Semrush and Ahrefs are the closest competitors in the SEO domain. One as well as the other offers a wide spectrum of tools that help strengthens your SEO by providing a comprehensive toolset for digital marketing campaigns.
But which toolset has more advantages? Semrush or Ahrefs?
Read this post and you will come to know about how each of these SEO tool competes in areas such as organic research, advertisement research, backlinks, keyword research, product listing ads, and so on.
If you are eager to know how each of these toolsets works in a specific segment then you can simply jump to the relevant section displayed below.
The Competitors: Semrush and Ahrefs
We know Semrush and Ahrefs are leading SEO toolsets that provides SEO related tasks and can be used to analyze backlinks and keyword research.
Semrush has identical SEO tools however proposes a broad spectrum of other toolkits for content audits, PPC, analyzing and reporting, listing for local business campaign management.
Semrush vs. Ahrefs is a widespread debate among SEO and social media marketers.
These two-search engine optimization software’s have become the most popular SEO tools as of now. Both are considered top-notch online marketing tools, especially for online entrepreneurs, social media marketers, bloggers, and others.
In reality, almost any online business would greatly benefit from either Semrush or Ahrefs. As mentioned, both these SEO tools are high quality, high-priced services, so the least you’ll pay in order to get them is around $100 a month.
One of the key reasons why these two SEO tools have become popular is because of their full-featured auditing tool.
Semrush has an easy-to-use dashboard that allows you to check on various aspects of your website’s performance, including page load time, hit ratio, bounce rate, keywords, and many more.
You can easily see what your competitors are doing, which gives you the advantage to do some changes to improve your website’s ranking.
The best thing about Semrush is that it also comes with full support for Google Analytics, which makes it even easier to monitor your site’s performance. It’s also one of the few SEO tools that have been created exclusively for WordPress, allowing you to easily integrate it into your blog.
Ahrefs SEO tool has a similar dashboard feature as Semrush. However, it also provides several other analytics and features such as content marketing features, backlink checker, full support for Google AdWords, detailed visitor information, and a lot more.
Its dashboard is extremely user-friendly, allowing users to easily compare different elements of their sites and analyze their performance.
This is also one of the few SEO tools that have been created specifically for WordPress, making it easier for webmasters to customize the application and use it in their sites.
Overall, both these tools are great to use for your SEO needs, providing you with the detailed information you need to help you make the right decisions.
Two considered together believed to offer some of the best keyword research functionality compared to tools that are available in the current market.
Semrush having Keyword Magic Tool functionality has got the greatest keyword database with more than 20 billion keywords within.
The KEYWORD MAGIC TOOL is the primary keyword research tool for Semrush.
Having said that the toolset carries the largest index capability with tons of functionalities, it’s no surprise it’s been selected as the # 1 keyword organic research tool by numerous webmasters.
If you’re searching for a keyword tool that helps you research keywords with a high degree of accuracy then, Semrush could be the one for you.
- Discover existing keyword chances that can be maximized to rank greater.
- Determine various keywords URLs, subfolders, subdomains that receives most organic traffic
- Distinguish between content types and topics and spy on competitor’s backlink.
- Discover various paid keywords that receive a greater number of traffic and find the longest trend over time.
- Determining different competitors bidding on keywords on the longest, moreover finding the best ad copy that remained in the rotation longest.
- Scrutinize online traffic strategies in bulk up to 200 websites at once
- Figuring out ads that are played on websites and various platforms such as YouTube for top competitors.
Semrush put in place a holistic approach for a complete digital marketing strategy, to counter your competitors. And see from where the traffic comes in and where they convert it.
Whereas Ahrefs in the first place involves SEO competitive analysis.
Ahrefs Site Explorer simply sets out basic insights on paid keywords and ad copy in respect to Semrush.
- Determine the keywords, URLs, and subfolders that generates most organic keywords
- Perform detailed analysis for any URL, subfolders, or subdomain to consider different keywords
- Extract different keywords and topics that generate user engagements using the content explorer.
- Determining various content topics of competitors which get linked the most.
- Find out different backlink opportunities and recurring link sources.
Semrush is the winner here.
Ahrefs substantially gives you traffic searches for any particular keyword with CPC and competition.
However, Semrush has a lot of data to drill-down such as search volume, current trend, and a number of results.
Semrush behaves more like a conventional SEO toolkit and fairly displays keyword search volume along with the competition.
As said earlier Ahrefs is one of the best tools for all SEO kinds of tasks such as finding backlinks and keyword research.
Whereas Semrush looks identical with the toolsets but has more in-depth analysis compared with Ahrefs.
Semrush belongs to the group of professionals who needs all in one complete solution for their digital marketing needs. Over 6 million people use Semrush for broad competitor analysis.
In addition to this SEM tool in Semrush has marked number 1 in in-depth PPC analysis capabilities.
Ahrefs on the other hand provides a comprehensive solution that is well known for having the largest index of live backlinks.
It also comprises of powerful SEO tool kit for keyword research, live tracking, content analysis, backlinks, and most of the technical audits.
Semrush Vs Ahrefs: Tied
Its trouble distinguishing the toolsets offered in this category as the functionalities and usability is merely depending upon personal preferences.
In the event that a tool provides the largest database of accurate keyword data then, the trade-off is with Semrush.
On the other hand, Ahrefs gain the upper hand with a solid keyword database and clutter-free experience also the strong point that the search is capable of finding keywords through different search engines.
Position Tracking / Rank Tracking
When you have found the right keywords then you might need to reconcile the decision with the help of the accurate rank checker or position tracker to see if there’s any performance difference between devices.
Semrush & Ahrefs both are able to carry out position tracking.
Semrush proposes different rank tracking capabilities such that you get the upper hand of the rival and have the opportunity to beat the competition using a one-in-all SERP position tracking tool.
Although both toolsets give you the chance to see the mobile ranking in all plans. Semrush sets out daily ranking reports and consistent updates even on the very basic plan.
Despite the fact that Ahrefs updates come once in every 7 days interval. Furthermore, Ahrefs highest plan has the update rolled in every 3 days.
- Have a summary corresponding to the domain visibility, traffic as well as average position for the targeted keywords one wishes to keep track of.
- Precisely monitor changes of keywords position from a global level, entirely to the local level, and in general different types of devices.
- Evaluate rankings throughout devices, locations, tags along with SERP features
- Compare keyword results to that of competitors
- Take control of various SERP features and movements to start seeing new ways to go forward.
- Consider past data and performance in rank from 7, 30, 60, 90 days, or more.
- Consolidate different rank reports among various popular third party and reporting tools
- Import past ranking data from elsewhere.
Ahrefs sets out robust rank tracking opportunities however there’s a catch you ought to be on the top-paying plans in order to use the mobile ranking data that update every 3 days of interval.
- Review the ranking data, navigate and explore different options in a more user-friendly interface.
- Find out tags, position, location, traffic, volume, competition, devices by quickly filtering out data.
- Find out whether or not ranked keywords are established with SERP features
- Investigate SEO metrics for keywords ranking at the top with integrated SERP report overview.
Semrush is the clear winner here.
Most webmasters, organizations or digital marketing company uses Semrush position tracking system to get insight into opportunities and to seek campaign running with precise accurate information needing frequent updates.
On top of that Semrush position, tracking is easy to set up and navigate through.
Site Audit (which is better Ahrefs vs Semrush)
A house is never built on shaky foundations, likewise the same can be said about SEO campaigns.
You will need a powerful SEO platform that would be best to reveal technical issues built around your website. Hence this may unmask the potential of your website from reaching a high level and derive organic searches.
Semrush & Ahrefs coupled together gives you multipurpose audit tools that make sure the site is built on a solid foundation.
Semrush offers a wide array of toolsets for running in-depth technical audits along with various other content audits.
- Discover whether issues pertaining to duplicate, thin content, broken links, crawling, and different indexation issues.
- Verify audits performed through mobile or desktop sites are working fine.
- Determine different audit procedures and organize auto crawls at regular intervals.
- Match two different crawls side by side to ascertain if any errors, warnings or notifications are coming up.
- Focus on issues related to the websites and mitigate risk by leveraging the need for the extra care on your website.
- Export audits directly from the Semrush dashboard for further evaluation by your team.
Ahrefs too is a powerful site auditing tool
- Keep track of the common SEO issues arising out of nowhere such as broken links, missing metadata description, thin content as well as indexing issues.
- Take control of every possible SEO issues and peruse recommendation on how to fix them.
- On-demand audits help schedule and re-crawl site for errors on different occasions.
Final Verdict: Tied
The category is mostly emphasis on UI and feature preference.
It came to our attention that Semrush audit insights are all-inclusive and as in this case the chance of comparing audits side by side gives an extra edge to view progress and focuses on a series of actions. You can simply export the project management to any third-party tools such as Trello if required.
It’s always a good choice of moving ahead a step further and run automated content audits.
For that reason, we prefer Semrush over Ahrefs concerning the number of monthly site crawls and finding the technical faults in sites.
Backlink Analysis and Link Building
The most important aspect of backlink analysis and link building procedure is definitely examining quality backlinks and building authority links to strengthen ranking potential. Two together offer a complete range of tools to help you get started with the process.
While most people suggest Ahrefs would be preferred for backlink analysis and analyzing links, but to our surprise, Semrush significantly improved over time.
Semrush has come up with a robust backlink audit tool that can be used to spot the toxic links.
Semrush is widely popular due to its competitor analysis but for the last couple of months, it had improved a lot to offer you various link-building tools, narrowing the gap on Ahrefs.
Semrush at present offers a comprehensive backlink database beyond the conventional tool to analyze competitor backlinks and at the same time unveil various winning opportunities as well as figure out potential bad links in your profile.
When you have access to backlink analysis and backlink auditing reports in Semrush chances are that you may need to create a project in another way around in Ahrefs you don’t.
One and the other (Semrush & Ahrefs) restricts the number of projects based on the plan you chose. Alternatively, you might need to delete some project allocation to create another.
- Figure out the top linked pages to perceive what sort of topics and content types attract most links
- Reveal online mentions of your brand and claim what is lost such as links from pages with 404 error
- Find link building strategies from top competitors.
- Carry out competitor backlink gap analysis and find the spot where your competitors are getting links
- Inherent workflows that help ponder the entire management process such as sending and receiving emails, tracking etc.
- By automated process take out the contact information from the targeted websites
- Find out the harmful backlinks in the profile.
Ahrefs definitely have more opportunities from having the largest index of backlinks. Throughout the years, the platform incessantly became better with time.
The feature set Ahrefs has over its counterparts gives it enormous over Semrush. Talking about the huge index of backlinks with beautiful and easy to navigate UI makes it streamlined and find new opportunities.
Almost every 10 minutes, Ahrefs crawls over 5 million web pages which makes it the second greatest crawler after Google.
- Discover new top linked pages of rival websites, find out whether or not they linked or unlinked brand mentions and if possible take into possession of the lost link equity.
- Try practicing with advanced filters to backlink reports in order to simplify the search process
- Find relative backlinks gaps with recurring link sources which are the higher probability at link targets using the link intersect tool.
- Evaluate different anchor text pattern and IP patterns
- Utilize the trend graphs to mitigate unnatural link forming which may end up with negative SEO attacks.
- Link metrics incorporate two vital keywords and content explorer which simplify the process of finding new opportunities in keywords and content topics
Final Verdict: Ahrefs is a winner here
Ahrefs seems to be more combined and easier to operate. The two most powerful functions integrated within the Ahrefs helps everyone filter out different options which makes it a completely robust tool for finding and analyzing backlinks in the market.
Having said that, Ahrefs seems a more prominent choice here but Semrush can’t be overlooked as they also provide a solid link building tool with the functionality of backlink analysis.
However, Semrush is consistent and growing over time along with the feature set. We actually find Ahrefs data a bit more accurate and clutter-free with immense link building capabilities. Just that the UI is a bit cleaner and everything seems straightforward.
Advertising Research (Semrush vs Ahrefs 2021)
When you wish to plan the PPC campaign correctly, then it becomes crucial for you to find competitors and unleash new strategies and search ads.
The advertising Research tool is an awesome tool provided to you by Semrush.
- Unveil your competitor search ads
- Find out competitors paid search strategies
- Organize new PPC strategy by considering all the metrics
- All things considered such as competitor’s PPC expenditure and various marketing tactics from a series of perspectives.
You will be able to find out the money spend by your competitors on advertising and the traffic they receive through PPC campaigns. It offers a clearer picture of how you should spend money on advertising a website.
There are a couple of things that help you find out the real spending pattern over the period of time that help you set the right budget for the campaign.
Last but not the least, the market explorer feature offered by Semrush gives details about the topic that engage more users and results in better optimization for lead generation with market demographics.
Quite apart from this, Semrush assess competitors PPC strategy from separate angles such as:
- Current state
- Changes competitor made out through seasons
- Find relevant keywords
Ahrefs has hundreds and thousands of keywords index from billions of websites across the globe. However, when you wish to run a PPC campaign using Ahrefs SEO tool it offers an extra edge over Semrush toolset.
- Delightful phrases with keywords
- Optimized key terms based on target keywords
- Ahrefs provide keywords recommendations found in the search bar
- Keywords with reference to updated keywords queries in the database
- Search queries in the way of question
What about you are not sure about running a PPC campaign on Google search, subsequently Ahrefs is the marketing tool you should be looking at. It is using clickstream data to determine the popularity of search queries on various search engines.
Ahrefs might make the paid campaign an easy piece of cake on platforms such as YouTube, Baidu, Amazon, Bing, and as many as you could think of.
It evaluates the process of identifying and prioritizing a diverse selection of keywords through filtering.
Ahrefs strong point is to generate keyword ideas in a wide array of formats.
Be that as it may, Semrush market explorer and advertising research tool endows a slight advantage over Ahrefs and Moz.
Ahrefs come shortly after Semrush since the tool offer search of queries on different search engine platform apart from Google.
Display Advertising Tool
Semrush provides you with the option to analyze the competitor’s display ads and obtain an outline of the strategies used by them. You can make use of this tool to contemplate various media buying strategies by analyzing the landing pages from rival campaigns and grasp different ads point.
Display advertising tool provides comprehensive analytics reports and tracks changes in reports based on display ads with their types. The ads displayed offers an in-depth way to examine your rival advertising behavior.
Display adverting has become popular nowadays and with this competitive analyzing tool you will be able to sneak peek into the competitor’s growth strategy, unveiling their ad campaign, place, the platform they chose to advertise
In Ahrefs tool the “Display Advertising” is alternatively known to be “Paid traffic research”. First of all, Ahrefs site explorer consists of three vital components and these are largely making the most.
Paid traffic research is named after the Semrush display advertising tool which is about learning whether your competitors are doing paid search advertising and wherefrom they funnel paid traffic.
Paid traffic research tells whether your competitors are buying PPC ads and the targeted keywords on which they bid on.
We already know that Google’s display network is the largest in the world. Despite this Semrush display advertising has enormous potential. You can simply find the competitors targeted ads platform which can be meaningful if you wish to start an ads campaign on any chose ad network or platform.
Sadly, Ahrefs currently do not serve our purpose with the display advertising tool and displays only CPS (click per search).
Ahrefs in fact shows you data related to search volume, CPC, and competition.
However, Semrush exhibits a ton of data for every search key phrase. Even shows up search volume trends and plenty of results. The benefits of using the Traffic Analytics option in Semrush is helpful for someone starting afresh.
With plenty of key metrics beginners with the Semrush tool may find UI is a little cluttered.
On the other hand, provided a keyword analyst would have to assess more than 100 items at a time the Semrush is a great help for you.
Semrush also provides a convenient way of keyword research. Along with many keyword tools its shows keyword search volume and competition with suggestions based on what user types in.
The most interesting part of the Semrush keyword research feature is the ability to get data from Google PPC.
If this is the case an in-house SEO or conducting SEO and running Google Ads at the same time then SEO and PPC will be much help with Semrush.
Verdict – Semrush is a winner
In general, Semrush goes ahead in the race by manifolds over Ahrefs. Despite the fact, the Ahrefs have better UI but Semrush provides a lot of data with respect to SEO and PPC that makes it one of the most versatile keyword tools.
Market Explorer provides a comprehensive view of industries competition just by typing the URL of the website and you will be able to evaluate new regions or business niche.
Market Explorer is a new addition to Semrush and the feature is useful as a means to obtain dedicated report and custom market analysis.
Since, this feature is mostly used by large players in landscapes with respect to dividing into four vital components: Niche players, Game changers, Leaders, and Established Players.
In view of the foregoing new custom market report, it is possible to find out different categories associated with the choice of your company. Thus, the Market Explorer features incorporate a full-scale report such as Market Audience, Custom Market Dynamics, Traffic Generation, Social Media Distribution Strategy, and so on.
Ahrefs is definitely the most demanding SEO tool in the market however the keyword tool does not perform as well as Semrush in analyzing the ranking difficulties or evaluating the traffic potential of any website.
Having said that Ahrefs consists of three powerful SEO research tools such as organic traffic research but like one Market Explorer provided by Semrush, Ahrefs only focuses on backlink analysis and link building opportunities.
Verdict – Semrush is a winner
Since Semrush additional feature is quite helpful for a lot of SEOs as well as organizations with data-driven analytics.
Market Explorer saves time with research and helps initial fast business decisions such as new products or entering new territories.
Strong realization capabilities of a competitor getting ahead in the game, Find a way to useful successful competitor analysis.
However, the absence of the Market Explorer feature is negative for Ahrefs and a user has to depend completely upon the Site Explorer function which is merely just an SEO search traffic tool to increase organic traffic to your website.
Keyword difficulty is a mere constructive metric for any competition while doing keyword research. The highest value corresponds to harder competition with others using the keywords.
Keywords difficulty less is easy to rank and remain a valuable element and ingredient to SEO success.
Keyword difficulties in Semrush are easily laid under the keyword search option.
With a list of keyword options followed by google SERPs for the top 100 google organic search results.
Semrush into account the authority of the domains that appear on the search page followed by estimates of how difficult it might be for a new website to outweigh its competitors on the SERP.
Ahrefs also provides an option to evaluate the chances of leveraging into the top 10 search results. Besides backlink profiles and content relevancy and additional ranking opportunities get in the game among the results of the first page of any search and work similarly to Semrush.
It tells you about average height (backlink profile) and many others in the race (top ranking).
Verdict – Semrush & Ahrefs is tied
Keyword difficulty is an important aspect of the keyword research process. Together with search volume and other important elements help users find distinct keywords for SEO purposes.
However, both SEO tools measure keyword difficulty in different ways.
As a matter of fact, a new study reveals that both tools provide keyword difficulty scores for a specific keyword.
Domain vs. Domain
Ahrefs & Semrush both provide side-by-side domain comparison and obtain an all-inclusive visualized report.
Stack website against the competitor’s website and find out different aspects of SEO metrics. Because of this anyone can find comprehensive reports quickly and identify backlink profiles for further analysis.
The Semrush Keyword Gap tool helps you compare competitors’ domains and keyword rankings. It gives you quick insights on different aspects of the website as well as keyword distribution throughout desktop and mobile applications.
Domain vs Domain option can be obtained from the domain analytics in the left sidebar, which has the option of comparing three domains side-by-side.
Users can enter the domain name one after another to analyze within each box by keyword results, organic, Paid, PPC, and many others.
Verdict – Ahrefs is the winner
Ahrefs can be said easy to use compare to Semrush. Ahrefs gives you a series of digestible forms of information that will help you find all the relevant information related to the domain in a quick glance. Semrush still awaits to introduce such a feature.
My reports section gives you the overall reports of how a website is performing with the focus in mind domain metrics, organic traffic, and rankings. My reports section is available in both Semrush & Ahrefs.
Ahrefs provides the opportunity to analyze, track social media, build backlinks that showed up in the My Reports section. As a rule, the reports will give you the chance to see the work SEO is doing. Ahrefs incorporates effective My reports to convey things such as progress, insights, recommendations, and so on.
My reports facilitate easy PDF report generation from scratch. Users will be able to communicate various findings of website audits and come forward for competitive analysis or demonstrate the progress of the marketing campaign.
Verdict – Semrush is the winner
Semrush integrates a dozen of modules in the My Reports section starting from Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google My Business, and images that correspond to the individual reports type.
Keyword Magic Tool
Keyword Magic Tool is an easy to use keyword research tool developed by Semrush that offer tons of keywords for profitable SEO or PPC campaigns. The Keyword research tool is powerful yet simple to use that has a lot of potentials to analyze and search the market with given keywords.
Users can simply enter a specific keyword to find various metrics, study niche topics, and groups and even save the research for some later point in time.
Ahrefs has a keyword explorer function that helps discover keyword ideas and analyze rankings. this helps in determining the ranking potential for profitable SEO and PPC campaigns. Keyword explorer has the largest database for search queries with thousands of keyword suggestions updated every single month.
Ahrefs uses clickstream data to fine-tune search volume on monthly basis and make sure that you get up-to-date metrics. Keyword difficulty score within keyword explorer gives you the estimate of how difficult a keyword would be to rank based on the present top-ranking pages.
Verdict – Ahrefs is a winner
Semrush and Ahrefs together offer detailed reports and analytics straight from their dashboards. However, Ahrefs slightly have a little edge over Semrush whereabout it gets you competitor’s domains, domains, and desired keywords.
SEO Writing Assistant
SEO writing assistant is a tool offered by Semrush that sets out content recommendations based on the best-performing articles. This helps content creators to optimize the content for the web.
Ahrefs on the other hand offer you with SEO score so that you can focus on writing engaging content. The tool is set to offer valuable feedback for improving your content.
Despite the fact, it would be better to call Ahrefs just an SEO tool while Semrush has plenty to offer especially in SEO writing.
Verdict – Semrush is the winner
Semrush is going ahead in the race with various toolsets offered like SEO writing assistant, content audit which is supposed to examine if the content or SEO post has the potential to outrank its competitors.
When the tool is at work it finds out the keywords that your competitors are using.
On-Page SEO Checker
On-page SEO checker gives you complete SEO analysis reports that help track down your website’s weaknesses. It starts with acquiring the data from a wide source and comparing them with 10 top ranking competitors in Google SERPs. It finds the target keywords that your competitors are using.
To speed things up Ahrefs introduced professional SEO tools such as Ahrefs site Audit that helps you with the search intent, finding top-ranking pages, and other things. Ahrefs include tools such as link building, keyword research, competitor analysis, and even rank tracking and site audits.
Verdict – Semrush is a winner
The SEO Checker Tool offered by Semrush is for on-page analysis that scans any web page for technical errors and SEO issues. The tool gives suggestions to improve on-page optimization by identifying the most critical technical SEO issues.
The CPC map provided by Semrush helps determine and compare the cost involved in advertising on Google Ads throughout different states or regions of a country. The tool provides the option for analyzing state side by side and compares costs and cost per click.
Ahrefs helps you get deeper find up-to-date insights for metrics with each tracked keyword. Just that CPC values are more based on auction/bidding from the advertisers which may tend to raise or lower according to market position.
Ahrefs CPC map allows you to see the changes in CPC values over time.
Verdict – Semrush is the winner
The semrush CPC map tool is the best to evaluate keywords potential in a specific state or region wise based on the cost per click and search.
It allows a user to understand the strength of potential local PPC strategy so that money spend goes wisely and distributed among local ad campaigns.
Summing-up: Semrush Vs Ahrefs
At the end of the day, the selection between Semrush Vs Ahrefs is tough as it may depend on individual to individual. An SEO tool depends upon the factor to your requirements.
If link building and backlink analysis are some of the most important factors for you, then it is better to go with Ahrefs. Still having said that if you concern about keyword research, technical SEO, and last but not least link building then Semrush turns out to be the best thing.
In respect to the article, Semrush vs Ahrefs it may seem to bit in a favour of Semrush, sadly the truth is – having to spend countless hours digging up this tool (Semrush) we’re are able to unravel a plethora of data and analytics which helped us with our current SEO work and increase google search traffic as well as rankings.
After all, we’re able to reach clients and say, the data is obtained from Semrush.
Be that as it may, We would recommend you to invest in both tools as you know both toolsets have their advantages over others and has some unique features.
- Product Listing Ads
- Social Media Tracker
- Social Media Poster
- Brand Monitoring
- Organic Traffic Insights
- Content Analyzer
- PPC Keyword Tool
- Ad Builder