I don’t think there’s anything we marketers secretly want more than getting way ahead of the competition. I mean, yes, it’s true, your aim is to spread the word on your brand, products or services. You want to generate leads and convert visitors into sales.
But admit it: ultimately, you just want to outdo the competition, right?
And you know, at SEMrush we’re constantly trying to deliver the best tools to help you achieve it. We build new reports, brush up the old ones, and continuously try to explore new areas of marketing.
And once again, we’re on a verge of some big changes. You remember, that on the beginning of last October we expanded US keyword database and now it contains 80 million keywords. Well, we are not going to stop! Now UK database has doubled and now contains 12 million keywords.
And with that in mind, we want to remind you of all the amazing things you can do with various SEMrush reports and what benefits these updates bring you.
Interested? Then let’s get cracking…
#1. Find Highly Profitable New Keywords to Target
If you want to grow and expand your brand’s online visibility, you need to keep searching for new keywords to target.
For example, your audience’s preferences change and you need to keep finger on the pulse about new topics to create content on.
Your audience might change too. People you’ve been doing business so far might no longer be interested in your product. And new prospects might be searching for solutions like yours using completely different phrases.
Only by constantly finding new keywords to target can you ensure a steady flow of traffic and leads for your business.
In the today’s heavily competitive SERPs, doing so is not as simple as it might seem: in many industries, head keywords are already too competitive to target, the situation is no different with many body or short tail keywords too.
Commercial keywords, even though there’s still plenty of them, can be hard to come by on their own.
But that doesn’t mean that you’ll never find new keywords to target. You just might have to dig a little deeper to do it.
In SEMrush, we offer reports to help you find new and profitable keywords:
- Keyword Overview
- Phrase Match Report
- Related Keywords
- Keyword Difficulty
- Domain vs. Domain
Let’s see how they work.
- Start by searching for your seed keyword. To do so, type it into the search box on top of the interface and hit search. SEMrush will then display a keyword overview report.
The very first things you can do with the report are:
- Change the location-based database. You can pick from 30 locations that give you the insight into keywords and trends within the market you target.
- Switch between desktop and mobile results
- With the setup done, you can start diving into the data.
First you can check the most relevant information about the seed keyword,
- Organic and paid search traffic
- PPC competition level
- of organic results
All this information is useful if you’re researching that particular keyword. But if you want to find other keywords related to the topic, look right below this report.
That’s where SEMrush displays snapshots and direct access to other keyword related reports:
- Phrase Match Keywords – This report includes close variations of your primary keyword we’ve found in our database, along with volume, CPC, competition level, no. of organic results, trends and SERPs snapshot per each. Clicking on a View Full Report button will bring you to the complete report.
- Related Keywords, containing a list of related but less obvious phrases pertaining to your main phrase. Just like with the other report, we also give you all the critical data you’d need to assess what keywords would be worth targeting in your business.
Keyword difficulty tool that helps you establish how competitive phrases you want to target are:
The Domain vs. Domain report allows you to compare common and unique keywords between up to five domains. You could use it to quickly find keywords your competitor ranks for but you don’t, for example.
#2. Review Your Competitors’ Advertising Practices
Oh I’m sure you’ve heard this quote before:
“I know that half of my advertising dollars are wasted … I just don’t know which half.”
And even that I’m no longer sure who had actually said it (some credit John Wannamaker, others David Ogilvy. And I’m sure if you scout the web a bit more thoroughly, you’ll find it attributed to other figures too), I know it’s true.
After all, and I’m sure you know this very well, it’s not cheap to advertise online today.
And so, it’s crucial that you make advertising decisions based on data too. Particularly, what works and what doesn’t for your competitors.
To research your competitor’s advertising strategies, type in their domain in the main search box and then, go to: Domain Analytics > Advertising Research.
From there, you’ll get access to a wealth of information about their PPC traffic.
Generic information about their traffic levels, like no. of keywords they bid on, estimated traffic they received from them and estimated cost for bidding on them.
You can also review their ads’ positions for specific keywords:
And review a lot of information per ad:
- See the actual ad. Simply roll over on the little yellow AD icon (just like the one you see in SERPs) and SEMrush will display the ad:
- Keyword they bid on
- Ad position
- Ad location in SERPs, shown by a little blue icon denoting ad block with the ad. Clicking on the icon will show you the actual SERPs page with the ad
- Cost per click per that keyword
- URL where the ad leads to
- Estimated percentage share of traffic this keyword drives to the site. In other words, how effective the keyword is.
- Estimated cost for bidding on that keyword in Adwords
- Competition level
- # of organic results
And even when the ad was last updated.
And as always, clicking on each section will reveal even more data. You can also review ad position changes. To do so, go to: Domain Analytics > Advertising Research > Position Changes.
You’ll get access to a report showing new, lost, improved, and declined ads. Plus, you’ll be able to review each change in detail.
The Ad Copies report (Domain Analytics > Advertising Research > Ad Copies) displays all the competitors’ ads so you can analyze what copywriting tricks they use to entice more people to click.
Clicking on each ad will show you a list of keywords it displays for.
Finally, ads history report allows you to check how the competitors’ ads were changing over time.
#3. Discover SERPs Features Your Competitors Rank For
You know, SERPs have long ago stopped being just a list of pages related to your query.
Google now displays a ton of other features intertwined with traditional results:
- Knowledge graph
- Local pack
- Instant answer
- Featured snippet
All those different result types help brands gain visibility and position content in front of the very audience they want to target.
What’s more, you can optimize your site and other assets to appear in those listings.
The questions however is, which ones are worth the time and effort?
SEMrush can also help you check if your competitors aren’t using those already to gain advantage over you in SERPs.
In turn, this could help you identify which SERP features are worth optimizing for.
Our latest widget added to the Organic Research report allows you to check if any special search engine results are displayed for keywords your competitor is ranking for.
What’s more, you can also see the percentage of keywords that trigger a particular feature in SERPs.
Also, clicking on each feature will take you to a detailed report on keywords that trigger it, and reveal additional information to help you assess if you shouldn’t be trying to appear for it too.
#4. Spy on Your Competitors’ Traffic
By analyzing your competitors’ strategies, and finding out what works for them and what doesn’t, you can make more informed business decisions.
You can also spot new opportunities. For example, you can identify business areas your competitors fall behind and target them to quickly gain advantage on the market.
Not to mention that you could also predict the competitors’ next moves. You could spot a new trend in their strategies, a new landing page they haven’t advertised yet, and anticipate what they might do next.
First, you can assess who your real competitors online are.
With your domain in the main search box, go to the Domain Analytics report and click on Competitors. SEMrush will display a list of companies that rank in search for similar phrases as you:
It also presents some interesting information about each competitor:
- Competition Level – based on the amount of common keywords, SEMrush establishes how closely you compete.
- Common Keywords – showing how many of the same keywords you and the other domain are ranking for in the Google’s top 100 results. Note that clicking on the number will take you to a full list of those keywords.
- SE Keywords – displaying the total number of keywords that bring traffic to the site from Google.
- SE Traffic – the amount of traffic brought by those keywords.
- SE Traffic Price – the estimated price of organic keywords in AdWords.
- Ads Keywords- the number of keywords the domain is bidding on in AdWords.
From then on, click on any of the competitor domains to get a full report on their traffic.
SEMrush will display details about their traffic, both organic and paid, backlinks and even show you information about their PPC ads.
Clicking on any numbers will take you to a detailed view of this particular area of their traffic.
And then we’ll also show you their top keywords, how they’re rankings are distributed, main domains competing with them in SERPs, and finally, show you the competitive positioning map, showing how they compare with their competitors.
And just like with any other report, you can click on any information to extract more details about it.
#5. Come Up with Engaging Topics and Content Ideas
I’m sure you know this already:
To build and grow an audience, you need to deliver content that engages them every single time.
But let’s be honest, it’s darn hard to do, isn’t it?
For example, you can’t always predict what interests your audience at the moment.
Or what problems they need advice on.
Not to mention, what aspects of their jobs they’d want to find out more about.
And so, you have two options:
Shoot in the dark. Post content you think might interest them, and then refine it over time to find the best topics.
Base your decisions on data.
And I’m sure you can easily guess which approach I’d advocate.
Basing your decisions on data rather than intuition is the only way to learn more about your customers, the conversations they want to have with you, how to build rapport with them, and how to get them to notice your business.
But for that to happen, you need a solid source of relevant data.
Even though we don’t offer a dedicated content research tool, a number of our reports can help you analyze what would engage your audience the most.
Naturally, if people are interested in a particular topic, they will Google it…often.
And so, you can use our keyword research report to come up with content ideas.
Start by searching for your main topic, a problem of your audience or issue you know they might be interested in.
Skip the keyword overview section and instead, research Phrase Match and Related Keywords reports.
Two. Spy on your competitors’ topics.
You could also take a sneak peak at what problems your competitors are trying to solve for the audience.
To do it in SEMrush, go to the Domain Analytics section.
Type your competitor’s domain into the main search box and then, scroll to the Top Organic Keywords section, displaying main search phrases the company’s focusing on.
A quick look at their keywords should help you find out what non-commercial phrases they rank for. From then on, you could either research those keywords further or start brainstorming content based on suggestions from the list.
That's It For Today
What do you think? Does SEMrush come across as a real Swiss army knife for a modern marketer? We certainly hope it does. Enjoy our recent updates!