How I Use SEMrush & Discount Marketing To Get Massive Sales


It’s 4 in the morning, and you still can’t sleep.

You spent the last 3 hours or so trying to figure out why your aren’t getting the spike in sales that you were hoping to get from your automotive e-commerce site. I mean, you just ran a special discount offer on all your premium items, so what’s the deal with your audience? Why aren’t any of them buying as much as you thought they would?

"What could the problem be?” You say to yourself.

You know that you have a fantastic product, you also know that your carefully designed discount coupons are almost impossible to resist. After all, regardless of which industry you are in, getting a whopping 40% discount on all premium items is undoubtedly an incredible offer to pass up.

Since there isn’t much that you can do with your product, you shift your focus on how you’re using your discount coupons.

You’re not about to give up on the idea of using discount coupons since you’ve been using it on your other sites and it almost always gives you the results that you’ve been expecting.

However, your audience not responding to your current discount offer is causing you to question your usual methods of running your coupon marketing campaigns.

Could it be that there is more to using discount coupons than just making sure that the coupon’s design looks professional? Could it be that there is so much more that you can do to make your digital coupon marketing succeed, than just increasing your discount offers?

If you’re asking yourself these very questions right now, then I’m glad that you’re reading this guide. At one point, I also found myself struggling with these challenges. It was only until my friend shared with me how he’s been using SEMRush to get more results out of his digital coupon marketing strategy, that I started to see the possibilities.

If you’re looking for ways to improve the results that you’ve been getting from you digital coupon marketing strategy, then allow me to share with how I use to help me with just that.

Let’s hop right in.

1. Spend For Banner Ads On Sites Where Your Competitors Are Getting The Most Traffic Referrals.

This strategy makes sense on so many levels. For one thing, since you’re targeting your competitor’s web visitors, it means that you’re targeting a demographic that’s highly relevant to your business. In fact, you’d probably be correct if you’d say that their customers could become your customers as well.

The game plan is pretty straightforward.

A. Go To Then Type In The Keywords That You Know Best Describes Your Business.

To find out the keywords that are relevant to your niche, you can enter your website (or your competitor’s) on the search box.

This is where you can find the relevant keywords (I used as the sample site).


Usually, the keywords that would appear on the “Top Organic Keywords“ section on the “Overview” menu are variations of the keywords that the internet users might use when searching for a brand name. Thus, you see “semrush,” “sem rush”, and “sem.” However, if you’ll click the “View Full Report”, you should be able to see several other niche related keywords that aren’t variations of your brand name.


Take note of the niche related keywords you will need to enter each of them later so you can uncover more competitors.

B. Go To The “Competitors” Menu.

From the “Overview” menu, you’ll be able to see your competitors when you scroll to the “Main Competitors” section.


When you click the “Full View Report” button, you’ll see a longer list of who your competitors are.


C. List Down The Referring Domains With The Most Backlinks To Your Competitor's Site.

Now that you have a list of who your competitors are, it’s time for you to study their backlink profile by typing in their domain name on SEMRush’s search box, then going to the “Referring Domains” section (under the “Backlinks” menu).




At this point, all you need to do is take note of the referring domain with the most backlink to your competitors, since there is a good chance that these sites are the ones sending the most traffic to your competitor’s websites.

Refer to the second column where it shows the number of backlinks of each referring domain.


Important note - Just because a website has the most backlinks to another, doesn’t always mean that they are referring the most traffic.

D. Review The Quality Of Each Referring Site.

While others would go for the top 15 - 20 referring domains with the most backlinks to their competitor’s site, I only go for the top 5.

However, this depends on how many competitors will show up when you do your initial research (refer to point “b”). If there aren’t that many competitors, I’ll go for 15 - 20 referring domains as well.

Now that I have a good number of websites that are linking to my competitors, I’ll then check out each website to make sure that they are good enough candidates to reach out to.

While other marketers and business owners tend to look into all sorts of metrics when qualifying a website, I only look for two things:

1. The site’s traffic.

To view their monthly visitors, you can check out the “Organic Search” section on the top left part of the page.


The least I can go for is 10k monthly visitors. If they’re below the 10k threshold, I pass-up on the site.

2. The site’s relevance.

If the site’s niche is highly relevant to our business, then it’s a green light for us.

Though it isn’t necessary for the site’s niche to be exactly similar to ours, there should be a good enough overlap between the site’s niche to our business.

For example, if my client is in the “Dentistry” niche, I don’t mind linking to “Beauty” related sites since their audience might also be looking for whiter teeth to improve their looks.

If both of these elements are satisfied, I tend to tag the site as “Qualified”. However, I’d like to note that these are just the basic qualifiers that I use. Depending on your niche, and your target audience, you might need to add a couple of other metrics to determine if the site is, in fact, qualified enough for you to reach out to.

For example. If your client’s target audience are people living in the United States, then you need to add this element to your list of qualifiers. Another one would be their audience’s gender. If they’re only targeting female web visitors, then you need to consider this as well.

* Note - there is NO one-size-fits-all metric when it comes to qualifying a site. Just make sure that your qualifying factors make sense to the kind of audience that you are targeting.

E. Reach Out To Each Qualified Site To Inquire About Banner Advertising Opportunities.

You can place banner ads on the qualified sites that will offer you reasonable banner advertising rates.

Once you find a site that’s a perfect fit to what you’re looking for, you can then create banner creatives according to the site's specs, so they can start advertising your discount coupons.

Make the offers very compelling, with a large discount so that it stands out. You can also show a coupon code in your ad banner; many consumers are drawn to using codes to get discounts when shopping online

Conclusion - since you added your discount coupons on sites that are referring traffic to your competitor’s website, it just means that you’re now also fishing for customers in the same place that they’re fishing.

In addition to helping you increase your eCommerce sales through the discount coupons you added as banner ads on your competitor’s referring domains, this strategy also ensures that you aren’t left in the dust by your competitors.

2. Add Your Coupons On Discount Sites.

One of the most obvious -- yet highly effective -- strategies that you can use to get great results out of your coupon marketing campaigns is to add your coupons on discount sites.

If you’ve been to high-traffic discount sites like or, you’ll see how engaging the users on the platforms are.

Take this one coupon at for example.


Notice the kind of engagement it has gotten even though it has just been recently published.

This is a classic example of how engaging the user base are of discount coupons sites. They are usually the type who share to their community, and they also leave their feedback/votes, or comments about the offers posted.

Aside from the obvious benefit of the users sharing your coupons to their circles, another overwhelming advantage that you can get from discount sites is social validation.

When your coupons get several shares and upvotes (among others), the chances of others using it drastically increases because your coupons have been socially validated.

If you aren’t quite familiar with the concept of social validation, the gist of it is others will tend to do the things that they see other people doing. This means that others will tend to share and upvote your discount coupons if they see other people doing the same.

You can check out Robert Cialdini’s 6 Key Principles of Influence if you’d like to learn more about social validation or social proof.

And so the question becomes, “How exactly do I find these community-driven discount coupon sites?"

That’s where SEMRush comes in.

These are the steps that you need to follow.

1. Enter A Discount Coupon Site In Their Search Box.

Since we’ve already talked about, I’ll just use it as an example.


2. Scroll To The “Organic Competitors” Section.


3. Click The “View Full Report” Button.



At this point, you should now be able to see several discount coupon sites on the full report of

From there, you need to take note of all the discount sites and check each of them to make sure they’re decent enough to add your coupons on. If everything looks OK, then what’s left for you to do is to reach out to the site owner, and ask for the fees (if any) for adding your discount coupon to their website.

Conclusion - considering how engaging the users are on discount coupon sites, this strategy drastically increases the chances of your discount coupons getting shared by others to their community. Of course, this can ultimately lead to you getting bazillions of sales for your eCommerce site. That being said, do not ignore this tip.

What’s Next?

What are some of the strategies that you’ve been using that helped you get more sales out of your coupon marketing campaigns? Please share your strategies in the comments section below.

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* Adapted lead image: Public Domain Dedication (CC0) Public Domain, via

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