SEMrush and Ahrefs are both great tools for SEO analysis, content or keyword research, and competitor analysis. Both these tools will make your job a lot easier by taking the guesswork out of researching the market and competition.

I have used both of them but prefer using Semrush because it gives me everything under one belt. Semrush is outstanding when it comes to keyword research and generating new ideas. Ahref is great for backlink analysis and understanding the link authority of a website

In this article, I have tried to compare both Semrush and Ahref, listing out their pros and cons and why you should pick one SEO tool over the other.

Semrush Vs Ahrefs – Feature Comparison

Both the tool offers similar features with slight differences.

Organic ResearchSEMrush helps you to keep a competitive advantage by offering data insights into the SEO tactics of rivals and competitors. It shows you which keywords increase search engine rankings of competitors so you can create or tweak your strategy. Additionally, SEMrush lets you know whenever a new player enters the market and shows you how the website rankings change for a particular seed keyword or phrase.The organic search report from Ahref helps you to analyze your competitor’s search traffic, help you see the exact keywords your rival brands use to rank high in organic search. You can also use the top pages report to see which pages drive the most traffic to their sites. Use the “content gap” feature to uncover the keywords they are ranking for but you are not.
Advertising ResearchWith SEMrush, brands can compare and contrast their advertising strategies with those of their competitors. In doing so, companies are able to determine what makes their rivals popular with the clients and what is in demand, what makes people click an ad and other things. It makes it easier for companies to tweak their advertising budget to match with the spend of rival brands.You can use the Paid section of Positions Explorer to swipe ad ideas from competitors. If you can see the angle/benefit that competitors are using, you have a direction to either copy or play off or test both.
Rank TrackerTo closely monitor the performance of top keywords that drive business, you need a rank tracker. Semrush’s rank tracker tool lets you watch the day-to-day rankings and progress of your websites most important keywords.Ahref’s Rank tracker tool helps you to get accurate location-specific ranking reports.
The tool tracks your desktop and mobile keyword rankings from any location and plots your full ranking history on a handy graph. Automated ranking reports can also be set up to be sent to your email address, so you’ll never forget to check your ranking progress.
Backlink AnalysisSemrush’s backlink analytics tool lets you see which websites are linking to you, the quality of the backlinks, how it affects your domain’s authority and other important things. Their Backlink feature may not be as robust as that of Ahrefs, but it’s still very good and gets the job done pretty well.Ahref has arguably the best backlink checker in the industry, and currently has the world largest index of backlinks Their bot constantly crawls 54 billion web pages available, and every 15 minutes have their index updated with the fresh data they report.
Content AnalyzerSEMrush allows brands to know the topics and contents that people are buzzing about online. This offers useful insights on what type of content actually attracts people and makes them stay on a website for long.Ahref’s content explorer let you research what content works well in a specific niche. You can put any keyword into this tool to see which content has performed the best in terms of social buzz and reach,  has attracted good number of backlinks or organic search traffic. You can use the “Highlight unlinked domains” feature to see which of these websites have never linked to you.

Ahrefs Vs Semrush – Pricing Comparison

Both Semrush and Ahref offer competitive pricing with 4 different plans. Here is the current pricing of Ahrefs

Pricing Plan of AHREFs

Ahref’s Lite plan is priced at about $99 per month, and it gives you access to a certain number of searches, 5 projects, 500 keywords to track and 25 domain analysis per day. You can always get rid of these limitations by upgrading to another plan. You can pay $7 to try the trial version of the Lite plan, this gives you full access to all features of the plan for 7 days. The Lite plan is suitable for individual small business owners, independent bloggers, freelance consultants or solopreneurs.

The standard plan is for established businesses with 10 projects, 1500 keywords to track, 500000 page crawls a month and 100 domain analysis per day. You can also generate up to 100 customized reports per day, with more room for automated alerts and scheduled email reports.

The advanced plan and the agency plan are quite expensive and priced at $399 and $999 respectively. These plans are meant for established digital marketing agencies with a stable or growing clientele.

And here is the pricing for SEMrush

Semrush pricing plans

SEMrush’s pricing structure is very similar. The cheapest plan goes for $99.95 per month. The Enterprise plan is for large businesses, and its pricing can be negotiated. This is very useful because different websites have different needs. So rather than paying a fixed price, you are more likely to only pay for the resources that your business needs.

 SEMrush also has plans that are much more flexible and usable. Getting the Pro plan, gives you access to at least 3000 reports per day, and you can get up to 10,000 results per day. This probably more than what you need, especially if you’re just starting out

Overall, I think SEMrush has a better pricing structure than Ahref’s because it gives you more tools at a similar price bracket. You get the SEO toolkit, social media toolkit, Paid ads toolkit and content analyzer for the same price.

Why You Should Choose Ahrefs Over Semrush?

Backlink Analysis

Both tools offer you the feature that allows you to view your competitor’s backlink profile. Backlinks are notoriously difficult to find, and they’re extremely important for search engine optimization and Google rankings.

Ahref Backlink analysis Tool

If you don’t have information about the backlink profile of your competitors, you won’t be able to precisely assess how competitive your goals are.  Ahrefs have a much more accurate and smooth backlink analysis tool. In fact, the number one reason that people use Ahrefs is for backlink analysis alone. The referring domain and backlink to any page are shown in very clear terms.

Keyword Research

If you’re a blogger or an affiliate marketer, you know that keyword research is the backbone of your business. A tool that helps you research popular keywords is invaluable because it generates new ideas and long-tail keywords. Here is how the keyword research on SEMrush and Ahrefs looks like respectively:

Semrush Organic Search report

Ahref Organic Keywords

You just can’t do this on your own with Google. Both tools are pretty good at it. Both have a separate keyword research tool that you can be used to analyze any keyword or search phrase. Overall, I think they’re both similarly useful for keyword research but Semrush has some edge over Ahrefs.

Why You Should Choose Semrush Over Ahrefs?

Organic Traffic Analysis

When studying a rival domain, the first thing you want to look at is their organic traffic. How much organic traffic is coming their way every month? Which pages and keywords give them the most traffic? It’s important that the SEO tool we use is as accurate as possible. No tool can be 100% accurate, but the more accurate it is, the better.

Both tools give insights into organic traffic and present the data divided by country, as well as the keywords, traffic, value, and more. The numbers are a bit different from each other, but not too different. Practice has shown SEMrush to be more accurate than Ahrefs.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of SEMrush and Ahrefs for the organic traffic analysis


organic traffic analysis ahref

I’ve analyzed hundreds, if not thousands, of websites. And I’ve found that, especially when I compare it to the real traffic, SEMrush is pretty darn accurate.

On the other hand, I think Ahrefs is a little faster at crawling. So it will update changes quickly. It also shows more keywords, but this is not necessarily useful. You can do a variety of functions with both tools. For example, both SEMrush and Ahrefs have a tool that allows you to see which pages on a website are getting the most traffic.

Analytics and Reporting

So let’s look at which tool is better at reporting & analytics. By this, I mean which tool presents the data in a better way. 

Data should be presented in a granular form. There should be as much information on a page as you can put, without cramming it. The tables should be large and have multiple fields.

This is very crucial in SEO research, as it helps you organize and make a plan. SEMrush presents a mammoth list containing most traffic-generating keywords to a website. On Ahrefs, the table is just not presented well or as it should be. That makes it more difficult to analyze large amount of data. SEMrush also wins in its design for data analysis. The colors are spot on. The font-size of the text is small so that a large amount of data can be fitted on one page. 

Winner and Our Verdict

SEMrush wins! It is more flexible, scalable and easy to use. You can get analysis from pretty much every aspect of a website, the information is presented in a way that is easy to read and follow. Ahrefs is only better at backlink research and analysis.

In conclusion, you might think you should only get SEMrush. But the best thing for your business would be to actually get both! Using the wonderful range of features provided by both tools will give you an edge and help your business grow at a faster rate.