SEMRush is one of the most popular tools among internet marketers for creating strategies related to getting traffic from search engines.
In this article, I am going to describe what is likely the most commonly used tool in the SEMRush search engine marketing toolset, the Domain Overview tool.
Note: You'll need a paid SEMRush account to use the Domain Overview tool as well as any of the other SEO tools offered by SEMRush.
If you don't have an SEMRush account and you'd like to try out how these tools work before signing up for a subscription, you can start with a 7-day trial for their Pro level ($119.95/mo) or their Guru level ($229.95/mo) plans.
Accessing the Domain Overview Tool
SEMRush’s domain overview tool is accessible from the toolbar at the top of each page on the SEMRush website after you’ve logged in.
Although SEMRush does have an app that can be downloaded and installed on iOS and Android devices and used to access some of their tools, the SEMRush app is very limited when compared to using their website. For that reason, I recommend using the SEMRush.com website for any activity you'll be doing with the Domain Overview Tool and for other SEMRush tools.
To get started with the Domain Overview tool, you just enter the domain name, you’d like to do research on. In my case, I’m going to use Prosperopedia.com, which is a niche site I’m working on. This website has been around long enough that SEMRush has enough data to use it as an illustration for this tutorial.
Components of the Domain Overview Page
Once I’ve entered the domain name prosperopedia.com and hit enter, I’m taken to a page that looks like the image below. As you can see, there is a ton of data on this page. I will walk you through the various components of the page, explaining what they are and how to use them.
The Domain Overview page of SEMRush essentially serves as a dashboard for the domain you’re researching. Besides showing you a summary of the most important factors affecting the domain you’re interested in, each of the different sections on the Domain Overview page include links to more specific tools whose data are summarized on this page.
Narrowing the Scope of the Data
You will notice that there is a drop-down next to the domain entry text field that allows you to expand your search (if you originally something more specific than a top-level domain) or narrow your search to more specific pages or sections of the domain, including:
- Domain: the most general search; this will include data related to all pages published on the domain you’re researching
- Exact URL: the most specific search; this will give you overview data for one specific URL
- Sub-domain or Sub-folder: If you want to see how certain sections of your website (organized by sub-domain or sub-folder), this option will limit the data to the sub-domain or sub-folder you specify in your search.
Country Geographical Targeting
If you’d like to look at the domain (or sub-domain, page, sub-folder) you’ve entered only with respect to how it’s performing in a specific country, you can select from the list of countries. This is useful for marketers who are developing strategies for specific countries or languages.
The default for this geotargeting setting is Worldwide, which is a roll-up of the data from all the Google search engines from which SEMRush draws its information.
SEMRush issues an Authority Score to each of the tens of millions of domains it tracks in its databases. The Authority Score is a calculation made by SEMRush that ranks websites and webpages based upon their backlink profiles. SEMRush’s Authority Score describes how likely it is for pages on a domain to rank highly in Google.
Organic Search Traffic
The Organic Search Traffic metric provides an estimate of how many organic search referrals the website is getting from Google based upon how well pages on the site rank for search terms that SEMRush tracks. Along with the estimate of how many site visitors are coming from organic search, SEMRush also reports how many keyword phrases the website is ranking for.
The Organic Search Traffic metrics provided on SEMRush’s Domain Overview tool allow you to see their organic traffic estimates for your website in historical time periods that include 1 month, 6 month, 1 year, 2 year, and all time.
Also included with Organic Search Traffic are summary breakdowns of where your website ranks for search phrases SEMRush tracks, providing the number of phrases for which your website ranks in the top…
- 1-3 positions
- 4-10 positions
- 11-20 positions
- 21-50 positions
- 51-100 positions
Knowing these figures is helpful for getting a general feel for the progress you’re making as you work to create higher rankings, and you can also dig into the details of each of these to see what needs to be done for specific page/phrase pair to move them up to the next level. Most marketers have strategies that are built around pages ranking at those various levels for target keyword phrases.
Paid Search Traffic
The Paid Search Traffic stat is similar to the Organic Search Traffic stat, except that the data comes from what your business is spending using Google AdWords pay per click (PPC) advertising. You can get this data directly from your Google AdWords account, and it’s likely to be more accurate than what SEMRush provides here. I don’t use the Paid Search Traffic data (and I usually don’t use PPC advertising as it is inferior to ranking well and getting organic search traffic) from SEMRush.
This data includes two data points: 1) the overall number of links SEMRush has found (using their crawler bots) that are linking to your website; and 2) the number of separate domains that have links going to your website.
Backlinks to your website, including from a wide variety of different domains, are critical to ranking well in search engines.
Further down the Domain Overview page are more in-depth stats related to backlinks and a domain’s overall link profile. These widgets show several key pieces of data related to your website’s backlink profile, including the top links pointing to pages on your domain, a breakdown of how many of your links are follow versus nofollow, the type of links (text, image, etc.) pointing to your website, which anchor tags have been use most to link to your website, and which domains link to your website the most.
Each of these data widgets can be clicked on to get more detailed information about those respective stats.
Distribution by Country
The Distribution by Country section of the Domain Overview page makes an estimate of where your traffic comes from geographically. Most US-based, English-language websites will naturally see this statistic lean heavily towards the US, unless the topics you’re covering on your website are more related to other countries and would, of course, appeal to a set of users outside of the US.
The Distribution by Country section provides an estimate of the amount of traffic your website is receiving from each country. You also get data about how many keywords your website ranks for that are being tracked by SEMRush.
You can use the Distribution by Country widget to view how your website is performing for organic keywords (the default selection) or you can click on the Paid tab to see how your paid search efforts are doing.
Over the past decade, Google has been more inclined to publish information from websites that it has indexed directly into its search results with the intention of giving people answers to questions and other pieces of data where Google feels confident enough about matching searches with information from its index directly at the top of its search engine results page (SERP).
The SERP Features section of Domain Overview gives you a feel for how your pages show up (if at all) in those snippets of data.
Many marketers create specific strategies around having information from their pages show up directly in these SERP results because there is a high click-through rate for them.
Keywords By Intent
The Keywords By Intent widget shows a summary of the number of keyword phrases your pages rank for categorized by the predicted intent of the keyword phrase.
The science of search engines (and the SEO that accompanies it) has progressed to the point where marketers can determine what the intent of a search is, allowing them to analyze intent and put their efforts towards those intents they deem to be most lucrative. SEMRush breaks down ranking search phrases by the following intents:
Main Organic Competitors
Using its extensive network of spiders, databases, and other informational cues, SEMRush has built competitor relationship data sets that allow marketers to use their competitors ranking information for their own benefit. The Main Organic Competitors section of SEMRush’s Domain Overview lists the common keyword phrases you have with those competitors, and a number that represents the total number of keywords for which that competitor ranks in the top 100 of SEMRush’s tracked data.
As with the other widgets on the Domain Overview page, you can drill down the Main Organic Competitors by clicking on View Details.