Ahrefs Vs Semrush: Which SEO Tool Is Better And Why?

A Detailed Comparison Of two Leading SEO tools: Ahrefs Vs Semrush Based on Various Factors Including Rank tracking, Keyword Research, etc.

In today’s competitive world, the perfect keyword phrase and using profitable keywords can be the difference between the success and failure of a business or blog. This makes a good keyword research tool a worthy investment.

Optimizing your site with the right keyword phrase or using the most appropriate keyword in your blogs can help you save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars each month.

Surprised? Well, don’t be, because this is the reality. With this in mind, it becomes a critical decision to choose the right SEO software for your tools. Ahrefs and Semrush are two leading SEO tools that you can use to optimize your site or specific web pages for search engines.

Ahrefs vs SEMrush

Review Of Ahrefs Vs Semrush

These two SEO tools help to optimize your site or pages in several different ways. However, the most important work they do is to provide you with information to do the following tasks:

  • Create content to drive more organic search traffic to your site.
  • Enhance the performance of your website by changing/modifying its technical aspects.

You can use both the tools to get suggestions for keywords based on phrases that you have entered into the query box. These keywords can then be used in blog posts to improve their ranking in organic search results. Additionally, you can also determine the difficulty in ranking for specific keywords or phrases using these tools.

Additionally, Ahrefs and Semrush are also useful for carrying out an SEO audit on your website to determine if any technical improvements can be made to the site to get a higher rank in search results. However, these are just a few of the many features that these two SEO tools provide to help you rank better in search results.

In this article, we will look at some facts related to both these tools and the SEO software market before comparing the two tools for benefits such as ranking tracking, keyword research, unique features, technical SEO site audit feature, competitor research, backlinks, free trials, pricing plans, and support. We will also provide a pro-tip to help you choose the right tool from Ahrefs and Semrush for your business.

Let’s begin!!

Fact Check: According to MarketWatch, the global SEO Software market will grow by $538.58 million during the forecast period 2016-2025. One of the main factors behind the growth of the SEO software market is the increase in the penetration of the internet worldwide.

A statistic that makes SEO tools such as Semrush vs Ahrefs extremely critical is that the number #1 results on a Google search engine result page gets more than 30% of all clicks.

Google Organic CTR Breakdown By Position:

Breakdown for Google’s First page organic results

Pro-Tip: Consider a few important things while choosing the best among different available SEO tools. For Example, while comparing Ahrefs vs Semrush, consider user satisfaction ratings, pricing, features, benefits, and terms & conditions of use to determine which of these tools meet your needs. The selected tool might not be the better option of the two, but instead, it should be best for you based on your SEO needs and budget.

Comparison Table Of Ahrefs And Semrush

 AhrefsSemrush
Number of Keywords for GoogleIt has a keywords database of more than 7 billion keywords. Semrush has a database of over 20 billion keywords.
Search EnginesAhrefs supports various search engines like Google, YouTube, Amazon, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Semrush is the online visibility management platform that specifically supports the Google search engine.
Mobile SERP RankingsAhrefs doesn’t have this feature. Semrush has features to provide Domain analytics for Mobile SERP rankings.
Outgoing linksAhrefs can provide a complete breakdown of outbound linksSemrush doesn’t support the outgoing links feature.
SMM ToolsAhrefs doesn’t have any SMM tool. Semrush has Social Media Toolkit that will help you to manage & track all your social profiles.
Ability to find the most popular content on every topicAhrefs Content Explorer will let you discover & analyze top-performing content on every topic. Semrush doesn’t have this feature.
Pros- User-friendly interface
- The SEO tool with the biggest database of backlinks
- A wide range of innovating data/metrics features
- Regular update and feature releases
- Highly responsive customer support
- Many training materials for users
- Easy to navigate and use
- Free version available;
- Possibly the best SEO API available today;
- An excellent resource for content marketing, keyword research, and competitor research
Cons- Lack of integration with Google Analytics
- Higher pricing
- Low limits and several restrictions on lite option
- No free trial
- Not so great backlink analysis
- Slightly inaccurate data at times
- Technical analysis is good but there is a requirement for technical audit tool
- Pricing can be a bit high for some
Free trialNo free trial Yes
PriceTrial: $7 for 7 days(Standard/Advanced only)
Lite: $99/month
Standard: $179/month
Advanced: $399/month
Agency: $999/month
Starting price: Free
Pro: $119.95/month
Guru: $229.95/month
Business: $449.95/month
Custom plans: Available
Enterprise solution: Available

Semrush Killer Features

Killer Semrush FeatureDetails
Data Accuracy for search volume By constantly updating the database, Semrush provides the most accurate and relevant data.
Huge Keyword databaseSemrush Keyword Magic Tool has a huge keyword database for Google. It has more than 20 billion keywords in the database. It is the largest keyword database available in the market. This huge keyword database will help you to enrich your SEO and PPC campaigns.
Position Tracking ToolSemrush Position Tracking Tool is the perfect solution for SEO Specialists. All Semrush users will get daily data updates and mobile rankings. They can even buy additional keywords without any payment. All users have basic tracking functionalities. This tool provides local level volume data to all subscribers.
SEO Reports Semrush will let you create visually appealing custom PDF reports. It has features of Branded and White Label reports, report scheduling, and integration with GA, GMB, and GSC.
Monitoring of toxic linksSemrush has features for the detailed analysis of toxic backlinks, toxic score, and toxic markers with an option to outreach.
Content Marketing FeaturesSemrush provides various unique features and functionalities for content optimization and writing. It provides tools like SEO Writing Assistant, On-Page SEO Checker, Content Audit, etc.

Semrush Vs Ahrefs: Benefits

Let us now see the comparison of the two SEO tools based on their different benefits.

#1) Comparison Based On Rank Tracking

Rank Tracking

The success or failure of any SEO efforts can be determined accurately by using the rank tracking method. One of the most important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of SEO campaigns, ranking improvements shows how an SEO campaign is impacting the online visibility of a website.

The comparison table below explains the difference between the two tools in terms of rank tracking.

 SemrushAhrefs
1With the rank tracking tool of Semrush, you can monitor the daily progress and changes in rankings of a website or SEO campaign.One of the newer tools of Ahrefs, the rank tracker can help any business to improve its SEO campaign. There are four different pieces of information you can get on the rank tracker dashboard of Ahrefs.
2For a custom set of keywords, it keeps track of the daily search engine rankings and changes.Competitors Tab: Compare the progress of your site with that of your competitors.
3Review your own target keyword search engine volatility.Pages tab: Group tracked keywords by their corresponding pages
4Track keyword rankings in multiple languages, devices, and geographic locations.Metrics tab: Keep track of everything that you need to know for measuring keyword performance from this tab.
5Review the search engine volatility of Google across industries and watch out for signs of a Google algorithm update.
Compile a rankings report in a PDF format.
Grossing tab: Determines how your tracked keywords improved over a week, month, and 90 days

Final Verdict: While the rank tracking tools of both Semrush and Ahrefs are useful, we recommend Ahrefs rank tracker as it allows you to track everything you require on the same dashboard. Additionally, it also provides more information than the Semrush’s rank tracking tool.

#2) Comparison Based On Keyword Research

Keyword research

When it comes to keyword research parameters, the three most important things need to be considered.

These are as follows:

  • Determining the number of people searching for a specific phrase or keyword.
  • Finding out the difficulty to rank for that particular phrase/keyword.
  • Getting suggestions for other keywords.

All the above information can be easily discovered by using both Ahrefs and Semrush. Simply enter the target keyword into Ahrefs’ ‘Keyword Explorer’ or Semrush’s ‘Keyword Overview’ and you will get the required information immediately. This information includes the keyword difficulty score, the search volume, and a list of related keywords.

The comparison table below explains the difference between the two tools in terms of keyword research.

 SemrushAhrefs
1In order to indicate keyword difficulty, Semrush uses a percentage score. The higher the percentage, the more difficult it is to rank for the keyword.Ahrefs indicates the keyword difficulty by scoring the keyword out of 100. A higher score indicates more difficulty in getting ranked for the keyword.
2The difficulty score of Semrush is shown as a decimal number. This typically means more in-depth information on keyword difficulty when you use Semrush.Ahrefs difficulty score is provided in a whole number.
3You can use Semrush to create a keywords list that you can refer to any time you want. This can be done with the Keyword Manager.You can use Ahrefs to create a keywords list that you can refer to any time you want. This can be done with the Keyword List feature.

Final Verdict: Overall, the keyword research tool of both Semrush and Ahrefs is pretty similar in terms of what it offers. However, there is one thing that gives Ahrefs the edge.

In Ahrefs, the keyword research feature not only determines the level of difficulty to rank for a given keyword, but it also tells you the number of backlinks you will need to rank on the first page of search results. This feature is not available with Semrush and thus Ahrefs wins the battle of keyword research.

#3) Comparison Based On Unique Features

Domain analysis

Both Semrush and Ahrefs have unique features that help them stand apart from other SEO tools in the market including from each other.

The comparison table below explains the difference between the two tools in terms of unique features.

 SemrushAhrefs
1Content Analyzer: You can easily analyze the value of your content with this feature as it provides you with the most important content-related metrics.Domain Comparison: You can compare up to five related domains using this feature.
2Domain vs. Domain Comparison tool: You can use this tool to compare two different domains side by side. This helps you to understand your competitors better.Batch Analysis: You can get access to comprehensive reports that compare many URLs with the feature.
3Backlink Audit tool: You can check the backlink types (text, image, frame, or form) using this tool.Link Intersect: You can find potential opportunities for link building with this feature.
SEO toolbar: You can install this as an extension on your browser to view your domain rating as well as backlink stats on SERPS and individual pages
Ahrefs API: You can use the database of Ahrefs externally using the API.

Final Verdict: We will call it a tie as both Semrush and Ahrefs have some useful unique features that are missing in the other tools.

#4) Comparison Based On Technical SEO Site Audit Feature

Technical SEO

Both Semrush and Ahrefs have site auditing features. You can use these features to determine the performance of your website from an on-page SEO and technical SEO perspective. When a site audit is performed, both tools will search for issues that can negatively affect your search ranking.

Some of these issues include:

  • Duplicate content
  • Overuse of keywords
  • Slow-loading content
  • Missing headers
  • Crawl errors
  • SSL problems

Verdict: A whole host of valuable suggestions are provided by both Semrush and Ahrefs. Compared to the Ahrefs, Semrush’s audit tool is much easier to use and can automatically provide you with a simple to-do list to follow. Whereas in the case of Ahrefs, you require to analyze your site audit reports manually to create the ‘to-do’ lists.

#5) Comparison Based On Competitor Research

Competitor research

As an important SEO pillar, competitor research informs your overall SEO strategy. It is especially useful for link acquisition and content strategies. For this reason, you must have good knowledge of your competitors when it comes to SEO.

The comparison table below will help in determining the better tool among Ahrefs and Semrush for competitor research purposes.

 SemrushAhrefs
1There is a dedicated section called 'Competitive Research’ for this within the Semrush platform.You will find competitor tools on the left side of the domain view. Unlike SEMrush, they are not grouped under one section.
2The Competitive Research section contains five tools namely: Keyword Gap, Domain Overview, Backlink Gap, Traffic Analytics, Organic Search.
Using each of these tools, you can perform an analysis of a competitor or compare their domain vs. yours. This means that you can gain an in-depth view of a competitor with Semrush’s Competitive Research section.
The competitor analysis tools of Ahrefs includes: Content Gap, Domain Comparison, Competing Pages, Link Intersect, Competing Domains.

Verdict: The winner in our opinion is Semrush. This is because the tools for competitive analysis of Semrush provide deeper insight into the competitors than the competitor analysis tools of Ahrefs.

#6) Comparison Based On Analyzing Backlinks

Backlin analysis

The number of backlinks a site has is a key indicator to determine it’s performance. You can enter a domain name on both Semrush and Ahrefs and find a list of all the backlinks to it.

The comparison table below explains the difference between the two tools based on analyzing backlinks.

 SemrushAhrefs
1Semrush has a much bigger domain database than Ahrefs with 729 million domains. This gives it an edge in terms of backlink database size.Ahrefs’s 165 million has 165 million domains.
2Semrush provides valuable information about the backlinks navigating to a domain.
This includes a breakdown of:
- Anchor text used
- Linking domain types
- The number of ‘dofollow’ links vs. ‘nofollow’ links
- New vs. lost domains
- The country of origin of backlinks.
Since it provides a series of information/stats in attractive and easy-to-understand graphs, Semrush is a better choice in terms of backlink reports and tools.
In Semrush, you will find a few backlink auditing and building features that are missing in Ahrefs. Considering this, there can be only one winner in this aspect: Semrush.
It provides valuable information about the backlinks navigating to a domain.
This includes a breakdown of:
- Anchor text used
- Linking domain types
- The number of ‘dofollow’ links vs. ‘nofollow’ links
- New vs. lost domains
- The country of origin of backlinks

Verdict: While Ahrefs is useful for analyzing backlinks, Semrush beats it in all three aspects of backlink analysis i.e. backlink database size, backlink reports & tools, and backlink auditing & building. This makes Semrush more preferable to consider.

#7) Comparison Based On Free Trials

Currently, no free trial is available with Ahrefs. On the other hand, Semrush comes with a free version. Therefore, Semrush is a better option than Ahrefs if you want to test an SEO tool before using it.

#8) Comparison Based On Pricing Plan 

Ahrefs:

  • Trial: $7 for 7 days (Standard/Advanced only)
  • Lite: $99/month
  • Standard: $179/month
  • Advanced: $399/month
  • Agency: $999/month

Semrush:

  • Starting price: Free
  • Pro: $119.95/month
  • Guru: $229.95/month
  • Business: $449.95/month
  • Custom plans: Available
  • Enterprise solution: Available

Verdict: If you pay upfront for a year, then you will get a 16% discount on Semrush. Additionally, the tool comes with a free trial. On the other hand, you will get two months free if you pay upfront for Ahrefs. However, there is no free trial. As for which tool is better value for money, this will depend on the requirements and budget of your business.

#9) Comparison Based On Support

Semrush seems to have a slight edge in this category as it offers three different support channels: email, chat, and phone.

On the other hand, there is no telephonic support with Ahrefs. However, the support options of Ahrefs are more visible. Simply click an icon at your screen’s bottom right corner that appears likes a question mark to connect with a member of the support team on Ahrefs.

Verdict: While Semrush has more support options, the support options of Ahrefs are more visible. Therefore, we recommend both Semrush and Ahrefs as equal when it comes to customer support.

Conclusion

While both Semrush and Ahrefs have their fair share of pros and cons, we can select the best one based on some important factors that are the keys to the success of all SEO tools available today. These factors include ranking tracking, keyword research, unique features, technical SEO site audit feature, competitor research, backlinks, free trials, pricing plans, and support.

While the rank tracking tools of both Semrush and Ahrefs are useful, we recommend Ahrefs rank tracker as it allows you to track everything you require on the same dashboard. Additionally, it also provides more information than the Semrush’s rank tracking tool.

Overall, the keyword research tools of both Semrush and Ahrefs are pretty similar in terms of what they offer. However, Ahrefs tells you the number of backlinks you will need to rank on the first page of search results along with the level of difficulty to rank for a given keyword. This feature is not available with Semrush and thus Ahrefs wins the battle of keyword research.

Here are some other findings from our comparison of Semrush and Ahrefs:

  • In terms of unique features, we will call it a tie as both Semrush and Ahrefs have some pretty unique features that are missing in the other tool.
  • A whole host of valuable suggestions are provided by both the tools. However, the former seems to do better in the auditing domain.
  • Compared to Ahrefs’ audit tool, Semrush’s audit tool is much easier to use and automatically provides you with a simple to-do list to follow. On the other hand, Ahrefs requires you to go through your site audit reports manually to create the ‘to-do’ lists.
  • The competitive analysis tools of Semrush provide deeper insight into the competitors than the competitor analysis tools of Ahrefs.
  • Semrush beats Ahrefs it in all three aspects of backlink analysis i.e. backlink database size, backlink reports and tools, and backlink auditing and building
  • Currently, no free trial is available with Ahrefs. On the other hand, Semrush comes with a free version. This makes Semrush is a better option than Ahrefs if you want to test an SEO tool before using it

If you pay upfront for a year, then you will get a 16% discount on Semrush. Additionally, the tool comes with a free trial. On the other hand, you will get two months free if you pay upfront for Ahrefs. However, there is no free trial. As for which tool is better value for money, this will depend on the requirements and budget of your business.

Finally, while Semrush has more support options, the support options of Ahrefs are more visible. Therefore, we declare both Semrush and Ahrefs winners when it comes to customer support.

Since Semrush does better than Ahrefs in most aspects, we will declare it the winner in the comparison of Semrush vs Ahrefs.

Suggested reading =>> SEO Vs SEM – A Comparison