Which two platforms come to your mind when you think about market and competitor research?
Similarweb and Semrush are rightfully considered to be the strongest solutions on the market.
With Semrush’s recent launch of Semrush .Trends, a dedicated market, and a competitive analysis package, we will review the two platforms and help you decide which one can serve as the perfect fit for your business needs.
Being well familiar with both solutions, I will briefly reveal what they are all about, focussing on the key differentiating features between the two.
This extensive comparison will feature the following topics:
- Why do you need a market and competitor research solution?
- What is Semrush?
- What is Similarweb?
- Semrush vs. Similarweb Comparison
- Which solution can bring in the most value?
Why do you need a market and competitor research solution?
Typically, market research is the first step when you’re starting a new business or expanding it to new markets. Competitive analysis, on the other hand, is something you have to revisit every few months, or at least once a year.
However, if you never did the homework or see your business growth stumble, you have to think about all the ways to uncover untapped market opportunities and hidden growth points.
This growth-inspired mindset is essentially what market and competitor research is all about. These two areas of business and marketing analysis should help you to:
- Assess emerging market shifts and key trends;
- Analyze your own strengths and weaknesses;
- Pinpoint the key market threats and opportunities;
- Uncover your competitors and their success strategies;
- Reveal hidden audience insights and behavior traits;
- Reveal benchmarks for your performance assessment and more.
As you can see, market and competitive intel offer both high-level and more granular insights that can help you shape and fine-tune your marketing strategies for maximizing your business presence across the digital landscape.
This is some powerful intel we’re talking about.
However, this kind of intel is invaluable for any business, large or small. This is why we have these kinds of digital solutions that offer almost real-time market and competitive coverage.
Solutions like Semrush or Similarweb are both power-packed with such insights, only they come at different costs and with various features.
So, this in-depth comparison should help you pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of both solutions.
What is Semrush?
Designed as an ecosystem of various advanced tools, Semrush provides solutions for SEO, advertising, content marketing, social media, digital PR, and competitive and market research.
Semrush holds the most extensive keyword and backlinks database. Its keyword database holds over 20 billion keywords making it the largest on the market.
With over 7 million users, Semrush data covers data for 808 million domains across 142 geographic locations (as well as 190 countries and regions for traffic analytics).
Essentially, it’s a one-stop-shop for any marketing professionals who are operating an online business and want to discover intuitive workflows for maximizing the efficiency of every digital channel.
What’s so valuable about Semrush is that under one subscription, you will get access to almost all its features and tools, with the only difference being in limits.
What is Similarweb?
Designed as website analytics and traffic intelligence platform, Similarweb is inherently a market/category analysis solution.
This is the area they are strongest at, however, Similarweb also holds some features that could be of use to more general marketing pros – keyword research (1 billion keyword database), affiliate marketing (based on backlinks and referral traffic counts), and ad research.
Their database includes intel across 100 million sites.
While Similarweb is a proven solution for market and competitive analysis, the other features are not the strongest on the market. And since Similarweb offers each solution at an additional cost, I don’t see why you’d be paying for their keyword/affiliate/ad research capabilities separately.
When it comes to keyword research, backlinks, and other aspects of online marketing, Semrush’s digital marketing power is unquestionably superior to that of Similarweb.
So we’ll be reviewing Semrush’s and Similarweb’s market and competitor research capabilities in more detail as these are the comparable features across the two platforms.
Semrush vs. Similarweb Comparison
We will stack Semrush up against Similarweb in regard to the following features:
- Data quality for traffic
- Data and geo coverage
- The extent of traffic insights
- Audience analysis features
Data Quality for Traffic
Market and competitive insights are largely based on traffic data. Because in the online realm, traffic essentially equals audience footfall, market share, you name it.
All the value from even the most unique features will come to naught if the quality of traffic data leaves too many questions.
It’s not very easy to evaluate traffic data quality, because the only way to truly check it is to have access to several sites’ internal Google Analytics stats.
OWOX checked what kind of data is being returned by both solutions for 750+ sites across 10 industries. Having access to all these sites’ internal traffic data, OWOX was able to see the closest matches across the two platforms:
As concluded in other studies, both solutions are offering similar levels of data, which means that they are at least standing very close.
However, with a more nuanced view, OWOX concluded that Semrush returns more accurate results for sites within 100K-500K and 1M+ traffic range.
In a more general sense, they also found that Similarweb shows lower traffic counts for more sites than Semrush.
This means that when it comes to data accuracy, Semrush’s Traffic Analytics (a tool within the Semrush .Trends platform) is slightly superior to Similarweb.
Data and Geo Coverage
One of the use cases of market and competitive analysis is to pinpoint market trends – from growth rates to demand patterns. Hence, the extent of data coverage is also a very important factor when you are making a choice between the two platforms.
Both Semrush .Trends and Similarweb feature data across 190 countries and regions.
The difference is that Semrush’s extensive geo coverage is available under any subscription with access to the Semrush .Trends platform.
Each Similarweb’s geo comes at a separate cost.
Mobile and historical data
When 66% of all site visitors use mobile devices, access to mobile data becomes inherent.
Any Semrush user, regardless of the plan type, gets access to mobile data. In Similarweb’s case, you’ll have to purchase mobile data separately, by default, they only include desktop coverage.
With historical data, the two platforms have completely different offerings:
- Semrush’s data goes back to April 2016. It’s also available to all Semrush users.
- Similarweb holds data for 37 months, however, the basic plan will only let you go back to 12 months.
Extent of Traffic Insights
The main point of such solutions as Semrush or Similarweb is to get access to intel that uncovers competitors’ traffic generation strategies – from which channels they prioritize to which products and services attract the highest audience attention.
Both platforms offer insight into your rivals’ traffic acquisition priorities by showing you a thorough traffic breakdown:
They both cover the following traffic sources:
Simlarweb, however, includes data for two additional sources – mail and display ads.
However, as we mentioned, on Similarweb, all the data covers desktop stats only (unless you pay extra for mobile data coverage). Unlike this, Semrush .Trends goes all cross-device.
There’s one amazing feature I should mention here. Both platforms uncover any website’s top pages or pages that get the highest share of digital footfall across the site, topped with insights on user behavior.
This helps to assess which products, services, marketing campaigns (check landing pages) attract the biggest audience traction across competitors’ sites and to evaluate the quality of that audience by user engagement signals (visit duration and bounce rate).
Why are we mentioning this in a comparison review? Because with Semrush .Trends, this kind of data comes by default under any subscription, while on Similarweb, you’d have to pay extra.
Audience Analysis Features
Traffic insights can reveal a lot about the in-market audience – from product preferences to changing demand patterns.
Yet both solutions also go about audience insights from a different angle, revealing the key audience characteristics, from demographics and geo to interests and most visited platforms.
However, Similarweb will charge extra for even the most basic audience insights, while Semrush, as usual, includes everything audience-related within its Semrush .Trends package.
When it comes to strategic audience analysis, Semrush offers even more than Similarweb.
The Market Explorer tool (a part of Semrush.Trends) unwraps the in-market audience’s social media preferences indicating you which social media networks might be of particular interest within a given niche, as they host the biggest shares of users across the market:
Traffic Analytics (another Semrush .Trends tool) helps you take your audience analysis to a more granular level and check how much your audience overlaps with that of your competitors.
By entering up to 5 rivals, you can use this Audience Overlap feature to accurately assess how much audience you are potentially missing out on and also to pinpoint the most efficient partnerships for your marketing activities.
Now, let’s get to the most important comparison point – the pricing.
What I value the most about any tool’s pricing policy is transparency. And Semrush is impressively open about its pricing, having no hidden costs and pitfalls.
Semrush .Trends – an add-on that contains tools that cover market and competitive intel – comes on top of any Semrush plan. It costs $200 and includes all the features we highlighted in this post, and way more.
The basic Semrush plan (which you will need to be subscribed to if you want to purchase Semrush.Trends) comes at $119, which will make the total price stand at least at $319.
So, apart from the .Trends features, you will be able to make use of 50+ tools that give insights on anything from advanced SEO and social media to advertising and content marketing, not to mention Semrush’s amazing reporting capabilities all included in the price.
It’s way harder to give you any ballpark numbers on Similarweb pricing.
When talking about all the extra features already included under any Semrush subscription, Similarweb offers everything at a separate cost:
So, already at this point, we can see that with less digital marketing coverage, SImilarweb comes at a higher price.
Yet when it comes to understanding how much you’ll have to pay for Similarweb’s market and competitive research features, the right answer is that you really never know.
With so many features (mobile data, audience insights, various geo databases, etc.) we mentioned above coming at separate pricing, there is no base price to even start your assessment. In any case, you will have to contact their sales team to get a pricing benchmark.
Both Semrush and Similarweb are pretty intuitive platforms, but they also require some learning curve. Thus, it’s also important to consider how much support you’re likely to get from each solution if you decide to purchase it.
Speed-wise, both solutions have phenomenal response time and a very customer-friendly approach. Yet, it’s all about the coverage.
Semrush and Similarweb both have some basic self-help resources:
- A blog that features everything from product use cases to industry news.
- Webinars related to all things digital.
- Reports and ebooks dedicated to digital marketing and industry topics.
- Extensive knowledge or help centers that hold all the required info and explainers about each solutions’ tools.
Semrush, however, also comes with an additional perk – The Semrush Academy. This hub features dedicated educational courses for digital marketing newbies and pros ranging from SEO to content marketing. You will also find Semrush-specific courses that teach about all the ins and outs of the suite, along with expert tips and hacks.
Of course, on top of self-help, you will be able to reach out to the support team with both platforms.
They both have a pretty extensive presence across key social media channels, allow you to contact them via chatbot, phone, and email (Semrush-only). With both brands’ presence spread across a few continents, they offer multi-language support.
Semrush vs. Similarweb: Which solution can bring in the most value?
I’ve always been a big fan of both solutions. I used to have this mantra that Semrush is built for all things digital marketing (from advanced SEO to content management and more), but when it comes to higher-level market and competitor research, I’d still turn to Similarweb.
However, having tried the Semrush .Trends package for myself, I must admit that it’s as strong and intuitive as Similarweb, so when thinking of pricing transparency (which I really really appreciate) and the best value per dollar spent, Semrush seems to be a more superior solution.
This doesn’t mean that SImilarweb is somehow an unworthy platform – it can be perfect if you only need very limited features that come with high-quality data.
This way, you can get very customized access to a few select features and go ahead with this choice. Only double-check what the final pricing would look like. If it’s anywhere near Smerush’s basic plan plus .Trends, then why would you pay the same amount of money for fewer tools and features?