In today’s article, I’m going to be digging into at least three things that you should do with your 14-day SEMRush trial. By the end of this article, you’re going to have a clear understanding of what a successful SEMRush trial would mean for you and your business. Let’s go ahead and jump into SEMRush.
The first thing you would want to do once you create your SEMRush account is plugging your domain URL into the domain overview tab. This is going to be on the left-hand side of your SEMRush account under competitive research. The reason why you want to do this is because it’ll give you a stronger understanding of what you’re doing well, as well as what you could be doing better.
Now that we have our domain in here, for our example today, we’re going to be using a website that I reviewed a few years ago with SEMRush tutorials, which is girlswhostem.com. This is an affiliate website for girl product reviews around STEM education. And so what we’re going to do is we’re going to plug them in and take a look at what’s been going on with this website.
The first thing you want to look at in your SEMRush account
The first thing you want to look at when you’re in the domain overview section is what is the trend line or what are some of the trends that I see about my website. In this situation, I see that Girls Who STEM are going through a downward phase in terms of their organic traffic. In fact, if I look at the all time charts, I can see that they really came onto the scene and around 2019 or so, but they’ve been in a steady downtrend ever since. This to me would be alarming because what it would mean is that I’m probably being penalized by Google in some capacity.
But digging a little bit deeper, I can also look at the trend line in terms of organic keywords. You can see how in this peak of this particular website, I was ranking for as much as 7,700 keywords, but now that’s all the way down to around 613 keywords. So this website has seen some serious volatility in terms of the last few years.
And that might be reflective of some of the strategies that this website took on. But what you want to look at when you look at your own website is what is the trend? Is the organic traffic in the last six months or a year up into the right, is it flatlined or as potentially going downhill. In this situation, if I were the owner of girlswhostem.com, I would be alarmed because this would mean that my website is dying. In the case where your website is flatline, it might be a situation in which you don’t have enough content that’s new on your page, that’s really giving meaningful juice to potentially ranking on new keywords.
And in the case where you are going up into the right, it’s likely because your content strategy is working and you should keep doing what you’re doing. So right off the bat, the first thing you’re going to want to do is look at the domain overview section. And these are the sorts of questions you’re going to want to ask yourself.
What is your authority score?
As you dig in a little bit deeper, though, what you also want to look at is what is your authority score because this plays a huge factor in terms of how high your website ranks in Google for your particular niche and the clusters of keywords that you might be targeting. So in this situation with an authority score of 35, it’s not the worst, but it’s also not the best either.
If you are in the situation where you find yourself with an authority score of maybe 15 or less then what you should focus on is building backlinks because it means that Google doesn’t have enough clarity in terms of you as an authority for your respective niche. In the case where you’re a little bit higher up, maybe you are between 16 and 35 or so this is the case where you still want to be building backlinks, but you also want to be building new content.
And then in the case where it even higher than that, it likely means that you actually have a decently authoritative site. And again, it’s all about building backlinks, but it’s also going to be a situation in which you’re going to find it a lot easier to rank quicker because Google has already recognized you as an authoritative source in your respective niche. So depending on where you’re at in your authority score, that’s going to dictate the sort of SEO strategy that you take for your respective website.
What’s your backlink section look like?
The other thing you want to look at is the backlink section. In this backlink section, you’re going to get a lot of detail in terms of what is going on for your particular site. In this situation, I can see that from the 1000 or so backlinks that only 330 of them are actually do-follow links whereas the remainder all no-followings. No followings don’t really give you any meaningful SEO juice. So to me, if I were the owner of this website, what this would signal to me is that I need a stronger backlink-building strategy because only about 30% or 33% or so of my backlinks are actually do-follow links.
If you can, try to get that percentage up, maybe 50% or higher being do-follow links. You do not want no followings to be the bulk of your backlink strategy, because it means that it’s literally not giving any meaningful SEO juice to your respective website. What’s nice as you go through this domain overview tab though, is that it gives you a holistic picture and understanding of what your website is doing well in as well as what your website is not doing as well in.
So in this situation, for example, I can see that this website has done really well in terms of getting text-based backlinks, but not so well in terms of some of the other kinds of backlinks. Similarly, when I am looking through the index pages, I can see the sort of pages that have gotten the most backlinks as opposed to other pages that are not as popular.
And the reason why this is helpful is because it will clue you in as to in your content strategy what is the most helpful content that you’re creating that you should double down on? So in this particular example, I can see that the best STEM organizations for girls and women has been a massive backlink builder for this particular site because it’s gotten over 324 backlinks, whereas something that is a little bit less successful would be the girls in stem scholarship. But if I go ahead and go into the view detail section, I can actually look at some of the pages that have gotten very few backlinks, such as the contact form, which obviously hasn’t gotten all that much traction.
The first thing you want to do in your SEMRush trial is look at your own domain. This will give you a high-level understanding of exactly what you’re doing well, as well as what you could be doing better.
Once you’ve taken a look at what your domain is doing really well in, as well as some potential areas of growth, it’s now time to really dig into the meat and potatoes of SEMRush, which is the competitor research tab.
Digging into SEMRush’s competitor research tab
This is where you’re going to be able to find all sorts of different tactics that your competitors might be doing really well as well as just figure out exactly where you should go next in your content strategy. So to get to the competitor research tab, you’re going to go to the left-hand side and then you’re going to go into your domain and look at who your nearest search competitors are.
Now, something you need to remember here is that your search competitors aren’t necessarily your direct competitors in the case where you’re running a full-on business, that might be like a product business or a B2B SaaS business and things like that. But it will give you a sense of an understanding in terms of what other websites are trying to rank for the same keywords as you.
So in this situation, I can look at this competitive positioning map and I can see that a few of the websites that are potentially interesting to me are stemforher.org, jerseystem.org, stemlikeagirl.org and STEM for All Foundation. So if I want to go ahead and look at this chart, I can see where I respectively rank across all of these different websites. And what I can also do is I can go to the main organic competitor section and click view details. So this is where you’re going to see a competitive matrix in terms of who are some of the websites that are doing really similar work to you.
And in this situation, what I can see is that one of my competitors is stemlikeagirl.org. So, if I want to click into this site, I can see a little bit more about what this website’s all about. You can see here, how this is all about explore, pursuit, engage. It’s a certificate program it looks like, and it’s essentially helping in terms of promoting STEM programs, I’m assuming, for women.
If I go to the about us page, I can learn a little bit more here and you can see here it’s all about promoting education awareness among girls and young women to launch STEM-related careers which is very, very similar to what this particular website that I’ve been imagining that I am the owner of cares about. So in this situation, what I can do is I can actually go ahead and just click into this particular domain in SEMRush, and it’s going to pull up that domain in SEMRush.
And then what you can do is you can actually go into the position section to see exactly what this particular site is ranking really well for. So in this situation, you can see that they’re actually ranking really well for their own branded phrase, which is STEM for Her. And you’ll also see that they’re ranking well, for things like Girls in STEM organization, STEM Volunteer Opportunities and so on. So what you’re going to want to do is you’re going to want to run through three to five of your competitors and take a look at what is giving them the greatest percentage of traffic to their website.
In this situation, you can see that STEM for Her is making up 48% or so of all the traffic to this website. Now, granted, this website is not highly trafficked, so it doesn’t mean nearly as much there. But what you can do is you can actually also go back into the competitor section and you can look for some of the folks that might have a larger amount of traffic like I have this guy, which is womenandstem.org. If I click into that, I can see that the organic traffic is 1.4K, which is greater than the original website that I’m looking at.
And then what I can do is I can go to the position section and I can see how in this situation, this is the complete opposite of the chart of the site that I’m looking at in that it’s going up into the right. And what I can do is I can see that these are some of the keywords that they are ranking really well for. Women in STEM, what is we STEM, women in STEM, different derivatives of that mentor girls in STEM. So you can see that these are some of the phrases that they’re ranking really well for.
Digging into SEMRush’s analysis research tab
When you’re digging into this competitive analysis phase, what I want you to do is I want you to filter down based off of some different search parameters. So if, for example, you want to look at what’s giving them the most traffic, you’re typically going to want to isolate four positions, one through five, keyword volume of at least a hundred or more because that’ll signal things that are a little bit more important to them. And then you can also look at keyword difficulty maybe below 50 or so. And that’ll give you a good starting block in terms of keywords.
So you can see that here, these would be some of the words that I would potentially start thinking about forming content around. I would think about things like how can I work in the phrase, mentor girls in STEM in a particular long form article or resource guide, or how might I create a piece of content around women in STEM clubs and that sort of nature. So these are the sorts of questions that I would ask myself as I’m digging through the organic research section of SEMRush.
All right. So at this point, we’ve gone over the domain overview section and we’ve also gone over at a high level, what you would do in the competitive research section and looking up your organic competitors.
Digging into SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool
But for the third step, we’re going to do with our SEMRush trial is we’re going to start digging into the Keyword Magic Tool and take a look at how we might come up with some new phrases to go after in our content strategy.
For the third thing we’re going to do with our SEMRush trial we’re going to go to the left-hand side and go into the Keyword Magic Tool. And the Keyword Magic Tool is where we’re going to start searching for particular phrases that might relate to the sort of content that we’re creating. So in this case, I might search for women in STEM and I need to spell properly, but essentially what will happen is when I typed that in, you can see how the Keyword Magic Tool is going to give me insights in terms of the sorts of keywords that are connected to this particular phrase that I’ve searched for.
So the first thing that I like to do is I usually like to filter down in terms of keyword difficulty. So what I’m going to do for the sake of this article is because my website only has a domain authority of 35 or so I’m going to look at only things that are easy and you’ll see that SEMRush to find easiest, anything below 30 in terms of keyword difficulty.
The next thing I’m going to do is I’m going to filter out by keywords that have at least a hundred volume to a thousand because it’s going to be the longtail phrases that may not be nearly as competitive as some of the other ones that are more highly trafficked. And so what that’ll do is it’ll filter me down to 16 keywords that potentially are really good fits for me to start to think about content around.
And this is where you’re going to want to start to cherry-pick some of these things and then brainstorm how you might be able to create valuable content around these phrases. So in this situation, for example, what you can see is that the Hyundai women and STEM scholarship is a really easy keyword to rank for.
It gets about 210 monthly searches, and you can see how for the most part it’s study throughout the year, it has some spikes in the first half of the year, but then it kind of flatlines out for the remainder of the year. So what this would mean for me is that I could actually just search for this particular phrase, and if I were to do so, what that would do is it would tell me, you know, exactly what sort of content is ranking really well for this particular long-tail phrase.
So maybe there’s something in which I could create some content around how to best apply for this particular scholarship or something else there. But what I might also do is I might also look into some of these other keywords here to see what sort of content I might be able to create for my particular niche.
In this situation as well, remember that my website is Girls Who STEM so what I’m going to do is I’m going to just search girls in stem, and then I’m going to see what comes up here.
And so here you can see that there’s stem toys for girls, stem gifts for girls, brown stem girl, stem girl LGBTQ like these are the sorts of things that are getting search phrases that are really easy to rank for. So assuming that I’ve gone ahead and created a backlog of content ideas in terms of potentially answering questions, as well as potentially answering how to guides or resources that might be useful for folks, what I can do next is I can expand out my search to 30 to 50 or so, which is going to show a little bit more difficult keywords to rank for, but potentially expand out the breadth of my scope. So what I’m doing as I go through this Keyword Magic Tool is I’m trying to identify clusters of keywords that go well together.
And then I’m also trying to identify a multi-stage strategy to start to rank for different keywords, but notice how I begin with the very easy keywords. And then I kind of gradually mature upwards into the harder keywords. Another tip that I’ll tell you when you’re using the Keyword Magic Tool is that you can check out this question section to find out what sort of things are people asking in a lot of people also ask snippets. People also ask snippets are great because it’s often a really easy way for you to rank for some low-hanging fruit in organic research.
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