I thought I was the only one confused between these two tools. I wasn’t sure which SEO tools to use and whether I should prioritize Ahrefs over Semrush or the other way around. I know they have different features. When it comes to keyword research, Semrush is better, but for backlink analysis, it’s Ahrefs. This comparison helped me decide which one to get. Thanks for the article! The comments above also helped me in my decision.
One thing I like about Ahrefs is that it's straight and to the point. It's very easy to get in, get your data, and get out. Each report does pretty much what you expect it to. This report shows the referring domains + number links coming from that domain. You can access the links from each domain by clicking the Expand button next to the referring domain:
The backlink index is one of the best too though at the time of writing, Moz has just improved their index. Regardless of index size, which theirs is large enough, the type of data they provide is the most useful. The broken links data is probably the most useful that isn't easily matched by other tools. Additionally, going back to the content explorer, you can find unlinked mentions, a feature that appears to have been removed in Moz's "new" tool (I may just not be able to find it).
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.
Cons: If you're looking for rank tracking then I'd suggest looking elsewhere, it's a little wonky and not as easy to use as other rank tracking solutions. However, if you don't want to buy multiple pieces of software then the rank tracker will get the job done. The software is kind of a 'jack of all trades, master of none'; so you'll be able to get by with just this as your main piece of software, but if you want something a little more specialized then you should probably look elsewhere. You might end up not using a lot of the tools because there is so much to explore, but most of the tools that are there are pretty valuable. Other than that, some of the reports need some extra interpretation if you are going to present them to a client which isn't optimal but is understandable.
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).
The dashboard is an easy way to get an overall picture of our ranking, backlinks, and organic traffic. And as a small company looking to drive brand awareness through search, their keyword exploration tools are essential to our SEO strategy. It's also a pretty straightforward tool to use, so can you jump right in and get a lot of benefits straight away.
Pavan, I would suggest you to give a try to it. Its a win-win situation for you as you will have free access to SEMrush pro version worth $47 for 14 days and you are not going to lose anything. If you like it, continue using it. With the kind of features SEMrush is offering, there is no alternative as such. With SEMrush, you can track 500 keywords with Pro version (price $99.95) and with Moz, you have to pay $99 for tracking 300 keywords only. So feature wise, SEMrush is much better than Moz or any other SEO/SEM tool available in the market.
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.
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.
Turnes out - yes, yes I do!!! From doing keyword research, to defining who my competition is in my own market, and what keywords THEY use, to defining weekly tracking on important metrics, both on my website AND social media channels, SEMrush has played a HUGE role in the way that I have started to see my small business as an actual business and not just a hobby.
Provides a way to track the effect of link building activity and demonstrate the impact on search traffic. Excellent for competitor analysis. Helps with researching what content to produce, which competitors are gaining in search and why, which keywords your site could realistically aim to rank for, and gives you enough information to plan how to do it.
If you're okay with the pricing they offer – Ahrefs is the perfect solution for any content creators out there. You are able to step up your SEO game with data on number of backlinks as well as info on that particular site. But before you start using Ahrefs, try out what Google already offers first, maybe it will be enough for you in the beginning.
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 🙂
It's easy to use to in terms of just dropping in a domain or keyword for quick metrics. I also like that you can compare 5 domains. It has been really easy for me to teach our content strategists how to use the tool, even thought they are not as technically savvy. This was the first tool I learned to use for SEO, and it's definitely easy to catch on as a beginner and you do not need extensive technical knowledge.
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.
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.
Longtail Keyword Research Made Easy: Every SEO specialist knows that relying on just the top 3 or 4 keywords isn’t the right thing to do. While you should focus on them since they have the largest volume but each day there are people using thousands of long tail queries which generate significantly less traffic, but the keywords are easier to target. Interestingly, these long tail keywords combined present on average 70% of search traffic. SEMrush collects long-tail keywords with a search volume of around ten queries a year. The keywords are shown in ascending order by volume. Since they have less competition, it is easier for your website to rank for them. Over time they can become a significant source of traffic.
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Even though you may be running a pretty good backlinking campaign in a bid to get backlinks from highly reputed sources you can’t control the sites linking back. Also some website you may not want to be affiliated with in any way. So, to protect your website from being penalized because of being affiliated with so-called “bad websites” the backlink tool can help you find and disavow those links.
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: Overall, SEMrush is definitely the best in class SEO, PPC and digital marketing tool in general. While other tools can become a little more specialized in a specific field of digital (Moz for SEO, for example), SEMrush allows you utilize one tool for all insights, planning, tracking and reporting at a very affordable cost all things considered.
Utilize the "broken backlink" section. Utilize the ability to isolate lost and gained links by date. Let's say you have drops around October. You could go to right before that and specifically isolate good links lost or bad links gained, etc. They also have a good amount of helpful online resources for learning how to use the tool. Great graphs show overall trends for linking domains or linking pages. Check out the ability to sort by AHREFS' quality statistics to help analyze quality/low quality links.