Are you looking for a keyword tool to crush your competition? Are you wanting to find those proper keywords that will propel your business to the top of the ranks?
A productive keyword tool is very important for SEO (search engine optimization). Sure you can write a lot of articles and put in every keyword you can think of, but unless it’s the right keyword, you won’t rank very well.
Keywords with very few searches, or those with a lot of competition, won’t do anything for you. You’ll end up frustrated and wanting to quit.
I love a good keyword tool! But what is Semrush about? Is this tool the one you need for your online business?
Let’s take a look at all it offers you for content marketing. I’ll cover the pros and cons, and then offer my honest recommendations.
This way you can make an educated decision on whether this tool is right for you and your content marketing, OK?
If you’d like to know which tool I use for my business, check this out!
- 1 Why You Need A Keyword Tool
- 2 What To Look For In A Keyword Tool
- 3 Who Is Semrush?
- 4 Does Semrush Meet My Metrics?
- 5 Do I Need All These Other Metrics?
- 6 Are There Alternatives?
Why You Need A Keyword Tool
Did you know that about 9 out of 10 new online businesses fail? There are many reasons for this, and that’s another article, lol.
But one of the assets to help your success is a keyword tool.
To run a successful online business, you need content on your website. Content marketing is an excellent way to earn free traffic to your business.
Great content can help hold on to your audience, capture leads for your email list, create a positive association with your brand, and most importantly, sell your products and services.
You see, your content is how you attract your readers in the first place. They are looking for solutions, and your business can provide the answer. But if they can’t find you, how do they know you can help?
This is why your content needs the proper keywords. With the right keywords, search engines like Google will rank your articles on the first page. And that’s how your audience finds you!
Google’s algorithms have changed a lot over the years, and they want to see a more conversational tone to your writing, but keywords are still important.
The keyword in your URL and title is what tells Google what your article is about.
Finding those perfect gems with a high search volume and low competition is difficult if you don’t have a reliable tool to use.
What To Look For In A Keyword Tool
The key to a traditional keyword tool is:
- Keyword Suggestions – list of relevant additional keywords.
- Monthly Searches – on average, how many times that particular search was done.
- Competition – how many competing websites for that exact word.
- Quality Indicator – usability metric (poor to great) for use.
- SERP Analysis – backlinks, page rank, domain availability etc.
- List Management – ability to maintain keyword lists.
- Cost – may be important if you don’t have deep pockets.
- Free Trial – try before you buy.
There are many more options that vary from tool to tool, but I consider these to be the most important for finding that perfect gem of a keyword to help your success in ranking.
Who Is Semrush?
Semrush is an all-in-one analysis tool founded in 2008 by the same guys who created SEOQuake, a popular web browser plugin.
They were united by one mission…
“to make online competition fair and transparent, with equal opportunities for everyone.”
Over the last 11 years, they’ve grown from a small startup to a big international company with over 700 employees in 4 different countries (USA, Russia, Czech Republic, and the Republic of Cyprus).
They know that online marketing isn’t easy but do their best to make their marketing tools easy.
Semrush provides you with a ton of metrics, and their tools and reports can help with:
- Keyword Research
- Competitive Analysis
- Social Media Marketing
- Public Relations
- Content Marketing
- Marketing Insights
- Campaign Management
As you can see, they offer so much more than metrics for content marketing.
You may not need all these reports when starting up your business. But once you’ve gained authority in Google’s eyes, and want to scale your business, you may like all the additional services they provide.
Does Semrush Meet My Metrics?
Above, I listed the 8 metrics I look for in a traditional keyword tool. You may require more if you’re a much larger business, but these are the minimum for a small to medium business…
#1: Keyword Suggestions
Semrush has an amazing tool called “Keyword Magic Tool”. This is where you’ll be able to get most of your keyword research done.
Typing in the phrase “affiliate marketing”, you can see above that Semrush returned over 18,000 additional keywords.
With this number of suggestions, you’ll have an endless supply of article topic ideas, lol.
This search was done as a “broad match”. You have the option to be more specific and use the tabs:
- Phrase match
- Exact match
- Related match
For this particular search, they were all the same.
As you scroll farther down the list, you’ll eventually come across many that you’ll consider non-relevant to your business and have to filter those out.
You can also change the global location if you’re interested in only one part of the world.
Down the left-hand side, you’ll find keyword groups. For example, there are 1,072 keywords relevant to the word “program”. This is a great way to come with subtopics around your main keyword.
This search was also done in “question” mode. The keywords that come up can easily be put into a question, which is another great way to come up with blog ideas for future articles.
#2: Monthly Searches
The volume of searches for each keyword is the average number of times that search term was entered on a search engine per month.
For instance, in the above image, the term “affiliate marketing” was entered 40,500 times per month.
They take the total amount of searches over the last 12 months and divide by 12.
In this example, those are the numbers representing the USA. If you need a more targeted, local search, you would need to set up a position tracking campaign, which they’d walk you through.
This is the number of times the keyword is found in the SERPs (search engine results pages). Everyone wants to be found on page one, as this position gets the lion’s share of clicks.
As you can see in the image above, the primary keyword is found 445 million times. That’s a lot of competition. Luckily, Semrush has the capability of filtering these keywords to bring down that number.
You can read about that below, in #5.
#4: Quality Indicator
This is the keyword difficulty you would have to rank on Google. The percentages are shown in the column names KD%.
The number you see ranges from 1 to 100. The higher the number, the more difficult it would be to rank.
This is important if you are a fairly new business. Trying to rank for as broad a term as “affiliate marketing”, for example, would be extremely hard.
There are many affiliate marketing businesses that have been around forever, and have much authority in Google’s eyes. They are the ones that are able to rank for such broad keywords.
The chances of you outranking them are slim to none.
This is why you need to do keyword research. You might be able to find a similar keyword that isn’t being used as much, and that’s how you could outrank your competition.
#5: SERP Analysis
As you saw above, the number of times the keyword was seen on search engines was crazy high. But if you filter that search according to specific metrics, you could significantly lower that number.
With semrush, you can filter for choices such as:
- Featured snippets
- Instant answers
- Videos, etc…
This way, you can find the “type” of content you could use that has the least amount of competition. For instance, creating your content in video form.
Pro Tip: And the advantage with video, these days, is that Google loves it and usually ranks videos higher than blogs.
#6: List Management
Lists are important to keep track of your search history. Semrush saves each of your searches into a list so you can go back to check on a list you’ve started already.
They allow you to add up to 7 “seed” keywords in one list. And you can have up to 50 lists as a paying user.
That may seem like a lot, but they get used up pretty fast. When you’re researching topics, and subtopics, you’ll find many keywords you want to hang on to. And to keep everything organized, 50 lists isn’t as much as you think, lol.
It’s unfortunate that you can’t keep a list of specific keywords you wish to use. It will keep the entire list for you.
You can export these lists as well, which is great if you’re doing research for clients.
Semrush has three price points which is reasonable for everything it offers. They range from $99.95/mo, $199.95/mo, and $399.95/mo.
Though they say the lowest cost is for startups with a limited budget, it can still be pretty pricey for newbies who are just starting out.
But once you start making some money, this tool is a big asset to scaling your business.
#8: Free Trial
Semrush offers a free 7-day trial. Unfortunately you must still give them your credit card information, because as soon as the 7 days are up, you will be charged your first month’s premium.
You can cancel your subscription at any time. If you request a refund within 7 calendar days of your payment, they can refund a full or partial refund of that month.
Do I Need All These Other Metrics?
That’s a very good question! Semrush is much more than your traditional keyword research tool. It gives you the basic requirements I stated above, but much, much more.
This platform is a “Competitor-Based” Keyword Tool.
This tool is highly recommended for seasoned marketers who want to see which keywords are already working within their proven niches.
Semrush can reverse-engineers the searches by finding the websites that are already proven successful so that you can refine your campaign using already successful keywords.
It includes PPC data, your competitor’s ad strategies and budgets, multilingual environments, social media trackers, and more.
It provides you with so many detailed analysis reports that it can very quickly overwhelm you if you’re not careful.
I would suggest you stick to just a couple of reports at a time until you understand exactly what you’re looking at.
For such a wonderful tool, you can wile away many hours jumping around, lol.
I’m not saying that beginners can’t use this tool, because they can. But you probably don’t need this much information at the beginning.
If you have a budget available for the monthly subscription, then great! Give it a try!
But if you’re struggling to make your first sales online, and don’t have your budget yet, I recommend you wait a bit. You’re immediate focus is writing your relevant and engaging content to attract more visitors.
A traditional keyword tool is more than sufficient for all your needs.
Are There Alternatives?
Yes, there are many alternatives. Some are free and some come at a lower cost.
Many of the free keyword tools can be found with a little research online, but these rarely have all the metrics I look for.
A few of the many free ones would be:
- Keyword Sheeter – This will give you tons of suggestions, but little else unless you buy some “sheet coins”.
- Answer The Public – This is a fun tool. It won’t provide stats on quality or competition, but will give you loads of ideas for subtopics and articles for your niche.
- Keyword Surfer – This is a Google Chrome extension that’s very handy. It will show you the number of search results, similar and related searches, and the number of quality backlinks.
- Ubersuggest – This is my favourite free tool, designed by Neil Patel. It offers many different kinds of metrics. He is continually improving this app, so make sure you check this one out!
I’m not convinced the free tools are as accurate as the paid ones, but they can certainly help you if you can’t afford to pay for a subscription.
There are also many paid alternatives out there:
- Ahrefs – This tool will do everything that Semrush does, and you get a 7-day free trial. But it’s subscriptions start at $99/month as well.
- Moz – This product has some free tools you can use, but to get detailed reports you would need to get their pro plan, which again starts at $99/month. It does offer a 30-day free trial though!
Are you starting to see a pricing theme here, lol…
The examples above are full-on competitor keyword tools though. Let’s look at a traditional keyword tool that shows you all you need, without the extra overwhelm…
This is the research tool I use that provides all I’m looking for. Though Semrush looks very intriguing, I know I would barely scratch the surface of all it offers. My tool of choice is Jaaxy!
Jaaxy provides me all the information I need to run a successful campaign. It covers all the metrics I listed above plus more. And it costs less which is important to my budget.
Another important feature is the free trial. You can register your account, with no credit card information I might add, and receive 30 free searches. This allows you to try before you buy!
The most important aspect of Jaaxy is that it’s integrated into the training platform I used to learn all about affiliate marketing, and where I run my business to this day. A membership here is the same cost of the keyword tool, but you get everything there for that same price. Including Jaaxy!
If you’d like to read about Jaaxy, please click on the button below…
And if you’re looking to learn how to create your own successful business, click on this button, below…
What keyword tool do you use? I’d love to hear what you use. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I’ll get right back to you.