Business SE Optimization

SEMrush vs Ahrefs: Which One Will Survive in 2020?

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If you are not familiar with SEO and its tools, the words SEMrush and Ahrefs mean nothing to you. However, if you know at least something about search engine optimization, you have definitely heard about the competition between SEMrush and Ahrefs.

What’s it all about? How can these tools ease the routine of an SEO specialist or content manager? Their functioning is similar at their core. Both of these apps help in finding the perfect keywords, collecting data and statistics on every post. They can aid in defining what can be done to make content work.

SEMrush and Ahrefs are well-known SEO and marketing tools. Online marketers, social media marketers, bloggers and people who work with marketing content consider them to be premium solutions for content writing, optimization, and promotion. These tools are incredibly important for online stores involved in e-commerce. The pricing policy for both SEMrush and Ahrefs is also similar. There is no subscription for less than $100 per month. 

At the same time, there is still something that pushes content creators and SEO specialists to choose only one of the two. 

The rivalry between these instruments lies in the features, UI/UX experience, keyword search, and other characteristics they both provide. Let’s have a closer look and decide what marketing tool wins in 2020.


When it comes to pricing, the difference between the two is minimal. For example, the Pro version of SEMrush costs $99.95, which is less than a dollar more than the price for the Ahrefs Lite version. 

The SEMrush’s Guru package costs $199 and offers extended services. In contrast, the upgrade to the Ahrefs’ Standard version will cost you $179. This is slightly more cost-effective. If compared on an annual basis, Ahrefs offers more flexibility in terms of pricing.

The features offered by both apps differ though. Therefore, SEO specialists and marketers should pay attention to what functions they need to make the right choice. For example, SEMrush crawls a significantly greater number of pages using site audit.


Since both these tools are targeted to offer help in online marketing by making it optimized, visible, and customer-oriented, SEMrush and Ahrefs have the same range of basic features. They both offer assistance in keyword analysis and suggestion, content suggestion, competitor analysis, social media tracking, ad optimization, etc.

However, SEMrush slightly beats its competitor in terms of features because it offers more of them. Because of this many online marketers and SEO specialists undoubtedly give their preference to SEMrush.

At the same time, Ahrefs achieves more in simplifying the whole process. For some people, the abundance of features in SEMrush may cause a problem and, therefore, they opt for an easier-to-use tool which is Ahrefs.

User Interface and User Experience

As confirmed by many specialists who used both SEMrush and Ahrefs, SEMrush is a little quicker when it comes to analysis and analytics. Ahrefs has a more complex configuration process. Before actually allowing you to analyze competitors and online marketing indicators, you will need to feed it some data.

At the same time, all you need to do in SEMrush is to click the right elements on the dashboard. More complex and comprehensive reports can be obtained after a thorough configuration.

Thus, the SEMrush dashboard wins in terms of user experience. Many people would give their preference to quick analysis rather than long and complex configurations. The search bar, menu, and other elements are more convenient in SEMrush as well.

However, if you really need a comprehensive report which is all-inclusive, configuration mode is easier with Ahrefs. Its dashboard analytics is much neater and inviting to the eye than the one by SEMrush. 

Keyword Search

Keywords are at the core for every SEO professional. They help in making content easy to search and tailor it to customer needs. However, finding the right keywords is not always an easy task. You can guess some of them, but search engines require you to do much more.

Both SEMrush and Ahrefs are very effective in terms of keyword searches. They have special tools with large lists of suggested keywords for various products and services. SEMrush goes further and allows you to search for related keywords that do not match the requested product.

Ahrefs also provides millions of useful keywords relying on the information from Google and Amazon. You can even analyze several keywords in terms of relevancy. 

The biggest advantage of Ahrefs is its simplicity. It also has the ability to avoid or break down some complicated analytical tasks into several simpler alternatives. However, the variety of suggestions and the quality of the search defines SEMrush in this case. We have a win-win again.

Rank Tracking

This feature is present in both SEMrush and Ahrefs. It allows online marketers to understand the position their business or a particular post holds on search engines. Once this information is available, it can be easily compared to that of competitors.

The position tracking tool offered by Ahrefs is much easier to use compared to the SEMrush rank tracking tool.  The latter requires you to enter too much information while Ahrefs provides statistics on visibility, traffic, average position, and keyword difficulty in a matter of seconds.

Thus, Ahrefs beats SEMrush in terms of being more user-friendly. At the same time, SEMrush provides social ranking analytics,  a function which is absent in Ahrefs.

Competitor Analysis

High-quality competitor analysis is needed as much for SEO as keywords. However, this aspect is often undervalued. SEMrush and Ahrefs both take competitors’ actions into account and offer in-depth, comprehensive analysis.

SEMrush is proficient in competitor scanning. It can compare multiple websites, collect the most popular keywords, provide analytics on competitor actions and group them in a perfect table that shows everything clearly.

Ahrefs offers a similar but simpler tool. Even though it compares the results from multiple websites, it does not give you any suggestions on what can be done. This simplicity or ignorance in competitor analysis can end up costing you clients.

Therefore, SEMrush beats Ahrefs in terms of competitor analysis tool functionality. Mostly, this result is achieved by SEMrush’s ability to provide recommendations based on the analysis. If Ahrefs used this idea, it could’ve won this battle too.

Final Words

When we approach the end of our comparison, we can see that SEMrush and Ahrefs win in two categories each. Given the fact that we compared their productivity and functionality across six different aspects, the results obtained are not sufficient to judge which one is better.

Therefore, our main recommendation to online marketers is to study each tool in detail before actually making their choice. They should decide based on the features and volumes they actually need and will use in their work.

Overall, both SEMrush and Ahrefs are worthy SEO and marketing tools. They can help to make businesses more visible and customized to their audience. If you intend to develop your business online, one of these tools is an absolute must for you.

About the author


Raymond Thomson

Raymond Thomson is a content manager and blog editor at essay writing service EssayService. Mr. Thomson is writing articles about digital marketing and related updates in technology. He started his career years ago and based on his own experience shares compelling content with readers.