Why should you even read an article about Semrush 2020 updates? “Updates”, seriously? Well, yes.
If you buy the new iPhone just cause it gets “taller”, trust me, Semrush updates brought in many (25+) actual new features apart from changing just how it “looks”.
If you use Semrush, you’re amongst the leaders! If you don’t, maybe these updates will give you reasons to.
Didn’t I just say “leaders”? That’s because Semrush is used by companies who’re literally global leaders and are changing the world. (Hint: Tesla!)
In fact, over 45% Fortune 500 companies use Semrush. They can’t all be wrong, can they?
It has brought in some of the most “next-gen” changes to itself. These updates do hold the potential to change how you SEO!
By ignoring this piece because it’s just “updates”, you’re likely missing out on a whole new SEO strategy which wasn’t possible before these changes.
Hey, don’t take my word for it. It’ll cost you less than a few minutes on this piece, and the results could potentially be life-changing (no exaggeration here!).
Semrush 2020 updates
Just to get you an idea of how big the changes are, here’s a list of everything I’ve covered (and, I’m pretty confident I still missed a few updates which may be out of my everyday Semrush routine).
- Database update
- The logo and homepage
- New “Positions” and “Volume” filters
- “Questions” and “SERP features” for each keyword
- Free backlinks
- Subfolders and URL search
- Better “Worldwide” and “country-compare” features
- Growth reports
- Share of Voice (SoV)
- Markup reports within Site Audit
- Local SEO upgrades
- Granular traffic analytics and competition comparison
- New Market explorer features
- Growth quadrants
- New reports
- Custom markets
- Impact Hero
- Content Marketing Suite updates
- New social media analytical tool
- New Ad Manager
- The money-making update
- Sellerly: The Amazon Genie
- Yoast Integration
- Prowly Acquisition
- New pricing plans.
I wouldn’t say much, just that, if you knew Semrush back in 2018, you don’t know Semrush today.
Here’s how much just its “database” has changed in the past 2 years!
Going just by “numbers”, Semrush is quite literally unbeatable today.
The logo and homepage (looks matter, don’t they?)
Here’s the Semrush logo before, and after the update:
This new logo is obviously a “fireball”.
It’s supposed to be the “mechanism” or the fuel/energy, which pushes the marketing (SEO/ Ads/ Design/ Research etc.) ecosystem further.
They also made massive changes to the Semrush homepage. There are new icons, stats, testimonials (such as the one below):
…and many other new eye-candies.
Personally, yes I do like the new logo and website better. But, let’s get down to “actual features”. Most of you don’t care for the logo and that’s a sad yet practical truth, isn’t it?
New “Positions” and “Volume” filters
Keyword Gap has always existed on Semrush and has been one of my favorite features!
It’s a magic tool. It helps me find keywords my competitors are using but I am not. (And, it takes seconds). You totally should read my very (veryyyy) detailed Semrush review for more info.
However, the “volume” and “tops/positions” filters are new and weren’t available earlier.
So now, you can filter the “positions” of the keywords you want to see. Maybe you just need the keywords in top 10 you’re missing? Top 20? 50? You can select that now.
Also, now you can specify a “volume”. Only keywords with enough volume as set by you will be shown.
There’s also this feature for “Bulk Analysis”. Why search for keywords one at a time? How about a hundred? Yes, you can input and obtain results for 100 keywords at a time using the bulk keyword search feature.
How this helps you–> You save time. You don’t have to scroll through thousands of keywords to find what you’re looking for. Also, you can find keywords more accurate and precise to your requirements.
“Questions” and “SERP Features” for each keyword
When you’re using the Keyword Research tool, Semrush now has tied each individual keyword with potential questions, as well as “SERP features”.
Obviously, at times these may not be available for some keywords. However, the fact that you get a complete insight for a keyword, without leaving the keyword list is impressive.
How this helps you–> Again, saves time and allows selecting keywords with more potential (SERP Features) as well as variations (in the form of questions).
Yeah, I just used the “result” of the new update as the headline.
The actual update is a teensy weensy filter which I almost missed. It’s just buried a bit deep inside the “Backlink Analytics” pages.
You probably would miss it too if you don’t dig deep enough (or, you read this piece).
So, there’s this new filter called –“Target URL error” on the “Indexed pages” tab, inside the “Backlink Analytics” tool.
This basically shows you broken backlinks for the domain. You can then send an e-mail (heck, call the admin if you can) and ask them to replace this broken link, with one of your own backlinks.
Now, the reason I said “free backlinks” is because the chances of the site admin agreeing are very high. They’d get a working, updated source/article, you’ll get a backlink. Win-Win, isn’t it?
Semrush also updated its backlink toxicity tool. It’s now more accurate and can help you detect backlinks which have the potential to tank years’ worth of hardwork. (Again, do read my detailed review for more details.)
How this helps you-> Strong chances of you getting free backlinks.
Subfolders and URL search
This was one of my personal problems with Semrush. It didn’t allow for “subfolder” or URL-level search earlier.
Now it’s effective across all of Semrush features. This includes keyword Gap, domain overview and everywhere else.
When you search for a sub folder or exact URL on the Keyword Gap tool, it’ll show you the compared results for the exact URL/subfolder and not the entire domain.
Similarly, the Domain Overview too can now be used to exclude overall results if that’s what you need.
How this helps you-> Helps with more accurate and pin-pointed research. Removes unwanted results (and, again, saves time.)
Better “Worldwide” and “Country-Compare” features
Why be limited to results from a specific country?
Semrush recently brought in this “Worldwide” button.
When turned on, you don’t see results from just one country. Rather, a collective report of the domain/URL/subfolder’s overall performance across all the countries is displayed.
Then there’s this new “compare by countries” feature. This one’s pretty unique and I doubt any of the other Ahrefs alternatives in 2021 offer this.
You can now compare a domain/URL/sub-folders performance for individual countries, simultaneously. As many as 5 countries can be compared at the same time and that I must say is impressive.
How this helps you-> In Semrush’s own words, it takes your research “global”. You get a broader idea using the “Worldwide” filter, and specific, “comparative” data for each country using the country-compare feature
This is another feature which has been recently included in the Semrush newest updates.
You can choose time-periods and see the growth (or decline) for the entered domain.
You can even choose “quarter over quarter” or “year over year” filters if you do not wish to compare by months.
The reports are ultra-detailed. The basic changes for traffic, backlinks, paid traffic etc. are sure displayed.
However, on top of these, it also uses in-depth graphs and charts to show you the position changes, traffic change by country, position distribution etc.
How it helps you-> So far, we’ve been manually recording/remembering/ scribbling down our status on date X, and comparing it a month later on date Y. Now, you get a more detailed, accurate and automated comparison.
Share of Voice (SoV)
If you’re a frequent reader here, you already know one of my major complaints with Semrush. Its “visibility score”, on the “position tracking” feature is based purely on “keyword positions”.
Hey, just winning or losing a rank doesn’t guarantee anything, does it? Semrush brought in this new “Share of Voice” feature.
So now, you get an idea of your site’s market-share based not just on “keyword positions” but on the search volume + estimated traffic for your tracked keywords.
How this helps you-> Let’s just say that the “visibility score” was a bit narrow, based on limited metrics while the SoV is a broader perspective.
There’s this another “device update” …..if I can call it that.
I’ll put this simply. This allows you to track your keywords across multiple (actually, unlimited) locations without having to create another project.
There’s also this tiny little update for exported reports.
You get to choose if you want your position tracking reports:
- Or monthly.
How this helps you-> You get a better idea of your positions (and, their actual benefits), you also get to track multiple geo-locations and export reports at your own convenience.
“Markup reports” within Site Audit
Okay, being honest? A majority of you reading this Semrush 2020 updates piece probably don’t pay a lot of attention to Microdata or markups.
Well, you should. It may be the “non-interesting, somewhat boring” part of SEO, but it doe impact your rankings.
Semrush understands that. It’s why they implemented this “Markup” tab on their site audit reports.
If you go through my Semrush vs. Ahrefs piece and look at the “Site Audit” section, you’d see this tab wasn’t here then.
How this helps you-> It’s like a complete dataset which was missing earlier. Also, Semrush is one of the very few SEO tools offering this which makes it unique by itself.
Local SEO upgrades
If I’m being honest, this isn’t something that most of us (including me) are using. It’s most beneficial for those businesses/companies who maintain a hyper local presence.
For starters, the listing management tool now includes France and Germany. Directories for these two countries have now been included and were missing earlier.
Then, not that Semrush directories were any bad before, but, they updated and brought in more directories for all the countries in general.
Amazon, Apple, Yelp, MyGlobalServices are just a (very negligible) fraction of the total list of directories available with Semrush.
Moreover, Semrush can now track up to 5 keywords and their rankings in specific locales on Google Maps!
The final new Semrush 2020 update (in terms of local SEO) however is the most impressive. This allows business owners to respond to reviews, even on Facebook and Google My Business directly from Semrush!
How this helps you-> If you’re into local SEO, this is like an all-in-one package which monitors and allows interactions with users from a single dashboard.
Granular traffic analytics and competition comparison
The screenshot below captures both the Semrush 2020 updates as far as its “Traffic Analytics” module goes.
Yes, for starters, you can now obtain traffic analytic reports not just for the primary domain but also subdomains.
The second being the new “Audience Insights” report. You can basically enter up to 5 domains, see their traffic reports and capitalize on it however you wish.
How it helps you-> The subdomain-level data offers more specific details, while the audience insights helps form better strategies by uncovering competitor secrets.
New Market Explorer features
There are basically three primary Semrush 2020 updates here:
- Growth Quadrant
- New reports
- Custom Markets
The Growth Quadrant lets you enter a domain, and offers details about how different websites/domains are performing in the market.
It primarily shows details such as traffic growth and volume for each domain.
The fact that these domains are categorized into “Game changers” (new, but with strong future potential) and “Leaders” (websites growing fast, with an already established repute) makes understanding the competition much easier.
It even includes “Niche players” (these are smaller websites) and “Established players” (the websites which dominate the market).
How this helps you-> You understand which websites exist in your market, how they’re performing, which are the upcoming competitors and a lot more.
Semrush now allows comparing 5 competing domains against each other. These reports will show you the traffic for each domain, audience characteristics and other data.
If you already have a list of domains/competitors you wish to analyze, this is for you.
In fact, as many as 20 domains can be compared all at once.
The report is similar to the one I mentioned earlier. This time however, the domains are selected by you and not fetched by Semrush on its own.
How this helps you-> Helps you understand “markets” (mind it, not just domains, but entire niches/industries) and your competitors.
Even though I’m mentioning it as a Semrush 2020 update, it’s basically a new tool all by itself.
But hey, it does (truly) make life easier. In other words, it scans your website and tells you:
- How you can improve your content.
- Which content/pages/assets on your website have the potential, but aren’t getting the attention they deserve.
It’s based on A.I developed after hundreds of surveys and isn’t just another one of those random tools.
There’s this “Markov Chain” model which has the ability to scan a page, and tell you if the page will convert or will result in dry visitors.
In a nutshell, it makes you a marketing ninja (without the violence) by summing up the expertise of dozens of experts into this one tool + A.I.
How this helps you-> You get more conversion-optimized pages/websites. Period.
Content Marketing Toolkit
Let’s say you’ve never heard of topic X. Semrush’s Content Marketing Suite helps you write a content on topic X which won’t just be “optimized” but have a massive chances of beating your competitors on the SERP!
Hey, why stop there? It even helps with marketing, monitoring and “creating free backlinks” for your content.
I was so impressed with it that I did an extremely detailed article just on Semrush Content Marketing suite.
But, that’s not the “update”. The “update” is Semrush expanded its Content Marketplace.
In other words, you can now order product descriptions, e-books, email newsletters, press releases, infographics (and maybe even letters expressing love) from Semrush.
Even “website copies” can be ordered off the marketplace. You can either order content one-off, or subscribe to its “Premium- $33.00/month” plan.
The subscription offers discounts on all orders, but that’s not the prime attraction. The prime attraction is- free stock media!
You get access to free stock photos/videos/icons and other graphic material for your article. If you use lot’s of infographics, this really is something you could benefit from.
You can even invite teammates and clients to work on it together! (Marketing, social-distancing style, eh?)
How can you benefit from it-> Seriously? Go figure it out on your own! Or hey, read my guide on the suite linked above.
New social media analytics tool
I’m confident most of you reading this have a page on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and many other social networks.
What if I said you could monitor all these platforms, and the changes on each of them for your profiles, without leaving Semrush.
That’s what the social media analytics tool does. Here’s a glimpse:
You can see:
- New followers
- And Engagement rate.
All of this from a single dashboard.
Depending on the social media, you even get more details. E.g. for Facebook, you can monitor mentions, likes, engagement etc.
It even shows you “posts that upset people” (when users hide posts/report post etc.) Hey, that’s pretty creative and I love it. I may sound biased, but I love it.
How it helps you-> It brings all your social media under one roof, more importantly, it simplifies ads.
New Ad Manager
I’m pretty confident I mentioned it back in the days on my Semrush review.
However, it has been updated by a massive margin.
For starters, you can create ads both for Facebook and Instagram using the ad manager now.
From my personal experience, I’d say the UI for creating ads here is much simpler and less-cluttered as compared to the native interface at Facebook.
You can also schedule posts for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc.
How it helps you-> It doubles as a social media manager, coupled with dozens of other marketing features which even the social media sites lack.
The money-making update (for Digital Marketers)
I wouldn’t showcase false expertise here. This isn’t something I’ve personally used. However, I did get a pretty good idea of what it is.
So there’s this separate Semrush Agency Partner platform. You can enlist yourself there. Obviously doing so requires passing a few exams and obtaining the Semrush certification. But that’s what gives you credit.
Once you do that, Semrush clients (mostly Fortune 500 companies) use this platform to find professionals who can help these companies out. You’re listed on the platform and hence may land a client.
You get features like white-labelled reports, custom branding, custom designed reports etc.
How this helps you-> You get certified from Semrush, which builds your reputation, helps you land more clients and buy that mansion you’ve always dreamt of (hopefully).
Sellerly: The Amazon Genie.
If you sell, have plans of selling on Amazon in the future, this truly could be your genie.
For starters, it helps you analyze competing products and identify their traffic sources.
It then helps you improve your listings by fixing content errors and confirming to Amazon guidelines.
There’s even a “split-test” feature! You can run multiple instances for the same product, see what works better, improve upon it until you have a money making machine!
It can even be set to monitor price-changes, buyboxes, and direct keywords for your product.
How it helps you-> It’s basically a SEO and Marketing tool, but for Amazon instead of Google.
You’ve heard of Yoast, I know you have (if you haven’t, are you even in the SEO game?)
Semrush recently integrated with Yoast. Yoast was already a great SEO help, with Semrush joining hands, they made things only better.
This piece is about Semrush 2020 updates so I just had to mention that. Obviously, for more details, you should check my detailed article on Semrush & Yoast partnership.
How this helps you-> You SEO better and can access some of Semrush from your WordPress dashboard. Need more? Click on this link above.
Unlike Yoast, you may not have heard of Prowly. It was new for me too. It’s a PR and media-relations SaaS.
If you need “marketing” done, Prowly seems like a pretty good start. It helps find media contacts. Prowly has a database of 1,000,000+ media journalists who may be approached depending on your company/product.
It then helps with the PR-material creation. It even lets you chat and build connections with these journalists for future endeavours.
The best part? It’s 100% free if you have a Semrush account! Well yes, you can login to Prowly using your Semrush account.
Hey, Prowly generally costs upto $548.00/month!
Semrush going out on a limb and doing this for us for free is almost emotional (at least for me).
New Pricing plans
This probably is the first time I’m happy seeing a price hike even though it’s pretty slight to begin with.
But hey, you don’t have to worry about it. If you click here, you instantly get a 14-day free Semrush trial! (If you’re confused, I even did an entire step-by-step article on how to get Semrush free).
So, Semrush increased its pricing plans by a small margin:
- Pro plan- $199.95/month.
- Guru plan- $229.00/month.
- Business plan- $449.00/month.
Why I’m happy? Hey, I’ve been using Semrush for over 5 years now. This isn’t their “first” update. Sure it’s the first massive update though.
Point being, I just truly believe they deserve what they’re asking for, especially with all these 2020 updates.
Semrush 2020 updates- Final words
I get it, that was a long piece. But hey, that’s just how much Semrush has improved in the past few months.
What I liked best? These updates weren’t just for the “sake of it”. Most of these actually made major differences to features and possible strategies.
I’ve said multiple times how Semrush is quite literally “the” most feature-rich SEO tool out there (especially at this price-point). But now, it just increased the gap between itself and its competitors.
All I can say is, grab this 100% free 14-day Semrush trial, and if you don’t like the platform, you lose absolutely $0.00.