Best Semrush Tutorial For Beginners & Business Owners 2024

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Quick Review

What is Semrush? Semrush is an all-in-one digital marketing tool that provides a wide range of features to help your businesses improve online presence. Whether you’re a small startup or a large corporation, Semrush has something to offer for everyone.


  • Comprehensive toolkit: It offers a wide range of tools covering SEO, PPC, content marketing, competitive research, and social media. It’s an all-in-one platform for digital marketing.
  • Large keyword database: With over 20 billion keywords across 140+ countries, SEMrush has one of the largest and most accurate keyword databases available.
  • In-depth competitor analysis: It provide detailed insights into competitors’ SEO, PPC, and link building strategies. This helps identify opportunities and inform your own campaigns.
  • Robust site audit and on-page optimization: It runs over 140 technical and on-page health checks, more than most other tools. The On Page SEO Checker and SEO Content Template provide actionable recommendations to improve your pages.
  • Powerful link building tools: SEMrush offers the most comprehensive backlink analysis with its 43 trillion link database. The Backlink Audit, Link Building, and Bulk Analysis tools simplify the process of analyzing, acquiring, and managing links.
  • Intuitive reporting and integrations: SEMrush offers customizable reports and dashboards to easily visualize your data. It also integrates with key tools like Google Analytics, Search Console, and PPC platforms to streamline your workflow.


  • Steep learning curve: Given the sheer breadth of features, SEMrush can be overwhelming for beginners. It may take time to fully learn and leverage all the tools effectively.
  • Basic plans starts from $100: SEMrush plans are priced at competive to other popular SEO tools. Still the price might not be affordable to some since the plan starts from around 100$ where maybe they can have lite plan with lower limits and price for small time users.
  • Limits on data and usage: Depending on your plan, there are limits on the number of projects, keywords tracked, pages crawled, and reports generated per day. Larger websites and agencies may need to purchase add-ons or upgrade to a higher tier.
  • Limited PPC features compared to dedicated tools: While SEMrush offers solid PPC tools, it may lack some of the more advanced features and granular data that specialized paid search platforms provide.
  • Focuses mainly on Google: SEMrush is heavily geared towards Google search and advertising data. If you are looking to optimize for other search engines like Bing or Yahoo, the tool may be more limited.

Semrush subscription comes with 7 days money back gurantee, You can acess to it’s huge databases & tools within Semrush.

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In this post, I’ll share my experience becoming an SEMrush expert. I’ve been using SEMrush for years to grow my digital marketing business.

I’ll cover all the key features and show you exactly how to use SEMrush like a pro with this in-depth Semrush tutorial.

Whether you’re new to SEMrush or have some experience, this guide will level up your skills.

Here’s what I’ll cover:

  • How to use SEMrush for keyword research
  • How to use SEMrush for SEO.
  • How to use SEMrush for on-page SEO
  • How to use SEMrush for off-page SEO and link building
  • How to use SEMrush for PPC advertising

Let’s dive in!

Full In-depth Semrush Tutorial Video (6 Hours)

How to Use SEMrush for Keyword Research

Keyword research is the foundation of SEO. You need to target the right keywords to drive traffic and sales.

SEMrush has some of the most powerful keyword research tools available. I’ll show you how to use them all.

SEMrush Keyword Overview Tool

The Keyword Overview tool provides a high-level analysis of any keyword you enter.

It shows key metrics like monthly search volume, keyword difficulty, CPC, competition, and SERP features.

Why it’s useful

This tool helps you quickly gauge the popularity, competitiveness, and value of a keyword.

You can see if a keyword is worth targeting based on search intent, trending over time, and competition levels.

It’s a great starting point for keyword research.

How SEMrush specializes in it

SEMrush has one of the largest keyword databases available with over 20 billion keywords across 140+ countries.

Their data is extremely accurate and frequently updated.

The Keyword Overview tool makes it easy to access and interpret this wealth of data.

The Keyword Overview tool gives you a quick snapshot of important metrics for any keyword.

Just enter a seed keyword and get data on:

  • Search volume: The average monthly searches for the keyword
  • Keyword difficulty: How hard it will be to rank for the keyword (0-100%)
  • Intent: The search intent behind the keyword (informational, navigational, commercial, transactional)
  • Trend: How search volume has changed over time
  • CPC: The average cost per click if you were to bid on the keyword in Google Ads
  • Competitive density: The level of ad competition for the keyword
  • SERP features: Any special SERP features that show up for the keyword (featured snippets, People Also Ask, video, etc.)

This data helps you quickly gauge the value and competitiveness of a keyword.

I always start my keyword research with the Keyword Overview tool to get a high-level view.

From there, you can use SEMrush’s other keyword tools to expand your research…

Keyword Magic Tool

The Keyword Magic Tool is SEMrush’s most powerful keyword research tool.

Enter a seed keyword and get a massive list of related keyword ideas and long-tail variations.

Why it’s useful

Finding relevant long-tail keywords is crucial for ranking in competitive niches.

But doing it manually is very time-consuming.

The Keyword Magic Tool automates this process and uncovers thousands of untapped keyword opportunities with SEO metrics.

How SEMrush specializes in it

What sets this tool apart is the scope and filtering options.

SEMrush has an enormous database of over 20 billion keywords to pull from.

You can slice and dice the results by match type (broad, phrase, exact, related) and by metrics like volume, KD%, word count, CPC, competitive density, SERP features, and more.

The tool also groups keywords into related subtopics for easier analysis.

50% of search queries are four words or longer, making long-tail keywords a major SEO opportunity.


The Keyword Magic Tool is by far my favorite SEMrush feature. It’s an absolute gold mine for finding keyword ideas.

Enter a seed keyword and the tool will generate thousands of related long-tail keyword ideas.

It pulls from SEMrush’s massive database of over 20 billion keywords.

Semrush keyword magic tool

You can filter the results in many ways, such as:

  • Broad match, phrase match, exact match, or related: Show keywords that broadly, exactly, or partially match your seed keyword, or show related keywords
  • Include or exclude keywords: Filter for keywords that contain or don’t contain certain words
  • Word count, volume, KD%, intent, SERP features: Set criteria for metrics like keyword length, search volume, difficulty, intent, and SERP features

I could play with the Keyword Magic Tool for hours. It’s so powerful for finding untapped long-tail keywords in any niche.

The tool also groups keywords into topical clusters, which is great for planning your site architecture. More on that later.

Keyword Manager Tool

The Keyword Manager is a centralized hub to store, organize and analyze your target keywords.

You can create keyword lists and assign tags to group them.

Why it’s useful

As you conduct keyword research across various tools, it’s important to keep your keywords organized.

The Keyword Manager provides a unified workspace to build your master keyword list.

It also generates an automatic keyword difficulty score to help prioritize your targets.

How SEMrush specializes in it

One standout feature is the Keyword Grouper, which automatically clusters your keywords into topically-related groups based on SERP data.

This streamlines your keyword map and content planning.

You can also sync your target keywords to other SEMrush tools like Position Tracking and On-page SEO Checker.

The Keyword Manager helps you organize your keywords into lists and groups. You can import keywords from other SEMrush tools or add them manually.

Semrush Keyword Manager Tool

I use the Keyword Manager to build my master keyword list for a site. It’s a central place to categorize my keywords by intent, product, service, etc.

The tool will also automatically group your keywords into clusters based on semantic relevance. This uncovers “low-hanging fruit” – groups of related keywords you can target with a single piece of content.

Organic Research Tool

The Organic Research tool shows you all the keywords your competitors rank for on Google.

Just enter a domain or URL and see every keyword they rank for organically along with key SEO metrics.

Why it’s useful

Want to know what’s working for your competitors’ SEO?

This tool gives you an inside look at their top performing keywords.

You can uncover gaps and opportunities in your own keyword strategy by analyzing competitor rankings.

How SEMrush specializes in it

SEMrush has the largest and freshest third-party keyword database available.

Their data is very accurate and updated frequently.

The Organic Research tool leverages this to provide the most comprehensive view of any site’s organic keyword footprint.

You can drill into specific URLs, subdomains, and subdirectories and filter results by volumes, positions, SERP features, and more.

53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search, making competitor keyword analysis crucial.


Use the Organic Research tool to steal your competitors’ best keywords.

Semrush Organic Research Tool

Enter a competitor’s domain and you’ll see every keyword they rank for organically. You can filter the results to find keywords based on volume, position, difficulty, and more.

I use this tool for two things:

  1. Finding competitors’ high-value, low-competition keywords to target
  2. Uncovering gaps in my own keyword targeting vs. competitors

It’s hands-down the fastest way to get hundreds of proven, relevant keyword ideas for your site.

Keyword Gap Tool

The Keyword Gap tool compares up to 5 websites to find overlap and gaps in their organic keyword rankings.

Why it’s useful

Want to identify keyword opportunities you’re missing out on?

This tool uncovers keywords that your competitors rank for but you don’t.

It also highlights keywords that you rank well for but your competitors are missing.

These insights help you spot gaps and low-hanging fruit in your keyword strategy.

How SEMrush specializes in it

SEMrush excels at competitive research and this tool exemplifies that.

You can compare any combination of domains, subdomains or URL folders and see a clear visualization of their keyword “universe”.

Results can be filtered by search volume, difficulty, CPC, competitive density, and more to surface actionable keyword ideas.

Ranking for just one additional keyword in the top 10 results can increase your organic traffic by up to 8.4%.


The Keyword Gap tool is another great way to analyze your keyword performance against competitors.

Semrush Keyword Gap

Enter your domain and up to four competitors. The tool will show you all the keywords your competitors rank for that you don’t.

This reveals untapped keyword opportunities you may be missing out on. I use it as a quarterly check-up to make sure I’m not falling behind competitors.

You can also compare mobile vs. desktop rankings, or even analyze competitor Amazon keywords if you’re in ecommerce.

Position Tracking Tool

The Position Tracking tool monitors your website’s daily rankings for a set of target keywords.

It tracks your positions over time and shows key SEO metrics.

Why it’s useful

Ranking for your target keywords is the end goal of SEO, so you need a reliable way to track your progress.

The Position Tracking tool makes it easy to monitor your ranking gains and losses, see competitor rankings, and get alerted to important SERP changes.

You can tie keyword rankings directly to traffic and conversions.

How SEMrush specializes in it

SEMrush enables hyper-local position tracking at the zip code level, which is crucial for local SEO.

You can track mobile and desktop rankings separately.

Their Share of Voice metric shows your relative visibility for all your keywords by factoring in search volume and SERP position.

Interactive dashboards, scheduled reports, and Google integration make ongoing rank tracking simple.

75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results, making rank tracking essential.


The Position Tracking tool does exactly what it says – it tracks your rankings over time for your target keywords.

Semrush Position Tracking Tool

I set up position tracking for my core keywords across all my important sites. Each week, I get an email update with my current rankings, search visibility, and any big gains or losses.

The tool makes it easy to visualize your progress and spot any issues.

You can even track competitor rankings on the same graph, or track local/mobile rankings.

Monitoring your SEO performance is crucial, and the Position Tracking tool makes it simple.

Organic Traffic Insights

The Organic Traffic Insights tool connects your Google Analytics and Google Search Console data to show which keywords drive your organic traffic.

Why it’s useful

Google Analytics is great but doesn’t show you keyword-level traffic data.

Organic Traffic Insights uses SEMrush’s keyword data to fill in those gaps so you can tie rankings to actual traffic results.

It shows you which pages get the most organic traffic and the top keywords driving those visits.

How SEMrush specializes in it

This tool saves you from having to jump between Google Analytics, Search Console and SEMrush.

It brings all your core organic metrics into one view so you can get the complete picture.

You can see a breakdown of branded vs. non-branded keywords driving your traffic and track daily traffic and position changes.

Google Analytics is great, but doesn’t show you which keywords are driving your organic traffic. Enter SEMrush’s Organic Traffic Insights tool.

Organic Traffic Insights

Connect your Google Analytics and Search Console accounts, and the tool will show you:

  • Your top pages driving organic traffic
  • The top keywords each page ranks for
  • Your overall search visibility trend

Finally, you can tie your keyword strategy directly to your organic traffic results. I use this on a monthly basis to keep tabs on my SEO progress.

How to Use SEMrush for On-Page SEO

Now that you’ve found your target keywords, it’s time to optimize your site. SEMrush has a full suite of on-page SEO tools to help.

Site Audit Tool

The Site Audit tool runs a comprehensive scan of your website to uncover technical SEO issues, errors, and areas for improvement.

Why it’s useful

Technical problems like crawl errors, broken links, duplicate content, and slow load times can undermine all your other SEO efforts.

The Site Audit ensures your site is free of those issues and adheres to technical best practices.

It’s foundational to any on-page SEO strategy.

How SEMrush specializes in it

SEMrush’s Site Audit is one of the most comprehensive and customizable available.

The tool runs over 140 technical and on-page health checks, far more than most other tools.

You can configure the audit scope, crawler settings, scheduling frequency, and issue notification triggers.

It also tracks your historical optimization progress over time.

The Site Audit tool will crawl your site and uncover any technical SEO issues holding you back, including:

Semrush SEO site audit tool
  • Broken links
  • Duplicate content
  • Missing meta tags
  • Page speed problems

It’s one of the most comprehensive site crawlers I’ve used.

You can schedule automated crawls and track your site health over time.

I run a full site audit every month and fix any errors or warnings that pop up. This keeps my sites in tip-top technical shape.

On Page SEO Checker

The On-Page SEO Checker analyzes your top organic landing pages and suggests ways to better optimize them for your target keywords.

Why it’s useful

Ranking in Google isn’t just about choosing the right keywords, but also optimizing your pages to deliver the best result.

The On-Page SEO Checker ensures your key pages are built to satisfy searcher intent and outrank competitors.

It gives you page-by-page and keyword-by-keyword recommendations.

How SEMrush specializes in it

SEMrush’s On-Page SEO Checker is unique in that it combines traditional on-page factors (keywords, content, metadata) with technical, UX and SERP factors.

For each page and keyword, it shows a relative optimization score and ideas to improve rankings, search visibility, backlinks, readability, Core Web Vitals and more.

This holistic approach is a big reason why SEMrush is an industry leader.

Optimizing for on-page factors like meta descriptions can increase your click-through rates by over 5.8%.


The On Page SEO Checker analyzes your top pages and suggests ways to better optimize them for your target keywords.

On-page SEO Checker

Just enter a page URL and the tool will rate your on-page SEO in terms of:

  • Keyword usage in the title, meta tags, body content, etc.
  • Readability and text length
  • Internal and external linking
  • Page speed and Core Web Vitals
  • HTTPS and mobile friendliness

It also shows how your page stacks up against the top 10 ranking pages for your keyword.

This competitive lens uncovers new on-page opportunities.

For example, maybe you’re missing keywords in your H1 tag that all your competitors include.

Or maybe your content is much shorter than the average ranking page.

The On Page SEO Checker makes it easy to spot these optimizations and strengthen your pages.

I use it every time I do a core content update.

SEO Content Template

The SEO Content Template analyzes the top 10 ranking pages for any keyword to give you a recipe for creating SEO-optimized content.

Why it’s useful

Rather than guessing how to create content that ranks, why not model what’s already working?

The SEO Content Template reverse-engineers top ranking pages to suggest target keywords, content length, readability, metadata and more.

It takes the guesswork out of SEO content creation.

How SEMrush specializes in it

In addition to basic on-page suggestions, the SEO Content Template provides semantically related keywords to include, reading grade level targets, backlink prospects, and real-time content optimization scores.

Armed with these insights, you can create content that matches searcher expectations and outranks the competition.

Speaking of content, the SEO Content Template helps you create new pages optimized for search from the start.

SEO Content Template

Enter a target keyword, and the tool analyzes the top 10 ranking pages to provide an SEO “template”, including:

  • Suggested page title and meta description
  • Recommended keywords to include
  • Ideal content length and readability
  • Avg. number of images and videos to include
  • Top ranking pages to get backlinks from

I use the SEO Content Template as a starting point whenever I create a new piece of content targeting a keyword.

It ensures my pages are set up for success out of the gate.

SEO Writing Assistant

The SEO Writing Assistant is a real-time content optimization tool that analyzes your copy and provides an overall SEO score with suggestions.

Why it’s useful

Creating a fully optimized piece of content requires juggling many factors like keyword usage, readability, tone of voice, originality and more.

The SEO Writing Assistant simplifies this by providing live feedback as you write.

It ensures every element of your content is consistent and optimized.

How SEMrush specializes in it

SEMrush’s SEO Writing Assistant stands out for its flexibility and depth of analysis.

You can use it as a Google Docs add-on, WordPress plugin, or directly in the SEMrush interface.

It checks your content against target keywords, competitor content, and SEMrush’s massive TF-IDF database.

Each check is broken down into detailed sub-scores with actionable tips to improve.

Improving your content readability to a 6th grade level can boost your website traffic by 33%.


For a more real-time content optimization tool, try the SEO Writing Assistant. It’s like Grammarly for SEO.

SEO Writing Assistant

Create a new document for a target keyword. Then, write your content directly in the tool. It will assess your writing in real-time and provide a score for:

  • SEO: Inclusion of target and related keywords
  • Readability: Flesch reading ease score
  • Originality: Plagiarism percentage
  • Tone of voice: Formal vs casual

The built-in content optimizer will make suggestions as you write.

You can easily edit your text and see your scores improve.

The SEO Writing Assistant is also available as an add-on for Google Docs and WordPress.

I use it for every blog post I write to ensure my content is well-optimized.

Log File Analyzer

The Log File Analyzer tool visualizes your website’s log file data to show how search engines crawl and index your pages.

Why it’s useful

Your server log files contain valuable technical SEO insights that Google Analytics and Search Console don’t provide.

Analyzing logs helps you ensure Googlebot is crawling your site efficiently, identify crawl errors and slow URLs, and optimize your site structure and internal linking.

How SEMrush specializes in it

Log file analysis is a very technical aspect of SEO that most tools don’t cover.

SEMrush makes it more approachable with an intuitive interface and visualizations.

You can easily spot orphan pages, time-outs, redirects and other issues.

For advanced SEOs, it’s a powerful addition to your toolkit.

Analyzing log files can uncover up to 3x more broken links that traditional site audits miss.


For advanced SEOs, analyzing your server log files can provide valuable insights into how search engines crawl your site.

SEMrush’s Log File Analyzer tool

SEMrush’s Log File Analyzer tool makes it easy to visualize your log file data. Just upload your log file and you’ll see reports on:

  • Number of crawled pages and average response time
  • Crawl budget spend
  • Page/directory crawl frequency and recrawl interval
  • HTTP status codes and redirected URLs

I don’t use log file analysis on the regular. But for larger sites with crawl budget issues, it can be indispensable for diagnosing Googlebot activity.

How to Use SEMrush for Off-Page SEO

On-page optimization is only half the battle. To rank in Google, you also need a strong backlink profile and off-page signals.

SEMrush is a market leader in backlink analysis and link building tools.

The Backlink Analytics tool provides a comprehensive overview of your website’s backlink profile.

Enter any domain and see every link pointing to it, along with key SEO metrics.

Why it’s useful

Backlinks are one of Google’s most important ranking factors.

Analyzing your backlink profile helps you gauge your site’s authority, identify link building opportunities, and monitor for low-quality or spammy links.

It’s also useful for benchmarking against competitors.

How SEMrush specializes in it

SEMrush has the largest and most up-to-date backlink database of any SEO tool, with over 43 trillion links.

Their Backlink Analytics provides the most detailed and customizable link analysis available.

You can slice and dice link data by dozens of filters like link type, authority score, anchor text, link attribute, and more.

The tool also tracks your month-over-month link gains and losses.

Backlinks remain one of Google’s top ranking factors. SEMrush’s Backlink Analytics tool gives you deep insights into your site’s link profile.

SEO Backink Analytics

Enter your domain and you’ll see an overview of your backlink health, including:

  • Number of backlinks and referring domains over time
  • Toxicity score from spammy backlinks
  • Distribution of follow vs. nofollow links
  • Top anchor text and linking pages

You can dive into your full backlinks report to view all your links, filter them by dozens of criteria, and see detailed info on each one.

I use this tool to monitor all my new incoming links and prune any low-quality ones that could hurt my site.

It’s also great for link gap analysis against competitors.

The Backlink Audit tool analyzes your backlink profile and identifies potentially toxic links that could harm your SEO.

Why it’s useful

While high-quality backlinks boost your rankings, low-quality links can get your site penalized by Google.

Regularly auditing your link profile is critical for maintaining a clean and natural backlink portfolio.

The Backlink Audit makes it easy to find and disavow spammy links before they cause problems.

How SEMrush specializes in it

SEMrush pulls from its industry-leading link database to assess every backlink based on 50+ toxic markers.

This helps you spot NSFW content, public link networks, anomalous outbound links, and more.

The tool calculates an overall toxicity score to quantify your link risk.

You can then send removal requests to site owners or export disavow files right from the tool.

The Backlink Audit Tool takes your backlink analysis to the next level by finding toxic links that could trigger a Google penalty.

The tool automatically reviews all your backlinks and assigns a toxicity score to each one based on 50+ factors.

SEO backlink audit

You’ll get a report of your overall toxicity risk level and most dangerous links.

From there, you can add any spammy links to a disavow file to submit to Google.

Or you can reach out to the linking site directly to request removal.

I used this tool to clean up a client’s backlink profile after they got hit with a manual penalty.

It was a lifesaver for identifying the problematic links.

I now run a monthly backlink audit on all my sites to keep them squeaky clean.

It’s not glamorous, but it’s critical for maintaining strong SEO health.

The Link Building tool helps you discover and acquire new backlink opportunities to grow your off-page SEO.

Why it’s useful

Proactively building high-quality, relevant backlinks is essential for increasing your site’s authority and organic rankings.

But link prospecting is very time-consuming.

The Link Building tool automates the process by surfacing hundreds of personalized link opportunities, along with SEO metrics and outreach capabilities.

How SEMrush specializes in it

SEMrush’s link building workflow is the most comprehensive available, spanning prospecting, vetting, outreach and reporting.

The tool analyzes your site’s top organic competitors and reverse engineers their best backlinks.

It also suggests relevant link prospects based on your top content.

You can qualify prospects by key metrics, manage their lifecycle stages, and run email outreach campaigns.

41% of SEO experts say link building is the most challenging part of their job.


Of course, to succeed in SEO you don’t just need to defend against bad links.

You need to proactively build good ones.

SEMrush’s Link Building Tool helps you do exactly that.

SEO Link Building Tool

First, provide up to 10 keywords and 10 competitors for your site.

SEMrush will then scan its database of 43 trillion backlinks to find the best link prospects for you.

The tool looks at your competitors’ backlinks and identifies sites that link to them but not you.

It also surfaces relevant sites ranking for your target keywords.

You can see useful details for each prospect like their Authority Score, monthly traffic, and number of ranking keywords.

You can sort and filter prospects to find the ripest opportunities.

Finally, you can launch personalized email outreach right from the tool to pitch your link.

SEMrush even provides customizable templates tailored to different link types (guest post, product review, etc.)

I’ve found some of my best link opportunities using this tool.

It simplifies the process of prospecting, vetting, and outreach.

If you’re serious about link building, it’s a must-have.

The Bulk Backlink Analysis tool lets you analyze up to 200 URLs at a time to compare their relative backlink health and authority.

Why it’s useful

Looking to prioritize link prospects or do some quick competitive link analysis?

The Bulk Backlink Analysis tool is perfect for analyzing large lists of URLs without entering each one into the main Backlink Analytics tool.

It provides a high-level backlink profile for each URL including Authority Score, toxicity markers, referring domains, follow/nofollow distribution, and more.

How SEMrush specializes in it

Bulk analysis is a huge time-saver for SEO pros evaluating batches of backlink data.

SEMrush makes it seamless by allowing you to enter URLs manually, upload CSV files, or connect target link prospect lists.

You can export the full report data including all the link-level details.

It’s the simplest way to compare backlink metrics at scale.

The average top 3 Google search result has 38% more backlinks than those ranked 4-10.


Have a list of backlink prospects already? Use the Bulk Backlink Analysis tool to vet them quickly.

SEO Bulk Backlink Analysis

Upload a list of up to 200 domains and the tool will return key SEO metrics like:

  • Authority Score
  • Referring domains
  • Follow/nofollow distribution
  • Monthly traffic
  • Top anchors and more

This is great for prioritizing your backlink prospects at scale so you can focus on the most impactful opportunities.

I use it to evaluate lists of sites for group guest posting campaigns.

How to Use Semrush for PPC Advertising

While SEMrush is best known as an SEO tool, it also packs a punch when it comes to PPC.

If you run any search ads, SEMrush can level up your game.

Advertising Research

The Advertising Research tool provides competitive intel on any domain’s Google Ads campaigns.

Enter a URL and see all the PPC keywords they bid on, ad copy, landing pages, and more.

Why it’s useful

Imagine if you could spy on your top competitors’ paid search strategies – the Advertising Research tool lets you do just that.

Unveil their top performing keywords and ads to inform your own campaigns.

Identify gaps in your PPC coverage compared to competitors.

Get inspiration for ad messaging that resonates in your industry.

How SEMrush specializes in it

SEMrush monitors Google Ads results 24/7 and has amassed 200+ million keywords and 120+ million ads across 15 years.

All this PPC data powers the Advertising Research tool, allowing for unparalleled competitive analysis.

The real kicker is the Ad Builder, which lets you construct PPC ads based on competitors’ top copy and preview them in real-time.

IndustryAverage Monthly PPC Spend
Consumer Services$8,374
Health & Medical$10,551
Home Goods$7,954
Real Estate$8,601
Travel & Hospitality$6,892

Want to snoop on your competitors’ Google Ads campaigns? SEMrush’s Advertising Research tool is for you.

Semrush advertising research

Enter a competitor’s domain and you’ll get an inside look at their ad strategy, including:

  • All the keywords they’re bidding on
  • Their ad copy and creative over time
  • Landing pages for each ad with traffic stats
  • PPC budget and traffic estimates

You can use this intel to:

  • Find your competitors’ top performing keywords and ads to inspire your own
  • Identify gaps in your PPC keyword coverage
  • Analyze competitor budgets to see what’s working

I use this tool to keep tabs on my top PPC competitors and inform my ad strategy.

It’s also helpful for clients running ads in industries I’m less familiar with.

PLA Research

The PLA Research tool analyzes Google Shopping ads for any domain or keyword.

See any advertiser’s product feed details, top PLA keywords, ad spend, and more.

Why it’s useful

For ecommerce PPC, Google Shopping campaigns are just as important as traditional text ads.

The PLA Research tool lets you go deep on competitors’ product ad strategies to find opportunities.

Analyze their product feed to find possible gaps or keyword ideas.

Get inspiration from top PLA copy and images for your own product listings.

How SEMrush specializes in it

SEMrush is the only major SEO tool that offers a dedicated PLA analysis feature.

Everything is geared for ecommerce advertisers, from the product-level details to the PLA-specific filters.

You can even get notified when competitors add new products to their Google Shopping feed.

For online retailers, this tool is a game-changer.

For ecommerce retailers, SEMrush also offers a handy PLA Research tool.

It’s like the Advertising Research tool but for Google Shopping campaigns.

Semrush Product Listing Ads

Enter a domain and see any product listing ads they’re running, plus:

  • Share of PLA impressions and average position
  • Top PLA keywords with CPC data
  • Product feed details with price, brand, category, etc.

This is useful if you run Shopping campaigns and want to scope out the competition.

You can pinpoint successful advertiser and find product feed gaps to exploit.

Keyword Gap

The Keyword Gap tool that I mentioned earlier also works for paid keywords.

You can uncover valuable PPC keywords by comparing your search campaigns vs. competitors.

Enter up to five domains (yours + four competitors) and the tool will visualize your keyword overlap.

It’s an easy way to surface competitors’ keywords that you’re missing out on.

You can break it down by:

  • Weak opportunities: Keywords where a competitor is ranking well in paid search but you are not
  • Untapped opportunities: Keywords that a competitor is bidding on but you are not at all
  • Strong opportunities: Keywords where you are ranking well but your competitor is not

Check this tool regularly to ensure you’re not ceding any crucial PPC keywords to the competition.

PPC Keyword Tool

The PPC Keyword tool generates keyword ideas for paid search campaigns based on a seed keyword. Get data on search volume, competition, CPC, ad copy ideas, and more.

Why it’s useful

Keyword research is just as important for PPC as SEO, but the approach is different.

With PPC, you’re looking for high-intent keywords that will drive the most conversions at the lowest cost.

The PPC Keyword tool uncovers lucrative keyword opportunities based on your products or services.

It also suggests negative keywords to exclude and reports on competitor PLA keywords.

How SEMrush specializes in it

Unlike most keyword tools, SEMrush’s PPC Keyword tool is designed specifically for paid search.

It uses a huge database of real advertiser data to inform its suggestions.

In addition to search volume and CPC, you get competitive metrics like ad copy and domain ad history.

The seamless integration with the Keyword Manager and Ad Builder makes building PPC campaigns a snap.

For every $1 spent on Google Ads, businesses earn an average revenue of $2

Google Economic Impact Report

Of course, you can also discover new keywords from scratch using SEMrush’s PPC Keyword tool.

Enter a seed keyword and it will return a goldmine of related PPC keyword ideas along with:

  • Search volume
  • CPC
  • Competition level
  • Expected CTR and number of clicks
  • Suggested bid

You can filter by search intent, keyword difficulty, SERP features, word count, and more.

Even negative keyword ideas are included.

The tool also makes it easy to build your keyword list and segment it into groups.

You can add keywords directly to the SEMrush Keyword Manager for your search campaigns.

It’s the perfect tool for building high-performing PPC keyword lists from the ground up.

I use it whenever I’m launching ads in a new vertical.

Ad History

The Ad History report in SEMrush lets you see how advertisers change their ad copy and creative over time for any given keyword.

Just enter a keyword and you’ll get a historical breakdown of all the ads that have appeared for it, including:

  • Ad positions
  • Number of advertisers
  • Landing page URLs
  • Exact ad copy and creative

This is useful in a few ways:

  1. You can see which advertisers are consistently gaining impression share for high-value terms
  2. You can track competitor messaging and offers over time
  3. You can be alerted to new advertisers entering the auction for your keywords

I like to use the Ad History report for inspiration when writing new ad copy.

Studying winning ads over time can spark ideas and help you understand what resonates.

SEMrush Integrations and Apps

To round out this mega SEMrush tutorial, I want to briefly touch on some other notable features – the integrations and apps.


SEMrush plays nicely with tons of other marketing tools and platforms, including:

  • Google products: Analytics, Search Console, Ads, Sheets, and more
  • Ecommerce platforms: Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, etc.
  • Social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest
  • CRMs: Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho, Pipedrive
  • WordPress plugins
  • Agency tools: Klipfolio, Swydo, DashThis, AgencyAnalytics

These integrations make it easy to pull SEMrush data into your existing workflows and reports.

For example, you can sync your position tracking data to Google Sheets.

You can also schedule SEMrush reports to automatically send to clients or stakeholders on a regular basis.

I use this to keep my team up-to-date on competitors’ SEO and PPC moves.

SEMrush Apps

Finally, SEMrush offers a suite of free and premium tools in their App Center. Some of my favorites include:

  • Surround Sound: Analyzes your content to suggest semantically related keywords to include for better rankings
  • Page Scanner: Bulk-scans URLs using SEMrush’s Site Audit tool
  • Backlink Comparison Tool: Visualizes backlink growth or decline between two domains over time
  • Content Marketplace: Order SEO-friendly articles from vetted copywriters
  • Keyword to Content Finder: Get relevant content ideas from any keyword
  • Plagiarism Checker: Scans your content and meta tags for duplicate issues
  • Content Outline Builder: Automatically generates an SEO-optimized outline for your blog posts

Check out the App Center to find hidden gems that can streamline your SEO and content tasks. New tools are added regularly.

Find Hidden Keyword Opportunities with SEMrush

Before we wrap up, I want to show you a couple of my favorite advanced SEMrush keyword research tricks.

Find Low-Competition Keywords on Reddit

Reddit often ranks for tons of valuable keywords. You can use SEMrush to find low-hanging fruit opportunities.

First, enter into the Organic Research tool. Then, use these filters:

  • Keyword Difficulty: 0-30% (low to medium competition)
  • Exclude Keywords: Add a list of branded Reddit terms like “subreddit”, “upvote”, “AMA”, etc. This will clean out Reddit-specific keywords.
  • Advanced Filters > Word Count: 4+ (targets long-tail keywords)
  • Include Keywords: Add a list of qualifying terms like “best”, “how to”, “vs”, “review”

This will surface thousands of low-competition, high-intent keywords that Reddit is ranking for. Find relevant keywords and create better content to steal their rankings.

Use the Keyword Magic Tool for Long-Tail Keywords

Here’s another quick hack for finding long-tail keywords at scale:

  1. Enter a broad keyword into the Keyword Magic Tool
  2. Go to the Questions tab
  3. Set a volume range of 10-1000
  4. Filter for 4+ words

This will return a giant list of ultra-specific, low-competition questions that you can build content around.

People Also Ask keywords work great for this too.

I’ve found some of my best low-cost, high-converting keywords with this method.

Give it a try for your niche.


Wow, you made it to the end! We covered a ton of ground in this ultimate SEMrush tutorial.

I hope I’ve convinced you just how powerful of a tool it is.

From keyword research to site audits to backlink analysis and more, SEMrush really is an all-in-one SEO and digital marketing suite.

I rely on it daily to grow my business and my clients’ businesses.

Start exploring the tools and reports I’ve mentioned.

The rabbit hole goes deep – we still only scratched the surface of what SEMrush can do!

If I’ve missed any important features or use cases, let me know in the comments.

I’m always looking to learn new tips and tricks from my fellow SEMrush nerds.

Now get out there and dominate the SERPs! Happy SEMrushing.

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