semrush vs ahrefs

Semrush vs. Ahrefs- Which is better?

SEMrush vs. Ahrefs is one of the most difficult choices for an SEO tool. It’s a dilemma to choose between these two.

Although there are many similarities between these two tools, they differ from feature to feature.

As an agency, we use both the tools very positively and each of them helps us in many different ways to analyze each and every SEO effort.

semrush vs ahrefs

But as both tools are paid and you only want to use one, then what?

In this guide, you’ll learn about the features and characteristics of both the SEO tools and you’ll get a clear understanding of what suits you the best.


An expert team of SEOs and IT specialists formed SEMrush in 2008 to offer competitive research services for online marketing. 

The world’s leading digital marketing toolkit, SEMrush has slowly evolved over the last decade of experiments and improvements.

SEMrush offers everything from keyword research to link building and everything in between.

semrush vs ahrefs

So you can use it to climb search engine rankings and leave your competition in the dust.

SEO and PPC are both made easier with this tool.


The original purpose of Ahrefs was to analyze backlinks. 

As time went by, the platform evolved into an all-purpose tool for SEO analysis. 

Which facilitates everything from site audits to keyword research to content marketing.

semrush vs ahrefs

The Ahrefs SEO tool continued to introduce new functionality and soon became more than just a link-building tool. 

Keywords Explorer will help you generate hundreds of content ideas for your keyword.

Site Audit will help you find technical SEO issues on your site.

Semrush vs.Ahrefs is a tough competition, who will win? Let’s find out!

Keyword Analysis


Keyword research is Semrush’s main feature.

Additionally, Semrush offers an extensive keyword research toolkit and is regarded as a source of the most accurate search volume data, which is crucial to SEO and PPC campaigns.

In Semrush’s search box, you can see the first glimpse of its keyword research capabilities.

Two main tools for SEMrush will be-

  1. Topic Research 
  2. Keyword magic tool

Topic Research

For any given topic that you search on, you can generate a number of content ideas. 

Subtopics are divided into headlines, questions, related searches, and more.

From your Semrush dashboard, select Topic Research and type in the topic or keyword(s). 

You can expand your main topic by clicking “Get content ideas.”.

semrush vs ahrefs

Keyword Magic Tool

You can find the right keywords to use in your articles with Keyword Magic and optimize them to rank high not only in organic search result listings, but also in featured snippets.

Follow the steps in this sequence after you log into your SEMrush dashboard to use this tool:

Keyword Analytics > Keyword Magic Tool

Hit the “Search” button after entering your seed keyword(s).

semrush vs ahrefs

With the tool, you can generate a list of keywords you can use in your post/page to boost rankings and make the content more relevant.

To narrow down the results from your seed keyword, you can use modifiers such as Broad Match, Phrase Match, Exact Match, and Related.


When you use Ahrefs, you’ll use the Keywords Explorer tool to research keywords.

You will be able to display the- 

  • Search volume 
  • Keyword difficulty
  • CPC

You can see other important metrics of the parent topic, in the tool, and also to view data on subtopics, such as questions, similar keywords, and newly discovered keywords.

Ahrefs is different from most other tools because in addition to showing you search volume.

semrush vs ahrefs

It also displays the clicks metric, which refers to the average monthly number of clicks people make when searching for a specific keyword.

There can be multiple clicks on one result while others may generate no clicks at all. This is an important metric to track. 

We can use Google to discover the age of celebrities, for instance.

This round of Semrush vs.Ahrefs is won by SEMrush.

Backlink Analysis


Backlink Analytics has long been Semrush’s weakest tool in its suite of SEO tools. 

After Semrush overhauled their backlink data in 2019, the quality of the data was greatly improved.

You can now view the backlink profile of both your and your competitors with Semrush’s Backlink Analytics tool.

In the search box of Semrush, type your domain and select “Backlinks” in the drop-down menu; then press “Enter.”.

Your backlink profile will be displayed in a few seconds, along with the total backlink count and referring domain.

Using the total number of backlinks to access the Backlinks report, or the referring domains number to access the Referring Domains report, you can get a deeper understanding of your link profile.

You can also learn crucial details about your competitors’ websites and their link building strategies.


Using Site Explorer, you can find a lot of useful search data, but the most important is that you can obtain an end-to-end understanding of your own link profile as well as that of your competitors.

You can view your site’s backlink profile in detail by visiting the Site Explorer tab in your Ahrefs dashboard.

Reports in this section provide a high-level view of your website under analysis.

For comparison, we will only focus on two metrics – Referring Domains and Backlinks, since Ahrefs is evaluating its links analysis features.

Semrush’s Link Intersect tool compares a URL with the links of 4 other websites, whereas Ahrefs’ tool compares a URL with those of 10 others.

It is equally important to take into account factors such as accuracy and the user interface.

Ahrefs has an advantage over Semrush and other backlink analysis tools on the market with these two factors.

In this round of Semrush vs.Ahrefs, the winner is Ahrefs.

Semrush vs. Ahrefs

semrush vs ahrefs
semrush vs ahrefs


Semrush vs. Ahrefs is very debatable because a lot of reasons.

Although both of these tools provide best-in-class features and are really easy to use and navigate. 

Ahrefs dominates in backlink building and research and SEMrush is the best for keyword analysis as it has 20billion+ keywords for Google.

As an agency, we really recommend using Ahrefs as a backlink research tool and SEMrush as the primary SEO audit and keyword research tool.

You can use the free versions of both tools to create amazing content ideas and topics. 

All in all, it comes down to what is the focus of your research and how do you want to leverage these tools. 

Learn more about how we at Digitah, use these tools to maximise our and our clients’ profits.

Contact us and our expert strategists to get the best plans and strategy to grow your business.

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