If you’re an SME, freelancer, or major corporation, you may be in the market for an SEO tool to improve your (or your client’s) online presence.
But which tool is the best? There are so many on the market it can be difficult to know which one to choose.
Since you clicked on this post, we can assume you’ve narrowed down your hunt to two final contenders: SE Ranking and Ahrefs.
In this post, we’ll be putting two of the industry’s leading SEO tools head to head to decide which is best in 2023. Let’s get into it.
SE Ranking vs Ahrefs
What is SE Ranking?
SE Ranking is a comprehensive SEO tool that’s designed to cater to all your search engine optimisation needs. It stands out for its user-friendly interface, making it accessible even to those who are relatively new to SEO.
The tool allows you to track the rankings of various keywords, conduct website audits, and analyse your competitors’ strategies, amongst other capabilities.
Additionally, it’s unique for the sheer number of projects it can handle simultaneously, making it a powerful ally for businesses of all sizes.
Given its vast array of features, it’s quite easy to make the SE Ranking Semrush comparison as many have within the SEO industry.
SE Ranking thus proves to be more than just a standard SEO tool—it’s a complete solution that’s adept at tackling all aspects of your SEO strategy.
What is Ahrefs?
On the other side of the ring is Ahrefs, another juggernaut in the SEO tools landscape, frequently regarded as a powerful contender in the field.
Boasting a comprehensive suite of features, Ahrefs offers its users in-depth site audits, competitive analysis, and extensive keyword research capabilities.
It excels in backlink analysis, providing intricate details about your site’s backlinks and those of your competitors.
Though it shares many similarities with SE Ranking, Ahrefs has its unique set of strengths that appeal to a specific user base.
While both of these platforms are often used in tandem with each other due to the immense quantity of data they offer SEOs, if you can only afford one platform out of your marketing budget, which is best?
Let’s explore the key differences between Ahrefs and SE Ranking.
Rank tracking is a critical feature in any SEO tool, and both SE Ranking and Ahrefs offer excellent rank tracking capabilities.
Keeping tabs on your website’s position in search engine rankings for specific keywords is vital. It allows you to understand how well your SEO efforts are working and where there might be room for improvement.
Furthermore, this information can help you identify new opportunities or trends in keywords that you might not have previously noticed.
In the world of SEO, staying ahead of the curve is crucial, and having reliable, up-to-date rank tracking at your fingertips is a significant part of that.
SE Ranking rank tracker:
SE Ranking’s rank tracker tool encompasses an impressive range of features that make tracking your site’s performance a breeze. It offers the capacity to monitor up to 750 keywords, updated daily, ensuring your data is always current and reliable.
Moreover, the tracker covers 190 countries and 5 search engines, giving you a comprehensive, global perspective of your website’s reach. But what truly sets SE Ranking’s rank tracker apart are its advanced features. These include mobile rankings, visibility rate, ranking dynamics, SERP features, and search traffic.
Furthermore, it allows for competitor monitoring and SERP competitor analysis, essential for staying ahead in a competitive digital landscape. The tool also provides the convenience of tagging and grouping, making it easier to manage and segment your data.
All these functionalities combined make SE Ranking’s rank tracker a formidable weapon in your SEO arsenal.
Ahrefs rank tracker:
Ahrefs also boasts a capable rank tracker tool, providing regular keyword updates for up to 750 keywords weekly.
While it covers fewer countries than SE Ranking—170 compared to 190—and only one search engine, it still offers a wide enough scope for most businesses.
Like SE Ranking, Ahrefs also offers mobile rankings, visibility rate, ranking dynamics, SERP features, search traffic, competitor monitoring, SERP competitor analysis, and tagging & grouping options, meaning you can count on its data to be detailed and reliable.
SE Ranking vs Ahrefs: Which has the best rank tracker?
Whilst both SE Ranking and Ahrefs offer robust rank tracking tools packed with essential features, we feel it’s worth noting the upper hand SE Ranking has in regard to the frequency of data updates here—weekly rather than daily.
While this might be sufficient for some users, those seeking the most up-to-date insights might find Ahrefs’ less frequent updates a little limiting.
Additionally, the ability to monitor more keywords across a broader range of countries and search engines allows SE Ranking to stand out as a superior SEO tool.
Keyword research is a critical function of any SEO tool, playing a central role in shaping your digital marketing strategy.
By identifying the terms and phrases your potential customers are searching for, you can tailor your content to match those queries, driving more relevant traffic to your site.
A robust keyword research tool also allows you to understand the search volume and competition associated with each keyword, aiding you in prioritising your efforts effectively.
It’s a tool that assists in uncovering untapped keyword opportunities and can provide insights into market trends and customer behaviour. In essence, a good keyword research tool is akin to a valuable road map, guiding you towards SEO success.
SE Ranking keyword research:
SE Ranking’s keyword research feature stands out from other leading SEO tools with its immense keyword database, boasting a staggering 4.7 billion keywords across 190 countries.
Access to this extensive database enables you to dive deep into keyword analysis, perfect for businesses eager to exploit untapped markets or niche keywords.
Its sheer versatility is impressive, offering up to 60 keyword list limits, bulk keyword analysis, and keyword suggestions. This feature also provides valuable search volume insights, letting you understand the popularity of specific keywords.
SE Ranking’s keyword research feature is user-friendly and designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of each keyword. It offers data on keyword difficulty, search volume, and competition level, and even provides suggestions for low-search, long-tail keywords.
Plus, the additional SERP features and advertisement insights give you a comprehensive view of the competitive landscape. This level of depth and detail makes SE Ranking’s keyword research tool a powerhouse for anyone serious about SEO.
Ahrefs keyword research:
Ahrefs definitely isn’t lacking when it comes to keyword research, boasting a mammoth database of 7.4 billion keywords.
Notably, their data spans across 171 countries, ensuring that you have an expansive view of global keyword trends.
Despite having a limit of 5 keyword lists, Ahrefs still manages to cover all the essential features, such as keyword grouping, insights on search volume, bulk keyword analysis, keyword suggestions, and SERP features.
Ahrefs’s keyword research tool also provides insight into advertisements, such as CPC, which can be incredibly useful for understanding the competition and setting realistic goals for advertisement attempts.
Which SEO tool is best for keyword research?
When it comes to keyword research, both SE Ranking and Ahrefs exhibit formidable capabilities. They offer extensive keyword databases and valuable insights that make them indispensable tools in an SEO professional’s toolkit.
However, Ahrefs slightly takes the lead with its larger data base, despite the fact that it spans over less countries and allows for less keyword lists.
Both platforms offer a great service and when used in conjunction with each other can provide a complete view of industry search terms.
Competitive research is a crucial element of any comprehensive SEO strategy. It is a process that involves an in-depth analysis of your competitors to understand their strengths and weaknesses and to identify opportunities for your own SEO growth.
A robust competitive research tool can help you gain insights into your competitors’ SEO tactics, backlink profiles, and keyword strategies, thus revealing their success drivers. This intelligence arms you with the ability to not just compete, but potentially outperform them in search engine results.
Without a competitive research tool, you’re essentially operating in the dark, missing out on key insights that could propel your SEO efforts. Whether you’re just getting started with SEO or looking to enhance your existing strategy, a competitive research tool should be an integral part of your toolkit.
SE Ranking competitive research:
SE Ranking’s competitive research feature is a mighty tool that enables you to go head-to-head with your rivals. This feature provides a comprehensive analysis of your competitor’s SEO strategies, revealing their strengths and weaknesses to give you an edge in the competitive digital landscape.
The SE Ranking tool uncovers a wealth of information about your competitors’ SEO tactics, backlink profiles, keyword usage, and even their social media strategies, providing you with an in-depth understanding of their online presence.
Moreover, this invaluable data is presented in a user-friendly format, enabling you to easily identify areas where your competitors excel and where they lag behind.
SE Ranking’s tool can also identify your competitors’ top-performing pages, giving you insights into the content that resonates most with their audience. By understanding their highest-ranking pages, you gain insights into the type of content that resonates with your target audience.
In essence, SE Ranking’s competitive research feature is a goldmine of information, facilitating strategic decisions that can propel your brand to the next level.
All of this, combined with the ability to track performance across 190 countries, makes SE Ranking’s competitive research feature a truly indispensable asset for your SEO strategy.
Ahrefs competitive research:
Ahrefs’ competitive research tool stands out with its profound ability to pull apart your competitors’ digital strategies across 150 countries.
With insights into backlinks, organic competitors, organic and PPC traffic, traffic cost, and subdomains, it provides a comprehensive view of your competitor’s landscape.
Ahrefs’ tool helps you dissect your competitor’s tactics, revealing their strengths and possible vulnerabilities, and offering a treasure trove of information to inform your own SEO strategy.
The tool allows you to analyse and understand the backlink profiles of your competitors, giving deep and invaluable insights into their link-building strategies.
The ability to examine organic and PPC traffic, as well as traffic cost, provides a clear picture of the reach and efficiency of your competitors’ online marketing activities. By understanding their subdomains, you can gain a broader perspective on their digital landscape and gain a competitive edge.
Which SEO tool is best for competitive research?
In the arena of competitive research, both SE Ranking and Ahrefs offer highly commendable tools packed with features that make them an indispensable part of any SEO toolkit.
Both platforms offer a similar service, with Ahrefs providing a profound insight into your competitors’ strategies across 150 countries, offering detailed analysis of backlinks, organic and PPC traffic, and subdomains.
However, just for the slight increase in global reach alone, we’re going to have to give this one to SE Ranking also. We feel the platform provides more information to the user and the layout is much easier to navigate, making for a more comprehensive and user-friendly experience.
Onsite and Technical SEO Website Audit:
A website audit tool is critical in improving your SEO strategy. It scrutinises every corner of your website, detecting any technical issues that might impede your site’s performance in search engine rankings.
These tools delve into factors such as your website’s loading speed, mobile-friendliness, broken links, and duplicate content, all of which can severely affect user experience and SEO performance.
Moreover, a robust website audit tool will also analyse your on-page SEO elements, including keywords, meta descriptions, and image alt texts, to ensure they are optimised for search engines.
In essence, a website audit tool helps you maintain a well-functioning, user-friendly website that is visible to search engines, thus enhancing your website’s SEO effectiveness and user engagement.
SE Ranking onsite and technical SEO website audit:
SE Ranking’s onsite and technical SEO website audit tool is a comprehensive solution designed to scrutinise every aspect of your website’s SEO performance.
It’s able to crawl up to 100,000 pages a month and analyse an impressive 120 parameters, making it a thorough and robust tool for identifying any SEO weaknesses on your site.
The tool evaluates crawlability issues, offers a health score, and even assesses the core web vitals – a set of factors Google deems crucial to the user’s overall experience. This tool also provides a sitemap generator, a handy feature for ensuring Google can successfully index your site.
With SE Ranking’s audit tool, you have a comprehensive system for maintaining and improving your site’s SEO health, helping you rank higher and attract more organic traffic.
Ahrefs onsite and technical SEO website audit:
After using the platform, it’s clear to us that website audits aren’t Ahrefs strongest asset.
While Ahrefs’ onsite and technical SEO website audit tool offers a detailed assessment of your website’s SEO health, covering up to 100,000 pages and a noteworthy 100 parameters, what really lets it down is its speed.
Ahrefs’ audit tool can take several hours to complete a website scan, making it slower than most of its competitors. And while Ahrefs does provide useful features such as core web vitals and keyword stuffing analysis, it’s not able to generate a sitemap like SE Ranking’s tool and in turn is less comprehensive of a tool.
SE Ranking vs Ahrefs: Which is best for website audits
Unlike some of the other battles further up the page, we felt like this one was over before it even really began.
With SE Ranking’s comprehensive website audit tool, you have a robust system for maintaining and improving your site’s SEO health. Better yet, the tool provides advice on how to improve your score, allowing for a smooth process of making corrections and improvements.
For these reasons, SE Ranking is the clear winner when it comes to onsite and technical SEO audits.
Backlink analysis is a fundamental aspect of your SEO toolkit. A robust backlink analysis tool helps you uncover the backlink profile of your website, which includes the number and quality of websites linking to your site.
This information is vital as search engines, such as Google, regard backlinks as a vote of confidence, implying that the more quality backlinks your website has, the higher it will rank.
Additionally, backlink analysis tools help you identify any toxic or spammy backlinks that might harm your site’s credibility and ranking. By monitoring and disavowing such links, you can maintain a healthy backlink profile.
Moreover, such a tool provides insights into your competitors’ backlink strategies, allowing you to discover new link-building opportunities and stay ahead in the competitive digital landscape. In essence, an effective backlink analysis tool is a linchpin in crafting a successful SEO strategy.
SE Ranking backlink analysis:
SE Ranking’s backlink analysis tool is a veritable powerhouse, boasting a colossal database of 3 trillion backlinks and 262 million domains.
This allows it to provide a comprehensive analysis of your website’s backlink profile, giving you the insights you need to improve your SEO strategy. This tool uncovers vital information such as anchor texts and referring IPs, helping you understand the tactics employed by your competitors.
Additionally, the backlink gap analysis function is particularly useful for identifying missed opportunities for backlinks, allowing you to catch up with, and even overtake, your competitors. The tool also offers backlink import and monitoring features, enabling you to efficiently manage your backlinks and track changes over time.
SE Ranking’s backlink analysis tool offers a comprehensive, user-friendly, and value-packed service for anyone serious about their link-building strategy.
Ahrefs backlink analysis:
Ahrefs’ backlink analysis tool is also impressive, with a massive database consisting of a staggering 3.5 trillion backlinks and 212 million domains.
It adeptly uncovers crucial information like anchor texts and referring IPs, equipping you with detailed insights into your rivals’ backlink strategies.
One of this tool’s standout features is the backlink gap analysis, which helps you identify opportunities your competitors may have missed.
As a result, you can strategically enhance your link-building efforts and gain the upper hand with the tool’s vast backlink database and insightful analysis making it a potent weapon in your SEO arsenal.
Ahrefs vs SE Ranking: Which is best for backlink analysis?
In the closely contested battle for backlink analysis supremacy, Ahrefs marginally outperforms SE Ranking.
With a larger backlink database of 3.5 trillion backlinks and 212 million domains, it provides an extensive overview of your site’s backlink health.
Ahrefs’ backlink analysis tool is a strong one and is a slightly more potent weapon in your SEO arsenal, offering comprehensive and actionable insights for a fruitful link-building strategy with fewer clicks.
Now we’ve covered the key features you’d expect from an SEO tool, let’s take a look at what other features these leading platforms provide to make your job as a digital marketer easier.
SE Ranking additional features:
In addition to its core SEO tools, SE Ranking offers a suite of additional features that can really give your online presence a boost.
The on-page SEO checker is an invaluable tool for optimising your content, identifying missed SEO opportunities, and ensuring your pages are fully aligned with your targeted keywords.
The content marketing feature allows you to track your content’s performance, measure its impact, and understand how it resonates with your audience.
The local SEO feature is perfect for businesses with a physical presence, helping them to rank higher in local search results. There’s also a social media module that enables you to schedule posts, monitor your brand mentions, and analyse your social media performance.
Finally, SE Ranking’s comprehensive, customisable reports allow you to keep a close eye on your performance and progress. These additional features make SE Ranking not just an SEO tool, but a complete digital marketing solution.
Ahrefs additional features:
Admittedly, the additional features Ahrefs has to offer falter in comparison to that of SE Ranking.
The only additional feature users can benefit from are their report tool, which allows you to customise and export your data into various formats for easy analysis.
Much like SE Ranking, these reports can be regularly scheduled to be sent out to clients to keep them informed of your progress.
Which SEO tool offers the most extra features?
Much like the last section, this comparison feels almost unfair as SE Ranking clearly offers more additional features than Ahrefs.
SE Ranking’s additional features are invaluable for anyone looking to get the most out of their SEO strategy, and they make it a comprehensive digital marketing solution.
From content marketing tools to social media modules, SE Ranking provides you with all the extra features you need to give your online presence a boost.
The last section on our list, and in many ways the most important, is the price point of each tool.
This can be the make or break for many businesses on whether they decide to use a platform and also allows us to add important context to the range and quality of features discussed above.
SE Ranking pricing plans:
There are three tiers to SE Ranking’s pricing plan, with an option to upgrade aspects of your subscription to make the most out of your SEO tool.
SE Ranking’s first and most affordable subscription is the Essential plan, which is just £33/month or £316/year.
The second option is the Pro plan, which is £75/month or £720/year.
Finally, the Business plan is their most expensive option, costing £159/month or £1,526/year.
In addition to the basic pricing plans, SE Ranking customers have the opportunity to add flexibility to their subscriptions and include bonus features.
Benefit from white label reporting, unlimited scheduled reports and a lead generator with the agency pack upgrade from £40 extra a month.
Alternatively, you can improve and refine your text optimisation with SE Ranking’s content marketing tool, ranging from £28/month up to £98/month depending on your subscription.
Lastly, their local marketing tool can help you improve search visibility in your area from £6/month to £153/month.
After crunching the numbers, we can work out that a maxed out SE Ranking package on a Business subscription plan plus every add-on would cost £450/month or £5,018/year.
But how does that compare to Ahrefs?
Ahrefs pricing plans:
Similarly to SE Ranking, Ahrefs’s pricing is tiered.
The most affordable subscription plan is Lite, which starts at £79/month or £790/year.
From here, Standard is the next level up starting from £159/month or £1,590/year.
Advanced is the next level of subscription for Ahrefs, starting at £319/month or £3,190/year.
However, the most expensive option is Enterprise at £799/month or £7,990/year.
Much like SE Ranking, Ahrefs offers its users the ability to add additional features, such as extra users (ranging from £150/year to £370/year), additional data credits or export rows (£260/year each), or their rank tracker tool (£370/year).
If we were to do a similar calculation to SE Ranking’s maxed out package, an Ahrefs Enterprise subscription with one of each of the add-ons would cost £2,209 for the first month and then £799/month for the rest of the year – working out at £10,998.
Alternatively, a yearly subscription would cost £9,400.
Which pricing plan is the best value for money?
From our calculation, it’s clear to see that SE Ranking is not only cheaper, but it’s much better value for money.
Not only can you benefit from more features, more users and more projects, but you can save up to £1,410 a year on your maxed subscription.
SE Ranking vs Ahrefs: The Verdict
Now we’ve evaluated each feature of SE Ranking and Ahrefs, it’s time to decide which SEO tool is best. And for us, the decision is pretty clear.
Whether it’s ease of use, SEO features, project limitations or global reach, it seems like SE Ranking always seems to have the slightest bit extra when compared to Ahrefs.
Top that off with an all-round cheaper price point, it’s hard to find reasons not to choose SE Ranking.
We feel that SE Ranking’s array of additional features, from content marketing tools to social media modules, empowers businesses to optimise their digital marketing strategies.
Moreover, its flexible pricing plans offer greater value for money, making it a more affordable option without compromising on the range and quality of services.
Therefore, for businesses seeking an SEO tool that not only enhances their visibility but also contributes to their overall digital marketing arsenal, SE Ranking emerges as the distinguished choice.
Can I use both SE Ranking and Ahrefs?
Truthfully, there’s no reason an SME, freelancer or major enterprise can’t use both SEO platforms. It’s clear to see from our analysis that each platform has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, meaning that when they’re used interchangeably they can offer an SEO with a distinct advantage over other industry competitors.
While the cost can be difficult to manage for some, from in-depth analysis of backlinks and competitors to comprehensive website audits and social media optimisation, there’s no denying that Ahrefs and SE Ranking are two of the industries leading SEO platforms.
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For similar content, be sure to check out our SE Rankings vs Mangools blog post where we put today’s champ up against another leading SEO tool.
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