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.


I have been using this Tool for around two years for generating SEO reports for my client and company as well. There are different features which i like most, for instance- Backlink checker, Traffic analytic and domain vs domain. Semrush is the best tool I ever used to do Search Engine Optimization. When it comes to backlink then Semrush is my favorite due to its accuracy and specificness. In addition, Semrush has also helped us to improve our website's search engine ranking by providing insights. The tool also provides a management feature where we can add our project and work on them for a long time. Its been an awesome journey with Semrush. The tool enables us to work on different projects at the same time.
There are other parts of SEO which you should pay attention to after your audit to make sure you stay competitive. After all, the technical foundation isn't the end of the road for SEO success. It's important to pay attention to your competition's SEO activity, keep an eye on the newest search engine best practices, and maintain local SEO best practices if your business depends on customers visiting a physical address. All of these are elements of a successful SEO strategy and should be corollary to your audit and ongoing SEO maintenance. 

Find Foreign Keywords: SEMrush has 26 regional databases that contain keywords for each of these languages. The databases are pretty expansive containing keywords for the US, Canada, UK, Russia, France, Germany, Australia, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Israel, Denmark, Netherlands, Ireland, Finland, Norway, Hungry, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore, Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong, Turkey and Argentina.
Pros: SEMrush offers insight into all things digital. In my experience with a few similar tools, SEMrush is the most comprehensive and easiest to use. It offers insights, reporting, tracking and planning for our clients' digital programs. We can even gain tons of insights into prospects' current digital marketing initiatives which helps close leads. It integrates with numerous other tools and is definitely a tool that will be the leader for at least the next few years.
Check if there are governmental or educational links: EDU and GOV links are some of the best as they help to improve authority.  So, every SEO professional knows the value of these links as they directly result in an SEO boost. Just a handful of these links can mean a great deal for your website. The tool shows if there are any of these backlinks to your website.

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.
Start by going to the Keyword Magic Tool or click on the Topic Research, enter in a seed keyword that you’re targeting and analyze the table of all the related keywords. Then choose one with a difficulty score of around 65 or below. Open the SEO Content Template, enter the selected keywords from the tool and review the template suggestions. The template will continue to provide you with recommendations and allows you to see how well it's going. It also ties in with the SEO Writing Assistant plugin for WordPress and Google Docs.
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.

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.
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!
The software is very easy to use and understand, it comes packed with lots of features that you may need two or more software suites to do. I find it worth far more than we pay for it. It has payed for itself in a very short time. It allows me to get very granular with my searches and also lets me export a lot of information so that I can make business decisions based on the whole picture.
Ahrefs make use of two link updates in your website - the Fresh Index and the Live Index. Fresh Index which updates at a longer time frame. It shows the dead links on your website, giving you the chance to change or reclaim the dead link. The Live Index, on the other hand, makes link updates every 15-30 minutes. This provides you with the chance to see regular link updates on your website.
Still I double check to see what softwares are providing the real results. Some are lacking in a few areas and some use the same Google Keyword planner to fetch keywords. When it comes to keywords and PPC you need a lot. When it comes to keywords and website optimisation you need comptetitor analysis. This is done from several sources to ensure the best data is gathered. Using the free version of SEM Rush it is limited in what it provides. Would also love to see the insides of the GURU account. Thanks again for a great read.

The feature also gives you information about whether the competition is using high-volume keywords or ones with a long-tail to get their ranking. Plus, another important thing the report provides is a look into if the competition is using branded ad copy or branded keywords for better conversions. You’ll also learn how long the competitions’ ads have been around which tells you exactly how successful a campaign was during the year, season or specific periods. All of this is information which can be used to boost your own campaign.

SERP overview reports the top 10 results for a keyword, their key metrics like UR, DR, backlinks, traffic, and social shares. Shockingly enough, the Ahrefs also reports if there are any AdWords ads, knowledge graph, and snippets at the top of the SERP for the keyword. This is very helpful in manually analyzing whether it is possible for you to rank for the keyword.

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!


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.

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.
When we talk about ‘Search’, we predominantly talk about Google Search results. Whether it is organic or paid search, companies both big and small are busy trying to take the first few slots of the Google search result. That is how they can pull the massive traffic to their website and landing pages. This post is about SEMrush review and it’s alternatives.
Keyword Research: a lot of clients don't know what queries to go for, they just assume their best product is what's best to focus on. SEMrush helps determine what users actually search for. Competitor Research: again, most clients don't know who their true competitors really are. Site Audit: easily find and fix crucial issues in client websites that quickly increase organic search results. And there's so much more!
When we talk about ‘Search’, we predominantly talk about Google Search results. Whether it is organic or paid search, companies both big and small are busy trying to take the first few slots of the Google search result. That is how they can pull the massive traffic to their website and landing pages. This post is about SEMrush review and it’s alternatives.
The Backlink Analytics tool can provide lengthy lists of competitor's backlinks that can be exported in spreadsheet formats. You can see your competitors backlink strategies including legitimate (blogs, directories) and illegitimate methods for gaining domain and site authority on Google. I also appreciate the keyword rankings, as it allows for easy reporting and tracking of SEO optimization strategies and keyword campaigns. Great tools for tracking keywords campaigns against similar business as well.
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.
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?
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.
Pros: SEMrush offers insight into all things digital. In my experience with a few similar tools, SEMrush is the most comprehensive and easiest to use. It offers insights, reporting, tracking and planning for our clients' digital programs. We can even gain tons of insights into prospects' current digital marketing initiatives which helps close leads. It integrates with numerous other tools and is definitely a tool that will be the leader for at least the next few years.
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: Mostly all SEO Specialists nowadays are using SEMrush (in combination with other tools), and it is effective either for your small personal site or blog, or ever for larger corporation sites. On SEMrush you will find different tutorials in order to get started, SEO audit check, plenty of features in order to analyze your keywords rankings, organic traffic, PPC progression and how to analyze your competition.
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!
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.

I work with legal websites and it makes it easy to see what the top law firm websites are using for backlinks. I can then export all the backlinks into an Excel file and decide what are the best ones for me to try and obtain for our clients. The reports section is nice too, it gives us an easy to understand solution for our clients and answers their question of where their money is going to.
Sure…I do mostly affiliate stuff now but it applies to local too. Say I wanted to do an Amazon aff. site for laptops. I’d google some generic terms like “best laptop 2016” or “laptop reviews” grab the first three or four results of other aff. sites and run them through SEMRush to see what the competition is ranking for see the trends…etc and export the organic results. Lather, rinse and repeat until you have enough keywords.

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Relation building – Find influencers in your market, who already published well performing content. For example: Best SEO Tools For.. , Top 10 products, etc. You know these authors are interested in your subject and are possible able (when they like your product or service) to get you in front of your audience and earn you a valuable link doing so. To quickly identify list post, resources and authors for your subject have a look at the Link Building Tool.
The Backlink Analytics tool can provide lengthy lists of competitor's backlinks that can be exported in spreadsheet formats. You can see your competitors backlink strategies including legitimate (blogs, directories) and illegitimate methods for gaining domain and site authority on Google. I also appreciate the keyword rankings, as it allows for easy reporting and tracking of SEO optimization strategies and keyword campaigns. Great tools for tracking keywords campaigns against similar business as well.
SEOptimer is a free SEO Audit Tool that will perform a detailed SEO Analysis across 100 website data points, and provide clear and actionable recommendations for steps you can take to improve your online presence and ultimately rank better in Search Engine Results. SEOptimer is ideal for website owners, website designers and digital agencies who want to improve their own sites or theirs of their clients.
Finding the right keyword is extremely essential when you are trying to reach your target audience via organic search engines. This feature helps you dig out the keywords that can help you increase and improve your search engine ranking. Along with that, you can also know the content strategy your competitor might be using to drive the organic traffic to their website.
Pros: Mostly all SEO Specialists nowadays are using SEMrush (in combination with other tools), and it is effective either for your small personal site or blog, or ever for larger corporation sites. On SEMrush you will find different tutorials in order to get started, SEO audit check, plenty of features in order to analyze your keywords rankings, organic traffic, PPC progression and how to analyze your competition.
In this article, I will discuss about this SEM tool that can be used to research competitors’ keywords – SEMrush, which I have used in many projects. Writing is no more about just putting up what your readers love but also about searching and finding what readers have been searching and putting them into post, so, that it can drive relevant traffic from search engine. Or, putting it the other way, using these keywords, you can drive highly relevant traffic through ads in search engine.
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. 

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.

The Top 30 Report: This report shows you the top 30 of the best-performing advertisers’ websites, the media ads and texts they are using as well as the landing pages they are promoting. You’ll also see how many ad placements are used. The report also covers the competition’s calls to action (CTA) which are used to engage users, and also reveal publishers that are relevant to what they currently offer. Additionally, you’ll see publishers’ websites which are reaching thousands each day. If anything these are ideas which can be used to monetize your website or blog for better AdSense earnings.
Using the Organic Traffic Insights tool, you can get a list of keywords for which every one of your website’s pages are indexed for and the search volume they are bringing in along with the amount of traffic and raking position.  Additionally, you will also be able to consolidate your Google Search Console and Analytics data into a single place from where you can quickly view and discover all the keywords driving traffic. You’ll also know which URL is getting the most traffic and which is driving the highest number of conversions.
Keyword Research: a lot of clients don't know what queries to go for, they just assume their best product is what's best to focus on. SEMrush helps determine what users actually search for. Competitor Research: again, most clients don't know who their true competitors really are. Site Audit: easily find and fix crucial issues in client websites that quickly increase organic search results. And there's so much more!
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.
Pros: SEMRush provides loads of actionable data from SEO to PPC to Social. I use it a lot for Internet Advertising / PPC research on what competitors are doing - what are their ads saying, what keywords do they target, what is their estimated ad spend, etc all in one place. It helps with not only search ads - but also display ads - this super feature helps us understand what the competition is up to. It helps in keyword research for organic SEO as well as paid traffic. In terms of SEO it helps track position on organic search results (SERPS), SEO audit including technical stuff and backlinks.
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