If there is one thing we learned in 2020 is that taking your business online is the only way to future-proof business growth. But with ever-increasing competition, you will have to invest in specific tools that will be setting your business up for digital wins.
And I cannot think of a better tool than Semrush when it comes to providing solutions for upping your digital marketing game.
Semrush is an all-in-one platform that includes over 40 tools designed to cover almost every aspect of online marketing – from market research to content creation.
I’ve already written a lot about the benefits Semrush can give to any marketer or business who’s serious about online. Semrush is constantly polishing up its existing tools, improving the algorithms, and adding up new features, as well as keeps adding up tools that cover more and more everyday and high-level digital marketing tasks.
With this and the recently reworked Semrush packages that come at a slightly increased cost, I’ve decided to revisit some of the key points I used to make and see if the suite is still worth the investment.
To do this, I will focus on each of the five toolkits of the platform – SEO, Advertising, Content Marketing, Competitor Research, and Social Media – and focus on the latest updates and new features introduced within Semrush tools only throughout the past year.
How much will Semrush cost to new users?
Semrush hasn’t changed its pricing model since 2017, however, as mentioned, from year to year, they make significant improvements and additions to their already super powerful platform.
Note that the pricing increase will only concern users who sign up for the suite in 2021, so all of us, old users, will enjoy all the new perks and features at a good old price.
- The new Pro account comes at $119.95/month, 20% up from the old price. Yet Pro users will now benefit from more capabilities – instead of 3 projects, they can create 5, share their PDF templates and projects with “read-only” access.
- Those who sign up for a Guru account in 2021, will be paying $229.95/month. But the updated Giri pricing also comes with expanded functionality, with access to the Google Data Studio connector, the ability to create 15 projects, monitor 1500 keywords and benefit from historical data access and the most complete Content Marketing Platform on the market.
- The new Business plan is now at $449.95/month. On top of all the perks included in the lower plans, Business users get to set up 40 projects and see estimates of their online share of voice (SoV) within the Position Tracking tool.
So, really, depending on the size and nature of your business, you will be able to find a plan that’s suitable just for you.
It’s important to mention here that with Semrush, you get a lot of features that normally come at an additional price within other tools, like access to mobile data, hyper-local position tracking and keywords, and extensive reporting, which includes pre-built report templates or customizable options.
Moreover, with the new packages, the pricing per additional seat even decreased – so, with average pricing per extra users going down by an average of 36%, it’s a nice present for the new year.
But now let’s see what users get in return in more detail!
Semrush: SEO Toolkit Updates
With over 15 tools making up the platform’s SEO toolkit, you get pretty much full coverage of your SEO efforts: backlink management, rank monitoring, on-page SEO analysis, and a site audit.
On top of those, Semrush has the largest keyword database on the market, which now stands at over 20 billion keywords across 128 countries. Only in 2018, Semrush’s database had a little over 2 billion keywords, so the growth dynamics of its keyword tools is simply impressive!
Only in 2020, Semrush has added an immense number of new features to its SEO tools, however, I will name just a few:
- Probably the most high-level tool within the toolkit is Domain Overview, a report that gives you a helicopter view of any site’s online presence, including search traffic numbers, position trends, and backlink and keyword profiles.
If previously, you had to enter a specific country to explore the competing site’s key metrics, you can now get a Worldwide view, a global-level overview.
On top of this, you are no longer limited to a domain-level analysis, as Semrush just recently rolled out a subdomain-, subfolder-, and URL-level analysis, in case you need to only look at the specific section of your rival’s site.
You will also be able to analyze up to 5 competitors simultaneously with the new Compare mode – this will help you to spot some common patterns across your competitors’ online performance and marketing strategies.
- The Keyword Overview report is designed to amplify your keyword strategy with actionable data.
Now, to assess any keyword’s potential, you can make use of the newest global volume metric (an estimate of any keyword’s monthly search volume for all countries within the Semrush database) with a breakdown of countries where your selected keywords are being searched at the most.
The report also gives a more in-depth analysis of the SERP, showcasing the top 100 search results per keyword, including these URLs’ key metrics: backlinks, referring sites, search traffic, and keywords. Semrush also added SERP Features and Questions insights to each keyword to provide users with more keyword optimization ideas.
- Semrush also rolled out a polished version of its Keyword Gap, a tool that’s built to help you discover missed or hidden paid and organic keyword opportunities based on competitive insights.
You can now cross-match your keyword profile against competitors’ not only by the entire domain but also by subfolders and URLs. And the updates tool now also automatically gathers the search volume of each keyword and showcases your top missed opportunities.
- Many Semrush tools are powered by proprietary algorithms, and Backlink Audit is no exception.
I’ve always found it incredibly useful to use the tool’s Toxic Score metric that includes 50+ markers that determine backlink’s potential harm level, but in 2020 the algo got updated and the Toxic Score now is even more accurate and advanced.
Backlink Audit has always been one of my favorite tools I visit on a regular basis, as it keeps watch on my active, broken, new, and lost backlinks. In 2020, however, I’ve also connected my Google Analytics account to get a more accurate overview of my best-performing pages in terms of number of backlinks and referral traffic share, so, having a large site, I can laser-focus my backlink management and link-building efforts to pages that really matter.
- Semrush already had the best-on-the-market tool for keeping an eye on your site positions. Position Tracking is giving you daily updates on your rankings for a range of target keywords, with the option to set precise geolocation (even hyper-local) and device type (the tool includes mobile data).
I’ve always used the tool’s Competitors Discovery report to see which sites I’m competing against per target keyword, but now Position Tracking also reflects if you are subject to self-competition with the newest Cannibalization report.
In 2020, Semrush also added a new cutting-edge metric – Share of Voice (SoV). This feature builds upon Semrush’s custom Visibility metric (calculated based on your SERP positions + CTR), adding up keyword search volume and traffic estimates into the mix. Thus, with the help of Position Tracking, you can now also understand what share of the audience attention you might expect from having certain SERP positions.
- One another extremely powerful Semrush tool is Site Audit. It runs your site through over 130 checks, assessing your overall site health in regard to performance, crawlability, international SEO, HTTPS, and internal linking issues.
However, now, with more and more sites adopting structured data, Semrush released a new unique to the market Markups report that detects any markup usage or implementation issues, helping you to get a stronger organic performance and up your chances to get into the SERP features.
Semrush: Competitive Research Toolkit Updates
Semrush has a comprehensive market and competitor research toolkit that covers everything from market trends and benchmarks to insights on competitors’ traffic, SEO, online advertising, content and PR, and social media strategies.
With this kind of high-level and granular data, you are truly equipped with everything you need to make data-driven marketing decisions and create unbeatable promotion strategies.
While many tools I mentioned before are also a part of this toolkit, here I’ll mention improvements to the two most powerful market and competitive intelligence tools that come at an affordable price.
Traffic Analytics Now Powered With More Audience Insights
Semrush’s Traffic Analytics tool gives you an overview of any site’s performance, including top traffic sources, insights into traffic acquisition tactics, and even user engagement signals.
In 2020, Semrush improved its traffic estimation algorithm, so now you have more accurate info about your rivals’ traffic counts. Moreover, now you can also analyze your competitors’ subdomains if you need data about specific sections of their site.
But the biggest update came with Audience Insights – a new report that shows the percentage of overlap between your and another domain. With this new data, you can:
- evaluate your audience potential;
- better understand whether you’ve picked the right rival for in-depth analysis; and
- make more data-driven and informed decisions about the potential impact of partnerships and marketing activities with another brand.
More Market Benchmarks With Market Explorer Tool
The Market Explorer tool gives an amazing overview of any market, helping you to pinpoint emerging industry trends, market benchmarks, and audience characteristics, as well as get an idea of key players and their market share.
With a significant geo expansion in 2020, the tool now covers 190 regions and countries in total.
Market Explorer is probably the most intuitive and user-friendly tool for gathering market intelligence. Especially, with the recent addition of the Growth Quadrant widget that showcases top industry players (each automatically placed into Niche players, Game changers, Leaders, and Established players areas), and reflects their market position changes over time.
Another important recent addition is the Benchmarking Report, which allows you to select up to five competitors in order to compare their traffic counts, sources, and key audience characteristics.
Semrush: Social Media Toolkit Updates
Although probably not the key feature Semrush is known and loved for, the suite has been building up capabilities across social media management as well. Because you cannot be an all-in-one digital marketing suite without having just enough social media tools.
So, with already long-standing tools like Social Media Tracker and Social Media Poster, which automate your social media scheduling routine and help to track our competitors’ activities and performance across various social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest), in 2020, Semrush released two new products:
- For keeping your analytics and reporting in one place, you can now make use of the newest Social Media Analytics tool that reflects your performance metrics (new follows, post reach, engagement, and engagement rate) for Facebook and Instagram.
- To facilitate your social media advertising efforts, another fresh Social Media Ads tool will allow you to create, air, and manage ads across the whole Facebook family, including Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and the Audience Network platforms right from within Semrush. As Semrush promised, no more complex settings, only performance-driven ads that will give you a tangible competitive advantage.
Semrush: Content Marketing & Advertising Toolkits
While I’ve mentioned the key 2020 Semrush updates, of course, guys there at Semrush do way more tweaks and minor changes to each tool and product.
So, I will not be going into the nitty-gritty of each update. However, I should mention that I’ve left out two extremely powerful toolkits – Advertising and Content Marketing.
With a lot of smaller improvements, I believe that the core idea behind each toolkit remains to be unchanged:
- Semrush’s Content Marketing platform is a unique phenomenon among other digital marketing tools, as it covers the entire workflow for crafting highly relevant and top-quality content, that’s meeting both SEO and users’ needs.
With this platform, you can discover trending content ideas, headlines, and questions (for SERP feature optimization); create SEO-friendly copies or briefs that are tuned for SERP success; keep track of content performance; and conduct a thorough audit of existing content assets.
- Semursh’s Advertising toolkit is also designed as a one-stop-shop for creating Google Ads campaigns. From conducting thorough competitive research and exploring your rivals’ campaigns to finding the best and most efficient keywords, the toolkit has tools that can amplify and bring higher CPC and ROI from your PPC, PLA, and Display Advertising campaigns.
Given that 2020 was an insane year, full of challenges and obstacles, I believe Semrush has done an incredible job at keeping up with its best-in-class and innovative all-in-one digital marketing platform status.
In 2020, their tools become even stronger and bring more value, so if you think of it as a suite that covers the functionality of tens of other tools and does it often better than anyone else, the new package redesign and pricing increase comes as no surprise.
In my turn, I know that guys working there only bring more updates and valuable features and tools each year, so I’m looking forward to seeing which amazing products we’ll be seeing in 2021, so I have my sleeves rolled up to experiment and try out new awesome Semrush features!