Most SEO projects start with some basic domain analysis. This means getting a simple overview of the ‘quality’ of a domain from an SEO point of view.
You typically perform domain analysis either on your own website — to see where SEO improvements could be made — or on a competitor’s, to see how difficult it will be to outrank them in search results (or to find ways to do so).
You might also perform domain analysis on a website in order to see if it’s worth approaching its owner for a link from that site to yours — this is because external links (or ‘backlinks’) from high-quality websites to your content can really boost its performance in search.
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It’s very easy to perform domain analysis in Semrush — you just enter a domain URL in its ‘domain overview’ section, and you get an immediate sense of how it’s performing in search results.
The authority score used to be a bit buried in Semrush’s interface, but recently it’s been moved front and centre of the domain overview section, giving you an immediate sense of what Semrush thinks of a particular domain.
Now, what’s important to remember about the domain overview stats is that while the majority of them are based on hard data, the traffic figures are estimates — and my experience of them is that they are not always 100% accurate.
(I base this observation on comparing the Semrush traffic estimates against Google Analytics data for websites that I have access to).
To be fair to Semrush, it doesn’t claim that the traffic figures are 100% accurate — and actually gives you an estimate of how accurate its traffic stats for a particular site are likely to be (low, medium or high).
Nonetheless, it’s best to treat the traffic stats in Semrush as something that gives you an indication of site popularity — doing so can help you put your site into context against those of your competitors, or identify sites that it’s worth approaching for backlinks.