Semrush vs Ahrefs 2024 [Detailed Comparison, Summary, Unbiased Opinion & More]

Semrush vs Ahrefs
semrush vs ahrefs

Product Name: Semrush or Ahrefs

4.7

Summary

Semrush and Ahrefs both are the 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.

Are you looking to make a QUICK DECISION on Semrush vs Ahrefs? [It’s Not Difficult As You Think]

In this post, You only have to invest 1-2 Minutes and you will be ready to make a wise decision on Semrush and Ahrefs .

Best SEO tools like Semrush or Ahrefs are generally used to automate or reduce manual SEO efforts. No wonder if you are new to SEO and blogging, you’re surely facing problems in figuring out the best SEO tool of the market.

Right?

No offense to Ahrefs users, But Semrush is feature rich. But that doesn’t make Ahrefs a totally bad SEO tool. Infact, Ahrefs is also being used by thousands of SEO experts these days.

Both are great SEO tools but have some major & minor differences which could become the REASON behind your final decision.

I am currently using Semrush,

i am a semrush verified user

But I also tested Ahrefs thoroughly.

using ahrefs

Today, I am going to share my experience with both tools. My opinion is completely unbiased. I am also going to point out hidden differences, and similarities between Ahrefs and Semrush which you should know before moving further.

To find the winner, I considered the following crucial factors in this comparison:

  • Ease of use
  • Competitors Research approach
  • Keyword research
  • Available Backlink analysis tools
  • Site Audits
  • More.

Let’s find out which SEO tool among Semrush and Ahrefs offers maximum value for money.

Semrush vs Ahrefs [Quick Comparison] 

I created this section, so you can make the RIGHT decision as quickly as possible.

Where Semrush Wins?
  • Overall Features: SEO tools rely on their data and tool collection. Semrush offers a wider range of tools, giving users more options.
  • Free Trial: Investing in SEO tools is a big deal, so Semrush provides a 14-day free trial for customer satisfaction before any commitment.
  • Support: Semrush provides excellent customer support, including live chat sessions, phone support, email support, and access to free resources from the dashboard.
  • Keyword Research: With Semrush, users can find organic, local business, and PPC keywords.
  • Backlinks Index History: Semrush has a huge database of 43 Trillion backlinks, more than Ahrefs’ 35 Trillion.
  • Backlink Analysis: Semrush has a special tool for building backlinks, making its interface cleaner than Ahrefs’. Also, Semrush has unique tools like “Toxic Links,” which Ahrefs doesn’t offer.
  • Site Audit Tool: Both Semrush and Ahrefs do well with site audits, but Semrush stands out by providing clear instructions for issue resolution related to content or link improvement.
  • Quick Rank Tracking: Even in its basic plan, Semrush allows tracking fewer keywords but updates them daily, surpassing Ahrefs’ first plan that updates positions only once a week.
Where Semrush Loses?
  • High Pricing: If your goal is to save money as much as possible, then you will find Semrush expensive compared to Ahrefs
  • Not So Beginner Friendly: With more features come complexities. Semrush may take more time to learn due to its extensive features, multiple interfaces, and overall learning curve required to use the tool effectively.
Where Ahrefs Wins?
  • Cheap Pricing: Ahrefs offers slightly cheaper annual or monthly plans compared to Semrush, which can be a significant advantage for beginners.
  • Beginner Friendly: Ahrefs is easier to use due to its short learning curve, which requires learning only its core features and only a few interfaces.
  • Backlinks Feature: Ahrefs’ link intersect tool is more powerful than Semrush’s backlinks gap tool. It allows finding backlink opportunities between 10 URLs, while Semrush can only do this with 5 URLs at once.
  • Better Core Web Vital Audit Tool: Ahrefs core web vitals audit tool offers field data derived from real user experiences, unlike Semrush, which provides test data based on laboratory settings.
  • More Rank Tracking Keywords: Compared to Semrush 500 keywords, Ahrefs offers 750 keywords to track in its entry plan. However, it is important to know that the updation period of keywords tracked through Ahrefs takes almost a week whereas Semrush releases fresh positions for the keywords every single day.
Where Ahrefs Loses?
  • Lesser Features: Although Ahrefs has most core features available in Semrush, if you specifically need features unique to Semrush (like PPC tools, Local SEO tools, etc), Ahrefs won’t be suitable.
  • Free Trial: Ahrefs doesn’t provide a free trial, creating hesitation for users due to the initial investment required.
  • Support: While Ahrefs offers chat or email support, it lacks phone support like Semrush does, impacting user experience.
  • Backlinks Index: Ahrefs has a larger backlinks history compared to many SEO tools, including Moz, but it’s still lesser than Semrush.
  • Keyword Research: In Ahrefs, There is no way to find better keywords specifically for PPC campaigns. Although it did a great job in organic keyword research.
My Final Pick: Semrush

Which Tool is Worth Your Money (Semrush or Ahrefs)?

I found the decision on Semrush and Ahrefs is a little bit hard to take and depend on various factors. 

Semrush is ahead of Ahrefs in terms of overall features whereas Ahrefs is more beginner friendly and requires much less time to adapt. Semrush powered SEO & PPC features in a single tool, However Ahrefs lacks PPC tools. Semrush keyword suggestions are comparatively far more while it is more easy in Ahrefs to figure out the final keyword. Most SEO’s also prefer buying both tools for long term growth.

Prefer Semrush if:

  • If the number of reports requirements is larger every month compared to Ahrefs
  • If you doesn’t want to miss on any important SEO tool feature
  • You require a robust PPC SEO tool for your Google ads campaigns
  • If you have good amount of time in getting used to with all the features
  • If you need data only from Google search engine
  • If you need straightforward subscription plan
  • If you need marketing tools as well such as a content template, writing assistant, etc.
  • If you want a more robust competitive analysis tool
  • If you want to optimize for Local listings

Prefer Ahrefs if:

  • If you have less time to invest in learning. 
  • If you enjoy working with much cleaner & uncluttered UI
  • If you only require primary features such as keyword research tool, link building tool, rank tracker, etc, and don’t want unnecessary features in a SEO tool
  • If data from other sources including YouTube, Bing, etc matters to you
Semrush and Ahrefs Comparison Overview:
FactorsSemrush ProAhrefs Lite
PricingStarts at $108.33/MonthStarts at $99/Month
Number of Tracked Websites55
Users Allowed11
Free trials offered?YesNo
Backlink audits (with toxic links discovery)?YesNo
Tracked Keywords & Update Frequency500 (Daily)500 (Weekly)
Pages to crawl using Site Audit (Monthly)100,00010,000
SEO Keyword Research
PPC Keyword Research
Competitor Analysis
Backlinks DatabaseMoreLess
Site Audit
Rank Tracking
Trial Link

Semrush vs Ahrefs [Detailed Comparison] 

semrush vs ahrefs 2024

Dashboard Overview of Semrush & Ahrefs

Here’s how the Semrush dashboard looks like;

semrush dashboard

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;

Ahrefs interface

As you can see above, from Site Explorer to Content Explorer and Keywords Explorer, you can find a ton of data at one place.

Comparison:

Winner: Ahrefs

If you’re looking for a straightforward keyword research tool without any bells and whistles, Ahrefs is definitely the way to go. Even though Semrush and Ahrefs have pretty similar dashboard interfaces, there are some slight differences that make Ahrefs a little more user-friendly.

For example, When you search for keywords on Semrush, it gives you a ton of data points – search volume, Intent, Position, KD, CPC, etc. And when you get a huge list of keywords with all that info, it can feel a bit overwhelming to shift through the data.

The Ahrefs interface has a cleaner, more visually appealing layout with larger fonts. If you want to do faster keyword research and see the essential data at a glance, Ahrefs is the right pick.


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”.

It has over 20 billion keywords and it’s the BIGGEST keyword database.

Here’s how their keyword magic tool looks like;

Keyword Magic tool

As you can see above, it provides you a comprehensive data for most of the keywords. From search volume to questions to related keywords, Keyword Magic Tool is the ultimate tool for keyword research.

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.

Besides keyword magic tool, you can also use their regular keyword research tool which looks like this;

keyword tool data

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 and questions along with related keyword ideas.

Have a look;

fitness tracker

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.

Ad research: If you’re looking to find and analyze ad copies for any keyword, Semrush is a great choice. Here’s where Semrush easily outranks other tools like Ahrefs.

For instance, have a look at the ad history for the keyword “email marketing services”.

ad history

As you can see above, you can find the domains along with the ads traffic, estimated traffic price and number of ads keywords.

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.

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.

Keywords Explorer ahrefs

You can also pick your desired country (for instance, United States) and click the search button to begin your keyword research.

keyword explorer

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;

Keywords Explorer ideas

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;

  1. All keyword ideas (includes all terms)
  2. Phrase match (includes phrases that contain your target keyword )
  3. Having the same terms (includes ideas that contain all the terms in your target keyword)
  4. Also rank for (includes keywords the top-ranking pages for your target keyword also rank for)
  5. Search suggestions (includes queries suggested via ‘autocomplete’ when searching for your target keyword)
  6. Newly discovered (includes search queries that were recently added to our database)
  7. Questions(includes queries phrased as a question)

Here’s the list of keyword ideas when you scroll down;

Keywords Explorer parent

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.

gaming example

But when you take the example of the keyword “gaming music,” it gets nearly 200,000 monthly searches and over 160,000 clicks.

gaming music example

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).

Comparison:

Winner: Semrush

Semrush provides more detailed data for each keyword. If you often research long tail keywords with low search volume, Semrush will likely be a better option. It does a better job of identifying and displaying these long tail keywords.

On Ahrefs, you’ll sometimes see no data for these terms. But Semrush manages to find even keywords with only 10 searches per month.

Semrush’s keyword research tools are quite robust as well. Their Keyword Magic tool makes it much easier to uncover low-competition keywords.

Ahrefs can also help uncover low-competition terms, but there’s one key difference to note. The Keyword Difficulty (KD) of Ahrefs relies solely on backlink analysis of top-ranking pages. 

On the other hand, Semrush takes into account SERP factors beyond backlinks.

Semrush KD Score:Ahrefs KD Score:
Calculated based on Backlinks, Word Count, SERP Features, Branded or Non-Branded, And MoreCalculated based on only Backlinks

That’s why, you will often notice that a particular keyword is shown having more keyword difficulty on Semrush than on Ahrefs.

That’s why you’ll often see a keyword with a higher difficulty score in Semrush than Ahrefs.

Ultimately though, keyword difficulty is a relative metric that requires nuance beyond the numbers. No keyword difficulty score is 100% accurate. What matters most is assessing whether you can realistically compete for a term.

Manual SERP analysis is best for evaluating true keyword competition. Tool scores are helpful guides, but looking at each competitor yourself to gauge difficulty level will prove more useful in the end.


Between Semrush and Ahrefs: Which Is Better for Backlink Analysis?

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;

semrush backlink tool

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;

Semrush vs Ahrefs 2024 [Detailed Comparison, Summary, Unbiased Opinion & More]

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;

dofollow

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.

competitors semrush

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.

Find toxic links: One reason to use Semrush over Ahrefs is that it helps you easily discover toxic links on your site. You can’t discover toxic or bad links using Ahrefs!

backlink audit
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;

Backlink Analysis ahrefs

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;

backlinks 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;

ahrefs link profile

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;

anchors text data

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).

Comparison:

Winner: Semrush

When it comes to backlink analysis, both Semrush and Ahrefs have their merits. However, Semrush stands out by offering an exclusive tool for backlink analysis, whereas Ahrefs incorporates this functionality within its Site Explorer tool.

Also, after multiple tests, we’ve found Semrush reports more backlinks than Ahrefs for any website’s backlink analysis. It’s unclear how many of these are low-quality spam links versus high-quality relevant links (it’s natural to have lots of spammy links indexed by the tools).

But one thing is clear – you get more comprehensive backlink data with Semrush. This makes sense given Semrush’s larger database of 808 million domains, compared to Ahrefs’ 206 million.

Of course, both tools contain spammy links in their databases. So, the actual number of quality backlinks that truly matter is likely much lower than what the tools report. Overall though, Semrush provides more extensive backlink analysis.


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 2024.

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;

domain overview moz

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
  • Backlinks
  • 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.

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.

organic

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.

moz ads
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;

overview of the domain

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;

moz keywords

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;

moz data

As you can see above, you can see the top 5 ads along with PPC ads information from the last 1 year or last 14 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.

Comparison:

Winner: Semrush

For competitive research Semrush outperforms Ahrefs because you can get lots of insights about your competitor with Semrush.

Since semrush has a bigger and more comprehensive database than Ahrefs, you will get better, more detailed insights about competitors.

However, the difference in features and functionality for competitive research between the two tools is quite minimal. Both Semrush and Ahrefs offer all the relevant data you need for analyzing your competitors.


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 $129.95 per month whereas Ahrefs plans start from $99 per month.

Semrush Pricing:

Semrush is currently offering 3 pricing plans, Including a generous 14-day trial.

  1. Pro (starts at $129.95 per month and best for starters)
  2. Guru (starts at $249.95 per month and best suited for small businesses)
  3. Business (starts at $499.95 per month and best suited for agencies)

Here are the pricing plans of Semrush.

semrush pricing

All Semrush plans offer you a promo codes plus 7 day money-back guarantee. You can upgrade/downgrade or cancel your account whenever you want.

Ahrefs Pricing:

Ahrefs is offering 4 pricing plans which are listed below.

  1. Lite ($99 per month, great for beginners)
  2. Standard ($199 per month, great for bloggers)
  3. Advanced ($399 per month, great for SEOs)
  4. Agency ($999 per month, suitable for agencies)

Here are the pricing plans of Ahrefs.

ahrefs pricing

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 $499.95 per month.

Comparison:

Winner: Semrush

At first glance, Ahrefs seems cheaper than Semrush. But you get what you pay for.

With Ahrefs, you buy credits to use their tool. (On their starting Lite plan, you get 500 credits to start with.) And here’s the catch: Every search costs credits. Change the date filter? That costs credits. Expand a keyword report? More credits. Credits run out fast if you do a lot of keyword research.

However, with the starting plan on Semrush you can view up to 3000 reports per day. And there’s no credit system applied. So you don’t have to worry about spending your credits while tweaking the filters, changing date filters or even SERP viewers.

In short, if you’re a light user, Ahrefs is a good option. But if you do lots of research on a daily basis (for example, as an SEO professional), then you could soon run out of your credits on Ahrefs. In that situation, Semrush is a better option.

Overall, since Semrush’s pricing is more straightforward and value-for-money, it wins in the price aspect.

Semrush’s 14-day free trial for the Pro account offers a significant benefit, allowing users to explore its features without any financial commitment. This makes Semrush an attractive initial choice for those who prefer to try before making a purchase.

Ultimately, your decision should align with your specific needs, goals, and budget. Both Semrush and Ahrefs offer valuable features, so consider your requirements and take advantage of Semrush’s free trial to make an informed decision.

Click here to try Semrush Pro free for 14 days (worth $129.95)

Ahrefs doesn’t offer any trial. You can use the below link to buy Ahrefs subscription.

Buy Ahrefs Now


Semrush vs Ahrefs: Customer Support

Customer support is not a major factor when using these SEO tools. But it can be helpful if you run into an issue. Here’s how Semrush and Ahrefs compare:

Semrush Customer Support:
semrush customer support

Semrush provides email and live chat support. Email responses are reasonably quick, within an hour or two. Their live chat is also responsive.

Ahrefs Customer Support:
ahrefs help center customer support

Ahrefs customer support is equally better. Ahrefs also offers live chat and email support and they reply quickly.

Comparison:

Winner: Tie

There’s not much difference in customer service from Ahrefs and Semrush. Both offer high-quality support. It’s a tie.


Semrush vs Ahrefs: Customer Review And Rating

Let’s also look at how popular both tools are among their customers.

Semrush Customer Review:
semrush trustpilot rating
Platforms:TrustpilotG2
Ratings4.14.5
Total Reviews5621935
semrush g2 customer rating

Semrush has good ratings on both Trustpilot and G2. Some users find the interface overwhelming. But most share positive experiences with the tool.

Ahrefs Customer Review:
ahrefs trustpilot customer rating
Platforms:TrustpilotG2
Ratings1.94.5
Total Reviews220517
ahrefs g2 customer rating

One of the reasons Ahrefs has got such low ratings on Trustpilot is likely due to Ahrefs’ new credit-based pricing, which has drawn criticism. But Ahrefs maintains a decent 4.5 on G2.

Comparison:

Winner: Semrush

Both tools are favourites for SEO and content creators. They’ve become industry standards. But by ratings alone, Semrush edges out Ahrefs. Each has pros and cons though. The key is weighing the features for your needs. Some users even prefer both tools.



Pros and Cons of Semrush & Ahrefs

Pros of Semrush:

  • Offers free trials to new users (you can grab 14 day free trials of SEMrush Pro and Guru accounts)
  • Excellent keyword data with accurate keyword volume
  • It constantly adds new features and tools which is the reason why over 6 million people are using it
  • Excellent value for money (as it gives you access to over 45 SEO tools)
  • You can find thousands of tutorials and videos on using SEMrush

Cons of Semrush:

  • There’s a huge learning curve as SEMrush gives access to so many tools (so it takes time for you to fully understand the usage of each of those tools)

Pros of Ahrefs:

  • Extremely easy to use interface
  • Great tool for keyword research
  • Excellent customer support (they also run an active Facebook group)

Cons of Ahrefs:

  • Doesn’t offer as many extensive tools as SEMrush
  • It doesn’t offer any free trials unlike 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 most widely used and highly recommended SEO tools on the web right now.

So now let’s talk about why you should use Semrush over other SEO tools.

Before discussing its features in detail, let’s quickly find out a few of their most incredible benefits.

Semrush offers the following benefits:

  • You can do a 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 a 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 14 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 $129.95!).

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, there are hardly any tools that are closer to Semrush.

Semrush offers you accurate keyword volume data which is better than Ahrefs.

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.

Bonus: Semrush offers Free Use for 14 days for new users.

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 in general.

site audit

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.


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 a 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 to your desired domain.

It shows you all the backlink information that you need by also showing you how many referring domains and do follow links 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.

Site Explorer: Ahrefs

Did you see that? It gives you the detailed backlink analysis which you can use to find an 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.

content explorer

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 a 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 scores 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.

keywords explorer: Ahrefs

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.

Who is The Winner?

Comparison:Semrush:Ahrefs:
User InterfaceWinner
Keyword ResearchWinner
Backlink AnalysisWinner
Competitor ResearchWinner
AffordabilityWinner
Customer SupportTieTie
Customer RatingWinner

Ahrefs originally started as a 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 analyze 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 $129.95 per month and goes up to $499.95 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 a huge difference between SEM rush and Ahrefs, but we REALLY love Semrush. It constantly gets updated, adds a ton of new features, and has an amazing knowledge base to use their tools. That’s why we have been using Semrush for more than 6 years now.

So if you’re looking for a better SEO tool to get started today, try Semrush.

Browse more SEO Tools:

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Here are some useful questions around Semrush Vs Ahrefs.

    Which is better among Ahrefs and Semrush?

    Ahrefs has a better interface and offers excellent keyword metrics. But Semrush gives you a lot more data and outranks Ahrefs in other departments like competitor and backlink analysis.

    Is Semrush good?

    Over 6 million people use Semrush worldwide for a reason: it offers a plethora of tools. From keyword research to backlink analysis to site audits, Semrush offers over 40 tools under one roof.

    What is Ahrefs?

    Ahrefs is a competitor analysis tool which helps you with keyword research, backlink analysis, rank tracking etc. You’ll also get access to a massive data of over 16 trillion backlinks, 7 billion keywords and 1 billion articles at one place.

    How much does Ahrefs cost?

    Ahrefs offers FOUR pricing plans priced at $99, $199, $399 and $999 per month. With annual billing, you get 2 months free (so you pay for just 10 months).

    How much does Semrush cost?

    Semrush offers THREE price plans at $129.95, $249.95 and $499.95 per month. When you pay annually, you get a 17% instant discount on all three plans.

    What are the best SEO Tools?

    Here are some of the best SEO tools used by many people worldwide.

    → Semrush (premium SEO tool used by 6 million users)
    → Ahrefs (premium SEO tool, great for keyword research)
    → Ubersuggest (freemium tool)
    → KWFinder (freemium tool)
    → Moz (premium SEO toolkit)
    → KeywordTool.io (freemium tool)
    → Google PageSpeed Insights (free tool)

    Is Semrush accurate?

    No tool is 100% accurate. That being said, we have been using Semrush at BloggersPassion for a couple of years now and we must say Semrush is a fantastic tool having the world’s largest database of 20 billion keywords, 310 million ads and 17 billion URLs crawled per day.

    Is Ahrefs worth the money?

    Yes, especially for light users. But for professional SEOs and bloggers, it can turn out to be a bit costly in the long run (if credits are not used properly.)

    SEO Tools Worth Trying:

    • Top Ahrefs Alternatives to try in 2024
    • Moz Vs Semrush
    • Is SpyFu better than Semrush?
    • Final Thoughts

      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 2024.

      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 article 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 article?

      Which one do you think is the best among Semrush and Ahrefs? Do share your thoughts in the comments.

About Author
Anil Agarwal is the Founder of Bloggerspassion. He is a full-time blogger and SEO expert who has been helping people build profitable blogs for over a decade Now. He has been featured in Over 100 Publications including Forbes, The HuffPost, HubSpot, Shopify, Semrush, Kinsta, Bluehost, Hostinger and G2.com etc. Know more about Anil Agarwal from here.

Reader Comments (139)

  1. great article, I like Ahrefs more than semrush. I think that the keyword volume is not accurate in semrush but it seems right in ahrefs. Thanks for sharing articles , With the help of this article, I got to know very well about both of them. 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Ranjot, excellent point. I’ve used both of these tools and found out that Ahrefs keyword data is much more accurate when compared to SEMrush. The only thing that makes SEMrush unique is, it gives you access to a wide range of SEO tools that you can use to do everything from keyword research to competitor analysis and so on.

      Reply
    • That’s glad to hear. Lately I’m also hearing that Ahrefs is becoming a better SEO option when compared to SEMrush. Did you give a try to SEMrush?

      Reply
  2. Used to love SEMrush! But since the last few updates, SEMrush has become worst. Just check any site and you’ll see that data isn’t updated from the last 5-6 days, I have registered a complaint today.

    They’ll keep asking you to upgrade your plan, I am currently on GURU package and while using their Keyword difficulty tool. After a few searches, they blocked it and kept asking me to upgrade my subscription to Business.

    I am looking to move to Ahref.com! Will be applying for a refund soon! Wish me luck with the refunds thanks.

    Reply
  3. Hi,

    I’ve been using Semrush for over two years now and just subscribed with ahrefs. The difference I think is that Semrush is more user-friendly and its site audit is more comprehensive. Thanks for this great article.

    Reply
    • Even we’re using SEMrush for more than 3 years and extremely happy with the product and all the features that it offers. The great thing is that you can easily track all your website related things from the dashboard as you said, it’s really easy to use than Ahrefs.

      Reply
  4. Wow…you don’t know how long i’ve been confused which tool is best semrush or ahrefs. Finally, I come across this article and it has heaps and heaps of great ways to understand the difference in both tools. Thanks for the awesome resource!
    one more thing that ahrefs and semrush tools both are very expensive. Can you please tell us cheap tools which works great like ahrefs and semrush.
    Thanks for the awesome resource!

    Reply
    • Hi Usman, it’s very common to get pick the best SEO tool because we’ve hundreds of tools at our disposal. Hopefully you might have found the right one among them. But if you’re still looking for cheaper alternatives, I’d recommend you to give a try to tools like LSI Graph, Ubersuggest (free), KW Finder and so on.

      Reply
  5. Thank you for this article. I have been up in the air about choosing between these two. Seems like through reading most of the reviews that ahrefs has the best banklink content. Trying the trials this month.

    Reply
  6. Good write up. Thanks for sharing a thorough review of these two great tools. We’ve used SEMrush for years and it keeps getting better.

    Reply
  7. Its interesting that you overlooked Ahrefs site audit tool. Unlike SEMRush which limits you to 20,000 URLs, Ahrefs can crawl very large websites. Their data explorer is by far the best in the business. SEMRush gives you a list of URLs with issues they want to identify. But no option to customize. Ahrefs, much easier to use and powerful Data Explorer are very powerful indeed.

    Reply
  8. Personally, I am using Ahref from past 1 year. (Via Flikover) After reading this impressive article, I think I should try SEMrush for long tail keywords.

    Reply
  9. Hi Anilji,

    I am a new blogger and want to subscribe to an SEO tool but is getting highly confused which one to buy. I can not afford both the tools. Can you please suggest which one to go for? My main problem now is getting quality backlinks from high DA sites. Please suggest. Thanking you in anticipation for a quick reply.

    Reply
  10. Hi Anil, a fantastic post. I would like to know your opinion since in my case I do not have the budget to keep two tools at the same time. I currently use semrush since there are things that I like a lot but I have doubts about the speed of the backlink audit tool. Recently I have encountered a problem in which semrush has not detected backlinks that were potentially dangerous to my website and this has hurt me. This part worries me a little because I’ve already seen the ears of the wolf. On the price-quality ratio of the two tools, would you continue with semrush or would you go to ahrefs? Thank you very much!

    Reply
    • Andrés, I would continue using SEMrush. For keeping track of backlinks of your own website, you can also start using the data which is available in Google Search Console. Google make decision about ranking of a website based on the data we see in Google Search Console.

      SEMrush & Ahrefs are really useful when we need to keep a check on our competitor backlinks.

      Reply
    • Hi Andres, sad to know that you’ve not discovered few toxic links using SEMrush. How did you find those toxic links? Have you used any other tool to find them? Also you might want to get in touch with the SEMrush support team and let them know about this issue, so they’ll look into it. But if you still are not comfortable with it, you might want to give a try to Ahrefs for a month or two to really find out the best one among them. I’d suggest you give a try to Ahrefs for some time to see if it’s the right fit for you.

      Reply
  11. This is a great comparaison and helped me deciding. To me the SEMRush UX is much better but i don’t think it offers as much features or as much quality and quantity of results for specific niche than Ahrefs.

    Reply
  12. Hey, I was a little bit confused that which SEO tool should I use. Then I google and find this article. Your article is really great and now I got my answer and going to buy SEMrush. Thanks 🙂

    Reply
  13. Hey Anil,
    I really love your article and feel blessed seeing it at number 1 in Google. But still, I have an essential question which I want you to answer
    I had heard from SEO-Experts that Ahrefs is good for Backlinks building, but SEMrush is excellent when it comes to Site Audit and competitor analysis!
    Do you think it is true? Because I had heard it from numbers of experts… Waiting for your answer
    Cheers
    Mukeshwar

    Reply
    • Mukeshwar, that’s true. Nothing comes closer to Ahrefs when it comes to data around backlinks. But SEMrush is really good at Site Audit, Keyword Research and Competitor analysis. But before making the final decision, I would suggest you to give a try to trial versions of both the SEO tools.

      Reply
  14. Hello Anil, I personally prefer Ahrefs because am using this tool for last 5 months, due to this tool being able to rank my 2 other blogs on google, anyway thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  15. I use both, semrush for keyword research and for keeping a track of the rankings. Ahrefs has a better database of links. If I were to use just one, I’d go for semrush, it’s more of
    an all in one tool.

    Reply
  16. I’ve been using Moz for all my projects but I will definitely try out some of the other tools you mentioned.
    In the past, I was using mostly free tools but I strongly believe that committing to one paid tool that overall does what is promises is far better. Having said that, no one tool is ideal for all purposes as you outline in your post!

    I will be looking forwards to your new blog posts! Thank you very much for putting the time and effort to help us!

    Reply
  17. I’ve personally used both of them, They both are good but what I think is that Ahrefs is rich-featured as compared to semrush, Ahrefs is an all in one tool for SEO.

    Reply
    • Hi Pawan

      I have used both of the SEO tools in person. I would prefer Ahrefs in case I need detailed data around backlinks, even though SEMrush also has a big backlinks database. But I prefer SEMrush for overall SEO related activities. If I have to purchase only one of them, I would surely go with SEMrush.

      Reply

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