SEMrush is a leading marketing platform that brought a paradigm shift to the SEO and PPC landscape.
It offers many powerful features, including:
- Keyword Research
- Domain Analysis
- Backlink Analysis
- SEO Writing Assistant
- Social Media Poster
- PPC Research
- Marketing Calendar
- Custom Report Building.
SEO professionals, marketing agencies, e-commerce stores, or even large companies with an extensive web presence can leverage the SEMrush marketing toolkit to automate their campaigns and boost overall performance.
SEMrush is my favorite SEO tool recommendation. However, it’s not the perfect choice for everyone working in this field.
You’ll find a few SEMrush alternatives that serve the purpose and comes with affordable pricing options.
So I have listed the top SEMrush alternatives below, both free and paid ones.
1. Ahrefs – Overall Best SEMrush Alternative
Today Ahrefs is the top rival for SEMrush. In fact, both tools offer almost similar features and pricing plans.
However, Ahrefs primarily focuses on the SEO vertical, whereas SEMrush covers almost every digital marketing aspect with 40+ tools in its arsenal.
Here is a quick comparison between SEMrush vs. Ahrefs.
|Domain Analysis||Domain Overview menu offers detailed information about the queried domain. Later, you can expand each section to get additional insights.||The Site Explorer menu offers an overview of the queried domain, but you can perform an in-depth analysis by visiting various links.|
|Keyword Research||SEMrush has one of the reliable keyword research tools – Keyword Magic Tool, with over 20 billion keywords in its database.||Ahrefs Keyword Explorer is a popular keyword research tool with great UI, but it carries a database of only 1.31 billion keywords.|
|Backlink Analysis||SEMrush has one of the largest backlink databases with the crawling frequency of 17.3 billion URLs per day. You can perform an in-depth analysis of the backlink profile of any domain. However, the backlink data frequency could be better.||Ahrefs has the world’s second most active crawler with a frequency of 7.25 billion pages per day. It has a backlink database of 2.77 trillion external backlinks and 23.49 trillion internal backlinks. Although the numbers are less compared to SEMrush, Ahrefs updates backlink data more frequently, which gives it an edge over SEMrush and other competitors.|
|Backlink Audit for Toxic Links||SEMrush has a dedicated backlink audit module that finds toxic backlinks to a particular domain. You can outreach to the sites linking to your page and request them to remove toxic links or disavow those links.||Ahrefs misses a dedicated backlink audit tool to find toxic links. You can still manually audit spammy links by looking at their DR, anchor text, referring domain, and many other factors.|
|Site Audit||SEMrush has a solid site audit module to find technical issues affecting the targeted site. Plus, you’ll get a detailed guide on how to fix those issues.||Ahrefs offers a comprehensive site audit module. It crawls your site and displays all issues that you need to fix asap.|
|Content Marketing Platform||SEMrush Content Marketing Toolkit is a perfect tool to plan, execute, and track your marketing campaigns’ performance.||Ahrefs Content Explorer is much comparable to SEMrush. Still, it misses a few features, such as content analysis, editorial calendar, and content distribution.|
|Rank Tracker||Daily rank tracking for up to 5000 keywords (including mobile rank tracking).||Weekly rank tracking for up to 10,000 (Mobile rank tracking and 3-day tracking frequency is available in the higher plans only).|
|Social Media Tools||Social Media Poster, Content Calendar, and Social Media Tracker enable you to distribute social media content and measure campaign performance in real-time.||N/A|
|Advertising Tools||A full-fledged advertising toolkit with PPC keyword research tool, ad builder, and analytics features.||Ahrefs offers limited advertising features, including PPC keyword research, ad library, and landing page research.|
|Market Research Tools||SEMrush developed a competitive intelligence toolkit with market explorer and traffic analytics modules. It allows you to research the target market and competitors’ strategies effortlessly.||Only limited data is available in the Site Explorer module.|
|Plugins and Extensions||Ahrefs SEO WordPress plugin and Ahrefs SEO Toolbar browser extension.||SWA WordPress plugin & Google Docs add-on, and SEOquake browser extension.|
|Custom Reports||You can create and schedule branded or white-label reports using the built-in Report Builder option.GA, GMB, GSC integration, and user collaboration is possible.||Custom branded or white-label reports building feature is not available currently.|
- A clean and user-friendly interface makes it easy to navigate in the Ahrefs dashboard.
- Ahrefs offers detailed backlink analysis with frequent data updates.
- You can conduct a site audit to find and fix the technical issues on your site.
- A feature-rich Content Explorer module allows access to advanced content marketing features, including content idea research, brand monitoring, and competitor’s content strategy analysis.
- Perform a Content Gap analysis.
- Live chat option for customer support.
- Mobile rank tracking isn’t available in all plans. Plus, the keyword rankings are updated after a minimum of 3-days.
- No free trial. You need to pay $7 for 7-day access to the Ahrefs SEO platform.
- You can’t generate custom branded or white-label reports. Adding this feature could help SEO freelancers and agencies.
Ahrefs pricing starts at $99, which is $0.95 less than the SEMrush Pro plan.
If you want to access advanced features and extend data limits on the current plan, you may upgrade to higher-tier plans.
|Suitable For||Bloggers, Freelancer, and Digital Marketing Individuals||Content Marketers, Startups, and SMBs||Small E-commerce Stores and SEO Agencies (~10 Clients)||E-commerce Marketplaces, Large SEO Agencies, and Established Businesses|
Recently, Ahrefs launched a free plan to help creators and small businesses to improve their SEO effort. The plan gives you limited access to the Ahrefs platform via Ahrefs Webmasters Tools (AWT).
You can get a 7-day trial for $7 to test the Ahrefs platform before becoming a premium member.
Ahrefs offers a bunch of features similar to SEMrush. However, SEMrush clearly wins the battle, comparing the price to performance ratio of both tools.
2. Google SEO Tools – Free SEMrush Alternative
As the world’s largest search engine, everyone tries to rank on the top of Google.
Google has an extensive suite of SEO tools.
If you have a limited marketing budget, Google’s services can be a better option instead of relying on third-party tools.
Here is a detailed analysis of how SEMrush compliments with various Google SEO tools.
|Topic Research and Web Trends Analysis||SEMrush has a Topic Research module under the Content Marketing Toolkit that helps in collecting relevant ideas and organize them based on your campaign preference.||Google Trends is the largest platform to collect trending content ideas and view historic trends. You can also set alerts for particular topics to get quick notifications.|
|Keyword Research||SEMrush has Keyword Magic tools, with over 20 billion keywords in its database. It helps you find profitable keywords for your SEO and PPC campaigns. Plus, you can perform the competitor’s organic research to steal their top-ranking keywords.||No doubt, Google has the largest and most accurate keyword database. Unfortunately, you can’t get unrestricted access to it. However, you can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Google Autocomplete, and Related searches. You can scan featured snippets, Q&A on Google, the People also ask section, and search ads to get profitable keyword ideas.|
|Marketing Calendar||SEMrush Marketing Calendar is one of the best tools to plan, implement, and track marketing campaigns. Plus, you can invite team members.||Google Calendar is the best SEMrush alternative to set marketing goals, manage day-to-day activities, and track results. You can invite people, assign tasks, carry out meetings via integrated platforms.|
|Traffic Analysis||SEMrush Traffic Analytics is a great tool for getting insights into the competitors’ website traffic. It helps you make data-driven marketing decisions. However, you can’t guarantee the accuracy of the data.||Google Analytics is an excellent tool for understanding the traffic and relevant metrics related to your own site. However, it’s not useful in competitive analysis.|
|Site Audit||SEMrush has a powerful Site Audit Tool that shows various issues, including redirection errors, slow site speed, internal link issues, HTTPS errors, and many more.||Google Search Console is the best free alternative to SEMrush. You’ll find a list of technical errors affecting your site’s organic traffic and user experience. E.g., the Core Web Vitals report lists the slow URLs and offers recommendations to fix this issue.|
|Link Audit||SEMrush offers a powerful link audit tool to find and remove toxic backlinks. Once the audit is completed, you can send a link removal request to the respective site owner or directly create a list of spammy domains and upload it to Google Disavow Tool.||You can overview top external sites linking to pages under the GSC Links report. If you find low-quality links, add the particular domains to a text file and upload it to the Google Disavow Tool.|
|Rank Tracking||The SEMrush rank tracker tool allows you to keep an eye on the target keywords’ organic positions. It also displays mobile ranking and shares daily updates via email.||While you can perform a Google search to find the site’s ranking for the target keywords, it’s a time-consuming process. Instead, you can check the GSC performance report to gain insights on your site’s organic search performance.|
- Considering the quality of data, Google Tools are the best alternatives to the SEMrush marketing toolkit.
- Beginner-friendly user interface.
- A huge knowledge base for learning materials and active communities to help you get started and discuss various issues.
- Most Google services are free-to-use as an individual creator.
- Google Keyword Planner offers a rough estimate of the search volume of and competition, instead of showing the exact figure.
- Since Google services are free, the data is available for a large number of users.
- You have limited access to the competitor’s marketing data.
Most Google services are free, but you can purchase GSuite to access advanced features.
It’s difficult to decide the winner between SEMrush vs. Google SEO Tools. Most advanced users leverage both platforms to access more refined data and competitive intelligence.
However, free users will most likely use Google services or a free SEMrush account.
It’s a tie.
FAQs Related to SEMrush Alternatives
1. What is the best alternative to SEMrush?
SEMrush is an all-in-one marketing solution with 40+ tools in SEO, Social Media, PPC, Content Marketing, and Competitive Intelligence categories. Considering that, Ahrefs is the best SEMrush alternative with similar features and pricing structure.
2. Is there a free version of SEMrush?
Yes, SEMrush offers a free version with limited features. However, you can get a 14-day SEMrush Pro Trial or a 7-Day SEMrush Guru Trial absolutely free. The free trial allows unrestricted access to the SEMrush marketing platform.
3. Which is better, Ahrefs vs. SEMrush?
Ahrefs is arguably easy-to-use than SEMrush and offers an excellent backlink analysis module. On the flip side, SEMrush is a comprehensive marketing software with more reliable data. After studying various factors, such as usability, top features, performance, and pricing, SEMrush is a better choice for marketing professionals and SMBs.
4. Is SEMrush a good tool for beginners?
SEMrush is a feature-rich marketing platform and may feel a bit overwhelming for beginners. However, it offers everything in a single dashboard, making it an obvious choice for new people. The price-sensitive users may look for a cheaper or free SEMrush alternative.