How to do Competitive Analysis with SEMRUSH

How to do Competitive Analysis with SEMRUSH PPC & SEO Tool


Reverse Engineering, spying on competition and seeing what works and what doesn’t, is what separates successful marketing campaigns from lucky ones. Tony Robbins once said “ A competitor is always just around the corner.” And truth is, if your business is not checking what others are doing with internet marketing, the rest of the competition will. Competitive Analysis with SEMRUSH will help you easily do this.

In Search Engine Optimization, Content Marketing and Keyword Research, staying fresh and relevant is crucial for search engine purposes. Marketing tools/software should be utilized to leverage knowledge and take specific actions from the data being analyzed. They help determine blog post topics, which keywords are increasing in search engines and missed opportunities to take advantage of.

Semrush is one of the most useful tools your business will use since it specializes in competitor data. Set key performance indicators and determine which online channels are truly worth investing in. Begin by creating a list of all the websites you are going to do competitive analysis for.

Here are a few important aspects that we will cover below:

  • Overview
  • Organic Research
  • Advertising Research

Competitive Analysis with SEMRUSH: Overview

Access Semrush.com and Insert the desired URL. In this article, we will be using www.learnernation.com.

Image of overview page to understand competitive analysis with SEMRUSH

At a first glimpse, we are able to see a quick overview of important metrics to begin reviewing. First, look at the number 27 (organic search) which tells the number of people arriving to the website per month organically.

Please note the traffic estimate changes per software being used. This is because we don’t have access to their Analytics. We will be basing the visitor number out of SimilarWeb.com which estimates 15,000 visits per month.

Therefore, these would be the amount of clicks the website receives per search queries performed. Right next to the number 27, I can see as of August 30th, 2016, LearnerNation is not investing in Paid Search.

This gives competitors the chance to start bidding on certain keywords that could give them an advantage over LearnerNation. Although many people might have concerns about spending money on AdWords, it is a fantastic strategy. In addition to customer acquisition growth, it establishes a better online presence while occupying more real estate.

Competitive Analysis with SEMRUSH: Organic Keywords and Competitors

AdWords Clicks account for 12% of clicks while showing up on top of the search result. Have you heard the saying if you are not on page 1 of Google, your business does not exist to the consumer?

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SemRush gives users the ability to see “Top Organic Keywords” and “Main Organic Competitors”.

This way, your business is getting a blueprint into what is working for the competition, as well as what is not working. Utilize the data to your advantage. Spend your time and efforts on the low hanging fruit and the potentials to convert more customers.

Right next to the keywords, users are able to see insights into the search volume opportunity as well as an estimated Cost per click.

The graph on the right hand side demonstrates keyword distribution and performance. Take a good look at the graph to understand how to shift keywords that don’t rank well towards optimal position.

Out of 172 organic keywords pulled by SEMRUSH, this company has a 11% ranking in the top 20 and over 45% with positions of 50 and higher.

This goes to show that there is a tremendous room for growth. A well-developed strategy plan can be a complete game changer for this SaaS business.

Competitive Analysis with SEMRUSH: Backlinks

Backlinks are the most important aspect of Search Engine Optimization. The more high quality links a website has, the more traffic, exposure and leads it will receive.

After all, those three metrics just translates to more sales and revenue.

Although SEMRUSH provides specific information, for more accurate competitor backlink research, I would recommend Majestic, SEMRUSH and Monitor Backlinks. Those three softwares can provide a much clearer link breakdown.

Open an Incognito Window on Chrome and run a desired query to determine what other sites are ranking for your targeted keywords.

Now that you’re able to add keywords after performing research, you will also understand missed opportunities to take advantage of. Additionally, you will better understand search terms/phrases and conversion rates.

This way, a well-developed keyword and research strategy will take customers and prospects to specific parts of the marketing funnel.


Competitive Analysis with SEMRUSH:  Organic Research

Organic Search Positions can be used to get an in-depth look of all the organic positions on the website. Filter by volume or keyword position to see if the keywords ranking are relevant with a healthy search volume.

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Out of all the columns on the right hand side, the most important are URL and Traffic Percentage. After plugging in the competitor’s URLs, export the file to see specific landing pages and how much traffic they drive.

These landing pages are goldmines when it comes to understanding the competition’s biggest Unique Value Prepositions, Benefits, Paint points etc.

These URLs should be clearly monitored to understand how direct and indirect competitors behave and interact with their users.

When it comes to communicating with cold traffic, warm traffic or hot traffic, researching, testing are essential. Finding direct ways to speak clearly will be crucial to the success of your internet marketing efforts.

Educational prospects (cold traffic) will be in a “find out mode”. For these individuals the keyword usage and landing page should be much more oriented towards an explanation. These people are likely to bounce quickly generating a lower average time spent on site, which translates to fewer conversions.

Warm Traffic or persuasive customers, are more likely to read and skim as they already understand there is a solution to their problems. How will YOU solve their issue? Remember, customers do not look for a brand, but look for a solution.

Hot Traffic or purchase customers are the ones that act on an offer or have purchased before. These are the ones that will move your bottom line the most and need more care to keep. Figure out more pain points, more problems and continue to become their answer. Up-sell and cross-sell services to continuously keep them engaged.

Competitive Analysis with SEMRUSH:  Plan of Attack

  • When using SemRush, go through your own website and
    gather 5 competitor’s URLs.
  • Open up Excel or a CSV and download their keywords
  • Filter by Search Volume or Traffic
  • Determine how those keywords rank and gather the best
  • Compare them against the keywords on your website
  • Cross Reference or Find Duplicates
  • Gather once again all the keywords that the competition is using, but your website is not using
  • Create a roadmap to determine how/when/where those keywords will be implemented on your site.
  • Advertising Research and Competitive Positioning

Competitive analysis with SEMRUSH gives users the ability to further enhance their research by getting a competitive advantage over the paid advertisements on Google.

Although this only applies to companies that are spending money on AdWords, it can provide incredible insights into what adjustments to make, how much money to cut or increase to outperform the competition.

Enhance Your Competitive Advantage Over Paid Advertising

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The first thing to note is the keyword position per the keywords being shown. SEMRUSH shows how each keyword is positioned and the volume it receives.

The third column shows a CPC estimate to best gauge how much bidding for each keyword would cost. This domain www.garciniaspremium.com is using almost 2,500 keywords with a traffic of 38,000 visitors per month and it is spending close to $60,000 per month.

Now, that I’ve seen a few of the keywords they are bidding on, it is crucial to see some of the ads they are running in order to understand the consumer psychology and what drives so much traffic to the website.

Your business can bid on the same keywords, but without great ad copy or great landing pages it will be almost impossible to reach a satisfactory conversion rate.

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Now, I have access to each keyword this website is bidding on, I have access to their ad copy, access to their position changes, access to their ad history, as well as their Product Listing Ads.

Use this information to create a game-plan for future next steps. Yes, it is true, your business might not have their advertising budget, but you can surely plug and play with their organic research in order to find their weakest areas.

Start creating content and landing pages for their poor performing keywords and drive traffic to those new pages. Upon landing, make sure users see and purchase from an irresistible offer and spread the voice through social media channels, too.

Gather a list of influencers and get in touch in order to get more share of voice. Truthfully, the possibilities are endless. It is up to you to determine how much creativity and effort is worth putting into the project to achieve the desired results.

Competitive Analysis with SEMRUSH:  Conclusion

Utilize the data as an advantage to gain insights into what your competitors are doing and have tried. Competitive analysis, funnel hacking and keyword research will position your brand or product as top notch when this process has been implemented properly.

Do not waste time on what could work and performing “hopeful marketing” wishing results could just come if this is done or that is not done. Research, Test, Analyze, Optimize and repeat.

Do not get stuck by a lack of budget nor by a lack of creativity. Now that you are able to understand how the competition is spending their time, budgets and marketing efforts, it is time to find loopholes around their mistakes and use the industry expertise to facilitate the consumer journey to each visitor on your website.


Ricardo Martinez is the Founder of Perconvly, a performance marketing consulting company in Miami, Florida. Perconvly focuses on increasing user acquisition and conversions for SaaS Companies and E-commerce Businesses. Ricardo is an internet marketing lover and can be often found funnel hacking websites on his spare time. @Perconvly and @RicardoandRicky

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