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If you’ve been doing SEO for some time, chances are you’ve heard about Semrush, right? 

It is one of the best and most used SEO tools worldwide, with approximately 10 million global users and counting. 

Many SEO professionals rely on its data for market research, competitive analysis, technical SEO, analyzing website traffic sources, PPC advertising, social media marketing, and more. 

However, one question remains unanswered as more people use the tool for traffic analysis: How accurate is Semrush traffic data?

This post will address questions about Semrush data accuracy, compare it with other traffic analysis tools, analyze factors impacting data accuracy, and more. 

Stay with me as I uncover all you must know about Semrush traffic analytics data accuracy. 

What is Semrush Traffic Data?

Semrush traffic data is the website traffic information collected, tracked, and analyzed by the Semrush traffic analytics tools, allowing businesses and SEOs to gain deep insights into the audience’s online journey.

The Semrush traffic analytics tools measure a business or website’s organic and paid traffic data, desktop and mobile, including its social media traffic, referral, direct, keyword level insights, and historical trends of the website since 2012. 

Semrush Traffic Analytics, part of the Semrush.Trend tool is a powerful tool for uncovering traffic metrics for any website, evaluating market trends, discovering competitors’ traffic strategies, identifying where website traffic comes from and goes after leaving, etc. 

If you want to know everything about a website’s traffic strategies, numbers, and users’ traffic journey, this is one of the tools you can rely on. 

How Semrush Collects its Data – Methodology

Semrush uses a combination of third-party data sources with its internal machine-learning programs to provide accurate but not real-time website traffic data for your analysis.

It has partnered with hundreds of third-party click-stream data aggregators, allowing Semrush access to billions of internet events monthly. 

These events or data collected are anonymized and stored to protect users’ privacy and ensure Semrush complies with existing privacy laws. 

The data methodology involved four critical steps: collection, cleaning, modeling, and delivery.  

For a deeper understanding of how accurate is Semrush traffic data, here’s a summary of how each of the above steps works:

Data Collection 

The backbone of Semrush.trends tools are the database size and its vast partnership with click-stream data collection and big data companies. 

Semrush receives over 1 trillion bytes of click stream data daily from its data partners. 

Afterwards, Semrush processes the collected data in a statistical formula, making it easy to organize, manage, and analyze. 

Check out the Semrush document for more information on what clickstream data is.

Data Cleaning 

The data-cleaning stage goes through several processes, removing data anomalies, recognizing different patterns, and separating questionable events from actual representative data. 

To ensure the highest Semrush data accuracy, Semrush also cross-checks and filters the data with its internal backlink and SERP position database against each country-specific data and device. 

Furthermore, Semrush reviews the data with its internal algorithm to gain deeper and better insights into “generic user sessions,” serving as the foundation on which Semrush built data engagement metrics. 

Data Modeling

This process involved storing the clickstream events and proprietary data in its (Semrush) machine-learning model. 

However, before entering the data, Semrush rechecks it for anomalies and considers several metrics, such as domain popularity, user behavior, countries, demographics, devices, industries, etc. 

Semrush weeds out some of the users’ weak activities for visited websites to get more accurate and consistent user activity for popular websites.  

Data Delivery

This is the part you and I get to use Semrush for market research, discovery, and analysis. 

As a result of the three stages above, Semrush delivers the data in its traffic analytics insights tool for any domain. 

You can now use Semrush to uncover online users’ journey details, audience insight, overlapping domain traffic numbers, analyze domain top pages, and more. 

Comparing Semrush Data Accuracy with External Benchmark

Considering SEO tools crawlers get their data from different sources and use several methodologies to process, clean, and deliver the data for their users, it is essential to compare how these tools are fair regarding data accuracy. 

Benchmarking industry SEO tools is vital to data accuracy and measuring how your website is fair against competitors; providing reliable and trustworthy data will help you make SEO decisions that put you in the right direction. 

It is easier to compare your internal website traffic data with various tools and get a holistic picture. 

However, when doing competitor analysis and research, you need to trust the tool and its data to make anything of it.  

Each tool is better for specific SEO tasks than the others. This comparative analysis will help you gauge Semrush’s traffic analytics tool’s reliability and trustworthiness and better understand its website performance. 

Mainly, notable SEOs often use three popular tools for benchmarking and comparing against Semrush. 

Google Analytics 

Google Analytics is the most widely used and popular website traffic analytics software provided by Google. 

Using Google Analytics gives you in-depth insight into your website traffic analytics data, user behavior, traffic sources, conversion, etc. 

Comparing your Google Analytics data with Semrush traffic data can clarify its consistency and accuracy. Here are three critical points for making comparisons:

  • Data Precision – You must evaluate how Semrush traffic data closely matches your Google Analytics traffic data. Though there would be discrepancies due to methods of collecting data, processing, and methodologies, they shouldn’t be too far apart. 
  • Data Coverage –  Google Analytics is known for its vast website traffic coverage; it tends to capture entire website traffic data, user behavior, and patterns. You must access and evaluate the level of coverage provided by the Semrush traffic report against what you have in Google Analytics.
  • Granularity – The level of detail in data and metrics provided is another essential point of comparing Semrush traffic data accuracy with industry tools, especially for segmenting user behavior and audience traffic sources. 

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is one of the go-to SEO tools for keyword research, backlink analysis, and site audit. It is often used as a traffic analysis tool, especially with its site explorer and traffic checker tool.

When comparing Semrush and Ahrefs traffic data accuracy, it’s essential to focus on these three key aspects: 

  • Backlink Correlation – You must consider analyzing how the Semrush traffic data correlates with Ahrefs backlinks data for the domain. A strong and consistent correlation data in both tools will enhance your research and increase your confidence in the reports. 
  • Keyword Data Level – There would be discrepancies and overlaps in keyword data, but consistent and close information will give you more confidence and let you pick the right keywords.
  • Competitive Analysis – Using Semrush and Ahrefs for competitive analysis and comparing competitor data in both tools, ensuring SEO data and traffic estimates align, will help you make the right decision. And know which of your competitors are worthy of copying their strategies.  

Similarweb

Similarweb is a popular marketing intelligence and traffic analysis tool, often used as an external benchmarking tool for cross-checking Semrush traffic data. 

Similarweb collects its data from multiple sources, including direct from website users, data partners, internet providers, public data sources, and more. 

This makes it a source of truth for comparing traffic data in the Semrush traffic analytics software. Here are three areas you should focus on:

  • Website Traffic Sources – Compare website traffic sources as reported in both tools. Similarweb tends to have a higher degree of accuracy in reporting where website traffic comes from.  
  • Geographical Data – If you do local SEO, consider evaluating how Similarweb and Semrush report geographic traffic data. Look for discrepancies, level of differences, and how closely the data matches. 
  • Audience Insights – Consider examining the audience demographics, location data, and interest, and evaluate the accuracy and consistency of reports on both tools.

Despite this exercise, you shouldn’t expect 100% accuracy regardless of the tool you use. Here are several case studies comparing popular SEO tools’ data accuracy. 

By going through these data accuracy case studies, you will have more in-depth knowledge, understanding, and information trusting SEO tools, using the data to enhance your marketing and SEO knowledge, and making the best of them. 

  • Comparing keyword search volume study – Semrush. 
  • Comparing Similarweb vs. Semrush – CyberNaira. 
  • Medium post comparing Semrush and Similarweb for data accuracy. 
  • Keyword tool Data Accuracy – Backlinko
  • GSC vs GKP keyword volume accuracy – Ahrefs.

Factors Affecting Semrush Data Accuracy

Several factors influence or enhance data accuracy in Semrush or other SEO tools. 

For instance, when you run keyword research, Semrush pulls keyword overview data from the US database, which is the default setting. You must select your target location from the option to switch to another country. 

Understanding how SEO tools pull and interpret data is essential for making informed decisions and using the data in marketing. 

When using Semrush, consider the following key factors that can affect how accurate Semrush traffic data is. 

Geographical Location

Semrush traffic data accuracy is largely influenced by geographical location and internet adoption. 

Countries and regions have different levels of internet penetration, online user behaviour, and search engine usage. 

As a result of these different levels of internet usage, Semrush may provide more precise and accurate data for countries and regions with high and consistent internet penetration and search engine usage. 

In contrast, there could be less precise and accurate data for countries and regions with less internet usage and online activities.

Sample Size

Remember, I discussed Semrush’s data collection methods above.  

The sample size of collected data also influences how accurate Semrush traffic data is. 

Theoretically, a large sample size will bring more data to work with, more reliable data, deep insights into marketing metrics, and allow you access to a vast network of resources. 

On the other hand, a small data sample size will limit research capability, skew the traffic estimated reports, and not accurately represent the web ecosystem.

The website traffic volume is another factor to consider when using Semrush traffic analytics. Niche websites with limited traffic may have less precise traffic data due to their insufficient data pool. 

Website Type or Industry

Industry type or website is another key factor that may impact the accuracy of Semrush traffic data. 

Some industry verticals have unique online behavior, keyword trends, and marketing strategies, and they attract more audiences. Semrush data may be more accurate and precise for industry with extensive monitoring. 

Also, large established sites tend to have more precise and accurate Semrush traffic data because of increased visibility, high traffic volume, and online popularity. 

Update Frequency

How often Semrush updates its data significantly impacts the accuracy of some SEO metrics, especially link data and real-time traffic analysis. 

Updating frequently is a good practice for SEO tools but could also introduce new issues. 

Realtime and historical data will impact the data reporting and its accuracy. Due to the nature and dynamic nature of the web, real-time data may be less accurate and precise. 

On the other hand, historical website data may be more accurate for the past analyzed period; its precision depends on how often updates were made. 

User Privacy 

User privacy measures affect most marketing and SEO tools, not only Semrush, especially in the EU. 

To protect the privacy of its users, search engines like Google and Bing anonymized user data, which can affect the granularity of data Semrush and other third-party tools can access. 

Due to personalized search engine results, which may differ from generic SERP, traffic and keyword reports may not be 100% accurate for tools like Semrush and others. 

FAQ

Can Semrush Traffic Data be Trusted?

Semrush traffic data can be trusted to make informed marketing and SEO decisions. Though no SEO tool is 100% accurate in data reporting, Semrush data collection, cleaning, and processing uses robust and advanced technology to ensure trusted and reliable data.

How Accurate is Semrush Traffic Analytics?

Semrush traffic analytics provides dependable estimated traffic for any website worldwide. While it may not be precise and track real-time traffic, it has robust data collection and processing methodology, a vast network of third-party data providers, billions of clickstream events, and an internal machine learning algorithm to ensure its data is as accurate as you can expect. 

Semrush vs. Google Analytics: Which is More Accurate?

Semrush and Google Analytics serve different purposes and intent. With Google Analytics, you can track real-time traffic and user location and get more information about landing pages, conversions, events, sessions, pageviews, etc. 

Semrush provides traffic estimates and allows you to analyze competitors’ websites, SERP, PPC, and more. Google Analytics traffic would be more accurate and dependable for your websites than Semrush due to its direct integration with your website. Semrush relies on third-party data to provide traffic numbers. 

Conclusion – How Accurate is Semrush Traffic Data?

Among the tools I used for evaluating website traffic, Semrush traffic analytics stands out as a reliable and accurate tool. 

Also, for backlinks and keywords data, Semrush tends to have one of the most accurate and reliable data, especially considering its database of over 25 billion keywords. 

However, Ahrefs, in particular, quickly detects new links for any websites in its database. I have experienced Ahref reporting new links for my website within a few hours of going live on partner websites. 

In my experience, Semrush is insufficient for social media tracking and reporting. You may want to look into other options to monitor your social media presence and analyze your marketing impact. 

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7 Comments

  1. Hello, Shamsudeen,
    Both are awesome and great SEO tools. Ahrefs is quite fast and accurate when it comes to exploring backlinks. SEMrush is a complete SEO tool that helps to analyze your website for any SEO loopholes. Thanks for sharing this post.
    Regards,
    Vishwajeet Kumar

    1. Hi, Viswajeet,

      It’s good to see you share your experience with the blog community.

      Thanks for stopping by here.

  2. author comments malik faisal dubran says:

    Hello, Shamsudeen,
    Both are awesome and great SEO tools. Ahrefs is quite fast and accurate when it comes to exploring backlinks. SEMrush is a complete SEO tool that helps to analyze your website for any SEO loopholes

  3. Honestly, Semrush is great. It is the best keyword research tool. When building backlinks, Ahrefs could be the winner but Semrush takes the lead in keyword research due to its ability to provide historical data for a particular keyword which is dope. You can view a keyword history and trend as way back as years back and update metrics to see the actual result for today which is incredible to help you decide which keyword to write on.
    However, I noticed it doesn’t act 100% accurate in terms of KD as it once gave me 77% on a keyword but KE gave me 46 and I wrote on the keyword and ranked 1st page in 3 days.

    1. Hi, Matthew,

      Thanks for the insightful contribution.

      I agree that Ahref is more suitable for SEO backlink analysis than Semrush. As per the keyword tools, both tools let you do extensive keyword research and give you sufficient data to the best estimated guess of any industry search terms.

      For KD, I don’t rely on a keyword tool. My strategy is to compare data from a minimum of 3 keyword tools. Then, I take the average as the best possible KD estimate.

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Matthew.

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