Ahrefs vs SEMrush: Which SEO Tool Should You Use?

SEMrush and Ahrefs are among
the most popular tools in the SEO industry. Both companies have been in
business for years and have thousands of customers per month.

If you’re a professional SEO or trying to do digital
marketing on your own, at some point you’ll likely consider using a tool to
help with your efforts. Ahrefs and SEMrush are two names that will likely
appear on your shortlist.

In this guide, I’m going to help you learn more about
these SEO tools and how to choose the one that’s best for your purposes.

What is SEMrush?


SEMrush is a popular SEO tool with a wide range of
features—it’s the leading competitor research service for online marketers.
SEMrush’s SEO Keyword Magic tool offers over 20 billion Google-approved
keywords, which are constantly updated and it’s the largest keyword database.

The program was developed in 2007 as SeoQuake is a
small Firefox extension


  • Most accurate keyword data: Accurate keyword
    search volume data is crucial for SEO and PPC campaigns by allowing you to
    identify what keywords are most likely to bring in big sales from ad clicks.
    SEMrush constantly updates its databases and provides the most accurate data.
  • Largest Keyword database: SEMrush’s Keyword
    Magic Tool now features 20-billion keywords, providing marketers and SEO
    professionals the largest database of keywords.

  • All SEMrush users receive daily ranking data, mobile
    volume information, and the option to buy additional keywords by default with
    no additional payment or add-ons needed
  • Most accurate position tracking tool: This tool
    provides all subscribers with basic tracking capabilities, making it suitable
    for SEO professionals. Plus, the Position Tracking tool provides local-level
    data to everyone who uses the tool.
  • SEO Data Management: SEMrush makes managing your
    online data easy by allowing you to create visually appealing custom PDF
    reports, including Branded and White Label reports, report scheduling, and
    integration with GA, GMB, and GSC.
  • Toxic link monitoring and penalty recovery: With
    SEMrush, you can make a detailed analysis of toxic backlinks, toxic scores,
    toxic markers, and outreach to those sites.
  • Content Optimization and Creation Tools: SEMrush
    offers content optimization and creation tools that let you create SEO-friendly
    content. Some features include the SEO Writing Assistant, On-Page SEO Check,
    er/SEO Content Template, Content Audit, Post Tracking, Brand Monitoring.


Ahrefs is a leading SEO platform that offers a set of
tools to grow your search traffic, research your competitors, and monitor your
niche. The company was founded in 2010, and it has become a popular choice
among SEO tools. Ahrefs has a keyword index of over 10.3 billion keywords and
offers accurate and extensive backlink data updated every 15-30 minutes and it
is the world’s most extensive backlink index database.


  • Backlink alerts data and new keywords: Get an
    alert when your site is linked to or discussed in blogs, forums, comments, or
    when new keywords are added to a blog posting about you.
  • Intuitive interface: The intuitive design of the
    widget helps you see the overall health of your website and search engine
    ranking at a glance.
  • Site Explorer: The Site Explorer will give you
    an in-depth look at your site’s search traffic.
  • Domain Comparison
  • Reports with charts and graphs
  • JavaScript rendering and a site audit can identify SEO
  • A question explorer that provides well-crafted topic

Direct Comparisons: Ahrefs vs SEMrush

Now that you know a little more about each tool, let’s
take a look at how they compare. I’ll analyze each tool to see how they differ
in interfaces, keyword research resources, rank tracking, and competitor

User Interface

Ahrefs and SEMrush both offer comprehensive information
and quick metrics regarding your website’s SEO performance. However, Ahrefs
takes a bit more of a hands-on approach to getting your account fully set up,
whereas SEMrush’s simpler dashboard can give you access to the data you need

In this section, we provide a brief overview of the elements
found on each dashboard and highlight the ease with which you can complete


ahrefs interface

The Ahrefs dashboard is less cluttered than that of
SEMrush, and its primary menu is at the very top of the page, with a search bar
designed only for entering URLs.

Additional features of the Ahrefs platform include:

  • You can see analytics from the dashboard, including
    search engine rankings to domain ratings, referring domains, and backlink
  • Jumping from one tool to another is easy. You can use
    the Keyword Explorer to find a keyword to target and then directly track your
    ranking with one click.
  • The website offers a tooltip helper tool that allows
    you to hover your mouse over something that isn’t clear and get an in-depth


semrush domain overview

When you log into the SEMrush Tool, you will find four
main modules. These include information about your domains, organic keyword
analysis, ad keyword, and site traffic.

You’ll also find some other options like

  • A search bar allows you to enter a domain, keyword, or
    anything else you wish to explore.
  • A menu on the left side of the page provides quick
    links to relevant information, including marketing insights, projects, keyword
    analytics, and more.
  • The customer support resources located directly within
    the dashboard can be used to communicate with the support team or to learn
    about other resources such as webinars and blogs.
  • Detailed descriptions of every resource offered. This
    detail is beneficial for new marketers, who are just starting.


Both Ahrefs and SEMrush have user-friendly dashboards,
but Ahrefs is less cluttered and easier to navigate. On the other hand, SEMrush
offers dozens of extra tools, including access to customer support resources.

When deciding on which dashboard to use, consider what
you value in the user interface, and test out both.

Rank Tracking

If you’re looking to track your website’s search engine
ranking, rank tracking features can help. You can also use them to monitor your

Let’s take a look at Ahrefs vs. SEMrush to see which
tool does a better job.


ahrefs rank tracking

The Ahrefs Rank Tracker is simpler to use. Just type in
the domain name and keywords you want to analyze, and it spits out a report
showing you the search engine results page (SERP) ranking for each keyword you

Rank Tracker looks at the ranking performance of
keywords and compares them with the top rankings for those keywords. Ahrefs
also offers:

You’ll see metrics that help you understand your
visibility, traffic, average position, and keyword difficulty.

It gives you an idea of whether a keyword would be
profitable to target or not.


semrush position tracking

SEMRush offers a tool called Position Tracking. This
tool is a project tool—you must set it up as a new project. Below are a few of
the most popular features of the SEMrush Position Tracking tool:

All subscribers are given regular data updates and
mobile search rankings upon subscribing

The platform provides opportunities to track several
SERP features, including Local tracking.

Intuitive reports allow you to track statistics for the
pages on your website, as well as the keywords used in those pages.

Identify pages that may be competing with each other
using the Cannibalization report.


Ahrefs is a more user-friendly option. It takes seconds
to enter a domain name and keywords. From there, you can quickly decide whether
to proceed with that keyword or figure out how to rank better for other

SEMrush allows you to check your mobile rankings and
ranking updates daily, which is something Ahrefs does not offer. SEMrush also
offers social media rankings, a tool you won’t find within the Ahrefs platform.
Both are good which one do you like let me know in the comment.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is closely related to rank tracking,
but it’s used for deciding which keywords you plan on using for future content
rather than those you use now.

When it comes to SEO, keyword research is the most
important thing to consider when comparing the two platforms.


The Ahrefs Keyword Explorer provides you with thousands
of keyword ideas and filters search results based on the chosen search engine.

Ahrefs supports several features, including:

  • It can search multiple keywords in a single search and
    analyze them together. At SEMrush, you also have this feature in Keyword
  • Ahrefs has a variety of keywords for different search
    engines, including Google, YouTube, Amazon, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, and other
    search engines.
  • When you click on a keyword, you can see its search
    volume and keyword difficulty, but also other keywords related to it, which you
    didn’t use.


SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool has over 20 billion
keywords for Google. You can type in any keyword you want, and a list of
suggested keywords will appear.

The Keyword Magic Tool also lets you to:

  • Show performance metrics by keyword
  • Search results are based on both broad and exact
    keyword matches.
  • Show data like search volume, trends, keyword
    difficulty, and CPC.
  • Show the first 100 Google search results for any
  • Identify SERP Features and Questions related to each
  • SEMrush has released a new Keyword Gap Tool that
    uncovers potentially useful keyword opportunities for you, including both paid
    and organic keywords.


Both of these tools offer keyword research features and
allow users to break down complicated tasks into something that can be
understood by beginners and advanced users alike.

If you’re interested in keyword suggestions, SEMrush
appears to have more keyword suggestions than Ahrefs does. It also continues to
add new features, like the Keyword Gap tool and SERP Questions recommendations.

Competitor Analysis

Both platforms offer competitor analysis tools,
eliminating the need to come up with keywords off the top of your head. Each
tool is useful for finding keywords that will be useful for your competition so
you know they will be valuable to you.


Ahrefs’ domain comparison tool lets you compare up to
five websites (your website and four competitors) also shows
how your site is ranked against others with metrics
such as backlinks, domain ratings, and more.

Use the Competing Domains section to see a list of your
most direct competitors, and explore how many keywords matches your competitors

To find more information about your competitor, you can
look at the Site Explorer and Content Explorer tools and type in their URL
instead of yours.


SEMrush provides a variety of insights into your
competitors’ marketing tactics. The platform enables you to research your
competitors effectively. It also offers several resources for competitor
analysis including:

Traffic Analytics helps you identify where your
audience comes from, how they engage with your site, what devices visitors use
to view your site, and how your audiences overlap with other websites.

SEMrush’s Organic Research examines your website’s
major competitors and shows their organic search rankings, keywords they are
ranking for, and even if they are ranking for any (SERP) features and more.

The Market Explorer search field allows you to type in
a domain and lists websites or articles similar to what you entered. Market
Explorer also allows users to perform in-depth data analytics on These
companies and markets.


SEMrush wins here because it has more tools dedicated to
competitor analysis than Ahrefs. However, Ahrefs offers a lot of functionality
in this area, too. It takes a combination of both tools to gain an advantage
over your competition.



  • Lite Monthly: $99/month
  • Standard Monthly: $179/month
  • Annually Lite: $990/year
  • Annually Standard: $1790/year


  • Pro Plan: $119.95/month
  • Guru Plan:$229.95/month
  • Business Plan: $449.95/month

Which SEO tool should you choose for digital

When it comes to keyword data research, you will become
confused about which one to choose.

Consider choosing Ahrefs if you

  • Like friendly and clean interface
  • Searching for simple keyword suggestions
  • Want to get more keywords for different search engines
    like Amazon, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, Baidu, and more


Consider SEMrush if you:

  • Want more marketing and SEO features
  • Need competitor analysis tool
  • Need to keep your backlinks profile clean
  • Looking for more keyword suggestions for Google

Both tools are great. Choose the one which meets your
requirements and if you have any experience using either Ahrefs or SEMrush let
me know in the comment section which works well for you.



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