Ahrefs vs Semrush: Which SEO Tool Should You Use in 2023?
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Ahrefs vs Semrush: Which SEO Tool Should You Use in 2023?

Brian Dean

Written by Brian DeanIn collaboration with Semrush

Ahrefs vs SEMrush: Which SEO Tool Should You Use?

In this post, I’m going to put Semrush and Ahrefs to the test.

So if you’re looking for a DEEP comparison of these two popular SEO tools, you’ve come to the right place.

Because in today’s post I’m going to compare Semrush vs. Ahrefs in terms of:

Let’s do this!

Introducing: The Two Competitors

In the blue corner, we have Semrush.

Semrush – Homepage

Semrush is a fully-functional digital marketing software suite. Although they do focus on SEO (especially keyword research).

As you’ll soon see, Ahrefs also has a number of non-SEO features too. And we’ll compare the two later.

But it’s important to know that Semrush started as an SEO tool, which is still where their focus is.

In fact, today, you can use Semrush to:

In the red corner, we have Ahrefs.

Ahrefs – Homepage

Ahrefs is best known as a backlink analysis tool. But over the last few years they’ve added A TON of new features.

Ahrefs blog – Unique features

Which is why it’s even possible to do an Semrush vs. Ahrefs comparison. A few years ago Ahrefs was 100% focused on links.

Today, Ahrefs has a ton of features that make it a direct competitor to Semrush, including:

  • Keyword research features
  • Keyword competitor analysis
  • Technical SEO tools (like a site audit feature)
  • Rank tracking

The bottom line is that Ahrefs and Semrush have similar feature sets.

So it’s time to answer the key question: which SEO tool is the best overall?

Let’s get started.

Which Tool Is Best for SEO Keyword Research?

First, I decided to see which tool was best for finding new keywords.

Let’s see who came out on top.


With Semrush, you can see all of the keywords that a competing site currently ranks for.

Semrush – Analytics – Organic positions

This feature is basically the same as the one in Ahrefs with some minor differences.

(For example, they have different ways of estimating how much organic traffic a site gets from their first page rankings.)

The unique thing about Semrush here is that you get A LOT more in-depth keyword data in this report.

Semrush – Analytics – Keyword overview

Ahrefs basically shows you search volume, CPC and competition. But Semrush shows you A TON of data on each term, like the search volume trend and number of results.

Semrush vs Ahrefs – Keyword overview

Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on your needs. I personally prefer to focus on the key metrics. Which means that Semrush’s UI can be a little cluttered.

But if you’re a keyword analyst that needs to quickly analyze 100+ terms, it is super helpful to have everything you need in one place.

Semrush also has a traditional keyword research tool.

Like most keyword tools, you can see that keyword’s search volume and competition.

Semrush – Search volume and competition

And get a list of suggestions based on what you typed in.

Semrush – Related keywords

What makes Semrush’s keyword research feature unique is you also get data from Google PPC.

Semrush – Ads history

So if you’re an in-house SEO or run an agency, you’re probably doing SEO and running Google Ads campaigns at the same time.

And having SEO and PPC data at your fingertips can be SUPER helpful.


Ahrefs has two main keyword research features:

  1. Keyword explorer
  2. Organic keywords

Let’s see how each one works.

Keyword explorer is like most other keyword tools on the market.

Type in a keyword. And get a list of ideas.

Ahrefs – Keyword ideas – Keto diet

What’s unique about Keyword Explorer is the fact that Ahrefs doesn’t just show you search volume.

(Although they give you that data too.)

Ahrefs – Keto diet – Volume

They also let you know how many clicks you’ll get if you rank for that keyword.

Ahrefs – Keto diet – Keyword clicks

Why is this important?

It’s no secret that Google is packing the SERPs with features that “steal” clicks from the organic results.

Google SERP – Keto diet – Features

And Keyword explorer takes this into account.

For example, the keyword “leonardo dicaprio age” gets 18k searches per month:

Ahrefs – Leonardo DiCaprio age – Search volume

When you search for that keyword, the answer shows up in a Featured Snippet.

Google SERP – Leonardo DiCaprio age

Which is why only 2.3k people (around 12.7% of all searchers) actually click on an organic result.

Ahrefs – Leonardo DiCaprio age – Clicks

One other thing that makes Keyword Explorer cool is the fact that you can expand the results to get hundreds of different keyword ideas.

Ahrefs – Leonardo DiCaprio age – Keywords

You can also reverse engineer a competitor’s site using “Organic keywords” report.

Ahrefs – Organic keywords report

Overall, I have to say that Semrush wins this feature battle by a hair. Ahrefs may have a cleaner overall UI. But Semrush just gives you lots more data (both SEO and PPC), which makes it a more well-rounded keyword tool.

Next, I wanted to see which tool had the best backlink checker feature.

I actually compared the link index in Semrush and Ahrefs (along with Moz Pro and Majestic), a few years ago.

Backlinko – Best backlink checker

In that analysis, Semrush and Ahrefs were virtually tied.

Ahrefs .vs. SEMrush – Organic keywords

Let’s see which tool can find the most backlinks today.

For this mini-test, I used my own blog, Backlinko.com.

Ahrefs found a total of 49,087 referring domain links. And Semrush found 49,454.

Referring domain data for backlinko.com
SEO Tool Total Referring Domains
Ahrefs 49,087
Semrush 49,454

And when it comes to total backlinks, Ahrefs found 476,872. Semrush found 1,197,139.

Backlinks data for backlinko.com
SEO Tool Total Backlinks
Ahrefs 476,872
Semrush 1,197,139

So based on this tiny case study, Semrush has a larger link index. Which shows that they’re seriously investing in their link index and backlink analysis feature set.

That said, the size of the index is only ONE factor to consider.

For example, the UI also matters…

If you can find everything you need without needing to click a bunch of times, that’s a huge win. Link building is time-consuming enough. You don’t want it to take even longer because your tool is hard to use.

For example, I like the fact that Ahrefs shows you a sneak preview of the text that appears around each backlink.

Ahrefs – Anchor and backlinks

This makes it easy to see WHY people are linking to a specific page.

Well, as it turns out, Semrush recently added this feature to their link index.

SEMrush – Anchor and target links

However, I personally find Ahrefs easier to use overall for link stuff. It takes fewer clicks to see a page’s best links. The pages that have the most links. And more.

This was another tough one. But I have to say when it comes to backlink features, Semrush and Ahrefs are tied. Semrush’s newly-expanded index is great. And the UI has come a long way. But when I want to analyze a site’s link profile, I find the Ahrefs UI a little easier to use.

Which Tool Has The Best Technical SEO Site Audit Feature?

The next feature I wanted to look at was technical SEO analysis.

In other words:

Which tool is best for finding technical SEO problems (and opportunities)?

Like with my backlink analysis, I ran my site through each of their site audit tools.

Let’s see what happened next…


Semrush has a very solid site audit feature.

Yes, you get an overall health score that gives you a general idea of how SEO-friendly your site is.

Semrush – Site audit – Backlinko

(At least when it comes to technical SEO.)

And Semrush also lets you know if your site has issues in terms of:

  • Broken links
  • HTTP status code errors
  • Crawl errors
  • Issues with robots.txt

Plus, they give you a list of things to start working on right away.

Semrush – Site audit – Top issues

Finally, Semrush has a cool “internal link distribution” report.

Semrush – Internal link distribution report

This breaks down how well your internal links are setup for SEO. In general, you want to internal link FROM high-authority pages TO pages that need more authority.

And this report lets you know if your site’s link authority is flowing in the right direction.

Semrush – ILR pages


Ahrefs gave my site an overall SEO health score of 81%.

Ahrefs – Health score

This was largely based on the fact that my site has 300+ pages with the “noindex” tag.

Ahrefs – Noindex pages

This isn’t actually a problem (we add them to pages that we don’t want Google to index).

So I don’t agree with Ahrefs that this is actually a problem. It definitely can be an issue. But it’s something that should be placed under a “thing to look at” category vs. something that impacts your SEO health score.

They also found a few other issues, like slow-loading pages and meta descriptions that were too short.

Ahrefs – Slow pages and short meta descriptions

To me, those ARE real problems that are worth fixing. So it’s nice to see that Ahrefs found them. Unfortunately, these actual issues were kind of buried underneath “issues” like noindex tags and pages that have a 301 redirect.

Ahrefs also recently added a “Structure Explorer” feature.

As the name suggests, this shows you how “deep” different pages are from your homepage.

Ahrefs – Structure explorer

In general, you want to have a “flat” site architecture. So this is a really easy way to see whether or not your site has pages that are too many clicks away from your homepage.

When it comes to technical SEO features, Semrush comes out on top. Its site audit features are more robust. And in my opinion, it does a better job of letting you know what you need to take action on first.

Which Tool Is Best for Rank Tracking?

Both Ahrefs and Semrush have rank tracking tools.

Let’s see which one is the best.


Like any rank tracker, Semrush regularly checks to see where you rank in Google for a set of keywords that you give it.

Semrush – Position tracking – Dashboard

That said, Semrush does have a few more features than Ahrefs here. For example, they have a “Visibility” score.

Semrush – Position tracking – Visibility

The other thing that separates Semrush is that they update tracked keywords pretty much every day.

Unfortunately, Ahrefs only updates theirs once or twice a week (depending on your plan).

Ahrefs – Update frequency

So if you’re someone that needs to stay on top of rankings changes, once per week may not cut it.


Ahrefs also has a super accurate rank tracker.

Ahrefs – Rank Tracker

I spot checked a few of the keywords, and the rankings seemed to match what Ahrefs reported. There’s not much else to say here.

In terms of rank tracking, Semrush beats out Ahrefs. Both do what rank trackers are supposed to do: track your rankings. But Semrush updates more often and has more robust features.

Which Tool Has The Best Support?

For some people, the support that a piece of SEO software comes with is as important as any feature.

Which is why I decided to put each tool’s support to the test.

For this test I send the same exact question to each support team:

Hey guys, I’m wondering how you calculate search volume for keywords. Is data from the Google Keyword Planner or another source?

This was a relatively simple question. But not something super basic like “how do I change my password?”.

Let’s see how each tool performed.


To send my question to Ahrefs, all I needed to do was click on a little chat button in the bottom right corner of the page.

Ahrefs – Chat bubble

Easy peasy.

It wasn’t actually live chat. But I was happy with the fact that it took about 5 seconds to actually ask a question.

And about 10 minutes later, I received this helpful reply:

Ahrefs – Helpful chat reply



Semrush’s support is similar to what I’ve experienced with Ahrefs.

Like Ahrefs, Semrush offers live chat while logged in:

Semrush – Support chat

And in my experience, their support team replies super quickly.

Overall, both tools provide fantastic support.

Which Tool Has Cool Unique Features?

At this point we’ve compared the main features of each tool. Now it’s time to look at some of the unique features that make Ahrefs and Semrush unique.


Semrush has a few cool features that Ahrefs doesn’t have.

The biggest is their complete paid search software suite (Ahrefs has very limited features for PPC).

And Semrush has A TON of PPC competitor analysis features to help you get the most out of your Google Ads campaigns.

Semrush – AdWords positions

And if you do a lot of local SEO, Semrush has a “listings” tool that helps you set up your NAPs the right way.

Semrush – Listings management

(And find NAP opportunities that you may have missed.)


In my opinion, the one feature that makes Ahrefs different than most other SEO tools is: “Content Explorer”.

Ahrefs – Content explorer – Homepage

If you’ve ever used BuzzSumo before, then you know how this feature works.

Type in a topic that you want to write about…

Ahrefs – Content explorer – Keto diet

…and see which content has already done well in terms of backlinks, social shares and more.

Ahrefs – Content explorer results – Keto diet

Ahrefs also has a handful of “mini features” that I use all the time… features that few other tools have.

For example, I tend to use Ahrefs for broken link building.

That’s because I can EASILY find broken external and internal links in Ahrefs. In fact, this simple feature has saved me dozens of hours.

Ahrefs – Broken links

I have to say Semrush is the overall winner in the “cool feature” department. Honestly, both Ahrefs and Semrush have unique features that no other tool has. But Semrush’s unique features (especially their full-fledged PPC software) are a must if you’re running Google Ads campaigns along with SEO.

Which Tool Is The Best Overall Value?

Now it’s time for the question that’s probably on your mind:

“Which tool is going to give me the most bang for my buck?”.

Obviously, this depends A LOT on what’s important to you. And what you work on most.

For example, if you spend most of your day link building, you’ll appreciate that you can find what you need in Ahrefs relatively quickly.

But if you’re an agency that does PPC,SEO and content marketing for clients, you’ll love that Semrush combines PPC and SEO into one tool (and monthly fee).

With that caveat out of the way, here’s how the pricing for each tool breaks down.

Semrush pricing is fairly straightforward ($119-$449… with an enterprise plan that depends on needs).

Semrush prices

You can use most of the main features of Semrush with a $119 “Pro” plan (like backlink analysis and keyword research). But you can’t get access to certain other features like historical data.

If you pay monthly, Ahrefs ranges from $99 all the way up to $999.

Ahrefs pricing

Unfortunately, Ahrefs recently switched over to usage-based pricing. Which makes comparing their pricing to Semrush a little more complicated.

Ahrefs – New pricing

Ahrefs used to have a straightforward pricing model: if you signed up to Lite, you got featured in Lite. If you signed up to Advanced, you got the features in Advanced. That’s how most SaaS plans work.

But out of the blue (literally announced as “effective from today”), Ahrefs switched over to usage-based pricing.

BusinessWire – Ahrefs launches new pricing

On the plus side, legacy users like myself can stick with their more straightforward pricing model. But this isn’t an option for new customers.

Also, as a legacy user, I don’t get access to new features until I switch over to usage-based pricing. Which is… not great.

In fact, this pricing change has caused quite a bit of frustration among many of Ahrefs’ most loyal users.

Ahref pricing – Unhappy customer

When it comes to pure value, Semrush wins. That’s mostly because you get a fully-featured SEO software suite AND Google Ads software for the same monthly price. Not to mention a simple pricing model that just makes sense.

Semrush vs. Ahrefs: And The Winner Is

I’ve personally used both tools since 2012. I happily pay for each tool every month because I think they complement each other well.

So to come up with a winner, I took lots of factors into account:

  • Link features
  • Keyword features
  • Value
  • Support and documentation
  • New feature updates
  • Bugs and problems
  • Overall value

But if you had to make me pick ONE tool to use for SEO, I’d have to go with Semrush.

This was a REALLY hard call to make. I honestly think you can’t go wrong with either tool.

Now It’s Your Turn

And now it’s time to hear what you have to say.

When it comes to the Semrush vs. Ahrefs battle, which tool do you prefer?

Are you Ahrefs all the way?

Or do you prefer to use Semrush?

Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.


  1. Alex Avatar Alexsays:

    Thanks for the great article Brian. I’m looking at both tools at the moment, and I have to say I really like the Social Media Tracker, Social Media Poster, and Brand Monitor features of SEMrush. For local businesses doing their SEO inhouse, and with reviews and social mentions being significant factors for influencing purchasing and decision-making (and therefore results in SERPs? I’m not sure – what do you think?), these tools are invaluable and compliment SEMrush’s Listing Management feature, making for a pretty comprehensive Local SEO solution.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Alex, you’re welcome. It’s a tough decision for sure (which is why I decided to write this post in the first place). In your case, it sounds like SEMRush is your best bet.

  2. Raj Avatar Rajsays:

    Hi Brian,
    I am looking at SEMRush and Brightedge. Any suggestions? Please don’t take cost into account as Brightedge is more expensive. I just want to know from SEO point of view, which is better.

    Thank you.

    1. Raj Avatar Rajsays:

      Brian, still waiting for your comment.

      When I see both BrightEdge and SEMRush seems to have similar features. I would love to get your take.


  3. Which seo tool is good for affiliate marketing (ex amazon)?
    I heard Longtail pro comes first and then SEMrush. I need your suggestion because I am totally rely on you advice.

  4. Hi Brian
    Is this a slight typo
    ‘ have say SEMrush ‘
    Should there be a ‘to’ between the words ‘have’ and ‘say’ ?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Reece. Fixed!

  5. Brian C Avatar Brian Csays:

    Like both tools but AHREFs is my favorite. The video content they put out on how to actually use their tool is off the charts helpful for anyone doing SEO.

  6. Great insights here Brian. I prefer Ahrefs but my company uses SEMrush. I have gotten used to most of it but I do miss the look and ease of Ahrefs. I still struggle trying to find what is where in SEMrush. I have watched many of their webinars but I probably should go through all of their courses.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Rick. I do find the Ahrefs UI a little bit more simplified. But like any tool, either one takes some getting used to.

  7. Hi

    Semrush all the way. Easier to use, it provides much better information and it is very easy to disavow bad links

    Maybe if you are some SEO expert, Ahrefs could be great for you. But for me was way to hard to use it

    Thank you

  8. I’ve been using SEM Rush for about a month. My biggest issue is I can never run an audit without it providing me errors. I have talked to the support people and they tell me it’s my hosting company Blue Host. I’ve added the IPs that SEM Rush provided and still can’t get the audit to run. I don’t know what else I can do since the “audit” is an important factor to my SEO success. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  9. Brian,
    Thank you for this great comparison. I had a hard time deciding on Ahrefs or Semrush but after reading this article I decided on Ahrefs. It seems to be a better match for what I am going to use it for. I also like the 7 day trial for $7. This gives me time to test and decide without spending a whole monthly payment.
    Thanks for sharing this.

  10. Hi Brian. Great article. Have you tried the new Topic Research feature from SemRush? How does it compare to Content Explorer / Ahrefs?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Alex. I haven’t tried that feature yet. I’ll give it a try this week.

  11. Hi Brian

    I need your expert opinion on Semrush. I use Semrush for 2 websites. While doing a backlink audit, i noticed that some article posting website based in ireland was listed as toxic 75 toxicity rate in 1 account while it was listed as very safe in the other account.

    Even weirder. I did a link idea search on Semrush, and the website that was recommended for removal was also recommend as a great linking opportunity. So i don`t get it. Should i keep the link or should i send it to disavow? How can a website be safe in 1 account and toxic in another?

  12. I have been using Semrush for few years now. My main reason is accurate rank tracking and good reporting system where you can forward customised reports straightly to the client. Also I like their on page SEO checker – which actually works. But yes backlink system is better in A hrefs.

  13. Thanks for the really informative article I haven’t know much about it. I am using Ahref but looking to buy Semrush too.

  14. Hey Brian, great write up. A few things I wanted to note.

    1. Ahrefs has a visibility report as well.
    2. Ahrefs has some PPC info (albeit not nearly as robust as SEMrush).

    Your meta-description (or afternoon least the one Google is generating) notes that this review also compares Moz Pro & Majestic as well — I’m sure it’s been updated a few times so I just wanted to give ya a heads up.


  15. From a sheer value standpoint, which do you recommend to smaller Freelancers with limited budget? It seems from a value standpoint SEMRush seems to stand out more and the plans up to ‘Guru’ seem to offer much more especially with number of projects.

    Additionally, how do each compare to the likes of SE Ranking & Link Assistant Software ( RankTracker / SEO Spyglass )

  16. I personally would go with SEMRush as it is better to some extent. I have tried both ahrefs and Moz pro before but SEMRush does the job for me.

    Thanks for a great article!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Deepak.

  17. Alberto Avatar Albertosays:

    Hi Brian,
    Great comparison!
    I have a question regarding backlinks: how reliable is the toxicity metric from Semrush? I have 10 backlinks with a toxicity level between 60 and 66, and Semrush recommends me to disavow them. Should I trust them and just do it?
    Thank you!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Alberto. I wouldn’t disavow them unless you’re 1000% sure they’re spammy. In fact, I wouldn’t disavow in general unless you have a ton of spammy links (10 is nothing to worry about).

  18. thanks for this, I’m using moz and find it slow to pick up backlinks and redirects, gonna switch to Ahrefs I think

  19. I have been using Ahrefs for about 1 year and this review may make me start testing out SEM. Based on all the categories you reviewed they won most of them. One thing I already know I won’t like is the UI. It’s terrible looking and clunky from my memory of using a trial a year ago.

    Brian could you do a review of ai type seo software? Something like diib.com?

  20. I always loved Ahrefs, but I think it is time to consider SEMrush.

  21. stavros Avatar stavrossays:

    I agree with Brian at your comments.

    There is no best tool at any category of tools, even if we are talking about screwdrivers. Only the best tool for you. What is more suitable to you, to your needs.

    Talking about SEO tool, I prefer ahref but the main income of our company comes for Local PPC campaigns, so my choice is SEMRush.

    Thank you Brian for one more time.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      👍 👍 👍

  22. Before I used more ahrefs but now I use semrush every day, I had doubts about whether I would have to continue using ahrefs more often but I appreciate your article 😉

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Bianca.

  23. Hi Brian,

    Having used SEM rush for years have recently moved to ahrefs and really happy with it. In an ideal world you’ve have both, right? Are you finding that ahrefs picks up more links than SEM rush.. or what is your take on it? Thaks

  24. Hi Brian,
    I have one simple question to you. While exploring keyword like “Top mobile under 15000” on Ahrefs, showing Keyword Difficulty around 20 means low competitive but when the same Keyword is searched on Semrush it is showing Keyword Difficulty of 80. Why there is such a huge difference in results and which result should be considered trustworthy. This is not the single keyword, I have explored some of the other keywords also, in that case, also I found a substantial difference in Keyword Difficulty score. Could you please explain the reason for such difference

  25. Hi, thanks for the post.
    I wanted to ask something, that I have heard, and I don’t if it is true.
    People told me that ahrefs are faster when it comes to picking new changes in backlinks, meaning new and lost backlinks.
    Another question since I am also in between both.
    Since the main tools I will use are regarding backlinks (new and lost), kw planner and finding the issues with my sites, what will be your best option?

  26. Great article! I’ve been using Ahrefs for some time, but felt it was a bit short. I think that PPC portion of SEMRUSH did it for me.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Nick. Yup, SEMrush definitely has more PPC features than Ahrefs. So if that’s important to you, SEMrush probably makes more sense.

  27. Thanks brian for such a detailed comparison between Ahref and semrush. I had recently purchased Semrush subscription. Lets see how it goes.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Ronak. Like I said in the post, both tools are excellent. So I think you’ll be happy with SEMrush.

  28. Gerrit Avatar Gerritsays:

    hi Brian,

    thanks for that awesome read. As I am based in a non-US market (Germany) I mostly operate for non-US clients. So most of the time I look for German language keywords, need to find German backlink opportunities, analyze German language content on German websites. Do you have any idea which tool provides the best data for that?

    Here in Germany we have some local tool provider but they are not cutting edge like the ones you mentioned.

    Thanks and best, Gerrit.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Gerrit. I haven’t looked specifically into which has more (or better) data in the German market. I recommend trying them both for a month to see which one tends to be a better fit for you.

  29. Great article Brian nice job! I have used ahref for many years but can really see the benefits of using Semrush as well.

  30. As a small business owner, i can pay only one tool per month. As you said, it is a close call; I’m preferring SEMrush. Thanks for the detailed information.

  31. Thank you for this honest review.

    I tried both tools and really I can’t decide what to choose.

    I can see that ahrefs has a bigger database in Greece but the weekly tracking is waaay too long.

    On the other hand, semrush tracks ranking more often but as far as I checked the database for greece isn’t big enough.

    In terms of UI aherfs wins for me, semrush seems a little over clattered.

    That’s all, thanks again!

  32. I have been using the ahref tool for the last 5-6 months and to be honest, I liked it best. But I have not used semrush yet, so I would definitely like to try it once.

  33. Darren Avatar Darrensays:

    I agree but I prefer AHREF because they can spy on other’s ad campaign as well.

  34. Hi Brian,
    Small typo here “Overall, I to have say that SEMrush wins this feature battle by a hair.”. isn’t it?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Jackson. Good catch.

  35. Hey Dean, Thanks for the article. Until I read this article, it was very difficult for me to choose the perfect SEO tool between Ahrefs and SEMrush. Now I’ve decided to buy SEMrush in next month for my new project.

  36. Hey Brian, thanks for sharing this amazing article. It’s 1 year since I have started my career as an SEO Executive. I have used tools like Ahref, Spyfu, SEMrush.
    But after reading this blog I have clear that SEMrush is the best tool for SEO.
    Trust me, this article helped me a lot. Before reading this article I was confused that which tool is best for SEO but after reading this article I am clear that the SEMrush tool is better than Ahref. Thanks for sharing this.

  37. Hi Brian,

    Great comparison!
    We know both tools are great but one thing that bothers me a lot is the difference between keyword difficulty while searching for low competitive keywords between both tools.

    You can try for instance, “rank booster” I chose it because Ahrefs showing as 1 and just a few backlinks needed to rank while SemRush shows it 74% which is too hard to rank for a newbie like me.

    What should I do here? The end result that I got is SemRush tells the correct difficulty as I couldn’t rank for this “rank booster” keyword.

    Need your expert opinion. Thanks!

  38. I am agree with you, Brian.

    I use both tools, Ahrefs for SEO especially backlinks and SEMrush for PPC because Ahrefs did not show ads results accurately.

  39. Yupp! I completely agree you, that both the tools are great, and compete each other. I mostly prefer SEMrush to take website overview, and ahrefs for keywords and backlink research.

  40. A question about Semrush data extraction : when you open the data on Excel after extracting you have different columns about the keywords characteristics (volume, difficulty, SERP features etc.).

    My question are these characteristics and how do you interpret them : CPC, Number of Results, SERP features, Trend ?

  41. Nimi Avatar Nimisays:

    Can you point a strong reason to say why is SEMrush the better tool than Ahrefs and Moz for a start-up company

  42. Great points! I’m leaning towards ahrefs, I think their support is awesome and you’re able to do everything you need in re: to SEO, kw researching, competitor analysis and more. Thanks for the breakdown. Super helpful!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Lark.

  43. Great article, I’ve been using SEMrush, but I see some cool features in Ahrefs. I wish it was easier in SEMrush to get the neat trick that Ahrefs has and show a prediction of backlinks to get a ranking for a particular keyword, such a great feature.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Mark, That is a cool feature. Not sure how accurate it is. But it is a nice way to benchmark how hard it will be to rank for something.

  44. Deepika Avatar Deepikasays:

    Hi Brian,

    I’ve used both the tools but one thing that I observed was the search volume shown in both the tools for a particular keyword has huge variations.

    Have you undergone this before? I use the tools mostly for keyword research and I’m confused when both the tools show different MSV that has a huge difference for the same keywords in the same location. What do you think and which tool should I choose to get the right one?

  45. Thanks for the comprehensive comparison. I still think Ahrefs is quicker in terms of indexing backlinks and organic keywords. Also, you get to audit your site for free. What do you think of the free site audit tool?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, James. I actually haven’t tried their free audit tool (only the paid version).

  46. Do you have an article that compares ahrefs vs semrush vs ubersuggest? If not I would be interested in seeing your take on those three seo tools, especially ubersuggest since its newer.

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