Many new SEMrush users ask this question and are not really sure what you can do with SEMrush software. With a free account, you can still use a lot of tools, but you will be limited in your ability to pull the full data and use other tools.
When you first sign up for SEMrush, you get the option of starting out with a 7-day free trial of either a Pro or Guru subscription.
This trial allows you to test out each of our tools and reports to help you understand how SEMrush fits your needs and if Pro or Guru would be better for you.
You can find out more about the limits of each account level here.
And here's a short video about some of the main SEMrush toolkits:
However, if your trial ends and you wish to continue using this set of tools for free, you can downgrade the account to a free SEMrush subscription, which has its own limits.
So what can you do with a free account?
Domain and Keyword Analytics
10 Searches Per Day
You can perform 10 searches a day in our Domain Analytics and Keyword Analytics databases; this means you are only able to use the SEMrush search bar to pull a report 10 times before your daily limit is reached.
If you enter a domain into the search bar, that would be considered one search. If you then click on any of the links to further reports within the Domain Overview report, this would also count as a search — bringing your total to 2 searches.
If you are just testing out the software, it may make sense that you only need to perform 10 searches a day. However, it is important to note that the next level paid subscriptions to allow for even more searches.
Pro users have access to 3,000 searches
Guru users have access to 5,000 searches
Business users have access to 10,000 searches
10 Results Per Search
Just like your daily search limit, your reports will be limited to only 10 results per search. For example, if you go into the Organic Positions report and query searchengineland.com, you would only be able to examine the first 10 keywords listed in that domain’s Organic Positions Report.
The 10 results per search limit will be the same in all other analytics reports as well; this includes Backlinks reports, Advertising Research reports, and Keyword reports. In contrast, the paid subscriptions allow for even more results per search.
Pro offers 10,000 results
Guru offers 30,000 results
Business offers 50,000 results
Keyword Magic Tool
As a free user, you are unable to save any of your recent searches in the Keyword Magic Tool. Search history is how the Keyword Magic Tool keeps a history of your keyword research. (Up until January 2020, these were saved and labeled as your “Lists.”)
When you upgrade to a paid user, you will be able to keep up to 350 of your recent requests!
When you enter your first seed keyword in the Keyword Magic Tool as a paid user, it will be saved into your search history with the other seed keywords you have queried. This lets you go back at any time to reference keyword research you started in the past.
As a free user, you can create and manage one Project. For those unfamiliar with our Projects section, each Project basically serves as a dashboard that will display a preview of each tool's main metrics. Each project includes 12 individual tools.
If you want additional projects our Pro level package includes 3 Projects, with our Guru package including 15 Projects and our Business level package with 25 projects.
However, if you decide to stay as a free user, even after setting up your project, you will be limited in what you can do.
Pages to Crawl
Site Audit will provide you with an overall health score of your website as well as a list of issues found with the given website. As a free user, your Site Audit is limited to only 100 crawled pages; this includes crawls of given a domain, subdomain or subfolder.
This data may suffice for certain websites. However, most websites have over 100 pages, so it may be something to consider when thinking about what level account works best for you.
If you realize the free level account is not going to be enough, you can look towards our paid accounts.
Pro-level package allows you to crawl up to 100,000 pages per month
Guru allows for 300,000 pages per month
Business level package for 1 million pages per month.
Keywords to Track
The 10 keywords that are available for free users to track refers to our Position Tracking tool. This tool allows you to enter a domain, a list of competitors, a list of keywords to track and set a location and device type. Then, we will track the daily rankings of your domain and competitors on the results pages for this target keyword list.
This powerful tool that can provide you with localized ranking data on a frequent basis. Depending on your client size and the campaign, 10 keywords may not be enough for you to track.
Upgrading your account will give you the ability to track more keywords.
Pro-level gives you 500 keywords
Guru level gives you 1,500
Business level gives you 5,000
If you ever need more keywords than what your plan provides, you can reach out to your account executive to add additional keywords to your account.
It is important to note that If you have multiple projects set up, these keywords are split amongst them, and not limited to each project.
SEO Ideas units
These tools give you suggestions on how to structure content after you input a target keyword. With a free account, you are given a total of 10 SEO Idea units per month.
Each target keyword you input into one of these tools will count as an SEO Ideas unit, and these three tools share the pool of 10 units.
You can create one SEO Content Template, one On-Page SEO Checker campaign, and use the SEO Writing Assistant once (SEO Writing Assistant essentially integrates your SEO Content Template into a draft on Google Docs or Wordpress).
You can use these keywords however you’d like across one On Page SEO Checker campaign and one SEO Content Template & SEO Writing Assistant.
So if you create an SEO Content Template targeting a single keyword, the number of SEO Ideas units you have for your On-Page SEO Checker campaign would now be 9.
To generate more than one template (or generate a template for more than one keyword), you will need to subscribe to our Content Marketing Toolkit.
Our Content Marketing Toolkit is available to our Guru and Business account levels. So if you are just a Pro user you are missing out on our wonderful content tools.*
For more info on the limits of our Content Marketing toolkit, check out this article.
*Content Marketplace is open to both free and paid accounts*
Topic Research Queries
With a free account, you are limited to just 2 search queries in Topic Research.
Entering a search query in this tool will generate a list of subtopics and new content ideas based around your search. This is great for content marketers looking for a headstart in their brainstorming process.
Topic Research is also a part of our Content Marketing toolkit so just like with your SEO Ideas units, you’re going to need to be a Guru or Business level account to access it fully with unlimited queries.
Free and Pro level users are limited to two total queries each.
My Reports will make it easy to build out PDFs from scratch. With this option, you will be able to clearly communicate the results of a website audit, competitive analysis, or show any other progress for a marketing campaign. With a free account, you are able to schedule 1 PDF report within the My Reports section.
Pro users have 5 scheduled reports
Guru users have 20 scheduled reports
Business users have 50 scheduled reports
Now that you understand what goes into your free level account, you may now have a little more insight into exactly what your account can do for you. You may decide that a free level account will work for you, but you will be limiting your own resources.
However, if you do not think the free level will work and you are interested in other options we offer, you may want to look at our Prices page for more information.
If you are interested in using SEMrush in the long term or are looking for a custom package, please feel free to contact our sales team so that we can set your account up at a discounted rate along with all of the specifications you need!