As current customers of SEMrush, Planet Marketing uses this valuable software to spy on its competitors, particularly local ones. When prospects call me, I ask them for their top three competitors so I can base pricing off the competition. They all agree and that’s how I have landed many of my present clients. In general, I use SEMrush to leverage info on the competitors, from Adwords to organic rankings and everything in between.
Here at planetmarketing.com, we firmly believe that performing competitive analysis is a must if you’re going to get ahead of the competition when it comes to online marketing. Nowhere has the saying “keep your friends close but your enemies closer” been more fitting. Robust tools like SEMrush are great for snooping around and finding out what’s working (or not working) for our competitors. It essentially crawls some 80 million keywords to compile information on one database, breaking down the information by organic search, paid search, backlinks, display ads and organic keywords vs. ad keywords.
Here’s what we’ve found to be true in our experience with SEMrush:
- We use it to make better decisions about online marketing strategies
- We use it to gather metrics about our competitors, keyword rankings, and on-page status
- We use it to see our competitors’ top performing keywords, as well as the ones that don’t work so well for them
- We use it to learn about new organic competitors
- We use it to localize our ad campaigns
Our main use of SEMrush is for keyword research, which helps us determine the right keywords for our clients’ SEO and PPC campaigns. Knowing phrase matches, related keywords and even long-tail keywords gives us an advantage over our competition. It’s always tough to find appropriate keywords for our target audience, but with this tool, we can tap into valuable resources that tell us which keywords are helping our competitors rank high on all the major search engines.
The problem with SEMrush is that their tools aren’t accurate. If you look at the image below, it shows that we only get 218 organic searches per month. I don’t think we would be in business if we only got 218 searches per month. We have almost that many searches per day. Also, the PAID SEARCH tab shows I’m only bidding on three keywords. That’s off too, but I can’t expect much more.
This isn’t just with Planet Marketing, but it’s with ALL our clients. Here’s a snapshot of Planet Marketing:
The numbers are off with our client Ship Overseas as well:
Despite these setbacks, the good thing is that you can get a snapshot of your competitor’s info. Be aware, it’ll be off, but that’s all the info out there that you can get. Our competitors will never give access to their Google Analytics, Adwords, nor Google Webmaster tools. It only provides a snapshot of what’s going on. It’s better than nothing.
I use MOZ and Ahrefs too, but SEMrush is my go-to tool for competitor analysis. The reason we keep SEMrush in our arsenal of SEO tools is it’s the closest snapshot of what’s happening with the competition. If we combine SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz, Majestic, then we have a much better picture. Each of these companies has a bot that crawls the web and processes the info. Imagine how many servers a company would need to crawl, process, and store all that info on the web. They don’t have Google’s financial power to do that. Also, these SEO tools work better for sites with more search volume, but they are still off.
If you want to sign up for SEMRush for free, click this link and get an extra 10 requests. Disclaimer: This is our affiliate URL for SEMRush: https://www.semrush.com/sem/?ref=16026597
The paid subscription is $65/mo and it’s month-to-month!
Look, everything is off, but we still use SEMrush to gain about 10% – 20% of insights on what the competitors are doing. And that’s invaluable to us. What’s your experience with SEMrush? Tell us here!