While Google Analytics lets you track visitors and other statistics of your website, this is confidential information for you and your group.
How do you get web analytics data about other websites that are your competitors? For such data, tools like Semrush and Similarweb.com come into the picture that accesses and analyzes web data usage from third parties including internet service providers while obliging with the privacy issues of individual web users.
How if SEO (Search Engine Optimization), content marketing, competitor research, PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and social media marketing added to your web analytics platform? This is what Semrush delivers with actionable recommendations to optimize your website, content, and marketing campaigns.
My experience with Similarweb.com as the owner of starter websites less than 12 months old and less than 1k unique monthly visitors
Once the email verified, the onboarding process is interactive. However, there is no clarity on pricing. You need to enter into a one-on-one dialog to know the pricing. I did not proceed further as soon I realized that Similarweb.com has little to offer for starter websites less than 12 months old and less than 1k unique monthly visitors. In fact, the statistics offered could misguide as noted while checking for a few of our starter websites (including digitalsplendid.xyz).
There appears a great dashboard with an option to customize.
I tested with putting Bounce Rate as part of the customized dashboard. Since Google Analytics is implemented for digitalsplendid.xyz, I get the accurate analytics for this website. The bounce rate showing for Mar 1, 2021 to May 31, 2021 is 2.02%.against Similarweb.com showing bounce rate as 100 percent. I immediately decided to abandon Similarweb.com as I understood this might be not suitable for starter websites.
Semrush offers free forever plan, features beyond analytics, and clarity on pricing
Next, I started with a 7-day trial of Semrush and found that there is a wide variety of features beyond analytics. There is clarity on pricing and a free forever plan in case of your current budget tight.
Semrush works perfect for all kinds of websites although some of the parameters might still not be available for a new or starter website. Yet, as your website starts getting older and records more traffic, Semrush starts providing details of such missing parameters as well.
Although it is true that for the starter website digitalsplendid.xyz even SEMush does not have enough data to predict bounce rate, yet the statistics otherwise offered with the likes of Semrush Authority Score, Top Organic Keywords, Backlinks, Distribution by Country are exhaustive. And showing n/a (not available) for bounce rate is better than showing 100 percent (like by Similarweb.com), when as per Google Analytics, actual bounce rate 2.02%.
Refer to this article to know how I make the most of the partnership between Flippa (online marketplace to buy/sell websites) and Semrush to flip our starter websites: Planning your online business centered around developing saleable starter websites and affiliate marketing
As a website owner, one of the first things that you can do is to use the Site Audit feature. The free plan provides site audit for one website (up to 100 pages). This is a great way to check your website health on an ongoing basis.
Here is a comprehensive e-book that will guide you through all the steps of producing an SEO audit for a website with Semrush: The Ultimate Site Audit with Semrush. The components include:
- Crawlability: Pages accessible to search engines.
- Site Architecture: Organization of the content with SEO-friendly URLs, website’s internal and external linking, incorrect redirects.
- Structured Data Report: Through Google’s Rich Results or SERP features, users get an answer to their queries on Google Search itself instantly without visiting the website. Site Audit identifies web pages of your website eligible for rank in Rich Results. You can check if necessary markup added and valid.
- Core Web Vitals: Core Web Vitals are metrics set by Google to measure loading performance, interactivity, and unexpected layout shift in the page content and is a confirmed ranking factor for Google Search. Data is collected by Semrush from open-source Google Lighthouse, the result of which is available under Core Web Vitals in Site Audit.
- Page Issues: Addressing duplicates, sub-optimized titles, descriptions, headers, meta tags.
- Technical SEO: Checking page speed, unoptimized visuals, poorly coded HTML.
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): AMP technology helps access users of your website contents on Google Search results in an instant. AMP coding has a lot of rules and restrictions. Semrush helps detect more than 40 AMP-related mistakes.
- Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTPS): These days, not just pages that demand privacy such as payment page but all the pages are desired to be HTTPS. Modern browsers such as Chrome browser by Google will flag a page as unsecured if HTTPS not implemented, thereby sending negative signals to the users. SEMush helps detect if HTTPS properly functioning.
- International SEO: For multilingual sites, it is crucial to set the correct language for the right audience while optimizing the multilingual content for search engines and Semrush keeps an eye if the job is done properly.
To understand the Site Audit settings, refer this: Configuring Site Audit.
From the main dashboard under My Projects, you can access parameters like Site Health, Visibility, Ideas To Do, and initiate corrective actions starting with clicking Set Up.
Even if you are a newbie to SEO, Semrush is so designed that you get the definition, description of the terms on the platform itself. While implementing Semrush for your website, you also become an SEO expert in the process.
You just do not get analytics but actionable recommendations.
A demo of improving page load speed with the Site Audit feature of Semrush
In order to check Page Load Speed from the Site Audit, I go to main menu, click Site Audit.
Next, click Site Performance.
Currently, showing average page load speed of 1.07 seconds of 14 pages.
In order to fix uncompressed JavaScipt and CSS files, I activate W3 Total Cache plugin on the WordPress site.
Warnings reduced to 38 from 181.
Average page load speed time improves to 0.61 second from the earlier 1.07 second!
In this blog post, I have just shown Site Audit feature (part of On Page and Tech SEO) of Semrush that led to an increase in site speed from 1.07 seconds to 0.61 seconds by following one so-called actionable recommendation.Run a Full Website Scan in Minutes
SEMrush has far more to offer that includes under SEO Dashboard:
For a small website owner with a limited budget, the 100-page audit provided under the free plan by Semrush is handy. Use the free plan as an opportunity to learn SEO while improving your website. You can also join their free affiliate program, thereby spreading awareness about the Semrush SEO tool while earning affiliate commission (200$ per sale) in the process. There are web development agencies that provide SEO services to their clients powered by Semrush.
Although not mandatory, consider listing your offerings under Semrush Agency Partners (starting with 219.95$ per month). In other words, Semrush can be your partner in web development, internet marketing, and SEO, irrespective of your usage for your in-house or clients’ websites.