Search Engine Optimization is an important part of ranking your website pages on SERP. In today’s competitive world, this may be the success or failure of a business. Optimizing your website for the correct keyword will help you save hundreds or more dollars each month. As a result, a great keyword research tool is worth your investment.
Semrush and Ahrefs are two popular SEO tools that are great for optimizing your website or specific pages for search engines. In this article, we’ll compare both the tools and explain which is an ideal choice between them.
Semrush vs Ahrefs Reddit
U/megpaolini- “I use both. Ahref is mainly for backlink authority checker, finding opportunities, and to analyse the SEO health and a couple of other things. However, SEMrush is my go-to for keyword research. Semrush help to find keyword research, suggest long tail keywords, and also calculate keyword difficulty. Also, when things come to SMM advertising/keyword research, I would stick with Semrush. I love it more now after Ahref blocked the full Export. So, my take is to buy SEMrush for everything except Backlinks”.
U/QinnStar- “My recommend to use Semrush for beginners as it has a huge advance tools for getting started, and many advance bloggers use Semrush. Try to use Monthly SEMRUSH GURU PLAN, which costs around $229.9, but our team is providing it for only $79; if you are interested, then let me know:.
U/maaseyracer- “We have both, and I recommend both. However, they both do most of the same thing. If I were to choose just one, it would be a tough decision, but I would probably lean slightly towards SEMRush. But that is just because I prefer how they manage multiple projects. In all honesty, you could flip a coin between the two and not make a bad decision”.
U/killthecowsface- “I love Ahrefs, but Semrush seems to have a beefier toolset, particularly for competitor insights. Semrush’s UX is shit, but their support is quite good”.
Semrush is a comprehensive all-in-one digital marketing tool that comprises over 50 different SEO tools. Users can combine these tools to cover the complete spectrum of your online marketing channels. The tool allows you to create, measure, and manage your SEO content, keyword research, PPC, content marketing, and various other social media marketing campaigns. Today, it has been used by over 10 million marketing professionals and is considered one of the most complete toolkits in the market.
Ahrefs is one of the most widely used SEO software that is used by different marketing professionals worldwide. It was basically built for backlink searching, but today has been updated and now provides users with nearly all the services that you want in an SEO tool.
The tool allows users and businesses of different sizes to increase their SEO presence and SERP positions. It makes your SEO work easier and simpler for adding or updating your existing content. The reports that it generates have good accuracy, and its user interface is also decent.
Semrush vs Ahrefs
1. User Interface
The user interface and ease of use is a key element that allows users to navigate across different aspects of their dashboard. For the user interface, we will look at the understanding of the elements provided on the dashboard and explore how easy it is to complete a task, such as exploring new content or looking at the best keywords in your blog.
Enough said we’ll look at which tool has a better interface and get the desired functionality.
The dashboard of Semrush comes with a few modules that are visible to the naked eye right away. Its quick analysis of your domains with information about your organic keywords, traffic, and ad keywords is one. It has plenty of features, and you don’t need all of them, but it is good as your business grows.
The search menu is situated on the left side of the screen and is grouped into useful categories- Keyword research, link building, competitive research, rank tracking, on-page SEO, and reporting.
Its useful customer support resources are provided directly in the Semrush dashboard, allowing you to ask questions or get access to resources like blog posts, webinars, and more.
Another impressive area is the information descriptions for everything in the program. This is a great advantage as it is difficult for people who want to understand abbreviations that are often seen in SEO tools.
Overall, the interface of Semrush is laid in a solid and intuitive fashion and is simple to use.
Ahrefs User Interface
Ahref’s dashboard and interface are less cluttered and complicated than Semrush’s. The layout is different from the primary menu which is located at the top end of the page. However, its search bar is only limited to type domains, which is a big limitation compared to Semrush.
The dashboard analytics of Ahrefs is where users have their search engine rankings to the domain ratings and referring domains to the backlinks. It also has a good Keyword Explorer module that allows you to check in on what keywords you will need to target right now. On top of it, you can easily jump directly to rank tracking at the click of a button.
Selecting a winner between both these tools is very difficult as both offer their strengths and weaknesses. If you want a clean interface that is simple, then Ahrefs is clearly the best to work with. However, if you want more tools and features, then Semrush packs with the best metrics and plenty of customer support resources, which you get right from the dashboard.
Overall, there is no evident winner, and it depends on what you want that will dictate which tool you should choose.
2. Domain Analysis
A useful thing you can do using Semrush and Ahrefs is basic domain analysis. This allows you to get an overview of the quality of a domain from an SEO point of view. The tools allow you to perform domain analysis of your website or competitors to see where there can be improvements made for SEO and what your competitors are doing to outrank them in the search results.
Carrying out domain analysis is simple for both Semrush and Ahrefs. You can enter your domain and key metrics where you are returned to the dashboard format.
Semrush Domain Analysis
Semrush has three tools that help you sharpen your SEO strategy to shed light on how to leapfrog from your competition. The three tools to analyze domain visibility on any website include- the Domain Overview tool, Organic Research tool, and Keyword Gap tool. With the tool, you have access to search data from the top 10 pages of Google for all SERPs.
Semrush makes use of backlinks, site traffic estimates, and spam factors when calculating the domain score. The spam factors include an imbalance between organic traffic and links that make it very accurate. Further, if you are planning to analyze multiple websites, then it has some powerful features that give you great report limits with access to daily reports.
Semrush is amongst the fastest and largest backlink databases in the market. It has great penalty prevention tools that help avoid toxic scores, tox markers, and penalty prevention. The tool also offers great integrations with Majestic, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console to enhance its overall functionality. Finally, it has good link-building features that give you a full workflow using its outreach functionality.
Semrush offers graphs through its competitive positioning map feature, which is very handy in performing competitive analysis. It offers a greater emphasis on data visualization, and plenty of domain analysis metrics that you will encounter are immediately graphed.
All this gives users a great idea to show how a site is performing against its key competitors based on the number of keywords it will rank for and any monthly traffic estimates.
Ahrefs Domain Analysis
Ahrefs is known as a Content Gap tool, and it focuses more on topical information rather than offering SEO-based suggestions. The domain analysis tool of Ahrefs is its Site Explorer. With the tool, you get access to content Gap for URLs, subdomains, and subfolders. However, it doesn’t offer a comparison based on metrics by country.
Ahref keeps your traffic value of a domain immediately and gives you an important piece of information. The graphs of the tool will plot the context of the traffic by plotting visitor numbers against a list of all Google updates to learn how the organic traffic is been affected over time. You may also be looking at more hard data and tables compared to Semrush, which can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. Further, its historical data is also limited from 2013 to the present day, which is a big disadvantage.
The tool contains 7 reports that help in backlink management and also has a connection with Google Data Studio, where a connector is available.
Semrush has a far better domain analysis tool when it comes to Ahrefs. The tool offers a comprehensive solution when you are looking to manage and improve backlinks. Semrush also has better historical data, integrations, highlights, penalty prevention tools, and much more. All this makes Semrush a premium domain analysis tool in the market today.
3. Keyword Research Tools
Everything in SEO starts with Keywords, and both these tools have the ability to identify promising keywords to assess how difficult it is to rank them. They offer useful metrics based on keyword volume and cost-per-click. Generally speaking, the four important things in this criterion are:
- How many users are searching a particular keyword
- Identify how difficult it is to rank for that keyword
- Find who is already ranking for that keyword
- Get suggestions for other keywords
To get access to the features for Semrush and Ahrefs, you can enter the keyword in their respective research tools, and you will get access to the information right away. You will get a percentage score to indicate the keyword difficulty. However, both calculate this in different ways. We’ll look into this feature below.
Semrush Keyword Research Tools
Semrush has 3 standard keyword research tools- Keyword Magic, Keyword Overview, and Keyword Manager. The core feature of the keyword research tool of Semrush is the versatile Keyword Magic Tool.
The Keyword Overview tool offers a great solution where you have to type in a keyword you want and get a large list of suggested keywords. This will let you know how you are able to perform in each of the respective keywords. It has a large database with over 21 billion keywords with access to various SEO metrics.
In case you are looking to generate new keyword ideas, then you can make use of the Keyword Magic tool. You simply have to enter a seed keyword and hit Search, and it will pull several related and similar keywords alongside the most important metrics based on volume, trend, keyword difficulty, etc.
Semrush offers broad keyword matches, phrase matches, and exact matches. It also has a related tab, which is an outstanding offering that is exactly like what you have typed in.
The tool offers great keyword ideas with access to fresh metrics that give you access to 5,000 keywords per month based on the subscription tier. It has a powerful language filter option where you can filter the keywords based on specified languages. Finally, it has a good keyword intent feature where you can filter keywords by navigational, commercial, transactional, and informational intent. All the information will give you decent time to figure out the right keywords that you will want to use to rank your websites.
If you want to find the best ways to rank for your rival’s most profitable keywords. You can use its organic research tool to optimize the organic keywords to find a way to win SERPS that are relevant across your target audience. Another powerful feature is the keyword Gap tool. It is an important feature that gives you the opportunity to launch SEO campaigns with the utmost efficiency. Find the keywords of your rivals that users are missing in a few clicks.
Its powerful Keyword Manager allows you to save plenty of time to automatically cluster up to 2,000 keywords. You can easily create clusters from scratch or start from an existing list. This is great, and you can integrate your lists with other tools on Semrush or export them and share them with your team, all in a few clicks.
Ahrefs Keyword Research Tools
Ahrefs has two main keyword research tools- Keyword Explorer and organic keywords. The keyword explorer is like any other keyword tool that is available on the dashboard and has some useful metrics included. You can select the target keywords based on different search engines, which is a big plus.
Another great advantage is that you can type in multiple keywords at a single time to better analyze them together. The initial result will tell you about which keywords are worth it and show how good search volume and clicks they have. The tool has a database size of 17 billion keywords and offers great SEO metrics alongside keyword ideas. However, it doesn’t have a language filter or keyword intent.
The organic keyword tool is great to help rank your website on Google with SERPS and try and steal clicks from the organic results.
Semrush suggests far more keyword suggestions that give you a better insight into the best-ranking keywords. The tool allows you to get a better insight into how your competitors are functioning and the keywords they are using and missing. Further, the tool has a great language filter with excellent keyword intent that is not available with Ahrefs.
In contrast, Ahrefs has a basic outlay and offers simple keyword suggestions. It is a good to start but not a great choice for advanced users who want to rank better on different search engines.
4. Rank Tracking
Rank tracking or position tracking is great for understanding your position on search engines. In today’s market, getting closer to the top of Google’s page is the real name of the game. It is also great to check how you compare to your competition.
What is more, is that you can decide on what changes that you have to make to boost your rankings. Let us look at how Semrush and Ahrefs compare to Rank tracking and see which one performs in rank tracking.
Semrush Rank Tracking
The rank tracking tool on Semrush is organized in the Project tab section. This tool will combine SEO checking tools and reports to reveal how your website is performing on search engines.
Semrush tool is easy to set up by heading over to the position tracker section, followed by entering a domain name and the target keywords that you want to track. This will let you get a report showcasing how your website is currently ranking for the keywords. All the phrases can be tracked on a per-country basis.
The tool helps you to track keyword ranking from 500 to 5,000 in number. All the rankings are refreshed every 24 hours, with mobile rankings available on all its subscription tiers. Using this feature, you can compare up to 20 competitors in your campaign.
You also get access to local volume data, reports of featured snippets, and customizable alerts when your site enters or leaves the top position for your target keywords.
You can also enter the competitor websites into Semrush’s position tracker tool and compare how your competitors are performing. Finally, you can avail regular rank tracking email notifications for weekly summaries or create triggers that you can receive.
All in all, the rank tracking features are great, and I have no real complaints. It is intuitive and powerful enough to keep track of how well you are ranking in the search engines. Plus, you also get a bonus for social media tracking. The only thing you have to watch out for is the limit on the number of keywords you can track, and these vary by plan.
Ahrefs Rank Tracking
Ahrefs rank tracking tool is very simple to understand because there is a single page for it without having any additional features. The process initiates once you type in the domain name you want to test and check some keywords. This way, you will see how well your rankings are on the set pages for the particular keyword.
The results that come are very simple to understand with basic visibility score, average position, traffic, or keyword difficulty. The tool allows you to track 500 to 10,000 keywords. However, the keyword data is updated once a week or after 3 days based on the subscription tier. It has a multitargeting feature with mobile rankings on all its subscription tiers. Further, it compares up to 10 competitors in your campaign, which is lower than that offered by Semrush.
If you consider it in terms of rank tracking, then Semrush easily beats out Ahrefs. Both are designed to do what rank trackers are supposed to do and track your rankings. However, Semrush offers more updates and allows you to track more competitors with its robust features. On top of this, Semrush has other features that are available after purchasing its add-ons. All this gives Semrush an edge in rank tracking when you directly compare it to Ahrefs.
5. Competitor Analysis
Competitor analysis is an important part of SEO that is often forgotten. It plays a critical role in your overall SEO strategy and is also beneficial for content marketing and link-building strategies. This is why, when it comes to SEO, you need to be well-versed with your competitors.
Semrush and Ahrefs have comprehensive competitive analysis tools, so let us see which one will work best.
Semrush Competitor Analysis
The Competitor analysis tool of Semrush is a powerful spying tool where you are able to type in keywords, and the tool will compare several competitor websites with your site. It will display the top-ranking keywords from all those sites with specific information on whether or not you can compete by targeting those specific keywords. Any backlink analytics reports, backlink gaps, and reports can be easily viewed using powerful competitor analysis tools.
The Market Explorer feature of Semrush will allow you and reveal similar websites. You can see how the other sites get their traffic and establish a plan that will help you focus on specific things like referrals, search, or social marketing.
The Topic Research feature is another powerful feature in that you can search a keyword and see a large mind map and a list of headlines that come from your competition on the topic. If you want to generate blog post topics, then this feature is a great option as it gives you a direct look into your competition.
It has a great traffic analytics tool where you get great competitor analytics to check its prospects and potential partners’ website traffic. The Advertising Research feature of the tool will help you uncover the competitor’s search ads and delve deeply into their paid search strategies to efficiently plan your PPC campaign. Further, it has a free social media toolkit for posting cross-platform strategy, tracking your competition, and automating your reports for social media channels.
Ahrefs Competitor Analysis
A domain comparison tool is also offered by Ahrefs, which is similar to Semrush. You can type in up to five websites and compare them side by side. The tool will offer metrics like backlinks, domain ratings, images, and much more. This offers a great way to compare how your site is performing when you compare to other sites. However, it doesn’t give you the exact information on how you can improve.
Ahrefs has a Competing Domains section in its sidebar where you can track the sites. Here, you will get a list of your direct competitors alongside a keyword intersection graph.
If you still want more information, then you can check its trusty Site Explorer and Content Explorer modules. It will simply tell you the keywords or pages that are too competitive. At most times, you’ll realize that these are great target keywords, and you will know the competition is low. This is important as it will help you check the volume, search position, and you can also see if a keyword is hard to rank for.
Semrush has powerful competitor analysis tools that are dedicated directly to finding your competition and figuring out what they are doing right and wrong. You can easily compare multiple websites with your own, but it will also offer content recommendations from your competitors and efficiently track your overall market.
Ahrefs, on the contrary, is a slouch in this area, and it uses a combination of tools to understand what your competitors are doing.
6. Backlink Analysis
Backlinks in a website offer an important indication of its performance. Prospecting for links can be one of the hardest parts of a job as a marketer. Both tools allow you to prospect and start building an authoritative backlink profile. All in all, how a site performs in the search results is very much dependent on the number of backlinks that exist on your site. Let us look into the features both tools have to offer.
Semrush Backlink Analysis
To start off using the tool, you just have to enter a domain name and get a list of all the backlinks that each tool can find. Semrush has a big database of 808 million domains and is able to provide comprehensive data for analyzing the backlinks.
The information is laid out with utmost efficiency, and users can whether a domain has gained or lost the backlinks, using the value of the links in question. Further, you can utilize the data to improve your own SEO efforts or gain valuable insights about your customers.
The Backlink analytics tool helps allow you to evaluate and compare the link profiles of any domain in a few clicks. Just type the URL and hit the Analyze button to get started. This report has in-depth details about different metrics and specifics.
The tool has a backlink audit tool that helps you analyze or organize your links into specific lists for keeping or removal. The Backlink audit tool helps keep the backlink profile healthy with a complete audit. You can collect personalized insights to make the right decisions to avoid any unnecessary penalties.
Its Backlink Gap tool allows users to find several link building prospects needed for your business. There are 3 simple steps to discover you’re your prospects for link building. To sharpen your backlink profile, the best feature is its bulk analysis tool. With this tool, you can analyze prospects in bulk with up to 200 websites at a single time without any hassle. Further, it offers a link building tool to discover your website’s best link building prospects and conduct outreach campaigns.
Ahrefs Backlink Analysis
Ahrefs Backlink Checker is amongst the top backlink analysis tools in the market. The tool will display the whole link profile of the website inputted. It works in a similar way as other link analysis tools. You just have to enter a URL, and it will show all the links.
Ahrefs has a big database of 208+ million domains, and the thing that makes the tool stand out is that it has excellent filter options that will help narrow down and organize your search results. This is important as it allows you to examine inbound links from popular websites without any hassle. Further, if you want to find backlinks from websites having a good Domain Rating (DR) or webpages with a good URL rating (UR), then the filters will make the entire process smooth as silk. This is why the search filtering and categorizing feature saves you time and energy.
Ahrefs will help you to analyze backlinks; however, Semrush outperforms it in all the backlink categories- backlink database size, reports, and tools, alongside auditing and building tools. All this makes Semrush a better option for backlink analysis. Further, its excellent CRM-style backlink-building tool also gives it an edge in the crowded marketplace.
7. Site Audit
Site audit is an important tool to assess how your website is performing in terms of technical and on-page SEO. A good site audit tool will help you track issues that may have a negative on your search ranking, which include
- Duplicate content
- Crawl errors
- Slow loading times
- SSL issues
- Keyword stuffing
- Missing headers
Semrush and Ahrefs are very effective in looking into the negative effects of your search rankings. We’ll look into details of how both tools try to audit their sites, ensuring they are not breaking any major Google compliance rules.
Semrush Site Audit
Semrush has a great on-page SEO checker that will go through the entire site and offer you actionable tips to improve each page of your website. The tool will check against 140+ ranking factors that are impacting your site’s health. It performs advanced checks for AMP, HTTPS, crawlability, site performance, internal linking, international SEO, and site health score. Further, it offers rapid reporting capabilities with Quick PDF and the My Reports tool.
Once the audit has been finished, you will get a report outlining all the issues that need fixing to get the best performance. The issues are categorized into errors, warnings, or notices based on how important those issues are. This is a great feature to prioritize your SEO efforts. Semrush will also give you a detailed explanation of each issue and explain exactly how it will fix them. The Site Health bar is graded with a percentage so you can keep track of the improvements over time.
Overall, the Site Audit feature is extremely good and is one of the top recommendations in the SEO site audit tools section.
Ahrefs Site Audit
Ahrefs site audit tool is designed to have everything you need to efficiently audit your website. Using it, you can get access to different issues that are plaguing your website and find out how you can improve them.
The tool will check against 100+ ranking factors that are impacting your site’s health. It performs basic checks for localization, missing hreflang tags, and only lang tags of HTML. Apart from this, you get an outgoing link report in the tool.
It will also give you assessments of your website’s Core Web Vitals point of view. Ahrefs gives you two different Core Web Vitals data that include:
- Field data- Based on real user experience of your website
- Lab data- Data collected from a controlled environment
Semrush and Ahrefs both offer a wealth of useful information necessary to improve the technical SEO of your website. However, when you compare the audit tools, Semrush is easy to use, and it will generate a simple list to follow to improve your website performance. With Ahrefs, you will have to manually analyze your site audit reports and create to-do lists.
SEO tools like Semrush and Ahrefs are generally complex in nature. It is therefore important to have great customer support for their users. We’ll look into their customer support below.
Semrush Customer Support
Semrush offers great customer support, and you can easily contact the team via phone, email, or chat. Semrush makes the contact details as easy as it goes and makes its contact details very easy to spot. Here, a help chatbox is visible at the corner of each page, and it displays the wait time you are likely to experience before you have to contact an agent.
The tool has a comprehensive blog, insights, and an academy; it is vital to use these toolkits to get official certificates for your proficiency in SEO and Semrush. It also has a GoodContent Hub where you can learn everything you need to create effective content marketing in a single place. Apart from this, it has webinars, information from top websites, and local SEO hubs to get all the information you need.
Ahrefs Customer Support
Ahrefs offers comprehensive support, but they only support email, and they promise that most queries are dealt with within 10 minutes. They offer a clear support window that is present at the right corner of its interface. However, finding the contact details can be difficult if you have not logged in to the portal. The tool has a list of articles with FAQs that will answer nearly all your questions.
Semrush offers more support channels than Ahrefs in general and is more simpler to use and contact. All this clearly makes Semrush the best customer support team over what Ahrefs has to offer.
Cost is an important factor that every business wants to know before investing in any SEO tool. Hiring an agency or professional can account for a lot of dollars per month, which is why SEO tools like Semrush and Ahrefs are valuable options. Both of them have helped thousands of organizations to leave a mark without having to break your budget. We’ll look into the pricing list of both tools below.
Semrush has some features that you can’t find anywhere else, and each of these features is designed specifically to get a return on your investment. The platform has 3 plans that users can choose from. Each of the plans has a 14-day trial period where users can check its features and performance. If you sign up for it and find that doesn’t fit your needs, then you can avail of their 7-day money-back guarantee.
The three plans on a monthly basis as of now are
- Pro plan- $129.95 per month
- Guru plan- $249.95 per month
- Business plan- $499.95 per month
There is also an option for creating a custom Semrush plan with customizable features and fees. Further, if you purchase its annual plan, you can avail a discount of 17%.
Ahrefs is a versatile SEO tool that is packed with 4 standard plans that is useful for users across different niches. It offers plans on a monthly or yearly basis.
The plans for the tool on a monthly basis as of now are as follows
- Lite plan- $99 per month
- Standard plan- $199 per month
- Advanced plan- $399 per month
- Enterprise plan- $999 per month
If you go for their yearly plan, then Ahrefs will give you 2 months free. The software doesn’t offer a trial period, so you have to go in blind when selecting a plan.
The main function of all these packages is the quantity of information you will obtain from every function. In the initial package, you can monitor limited keywords, but if you select its Enterprise plans, then you have better functionality.
The functionalities that are available with all the packages are nearly identical; however, the higher you spend, the more features and functionality you will get.
When you compare the prices of Semrush and Ahrefs, the price point of Ahref is less expensive compared to the first three tiers. However, Semrush offers a custom plan, which is not available for Ahrefs. You need to understand that the cheap is not always the best. The same can be said with Ahrefs, which has strict restrictions on the volume of usage. The features offered by Semrush at that price far exceed those offered by Ahrefs. I think you have already read about that in the article, and you can clearly say that Ahrefs may be cheaper; however, the features offered by Semrush make paying a higher price worth every dime.
Semrush vs Ahrefs: Which is Better?
Semrush and Ahrefs are good SEO tools that allow users to get the key data for your successful SEO project. The best tool for you may vary based on your business needs.
Semrush is a growth-focused, feature-rich tool that has excellent offerings covering nearly every facet of the digital marketing industry today. It is a great tool for small, medium, or enterprise-level businesses that have great ambitions in the market.
Ahrefs is also a great SEO and backlink analysis tool; however, it offers fewer tools that have a higher price point for the features it offers.
It is important to note that building a memorable brand goes far beyond ranking high on Google. If you have a tool for creating engaging content, offering better data, and a great ecosystem of digital tools it will drive your marketing efforts forward. All that said, Semrush offers these features and more to make it stand out from Ahrefs.
Semrush vs Ahrefs FAQs
1. What does Semrush and Ahrefs do?
Semrush and Ahrefs are tools that help optimize your website suitable for search engines. The tool gives users information that will let them establish what people want in a particular niche and create new content that is likely to generate organic traffic or identify opportunities to build strong links for your sites. Further, it also helps to tweak technical aspects of your website in ways that allow you to perform better in search.
2. Does Ahrefs or Semrush offer a free trial?
Semrush has a free plan; however, it also offers a 14-day trial period on its paid plans. Ahrefs comes with a 7-day paid-for trial period that costs $7.
3. Which is cheaper, Ahrefs or Semrush?
Ahrefs is slightly cheaper when compared to Semrush. However, the features offered by Semrush far exceed those that users get with Ahrefs.
4. Are there any discounts available with Semrush or Ahrefs?
Both platforms offer a discount if you pay upfront for a year. The yearly plans will offer 2 months off on its plans compared to the monthly plans.