Ahrefs vs. SEMrush: which one is better to choose?

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If you are an SEO user, whether working as a freelancer or in an agency, you often have heard of Ahrefs and SEMrush. Both these platforms offer a range of tools to help you in SEO-related tasks. These two tools are the best players in the SEO field.

In this article, I will compare these two most popular tools in-depth to help you decide which one is a better solution for you. Both the tools are my favorite so the deep comparison between the two is going to be tough.

I am going to compare these two tools under the following parameters:

  • Keyword Research
  • Backlink analysis
  • Site audit
  • Pricing plan
  • Rank Tracking

But first of all, I will give a short overview of Ahrefs and SEMrush.

Ahrefs and SEMrush Overview

Ahrefs: Overview

ahref

Ahrefs is a multinational team headquartered in Singapore. Ahrefs launched Ahrefs webmaster tools in 2011. It was basically a tool to analyze a website’s backlinks. But within a few years, this platform has gradually developed into the world’s leading digital marketing toolkit and got popular among marketing experts all over the world.

Now Ahrefs is not just a backlink analysis tool but offers a bunch of tools such as Ahrefs Keyword Explorer Tool, Site Audit tool, and many more to help you perform a lot of different SEO tasks.

It offers you a trial for 7 days.

SEMrush: Overview

semrush

SEMrush was launched in 2008 by a small group of IT and SEO specialists. This was famous for its keyword research tool. But as it launched till now, SEMrush kept introducing new useful features and has developed into a full-grown SEO tool that helps you with more than just Keyword Research.

You can use Link Analysis to have a deep look on your as well as your competitor’s website’s link profile. You can use the SEMrush Site Audit to scan your website for 130+ technical issues to fix them.  So now, it is used by over 6 million professionals to perform their SEO tasks.

What really attracted me towards SEMrush was the ease with which you could get the data.

It offers a free trial for 1 month.

Above is a basic overview of Ahrefs and SEMrush, let’s dive deeper and do a side-by-side comparison of both the tools.

Let’s start with Backlinks Analysis Tool…

Backlinks Analysis:

A useful and popular feature for both tools is backlink analysis.

Millions of people use this tool to know about their site as well as their competitor’s links on daily basis.

Buzz Carter, a young SEO expert with a demonstrated history of working in SEO PR, explains,

“When it comes to link stats, Ahrefs just has SEMrush beat, as it literally has billion of indexed URLs in their system. While both tools are great, this is simply just flat out a bigger and better sample size than what SEMrush is working with.”

According to Filip Silobod, another SEO professional at Honest Marketing,

“While both tools are great, I prefer Ahrefs because of its more focus on backlinks. Both tools are very similar, but according to some tests, the crawler that Ahrefs uses captures more URLs”

So, going through the above SEO experts’ opinions, we can say that both the tools are good for backlink analysis but it’s better to choose Ahrefs for this purpose.

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword Research is the most important feature of SEO. By using this tool you get an understanding of the most targeted keywords. In this way, you can craft content for your site that satisfies both search engines and users.

Both SEMrush and Ahrefs have excellent keyword research capabilities but to find out which one is better; have a look at the following comparison.

By using Ahrefs Keyword Explorer Tool you can have thousands of keyword suggestions for your topic and also you can see important keyword metrics like keyword difficulty, search volume, and CPC, etc. You will also get knowledge about subtopics like similar keywords, and newly discovered keywords, etc.

See a quick glimpse of “how Ahrefs Keyword Explorer Tool works?”

Open the Ahrefs site and go on the Keyword Explorer Tool.

Type the keyword in the given box, choose the location you’d like to target, and click on the search icon. You will see the data about your seed keyword on the screen along with keyword difficulty, search volume, and CPC.

What’s really unique about Ahrefs is that it also shows you the average number of clicks that people make while searching for the specific keyword.

What about SEMrush Keyword Research Tool?

SEMrush is basically known for its keyword research feature. It’s also well known for providing accurate data about search volume which is an important metric for SEO and PPC campaign.

When you type a keyword in the search box, you will see keyword overview report within seconds. This report will show you all the major metrics about that keyword like CPC, keyword difficulty, search volume, top-ranking pages, keyword ad history, and more.

But to look SEMrush’s keyword research capabilities deeply, you’d have to use the following SEMrush tools:

  • Keyword magic tool
  • Topic research

Keyword Magic Tool by Semrush:

This is very user-friendly and time-saving tool. Just enter the specific keyword you need to know for, select the location, and the Semrush keyword finder tool will do the rest for you. Within the blink of an eye, it will show you a comprehensive table having all possible keywords and variations.

This table contains all the metrics about the main keyword like search volume, trend, CPC (Cost per click), Competitive density, Keyword difficulty, SERP Features, and Click potential.

Semrush keyword magic tool currently supports round about 142 databases with over 20 billion keyword.

Topic Research by SEMrush:

Topic Research helps you to craft killer content. Enter a topic you want to create content around and hit the “get content ideas” button. Then find out tons of information and ideas in the form of cards regarding that topic. The trending subtopics are most popular topics over the last 60 days and marked with a fire sign.

You can click on any card to get detailed information.

So which one is better for keyword research, Semrush or Ahrefs?

From the above details, we find out that Ahrefs shows you search volume, keyword difficulty, clicks and CPC for your main keyword while Semrush shows more than that like competitive density, trend, and SERP features etc.

Furthermore, Semrush has the largest keyword database (20 billion keywords) which is almost double in size of Ahrefs database (10.2 billion).

So it can be said undoubtedly that Semrush is the best choice for keyword research.

What is Site Audit Tool?

Site Audit visits all the pages on your site and let you know all possible SEO issues that can affect negatively your site’s search ranking. It also provides you suggestions on how to fix them.

These issues are related to:

  • Performance
  • Content quality
  • Good and bad backlinks
  • Overuse of keywords
  • Slow-loading content
  • HTML tags etc.

Semrush or Ahrefs, which site audit tool, is best?

Both the tools are good to use as they provide knowledge about all possible issues and also recommend you how to fix them. The question is that which one is better?

Ahrefs takes much time; in fact it can take hours to crawl on your site and returns with the report of your site’s SEO health. Whereas Semrush’s Site Audit tool takes a few minutes for this process and also contain additional features like crawl comparison, historical chart, etc.

In this way, Semrush’s site audit tool is the best option to choose as compared to Ahrefs.

Pricing plans of Semrush and Ahrefs:

Ahrefs:

ahref pricing

  • Trial: $7 for 7 days (Standard/Advanced only)
  • Lite: $99/month
  • Standard: $179/month
  • Advanced: $399/month
  • Agency: $999/month

Semrush:

semrush Pricing

  • Starting price: Free
  • Pro: $119.95/month
  • Guru: $229.95/month
  • Business: $449.95/month
  • Custom plans: Available
  • Enterprise solution: Available

Cruntly Ahrefs is offering no free trail while Semrush offers a free trail for 30 days. Semrush offers 3 months pricing plan. If you pay annually to Semrush, you can save 16% on your total billing amount.

Ahrefs offers 4 months pricing plan and if you pay annually, you can save 20% on your total bill.

Which tool is better for Rank Tracking?

Both the tools are incredibly helpful for position tracking. But Semrush is a little bit better than Ahrefs as it updates tracked keywords every day.  While Ahrefs updates its tracked keywords only once or twice a week.

Conclusion:

To sum up, it can be said that SEMrush and Ahrefs, both tools dominate the SEO landscape. The above side-by-side comparison shows that both the tools have a bundle of excellent features and have continued to release new tools to help their users.

Ahrefs was best known as a backlink checker tool but over the last two years, it has added a ton of new features that make it a direct comparison to SEMrush.

I personally use both tools on daily basis for different reasons. But in my opinion, Semrush is a better choice due to its additional features.

Hope the above information will be very helpful for you to choose between the two tools.

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