Semrush is one of the best alternatives for SEO and marketing research. The platform provides a wide variety of reports on almost all aspects of marketing: competitive analysis, rankings, link building, keyword research, site health, advertising and social media. And that's not even the full list! It's one of the best options for any marketer looking for an all-in-one marketing research solution.
Ahrefs also helps users dig deep into their competitors’ search traffic with the Positions Explorer tool. You can easily see the keywords the competition is ranking for in the search engines as well as the keywords they are spending on for their advertising and marketing campaigns. Even better, you can see the flow of organic and paid traffic they are receiving.

The total number of backlinks and their quality pointing to your complete website result in the overall authority of your domain. The external links that all point to a specific page will help this page to rank in the search engine results (SERPs). The relevance and quality of an external link are very important factors when you like to measure the impact / value of an link. To find out more about quality links have a look at this article on: the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog – https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2010/06/quality-links-to-your-site.html
Ahrefs also helps users dig deep into their competitors’ search traffic with the Positions Explorer tool. You can easily see the keywords the competition is ranking for in the search engines as well as the keywords they are spending on for their advertising and marketing campaigns. Even better, you can see the flow of organic and paid traffic they are receiving.
Does this mean that Ahrefs gives false difficulty scores? No. It just means what in Ahrefs's opinion, building the recommended number of links to your page will influence all the other factors enough that you will rank. Building 10 links to your single page will increase its page authority and your domain authority. You will be likely to end up closer to page 1.
The CPC Map is a handy tool which will give advertisers a good overview of the prices they can expect to pay for a particular niche in a particular region. However, the tool still needs more work, and the markets need to be expanded further especially into non-English speaking territories. That said the ones it currently operates in are pretty big and most people will be targeting English speaking regions anyways, so it is still worth exploring.

SEMRush allows me to have a second opinion when it comes to SEO tools and techniques. It also provides a valuable keyword analysis tool. Additionally, it allows me to build links for local SEO which has been a huge help with local SEO link-building and monitoring. It allows me to monitor my back links in-depth to ensure that I don't have spammy or poor links connecting to my site, and to search for the best place to create new local links.

In addition to the core tools that are part of SEMrush’s main package, the company has over the years introduced a few separate tools addressing various aspects of content optimization. Some of these tools are still in beta while others are not. Also, they require a separate subscription apart from the main SEMrush suite. Though currently they are free if you’re already part of the SEMrush ecosystem and using their tools. But some things could change later on depending on how well these serve users and what additional features are added.
Removing Cross Group Negative Keywords: Cross-group negative keywords are bound to happen when you use the modified or broad match feature in your campaigns. These terms cause ads to compete with each other, and your CPC will grow as a result. However, while it is time-consuming to remove cross group negative keywords the ‘cross group negatives’ button will save you a great deal of time. You will stay on budget as a result and avoid competing against your own ads.

The depth of your articles impresses and amazes me. I love all the specific examples and tool recommendations. You discuss the importance of backlinks. How important is it to use a tool to list you on directories (Yext, Moz Local, Synup or JJUMP)? Will Google penalize you for listing on unimportant directories? Is it better to avoid these tools and get backlinks one at a time and avoid all but a few key directories?

Important note: The code is already active and will remain active for the next couple of days only. It gives 14 day free access to SEMrush Pro account. You are required to enter the credit card information to sign up for the above trial, but you can cancel it at any time before the trial expires and if you forgot to, within 7 days after you get billed (guaranteed refund time). So you won’t lose anything if you are not satisfied with their features.

Hi Anil, both are great SEO tools I would say because I’ve been using both of them for a long time now. SEMrush offers even more incredible features and their databases are even bigger and regularly get updated when compared to Ahrefs. But as you said, Ahrefs is equally good and I really like their keyword analysis data to be precise when compared to any other tool.
Ahrefs is a well-known tool primarily used for checking backlinks, but what most SEOs forget to take into consideration is that it is capable of so much more. With their massive data index, Ahrefs is definitely one of the most sought-after SaaS tools out in the market. Tools such as this helped eradicate the days wherein Google gets played by unethical, black hat SEO tactics.  They helped the industry turn for the better, and SEO has never been simpler. With the tools such as Ahrefs being available in the market, it became simple for us to get better at what we do.

Pros: Often we utilize SEMRush for a broad range of things related to digital marketing. The most important tool by far for my day-to-day job is the keyword ranking tool, since it's imperative that I can consistently demonstrate that we are outperforming competitors in search. The website SEO tool is useful as well but should be utilized with a grain of salt. We fixed quite a few small issues using suggestions from SEMRush, but it crawls pages that are set to noindex, so it often finds issues that aren't relevant to your actual ranking.
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.
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