Semrush vs Ahrefs in 2020: Which SEO Tool is Better for Digital Agencies

Anyone with even limited SEO experience will recommend those two fabulous tools when you look for the best SEO tools: SEMrush and Ahrefs.

They are undoubtedly the most efficient SEO tools for digital agencies that would like to bring more traffic to their customers’ websites. Let’s have a closer look at those handy SEO tools and see Ahrefs vs SEMrush comparison.  

If you are searching for the most useful tools for agencies, you can check out our related article and you will see that Ahrefs and Semrush are the leading SEO tools with various premium services for their customers to reach the desired SEO objectives.

Ahrefs vs. SEMrush: Which tool is better for your digital agency to meet all your SEO needs? Both have unique features and several premium SEO services for digital agencies to provide more traffic. Keep reading to find the right tool for your SEO needs. 

Below we compare Ahrefs and SEMrush in terms of:

  • User Interface 
  • Keyword Data Research 
  • Position Tracking
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Pricing Policy

User Interface

Although they have similar dashboards, there are some differences in their overview. It seems that Ahrefs’ dashboard seems less complicated than SEMrush’s at first appearance. 

Ahrefs has a primary menu and a search bar on the top, and detailed analytics on the rest of the page. A tooltip also helps you understand something that is not clear. All you need to do is hovering your marker over it. It has more of a configuration process before you start using, asking your desired keywords, domains, and competitors.

On the other hand, SEMrush packs more tools and data on each screen but first, you need to learn where to click for what you are looking for. There are several drop-down menus and sidebars to guide you. Once you know how to use its interface, it is very easy to read the analytics and audit your site. 

It also offers a quick start for the analysis with a straight direction to the dashboard, including customer service resources.

Keyword Data Research 

Since keyword research is the most significant feature in SEO, using the best tool is also crucial for digital agencies to understand how the target audience search for the content on their website. They are both commendable in terms of their keyword research capabilities. 

Both Ahrefs and SEMrush offer detailed information about the difficulty score of any keyword, its search volume, the websites ranking for it, and related keywords. The difficulty score of a keyword is represented by a percentage score on SEMrush while it is presented as a numerical score out of one hundred on Ahrefs. Both indicate that a higher score refers to a higher difficulty.

SEMrush named its keyword research tool as Keyword Magic Tool, which is the largest keyword database with 20 billion keywords. When you search for a keyword, you will see a comprehensive list of suggested keywords with metrics.

It also offers Topic Research which suggests content ideas including headlines, questions, and searches related to the topic you write on the search bar.

Among the Ahrefs alternatives, Keyword Explorer Tool generates keyword suggestions for the parent topic and submitting keyword metrics consisting of search volume, difficulty score, or CPC.

It has more than 10 billion keywords in its database, so we can say that SEMrush doubles the Ahrefs’ keyword database, which can be a reason to choose SEMrush for this feature. Most of the award-winning SEO agencies use both of these tools to compare their volumes and for finding different keywords.

Semrush vs Ahrefs: Position Tracking

To observe the overall visibility of your website in search results, SEO tools track your position in SERPs of all the targeted keywords. So, you can see what is working or what is not. 

As one of the SEMrush alternatives, Position Tracking Tool allows you to display mobile and local rankings to track the visibility of your site. It also shows the keywords with both the positive and negative impacts, referring to the increased or decreased rankings of your site. 

Ahrefs has also The Rank Tracker aiming to help you track the targeted keywords in multiple locations with a history chart that shows the keyword progress over time. Regarding the position tracking feature, both tools are very useful with similar analytics providing detailed and accurate data. 

Competitor Analysis

Finding the keywords that are effective for your competition provides valuable information for you to boost your site through the right strategy. It will be very easy to take some of the top keywords and rank them in your content. Both tools offer similar features for competitor analysis.  

SEMrush has a tool called Keyword Gap that enables you to compare your site with others and view a list of popular keywords on other sites with the information about the search volume of each keyword.

Besides, the Market Explorer module displays other websites and articles similar to what you are searching for. You can check out your competitors and spy on them through this feature.

Ahrefs also offers a domain comparison tool where you can add max. 5 sites including yours to compare all of them side-by-side. The comparison results are given with metrics such as images, backlinks, or domain ratings.

However, Ahrefs does not suggest any follow-up step for you to improve your website to outrank others. So, SEMrush seems more efficient when you need a competitor analysis for your website.

Semrush vs Ahrefs: Pricing

Although there are some SEO basics for beginners that you need to know especially if you are new in the industry, you need an effective SEO tool that will increase your site traffic and visibility. At this point, you need to choose one according to their price-performance ratio. 

SEMrush has a free 7-day trial and the following plans with a 16% discount when you pay annually:

  • Pro- $ 99.95
  • Guru- $199.95
  • Business- $399.95
semrush-pricing-table

Plans and pricing for Ahrefs are as follows:

  • Lite: $99
  • Standard: $179
  • Advanced: $399
  • Agency: $999
ahrefs-pricing-table

If you think of Ahrefs Lite vs. Standard, it offers a 7-day trial for $7 for each plan, giving you full access for 7 days to experience and decide which one is the best for your SEO needs. 


So, when it comes to Semrush vs Ahrefs, it’s more about your and your team’s habits. Both of these tools are perfect for keyword research, competitor analysis and position tracking.

Best way to analyze them is trying both of them for your websites. Because one can beat another in different industries or different languages.

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