In this guide, I will show you how to use SEMrush for Keyword Research.
If you live under a rock, you should know that SEMrush is one of the best SEO tools in the market.
Using it, you can find the perfect keyword using two keyword research methods.
But before we dive deep into the research process, you need to know the type types of keyword research:
- Traditional Keyword Research
- Competitive Keyword Research
- SEMrush for Keyword Research: Conclusion
Traditional Keyword Research
Traditional keyword research is the old school way of finding keywords for your SEO efforts. Many content marketers and SEO experts prefer this technique. Why? Because it’s the basic way of identifying the high search volume, long-competition keywords.
We do traditional keyword research to build a list of main keywords (seed keywords). Seed keywords can lead to a range of keyword opportunities.
Traditional keyword research has 4 basic steps:
- Finding your main keywords
- Generating keyword opportunities
- Filtering keyword opportunities
- Checking keyword difficulty
These steps can be very tedious if you’re going to do it without tools. Luckily, SEMrush makes it easier for you to do traditional keyword research. With its powerful suite of tools, keyword research is easy as pie.
Enter your main keyword in the search bar
The first thing that you need to do is enter your main keyword in the search bar. Think of a phrase that people would type to find your website.
It can be a product or service that you offer or a common problem that your customers experience. Make sure to choose a keyword that represents what your brand or website is all about.
Always remember to keep an open mind when doing keyword research. You can do as many searches as you like until you get the right keyword.
For this tutorial, let’s begin the keyword research process with the keyword “tech blog”.
As you can see in the dashboard, SEMrush gives you plenty of data related to the keyword “tech blog”. You’ll find vital information like monthly organic search volume. You can also see the number of results, cost-per-click, and trends.
Scroll down and you’ll find phrase match keywords and related keywords. This information can lead you to more keyword ideas. You’ll also see a live update of organic search results and ads copies related to the main keyword.
Use the keyword magic tool to organize search results using different metrics
The great thing about SEMrush is that it’s thought of everything for you. It’s packed with all the features you’ll need to conduct in-depth keyword research. All you need is one main keyword to build a list of profitable keywords for your website.
The Keyword Magic tool is the complete research tool that will help you find profitable keywords you can rank for. This feature gives you a list of related keywords, complete with details in a snap. From there, you can put together a list of keywords that you can analyze using the keyword analyzer tool.
Once you have your list of keywords, you can start developing a winning content strategy. When you know what your readers are searching for, it will be easier for you to produce content that caters to them.
Let’s see what happens if I type “tech blog” in the search bar of the Keyword Magic Tool. With 3600 monthly searches and 64.29 KD (Keyword Difficulty Index), getting into the top 20 for this term would be difficult.
Now let’s say, I want to publish content using the keyword “tech blog” on my website. What exactly about it can I write about? Well, based on the list, the top 3 keywords with the most search volume are “tech blogs”, “best tech blogs”, and “Netflix tech blog”.
When you’re deep into keyword research, it’s easy to lose track of the different keywords that you’re looking up. SEMrush makes it easier with its Keyword Analyzer feature. I simply click the icon beside the keyword to add it to a list.
Since these terms seem too broad, I check out the new SEMrush Topic Research feature for topic ideas. It’s a nifty tool that shows the top 10 headlines based on backlinks. It also lists down interesting questions that you can answer through your website.
It can also generate a mindmap so you can quickly see keywords and topics related to your main keyword.
The results of the mindmap are very interesting. There are keywords like “product reviews”, “tech news”, and “personal tech blog”. I’ll run these keywords through the Keyword Magic tool to see if I should add them to my keyword master file.
Compare the difficulty of different keywords using the Keyword Difficulty Tool
SEMrush features a Keyword Difficulty tool that helps you set realistic keyword targets. This feature allows you to check the difficulty of up to 100 keywords at a time. It also lets you see the different metrics of each keyword.
The rule of thumb is: the higher the difficulty score, the harder it is to outrank websites in the top spot. In this example, targeting the keyword “tech news” would be unrealistic for me. A high difficulty score means authoritative websites are already ranking for the keyword.
When you’re happy with your keywords, you can export your lists as CSV or XLS and combine it later to create a master file. A keyword master file is an important document for SEO experts and content marketers. It’s what sets campaigns in the right direction.
Hey, if you’re enjoying SEMrush for Keyword Research so far, you can use it now by clicking here to create your account with a FREE 7-DAY TRIAL to all its premium features!
Competitive Keyword Research
Competitive keyword research is pretty straightforward. It’s basically looking to the competition for keyword ideas. In SEO, your competitors are other websites with rankings in your niche. It doesn’t necessarily refer to your competitors in sales.
We do competitive research to see what keywords the competition is ranking for. If we want to get to the top, we need to see what the top rankers are doing.
Personally, I like doing competitive research because it gives me great content ideas. It gives me a chance to see what areas other websites lack. This motivates me to produce content that people can’t find in competing websites.
SEMrush is great for competitive keyword research because it’s a powerful suite. It gives competitive intelligence like no other. With over 100 databases, you can get information about any competitor you can think of.
Identify your competitors
Identifying the competition is simple. All you have to do is enter a domain in the organic research search bar. For this example, let’s check out what keywords neilpatel.com is ranking for.
Based on the overview, we can see that there are over 273,000 keywords directing traffic to this website. This isn’t shocking since Neil Patel is one of the industry’s biggest players.
Top organic keywords refer to the keywords that direct the most traffic to neilpatel.com. Here, we see that the URL ranks #1 for the terms “affiliate marketing”, “Neil Patel”, and “ubersuggest”. The top position changes show the keywords that improved or declined.
Let’s say you want to check your own direct competitors. Enter your own URL in the search bar and you’ll see your main organic competitors. In our case, our main competitors are “virtualwritingtutor.com”, “scribens.com”, and “grammarlookup.com”.
Having a lot of common keywords means there is a high level of competition.
Find out what keywords your competitors are ranking for
I am intrigued by our #1 competitor, “virtualwritingtutor.com”. Naturally, I want to know what their strongest keywords are. Here we see that their top keywords are “grammar check”, “punctuation checker”, and “free grammar check”.
To be honest, these keywords have very little to do with my website. But If I want to tap into their audience, I know now which keywords to target.
Use the Keyword Gap feature to discover keyword opportunities
If there’s one thing that years of keyword research have taught me, it’s to always keep an eye out for opportunities. SEMrush has a Keyword Gap feature that lets you compare common keywords between different domains.
To find keyword opportunities, enter 5 websites on the Keyword Gap tool. Make sure that your own domain is in the last input field.
Let’s try doing a keyword gap analysis on the following websites:
To know what the easiest keywords are, filter the results by keyword difficulty. Show only the keywords that have a KD score of 60 or less.
Identify which of these keywords are relevant to your website. Click the checkbox beside it to add it to your list. Clicking on the keyword will give you an overview of its metrics.
The Keyword Gap feature also lets you see which of the other websites’ keywords you can rank for. change your domain’s Venn diagram setting from “common keywords” to “unique to first domain”. This will show you keywords that the other websites are ranking for that you’re not.
Apply the Keyword Difficulty filter set to less than 60 again. From here, I can make a content strategy using these keyword ideas.
Looks like I can easily outrank everyone else on the “best grammar check” keyword if I wanted to.
If you want to further explore your competitors’ keywords, you can continue on with in-depth research using the Keyword Magic tool. You can use the feature to look for long tail keywords to add to your master list.
SEMrush for Keyword Research: Conclusion
As you can see, you won’t run out of keyword ideas using SEMrush.
Again, it’s one of the premier tools to help boost your site’s SEO performance.
Aside from keyword research, you can also:
- Find competitor backlinks to copy and boost your link profile
- Track and monitor your keyword position in SERPs
- Monitor your brand online to discover even more backlinks
- Audit your link profile to protect your good links and disavow the toxic ones
- Run an on-page SEO checker to spot errors that need improvement
Really, you can’t go wrong with this tool!
In fact, you have a 7-day FREE Trial to access all its premium features with no risk to you!
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