SEMrush vs Ahrefs 2024 πŸš€ The Ultimate SEO Tool Battle

vs seo tools

Welcome to my SEMrush vs Ahrefs comparison. If you're searching for the best SEO tool to boost your website's search engine rankings and drive organic traffic, you're in the right place. Choosing between SEMrush and Ahrefs can be challenging, as both are renowned for their robust features and data-driven insights. This review will help you understand the key differences and similarities between these two industry giants, ensuring you make an informed decision.

Many digital marketers and SEO professionals struggle with finding the right tool that offers comprehensive keyword research, site audits, backlink analysis, and competitor insights. Both SEMrush and Ahrefs aim to alleviate these pain points by providing an extensive suite of SEO tools designed to enhance your digital marketing strategy.

With over 20 years of experience in digital marketing, I've worked with various SEO tools and platforms. This review leverages my expertise to provide an in-depth, unbiased evaluation of SEMrush and Ahrefs, helping you determine which tool best suits your SEO needs.

Do you want to skip the read and get right to our pick? SEMrushΒ is our choice in this SEMrush vs Ahrefs battle of SEO Tools.


Deciding between SEMrush and Ahrefs can be daunting, but understanding their unique offerings will clarify your choice. Whether you're an SEO professional, a digital marketer, or a business owner, this comparison is tailored to your needs.


  • Comprehensive Tool Suite: SEMrush offers an extensive range of tools, including keyword research, site audits, backlink analysis, rank tracking, and competitor analysis.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Provides in-depth data and analytics to help you make informed SEO decisions.
  • Ease of Use: While user-friendly, SEMrush has a steeper learning curve due to its extensive features.
  • Reporting and Customization: Customizable reports that provide detailed insights into your SEO performance.
  • Customer Support: 24/7 customer support via chat, email, and phone.
  • Pricing: Higher cost, making it suitable for larger businesses and agencies.


  • Keyword Research: Known for its robust keyword research capabilities, helping you find the best keywords for your SEO strategy.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Ahrefs is easy to navigate, making it accessible for users of all skill levels.
  • Site Audit and Optimization: Effective site auditing features to identify and fix SEO issues.
  • Backlink Analysis: Superior backlink analysis capabilities to help you understand your link profile.
  • Rank Tracking: Reliable rank tracking tools to monitor your keyword rankings over time.
  • Reporting: Clear and user-friendly reports that provide valuable insights.
  • Customer Support: Comprehensive support resources, including chat and email support.
  • Pricing: Competitive pricing, ideal for small to medium-sized businesses.

Ease of Use:

Our first comparison category is for ease of use. How does either SEMrush or Ahrefs stack up in terms of general user experience?

Between these two SEO tools, we consider Ahrefs to be a tad more user-friendly than SEMrush. The difference isn't that significant, but it's there.

Firstly, we already love SEMrush's clean interface, but Ahrefs beats that by a hairline. In addition, the Ahrefs interface is slightly more intuitive, and its dashboard is more laid out logically than SEMrush.

Secondly, Ahrefs' snapshot of SEO data really helps digital marketers get hold of information fast. With this visual, you have SEO data served to you on a silver platter. On the other hand, with SEMrush, you'd have to look around.

Certainly, this doesn't mean that SEMrush is a pain to use. On the contrary, it's still one of the most user-friendly SEO tools out there. However, we believe that SEMrush appears to be a bit more complex than Ahrefs due to the volume of data it generates.

What SEMrush has the edge over its rival in this SEMrush vs Ahrefs is its visualisation feature. SEMrush generates stunning reports, complete with PPC data, graphs, and pipelines.

So, all these considered, who wins in this Ahrefs vs SEMrush ‘ease of use' showdown?

Winner – Ahrefs! By a hairline, Ahrefs emerges on top in this SEMrush vs Ahrefs ‘ease of use' category.

Ahrefs vs SEMrush Features:

In this Features comparison category, we focus on four key areas:

  • Keyword Research
  • Domain Analysis
  • Site Audit
  • Backlinks

That said, how does SEMrush or Ahrefs deliver in these critical SEO areas?

Keyword Research:

An SEO campaign usually begins with keyword research. If we look at the data, using the right keywords matter. Unfortunately, not many websites seem to get it. More than 90 per cent (92.42%) of keywords get only 10 searches or fewer. When done effectively, keyword research can tell you what people search for and help guide your campaigns so you can rank for those keywords.

When it comes to keyword research, what does Ahrefs vs SEMrush offer?


Like Ahrefs SEMrush boasts a robust keyword research tool, however, SEMrush started a little early in the game and is generally more developed than its rival.

SEMrush offers two primary tools for keyword research:

  • Topic Research
  • Keyword Magic Tool

An especially nifty feature of SEMrush is its Keyword Overview report. It summarises relevant keyword metrics for your convenience, including keyword difficulty, search volume, pay-per-click (PPC) competition, cost-per-click (CPC), and others. Having this data within immediate reach provides a quick overview and makes topic or keyword planning easier.

SEMrush's Topic Research ToolΒ is one of our favourite tools to use. Over time, content ideation can become tedious. Most digital marketers spend their nights tossing and turning on what topics to pursue. This tool can give you plenty of trending topic ideas for your content.

The platform's primary keyword research tool is named ‘Keyword Magic.' From its name, the tool's purpose is to help you come up with keywords that will help you land the top spot in the search engines. In addition, it generates the following metrics:

  • Keyword difficulty (KD) score
  • Monthly search volume per keyword
  • CPC for Google ads

Combined, these measures assist you in deciding which keyword to prioritise for your marketing campaign. The only significant downside we can think of is that among Ahrefs vs SEMrush vs Moz, SEMrush only provides data for Google exclusively.


The platform also sports a robust keyword research tool – the ‘Keyword Explorer.' As with SEMrush, this tool coughs up keyword suggestions and helps you decide which keywords to target.

Ahrefs' Keyword Explore provides useful metrics such as keyword difficulty, CPC PPC, search volume, as well as more fine-grain data like similar keywords, new keywords, and questions.

What's impressive with Ahrefs is that, unlike the Google-exclusive searches that SEMrush performs, Ahrefs conducts searches in 10 different search engines.

Domain Analysis:

What both Ahrefs SEMrush also shine on is domain analysis. So how does domain analysis help in SEO and where does SEMrush vs Ahrefs stand?

Basically, domain analysis lets you know a site's overall SEO health. You can benefit from this feature since its lets you gauge your own website's SEO performance or your competitors'. From this insight, you can decide which competitors you can outrank and which cannot.

With SEMrush or Ahrefs, domain analysis would only require you to type in a domain name, and thereafter, SEO metrics are returned via dashboard layout.

Both Ahrefs SEMrush domain analysis tools generate the following information:

  • Authority score
  • Total number of keywords the site is currently ranking for
  • Total number of backlinks
  • Anchor text usedΒ 
  • Competitor domains

Where does either SEMrush or Ahrefs have the upper hand?

With Ahrefs, the domain analysis feature is easier to access and more straightforward. SEMrush would take a couple more clicks to get what you want.

However, SEMrush has a more nuanced take on competitive research than its competitor. Its ‘Competitive research' section is subdivided into five more, giving you more comprehensive data. Also, in SEMrush vs Ahrefs, the former has a unique ‘Competitive positioning map' feature that provides a useful and attractive visual to represent how a site measures up against the competition in terms of ranking keywords and monthly traffic volume.

Site Audit:

Several technical issues can negatively impact your search engine ranking. Both Ahrefs SEMrush offers site auditing features to give you the power to discover which issues are hurting your SERPs performance.

If you're not familiar yet, a site audit diagnoses issues such as duplicate content, slow loading pages, missing headers, keyword overuse, SSL issues, crawl errors, and others.

There doesn't seem much of a difference between SEMrush vs Ahrefs in site auditing when compared individually.

However, SEMrush has the upper hand with its innovative on-page SEO checker.Β The tool crawls through your site and presents a report complete with actionable suggestions on how you can improve each page, SEO-wise.

Specifically, you can expect both Ahrefs SEMrush to give suggestions on:

  • Adding keywords
  • Improving metadata and copy
  • Websites to collaborate for backlinks
  • Content length
  • Strategies for internal linking

Nevertheless, SEMrush stands out from Ahref with its integration to project management software Trello.

When it comes to fixing broken links, Ahrefs SEMrush also gives you information on finding where and how to fix them.


Between Ahrefs vs SEMrush, Ahrefs has the first-mover advantage in backlinks, since it originates as a backlink analysis tool. However, SEMrush has developed a powerful backlink tool that can match or even surpass Ahrefs.

So which is better Ahrefs vs SEMrush, in backlinks analysis?


The verdict is out on backlinks: it's an indispensable SEO strategy. However, great content can only get you so far, and with the dense competition out there, getting good backlinks should be a priority.

Plus – Google loves backlinks! The more backlinks a webpage has, the better organic traffic rewarded by Google.

If we're judging solely on backlink database size, SEMrush takes the trophy home. SEMrush boasts of 651 million referring domains. This is significantly larger than Ahrefs' 168 million domains but lower than 22.3 trillion backlinks (as of writing).

It would appear that SEMrush wins in an Ahrefs vs SEMrush comparison of backlink database size alone.


What we like about Ahrefs' backlinks tool is that it's easier to use compared to SEMrush. However, both Ahrefs SEMrush are capable of generating relevant backlink data such as:

  • how many ‘dofollow' links compared to ‘nofollow' links
  • backlinks and their country of origin
  • new and lost domains
  • type of domains
  • anchor text used

Both platforms also sport a ‘Link Intersect' tool. This backlink gap feature gives you an exportable report of the websites that link to competitors but not to you.

However, the difference between SEMrush and Ahrefs is that Ahrefs can let you compare a URL to 10 websites, while SEMrush only allows a modest 4 others.

Yet what's unique with SEMrush is its backlink auditing feature that flags and identifies ‘toxic links' that can hurt your rankings. What you can do is upload this report as a disavow file to Google.

From the above, it's not easy to decide which wins in the ‘Features' comparison. Both Ahrefs SEMrush offer robust and thorough SEO features. That said, we yield to SEMrush due to its unique add-ons and its more nuanced SEO insights.

Winner – SEMrush! in the ‘Features' category of this SEMrush vs Ahrefs showdown.

Support and Resources:

Concerning customer support, who wins between SEMrush vs Ahrefs?

SEMrush has the upper hand in this category because it provides more diverse support channels than Ahrefs.

If you have issues with the software, billing, and others, SEMrush support is accessible through chat, phone, and email. In contrast, Ahrefs has no phone support for its customers.

In terms of resources, either SEMrush or Ahrefs has a wealth of information and tutorials on conducting SEO campaigns and all things SEO.

Winner – SEMrush! in the ‘Support' round of this SEMrush or Ahrefs battle of SEO tools.

Ahrefs SEMrush Pricing:

Which between SEMrush or Ahrefs is the more affordable option? What value for money can you expect from Ahrefs and SEMrush?


SEMrush offers three pricing plans, suited various types of users. Its cheapest plan will set you back $119.95 per month, while its enterprise plan costs $449.95 per month when billed monthly. When choosing to be billed annually you will receive a 16% discount.


SEMrush Free trial/refund policy/money-back guarantee:

If you think SEMrush pricing is steep, don't despair. There's usually a 7-day SEMrush free trial available but with our link you can extend for another 7 days to a total of 14 days Pro Version SEMrush free trial.Β Also if you need, a 7-day money-back guarantee is stated on their terms of service page, which you can request through [email protected].


Pricing plans for Ahrefs are slightly more flexible but more expensive. If you choose annual billing, you can get two months free. Its cheapest Lite plan costs $82 per month, while its Enterprise plan Agency costs $832 per month.


Ahrefs free trial/refund policy/money-back guarantee:

There’s no Ahrefs free trial or Ahrefs free account. You can try the platform out for seven days for only $7. This won’t let you maximise the software, though. So it’s always best to subscribe to any paid plans and reduce costs with any available Ahrefs discount code. Be also advised that their terms page states there is no money-back guarantee, either.

Winner – SEMrush! While both SEMrush or Ahrefs are expensive, SEMrush delights with its free trial.

Comparison Winner: SEMrush vs Ahrefs

To wrap up this Ahrefs vs SEMrush battle of SEO tools, who wins?Β By our set criteria, it isn't easy to decide between the two platforms. However, we are more impressed with SEMrush and therefore declare with SEMrush as Comparison Winner.

Conclusion and Recommendation to our Ahrefs vs SEMrush Comparison:

What is SEMrush best for?

SEMrush works best for digital marketers or agencies that require tools for both SEO and PPC. SEMrush has a more diverse collection of tools than SEMrush but is limited only to Google. If you want to rank for other search engines as well, consider Ahrefs.

What is Ahrefs best for?

Ahrefs works best for beginners and those who want to rank for search engines beyond Google. It also has arguably better ease of use than SEMrush.

Ahrefs SEMrush Alternatives

Here's a list of the best SEMrush or Ahrefs alternatives:

[wpsm_comparison_table id=”62″ class=””]

SEMrush vs Ahrefs Final Word:

However, please don't take our word as gospel. There is a universe of SEO options out there that can be more suited to your needs.Β  Be sure to compare these two tools with other SEO biggies, as in Moz vs Ahrefs vs SEMrush. Also, don't forget always to take advantage of the free trials to get a sense of how the tool works and feels.

>> Try SEMrush for Free <<

That’s all for now:

If you've read our SEMrush vs Ahrefs comparison up to here, we are grateful.Β Remember always to keep abreast of the latest developments on Best SEO Tools, website builders, eCommerce, and other alternative SEMrush vs Ahrefs comparison articles, such as the ones below;

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