Ahrefs is one of the most popular SEO monitoring tools on the market, but it’s certainly not the only game in town. Considering that SEO drives 1000% more traffic than organic social media searches, there’s every incentive to investigate every SEO tool at your disposal.
Furthermore, the controversial usage-based pricing update from Ahrefs has intensified the need among users to explore alternatives to Ahrefs.
In this article, you’ll learn about the 5 best Ahrefs alternatives, their features, and how they compare to Ahrefs in terms of pricing and functionality.
Spoiler Alert: None of the Ahrefs alternatives featured below are free. Unfortunately, there is no free alternative to Ahrefs currently available in the market. Ahrefs offers a wide range of SEO tools, and none of the supposedly free SEO tools currently available offer the same level of features and data.
Semrush is widely regarded as the leading SEO tool on the market due to its constant innovation in keyword research and competition analysis features, offering a multitude of exciting and effective ways to optimize your search rankings.
I personally prefer Semrush over Ahrefs because it offers more bang for your buck. While Ahrefs has a better backlink analysis tool, Semrush is superior in every other aspect: from keyword research to technical SEO to content marketing.
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5 Best Ahrefs Alternatives in 2023
Let’s start the list of alternatives to Ahrefs with my favorite SEO tool — Semrush. As one of the longest-running and most established SEO tools on the market, Semrush has achieved a cult-like status among SEO professionals. And for good reason, too.
With Semrush being so well-established and used so frequently, they offer not only the most extensive SEO databases but also the most accurate. This is important, as having incorrect or inaccurate SEO data can be worse than having no data at all.
Imagine sinking valuable resources into a digital marketing strategy only to learn that your target keywords aren’t as competitive as you had thought at first.
That’s not to gloss over Semrush’s massive keyword database, however. Semrush would qualify as the best Ahrefs alternative for this fact alone, as their database dwarfs their closest competitor by a longshot. Their database of keywords for SEO and PPC campaigns has over 24 billion entries.
Semrush also offers a number of useful tools for tracking your website traffic and marketing campaign’s performance.
Every Semrush user has access to daily data updates. For instance, you can track the performance of specific keywords with Semrush’s Position Tracking tool.
This will allow you to monitor changes in rankings for critical keywords and you can update your content accordingly to make sure you stay ahead of your competitors.
Semrush is tailor-made for SEO agencies and professionals. Their reporting feature is the best-in-class, with the ability to generate reports on virtually anything you could think of.
You can generate printable PDFs on everything from key performance indicators (KPIs) to the performance of branded content. You can even schedule recurring reports to be generated at set intervals.
Semrush also understands how modern SEO works.
In the past, the prevailing wisdom was that more links = better. This led to all manner of unscrupulous behavior, causing Google to crack down on questionable links that could come from Black Hat tactics like keyword stuffing and anchor text abuse.
Semrush analyzes your content for toxic backlinks, as well. They’re the only SEO software to offer this feature and are worthy of being one of the best alternatives to Ahrefs for this feature alone.
Finally, Semrush helps you optimize your content for SEO similar to the Content Experience platform from Searchmetrics.
With Semrush’s Content Marketing toolkit, you can hone your content marketing strategies to a razor’s edge. It offers everything from content ideas to SEO writing assistance.
You can perform an in-depth audit of your existing content assets and get actionable insights on improving the quality of your content to make it more appealing to your target audience.
All of these features, together, make Semrush an excellent alternative to Ahrefs. Even better, Semrush is comparably priced with Ahrefs, which makes it an excellent option if you’re looking for an all-in-one SEO solution.
Semrush’s Pro plan ($129.95/month) is ideal SEO professionals, solopreneurs, and bloggers. You’ll get access to all the 40+ tools featured in the Semrush suite. Small agencies and SMBs plans can benefit from the Guru plan ($249.95/month), as you’ll get access to advanced reporting features and also enjoy greater limits.
Semrush’s Business plan ($449.95/mo) is best suited for agencies with diverse clientele and large enterprises.
If you’ve never tried Semrush before, I’d highly recommend you sign up for a 14-day free trial of Semrush Pro and explore some of the features discussed above.
To learn more about how Semrush compares to Ahrefs, check out our in-depth Ahrefs vs Semrush comparison guide.
If you’re looking for an affordable Ahrefs alternative that still performs solidly, Serpstat should be on your radar. Serpstat features all of the basic SEO functions you need like keyword research, for instance, for SEO and PPC alike. It also offers keyword alternatives and suggestions to give you more ideas for your content marketing strategy.
Serpstat also deserves a mention for its slick user interface (UI). The user-friendly interface ensures that you master all the features in no time. Like the Domain vs Domain feature, where you can compare your domain with two of your fiercest competitors to identify common keywords, compare rankings, and find opportunities for growth.
Serpstat is one of the best Ahrefs alternatives due to its powerful site audit feature, which is fast, thorough, and surprisingly robust. It analyzes your website to identify major technical SEO issues. It also identifies more subtle opportunities for improvement, like having page titles that are too long or missing meta tags.
Even better, Serpstat organizes the SEO issues by priority, so you can address high and medium priority issues first.
Finally, Serpstat boasts excellent customer service. If you do experience a problem with their SEO software, it will be addressed quickly and easily.
Overall, Serpstat combines affordability with strong SEO performance. It’s one of the most budget-friendly SEO platforms out there, with pricing plans starting at just $50/month.
Recommended reading: Serpstat Review: The Ultimate SEO & PPC Tool for Bloggers
Speaking of affordable SEO tools that are still functional and useful, Mangools is worthy of mention. In fact, Mangools is even more affordable than Serpstat. This is 5x as exciting, considering that Mangools is actually an entire SEO suite.
Mangools offers 5 SEO tools for an incredibly low price. There’s the keyword research tool, KWFinder, that offers hundreds of suggestions for each search. Each keyword also features important SEO metrics like search volume, keyword difficulty, CPC, and trend history.
The keyword autocomplete feature is surprisingly useful, as well. These can yield all manner of ideas for additional content for your website and keyword strategies.
Next, there is the SERPChecker and SERPWatcher, where you can do competitive analysis and keep track of keyword performance over time.
There’s also the backlink checker, to give you ideas for backlink opportunities. Then, finally, there’s the SiteProfiler tool, which gives you a bird’s eye view of your competition.
Mangools has a lot of features that make it worthy of consideration and inclusion among the best Ahrefs alternatives.
Its reporting functions can leave something to be desired, however, which can be a drawback if you’re running an SEO agency and need to illustrate your findings for your clients.
Mangools is also a newer SEO tool so it doesn’t have as extensive of a database as more established tools like Ahrefs or Semrush.
One of the biggest factors in Mangools’ favor is its affordability. Its basic plan costs $49/month when billed monthly and $29.90/month when billed annually. Even the Agency plan is only $79.90 when billed annually, making it worth a look if you’re looking for a good SEO tool on a budget.
4. SE Ranking
SE Ranking is also an all-in-one SEO suite like Mangools. SE Ranking is a cloud-based SEO software that offers all of the SEO functions as the other platforms we’ve discussed. You can do keyword research and analysis. You can audit sites and links.
These insights can be integrated with Google Analytics as well, making SE Ranking useful as part of a cross-platform or multichannel marketing strategy.
SE Ranking even offers some features that far more expensive solutions don’t. The inclusion of SEO localization is a nice touch and should put SE Ranking on your radar if you conduct your business in multiple locations.
Furthermore, the smooth UI and beginner-friendly nature of the tool allow you to perform even the most complex SEO tasks like technical SEO audit and competitor analysis easily and more efficiently.
SE Ranking is also quite affordable for what it offers. SE Ranking’s basic plan, the Essential plan, costs just $39/month. The Pro edition is their most popular, giving you Rank Tracking for up to 1000 keywords for $89/month while the Business edition offers 2500 keywords for $189/month.
SE Ranking even offers an extensive, elaborate dashboard, as one final benefit. If you’re dealing with customers or clients in any regard, you should put SE Ranking on your audition list. It offers a remarkable amount of tools and resources at an incredibly low price point.
Speaking of competitive analysis, we’ll continue our list of the top Ahrefs alternatives with a powerful SEO tool that is also a content marketing platform. Searchmetrics blends classic SEO tools like keyword research with some newer, flashier features, most notably a detailed, powerful dashboard.
Searchmetrics offers a number of innovative SEO tools, which combine time-honored SEO techniques with the latest digital business innovations. Searchmetrics blends keyword research with modern, data-driven insights.
Access to historical SEO data is one of its most striking features. Basic users are given access to five years of historical data, so you can see a history of your target keywords’ performance. Suite users get access to even more.
Searchmetrics’ domain-level keyword research tool is especially useful. You simply have to type in a domain and Searchmetrics will show you how a website is performing in search engine result pages (SERPs).
It’s also very simple to compare your website against your competitors, so you know exactly how your content is performing.
You can also break those insights down into granular data. You can see where your traffic is coming from, what devices your visitors are using to access your site, whether or not traffic is coming from organic or paid search results, and so on.
Searchmetrics’ most exciting feature is the Content Experience platform, however. The Content Experience tool transforms SEO insights and historical data into ideas for your content marketing strategies.
The main downside to Searchmetrics is that it can get expensive once you get to the Enterprise level. They offer more inexpensive options for SMBs, starting at $69/month and $149/month for the Pro plan, but those plans don’t give you access to as much data or even offer certain basic functions like exporting data. You’ll have to contact Searchmetrics to find out their price for the Suite plan.
So these are the 5 Ahrefs alternatives you should consider investing in. Have I missed out on an SEO tool that you think deserves to be in this list of Ahrefs alternatives? If so, please mention your preferred SEO tool in the comments section below and state your reasons why you consider this tool to be a better alternative to Ahrefs.
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Editor’s Note: This article was first published on 23 September 2020 and has been updated regularly since then for relevance, freshness, and comprehensiveness.