Keyword research using SEMrush is all the rage these days, what with it more than just a new keyword tool on the block. Unlike previous tools with a similar purpose, SEMrush works differently in a sense that it shows you which keywords your competition already ranks for.
So it’s not just a keyword tool but also a means to spy on your competitor and use the data gathered to your advantage.
In this aspect, SEMrush trumps Google Adwords, Moz Keyword Explorer, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, and many others.
But why research keywords in the first place?
Keyword Research and SEO
In search engine optimisation (SEO), keyword research is the most important part.
How can you plan or start a campaign without knowing the words and phrases you must target? How can you estimate costs and returns if you don’t know who you’re competing against?
Keywords are the phrases that people use when searching for information on search engines. If you can identify correctly the keywords your target audience use to search for your products or services, you will have a roadmap for both website design and content development.
This makes keyword research a critical component in SEO, and the right tools will not only provide you the information you need but also the search volume for each term and its relative competitiveness.
Keywords are broken up and grouped into head, body, and long tail based on the number of words within a query phrase.
The keyword “shoes,” for example, is the head and has the highest search volume.
The keyphrase “men’s shoes,” on the other hand, is the body and has a lower search volume than the keyword “shoes.”
Then, there’s the keyphrase “men’s leather shoes” which is the long tail with the least search volume among the three.
It is important to note that the search volume is not absolute. But there are two things to keep in mind:
- The higher the search volume the higher your chances of bringing in more visitors; but
- Long-tailed keywords or more specific phrases have higher chances of bringing in the right visitors.
How SEMrush Works
In doing keyword research using SEMrush, you need to type in your competitor’s domain name and specify the country if they are outside the US.
From the search results, take a look at the section labelled Organic Search. You will find the terms SEMrush Rank, Organic Search, and Traffic Cost, with each one providing you information at first glance your competitor’s performance on search.
If your competitor has a low traffic cost but with high organic search traffic, it is targeting keywords that are not converting especially well.
The real keyword research happens in “Organic Keywords.” Here, you will see data of the top 5 keywords that your competitors are ranking for. Click “Full Report” and you’ll see the entire list.
Based on this you will have solid leads on what keywords to use. You can then use them to create a website and content that will make it easier for your target audience to find you online.
But don’t limit yourself to keyword research using SEMrush alone. Use it in conjunction with another tool that will show a different set of keywords, not just your competitor’s.