The Ahrefs for SEO guide of 2024

As an SEO expert, I like to use while performing my work Ahrefs . I deploy the software tool for both off-page SEO and on-page SEO. Among other things, the tool helps me study competitors and create content strategies. Below I explain to you (almost) everything about Ahrefs and why I love using it.

What is Ahrefs?

Ahrefs is a software tool for search engine optimization (SEO). Website owners and marketers can use it to analyze and improve their online presence. You have access to a wide range of features, including backlink analysis, keyword research, competitive analysis, content research and more.

Ahrefs allows users to gain insight into how their website is performing in search engines. In addition, they can develop strategies to improve their search engine optimization to increase their online visibility. SEO experts, marketing professionals and companies of all sizes use Ahrefs to support their online marketing plans.

Practical information

Below I have noted some practical things to consider before getting started with the tool.

The price of Ahrefs

Ahrefs offers several subscriptions. Your choice depends on the needs of your business and the size of your website. The “Lite” subscription is the cheapest option at $99 per month, but prices can go as high as $999 per month for the “Agency” subscription. Below is an overview I created of the prices and features of Ahrefs’ various subscriptions:

  • Lite: $99 per month. This subscription includes 1 user, full access to the Ahrefs platform and a maximum of 100 reports per day.
  • Standard: $179 per month. This subscription includes 1 user, full access to the Ahrefs platform, and a maximum of 500 reports per day. In addition, the Standard subscription allows you to view historical data.
  • Advanced: $399 per month. This subscription includes 3 users, full access to the Ahrefs platform and a maximum 2000 reports per day. You also get access to advanced reporting features and API.
  • Agency: $ 999 per month. This subscription includes 5 users, full access to the Ahrefs platform and a maximum of 5,000 reports per day. In addition, Ahrefs’ Agency subscription provides you with access to advanced reporting features and API, as well as the ability to generate White Label reports.

Ahrefs offers a free 7-day trial that gives you access to all the features of the platform. In addition, Ahrefs also offers discounts if you pay annually instead of monthly. Typically, Ahrefs’ prices are relatively high when compared to several other SEO tools. However, the advanced features and power of the platform make it worth the investment for many businesses and marketers. (1)

The Ahrefs guide in a nutshell

No time for a long article? No problem. Check out the bird’s eye view below for a summary of this article.

Ahrefs’ Chrome extension

The Ahrefs Chrome extension is a handy tool that lets you quickly understand a web page’s key SEO statistics while viewing it in your browser. Here are some things you can do with the Ahrefs Chrome extension:

  • View SEO statistics: with the Ahrefs Chrome extension, you can quickly view key SEO statistics for your web page. Those statistics include Ahrefs Rank, Domain Rating, number of backlinks and organic keywords.
  • Analyze backlinks: you can use the Ahrefs Chrome extension to analyze a web page’s backlinks. Using this analysis, you can see which other websites link to this page. Moreover, it also gives you insight into the quality of these backlinks.
  • View keyword data: the Ahrefs Chrome extension also lets you quickly view a website’s keyword data. Consider, for example, keyword positions and search volume.
  • Analyze content: you can use the Ahrefs Chrome extension to analyze the content of a web page, including content, headings and sub-headings. This gives you information about the content, keywords and topics covered. You can get ideas for your own content this way.
  • Compare web pages: you can also use the Ahrefs Chrome extension to compare web pages. You’ll discover how your pages are performing against the competition. This comparison gives you insight into possible opportunities for improvement.

The Ahrefs Chrome extension is a handy tool that provides quick insight into important SEO statistics. The extension can help you optimize your website and content to achieve better search results.(2)

Continue reading about Ahrefs?

Continue reading about Ahrefs? Check out all my articles below about how I use Ahrefs on a daily basis for my clients.

What will you learn in the Ahrefs Academy?

The Ahrefs Academy is an online learning platform of Ahrefs. The platform provides free access to a variety of courses and videos on SEO, content marketing and digital marketing. Below I have noted some of the things you can learn in the Ahrefs Academy:

  • SEO courses: the Ahrefs Academy offers several courses on SEO, including “Basics of SEO,” “On-Page SEO,” “Link Building for SEO” and “Keyword Research.” In these courses, you will learn about the basics of SEO and get information on ways you can optimize your website to achieve better search results.
  • Content marketing courses: the Ahrefs Academy also offers several courses on content marketing. Some examples of those courses include “Content Marketing for SEO,” “Blogging for Business” and “YouTube for Business.” These courses teach you how to create valuable and effective content and how to use it to boost your online presence.
  • Digital marketing courses: the Ahrefs Academy also offers courses on digital marketing, including “Social Media Marketing,” “Email Marketing” and “Affiliate Marketing.” These courses cover a variety of aspects of digital marketing. You will also learn how to use them to grow your business.
  • Tutorials and videos: in addition to courses, the Ahrefs Academy also offers numerous tutorials and videos on specific topics. This could include topics such as “How to do an SEO audit,” “How to analyze competitors,” and “How to use the Ahrefs tool.” These tutorials and videos offer practical tips and tricks that will help you do an even better job of optimizing your website and thus improving your search rankings.

In short, the Ahrefs Academy offers a comprehensive set of free SEO and marketing courses, as well as several resources you can use to take your digital marketing skills to the next level. Whether you are a beginner or a dyed-in-the-wool SEO expert, the Ahrefs Academy always provides valuable information that can contribute to your success in digital marketing.(3)

Ahrefs’ API connection

The Ahrefs API is a powerful tool that developers can use to integrate Ahrefs data into their own applications and Web sites. Here are some examples of things you can do with the Ahrefs API:

  • Backlink analysis: you can use the Ahrefs API to perform detailed backlink analysis for a specific URL or domain. This gives you insight into the quality and quantity of that website’s backlinks.
  • Keyword research: you can use the Ahrefs API to perform keyword research. You can then analyze the keywords based on their search volume, competition and other factors. Based on this analysis, you can determine the best keywords to target for your website.
  • Content analysis: you can use the Ahrefs API to analyze the content of your website or that of competitors You can then compare these with each other. In this way, it becomes clearer which content performs best within your industry. It also gives you ideas for new content.
  • Rank tracking: you can use the Ahrefs API to track and analyze a website’s keyword positions. You’ll gain insight into how your website is performing in search results. Moreover, you can measure the results of your search engine optimization efforts.
  • Competitor analysis: the Ahrefs API allows you to analyze backlinks, keywords and content of your competitors. You discover where their traffic comes from that way. You use this information to develop new ideas for your own strategies.

In short, the Ahrefs API is a powerful tool that offers numerous opportunities to developers and companies looking to improve their SEO and digital marketing strategies. The API gives you access to Ahrefs’ extensive database and allows you to integrate this data into your own applications and workflows.(4)

The pros and cons of Ahrefs at a glance

Advantages

AdvantagesExplanation
Comprehensive Backlink AnalysisAhrefs has one of the largest backlink indexes and provides detailed information about a website’s link profile.
Keyword researchThe Keyword Explorer tool provides deep insight into keyword volumes, difficulty levels, click data and more.
Content ResearchThe Content Explorer tool can help find popular content within a particular topic or niche.
Rank TrackingYou can track a website’s keyword positions over time.
Site AuditThis feature can identify technical SEO problems on a website and help fix them.

Cons

ConsExplanation
PriceAhrefs can be expensive, especially for smaller agencies or freelancers. There are cheaper alternatives on the market.
Learning curveAlthough Ahrefs has many powerful features, it may take some time to make full use of it.
No Integration with Google Analytics or Google Search ConsoleUnlike some other SEO tools, Ahrefs does not offer integration with Google Analytics or Google Search Console.
Historical IndexAlthough Ahrefs’ backlink index is large, their historical index can sometimes be less comprehensive than that of some competitors.

Among other things, what can you do with Ahrefs?

Ahrefs allows you to perform various analyses and surveys to improve your website’s SEO. Some of the key features of Ahrefs are:

  • Backlink analysis: this analysis will give you a better understanding of the backlinks to your website and those of your competitors. Ahrefs tells you how many backlinks are linking to your website, their quality and what anchor texts people are using in the process.
  • Keyword research: this allows you to research what keywords your target audience is using to find your products or services. Then you can examine how well your website ranks for those keywords. Ahrefs provides information on search volume, difficulty and competition.
  • Competitive analysis: this analysis allows you to examine the online presence of your competitors. Consider things like their backlinks, keyword usage and content strategy. This can help you develop strategies to improve your own website and become more competitive within the organic search results.
  • Rank tracker: this tracker allows you to track how your website ranks in search engines for certain keywords. Ahrefs provides information about your position in search results and how it changes over time.
  • Content research: this allows you to research what content is most popular in your industry, as well as what types of content perform best in search engines. This helps develop an effective content strategy for your website.

With the above, as well as other features offered by Ahrefs, users can improve their SEO strategy and grow their online presence.

Ahrefs’ backlink analysis

Ahrefs’ backlink analysis is a powerful tool that analyzes the backlink profiles of your website and those of your competitors. Below I’ve listed some of the key features of Ahrefs’ backlink analysis tool for you.

  • Backlink profile of your website: Ahrefs’ backlink analysis tool allows you to view the backlink profile of your website. This includes the total number of backlinks, referring domains, top anchor texts and top linked pages. It is possible to filter the backlinks by various criteria, such as the strength of the backlink, the language of the page and the countries of origin.
  • Backlink profiles of competitors: you can also view and analyze the backlink profiles of your competitors. So you can see where they get their backlinks from and what anchor texts are used. This insight into your competitors’ backlink strategies will help you develop ideas for your own backlink strategy.
  • Quality of backlinks: to determine the quality of a backlink, Ahrefs uses a unique “Ahrefs Rank” and “Domain Rating” score. These scores indicate how strong and influential a Web site is compared to other Web sites. You can thus assess the quality of the backlinks and decide whether it is worth trying to get a backlink from a particular website.
  • New and lost backlinks: Ahrefs continuously tracks your website’s backlinks. Will you get new backlinks or will backlinks be lost? If so, Ahrefs will notify you immediately. This allows you to react quickly and make adjustments as needed.
  • Analysis of anchor text: Ahrefs also provides a detailed analysis of the anchor texts of the backlinks. This allows you to see what text referring websites use as an anchor and how often. Use this information to improve your own anchor text strategy and create a natural backlink profile.

Ahrefs’ backlink analysis tool thus offers a lot of valuable information about your own backlink profile, as well as that of your competitors. The analysis helps you monitor your competitors and provides insights you can use to improve your own backlink strategy(5).

What metrics does Ahrefs use to determine the value of a Web site?

Ahrefs uses several metrics to determine the value of a Web site. Below I have listed some of the key metrics that Ahrefs uses:

  • Domain Rating (DR): Domain Rating is a score from 0 to 100 that reflects the overall strength of a domain’s backlink profile. The higher the DR, the stronger the website’s backlink profile is. Websites with higher DR have more influence on search results and typically achieve higher organic rankings in search engine search results.
  • Ahrefs Rank (AR): Ahrefs Rank is a score that reflects the popularity of a website. This popularity is determined by the total number of backlinks and their quality. Websites with a higher AR score generally have more backlinks of higher quality and thus are considered more popular.
  • Referring Domains (RD): Referring Domains is the total number of unique domains that link to a Web site. Because it reflects the diversity of a website’s backlink profile, this is considered an important metric. Search engines see a website with a large number of Referring Domains and a varied backlink profile as more trustworthy.
  • Organic Traffic (OT): Organic traffic is the total number of visitors a website receives from organic searches. This is another important metric because it reflects the effectiveness of a website’s SEO strategy. Websites with more organic traffic generally have better search results.
  • Backlink Profile: Ahrefs also offers comprehensive backlink analysis features. These help you determine how high-quality and relevant backlinks to a website are. The analysis includes the number of backlinks, the quality of the backlinks and the relevance of the websites linking to your site.

Ahrefs uses the above metrics to determine the value of a Web site. In this way, it helps SEO experts identify strengths and weaknesses of websites. It is important to remember that these metrics are only an indication of a Web site’s value. Want to be able to draw reliable conclusions about the overall performance of your Web site? Then take a close look at other factors, such as the quality of content and usability of your website.

Using Ahrefs within a keyword research project

Ahrefs is a powerful tool for keyword research. The tool can help you find relevant keywords and understand the competition around them. Below I have listed some steps you can follow to effectively use Ahrefs for keyword research.

  • Identify a list of keywords: make a list of the keywords relevant to your business or industry. These can be general terms, but even more effective is to start with more specific long-tail keywords that target your audience.
  • Use the Ahrefs Keywords Explorer: go to the Ahrefs Keywords Explorer and enter your keywords. Ahrefs will then generate a list of related keywords, as well as statistics such as search volume, difficulty level and estimated clicks per month.
  • Analyze difficulty: analyze the difficulty of the keywords you found. Ahrefs provides an estimate of this and does so based on the number of referring domains linking to the top 10 search results. Are you just starting out with SEO or don’t have many backlinks? Then choose to apply lower difficulty keywords first.
  • Analyze the competition: analyze the top 10 search results for the keywords you found. Look at the websites that make up this top 10 and analyze their backlink profiles and content. You gain valuable information in what types of websites and content perform well for these keywords.
  • Use the Ahrefs Content Explorer: the Ahrefs Content Explorer helps you find popular content around the keywords you found. You can use this to see what types of content are doing well within your industry. This will give you ideas for your own website content.

By following these steps, you can find relevant keywords, analyze the difficulty of these keywords and understand the competition surrounding them. Using this information, you can develop an effective SEO strategy. With this strategy, you will improve your search rankings and attract more traffic to your website. (6)

Using Ahrefs within a competitor analysis

Ahrefs is a powerful tool to analyze your competitors and their SEO strategies. Below are some steps you can take to effectively use Ahrefs for competitor analysis.

  • Identify your competitors: make a list of your main competitors in your industry or niche. Competitors are websites that offer similar products or services to you.
  • Analyze your competitors’ backlink profiles: with Ahrefs’ backlink analysis features, analyze your competitors’ backlink profiles. Look at the total number of backlinks, the quality of the backlinks and the anchor texts used. You will thus obtain a lot of information about the types of websites and their content that link to your competitors.
  • Analyze your competitors’ content: with the Ahrefs Content Explorer, find your competitors’ most popular content. You can thus see which types of content perform well in your industry. This will give you ideas for your own content.
  • Analyze your competitors’ keyword strategy: with the Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, find the keywords your competitors are targeting and ranking for. You can also see the estimated clicks per month for these keywords and analyze the difficulty of these keywords.
  • Analyze your competitors’ ad strategy: use the Ahrefs Advertising Analysis to see what ads your competitors are placing and what ad copy and landing pages they are using.

By following these steps, you can get a good idea of your competitors’ SEO strategies. Using this information, improve your own SEO strategy and optimize your website for better search results.(7)

How do you set up a rank tracker with Ahrefs?

Setting up a rank tracker in Ahrefs is quite easy and can be done in just a few steps.

  • Create a project: the first thing you do is create a project in Ahrefs. You do this by logging into your Ahrefs account and then going to the dashboard. There you click on “Add project” and enter the URL of your website.
  • Add keywords: add the keywords you want to rank for. You do this by going to “Rank Tracker” and clicking “Add keywords.” You can also add keywords manually or import them from a file.
  • Set location and language: select the location and language you want to rank for. You do this by going to “Rank Tracker” and clicking on “Settings.” There you select the location and language that match your target audience.
  • Enter competitors: enter the names of your competitors. You do this by going to “Competitors” and clicking “Add Competitors.” Enter the competitors’ names and then save them.
  • Schedule reports and alerts: scheduling reports and alerts will keep you informed of changes in search results. To schedule these, go to “Rank Tracker” and click on “Alerts” and “Reports.” You can set Ahrefs to send you an alert or report when your ranking for a keyword changes.

Once you have completed these steps, you can start tracking your keyword positions. Ahrefs monitors the ranking of your website and that of your competitors. You receive reports and alerts from the tool when changes occur. You use this data to improve your SEO strategy and optimize your website for organic search results.

What can you use Ahrefs’ rank tracker for?

You can use Ahrefs’ rank tracker to track your website’s positions in search engines for specific keywords. Below I tell you some of the ways you can use Ahrefs’ rank tracker.

  • Monitor your keyword positions: use Ahrefs’ rank tracker to track your website’s keyword positions for specific keywords. This allows you to see how your website is performing in search engines, which is a good indicator of the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.
  • Compare your performance to that of your competitors: you can track not only your own keyword positions but also those of your competitors with Ahrefs’ rank tracker. By comparing your performance to that of your competitors, you will know how your website is performing against the competition. You use this information to adjust your SEO strategy.
  • Identify new opportunities: track your keyword positions with Ahrefs’ rank tracker, then you can identify new opportunities to increase your search traffic. For example, do you find that your website is on the second page of search results for a particular keyword? Then adjust your SEO strategy to rank higher and generate more traffic.
  • Track your progress: Ahrefs’ rank tracker also lets you track your progress in search results. Are you making changes to your SEO strategy? You can then use Ahrefs’ rank tracker to check whether these lead to improvements in your search results.
  • Set alerts: Ahrefs’ rank tracker also lets you set alerts. These alerts notify you of changes in search results. Any warning about a drop will allow you to take immediate action.

So Ahrefs’ rank tracker is a powerful tool you use to track your keyword positions, monitor your competitors and optimize your SEO strategy.

Conducting a content analysis with Ahrefs

The Ahrefs Content Explorer allows you to perform comprehensive content analysis. This gives you insight into the content of your own website and that of your competitors. Below I describe the steps you take to perform content analysis with Ahrefs.

  • Go to the Ahrefs Content Explorer: go to the Ahrefs Content Explorer and enter a keyword or topic relevant to your industry or niche.
  • Analyze content: view the results displayed by Ahrefs and analyze the content of the articles. Look at the titles, subheads, content, length, media and any links. In this way, you will obtain information about the types of content that perform well within your industry. Moreover, it will give you ideas for your own content.
  • Analyze backlinks: use Ahrefs’ backlink analysis features to analyze the backlinks of the content you found. Look at the total number of backlinks, the quality of the backlinks and the anchor texts. This will give you insight into the types of websites and content where most of the backlinks come from.
  • Analyze social media: review the social media signals of the content you found. This will give you insight into the types of content that are popular on social media. You use this information to better shape your own social media content.
  • Analyze estimated clicks per month: view the estimated clicks per month for the content you found. This estimate also gives you a clear idea of the types of content that are popular among your target audience.

By following these steps, you can use Ahrefs to perform a comprehensive content analysis. With the information this gives you, improve the content of your website to optimize for search results. That way you can better compete from your competitors’ content.

How does Ahrefs compare to other SEO tools?

I have now been working as an SEO expert for 9 years. I have worked with many different types of SEO tools, including Moz and SEMrush. Below I tell you what the similarities and differences between the tools are.

What is the difference between Ahrefs and Moz?

Ahrefs and Moz are both software tools you use for search engine optimization. Although they offer some similar features, there are also several differences between them:

  • Backlink Analysis: Ahrefs is known for its extensive backlink analysis capabilities. Typically, then, this tool is considered the most comprehensive backlink tool available on the market today. Moz also has backlink analysis features, but they are significantly less detailed than Ahrefs’.
  • Keyword research: both tools offer keyword research capabilities, but Ahrefs generally has more advanced features. Ahrefs gives you detailed information about keywords, such as their search volume, the competition that exists on these words and the difficulty level. Moz offers similar information, but this search tool is less comprehensive than Ahrefs’.
  • Content Research: Ahrefs offers you extensive content research capabilities. This can include finding popular content in a particular industry and analyzing competitors’ content strategies. Moz also offers similar content search capabilities, but again less detailed than Ahrefs’.
  • Rank Tracking: both tools offer rank tracking capabilities. This tracks how your website ranks for certain keywords in search engines. Ahrefs, however, offers you more advanced features, such as geographic rank tracking and SERP functions.

In conclusion, Ahrefs is a more comprehensive and advanced tool, while Moz is much more of an all-round tool that offers a wide range of features. Which tool you choose depends on your specific needs and the budget you have available for SEO tools.

In what ways is Moz better than Ahrefs?

Despite the advanced nature of Ahrefs, Moz offers some features where, depending on a user’s specific needs, it could be better. Some of the areas in which Moz can be better than Ahrefs are the following:

  • On-page optimization: Moz offers advanced on-page optimization tools, such as a crawler test that identifies technical errors and optimization opportunities on your website. Ahrefs, on the other hand, has no crawler testing and focuses mainly on backlink analysis.
  • Moz Local: Moz offers Moz Local. This is a tool specifically for local SEO optimization. The tool helps you manage and control a company’s online presence in local search results. Ahrefs, on the other hand, does not offer a specific tool for local SEO optimization.
  • MozBar: MozBar is a free browser extension that provides additional SEO information while browsing the Internet. It provides you with information such as page rank, domain authority and page age. Ahrefs does not have a free browser extension, but instead makes a toolbar available as part of the paid subscription.
  • Keyword Explorer: Moz’s Keyword Explorer provides advanced capabilities for finding new keywords. An example of those capabilities is grouping keywords based on intent and providing an “opportunities” report for new keywords. Although Ahrefs also offers keyword research, the capabilities of Moz’s Keyword Explorer are generally more advanced.

In general, Moz is a more all-around SEO tool, while Ahrefs focuses mainly on backlink analysis and keyword research. Choosing the right tool depends on a user’s specific needs and the features essential to his SEO strategy.

What is Ahrefs better at than Moz?

Despite the fact that Ahrefs has to acknowledge its superiority to Moz in the above points, Ahrefs is also better on a few points, depending on a user’s specific needs. Some of the areas in which Ahrefs can be better than Moz include:

  • Backlink Analysis: Ahrefs is one of the most comprehensive backlink analysis tools available today. The tool provides detailed information about the backlinks leading to your website, as well as those leading to your competitors’ websites. Although Moz also offers backlink analysis capabilities, they are not nearly as detailed as Ahrefs’.
  • SERP features: Ahrefs provides detailed information on featured snippets, carousels, local pack and other keyword SERP features. This gives users more insight into how to compete in search results. Moz also provides SERP information, but it is more limited than Ahrefs’.
  • Content Research: Ahrefs offers advanced content research capabilities. Consider, for example, finding popular content in a particular industry and analyzing competitors’ content strategies. Moz also offers content search capabilities, but again these are less detailed than Ahrefs’.
  • Data accuracy: Ahrefs generally has higher data accuracy than Moz. This is especially true when it comes to backlink analysis and keyword data.

In general, Ahrefs is considered a more specialized SEO tool than Moz. Ahrefs has a strong focus on backlink analysis and keyword research. What is the right tool for you depends on your specific needs and the functions that fill the most important roles within your SEO strategy.

The difference between domain rating and domain authority

Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA) are both metrics used to measure a website’s authority in search results. Although they measure the same thing, their results are based on different factors.

Domain Rating is a metric used by Ahrefs. This metric measures the strength of a website’s backlink profile on a scale of 0 to 100. It is calculated based on the number of backlinks pointing to a website and their quality. A higher DR indicates that a website has more and better quality backlinks. This contributes to better results in organic search results.

Domain Authority is a metric deployed by Moz. This metric also measures a Web site’s authority on a scale of 0 to 100. Domain Authority is calculated based on several factors. This includes the number and quality of backlinks, quality of content, social signals and technical aspects of the website. Like DR, a higher DA can indicate a more authoritative website, leading to better search results.

Although DR and DA are both metrics that measure a website’s authority, the results can differ. This is because they are based on different factors and are also calculated by different companies. Therefore, it is important to understand how these metrics work. It is advisable to use both when you want to assess a Web site’s authority.

What is the difference between Ahrefs and SEMrush?

Ahrefs and SEMrush are both software tools used for search engine optimization. Although both offer similar functions, there are also distinct differences between them:

  • Backlink Analysis: Ahrefs is known for its broad backlink analysis capabilities. It is the most comprehensive backlink analysis tool on the market. Although SEMrush also offers these features, they are less detailed than Ahrefs’.
  • Keyword research: SEMrush offers advanced keyword research capabilities, such as finding long-tail keywords and identifying keyword opportunities based on competition and search volume. Ahrefs also offers keyword research, but has less advanced features than SEMrush.
  • Competitive analysis: SEMrush offers advanced competitive analysis capabilities, such as analyzing competitors’ advertising strategy and comparing the organic search performance of multiple competitors simultaneously. Ahrefs also offers competitive analysis, but SEMrush generally has more advanced features.
  • Content Research: Ahrefs offers comprehensive and advanced content research capabilities. Examples include finding popular content in a particular industry and analyzing competitors’ content strategies. SEMrush also offers such content search capabilities, but they contain less detail.
  • Reporting capabilities: SEMrush offers extensive reporting capabilities. This allows users to easily create custom reports and export them to PDF or CSV files. Ahrefs’ reporting capabilities are more limited.

Ahrefs is considered a more specialized SEO tool than SEMrush and has a strong focus on backlink analysis and keyword research. SEMrush, on the other hand, can be called more of an all-around tool. It offers a wide range of SEO and online marketing tools. Which tool you ultimately choose will be determined based on your needs as well as the size of your budget for SEO tools.

What is SEMrush better at than Ahrefs?

SEMrush clearly differentiates itself from Ahrefs with some of its features. Depending on a user’s specific needs, this may make it better in certain areas. Some of the areas in which SEMrush may be better than Ahrefs are:

  • Keyword research: SEMrush offers more advanced keyword research capabilities. This includes finding long-tail keywords and analyzing competitors’ organic, as well as paid keyword positions. Ahrefs also offers keyword research, but not as advanced as SEMrush.
  • PPC analysis: SEMrush offers advanced PPC analysis features. These features allow users to analyze your competitors’ advertising strategies. That way, you will discover new advertising opportunities. Ahrefs is a tool that does not have specific PPC analysis features.
  • Site audit: SEMrush offers a powerful site audit tool. It can identify technical SEO problems on your website and thus help improve website performance. Ahrefs does not offer such a specific site audit tool.
  • Social media management: SEMrush offers tools for social media management. These tools allow users to manage their social media accounts, plan content and track performance. Ahrefs has no such social media management tools.
  • Integrations: SEMrush has broad integrations with other online marketing tools, including Google Analytics, Google Search Console. This makes it easier to combine data and generate comprehensive reports. Ahrefs also has integrations, but they are less comprehensive compared to SEMrush’s.

Overall, SEMrush is a more all-around SEO tool than Ahrefs. SEMrush has a wider range of features. Which tool is ultimately right for you depends on your needs. You make your choice based on the features that are most important to your overall SEO strategy.

What is Ahrefs better at than SEMrush?

Ahrefs offers some features that set it apart from SEMrush. Therefore, depending on your specific needs as a user, it may be better. Some of the areas in which Ahrefs may be better than SEMrush are:

  • Backlink analysis: as one of the most comprehensive backlink analysis tools on the market, Ahrefs provides you with the most detailed information possible about the backlinks to your website. In addition to information about that, you also obtain information about the backlinks to your competitors’ websites. Although SEMrush also offers backlink analysis capabilities, these are less detailed the options offered by Ahrefs.
  • SERP features: Ahrefs provides you with detailed information about keywords’ SERP features, such as featured snippets, carousels and local packs. As a user, this allows you to better understand how to compete in the keywords. Although SEMrush also provides SERP information, it is more limited in nature than Ahrefs’.
  • Data accuracy: Ahrefs generally has higher data accuracy than SEMrush. This is especially true when it comes to backlink analysis and keyword data.
  • Content Search: Ahrefs offers advanced content research capabilities, such as finding popular content in a particular industry . You can also analyze your competitors’ content strategy using this tool. SEMrush also offers content search capabilities, but in less detail than Ahrefs.

Ahrefs is generally seen as a more specialized SEO tool than SEMrush. It has, as mentioned earlier, a strong focus on backlink analysis and keyword research. Are you about to make a choice between the two tools? Then let your final decision depend on your specific needs and the features that are most essential to your SEO strategy.

Besides Ahrefs, SEMrush and Moz, are there any other tools of interest for SEO?

Yes. In addition to Ahrefs, SEMrush and Moz, there are several other tools that may be of interest to SEO professionals and marketers. The following are some examples:

  • Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a free tool you use to track website traffic and analyze user behavior. It offers a wide range of reports and analytics that give you insight into the performance of your website.
  • Google Search Console: Google Search Console is a free tool from Google. It supports you in monitoring and optimizing your website’s performance in organic search results. Google Search Console provides you with information about the keywords for which your website is showing, your website’s performance on mobile devices and much more.
  • Screaming Frog: Screaming Frog is a paid tool that you use for technical SEO audits and crawl analysis. The tool assists you in identifying technical errors on your website. Being able to detect and address these, Screaming Frog contributes significantly to optimizing your website structure.
  • Yoast SEO: Yoast SEO is a popular WordPress plugin for search engine optimization. It provides tools for on-page SEO, such as optimizing meta tags and generating an XML sitemap.
  • Google Keyword Planner: Google Keyword Planner is a free tool from Google. You apply it for keyword research. The tool provides information on search volume, competition and bids for Google Ads.

The tools I listed above are just a few examples of the many SEO tools available. Which tools are best for your specific needs depends on your goals, budget and the type of SEO work you do. Check out my full list of SEO tools here.

Conclusion: should you use Ahrefs?

Ahrefs is a tool with an awful lot of possibilities within the tool. In this approximately 6,000-word article, I have only hinted at a few things. My advice? Take advantage of the information I’ve given you and find out in what ways Ahrefs can be meaningful to your website. For both the novice and the experienced SEO expert, Ahrefs is a fine tool to work with.

In doing so, I want to impress upon you that a tool is “just” a tool. Regardless of the detailed information it can give you, it is always important to check the findings in the source code and trust your own feelings.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
Five stars
My clients give me a 5.0 on Google out of 75 reviews

I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 22 March 2024. The last update of this article was on 22 March 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.