Ahrefs vs SEMrush: Which SEO Tool Should You Use?

semrush vs ahrefs

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

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

In this guide, I’m going to help you learn more aboutthese 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 offeatures—it’s the leading competitor research service for online marketers.SEMrush’s SEO Keyword Magic tool offers over 20 billion Google-approvedkeywords, which are constantly updated and it’s the largest keyword database.

The program was developed in 2007 as SeoQuake is asmall Firefox extension


  • Most accurate keyword data: Accurate keywordsearch volume data is crucial for SEO and PPC campaigns by allowing you toidentify 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 KeywordMagic Tool now features 20-billion keywords, providing marketers and SEOprofessionals the largest database of keywords.
  • All SEMrush users receive daily ranking data, mobilevolume information, and the option to buy additional keywords by default withno additional payment or add-ons needed
  • Most accurate position tracking tool: This toolprovides all subscribers with basic tracking capabilities, making it suitablefor SEO professionals. Plus, the Position Tracking tool provides local-leveldata to everyone who uses the tool.
  • SEO Data Management: SEMrush makes managing youronline data easy by allowing you to create visually appealing custom PDFreports, including Branded and White Label reports, report scheduling, andintegration with GA, GMB, and GSC.
  • Toxic link monitoring and penalty recovery: WithSEMrush, you can make a detailed analysis of toxic backlinks, toxic scores,toxic markers, and outreach to those sites.
  • Content Optimization and Creation Tools: SEMrushoffers content optimization and creation tools that let you create SEO-friendlycontent. 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 oftools to grow your search traffic, research your competitors, and monitor yourniche. The company was founded in 2010, and it has become a popular choiceamong SEO tools. Ahrefs has a keyword index of over 10.3 billion keywords andoffers accurate and extensive backlink data updated every 15-30 minutes and itis the world’s most extensive backlink index database.


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

Direct Comparisons: Ahrefs vs SEMrush

Now that you know a little more about each tool, let’stake a look at how they compare. I’ll analyze each tool to see how they differin interfaces, keyword research resources, rank tracking, and competitoranalysis.

User Interface

Ahrefs and SEMrush both offer comprehensive informationand quick metrics regarding your website’s SEO performance. However, Ahrefstakes 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 needquickly.

In this section, we provide a brief overview of the elementsfound on each dashboard and highlight the ease with which you can completetasks.


ahrefs interface

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

Additional features of the Ahrefs platform include:

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


semrush domain overview

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

You’ll also find some other options like

  • A search bar allows you to enter a domain, keyword, oranything else you wish to explore.
  • A menu on the left side of the page provides quicklinks to relevant information, including marketing insights, projects, keywordanalytics, and more.
  • The customer support resources located directly withinthe dashboard can be used to communicate with the support team or to learnabout other resources such as webinars and blogs.
  • Detailed descriptions of every resource offered. Thisdetail 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, SEMrushoffers dozens of extra tools, including access to customer support resources.

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

Rank Tracking

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

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


ahrefs rank tracking

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

Rank Tracker looks at the ranking performance ofkeywords and compares them with the top rankings for those keywords. Ahrefsalso offers:

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

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


semrush position tracking

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

All subscribers are given regular data updates andmobile search rankings upon subscribing

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

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

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


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

SEMrush allows you to check your mobile rankings andranking updates daily, which is something Ahrefs does not offer. SEMrush alsooffers 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 contentrather than those you use now.

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


The Ahrefs Keyword Explorer provides you with thousandsof 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 andanalyze them together. At SEMrush, you also have this feature in KeywordOverview.
  • Ahrefs has a variety of keywords for different searchengines, including Google, YouTube, Amazon, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, and othersearch engines.
  • When you click on a keyword, you can see its searchvolume and keyword difficulty, but also other keywords related to it, which youdidn’t use.


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

The Keyword Magic Tool also lets you to:

  • Show performance metrics by keyword
  • Search results are based on both broad and exactkeyword matches.
  • Show data like search volume, trends, keyworddifficulty, and CPC.
  • Show the first 100 Google search results for anykeyword.
  • Identify SERP Features and Questions related to eachkeyword
  • SEMrush has released a new Keyword Gap Tool thatuncovers potentially useful keyword opportunities for you, including both paidand organic keywords.


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

If you’re interested in keyword suggestions, SEMrushappears to have more keyword suggestions than Ahrefs does. It also continues toadd 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. Eachtool is useful for finding keywords that will be useful for your competition soyou know they will be valuable to you.


Ahrefs’ domain comparison tool lets you compare up tofive websites (your website and four competitors) also showsyou how your site is ranked against others with metricssuch as backlinks, domain ratings, and more.

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

To find more information about your competitor, you canlook at the Site Explorer and Content Explorer tools and type in their URLinstead of yours.


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

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

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

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


SEMrush wins here because it has more tools dedicated tocompetitor analysis than Ahrefs. However, Ahrefs offers a lot of functionalityin this area, too. It takes a combination of both tools to gain an advantageover 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 digitalmarketing?

When it comes to keyword data research, you will becomeconfused 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 engineslike 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 yourrequirements and if you have any experience using either Ahrefs or SEMrush letme know in the comment section which works well for you.

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