Semrush vs Ahrefs

Semrush and Ahrefs are both great SEO products that help digital marketers do SEO and competitive research for their websites. Digital marketers constantly debate about which product is better, so we’ve decided to take a deep look at each of the products and analyze them on their various features. So which is it? Semrush or Ahrefs?

What Is Semrush?

Semrush is among the most popular search engine optimization tools. It gives information that is useful in generating content for websites. Semrush is a useful tool for content creators as it gives suggestions on content that will improve the ranking of a website on Google.

SEMRush Dashboard

What Is Ahrefs?

Ahrefs is a toolset that has been ranked the best in SEO analysis and backlinks. The platform provides detailed information on domain and URL ratings as well as site overview. Users can build backlinks using the top page feature. Its ability to report and build broken links makes the platform stand out from the rest of the marketing tools.

Ahrefs incorporates graphs that can assess a competitor’s performance by identifying how their backlinks and promotions are doing and ranking them. It also contains filters that help sort URLs and uses Google features.

Ahrefs - SEO Tool

Comparison of SEMRush and Ahrefs

Backlink Analysis

Backlinks determine how a site performs. The more a site has other external sites linking to it, the more it rises in the search results. SEMRush and Ahrefs allow the users to key in a domain name and view all its backlinks.


The database size of SEMRush is big, providing the advantage of giving more detailed backlink analysis on some domains.

In the backlink reporting tools, a link intersects tool is provided to allow users to compare their list of linked websites against their competitors’ list. The intersect tool used by SEMRush allows the users to compare site backlinks to four websites.

The backlink building tool is a backlink analysis functionality that enables the user to repair broken links and redirect previous traffic to the new link. SEMRush not only reports broken links, but also conducts backlink audits.

This means SEMRush identifies links that may attract a penalty on your site during search results.

SEMRush Backlink Analysis


Ahrefs has a relatively small database size compared to SEMRush. However, Ahrefs constantly updates the backlinks helping the platform to provide a comprehensive backlink analysis. This comprehensive and up to date analysis makes up for the smaller database size.

Among the backlink analysis tools, there is the anchor text tool. Ahrefs has capitalized on this feature enabling the user to view the anchor text linked to a site and the entire text that surrounds it. SEMRush lacks this anchor text feature in its backlink analysis tools.

Ahrefs’ intersect tool limits users to comparing three websites.

Ahrefs backlinks analysis - semrush vs ahrefs

Competitor Analysis

In online digital marketing, you want to keep in touch with what is happening in the surrounding. To do that, you need to keep in touch with the competitor’s strategies. One way is to analyze how the competitor can build traffic and how much traffic they have.


Semrush provides insight concerning the traffic, audience, and engagement levels of a website. It provides SEO and advertising tools that enable a user to identify the competitor’s traffic source. It gives you leads on websites visited by competitors, identify content that earns the competitor most backlinks, finds out keywords that increase traffic and what websites competitors are putting up ads on.

Through its traffic analytics tool, SEMRush can give both mobile and desktop traffic reports with just a click of a button. It also allows users to view how many people visited a website in a given month, an average of how many pages in a session a person visits, and the amount of time spent by a visitor on a website.

SEMRush - Competitive Analysis

Further, it calculates a website’s bounce rate in percentage and estimates unique website visitors. To add to this, SEMRush gives a window period for a free trial on the traffic analysis tool for 14 days.

In the higher-priced plans, SEMRush lets you compare your domain to other domains to determine the gaps you have with keywords and content.

SEMRush Competitor Analysis


Ahrefs provides SEO competitor analysis, and that is their only focus. They provide basic information on what competitors are doing and whether it is working for them. It also provides information on how you rank against your competitor. Ahrefs SEO competitor analysis template has a 7-day trial period, which cannot measure up against the SEMRush analytics tool.

Ahrefs - Competing Domains

Ahrefs can show you content and keyword gaps you have with your competitors so that you have better insight into how to improve against your competitors. This gives you an idea about what you can focus on to improve your SEO in order to better compete.

ahrefs competitor analysis - content gap

You can even see competing pages to get an idea about which of your pages are highly competitive and how they compare to similar pages.

Keyword Analysis

The most important thing in a keyword search is to establish the number of people searching a particular keyword or phrase, acquire suggestions for other keywords, and find out hard it is to rank a given word or phrase. The ability to master keywords and knowing how to use them as a digital SEO marketer helps you understand your market and niche.

This way, you can comfortably create content based on what your target customer likes. This is the reason why keyword analysis and research are important in any marketing tool.


Semrush has a large keyword research toolkit with great volume. The keyword analysis tool in SEMRush provides a list of keywords for creating relevant posts that will get a higher ranking. SEMRush also contains a topic research tool that helps users sort topics by efficiency, difficulty, or volume. In Semrush, the difficulty score is given in decimal numbers.

SEMRush Keyword Gap Analysis


Ahrefs, on the other hand, uses the keywords explorer tool to identify keyword difficulty and generate related keywords and emerging keywords. Ahrefs not only provides a search for keywords with an indicator of volume, it also provides the average number of times that people clicked a given word in a particular period. The click metrics in Ahrefs gives it an edge over SEMRush.

Position Tracking

Position tracking, also known as search engine results page tracking, is done by SEO tools to determine your website’s position concerning the keywords daily. Position tracking helps the user to identify what is working and what is not working and adjust accordingly.


Semrush has tracking tools that monitor the user’s performance on Google search engines. The tool uses domains, keywords, and competitors to monitor campaign progress based on the location. SEMRush has a total of 16 SERP features that filter data and helps you find keywords that align with different SERP features and where your domain and that of your competitor ranks.

SEMRush has a discovery tab that sorts domains by visibility and ranks them using your target keywords. This feature is aimed at searching the position of a competitor in the Google ranking.

Position Tracking: SERP Features Support | SEMrush


With Ahrefs, the position tracker enables you to monitor your rankings on Google both on the mobile device and the desktop. The graphs in Ahrefs track your SEO progress by allowing you to see clicks that your website obtains.

Moreover, Ahrefs has multiple SERP features that help you monitor traffic on your site.

The charts in Ahrefs rank you against ten of your competitors and informs you of your search traffic and ranking progress. It filters all keywords on the website using tags and displays their respective performance and effect on your website ranking. The advantage Ahrefs has over SEMRush is that the data provided is more accurate and detailed.

Ahrefs Rank Tracker


Many clients use the price of an online product to determine if they will purchase it or not. Prices also impact competition as different entrepreneurs set different prices for their products to signal value. These tools will likely be tools you will continue to use in the future, and you want to make sure the price is worth the benefit to your business.

The biggest difference between to two? You can try SEMRush for free for seven days while Ahrefs charges $7 for the same benefit.


Semrush has created separate packages with different tiers of products. As such, each product package has a different price tag from the other. There is the pro package whose target market is the freelancers, usually operating on a tight budget. This package has over forty advanced tools, provides rankings, and informs on competitors’ traffic. The cost of this package is $99.95.

The next package targets small agencies and has extended limits, branded reports, and content marketing platforms. The package is called guru, and it goes for $199.95 in a month. The other package, business, is the premium package and targets companies with a heavy presence in the web space. It costs $399.95 a month.

SEMRush vs Ahrefs Pricing

SEMRush has an additional cost for some features but allows a free trial window to users for all their products.


Ahrefs has four payment plans, and each category indicates the number of users allowed, the number of projects each plan can handle, and the features. The lite package is the most basic and allows one user. You can test the Ahrefs lite package for 7 days for a trail cost of $7. After that, it will cost $99 for a monthly subscription of $99.

SEMRush vs Ahrefs Pricing

Next is the standard package that allows one user and ten non-verified projects. It also gives a start trial at $7 and a monthly charge of $179. The advanced package goes for $399 and allows three users and 25 non-verified projects. The premium package is the agency; that allows five users on board with 100 non-verified projects at the cost of $999.


So which is it? We think the edge goes to Semrush. We use it every day and have found it to be a fairly accurate reflection of ranking potential. While the competitive analysis feature requires paying an additional $100/mo, you can get most of the competitive analysis from the Domain Overview anyway.

Semrush Banner

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