"Semrush is our go-to source of competitive digital market information and our clients love it!"
About Impression Digital:
Impression Digital is a multi-award-winning digital marketing agency in Nottingham and London, UK, specializing in SEO, PPC, Digital PR, CRO and Analytics. Founded in 2012, the business has grown rapidly, now employing a team of 60 digital marketing experts. Impression works with companies with a high growth potential across retail, home, finance, B2B services and the third sector, with a client roster of household names. Always innovating, they are willing to go off the beaten track to discover and apply game-changing strategies. They show pride in doing things well and they are dedicated to being the best at what they do, and to helping their clients do the same.
Business challenge: getting comprehensive data on clients’ markets, their share, and the best growth opportunities
Impression is currently pitching to a large electronics retailer that is well-known for selling gaming PCs. The client told Impressive they had seen increased performance in 2020 and they were looking for a marketing agency to continue to capitalize on that growth into the future.
While preparing the pitch, the agency’s task was to check a few important metrics:
- — How big the market is;
- — What share of the market the client holds;
- — If they have growth, has the client been growing or is the whole market growing?
- — Which companies are their client's top direct competitors;
- — What the client’s biggest growth opportunities are.
This data would allow Impression to accurately assess the client’s position, put together an impressive pitch, and map out the following digital marketing action plan.
Solution: Semrush .Trends for market and competitor analysis
Impression used Semrush .Trends (which includes Market Explorer and Traffic Analytics tools) to find out if the previous growth was caused by increased demand or increased performance, and confirmed that it was the former. Furthermore, with the help of Market Explorer, the agency discovered that the client’s market share had stayed consistent with the market growth: people were staying home because of the pandemic and spending more on gaming PCs. Impression was able to come back to the client with this insight and explain that the past growth was not sustainable beyond the pandemic, and therefore increased investment in digital marketing would be a sensible idea.
Semrush Domain vs Market Dynamics report
After that, the Impression team looked at the client’s top keywords
and top pages
to understand where their traffic was coming from. They used the Semrush Organic Research
tool to understand which categories brought the most visits.
Next, the team went back to the Market Explorer
tool to look at traffic sources
to understand whether the client was over-indexed or under-indexed in the search channel compared with its competitors. They turned out to be under-indexed
: the market on average was driving more traffic via organic search percentage-wise. This data confirmed to the client that investing in SEO was the right decision at that time.
Market Explorer data
Impression created a custom competitor set using the Market Explorer tool to understand where their client was on the grid (growth vs. size). The tool provided the top 20 market players that the team filtered by relevance:
Semrush Market Overview Example
The final Market Explorer Custom Market comprised 20 highly relevant and aspirational competitors with information on their traffic share and the top keywords they own.
To find more direct competitors, Impression used the category filter
in Semrush Traffic Analytics
as it conveniently has a hardware modification subsection in the PC category, and “video cards” is the first of them.
“This helps us understand what share of the industry the client actually has and compare it to the total of the 20 domains to get a good feel for market share,” says Aaron Dicks, Managing Director at Impression. “You can filter the results a few times by sectors to see in which categories the client has good or poor exposure. It helps us see where the opportunity really is. We can go to the client with data on specific products rather than just general comments on domain authority.”
Identifying the Top Opportunities
Impression uses Traffic Analytics at the qualification stage to understand how big the site and opportunity are. Then they deep dive to look at insights like traffic growth or comparing domain vs. domain.
“We use the Semrush .Trends a lot, it’s our only source for this kind of information. Other tools have some of the Semrush features like keyword research, but the Semrush competitive intelligence is unique,” says Aaron.
“Our approach to link-building is PR led. We use the toolset to understand linking domains to clients and their competitors and pick up on opportunities where there are gaps. When looking at competitors’ traffic we will look at the referring sites to understand whether PR or alternative link-building methods have been employed in the past, as if Semrush is picking up signals that the domain was sending traffic then the link must have been important to the competitors. When forming a PR and outreach campaign strategy we leave no stone unturned, we use the data available across Semrush’s backlink data, referring sites and other tools to ensure we’re taking a holistic approach.”
“We also look at traffic journeys within the Traffic Analytics tool. We use it rather anecdotally to see when, for example, a marketplace is referring a lot of traffic to a retailer. We’d use it as an opportunity to open a conversation with a client or a prospect, saying: ‘We’re seeing this. Does it sound right to you?’”
Traffic Journey data within the Traffic Analytics tool
“Semrush .Trends gives our clients the reassurance that we’ve spent some additional time to understand the industry more broadly, rather than just looking at SEO or PPC. Sometimes it’s a good conversation starter, sometimes it assists us in upselling.”
Before using Semrush .Trends, several people from different teams within the agency were working on gathering pitching data at the same time. Impression is now moving to having one person pulling insights for a pitch: SEO, PPC, and competitive intelligence data, all in one presentation.
Example of Impression's pitch presentation
- The well-informed pitches helped Impression Digital win 11 opportunities that generated an annual contract value of £341,250.00 from July 2020 to January 2021.
- The agency has access to unique market and competitor data.
- Putting together comprehensive pitching presentations now takes a fraction of the time and effort.
- Impression is able to offer a roadmap for future work right from the first contact with the client.