Research brand & customers – SEMrush

by Jim July 4, 2019

Off to Portugal this week to attend the SEMrush Summer Jam, their annual event where they invite customers to give them honest customer feedback. Sounds logical, right? I’ve been exploring some of their new tools and one in particular is excellent at collating data and ideas into one place. SEMrush has a raft of cool tools, so it’s just a case of finding one that works for you and mastering it.

What I learned

  • The SEMrush Summer Jam is a great idea
  • Topic Research tool presents ideas well
  • Headlines and questions can inspire ideas
  • Investigate others peoples’ domains
  • Find a tool that works for you and run with it!


Hey, welcome back Rankers. I’m off to the SEMrush Summer Jam this week to get away from Melbourne’s cold. Yay! It’s scorching hot in Europe. Yay! So we’re going there, and for those who aren’t familiar with the SEMrush Summer Jam, it’s an annual event where SEMrush basically bring in people to give them feedback about their product, which is obviously a brilliant idea. Ask your customers what they want and help improve your product. Makes a lot of sense, right? And this is the third time I’ve done this. I’ve been lucky to do that. I’m very honoured to be heading along there.

Great research tools

I was having a look at the tool because, obviously, if you’re giving feedback about a tool, you’d better have a look at it and refresh what you want to talk about. And one of the things, I hadn’t noticed this one before, but it’s called Topic Research. And look, a lot of the stuff in this particular area of the tool is stuff that you’ve seen before, but they’re kind of bringing it together in one place. Sometimes little things like that can make a huge difference to workflows, right, and can save so much time even though maybe you’re looking at the data and you go, “Well, that’s nothing new.” But it’s the way that it’s bringing it together and it’s presented that saves you a lot of time.

Like this Mind Map wheel; I’ve seen these before. Basically, all I’ve done here is I put in L-A-B-O-U-R, labour. For those of you who say that’s not the way you spell the Australian Labour Party, I know. I’ve just put it in there in that way, because that got search volume for our federal election. I’m using that to have a play with this tool.

So you can see here, this is a bit mixed up about this particular word. We’re getting birth, labour. So we’re probably too far out from the federal election for that to actually have a lot of data that’s relevant now. I’m not too sure of the timeframe of this either. That’d be interesting to know if you could give me the ideas around this for the last five years or the last two years or the last one year or the last one month for things that are transient.

But you can see here, federal election, and we’ve got all our different key phrases that are popular around this particular topic. I forgot the name of the, there used to be another tool used to do a big circle like this. It reminds me a little bit of the old Google Wonder Wheel.

Anyway, but over here we have the news headlines that are contributing to this topic. We also have the questions. I think these are just people “Also ask,” so we get them catalogued by why, what, when, will. But great little tool. I’m going to have a bit more of a play with this, because if you’re looking for ideas or inspiration or you’re trying to just find out that little bit more about customers to understand what they’re looking for, this is a great tool.

What do your customers want?

Even if you’re not using it to necessarily get content ideas, because I mean, that’s what a lot of people might use it for. It might purely be because you go, “Ah, my customers want it packaged that way.” You might find there’s things that people are looking for that are unique to your industry or your product that you didn’t know about. That can happen all the time with search.

So for instance, we’ll put in “car parts” here. So going for car parts, and we’re going just Australia. I’m not looking internationally. This particular tool is desktop data at the moment.

This doesn’t have a lot of granularity in the search. It’s because of the high volume, I think, at the very top level. You’re not going to be able to see that granularity, because everyone’s just looking for car parts near me. Where are the car parts? Who’s got the car parts? All that sort of thing.

Then, of course, you bring in all the questions over here. We can click on any one of these. It will take us to, obviously, a bit more about that. We can go and have a look at a domain target, a particular domain to get an idea of what their content’s about if you like a site, whether it be here, overseas, wherever, and you think, “They’re doing content well.” Well, you can get a better idea of what they’re doing well with something like this.

All of these tools you use in different occasions in different ways. The thing I like about this is it’s interesting in that it’s bringing things together a bit more for me, and I go and target domains, which you can’t do with something, say, like Google Trends. So there are just little subtleties.

Some of the feedback I get about the SEMrush tool is like, “Oh my God, there are so many things in there. Which one do I use?” Well, just pick one. Just start with one. Get used to one. The data is really good, and the tools are great. It’s just finding the one that you want.

Certainly, it’s like social media, and which platform do you play on? Well, just stick with one that you know, and you can start with that and grow from there. You don’t have to try to do everything all at once. The same applies with tools like this. Start off with something small and then work out what you need. You won’t need the whole toolkit, but it is there if you do want it.

Hopefully, that’s helpful. I will see you next week from Portugal. Thanks very much. Bye.

Jim’s been here for a while, you know who he is.

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