Are you looking for the best SEO tool for your business?
If so, then I’m sure that you are definitely considering Moz or Ahrefs or Semrush, right?
After all, these are among the most popular SEO tools. Each has its unique strengths and weaknesses, but all are good tools overall.
So, how do you choose the best one for your needs?
Read this review of Moz vs. Ahrefs vs. Semrush and make the final call yourself.
Watch:- Comparison Semrush vs Ahrefs vs MOZ – Which is Best?
There has been a longstanding debate about the best SEO tool and Moz, Ahrefs, and Semrush are the main contenders. In this post, I will review each of these and give a final verdict to end this debate once and for all.Product Ratings
Value for Money
Offers the most flexibility and features, but limited user access.
Offers a user-friendly interface and a host of competitive intelligence features.
Great for competitor analysis, but has a convoluted credits system.
Moz is a good SEO tool for individuals and small businesses as it offers a comprehensive set of SEO features at competitive prices.
Ahrefs and Semrush are more advanced and also offer content marketing capabilities. Both of them are ultimate all-in-one SEO tools that offer something for all types of clients.
Want to know which is the best?
Read my full review of Ahrefs vs. Semrush vs. Moz to find out.Who Are They for?
All three tools are good for SEO purposes, but after deeper analysis, I found that each has its own clientele.
Moz is best for small businesses and individuals because of its cheaper plans and ease of use.
Ahrefs has everything to cater to all types of clients, but due to a lack of customizable plans, enterprises might be at a loss.
Semrush provides lots of options for all types of businesses and is especially great for enterprises because of the flexibility that it offers.
Here’s the overall summary:
Note: The Italic shows who the tool is best suited for.Features Comparison: Semrush vs. Moz vs. Ahrefs
|Keyword Sorting and Comparison||YES||YES||YES|
|Website Analytics and Audit||YES||YES||YES|
|SEO Content Template||YES||NO||NO|
|Keyword Grouping and Management||YES||YES||NO|
|Content Ideas and Topic Research||YES||YES||YES|
|Content Audit and Analytics||YES||YES||YES|
|Market Research and Trends Analysis||YES||NO||NO|
|Social Media Content Optimization||YES||YES||YES|
|Social Media Management||YES||YES||YES|
|Performance Analysis and Benchmarking||YES||YES||YES|
|Special discount for non-profit businesses||NO||YES||YES|
Note: For a fair comparison, I have excluded add-on features and products. This means that Moz Local, APIs, Semrush CI add-on, etc. are not included in this comparison.
Detailed Review: Semrush
Unlike the other two tools, Semrush does not just focus on SEO but provides a complete digital marketing solution for your business. It is a suite of digital marketing tools.
Semrush provides five toolkits—SEO, Advertising, Social Media, Content Marketing, and Competitive Research. These toolkits, in turn, have a set of tools and dashboards that help you with the respective aspects of your marketing strategy.
Wondering if you even need all of these tools?
Well, my answer would be yes, you do. Semrush offers so much more at such competitive rates that it makes it the ultimate SEO and marketing tool for any business.
Moreover, it has something to offer everyone, be it an individual or an agency. Depending on your requirements, you can select your plan or get a customized plan.
Want to know the best part?
Semrush integrates with many other platforms like Google Analytics, social media platforms, WordPress, and more. This makes it easy for you to use multiple tools in the easiest possible way.
Also, Semrush provides browser extensions for not only Google Chrome, but also for Safari and Firefox.
Now, coming to the review of the key features. In this Semrush review, I will focus only on the SEO toolkit as that offers almost everything that Moz and Ahrefs offer.
Semrush offers so many additional features that Moz and Ahrefs don’t. Therefore, it makes more sense to just talk about the SEO and content capabilities of Semrush.
Ready to learn more?
Let’s get right to it then.
Semrush has several different dashboards and tools dedicated to keyword research and management.
The first is the Keyword Overview dashboard where you can get a detailed report on any keyword. You can use this to evaluate your shortlisted keywords and decide whether you want to target them or not.
Semrush has a database of 20 billion keywords and is one of the most exhaustive keyword search tools in the market.
You can use the latest Global Volume metric to see keyword search volumes at a global level. This tool also provides you with keyword variations, question-type keywords, and related keywords.
The next one is Semrush’s famous Keyword Magic Tool which you can use to search for keywords, both for SEO and advertising.
This is the ultimate keyword search tool to find keywords for any purpose. It has advanced search and filtering options that you can use to find, sort, and shortlist keywords.
A unique feature of this tool is keyword clustering. It shows you a group of keywords categorized under different headings on the left sidebar. You can click on any of these clusters to find related keywords.
Want to know the best part?
You can also add keywords to your lists directly from here. All you have to do is click on the + sign and the selected keywords will be added to your list.
Simple, isn’t it?
However, if you don’t already have a keyword list, then you need to go to the Keyword Manager tab to do so.
What’s more, you ask?
Well, there’s one more hidden gem in Semrush’s arsenal of keyword research tools and it is the Keyword Difficulty Tool. This is the keyword research tool that will help you decide which keywords to target based on their search volume, the intensity of competition, etc.
Semrush’s keyword research suite has another useful tab called Organic Traffic Insights. Here, you can see the top pages that are getting the highest organic search traffic for your website.
Overall, Semrush has powerful keyword research capabilities, unmatched by any other tool.
Pro Tip: Start your research with the Keyword Magic tool and end with the Keyword Difficulty tool to make the final selection.
Just like keyword research, this is another feature that is common among the three tools that I am reviewing.
This tool shows how your website ranks for your target keywords. Basically, you can analyze the performance of your SEO efforts here.
Check out the Share of Voice (SoV) metric to see what percentage of market share you hold for a particular keyword. You can also get a Cannibalization report that tells you if your own pages are competing against each other for a keyword.
Semrush also introduced a new feature called Semrush Rank. It ranks the domains that get the highest amount of organic traffic, from a database of more than 825 million domains.
But, that’s not all. There’s one more feature that makes Semrush so useful.
Want to know what?
It allows a side-by-side comparison of your performance with that of your competitors. You can get a complete view of your rankings and how they compare to your key competitors.
Another new feature that Semrush introduced in 2020 is Semrush Sensor. It can be used to track Google SERP’s volatility on a daily basis and can alert you about any new algorithm updates.
Just like Moz and Ahrefs, Semrush also provides the site audit feature and can crawl your website like a search engine. It identifies areas for improvement and suggests ways to optimize your website.
Wondering what the dashboard looks like?
Here you go.
I would also like to mention the Markup report, which is a new addition to Semrush and I am already a fan. It gives you an analysis of your website’s markup use and implementation errors.
On-Page SEO – Content Style Template
This is the content optimization feature of Semrush that helps you improve your website content to get higher rankings.
Wondering how it works?
Well, you simply need to enter your target keywords and Semrush will analyze the top ten pages that rank for those keywords. It then provides recommendations to optimize your content based on the top-ranking content for those keywords.
In 2020, Semrush made two new additions to their on-page SEO dashboard: On-Page SEO Checker and Log File Analyzer.
On-Page SEO Checker gives you tips for improving your on-page SEO. This includes tips on readability, semantically-related keywords, backlink prospects, content length, etc.
Log File Analyzer can show you how your website is seen by search engines when they crawl it. This gives you tons of in-depth insights into your website and how you can improve it.
In 2020, Semrush launched some cool new features related to local SEO.
The first one is called Listing Management. You can use this to manage and optimize your business listings in local directories.
You can also check out the Local Rankings report to see your website’s rankings in Google Local Finder.
The last feature that I would like to mention is Review Management. You can use this to track and manage your Google and Facebook reviews.
Backlinks Analysis and Link Building
Semrush is a complete SEO solution and covers all aspects of SEO—on-page, off-page, and technical.
For off-page SEO, it not only helps you analyze and improve your backlinks profile but also helps you get new backlinks.
Want to know more about all that it offers?
Let’s get started.
The first solution that it offers is Backlink Analytics that you can use to analyze the backlinks profile of any website. It provides metrics on both the quantity and quality of backlinks for your or your competitors’ websites.
Want to know the best part?
Just like most of Semrush’s tools, this one also offers the option to do a side-by-side comparison of your website with that of your competitors.
The next tool is the Backlink Audit tool which determines the toxicity of your backlinks and suggests ways to improve them. It provides a toxicity score based on many toxic markers so that you can remove the toxic backlinks and avoid a Google penalty.
You can also use this to disavow toxic backlinks and improve your backlink profile.
The next tool on this list is the Link Building tool offered by Semrush. It shows you opportunities to get more backlinks from top domain prospects.
Semrush also offers the Backlink Gap tool that you can use to compare your website to that of your competitors and find link opportunities. You can compare multiple domains simultaneously, making the process much faster.
Circling back to the Moz vs. Ahrefs vs. Semrush debate, let me highlight a feature that Semrush and Ahrefs offer, but Moz doesn’t. It is the bulk/batch analysis feature that allows you to analyze the backlinks of up to 200 domains, subdomains, subfolders, and URLs.
This is an easy way to analyze multiple domains from a single dashboard.
Pro Tip: Conduct regular backlink audits and maintain a solid backlink profile to get good quality traffic to your website.
Content Marketing Toolkit
This toolkit has a variety of content marketing tools that you can use to get content ideas, plan your content strategy, optimize your content, and measure performance.
It goes as far as providing a writing assistant that points out issues as you write. Topic Research, SEO Writing Assistant, Post Tracking, and Content Analyzer are the key tools that it offers.
Recently, Semrush also launched a Content Marketplace where you can get on-demand content for your website. However, you need to pay for it separately and it does not come with basic Semrush plans.
I don’t need to get into the details because neither Moz nor Ahrefs can come even close to Semrush’s content marketing capabilities. So, in this aspect, Semrush is a clear winner.
Detailed Review: Moz Pro
In this review, I will focus on Moz Pro as that is the Moz product that is most comparable to Semrush and Ahrefs. Moz Local is another useful product that Moz offers but I will not get into the details about it here.
Ready to learn all about Moz Pro?
Let’s get started.
Moz Pro is an all-in-one SEO solution that can help you optimize your website and get more traffic. Unlike Semrush, Moz does not offer other digital marketing solutions, but the insights from this tool can definitely be applied to other areas as well.
Moz can be used by anyone who wants to improve the performance of their website. And, it is especially useful for people with limited technical knowledge, as Moz is very easy to use.
Wondering if it has any browser extensions?
Well, the answer is yes. Moz has a free Chrome extension called MozBar. It is available with all subscription plans of Moz Pro.
Another notable feature is that Moz provides 24/7, same-day, online support to their customers.
Now, let’s continue with this Moz review by looking at each of its six solutions (as defined by Moz), one by one.
This is a feature that is common among all three tools and is one of the reasons why people use Moz. Moz offers a Keyword Explorer tool that you can use to find new keywords, analyze each keyword, and compare keywords to select the best ones.
Similar to the other two tools, it provides all important metrics, like search volumes, keyword rankings, and keyword difficulty score, to analyze and compare keywords.
One additional metric that Moz provides is Page Authority (PA), which is exclusive to Moz and is not available from other tools. It also shows the domain authority metric.
This is how the interface looks. It is quite simple and easy to use but is not as feature-rich as that of Semrush.
It also allows you to build keyword lists and has useful features to help you sort and prioritize keywords before you add them to your lists.
This is the feature that allows you to track your or your competitors’ website rankings on top keywords. You can use this to analyze your website’s performance on your target keywords or to keep tabs on your competitors’ performance over a period of time.
This is the website technical audit tool from Moz that you can use to identify and fix SEO-related problems with your site. It can inform you about site issues like broken redirects, lengthy URLs, missing title tags, and more.
Want to know the best part?
It also prioritizes these issues and tells you which ones need your immediate attention and which can be handled later.
The site audit functionality is there in all three tools and each offers a complete solution. The interface is different for each, with Moz being the most visual, but the features are similar.
Pro Tip: Compare this to Ahrefs and Semrush’s site audit dashboards to get an idea about the level of information that each tool offers.
This essentially focuses on improving website content to make it more SEO friendly. It assigns a Page Optimization Score to your web pages and also suggests content ideas related to it.
All you need to do is enter a combination of keyword and page. Moz will then give you a comprehensive list of suggestions to improve that page’s ranking for the target keyword.
This is probably the most powerful SEO solution offered by Moz and one where it does better than its competitors.
Moz’s Link Explorer provides a complete analysis of any website’s backlinks profile. This includes the number of total backlinks, quality of backlinks, sites from where it gets the most backlinks, etc.
These features are almost the same as those offered by the other two tools. However, Moz shines in one key aspect.
Want to know what makes Moz better in backlinks analysis?
Well, it’s the fact that it is more thorough in its analysis and is able to identify the number of backlinks more accurately than the other tools.
Pro Tip: To find out which tool has the best link index, try all three and run a search for your website on each.
The last point in this Moz review covers the performance reporting aspect of Moz Pro. It gives you the option to build customized reports to analyze the data in a way that suits your specific needs.
It has different templates and types of reports. This makes performance reporting and analysis more efficient and user-friendly.
Overall, Moz is a complete SEO tool for your website and would not disappoint you in terms of performance. However, given that Moz Local, Mozscape API, and STAT are offered as separate products, it doesn’t offer as much value for the money as the other tools.
Therefore, our recommendation would be to choose Moz only if you have basic SEO requirements. Otherwise, opt for a more advanced tool like Semrush.
Pro Tip: If you have the technical knowledge and extensive SEO needs, try Mozscape API instead of Moz Pro.
Detailed Review: Ahrefs
When we compare Ahrefs with Semrush and Moz, there are mixed opinions on which one is the best SEO tool. Some people prefer Moz for its simplicity, while others like the advanced features that Ahrefs and Semrush provide.
I will not make a final decision right now, but rather after reviewing all three of these SEO tools.
Ready to find out more about Ahrefs?
Let’s get started with this Ahrefs review.
Ahrefs is undoubtedly one of the most advanced and powerful SEO tools and is in no way less than the other two tools reviewed in this post.
It is an all-in-one SEO and competitor analysis tool power-packed with features.
Want to know what these are?
Here’s a detailed review of Ahrefs and all of its key features vs Semrush vs Moz.
This is the keyword research and management tool offered by Ahrefs and has all the functionalities offered by Semrush and Moz and then some.
You can use it to find keywords, evaluate them, and select the ones that are most relevant to your business. You can also use it to build keyword lists.
Also, just like Semrush, this tool can also be used to find keywords for paid search campaigns.
These were the key features that most such tools offer. Now, let’s talk about some of its unique features.
Ahrefs has a unique feature where it suggests a Parent Topic. This recommends broader topics that you can use to target multiple keywords.
While other tools like Semrush and Moz do have content ideas and suggestions capabilities, this is slightly different and more specific.
Another thing that sets Ahrefs apart from other SEO tools like Semrush and Moz is that it provides advanced metrics like clicks per search, percentage of clicks, percentage of paid clicks, etc.
Pro Tip: Explore the different search and sorting filters to build the most relevant keyword lists.
This is the position tracking tool from Ahrefs, and you can directly compare it with the rank tracking tools of Semrush and Moz.
It shows you any domain’s top-ranking keywords and its position on the SERPs. You can also compare your website against your top competitors to do thorough performance benchmarking.
If I compare it with Semrush and Moz, the dashboard looks much cleaner. However, Semrush does offer more tabs and options to extract and visualize data.
This is another important feature that all three tools offer and provides a lot of insights from website analytics tools.
Ahrefs has a powerful crawler that provides a detailed crawl log of any website. It gives an overall health score and points out issues with your website that need to be resolved.
Wondering what the dashboard looks like compared to Semrush vs Moz?
Here is the overview page.
If I only compare based on the overview tab, then I prefer Semrush and Moz over Ahrefs, which seems a bit more complicated. Both Semrush and Moz clearly show the overall health of the website and the issues that it has.
That said, I have to tell you that as you explore the other tabs in this technical audit tool, you will see that it offers a comprehensive analysis of any website. So, it is just a matter of getting used to the tool to get the most out of it.
This is a combination of three tools in one—backlink checker, organic traffic research, and paid traffic research.
Wondering what these are and how they compare with the tools offered by Semrush and Moz?
Let’s review each of these, one by one.
This is the backlink analysis and technical audit tool from Ahrefs and is comparable to the backlink analysis tools of Semrush and Moz.
This tool can analyze the backlink profile of any domain and claims to have the world's largest backlink index.
One unique feature of this tool is that it also provides a list of outgoing links and can help you track the number of links for any target website. It also provides information on internal links.
But, there is one aspect where this lacks and that is backlink audit. While it does provide information on broken backlinks, its backlink audit capabilities are not as extensive as those of Semrush or Moz.
Pro Tip: If you use topic clusters, leverage the internal links feature to strengthen your internal linking and direct your audience to other relevant content on similar topics.
Organic Traffic Search
This tool shows you the organic traffic for your or your competitors’ websites. You can use this to see which keywords your competitors are ranking for and how much traffic each keyword is driving.
It provides data on organic keywords, top pages, competing websites, traffic sources by country, and a lot more.
Paid Traffic Search
This is a tool that is specifically designed to search for the paid keywords of your competitors. You can see which keywords they are bidding for, their top ads, and top landing pages.
Wondering how it fares against the other two tools?
While Moz does not have any advertising tools, Semrush has a whole advertising toolkit. If we compare all Moz vs. Semrush vs. Ahrefs on their advertising tools, then Semrush is a clear winner.
However, I have limited the scope of this comparison and review to SEO and content, so let’s not get into the details of that.
Before I review the Content Explorer, let me tell you that this is comparable to the Content Marketing Toolkit of Semrush. Moz, on the other hand, does not have any dedicated content tools but some of its features can be useful for content optimization.
Now that I have clarified that, let’s see what Ahrefs offers with its Content Explorer tool.
This tool is multi-functional, but its most common use is to find content on any topic or keyword. You can use this to do your content research and planning.
Want to know the best part?
It doesn’t just show you the top content for any keyword, but also provides metrics like organic traffic, referring domains, social shares, etc. for each page. You can use this to easily assess which type of content works best for a particular topic and create better content on it.
Another useful feature is the ability to see content trends over time. These insights are very useful while planning your content strategy.
One lesser-known use of Ahrefs’ Content Explorer is link building. It can find unlinked mentions to your website, which are opportunities to get backlinks.
The Content Explorer is a good addition to Ahrefs suite of tools as it can be categorized in both the SEO and content marketing tools categories.
Pro Tip: Explore the advanced search options and result filters to find more ways of using this tool.
What Do Their Customers Say About Them?
Q1. Which features are available in the free trial?
Semrush – Free trial is available with limited features for the Pro and Guru plans.
Moz – All features of the Medium plan.
Ahrefs – No free trial. All features of the Lite or Standard plans are available with the $7 trial option.
Q2. Is a credit card required when signing up for a free trial?
Semrush – Yes.
Moz – Yes.
Ahrefs – No free trial.
Q3. How long is the free trial period?
Semrush – 7 days from their website and 14 days using our special link.
Moz – 30 days.
Ahrefs – No free trial. You can pay $7 for a seven-day trial.
Q4. Can I edit my subscription plan as per my requirements?
Semrush – Each plan comes with certain subscription limits that you can increase or decrease and the price will be modified accordingly.
Moz – You can add or delete subscription add-ons from your base plan.
Ahrefs – You can modify your subscription limits over and above the base subscription plan.
Q5. Is there a special discount for non-profit businesses?
Semrush – No special discount, but you can get a 16% discount on an annual subscription.
Moz – Yes, a 75% discount. For all other types of businesses, there is a 20% discount on the annual subscription.
Ahrefs – No special discount, but you can get a ~20% discount on an annual subscription.
Q6. Do I get API access with all subscriptions?
Semrush – No. The standard API package is available as an add-on to the Business plan. The Traffic Analytics API is a separate product that can be purchased without buying any subscription plan.
Moz – Yes, all Moz community accounts have access to their free API. However, the paid API is a separate product and is sold separately from Moz Pro and Moz Local.
Ahrefs – Yes, the free API with limited functionality is available with all subscriptions. However, you need to pay extra for their paid API plans.
Q7. What is the refund policy and how do I get a refund?
Semrush – They offer a 7-day money-back guarantee on all subscriptions. To get a refund, contact them at [email protected] within seven days of subscribing.
Moz – They consider refunds on a case-by-case basis. You can contact them at [email protected] with all the relevant details to request a refund.
Ahrefs – They do not offer refunds, but if you have some specific concerns, you can contact them at [email protected].
Q8. Is there an option to get a customized plan?
Semrush – Yes, the Enterprise plan is customizable and you can also contact their team to inquire about other customized plans.
Moz – Yes, their Enterprise plan is completely customizable.
Ahrefs – No.
Semrush vs Moz vs Ahrefs: What's the Final Verdict?
As you can see, I have covered all comparable features of Moz, Ahrefs, and Semrush to give you a complete picture of their capabilities.
Want to know which tool is the best between Semrush vs Moz vs Ahrefs?
Well, let me start by giving the verdict for each category before I give the overall verdict. Here are my preferences for each category:
Keyword Research: Semrush is a clear winner here because of the sheer number of features that it offers in this regard.
Rank Tracking: All three offer almost similar levels of information, but I will choose Ahrefs for this category. It provides tons of information in a neat and organized dashboard.
Site Audit: SEO audit tools by Moz and Semrush are simpler to use than Ahrefs, but Semrush provides more comprehensive data and insights. Semrush wins in this category because it brings together the advanced features of Ahrefs together with the simplicity of Moz.
On-Page SEO: Moz and Semrush both are equally good. Ahrefs lacks a bit in this aspect because even though it has these capabilities, there is no easy-to-find, dedicated tool.
Backlinks Analysis: Moz and Ahrefs are both equally good in this regard as they have a larger live backlinks index. On the accuracy front, though, Moz is slightly better.
Competitive Benchmarking: Semrush is my personal favorite in this category, even though Ahrefs also provides almost similar capabilities. Moz doesn’t even come close to these two in this category.
Content Marketing: Semrush is the clear winner here. Moz does not have any dedicated content tools and Ahrefs’ Content Explorer is no match for Semrush’s content toolkit.
Ready to find out who wins the Semrush vs Moz vs Ahrefs debate?
Overall, Semrush comes out to be the winner if we look at the number of features offered for the price. Let’s not forget that it also has advertising and content marketing features.
If we talk strictly about SEO, then both Semrush and Ahrefs are equal.
So, my suggestion would be to get Semrush if you have extensive SEO and content marketing needs. Both of these work hand in hand and Semrush’s content marketing capabilities also help with SEO and vice versa.