Best SEO Software 2020

Ahrefs Competitors & Alternatives

Are you considering a subscription with Ahrefs? Here's a breakdown of the 14 competitors & alternatives that you should know about before making a purchase.

Ahrefs is one of the best all-in-one SEO software solutions used by digital marketers around the world. It's platform has numerous tools that help all types of websites gain more search traffic.

Before purchasing Ahrefs, however, it's important to understand the alternative solutions in the market. Below, we outline the top Ahrefs tools, and share the main competitors for each.

To better understand its software, you can also read our in-depth review of Ahrefs.

Table of Contents

Ahrefs Features

Before digging into Ahrefs competitors, it's important to understand the different Ahrefs features. The Ahrefs platform is an aggregation of numerous tools that Internet marketers use to create engaging content, improve search rankings, build backlinks and optimize their sites for SEO.

The seven primary Ahrefs feature categories are:

  • Keyword Research
  • Competitive Research
  • Keyword Rank Tracking
  • Backlink Analysis
  • SEO Site Audits
  • Content Research
  • Traffic Analytics

Ahrefs Competitor Overview

Ahrefs competes with numerous marketing software tools. The competitors you should evaluate alongside Ahrefs depends on which features you plan to use. Tools like SEMrush compete with Ahrefs across all feature categories. Others, like AccuRanker and Screaming Frog, compete with individual Ahrefs tools.

  • Do you want an all-in-one SEO tool that can do everything? Consider SEMrush, Moz, Serpstat, and SE Ranking.
  • Are you looking for a backlink analysis tool? Try Majestic.
  • Do you need a tool for site audits? Try Deepcrawl.

Top Ahrefs Competitors

The top Ahrefs competitors are:

  • SEMrush
  • Moz
  • Serpstat
  • SE Ranking

Ahrefs Competitors by Feature Category

Another way to understand Ahrefs's competitors is to evaluate them by feature category. Here's a full breakdown of Ahrefs competitors by feature category:

What Feature Do You Need?Top Ahrefs Competitors
All FeaturesSEMrush, Serpstat, SE Ranking, Moz
Keyword ResearchKWFinder, Long Tail Pro
Competitive ResearchSpyFu, Alexa
Keyword Rank TrackingAccuRanker
Backlink AnalysisMajestic
SEO Site AuditsDeepCrawl, Screaming Frog
Content ResearchBuzzSumo
Traffic AnalyticsSimilarWeb

All-in-one SEO Tools

SEMrush

SEMrush is an excellent all-in-one SEO solution. It's actually Ahrefs's top overall competitor. If you want the tool that's best for keyword research, keyword rank tracking, and competitive research, then we recommend SEMrush. If you need a solution to support content marketing and backlink building, then you'll likely prefer Ahrefs.

SEMrush Starting Price: $99.95 per month

SEMrush vs. Ahrefs:
  • SEMrush's Keyword Magic Tool is better for keyword research.
  • SEMrush keyword rank tracker is updated more frequently.
  • The SEMrush platform includes competitor data on all marketing channels.
  • Ahrefs is better for backlink analysis.

Serpstat

Serpstat is another popular all-in-one SEO solution that offers most of the same features as Ahrefs. It is slightly cheaper than Ahrefs and allows you to track a much higher keyword volume. As a result, many cost-conscious marketers believe that Serpstat is the better option. We recommend testing both of these tools to determine which is best for you.

Serpstat Starting Price: $69 per month

Serpstat vs. Ahrefs:
  • Serpstat is cheaper – you can track 15,000 keywords for $69 per month.
  • Ahrefs is better for content research.
  • Ahrefs has a significantly larger backlink database.

SE Ranking

SE Ranking is a solid all-in-one SEO tool used by over 300,000 customers. It's $19 starting price is significantly lower than Ahrefs's $99 entry plan. While the systems offer many of the same features, the tools in Ahrefs are generally more robust. Content research and backlink profile analysis are examples of where Ahrefs is significantly stronger.

SE Ranking Starting Price: $19 per month

SE Ranking vs. Ahrefs:
  • SE Ranking is significantly cheaper, but does charge an extra fee for some features.
  • Ahrefs is much stronger for content research.
  • Ahrefs provides significantly more insight into your backlink profile.

Moz

Moz offers many of the same features as Ahrefs, including keyword research, rank tracking, backlink analysis and business listing management. It is a very popular tool among online marketers. However, Moz does not offer the same breadth of tools. In addition, its backlink database includes far less data than Ahrefs.

Moz Starting Price: $99 per month (Moz Pro), $129 per year (Moz Local)

Moz vs. Ahrefs:
  • Moz keyword research tool provides less data (e.g. keyword difficulty, by device, SERP features, etc.).
  • Moz does not provide the same level of insight into backlink profiles.
  • Ahrefs allows you to monitor a higher volume of keywords for the same price (500 vs. 300).

Keyword Research

KWFinder

KWFinder is a keyword research tool developed by Mangools. It is a good option for beginners on a budget.

KWFinder has a few significant drawbacks compared to Ahrefs. For example, it limits results to 200 keywords (vs. 500) and does not offer a keyword gap analysis tool. Overall, Ahrefs is slightly stronger for keyword research, and comes with significantly more tools.

KWFinder Starting Price: $49 per month

KWFinder vs. Ahrefs:
  • KWFinder is about half the price of Ahrefs.
  • KWFinder only returns 200 keyword suggestions per search (with Basic Plan). Ahrefs includes 500.
  • Does not offer keyword gap analysis found in Ahrefs.

Long Tail Pro

Long Tail Pro is another leading keyword research tool. At $37/month, it is far cheaper than Ahrefs.

However, for most use cases, its keyword research tool is less valuable than what Ahrefs provides. And with Ahrefs, you get a portfolio of tools that will provide incremental value. Given this full portfolio of tools, we recommend going with Ahrefs.

Long Tail Pro Starting Price: $37 per month

Long Tail Pro vs. Ahrefs:
  • Long Tail Pro's Starter Plan limits you to 800 keyword results per day.
  • Long Tail Pro does not provide search trend data.
  • You can only track 30 keywords using Long Tail Pro's keyword rank tracker.
  • Long Tail Pro only does keyword research. It does not offer the breadth of tools found in Ahrefs.

Competitive Research

SpyFu

SpyFu is a competitive intelligence tool for online marketers. It is used by customers to spy on the organic and paid search activity of their competitors.

At $39/month, SpyFu costs much less than Ahrefs. If you want a solution for competitive research only, then SpyFu is a great option. Ahrefs costs $99/month, but does come with a wide range of tools. SpyFu cannot compete with Ahrefs when it comes to content research and backlink monitoring, for example.

SpyFu Starting Price: $39 per month

SpyFu vs. Ahrefs:
  • SpyFu is significantly cheaper than Ahrefs.
  • Both tools provide rich competitive data on organic and paid search activity.
  • SpyFu reports have slightly less data and filtering options compared to Ahrefs.
  • SpyFu solely provides competitive intelligence; Ahrefs offers a full range of tools.

Alexa

Alexa is a competitive intelligence tool used by marketers to better understand their competitors' audiences & online marketing practices. Some of the audience insights provided can only be found in Alexa.

Alexa is a solid option worth testing. However, it does not include the content research and backlink monitoring solutions found in Ahrefs.

Alexa Starting Price: $149 per month

Alexa vs. Ahrefs:
  • Alexa provides intelligence on competitor audiences not found in Ahrefs.
  • Both Alexa and Ahrefs share data on competitors' organic and paid search campaigns.
  • Ahrefs offers a wider range of tools at a lower price.

Keyword Rank Tracking

AccuRanker

AccuRanker and SEMrush are our two favorite keyword rank tracking tools. While Ahrefs does offer a keyword rank tracking tool, it's far from ideal. Ahrefs' tool only updates its rankings once per week, and its data visualization is below average. Therefore, if you're in the market for a keyword rank tracking tool, we recommend either AccuRanker or SEMrush.

AccuRanker Starting Price: $109 per month

AccuRanker vs. Ahrefs:
  • Ahrefs has a portfolio of tools. AccuRanker just does rank tracking.
  • However, Ahrefs keyword tracker is far from ideal.
  • AccuRanker integrates seamlessly with Google Analytics and Search Console to calculate advanced, valuable metrics.

Backlink Analysis

Majestic

Majestic is a backlink analysis tool that leverages data from the company's enormous link intelligence web index. Other SEO software applications actually pay Majestic to use its proprietary database of websites and backlinks.

The Majestic offering is most similar to Ahrefs's backlink profile monitoring. Ahrefs's basic tool is valuable, but is nowhere near as advanced as Majestic. If you want the richest understanding of your website's backlinks, Majestic is the option for you. If you want an all-in-one SEO tool that comes with very strong backlink analysis, then Ahrefs is ideal.

Majestic Starting Price: $49 per month

Majestic vs. Ahrefs:
  • Majestic has one of the largest databases of websites and backlinks in the world.
  • Majestic provides richer data than Ahrefs's backlink profile.
  • Majestic tells you the topics your site is trusted for, and to what degree.
  • Majestic is just a backlink analysis tool. It does not have the breadth of features found in Ahrefs.

SEO Site Audits

DeepCrawl

Ahrefs does come with a site audit tool that crawls your website to surface basic technical SEO issues. These include broken links, duplicate content, missing title tags and H1s.

However, website crawling is not Ahrefs's core competency. It's crawler works for smaller websites, but does not provide the level of insight and detailed analysis that larger sites require. If your goal is to run a thorough crawl of your website to surface and fix technical SEO issues, then we recommend a solution like DeepCrawl. DeepCrawl allows you to crawl 10,000 pages per month for a fraction of the cost of Ahrefs.

DeepCrawl Starting Price: $14 per month

DeepCrawl vs. Ahrefs:
  • Ahrefs' Lite Plan ($99) and DeepCrawl's Light Plan ($14) both limit you to 10,000 crawled pages per month.
  • Ahrefs's crawler and reporting are far more basic than DeepCrawl.
  • DeepCrawl is only a crawler. It does not offer the breadth of features found in Ahrefs.

Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is a top DeepCrawl competitor. They're both best-in-class crawlers that website owners use to detect and fix technical SEO issues.

As we explained above, crawling is not Ahrefs's core competency. As a result, crawls performed by Screaming Frog result in deeper insight and more actionable reports. If you're in the market for a crawler, we recommend evaluating DeepCrawl and Screaming Frog.

Screaming Frog Starting Price: £149.00 per year

Screaming Frog vs. Ahrefs:
  • Ahrefs Lite Plan limits you to 10,000 pages crawled per month vs. unlimited with Screaming Frog.
  • Ahrefs's crawler and data are far more basic than Screaming Frog.
  • Screaming Frog is a desktop crawler, so it has no monthly or annual limits on usage.
  • Screaming Frog is only a crawler. It does not offer the breadth of features found in Ahrefs.

Content Research

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a popular content marketing tool. Marketers use it to find content ideas and influencers.

Ahrefs includes a Content Explorer tool that shows you topics related to any keyword, as well as your competitors' top performing content. BuzzSumo offers several advanced tools in addition to these basic features.

If you are looking for a tool specifically to improve your content marketing, then BuzzSumo is a great option. Keep in mind that it only does content marketing; it does not offer the breadth of tools found in Ahrefs.

BuzzSumo Starting Price: $99 per month

BuzzSumo vs. Ahrefs:
  • Ahrefs offers strong content research tools.
  • BuzzSumo provides stronger content research tools, but does not include the backlink data found in Ahrefs.
  • BuzzSumo includes features such as influencer discovery & trending feeds not found in Ahrefs.

Traffic Analytics

SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb leverages its massive panel of users to produce traffic analytics reports for websites. The company tracks the behavior of hundreds of millions of users to understand each website's traffic, traffic sources, audience interests, and competing websites.

While Ahrefs can be used for competitive research, it is limited to organic and paid search channels. Ahrefs does not have a panel of users that unlock insights into the overall performance of websites. If you need a tool that excels in competitive research, we recommend SEMrush or SimilarWeb.

SimilarWeb Starting Price: Custom Quotes Only

SimilarWeb vs. Ahrefs:
  • SimilarWeb has a massive proprietary panel it uses to produce audience and traffic insights.
  • Ahrefs only includes competitor data for the organic and paid search channels.
  • SimilarWeb's solution is likely far more expensive than Ahrefs.

Bottom Line

Because Ahrefs offers so many tools, it can be challenging to determine if it is the best solution for you. However, there are really only two types of Ahrefs competitors:

  • All-in-one SEO tools like SEMrush and Serpstat that compete with Ahrefs across all feature categories
  • Point solutions that specialize in one of Ahrefs's feature categories

If you are looking for an all-in one SEO platform that excels in content research and backlink analysis, Ahrefs is the best option in the market. If you only need an SEO tool to complete one specific function, you'll likely prefer a tool with that functional expertise.

Bruce Hogan

Bruce Hogan is Co-founder & CEO of SoftwarePundit, a technology research firm that provides advice, information, and tools to help businesses thrive. Bruce has experience investing at multi-billion dollar private equity firms, leading teams at venture-backed Internet companies, and launching new businesses.

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