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!
Pros: They have updated this product a ton since I first started using it. Every update has been extremely useful. I'm able to export a full SEO report for clients - this includes an overall site audit with a breakdown of the site/ what to improve, organic keywords, position tracking, backlink report, link building opportunities, sample PPC ads and they've newly added social media information that I haven't had the opportunity to test out yet. I just learned they offer certifications too so I'm excited to dig into those!
Awesome tool. I like the SEMrush’s PPC tools best as it helps you to spy on your competitors’ Ads and you can find the ones that are working and you can reverse engineer and make your own that are similar saving you time and money of testing which Ads work. As a whole i think this is a great tool that all IM should have as it can really help you improve your site ranking and thus improve traffic and profits.
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?
Semrush has helped our organization in different ways as it not just improved our website ranking but also enable us to make our clients happy by providing the best results. Semrush helped us by letting us know about the backlink opportunities. The tool also allows generating performance report which saved our time as we were able to send SEO performance reports to our clients any time.
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.
There are numerous SEO tools out in the market, however, if link building is the topic at hand, then I honestly think that using Ahrefs is enough. Starting with the dashboard – just input the details of your site and your keywords, then it will give your potential competitors. It’s easy to use and it also has one of the best features for finding broken links, curating skyscraper articles, and link reclamation.

There are numerous SEO tools out in the market, however, if link building is the topic at hand, then I honestly think that using Ahrefs is enough. Starting with the dashboard – just input the details of your site and your keywords, then it will give your potential competitors. It’s easy to use and it also has one of the best features for finding broken links, curating skyscraper articles, and link reclamation.


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.
Faizan, since you have a new blog, so you should go for least competitive keywords. You can use SEMrush Keyword difficulty (KD) metrics while doing keyword research for your niche. Don’t target keywords that has more than 50 KD and monthly search volume should not be more than 500-600. Please let me know in case you have any additional question for me.
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.
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.
Keyword explorer, which was released few weeks back is one of the most exhaustive tools that we have see off late. Keyword Ideas, Phrase Match and KD help content marketers to align their content marketing efforts with organic search trends. Apart from that from an on page point of view, the tool gives everything that modern age webmaster need to track their overall performance.
In general, I love Semrush. It's a lot of information. Even if some of the information in the database is a little outdated, the huge amount of data and ideas you can get from Semrush is worth it. You even get extra things like social networking tools. It is ideal for SEO and PPC campaigns. I can see the data on my website with a single click of a button. It also allows me to keep track of my keywords, but I think they are not as accurate or that the data has not been updated recently. SEMrush is a great tool for any online business. It helped us to rank higher in the search engines. In general, I must say that I would recommend the tool to other people. The speed of the scans is a great advantage, you can set up a scan in progress and in a matter of minutes it is complete.
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.
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.
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.
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.

I've used a couple of SEO software programs over the last 4 years. Moz, Serpstat, SEM Rush and now Ahrefs. Since the bulk of my focus is actually building links, I think Ahrefs has the most reliable results. For example, if you checked the backlink profile of 10-20 websites on Ahrefs and compared to another SEO software provider, I bet that you would average at least 10-15% more results with Ahrefs. That can be a lot more opportunities! Their keyword phrase tracker seems to work pretty quickly and seems to be accurate.

Cons: SEMrush is an advanced tool for sure, not for newbies with little knowledge. However their support and tutorials are great. I'd like some more customization and styling options for the report tool, since we use SEMrush as our main report generator. Now we end up pasting images or combining it with other separate reports. I'd also like a client-facing dashboard for easy reporting. The keyword research tool isn't as good as the google one used to be, but now that google is making their keyword research tool more and more ridiculous, SEMrush is looking pretty good.
Spying on competitors have become the norm these days. Without knowing what and how your competitors are doing, it is difficult for a marketer to decide on a marketing technique that will not only drive traffic but also enable conversion. When it comes to website ranking, only paid ads do not serve the purpose. Although paid ads are a quicker way to come to limelight, organic search results are what actually ensure yours stability in the market. Tools like SEMrush helps in digging out the tiniest information about your competitors and thereby, improve your search ranking considerably.
A big chunk of consumers is on social media channels. That is why it is imperative for businesses to be where their target customers are. These platforms can be utilized to maximize engagement and they also make it simple to measure the performance of a brand’s social strategy. By gaining visibility into that aspect, companies can find better ways to reach out to their audience and turn them into purchasers and SEMrush assists businesses in making that possible.

Yes when I bought it few months back, It has nothing for Indian version of Google. So, I bought it for my client. Later, company extended my account for 3 more months for writing the review. 🙂 But I was not using it because my blog has very less organic traffic from other countries and I also write articles for Indian users. Now, I can do proper research for Indian users and track competitors 🙂
Easy to use & manage multiple projects. I love the interface, the help features, all of the SUPPORT with the blogs and videos. Even if you are not an SEO expert, you can quickly get inundated with all of the help available. It covers absolutely every area of SEO - social media, backlinking, tracking rankings, keyword research. And I find it to be pretty affordable compared to using multiple tools.

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).


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.
Overall: I have always had a positive experience with SEMrush. They are a supportive team and it is relatively easy to find up-to-date tutorials to help you to get the most out of their suite of tools. New features are being added all of the time, so the SEMrush team does a very good job of keeping pace with the changing world of SEO. They are clearly active in the community and work hard to share their expertise. With their 14 day trial offer you really cannot go wrong.
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!
Brian is the founder of MeiggsMedia and has a love for digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and personal finance. Brian has been quoted in several online publications, including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, MSN, AOL, Discover, GOBankingRates, Student Loan Hero and more. When not helping others reach their goals, Brian can be found at the gym, traveling, exploring Washington DC, or helping bloggers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses succeed at MeiggsMedia.
Brian is the founder of MeiggsMedia and has a love for digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and personal finance. Brian has been quoted in several online publications, including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, MSN, AOL, Discover, GOBankingRates, Student Loan Hero and more. When not helping others reach their goals, Brian can be found at the gym, traveling, exploring Washington DC, or helping bloggers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses succeed at MeiggsMedia.
Setting up the SEO Writing Assistant is pretty easy and is available at present only for the Google Chrome browser and WordPress. It is compatible with Google Docs which is a good start. To begin with, you need to head over to the download page, log-in (if you don’t have an account one will need to be created), choose to install the browser plugin and activate it post installation.

Keyword research is the bread and butter of any SEO campaign. You can’t have a SEO campaign without a defined list of primary and secondary keywords along with long and short tail keywords. It is so important that we don’t think that there is an SEO tool out there that does not have a keyword research tool in one form or the other. However, SEMRush’s keyword research tool is amongst the best.
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.
Recommended Keywords: In my opinion, this is the most important feature because it is hard to rank for a given keyword without using related keywords a couple of times. So, you can’t rank a plumbing page without mentioning water, pipes, and faucets. It recommends keywords which are marked in gray and once they are used those keywords turn green. That’s an excellent visual indicator of which keywords were used.
I like it and it is a very good tool. But I mainly focus on small businesses, and I often find SEMRush a bit expensive. Plus, I do SEO and not SEM, and I'd pay less for a plan with SEO tools only. I recommend to do a trial first: the keyword and page analysis are amazing and I think they are really helpful when it comes to optimize every page of a website. Plus, SEMRush competitive analysis allows you to compare the SEO/SEM/domain strenght etc. performances of several websites of your choice, so that you can take action and improve your rankings.

The feature allows users to check all incoming links from various URLs to their website’s domain and root domain. Plus, it gives them insight into their domain’s authority and geolocation. The anchor text linking to their website along with URLs, target web pages, titles of linking, etc. combined with the link’s weight of the competitor’s domain is more than enough information to form of a killer SEO strategy.
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.

Competitor Backlink Audit: Analyze the link profile of your competitors and look for opportunities that can help improve your own link building and search performance. Whenever you perform a competitor backlink check or audit, you must also check the inbound links that are pointing to top ranking pages so you wouldn’t miss out on important link opportunities.


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.
Many websites rely on other traffic generation methods such as traffic from social media, email, referrals, and direct traffic sources over search engines. For sites like these, SEO errors aren’t as important because search engines aren’t their #1 traffic source. For a smaller website, a couple of errors can have a much bigger negative effect than those same errors on a larger website.
I purchased SEMRush last week and completed a Site Audit I couldn’t believe my site had so many problems. The only problem I have is that there are a lot of recommendations but no instructions on how to fix them. For example, the software advised me to use follow links on my posts instead of the No-follow links, several duplicate contents, meta description problems etc. Do you have nay ideas I can use to rectify the SEMRush problems?
Pros: SEMrush is a tool suite for advanced advertising the executives. It gives proficient full perceivability into traffic originating from various correspondence channels and to pick up knowledge into the effectivity of their advertising approaches. As SEMrush gives significant commitment data, computerized advertisers are better furnished to position the brands they work with higher in the web crawler rankings and in the cognizance of their objective market by means of other media and strategies. In addition, SEMrush empowers promoting experts to pick up influence over their opposition by giving them profitable understanding into what their shoppers and prospects are keen on. When they have distinguished those points, they can utilize them in making all the more captivating substance. Exhaustive catchphrase looks into apparatus and area examination. Backlink following. Work area/versatile pursuit breakdowns. Venture based SEO crusade structure is particularly valuable. Catchphrase proposals and proactive SEO suggestions.

Setting up the SEO Writing Assistant is pretty easy and is available at present only for the Google Chrome browser and WordPress. It is compatible with Google Docs which is a good start. To begin with, you need to head over to the download page, log-in (if you don’t have an account one will need to be created), choose to install the browser plugin and activate it post installation.


SEMrush could help me a ton with SEO at the moment. I have had two businesses before. I currently work full time for a construction business doing marketing and application development. The reason i no longer have a business is because i couldn’t afford to pay the monthly office space. I lost my team because there wasn’t enough sales coming in. I was trying to gain a large audience by focusing on content and free material. However, it did not produce the results i was hoping for and resulted in me being in debt. I’m 27 years old, still going to school, and working towards my dream. This could help me out tons.. and i have always followed your awesome blog. Give me a chance Matt!
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