Here at nichesiteazon, we’re big fans of Semrush.com. Barely a day guys past when I don’t login to the software to find keyword opportunities, track my site rankings, or reverse engineer a competitor. Additionally, Josh has outlined some great strategies you can use semrush for in previous posts. In this semrush review though, we’re going to focus on the basics, and why this software really does pay for itself. If you’re curious to read the other posts, they’re linked here:
First off, I’d like to just say that when I first looked into semrush, I wasn’t making a lot of money online and the monthly fee seemed unecessarily high. This may also be the case with you, and if you can’t afford the tool, then that’s understandable. You can actually use click the banner below to get a free trial of the tool, which should get your love affair with it started, and you can come back later when you have more of a budget.
For the meantime, let’s dive into this review.
Semrush calls itself a competitor research tool, and it is, but it actually has a lot more practical applications. You might be thinking “Ok cool, but how do I use competitor research to my advantage? And I’ll explain that in the rest of the article.
For now, here’s a quick overview of how you might use Semrush.
The page above is where everything begins. Enter a competitor’s URL above, and you’ll be presented with a list of keywords they rank for, what position they rank, who their competitors are (so you can rinse and repeat), and a lot of other information as well.
You can figure out what their best performing pages are, whether or not they’re buying traffic from Google, and you’ll also get some insights into their backlink profile.
Now, semrush definitely doesn’t have the best backlink checker in the world. Ahrefs and Majestic are superior here.
However, that doesn’t really matter, because what I use Semrush for has nothing to do with checking backlinks, as I’ll explain in the next few sections.
For now, just know that Semrush allows you to find out a lot of insanely useful keyword data about your competitors. You’ll uncover a lot of keywords that don’t show up in other keyword tools, and that alone is gold.
What a lot of people don’t realize is, Semrush also works great if you put your own site into the tool. You’ll find a bunch of hidden keywords you didn’t know you rank for. You’ll find untapped opportunities, and you’ll get good ideas about which posts to target for on-page and off-page seo improvements.
Thanks to this, the money you spend on Semrush could end up saving you money on link building, so ultimately, you come out ahead.
For the next part of this review, I’ll look at practical applications of semrush. In other words, how do I use it, and how can you use it to benefit your site?
There are 4 main ways that you'll benefit from this tool:
Let’s go through these one by one.
This is one of the easiest ways to benefit from Semrush.
I’ll tell you this now. If you’ve never checked, there are no doubt dozens of keywords that your site ranks for, that you had no clue about.
On top of that, many of these keywords will be ones you’ve not optimized your site for.
I’ll give you an example:
Let’s say you are targeting a certain keyword with your post, like “best shower head”. Once that post ranks quite highly, you’ll naturally rank for other keywords as well, such as “best plastic shower head” or “good shower nozzle” and so on. It just happens.
Put any post into semrush and you’ll see it ranks for dozens of keywords.
What also happens is that some of those keywords you will rank quite highly. Position 12 or something like that.
For many of these keywords, you won’t even have that keyword anywhere on your page. This is because Google knows your article covers that topic. It knows that an article about shower heads is also going to be relevant to searches about shower nozzles, for example.
What I find is that 90% of the time, if you go back to that article and add the keyword in somewhere, within a week or so (depending on your site’s age and authority), you will jump up in ranking for that keyword.
You can rinse and repeat this so many times and increase rankings and traffic without adding more posts. The more rankings your site has, the more you can do this technique.
Here are three examples of keywords where I did the exact method talked about. I started tracking them in Serpfox the day I did the optimizations, so you can see the results almost instantly.
Now, it doesn’t always work. Some keywords won’t budge even if you add them to your post. It doesn’t take much work to do this though, and the fact that some keywords will have a major increase should make it very much worth your while to do.
You can rinse and repeat this technique every few weeks as well, because as you rank higher for these keywords, there will be other ones appearing.
This alone could pay for semrush in no time, assuming you have your traffic monetized.
Whether you’re doing white-hat link building, or something more grey-hat, you don’t have infinite time or money. You’ll want to make sure you’re able to get the most results out of your efforts, or money.
Semrush can help with this (although Ahrefs might be better if this is your only focus, as ahrefs has superior backlink crawlers).
How I use it is as follows:
1.) I put my site my site into Semrush and see what it shows me for keywords and rankings.
2.) I then look at “pages” and see which pages have a lot of rankings and keywords “nearly” on page 1. For example, you might think you want to do your link building to your main money page, but Semrush might show you that another post is actually much closer. It could already have 1 or 2 keywords on page 1 or at the top of page 2.
For me, this would go straight on the list of potential link building targets. I’d do further analysis into the competition before deciding 100% to target this post, but Semrush is responsible for putting it on my radar.
It’s all too easy for us to get blinkered vision and just focus on 1 or 2 posts, without realizing we could get some other posts earning money in the meantime, just by giving them a bit of link juice.
I use the word competitor lightly, because a lot of other sites in your niche might not really represent pure competition. What Semrush defines as your competition is a site you share other keywords with.
For example, perhaps your site ranks for 200 keywords, and another site ranks for 2,000, but 150 of them are the same ones you rank for. They’d show up as a competitor, right here:
Now, what we have above is a list of 302 organic competitors. Here’s how we use it:
1.) Starting with the competitors that share the most common keywords (in this case, nichehacks), we could click on them, and then get a list of all the keywords they rank for.
2.) By manually going through the list, we’re going to get dozens of ideas for keywords we hadn’t thought of targeting. Some of them will be “quick win” keywords that we can add into our existing articles to increase the keywords they rank for. Others will give us entire new article ideas.
Just because a competitor ranks for a keyword, doesn’t mean we are automatically going to rank for it too just because we wrote an article. However, it’s great for finding new content gaps and opportunities.
3.) For further wins, look for keywords where your competitor ranks for them, but the article they are ranking isn’t all that relevant. For example, maybe a competitor ranks highly for something like “roll on vs aerosol deodorant”, but the article ranking is not that related to the keyword. It could be something like, “best roll on deodorant”.
The fact they’re ranking highly for it without really targeting it or writing something useful, shows an opportunity. You can write an article that targets the keyword more accurately, and you’ll have a pretty good chance of ranking well for it.
Not every competitor will have keywords like this, but if you spend enough time, you’ll be able to find some.
4.) Additionally, you can look at the competitors for one of your specific posts and see if you’ve missed any keywords. Let’s say you have a post on page 1 of Google and it ranks for 20 different keywords. Maybe the other sites on rank 1 with you are ranking for 30 or 40 keywords with the same posts.
If you go through each one of those posts and see what they’re ranking for that you’ve missed, and then go back and add them to your post, you’ll not fail to increase your traffic to that post, and might even rank a bit higher as a result.
This is similar to the “quick win” opportunities mentioned above.
It’s well documented that when you find a keyword where 1 or more forums are ranking, that keyword should be easy to rank for. The problem is, how do you find keywords where forums are ranking?
You find some forums, you enter their URL’s into Semrush, and you use a filter to find all the keywords they rank on page 1 for.
To make it even better, filter it to only show the ones they rank in the top 3 for.
I’ve used this to find dozens of keywords in almost every niche I’ve entered, and at least 30% of them I ranked for very quickly.
Josh is the man behind this strategy, which I’ve linked to right at the start of this article. If you want to know more about it, you can follow this link as well.
I’ve just shown you an almost infinite number of ways to use Semrush. Ok, only 4 ways, but they’ll keep you busy for what seems like an eternity.
The question is, does it pay for itself, and how much is that exactly?
The snapshot above shows the three pricing tiers available. To learn more about exactly what comes with the plans, go here. You can also get a 7 day free trial through that link.
Anyway, let’s talk numbers.
$99 per month is no small fee, and the average beginner niche site builder may not be able to afford it.
That’s fine, because if you are a complete beginner and don’t have the budget yet, you also don’t need to get semrush yet. It’s not something you can really benefit from until you either have a number of sites and regularly use this tool…or until one of your sites starts getting itself some rankings.
In my case, I signed up for a free trial once my site started making $100 per month, and I had scaled that to $500 per month within 3-4 short months. Semrush played a large part in that.
Essentially, you need to be earning some money and getting some rankings and traffic in order to really benefit from it (though you will still benefit in an earlier stage if you can afford it now).
Once you use it though, it pays for itself quite quickly.
If you’re able to increase the number of keywords you rank for, increase the positions they rank at, and get new content ideas all with one tool, you’ll definitely increase your revenue beyond $99 per month.
Only you can say if you have the budget for it. I will say that you don’t absolutely 100% need Semrush in order to succeed, but if you can afford it, you will absolutely benefit.
I would probably struggle with only using one tool! However, if I did only have access to one…Semrush would definitely be a contender for that tool.
It depends, does WordPress count?
All joking aside, it’s for good reason that I use this tool almost every day, and if you can afford it, you’ll love it.
Remember, you can click the banner below to get a 7-day free trial.
I have another really cool advanced niche site strategy for you today! I will be talking about how one of the quickest and easiest ways to increase traffic to your niche site in a short period of time.
First, I want thank you all for the awesome feedback and support that you gave me on the last article I posted. You guys are awesome and I am glad that you enjoyed the strategy. I hope that you like today’s one just as much!
The whole idea behind this strategy is to find keywords that are already ranking on the 2nd or 3rd page of Google and try to get them to the first page. Keywords sitting on the 2nd or 3rd page won’t take much to push them onto the first page and that is what we are going to try and take advantage of.
We will push these rankings from the 2nd page to the first page by adding fresh and optimized content to the page that is already ranking that will target the keywords that you want to boost the ranking for. No need for any new backlinks or anything else, just fresh content.
The best part? You won’t have to wait weeks or months to see improvement! Usually within a couple of days you will see improvements in your rankings.
Now that you get the basic concept behind this strategy, let’s actually look at the actual process for putting this strategy to work.
Before we get into the how-to of this strategy, I first want to quickly explain what you will need.
You might have guessed by now but, yes, I love Semrush. It has so many different uses and is the swiss army for anyone building and growing websites. For this exact strategy, Semrush is going to a lot better than Google Search Console because it allows you to export way more data.
I have put together a complete tutorial on this strategy in a video below:
That video will show you each step of the process as I use my own site as an example. If you want the complete process with all of the details make sure to watch the video. With that being said, I will also outline the basic process below for those people that would rather read.
Step 1 – Find Keywords Rankings on the 2nd or 3rd Page of Google
This is where Semrush comes in clutch.
You will need to put your niche website into Semrush and export all of your organic positions into an excel file. This will allow you to manipulate the data so that we can find all of the keywords that fit our requirements.
Once the data is in Excel, you should filter the data so that only the keywords rankings between 11 and 30 in Google are left. This will present to you all of the keywords that we could target. Below you will see an example of my site that is filtered in Excel:
I like to find as many keywords as I can for each page and target all of them. The keywords ranking 11th-15th are best ones to go after because they will take the least amount to get to the first page. Pick a handful of similar keywords for each page that you want to target and move into the next step.
Step 2 – Write Content Optimized for the Keywords
Here you will write 500+ words that targets your keyword(s) and add this new chunk of content somewhere within the page that is already ranking for the keyword somewhere on page 2 or 3. Remember, you are NOT writing a new post but, instead adding fresh content to an old post that is already ranking.
How do you optimize the new content?
Follow the checklist below:
Once you do all of the above, you can now go onto step 3.
Step 3 – Tell Google About the Changes
After you add the fresh content you will want to tell Google about it. There are two ways that you can accomplish this very quickly. The first option is to login to your Google Search Console and fetch the URL of the updated page. This will inform Google that the page needs to be crawled again and it will take notice of your added content.
The other way you can have Google quickly crawl your new content is to download the plugin called “Google xml sitemap for videos”. Once downloaded, go to the setting and submit the video sitemap and then ping Google. This option works very quickly as well.
Doing one or both of these options are better than nothing because it will allow you to see the results within a day or two usually. If you let Google crawl your new content by itself it could take a week or two for it to happen.
By submitting a video sitemap via the plugin or fetching as Google within the Search Console will speed up the results.
Step 4 – Monitor the Results
I would suggest keeping track of the keyword rankings and see if you get any improvements. You will usually see results after a couple of days but it can sometimes take a little bit longer. If you see that you move up a couple in Google but, you still aren’t on the first page then you can add even more content. This should keep you moving higher. Keep testing and tweaking until you get the desired results.
That;s gonna do it for this article. I hope that you enjoyed and will put this sweet little strategy to use. This strategy can be extremely powerful for a site that has been around for a while and has a lot of keywords rankings within Google. Doing this could result in a ton of traffic from very little effort.
If you have any questions about the process feel free to leave them below. Thanks for reading!
I have a really powerful niche site strategy that I am excited to share with you today. Before we hop into that, I first want to quickly discuss the results from the poll I ran in the last post and explain my plans for the future content!
Below are the results from the poll that I ran asking you what you wanted to see for future content here on NSA:
The majority of you wanted to see advanced niche site strategies. The second most votes went to niche site case studies and then rounding it up was website investing. Thank you to everyone who voted!
Since most of you where interested in advanced strategies I have put together this post here as the first post. However, I have decided that I will be creating content for all of the topics mentioned above! So you can expect a wide variety of content from me revolving around niche websites 🙂
The strategy that I am covering today is one that I have been using for all of my own niche sites and I have seen some awesome success. This strategy involves finding forums that are relevant to your niche site and plugging them into Semrush. This will provide you with a goldmine of high quality long tail keywords for you to target.
I outline the entire process in the video below:
Make sure to subscribe to my Youtube Channel as there will be a lot more content being produced there.
I know some if you will not want to watch the video so I will give a basic outline for how to use this strategy. The whole idea behind this tactic is to find forums that are relevant to your niche that you have a website in and find longtail keywords using Semrush.
I really like using forums for this type of research for three reasons:
Using Semrush, you can quickly see every keyword that a specific forum is ranking for within Google. This is a goldmine for longtail keywords.
That is all there is to it, however, I would suggest watching the video because I give a lot more explanation and show you exactly how I go about using this strategy.
I have put this exact strategy to the test on my own sites and I have seen awesome success. See below for an example:
Month by Month Look at the Traffic Stats
Daily Traffic Stats
The reason that I am showing you these screenshots of my Google Analytics account for this one niche site is so that you can understand how powerful longtail keywords are. This one site get’s around 600 visitors a day and you would think that it would be ranking for some keywords that have a high amount of monthly searches.
That’s not the case though!
Below you can see the keywords that drive the most traffic to my site and their monthly searches:
Not ONE keyword has over 1,000 monthly searches! A handful of the top keywords have only 70 and 90 monthly searches as well. This goes to show how powerful longtail keywords are if you are able to rank for them.
So guys, don’t overlook longtail keywords. There is a huge earning potential when it comes to ranking these keywords. Use the strategy that I outline in this article and start targeting the keywords with high quality content. If you do that then you are on your way to having a successful niche site.
This is also a great strategy for the custom sites we build. We’ll take care of the main keywords, and you can use this strategy to get a ton of additional traffic to the site. It’s a winning combination.
That’s gonna do it for my first full article here at NSA. I hope that you all enjoyed and I hope you can implement this strategy for your own niche sites. It can be very powerful if you do it.
I would love to hear what you think about this article and if you want more stuff like this in the future. Leave me a comment below and let me know your thoughts. Thank you!
I think you'll agree with me when I say: doing proper keyword research is one of the most important steps in creating a profitable niche site.
The problem is, many people writing about niche site keyword research are doing it all wrong. Which makes things incredibly confusing for you when you're trying to get your site off the ground.
In today's post, I want to show you how I go about doing keyword research for all my niche sites. And it all starts with an amazingly helpful piece of software: Long Tail Pro.