Aherf Vs Semrush: Which SEO Tool To Use?

Within this comparison review, I'm likely to place Ahrefs and SEMrush up against each other — and also help you learn which of these leading SEO tools best matches your needs.

I will talk about how these products compare with regards to:

  • Domain analysis
  • Keyword research features
  • Backlink analysis
  • Site auditing
  • Broken link analysis
  • Pricing

Let's begin with a simple overview of the two tools. Ahrefs and SEMRush are two products which help you optimize your website for search engines. They do this in lots of different ways, but the main thing they provide is information that you can use to either:

  • Create new content that's likely to draw organic search traffic
  • Identify opportunities for constructing links from other sites to yours
  • Change technical facets of your site so that it performs better in search results

Both tools, as an example, provide you with keyword suggestions (based on phrases you input ) that can be used as the basis for writing blog posts which are likely to perform well in search results.

That's only scratching the surface though: there are many different features by Ahrefs and SEMrush which are intended to assist you climb up the search rankings. I will go through these in depth as we advance through the review, beginning with domain analysis.

1. Domain analysis

Among the most useful things you can do with Ahrefs and SEMrush is basic domain analysis — this usually means obtaining a simple overview of how a domain is usually performing from an SEO perspective.

Generally, you perform domain analysis either on your own website — to determine where SEO improvements could be made — or on a competitor's, to determine how hard it will be to outrank them in search results (or to find ways to do so).

Domain analysis in Ahrefs

Carrying out domain analysis is simple in the two tools — you simply enter a domain name into an input box, and key metrics are returned immediately for you (in a dash format).

With both programs, these comprise:

  • An ‘authority score' which Provides you an at-a-glance indication of how well a website is Very Likely to perform in search results
  • Total number of visitors to the website per month
  • Total number of external links — backlinks — pointing to the site (the more of these the greater from an SEO point of view)
  • Total number of key words the website rankings for
  • Anchor text Widely Used in links to the website
  • Competing domains


With SEMRush it seems like there is marginally more clicking around the area to perform; this is perhaps because domain analysis sits under a broader section known as ‘Competitive research' which comprises 4 distinct segments, all containing information regarding domain analysis.

Both tools give you an estimate of their monthly traffic to the domain you are analysing — it's important to notice however that the amounts provided here are quotes.

According to my own (small ) private testing — using websites that I have access to traffic information — I've found that the Ahrefs quotes tend to be more precise; however, SEMrush contextualises its results a bit by giving you an indication of just how true its estimate is very likely to be (high, medium or low).

The important point to remember with set of visitors stats is that they should be used to identify tendencies (i.e., is site A more popular than sites C and B?) Instead of accepted as absolute gospel.

For this end, there is a nice feature in SEMRush's domain analysis you won't find a direct equal to in Ahrefs: its ‘aggressive positioning map' This offers a really good at-a-glance index of how a website is performing against key competitors, based on how many keywords it rankings to get and monthly traffic estimates.

SEO expert Faridabad also uses these tools while creating and implementing SEO strategy.

2. Keyword research attributes

Keyword study is generally about four matters:

  • Establishing how many people are searching for a particular keyword
  • Establishing how hard it is to position for that keyword
  • Finding out who is currently rank for that keyword
  • Getting suggestions for other ones.

The two Ahrefs and SEMrush make it very easy for you to find out all of the above information. You just enter a keyword in their respective keyword research instruments (‘Keyword Explorer' in Ahrefs, and ‘Keyword Overview' in SEMRush), and you'll get the info you need straight away: hunt volume, a keyword difficulty score, and the sites that are presently ranking for it, and a listing of related keywords.

Performing keyword research in SEMrush

SEMRush employs a percentage score to indicate key word difficulty — with a higher percent signaling higher difficulty. Ahrefs uses a score out of one hundred — like SEMrush, a higher score suggests higher difficulty.

When you have a look at the keyword tips part of SEMrush, you'll notice that its difficulty score differs marginally from Ahrefs' in it is provided as a decimal number (using two digits after the decimal point), whereas using Ahrefs, it is always provided as a lot.

In SEMrush, keyword difficulty scores are provided in proportions, with two decimal points (see'KD percent' column above).

Keywords research Ahref

One thing I really like about Ahrefs' strategy to keyword issue scores is that not only does it tell you just how hard it'll be to rank for a given key word, it also tells you roughly how many backlinks (links from other websites to yours) you will need to become so as to look on the first page of search results.

Ahrefs' keyword problem score is accompanied by an estimate of how many links you'll need to position in the top 10. Furthermore, Ahrefs reveals not just the volumes of hunts however the number of clicks they will be prone to create (not all users click on organic results — some click on ads etc.).

Another place which Ahrefs has an edge over SEMrush in the keyword research department requires the search engines that you can actually perform research for.

Whereas SEMrush only provides information for Google searches, Ahrefs lets execute keyword research for 9 other search engines, such as big hitters such as Youtube, Yahoo and Amazon.

3. Backlink Analysis

How well a website works in search results very much is dependent upon the number of traffic — external sites linking to it — exist for the site in question. With both Ahrefs and SEMRush, you can enter a domain name and view a listing of all of the backlinks to it each tool can find.

While doing some simple domain analysis, I noticed that Ahrefs discovered more backlinks to get Shopify.com compared to SEMrush failed; but conversely, SEMrush discovered more for Bigcommerce.com compared to Ahrefs did.

As I analysed more domain names, this pattern lasted — occasionally Ahrefs provided a more exhaustive set of results, occasionally SEMRush did. But on paper at least, it would appear that SEMrush gets the bigger database.

Concerning the backlink analysis itself, the two Ahrefs and SEMrush give you LOTS of useful information about the backlinks which point to a domain, including breakdowns of:

  • The amount of ‘dofollow' hyperlinks versus ‘nofollow' ones
  • The country of origins of backlinks
  • Anchor text used
  • New vs missing domains
  • Linking domain types (government, education etc.

I generally like the way that SEMrush presents this information — simple but captivating graphs spell out the key stats in a way that helps you digest them readily.

One useful Ahrefs feature that's missing from SEMrush's backlink evaluation tools however is ‘anchor circumstance' — in Ahrefs, the backlink reports show not only the anchor text used to connect to your website, but the text that surrounds it as well. This helps you comprehend why people are linking to a particular piece of content.

Furthermore, Ahrefs and SEMrush both supply you ‘link intersect' tools. These permit you to compare a URL out of the site against corresponding ones from rival sites, and provide you an exportable list of sites that are now linking to your competitors, but to you personally.

SEMrush's link checker instrument is slightly superior than Ahref's, because it permits you to compare your site's traffic against 4 others, whereas Ahrefs restricts the comparison to 3 other websites. However, I find Ahrefs' somewhat simpler to use.

4. Website auditing

Both Ahrefs and SEMrush offer ‘website auditing' features that allow you to evaluate how well your site is performing from a specialized SEO and search-engine search engine optimization perspective.

During a website audit, the two tools will look out for problems which might have a negative effect on your search ranking, for example:

  • Slow-loading content
  • Copy content
  • SSL problems
  • Crawl errors
  • Missing headers
  • Overuse of keywords
  • Ahrefs website audit results

Both tools give you a wealth of very useful suggestions, but I would argue that SEMrush comes out top in the auditing section. Its site audit tool is considerably simpler to use compared to Ahrefs equivalent, and presents you with an easy-to-follow to-do listing.

5. Broken link analysis

It involves locating a broken connection (i.e., one which no more contributes anyplace ), recreating the'dead' content that it was used to point to, then requesting anybody who used to link into the dead material to connect to yours instead.

This approach allows you to build up new backlinks to your content and the more traffic which point to your site, the greater your articles performs in search.

To be able to make this tactic work, you have to be able to identify broken links, and both Ahrefs and SEMrush provide features to do so.

You simply enter a domain name to its ‘Site Explorer' section and click ‘broken links'. This then provides you with a listing of all that domain broken links (as well as the websites where these hyperlinks feature).

SEMrush's broken link feature is less simple to get at — you need to execute a complete ‘site audit' on a competitor's website, then click a checkbox to discover URL errors — but it is a bit more sophisticated, because you can proceed any broken hyperlinks into an outreach listing which you may use to get hold of domain with.

6. Pricing

Compared to others, Ahrefs and SEMrush are expensive.

That’s understandable however, as you’re not just paying for functionality, you’re paying for access to an awful lot of data.

SEMRush offers 3 main pricing plans:

  • Pro: $99.95 per month
  • Guru: $199.95 per month
  • Business: $399.95 per month

Corporate users can also create a bespoke ‘Enterprise’ plan — fees for this are negotiable, as are features.

Ahrefs offers 4 plans:

  • Lite: $99 per month
  • Standard: $179 per month
  • Advanced: $399 per month
  • Agency: $999 per month


You can choose the tool according to your budget and needs. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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