30% of Fortune 500 companies use Semrush to drive their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) initiatives. But it comes with a hefty price tag and you might ask yourself whether the return on investment is worth it or not. At Embarque, we tried dozens of competitors and alternatives to provide the best to our customers. This article documents our findings for you.
What is Semrush
Semrush is a software tool to improve your visibility on the Internet using search engines. In this article, we will focus on features and tools designed for Google Search, but Semrush also provides tools for social media marketing and advertising.
Semrush’s Key Features
Keyword research to find the best keywords to rank for:
- Keyword overview: metrics like Keyword Volume, Keyword Difficulty, Search Engine Result Pages, Keyword Variations, and Trends.
- Organic research: to find the best keywords used by competitors
- Keyword magic tool: to find the best related keywords
- Keyword gap: to find high-potential keyword not used by competitors
- Organic traffic insights: website performance metrics like Total Users, New Users, Sessions, Pages/Sessions, Avg. Session Duration, Bounce Rate, and Goal Completions for your top 50 web pages by traffic
On-page SEO to improve your website content and structure:
- Site audit: automated content and technical SEO checks for all web pages like crawlability, site performance, internal linking, and https verification
- On-page SEO checker: ideas to improve the ranking of each web page (keyword strategy, backlink ideas, technical SEO fixes)
- Log file analyzer to simulate how Google bots crawl your website: HTTP status code of each crawled page, file types
Local SEO for location-specific searches:
- Listing management: to publish your business in online repertories and monitor its reputation using ratings and reviews
Rank (SERP) tracking to keep track of your SEO progress:
- Position tracking: to track keywords, domains, competitors, and how your own rankings evolve over time
- Sensor: to detect possible changes in the way Google’s algorithm works to better adapt
- Ranks: to find the most popular sites
Backlinks to boost your SEO:
- Backlink Analytics: to find the best backlinks available online
- Backlink audit: to monitor your website’s backlinks
- Backlink gap: to find relevant backlinks that aren’t used by your competitors yet
- Link building tool: to automate link building by finding contact information, crafting outreach emails, and monitoring outreach results
Competitor analysis to get an insight in your competitor’s strategy:
- Organic research
- Keyword gap
- Backlink analytics
- Backlink gap
You can try Semrush for free but you will be limited to one project and 10 keyword searches per day. Pricing plans start at $99 per month with 3000 keyword searches per day. You will need to add $20 per month for features regarding local SEO, and upgrading your plan will increase your daily limits and give you access to the Content Marketing Platform for features helping with the content-side of on-page SEO.
- Data quality: High data quality using Google Search Console
- Customer support: Great support and learning material
- Diversity of tools: not just SEO, but also content marketing, social media, and advertising
- Pricing: $99 per month is expensive for a plan aimed at beginners
- Complexity: too many different tools in one interface
Why looking for Semrush alternatives for SEO
SEO is key. It allows you to reach customers on a global scale by addressing deep queries your business can profit from: How to create an amazing digital experience? How to make it easy for people to find us? What makes a great website? And the best part is that SEO will also support all your other digital tactics, like paying for ads: copy that converts will make all your digital investments even more worthwhile!
Semrush can help with that, but there are many tools like Semrush. Each business is unique so it’s essential to find the solution that suits your specific needs at a given time to maximize your SEO return-on-investment.
Last but not least, if everyone uses Semrush, everyone gets access to the same datasets. Semrush and its competitors all use different ways to collect, transform, and validate SEO data. Varying your SEO tools helps you stay ahead of the competition by combining insights from an infinite amount of proprietary data sources, so let’s have a look at the criteria to consider.
- Pricing: how much does it cost?
- Pricing limitations: what are the limits on the pricing plan?
- Free trial: can I try the tool for free?
- Data quality: how accurate is the SEO data?
- Simple user interface: how easy is it to use and get results?
- Feature-completeness: what can I do with the tool that Semrush can as well?
The rest of the article lists down SEO software competitors and alternatives that are better than Semrush in one criteria or another.
7 Semrush competitors
Here is a summary list of 7 tools like Semrush. For a spreadsheet version, click here.
- For site audit and rank tracking, use Google Search Console.
- To find the most popular keywords or the best related keywords, use Google Trends.
- For accurate organic traffic insights, pick Google Analytics.
- Ahrefs’ Free SEO Tools is best to identify high-potential keywords for your SEO strategy and to figure out where your competitors get their backlinks.
- To perform deep keyword research, go for Keywords Everywhere.
- For a cheaper, powerful, and dedicated all-in-one SEO solution, use Ahrefs.
- For the cheapest alternative, pick Ubersuggest.
Free Semrush Alternatives
1. Google Search Console
Google Search Console Key Takeaway
Google’s official tool to audit your website’s SEO.
Google Search Console SEO Features
- Organic traffic insights - total web search clicks, accurate search volume figures via total impressions
- Site audit - to understand your content and technical SEO performance: top performing keywords (most searched queries, most trending queries), top pages by click and impression, CTR, average position in google results, and internal links
- On-page SEO checker - tips to fix your technical SEO: core web vitals, mobile usability, https
- Log file analyzer - accurate coverage measurement and sitemap extraction
- Position tracking - average search engine results page rank for each page
- Backlink audit - backlink profile of your domain: external links (top linking sites, top linking text), internal links, top linked pages
Google Search Console Pricing
Google Search Console Pros
- Minimalist user interface
- Data quality: provides accurate volume figures, while other tools just provide estimates
Google Search Console Cons
- No off-page keyword research feature
- No competitor analysis
- Limited on-page SEO checker: no keyword or backlink suggestions
2. Google Trends
Google Trends Key Takeaway
Google Trends allows you to search for the most trending keywords while proposing related queries.
Google Trends SEO Features
- Keyword overview - keyword trends
- Keyword magic - the best related keywords for a given search query
- Position tracking - to track how keywords evolve over time with historical data
Google Trends Pricing
Google Trends Pros
- Minimalist interface
- Data quality: straight from Google result pages, with historical data available up to 2004
- Great tool for manual keyword research
Google Trends Cons
- Keyword scoring only available on a relative scale, so it’s impossible to identify keyword potential in terms of search volume or difficulty without performing a manual search
- Time-consuming: a lot of manual manipulations needed to get meaningful results when other SEO tools can automate this in a blink. You can subscribe to a newsletter like Exploding Topics to find trending topics before they take off.
3. Google Analytics
Google Analytics Key Takeaway
Google Analytics is perfect to get an accurate depiction of your organic traffic.
Google Analytics SEO Features
- Organic traffic insights: users, sessions, page views, session duration, incoming traffic sources, etc.
- Site audit: like Google Search Console, Google Analytics monitors your site technical SEO performance
- Backlink audit: all your acquisition channels in one place, along with the corresponding keywords
Google Analytics Pricing
Google Analytics Pros
- Data quality: clear, detailed, accurate, and real-time organic traffic insights
Google Analytics Cons
- Complexity: lots of metrics that aren’t directly related to SEO
- The amount of metrics has an impact on your website loading speed, which can impact your technical SEO
- User privacy concerns
Ahrefs’ Free SEO Tools
Ahrefs’ Free SEO Tools’ Key Takeaway
Great to identify high-potential keywords for your SEO strategy and to know where your competitors get their backlinks.
Ahrefs’ Free SEO Tools Features
- Keyword overview - keyword volume, keyword difficulty, SERP ranks, and keyword variations
- Keyword magic - relevant related keywords are proposed on each search
- Position tracking - to track keyword ranks
- Backlink analytics and audit - to monitor backlinks for any website
Ahrefs’ Free SEO Tools Pricing
Free but limited search results.
Ahrefs’ Free SEO Tools Pros
- Dead-simple user interface
- Data quality: Ahrefs is among the top players in the SEO field
Ahrefs’ Free SEO Tools Cons
- Limited search results
- You are asked to confirm you’re not a robot on each query
- Long response time
Paid Semrush Alternatives
You can already do a lot with free Semrush alternatives, but you will need a paid solution to get a global overview of the online market. These tools result from large efforts to aggregate and transform data from multiple sources to find correlations.
There is no simple way to do that at scale for hundreds of keywords and domains, which explains the price tags of all Semrush competitors.
5. Keywords Everywhere
Keywords Everywhere Key Takeaway
Keywords Everywhere is a browser add-on for keyword research.
Keywords Everywhere Features
- Keyword overview - monthly search volume,keyword difficulty, and trend data, including long-tail keywords
- Organic research - to find the top 5000 keywords used by competitors in the top 20 google search results with estimated traffic
- Keyword magic - to find affiliated keywords
- Keyword gap - popular keywords not used by the competition
- Organic traffic insights - traffic per month and ranking keywords
- Site audit - keyword analysis for all your pages
- Position tracking - top 1000 pages for your domain
- Search volume and trends insights added to your Search Console and Google Analytics dashboard.
Keywords Everywhere Pricing
Freemium. A free version is available, then you have to buy credits for monthly search volume and competition data. One credit gives you all the available metrics for a given keyword. $10 for 100,000 credits.
Keywords Everywhere Pros
- Lightweight and practical user interface using a browser add-on
- Good pricing that makes it easy to scale progressively
- Automated keyword research for any keyword or URL, just by browsing online
- Number of keyword metrics
Keywords Everywhere Cons
- Browser add-on only available on Chrome and Firefox
- The Competitor Keyword Gap Analysis tool is in beta and only allows up to 5 competitors
Ahrefs Key Takeaway
Ahrefs is a direct competitor of Semrush offering an all-in-one SEO toolset.
- Everything Semrush does, Ahrefs does it as well.
- Proprietary metrics, such as Keyword Difficulty and Domain Rating, which assess the competitiveness of keywords and domains.
7-day trial for $7. Plans starting at $82 a month with 175 keyword searches per week.
- Data quality: you can connect your Google Search Console to get more accurate data
- Powerful user interface solely dedicated to all things SEO
- Bootstrapped team
- Great support and learning material
- Less expensive than Semrush and all features are included in every plan
- More limitations on searches than Semrush
- Complex pricing
Ubersuggest Key Takeaway
Ubersuggest is an all-in-one SEO web application at an affordable price, at the expense of data accuracy. Best for small-to-medium businesses.
- All the main features of Semrush
Freemium. Pricing plans start at $29 per month with 100 keyword searches per day, with a 7-day free trial. There is also the possibility of a lifetime plan starting at $290.
- Complete tool set
- Most affordable paid competitor
- Super simple user interface
- Data quality: alternatives provide more accurate results
- No global data
Take your SEO to the next level with Embarque
You can find hundreds of SEO tools online, which can be divided into 7 categories: keyword research, on-page SEO, local SEO, rank tracking, backlink analysis, competitor analysis, and all-in-one tool suites. Taken separately or together, they become viable alternatives to Semrush.
Installing, mastering, and using SEO tools take a considerable amount of time, however. If you find yourself out-of-breath after a hard day working on your online business, Embarque can help by providing high-quality SEO content using the best SEO tools available on the market so that you don’t have to pay for them yourself.