The video below is just a very low level review of both tools so you can see the dashboards of each and get a feel for the data it delivers.
They both do a lot of the same things including:
- Keyword Tracking
- Backlink Analysis
- Keyword Research
- Website Audit Tool
But everything they do – they do very – very differently.
Keyword Research Comparison
One of the main reasons we use tools is to do keyword research, so it is important to have a tool that can deliver. While they both deliver – one is pretty much heads above the other.
In each tool I used “dog bowl” as a keyword idea to research.
In the SEMrush Keyword Magic tool – there were 12,658 keyword ideas.
In the Keyword Explorer in Ahrefs – there were 21,057 keyword ideas.
Which would you prefer? Me – I want the one that gives me more options to beat my competitors!
I also incredibly love that Ahrefs makes my research easy with their SERP listing functionality where I can see the top 10 ranking websites for a phrase and easily see how competitive those pages are. SEMrush does have a SERP button as well but it only takes you to the search engine results page – there is no outline of great information like what you see below.
This alone is a huge selling point!
While SEMrush and Ahrefs both do backlink reports so you can see who is linking to you, we find Ahrefs to be much more accurate and has a bigger index to pull from.
In a study done by Robbie Richards their were 65 votes for Ahrefs as best backlink checker while there were just 17 votes for SEMrush.
Both are costly – that is a given for what they do. You can also have one user logged in at a time if you get a plan that only includes 1 user. If you want to “share” with friends (which is probably against their terms of service so you may want to check) – you should know 1 person will get kicked out if another logs in.
SEMrush offers 3 plans: $99.95, $199.95 and $399.95 (these prices are reduced a bit if you pay annually instead of monthly)
Ahrefs offers 3 plans: $99, $179 and $399 (these prices are reduced 20% if you pay annually instead of monthly) – they also offer a 7 day trial for $7. So if you have a week coming up that you can invest more time exploring Ahrefs and getting some great ideas from the tool – this can be the best $7 you have ever spent!
It is hard to compare apples to apples with the tools because they each offer some things the other does not. SEMrush for example has some social tools where you can monitor social activity and even post – but Ahrefs does not have that.
The video is not meant to be a tutorial – but a quick overview of the 2 tools so you can see what tool is more in line with your needs and visualizations. Some love the interface of SEMrush – while others find Ahrefs better, so we hope this compiled with some of my comparisons will help you decide!
Jill Caren brings over 12 years of WordPress and SEO experience to help you improve and grow your website. She has spoken at several events on SEO and has been published in several top SEO publications. You can contact Jill here.