How to do Keyword Research with SEMRush

So this will be the first of many SEMRush tutorials that I have in place, I’ve decided to break it all down into a mini series of posts so that you can simply watch a much-shortened version of how to do keyword research with SEMrush, doing keyword research whether it’s for SEO or PPC is vital and you have to use a tool that is going to provide you with easy accurate data and SEMRush’s keyword tool does exactly that.

So prior to doing any on-page SEO or before you set up a PPC campaign you want to do some keyword research, checking what keywords your competition rank well for is always a good start, but simply going into SEMRush and putting the keyword you think you might want to target will give you a bunch of related keywords and ideas to get this process started.

How to use SEMRush for keyword research

So you can log in to your SEMRush dashboard and use the ” Keyword Overview” option and put your keyword in, I used ” Used Cars ” and as you can see the tool has come back with 8679 Phrase Match Keywords and there are another 7344 related keywords so there are plenty of suggestions here to work with.

Where do you start

So yeah that one search has provided us with a serious amount of keywords to work with, so I’m based in Glasgow, Scotland so let’s just say for example this was a local company in Glasgow and I was doing the search for them, I’d be saying to myself at this point, wow where do I even start. So with any SEO campaign, being found locally is always a great way to start, so rather than going for a generic search term like ” Used Cars ” ill check out what the search is like for ” Used Cars Glasgow ” and it comes up with a lot less keywords but a lot more relevant to the potential client.

SEMRush keyword tool

So there are 52 keywords to choose from and nearly 1000 related keywords.

So phrase match keywords will all be based around “Used Cars” where the related keywords will all be other ones such as second-hand cars, cars for sale and a whole host of other keywords.


The volume part next to any keyword is important, this is the number of monthly searches this particular keyword gets in the UK and the higher the volume the more traffic you will get if you rank well for those keywords. However the more volume there is, the more competition there will be which makes it harder to rank well. No-one is going to allow you a free run up to the top page of Google.

So when picking your keywords you want to pick some of the high volume keywords, but also throw in more specific search terms that have less search volume, in most cases, these are easier to rank for and will get you some quick easy results by doing the research properly.


Another wise thing you can do on SEMRush is being able to see the keywords that your competition is ranking well for, here in the UK is one of the biggest sellers of used cars.

So you go into SEMRush and go to domain overview and you can look at any of your competitors, and see what keywords bring traffic to their website.

SEMRush Guide to Keywords

Arnold Clark rank well for over 100,000 keywords and their own brand name gets 450,000 monthly searches but with over 1 million monthly visitors the rest of their keywords are important, a keyword like ” cars on finance ” gets 18,100 monthly searches so any other used car seller will want to be ranking well for keywords like that.

So using SEMRush for keyword research is quick and easy, below is a quick video tutorial for anyone who prefers to visually see how easy using SEMRush for keyword research really is.

If you don’t have SEMRush and would like to try it out FREE for 30 days you can use any of the below links to take advantage of this FREE 30-day trial.

Pro Trial FREE for 30 days: Click Here
Guru Trial FREE for 30 days: Click Here 

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 20 years.

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