SEO tools can come in handy to rank your website on the first page of Google search results. These tools consist of various features that you can use to enhance the content quality of your website and track your competitors’ progress.
Regarding digital marketing toolkits, Semrush and Ahrefs dominate the arena. Both platforms provide some great features and tools that can help you identify the SEO-related technicalities on your website and offer several strategies to improve your page’s performance over the search engines.
Both platforms share the same principle of increasing organic traffic. However, the implementation is slightly different. If you are new to SEO and digital marketing, choosing between the two might not be very clear according to your business requirements.
If you plan to go with either but are unsure, I am here to help you. This article contains a detailed head-to-head comparison of both tools, including their performance, price, and benefits. Hopefully, in the end, we will be able to determine the better option for you.
- 1 Semrush vs Ahrefs: A Comparison Breakdown And Overview
- 2 Semrush vs Ahrefs: Which One Is Better For Backlink Analysis
- 3 Which Tool excels at Keyword Research
- 4 Semrush vs Ahrefs: Technical Site Audit
- 5 Semrush vs Ahrefs: Rank tracking
- 6 Semrush vs Ahrefs: Competitor analysis?
- 7 Ease Of Use And Learning Curve:
- 8 Price Comparison Of Ahrefs vs. Semrush
- 9 Semrush vs Ahrefs: Pros & Cons
Semrush vs Ahrefs: A Comparison Breakdown And Overview
To assist you better, I will compare both platforms’ top SEO features along with their affordability, ease of use, and overall value that they bring. So let’s get going:
Semrush is a competitive research platform launched in 2008 by IT experts and SEO analysts. It’s a one-stop solution for all your SEO needs related to your website. If your budget does not permit you to hire an SEO team for your website optimization and promotion, don’t worry, Semrush has everything for you.
To get more insight into Semrush, check out our in-depth Semrush Review here.
The company has over 7 million users worldwide, including small entrepreneurs, bloggers, freelancers, and well-established businesses. Due to its multidimensional features, Semrush has become the first choice of SEO experts and market analysts worldwide.
It provides a suite of web-based SEO tools that work on real-time data with very high accuracy. You can use these tools to monitor your competitors, extract their strategies and create your website campaign accordingly. Semrush offers many tools, including a powerful keyword research engine, backlink checker, competitor analysis, and more.
Here are some key features of Semrush:
- Competitor analysis allows you to track the performance of the targeted website.
- Various PPC and advertising tools and strategies
- Content writing services to create high-quality material for your websites/blogs.
- A database of over 20 Billion keywords
- Keyword ideas
- Technical audit to find and rectify the errors on your page
Semrush suits anyone involved in website promotion, marketing, SEO, and content writing.
Launched in 2010, Ahrefs was initially a backlink study tool. Still, over the years, the company has introduced several services to transform itself into an all-purpose SEO research platform.
What sets Ahrefs apart from similar companies is its intuitive interface and ease of use. You can obtain a massive amount of data within a few clicks. However, since the beginning, the company has focused a lot on backlink analysis, meaning its data is far more accurate than any other SEO platform.
Let’s have a look at some key features of Ahrefs
- Deep and powerful backlink analytics
- Get keyword ideas, related keywords, etc
- Know the expected clicks for a particular keyword beside the search volume.
- Affordable pricing
- Technical site auditing
Ahrefs is a perfect SEO tool for students and freelancers since it provides free tools with limited functionality. It also has more affordable pricing compared to Semrush.
Backlink analysis is an important aspect of the SEO process and is crucial to a website’s performance on search engine results.
Semrush backlink analysis tool provides complete information regarding your domain’s backlink profile and competitors.
The platform has a database of over 6 trillion backlinks and can crawl up to 200k URLs in a second. If you are familiar with the SEO business, those numbers are astounding.
To launch the backlink checker, go to Backlink Analytics from the homepage and enter the website domain name you want to check for backlinks.
After hitting Enter, you get a complete overview of the backlink profile, including the domain’s authority score.
You can also see the total number of backlinks that refer to the analyzed domain and the number of domains containing at least one Backlink to the page you have entered.
You can also see the number of visits to the domain in the past month and the total number of keywords that redirect to the domain through Google’s top search results.
The outbound domain shows you the total number of websites the domain refers to. You can also see the toxicity score to find the weak and broken backlinks.
You can click Backlink Gap to compare your backlink profile with up to 4 domains. This section lets you find your competitors’ websites to generate backlinks, the number of links, link strength, and so on.
Finally, you have the Backlink Audit tool to manage your backlink profile’s health. It checks for broken and toxic backlinks and notifies you regularly. Moreover, you can repair the backlinks by contacting the website owners from the Semrush dashboard.
Ahrefs features backlink analysis for the domain. You can quickly obtain the total backlinks referring to the domain name you searched. Currently, Ahrefs has around 2 trillion backlinks in the database.
The Ahrefs backlink tool is similar to the one in Semrush with minor tweaks. So, for example, with Ahrefs, you can see why and how the Backlink was created on a website directly from the link analytics pag
To go to backlink analytics, click on Tools from the dashboard and then go to Site Explorer. Then, enter the domain name you want to search for in the backlink profile and click on the search icon.
From the explorer page, you can see the number of backlinks and the domains currently referring to the domain you have searched for.
By clicking on Referring domain, you can find all the websites redirected to the domain or page you’ve searched for. You can also see more information about these referring domains, such as domain rating, number of do-follow and Nofollow, and organic traffic on each domain.
You can find an in-depth backlink analysis inside the Backlinks section. For example, you can find the exact pages that contain a backlink referring to the domain, the number of keywords referring to the domain, and the exact anchor used to create the Backlink.
This data effectively maps out your competitors and locates the websites generating the most traffic for them. For example, you can use the exact domains and pages to create backlinks alongside your rival and stay in the competition.
Which Tool excels at Keyword Research
A keyword analysis is important to create an effective webpage for both purposes. For example, increase the traffic on your page and improve your page quality for Google.
Semrush Keyword Research:
Semrush has probably the most potent keyword tool of any other SEO platform. It claims to have over 20 billion keywords in the database. The platform has an entire keyword research and analysis module with a keyword overview, keyword magic tool, keyword manager, etc.
You can go to the keyword overview and search with your desired keyword. You can see keyword trends along with monthly and global search volume. Also, you can perform bulk research for up to 100 keywords at once.
Semrush also lets you know the keyword difficulty number based on trends, historical data, and Semrush’s algorithms. This number shows how easy or difficult it is to rank a keyword.
You can get various alternatives and variations of any keyword, along with their search volume, keyword difficulty, and cost per click to rank the keyword. This generates new keyword ideas for your blog posts, articles, etc.
The Keyword Magic tool helps you find relevant keyword ideas. The higher the number of related keywords your website has, the higher the chance it will appear on the first page of Google search results.
You can search using a keyword or a phrase, and Semrush finds the more relevant keywords based on exact match, broad match, and phrase match. You can further fine-tune your search by applying filters such as search volume, keyword difficulty, CPC, etc.
Ahrefs Keyword Research:
Ahrefs’ keyword database contains around 7 billion keywords, less than half of Semrush’s. But this doesn’t mean the tool is any less efficient.
Ahrefs’ keyword explorer provides an in-depth analysis of any keyword within a few clicks and helps you generate great ideas that can be very productive for your business.
To search for a keyword, click on Keyword Explorer, choose the search engine you are targeting, enter a keyword, and hit the search button. In addition, you are presented with numerous data points related to the keyword, such as keyword difficulty, search volume, number of clicks, including paid/free clicks, and global search volume.
Ahrefs also lets you know the number of clicks a particular keyword has generated.
Below this, you see Parent Topic. It suggests a more general topic you can rank your keyword. This is an excellent way to find the best topic/phrase to target to attract a more extensive section of the audience.
Moreover, you can find the top page ranking, the keyword you have searched for, the number of backlinks on each page, their traffic volume, and so on.
Semrush vs Ahrefs: Technical Site Audit
Technical site auditing is a significant step in SEO to create a flawless and error-free website. Semrush and Ahrefs provide rugged site auditing tools, but which one has more potential? Let’s find out.
Semrush Site Audit:
With the Semrush auditing tool, you can find every possible technical and SEO-related error that might hinder your website’s performance in the future. To rank higher, your website must be immaculate and technically flawless.
Semrush performs over 130 technical and SEO checks on your website and lists the possible errors. You can scroll down and see the entire list of errors.
Simply type your website URL, add a project, and start auditing. You will see all the issues with your website divided into errors, warnings, notices, severity, and priority.
The auditing tool analysis:
- The overall website/page performance, including the loading speed.
- JS and CSS faults
- Problems with internal linking
- Meta tags issues
- Content warnings
Ahrefs Site Audit:
Ahrefs site auditing tool is a bit more simplified. Like Semrush, you must create a project and add your URL for automatic auditing. You can set the frequency of auditing along with the day and time of the auditing.
The tool checks your website for over 100 pre-defined SEO and technical issues with your website.
On the result page, you see the SEO health of your page, and it also shows the number of URLs crawled along with the incorrect URLs.
Scrolling down further, you will see a list of each error, the description, and the possible solution to fix the issue. For example, you can apply the filter to see errors, warnings, and notices ranked according to their priority.
Semrush vs Ahrefs: Rank tracking
It’s always essential to scrutinize your work to find out if you are getting desired results. Rank/position tracking is an excellent tool for monitoring your website’s performance over time.
Semrush and Ahrefs are equipped with a powerful Rank tracking tool. Let’s see which one comes out on top:
Semrush Rank Tracking:
Semrush position tracker lets you track your website’s visibility and performance on the search engine. It allows you to compare your website’s ranking with competitors for your target keywords.
You can set an automated daily position tracking and monitor your website daily. Semrush shows your website’s position changes over time along with your Competitor.
Moreover, you can also find out the competitors who are targeting the exact keywords as you are. For example, you can perform detailed research on their domain using the competitive analysis section to find their other keywords, backlinks, etc.
Ahrefs Rank Tracking:
Ahrefs Rank Tracker tool allows you to observe your keyword rankings based on the results from 170 countries. You can also check where your website stands in the competition.
The overview page of the Rank Tracker tool consists of viral data regarding your keyword performance over time, such as visibility, position, search volume, SERP features, and most recent position changes.
You can also choose different dates and periods to bring out more profound historic results if you want to compare your performance from last year or earlier. All the reports are in the form of graphs which you can use to study or to show your clients if you are working on some project.
A SERP features index also shows how many SERP features you own for all the keywords you rank. For example, you can click on each feature and find out how much you must find the SERP features you need to work on to progress higher on search engine results.
Semrush vs Ahrefs: Competitor analysis?
SEO is all about competition, and to reach the top spot on Google search; you have to beat your competitors first who are putting in as much effort as you are. Both Semrush and Ahrefs feature a Competitor’s analysis tool on their website. So let’s find out which one is more effective.
Semrush Competitor Analysis:
To size up your Competitor, Semrush has a Domain Overview tool. You must enter a domain name, choose the country/marketplace you target, and hit the search button.
Domain overview shows you the complete analysis of the domain you have searched for. You can learn about its web visibility, growth over time, the keywords generating the highest organic traffic, and the niche where the domain has an assertive outreach.
One can also compare up to 5 domains to find out about their search volume, paid traffic volume, backlink profiles, keyword performance, and more.
Here are some of the key data points you can acquire from the Competitor’s analysis:
- Traffic volume on a domain
- Authority score
- Position change over time
- Winning keywords with the search volume
- The niche to target
Ahrefs Competitor Analysis:
To launch the competitor analysis, Ahrefs has a Site Explorer tool. You can use the tool to monitor your Competitor’s performance, their growth over time, and what strategies they are using. And you can replicate their strategies to take advantage and have the upper hand over them.
Ahrefs Site Explorer database contains over 4.5 billion keywords and is one of the most active and fastest online crawlers.
You can search by entering your Competitor’s domain name in the search bar. For example, the overview page’s domain rank, number of organic keywords, traffic volume, and total traffic volume cost can be seen.
You can also check backlink profiles and referring domains to discover more about the domains that redirect traffic to your Competitor’s page. For example, you can choose countries to see their performance in different niches and decide whether to target that market.
Ease Of Use And Learning Curve:
Visually, both Semrush and Ahrefs have a strikingly similar dashboard, but there is a difference in the search mechanism and the results.
Semrush provides a very detailed analysis with a huge number of data points, graphs, and charts. While Ahrefs search results are not as vast and deep, it is no weaker in performance.
I found Ahrefs more user-friendly. The user interface is very instinctive, and you always know where to go for a particular piece of information.
Semrush, on the other hand, requires some learning and experience. As sound and detailed as its analysis is, the search results are cluttered, and many times, you may find yourself scratching your head and wondering where to click and which data to assess.
Price Comparison Of Ahrefs vs. Semrush
Here is the pricing comparison of Semrush and Ahrefs.
Semrush has 3 plans for its users – Pro, Guru, and Business. If you want to try Semrush for free, check out our Semrush Free Trial here.
- Suitable for small-medium businesses, marketing executives
- Up to 5 projects
- Up to 10000 domain searches and keyword research
- 500 keyword tracking/day
- $45 for additional user
- 100k pages crawl
- 500 SEO ideas
- Suitable for marketing agencies, small SEO companies, medium business
- 30000 domain and keyword search
- Up to 15 projects
- 1500 keyword tracking/day
- 1000 keyword monthly metrics
- Content marketing services
- 800 SEO content templates
- 300k pages to crawl
- Historical data and integration
- 800 SEO ideas
- Suitable for big marketing agencies and established businesses
- Up to 10 projects
- 50000 keywords and domain search
- 5000 daily keyword tracking limit and monthly matric updates
- Content marketing with 2000 content templates
- Additional user $100/month
- 1 million pages to crawl
- 2000 SEO ideas
- Product listing ads
Ahrefs comes in 4 plans – Light, Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise
- Dashboard, Site Explorer, Keyword Explorer, Site Audit, and Rank Tracker
- Suitable for small projects
- 5 keywords list
- 100k crawls/month
- 750 keyword tracking
- Up to 5 projects
- Export up to 500k rows of results from the Ahrefs report
- 1 power user
- 6 months of history
- SERP updates
- Domain comparison and Batch analysis
- Export up to 1.5 million rows of the report
- Up to 20 projects
- 2000 keywords search
- 50 keyword ideas
- 2 years of history
- Google Data studio
- 4 million rows of the report
- 50 projects
- 5000 keywords research
- 1.5 million crawls
- 100 keyword ideas
- Suitable for large-size marketing agencies and businesses
- Unlimited history and access management
- Directory Listing
- 10 million data exports
- 100 projects on the dashboard
- 10000 keyword tracking
- 5 million crawls
- 250 keyword ideas
Semrush vs Ahrefs: Pros & Cons
Pros for Semrush:
- Easy to use and navigate, with a clean interface.
- Accurate keyword research data.
- Comprehensive backlink analysis tool.
- Ability to compare competitors and monitor trends.
- Their customer service team is available 24/7 to answer any questions.
Cons for Semrush:
- It can be quite expensive compared to other tools in the market.
- Limited keyword research features and data points.
Pros for Ahrefs:
- Comprehensive keyword and competitor research data.
- Ability to track backlinks and monitor their source and quality.
- Many custom reports can be automated and easily shared with collaborators.
- Accurate SERP analysis with the ability to compare different sites in one report.
- Good customer service team with 24/7 availability.
Cons for Ahrefs:
- An interface can be difficult to navigate and use.
- It can be expensive compared to other competitor tools in the market.
The Final Verdict: Semrush Or Ahrefs?
There you go; this is my comparison review between Semrush and Ahrefs. Which one is better? It all comes down to your personal preference and business requirements.
While Semrush has a top-notch keyword research tool, Ahrefs has no match for its backlink analytics. Also, Semrush provides better tools for marketing and PPC campaigns that Ahrefs lacks.
Here are some quick suggestions:
- If you are looking for a complete SEO suite, Semrush is the best option. The platform provides services for everything from content creation to website promotion.
- If you focus more on link building and backlink analysis, pick Ahref. Also, it’s pocket-friendly, which can be a plus point for students, freelancers, and small businesses.
- My personal preference is Semrush. After using both tools for over 1.5 years, Semrush provides an excellent one-stop solution for all your SEO needs. The price is a little higher than Ahrefs, but it’s worth what it brings.
I’m a professor, serial entrepreneur and e-commerce expert with a passion for creating successful online business models. After achieving huge success in the Amazon FBA business, I decided to make it my mission to help my fellow sellers do the same through enjoy-aiia.com .