Ahrefs vs SEMrush – Ultimate Comparison Guide Between 2 Powerful Tools

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), Ahrefs vs SEMrush is a critical question asked amongst the digital marketing community. After all, these are two of the best digital marketing tools that come to every marketers mind.

They can both be used for any keyword research, whether you are just starting a blog in WordPress to researching Youtube niche keywords to create your next video, these 2 tools go hand in hand in delivering exceptional results.

How can somebody decide between the two? This guide on Ahrefs vs SEMrush will help you make a decision.

Semrush and Ahrefs are the first tools that come to mind when anyone mentions SEO. These two tools provide all the information you require to rank the web pages of your site in search results, from keyword research to page tracking.

Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to use both of these options simultaneously. These two tools have been helpful to us over the last few years so we have put together this in-depth comparison of Ahrefs vs SEMrush to help you decide which one to choose.

We compare Ahrefs vs SEMrush on numerous aspects, comparing every feature they have 1 in 1 together. Let’s start!

SEMrush Overview

semrush vs ahrefs overview

When it comes to (SEO), Semrush is widely recognized as one of the top solutions available. It started as a competitor research service for web marketing. But after several years, it turned into a complete set of tools for digital marketing.

Now Semrush is one of the leading tools for digital marketing professionals all around the world. You can use this tool to research keywords, build links, audit sites, and spy on your competitors. You can keep tabs on your keyword performance and a lot more using this tool.

You can use Semrush digital marketing tools to potentially rank higher than your competition in search engines. We were initially hesitant when we heard about Semrush; after trying it out, we have been using it now over the past year.

Ahrefs Overview

ahrefs vs semrush

Ahrefs enables you to audit your website, locate the keywords, track your keywords, assess any website’s backlinks, and more. Ahrefs was initially introduced as a backlink analysis tool.

Initially, we tried it because we didn’t like SEMrush’s backlink analyzing data. We liked this tool after using it frequently and decided to continue using it. There were always new features being added by the Ahrefs team, and that just boosted our experience with it. Ahrefs is mostly used for keyword research, backlink analysis, and competition analysis.

Comparison of SEMrush vs. Ahrefs

We will compare SEMrush with Ahrefs in this part based on several different factors.

Ahrefs vs SEMrush Keyword Research

semrush vs ahrefs
Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

The Ahrefs Keyword Explorer uses a database of over 7 billion keywords. Also, it works with ten different search engines and covers 171 countries (Google, Bing, Amazon, etc.).

The Keyword Explorer allows for the entry of up to 10,000 keywords at once. Also, it will display keyword data such as keyword difficulties, monthly search, CPM, CPS, and parent category.

semrush vs ahrefs keyword tools
SEMrush keyword magic tool

There is a Keyword Magic Tool in SEMrush, which uses the same huge database of over 20 billion keywords. It also allows 142 locations.

The Keyword Magic Tool allows you to narrow your search based on a number of factors, including the number of monthly searches, the average cost per clicks, top competitors, and the level of market competition. Also, you may export your chosen keywords to additional SEMrush tools.

SEMrush’s keyword database is bigger and has SERP overview and ranking history just like Ahrefs. In the battle between Ahrefs vs SEMrush, we favor Ahrefs keyword tool a bit more ONLY due to the fact that their user interface looks cleaner and is easier to navigate.

SEO isn’t complete without building links. Both Ahrefs and SEMrush have full sets of digital marketing tools for analyzing backlinks.

Ahrefs vs Semrush Backlink Analysis
Ahrefs Backlink Analysis

The Site Explorer feature in Ahrefs has an index of more than 14 trillion active backlinks and 185.9 million domains. The Ahrefs backlink analyzer tool automatically displays the number of links and referring domains for any website (RDs).

You can see more in depth Ahrefs backlink data such as nofollow, dofollow, new links, lost links, anchor texts, and more.

The tool provides a graph for viewing the rise and fall of a site’s backlink profile over time.

SEMrush backlink analysis
SEMrush Backlink Analysis

When it comes to backlink analysis, Ahrefs used to be the gold standard. Over time, SEMrush has really improved.

SEMrush has grown to the point where it has a database including more than 832 million domains and 33 trillion backlinks. It is simple to check for backlinks with the SEMrush Backlink Audit feature. You can also check backlink categories, anchor text density, and new/lost backlinks.

Also, you can see dofollow, nofollow, sponsored, and UGC backlinks.

Backlink Tool Verdict

Continuing the waging war of Ahrefs vs SEMrush, we continue to favor Ahrefs backlink tool over SEMrush for complete backlink analysis. It is mainly because Ahrefs data is accurate and easy to use. After all, Ahrefs has a great user interface.

Ahrefs vs SEMrush Site Auditing

The Site Audit function is available in both Ahrefs and SEMrush. This feature is capable of measuring a website’s technical and on-page Seo efforts.

Ahrefs vs Semrush Site Auditing
Ahrefs site audit

The Ahrefs Site Audit tool examines websites for more than 100 SEO-related issues, such as HTML tags. It also checks the quality of the content and how well it works.

Things like URLs having issues, health score of your website, total issues, and crawl data are all inside this Ahrefs Site Audit tool. You can easily navigate the data and find out exactly what site issues you need to address and how to fix them.

Also, it examines how many links come in and out, how centralized it is, and more. When the trial ends, the results are displayed in charts with clear signs of faults and ideas for addressing them.

ahrefs vs semrush site audits
Semrush site audit

SEMrush Site Audit analyzes websites for faults and warnings using more than 130 structural and on-page SEO variables. SEMrush can also examine your most significant pages using Google Analytics.

SEMrush is great because they show you your overall site health, crawlability, and also break down the issues by errors, warnings and notices. In addition, they show you broken pages and how to fix all the errors within your site.

Site Audit Verdict

When comparing Ahrefs vs SEMrush, Ahrefs Site Audit is an excellent tool for determining a website’s technical health.

However, we favor SEMrush’s Site Audit tool because it gives you more information and helpful suggestions on how to prioritize and solve all the errors and bugs.

Ahrefs vs Semrush Rank Tracking

Ahrefs vs Semrush Rank Tracking
Ahrefs rank tracking

The rank tracking system on Ahrefs’ interface lets you track your website’s pages. Sadly, Ahrefs does not allow you to monitor any old domain’s keyword performance. Before you can start tracking keywords on that domain, you’ll need to prove that you actually own it.

You have to add a task to the platform before you can start tracking. Also, Google Search Console lets you add projects directly or manually.

You must enter keywords in the box to continue tracking after confirming ownership. The average ranking, visibility, SERP attributes, traffic, and positions are displayed after clicking start monitoring.

Also, you can see how many keywords are in the first 100 spots. You can also look at the section below to see where each keyword stands. You can get more information about any keyword by clicking on it, which will bring up all the relevant information.

semrush vs ahrefs position tracking
Semrush position tracking

Semrush has a feature called “position tracking” that lets you keep track of your rank. Your page rankings are the only thing that can rate all your hard work and knowledge.

The first step in using Semrush for tracking purposes is setting up a project. You just enter the URL, pick the country, add keywords to track, then click start tracking. You can check out the keywords’ positions in the top 3, 10, and 100, as well as their average position and frequency.

You can also view projected traffic, leading keywords, tags, potential influences, and more. There are many other data statistics available, including landscape, overview, ranks distribution, featured snippets, etc.

Rank Tracking Verdict

When comparing against Ahrefs vs SEMrush, we think Semrush is much more powerful and offers a variety of extra benefits. You’ll also get daily updates on where your keywords rank, even on the basic “pro” plan.

When it comes to tracking rankings, Ahrefs Rank Tracker is reliable and precise. Semrush won easily because Ahrefs lacked complex features and only updated ranks weekly.

Ahrefs vs Semrush Support & Customer Service

Now we can see how Ahrefs and Semrush perform in terms of customer service.

Ahrefs vs Semrush Support & Customer Service
Ahrefs support

Ahrefs can help you by:

  • Chat live
  • Email

You get a response to your live chat question in three to five minutes, on average. We must admit that this is great. Also, Ahrefs offers 24/7 support. Ahrefs has a large number of blog posts, tutorials, and videos. Its goal is to help you in using all of its services and handle the SEO industry. The Ahrefs support staff is also lovely and knowledgeable so you can resolve problems quickly.

semrush customer support
SEMrush support

Semrush can help you by:

  • Chat live (When availalbe)
  • Email
  • Phone

You’ll usually get a response in 5 minutes from SEMrush live chat.

Semrush live agents are NOT offered 24/7; they do have a customer service time 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (EST/EDT), Monday – Friday.

Customer Support Verdict

When comparing Ahrefs vs SEMrush, both tools provide excellent, practical, and beneficial support.

However, we favor Ahrefs only because the 24/7 live support they provide.

Ahrefs and SEMrush’s Unique Features

We’ve compared the primary features of both programs. Let’s examine a few of Ahrefs’ and SEMrush’s unique features.

Here are a few of Ahrefs’ unique features:

Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (AWT)

Ahrefs website tools
Ahrefs website tools

This unique Ahrefs tool lets you add any site and get free data. You can track how well your website works for search engines with AWT. Ahrefs Site Explorer lets you evaluate backlinks and relevant keywords. SEMrush has a comparable free service but it limits you to an audit of a maximum of 100 pages and provides access to much fewer data.

Broken Link Checker

ahrefs broken link tracker
Ahrefs broken link tracker

Broken link building is among the most popular ways to build links. You can achieve this goal with the help of this unique Ahrefs feature. You can browse a competitor’s website and search for broken link pages. You can then contact those websites and request a link on your website. Ahrefs Content Explorer also includes a feature to detect broken links.

SERP Checker

The SERP Checker lets you assess keywords by viewing Search engine results immediately from anywhere. This program also displays top results’ expected organic traffic and keyword rankings. This service can help you identify high-traffic pages, prioritize keywords, and analyze your competitors. SEMrush does not offer SERP analysis using google results traffic and keywords data.

Here are a few of SEMrush’s unique features:

PPC Keyword Research Tools

SEMrush PPC keyword tracking
SEMrush PPC keyword tracking

SEMrush’s PPC keyword tools let you locate the ideal SEO and PPC advertising keywords. This toolkit has many things that Ahrefs doesn’t. The CPC Map tool enables you to assess CPC and keyword demand by location. SEMrush’s PPC tools will help you with SEO too. Because of this, many online marketers and website owners favor SEMrush as their tool of choice.

Backlinks Audit

SEMrush Backlink Audit’s Harmful Backlinks function is a big benefit. It has the ability to analyze and show the toxicity score of each backlink heading to a website. SEMrush automatically scans your backlinks for spam using 45+ toxicity criteria. This is an excellent SEMrush tool for keeping track of a site’s backlink profile.

Semrush vs. Ahrefs Pricing

Ahrefs’ monthly fee starts at $99, whereas SEMrush’s begins at $119. When comparing SEMrush vs. Ahrefs, the SEMrush beginning plan has many more features. For example, SEMrush allows you to export as many as 10,000 results per keyword report. But Ahrefs limits each report to only 1,000 results.

ahrefs vs semrush pricing
SEMrush pricing

SEMrush has three main plans:

  • Pro package costs $119.95 per month.
  • Guru package costs $229.95 per month.
  • Business package costs $449.95 per month.
ahrefs vs semrush pricing
Ahrefs pricing

Ahref has four main plans PLUS additional credits usages (NEW)

  • Lite package costs $99 per month.
  • Standard package costs $179 per month.
  • Advanced package costs $399 a month.
  • Agency package costs $999 a month.

If you sign up for one of Ahrefs’ yearly plans, you’ll get two months for free. Read more about credits below.

ahrefs additional credits usages
Ahrefs additional credits usages

Ahrefs recently updated their pricing models (which is bad by the way). They mention that every plan comes with a power user and 500 credits. Credits are used every time you use any Ahrefs tools except the rank tracker and site audit features. This means you don’t have unlimited capabilities to lookup competitor sites, backlink analysis, or even keyword research! This is a BIG BUMMER for Ahrefs pricing!

So for example, in the below image, I pay $99 monthly for their tools. Half way through my month, I ran OUT of credits. To use their main features, I have to buy more based on the prices above. If you are very active in researching competitors, keywords, and backlinks, I think you might be better off going to SEMrush instead.

semrush vs ahrefs pricing comparison
ahrefs credit usage

Actually, this is the main reason why I am leaving Ahrefs after being SUCH an advocate and using them for months now. Sorry Ahrefs, but I’m out!

Pricing Verdict

In the case of Ahrefs vs SEMrush pricing, we feel Semrush is the best pricing option because it provides the most value for your money, especially since Ahrefs has recently moved to a credits based approach.

Semrush provides SEO, PPC, social media, and market analysis solutions for $119/month.

Conclusion – Best Tool with an overall value

Our experience with both Semrush and Ahrefs has resulted in this in-depth comparison. The only thing left to decide is which tool, Ahrefs vs SEMrush, is best for your needs. We can claim with confidence that Ahrefs is barely better than Semrush, but not by a great margin.

If search engine optimization (SEO) is your primary focus, Ahrefs may be your tool. It is considered to be an important tool in the SEO industry. It’s a breeze to do competitor research, track visitor data, and monitor your own site’s traffic with the help of Ahrefs’ site and keyword explorer tools.

It has an even more powerful web crawler than Semrush. Also, Ahrefs is less complicated to operate than Semrush.

Suppose you’re looking for an all-inclusive marketing suite that also helps track PPC keywords, then go with Semrush.

If you want to find out more about keywords and backlinks, Ahrefs is a tool you should really consider. If you have enough money, you can pick both of them. We hope that our Ahrefs vs SEMrush comparison guide will help you in choosing the best SEO tool for your specific needs. 

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