the blog properly to ensure that your topic has not been covered yet and in case, it is covered then find out what improvisation you can make which will be useful for the readers of that blog.
Build relationship with the blogger/owner of the blog before pitching him/her. You can start by following him/her on social networks and commenting on his/her latest posts, sharing them, recommending them. Any advice in comments would be great.
Make sure your pitch or request email for becoming the guest blogger is very personalized so that the pitch should not sound generic ones and the blogger could respond you.
Step 2: The best way to get a quality link is by adding contextual backlink within the post you are writing. But you need to be sure that adding the contextual link is important and you really have detailed information and reasons for readers of the blog to click on it and land on your post.
8. Linkerati Targeting
“Linkerati” a term coined by Rand Fishkin of Moz and linkerati targeting is one of the most powerful ways of building high DA links and achieve fast rankings in the search engine. Linkerati are the influencers within your niche like the bloggers, news editors, resource editors, active forum posters, leading authors, social media influencers. So, linkerati targeting is all about writing content that would love to link to. In this process, you need to first create a list of linkeratis in your niche or related niche. Check each of them with this outbound link checking tool to know who all they link which will give you an idea about the kind of content you should write for them. From the many topics, they link to choose the best for yourself and write an informative post or best will be if you can improvise an already popular post from your topic. After writing send email to the linkerati list about it requesting to give a check and link back if found relevant. Emil Shour of Snacknation has recently performed this strategy and got not just some contextual backlinks but also ranked that blog post #1 with employee well program ideas. Brian Dean has discussed the exact process Emil used to get links from influencers that led to number 1 ranking.
9. Offer Testimonials For Use on Authoritative Sites
Good testimonials and positive reviews are the backbone of any brand or business and help in building the trust of the prospect and leads. Every individual or business is a client of some other business. So, create a list of companies whose products or services you are using along with those that you have already used, and send an email to them offering a testimonial. You can also make this offer on any social network if you are connected with them. While sending the testimonial do not forget to mention your name and link to your business. This way you do not have to request them to add a link to your site and seeing the link they themselves will consider it important for credibility. You can also search for a list of sites that offer some kind of free stuff within your niche or related niche and use it. This way you become their free user and so again you can send them similar testimonial offers as well.
10. Using Free Publicity Sites
As it says free publicity and it not just get you backlinks but much more than that. Using sites like HARO, Journo Requests, Pitchrate you can land some high-quality backlinks along with brand and name mention as well. These free publicity sites sometimes get you link from sites with DA 80+.
HARO is the most popular publicity site used by journalists looking for stories and bloggers looking for links and brand mentions. Being a site owner or a blogger you should register here as a “Source” and fill up your profile properly, make sure to choose the topics for the query emails from the preferences. You can the select topics that are within your expertise.
Journo Request is a UK centric publicity site that can get you coverage from BBC, Yahoo News and more for free. It sends you an email of opportunities found on Twitter which are the requests made by journalists using hashtag #journorequest.
Pitchrate is another free publicity service which also sends you daily emails of queries and requests from journalists. However, you can search the database too to find current opportunities. It is highly recommended that you must fill your complete profile because a complete profile ranks higher as it increases trust. While sending pitches, your profiles go along with it which adds push to the pitch about your authenticity.
11. Competitors Analysis & Backlinking
Competition research should be the foremost strategy for any new site as it does not just provide you some information about competitors activities but also gives you an insight about other verticals of the market from where you can gain traffic, leads, clients. You can find your competitors by searching in google search with your keyword or search string “related:yourdomain.com“, create the list in an excel and then you can analyze their backlinks using competitors research tools like SEO Spyglass, Majestic SEO, Open Site Explorer, Link Diagnosis. Suppose you own Google.com (well you can only dream of it) then you will get results like Bing.com, Yahoo.com, Ask.com, YouTube.com (You must know youtube is considered the second most popular search engine), Duckduckgo.com, Aol.com and more…
You can see the quality & number of backlinks your competitions has and based on that you can start your backlinking strategy by either targeting the same sites or similar quality type sites. If “A” is your competitor and you found that it has 10 backlinks with high DA then you too can target building more than 10 high DA backlinks which can help you getting an edge against your competitors. Domain authority is one of the important ranking factors considered by Google. From your list filter the best backlinks that your competitors are having and find out that from where these links are coming. Just hop on to that site and find a way to get a link for yourself.
12. Profile Backlinks – The Professional’s Link Building
Profile link building if done in the correct way then it has really huge benefits. There are several websites and online business that are still unaware of it. As the business owner or marketer, you can create your profile on sites like about.me, Flavors.me, Quora.com, Gravatar.com, CrunchBase.com, but make sure you add full detail about yourself because the purpose of these sites is not creating links but individual profiles. You can check here the creative about.me profile pages.
There are more such sites where you can create your personal profiles and get lucrative backlinks from high DA and high traffic sites.
13. Comment Marketing
Comment marketing is one of the amazing strategies which is effectively used by distinguished Internet Marketers like Matthew Woodward, Neil Patel. Ryan Biddulph of Blogging from Paradise got more than just backlinks. Strategically commenting on blogs got him an endorsement from a New York times best-selling author, he got featured on Brand.com, received 5 interview requests from authority bloggers and much more. He has discussed writing comments that build your brand.
14. Content Syndication
Content syndication is an important practice primarily used by bloggers and news sites. You must have seen many news sites and blogs having a section “Related to”, “You should also read”, “Similar Articles” wherein content from other sites are listed by syndication networks like Outbrain, Taboola and more.
However, these twos are paid networks and so if you have a new site I recommend you to use Discover by SumoMe which has a network of more than 150,000 other sites your content can be shared with and you can get a link back. Check an example below:
15. Social Marketing
Social marketing is now something that everyone wants to leverage but not all succeed. I can see many non-active company pages on facebook or twitter profiles. Just creating page won’t help, you need to interact, engage with your followers, with your network. You can start with
commenting on posts of competitors pages and build a relationship with your followers by offering something like a pdf, a discount etc.
Select “On the notifications” so that you could be the first to comment on their posts which will help with your identification.
Ask each employee of your company to have a LinkedIn profile and add your company to their current employer and do this with all social networks especially Twitter, Facebook, Google+. Make sure that at least every single employee shares the blog posts with their social networks. Identify your targets on Twitter by using tools like
Make sure that at least every single employee shares the blog posts with their social networks.Identify your targets on Twitter by using tools like Followerwonk, Klear and see what they like or retweet.
Try posting similar kind of tweets.
Create a twitter list and add your niche influencers or your linkerati, ask them questions or ping them about your latest post. Interaction is the key to social branding.
Create intro video of your services or products using sites like Wistia, Rawshorts and ask your list or networks to give their feedback.
You can also upload the video to YouTube and other video sharing sites and add your link after a description.
Being new in the arena you definitely have tough competition but using the right steps and methods of building links can surely get you on the edge within a few months. Through the entire process of building links focusing on quality is utmost important and targeting your customers more than search engines is the key to success.
Do you have more ways using which a new website can build links? Please do share in the comments below and I shall add those in my post.