What Is Semrush? A Complete Guide and Walkthrough Of Semrush

If you have been into SEO or digital marketing for a while now, then you must have heard the name of Semrush, right? If you are wondering what Semrush is and what it does, then you have landed in the right place. Today, in this blog post, I will walk through a detailed and comprehensive overview of what Semrush is, how it works, and how you can leverage it to level up your digital marketing game.

So, sit back and relax. Also, take a cup of coffee and a notebook to jot down some important points, as this guide post will be 3000+ words or even more.

Here is a small outline of the blog:

1. What is semrush?

2. Meaning of Semrush

3. Company and Founder Information

4. What does Semrush do?

5. How does Semrush work?

6. What is the Semrush Affiliate Program?

7. Semrush Features, Pros, and Cons

8. Who can use Semrush?

9. Why should you use Semrush?

What is semrush?

What is semrush

Semrush is a 360-degree digital marketing and SEO tool that is used by online marketers, agency owners, bloggers, and SEO experts for a wide range of digital marketing efforts. It is mostly used for SEO purposes, for doing major SEO tasks like keyword research, site auditing, backlink analysis, competitor research, and so much more.

I personally use this tool for doing keyword research, site auditing, and checking the ranking improvement of my keywords on a day-to-day basis. When it comes to giving you precise data and metrics,

Even the world’s leading brands like P&G, Amazon, Samsung, Quora, and many other companies leverage this tool to scale up their online marketing efforts.

This tool is also a boon for those who are looking to take their PPC game, online reputation management, and PR activities to the next level.

Meaning of Semrush

Semrush is a popular growth marketing tool that is used by marketers for measuring and testing their online marketing efforts through SEO and SEM campaigns. It is a SaaS platform with a combination of 50+ marketing tools for SEO, PPC, local SEO, ORM, and digital marketing.

The majority of people use it for checking keywords that they can incorporate into their SEO, analyzing the competitor’s SEO campaign and their website, doing technical SEO auditing of the website, and finding out some backlink opportunities.

Although the tools do not work magically for off-page SEO activities, they are mostly used for on-page SEO and site auditing.

Company and Founder Information

Oleg Shchegolev Semrush founder

Oleg Shchegolev is the founder and CEO of the Semrush company. He started this company in 2008 along with his childhood friend Dmitry Melnikov, who is the current Chief Operating Officer of the company. Both co-founders have spent a lot of time in their early careers experimenting with fresh ideas and open minds to create platforms for marketers to level up their campaigns and revolutionize the online marketing game.

Since then, Semrush has grown into a leading online marketing tool and content marketing platform with more than 10 million users, including some of the Fortune 500 companies. Today, their global team consists of more than 1000 employees working in 23 different countries with an agile working philosophy and a vision of optimizing the marketing world.

Here is a look at the evolution of Semrush.

Semrush Evolution Over the Year

What does Semrush do?

Semrush provides marketing tools in the domains of SEO, content marketing, advertising, social media, and market research. For SEO, you can use it to discover millions of national and local keywords and get your website on top of Google. You can also run technical SEO audits and check the health and well-being of your website’s score. For content marketing, you can find the topic clusters that resonate with your targeted audience, create SEO-friendly content, optimize your content, and use AI tools to easily rewrite and improve the quality of your content.

If you are into paid advertising, then you can find the best keywords for your PPC campaigns, keep an eye on your competitors’ ad copies and landing pages, and optimize your ad spend at the local level. You can also schedule posts on social media and track and monitor the competitor’s account.

Semrush is a great social listening tool as well.

How does Semrush work?

Semrush uses its online machine learning algorithm and AI tools to gather data about keywords, competitors, backlinks, and many other metrics to store in their database. They use different technologies, tools, and ML algorithms to gather information that is of high quality. The good part is that they only use the updated data in their database and keep on cleaning the data through proprietary methods to give the most accurate data to their users.

Semrush collects data regarding billions of domains available on the web, their subdomains, and URLs as well. In short, you can get detailed reports on any domain on the web for competitor analysis. However, if the domain is new, then data collection and presentation would take a bit of time. Besides, Semrush has a gap analysis tool to cross-check the strengths and capabilities of different domains at once.

The game-changing feature is the keyword database that Semrush has. The keyword database of Semrush is one of the largest, with 23.3 billion terms, keywords, and phrases. You can get data regarding any keywords, their search volume, competition, websites ranking for those keywords, and what strategy you need to implement in order to outrank the competition on SERP.

Here’s how Semrush actually works.

1. Data collection

The first process is data collection. For this, Semrush uses a third-party data provider to gather the data from Google’s actual SERP rankings for the 500 million popular keywords and terms. Later, they collect information about the websites ranking in the top 100 positions. They study both organic and paid results to give you a complete picture of SERP rankings for any keywords or website.

2. Presentation of data

The next step is the analysis and presentation of the data. The Semrush team analyzes live data and historical data about keywords and domains, and they present you with a suite of reports that show website position, keywords they are ranking for, traffic on their site, search volume for keywords, CPC, and more insights.

3. Updating the data

The exact method by which Semrush collects and analyzes search engine results pages (SERPs) information uses our proprietary algorithm that has been developed and optimized over the years. The keywords in each of our global databases are scheduled for a refresh on their ranking data every month. This way, you know that the information you take from Semrush is based on the actual standings of Google’s most recent results pages.

To ensure that each and every piece of data is accurate and precise, Semrush uses its neural network, which is a combination of different algorithms that references various sources of data and recognizes patterns in the same way that the human brain understands. This method allows them to understand the audience’s behavior and give you more accurate and precise data.

They have also built their own backlink crawler that crawls more than 25 billion web pages on the web and gives you a complete picture of the backlink profile of any website.

What is the Semrush Affiliate Program?

Do you want to make money online? Are you interested in promoting Semrush to your colleagues and fellow marketers? If yes, then you can enroll in the Semrush affiliate program and make passive income by promoting this tool.

Semrush Affiliate Program

The best thing about the Semrush affiliate program is that they pay $200 for every premium account action and $10 for every train activation through your affiliate link. Earlier, they used to pay recurring commissions whenever a user rebilled the Semrush account.

In order to apply to the Semrush affiliate program, you must run a website or a blog with a decent amount of traffic. You can also have a social media page with more than 1000 followers and then apply for the Semrush affiliate program via Impact.com, which is an affiliate marketplace. You should have a decent knowledge of SEO and the digital marketing world.

Here are some of the benefits of the Berush or Semrush Affiliate Program.

1. $200 commission

The commission of $200 makes Semrush one of the highest-paying affiliate programs in the world. It means that even if you refer 10 customers per month, you can easily fetch up to $1200 per month or even more, depending on the number of customers you send to Sermush.

2. Easy to promote

Promoting the Semrush tool is very simple and easy, as there is huge demand for learning digital marketing and SEO across the globe. You can easily promote this tool to your audience, customers, or friends and showcase to them how wonderful the tool is, its features, and how it can help them level up their online marketing efforts.

Since Semrush has a strong brand name in the market and credibility, its conversion rates will be high.

3. Affiliate managers

Semrush has a team of dedicated affiliate managers who will guide you to promote Semrush in the right way. These managers will solve all your queries and doubts with regard to Semrush affiliates, account activation queries, payment-related issues, and so much more.

4. Marketing materials

The Semrush affiliate program comes with intuitive marketing materials like ads and images. You can also create a custom landing page with your blog’s branding logo and name on it after referring certain customers to Semrush.

Besides, you can also offer a special 30-day free trail after you have passed a certain threshold.

Semrush Features, Pros, and Cons

1. Keywords research

Semrush Keywords research

The first and most used feature of Semrush is the keyword research tool, which offers pinpoint data about search volume, competition of the keywords, efforts required to rank that keyword on Google, and most importantly, the intent of the keyword. You can also look at the SERP results for the keywords you are searching for and check which types of websites are ranking, what kind of content they have created, and how you can outrank them.

You can also get various variations of the keywords, such as related keywords, question-based keywords, comparison keywords, and more. From these variations, you can create a bucket of the best-suited keywords and incorporate them into your content.

Semrush also has a new feature called the Keyword Magic Tool, which is helpful for finding out secondary keywords based on your primary keywords. Suppose your primary keyword is ClickFunnels, then the Keywords Magic Tool will find out all the possible secondary keywords for you within seconds.

You can also save time by automatically clustering the 2000+ keywords and creating a list of keywords from scratch.

2. On-page SEO

Semrush On-page SEO

The next feature is the on-page SEO checker, which will critically analyze all the on-page SEO elements of your website and suggest recommendations to level up your on-page SEO. You can use this feature for your blog posts, web pages, and other key pages on your site for better optimization.

Besides, you will also be getting strategy ideas for your website to perform the best and improve your on-page SEO. It will give you recommendations on title, meta description, image alternative tags, content length, keywords in the content, redirections, missing canonical tags, and other technical SEO tasks as well.

It also goes deep into your log file and analyzes it to tackle structural and navigational errors on your site, and it suggests new ideas on how you can improve the navigation of your site and increase the crawl budget.

You can also get content ideas and keyword ideas.

3) Competitor analysis

This is my personal favorite feature of Semrush and surely one of the best that will allow you to track and monitor your competitor’s SEO strategy in and out. You can start by analyzing your competitor’s domain and checking their top traffic sources and the keywords they are ranking for. You just need to copy and paste the competitor’s domain in the search box, and you are good to go.

Semrush Competitor analysis

You can also do a basic audit of their website and check what type of content they are producing. You can replicate their strategy and create something better if you want to outrank them on the SERP pages.

The main focus here is the use of the keyword gap and backlink gap analysis. The keyword gap will help you hunt for those keywords for which your competitor is ranking on Google and you are missing them out. You can incorporate those keywords into your content strategy and give a tough fight to your competitor.

On the other hand, a backlink gap is something that will help you find link-building opportunities by checking out your competitor’s backlink profile. You can create a list of backlinks your competitors are having and then reach out to those website owners or bloggers and ask them for a link back too. If they have linked to your competitor, they’ll surely link to you as well.

4) Content marketing

Content is king in the online marketing world. Without good content, you cannot rank your website at the top of Google. But many times we struggle to create quality content, either due to a lack of ideas or strategy. But worry no more, as the content marketing tool by Semrush is here.

Semrush Content marketing

5) Local SEO

For all the local SEO experts out there, this is a great feature by Semrush to level up your local SEO game and get your site ranked on Google My Business and many local keywords. With the help of the local SEO feature, you can learn about the local listing profiles of your competitor domains and find the list of sites or local directories where they have listed their businesses.

Semrush Local SEO

You can enter your competitor’s domain in the local search bar and find out their overall local SEO performance. The tool will give you recommendations on various aspects that will surely help you improve your local SEO score. For example, it will highlight the major local listing directories and sites on which your business is not listed. It will also tell you about the missing number, address, business name, and other important details that are missing.

Local SEO Semrush result

6) Rank tracking

Monitoring your competitors’ ranking and your own keywords is the most important thing in SEO. Until and unless you know about the ranking and positioning of your keywords, you won’t be able to track results and mold your SEO strategy for improvement. With Semrush’s position and rack tracking tool, you can easily track competitors rankings on Google on a daily basis.

7) Social media marketing

Semrush Social media marketing

Semrush gives you a complete toolkit for social media management to help you build your brand, engage your audience, and drive sales from social media marketing. It is a great tool to automate your social media tasks related to content posting, content distribution, and competitor analysis.

It also has a social media scheduler and planner that will allow you to create a monthly social media calendar and automate your posting. You can also look into the analytics and get insights on impressions, views, and engagement on your posts. It integrates with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google Business Profile, making it one of the most comprehensive social media tools.

8) Link building

Whether you agree with me or not, backlinks are the most important ranking factor in SEO. If you know how to build backlinks and can keep an eye on your competitors’ backlink profiles, then no one can stop you from ranking at the top of Google.

Semrush gives you a plethora of link-building tools like backlink analytics, backlink auditing, link-building tools, and bulk analysis tools to take your SEO game to the next level.

Semrush Link building

The backlink analytics tool by Semrush will give pinpoint and accurate data on the number of likes a particular domain has, referring domains, referring IPs, backlink types, which can be text, image, form, or frame, and link attributes like no-follows, do-follow links, UGC, or sponsored links.

You can analyze the link profile of any of your competitor domains and export all the lists of sites and domains from which they have taken links. You can sort the data and reach out to those websites, asking them to link back to you. If they have linked to your competitor, they will surely link to your site as well.

9) Paid Advertisement

With Semrush, you can also level up your paid advertisement game on Google. This feature allows you to keep an eye on your competitor’s paid advertisement strategy on Google. You can collect insightful tips, discover new PPC rivals, see the live ads of your competitors, check their landing pages and ad copies, and make the decision to take your PPC game to the next level. You can explore the search terms and keywords on which your competitors are bidding. You can also take a closer look at competitors’ Google Ads campaigns to get great insights into their landing pages that are driving the majority of the traffic.

10) PPC keyword research

SEMrush offers a robust suite of tools for PPC keyword research. By entering your or your competitor’s domain, the Advertising Research section provides a comprehensive overview, including top keywords and ad positions. The Keyword Magic Tool generates an extensive list of relevant keywords, complete with metrics like search volume and CPC. Dive into competitor strategies using features such as ad copy analysis, position tracking, and ad history to gain insights into their advertising approaches over time.

Additionally, SEMrush aids in evaluating keyword difficulty and CPC, enabling strategic decision-making for campaign optimization. The tool’s Negative Keywords report assists in filtering out irrelevant terms, ensuring more targeted and cost-effective PPC campaigns. Utilizing SEMrush’s comprehensive features supports businesses in developing and refining their PPC strategies for optimal performance and return on investment.

Who can use Semrush?

Digital Marketers:

SEMrush is a go-to tool for digital marketers. It provides invaluable insights into competitor strategies, conducts keyword research, and helps track the performance of online marketing campaigns. Marketers can analyze data, create reports, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their online efforts.

SEO Specialists:

For SEO experts, SEMrush is like a Swiss Army knife. It offers comprehensive SEO auditing, backlink analysis, and site ranking tracking. SEO professionals can use SEMrush to identify issues, optimize on-page and off-page SEO, and monitor their website’s progress in search engine rankings.

Content Creators:

Content is king in the online world, and SEMrush aids content creators in various ways. It helps identify relevant keywords, provides topic ideas, and even evaluates content for its SEO potential. This ensures that the content produced resonates with the target audience and ranks well on search engines.

E-commerce Businesses:

SEMrush offers e-commerce businesses insights into their market and competitors. It helps with keyword research for product listings, tracks product rankings, and even provides insights into the paid advertising strategies of competitors.


Freelancers, such as SEO consultants or content writers, can use SEMrush to provide better services to their clients. It streamlines their work processes, allowing them to offer comprehensive SEO and digital marketing solutions.

Bloggers and affiliate marketers:

Bloggers and affiliate marketers rely on traffic and conversions. SEMrush provides valuable data on keywords, traffic sources, and competitor strategies, helping them boost their online visibility and earnings.

Digital Agencies:

Digital agencies serving multiple clients can streamline their operations with SEMrush. It offers white-label reporting, project management, and a unified platform to manage multiple client campaigns efficiently.

FAQs about Semrush

What is SEMrush?

SEMrush is an all-in-one digital marketing platform that provides tools for SEO, PPC, content marketing, and competitor analysis.

How does SEMrush help businesses?

SEMrush empowers businesses by offering valuable insights into their online presence, enabling optimization strategies and competitive advantage.

What features does SEMrush offer?

SEMrush includes features for keyword research, backlink analysis, site audits, advertising research, and more, making it a comprehensive digital marketing toolkit.

Is SEMrush suitable for small businesses?

Yes, SEMrush caters to businesses of all sizes, offering scalable solutions that can be tailored to the specific needs and budgets of small enterprises.

Can SEMrush be used by beginners in digital marketing?

Absolutely! SEMrush provides user-friendly interfaces and guides, making it accessible for beginners while still offering advanced features for experienced marketers.

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