Ahrefs vs SEMrush: Which SEO Tool Should You Use

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In today’s competitive world, if you want to succeed, you must know the value of perfect and profitable keywords. Having low-ranked keywords in your websites can be a reason for your failure as it will not perform as expected in search engine results. Hence, it is never a bad idea to invest in a good keyword research tool which helps you enhance your website’s SEO performance.

It is essential to choose the right SEO tool and keyword research tool when it comes to optimizing your site. Believe it or not, a site with the perfect keyword or phrase can save a lot of money. So, the question is, how can you find the perfect and profitable keywords for your site or blogs?

Here we introduce you to the best SEO tools which will satisfy your need of finding the right answer. Semrush and Ahrefs are two leading SEO tools that have dominated the respective market. These tools can help you optimize your site, blogs, or pages for higher search engine results.

Review of Ahrefs Vs Semrush

Ahrefs and SemRush are industry-best SEO tools available in the market that help you determine site’s performance and optimize your site and pages in many ways. However, the prime objective of both these tools is to provide information to carry out the following tasks:

  • Prepare content to obtain more organic search traffic on your platform(site)
  • Improve the performance of your website through changing technical aspects

These both the SEO tools can be used to get keyword suggestions based on the text you enter in the query box. Once you get the suggestions of the high-ranked keywords, you can use them in your blog or website content in order to get higher rank in search results. In addition to that, these tools can help you determine difficulty in ranking the particular keyword or phrases.

Besides, both Ahrefs and Semrush can help you carry out SEO audits for your website so you can do technical improvements if needed which help you get higher rank in search results. In this article, we will consider some interesting facts about these SEO tools and compare them based on their Ranking tracking, Keyword research, Unique features, Competitor research, and backlinks.

Comparison Table of Ahrefs Vs Semrush

Number of keywords for GoogleIt has a database of over 20 billion keywords.It provides more than 7 billion keywords.
Mobile SERP RankingFeatures available to offer domain analytic for mobile SERP rankingDoes not have this feature
Search EnginesSupports only Google Search EngineGoogle, YouTube, Amazon, Bing, Yahoo
SMM ToolsOffer social media toolkit for managing all your social media profilesDoes not offer any SMM tools
Outgoing LinksDoes not support outgoing linksProvides outbound links
Ability to discover high-ranked contentThis feature is not availableContent explorer available that help you analyse high-performing content
  • Easy to navigate
  • Availability of free version
  • Best SEO API
  • Extensive resource library for keyword research, content marketing, and competitor research
  • User-friendly interface
  • Provides biggest database of backlinks
  • data/metrics feature
  • Flawless customer support
  • Availability of training material
  • Average backlink analysis
  • Require technical edit tool
  • Sometimes, provide inaccurate data
  • High pricing
  • Lack of integration with Google Analytics
  • Price is a bit high
  • Restriction on lite option
  • Does not have free trial option
PriceStarting Price : Free

Pro: $119.95/month

Guru: $229.95/month

Business: $449.95/month

Offers custom plan

Offers Enterprise Solution

Trial: $7 for 7 days

Lite: $99/month

Standard: $179/month

Advanced: $399/month

Agency: $999/month

Free TrialAvailableNot available


Comparison Based on Rank Tracking

Rank tracking method is used to determine whether your SEO is going to succeed or not. One of the most essential KPIs of an SEO campaign tells how it is impacting website’s visibility.

SEMRush Dashboard

Rank tracking tool of Semrush help you monitor daily progress and review changes in ranking of your websiteThe rank tracker tool helps you improve your business SEO campaign
Semrush track the daily search engine rankings and analyse changes in keyword rankingsCompetitors tabs helps you compare the progression of your site with your competitors
Review target keyword search engine volatilityPages tabs allow you to group tracked keywords by their corresponding pages
Keeps track of keyword rankings in multiple devices, languages, and geographical locationMetric tab helps you measure keyword performance
Compile ranking report in PDF formatGrossing tab helps you review how your tracked keywords are performing over a week, month, 90 days

Bottom Line: Ahrefs rank tracker has a slight edge over Semrush as it enables you to track everything within the common dashboard. In addition to that, it offers deeper insights than the Semrush rank tracker tool.

Comparison Based on Keyword Research

You need to consider three important factors mentioned below when it comes to keyword Research. Information related to the following factors can be identified using both Ahrefs and SEMRush.

Three Important factors:

  • Determining the number of users searching for a particular keyword
  • Determining the difficulty rank for the specific keyword
  • Obtaining suggestions for other keywords

SEMRush Dashboard

Semrush uses percentage score in order to determine keyword difficulty. Higher percentage implies more difficulty for keyword to rankAhrefs gives a score out of 100 in order to show keyword difficulty. A higher score implies more difficulty for the keyword to be ranked
Semrush uses a decimal number in order to show a difficulty score. This gives you detailed information on keyword difficultyAhrefs difficulty score is displayed in a whole number
Keyword manager is available by which you can create keyword lists, and use them laterA Keyword List feature is available that helps you create a keyword list which can be used anytime

Bottom Line: Overall, both the SEO tools are similar when it comes to keyword research. However, Ahrefs wins the race since it not only indicates difficulty ranks but also suggests to you the number of backlinks you need to rank on the first page of search result.

Comparison Based on Unique Features

Both Ahrefs and Semrush are popular SEO tools and offer distinctive features that are not usually seen in other SEO tools available in the market.

Ahrefs vs SEMRush

Content analyser offers most important content-related metrics so that you can easily review the value of your content.Domain comparison tool lets you compare five relevant domains
Domain vs Domain comparison tool lets you compare two different domains which will be helpful to analyse your competitors’ website.Batch Analysis helps you obtain comprehensive report that compare multiple URLs
Backlinks audit tool helps you check the type of the backlinks (frame, image, text, form)Link Intersect feature lets you find potential opportunity for link building

SEO toolbar indicates your domain ratings and backlinks stats

Ahrefs API allows you to use the database if Ahrefs

Bottom Line: Both Ahrefs and Semrush provide unique features that can help analyse a site’s performance. Here, no one is the winner since both the SEO tools work best as per the requirement.

Comparison Based on Technical SEO Site Audit Feature

Both Ahrefs and Semrush offer site auditing features which can be used to determine the performance of your website in terms of on-page SEO and technical SEO perspectives. When you perform a site audit, both the tools will display issues which can affect your site ranking.

Ahrefs Project History

Issues After a Site Audit Includes:

  • Plagiarized content
  • Overuse of keywords
  • Slow-loading content
  • Crawl errors
  • SSL issues
  • Missing headers

Bottom Line: Both Semrush and Ahrefs provide a lot of suggestions after a site audit is done. However, compared to Ahrefs, Semrus’s audit tool is very straightforward to use since it provides you with a simple to-do list to follow. On the other hand, while using Ahrefs, you need to manually check the audit report.

Comparison Based on Competitor Research

When it comes to SEO, you must know all about your competitors. Hence, you need to use a competitor research tool which indicates overall SEO strategy and is helpful for link acquisition as well as content-related strategies, like content distribution etc.

Keyword Gap

Competitive Research section available within Semrush platformCompetitor tool is provided on the left side of the domain view.
Five tools available in Competitive research which are as follow:

  • Keyword Gap
  • Domain Overview
  • Traffic Analytics
  • Organic Search
  • Backlink Gap
Competitor analysis tool contains following tools:

  • Content Gap
  • Link Intersect
  • Competing Domain
  • Competing Pages
  • Domain Comparison


Bottom Line: Semrush has the edge over Ahrefs when it comes to competitive analyses as it offers tools that provide more valuable and detailed information about the competitors than Ahrefs.

Comparison Based on Analysing Backlinks

If you want to determine a site’s performance, you should always consider the number of backlinks that a site has. To find out the backlinks of the site, all you need to do is enter the domain name on the SEO tool you use.

Backlink Gap

Offers bigger domain database compare to Ahrefs

More than 729 million domains available

Ahrefs offers 165 million domains
Semrus provides valuable information with regards to backlinks such as:

  • Linking domain types
  • Anchor text used
  • Dofollow links vs nofollow links
  • New vs. lost domain
  • Country of backlink origin
Ahrefs provides valuable details about the backlinks such as:

  • Anchor text used
  • Linking domain types
  • Dofollow links vs. nofollow links
  • New vs. lost domain
  • Country of origin of backlinks


Bottom Line: Semrush is widely preferred SEO tool when it comes to analysing backlinks since it beats Ahrefs in three key domains which are, backlink database size, backlink auditing & building, and backlink reports and tools.


We hope this article will help you identify the key differences between Semrush and Ahrefs. We have also mentioned which SEO tool is better based on their functionalities, you can see that part in the bottom line section. Tell us what you think about this article, do share your views in the comment section below.

Author Bio:

Jigar Agrawal

Name: Jigar Agrawal

Jigar Agrawal is Digital Marketing Manager at eSparkBiz @SaaS Development Company. He is passionate about anything related to Digital Marketing. Wants to unlock the world of technology and Social Media where every day there is a chance of new possibilities as well as innovation.

Social Accounts: LinkedinTwitter | Instagram

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Paschal Okafor is NaijaTechGuide Team Lead. The article Ahrefs vs SEMrush: Which SEO Tool Should You Use was written by NaijaTechGuide Team. The article was last modified: September 23rd, 2021
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