One of the best ways to get more visibility for your store online is via search engine optimization. Ranking better for key search terms related to your store.
There are some best practices that you can implement of course that get you 80% of the way there.
The good news is that a simple combination of WordPress, WooCommerce and a free SEO plugin like Yoast SEO does most of the heavy lifting for you.
So why do you need something like SEMRush?
The ‘SEM’ in SEMRush stands for Search Engine Marketing. And “search engine marketing” covers a LOT of ground.
If you’re running a WooCommerce store, there’s a lot of stuff that something like Yoast can tell you about your on-page SEO, things like keyword density and readability scores.
But what I have found is that SEMRush gives you that next level deeper.
Monitoring your store’s SEO health
For example, one of my favorite features of SEMRush is they send you emails recommending technical SEO changes to your site based on best practices and what they’re noticing as they crawl your site.
All I had to do was set up a Site Audit for my site and does two things:
- The Site Audit immediately starts crawling and detecting issues and gives you a list of stuff to fix.
- It does the same process regularly in the background, so you don’t have to remember to do it, and it emails you with suggestions.
It picked up a couple of technical problems that I was able to fix straight away. Without it, I wouldn’t have noticed them.
At the end of the day, they also give me an SEO health score which gives me a metric to monitor and keep above a certain level. I’m pretty sure I would never be able to achieve a perfect score (nor do I have the time to go for it) but I do try to fix the most pressing issues on a semi-regular basis.
Track important keywords related to your products
Another important feature I use is the keyword position tracking. It’s much more accurate than the free tools around (which, by the way, many have gone away due to changes in Google’s APIs).
For stores, I suggest that you use this tool to track the top 10 keywords for each of your important money-making pages.
A great way to do this is to use the Organic Keyword Research Tool in SEMRush, find the top keywords for the products (or niche of that product) and plug those keywords into SEMRush’s Keyword Position tool for ongoing tracking.
You can even use this organic research tool for spying on your competitors. If you have a close competitor, plug their URL in the Domain Overview report and you’ll see all sorts of neat information about the keywords they’re going for, what the competitive landscape is like, their backlink count, breakdown of paid/organic traffic. It’s amazing.
On-page checking and suggestions
Another tool I enjoy using from time to time is the on-page SEO checker.
The way it works is you input your URL, then over time, it starts collecting suggestions for the pages that it crawls on your site.
These suggestions can be purely on-page SEO stuff, but also other interesting things like backlink ideas, semantic ideas based on the environment in that particular ranking vertical, strategy ideas and SERP features (like ranking in the FAQ boxes and such).
Is it worth using a tool like SEMRush as a store owner?
My take is that it depends on your goals.
For me, I like to take a long term view when it comes to marketing. Flash in the pan tactics are fine, but they don’t deliver long term sustainable business growth.
To get that, you need to look at your long term strategies like SEO and optimizing your site so that your store can rank for the high purchase intent keywords that will drive revenue.
What I like about optimizing websites for stuff like search is that you can build a resource, improve it to the point where it’s rankable, and it will continue to deliver value to your business with little to no further labor costs.
That’s a one-time investment (and yes, it can be quite an investment) for a long time continuing gain for your business.
SEMRush basically pours jet fuel onto that fire because you get much better insights than if you were to try to figure this information out without the tool.
Trust me, I did it the long way for a long time and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t jump on a tool like SEMRush sooner because it would have given me a lot of shortcuts to get where I’m at in the SEO game today for my stores.
There are a few plans available for SEMRush and because the toolset is so extensive (I’ve literally detailed about 4 of their tools here among hundreds) it can be a bit confusing for store owners to select what plan they should go on.
I’m on the Pro plan which is the base level plan, charged at $99.95 a month, and I have a few sites linked into my account with all the features I mentioned above active.
The only usage limit I’m close to hitting is the 500 keywords being tracked, but even then I still have a little way to go and I drop off uninteresting keywords all the time so I don’t think I’ll hit that soon.
For 80% of the store owners that will read this, the Pro plan is perfectly fine and it comes with a free trial so you can actually see how it’s going to work and whether you will indeed hit any of those limits or not.
I’ve organized to have our readers get a 30-day free trial of SEMRush (As opposed to their normal 7-day trial period) so you can really check it out. Just click through this link to claim your 30-day free trial.