The idea of competitive intelligence is very important especially when you’re in the world of Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
PPC has come a long way from being a fight between who’s the one with more money over who’s more intelligent enough to bid for the right keywords or simply put bid on where the money is.
Keyword research became an exact science, and not just plain guess work that’s why it came as a pleasant welcome that SEMrush offers this solution at a very fair price.
I’ve used a lot of keyword research tools out there, the free ones and the paid ones but everything pales in comparison with SEMrush.
But I don’t want to kiss ass in this review so I will try to be overly objective in presenting my doubts and apprehensions as well as praise for their (the creators of SeoQuake) product.
Actually SEMrush is very easy to use but in a nutshell it presents the following:
A. Keyword Research
For PPC: This is one of the main highlights of SEMrush. First it provides you with keywords. You type in a search and then voila it gives you a chart, where you can see the costs, traffic and competition, search results and trends. Clicking further on a keyword would mean having to see the phrase match report and related keywords report
Comment: It could’ve been better if they also show in one graph keywords in exact, phrase and broad matches and its corresponding bid prices.
For SEO: You can even compare your keywords over your competitors and determine what are the ones that are performing and not. This feature will definitely save you time and money and another added feature is that you can download everything and then use it for your reports.
Comment: While this is commendable it doesn’t offer recommendations on how to overcome your competitor, perhaps that’s another project they are working on.
B. Competitor Research
SEMrush allows you to review your competitors either on the organic keyword level or at the PPC ad level. You can check their existing ads and take note of their changes and apply or test them to your high converting campaigns.
Comment: This by far is the most intelligent application by SEMrush, I’ve known of other companies that offers the same features but their pricing are bordering in the outrageous. Plus the simple mouse over to check an ad is an instant plus! SEMrush also allows you to download the Adwords Ad texts of your competitors, now that really is priceless!
SEMrush offers a monthly recurring price of $49.95 ($599.40 per year though they offer a 6 month subscription of $249 for 6 months which I plan to apply on soon) not too shabby for the importance of the information you can obtain from them. But I really would like it if it could offer a yearly (cheaper?) subscription with premium membership that offers community (forum), updates, best practices, and other offers (webinars, eBooks, etc)
In closing my overall review of the product is highly positive, but please, please don’t take my word for it you really have got to try it and see for yourself.
Perhaps the only negative but at the same time positive thing I can think of with it, is the lingering question all SEO/SEM practitioners have in mind.
“After gathering all these information, what do I do with it and where do I start?”
For all I know my competitors are also using SEMrush and they might also be using my keywords, but with all things being equal I think, that is really where the action starts.