SEMrush vs Ahrefs
Product Name: SEMrush or Ahrefs
SEMrush and Ahrefs both are best SEO tools that are being used by millions of people. Here’s our most comprehensive analysis of both the tools with tutorials. Give a try to both the tools and use the one that suits your needs from below links.
Looking for the most comprehensive SEMrush vs Ahrefs review? You’re in the right place.
Whenever someone struggles to boost their sales, I recommend them to focus on improving their search engine traffic.
Why? If you get more traffic from Google to your sites, you can easily increase your overall sales.
The question is, how can you increase your search traffic effortlessly?
|Which SEO Tool to Choose||SEMrush Pro||Ahrefs Lite|
|Number of Tracked Websites||5||5|
|Tracked Keywords & Update Frequency||500 (Daily)||500 (Weekly)|
|Pages to crawl using Site Audit (Monthly)||100,000||10,000|
If you are looking for an honest SEMrush vs Ahrefs review, this page is for you. If you are also looking for the right SEO tool that can help you boost your search engine traffic in 2020, this post is also for you.
Let’s now talk about SEMrush vs Ahrefs review and figure out which one is the right tool for your SEO needs. Let’s get started.
SEMrush vs Ahrefs: Which Tool is Worth Your Money?
SEMrush is probably the world’s #1 most used SEO toolkit which is used by over 4 million people worldwide and their pricing plans start at $99.95 per month whereas Ahrefs is the suite of SEO tools where they offer pricing plans start at $99 per month.
Table of Contents
- SEMrush vs Ahrefs: Which Tool is Worth Your Money?
- Dashboard Overview of SEMrush & Ahrefs
- SEMrush vs Ahrefs: Which Is Better for Keyword Research?
- Between SEMrush and Ahrefs: Which Is Better for Backlink Analysis?
- Between SEMrush And Ahrefs: Which Is Better for Competitor Research?
- SEMrush and Ahrefs Pricing: Which Tool is Best Bang for Your Buck?
- What Makes SEMrush So Incredible?
- Here’s a step by step tutorial to get SEMrush free for 30 days
- Step by step tutorial to get SEMrush Guru account free for 14 days
- What Makes Ahrefs Great?
- SEMrush Or Ahrefs: Whos is The Winner?
- Final thoughts about Ahrefs vs SEMrush review
Dashboard Overview of SEMrush & Ahrefs
Here’s how the SEMrush dashboard looks like;
From domain overview to keyword overview and backlink analysis, SEMrush offers you an in-depth overview of any domain.
Here’s how the Ahrefs interface looks like;
As you can see above, from Site Explorer to Content Explorer and Keywords Explorer, you can find a ton of data at one place.
When it comes to the overview of dashboard, Ahrefs looks simple and easy to use even for beginners whereas SEMrush takes some time for beginners to get used to it.
SEMrush vs Ahrefs: Which Is Better for Keyword Research?
Most people invest money in paid SEO tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush for finding profitable keywords for their PPC and search campaigns. So let’s talk about the ability to find better keywords using both these tools.
SEMrush for keyword research
SEMrush offers you amazing keyword research tools including “Keyword Magic Tool”.
Here’s how their keyword tool looks like;
As you can see above, SEMrush keyword research is offering a wide range of features including;
- Keyword magic tool
- Keyword manager
- Keyword difficulty
- Organic traffic insights
For now, let’s use their regular keyword research tool.
As you can see above, for our example keyword “fitness tracker” SEMrush keyword research tool is offering us a ton of data including;
- Monthly search volume
- Total number of results (organic)
- Paid search data including CPC and competition
- CPC distribution (which is really helpful for paid advertisers)
- Trend for the keyword
- Keyword suggestions
SEMrush also gives you a ton of phrase match keywords along with related keyword ideas.
So if you’re looking to target phrase match keywords, you can click on View full report to find a list of keywords that contain your “focus keyword phrases”.
Otherwise, you can simply go through their list of related keywords (if you’re searching for LSI keywords in general) to come up with a ton of keyword ideas that are relevant to your primary keyword.
Keyword difficulty: SEMrush keyword tool also lets you easily find out how difficult it is to rank for a particular keyword. Their keyword difficulty score is a percentage from 0 to 100 and the higher the percentage, the more difficult it would be to rank for.
Here’s how it looks like;
As you can see above, for every keyword, you will see its Difficulty, Volume, Results, Trend and SERP source.
PPC ad research: If you’re looking to find and analyse your competitors ad copies, SEMrush is a great choice. Here’s where SEMrush easily outranks other tools like Ahrefs.
For our example keyword i.e “fitness tracker”, here are the ad copies (which are live updates).
So if you’re looking to invest money in PPC and Google Ads, SEMrush keyword tool gives you a ton of ad copies ideas so you can tweak your ads (titles, meta description) accordingly.
It also offers you Keyword Magic tool where you can find even more useful data.
If you’re looking to explore niche topics and find semantically related long tail keywords in your niche, Keyword Magic Tool can be a great fit for you.
Ahrefs for keyword research
Ahrefs offers a tool called “Keywords Explorer” for keyword research.
Using Keywords Explorer, you can get thousands of relevant keyword ideas with accurate Search volume, Keyword difficulty score and advanced metrics like Clicks, Return rate and so on.
To start, click on Keywords Explorer and enter any keywords of your choice.
You can also pick your desired country (for instance, United States) and click the search button to begin your keyword research.
As you can see above, you will instantly get a ton of useful keyword data including;
- Keyword difficulty (KD) score (Under each KD score, you’ll see the estimated number of links from different sites you need to rank on the first page for that particular keyword)
- Search volume (you can also see global volume which includes searches from all countries)
- Organic Clicks that are getting for that particular keyword
- CPC value of the keyword
Quick tip: Check the Keyword Difficulty of any keyword before you decide to target it. Keyword Difficulty estimates how hard it will be to rank in the top 10 for a given keyword. It’s scored on a scale from 0 to 100 (100 being the hardest).
If you want more keyword ideas that are related to your primary keyword, you can choose from one of seven different keyword ideas reports.
Here’s how it looks like;
As you can see above, you’ll find several keyword ideas to mine more keywords. You’ll also find parent topic for your desired keyword. In our example, “Apple watch deals” is the parent topic for our example keyword i.e “apple watch discount”.
Here’s the breakdown of these keyword ideas;
- All keyword ideas (includes all terms)
- Phrase match (includes phrases that contain your target keyword )
- Having the same terms (includes ideas that contain all the terms in your target keyword)
- Also rank for (includes keywords the top-ranking pages for your target keyword also rank for)
- Search suggestions (includes queries suggested via ‘autocomplete’ when searching for your target keyword)
- Newly discovered (includes search queries that were recently added to our database)
- Questions(includes queries phrased as a question)
Here’s the list of keyword ideas when you scroll down;
When coming up with new keyword ideas, make sure to check the number of clicks for the particular keyword you’re targeting. For example, the keyword “gaming” gets ~140,000 monthly searches, but only 30,000 clicks.
But when you take the example of the keyword “gaming music,” it gets nearly 200,000 monthly searches and over 160,000 clicks.
So make sure to focus on finding those keywords that generate more clicks from Google search. That way, you can increase your search traffic even if you’re ranking somewhere in the first page (more search traffic if you’re ranking in top 3 search results).
Both SEMrush and Ahrefs are great tools for keyword research. Ahrefs is great for organic keyword research (which also provides you a ton of useful metrics like clicks, parent topic, keyword ideas etc) whereas SEMrush offers you an all-in-one keyword tool that helps you with both organic content research and PPC ad research.
So if you’re looking to find better keywords for both organic and paid search results, SEMrush should be your choice.
Now, let’s talk about how you can perform in-depth backlink analysis using both SEMrush and Ahrefs.
SEMrush for Backlink Analysis
SEMrush offers exceptional tools for backlink analysis and link building.
It offers you a tool called Backlink Analytics which helps you easily discover backlinks of any website in the world.
Just enter any domain or your competitors URL in the Backlink Analytics tool (which you can find under “Link Building” section on SEMrush).
Here’s how it looks like;
Enter any domain and click on check it to perform a detailed backlink analysis of the particular domain.
SEMrush backlink analytics tool instantly shows you an in-depth overview of the corresponding backlink profile.
Have a look;
As you can see above, you’ll find a ton of useful backlink data including;
- Total number of links
- Referring domains
- Referring IPs
- Authority score
- New and lost backlinks
Find your competitors backlink sources: When you click on “Backlinks” tab, you’ll find a list of all the backlink sources of your competitors.
Here’s how it looks like;
You can use filters like “Follow” to find a list of all the dofollow links of any domain in the world. That way, you can use different link building strategies like guest posting, blogger outreach, broken link building etc to build links from those sources.
Find more relevant competitors: One more incredible feature of SEMrush backlink analysis is that you can also find relevant competitors for your entered domain.
For example, here are the competitors for the site Neil Patel.
As you can see above, you can easily find all the relevant competitors and when you click on those links, you can again get their backlink data. That way you can keep on analysing backlink profiles of all the relevant sites in your industry.
Ahrefs for Backlink Analysis
Ahrefs offers a tool called “Site Explorer” to analyse backlinks (or traffic) of any website.
Here’s how it looks like;
As you can see above, you will find backlink data including;
- Ahrefs Rank
- Total number of backlinks
- Referring domains
- Organic keywords
- Organic traffic for your entered domain
- Traffic value and so on
Find backlink sources: If you want to find all the backlink sources of a particular domain, simply click on “Backlinks” section under Site Explorer.
Have a look at the data;
You can also find new and lost backlinks of any particular domain (as seen above). You can also choose filters like “dofollow” links to find all the dofollow links of any of your competitors.
Detailed backlink profile analysis: Once you scroll down, you’ll also find a detailed backlink profile of your entered domain which looks like this;
You will find backlink data including;
- Referring domains
- Referring pages
- Dofollow links
- Gov links
- Edu links
- Total number of crawled pages and so on
Top anchors text: If you want to discover what are all the anchors used for your competitors backlinks, you can easily find that from Ahrefs backlink profile.
Have a look;
As you can see above, Backlinko site has majority of the anchors coming with a similar site name and also a good percentage of anchor texts coming with Brian Dean (who is the founder of the blog and a well-known SEO expert).
When it comes to backlink analysis, both SEMrush and Ahrefs are great. But here’s the thing: SEMrush offers you an exclusive tool for backlink analysis whereas Ahrefs doesn’t have an exclusive backlink research tool as it comes in-built with their Site Explorer.
Between SEMrush And Ahrefs: Which Is Better for Competitor Research?
So far we discussed both keyword research and backlink analysis using these amazing two tools. Let’s now talk about how you can conduct an in-depth competitor analysis to find better opportunities to increase your traffic and sales in 2020.
SEMrush for Competitor Research
SEMrush offers an exclusive tool called “Competitive Research” which helps you easily analyse any competitors domain in the world.
Just enter any domain to start analysing.
Here’s how the domain overview looks like;
As you can see above, we took an example of Moz domain and the domain overview from SEMrush shows us the information including;
- Organic search traffic
- Paid search traffic
- Display ads
When you click on each one of them, you’ll be taken to the appropriate data (such as their backlink profiles, paid ads, organic keywords etc) where you can find even more information.
You’ll also notice that the tool is offering engagement metrics of the site which include the average duration, bounce rate, average pages per visit. That means, SEMrush is literally working for you as a Google Analytics tool so you can spy on your competitors user metrics easily.
Keywords by country: It also lets you easily find your competitors top performing organic and paid keywords by country.
You’ll also notice above that, you can see the traffic trend and analyse what keywords are generating more traffic (that way you can target the RIGHT keywords to improve your traffic from search engines like Google).
Top organic keywords and competitors: Want to discover your competitors top performing keywords?
SEMrush competitor research tool provides you all that information.
You can easily discover all the top organic keywords along with main organic competitors and see their positioning map for easy analysis.
Top paid keywords and competitors: You can also take a look at all your competitors paid keywords along with their paid competitors in search.
Ahrefs for Competitor Research
Ahrefs offers “Site Explorer” tool for performing competitor research.
Enter any domain of your choice to analyze their site.
Let’s take an example of Moz.
Here’s how the detailed overview of the domain looks like;
From backlinks to organic traffic to paid search, you can find almost every detail about your competitors.
Organic search results: You can also use Ahrefs Site Explorer to discover your competitors organic search results.
Here’s how the data looks like;
Organic search analysis helps you find organic traffic, organic keywords along with the list of top countries that are sending your competitors more traffic.
Paid search results: Similar to SEMrush, you can use Ahrefs Site Explorer for finding your competitors paid search results.
Here’s how it looks like;
As you can see above, you can see the top 5 ads along with PPC ads information from the last 1 year or last 30 days or all time.
All in all, Ahrefs is great for competitor research as you can find ad copies along with top 10 competitors for any domain.
When it comes to competitor analysis, SEMrush is exceptional as it literally can be used as a Google Analytics tool to steal your competitors top performing keywords, paid ads, backlinks and so on. Ahrefs is great if you want to estimate any domain’s traffic and analyse their paid and organic search results.
SEMrush and Ahrefs Pricing: Which Tool is Best Bang for Your Buck?
Both SEMrush and Ahrefs are priced at similar pricing points as SEMrush plans start at $99.95 per month whereas Ahrefs plans start from $99 per month.
SEMrush is currently offering 3 pricing plans.
- Pro (starts at $99.95 per month and best for starters)
- Guru (starts at $199.95 per month and best suited for small businesses)
- Business (starts at $399.95 per month and best suited for agencies)
Here are the pricing plans of SEMrush.
All SEMrush plans offer you a 7 day money-back guarantee. You can upgrade/downgrade or cancel your account whenever you want.
Ahrefs is offering 4 pricing plans which are listed below.
- Lite ($99 per month, great for beginners)
- Standard ($179 per month, great for bloggers)
- Advanced ($399 per month, great for SEOs)
- Agency ($999 per month, suitable for agencies)
Here are the pricing plans of Ahrefs.
For your monthly subscription on Ahrefs plans, you have 48 hours to ask for a refund.
When it comes to pricing, both these tools have similar pricing plans and the most expensive plan of Ahrefs costs you $999 epr month whereas the most expensive plan from SEMrush costs you $395.95 per month.
Do they offer any free trials?
SEMrush is a clear winner when it comes to offering free trials to its users as you can grab their 30 day free trial of SEMrush Pro account using the below link.
Click here to try SEMrush Pro free for 30 days (worth $99.95)
Ahrefs doesn’t offer any free trial. You can use the below link to try their 7 day trial by paying $7.
When it comes to free trials, SEMrush wins the race (without a doubt). Ahrefs doesn’t offer free trial whereas you can grab 30 days free trials with SEMrush.
What Makes SEMrush So Incredible?
Every now and then a new tool comes into the market and changes the game completely.
SEMrush is one such game changing SEO tool. It’s one of the widely used and highly recommended SEO tool on the web right now.
So now let’s talk about why you should use SEMrush over other SEO tools.
Before discussing about its features in detail, let’s quickly find out few of their most incredible benefits.
SEMrush offers the following benefits:
- You can do competitor’s analysis
- You can find the most profitable keywords (no matter what niche you are in)
- You can find and fix all your site issues
- You can do site audits
- You can do domain comparison
- You can find link building opportunities
- You can find the traffic of any site and so on
Let’s now talk about few of the key features offered by SEMrush so you can easily find out whether this tool is for you or not.
That being said, here’s a quick note.
Exclusive deal for BloggersPassion readers: For a limited time, I’m offering you a 30 day free trial of SEMrush only for YOU! You can’t find this awesome deal anywhere else on the web. So make sure to grab this offer before the deal ends (it’s worth $99.95!).
Features of SEMrush
Keyword research: If you are blogging for a while, you already know the importance of doing keyword research. Although there are a ton of tools out there to do keyword research but nothing comes closer to SEMrush.
You can estimate the value of your keywords. You can compare them against main web performance indicators such as traffic, search volume, estimate of CPC, competition, the number of search results etc.
All these metrics can help you find the high profitable keywords in your niche so you can increase your traffic and sales.
Competitor’s analysis: The best part about using SEMrush is, you can do competitor’s analysis effortlessly. You can find their traffic, best performing keywords, backlink sources and all the other information that’s needed to thoroughly analyze any website in the world.
If you are wondering why you need to spy on your competitors, let me tell you the reasons.
- Competitor’s analysis gives you a better idea on what keywords to use to increase your traffic and sales.
- It gives you what your target audience are looking for.
- It gives you a great idea about the trending topics in your field.
Full site audit: One of the major reasons why I love SEMrush so much is its Site Audit feature.
It helps you find and fix all the SEO related issues your site has so you can increase your search results by fixing your site issues.
- Site Audit feature has the following benefits:
- Check your site’s health with our SEO analysis tool
- Prioritize SEO issues and decide what to fix first
- Track SEO optimization progress
Here’s how the site audit feature looks like in general.
Using Site Audit feature you can fix all the SEO related issues like;
- Optimize your internal and external links
- Add tags where they are missing
- Make titles, meta descriptions, and other HTML tags unique and comprehensible for users and search engines
- Correct broken images and provide them all with an alt attribute
- Detect and erase error pages
- Find duplicate content pages and so much more
All in all, SEMrush is a great SEO tool that helps you not only to spy on your competitors but also helps you increase your search traffic and sales.
Here’s a step by step tutorial to get SEMrush free for 30 days
Step 1: Click this EXCLUSIVE link to grab your 30 days SEMrush account for free (which is worth $99.95). You’ll now have to register by entering your email and any password of your choice. Fill out the captcha (in case if you find one).
Step 2: In this step, you’ll be given all the purchase summary where it shows $0 as highlighted (which is shown as below image)
Step 3: Enter your details (email, password and billing details) to grab your SEMrush Pro account absolutely free for next 30 days and make sure to cancel it within 30 days if you don’t like it or don’t get charged.
Once you click on the “Place The Order” button, it will create your SEMrush account without charging you anything.
Step by step tutorial to get SEMrush Guru account free for 14 days
If you’re looking for SEMrush Guru account free trial, here’s the tutorial on how to get it free for 14 days.
Step 1: Use this EXCLUSIVE link to avail Guru account from SEMrush. Once you click on the link, you’ll be taken to their registration page.
Step 2: Just enter your email and password to create your account, you’ll be redirected to their payment page.
You’ll be given a 14 days free trial to their Guru account as you can see from the above (you’ll be charged nothing).
Step 3: Now, fill out your billing information to grab SEMrush Guru account free for 14 days which is worth $100.
Who should be using SEMrush Guru?
In case if you’re wondering about the benefits of using Guru account from SEMrush, here are few of them.
- More limits
- Historical data access
- Multitargeted tracking
Here’s the features list of SEMrush Guru account.
- 30,000 results per report
- 5,000 reports per day
- 3 simultaneous sessions (multitargeted tracking)
- Display advertising research
- Tracking can be done up to 1500 keywords
- Branded PDF reports
- Historical data
So what are you waiting for?
What Makes Ahrefs Great?
Just like SEMrush, Ahrefs also has a huge collection of SEO tools which you can use to boost your search results and overall website sales.
Currently Ahrefs is offering the following tools:
- Site Explorer
- Positions explorer
- Content explorer
- Position tracker
- Domain comparison
- Crawling reports
- Ahrefs alerts
Ahrefs tool is mainly used for one purpose: to build quality backlinks and find unlimited link building opportunities. Ahrefs is considered as the BIGGEST and accurate database of live backlinks.
This tool crawls over 5 billion web pages every single day. And it is used by over 600,000 people worldwide for their SEO purposes.
If you are looking for a tool for backlink analysis and find lots of link building opportunities, no other SEO tool comes closer to Ahrefs. It has the most accurate data which will help you easily do backlink analysis.
Let’s now talk about few of their key features so you will know whether this tool is right for you or not.
Site explorer: This feature allows you to completely analyze the backlinks, traffic and keywords of any website URL you want be it your own or your competitors. It gives you a detailed analysis of all the backlinks that your desired domain.
It shows you all the backlink information that you need by also showing you how many referring domains and dofollow link a site has.
This tool includes the following 3 tools to give you a detailed site analysis of any domain.
- Backlink Checker tool
- Organic Traffic Research tool
- Paid Traffic Research tool
Have a look at the following screenshot to know how the Site Explorer feature on Ahrefs tool looks like in general.
Did you see that? It gives you the detailed backlink analysis which you can use to find unlimited number of backlink opportunities to grow your search results and sales.
Content explorer: Using this feature you can discover the most popular content for any topic that you want. It shows you information about backlinks, organic traffic and social shares of any particular topic you want to know.
You may ask, why should I find the most popular content in my niche?
It doesn’t matter what niche you are in, by knowing the most popular content in your industry, you can easily figure out what kind of content to create to attract more backlinks and social shares.
Here’s where Ahrefs content explorer feature comes into play. For instance, if your topic is “email marketing” and want to find the most popular content around it, this is what the results you get.
By seeing the above screenshot, you can easily understand that, this tool helps you easily analyze:
The number of backlinks of the topic you are interested in (along with the number of social shares and backlinks). This information is enough to find and create link worthy content in your niche.
Keyword explorer: One of the simplest ways to increase your overall search engine traffic is to do keyword research.
But finding keywords that are highly competitive in your industry is not going to work. You need to find only those keywords that are easier to rank for and at the same time they should have decent amount of search volume every month.
By analyzing what your competitors are ranking for, you can easily figure out a list of all the keyword ideas that can help you bring more traffic and sales.
Ahrefs keyword explorer helps you do just that. You can brainstorm potential keyword ideas to rank for using their tool. You can also easily check keyword difficulty score so you can filter out all the unwanted keywords.
Once you have a look at the following screenshot and you will know what I’m talking about.
See that? You can find all the relevant keywords for your primary keywords. You will also get all the information like keyword difficulty (KD) and monthly volume of those keywords so you will know which keywords to target to rank higher in Google search results.
You can filter your keyword search results by:
- Keyword Difficulty
- Monthly search volume
- Cost Per Click
- Number of search results
- Number of words in a keyword
The above details are enough for you to come up with thousands of potential keyword ideas that you can use to grow your overall search engine traffic.
Crawl report: This will help you find and fix all the common SEO issues that your site has. You can run crawl reports whenever you want and you can easily identify if there are dead or broken links that are occurring on your site. You will also get site related issues information like (meta description, title tag errors etc).
All in all, Ahrefs is a great set of SEO tools combination that allows you to quickly increase your overall SEO.
So that’s it! Those are all the features of Ahrefs and now let’s talk about SEMrush tool.
SEMrush Or Ahrefs: Whos is The Winner?
Ahrefs originally started as link building tool and now expanded to an all-in-one SEO toolkit which offers everything from keyword research to backlink analysis to competitor analysis.
One thing we really like about Ahrefs is its keyword data as you can get access to over 7 billion keywords and 1 billion pieces of content (along with the ability to track and analyse over 16 trillion backlinks all over the web).
If you’re someone who is looking for a tool to take your content marketing and SEO strategy to the next level, Ahrefs is a great choice.
SEMrush offers you over 40 SEO tools ranging from site audits to on page SEO checker to competitor research, backlink analysis, keyword research, Ad research, PPC keyword research and so on.
SEMrush pricing seems to be well-balanced as their pricing starts at $99.95 per month and goes up to $399.95 per month (considering the fact that you get access to over 40 of their amazing tools even with the basic plan i.e SEMrush Pro).
So if you’re a blogger, SEO or an agency who is looking for an all-in-one SEO tool that helps you with both organic and PPC campaigns, SEMrush is definitely worth every single penny.
So what’s our recommendation?
Although there’s NOT huge difference between SEM rush and Ahrefs but we REALLY love SEMrush. It constantly gets updated, adds a ton of new features, has an amazing knowledge base to use their tools. That’s why we have been using SEMrush for more than 4 years now.
So if you’re looking for a better SEO tool to get started today, try SEMrush.
Browse more SEO Tools:
- Unbiased SEMrush Review with 30 days free trial
- Moz vs SEMrush: which is better SEO tool?
- SEMrush vs LongTailPro: Comparison of best keyword research tools
- Spyfu vs SEMrush: which is better for competitor research?
- Top Moz Alternatives You can try in 2020
Final thoughts about Ahrefs vs SEMrush review
When you are looking for the best SEO tools, make sure to pick a tool that offers you almost all the features. You don’t need to use a lot of tools to manage your SEO efforts. It’s better to pick ONE SEO tool that has almost every feature to improve your SEO traffic in 2020.
Here’s where the allrounder tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush come into handy. They have all the features that are helpful for doing keyword research, backlink analysis, site audits etc so you can increase your traffic and sales.
This SEMrush vs Ahrefs review is mainly written for one reason: to introduce the BEST SEO tools to you so you can increase your SEO traffic. Did you like the SEMrush vs Ahrefs review?
Which one do you think is the best among SEMrush and Ahrefs? Do share your thoughts in the comments.