Organic rankings are a hallmark of any well-established site, effortlessly leading to free and targeted traffic .
Great, isn’t it? However, reaching there, at the top of SERP featured results, requires meticulous planning. Simply flooding your website with content that is loaded with meaningless keywords will, in all probability, not get you anywhere. What you really need is a keyword research tool to strategically find the right keywords to rank for as well as generate positive ROI.
Luckily, there are quite a few tools in the market that can be employed for both traditional keyword research as well as competitor based keyword research. Today, we will discuss one of the popular and effective keyword research tools – SEMrush – which was one of the first competitor-based keyword research tools to emerge.
What is SEMrush?
SEMrush is a tool that helps you find profitable keywords. SEMrush is a versatile platform that identifies a variety of keywords, performs SEO audit on your page and even checks rankings and back links apart from identifying the different trends in your vertical.
SEMrush offers website analysis tools and research reports that can help you effectively optimize your market research and SEO. According to their website, the SEMrush database has information on over 300 million keywords and 400 million domains, worldwide.
What does SEMrush do?
Whether you are a business owner who wants to analyze your competitors’ SEO strategy or are a blogger looking for the right keywords to draw more traffic, SEMrush can help you achieve your marketing objectives through a single platform.
SEMrush offers several features, including:
- Keyword Research
- Site Audit
- Keyword Ranking
- Backlink Source
- Site Positioning
- Content Creation with Keyword
- Competitive Analysis
How to Use SEMrush tool to supercharge your online presence?
SEMrush offers a plethora of features to its users helping boost their online presence significantly over the years. Among other things, you can carry out the following functions with SEMrush, providing invaluable data to boost your online presence:
- Discover your competitors and the top competitors in your niche
- Find out the top keywords your competitors are ranking for
- Determine where your competitors are getting their backlinks from
- Find the right keywords to use for your pages, products and blogs
- Track your keywords and monitor their Google search position
- Find which companies are paying for PPC ads based on your keywords
In short, SEMrush helps you discover your competitors’ top ranking pages and what keywords they are ranking for – priceless insights that you can use to boost your online presence by optimizing your content for those keywords.
Use advanced Filters to ‘filter out’ relevant keywords
SEMrush can be used to conduct market research and competitive analyses on a website’s closest competition on the SERPs. Of the many available tools on the platform, Organic Research under Domain Analytics will help you discover your rivals in organic results on Google, what keywords they are ranking for, how their positions within Google have changed over time and which SERP Features are they performing the best in. The tool also enables you to check which pages on their site draw maximum organic traffic, including data on sub domains and specific URLs.
To make the results easy to comprehend and more relevant to your business, SEMrush provides Advanced Filters that allow users to reduce the keyword list and only show keywords that matter to them. Advanced Filters such as keyword difficulty, traffic percentage, cost percentage, number of words, SERP features, etc. help users find the keywords they are looking for without wasting time and energy.
12 Great Reasons to use “SERP Features” filter to Influence Featured Results
Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) are constantly evolving. Today, SERPs are dominated by all kinds of information or SERP Features, such as local packs, sitelinks, image carousels and featured snippets, enabling the users to find the information they need quickly, without clicking on any website link.
In light of the above, SEMrush introduced SERP features section some time back. The option is available in the Organic Research Reports and allows you to see the percentage of keywords that trigger the SERP features listed in the search results.
Most business owners would agree that the widget is an invaluable addition as SERP features are getting increasingly popular and can direct more traffic to your page credibly.
To get featured, you can check your business’ current keywords (if any) appearing in the relevant feature by following this step in SEMrush:
Organic Research > Position > Advanced Filter > Apply *Required Filter
In the screenshot below, we have checked the keywords for featured snippets:
Upon clicking each of the keywords, you will see the related, phrase keywords in a separate window. You can analyze those keywords and include them in your content strategy while writing similar topics next time as well as you can re-structure your current content for which you are already appearing in featured snippets.
The SERP features in SEMrush cover the following 12 features:
The Knowledge Graph is located on the top of the page as a separate box, providing structured information to users searching for factual data (celebrity, brand, place, etc.). For example, if you search for Steve Jobs, the Knowledge Graph will show brief information about him, including his date of birth, a short bio, images and links to websites where you can get more detailed information about him.
Knowledge graphs make it easier for users to find information through SERPs without clicking on any websites. While top organic positions are always valuable, for branded keywords, having a knowledge graph could lend more credibility to your website.
To help Google recognize your company and generate a knowledge graph for you, use the following tips:
- Optimize your content for potential search queries related to your vertical
- Get A Wikipedia Entry For Your Business
- Use schema to tag appropriate elements of your website
- Get your business on local listings
- Have an active Google Plus page
- Increase online exposure through online PRs as well as guest blogs
A Featured Snippet appears on the top of a SERP and gives a summarized answer to the query and a link to the website from which the information was derived. Featured snippets provide link backs to the source and can be considered advantageous for positioning your website directly above the top ranking website in SERP.
To be featured:
- Use the SERP features widget to check whether your website already has any Featured Snippets
- Next, optimize your website content by creating a separate page for each targeted question
- Structure your content properly
- Use ‘how to’, ‘what’ kind of headings and sub-headings
- Use proper heading tags in content
- Avoid big paragraphs
- Use ordered and un-ordered list when highlighting sub-points
- You must also include an FAQ section in your website’s content.
Instant answers are similar to the featured snippet but do not provide links to any third-party source.
Follow these tips to optimize for Google’s answer box:
- Create quality content on a topic that’s interesting for your users
- Structure the page properly, keeping user experience in mind
- Optimize content for ‘how to’ queries by creating structured lists and using the term ‘how to’ where relevant.
- Implement theme-relevant cross-linking and basic on-page optimization.
A local pack highlights three local results, including their business name, address, phone number and ratings, in response to local-related queries, such as, “Top florist in New York”
A local pack, thus, can lead real customers to your site, considering most people looking for local contacts don’t really want to visit the website – they are simply looking for contact numbers and reviews.
To be featured in the local pack:
- Optimize your content for local searches
- List your business in local directories
- Create a page in Google’s My Business Page
The News feature is very helpful if your keyword or domain is very popular. It allows users to see news listings within the SERP, providing the users a quick and easy way to find relevant information they are looking for.
Read this informative article on how to optimize your page for Google news.
Having images attached to your keywords is an effective strategy to boost your online presence. The images section in the SERP feature widget lays out the results for image listings within the SERP.
The Carousel feature differs from the abovementioned image feature in the sense that clicking on an image in the Carousel will take you to a new Google search result page for the selected image.
Videos are of two types – Featured videos and video listings that are simply videos that show up in your result. Just like images, the popularity of videos has increased, and can effectively boost your online ranking.
If any of the keywords on your domain links back to a video, the SERP will feature that video at the top of the results. These videos are known as Featured Videos.
Tweets are links from Twitter that are listed in SERPs. With social media getting bigger and bigger, Google now tracks tweets in its SERP features and SEMrush’s SERP features will tell you whether your domain has keywords linking back to Twitter.
When someone searches for a particular domain, Google may show an expanded pack with up to 10 site links dominating the SERP. Site links generally appear for sites that drive a large amount of traffic. They help users quickly get to the page they are looking for.
There isn’t much you can do to have Google feature your site links, but the following practices can help:
- Build a simple, well-planned, easy to navigate website
- Create a sitemap
- Use Schema.org
- Ensure there are no broken links on your site
Reviews are featured for commercial businesses, lending a lot of credibility to your site. Google supports customer reviews for commercial websites by adding them to the company’s Google listing. In general, your ‘star rating’ and number of reviews are directly located under your website link on the SERP. Your web developer can help you embed Google Reviews on your website.
As Google continues to make the SERP feature rich, users can find different elements on the page, depending on what they are looking for. To stay on top of their game, business owners need to constantly track these changes and analyze their online marketing strategies to adapt to these changes. The SEMrush SERP features widget is a handy tool for the purpose – showing you the percentage of a website’s keywords triggering various features.
How does the Related search queries help you determine semantic & co-occurrence keywords?
SEMrush provides another powerful feature to boost your online ranking by helping you leverage semantic and co-occurring keywords. In fact, with the evolution of semantics and voice search, many people think that keywords are no longer important for page optimization. While that couldn’t be farther from the truth, there is no denying that single-keyword optimization is old hat now.
Google’s job is to return the most relevant results to each and every user. Thus, Google’s algorithms rely on clusters of words that commonly occur together in relation to a certain subject, in order to understand user-intent and deliver accurate results.
Thus, in order to rank better, instead of focusing on keywords, you need to focus on topics, especially the conversational value of the content. This brings into the picture the concept of co-occurrence or semantics that is nothing but logical and good writing. With co-occurrence, Google simply looks for relevant keywords that have been used with contextually relevant synonyms instead of repeatedly harping on the same keyword.
Of or relating to meaning, especially meaning in language.
Of, relating to, or according to the science of semantics
With SEMrush, you can use the keyword research tool to find the most relevant word combinations for your keywords in terms of search volume. Here, once you type the keyword you are searching for, you will find two kinds of results – phrase match report and related keywords report.
Now you can use these reports to make use of related topics and semantically connected words to make your content more relevant to the users as well as search-engine friendly. By broadening your keyword research in this manner, you can find related concepts and topics to target, building authority on topics related to your vertical.
However, you must remember that not all of the semantics and related keywords will be good for you and you must rely on judgement and traditional metrics you use for keyword research to decide on their profitability.
Measure your success with Advanced Filters
In order to keep your website well-optimised, you need to continually work on it, keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing to rank higher than you in SERPs, and outdo them effectively.
SEMrush is a handy tool that helps you plan, as well as, measure your success using its several advanced features. Start with keyword analysis on SEMrush to find out your competitors and check what they are doing.
There are several reports such as the Position Changes report that tells you how their keywords have undergone changes and the Keyword Gap report that shows the keywords only your competitor has, which you can effectively use in your content if you somehow missed them out previously. The Keywords Gap report also tells you the keywords your competitors and you have in common.
Organic research is one of the most important features of SEMrush that allows business owners to build effective marketing strategies, after studying their own success as well as their competitors’ in numbers. This is also the part where Advanced Filters come in handy, allowing you to find the keywords your competitors rank higher for than you.
The Advanced Filters are quite intuitive, and allow you to filter huge keyword lists to extract only relevant data without wasting any extra time. Once you have the relevant keywords figured out, it is only a matter of creating rich, logical and user-friendly content to boost your ranking on SERPs.
With the constantly evolving information that bombards the users on SERPs, it is only natural for business owners and digital marketers to continually analyse trends and optimise their domains to stay on top of the game. However, with increasing competition in every field, not many can hope to succeed without embedding in-depth competitor analysis as an important basis of their marketing strategy.
SEMrush is a powerful SEO tool with expansive features that can rev up your marketing strategy. Unlike many other keyword research tools, SEMrush gives you the edge with advanced keyword filtration using parameters such as SERP features, that can help your business stay on top of SERPs, apart from emerging in the various SERP features.
You can start using SEMrush free for 14 days, after which you can subscribe to one of their monthly or annual plans to boost your SEO. For beginners, who might feel lost in the sea of powerful features that the tool offers, there’s an informative blog, too, to get you started with ease.
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