SEMrush Writing Assistant Tool - What You Need to Know as a Marketer -

SEMrush Writing Assistant Tool — What You Need to Know as a Marketer

As a marketer, your time is limited and valuable. That means each piece of content you write is an investment. And to invest your time wisely, you want every single thing you write to produce a concrete payoff for your business.

In practice, though, it's hard to ensure that everything you write is a hit with your audience and with Google. There's some inevitable trial and error involved in SEO and marketing writing. To get the most out of your hard work, it's smart to look for tools that remove as much uncertainty from the process as possible.

Enter the SEMrush Writing Assistant tool, or SWA. SWA is one of those tools that every marketer should know about because it has the potential to save you time and effort across the board. It helps you produce better, more effective content on your first try by auto-analyzing how your work stacks up to your biggest competitors' content. Doing that kind of analysis by hand could take hours of your time, but with SWA, you can check your work and make key revisions in just seconds.

Intrigued? Keep reading to learn more about SEMrush's Writing Assistant tool and what it can do for you.

How the SEMrush Writing Assistant Tool Works

If you already have a SEMrush account, you may be familiar with the company's SEO content templates (or SCTs). If you aren't, here's a quick summary: SEMrush generates an SEO content template by asking you for your main keyword(s), the location you're targeting, and the type of device you're targeting. Based on these parameters, SEMrush analyzes the top 10 results from Google and summarizes the findings for you. You can use the information from this template as a guide to ensure your content is competitive with what your rivals are publishing.

The SEMrush Writing Assistant tool works by integrating the information from a SCT with a piece of content that you're currently working on. You can get the tool either as a browser extension that works with Google Docs or as a plugin for WordPress. SWA checks your work-in-progress against the template you're using and tells you where you can improve your writing for better SEO.

SWA can do all of the following things for you:

  • Suggest relevant secondary keywords that are semantically related to your main keywords
  • Spot any keywords you've overused
  • Identify the most helpful domains for obtaining backlinks to your content
  • Check the grammar in your piece
  • Evaluate the Flesch-Kincaid reading level of your piece and tell you if it's too easy or too difficult for your audience
  • Calculate the optimal word length for your piece
  • Scan your piece for plagiarism
  • Suggest SEO-friendly titles for your piece

SWA doesn't just generate suggestions for you based on a list of general SEO best practices or subjective matters of style. It uses real data drawn from your competitors who are already succeeding in organic search. So if you want to be sure that your content marketing efforts are going to move the needle, this tool is one of the most practical yardsticks you'll find. And because SWA checks your piece's grammar and originality, you won't need to spend extra time running your content through other tools like Grammarly or Copyscape before publishing.

Getting Started with the SEMrush Writing Assistant Tool

You can download SWA as either an extension for your browser or a WordPress plugin. The tool itself is free to download, although you'll need to be a paying SEMrush customer to use it. Once you download the tool, it will prompt you to sign in to your SEMrush account.

If you don't have a SEMrush account, you can make a free one to try out the writing assistant tool. Be aware that a free account allows you to make only one SEO content template. Think carefully about which keyword you want to use to test-drive the tool before you get started!

Once you are signed into your SEMrush account, you'll see the SWA interface on the right side of your screen. You'll be prompted to use an existing SCT for your piece or create a new template.


Connecting SWA to an SEO template. Source


If you want to make a new template, you can do so in the sidebar by plugging in your keywords, location, and device type.


Creating a new template in the SWA tool. Source

Once you have a template set up, here's what the SWA tool looks like in Google Docs.


The SEMrush Writing Assistant tool sidebar. Source

The tool scores your piece on readability, shows you how close you are to your target word count, and recommends a list of secondary keywords that will make your piece stronger in organic search. When you add these keywords to your piece, they turn green in the sidebar. The tool also gives you an overall score at the top that reflects how well your content meets all of the given suggestions.

As you write and revise your content, the SWA tool updates in real time to reflect changes and tell you whether you're getting closer or farther from your targets. The benefit here is obvious: by the time you hit the publish button, you've already used data to test your piece, and you can be confident that the finished product will stand up against your competitors' best content.

The Takeaway for Marketers

If you're looking for a way to use your writing time more efficiently, the SEMrush Writing Assistant tool might be useful to you. It instantly generates actionable goals for each piece of content you write based on other content that has already been proven successful. And with its built-in grammar and plagiarism checkers, this tool can help streamline your publishing process.

Like most other SEO tools, SWA comes with one caveat: it's impossible to distill good SEO into just a formula on your computer screen. There is a human element to amazing content that no algorithm can pin down (at least, not yet). So while SWA is definitely a helpful tool for formatting your content in a Google-friendly way, don't lose sight of the bigger picture. Your primary goal should always be to provide an informative, interesting reading experience for your audience.

Have you tried the writing assistant tool from SEMrush? Would you recommend it to other marketers? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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By Amanda Disilvestro on January 9, 2019

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