Your job as a content marketer is tough.
You have to get so many parts of the puzzle right – select the topics people are interested in, select the correct format for the content piece, and then create something interesting and relevant.
And your work doesn’t end after this process.
Next, you need to make sure the right people find your content through search and social media.
And even if you go that far, your work isn’t done yet, then you need to turn readers into at least warm leads, but hopefully new clients.
The last thing you need is 78 million different technology tools to do your job. Many content marketers are turning to Semrush because they are a set of tools that work together on a single platform.
This not only means less to learn and manage, but you also get a more accurate picture of your content.
Because all the data (social media, SEO, views, clicks, and everything else under the sun) is shared with the other tools.
What exactly is Semrush?
First of all, Semrush is an SEO optimization tool. But it is also much more.
One of the best features of the tool is that it is organized into toolkits: SEO, advertising, social media, content marketing, competitive research, and management, depending on their role.
This makes perfect sense to us and is one of our favorite parts of the tool.
Let’s face it: what you need from him as a content marketer is different than what someone in advertising might need.
So instead of trying to figure out which sections are important to you, you can simply go to the Content Marketing Toolkit and get to work.
Because Semrush does so many different things, it can be a bit overwhelming. Okay, a lot overwhelming.
So we decided to dig deeper and create a guide that gives you the information you need to do your job as a content marketer.
And because we know you need to focus on getting things done, we’ve organized the guide based on your to-do list.
Then let’s get started.
Open Semrush, login, and then select the Content Marketing Toolkit from the menu in the upper left corner. You will then be in the Content Marketing Toolkit tool panel.
Discovering the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Current Content
There is no use in starting to create more content.
You must first understand what you have done well and how you can improve what you are already sharing with your audience. You can often improve your results with a few simple adjustments to your current content.
So don’t rush through this part to get to what you think is “the good stuff” – great content starts with understanding where you are today.
But this part of the process is not just about getting information.
Semrush helps you make changes like update, merge or delete pages.
The Semrush content analyzer has two tools: content auditing and post tracking, to help you determine your starting point.
The Content Audit reviews all of your existing content and informs you of the current status of your SEO and content along with recommendations of what is good, bad, and what needs to be fixed.
With Post Tracking, you can configure the tool to monitor posts from now on and notify you of changes.
Using Content Audit
To get started, click on the Content Audit menu item in the upper left corner.
Then enter your domain name and click the Start Audit button.
Pro Tips: Connect your Google Analytics account to Semrush right from the start. This dramatically increases the amount of information you can get about your pages.
Semrush generates a content map of your domain and displays it.
Select all the URLs you want to audit and then click the Start Audit button. You can also export the results to a spreadsheet by clicking the Export XLSX button.
The dashboard has two views, Sessions and Page Views, which you can change by clicking the button at the top.
“Sessions” refers to the amount of time a user is on your site, while “Pageviews” is the number of pages they visit during that time.
A long session time with a low number of page views obviously shows that a visitor spent a lot of time on your site without jumping too much.
But a large number of pages in a short time indicates that they did not find what they wanted or that the content of each page did not appeal to them.
Use the filters at the top of the page to change the information displayed on the dashboard.
By playing with parameters such as Words (number of words in content), Subfolders (location on your site to search), Sessions, Pageviews, and Advanced Filters, you can customize the information that is displayed.
These allow you to configure custom content sets so that you can view the information in the format most useful to you.
And we almost forgot about Advanced Analytics. It is not as elegant as it seems. This feature also allows you to sort by shares, backlinks, bounce rates, search queries, content refresh, status code, and tags.
Semrush also has a new feature called Content Sets, where you can view the pages based on the actions you need to take, such as rewriting/deleting, updating, or reviewing content.
Review the results of your content audit. Don’t be angry or happy with just one result. Instead, look for general patterns.
For example, are session times short? Then you need to create more engaging content or make sure your keywords are relevant.
Are you low on backlinks? Next, you need to prioritize a process to actively search for more backlinks from companies with high SEO and page views.
Do you have some pages that everyone seems to love? Then write more about those topics.
Using Post Tracking
Post Tracking allows you to proactively track what is happening with up to 50 different pages of content from now on.
You can also set up email notifications to get daily updates on the specific posts you set up to track.
If you’re not sure which posts to follow, don’t overthink it. It’s best to prioritize posts that cover new types of content or topics, or pages that are currently underperforming.
Many companies keep track of all new posts for a short period of time.
And yes, if you are using all 50 pages, you can delete a page and start crawling a new one at any time.
It’s very easy to do this: just copy the URL into the text box and click Add Article; the statistics will appear.
To learn more about social shares, click on the column and you will see a breakdown of the shares on each platform.
Use this information to learn more about where your users are and the type of content to share on each platform.
And if you want to be super stealthy, you can use this feature to monitor competitors with successful content marketing to find out what they are doing right.
Pro Tip: Check your editorial calendar and monitor competitors’ posts on the same topics to see where they are strong and what opportunities they are missing.
For example, if another company is kicking its tail in the content game, you can crawl its content to see what types of content and keywords are getting the best results.
Then make adjustments to your own content to help your posts perform even better.
On the other hand, if you see areas where your competitors are weak, that means you should increase your efforts on those topics because it can easily take away some of your audience.
And more importantly, you may gain new readers and hopefully customers.
You can also use this information to see exactly who shares your posts, especially those that Semrush displays are very far-reaching.
You can see your social media identifiers, share your content, number of posts, and number of followers.
Then you can reach out to these influencers for other opportunities.
- Use Post Tracking for new campaigns, especially in the first few days. You can see what works and what doesn’t, so you can correct the course before your boss notices.
- Think outside of your own blog. Use Post Tracking to monitor guest posts your business makes on other sites, as well as sponsored content. This gives you immediate results so you can make adjustments, like promoting more on social media or buying a paid ad.
Come up with Awesome Ideas for Content
It’s easy to get caught up in the details of keywords and social media, especially when you’re trying to create the perfect content.
But honestly, the cornerstone of content marketing starts with writing about things your audience cares about, the things that keep them up at night.
If you miss the mark on the subject, it all goes downhill from there and you can’t really recover.
Unlike many SEO tools, Semrush uses data collected from everything else related to your site (social shares, keywords, audience information) to generate new ideas to share.
Content marketers using the tool for SEO only are missing out on one of its best features: generating ideas.
Return to the Content Marketing Platform dashboard and click the Search for a topic icon. In the Search for a topic field, enter your topic.
For example, if you are a real estate agent, you may want to search for “buy a home.” Then you can add new content to attract people looking for a new home to your site.
Semrush will display many different ideas based on current trending topics in the last 60 days.
Don’t worry about having to remember or write down which ideas you like – just click the Add to Favorites icon on any topic idea to the far right of the suggestion.
Then whenever you want to see your favorites, just click on the Favorites tab. They are all nice and organized for when you are ready to create your editorial calendar.
No more sticky notes or trying to read your own handwriting.
And you can even export your Favorites tab to an XLS file so you can look brilliant in front of your coworkers with very little effort.
Now let’s go back to looking at all the different ideas shown.
You have many options for reviewing information that can translate into your next brilliant content.
You can use Cards, Explorer, Overview, or Mind Map views. Since different presentations can inspire you, we recommend that you see the results of each search in all the different views.
You can further limit your ideas by entering country, region, city, and language information.
We struck a fine balance in narrowing the search enough to get specific results without narrowing it down that you don’t get good ideas.
Unless you’re really only targeting a small area, we recommend that you use only the language and country settings. , if applicable.
We found the Explorer view to be less inspiring because it only lists the top topics. And while the Mind Map view is pretty to look at, it was more difficult to turn it into actionable content.
However, you should review them yourself and not just take our opinion. But we like, no, we love, both the Chart and Overview views.
Let’s start with the Cards view.
We’re huge fans of sticky notes, so it’s no wonder we were instantly drawn to this view.
You’ll see a bunch of cards listed with different subtopics for your search term.
If you don’t like a card and know you will never use it, click the ellipsis at the top right of the card and select Discard this card, and then it will be gone forever.
When you click on a card, you can see the top headlines, questions, and related searches for each one. Click on the link and you can see the content. Or click the Favorites icon and you are directed to your Favorites view.
Pro Tip: If you want to visit a competitor’s site, enter the URL in the Search content area of the domain field, and then click Get content ideas. You will find that the cards for the topics with one of the top 100 ranking keywords for that domain are now colored green.
The Overview view is somewhat similar to the Cards view, so we probably like it.
At the top of the page, you’ll see the top 10 headlines per backlink and 10 interesting questions, which really piqued our creative juices.
At first, we only used these lists to create new content ideas. Then we realized that we were missing some super useful information.
By looking at the top 10 headlines, you can see what kind of headlines your particular audience is targeting.
For example, some audiences may love Top X Tips while others get higher clicks for humorous headlines.
In both the Overview view and the cards, you can sort by the following:
- Volume: It is the number of times the keyword is searched per month.
- Difficulty: This percentage tells you how difficult it is to compete organically. A high percentage means that it is more difficult to classify. If you are looking for low fruit, use this view to search for keywords with a lower percentage so that you can more easily improve your SEO for those keywords.
- Theme Efficiency: Check out this metric for the relationship between volume and difficulty. We found the Topic Efficiency ranking to be the most useful because topics with a high-efficiency score meant they had a high volume of searches, but a lower difficulty. These themes were often the best value equivalent and a great place to start.
Now that you’ve done all of these audits and reviews of your own site, you should do the same for your competitors. The fancy term for this is gap analysis.
But what it really means is figuring out what keywords they rank for, but you’re missing out.
Once you’ve identified these opportunities, you can review your content and keywords to improve your ranking.
Find the Right Keywords to Target
You know that keywords are important. But it can take a long time to find the right ones.
Many other tools give you keyword data, but even then the information can be overwhelming.
If you have a very small or even small advertising budget, you can use Semrush to improve your organic traffic through better keywords.
Semrush offers two different keyword tools: Keyword Overview and Keyword Magic.
Not surprisingly, the Keyword Overview gives you a fabulous but high-level report on specific keywords or a specific domain.
On the other hand, Keyword Magic gets to the heart of the matter with its database of 9.4 billion keywords.
Start with the Keyword Overview Tool, enter your keyword in the field, and click Search. You will then see your report, which includes very useful overview information, including:
- Volume: The average number of times the word was searched each month.
- Number: How many URLs are returned in a search for the keyword.
- Trend: A measure of interest in the word over the past year.
We especially found ad copy that high-ranking sites have placed on search engines and social media to be helpful, both for viewing ad results and for understanding what makes ad copy compelling.
And if you want to use the copy for inspiration, you can export the ads to a document format.
Pro Tip: Use this report if you have a specific keyword you want to target and you know you need to rank.
This gives you the basic information you need to make some high-level strategic decisions.
And for most content marketers, honestly, the Keyword Overview tool is pretty likely.
Keyword Magic Tool
We may fall in love with this tool just because of the name. And what content marketing doesn’t want magic when it comes to keywords?
Well, it lacks a bit of magic, but it is easy to use and provides the exact information you need to increase your SEO for specific keywords with three different types of match reports. (Well now that I write it, that pretty much qualifies as magic)
- Wide match: Shows all ideas and shapes for the seed keyword, but not in order. If you want a lot of keywords, use this report.
- Phrase match: Only returns the exact form as the initial keyword, which means that if you search for a word with -ing, such as swimming, you will only get keywords with -ing. However, there is no order for the keywords.
- Exact match: When you know what you want, use this report – you will get the same form and order. This is a narrower and shorter report.
- Related: This fourth option allows you to see keywords that are similar to yours. Use this option when looking for inspiration.
Be sure to click the Questions tab to see the questions related to the keywords.
Hopefully, these will spark new ideas for content topics.
We also love the List feature, which allows you to easily save reports and come back to edit and modify the data.
Write Great SEO Content
While the idea is crucial, it is only the beginning. Your next challenge is to create a piece of content that is interesting and beneficial to your audience, while also helping you achieve high SEO rankings.
Semrush helps you strike the fine balance of proper keyword usage naturally and authentically by providing SEO content templates.
Begin by going to the Marketing Content Panel and then clicking on the Write an Article icon. Enter the topic in the Enter keywords field and click Create SEO Template.
Although the amount of information returned can be overwhelming, pay particular attention to the information at the top of the screen:
- Semantically related words: Use these words that are similar to your keyword in your text to improve readability and SEO.
- Backlinks: See what backlinks other sites are getting. This can be valuable when it comes to increasing your search rankings and is not included in all SEO tools.
- Readability: This metric is less useful than the others. It tells you the readability score of your competitors. Use this to make sure yours is at least in the same range, but hopefully better.
- Text length: Content marketers love to debate the ideal text length for articles. It seems that the recommendation is always changing. But this field tells you exactly what length to make your article based on the topic and other similar articles for the best SEO and readability. No more guessing required.
You are not alone after using this information to write your first draft.
Copy your text to the Faster Content Checker tab in real-time and Semrush checks your content using keywords and metrics for your theme and high-performing pieces for your keywords.
The tool provides detailed information on all aspects of your content.
For example, you can see how your title performs against other pieces, as well as how it compares to the ideal paragraph length.
Pro Tip: Because tone is key to engaging an audience, carefully watch your tone of voice compared to your competitors. We especially like the online help for this section because it rates the tone on a scale of casual, neutral, and formal.
Improving Your SEO
While the Content Marketing Dashboard is great for new content, you already have a ton of content on your site. And you can’t start over.
By using key parts of the SEO Toolkit, you can make improvements to your SEO that dramatically help increase the number of eyeballs viewing your content.
At first, we found the SEO Toolkit a bit overwhelming because there are so many options and so many details.
So let’s point out some features that we think are most useful for content marketers.
Track Your Position
The first is position tracking. We like to see results and, more importantly, we want to show tangible results to our boss.
From the SEO Toolkit, click Position Tracking, enter your domain name and click Settings.
Follow the prompts to enter your domain, location, keywords to track, and competitors.
Take a few minutes to review the information. You need to know where you are today
By looking at trends as you make improvements and changes to your SEO, with both new and existing content, you can see what works and what changes don’t really make a difference to new and existing content.
For example, you may notice that keyword articles on summer sandals are trending high. If so, you may be inspired to create a series of blog posts on different topics related to summer sandals.
Get Help Building Links
As content marketers, we focus on creating cool stuff and making it SEO-friendly.
But it’s very easy to forget the importance of link building with all the focus on keywords.
It’s a simple step that can make a big difference to your SEO.
We got really excited when we first saw the Link Building tool because it takes the guesswork out and makes it very simple for us.
Once in the Link Building tool, enter your domain and click the Build Links button.
Then enter the keywords and URLs of your competitors.
After processing, which in our opinion took too long, Semrush showed specific domains with which it would be good to develop relationships to build links that would increase SEO.
We found the organized list of domains for linking to be very helpful and easy to use.
And the options on the right side of the page helped us organize and track our actions. You can then contact the suggested websites and request backlinks.
And if you want more, just add more keywords by clicking on Keywords.
Discover the Competitor Intel
You are not only competing with your competitors for customers, you are directly competing for keywords and ranking. Therefore, it is very important to know how they are performing and in which keywords they have a strength.
The SEO Toolkit lets you know where you can sneak in and get ahead, adding content for a keyword they are not currently ranked for. Semrush tells you the keywords, you just need to write the content.
Semrush gives you insider information on your competitors in all areas and provides you with information on its own site.
But that’s too much to start with. Therefore, we recommend focusing on gathering information from one or two competitors to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
A Final Word
Semrush is a great tool. But it is just that, just a tool.
As much as we wish it to be true, using Semrush alone will not improve your content marketing. It is up to you and your team to use the results to improve your SEO and ultimately your content.
By using Semrush, you have the information and the address. Now it is up to you to take the next step.