Ahrefs boasts the best link database among any system out there. It does most everything -- link monitoring, alerts, calculated metrics, the richest clickstream blend out there, and much more. Its UI is cluttered in a good way and the company has quick and polite support. And Tim Soulo -- the public face of Ahrefs -- has done a ton of good for the SEO community.

Pros: This is about the best all-around SEO software that you can find. It does a good job at about everything and doesn't have a lot of weaknesses. The competitive analysis is really the best reason to buy the software, it's comprehensive and gives you a good look at potential competitors. There are always new features being added and tested which is fantastic and gives the software good value. Some features are better than others, but the audit and competitive analysis really are fantastic. I've used the software in various forms including Business, Guru and free. The free version gives you a taste, but the full experience is generally worth the money. Guru is worth the extra money over Pro as it gives you branded reports and the ability to manage quite a few more projects. Exports and reoccurring reports are very nice and simple to set up.


Pros: I love how simple SEMRush is to use and how intuitive their UX is. I've used their topic research tool for clients and it has helped inform their entire content marketing strategy, from the calendar itself to the amount of paid/organic attention we give each piece of content. Their tool is always fast, loads quickly and is easy for novices to understand.
Hi, Brian. Thank you for the great article. I have a question about the part about 4 website addresses. Ours currently is set to https://www., and we would like to change it to just an https:// as the main website. Will this hurt our current link profile, or will everything stay the same? This might be a foolish question, but we are a bit worried. Thank you.
Overall: Being new to the market and having a relatively young business and domain visibility, we are competing with the giants in terms of company size, their history in the business, their domain age. It's a big challenge to even rank against this giants when it comes to organic search. That is when a tool like SEMrush is able to tell you where you are against your competitor and what you can do to beat them in ranking position. And so we did for at least some of the biggest name in the industry. We aim to be on position 1, soon!
Pros: What I like most is that Semrush offers a lot of useful features and they are constantly adding new ones and developing the tool. Positions tracking is only small part of it - you cancreate different projects to automatically track changes in positions for keywords that are important for your business - for ex. by geo location, which is very useful for an international business.
Track Competitors’ Ranking: The tool also makes it possible to track competitors’ keywords ranking. If anything, the best and easiest way to know how well you’re doing is to pull up a side by side comparison of yourself versus a competitor for all the search terms you’re targeting. The ability to add up to ten competitors as part of the tracking campaign means that you can easily keep an eye on the top 10.
Ahrefs is a system that offers users with the world’s largest index of live backlinks. The service provides businesses of all sizes and individuals with a reliable and solid backlink checker tool that delivers detailed backlink profiles for any URL or website. This backlink application gives users with a very large and clear image of any website or URL’s background. Ahrefs allows users to see what websites link to a particular URL, they anchors that they deploy, how strong the backlinks are and more.
Thanks for the article, really gives some clear insights.I am currently testing out Ahref’s and have tested Moz and Semrush in the past as well. In my opinion Ahref’s UI is the best and clearest. I will have to test Moz and Semrush again i am afraid to be sure which one to start using. Have been using SE Ranking for rank tracking mostly but have noticed rank positions are not accurate most times.
Ahrefs is incredibly comprehensive and straight forward. From keyword discovery to site audits I use ahrefs for all my SEO needs. It's the first SEO program I was introduced to when starting me SEM management career and has proven to be the best time and time again. I've used their competitors liker moz, SEM rush, and a couple other services- none of which have come close to stacking up.
What's not to like? There are comprehensive tools to make your search engine marketing (SEM) as strong us possible. With organic and paid search insights, you can find ways to align your keyword strategy and PPC strategy to meet your budget and understand what you're up against and, subsequently need to do. Within a keyword, you can analyse the types of content you are up against: long form, white papers, long blogs, video, if the term has PPC copy topped and tailed, if a snippet exists.
The thing that I liked the best about Ahrefs is that it contains a huge database of backlinks when I've checked my own website and my competitor's websites. This has allowed me to dig deeper and find out their exact linkbuilding and SEO strategies. Ahref contains a lot of tools and features that will make the life of an SEO professional or webmaster who wants more search engine traffic a lot easier. One of these features is the batch analysis feature. Basically, instead of entering your competitor's backlinks one at a time you could actually enter it once. This allows you to quickly check on the SEO metrics for a lot of competitor URLs in just one click.
The My Reports tool also enables the creation of custom reports complete with your business’s logo, annotations, comments, and other features. All of the custom report features exist to highlight and clarify your findings, structure, etc. You can also use pre-defined templates which makes it possible for anyone in your team to create a report and even schedule its creation.
It depends on the size of your operation, but I think you could get just as much value out of the Mangools Suite. This is the group in charge of KWFinder. But you can also take advantage of their SERP watcher and LinkMiner, and SiteProfiler features since you have an established business. They aren't quite as powerful as Ahrefs, but they get you 90% of the way for about 50% of the cost.
The My Reports tool also enables the creation of custom reports complete with your business’s logo, annotations, comments, and other features. All of the custom report features exist to highlight and clarify your findings, structure, etc. You can also use pre-defined templates which makes it possible for anyone in your team to create a report and even schedule its creation.
Now keep in mind that, based on their stated crawling guidelines, the stronger links from stronger sites tend to get crawled more frequently so the spammiest of the spammy link approaches might not get picked up on. For that level of deep research a historical report from Majestic SEO and a link status checker, like Advanced Link Manager, is likely a better bet.

SEMrush’s Marketing Calendar is a work in progress. It isn’t the most powerful tool which will make it worth a purchase yet. Though if you’re already part of the SEMrush ecosystem, this is free for you to use. But it is only useful if you’re managing multiple campaigns. Plus it falls short in the sense that it does not prompt you about approaching deadlines, and events which would be a useful feature in a future update.

It is very expensive for one user. Many companies are forced to share a login because purchasing additional user licenses is cost prohibitive for a small agency. Most small agencies and startups would only utilize the tool a few hours per week. Competitors are offering an unlimited user package, which is quickly becoming a tempting offer as their platforms improve.

The SEO Content Template helps to boost and streamline your ability to write optimized content. The template is created by using the targeted keyword and continues to monitor your article’s SEO value as you keep writing. Obviously, there is nothing much to it but still happens to be a must-have tool if you’re writing a lot of SEO content for clients or your own websites since it speeds up the process.
Ahrefs is an excellent tool for SEO and Content Marketing. However, it may not fit those who have a low budget, are casual bloggers or those trying to start a new niche. This is also not for webmasters who don't do frequent updates. Ahrefs is not cheap. But, with its ability to replace many tools and its unique functions, it can be worth the investment.
Pros: SEMrush is our primary SEO tool and it really does it all, especially with the massive upgrades in the last year. It tracks keyword ranking positions, offers a few keyword research tools, and compares the domain to others related to it. You can automate reports that are white labeled, too. It also does domain analysis, backlink tracking, and site audits which we use all the time in our SEO business. They have recently rolled out link opportunity and outreach tools as well as brand monitoring on social media, though we haven't used those as much lately (but plan to).
What I like best is the number of tools offered to manage your client work. Two items I rely on weekly are site audits and search visibility tracking. In addition to this, there are tools offered for organic and paid competitor research which are fairly thorough, as well as optimization recommendations and backlink opportunity reports which can be useful, once the necessary setup has been process. Overall, SEMrush has become a fairly robust tool in the past couple years. 

Another excellent feature is the ability to create keyword lists. It allows for the creation of 50 lists, which is great for anyone working on several websites or even several pages on a single website with each one having a separate set of target keywords. You can easily create and organize your workflow across numerous projects and then assign keyword lists to every client. Once again it is an excellent feature for professional SEO experts.
Cons: The only thing about all the data provided is that its an estimate - so they are not accurate - although they give you a magnitude or direction - they are far from accurate to be used as a benchmark. There are a lot of alternatives for SEO like Moz - which are more easier to use & bring in thought leadership in the industry. There are a lot more things that can be better like the reports can be more intuitive, it's really slow at times, missing data on various sections, etc - can be a handicap at times.
The detailed analysis provides you with related phrases and words which can be added to the content. These additions will make the keyword dense, where you should add backlinks in the content, length of the material in comparison with the competition and how keywords are used compared to the competition. So, if one of your goals is to mimic your competitions’ SEO success the On Page SEO Checker makes life very easy.

I loved it! I am currently on a 7 days trial and will look forward to monthly membership! However, one thing that I would like to add, I have used both SEMrush and Ahref, and I believe that SEMrush has a great UI/UX when comparing to Ahref. However, this will quickly escalate when we’ll use Ahref for at least 2 days continuously. I am now addicted to Ahref, when I started using it I remember it was really difficult to get comfortable with the tool whereas SEMrush is easy to get comfortable. But SEMrush is way behind in auditing backlinks, Ahref is very strong for keyword research and backlink findings. What do you think?
Truly an insightful post Matthew, thank you very much for your awesome content. My first site is about to be launched and it’s been a ton of work to get to this point and I know that’s just the start. I would love to have a years membership of SEMRush to help my blog get off the ground. I have used the demo version a few times and it provides a lot of value. Thanks again for this amazing article and I hope I win.
Competitor backlink audit – Analyse the link profile of your competitor and research the opportunities, to match your, or even better outperform your competitors link profile and subject authority. When performing an competitor backlink audit you should also analyse inbound links pointing to top performing pages, so you don’t miss out on valuable link opportunities.
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