Few companies have their finger on the pulse of world data as much as SEMRush, which is why we spent some quality time with Fernando Angulo, Head of Communications at SEMRush. Host Erin Sparks spoke with Fernando about data trends from 2020, as well as what SEMRush can do as a powerful SEO tool. Here’s what we learned in episode 391 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast: 


Global Data Trends in 2020

Fernando published an important blog article in December called Semrush World Data Trends: 2020 Year in Review. While many want to look forward and don’t want to look back at 2020, these data trends are important in order to better understand how everything changed on a dime in 2020. From the pandemic to racial unrest, natural disasters, the presidential election, and more, there was just a lot happening in 2020, and the infographic in this article lays it all out very nicely. It’s very useful for people to see this data from a global perspective instead of just inside their own country.

Some might be surprised to see the most-searched Google query worldwide was George Floyd, and that’s because the rest of the world wanted to know what it was all about. And fully 20% of the trending keyword searches in 2020 were related to Black Lives Matter. The most trending news topics included coronavirus, the US elections, Brexit, Black Lives Matter, and the Beirut explosion. It’s also very powerful when we get to see so much of this breaking news because there are so many devices out there now that can record and upload to the internet and instantly share across the entire planet. 

Thanks to the pandemic and so many people working from home, all the top fashion item searches had to do with gloves, sweatpants, pajamas, joggers, and slippers. Those fashion trends are certainly going to be unique to 2020, we hope. All the professional clothing companies must have taken a huge hit, although people still needed shirts and ties, but not pants! Netflix was the top streaming service, outshining others with 671% higher average monthly searches. Amazon was the most visited e-commerce site with an increase of 24% in website traffic year-over-year.

The infographic is a fantastic summary, and below that, the article highlights the most curious findings, and then below that, you can click on various links to see the actual data from which the article was written. 

Fernando emphasized the reason it’s important to look back on 2020 from this data perspective is in order to allow it to inform how you set strategies for 2021 based on trends. You have to be informed about where people are putting their attention in order to stay relevant. But you also have to use this data wisely in order to not take advantage of trends in immoral ways, not capitalizing on fear and suffering.


A Deep Dive into SEMRush as a Digital Marketing Tool

There are so many tools and platforms out there, and each one tends have to things it does well and things it doesn’t do well, which is why many digital marketers end up using so many different tools. SEMRush is a tool that has withstood the test of time as a tool that helps digital marketers really level up and grow into greater skills and effectiveness. Fernando positions the various tools into three broad layers:

Market Research: Users don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on market research if they use the just use the traffic analytics tool to build their own report. This will show you what other sites are doing that get them their traffic. You can build an industry market matrix showing the leaders, the newcomers, the established players, the niche players, and the game-changers. This is important because you have to be able to see what’s currently happening in your industry. 

Competitor Analysis: The next layer of tools are more powerful in comparing your efforts relative those of your competitors. This will reveal what you’re missing in terms of keywords as you compare your domain to another domain and see where there’s overlap and where there’s divergence. This tool, because it’s so visual, is a great aid to agencies as they meet with prospective clients who aren’t SEO-savvy because they can literally see what they’re missing relative to their competitors. And then it helps inform building a strategy. This competitor analysis also includes PPC since it’s about bidding on keywords in Google Ads, so there are budgetary issues to be clarified and you’ll be able to see what you’d have to spend to beat your competitors. This layer is also where you can track user demand trends for various keywords in order to be as relevant as possible to what people are currently paying attention to as well as what form it should take, such as content marketing or social media marketing and so on. This can further shaped with their keyword manager tool that helps identify what you need to take full advantage of the different SERP features. You might need a video, or an image, or something else that will help you get into certain SERP features like a carousel of images and so on.

Projects: This third layer of tools is where you touch at an even more granular layer what you need to be working on. The powerful tool here is position tracking for keywords because you’ll see exactly where you’re at and if you don’t like where you’re at then you have work to do on the content that will get you there. 

But the three must-use tools when starting out are the SEO Audit, the Content Audit, and the Backlink Audit. These give you the base line of what’s going on what needs to be fixed. Just those three tools will give you plenty of things to work on over the course of several months or years depending on the size of your project. 

New things SEMRush is doing includes Sellerly, a new e-commerce set of tools focused on helping Amazon sellers optimize their Amazon business. SEMRush also acquire a PR SaaS company called Prowly because getting those PR links is pure gold for SEO, and this platform helps you connect with PR professionals and journalists to get your story out there beyond your company’s own channels. These kinds of initiatives are being rolled out because of SEMRush user input and what they say they want and need. SEMRush will always be user-driven.

If you want to upskill your SEO game for free, check out SEMRush Academy!

Connect with Fernando Angulo and SEMRush

Twitter: @Fernando1Angulo (https://twitter.com/Fernando1Angulo)

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fernandoangulo/ 

SEMRush Twitter: @Semrush (https://twitter.com/Semrush)

SEMRush Website: https://www.semrush.com

SEMRush Facebook: @Semrush (https://www.facebook.com/Semrush)

SEMRush LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/semrush/

Connect with Erin Sparks, Host of EDGE of the Web and CEO of Site Strategics

Twitter: @ErinSparks (https://twitter.com/erinsparks)

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erinsparks/