SEMrush Review – Data Accuracy Issues?

semrushIf you have ever wanted to snoop on your competitors and track their keyword positioning, then SEMrush is a quick fix for this. Simply enter their domain name and you will get to see the first 10 results.

But beyond that, is SEMrush worth the $69.95 monthly price tag? Let’s jump into the review and find out!

Review of SEMrush

When I first purchased SEMrush, I was initially interested in learning more about my own competitors and their keyword rankings. SEMrush (at the time) seemed to be the easiest way to access this information. So I joined the Pro level at $69.95 per month.

SEMrush Invoice

The Basic Features

There are a ton of features within SEMrush when you intertwine the basic tools but the core features are the following:

  • Organic Competitor Keyword Research
  • Advertising Competitor Research
  • Backlink Competitor Research

I only used the keyword research feature to learn which keywords they were ranking for. The other features didn’t really interest me since I don’t focus on paid advertising or really care about backlinks.

It really is very easy to use the keyword research feature, simply type in your competitors’ URL and press search. Once the data is ready, it creates an overview dashboard with a bunch of fancy pants graphs and rankings.

SEMrush Review - Dashboard

You can see further details within each section by pressing the full report button. Since I am interested in learning about my competitor, I go for the full keyword ranking report.

SEMrush Review - Full Dashboard

As you can see, the information is easy to read and you can get an idea of your competitor average keyword rankings and the associated URL that is ranking.

Accuracy of Data

One of the biggest issues I ran into is the accuracy of keyword positioning and the number of keywords SEMrush said my competitors were ranking for.

To prove my point, I entered my own domain into SEMrush and the results said that I have 22 keywords ranked in Google. I know that there are a ton more rankings within AffiliateResources.org and to justify this, have a look at my Google Webmaster Tools screenshot.

SEMrush Review - My Google Webmaster Tools

I personally think that this number is more accurate than what SEMrush is telling me since the information is coming from Google Webmaster Tools.

With that said, how can I rely on what SEMrush is saying about my competitors’ rankings since they can’t my own data accurate? I understand that you need to take a grain of salt with these kinds of tools but that is a HUGE difference between the SEMrush and Google Webmaster Tools data.

Trying to Justify the Cost

Once I find out what my competitors’ keyword positions are, I don’t really need SEMrush any longer because I can now export that data and use it as a starting point to outrank them.

So, paying $69.95 beyond a month doesn’t make much sense to me.

Who is SEMrush For?

Primarily SEMrush is suitable for anyone who has a deep need to learn more about their competitors.

If you are an SEO consultant and you want to learn more about your clients’ SEO ranking and any Google Adwords ads they have running, then SEMrush is a good investment because you can essentially pass the membership cost to your client.

Cancel SEMrushCancelling SEMrush

Of course there is no button to cancel your account. You need to email SEMrush give them a variety of information including why you want to cancel. I was a little worried about this, but they had responded to my cancelation email within the same day and cancelled my account.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easy to use core features
  • Nice interface
  • Can export the data
  • There is a limited free version

Cons

  • Data accuracy is questionable
  • No data on smaller sites
  • Need to email them to cancel
  • Advanced features are very complex to use

Does SEMrush Offer Support?

There were a couple of times I needed to contact support and am happy to say that the respond times to my questions were awesome. You can tell that they truly wanted to resolve the issues I was having.

My Final Thoughts on SEMrush

If you want to quickly find out what keywords you competitors are ranking for and don’t mind paying $69.95 for this information, then SEMrush is your solution for this.

I do question the accuracy of the data though since I personally got mixed results between SEMrush and Google Webmaster Tools. If SEMrush wants to chime in on this within the comments below, I invite you to leave your answer here!

SEMrush

$69.95
SEMrush
6.7

Training

7.0/10

Support

7.0/10

Overall Quality

6.0/10

Pros

  • Easy to use core features
  • Can export the data
  • There is a limited free version

Cons

  • Data accuracy is questionable
  • No data on smaller sites
  • Need to email them to cancel

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Jay Neill

Jay is the founder of Affiliate Resources, Inc. and a full time online marketing consultant who helps people get started in the world of affiliate marketing via live weekly training sessions. Read more about how Jay helps people get started online.

Comments (10)

  • Avatar

    Nathaniell

    |

    For myself, I can see that SEMRush’s traffic stats are completely off. I can use it in relation to my own stats to see how it compares, and I can estimate based on that, but the exact numbers are not correct.

    With regards to their keyword ranking, for my own site, the stats are also a month or two behind, sometimes further. They are correct in some of the rankings and accurate as far as keywords go, but it’s not very up to date. I would love a service like this, but $60/month for results I have to investigate further isn’t worth it. I don’t need to spy on my competition that often, and Analytics + Webmaster tools provides enough ranking data if I would ever need that to give to a client.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Jay Neill

      |

      Thanks Nathaniel,
      The one small benefit I see with SEMrush (which I didn’t elaborate that much on) is the Advertising Research which shows ads related to the URL.

      But since I don’t use Adwords that much, there is no value for me.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Dominic

    |

    Traffic stats are often wrong because they are just search traffic estimations based on your SERP positioning. If you’re in position 1-3 for a keyword, they’ll give you an estimation of 48% click through, based on MOZ research data. Given that MOZ data isn’t 100% accurate either, this is all just educated guessing. On top of that, the SEMRush server is only based on one location, whereas your traffic comes from all over, so of course their keyword positioning for you might be off.

    On top of that, they only show you the .com results or .co.uk results, whereas WMT and GA are global. Once you put all these margins for error together, you can see why there is a pretty big inaccuracy.

    While it may make sense that they’re this inaccurate, I agree it doesn’t really justify the price point.

    In fact, I’d say the real advantage of SEMRush is reverse engineering keyword ideas and really digging deeper. I found over 25 keywords (all very rankable) by entering my site, checking out my competitors, and following my nose to see what they’re ranking for that I’d never even thought of. That’s the real value of semrush imo.

    Of course, if you’re not doing this very often (and most people aren’t), then it really isn’t worth the high price.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Kjell Roger Eriksen

    |

    Being new to the business overall, I did find SEMrush helpful to make sense of terms and the result of some of my actions.
    However I am nowhere near to go into depth and be as thorough as yourself Jay. So for me reading your thoughts and insights helps a lot.
    Enjoyed your review here, well done and keep up the good work !

    Erik

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Rafael Duarte

    |

    Even SEMRush to measure, say, only 20% of the visits data, 30% of organic keywords and paid and 40% of backlinks, yet this information, even if incomplete, it is important to evaluate the scenario and how differential for the preparation of digital marketing strategy.

    Remember that this is a competitive intelligence tool, you will have access to information from competitors that would not have otherwise. The SEMRush is a complementary tool. The base consists of Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, Google Page Speed and Google Insides for Search.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Matt

    |

    I find the position tracking is always wrong. For instance, my website has been at position 17 in the search rankings for 10 days straight. According to semrush, it’s at 26. All the rankings are incorrect. This makes it worthless to for reports to my customers. Of all the metrics, it seems like this would be the easiest to get right.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Jay Neill

      |

      Hey Matt,

      Yeah, I agree.
      I do admit though that since writing this review, SEMrush has made some great improvements but data accuracy on sites still seem to be an issue.

      When it comes to finding rank, they do provide a SERP snapshot of google.com’s cache of search results for the term.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Qasim

    |

    remind me to send flowers to lady luck for bringing me across this article! i was literally minutes away from purchasing an SEMRush Pro account. had it not been for you and the nice folks in the comments section, i would have been regretting my decision and crying over wasted investment! thank you so much!!!!!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Oriol

    |

    Thanks a lot for this post, I was just getting creazy trying to find which data source for keywords rankings was mor accurate, webmaster tools, moz or semrush. At the end as you said I trust on Webmaster Tools that proves to be more reliable.

    I also believe that traffic estimations for SEMrush comes from the estimated rankings, that are not accurate, and thus the traffic also is not correct.

    SEMrush is good tool to get ideas and to look at competitors general data, from there you can take actions on your site and your online marketing strategy. But not sure avoid paying the monthly fee.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Marc Co

    |

    I’ve been working with Google Analytics and SEMRush Guru Account for about 10months now, looking at the big picture, for keywords ranking you can beat your competitors for-real by looking, analyzing and strategizing at what keywords are high traffic for you and your competitor’s similar pages.
    but if you look at .. example Google Analytic’s Country_DestinationPage_Sessions vs SEMRush’s Country_Traffic%Count for any specific webpage; both data gives a really far off number (should be the same thing) – a huge margin of error to report. This is why im in this page validating this problem 🙁

    Reply

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SEMrush

$69.95
SEMrush
6.7

Training

7.0/10

Support

7.0/10

Overall Quality

6.0/10

Pros

  • Easy to use core features
  • Can export the data
  • There is a limited free version

Cons

  • Data accuracy is questionable
  • No data on smaller sites
  • Need to email them to cancel