How To Use SEMrush For Keyword Research? | The Full Guide

how to use semrush for keyword research

I often get asked which tool is the best to use for keyword research and which of the SEO tools give you the most accurate data.

SEMrush is an excellent tool to use when it comes to keyword research for your SEO campaigns and has a number of useful features that can use within the tool.

In this guide, we will look at SEMrush’s keyword research capabilities and drill into each of the tools available and the kinds of insights it can provide for you.

What is keyword research?

  1. What is keyword research?
  2. Why is the keyword research process important?
  3. Is SEMrush good for keyword research?
    1. Keyword Overview Tool
    2. Ad History Report
    3. Keyword Magic Tool
    4. Keyword Difficulty
  4. What is the SEMrush keyword research tool?
  5. How do I research keywords in SEMrush?
    1. Use Keyword Overview for quick analysis
    2. Review keyword ad history
    3. Analyse a topic and find keyword clusters
    4. Using the Keyword Magic Tool to build keyword lists
    5. Research Keyword Difficulty and competition
  6. Is SEMrush accurate?
  7. How do you use the SEMrush keyword magic tool for keyword research?
  8. What is the best way to use SEMrush?
  9. Conclusion

Keyword research is the process of finding and analysing search terms that people enter into Google with the goal to use this data for SEO or digital marketing activities.

Keywords can uncover queries to target, their popularity in rankings as well as how difficult they are at any given time to rank for based on trends and demand.

SEMrush is an SEO tool that has a number of keyword research features that can help you understand what it is your customers are actively searching to find services like yours.

what is semrush

Why is the keyword research process important?

Keyword research is the key to understanding what your target audience wants. This insight will help you create better content and understand their needs more clearly, which in turn can help them convert into customers.

It can help you understand the queries that your target audience is actually searching on Google, which will give valuable insight into their needs and interests.

using semrush for keyword research

This knowledge should be considered when developing a content strategy as you can craft pages that suit the needs of that particular search phrase.

Keyword research is an essential part of any SEO strategy and will determine the way you structure your website. It is vital that you use a tool like SEMrush to help you with this, especially if you are in a competitive niche and require a lot of research and planning.

Is SEMrush good for keyword research?

The SEMrush toolkit offers a wide range of keyword research tools that can help inform your SEO strategy. There are a number of useful features that can take your keyword research to the next level. Some of the key features include:

Keyword Overview Tool

Keyword Overview is the perfect tool for anyone who wants to get an overview of their keywords. With a comprehensive summary of major keyword metrics like volume, CPC, competition and top-ranking pages, you’ll be able to make informed decisions regarding your keyword and SEO strategy.

semrush keyword overview tool

Ad History Report

The Ad History report is an excellent way to identify advertising trends and understand how well a keyword performed in paid search.

This will allow you to see all domains that bid on your given keywords over a 12 month period, as well their position with respect to organic results for those same terms.

It allows you to see the amount of ad traffic, ad traffic price, and the total number of ads for that keyword.

semrush ad history report

Keyword Magic Tool

The Keyword Magic Tool is a powerful and thorough way to analyze keywords for your niche. It allows you to see the suggested groups of related topics, broken down by subgroup or volume.

It can help you find longtail variations of the keywords you are looking to target and opens up opportunities to find related keywords for your website. It also gives you the search volume of these phrases and is a great tool that can help enhance your keyword research strategy.

semrush keyword magic tool

Keyword Difficulty

SEMrush keyword difficulty is a metric that allows users to see how difficult it will be to rank for a particular keyword. It works on a numerical scale from 0 to 100: with 100 being the most difficult phrase to rank for.

It is a score that is based on a number of links pointing at the pages ranking for the phrases, the number of websites that are competing and the number of searches that a phrase gets a month.

This is an extremely useful metric for keyword research as it means you can carry out an effective keyword research strategy and understand how hard it will be to rank for certain phrases.

semrush keyword magic tool

What is the SEMrush keyword research tool?

The SEMrush keyword research toolkit is an excellent way to find out how valuable any given keywords are.

You can discover the organic and advertising value of a particular term by looking at search volume, search intent, and difficulty level in ranking in the Google SERP.

This will help you choose the keywords that have a higher potential to help save budget and create pages that are relevant to your audience.

How do I research keywords in SEMrush?

When asked about how to use SEMrush for keyword research, there are many ways in which you can use the SEMrush keyword research toolkit to maximise your usage of the tool.

There are many ways in which you can find organic keywords opportunities for your website and it can really help find the opportunities that will help grow your website or business.

Some of the most effective ways to find target keywords opportunities include:

Use Keyword Overview for quick analysis

The Keyword Overview tool is the most comprehensive way to get an accurate analysis of your keywords. With this report, you can view all major metrics like volume and competition in the paid search along with top-ranking pages for each keyword.

semrush keyword overview tool

Review keyword ad history

The SEMrush Keyword Ad History tool allows users to review the keywords that are being used in Google Ads. This tool allows you to find advertising trends and find the keywords that were previously being bid on.

The Keyword Ad History feature is fantastic because if the keyword had previously been used for PPC and businesses are happy to spend money to get customers to click on their ads, it means that generally, it is a phrase that could lead to a new customer.

This tool also provides the cost per click value and the more expensive it is to pay for a click, generally means is a more highly converting keyword.

Analyse a topic and find keyword clusters

Keyword Magic Tool will help you discover long-tail keywords that are semantically related to your niche. It’s an excellent tool for building master lists of helpful terms and phrases in any niche or exploring how different topics can be grouped together with keyword opportunities.

It also has a “questions” feature that is great for exploring featured snippet opportunities. Questions within your content are a great way to help provide customers with the answers that they need to answer queries relating to your service.

Using the Keyword Magic Tool to build keyword lists

The Keyword Magic Tool will allow you to build keyword lists that you can actually export into a spreadsheet and use the data as you wish. Its great for finding relevant keywords that will help your customers and Google to understand what it is your website is offering. You can perform keyword research very effectively and build keywords related to your niche.

Research Keyword Difficulty and competition

The Keyword Difficulty Tool allows users to understand how competitive a niche or a keyword is to rank for. The scoring system will give you a quick view of the more competitive and less competitive phrases and provide insight into the opportunities that lie within your niche.

Is SEMrush accurate?

SEMrush data is fairly accurate in comparison to other SEO tools. No SEO tool is going to be 100% accurate in terms of the data it produces and SEMrush certainly does not claim that its data is. The data provided by both SEMrush and Ahrefs which arguably are the two most popular SEO tools are fairly similar. The search volume metric for instance is never going to be completely accurate as there are not going to be the exact same number of searches for a keyword every month. However, like the other features in SEMrush, it is designed to give you an idea and not be completely black and white. When it comes to keyword research, you should always take what you get back with a pinch of salt and look at other metrics to get a better idea of the volume, difficulty and intent of a keyword.

How do you use the SEMrush keyword magic tool for keyword research?

With the Keyword Magic Tool, you can find out what keywords are trends in any search engine. You’ll also be able to analyse niche subtopics and groupings for more specific information about your competition and better plan the structure of your content and website navigation.

  1. Start with seed keyword – Enter a keyword you want to analyse in the search bar of the Keyword Magic Tool. The tool will then generate a list of related keywords that will provide ideas and variations of the seed keyword you wish to target.
  2. Set match modifiers – The match modifier feature then allows you to find variations of your seed keyword. This can be broad, phrase and exact match phrases which will allow you to find even more related phrases. Broad keywords provide wider variations of keywords. Phrase match keywords provide keywords in the exact same form as the seed keyword but in different orders. An exact match provides specific keywords that are in the exact same form as your seed keyword.
  3. Filter for questions – Select questions to find keyword data for users searching for questions relating to your seed keyword. This is a great way to increase the reach of your content, find keyword ideas, provide customers with answers to queries and increase the relevance of your seed and “money” keywords.
  4. Find search volume and keyword difficulty – the Keyword Magic tool will provide valuable keywords and inform users of the search volume and difficulty to rank for a phrase.

What is the best way to use SEMrush?

SEMrush has a number of useful features that are not just keyword related but can also enhance your backlink research, social media presence and competitor analysis.

Some of the best ways to use SEMrush include:

  1. Identify your competitors – use the domain search and competitor analysis features to understand your niche and see what the big websites within your niche are doing. This is one of the big features of SEMrush that can provide useful insights into the kind of content they are putting out and give you additional keyword ideas.
  2. Find best performing content – SEMrush allows you to look at your competitors’ content as well as the content that is ranking for particular keywords. This helps provide insight as to how you should structure your content and what kinds of keyword variations you need to include within a piece of content in order to provide sufficient coverage for a phrase.
  3. Identify your top ranking keywords – the position tracking tool allows you to monitor your rankings and see how well you are ranking for a particular phrase. This can help determine your keyword research strategy and will tell you how well your content is optimised for the phrase you are trying to rank for.
  4. Find link building opportunities – the backlink analyser allows users to find opportunities for link building. It also provides information on your own backlinks and allows you to monitor the impact of your link building campaigns.


Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand how to use SEMrush for keyword research and give you what you need to dominate the search engines.

Keyword research is a vital part of any SEO strategy and getting it right is vital in order to maximise your rankings.

SEMrush is a great solution for your keyword research and there are many other features that can help inform your SEO campaign decisions.

I hope that this review has provided some useful insights into the tool. If you have any questions regarding SEMrush, do not hesitate to ask and make sure to take advantage of the free trials and introductory offers to try it out for yourself.

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