Keyword Analysis Marketing Review Search Engine Marketing Search Engine Optimization

SEMrush Review, Alternatives and Free Trial Account

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When we talk about ‘Search’, we predominantly talk about Google Search results. Whether it is organic or paid search, companies both big and small are busy trying to take the first few slots of the Google search result. That is how they can pull the massive traffic to their website and landing pages. This post is about SEMrush review and it’s alternatives.

Traffic pulling and having a successful conversion rate is the first and only priority for any and every company. Mostly, marketers indulge in Search Marketing. Real time analysis and competitor monitoring acts as a gateway to ways in which more traffic can be diverted to your own website through search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others.

semrush-new-logo- review and comparison of alternatives

Search Marketing is a broad term that branches out into SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing). While SEO is mostly about acquiring users based on the visibility on search results, SEM is more about pulling traffic through ads placed on search result pages.

In this article, I will discuss about this SEM tool that can be used to research competitors’ keywords – SEMrush, which I have used in many projects. Writing is no more about just putting up what your readers love but also about searching and finding what readers have been searching and putting them into post, so, that it can drive relevant traffic from search engine. Or, putting it the other way, using these keywords, you can drive highly relevant traffic through ads in search engine.

According to a recent Adobe report published on Marketing Tech, the year-on-year growth of Search Engine marketing spend has grown by 12%, with Google being the dominant player.

Way back in 2011, Techcrunch had reported that gets around 75% of its traffic from Google, out of which 50% people start searching on Google and eventually reach Yelp’s page, while 25% search using ‘yelp’ keyword in the search.

Before I talk about how SEMrush aids to organic SEO, let us have a quick overview of how SEM is different from SEO.


SEO and SEM go hand in hand but are very much different from each other. Search Engine Optimization is a technique by which you improve your search rank and drive traffic to your website. Search Engine Marketing is rather a broader term that encompasses SEO as well. It includes paid or sponsored advertisement, ensuring more visibility of your website.


Arguments on which is better than the other are in galleons. Organic SEO is definitely cost effective since it does not incur any spending. It relies more on the content quality and the way you use social media platforms to market your website.

SEM includes various strategies like Paid Per Click (PPC). This is a good way to obtain immediate visibility on the search engines. The traffic is essentially targeted. Most clicks ultimately reach the end of the marketing funnel: conversion. This is mostly carried out through effective landing pages in online ads.

It is an entirely need-oriented decision for a company to address any of the two. However, having said that, relying on PPC on a long-term basis might be hazardous idea because, without organic SEO, it is difficult to stay afloat. Needless to say, traffic coming from organic SEO has a better ROI till date.


SEMrush is a wonderful tool that has an impressive updated database. It is a highly competent tool that engages with SEO in a way that adds value to your marketing strategies. Here’s few ways in which SEMrush helps in organic SEO

  • It easily helps in finding the relevant keywords. SEMrush effectively gives an idea of which keyword has had gains or loses, which keyword has risen or fallen in the specific time frame.
  • Competitive analysis is much easier with SEMrush. You can have a clear view of where you rank, what is your position and the same in terms of your competitors.
  • It helps in understanding the growth of your competitor in organic search, and also shows you how you rank, what you need to pay and how good is your search volume.

Feature Review of SEMrush

SEMrush has the perfect tools to design your advertising strategies while tracking your competitors simultaneously.

It broadly distinguishes its benefits in four categories-

Semrush broad features
  • Analytic reports: It gives insights into strategies that your competitors are using, whether in paid search, organic search or link building.
  • Tools: Helps you do a detailed competitor analysis in terms of domains and keywords.
  • Projects: Your global campaign will help you gain all the detailed insights of your competitor- keywords, rankings, on-page and off-page health, and so on.
  • Solutions: It helps to keep track of all your marketing tasks. You can build and manage all your campaigns across various channels.

Review of Organic Research

Finding the right keyword is extremely essential when you are trying to reach your target audience via organic search engines. This feature helps you dig out the keywords that can help you increase and improve your search engine ranking. Along with that, you can also know the content strategy your competitor might be using to drive the organic traffic to their website.

  • Know the best keywords your competitors are using
  • Discover other organic competitors that you did not list down earlier

SEMrush Competitive Positioning Map shows you immediately where you rank in comparison to all your competitors. You can have a direct comparison in terms of the top 20 in Google’s or Bing’s search results.


The SEMrush Position change Report gives you a detailed knowledge of the domain position change of your competitors as well as yours. In this way, you can have a fair understanding of where your strategies are lagging or what is working in your favour.

To know how these work, you can request a DEMO.

Review of Advertising Research

SEMrush Advertising feature helps in achieving the maximum ROI from your PPC campaigns. SEMrush gives you valuable data on your competitors’ PPC campaigns, like keywords, budget, campaign activities, and so on. Using these data, you can improve your own campaign and get the maximum ROI possible out of it. This not only helps you avoid certain mistakes, it also saves your time and cost. You cease from burning money in a campaign that gives no or least return.

  • Get a close-up of your competitors’ ad budget and strategies
  • Scrutinize your rivals’ Ad copies and keywords
  • Unveil new competitors in AdWords and Bing Ads
  • Analyse keywords and ad texts in around 26 regions and 16 languages.

Get access to the top ranking keywords and the best ones that your competitors are using. Along with that, know how long an ad has been running to have a better overview of how you are doing.


There is no denial that paid ad is extremely competitive. To out beat your competitors, you have to know who are your major rivals. SEMrush provides a list of domain’s competitors, estimation of keywords and paid traffic, and how much your rival is spending on ads.

Review of Product Listing Ads (PLAs)

This feature is important if you have an e-commerce website. SEMrush Competitors report can help you in-

  • Defining your competitors on Google Shopping
  • Know how many common product listing keywords you and your competitors have
  • Know which keywords actually trigger your competitors’ PLAs to get visible in paid search ads
  • Get an estimation of how much your competitor might be spending on AdWords in comparison to PLAs
  • Use the Domain vs Domain Tool to compare the PLA rankings of your competitors

If you can attain a clear understanding of your competitors’ PLA strategies, you can easily fine-tune your own Google Shopping techniques.


By generating SEMrush Positions report for a competitors’ domain, you can have a detailed insight on every PLA that pops up for each keyword, the PLA ranking in SERPs, and much more. The PLA Copies Report gives you access to the PLAs that has performed the best for your competitor.

Review of Display Advertising

Google’s display ad network is home to millions of websites. Bidding for impressions in this crowded place is very tough. SEMrush Top 30 report shows the best-performing advertisers’ sites along with their texts, media ads, landing pages and how many ads have been used by them.


With SEMrush Display Advertising data, it is easier for you to analyze your competitors’ ads and other leading ads. You can know how many impressions were given to each of these ads, and what is the display ratio between text ads to media ads. These insights will help you have a detailed knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.

Not only analysis, but SEMrush AdSense Publishers Report enables you to discover where exactly your competitors are advertising. You can confidently pick up the highest performing placement and use it to your favour.


Last but not the least, you can also get to know how the statistics change according to the device being used by your audience to view your ads.

SEMrush Review of Backlinks Analysis feature

Performance of link is completely dependent on the quality of backlinks. SEMrush provides the option of conducting deep analysis of which link is pointed towards your website. Effective backlink checker helps you keep a check on incoming links, how authoritative it is, where is it located, and its comparison to competitors’ domains.

After having this report, you can not only improve the quality of backlink you receive but also discover new referral traffic sources.

  • Know whether the backlinks you have received are genuine or spam
  • Check for .edu or .gov links so that your website gets a boost in SERPs.
  • Know from where your competitors are getting their strong backlinks
  • Know whether the backlinks you have received are from images or texts or forms, and so on
  • Get the unique IP addresses of your backlinks. Thus, you can know from which location you have been referred.

I personally found this feature quite useful for SEO purpose, because this is the similar feature which we used from Moz, SEOMajestic or Ahrefs.

Request for a DEMO to see it for yourself.

Keyword Research Review with SEMrush

SEMrush Keyword Research feature gives you tried and tested keywords that can help you in improving your website rank in Google’s and Bing’s top results. It also provides you with the value of these keywords in paid as well as organic search, and which top players are using them in their landing pages. There are ton of useful data outside Google Adwords.

  • Get a complete list of best, tested and tried keywords
  • Match keywords as well as phrases. Know about other related keywords
  • At times only top keywords may not do the trick. Get hold of long-tail keywords which consequently takes up almost 70% of the total search traffic.
  • Breaking the shackles of languages and regions, explore keywords that are region specific.

Semrush update: 

Semrush is GDPR and CCPA compliant and has updated its privacy agreements and DPA to assure that none of the data protection laws gets violated. You can read the details about how to manage your data subjects, the obligation of the data processors and other related queries on their website.

SEMrush Alternatives

SEMrush is definitely a great tool to track your competitors and consequently improve your own SEO ranking. But SEMrush is not the only one in the market. There is a host of SEMrush alternatives available that concentrate on one or more analysis of marketing segments.

Before you decide on SEMrush, I will tell you briefly how this tool is better in comparison to other available alternatives that include, SerpStat, Moz, Keyword Spy, HitTail and Wordtracker.

SEMrush vs. SerpStat

SerpStat is the all-in-one platform for search engine professionals which include complete research of SERP with advanced analytics, keywords grouping by tags, local search, domain-wise traffic distribution, in-depth backlink analysis, competitor backlinks monitoring, with last two years data.

serpstat screenshot - SEMrush vs Serpstat

SerpStat keywords research include analysis if all URL, search questions related insights, related and relevant keywords, with adaptive filters.

SerpStat Site audit tool is again a nifty tool using which you can clean-up and optimize your on-page content of the website. It shows more than 35+ different on-page optimization suggestions.

Competitor research includes analysis of all of your competitor domains, identification of leaders in the niche, visibility on keyword trends, keyword map of the competitors can found easily.

So all in all, SerpStat can be a great growth hacking tool for content marketing, SEO, running and optimizing PPC ads.

UpdateSerpStat has revised its privacy policy and has made considerable changes to make its platform ready for GDPR and CCPA. The Serpstat website clearly states ”We never sell personal data and we carry out all processing operations in strict compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR and CCPA”).

SEMrush vs. Moz


Moz is a great SEO tool and has been in the market since 2004. However, with the release of MOZ Analytics seems like it is moving away from SEO, more towards inbound marketing.

For me, SEMrush is a winner as it incorporates everything.

  • In about 30 seconds, you are aware where your website ranks with SEMrush
  • Set-up is minimal to get data with SEMrush where else MOZ is all about plugging in of data and then wait for several weeks
  • SEMrush provides intuitive and accessible data
  • It works great for non-technical clients

Moz comes for $99-$499/month while SEMrush Pro begins at $99.95/month.

GDPR and CCPA update: As a guide to understanding GDPR and CCPA and Moz compliance with it, they have created a FAQ and published on their website. If you have any queries related to it, you can visit this link and know more about it.

SEMrush vs. Wordtracker


Wordtracker gives you the best suggestions when it comes to keywords for your website. It is not a Business to the Business rated tool but is still highly reliable to hundreds of people. It was only sometime back that Wordtracker bid goodbye to Google AdWords API and implemented SEMrush instead of it. Why they needed SEMrush?

  • SEMrush provides more competitive data
  • Each keyword is backed by a long history- how popular it is, who has used it, what is its value, and so on.
  • SEMrush has a host of data. Unlike Google’s 800 keywords, SEMrush now allows Wordtracker to offer their users upto 1,000 keyword for each search, of course if they are available in the database.

Wordtraker starts at $27/month only.

Keyword Spy vs. SEMrush


Keyword Spy is another SEMrush competitor that does almost the same functions of spying on your competitors. However, Keyword Spy is essentially more costly than SEMrush. although in terms of functionality and database, SEMrush can easily out beat the other.

Also, in various forums, Keyword Spy’s data hasn’t been really appreciated in comparison to SEMrush’s accurate and intuitive data.

Keyword Spy starts at a price of $89.95/month!

SEMrush Pricing Details

After having skimmed through few competitors of SEMrush, it is now time to take a look at the pricing model of this tool. SEMrush is extremely pocket friendly and it provides a FREE TRIAL before you decide to purchase.

The pricing model goes as follows:

PRO begins at $69.95/month

  • 10,000 results per report
  • 3000 reports/day
  • 3 projects
  • 500 keywords to track
  • 100,000 pages to crawl
  • Annual Subscription comes at $699.50

GURU comes at $149.95/month

  • 30,000 results per report
  • 5000 reports/day
  • 15 projects
  • 1500 keywords to track
  • 300,000 pages to crawl
  • 20 scheduled PDF reports
  • Branded PD reports and historical data
  • Annual Subscription comes at $1499.50

BUSINESS comes at $549.95/month

  • 50,000 results per report (for each of 4 users)
  • 10,000 reports/day
  • 25 Projects
  • 5000 keywords to track (for all users)
  • 1,000,000 Pages to crawl (for all users)
  • 50 Scheduled PDF reports
  • Branded PDF reports, Historical data, PLAs, and Multi-user Management
  • Annual Subscription comes at $5499.50

Spying on competitors have become the norm these days. Without knowing what and how your competitors are doing, it is difficult for a marketer to decide on a marketing technique that will not only drive traffic but also enable conversion. When it comes to website ranking, only paid ads do not serve the purpose. Although paid ads are a quicker way to come to limelight, organic search results are what actually ensure your stability in the market. Tools like SEMrush help in digging out the tiniest information about your competitors and thereby, improve your search ranking considerably.

This tool is worth a try if you are hoping to drive more and more organic traffic to your website. You can also check my earlier post on 40 Awesome SEO Analysis Tools to know more about such tools.

Questions asked looking for SEMrush and it’s alternatives:
What is SEMrush?

SEMRush is a SEO management tool that helps businesses improve their SEO marketing strategies. It helps you perform the functions like keyword research, site audit, competitors strategies and backlinking opportunities.

What are some good SEMrush alternatives?

Some good SEMrush alternatives are SeRanking, Moz, SerpStat and Wordtracker.

Is SEMrush a good tool for beginners?

Yes, SEMrush is a good tool for beginners. SEMrush provides most of the information that digital marketers need to get brands make their way to higher Google rankings.

What are some free tools for keyword selection?

Some free tools are Google Keyword planner, Competitor source code, UberSuggest and Wordtracker.

Is there a cheap alternative to SEMrush?

SerpStat is a good alternative to SEMrush as it offers plenty of features for content marketing and SEO.

How accurate is the SEMrush keyword tool?

The SEMrush keyword tool is accurate as compared to its counterparts. But, one should never forget that no keyword tool is accurate. It just gives you an overall picture of the keywords and the associated searches.

How good is SerpStat as a keyword search tool?

SerpStat is a decent keyword search tool that comes at a reasonable pricing.

Ankit is a technology entrepreneur. Founder of Aritic. Ankit loves to analyse and write in-depth software, application reviews in his free time since 2009.


  1. George Florent Reply

    I’m using Serpstat.

  2. Robinsh Reply

    Really a very helpful review, I was also looking for the tools to check the exact keyword ranking as it was shown misleading into my google webmasters account.

  3. Stephanie Reply

    How does SEMrush help in perfecting your SEM? SEMrush is what we call an intelligent tool. It beautifully merges SEO with SEM thus creating best organic search results with high marketing value for your online business to cherish.

    • Stephanie, SEMrush is great tool for keyword analysis and online search.

  4. Jonathan Reply

    Although both SEM & SEO moves together at the same pace; however, there are a number of differences as well between the two. SEO is considered to be such a technique that helps in improving the search rank of the users and for driving the traffic to the website of the user.

    • Michael Reply

      Jonathan, when an Internet user searches through Google, then he enters, at that moment, his thoughts in the form of queries. For Google to analyze the query and display the results, there are rankings according to their own algorithms. However, Google also shows users the ads that are of interest related just to the users’ query. These ads at Google are called Adwords and they show an extremely high degree of success because they see ads directly related to the users’ query.

  5. Ravi Reply

    Ankit, you have very nicely explained the difference between SEO and SEM. I understood them to be part of it each other, but never gave it a proper thought. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique that helps raise up our (search) rank bring more traffic to our website. While Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a larger concept that includes SEO as well. Internet Ads are an important component of SEM.

  6. Sean Edwards Reply

    Hi Ankit, Good article. I just browsed through the website of wordtracker dotcom. I have a few doubts around keywords.What do you mean by long tail key words? Are there different kinds of key words available? Is it the same as key words..? I can think of at least a 100 key words at a given time. How many keywords does wordtracker offer at the rate it charges us at $27.

    • Sean, the keywords which has more than 2 words are usually referred as long tail keywords. For $27 at wordtracker, you get results for 5000 keywords, which also includes long tail keywords.

  7. Marie Parker Reply

    Hi Ankit! How credible do you think is Alexa? It is one of the oldest, perhaps. And how about SE Rankings, Infinitigraph, Monitor Backlinks and Spyfu? Which is the best to understand the competitor strategy? Thanks.

  8. Sarah Cooper Reply

    Hi Ankit! How credible do you think is Alexa? It is one of the oldest, perhaps. And how about SE Rankings, Infinitigraph, Monitor Backlinks and Spyfu? Which is the best to understand the competitor strategy? Thanks.

    • I have Spyfu; it is great tool, where as recently I have heard a lot SERankings; it will take some time for me to try this tool. Others, I will trying soon. I feel each of the tool; whether free or paid, they have one unique feature; which everyone likes to use.

  9. Joseph Reply

    SEMRush has helped me in driving relevant traffic to my website, with the help of the ads and the keywords in the search engine. It has effectively provided mu website with more visibility. The PPC strategy of SEM has provided my website with immediate visibility on different search engines. The database of this wonderful tool has been impressively updated. SEMRush has provided me with a perfect analysis of the contributions that the different keywords gave to my website.

    • Hey Joseph, great to hear that SEMrush helped you in great ways to improve your business visibility.

  10. Chris Jackson Reply

    Ankit, I have recently put up my website and am looking for the right SEO suite to improve the ranking of my website and increase the traffic. I am really confused between SEM rush and Google analytics. I would want to know what are the pros and cons of both the tools and which one is better in which case?

    • Chris, Google analytics is for website traffic and quality measurement where as SEMrush is for marketing analysis which can help you with strategy planning and improving incoming traffic.

  11. Luthfar Rahman Reply

    SEMrush is my most favorite SEO tools I have seen ever. Thanks for the trial. As a blogger and SEMrush user, I suggest this trial for my newbie blogger student.

  12. Rakesh Kota Reply

    I love SEM rush for its User-friendly data and clarity in detail is quite effective, A bulk information of effective tools has been explained very well in this blog.

  13. Oscar Snyder Reply

    A long-term user of SemRush but after reading your article I am planning to give other tools a try. I think I will go for SerpStat as I have heard a lot of praise for this tool in the industry.

  14. Debra Reply

    Don’t you feel SEMrush is pretty expensive as compared to its alternatives like Ahrefs and Spyfu? The only good thing about SEMrush is that it comes with custom plans that can help you to find something that fits your budget.

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