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Ahrefs, comparison with SEMrush: which SEO tool is more useful

Ahrefs, comparison with SEMrush: which SEO tool is more useful

Ahrefs, comparison with SEMrush: which SEO tool is more useful. Continue reading this blog article to find out our point of view.

Are you working in SEO, whether in an SEO agency or as a freelancer? You have probably heard more than once of Ahrefs and SEMrush. These two tools are, without a doubt, the biggest “players” in SEO right now.

What features do they offer? Which of them is a better solution for you? In this article we will compare the two most popular SEO tools: Ahrefs and SEMrush.

Ahrefs and SEMrush: overview

1. Ahrefs

Ahrefs has been one of the most popular SEO tools used by marketers all over the world. The tool is most often used as the best backlink analysis tool. It offers great features for the analysis of domain, keywords and content.

Currently, Ahrefs has its headquarters in Singapore.

The best Ahrefs tools are:

  • website explorer: shows general information about your organic traffic and backlink profiles;
  • keywords explorer: tools to discover ideas for keywords that give the greatest chance to generate web traffic;
  • website audit: tools to assess on-page SEO performance and identify what should be optimized;
  • rank tracker: with this tool you can monitor the ranking of your website as well as of your competitors;
  • content explorer: discover the cutting edge content in your industry.

2. SEMrush

This tool developed in 2008 allows monitoring the effectiveness of SEO and SEM campaigns. SEMrush has gained a massive number of clients from all over the world.

No wonder! This SEO tool offers various useful features. Most importantly, is constantly expanding its database of domains, keywords and other data.

The best SEMrush tools are:

  • on-page SEO: crawls the website and conducts a highly detailed technical SEO audit;
  • keyword research: search through millions of keywords and find the ones that give the greatest potential;
  • link building: a set of tools that will help you determine which domains to get backlinks from;
  • local SEO: tools to manage your local business;
  • rank tracking: tools to track your campaign progress and visibility in the search engine.

Domain analysis

Both Ahrefs and SEMrush offer domain analysis. They show how a given domain performs in terms of SEO. And what potential it has to succeed in the search results.

In both tools, all you have to do is to enter the URL of your website or your competitors. Next, you will see a domain analysis report.

1. Ahrefs

Ahrefs immediately shows you some extremely important metrics. Even a rough analysis will tell you a lot about the website performance:

  • Domain Rating (DR) and URL Rating (UR): they value websites on a 100-point scale. The more points, the better;
  • number of backlinks and referring domains: extremely useful for backlink analysis and link building;
  • number of organic keywords: all keywords on which a given website is displayed in the top 100;
  • organic traffic: estimated organic traffic during one month;
  • top competitors: websites that appear in the search results on the same keywords.

2. SEMrush

SEMrush shows similar metrics for website performance. Among the most important of them are:

  • authority score: assess the overall quality of domain;
  • traffic trend: check both organic and paid traffic of your website in a given period;
  • number of backlinks;
  • keywords trend: see how many keywords of your website appear in the search results;
  • top organic keywords: a list of keywords that increase traffic to the website;
  • top anchors.

Keyword research

Keywords are a fundamental element of every SEO and SEM campaign. Which SEO tool will give you better hints on keywords with the greatest potential?

1. Ahrefs

What does keyword research look like in Ahrefs? Type keywords in the Keywords Explorer tool. What’s important here, you can choose a search engine and a country for results.

A great opportunity to match the results to your target audience and market.

Which metrics does Ahrefs provide:

  • keyword difficulty: how difficult it would be for a new website to rank high in the search result;
  • search volume: monthly searches for a given word within one month;
  • global search volume: how many times a given keyword was searched in all countries in the database;
  • clicks: how many times users have clicked in the search results, entering the analyzed keyword;
  • CPC (Cost Per Click): how much marketers pay for a click on a given ad;
  • RR (Return Rate): how many times a user searches for a given keyword during a month.

Ahrefs can also be used when looking for keyword ideas. There are several types of keyword searches that you can apply to find the keywords for your website.

2. SEMrush

SEMrush has been known for years mainly for its keyword research tools. But is it really that good and gives so many great keyword ideas? Let’s find out the answer.

Let’s take a deeper look at the tools from the SEMrush offer:

  1. Keyword Overview;
  2. Keyword Magic Tool;
  3. Organic Traffic Insights;
  4. Keyword Manager.

A. Keyword Overview

Keyword Overview is really helpful when you already have selected keywords for your SEO campaign. You want to check if they actually have great potential or if it’s maybe better to keep looking.

Enter keywords you want to check. You can enter up to 100 keywords at once. Note that SEMrush shows results for specific countries. Then, the tool generates a data report with the:

  • search volume;
  • trend;
  • keyword difficulty;
  • CPC;
  • competitive density;
  • results on SERP.

Do you want to analyze a keyword more accurately and get even more information? You can do it as well! Click on a keyword and SEMrush will generate a detailed report.

B. Keyword Magic Tool

We particularly value SEMrush for Keyword Magic Tool. It’s excellent for keyword research. Its keyword database is so impressive!

SEMrush provides as many as 20 billion keywords.

Would you like to conduct a well thought-out keyword research? Keyword Magic Tool will give you many great hints and ideas.

How does it work? Type the keyword you want to analyze and the tool will give various similar keywords. You can use filters to make your analysis even more accurate and the results more tailored.

Backlink analysis

Do you want to plan a top-notch off-page SEO strategy? You will need to build lots of valuable backlinks from high quality domains. How to find them? Ahrefs and SEMrush will give you some hints!

1. Ahrefs

Has anyone ever told you how great Ahrefs is for backlink analysis? Certainly that person was telling the very truth! Ahrefs is famous primarily as a great tool to explore potential backlinks to websites.

All you have to do is to enter the address of the website. You will get a list of all backlinks that lead to it. You have many possibilities to adjust the results to your needs:

  • link type (dofollow, redirect, sponsored, .gov, .edu etc.);
  • platform (blog, ecommerce, CMS etc.);
  • language;
  • traffic.

Always sort the results by Domain Rating.

2. SEMrush

When it comes to backlink analysis, SEmrush doesn’t give as detailed data as Ahrefs. Still, you can find some great pieces of information here, such as:

  • backlink type (text, image, form, frame);
  • link attribute (follow, nofollow, sponsored, UGC).

SEMrush offers a lot less filters, making backlink analysis a bit more time consuming. With SEMrush you will have the possibility to quickly compare backlinks with several competitors.

You can easily check if your website stands out and if your competitors’ strategies are similar to yours.

Competitor analysis

Do you want your SEO strategy to succeed? In this case you should monitor your competitors on a daily basis. These two tools can also help you with that!

1. Ahrefs

Ahrefs offers a possibility to analyze several competitors (up to 5 at the same time). Shows metrics such as:

  1. common keywords;
  2. Domain Rating;
  3. URL Rating;
  4. number of backlinks;
  5. referring domains;
  6. estimated organic traffic.

2. SEMrush

As for competitor analysis, we definitely prefer SEMrush. Mainly for the accuracy and transparency of the data presented.

Analyzing your website, you will also find the “Competitors” option there. It offers plenty of data about your most powerful competitors. This tool is also great when you don’t know who your competitor at Google is.

Pay attention to Competitive Positioning Map.

This tool shows the strengths and weaknesses of your websites compared to your competitors. It takes into account such factors as:

  • organic search traffic;
  • number of keywords.

Rank tracking

High positions in the search results! That’s what we all want to achieve with well-planned SEO strategies. Both Ahrefs and SEMrush are able to show you the visibility of your website.

However, we must say that all data related to web traffic and ranking positions is estimated. If you want accurate data use Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

1. Ahrefs

To analyze the rank tracking of a given website, you need to create a project in the Rank Tracker tool. Then Ahrefs will generate a report.

What useful data will you find there:

  • visibility: Click Through Rate (CTR) in percentage;
  • average position: average position of all keywords generating impressions;
  • traffic: average monthly web traffic from organic searches;
  • positions: keywords that had an increase or decrease in the search results in a given period;
  • keywords: all keywords that generate organic traffic.

You can use numerous filters that will allow you to better match the results to your needs. Among them are:

  1. choice of device type: mobile or desktop;
  2. period;
  3. location;
  4. keyword positions or their search volume;
  5. web traffic;
  6. keyword difficulty.

With Rank Tracker all the most important data is gathered in one place.

2. SEMrush

SEMrush has a great tool (Position Tracking) which shows the necessary data in a very organized way. First you need to create a project in which you specify a custom set of target keywords.

SEMrush gives you the option to specify geographic location and device type. Great features offered by the Position Tracking:

  1. possibility to easily generate a PDF report;
  2. adaptation to local SEO;
  3. multiple location tracking;
  4. tracking any keyword and domain.


Not without a reason, Ahrefs and SEMrush are the top leaders in SEO. These tools are widely chosen by marketers from all over the world.

The number of all the data you can check in Ahrefs and SEMrush is overwhelming!

Which SEO tool would we choose? This is a tough question. We think some features are better in Ahrefs, others in SEMrush. When it comes to backlink analysis, Ahrefs is the unquestionable winner.

On the other hand, for keyword research we prefer SEMrush. Both tools are a bit expensive. However, they can really help you to plan great SEO strategies to increase your website’s visibility.

What do you prefer? Ahrefs or SEMrush? Or maybe you recommend other SEO tools? Let us know in our comments section! Contact us for more info about this topic.

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