Pros & Cons of Semrush Pro

I’ve used Semrush on and off throughout my ten years of doing SEO. Overall, I think it’s an amazing tool and would include it on any list of tops SEO tools to use. But with that being said I think there’s pros and cons to paying for Semrush Pro. After using Semrush Pro as my primary SEO tool for the last 3 months, here’s some of my observations:

Pros to Paying for Semrush Pro

Paying for Semrush Pro provides a lot of benefits. Some of features and benefits I found most useful were:

  1. Access to one of the most trusted sources for keyword, ranking and backlink data available
    • Even estimated traffic from Semrush is taken at face value by corporate executives e.g. was recently used by Musk
  2. Keyword magic tool is second to none for the price
    • The only other keyword research tool I’d use over Semrush’s keyword magic tool is BrightEdge’s Data Cube – which is considerably more expensive
  3. Rankings are checked daily by default
    • A lot of other SEO tools do weekly or monthly by default and charge extra for daily rankings
    • This is probably information overload for most people and use cases, but I appreciate the granularity
  4. The competitor insights can be really helpful
    • It’s nice to be able to see your organic competitors at the domain level and dig into them for individual keywords with the SERP analysis
  5. The Lead Finder seems like it could be really helpful for generating new business prospects
    • I can’t speak to the quality of leads or conversion rate myself though

Cons to Pay for Semrush Pro

So now that we’ve discussed the great things that come with an Semrush Pro subscription – let’s get into the downsides:

  1. There’s a lot of great features which require upgrades to higher tiers e.g. API access, exporting to Looker Studio, exporting leads and visibility by location
    • The Social tabs in particular feel more like ads than features
    • Definitely gives freemium vibes at a premium price
  2. Semrush has become busy, salesy and unfocused over the years
    • Lots of bells and whistles instead of focusing on core functionality
  3. You only get 500 tracked keywords, which is considerably lower than Ahrefs Lite plan (750) which is less expensive ($99 instead of $129.95)
  4. Great features are buried in mile long menu – I count over 75 options to click in the left navigation panel which is mind-numbing to navigate
    • Some of them are repeats e.g. “Domain Overview” and most of the Social links go to different anchors on the same page
  5. Sometimes the data integrity is questionable
    • Search data is rarely perfect and often refreshes, but seeing different metrics between the dashboard and full reports is concerning (screenshot below)
Semrush keyword positions on dashboard
Keyword positions show in dashboard
Semrush keyword positions in full report
Keyword positions after clicking “view full report”


I think Semrush Pro is great for SEO freelancers and consultants. However, it’s likely too much for a small business and too little to sustain a medium sized agency on its own. Paring down the menu options, widgets, add-on options etc. would improve Semrush considerably. Customers don’t want to pay a subscription fee just to be greeted with “spend more to unlock this feature” messaging. With SaaS (software as a service) tiered subscriptions are expected, but Semrush has taken it to an extreme that jeopardizes the utility of the platform.

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