SEMrush vs Ahrefs: Which One Is Really Best In 2020?

ahrefs vs semrush

SEMrush and Ahrefs are amazing tools that can help you build your website’s SEO so that it can rank higher in the SERPs and get more traffic. These tools are all-in-one SEO tools that can help you achieve all your SEO goals right from building new backlinks to on-page and technical SEO. This is the reason why these tools are also market leaders in SEO tools. 

But which tool is the better one among them? For this, we need to compare their features and get an idea of which tool offers better features and value for money. 

So, without waiting any further, let’s look at the major features offered by both tools – SEMrush and Ahrefs. 


The first tool that we’ll look at is SEMrush. This tool is one of the finest tools out there in the market and it’s not just an SEO tool but is indeed an all-round tool for website growth. It offers five toolkits from which you can not only build your SEO but also your social media and content marketing strategies. The five toolkits are:

SEO Toolkit, Content Marketing Toolkit, Advertising Toolkit, Social Media Toolkit, and Competitive Intelligence Toolkit. 

SEO Toolkit

The SEO Toolkit looks into all the SEO aspects of your website. This tool includes different tools that deal with the on-page, off-page, and technical SEO of your website. The first set of tools are the keyword research tools. Let’s look at them.


To build backlinks and analyze them, SEMrush provides a variety of tools. These are the major ones in off-page SEO.

  • Backlink Gap
  • Backlink Analytics
  • Link Building Tool
  • Backlink Audit
  • Bulk Analysis

Backlink Analytics

To analyze the backlinks of any website on the internet, you can use the backlink analytics tool offered by SEMrush. This tool works smoothly and all you have to do is enter the website’s name and it’ll bring out the entire backlink profile of the website. You can look at the domains linking to it and then reach out to them so you can build backlinks for your website.

Backlink Audit

You can use the Backlink Audit tool to find out the link profile of your website. Using this tool, you can figure out who’s linking to you and the quality of those domains. Accordingly, you can choose to keep, disavow, or remove those backlinks. This can help you maintain a good link profile for the search engines. 

Backlink Gap

SEMrush offers a great competitive intelligence tool in the name of the Backlink Gap tool. What this tool does is that it lets you compare the backlink profile of multiple domains. You can see which websites are linking to your competitors and accordingly reach out to them so you can get backlinks from them and outrank your competition. This is an easy way of finding new link building opportunities too. It’s possible to add up to 5 websites in the comparison here. 

Link Building Tool

If you wish to build new backlinks for your website, then you should look no further than the Link Building Tool offered by SEMrush. This tool lets you find new link building opportunities in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is enter the keywords that you wish to go after and add in the domains of your competitors. The tool will find all the potential websites you can reach out to for link building.

Bulk Analysis

One of the best ways of seeing where you stand in comparison to your market is by checking the Bulk analysis tool. Using this tool, you can see the backlink profiles of up to 200 domains all at once. This means that you can monitor the bulk of your market right there and accordingly take decisions that can help you make a stronger link building profile and grow your rankings in the SERPs.

Keyword Research

SEMrush has six keyword research tools, they are: 

  • Keyword Magic Tool
  • Organic Traffic Insights
  • Keyword Manager
  • Keyword Overview
  • Keyword Difficulty

Keyword Manager

You may not use all the keywords after researching them. To help you keep all the useful keywords saved, SEMrush provides this tool called the Keyword Manager. It helps you collect good keywords and save them so that you can use them at a later stage for your content. 

The process of adding these tools is made pretty simple by SEMrush. All you need to do is click on the plus icon next to keywords on SEMrush and the tool will add the keyword to your list. Then, you can download this list as an Excel or CSV file.

Keyword Magic Tool

This is essentially a keyword discovery tool. It does the magic by finding new keywords that you can consider using for your campaigns. All you have to do is enter a primary keyword and the tool will then find a variety of similar keywords that are relevant to it. Some of the parameters you can see include the volume, difficulty, and more right there so that you can figure out which keyword to choose for your content marketing campaigns. It’s also possible to select the different types of matches here. 

Keyword Difficulty

When you pick a keyword for your content, you need to ensure that you can rank for that particular keyword without a lot of effort. For this reason, the Keyword Difficulty tool exists. It can show you the difficulty scores of up to 10 keywords at once. So you can easily compare a few keywords to figure out the best ones from them. 

Organic Traffic Insights

Do you want to know the organic traffic of your website? The organic traffic insights tool is perfect for this reason. It’s sort of like a combination of Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and SEMrush. The merging of these three sets of databases gives you a detailed insight into the organic traffic of your website and using this tool you can figure out how well you’re performing currently.

Keyword Overview

If you want to know more about your target keyword, then you should try using the Keyword Overview tool. This tool lets you see everything that there’s to know about your target keyword. This includes its volume, the difficulty, related keywords, the different SERP features, and so much more. You can enter the keyword and the country to get the results here.

Rank Tracking

You need to know where you stand after putting all the effort to grow your rankings in the SERPs. But this can be a difficult task manually. The Rank Tracking tool offered by SEMrush helps you track the rank of your keywords on a day-to-day basis. You can see where you stand daily and accordingly modify your strategy to improve your search engine ranking. You just need to select the keywords and the tool will track them daily. 

Content Marketing

The content marketing toolkit offered by SEMrush lets you find new topics to write about. You can also create a content marketing plan and write your article using its SEO writing tool. It can even help you optimize the content and analyze the brand mentions on the internet. 

It’s also possible to measure the overall impact that the content had for your brand so you can revise and optimize it to improve the impact even further. 

Technical SEO Audit

The technical health of your website is of the utmost importance. SEMrush offers the Technical SEO Audit tool to help you keep track of this health and improve it. They have their own crawlers that will crawl your website to find technical errors. It can spot these errors and report them to you so you can then figure out the severity of these errors and accordingly act on them.

Social Media 

SEMrush has a dedicated social media toolkit that can help you do everything related to social media. You can create and schedule posts, create paid promotions, and also monitor your brand right from the platform and get a detailed overview of the performance of your posts as well. 

Advertising Toolkit

SEMrush has a great advertising toolkit for all those marketers who want to leverage PPC advertising campaigns to promote their brand. You can find new keywords to target, see the CPC in different locations, build your ad, and even do the PLA research right in the tool. This way, you’ll be well set to launch your PPC campaigns and succeed in them. 


When it comes to Ahrefs, the tool is pretty similar to SEMrush. It offers pretty much everything that SEMrush offers. However, it doesn’t have much to provide apart from SEO. So, it’s more of an all-round SEO tool rather than an all-round marketing tool like SEMrush. Let’s see some of the tools that it has to offer.

Keyword Research

For keyword research, the tool provides two main options:

  • Organic Keywords
  • Keyword Explorer

Keyword Explorer

The Keyword Magic tool of SEMrush and Keyword Explorer of Ahrefs are similar. This tool gives you a lot of new keywords from which you can find the ones that are the most important for your brand. All you have to do for this is enter a seed keyword and then the platform will come up with the list of relevant keywords. From these ideas, you can see the one that fits the best for your brand and use it. The best part about this tool is that it allows you to select the search engine as well. 

Organic Keywords

Ahrefs has great competitive intelligence features. This particular tool is proof of that. Using it, you can see the keywords for which a website is ranking online. When you enter the domain of the website, the platform will find out all these keywords and show them up. This can help you identify new topics and keywords to write about with ease. You can seamlessly outrank your competition this way.


For backlinks, Ahrefs has two tools as well. These tools can help you not only build backlinks but can also help you come up with good topics to write about. These are Content Explorer and Site Explorer. 

Site Explorer

The Ahrefs site explorer is yet another competitive intelligence tool that lets you look at the backlink profiles of websites on the internet. You can see which domains are linking to which website using this tool. This way, you can get a detailed snapshot of your competitors’ backlink profile and easily reach out to those linking to them to get more backlinks. This can assist you in outranking your competition. 

Content Explorer

This tool is the one that lets you find great content topics for writing. Using the content explorer, you can see who’s writing about what. Based on the content topics that people are writing on, you can find the ones that are relevant to your brand. If you find them interesting, you can create content on them and get natural backlinks if people like it. 

Rank Tracking

Ahrefs has a rank tracker just like SEMrush. You can use this tool to figure out which keywords you rank for on a regular basis. You can just select a few relevant keywords for your brand and then enter these in the tool. It’ll then track them daily and update the rankings. Based on the rankings, you can take action to improve your SEO and increase your ranks. 

Technical SEO Audit

Just like SEMrush, Ahrefs also offers a technical SEO audit feature. Using this feature, you can see how your website is performing from a technical standpoint. Ahrefs, too, has its own crawler that crawls your website to find potential issues. It highlights them so that you can accordingly make changes and improve the technical health of your website.

Final Thoughts

SEMrush and Ahrefs are market leaders when it comes to SEO research and competitive research. Both tools are perfect for the purpose. However, SEMrush is the clear winner between the two because it offers a lot of tools that aren’t just limited to SEO but also help you with social media and content marketing. This means it offers better value for money to the users. 

However, if you’re looking for a tool that is solely meant to be used for SEO, then you could choose either as Ahrefs is equally good in terms of the SEO research and competitive research that it offers. 

Have you tried any of these tools before? If so, let us know your experience in the comments. 

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