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The search engine optimization process includes a large number of ongoing activities such as performing organic research, site audit, traffic analysis, competitors analysis, campaign reporting, and many more.
Using the right toolset is a great way to speed up your SEO workflow and improve productivity.
However, purchasing a large number of SEO tools isn’t a viable option if you run a small business.
Instead, you can subscribe to an all-in-one SEO toolkit that offers the most needed features at an affordable price.
You might have searched Ahrefs vs. Semrush or comparison articles for other popular SEO tools but could not find the best one that serves your purpose.
We have compared top SEO tools in the market, including Ahrefs, Moz, Semrush, Mangools, Ubersuggest, and Serpstat, on 11 parameters.
Please read this post till the end to get the best SEO tool recommendations for your business.
Comparing Ahrefs vs. Semrush. vs. Moz vs. Other SEO Tools
To eliminate the affiliate bias and make a fair comparison between these tools, we have adopted a simple rating system.
With a total of 110 points to grab, we evaluated these SEO tools on 11 parameters that receive equal points.
Based on the performance, we have awarded a maximum of 10 points for each tool in a particular category.
By looking at the final scores, you can easily find the best SEO tool for your business.
We have attempted to present the most accurate comparison of the best SEO tools based on our testing and user experience.
However, some factors, like the user interface or pricing, are subjective and may vary from person to person.
If you disagree on any point or with the rating system, we’d love to know your thoughts on how to improve it.
Now let’s compare Ahrefs vs Semrush vs Moz Pro and other SEO tools to see which one ranks at the top!
1. User Interface
The user interface of any SEO tool plays a crucial role in the user experience.
A regular SEO guy spends significant time using these tools for various activities such as keyword research, backlink analysis, on-page optimization, and technical audits.
A boring or cluttered user interface negatively impacts the workflow, and users may find it difficult to work to their full potential.
The user-friendly interface should have clear navigation, better accessibility to advanced datasets, and clutter-free design.
Let’s compare Ahrefs vs. Semrush vs. Moz Pro vs. other SEO tools to find which one offers the best UI.
Ahrefs is one of the popular SEO tools and is primarily known for its backlink checker module.
Today, Ahrefs has grown into a full-fledged SEO suite and offers 13+ tools such as Site audit, Keyword explorer, and Content explorer.
The simple and user-friendly interface is key to Ahrefs’ success.
Once you logged in to your Ahrefs account, you can quickly locate any tool and start using it.
Plus, each section comes with an infobox to provide more information about the particular tool or section.
It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an SEO pro, Ahrefs beats most SEO tools in this category.
Semrush is the closest rival for Ahrefs.
In fact, both Semrush and Ahrefs have dominated the SEO tools market.
While Ahrefs is primarily an SEO toolkit, Semrush has positioned itself as a complete marketing toolkit that includes SEO, Competitive Intelligence, PPC, Content Marketing, and Social Media.
Incorporating 40+ marketing tools in a single dashboard isn’t an easy task.
However, the Semrush team has done an extraordinary job, and you won’t notice any clutter after you’ve logged into the Semrush account.
Semrush also offers info boxes and hover-over information for different modules.
Each module is designed to provide the necessary data as quickly as possible.
The sticky left-side panel and drop-down menus are really helpful if you want to switch between different modules.
Overall the Semrush user interface is impressive, but it could have been a little better.
Moz is the company behind the widely popular SEO metrics – Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA).
Moz has grouped all tools in multiple categories.
You can easily find any tool in the Moz catalog in the left sidebar.
One more thing,
Moz team has placed the popular tools in the top menu section to improve accessibility.
Overall, Moz’s user interface is an excellent combination of functionality and minimal design that you’ll definitely love.
Mangools Suite is a budget-friendly all-in-one SEO tool that is available for half of the price of Semrush or Ahrefs.
Although it’s an affordable SEO solution, you won’t find any compromises in terms of aesthetics and visual representation of data.
Currently, Mangools has five tools in its arsenal, including KWFinder, LinkMiner, SERPWatcher, SERPChecker, and SiteProfiler.
Each of the above tools can be accessed separately, which enables a distraction-free user experience.
You can perform keyword research by visiting KWFinder.com or analyze the backlink profile by visiting LinkMiner.com instead of going to Mangools.com each time.
The clean UI of the Mangools SEO toolkit makes it a perfect choice for beginners.
Serpstat is an all-in-one SEO platform and a growth hacking tool.
It offers several modules, such as keyword research, backlink analysis, site audit, position tracking, and competitive research.
Although it’s a relatively new tool, the interface and navigation create a great impression on the user’s mind.
You may find the Serpstat UI somewhat similar to the Semrush UI. Still, it has a learning curve and could have been a little better.
Earlier, Ubersuggest was a free tool that helped people in finding profitable keywords by scraping Google autosuggest terms.
However, a well-known digital marketer and serial entrepreneur Neil Patel acquired this tool, added new features, upgraded the databases, and changed the pricing model from free to freemium.
Since Neil has 20 years of experience in running online businesses, he provided special attention to minute details.
As a result, Ubersuggest has a better user interface than most of its competitors.
You can find profitable keywords, analyze backlinks, estimate traffic, and perform a site audit with the Ubersuggest even when you don’t have previous SEO experience.
We don’t use this tool regularly for our money sites, but it’s one of the best SEO tools for bloggers and small businesses with a limited budget.
If you are a PPC executive or digital marketing agency, then SpyFu is a must-have tool for you.
This tool helps in keyword research, PPC research, backlink building, and position tracking.
SpyFu intuitively displays the necessary metrics, and each module is easily accessible from the dashboard screen.
Switching between multiple SpyFu modules is extremely easy.
Overall, SpyFu has a clean yet user-friendly interface that you’d love.
Moz Pro: 8/10
2. Competitive Intelligence
Gathering intelligence about your competitors, their market share, and strategies before entering the business helps you build a sustainable business model.
Collecting market insights by conducting surveys, interacting with the target audience, or experiments/field trials is a time-consuming process. Plus, it’s often expensive.
Startups and SMBs may choose the alternative route for market research, i.e., using the competitive intelligence module of popular marketing toolkits.
Fortunately, some of the above products offer CI add-ons to their SEO suite.
Let’s compare which one performs best in this category.
Although Ahrefs does not have a dedicated market research module, it provides an overview of the market, different search terms that drive clicks, and traffic share for top sites.
You can also use Ahrefs Content Explorer to find the top websites, authors, and pages.
SEMrush is a clear winner in this segment.
Unlike other products compared in this article, SEMrush is a complete marketing toolkit and offers a couple of competitive intelligence add-ons: Market Explorer and Traffic Analytics.
Market Explorer has a unique feature – Growth Quadrant, that shows a market overview in the graphical format.
The Growth Quadrant displays the data for game-changers(emerging sites with massive growth potential), market leaders (fastest-growing companies with a broad audience), established players (large companies with the market stability and popularity), and niche players (smaller companies with the low growth rate).
SEMrush allows you to compare a specific online business with the entire market under the Domain vs Market Dynamics section.
You can compare the share of visits, traffic trends, traffic generation strategy (top sources), and growth by sources.
The Audience Report is useful if you are analyzing traffic data by interests, age, and gender.
Recently, SEMrush added a new feature to Market Explorer, i.e., Growth Paths.
This feature allows you to observe your competitors’ business growth over six months, 1-year, quarter-to-quarter (QoQ), and year-to-year(YoY).
By comparing the current status to historical data, you can better estimate the performance of competitors over time, understand the development phases, and prepare yourself for growth opportunities.
Traffic Analytics is another tool in the SEMrush treasure box to collect traffic data for competitors.
Since you don’t have access to competitors’ Google Analytics accounts, you need to find third-party traffic analysis tools that give an accurate estimation of website traffic, including visits, unique visitors, pages/visits, average visit duration, and bounce rate.
SEMrush provides a complete overview of competitors’ traffic data, including the metrics mentioned above, traffic trends (historical traffic data), and traffic share by devices, countries, and sources.
Plus, you can perform more in-depth research on your competitors, prospects, and industries by visiting Audience Insights, Top Pages, and other tabs in the Competitive Intelligence section.
Moz has basic functionalities to get competitive data.
You can analyze individual domains and URLs to find the Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA).
These metrics are commonly used by SEO practitioners to determine the quality of the domain.
However, you can’t see the bigger picture of the target market.
Moz Pro offers a Site Traffic section, but it needs an active Google Analytics integration.
I’m sure that your competitors won’t give access to their GA accounts, making this feature useless for competitive analysis.
Recently, Moz has added a Local SEO Analytics module to its SEO suite, but it’s in the beta phase.
Once it’s fully activated, you can leverage the local metrics to win the target market and understand the shift in the competitive landscape.
Knowing the most prominent SERP competitors, top local keywords with necessary metrics, and accurate representation of competitors marketing strategies will help you fight against them for SERP space and take over the market.
Mangools SiteProfiler is an excellent tool to analyze your competitors and understand how it stacks up against the other players in the market.
You can check the popularity and authority of any website, including the top SEO metrics such as DA, PA, TF, CF, and Alexa rank.
SiteProfiler displays backlink data along with referring domains, referring IPs, and link distribution by anchor texts & link types.
It also shows the top content (by referring domains or Facebook shares), and most importantly, the list of competitors for a particular domain with basic SEO metrics.
I recommend you to quickly analyze the top competitors and get an overview of their SEO performance by using Mangools SiteProfiler before entering into any niche.
Although Serpstat lacks popularity against the Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz, it provides a few unique features for collecting competitive intelligence.
It displays a list of top SEO competitors and essential data such as common keywords, missing keywords, relevance with other domains, and their visibility.
You can dig deeper by navigating to different tabs like domain vs. domain analytics, subdomains, top pages, and the tree view.
The tree view is a great module to analyze any site and quickly find its top pages with keywords data for multiple country databases.
Currently, Ubersuggest is one of the best SEO tools for competitor analysis to uncover profitable keywords and backlink opportunities.
In addition to that, you can find the domain traffic and top pages.
To be honest, the Ubersuggest data is more accurate than many other competitive intelligence tools in the market.
The competitive intelligence data should be in the digestible format to make the right marketing decision.
Scrolling through the multiple lists, comparing different graphs, and picking the correct data points isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
SpyFu offers a beginner-friendly CI module where you can find the list of organic competitors, common keywords, monthly clicks, and value of these clicks.
Plus, you can see the graphical representation of data for the selected domains since 2006.
Moz Pro: 5/10
3. Keyword Research
Keyword research is an important part of the SEO campaign.
Discovering profitable keywords and optimizing your content around those keywords helps you to drive more organic traffic.
SEO tools facilitate keyword research by providing necessary metrics, SERP features, and keyword trends data, along with a list of related keywords.
Please note that the quality of keyword research tools primarily depends on the number of keyword suggestions, the accuracy of data, data fetching speed, and usability.
Let’s compare Ahrefs vs SEMrush vs Moz and other SEO tools to get an idea of which one excels in this segment.
Finding profitable keywords has never been easy before.
Ahrefs has added three keyword research features to its SEO toolkit:
- Keyword Explorer
- Organic Keywords
- Keywords by Top pages (A little-known hack)
Ahrefs Keyword Explorer tool is quite popular because of its user-interface and data-fetching speed.
This tool displays the SEO keyword difficulty, search volume & actual clicks (with trends), CPC, organic vs. paid distribution, traffic by countries, SERP overview with historical data, SERP features, and a list of related keywords with essential metrics.
Simply enter a seed keyword in the Keyword Explorer search box, and thousands of keyword suggestions will pop up on your screen within a few seconds.
Currently, Ahrefs keyword index has 10.2 billion keywords for 10 search engines and 171 country databases.
If you don’t want to risk experimenting with unique keywords, you can analyze top competitors in your niche and steal their money-making keywords.
Ahrefs organic research tool provides a list of keywords that your competitor is ranking for.
You can filter those keywords by volume, clicks, CPC, and organic competition to get the right keywords to target.
Here is another trick to steal the best keywords of your competitors.
Enter a domain name of a competing site in the Ahrefs Site Explorer.
Now, visit the Top Pages section under the Organic Research menu on the left sidebar.
Ahrefs will display a list of the top pages and targeted keywords.
You can apply the word inclusion filter (adding a comma-separated list of search modifiers like “best,” “vs.,” “review,” and “top” to the Include filter) to discover money-making affiliate keywords.
Still, here are a couple of things that you should consider before using Ahrefs for keyword research.
After Avast shut down Jumpshot, the accuracy of the Ahrefs Keyword database has significantly decreased.
Ahrefs has several clickstream data providers, and after the closure of Jumpshot Data, it established connections with new data providers.
But, I do not recommend using Ahrefs Keyword Explorer to analyze the currently trending topics because the trends aren’t updated since December 2019.
Like Ahrefs, SEMrush offers multiple keyword research features, including organic keyword research, keyword magic tool, keyword manager, and PPC keyword research.
The Keyword Overview tab shows the keyword search volume for the target country, global volume, CPC, keyword difficulty, number of search results, and SERP features.
SEMrush has added a couple of features to Keyword Overview.
➤ Instant Keyword Suggestions
➤ SERP Analysis
You can find more data by using the Keyword Magic tool, which seems the best alternative to Ahrefs Keyword Explorer.
Although it misses the graphical representation of SERP position overview and SERP position history, you get valuable keyword data, including the keyword variations and essential metrics.
SEMrush lets you filter keywords based on broad matches, phrase matches, exact matches, and related keywords.
Moreover, you can select up to 1000 keywords that you want to target in your SEO campaign and send them to the Keyword Manager.
That enables you to use this data for organic position tracking or PPC Keyword Tool.
Alternatively, you can download the keyword report on your computer to create new SEO content or optimize existing content by adding more relevant search terms.
As of July 2022, SEMrush has 142 geo-databases with over 21.1 billion keywords.
SEMrush combines its machine learning algorithms and trusted data providers to ensure a high standard of data across all databases.
SEMrush organic research is a great tool to discover the profitable keywords of your competitors and understand the traffic potential.
Apply some filters to create a list of final keywords that you can either send to the Keyword Manager or export to a spreadsheet.
You’ll agree that the data quality is essential to make the right marketing decision. E.g., purchasing the domain names, developing a content strategy, and investing in promotional campaigns.
So I’d always prefer the SEO tool that gives me access to the most up-to-date and highly accurate keyword data, i.e., SEMrush.
SEMrush keyword data is frequently updated to ensure you won’t miss any keyword with rising popularity.
Moz has developed a comprehensive keyword research tool – Keyword Explorer.
This tool allows you to discover keyword suggestions for a seed keyword or explore keywords by a root domain, subdomain, or an exact web page.
You can view the monthly volume, keyword difficulty, organic CTR, and SERP Analysis.
Apart from that, Moz displays the Priority score for keywords by combining all of the other metrics.
The priority score varies from 0 to 100. A higher score represents low competition and higher search volume/organic CTR.
This feature enables you to understand whether you should target particular keywords or not.
Moz uses Russ Jones’ volume bucket methodology and combines this information with anonymous clickstream data purchased through third-party suppliers to predict the keyword search volume with ~95% accuracy.
Currently, Moz can display data for 500 million keywords in Keyword Explorer.
Although Moz has a robust keyword research tool, pro bloggers and digital marketers face difficulties gaining extra insights such as the actual number of clicks, CPC, and keyword trends.
KWFinder is one of the best SEO tools for keyword research. It comes bundled with other Mangools tools as a complete SEO package.
KWFinder gives a list of semantically related search terms for the seed keyword.
You can also see various SEO metrics, such as search volume, keyword difficulty, CPC, keyword trends, and PPC competition.
Mangools also lets you overview the top sites that are ranking for the particular keyword along with their DA, PA, CF, TF, links, Facebook shares, and estimated monthly visits.
The best part about this tool is that you can narrow down the search by locations and languages.
KWFinder shows data for Google Autocomplete and Questions displayed in the SERP.
Do you need assistance in finding top-ranking keywords of your competitors?
Analyze the targeted domain with KWFinder to generate hundreds of keyword ideas.
Apply some filters to the keyword suggestions to get the best keywords to target on your site.
Mangools combines Google Data with Clickstream data and processes it to offer precise search volume for any keyword.
Currently, KWFinder has 2.5 billion related keywords and 100 million competitors keywords for 52K locations worldwide.
Serpstat offers a powerful keyword research tool under its SEO Research module.
It shows the search volume, keyword difficulty, PPC competition, and CPC, along with a list of related keywords.
Keywords Trend report will help you understand how the users’ interest in the particular keyword is changing over time.
Apart from that, Serpstat displays a list of organic competitors and common keywords. You can compare the visibility value and optimize your SEO campaign to reinstate the rankings of negatively affected keywords.
Under the related keywords tab, you can filter the list of organic keywords by search volume, CPC, misspelled words, toponyms (location), competition, and/or SERP features to pick only profitable keywords.
Serpstat needs to focus on the UI and data fetching speed of the keyword research module to ensure smooth user experience.
Serpstat collects the keyword data by parsing the Google top 100 and Yandex top 50 for each keyword in its database. The high-volume keywords are updated once a month, while low to medium volume keywords can take up to 3 months.
Currently, Serpstat has 6.19 billion keywords and 3.65 search suggestions divided into 230 Google and 9 Yandex databases.
After Neil acquired and revamped the Ubersuggest, he made many improvements in its keyword research module.
Enter a seed keyword in the Ubersuggest search bar to get useful keyword data, including the search volume, SEO difficulty, paid difficulty, cost per click, and keyword trend in the graphical format.
You can also see the click distribution, searches by age-group, and keywords ideas for the primary keyword.
Ubersuggest shows the top pages at the bottom with estimated clicks, backlinks, and social shares.
You can analyze those pages to get more keyword suggestions or enter your competitor’s domain in the Ubersuggest search box to steal their money-making keywords.
Currently, Ubersuggest has a keyword database of over 6 billion keywords, and it can return more than 1 million related keywords for some search queries.
To ensure high standards, Ubersuggest collects data from multiple providers to come up with the best estimations.
SpyFu keyword research tool offers unlimited searches and useful metrics to strategize your SEO campaigns.
It shows monthly search volume, estimated clicks, desktop vs. mobile distribution, paid clicks, keyword difficulty, and universal SERP features.
By default, SpyFu populates several suggestions for similar keywords, questions, and top paid keywords.
You can also see the organic ranking history and SERP analysis by scrolling to the bottom.
Keyword Grouping is another excellent feature of SpyFu that enables you to organize the keywords and export this data when required.
Google is a primary source of SpyFu keyword data.
It claims to index over 7 billion results across 102 million domains with over 90% accuracy.
Please note that SpyFu does not maintain a keyword database.
If you are looking for the best SEO tool for comprehensive keyword research with no limits, you should check the SpyFu.
Moz Pro: 6/10
4. Content Explorer
If you have ever used content discovery engines such as BuzzSumo or ContentStudio.io, then you’ll quickly understand how this feature works.
The Content Explorer module finds the top pages, authors, and websites in multiple languages.
It helps you get an idea of what type of content people love to consume so that you can create better content to outrank those pages.
Luckily, few SEO tools offer content explorer modules that help to curate popular content and utilize it for marketing purposes.
Let see which tool between Ahrefs vs SEMrush vs Moz Pro excels in this category.
If you are a content marketer, Ahrefs is a must-have tool for you.
It offers one of the best content explorer modules with many advanced features.
As of writing this article, Ahrefs has 3 billion pages in its index. Plus, it crawls 40 million new webpages every day.
Simply enter any keyword in the Content Explorer search box, and it will populate the relevant pages with useful SEO metrics and social engagement data.
You can filter those results by date, domain rating, referring domains, organic traffic, traffic value, and social shares to find the competitive advantages.
Apart from that, you can use Ahrefs Content Explorer for the following purposes.
➤ Know the Brand’s Popularity over time
Enter any brand name and exclude the results from the official site (brand name -site:brandname.com) to see its popularity over the specified time.
➤ Spy Competitors’ Content Marketing Strategies
Perform a site: search for the competing domains, especially top competitors, to know their content publishing and republishing frequency.
The businesses that publish and update their content more frequently generate better ROI than those that don’t.
Ahrefs Content Explorer helps to understand the competitors’ strategies and craft a unique marketing plan to beat the competition silently.
➤ Find Link Building Opportunities
You can use Content Explorer to build high-quality backlinks to your site.
Search for the topic and filter results to get a list of websites with broken links or outdated content.
Do more research for site quality, referring domains, relevance, and outreach to the respective site administrator to place your website’s link.
It’s one of the easiest methods to create contextual links.
Apart from that, you can search for medium-sized websites (DR between 20-70) that are getting significant organic traffic and social engagement and ask them for guest posting opportunities.
➤ Find Low Hanging Content Opportunities
Ahrefs content explorer helps you to find the small websites generating a good amount of organic visits without putting lots of effort into SEO.
Search for a keyword/topic, then filter pages that are getting significant organic traffic but have low DR or referring domains.
Create better content, optimize it for search visibility using on-page and off-page SEO techniques, and wait for the results.
➤ Brand Monitoring (Finding Unlinked Mentions)
Ahrefs backlink database is updated frequently, and you can see all incoming links in the link report.
However, Content Explorer enables you to find the unlinked mentions. This feature is helpful in SEO link building and online reputation management (ORM).
Ahrefs is undoubtedly the leader in this category, and no SEO tools have such an extensive content explorer module.
SEMrush has an exclusive Content Marketing Toolkit with some cool features like Topic Research and Brand Monitoring.
➤ Topic Research
Topic Research helps you analyze competitors to explore winning content ideas.
You can sort the results by trending subtopics, Facebook shares, backlinks, and total shares.
SEMrush allows you to restrict topic research for a specific country or domain to achieve more accurate results.
It displays relevant content ideas in the form of cards along with top headlines, questions, and related searches.
You can prioritize the topics by volume, difficulty, & topic efficiency, add a few interesting content ideas to favorites, and later work on them.
SEMrush allows users to switch between Cards, Explorer, Overview, and Mind Map tabs to change the result overview.
One more thing,
You can order article writing services from the SEMrush marketplace to boost your content marketing efforts.
➤ Brand Monitoring
If you want to track brand mentions for ORM or find unlinked mentions for SEO link building, SEMrush has a unique feature called Brand Monitoring.
You can add up to three brand names, include/exclude specific terms, and select up to 5 locations to start tracking web mentions.
SEMrush will collect brand mentions on the web, forums, Twitter, and Instagram with some useful insights such as website URL, title, estimated reach, traffic potential, language, and sentiment.
You can choose advanced filters to divide these mentions into different categories.
E.g., If you find a brand mentioned with negative sentiment, it’s better to put it under the ORM category and reach out to the respective person/institute to solve the problem.
Or, if a website that mentions your brand has high traffic potential, good SEMrush authority score, but isn’t linking to your site, then you can run a link outreach campaign to grab that link.
Although the Content Marketing Toolkit has many useful features, the SEMrush needs to polish the UI of the Topic Research module to make it more accessible for end-users.
Moz Pro does not have a content explorer integrated into its SEO toolkit.
It lets you find top pages on a particular domain with basic SEO metrics such as PA, linking domains, external links, outbound links, and HTTP status codes.
You can also check SERP for particular keywords in multiple countries, but these features aren’t enough to compete with the Ahrefs or SEMrush in the content explorer category.
If you’re a Moz Pro user, then you need to rely on third-party content curation tools like BuzzSumo.
Mangools SEO Suite misses the content explorer feature.
You can use KWFinder to find relevant keyword ideas and get an overview of SERP, but it’s more inclined towards keyword research than content research.
SERPChecker is an advanced version of the SERP overview. It offers a SERP snapshot for any keyword in its database.
The best part is this tool displays the desktop and mobile SERP overview for more than 55K locations, including the SERP features and top metrics such as DA, PA, CF, TF, Alexa rank, Facebook shares, and referring domains.
Still, it needs to work the content research module because the content is an integral part of any SEO campaign.
Serpstat is a growth-hacking toolkit and understands the value of content research.
That’s why it has integrated some features to help your content marketing effort.
You can discover top pages for any keyword or domain along with organic keywords, Facebook shares, and potential traffic.
Plus, it has the SERP analysis feature to find top web pages by keywords in a specific country database.
The current interface of the Serpstat content research module is complex.
Serpstat can address this issue and add a few more features to improve the user experience and the quality of data representation.
Being one of the leading internet entrepreneurs, Neil Patel knows the importance of content research in SEO.
He has integrated a small feature called Content Ideas in Ubersuggest.
When you search for a particular keyword, this feature returns the popular pages with massive social engagement.
It also allows you to prioritize the content ideas by Facebook/ Pinterest shares, and include/exclude specific keywords.
If you are focusing on SEO to drive more traffic and leads, then you can analyze the organic research results under the Keyword Ideas menu.
SpyFu offers a limited content research functionality that can track top pages for the target domain.
However, it lacks the powerful features such as discovering backlink opportunities, web mentions, and low-competition content ideas.
Moz Pro: 2/10
5. Site Audit
Maintaining a healthy site is a crucial step in improving search visibility and user experience.
A site audit enables you to understand the technical errors so that you can fix those errors as soon as possible.
Performing a manual site audit is a time-consuming process and may not be suitable for non-techies.
That’s why you need site audit tools that crawl your site, find critical errors, and offer recommendations to fix them.
Screaming Frog and Deepcrawl are excellent tools for in-depth site checks.
However, a few all-in-one SEO tools offer standard features to diagnose and fix technical issues like:
- Site Architecture
- Internal/External Links Errors
- Site Speed
- And many more.
Let’s see which tool Ahrefs vs SEMrush vs Moz is best for finding critical errors affecting the website performance.
Ahrefs has an exclusive Site Audit module.
You need to add a new project to the Ahrefs account to start the Site Audit.
It’ll ask for a domain, audit schedule, keywords, and competitors before you start an audit.
On completion, it gives a detailed report mentioning the crawled errors, website health score, and top issues.
The issues are divided into multiple categories, including internal pages, indexability, links, redirects, on-page, duplicate content, localization, performance, and images.
You can click on the All Issues tab to get a list of technical errors on your site or scan the top issues for each category under the Reports tab.
It displays the affected URLs, detailed information about the issue, and methods to fix it.
Ahrefs lists and highlights the technical errors by the potential impact on search visibility. So you can prioritize the SEO workflow to fix these errors to improve the SEO performance.
Ahrefs has a cool feature under the Site Audit module – Structure explorer.
This feature shows the site structure of any website and other useful insights such as content type, depth, indexability, crawled URLs, referring domains, and organic traffic.
This data is extremely useful in discovering and fixing the structural weaknesses of your site.
On the other hand, you can spy competitors’ site structures to find the top URLs by organic traffic, content type, and referring domains.
SEMrush provides a robust Site Audit module to find the technical issues on your site.
You’ll see the overall health score, crawled pages, errors, warnings, notices, and top issues that you need to fix immediately on the Overview tab.
SEMrush has a special section under the Site Audit module – Thematic Reports.
Thematic Reports share in-depth information about the common issues on your website.
Primarily, these issues are associated with site crawlability, security, performance, internal linking, and standard international SEO practices.
Let’s discuss them one by one.
The Crawlability report lets you know the site accessibility for search engine bots.
Plus, you’ll get insights on the site indexability, HTTP status code, crawl budget, page crawl depth, incoming internal links, and sitemap vs. crawled pages.
HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure.
SEMrush analyzes your website for HTTPS errors in SSL certificate, server, and website architecture to prevent potential security breaches.
➤ International SEO
This tab shows the common issues for hreflang tag on global sites, including hreflang conflicts within page source code, incorrect hreflang value, incorrect hreflang links, and hreflang language mismatch.
Multi-national e-commerce stores and business sites need to keep eyes on the international SEO tab.
The page loading speed is a key metric to evaluate site performance.
SEMrush analyzes your site and discovers issues affecting the site’s overall performance, including large page size, uncompressed images, unminified JS and CSS files, redirect chains & loops, and not using a caching mechanism.
➤ Internal linking
The internal linking report breaks down how well your internal links are optimized for SEO.
Typically, you want to link to relevant pages that need more juice to achieve better rankings in the SERP.
SEMrush helps you create a solid internal linking strategy by showing the Internal Links Distribution report.
Moreover, you can find internal linking issues and fix them asap.
The issues tab displays the top errors, warnings, notices, and the best ways to fix these issues.
Since we find and fix technical errors on our site regularly, you are not seeing any major issues in the above report.
You can scan your site for 80+ technical errors in seven categories.
The Crawled Pages tab lists all crawled web pages with useful information like unique page views (requires an active Google Analytics integration), crawl depth, issues, HTTP status code, page load time, markup, canonicalization, links, hreflang usage, and JS & CSS size.
Plus, you can apply some filters to prioritize critical issues.
The best thing about the SEMrush audit tool is that you can fix errors and re-crawl individual URLs to analyze the progress instead of re-crawling the entire site.
Under the same tab, you can find the site structure for the targeted domain.
The next tabs show the statistics for different issues, compare crawls, and track the progress.
The only thing I didn’t like about this tool is the speed of auditing.
Moz Pro crawls your website and lets you know new and recurring technical issues over time.
The crawl report shows the breakdown of issues by categories, total issues, and presents this data in the form of a colorful chart.
You’ll get a list of crawled pages with detailed information about technical errors, status code, crawl depth, and page authority.
Sort pages by PA to prioritize the most valuable pages. Else, apply some filters to find and fix the critical issues first.
Moz offers an on-demand crawl feature that audits and reports the health of any site for up to 3000 pages.
Depending on the plan you choose, Moz allows up to 100 on-demand crawls/month.
The Premium plan users can get the benefit of speed crawl that is 10X faster than the regular one.
Apart from that, Moz Pro crawls your web pages for technical SEO issues and alerts you when new issues appear.
Mangools SiteProfiler is a great tool for getting an overview of any website, including the top SEO metrics, backlink profile, top content, and competitors.
Unfortunately, it lacks the technical SEO audit module.
Serpstat provides a site audit feature that displays a detailed overview of your website’s health and technical issues.
You can see the crawl log, Serpstat Domain Optimization (SDO) score, critical vs. non-critical errors, page info, and security issues on the top section.
Below this section, top issues are represented in the graphical format.
Unfortunately, the graphs aren’t clickable, which seems a little drawback.
Serpstat provides a list of all issues on your site and recommendations to fix them.
These issues are divided into 15 categories and four groups based on their nature.
It helps you prioritize and eliminate the most critical errors immediately.
Ubersuggest is one of the best site audit tools for beginners.
It shows the website health score, critical errors, warnings, and top SEO issues associated with your site.
Plus, you can audit the site speed on desktop and mobile devices with an advanced breakdown into estimated input latency, first CPU idle, FCP, speed index, and TTI.
That’s not all!
Ubersuggest will display the difficulty level of each issue, SEO impact, and proper explanation of how to fix it.
Although SpyFu is an excellent tool for keyword research, backlink analysis, and PPC research, it misses the important feature – site audit.
If you’re searching for a single application that addresses all aspects of SEO, i.e., on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO, then SpyFu isn’t for you.
It’s better to combine SpyFu with a dedicated technical audit tool or switch to an advanced all-in-one SEO tool like SEMrush.
Moz Pro: 7/10
6. Backlink Analysis
Backlink analysis is perhaps one of the most critical aspects of search engine optimization.
If you have an idea of your competitors’ backlink profiles, then you can craft an effective SEO strategy to outrank them.
Backlink checker tools analyze the link profile for a targeted domain, including link types, link strength, anchor text distribution.
Here I have compared backlink analysis modules of these tools on four parameters which are listed below:
➤ User Interface (UI) of the Backlink Analysis Module
➤ Backlink Database (Index)
➤ Update frequency
➤ Built-in Features
Ahrefs has a simple yet powerful user interface that displays backlink data for any domain in an intuitive way.
You can easily find the live and historical backlink data along with standard basic metrics such as referring page, domain rating (DR), URL rating (UR), referring domains, linked domains, external links, monthly organic traffic, anchor text, URL where backlink points to.
When you perform competitors’ backlink analysis, you want to focus on the most powerful links instead of creating hundreds of random links.
Ahrefs lets you filter backlinks by link types, platform, language, traffic, or a particular keyword.
Plus, you can sort links by DR, UR, referring domains, and organic traffic to get valuable links on the top of the list.
When it comes to backlink databases, Ahrefs has 22.14 trillion links from 170 million unique domains in its index.
Ahrefs claims to have the world’s second most active web crawler – AhrefsBot, that crawls around 5.53 billion pages every day.
Since Ahrefs keeps updating its backlink index with fresh data every 15 minutes, you can get an overview of competitors’ link profiles and plan your SEO campaigns accordingly.
Sometimes, your site gets attacked with thousands of spammy links for negative SEO.
In such a case, you can filter the random backlinks that don’t add value to your site and send them to Google disavow tool.
You can easily spot the harmful links by looking at their referring page URLs, URL rating, anchor text, and the time they first appeared in the link index.
Do you want to dive in-depth with backlink analysis?
Ahrefs displays important data such as referring domains, referring IPs, internal links, and anchor text distribution.
Excessive use of keyword-rich anchor text and irrelevant anchor text may harm your site’s SEO score.
However, it’s not a case anymore when you have Ahrefs in your arsenal.
Link Intersect is another great feature, but I’ll discuss it in the SEO link building section.
Here is sample data for five domains (pre-selected) in various categories.
|Sr. No.||Domain||Backlinks||Referring Domains|
Recently, SEMrush updated its backlink database.
This move allowed SEMrush to compete with top players like Ahrefs, Moz, and Majestic, who dominated this space.
As of writing this blog post, SEMrush has a link database of 29.5 trillion links from 1.4 billion referring domains.
SEMrushbot crawls around 17.3 billion pages daily and adds them to the link database, which is updated every two weeks.
I feel the update frequency is low, and SEMrush should update its backlink database at least two times per week.
Let’s see what the SEMrush backlink analysis module can do for you.
Performing backlink research with SEMrush will let you discover the Authority Score, referring domains, backlinks, monthly visits, and organic keywords for the queried domain.
SEMrush has improved the UI for backlink research, and it looks better than previous versions.
The backlink analysis module is divided into multiple tabs so that you can digest the complex data quickly.
This tab shows the new vs. lost backlinks, referring domains, categories & authority score of referring domains, anchor text cloud, and overall link building progress over time.
You can also see the link types, link attributes, TLD distribution, top countries, top pages, and link profile distribution in the graphical format with a link to the full report.
There is a cool feature under the backlink overview tab, i.e., domain comparison.
SEMrush allows you to compare up to five domains to gain insights into their backlink profile and understand their link building progress over time.
This is the place to get a complete view of the backlink profile of the targeted domain.
You’ll see a total number of backlinks, live backlinks, referring domains, link types, and link attributes at the top section.
Below that, all backlinks are listed along with essential metrics such as SEMrush authority score, source page title/URL, number of external links, number of internal links, anchor text, target URL, the date when backlink first appeared/lost.
SEMrush allows quick filtering by referring domains, link type, link attribute, and new/lost links. Alternatively, you can use advanced filters for in-depth backlink analysis.
It has one more feature that comes handy when you are auditing a backlink profile.
If you find any spammy or irrelevant link pointing to your site, you can directly send it to the disavow list from the backlink research dashboard.
Anchors tab displays a list of all anchor texts of incoming links, and numbers of links/referring domains that include the specific anchor.
➤ Referring Domains
This tab shows the list of referring domains linking to your site, their TLD distribution, countries/IPs, number of backlinks coming from the particular domains.
You can filter the referring domains by SEMrush authority score, new/lost, category, IP, and TLD.
➤ Referring IPs
Referring IPs report contains the unique IPs and geolocation of the referring domain’s host.
You can also see how many domains/backlinks are pointing to the targeted domain from the given IP address.
➤ Indexed Pages
This tab displays indexed pages, titles, URLs, number of backlinks, number of referring domains, external links, and internal links.
Your pages need to be indexed in the Google SERP to be eligible to receive organic traffic.
This report helps to find the important pages that aren’t indexed yet and need your attention.
Knowing your competitors and their strengths is essential for winning the SEO game.
Luckily, SEMrush displays a list of top competitors, their authority score, number of backlinks, number of total referring domains, and number of common referring domains.
SEMrush has developed a unique metric – competition level, based on the number of total links to each domain, and the common backlinks to both queried and competitors’ domains.
By looking at this metric, you can get an idea of whom you are fighting with and whether it’s worth your effort.
➤ Backlink Audit
Maintaining a healthy backlink profile is a crucial part of off-page SEO. Too many random links from spammy domains may harm your organic ranking and traffic.
SEMrush lets you analyze your site’s link profile and find toxic links pointing to your site.
You can easily spot toxic links by looking at the source page, authority score of referring domain, anchor text, and link velocity.
Alternatively, you can check the toxic score of the link (a compound metric designed by SEMrush to determine the potential risk associated with a particular link), but it isn’t always accurate.
I’d recommend you to analyze each link and other parameters before marking a particular link as spam and sending it to the disavow list.
Apart from that, you can keep track of broken/lost backlinks and outreach for the link reclamation.
➤ Bulk Backlink Analysis
SEMrush bulk backlink analysis tool allows you to scan up to 200 domains/URLs simultaneously.
It means that you can spy on top competitors’ backlink profiles and craft your SEO link building strategy.
Here is sample data for five domains (pre-selected) in various categories.
|Sr. No.||Domain||Backlinks||Referring Domains|
Moz claims to have the largest backlink index with 40.7 trillion links from 748 million domains.
Moz updates its link database every six months, but some high-quality pages are re-crawled at least every 90 days.
Now, coming to the actual link explorer tool, Moz has a user-friendly interface for link analysis.
Moz link research module displays the domain authority (DA), linking domains, inbound links, and ranking keywords on the top of the overview tab.
You can also see newly discovered vs. lost links, SEO metrics over time, follow vs. nofollow link attributes for internal as well as external links.
A few more insights like top pages, top followed links, anchor text profile, graphical representation of referring domain by DA is shown at the bottom of the page.
On the next tabs, you can conduct an in-depth backlink analysis of your site as well as your competitors’ sites.
Performing link analysis enables you to uncover potential backlink opportunities that may help you achieve better search rankings.
In case you want to quickly compare two or more domains/subdomains/pages, use the compare link profile option under the Moz link research module.
Finally, Moz has a special tab under its link research module – Spam Score, a metric that represents the % of websites with similar features that Moz found for penalized or banned domains.
Moz uses an ML model to determine the Spam score, and it’s pretty accurate in most cases.
Our domain has a spam score of 1%, which is extremely low.
Here is sample data for five domains (pre-selected) in various categories.
|Sr. No.||Domain||Backlinks||Referring Domains|
Mangools SEO toolkit has a dedicated backlink checker tool called LinkMiner.
LinkMiner has a database of 9.5 trillion backlinks, including Majestic’s fresh and historic index. Plus, it has 2.5 trillion unique URLs crawled since July 2013.
The tool makes it easier to evaluate the backlink data by providing the relevant metrics, embedded link previews, and quick filters.
You can see the CF, TF, referring IPs, referring domains, and active backlinks for the searched domain.
The backlink report shows the source page title & URL, CF, TF, Alexa Rank, the total number of external links, Facebook shares, link href path, anchor text, and link strength of each link pointing to the targeted domain.
On the right-hand side, you’ll see the link preview to know the exact location of the backlink placement.
LinkMiner has a couple of cool features –
- Marking important links (by clicking on the star icon before them)
- Loading powerful links by link strength instead of showing all links at the same time.
These features help you put the effort in acquiring the right links that may boost the search rankings.
Otherwise, you can apply some filters to narrow down the link analysis by specific preferences.
Here is sample data for five domains (pre-selected) in various categories.
|Sr. No.||Domain||Backlinks||Referring Domains|
Serpstat lets analyze the backlink profile of the targeted domain, monitor new vs. lost backlinks, understand the anchor text distribution, and see the domain map for TLD zones.
Once you enter a domain/URL into the search box, select the targeted country database, and click on the search button, Serpstat will populate an overview of the backlink profile for the particular domain.
You can see the Serpstat Domain Rank (SDR), referring IPs, referring domains, backlinks, dofollow vs. nofollow links, new vs. lost backlinks, and much more.
The next tabs show more backlink data for in-depth analysis.
I have discussed them below in brief.
➤ Referring domains – A list of domains that have external links pointing to the searched domain.
➤ Malicious sites – A list of backlinks coming from malicious sites. Serpstat uses a secret verification algorithm to check whether the linking site contains dangerous or deceptive content.
➤ Active Backlinks – A list of active links and their status over time represented in the graphical format.
➤ Lost Backlink – Lost links are the backlinks that the Serpstat bot didn’t find during the last crawl. Serpstat maintains a list of lost backlinks and shows their status in the graphical format.
➤ External Links – A list of outbound links from the targeted domain.
➤ Anchors – A complete list of keywords that are used as anchor text for backlinks.
➤ Top Pages – The web pages on the analyzed site ranked by the number of backlinks pointing to them.
➤ Batch Analysis – Serpstat has an amazing feature that allows users to analyze domains in bulk and compare the link metrics.
That’s why Batch Analysis can be considered as an important element of competitors’ backlink research.
Here is sample data for five domains (pre-selected) in various categories.
|Sr. No.||Domain||Backlinks||Referring Domains|
Ubersuggest is a new backlink checker tool and claims to have a database of 2 trillion backlinks.
The UI of Ubersuggest is pretty clean and easy to navigate.
When you enter a domain into the Ubersuggest search bar, it’ll generate an in-depth backlink report within a few seconds.
On the top section of the report, you’ll see the Ubersuggest domain score, number of backlinks, number of unique referring domains, and monthly organic traffic.
In the next section, Ubersuggest displays a graph of the backlink status, and new vs. lost backlinks over time.
You can analyze the complete link profile under the Backlinks tab.
This report includes the source page title & URL, target page, domain score, page score, link type, link attribute, anchor text, and the date when the link first appeared or lost from the Ubersuggest link index.
Use one or more advanced filters to narrow down the backlink list.
Overall, Ubersuggest is an impressive backlink checker tool for beginners, but I would suggest you go with the established tool like Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMrush if you’re an SEO professional or an e-commerce company.
Here is sample data for five domains (pre-selected) in various categories.
|Sr. No.||Domain||Backlinks||Referring Domains|
You can access the SpyFu backlink analysis tool under the SEO Research or Backlinks menu on the primary navigation bar.
SpyFu shows a list of backlinks with relevant link metrics such as the link type, monthly organic traffic, monthly organic click to the source page, domain strength, and ranked keywords.
There is a cool feature under the SpyFu backlink analysis module – Backlink Kombat.
It allows you to compare the backlink data for two or more domains and discover new link opportunities.
Please note that SpyFu does not maintain a backlink database like other tools.
It means that you can’t find the total number of backlinks or referring domains pointing to the analyzed domain.
SpyFu has designed its system only to prospect the links from the competitors that are well-ranked by Google and not for backlink audits.
SpyFu updates the data monthly to ensure the users always access to fresh and reliable link data.
Still, I won’t recommend using this tool as a dedicated backlink checker because it misses some essential features such as historic index and advanced link filters.
Moz Pro: 7/10
7. Link Building
While SEO link building is a debatable topic, you can’t just sit back and relax when your rivals are trying to build backlinks.
You need to put the active effort in driving high-quality backlinks without violating the webmaster guidelines for link building.
If a niche-relevant site has a broken link, you can inform the site owner and ask for link replacement.
Since you are helping him by notifying the SEO errors, you’ll probably be awarded a link.
A win-win situation for both of you!
Now, let’s find which tool has more features for link building professionals.
Ahrefs is the first choice for many users as a backlink checker tool due to its UI and data quality.
You can spy the competitors’ link profiles, apply filters to generate a list of high-quality links, and outreach the respective site owners for link placements.
If you’re running a small site, it’s possible to know who is linking to your site or who doesn’t.
It’s not the case with large business sites and e-commerce stores with thousands of links pointing to them.
That’s why Ahrefs offers a unique feature for link building – Link Intersect.
This tool helps discover who links to the current top pages or your competitors but not your pages. So you can reach the site owner and request for link placement.
You want to rank an article on pritikin.com for the keyword – weight loss diet, but not getting on the first page even after doing proper on-page SEO.
In this case, you can use the Ahrefs Link Intersect tool to analyze who is linking to the top-ranking pages, but not yours.
You can export the backlink report, narrow it down by DR, and launch a link outreach campaign to acquire those links.
You will probably get better search ranking in a few weeks if you beat competitors in other areas like content quality, on-page optimization, and technical SEO.
Ahrefs has another feature for SEO link building – broken link checker.
This tool analyzes the target site and informs whether it has any broken outgoing links or not.
Since the broken links negatively impact the SEO score and user experience, you’ll earn some high-quality backlinks if you notify the site owners about these links.
Unlike other SEO tools mentioned in this article, SEMrush offers an exclusive link building module.
When you click on the Link Building Tool under SEMrush SEO Toolkit, it’ll ask you to enter a list of your target keywords and top competitors, and shows the new prospects.
SEMrush link building tool is primarily divided into four tabs:
- In Progress
Let’s discuss them one-by-one
This tab shows the overview of domain prospects, domains in progress, and monitored domains.
Depending on the combination of targeted keywords and competitors, SEMrush will generate a list of domain prospects whom you can outreach to get links.
In the top section, you’ll see the keywords, competitors, mentions, manually uploaded domain prospects, lost backlinks, and rejected domains.
SEMrush displays a full list of domain prospects, including the source domain, URL, snippet, URL types, SEMrush authority score, and link rating (out of 5).
If the particular link prospect has a high authority score and link rating, you can add it to your SEO link building camping.
Simply, send these prospects to the In Progress list for general outreach, select one of the outreach strategies suggested by SEMrush, or export to CSV for manual outreach.
➤ In Progress
This tab shows data for link prospects that you previously selected for general outreach via the SEMrush link building system.
SEMrush has built-in outreach features, including the contact details of the respective site owners and pre-made email templates, so you need not purchase additional services like Ninja Outreach.
You can send up to 500 outreach emails and monitor email delivery progress without leaving the SEMrush dashboard.
If one of the domains in this list links to your site, it will be displayed under the Earned Backlinks section.
SEMrush moves the earned backlinks from the In Progress report to the Monitor tab to track the link status.
In case you notice any lost or broken link, then you can put it back to the In Progress list and contact the respective site owner to fix it.
Do you want to learn advanced SEO link building strategies?
Download our in-depth SEO Link Building guide, which includes 21 best ways to create high-quality backlinks.
Moz Pro has a special link building feature – Link Intersect, and it works similarly to Ahrefs Link Intersect.
Enter your target domain and up to 5 competitors’ domains/URLs to find the link opportunities.
Moz Link Intersect will show the list of domains linking to your competitor’s sites, but not to yours.
Filter this list with DA to get the most powerful links on the top.
Finally, outreach these sites to get backlinks to your site.
Moz has another feature called the Link Tracking Lists to track the link prospects and monitor the link status.
Mangools LinkMiner offers a great feature to discover backlink opportunities.
You can discover the lost backlinks, filter by link strengths, and add the most valued link to Favorites so that you can reclaim these links.
Although Serpstat is a good backlink analysis tool, it does not have a dedicated link-building tool.
Like Mangools LinkMiner, it only reports the deleted backlinks.
You can analyze the link profile of your site, filter lost backlinks, and outreach your link partners to reclaim these links.
If you’re a link building professional, I would suggest you look for alternative solutions.
By using a simple trick, you can observe a correlation between organic traffic and backlinks.
Enter your domain name into Ubersuggest search box and collect data for organic traffic, SEO keywords rankings, backlinks over time, and new vs. lost backlinks.
Now, compare the above data for a specified period.
If you discover any sign between lost backlinks and traffic drop, then create a list of lost backlinks and try to regain them.
As I mentioned earlier, Backlink Kombat can be a great tool for SEO link building.
However, SpyFu has more to offer.
Unlike most other tools mentioned in this article (except SEMrush), SpyFu has designed a custom link outreach module inside its marketing toolkit.
You can find the right contact to outreach so you won’t miss a chance to build the powerful backlinks, and most importantly, the long-lasting professional relationships.
Moz Pro: 7/10
8. Content Audit and Optimization
You’ll notice that most SEO tools focus on keyword research and backlink analysis, but miss one of the critical aspects of SEO, i.e., content optimization.
Since I have covered the Site Audit and technical SEO earlier in the article, I’ll only discuss content optimization in this section.
Ahrefs has expanded its functionalities beyond the backlink analysis.
It’s now an all-in-one SEO toolkit, and most importantly, offers the content audit feature.
However, the Ahrefs content audit is available only for WordPress users.
If you’re using WordPress CMS, then install and activate the Ahrefs SEO WordPress plugin to get quick recommendations for your content.
Ahrefs will analyze your content on various parameters such as content quality, keyword usage, organic traffic, average monthly traffic, and backlinks and divide into three categories.
- Low-Performing – The low-performing post/page is the one that doesn’t drive a significant amount of traffic. You can update it with fresh content, redirect to the most relevant page, or unpublish from your site.
- Well-Performing – If the post/page is getting a good amount of traffic, especially from the organic searches, you can leave it as is.
- Newly Updated/Published – You need to give a fair chance to newly published/updated pages to get organic traffic. Ahrefs recommends not to make any changes to these pages for a specific period.
Ahrefs will display a content score based on the quality of your content.
If the score is too low, you should focus on optimizing the website content to make it fresh, authoritative, and shareworthy.
You might have heard that the content is king.
However, creating content that satisfies users as well as search engines, is a challenging task.
What if you get a tool that simplifies the entire content marketing process?
SEMrush Content Marketing Toolkit does that for you.
It offers several modules to create and optimize content for better search visibility.
Let’s discuss how each tool assists your content marketing effort.
➤ Topic Research
This module helps to collect popular content ideas with a massive engagement score.
SEMrush displays the top subtopics, headlines, questions, and related searches that could improve the content virality.
➤ SEO Content Template
SEMrush SEO Content Template assists content writers in creating SEO-friendly content based on the target keywords.
SEMrush analyzes the top 10 ranking sites for the particular keyword and suggests the semantically related words, readability, text length, and relevant domains to acquire backlinks.
Plus, it shows how the top competitors have optimized their content for the target keyword.
You can visit top-ranking pages right from the SEMrush Dashboard to perform a manual content audit.
➤ SEO Writing Assistant
SEO Writing Assistant (SWA) offers instant recommendations for readability, SEO, tone of voice, and originality to craft stellar content.
Many people struggle to write an SEO copy that looks natural. It’s not a case anymore.
SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant lets you optimize the content to ensure the best user experience without compromising on the search visibility.
The best thing is that SWA has a WordPress plugin, Google Docs add-on, along with a native editor.
➤ Post Tracking
SEMrush Post Tracking feature enables you to track content marketing success. It allows adding up to 50 URLs per Project and measure their performance.
The Post Tracking report includes data for keywords, social shares, top contributors (by tweets/followers), backlinks, and estimated reach.
Unfortunately, the keyword position tracking under the Post Tracking module is available only for limited locations.
Please note that you can track external pages such as guest posts, syndicated pages, and even competitors’ blog posts by using the SEMrush Post Tracking Module.
➤ Content Audit
Running a content audit is a great way to discover old/outdated content with a low engagement score.
SEMrush offers a Google Analytics integration to know organic performance, including sessions, page views, bounce rate, and backlinks.
If any post isn’t performing well, you can add collaborators and discuss how to improve the content via built-in notes or order article rewriting service from the SEMrush Marketplace.
➤ On-Page SEO Checker
Besides the content marketing tools discussed above, SEMrush has a unique feature for content optimization, i.e., On-Page SEO Checker.
Once you created a project in your SEMrush account, navigate to Dashboard> Projects > Your Project > On-Page SEO Checker > Overview to understand your site’s traffic potential.
We can increase our organic traffic by over 1000% by following the SEMrush on-page SEO recommendations.
Now, let’s discuss how this tool works.
Under this tab, you can see the traffic potential and top pages to optimize.
➤ Optimization Ideas
This tab shows a list of pages that need immediate attention, including the keywords, volume, and optimization ideas.
SEMrush has developed a unique column to determine content optimization priority.
This column helps to understand which pages need to be optimized first to achieve the best optimization results.
More details about content optimization can be found by clicking on the ideas.
SEMrush offers Trello integration so that you can seamlessly manage the on-page SEO activities.
➤ Top 10 Benchmarking
This feature compares your content with Google’s top 10 organic results.
Top 10 benchmarking analyzes top competitors for your target keywords in the following areas to generate optimization ideas.
- Referring Domains
- Video usage
- Keyword Usage
- Ordered list
Knowing the top competitors’ content structure will help you craft content strategy to get better results.
➤ Idea Tasks
This tab keeps track of content optimization ideas and shows the page that needs to be improved vs. the already optimized pages.
You can prioritize the content optimization process by pages or categories of ideas to focus on the critical tasks.
Moz offers a simple content audit tool called On-Page Grader.
Enter a web page URL & primary keyword and click on the Analyze button.
Moz will show the page title, meta description, and data about the keyword usage.
Finally, you’ll get page score and factor affecting the on-page SEO.
Follow the Moz recommendations to fix the issue that hurts your page.
It’s one of the best on-page SEO tools for beginners who want to follow the DIY approach.
Unfortunately, the Moz Pro does not allow bulk analysis under the On-Page Grader module.
While Mangools SEO Toolkit is a great product for keyword research, backlink analysis, and rank tracking, it does not offer content audit & optimization features.
You can access the Serpstat content audit module by navigating to the Project > Site Audit > Custom Overview tab.
This tab shows data for various on-page SEO factors, including URLs, title, description, links, content body, and much more.
You can collect valuable insights about your site’s on-page SEO by performing a Serpstat content audit.
Since this module is labeled as Custom Overview and not promoted much by Serpstat, a new user may find it difficult to access this tool.
Serpstat should seriously think about improving the UI of its SEO toolkit, especially the content audit module.
Just compare it with Moz On-page Grader, and you’ll understand what I mean.
You’ll find a few on-page SEO errors under the Ubersuggest Site Audit tab. E.g., low word count, duplicate title tag/meta descriptions, and poorly formatted URLs.
Unfortunately, a content audit for individual pages isn’t available at this moment.
SpyFu primarily focuses on organic keyword research, backlink analysis, and PPC research.
However, it misses some standard features, including content discovery, site audit, and content optimization.
Moz Pro: 7/10
9. Position Tracking
The position tracking feature enables you to understand the keyword rankings for your site as well as your competitors.
You can track the ranking progress over time and decide what changes are required to improve the SERP keyword positions.
Since Google has adopted the mobile-first indexing, mobile-rank tracking is also a necessary part of SEO analytics.
Let’s compare the Ahrefs vs SEMrush vs Moz vs other SEO tools to see which tool performs best in the rank tracking category.
The Ahrefs Rank Tracker allows you to monitor the keyword rankings for desktop as well as mobile devices in multiple locations.
By default, Ahrefs offer a rank tracker feature for free, but it has low data update frequency (3-7 days).
If you want to get daily keyword positions updates and access the mobile ranking data, you need to upgrade to the Advanced or Agency plan or purchase a Rank Tracker Pro add-on.
Ahrefs Rank Tracker enables you to:
- Visualize the SEO Progress
- Check whether your site ranks for any SERP features
- Sort your keywords with tags/filters
- Compare your ranking data against competitors
- Get insights of Traffic Share for the tracked Keywords
- Collect up-to-date SEO metric data for the tracked keywords
- Receive schedule email reports to understand the most notable changes in keyword positions.
Performing Organic Keyword Search is a great way to know top organic keywords for any site and their positions in the SERP.
SEMrush Position Tracking module helps you to get accurate keyword ranking reports.
This tool can track keyword SERP positions for both organic as well as Google Ads on desktop, tablet, and mobile from any location.
Create a new Project in your SEMrush account and choose the Position Tracking option.
Select the domain, subdomain, URL, or subfolder, choose search engine (Google/Baidu), device (desktop/mobile/tablet), location, and business name for the local map pack.
As you can see, SEMrush allows hyperlocal targeting options for the Position Tracking module.
On the next step, choose your target keywords and add a rank tracking tool.
You can add keywords manually, from SEMrush reports or Google Analytics integration, or upload a keyword list.
Depending on which plan you have purchased, SEMrush monitors the SERP ranking of up to 5000 keywords with daily updates.
Mobile Rank Tracking is included in each plan, so you need not purchase add-on services.
Once everything is set up, SEMrush will display the ranking data for your target keywords, including search visibility, estimated traffic, average potions, keyword ranking distribution, top keywords, positive/negative impact, top competitors, SERP feature, and pages.
You’ll get more information about the keyword positions by visiting various tabs under SEMrush Rank Tracking.
The overview tab shows the visibility trends, estimated traffic, average position for your site, and competitors in the graphical format.
You can see the ranking overview with SERP features and changes in the keyword positions at the bottom.
➤ Ranking Distribution
See the ranking distribution for your domain and competitors domains in Google top 3, top 10, top 20, and top 100 along with changes in the search visibility and estimated traffic.
You can filter this data by keywords, tags, volume, SERP features, and time.
This tab shows all pages for the target keywords with estimated traffic, keywords count, average position, total volume, and change in this data for selected time-frame.
Recently, SEMrush added a new feature to its Position tracking module – Cannibalization health checker.
It shows if there are any keyword cannibalization issues with your site.
You can merge the identical pages, remove keyword references, canonicalize to indicate the master pages, or delete/noindex the affected pages to avoid undesirable SEO results.
➤ Competitors Discovery
This tab shows a competitive positioning map and ranking data for competing sites.
Switch to Winners & Losers tab on the competition map to visualize the positive/negative changes in each domain’s SERP positions.
➤ Devices and Locations
By default, SEMrush tracks keyword rankings for a single location and device. However, this tab allows quickly adding more locations and devices.
➤ Featured Snippet
Ranking in the Featured Snippet (Position 0) is a great way to increase search visibility and organic clicks.
SEMrush displays the keywords ranking in the Featured snippet, trends, and opportunities based on your target keywords.
This report helps you discover the keywords eligible to rank in the featured snippet to put SEO effort in the right direction.
Moz tracks keyword ranking across four major search engines, including Google US and International, Google Mobile, Bing, and Yahoo.
When you create a new campaign, Moz Pro asks you to enter target keywords that you want to monitor for organic search ranking.
Moz tracks SERP positions for up to 4500 keywords (18K total collected search results across four search engines) depending on the plan you choose.
You’ll be charged $20 for an additional 200 keywords.
The best thing is that each Moz Pro plan includes the mobile rank tracking feature for free.
However, the keyword ranking data for campaigns is updated weekly, and it’s a big disadvantage of using the Moz Pro Position Tracking Module.
Luckily, Moz Pro has an on-demand rank tracker that can evaluate search performance for up to 800 individual keywords/URLs per day.
Enter a keyword/URL, select search engine/country, and click on the Search button.
Moz will give the keyword ranking data with search volume and keyword difficulty.
Mangools has a dedicated keyword rank tracking module called SERPWatcher.
You need to add a target domain, location, search platform (desktop/mobile), and keywords to set up new tracking with SERPWatcher.
You can upload a .txt or .csv file, import keywords from KWFinder or manually write keywords to start keyword tracking.
SERPWatcher will collect the keyword position data and display it intuitively.
The data includes current keyword positions, changes in the keyword positions, average position, best position during the selected time frame, average monthly searches, and estimated traffic (EV).
On the right side pane, SERPWatcher will display the Performance Index, estimated visits, keyword position flow, and keyword position distribution in the graphical format.
You can click on individual keywords to check their position history, SERP Preview, ranking URL, and search volume history.
SERPWatcher has three cool features worth mentioning here.
➤ Adding Keywords
You can quickly add more keywords to a ranking list by uploading a .csv or .txt file, importing keywords from KWFinder, or writing keywords manually.
However, if you want to track the same keywords for another search platform, you just need to duplicate the current list by clicking on the (⋮) icon.
You can find more options like manage tags, change domain, and delete tracking under the same icon.
➤ Reports & Alerts
Visit the Reports & Alerts tab allows you to create weekly or monthly keyword rankings reports.
Plus, you can set custom alert notifications for various situations such as:
- Keyword enters top 10
- Keyword leaves top 10
- Keyword enters top 100
- Keyword leaves top 100
The alerts will be sent to the pre-selected email recipient.
➤ Share Tracking
You can share the ranking data with anyone by using a link. This feature helps share the ranking data with clients or colleagues.
Please note that generating a new link will revoke the access to the previously created link.
The only con for the SERPWatcher is the number of keywords you can track in each plan.
The Basic plan allows tracking only 200 keywords, but this limit can be extended to 1500 keywords by purchasing the Mangools Agency plan.
The keywords are updated daily, so you can review the SERP changes and take necessary measures to maintain or boost the keyword rankings.
Serpstat has a robust rank tracker module that analyzes the top 100 Google search results and the top 50 Yandex search results for a keyword.
As a result, you receive data on your domain and competitors’ domains.
Serpstat rank tracker displays the visibility, average position, SERP changes, and snippets for the target keywords added to a particular project.
You can find more information such as keyword ranking distribution, search volume, SERP positions, and historic data under the same tab.
Serpstat displays the visibility distribution, ranking distribution, and traffic distribution report under the Competitors tab.
You can hover over each domain to see the overview of their ranking data.
Finally, the URLs tab under the Serpstat Rank Tracker shows the pages ranking for the tracked keywords, incoming traffic, and keyword positions.
Serpstat updates keyword ranking data every day to ensure data accuracy. Moreover, it does not set any limitations for position tracking except your plan’s limit.
Ubersuggest enables you to track keyword ranking on desktop as well as mobile devices.
Once you signed up into your account and created a project, you can add keywords and select the target location to start tracking the SERP positions.
Ubersuggest automatically pulls data for organic positions, search volume, SEO difficulty, and URL that ranks for the specific keywords.
You can take a look at the average position, ranking distribution, and SEO visibility graph to understand the ranking progress over time.
Please note that you have to purchase one of the Ubersuggest plans to access mobile ranking reports and unlock keyword ranking data for more than 25 keywords.
The ranking data is updated daily, and it can be downloaded as a PDF report.
You’ll see some advanced features like email alerts in the future updates.
SpyFu has a rank tracking module, but it requires you to add a project before you start keyword rank monitoring.
SpyFu allows creating keyword groups and adding labels for the seamless organization of the target keywords.
You can create custom keyword groups or add SpyFu suggested groups to your project.
Usually, SpyFu updates its data monthly, but you’ll see weekly ranking updates in both organic rankings and PPC ad positions under the Rank Tracker module.
You can enable ranking alerts to get notified when the keyword group ranking changes.
Moz Pro: 7/10
All SEO tools mentioned in this article follow the SaaS pricing model.
It means you need to pay monthly subscription fees as long as you want to use these products.
The price-sensitive users definitely want to review this section to know which tools offer the best value for their investment.
Let’s see what you get by purchasing each of these tools.
Ahrefs offers four pricing plans, and you can choose one that’s the most suitable for your business.
Here are the Ahrefs pricing plans.
- Lite – $99 per month
- Standard – $179 per month
- Advanced – $399 per month
- Agency – $999 per month
You need to pay additional charges to access the Ahrefs Rank Tracker that provides daily keyword updates and mobile ranking data.
The feature costs $50 for 500 keywords, and the amount may go up to $10,000 for 100K keywords.
Please note that Ahrefs Lite and Standard plans are great for beginners and individual bloggers.
The Advanced and Agency plans are suitable for heavy users such as SEO professionals, digital marketing agencies, and enterprises.
Ahrefs offers 2 months of free subscription on annual payments, and you can save up to $1998 per year.
The Ahrefs pricing is simple with no contracts, no setup fees, or any hidden charges.
Moreover, you can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel your plan at any time.
Please note that the Ahrefs pricing upgrades will take effect immediately after your request, while downgrade and cancellation become effective at the end of the billing period.
Unfortunately, Ahrefs does not provide a free trial to test its tools.
You need to pay $7 for a 7-day trial.
Although you can access a backlink checker or keyword explorer as a guest, it shows limited data for free users.
SEMrush is primarily offering three pricing plans that are listed below.
- Pro – $99.95 per month
- Guru – $199.95 per month
- Business – $399.95 per month
SEMrush Pro plan is an excellent choice for freelancers, startups, and individual marketers with a limited budget.
Guru and Business plans are suitable for advanced users such as SMBs, marketing agencies, e-commerce businesses with an established web presence.
To know more about your competitors and create data-driven marketing strategies, you can purchase SEMrush competitive intelligence add-ons for $200 per month.
SEMrush provides a 16% discount on annual subscriptions that effectively reduces the SEMrush pricing to $83.28 per month, $166.62 per month, and $333.28 per month for the Pro, Guru, and Business plans respectively.
Enterprise users can contact the SEMrush sales team to get custom solutions to fit their marketing needs.
The best thing about SEMrush pricing is that it offers a 7-day free trial.
However, you can sign up through our partner link to get a 14-day SEMrush Pro free trial.
If you’re serving digital marketing clients or planning to build an SEO tool over the SEMrush API, I highly recommend you pick the SEMrush Business plan that offers White Label report generation, API access, and Google Data Studio integration.
Like Ahrefs and SEMrush, the pricing of Moz Pro starts at $99 per month and may go up to $599 per month.
Here are the details about Moz Pro pricing.
- Standard – $99 per month
- Medium – $149 per month
- Large – $249 per month
- Premium – $599 per month
If you want to save on Moz Pro bills, you can purchase its yearly subscription to get a 20% discount.
Grab a 30-day free trial to understand how each module works to make the right purchasing decision.
The pricing of Mangools is on the affordable side with the plans starting from $49 per month.
Currently, Mangools offers three plans, which are listed below.
- Basic – $49 per month
- Premium – $69 per month
- Agency – $129 per month
You can get a massive 40% off on all annual plans that effectively reduce the price to $229.20 for the entire year.
While other all-in-one SEO tools cost more than thousands of dollars per year, Mangools subscription is a much affordable option for small bloggers, SMBs, and SEO agencies.
If you need to test the Mangools SEO suite before purchasing it, you can get a 10-day free trial.
It doesn’t even require inserting credit card information to activate the free trial.
However, if you upgrade your subscription within 1 hour of creating a new Mangools account, you’ll get an additional 10% discount, i.e., a flat 50% off on annual subscriptions.
Serpstat knows that one size does not fit for all.
That’s why it offers four different pricing plans, as listed below.
- Lite – $69 per month
- Standard – $149 per month
- Advanced – $299 per month
- Enterprise – $499 per month
Each Serpstat plan lets you access 20+ tools in the SEO and SEM categories.
The Lite plan is perfect for freelancers, SMBs, and SEO-individuals. Marketing agencies and big companies that need more data can upgrade to higher-tier plans.
These upgrades allow you access to the extended interface, API credit, and branded reports.
Plus, you can add team members if you have an active subscription of Standard, Advanced, or Enterprise plan.
Serpstat is offering a 20% off on annual purchases, i.e., a massive $100 per month discount on Enterprise plan.
I recommend you get a free Serpstat trial account (no credit card required) and test how it performs.
If you’re happy with the performance of this tool, then you can upgrade to one of its premium plans.
Ubersuggest is the least expensive option among all SEO tools discussed in this article.
Recently, Ubersuggest shifted its revenue model to freemium, but the pricing seems to be affordable for most users.
Currently, Ubersuggest offers three plans:
- Individual – ₹899 per month
- Business – ₹1499 per month
- Enterprise – ₹2999 per month
The Individual plan is perfect for small bloggers and costs less than $20. The Business plan is suitable for freelancers and small companies.
Advanced users like SEO agencies, e-commerce stores, and large businesses can opt-in for the Ubersuggest Enterprise plan.
Purchase the Ubersuggest annual plan to get two months of free subscription.
Ubersuggest allows limited access to its toolkit as a guest.
However, you can sign up for a 7-day free trial to conduct in-depth testing before moving to one of its paid plans.
Considering the feature vs. pricing, Ubersuggest is one of the best SEO tools available in the market.
Do you know the best thing about SpyFu pricing?
No matter which plan you choose, you’ll get unlimited access to SpyFu data.
Take a look at various SpyFu plans:
- Basic – $39 per month
- Professional – $78 per month
- Team – $299 per month
The only difference between the above three plans is the additional features offered in each plan.
The SpyFu Professional plan allows creating custom branded reports and access to API credits that are not available in the Basic plan.
SpyFu offers lucrative discounts for long-term purchases, and you can save up $100 per month on annual subscriptions.
Apart from that, each new account is protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee. It means that you can try SpyFu for a month before deciding whether to continue it or not.
Contact the support team via email, live chat, phone, or even social media handles and ask to cancel your account.
You can always test some SpyFu features for free as a guest user, but it shows very limited data.
Instead, sign up an account and see SpyFu in action.
Moz Pro: 8/10
Many people often focus on the features of SEO tools and ignore the most critical aspects such as usability, data accuracy, and quality of technical support.
Unless you are an SEO geek and well-versed with the specific product, you need someone to help you achieve maximum performance.
We tried to connect with the customer support team of each product mentioned in this article and have shared our experience below.
If you consider customer support one of the primary factors of selecting an SEO tool, you should read this section.
Quick customer support is one of the major factors behind Ahrefs crowning success.
Do you have any issues with Ahrefs subscription?
Simply click on the Contact Us menu at the bottom or open the live chat to start talking with the support team.
You’ll notice that Ahrefs uses AI chatbot to solve the common issues in the first interaction, and it’s pretty accurate in understanding the queries.
When you ask a question, the chatbot points you to the relevant articles in the help center before the support executive starts communicating with you.
The response time for human support is ~10 minutes.
Unfortunately, Ahrefs does not offer phone support, which can be a negative point for some people.
Ahrefs is active on major social media platforms and responds very quickly, which is again an excellent value addition.
Although SEMrush is serving millions of customers globally, it misses the critical support feature, i.e., Live chat.
You can get in touch with its support team by using the phone call or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is another way to get technical assistance from the SEMrush support.
First, scroll down to the footer section and click on the Contact Us link.
Select the appropriate section between customer support, demo request, and sales inquiry to move ahead.
It hardly takes 5-10 minutes to ask a question using the contact form. Still, it’s a little more difficult than asking a question via live chat.
Honestly, the support team is professional yet amiable and replies within a few minutes.
Semrush also has a vast knowledge base, a popular marketing blog, and an active social presence.
You can get the latest product updates, marketing news, and technical support through these channels.
If you need help with Moz products, API, billing, or community, you can get in touch with the Moz support team using the contact form.
Moreover, Moz has a popular SEO blog, thousands of KB articles, and an active community – The Moz Q&A Forum, to get more knowledge about SEO.
Currently, Moz doesn’t offer live chat or phone support, and it seems a con for people who are looking for quick technical assistance.
Quick technical support is the USP of Mangools SEO toolkit.
You can either send an email discussing your problem or get in touch with the Mangools support executives via live chat.
Mangools’s support team was the fastest among all and responded to our query within just 5 minutes.
Getting in touch with the Serpstat support team is extremely easy.
Click on the live chat icon in the bottom-right corner and ask your questions directly.
You’ll get a quick reply with links to relevant articles in the Serpstat knowledge base.
If an operator isn’t available or busy serving other customers, you’ll receive a follow-up email.
You can even arrange 5-10 minutes of conversation with one of the Serpstat support executives that’s worth mentioning here.
Serpstat has a massive knowledge base and an exclusive learning center called Serpstat Academy that provides free SEO training from basic to advanced topics.
I really liked how Serpstat deals with its customers and offers the best customer support experience.
Neil Patel knows the importance of quick and friendly customer support.
That’s why he has built a help center for users who want to learn about the Ubersuggest and how it works.
The help center is pretty clean, with knowledgebase articles divided into multiple categories.
In case you don’t find an answer to your query, you can get in touch with Ubersuggest support team using the contact form or DM to Neil on Twitter.
You can easily ask your queries to the SpyFu support team via live chat or to check out its knowledge base for mini-articles, tutorials, and SEO advice from the SpyFu team.
Please note that the live chat isn’t available on weekends, so you need to wait for at least a couple of days.
Moreover, SpyFu does not offer phone support, and it can be a downside for some users.
Moz Pro: 6/10
Before declaring a winner between the above SEO toolkits, here is a final score for each of them.
Ahrefs: 89/110 [?]
Semrush: 100/110 [?]
Moz Pro: 70/110
Serpstat: 77/110 [?]
Ubersuggest: 77/110 [?]
Throughout the article, you would have noticed that Ahrefs and Semrush are the best SEO tools for your investment.
While Semrush is a clear winner, it does not mean other tools are useless.
Each tool has its pros and cons.
You can choose any product that fulfills your SEO requirements without compromising on data quality.
If you’re a blogger, digital marketer, or small business owner, I recommend purchasing a Semrush subscription.
Here is a special link to get a 14-day free trial to unlock the Semrush marketing toolkit’s full potential.
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