SEO Tools Showdown: SEMrush vs Ahrefs vs Moz Pro vs SpyFu


Give a quick Google search on the terms ‘Best SEO Tools’ and you’ll get articles in SERPs featuring one or all of these tools – SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz Pro, and SpyFu. In this article, we’ll put each of these tools under the microscope and help you decide whether it’s worth investing in them.

For all these tools, we’ll reveal their key features, pros and cons, pricing, and ratings on popular reviews sites such as G2Crowd, TrustRadius, and Capterra.

SEO Tools Showdown- SEMrush vs Ahrefs vs Moz Pro vs SpyFu

SEO ToolPricingFeaturesValue for MoneyEase of UseFree Trial 
SEMrush$99.95/mo✪✪✪✪✪✪✪✪✪✪✪✪✪14 DaysGRAB THIS OFFER
Ahrefs$99/mo✪✪✪✪✪✪✪✪✪✪✪✪NoVisit Ahrefs
Moz Pro$99/mo✪✪✪✪✪✪✪✪✪30 DaysGRAB THIS OFFER
SpyFu$39/mo✪✪✪✪✪✪✪✪✪NoVisit SpyFu

#1 SEMrush

SEMrush is the world’s leading competitive research service for online marketing and one of the most popular SEO tools in the market. SEMrush allows you to do keyword research, spy on your competition’s SEO and PPC strategies, do backlink analysis, and much more.

SEO Tools Showdown: SEMrush

Key Features

For the complete list of SEMrush features, refer to this page. Listed below are some of the tool’s key features:

  • See competitors’ best keywords
  • Discover new organic competitors
  • Observe position changes of domains
  • Uncover your competitors’ ad strategies and budget
  • Conduct a deep backlink analysis
  • Find the right keywords for SEO and PPC campaigns
  • Gather phrase matches and related keywords
  • Get long tail keywords
  • Find keywords with less competition
  • Set side-by-side domains’ comparisons
  • Gather all the SEMrush data in one custom PDF report


  • The best competitive intelligence tool. Helps you uncover your competitors’ SEO as well as PPC strategies.
  • Site Audit feature helps you identify and fix on-page and technical SEO errors on your website.
  • Excellent keyword research tool.
  • Drag and drop report builder.


  • A steep learning curve.
  • Backlink analysis is still in beta mode. Nowhere near as precise as Ahrefs.


  • Pro – $99.95/Month (Ideal for beginners and bloggers)
  • Guru – $199.95/Month (Ideal for small business owners and solopreneurs)
  • Business – $399.95/Month (Ideal for marketing agencies and marketing teams in big companies)

Note: By opting for annual plans, you can save up to $800.

Get a FREE 14-day SEMrush PRO Trial (Value $49.95)


Final Verdict

If you had to choose just one service out of these four, go for SEMrush. SEMrush is the ultimate SEO tool which helps you unravel the most profitable keywords for your business or blog, and helps you gain a deeper understanding of your competitors’ search and PPC tactics to rank higher in SERPs.

Get FREE Access to SEMrush Pro for 30 days 

Visit their website

Check out our full review of SEMrush here.

#2 Ahrefs

If you’re serious about building high quality backlinks for your site, Ahrefs is the tool you should invest in. Ahrefs has the best link index among all SEO tools. You can use this tool to unearth your competitors’ backlink profile and build your own backlinks.

RELATED  Grammarly Review: Is this the Best Grammar Checker?

In addition to link building, you can also use Ahrefs to track your position on search engines, perform technical audits, and do keyword research via Keyword Explorer 2.0.

SEO Tools Showdown: Ahrefs

Key Features

  • Site Explorer – Get an in-depth look at the organic search traffic and backlink profile of any website or URL.
  • Content Explorer – Discover the most popular content for any topic (by backlinks, organic traffic and social shares).
  • Alerts – Get notified of new & lost backlinks, web mentions and keywords rankings.
  • Rank Tracker – Track your desktop and mobile rankings for any location. Get daily/weekly/monthly reports.
  • Domain Comparison – Compare the backlink profiles of up to 5 different domains.
  • Content Gap – Find the keywords your competitors rank for, but you don’t.


  • Second-to-none backlink analysis.
  • Rank tracker is accurate and reliable.
  • Email alerts help you keep a track of new and lost backlinks as well as rankings of your site for important keywords.
  • Keywords Explorer 2.0 sets high standards for keyword research.
  • Excellent outreach tool which works well with other content marketing tools such as Buzzsumo, Ninja Outreach, and Mailshake.


  • Expensive compared to other link building tools such as Majestic SEO (its direct competition) and SpyFu.


  • Lite – $99/Month (Ideal for beginners and solopreneurs)
  • Standard – $179/Month (Ideal for experienced bloggers)
  • Advanced – $399 (Ideal for SEO agencies)
  • Agency – $999 (Ideal for marketing agencies with a big clientele)

Note: By signing up for annual plans, you get 20% off.


  • G2Crowd – 4.5/5 (59 reviews)
  • TrustRadius – 7.8/10 (22 reviews)
  • Capterra – No reviews yet

Final Verdict

When it comes to backlink analysis, Ahrefs is the best there is. Despite being on the pricier side, it’s well worth investing in this tool because of the strong ROI.

Visit their website

Check out our full review of Ahrefs here

#3 Moz Pro

Started by Rand Fishkin aka the Wizard of Moz back in 2004, Moz is perhaps the most popular SEO tool in this list, owing to the cult-like popularity of Fishkin. Moz relies heavily on SEO metrics such as Domain Authority and Page Authority to give you insights on link equity, keyword rankings, page optimization reports, and more.

Moz Pro: SEO Tools Showdown

Key Features

For the full list of features, refer to this page. Here are some of the key features of Moz Pro you should know about:

  • Global Rank Tracking – Track keywords weekly for Google, Bing, and Yahoo in 200+ countries, plus segment them by campaign, keyword label and location.
  • Keyword Research – Discover and prioritize the best keywords to target for your site
  • Link Profile Analysis – Access and evaluate the most important links on the web with our industry-leading metrics.
  • Site Crawl – Quickly identify the SEO fixes that will take your website to the next level
  • Page Optimization – Search top-performing content across the web to find winning strategies and accelerate your content efforts.
  • Reporting – Prove and improve your impact on site traffic.
RELATED  Depositphotos Review: How Does It Compare with Free Stock Image Sites?


  • Page Optimization feature allows you to identify and fix on-page issues with your site and boost search rankings.
  • Excellent customer support. 1-on-1 product walkthrough available for all plans.


  • Backlink data can sometimes be inaccurate.
  • Steep learning curve. This is not a beginner-friendly tool. It takes time to get used to all its features.


  • Standard – $99/Month (Ideal for bloggers and solopreneurs)
  • Medium – $179/Month (Ideal for bloggers)
  • Large – $249 (Ideal for SEO agencies)
  • Premium – $599 (Ideal for marketing agencies with a big clientele)

Note: You can save 20% on any of the above by opting for yearly plans.


Final Verdict

With a renewed focus on search, Moz Pro still manages to be one of the best SEO tools in the market.

Click here to get one month free access to Moz Pro.

Visit their website

Pro Tip: For a detailed comparison between SEMrush and Moz, check out this article.

#4 SpyFu

Spyfu is a competitive intelligence tool for online marketers. SpyFu offers deep insights into both SEO and PPC, and helps you improve your search rankings by tapping into your competitors’ keyword strategies.

SpyFu: SEO Tools Showdown


  • SEO Research – Improve your search rankings by tapping into your competitors’ keyword strategies.
  • PPC Research – Discover the competition’s most lucrative keywords that you’re missing.
  • Competitor Research – Type your competitor’s domain into SpyFu and get deeper insights.


  • The plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee.
  • Cheaper than most competitive intelligence tools in the market.


  • Relatively new and inexperienced compared to other tools in the market.
  • No free trial.
  • Confusing layout.


  • Basic – $39/Month
  • Professional – $99/Month
  • Business – $299/Month


Final Verdict

SpyFu is a decent competitive research and keyword analysis tool. With plans starting at $39/month, it is also one of the most competitively priced SEO products in the market. Having said that, the tool certainly has limitations. The data you get is not always accurate and the UI can be a bit overwhelming at times. But if you want a reliable SEO tool that is not too heavy on the pocket, you should try SpyFu.

Visit their website

If you liked this article, please share it on Twitter using the link below:

Related Articles


  1. I’ve tried them all. But I agree Semrush seems to be the best overall tool if you only have the budget (or the time) to choose one. I’ve also tried Moz several times, but have never really warmed up to it for my purposes. I find Semrush is just way faster and easier for me to use for the purposes I use it for. (The learning curve was kind of steep too in the beginning – I’m still not what you’d call a power user

  2. I’m trying all of them right now to see which I’ll subscribe to and it seems like they all differ wildly in results for the same searches with ahrefs being way ahead of the pack in my experience. I do wish ahrefs had a better on-page SEO tool like SEMRush and Moz though. Thinking of doing the base plans on ahrefs and Moz Pro combined and ditching SEMRush before renewal.

  3. I came across this page because I was looking for the best SEO tool to use and which would be my money’s worth. SEMrush is definitely number especially when it comes to keywords research. But for backlink analysis, nothing beats Ahrefs. That’s my opinion. Based on my research, Ahrefs is useful for backlink analysis and link building. I like the pros and cons you put in the article. I found that helpful. It made me understand which tool to get.

  4. Thanks for the comparison. Hmmm I’m wondering can I use SemRush to do niche/keyword research the same job as Long tail Pro? Or was intending use both LTP and maybe Ahrefs. I now see Ahrefs is more for backlinks…which is great but Im only starting out… so now Im thinking maybe SemRush could replace both?

  5. We are currently testing out both SEMRush and MOZ Pro for the next 30 days. I’ve been going through several of your articles on the comparisons between the two platforms and have been really impressed and appreciative of the insight you have provided on them. We have outsourced our SEO fulfillment for years but have decided to start bringing select clients in house. We are looking for strong insights to improve their rankings as well as clear and easy to understand reporting to provide to the client. Thanks for the information and tips!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here