If you’re lucky enough to be involved in the world of search engine optimization, you will no doubt have a plethora of tools readily equipped in your digital arsenal; tools which you simply cannot live without (if you want to retain your job).
There is heaps of information out there, tons of data and masses of analytics to decipher. If you don’t take action on this ‘big’ data (sorry, clichéd term) then you will be missing out on a chunky piece of the measurement pie. And boy it’s tasty.
Anyway, swiftly concluding the intro babble…
Today, ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the SEMrush dashboard (along with some super simple yet effective techniques for better reporting).
Trick #1: Clean Out Your Keywords for Accurate Reporting
One of the key features of SEMrush is the keyword visibility graph (Tools > Position Tracking > Visibility). Providing a top-level indication of overall keyword performance spanning your whole data set, you could say it’s pretty handy.
Now, the visibility percentage is calculated by total number of keywords and their individual ranking within the top 100 positions.
This means if you’re tracking irrelevant terms or those which aren’t conducive to your current SEO campaigns, your visibility percentage will indicate a very low number. Bad for your in-house reporting. Bad for your clients’ perception if you’re an agency.
My advice is to conduct extensive head term and long tail research, plug as many as possible into SEMrush for the first month, then clear out your dash following this period. You will soon see which keywords are both opportunistic and realistic. Terms can always be added later on for specific campaigns.
Trick #2: Say NO to ‘Not Provided’ Keyword Data
Okay, it’s obvious we’ll never get keywords back in Google Analytics (article explaining possible reconsideration of ‘Not Provided’ keywords, dating back to March 2014!) but SEMrush does give us an inkling into the most likely searches which resulted in website visits to pages of interest.
Under (Organic Research > Pages) you are able to view each of your pages in priority order. They are default sorted by total traffic, highest first. The ‘Traffic’ column displays the percentage of traffic which individual pages contribute, followed by the column ‘Keywords.’
If you click a result under this column, you will be greeted with all the potential terms which are likely to have directed the organic traffic.
This is extremely powerful! Who said keyword data was dead?
Use the data to mine further long-tail keywords to target and track. Click the ‘Export’ button to transfer all this exciting stuff into an Excel document where you can filter and sort to your heart’s content.
Trick #3: Compare Your Competitors' Organic Stance
It always pays to be aware of your market, your position within and why you are in that position. This is true online and off.
The Competitors section (Organic Research > Competitors) displays a visual representation of your website’s organic positioning in relative comparison to competitor sites.
Immediately, it becomes clear who is dominating and similarly, losing the battle.
You will have the ability to investigate all your competitors’ keywords under ‘SE Keywords,’ unveiling a wealth of opportunity for your own campaigns.
Again, export all the data to facilitate comprehensive Excel analysis.
Delve further into the individual data by selecting a colored circle in the chart. (Each circle represents a competitor.)
Trick #4: Use PPC Data to Build your Content Strategy
There have been many debates about SEO vs PPC – why not leverage both strategies and amalgamate them?
Your competition are paying for ads right now. The ads which are showing are most likely the result of multiple split tests and optimization.
This is an ideal opportunity to take your competitor’s experimentation and use it for your own content strategy – at no expense!
A quick way of viewing a specific competitor’s ads is to navigate to (Advertising Research > Ads copies) in the SEMrush dashboard.
From this you will be able to get a grasp of the titles and descriptions which are doing a great job of attracting attention, without wasting loads of time searching in Google. (Businesses lose enough time as it is.)
Use the information to craft topics and titles for your organically purposed content! (Also great for content marketing ideas.)
Trick #5: Take Heed of the Winners and Losers Report
If you are completely stuck for ideas and wonder how you can improve your SEO methodologies, the Winners & Losers report is the place for you (Ranks > Winners & Losers).
This is a generic breakdown of the top websites appearing in Google for both organic and paid positions.
How is this helpful to you?
Firstly, within this report may lie a brand which is similar to your own. This makes mimicking their strategy a viable concept.
Secondly, if nothing in this report is relevant to your business, you can still analyze the top dogs to see what they are doing right.
Finally, what are the losers doing wrong? Dig further into these domains to discover tactics to steer clear of. Recent drops in ‘SE Traffic’ may correlate with recent Google updates, making this a goldmine for your own prevention of traffic loss and equally, your creation of an opportunity analysis.
Use the sorting options to sift through the data and export for comprehensive Excel crunching!
What are your favorite insight tools on SEMrush? I’d love to hear them!