To start using SEMrush, the first thing you’ll need to do is set up an account.
The free accounts are not published on the SEMrush website and they do have limited features, but do allow you to run an SEO audit on one website.
Use the SEMrush Free Trial Features
Read the steps below
STEP 1: Set up your Semrush account
The first thing you have to do is set up a sem rush account. Now when you do that, as you go through the signup process for the first time, it’s going to give you an option. You can skip the free trial and go straight to a free account. Or the other option is to sign up, you’ll need to enter a credit card and then you’ll go in, you’ll start you’ll begin that one-week free trial. Now, don’t skip the free trial here, because then you won’t get any of the paid features. Remember, we want to use those paid features for the first week. So when you see that option, there are probably just two buttons, one right on top of the other, do not skip the free trial.
STEP 2: Create your “Project”
Now, once you have set up an account, and you log in to semrush, you will you should see a screen that looks something like below, your start screen might be a little different because you’re only going to have one project.
To begin, it only allows you I think, while with a free account, it only allows you one project, but you will you should see somewhere right after you log in a blue button that says Create Project, click that button because we can’t do anything, we need to first create a project for the work we’re going to do. Because remember, SEMrush is built for pros like so I have many projects, I have a project for each client in my own SEMrush account, you’re only going to have one as a user. So go ahead and click the blue button to create a project and copy and paste your full domain into this first field here, make sure you include the HTTP s, if there is an acid there, there should be and the www, if you use if your website uses that, the best way to do this is just to go to your domain, visit your website, click on the URL in the browser bar and copy and paste the entire thing, then you can give your project a name, if you want, you don’t need to, it’ll default to the name of the website if you only have one project, this doesn’t matter.
Selecting the Semrush features to use
Go ahead and click Create Project. Once that’s done. Now you’re going to see a whole bunch of tools here and a lot of navigation on the left-hand side, it’s going to add a bunch of stuff. There’s just a lot of information here. And one complaint that I hear from people, especially people just beginning, SEO is that Semrush is not user-friendly, it’s too overwhelming. And I get that it’s not that user-friendly, especially compared to some of the other tools which have come out and tried to be more user-friendly to pick up people who don’t like the appearance of SEMrush. Now, to account for this or to get around this, I should say I like to remove all the tools that we’re not going to use during this first week. And there are a bunch of tools in SEM rush. Now a lot of them you may never use. But during this first week, there are probably there’s going to be several that you are not using. So the ones we want to keep are the position tracking the site auditor, and we want to keep the link-building tool. And we want to keep the content analyzer. So all the others if you go ahead and click on that little X, it’ll pop up an option where you can essentially remove this tool from your homepage, I like to do that because it just keeps things cleaner, and less overwhelming, I think is always almost always a good thing. Now, I think it’s always a good thing. So you should have four tools here left at the top. And you’ll also see some additional information down here at the bottom.
Starting at the Project Dashboard navigating Semrush
This is going to go this is going to be populated by default, when you start a project that’s gonna do some stuff. You if you want, if you want to get rid of these and keep a nice clean screen, you can do that. I’m assuming that you know, since we’re just starting, you don’t have Google Analytics connected. But you can do that certainly SEMrush is more useful that way. But if we’re going to just keep it for a free trial, and we’re going to download everything that’s not necessary during this step. So now what we’re looking at is our project dashboard. And this is a really good starting point, whenever you come back to SEMrush. This is kind of where you want to go. This is your it’s literally your project dashboard. Now to get back here, I often use these breadcrumbs up here, you’ll see it says the project. If we go to all projects, you’ll see a list of well in your case, it’ll be just one project. In my case, I have several. But here you can click on the name of your project to go back to your project dashboard. If we drill down into any of these tools, these breadcrumbs up here, there will be something in addition to the project dashboard, we can always get usually get back to the project dashboard with these breadcrumbs. If not If we get into some other tool here on the left, where these breadcrumbs disappear. The best way to get back to this screen is just the top left projects, and then again, click the name of your project. Now, the first thing we’re going to do, we’re going to set up these four tools and then export the end permission.
STEP 3: SELECT THE MAIN SEMRUSH FEATURES
For the most part, we’re going to just be working from these tools, we can ignore at least the beginning, oh, you can ignore almost all of these tools over here on the left, we are going to use a couple of them, but not right away. So the first thing we’re going to do, let’s set up the position tracking. This is going to be where we ultimately place our keywords to be tracked by Google. But we want to it’s not the first step in choosing your keywords. But we want to set it up first. So that we have a place to put those keywords as we collect them. So if for, for local businesses, I like to in this first field here, enter your zip code, where you are located, that’s going to come back with your city. In this second field, we’re going to want to put your business name exactly as it appears in your Google My Business Profile.
So hopefully you have that setup from earlier this week. And we just need to go to that page, you can either search your business name, your full business name, and Google. Or if you are doing this, you can go ahead and if you’re logged into Google My Business, and just copy your business name from there by clicking to edit, but what we want to do is just copy and paste the business name exactly as it appears into this field and continue to keywords. Now, the next screen may or may not pre-populate this field with some keywords, sometimes it will grab keywords from your site and plug them in here, sometimes not. Now we need to enter at least one keyword here to activate that Position Tracker. But remember, we don’t have any keywords yet, we still need to look at those.
But we need to enter something here. So what I like to do is I just like to enter something that I know this site is not going to be ranking for. You could also enter your brand name your business name, just like we did, and then use that as your first keyword. But then when after this starts to check rankings, it’s going to come back and it’s going to say that your visibility is 100%. Because you’re probably going to rank on the first page for your business name, hopefully, we’ll position one or two. So it’s going to say at the beginning of the project, your visibility was 100%. And then it’s going to look like once we add more keywords, your visibility came down. Just for general appearance sake, I like to do the reverse and put something in here, to begin with that I know we’re not ranked for us or visibility is 0%. So that we get a truer idea of what’s happening to our visibility because then that graph will go up from 0%. It doesn’t matter in terms of performance. That’s just what I have started doing over the years. Next, I would uncheck this box for weekly updates, that just gets to be a lot of information that in itself can be overwhelming. So I would uncheck that box and then click to start tracking. And you see.., I forgot to click this blue button, to add keywords to the campaign because there are no keywords added. So I typed in the keyword, but after you type in a keyword, you have to click to add it, then you can start tracking. Okay, so that’s going to start it’s going to take some time.
While this is happening. While this is gathering information. Let’s go back to our project dashboard. And we’re going to set up those other three tools. Okay, the next tool that we’re going to want to set up is the Site Audit Tool. So this is the tool, remember from earlier this week, that’s going to tell us it’s going to find all the problems, all the technical problems that need to be fixed on our website. So to set this up, again, just go ahead and click the blue Setup button. And that will take you to a Site Audit Settings page, I will leave everything here the way it is except for the limit of checked pages, increase this to I’d say 500. In case you have a big bigger site, if you have a lot of blog pages, you’d be surprised how many pages get indexed on our website to begin with. But it’s there’s no downside of doing this, if you only have 10 pages, it’s not going to look for 500 is just going to scan your 10 and then complete the scan, I would leave this box checked, because what this is going to do is going to send you an email every time this audit runs. And after you set up an audit, it will run weekly.
So for the long term, this is great because it will send you the results of your audit in an email every time it runs, which is once per week, which is great. Because if the score drops, if something goes wrong on your site, then you get notified pretty quickly. And then click to go to crawler settings. And I like to change this user agent to Googlebot mobile because Google is obviously what we’re the reason we’re doing this. And Google has announced that they are a mobile-first engine. So I just like to do that just so I’m in line with Google’s goals basically. Now we can go ahead and clicks to start the Site Audit. And that will also take a little time to run and while that’s happening, we want to go back to our project dashboard.
And you can see that that is going to take a little bit of time to complete. Now the next tool that you see listed as the link-building tool, we don’t need to set this up today, we’re going to come back to this in a couple of days, or you’ll come back to this later in your free trial, whether it’s later today or tomorrow, whatever. And that’s going to be one of the final steps. But for now, the other tool we want to set up is the content analyzer. So again, blue button to set up, and then select anything that’s shown here, select everything. And that’s just going to mean that you’re you’re stuffing all your pages to be scanned. And you may see only one or two checkboxes here, you may see half a dozen like this,
It depends on the structure of your website, regardless, make sure they’re all checked, and click Start audit. And this will also take a bit of time, this will actually take longer than the others. So while this is running, again, let’s go back to our project dashboard.
STEP 4: Export Project Information
So the next thing that we’ll want to do is we’ll want to start exporting information from those four tools. Once they finish if they will need some time to run. But once they finish, we want to export that information, in case we just use SEMrush. For the free trial, we want to have all that information in a spreadsheet that we can use for the weeks following.
Export “Organic Research” report
So the first thing that we want to do is we want to go over to the organic research. Now this is not a tool we set up. But this is going to give us a pretty quick and very useful export. So underneath the competitive research, you’ll find something that says organic research, and on the left side nav, go ahead and again, paste the name and the full URL of your website. And this will actually come back with results pretty quickly, which is surprising because it gathers a lot of results. And then scroll down you could ignore for now the number of keywords and traffic and traffic cost. And whatever it graph shows up here, the information we’re looking for, if you scroll down a little bit, you’ll see top organic keywords and click to view all keywords here. Now it might say 30, it might you know, your number will be different. In our case, it’s 30, you might see several 100, you might see, you know 12, whatever it says go ahead and click on that. And what this is going to do is it’s going to give us a list of all the keywords. Now not all but a bunch of keywords that are ranked in Google, some on page one, some not on page one, but I think it’s pages one through 10. And what we’re looking for here is the keywords that we have that are already ranked highly, especially if we find keywords ranked on like page two, so say a keyword is position number 11. That would be the first position on page two, increasing a keyword like that onto page one is going to be pretty easy, it’s going to be a lot easier than increasing a keyword that’s it, say position 100. So that’s the type of information we’re looking here some starting point keywords for us at what I call the low-hanging fruit. So you’ll notice a bunch of information here, you don’t need to do anything here, all we need to do is click to export. And we’re going to make sure we’re exporting all and export that to a CSV, you can do Excel if you want. If you use Excel, I like a CSV, because it will open any spreadsheet editor. Save that to your desktop, or save it wherever you like where you can keep track of it. And that’s all we need to do for that.
Export “Site Audit”
So now let’s go back to our project dashboard. And we’re going to export information from those other tools that we had set up. So first, let’s go to the site audit tool. Once you click on this, it’s going to take you to a screen that hopefully looks like below, you’ll see as a percentage number, that’s your overall score, the site health score of your website, and some number of errors, warnings, and notices.
Export “Content Analyzer”
And now again, let’s go back to the project dashboard. Now we have one last tool that we want to export. And that’s the content analyzer. If you scroll down over these numbers, I think these two numbers go to the same spot. Nope. Okay, you should see a number here. Hopefully, if it’s finished, you’ll see a number go ahead and click on that number, not the zero, the zero will refer to what’s in progress. So if it’s finished, it’ll be a zero and then a number. If it’s still in progress, it’ll probably have some number, and then a slash and then another number. But once you click on that, hopefully, it’s going to look like this. If you see this here, this looks like it is not updating, whereas this one, this shares here is still updating. If the shares are still updating, that’s fine. The information we want is the pages here. So as long as this looks like it’s complete, and it does, that’s fine, we can export here, don’t worry about this table here, it’s going to look incomplete because we I’m assuming you have not connected to Google Analytics and those things, all we need to do here, again, go to the export. And in this case, they just offer an XLS file. And again, save that to your desktop or where you are saving the other exports.
Add exports to Project Worksheet
Okay, so now we have, we’ve grabbed a lot of useful information. So take that info, and I have created a, I’ve actually duplicated the spreadsheet that I use for myself when I begin a project. And you know, it’s linked below. So open that up. And you can just copy and paste information from the files, you just downloaded, the the CSVs and the XLS files, not the PDF, obviously, copy and paste that into the spreadsheet that I provided below, it’ll be pretty straightforward, pretty obvious where to paste that info. And now we’re pretty much done with the setup. So if you are going to break your work on SEM rush over this first week in today’s, which I think is a good idea, you can consider kind of this first day done, I would say that’s a good start. Try to export that, or copy and paste the exports into the spreadsheet.
STEP 5: Keywords, Competitors & Links
And then the next thing we’re going to do is we’re going to start to look at some of our competitors, because we need to look to see what they are doing. If for the competitors that are ranked highly, we want to check to see what are they doing? How did they get there, so that we can kind of start to emulate whatever they have already done. So you can take a break and come back and do this, you can come back and do this tomorrow, I would recommend you don’t try to do all of this in one sitting, it would be a lot and that’s it is going to feel a little overwhelming.
Keyword Research Tools
But come back with a fresh mind, take a few minutes, whatever you need to do come back and let’s talk about the competitors. So the next thing that we’re going to want to do is add some keywords to our project. Right. So remember, I talked about the process of adding keywords earlier in the week, we’re going to start with that with the organic research report that we just downloaded. And we’re going to use the keyword magic tool, the keyword manager, and then ultimately the Position Tracker. Now these tools are all they’re all over here. If we go to our home page in SEMrush. There’s a section called keyword research. And those tools are all just listed right here. The keyword overview can be useful if you’re just stuck, you know, want to look about some, you know, if you want to find some information about a keyword, but it’s not really necessary. The as we dive down into these other tools, we’re going to get all that information. So like I said, we will we would begin with those keywords from the organic research report. And then we’re going to use the keyword magic tool, the keyword manager and then position tracking there just right there, right in order for us. And going through this I know it may seem like maybe it’s a lot to worry about having to build different tools, it the workflow is pretty easy. So I described that process earlier this week. So maybe go back and rewatch that video about how to how to choose your keywords.
Ultimately, we want to end up with a group of keywords in our position tracking tool. Now your keyword research can take a little bit of time it takes a little getting used to it. It’s something new for most people, I would recommend probably spend a You know, spend maybe one of the seven days of your free of your free trial, doing keyword research, or at least a session, you know, don’t try to do it in combination with these other things, because it takes a little bit of thought. So I don’t want you to get frustrated, confuse things and, you know, feel overwhelmed unnecessarily. So set aside a little bit of time to do some keyword research, whether that’s a day, or it won’t be a full day, but like, you know what I mean, you know, half an hour or an hour of a day of your week. Or if it’s just half an hour, an hour of of a day of a full day that you’re working to do all of these things. It will help your ability to stay focused, I think it will help your ability to stay focused. And then once you have added all potential keywords to your keyword manager, and then chosen your final keywords and add them
Find Competing Websites
We want to find some competitors. We want to find the competitors who are doing best for those keywords so that we can figure out what are they doing. How did they get those high rankings? So here’s what we want to do, if you navigate to your Position Tracker or position tracking tool, you should open up a screen that looks roughly like this.
Now the first thing, regardless of how many keywords you have, you can see I have 60 in this project, we want to go to the competitors section. So in the top nav, you should see where it says competitors. And we’ll probably say zero since you’re just beginning. But this is where we want to pick competitors. So click on that whatever number shows there. And it will open up a screen that looks like this.
And it has a whole bunch of websites that are appearing for the keywords that we have entered. So it’s going to kind of try to guess our competition automatically. Now what’s going to happen is you have a bunch of keywords, hopefully you have a you know, a dozen or two dozen or however many keywords you have, it’s going to come back with it with a bunch of websites here.
“Real World” competitors vs. “Keyword” competitors
Some of them are going to be what I would call your real-world competitors. And some of them are your keyword competitors. So for example, for the keywords that I’m using for Meritus site, Yelp comes back as a competing website. Now that’s a key word competitor. That’s not a real-world competitor. For our purposes here, we want to find our real world competitors.
So look through this list and find websites that you know, okay, that’s one of my competitors, I know that they are doing something very similar to me. So let’s look at them as a as a real world competitor. Now, if you’re unsure, you probably will be next to each website here you can see a little link to open the open this URL in the new window. If you’re unsure, you can just click that go ahead, look at the site and then evaluate Is this one of my competitors or not? If it’s not, then we can just close it go back to the list. For the websites that are a real world competitor, we just want to click the plus sign. And when we do that, let’s say I’m going to add this one, Rachel Eve, click the plus. And you’ll notice that goes on to this, it’s added to my list of competitors here, we can add up to 20. I don’t think you necessarily need 20. But go ahead and you know, add as many as you like, it’s better to have too much than not enough at this point. And then once you are finished, you can click update.
How to find “Real World” competitors manually
Now if there are if there, if you can’t find much here if say they are they are all keyword competitors and not real world competitors. Or they’re just websites that you think don’t think are really your real world competition, you can actually go to Google, do a search for your for one of your main keywords, and then manually look to see what websites of your real world competitors are listed there.
And then you can just paste that information here and click this sign. So no matter whether you get these, whether you select completely from this list, or whether you add your own manually or some combination of the two, once you’re done, go ahead and click update.
Locate Competitor Links
Now what we want to do is we want to go over to the left side navigation underneath competitive research and click the backlink gap tool. Now this is where SEMrush gets kind of cool, because what we’re going to do here is you’re going to paste in your URL. And you’re going to paste in the name of some of those competitors up to four and this tool. And it’s going to it’s going to do an analysis for where are those four competitors, all getting their best links and where you might where you are not.
How to use the Backlink Gap feature
So it’s like backlink gap where there’s a gap your competitors are getting links and you’re not and that’s where we’re going to start our link building or active link building. So first, just paste in the name of your own URL. Next we want to start adding competitors. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to do this from the tool we were just in this is this tool is not a part of your actual project. So this tool is kind of it’s in SEM rush, obviously but it’s not part of your project. So we need to copy it and paste information here, which is kind of a hassle but not The end of the world. So I know the competitors I want to choose.
Select Link Prospects
Okay, so I’ve pasted those URLs into into these fields manually. Now the goal here, we want to figure out, we want to find of that list of competitors that you just created. In moving those over or selecting for from that list, you want to pick the competitors that are the closest to you.
So other companies, other people who are doing something very similar to what you’re doing, and who also have the highest rankings among those people. So that’s how you want to go about choosing those, hopefully, you have at least a couple here, you’re gonna need at least two, if you have three or four, great, but if you have two or three, like two is two is fine, but you need at least two here. So do that, enter those URLs. And then let’s click to find prospects. And this is going to come back with something very cool. So if you scroll down, you’ll see a table here, we want to sort this table by the quality of links. So first, what this represents is, you’ll see a site here listed at the top, it has a there’s a column called eight s, that’s authority score. That’s the quality, that’s the measure of that’s the amount of link juice link authority that that website has. So a link from a website with a high authority score is going to be more valuable than a link from a website with a low authority score. So the next columns, monthly visits, we don’t really need to worry about that. That’s how much are an estimated a number of visitors or traffic that’s going to this site, this URL, and then there’s a match how many of the of your own site and the four competitors that we included? How many of those sites is this site linking to? So in this case, it’s four out of five.
So it’s, it’s the four competitors, but not our own site? And then it breaks it down? Does it link to our site? does it link to the four competitors, Justine, Michael Shirley’s and Daisy, what we want to do, again, let’s sort by the authority score. So we want to start with the best links possible. So we see Wikipedia, a link from Wikipedia can be really, really great. But also difficult to get. Now we also want to see the match, we want to find link websites that link to at least two of our competitors, and not us. That’s why we wanted to have at least two competitors. So you can do this a couple of different ways you can we can sort by authority score, which we’ve just done, or you can sort by the by match. And if we sort by a match that will give us we can look at first the websites that where somebody another website, links to all four of our competitors. Now, linking by authority score, we can see right away, a lot of the top results here are going to be 1-252-512-5125. So they’re not linking to a bunch of our competitors. So in this case, let’s try sorting by the match and see if that gives us some more useful information. So this gives us we can right away see that we’re finding more sites that link to a bunch of our competitors versus just one, that’s good. But it’s also returning a bunch of sites that have a fairly low authority score. So we can fix that we just go up to this filter here, authority score.
And you see we can choose from drop-downs, or select a custom range. I like to do a custom range. And I just say 70-100, that’s going to give us really the kind of what I would consider to be the top authority scores for competitors. And now, again, we can sort by the match. So we can hopefully isolate the websites that are linking to a bunch of our competitors, but not to us. And it’s also going to have a fairly high authority score of 70-100. That’s, but that’s a pretty good score. So right away, we see the first one Pinterest, Pinterest is linking to two of our competitors, which is not a lot. And both of those sites are each one. But links from Pinterest are very valuable. It’s a very high authority. Thought has a website with a very high authority score. So what we want to do now is we once we find a website that seems like it has potential like Pinterest, we can probably do something on Pinterest. To get links. Click on the little carrots next to the competitors that have a link there. And that will show us exactly where that link is. Now what we can do is we can click on this link and go to Pinterest and see what that link looks like. Is it something that we can do ourselves? Is it something that we can emulate? Sometimes it is sometimes it isn’t. But what we want to do right now is we want to since we’re going to be using or we’re planning to use a free trial version of SEMrush we just want to export this information. Now to do that, we can use the export feature, there’s a CSV, but I can tell you the information that is going to come come through in that CSV file is not useful.
What we want to do instead is once we find a link here that we think, Hey, that looks good, and looks like something we can emulate, we click down here to view the full report. And that’s going to open a new page, it looks something like this.
And then we want to export the PDF, the PDF will have clickable links in it. So we’re going to unfortunately have to export a bunch of these PDFs. But they will be more useful later on. So that’s this is the step you click to export the PDF, you don’t need to email it or schedule it or white label it, that will export, save it to your desktop, or wherever you’re saving your other files. And then let’s go back to the page we were just on. Now, when you we clicked to view the full report that likely opened up in a new tab. So you can just close that tab or go back to the tab with everything. And then we can close that up. That’s the one we were just looking at the Pinterest for the Michael Kors.
There’s that there’s another one. This site also Pinterest also links to another competitor, you can do the same thing, do the same thing here. And now we just kind of work through this list from from top to bottom. Now remember, we filtered out websites with authority score of 70 or greater. So a lot of these websites, they may they’re going to be very good quality. So they may be kind of difficult or not possible for us to get. So you just need to kind of go through them, again, focus on the ones that are linking to two or more of your competitors. So there’s a another one here, Martha Stewart looks like somehow, the Martha Stewart website is linking to a couple of our competitors, my guess probably in some sort of blog, do the same thing, check it out, look at it just visually, is it something that you think you could do? If not, you don’t need to do anything. If it’s something you could do. Beautiful report, export the PDF. Now something to look for. When you are doing this, you’ll notice that there are some little tags here underneath the the second column when you when you drop-down to look at the competitor info. If you see something that says lost, it means that link is no longer active.
So it was there. SEMrush did find it and then something happened and it disappeared. Now for something like Martha Stewart that might happen. Maybe it was some form of paid advertising or paid blog or something like that. If you see sites that routinely The links are lost, the value there is probably going to be or the potential for value is going to be less because it looks like that site. In this case, Martha Stewart doesn’t leave links Online permanently, they take them down. If we look at the other competitor that has a link from Martha Stewart, let’s see if it’s the same thing also lost. So I would say that links from Martha stewart.com, although super high quality, probably wouldn’t last long term. So in this case, I would probably skip that because it might end up putting a lot of work into something that’s not going to be permanent.
So the next one on our list, and the only other one that has two or more that links to two or more of our competitors is the bump. Now this is a little more interesting because it has again, it’s only two out of five, and one link to Justine and then Michael Kormos. There are six links. So this is something that maybe more often they link. So let’s open up the let’s drop-down next, click the caret next to this six. And let’s see what these links look like. And then we can see that links from the bump a couple of them are coming from it looks like a blog, some sort of blog, baby photo tips from the forums looks like a few of them from the forums. Now you’ll notice over here on the right there, there is a tag that says no-follow. Now this means that the bumper.com is trying to assign a no-follow attribute to these links that essentially tells Google, please ignore these links. We don’t want to pass any we don’t want to send any SEO value, in this case to Michael Kormos photography. Now, those instructions are not taken 100% At face value by Google.
That means in this case, the bump is telling Google Hey, ignore these links to Michael Kormos. Photography, Google may or may not take those. What’s likely happening is that we’ll follow those links, but it will give them a lesser value. Now, you might be asking, what’s the reason for this no-follow attribute? And the reason there’s lots of details, but it’s for situations like this, you can see some of these links are coming from the forums.
So if links are if all links were treated the same and none of them had the no-follow attribute, then we could just go load up links to things like this forums where we He, as a user can go sign up and just create a whole bunch of links to our site. That happens very frequently in like WordPress comments. So that’s the type of situation. That’s the reason that Google created the no-follow attribute. And the reason that it’s used, especially in forums, sometimes sites like the bump.com, they write a blog, and they might link to the Michael Kormos.
Photography site, they are also going to try in that case to not, you know, give away their own SEO value. So if if a site let if if the bump links to Michael Kormos, they are essentially passing some of their link authority onto the Michael Kormos. site. Now, they, in this case, evidently don’t want to do that. So they’re trying to tell Google, don’t follow these links. Now, take this with a grain of salt. I would say if you had a choice between trying to pursue a follow link and a no-follow link, definitely pursue the follow link. But just because a no-follow link, or just because a link is no-follow doesn’t mean that it has zero value, it may it probably still has some just not as much as a similar link with that is not no-follow, so a follow link. Okay, so those are some things to keep in mind when selecting which links you want to pursue. Now, if we close this back up,
we’ll see that the rest of these links here are from pretty major sites, Microsoft, Bing, CBS News. And they also linked to only one of our competitors. So now what we want to do is we want to drop-down a level and look at websites that have a slightly less authority score, I would say the next tier, so we were looking at 70 to 100, we would want to go back up and we want to, we want to find sites that link to more of our competitors. So we would go to 60 to 100. And you’ll notice this is going to give us a different a different selection of links, or sites that link to competitors, we again, we don’t have too many, just a couple that link to more than more than one, two or more. The site like.org. If you see this in your results pop up, you can probably ignore this what this site is, is it just a lot of times you might do a search for like alternatives to such and such. Or you might do a search for sites like such and such, if you’re looking for options.
So that’s what this that’s all this site does. You can’t reach out to them and request a link. In fact, you may not want one. But if we open this up, you can see what I mean. It says in this case, it’s doing something at the top 76 similar websites to Michael Kormos, and Alyssa one of them as Justin Cooper. So that’s you’ll see us just creating a whole bunch of links to a whole bunch of different pages, a whole bunch of websites rather. So you can really ignore that. Now the only other one here that has more than one links to more than one of our competitors is the tiny beans, and it links to again, a couple of them. So do the same thing. Click the drop-down, check them out, take a look. Are they no-follow? Are they follow? Is it something you think you can do? If it is click the View Full Report, export the PDF? Once you’ve done that, let’s again drop-down a tear in the authority score. And now we’re gonna go to see the sites that are 51 to 60. And again, we will look for websites that link to at least two of our competitors.
So New York family do the same thing. It links to a couple of our competitors, check them out, or do they look worthwhile? Could you do something? If so, View Full Report, export the PDF, save it for later, work down this list until you have found anything that links to two or more competitors. Now another side note, when you see a website with the ending dot are you that’s a Russian site, that’s probably just going to be some sort of link farm, you can almost always ignore Russian sites. And then continued down the authority score. Now we’re going to check out 41 sites with a score of 41 to 50. And as you work down the list, as we work down from the you know, sites with the highest authority score to lower, we’ll probably start to find sites that are more appropriate for us to reach out to like it would be hard for us to reach out to bing.com and ask for a link who knows what happened or CBS News. You know, who’s who knows what happened to get links from those websites. But now we’re looking at sites like bump club and beyond, that’s something that we could probably stand to, you know, reach out to and connect with somebody and somehow work out an arrangement where we could get a link from their website to her so those are the types of sites we’re looking for here.
So you can see that this is a little bit of a process and like the keyword research, I would say, you know, take some time and dedicate it to just this tool. Don’t try to smash all of this together and do all the the keyword research and the Site Audit and of the backlink gap analysis, don’t try to do all this at once, because it then just gets to be overwhelming. But sit down, do this, then take a break or wait till tomorrow, come back. And let’s do the next step. And now the final step of our one week SEMrush, free trial, the last tool that I would say is really important, we want to use as much as we can during this one week trial, because it’s, it’s really cool, it’s very valuable. That’s the link building tool. So go back to your dashboard. Link building tool should still be here. It’s one of the panels that we left and but did not set up. Let’s come back. And let’s set this up. Now you remember, when we set up the Position Tracker, I just entered grapefruit as the one word that we were going to use, that’s still here. But now hopefully you have more, you’ve done keyword research sometime this week, and you now have more keywords in your Position Tracker, those keywords should show up here. If they don’t, we can always enter keywords manually here, I would go ahead and I would add again, your your top level, your top most important, maybe just two or three keywords. Once you have at least a couple of keywords, let’s go ahead over to the competitors. And we’ll do the same thing, we want to add some competitors here, probably like the same list that we were just looking at in the backlink gap tool, there were four of them. And again, you’ll probably have to insert these manually.
So for now, I’ve added three and now we can start link building. So once you click to complete that, again, this one might take a little time, time to go grab a coffee or some water stretch out, come back. And when it’s finished, I’ll show you what to do next with it. Okay, so in my case, that just took a couple seconds, you should come back. And I’ll say something like we found some number of domain prospects, a domain prospect is a site that is a prospect potential prospect for us to approach to get a link from so we have 414. So now let’s view prospects regardless of whatever your number is. Now, there’s going to be some overlap, hopefully, anyway, between this tool, the links that this tool finds and the backlink gap tool, you’ll see, again, every site here is going to have an authority score. Rating, I don’t know exactly what the rating is. I actually I don’t think this rating actually is very valuable. I don’t use it myself, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t worry about it.
But what we do want to do is we want to go up to the top remember, we entered some keywords and some competitors, we want to go to this competitors tab. And hopefully, this list of competitors, we’re gonna recognize some of these URLs. For example, here’s the remember the bump club and beyond domain that was linking to at least a couple of our competitors. And we know that that was a site that we wanted to target, we wanted to make that a prospect. So what we do is we find that domain here, and we click this blue button and that will add it to in progress. Now whenever we do that, that’s that domain should disappear from this list. And it will go up if to the top here. If we click on in progress, you’ll see overview prospects and in progress, click on in progress, that URL will be listed over here. Now this is the really cool part. And here’s why. If you notice, over here, there’s an email column says email contact. And there’s three emails. If we click on that three emails, that’s going to find three email addresses that are listed on the bump club and beyond domain. This can save a ton of time because otherwise manually, we have to go through that site, that bump club and beyond.com site and look for email context. This scans the entire site and brings it right back here for us to now if we are using the SEMrush.
If we keep a SEMrush paid account, we are able to let me just back up one second, we are able to add an email a mailbox, so we can connect our email to SEMrush. And just click add. If you’re using Gmail, it’s very simple to connect the two accounts. If you’re not using Gmail, I probably set up an account a free account just for this purpose. And then we can connect we can contact this website directly from SEMrush. And we can pick any address or all three addresses or however many are listed. And we can add arms or we can we can contact this website straight from SEMrush without having to do anything else. Now if we have a free SEMrush account, we will need to establish a method to do this manually and keep track of everything. It’s a bit it’s a bit trickier. This is not only a great way to you know, pick and choose sites and then contact them. Also we can keep track of who we have contacted, whether what happened which links have been earned, etc. It’s a really Really useful tool for building links.
Okay, so at this point you have, I think really gotten a lot of benefit out of sem rush, if you did, they took those steps this first week, during your SEM, Rush free trial and exported that information, you have a lot of really helpful info to work with moving forward. Now, the SEMrush, free trial, the you will lose a lot of different information, if you convert to a to a free Permanent Account, the free Permanent Account will be limited to like things like 10 keywords per month, one Site Audit per month, it’s still useful, it’s still a good tool. But obviously, you’re not going to get the full feature set. Now. If you’re just starting and you can’t afford 100 bucks a month, I get it, I was there to just like I said, if you don’t have $100 a month to spend on an SEO tool, I would recommend using the free SEMrush tool for a while.
And then hopefully you make some progress. And when you’re ready, then start a paid trial. Because if you choose another there’s like I have said there’s tons of SEO tools out there. Some of them are a lot of them are cheaper, because they know that not everybody is going to opt for, you know, $100 a month SEO tool. So you might find something for $50 or $40 or $30. Just know that those are going to be cheaper for a reason, they’re not going to offer the features like the backlink gap tool and the link building tool, things like that, your those those are not, you’re not going to find those with a cheap tool. Now you might find a good keyword research tool with a cheaper tool, that’s fine. A decent site auditor with a cheaper tool, that’s probably fine. But these other set of these other features that SEMrush offers are they are very valuable. Like I use these features. When I charge when I get a client to do a you know an initial audit and set out a new strategy these those are the features I use. And I charge clients 10,000 Plus for those things. Now, relative to $10,000 $100 a month is a great bargain. But if you’re not there yet you’re not there. So if that’s the case, then try the trial. Follow the instructions I just outlined, export as much of the information as you can and then hopefully you can make enough progress with that so you can see the difference to your business is going to be certainly going to make $100 a month not an issue and then you can upgrade at that point.