Keyword Research Using SEMrush – 3 Intuitive Ways To Improve On-Page SEO

You need a domain, keyword and URL to do keyword research in SEMrush differently. This is part of the on-page optimization, when optimizing your article for a keyword. But each use-case is meaningful in the context, you are writing the article. You may be targeting your competitor data, when you are in the advanced level. But as a basic beginner, you may opt-out for simple keyword research.

Let’s dive into the 3 different ways, in which your keyword strategy can be productive from a beginner, advanced and expert level perspective.

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Keyword Research using SEMrush – The Basic Approach

The rules of the SEO game has changed lately. You cannot use the same tricks and tips of the trade you used in 2010. For this purpose, search engine marketing tools like SEMrush will reduce the overhead of content writing.

You bought the SEMrush Pro account newly and you are starting to build up your blog. As you know, if you are a small-time blogger, you need to concentrate on niche articles. That is you need to focus on a branded keyword and write articles around them. That doesn’t mean you write an article for each keyword. But you have make sure you find the “semantic keywords” to introduce naturally into your content.

For example, I want to target my blog around “sem security management”. So it is better I find all the semantic related keyword surrounding this phrase. So a better keyword opportunity lies in directly entering that phrase in the SEMrush “search box”. You can choose the “country” domain of Google to find the searches specific to that country. There are about 29 countries in the SEMrush database to do keyword research.

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But unfortunately there are neither “phrase match” nor “related” keywords found in the SEMrush database for this country. The best approach during this type of failure, is to drop a “word” from the keyword phrase. So now you can search the database using the keyword “sem security”.

Simple keyword research using SEMrush

Now you will get 1 phrase match keyword and 19 related keywords. This is one of the draw-back of any SEM tool. You can’t get all the data that Google has. You just have to use several tools, to get a complete picture. But sticking to beginners level, you have got 19 gold nugget keywords, you can target in your niche.

Instead of going to Keyword Planner, to get additional data like Search Volume, CPC, you can get the same data here. This saves some time. To see the full list of related keywords you can click on “Full Report”.  If you observe the list, all the keywords are not of importance. This can happen if you are targeting a micro-niche.

But out of the 19 related keywords, the following would be of useful nature.

  1. sem shredder
  2. sem disintegrator

This is a basic approach of finding niche related keywords and developing further to find more keyword opportunities.

The Website is Already There – The Advanced Approach

For example, my website has some related content in the “sem security” blogosphere. Now I want to improve further, to get more article ideas. Then the best approach would be to directly enter your “website” address in the SEMrush search box. For example, if your website is “” (I just took that name to be convenient with the SEO), you just have to enter it.

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This will produce some “organic keywords” you are already ranking for. But this is not the thing we want. Because this data is already available within the GWT, as “search queries”. So now you have to look for keyword opportunities from your competitors. For example, for the example domain, we have 963 competitors. So based on “competition level” if you click the link under “SE Keywords” column, you will get additional data.

Gathering additional keywords from competitors

For example, the No.1 competitor is having 106 related keywords. But in the same way as earlier, you have to sort out manually, the required keywords. Even though there are not enough “SEM” related keywords here, you can target for “hardware” keywords like

  1. hard drive shredder
  2. hard drive shredder for sale
  3. hard drive crusher
  4. disk destroyer
  5. disk degausser
  6. dvd splitter
  7. vhs tape cleaner machine
  8. computer shredder

Otherwise, you can go to the next “competitor” and find the “keywords” under the “SE Keywords” column. This way you have to try your luck until you get the best set of related semantic words.

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In the initial stages, it’s better NOT TO concentrate on Volume and CPC data. This is somehow erroneous to the actual figures you will get. So better build up traffic and then look at monetizing the available results, if you are a small-time blogger.

I’m already Ranking, How to Improve? – The Expert Approach

This part of the story is for improving your ranking in Google search results. Let’s take the “sem security” example – the keyword you are already ranking for. Instead of searching in Google, you can directly search in SEMrush with the above keyword. This will give the list of top 20 search results for the above keyword in the said “country” database. For example, your website is ranking like 19th, in the search result and you need to improve, just click the search result above you.

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top 20 search engine results - for better keyword research

This will show the organic keywords that “article” is already ranking for. For example, by clicking one of the results above, I got the following related organic keywords.

  1. security event management
  2. security event

By writing articles around these keywords, you will be able to better rank for your “parent” keyword.

Additional organic keywords to target for better ranking


The best part of keyword research is fun. You will get different ideas on your next blog articles. The above 3 methods can be combined physically into one. By just clicking on one result and going to the next, you will improve your keyword search results. If anyhow, you are stranded on a page with no-data, you can always come back to the previous page and reduce the complexity level. This way you can improve your keyword effectiveness index (KEI) for better search engine marketing (SEM).

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