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how do use semrush without paying

Semrush is one of the most popular and powerful SEO and market research tools available today. However, the extensive features and capabilities of Semrush come at a cost, with plans starting at $129 per month.

For freelancers, small business owners, students, and individuals looking to leverage Semrush on a budget, the price tag can be prohibitive.

The good news is that Semrush does offer a few ways to access some of its key tools completely free or at least test out the platform before committing to a paid plan.

In this post, we’ll explore how you can productively use Semrush without paying.

Semrush Free Version

Semrush does provide users with the ability to sign up for a free account which grants access to some of its core features, with certain limitations. With the free Semrush toolset, you can:

  • Perform up to 10 searches per day – great for basic keyword research
  • View top organic competitors for a domain
  • Analyze backlink profiles of websites
  • Check domain authority scores
  • Discover basic SEM data
  • Export limited reports

While not as powerful as paid plans, using the complimentary tools can give you an entry-level look at keyword volumes, competitor site rankings for those keywords, basic link analysis, traffic estimates, and more.

Semrush Free Trial

In addition to the free basic account, Semrush also offers users a 7-day professional trial if they sign up with a credit card. The professional trial provides full access to the suite of over 50 Semrush tools including:

  • Unlimited keyword/competitor research
  • Complete domain/competitor organic research
  • Backlink analysis with 5,000 results
  • Thorough SEO audits
  • Site crawl identification
  • Unlimited exports and API access
  • Campaign tracking
  • Access to support

The free 7-day trial allows you to deeply test Semrush before paying, just make sure to cancel the auto-renew if you don’t plan to continue the service post-trial.

DIY Keyword Research Without Semrush

If you don’t want to use the free Semrush account option or trial, you can actually replicate some of the core keyword research functions using free Google tools:

  • Google Keyword Planner – discover keyword search volumes
  • Google Trends – view keyword popularity over time
  • Google Related Searches – find additional keyword ideas
  • Auto-complete Search Bar – reveals what people are searching

Google Alerts – get notifications of ranking updates

While this manual approach lacks the depth of analysis Semrush provides around competitor keyword targeting, the organic difficulty scores, and more – it can serve as a temporary workaround.

Alternatives to Semrush There are a few other paid and free alternative keyword research services similar to Semrush worth considering including:

Google Analytics (Free) – Website analytics help optimize pages and content based on actual user search terms and behavior rather than third-party data. Integrating Google Analytics provides incredibly useful insights for qualitative SEO analysis based on real metrics from your visitors. It lacks keyword volumes but provides actionable intent data.

Ubersuggest (Free) – Ubersuggest by Neil Patel offers a streamlined keyword research tool that helps find high-volume and low-competition keywords along with related content ideas. They also provide website crawler functionality to identify issues for improved SEO. The free basic features are quite useful for small site owners.

Ahrefs (7-Day Trial Available) – Ahrefs provides Semrush users with perhaps the closest mirrored alternative in terms of comprehensive SEO and market research at scale. They offer a full-featured 7-day trial for $7 to test out their platform before paying.

Concluding Thoughts

In closing, while Semrush provides best-in-class capabilities for SEO intelligence, competitive audits, rank tracking, and more – there are creative ways to extract value from them without paying such as their free basic plan, professional trial, using Google’s tools, or exploring alternatives that may better suit your budget and needs.

Optimizing your online presence doesn’t have to cost a fortune if you run a lean operation. With some diligence, ingenuity, and experimentation, it’s possible to take advantage of free or trial-based tools to research critical keywords, gain market visibility, and monitor your progress over time. The key is identifying which platform capabilities are most integral to your size and niche. Hopefully, this post has provided some helpful direction on putting Semrush to work for you within budget constraints.


How can I use Semrush for free?

Semrush offers a free account with limited capabilities as well as a 7-day professional trial. You can also use free Google tools or alternative services for some basic functions.

Do I need to pay to use Semrush?

No, you can access pared-down features in their free account version or test their paid tools with the 7-day professional trial before deciding on committing to a paid plan.

Is Semrush free worth it?

The free Semrush account allows up to 10 searches daily which provides enough basic keyword data and competitor insights worth utilizing, even with limited exporting.

What is the difference between free and paid Semrush?

The free Semrush plan only allows 10 searches daily while their paid plans unlock unlimited keyword research, full competitor analysis, backlink audits, site audits, rank tracking, and other powerful features.

What is a free version of Semrush?

Semrush’s free account option enables users to perform up to 10 keyword searches per day, view top organic competitors, analyze basic backlink profiles, check domain authority, view some SEM data, and export limited reports.

Why is Semrush so expensive?

As an all-in-one SEO and marketing suite with over 50 tools, Semrush offers enterprise-level capabilities justifying significant investment for agencies and companies managing many clients and campaigns at scale.

What is the cheapest SEO tool?

Some of the cheapest SEO software options include Semrush free, UberSuggest free, SEO Site Checkup basic plan at $15/month, Moz’s new starter plan at $49/month, and SERP Robot basic at $39.99/month. Many also offer free trials.

What is the best alternative to Semrush?

Top alternatives to Semrush providing expansive features at lower price points include Ahrefs complete plan $99/month, Moz Pro $129/month, SERP Robot $39.99+/month, or all-in-one helpsite platform Seobility starting at $48/month.

How to get Semrush Guru for free?

Unfortunately, there are no legal methods to access Semrush Guru for free unless you join as an official reseller. The best way to try Semrush Guru is by signing up for their 7-day professional trial or exploring competitor platforms.

How long is Semrush free?

The Semrush free account does not currently have any time limitations, enabling users indefinite access to 10 daily searches, top organic competitors, basic backlinks and domain authority checks, and limited SEM data and reports.

Is Semrush a good SEO tool?

Yes, Semrush is considered one of the best, most comprehensive SEO and marketing analytics platforms available making it a very powerful tool for enterprise teams, agencies, and skilled SEO experts given the level of data it provides.

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