Ahrefs VS SEMRush – Which Is Better For You In 2020?

If you have ever thought of purchasing an all-in-one tool that will skyrocket your online business, you might have thought of comparing these two awesome tools. Ahrefs VS SEMRush!

And today, here you are for the same.

In this post, we are going to compare these awesome tools with each other and find out which one is better or which one is best for you.

Let’s find out.

In case you don’t know anything about them, let me introduce them briefly.

What Is Ahrefs?


Ahrefs is a software as a service company founded by Dmitry Gerasimenko in 2011.

Ahrefs became popular with its backlinks analysis tool which is by far the best backlinks analysis tool in the industry and they are still holding their position on that area.

But they come so far as of 2020 and are very strong competitor of SEMRush as they are also providing almost the same number of features and services.

Ahrefs is mostly known for its backlinks analysis tools and for having the most accurate data.

What Is SEMRush?

SEMRush Logo

SEMRush is a software as a service company that provides you with everything you need to succeed in your online business in terms of SEO, SEM, Content Marketing, Keyword Analysis, Competitor Analysis, etc.

The company was founded on 3rd August 2008 by Oleg Shchegolev and Dmitry Melnikov as an SEO tool and a browser extension before adopting the SaaS model. The company is based in Boston, United States and now it’s one of the leading tools in the industry.

SEMRush is mostly known for its keyword research and analysis tool and for having almost all the features in a single tool.

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Here's a YouTube video for you where I've talked about Ahrefs VS SEMRush in short. Get a better understanding and then deep dive into the post.

Ahrefs VS SEMRush - Which Is Better In 2020?

Ahrefs VS SEMRush

Now enough of the introduction, let’s start comparing them. First, let’s talk about Ahrefs.

Back then, Ahrefs was famous for its backlinks analysis tool as it is the best in that category. But as of 2020, Ahrefs is no longer just a good backlinks analysis tool but a tough competitor for SEMRush.

Ahrefs crawls over 5 billion web pages every single day. And it is used by over 600,000 people worldwide for their SEO purposes. And like I said already, it is mostly known for it’s accurate and up-to-date data.

Especially when it comes to backlinks!

Now let’s dive into Ahrefs and its features.

Features Of Ahrefs

Here is the toolset that you get with Ahrefs for all your marketing and business needs:

  • Site Explorer
  • Keywords Explorer
  • Site Audit
  • Rank Tracker
  • Content Explorer
  • Domain Comparison
  • Batch analysis
  • Link intersect
  • Content gap
  • SEO toolbar
  • Ahrefs Email Alert
  • WordPress Plugin
  • And a lot more…

Now let’s briefly discuss all of them.

Ahrefs Site Explorer

Ahrefs Site Explorer Tool

Ahrefs Site Explorer tool allows you to completely analyze the backlinks, traffic and keywords of any website URL you want. It can be your own website or your competitor’s website. The Ahrefs Site Explorer is consist of these three tools:

Backlink Analysis Tool

The Ahrefs backlink analysis tool gives you a detailed analysis of all the backlinks that your entred domain has. It will provide you with all the information that you need regarding the backlinks such as the source of the backlink, total number of referring domains, anchor text, type of link, and much more.

Ahrefs Backlinks Analysis Tool

Want that helpful? I know it is.

Organic Traffic Research Tool

This ahrefs feature will help you to identify all the organic keywords that bring the traffic to a website. With detailed stats like the amount of traffic, CPC, position, search volume, etc.

To use this tool, go to site explorer and enter your desired domain. Now switch to the “Organic Search” tab to see the reports.

Ahrefs monitors over 150 million keywords in the US alone (+ more for over 150 countries) as of their official statement so it should represent the accurate amount of data.

Ahrefs Organic Traffic Research Tool

Paid Traffic Research Tool

Getting curious to know if your competitors are buying PPC ads and what keywords they’re bidding on? Ahrefs paid traffic research tool helps you do that.

Enter your domain in the site explorer and head over to the “Paid Search” tab to see the reports.

Ahrefs Paid Traffic Research Tool

Ahrefs Content Explorer

Ever thought of a tool which will suggest you which contents perform the best on the internet? Well if you did, Ahrefs content explorer is just that.

You can discover the most popular content for any topic that you want with this tool. And not only that, but it will also show you the number of backlinks those posts have, the amount of organic traffic they are getting, the number of social media shares, etc.

And if you are thinking about why it is important for you, here’s why?

By looking at the most popular contents in your niche, you’ll have a clear idea of what type of content you should create and what type of content will bring you the most number of backlinks, social shares, and traffic.

Would you say no to that? I don’t think so.

For example, let’s say your niche is “copywriting”. If you enter this keyword in ahrefs content explorer the result will look like this:

Ahrefs Content Explorer Tool

As you can see in the screenshot, the following information has been provided:

  • The number of backlinks the content has.
  • The number of social shares.

This information will help you to create content that generates a high number of social shares and a lot of backlinks.

Keyword Explorer

Keyword Explorer is basically the keyword research tool of ahrefs. Doing keyword research before posting any content is a sure shot rule for getting more traffic.

If you want to achieve good Google ranking while getting enough traffic on your website then instead of focusing on search volume only you should consider both search volume and the keyword difficulty.

Ahrefs will help you do that with ease.

You can also identify the keywords for which your competitors are ranking and generating more traffic and sales. And replicate the same on your website with significant improvements.

Ahrefs keywords explorer will help you with all your keyword research needs such us, finding the perfect and profitable keywords, sorting or filtering keywords based on your needs, see their keyword difficulty and a lot more.

Here’s how it looks like:

Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

Convinced? It’s awesome, right? This tool will help you to not only get better ranking on Google but will also help you to find money-making keywords.

In Ahrefs Keywords Explorer You can filter keywords by:

  • Keyword Difficulty (KD)
  • Monthly Search Volume
  • Cost Per Click (CPC)
  • Click Per Search
  • No. Of Search Results
  • No. Of Words In The Keyword
  • Etc.

That’s more than enough details and data to excel your website’s traffic and to rank higher on Google.

Ahrefs Site Audit Tool

Ahrefs Site Audit Tool

Ahrefs site audit tools help you to find and fix all the technical and SEO related issues on your website.

With the site ahrefs site audit tool, you’ll be able to find out errors like broken links, missing meta tags, duplicate meta tags, etc.

Overall, Ahrefs is a great combination of SEO & Marketing tools that will help you grow your website and business. Here are the pros and cons of Ahrefs based on my experience:


  • Most Accurate And Up To Date Backlinks Data
  • Advanced Link Building Tools
  • Easy To Use & Understand Interface
  • Clean & Mobile Responsive Design
  • Constantly Improving & Introducing New Features


  • Falls Short In Data For Traffic Analysis
  • No Advertising Research Tool
  • Slightly Expensive Compared To Others

Now let's talk about the pricing of Ahrefs.

Pricing Of Ahrefs:

The pricing plans of Ahrefs is as follows as of writing this post:

Lite Plan

$99 Per Month

Standard Plan

$179 Per Month

Advanced Plan

$399 Per Month

Agency Plan

$999 Per Month

Now it's time to talk about SEMRush.

Some Benefits That You Get With SEMRush:

  • You’ll be able to find and fix all the issues on your website.
  • You can perform competitor analysis.
  • You’ll be able to find profitable keywords.
  • You can find backlinks opportunities.
  • You can inspect any site’s traffic and backlinks.
  • You can get the position alert on your email.
  • You can get advice to improve your existing content.
  • And so much more...

FREE 7-Day Trial

Get your FREE SEMRush Trial and give it a try. No credit required.

SEMRush Logo

Some Benefits Of Using SEMRush

  • Automatic Site Audit (& Manual Too!)
  • Find Link Building Opportunities Easily
  • Find Easy To Rank Profitable Keywords
  • Automatic Position Tracking
  • Find & Fix All SEO Related Issues and much more.

Tools & Features Of SEMRush

Here are some of the popular tools and features of SEMRush:

  • Keyword Magic Tool (Keyword Research)
  • Advertising Research Tool
  • Rank Tracker
  • Site Audit
  • Domain Comparision
  • SEO Writing Assistant (WordPress Plugin)
  • Backlinks Gap
  • Bulk Analysis
  • Link Building Tool
  • Social Media Tracker
  • Social Media Poster
  • And a lot more…

Now let me explain some of them for you which are commonly used and important.

Keyword Research

SEMRush Keyword Research Demo

If you're blogging for a long time then you may already know the importance of doing keyword research.

There are a lot of keyword research tools on the internet but none of them matches the level of SEMRush when it comes to keyword research.

You can look at the data like traffic, search volume, the estimate of CPC, competition, the number of search results, etc. for any keywords you want. This will help you to find out valuable keywords easily and put an end to the guessing game.

With this tool, you’ll be able to find the most profitable keywords for your websites and increase your sales and profit in the process.

I can easily say that when it comes to keyword research, SEMRush is the best tool.
But where does Ahrefs stand with it Bishnu? You may ask.

We’ll find out. Keep reading for that.

Backlinks Analysis

While SEMRush beats ahrefs easily when it comes to keyword research and data related to keywords, they lack in terms of backlinks.

If you are someone who takes backlinks analysis very seriously or this the only thing that you do then without a doubt you should opt for Ahrefs as ahrefs is way better than SEMRush in this case.

Here's what I saw when I looked for backlinks of my website:

SEMRush Backlinks Analysis Demo

Looking normal to you? It isn't.

As it is my own website, I know for the fact that the backlinks data is inaccurate and out of date. So I don't like it.

Now let's look at the result from Ahrefs:

Ahrefs Backlinks Analysis Demo

Now that's the most up to date data in terms of backlinks. In fact, it is showing even the links that I've acquired days before.

So when it comes to backlinks analysis, Ahrefs is a clear winner by a big margin.

Organic Research

Both Ahrefs and SEMRush are amazing for organic research. As I'm using SEMRush right now, I really like it and here's how the organic research dashboard looks like:

SEMRush Organic Research Demo

If you'll look at the screenshot, you've more than enough data and details that you'd probably use. Am I right?

Not only you can see the traffic but also the rankings and positions, position changes, top pages, top organic keywords, etc.

Now how you'd utilize all that data is up to you. And not to mention that it can set you one step ahead of those who are not using tools like SEMRush.

Don't know about you, but I don't wanna be one of them 🙂

Advertising Research Tool

SEMRush also has an inbuilt advertising research tool that you can use to spy on your competitors. Look at how they are promoting their business and website and find out important details that can help you win the game without investing tons of money on figuring it out by doing it yourself.

Here's an example of a quick search:

SEMRush Advertising Research Demo

No doubt that SEMRush is a clear winner here as ahrefs don't have this tool as far as I know. And SEMRush also provides you with a PPC Keyword Tool which is helpful if you are planning to advertise your own website or business.

Competitor Analysis

Doing a competitor analysis on SEMRush is super easy. It’s effortless! You can find any important metrics that you want such as their traffic, backlinks, top organic keywords, top pages, SERP Feature listing, and everything else that you need to analyze your competitors and beat them in the game.

Here are some reasons why competitor analysis makes sense:

  • Doing competitor analysis will give you more ideas of what keywords to target for better results.
  • It can help you understand what type of content is doing well on your competitor’s website.
  • By doing a competitor’s analysis, you can stay ahead of the game instead of losing.
  • It can help you generate more backlinks as you’ll know who is linking to your competitor’s.
    And there could many other reasons.

Here's how it looks like:

SEMRush Competitor Traffic Analysis

Full Site Audit

I’m in love with the site audit tool of SEMRush as it finds all the issues on my website automatically that I need to fix.

By simply doing a site audit, you can find all the SEO related issues on your site and by fixing them you’ll get a better chance to rank on Google.

If you’ll add your website to the projects, then it will perform the same automatically and it will notify you via email if it finds anything wrong. Awesome right?

I mean, now you know why it’s my favorite feature of SEMRush.

By using SEMRush Site Auditing Tool, you get the following benefits:

  • You can check your website’s health every now and then or set it to perform the action automatically.
  • Track your work progress in terms of fixing and optimizing SEO related issues.
  • Prioritize what you should be doing in terms of SEO based on importance.

Do you think your website is perfect and has no errors? I used to think so until I used SEMRush site audit tool. Here's what I got:

SEMRush Site Audit Screenshot BloggerSelf

SEMRush Site Audit Tool can help you with the following things:

  • Optimize Internal Link
  • Optimize External Link
  • Find Missing Meta Tags
  • Find Duplicate Meta Tags Or HTML
  • Find Broken Images And Missing ALT Tags
  • Find Duplicate Contents
  • Detect Website Technical Errors
  • And much more…

For site audit, I'll clearly say that SEMRush is the winner.

Topic Research Tool

Topic research tools help you to find out content topics that will work. This tool scans the internet based on your keywords and display a list of content or topic ideas.

It's not as good as ahrefs content explorer but it's definitely helpful and adds up to be a valuable tool.

Even this article is also a suggestion that I considered writing when I was looking for content ideas related to SEMRush.

Here's how it looked like:

SEMRush Topic Research Tool Demo

So that was some of the popular features of SEMRush that I wanted to mention. But that's not all, in fact it has too many features that I can create a complete website or content hub around it.

So it doesn't worth talking about each one of them here. However, I'll make some more content around SEMRush in the near future. It's a great investment that I made recently and I'm happy with the tool.

Now let's keep them all aside and talk about its pros and cons based on my experience.


  • Best In Industry Keyword Research Tool
  • Truly All-in-one SEO & Marketing Tool
  • Best In Industry Competitor Analysis
  • Slightly Inexpensive Compared To Others
  • In built SEM And Social Media Tools
  • Constantly Improving & Introducing New Features


  • Falls Short In Terms Of Backlinks Data
  • Overwhelming Interface. Many Would Find It Difficult To Use.
  • No Mobile Responsive Design Like Ahrefs.

Now let's look at the pricing of SEMRush.

Pricing Of SEMRush

SEMRush is currently priced as follows at the time of writing this post:

Pro Plan

$99.95 Per Month

Guru Plan

$199.95 Per Month

Business Plan

$399.95 Per Month


Now let's have a look at some frequently asked questions about SEMRush and Ahrefs.

Can I Cancel My SEMRush FREE Trial?

To use SEMRush FREE Trial, you don't even have to enter your credit card details. You can try SEMRush for free without entering any credit card for billing. Cool right?

How To Get Ahrefs FREE Trial?

At the moment, Ahrefs do not provide any free trial. To use their trial you have to pay $7 and you can use it for 7 days as a trial.

From Where Ahrefs Collects The Data?

Ahrefs crawls the web on a regular basis to collect data. They are discovering about 40 million new pages every 24 hours and updating the metrics of over 300 million pages daily. They are crawling about 5 million pages per minute. That's how Ahrefs is getting data.

Which Is Better, Ahrefs Or SEMRush?

To get the best result, I would recommend using both of them but based on your needs the winner could be any of them. Both are awesome tools but one could be more of what you need. Read the post to figure out which one you require.

Final Thoughts on Ahrefs VS SEMRush

As you have read above, both the tools are amazing and compliments each other. If you can afford, I would highly recommend using both of them for their own specialties.

If you can't afford to pay for both of them and it will become a subjective decision. Choose one of them based on what you need the most.

For example, if backlinks analysis is the most important thing for you then it wouldn't make sense to invest on SEMRush. You should go with Ahrefs.

Similarly, if keyword research, competitor analysis, site audit, advertising research are important for you then you should go with SEMRush.

I have used both and currently using SEMRush but I would surely like to have both of them.

So now over to you. Who wins this Ahrefs VS SEMRush battle for you? Let me know in the comments.


Get your FREE 7-Day Trial and give it a try.

No credit required.

SEMRush Logo

With SEMRush You Can

  • Do Automatic Site Audit (& Manual Too!)
  • Find Bad Backlinks That Hurts SEO
  • Find Easy To Rank Profitable Keywords
  • Spy On Your Competitors & Get Ahead
  • Find & Fix All SEO Related Issues and much more.


Bishnu Mahali

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Bishnu Mahali from Siliguri, India. Apart from Blogging, I am a Digital Marketer and Creator. I also produce YouTube videos and 2 podcasts as well. Do follow me on Instagram @itsBishnuMahali to learn more about me and the Business Stuff.

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