Skip to main content ↓
Logos of Ahrefs and SEMrush on a gradient background.

Ahrefs vs. Semrush: Which Is the Best Option for Your Business?

If you want to market your business online, search engine optimization (SEO) is critical. It’s what helps your site rank in relevant Google search results so people will find it and become leads. But whether you’re new to SEO or you’re an SEO expert, you can benefit from using some tools.

SEO tools help you streamline optimizing your web content and boosting your rankings. And two of the best SEO tools on the market are Ahrefs and Semrush. You may have heard of these tools before, and if so, you might be wondering which is better.

So, Ahrefs vs. Semrush — which is the best choice for your business? To learn the answer to that question, just keep reading. Or, for a free alternative that’s built for do-it-yourself SEO, check out!

Ahrefs vs. Semrush: Which is better?

Semrush and Ahrefs are top-tier SEO tools for your business. It can be difficult to label one of them as being clearly superior. For that reason, we’ll explore the question of Semrush vs. Ahrefs by comparing the two in a few different categories. Read on for the full breakdown!

Ease of use

The first category we’ll look at is ease of use. You don’t want to get stuck with a tool that you can’t figure out how to work. So, how easy to use are Ahrefs and Semrush?


Ahrefs gives you access to plenty of data, so it’s easy to assume it’d be hard to navigate –– but that’s not the case. Ahrefs is incredibly intuitive and lets you view large amounts of data at a quick glance. Everything is clearly organized, so you’ll have no trouble finding your way around.


Semrush is also highly organized. While it doesn’t offer the same cohesive data summaries as Ahrefs, it does have a leg up when it comes to customer outreach. Ahrefs requires you to export your data to other tools for outreach, while Semrush lets you do it right in the platform. 

Even so, Ahrefs edges out Semrush by a small margin in this category due to its more intuitive and navigable interface.

Winner: Ahrefs

Backlink analysis

Backlinks are a vital part of improving your Google rankings. By earning links to your content on authoritative, third-party sites, you can convince Google that your content is authoritative as well. Both Semrush and Ahrefs are helpful for analyzing your backlinks, but which one is better?


Ahrefs comes with many different helpful backlink analysis capabilities. It can tell you information about where your backlinks originate, what anchor text they use, and more. It even lets you see which websites are linking to your competitors but not to you.


Semrush contains all the same features as those listed above for Ahrefs. There’s some variability in how effective those tools are, but for the most part, they’re on even ground.

The one thing that sets Semrush apart is its link-building tool, which helps you find the best sites to target with requests for new backlinks. Since Ahrefs doesn’t have that, Semrush wins this round.

Winner: Semrush

Domain analysis

A domain analysis is much broader than a backlink analysis. Rather than focusing on a specific feature, this type of analysis essentially conducts an automated audit of your website to gauge your overall SEO performance. Ahrefs and Semrush both feature a version of this analysis.


Ahrefs makes conducting a domain analysis easy. All you do is plug in your domain name, and then the tool does the rest. It can give you insights into how many visitors your site is earning, how many keywords it’s ranking for, and more. Best of all, you can see all this information right from your dashboard.


Semrush offers the same essential functions as Ahrefs when it comes to domain analysis. The reason it doesn’t quite match Ahrefs in this category, however, is that it makes it a bit more difficult to obtain the data. It’s not a major problem, but it’s not as readily accessible as Ahrefs, which puts it right on your dashboard. 

Winner: Ahrefs

Keyword research

One of the most important features of both Semrush and Ahrefs is keyword research. Both tools help you find the best keywords to target in your content, but which one does it better?


Ahrefs is great for finding new keywords that are relevant to your company. More than that, though, it can tell you a lot about keywords you’re currently ranking for (or thinking about targeting), including who’s currently ranking for it and how many clicks it’s likely to generate.


Semrush doesn’t offer quite as much variety when it comes to the type of information it can provide about keywords. However, it makes up for it by giving you insights into the search intent of different keywords, something Ahrefs doesn’t do.

Ultimately, the better tool depends on your priorities. If you’re desperate to know search intent, Semrush might be better. But if you want to search for a wider variety of keywords, Ahrefs is your best bet.

Winner: Tie


The final category we’ll look at is pricing. Let’s look briefly at a pricing comparison for Semrush vs. Ahrefs.


The pricing for Ahrefs is fairly simple. It offers four different plans, which are as follows:

  • Lite: $99/month
  • Standard: $179/month
  • Advanced: $399/month
  • Enterprise: $999/month

Note that the cheaper plans lack access to some of Ahrefs’ most helpful tools, so you’ll have to pay more to access them.


Semrush offers three main plans to choose from. Those plans include:

  • Pro: $119.95/month
  • Guru: $229.95/month
  • Business: $449.95/month

You can also get a quote on a custom Enterprise plan.

Ahrefs technically has the cheapest plan, but that plan also comes with less value than Semrush. That’s in part because with Semrush, you’ll have access to all the key tools even on the least expensive plan, whereas Ahrefs restricts many of its core tools to the more expensive options.

Winner: Semrush

Semrush vs. Ahrefs: Which one wins?

Now that we’ve examined Ahrefs vs. Semrush in each of the above categories, what’s the final verdict on which platform is better?

If you wanted to take a raw tally of the above results, it comes out to a tie. But even if it didn’t, the answer still wouldn’t be that simple. The best platform for you depends on your unique needs.

If your priority is on overall SEO insights and ease of use, Ahrefs is the way to go. On the other hand, if you want somewhat more detailed data and more value for your money, Semrush could be the better choice. Be sure to assess your priorities before choosing.

Make DIY SEO effortless (and cost-effective)

Ahrefs and Semrush are two of the most popular SEO tools, offering incredible insights. For SEOs requiring a lower-cost solution, though, there are free and effective alternatives, including

Try for free today to start monitoring, tracking, and analyzing your performance instantly!

Try our free Marketing Calculator

Craft a tailored online marketing strategy! Utilize our free Internet marketing calculator for a custom plan based on your location, reach, timeframe, and budget.

Plan Your Marketing Budget
Marketing Budget Calculator