Ahrefs vs SEMrush vs Moz | Which Is the Best SEO Tool for 2021?

Ahrefs vs SEMrush vs Moz | which is the best SEO tool

Ahrefs vs SEMrush vs Moz — a common comparison of the best SEO tools we all often see everywhere. The nagging question — which of these SEO tools really is the best — just doesn’t die, but for good reason.

These are the leading and widely used SEO tools on the market today. But how does each tool stack up against one another?

At first glance, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz look the same in terms of the breadth of features. Don’t be fooled — they do have a couple of subtle differences.

And that’s where this Ahrefs vs SEMrush vs Moz comparison review can help you out.

Ahrefs vs SEMrush vs Moz Review Summary

Ahrefs is one of the most powerful suites of SEO tools out there that is popular for its unique and more advanced features.

Meanwhile, SEMrush is an equally powerful SEO tool that is known for its flexibility, massive index size, and affiliate program.

Finally, Moz is another robust SEO tool that standardized the use of domain and page authority.

For a more detailed look at the comparison, check out the features breakdown in the following section. But first, here is a comparison summary of the three tools:

Ahrefs (7 Days Trial)SEMrush (7 Days FREE Trial)Moz Pro (30 Days FREE Trial)
Value for Money5.05.04.5
Ease of Use5.05.05.0
Customer Support5.05.05.0
Performance Funnels Ratings5.05.04.7

Ahrefs vs SEMrush vs Moz: Features

Let’s start off with the most important rubric when it comes to finding the best SEO tool, and that is features.

What can these SEO tools do? What are the unique or salient features of each tool? Which features do they nail?

Ahrefs Features


Take a look at some of the most widely lauded tools of Ahrefs.

1. Site Explorer

Site Explorer allows you to get an in-depth view of the backlink profile and organic search traffic of any website or URL, including your competitors’. It also shows you paid keywords, URL rating, domain rating, Ahrefs rank, referring domains and pages, lost backlinks, CTLD (country top-level domain) distribution, and anchor texts.

2. Rank Tracker

Rank Tracker lets you monitor a list of keywords and their progress in SERPs. Ahrefs also allows you to track their rankings in multiple locations (country level).

3. Keywords Explorer

Keywords Explorer is Ahrefs’ keyword research tool capable of generating a variety of keyword ideas culled from over 3 billion keywords. It also has clicks metric, keyword difficulty score, and position history, among others, to help you analyze any given keyword.

4. Domain Comparison

Domain Comparison is a nifty tool to compare up to 5 domains side by side against metrics like referring domains, backlinks, backlink types, and changes graphs in each domain.

5. Disavow Links

Ahrefs allows you to add links to a disavow list while you are browsing Site Explorer. You can export this list and upload it to Google Search Console.

6. Ahrefs Alerts

Ahrefs notifications are sent to your email every time you gain or lose a backlink, receive new mention, and rank for new keywords. You can use this feature to spy on your competitors’ website.

7. Content Explorer

Content Explorer allows you to find the most popular content for any imaginable topic. It will show you metrics like total social shares, domain rating, organic traffic, and referring domains. Ahrefs also allows you to see who tweeted the article, which is really useful for outreach purposes.

Want to try Ahrefs? Start a 7-day trial for $7.

SEMrush Features


Look at SEMrush’s most nifty features.

1. Site Audit

Site Audit is one of the most useful SEMrush features. This is probably one that makes it really stand out. This tool allows you to perform a site audit to diagnose issues on your website. It even gives recommendations on how to fix both basic and technical SEO problems.

2. Position Tracking

Position Tracking allows you to keep tabs on up to 100 keywords and see how your site performs in organic search for these queries. This tool makes sure you are up to speed with your site’s performance and issues.

3. Backlink Audit

The Backlink Audit tool helps you conduct deep link analysis of your own or your competitor’s website. This is also a great way to find backlink opportunities, such as inbound links that your competitor has that you don’t.

4. Keyword Magic Tool

Keyword Magic Tool is SEMrush’s ultra-famous keyword research tool that gives you comprehensive analytics of keywords. It is well-loved by so many SEO professionals as it returns accurate metrics such as search volume, related keywords, phrase match keywords, keyword difficulty, competition, number of results, cost per click, and more.

This is very important if you are building any SEO and PPC campaigns. Keyword Magic Tool is also lauded for its ability to return lots of long-tail keywords.

5. Brand Monitoring

The Brand Monitoring tool lets you monitor any new mentions or customer reviews of your website on the web. This is quite practical for getting tons of backlinks the easy route.

6. Link Building

The Link Building tool helps you find websites to reach out to for possible backlinks just by entering seed keywords. This is one of the most crucial features of an SEO tool because backlinks play a huge part in SEO nowadays. The tool shows you domain quality, domain relevance, and domain health, so you can be sure that your outreach efforts have bigger chances to pay off well.

Want to try SEMrush Pro? Start a 7-day FREE trial.

Moz Features


Check out a couple of features that Moz Pro offers.

1. Link Explorer

Link Explorer allows you to keep an eye on any website’s link profile and uncover link building opportunities that you never thought are there. Although this is a free tool, the pro version offers an untethered, more in-depth link analysis as well as backlinks.

2. Keyword Explorer

Keyword Explorer is best used for finding not only any related keywords but long-tail keywords and questions that real people ask. Moz is also really good at giving accurate keyword metrics.

3. Rank Tracking

Rank Tracking allows you to monitor your or your competitor’s website for your important keywords on a local, national, or global level. You can also segment them by keyword labels or campaigns.

4. Site Crawl

Site Crawl is an important SEO tool to keep checks on every corner of your website to find harmful issues. You can also set an alert for when site issues crop up.

5. Page Optimization

To unleash the fullest potential of your keywords and pages, getting a page optimization score is quite a valuable feature. Moz Pro gives you that with some specific recommendations on how to optimize your pages for search engines.

Want to try Moz Pro? Start a 30-day FREE trial.

SEMrush vs Moz vs Ahrefs: Pricing

Now let’s dive into another important factor when choosing the best SEO tool — pricing.

Let’s cut to the chase — SEMrush, Moz Pro, and Ahrefs do not make a huge difference when it comes down to it.

Here is a quick look at a pricing comparison table:

PlanSEMrushMoz ProAhrefs
1$99.95 (Pro)$99 (Standard)$99 (Lite)
2$199.95 (Guru)$179 (Medium)$179 (Standard)
3$399.95 (Business)$249 (Large)$399 (Advanced)
4Upon request (Enterprise)$999 (Premium)$999 (Agency)

Apparently, SEMrush has the most expensive pricing tiers, though only .95 cents more than Ahrefs on two plans.

Does this mean you should go for Moz Pro?

Pretty much, if your goal is to choose the cheapest SEO tool. However, there are other things you would want to consider.

Personally, I see the affiliate program a huge factor here. Because if I want to earn off an SEO tool more than just using it, I will put all my cards on SEMrush.

The SEMrush Affiliate Program gives you a 40% recurring commission on every sale you make. That is pretty generous.

On the other side of the spectrum, the Ahrefs Affiliate Program is no longer a thing since 2015, while Moz also closed their affiliate program around the same year.

Ahrefs vs SEMrush vs Moz: Pros & Cons

Again, if you are looking for a powerful SEO tool that gives you an avenue to generate passive income, SEMrush is your only option for now.

Let us do a recap of the advantages and disadvantages of each tool on a more granular level.

Ahrefs Pros & Cons

Backlink Analysis is pretty accurateSteep learning curve
Keyword Explorer sets the bar high for keyword research; probably the best in the industryExpensive if used for link building alone
Rank Tracker is dependable and accurate enough
Outreach tool is very impressive and works well with other tools like Mailshake, Buzzsumo, and Ninja Outreach

Want to try Ahrefs? Start a 7-day trial for $7.

SEMrush Pros & Cons

Best competitive intelligence tool to dig through your competitor’s SEO and PPC strategiesSteep learning curve
On-Page SEO Checker delivers an in-depth list of recommendations to optimize your pagesBacklink Analysis sometimes lacks accuracy
Site Audit offers a comprehensive on-page and technical SEO analysis of your site and recommendations and fixes for warnings and errors
Keyword Magic Tool boasts a treasure trove of keywords for every imaginable topic

Want to try SEMrush Pro? Start a 7-day FREE trial.

Moz Pros & Cons

Impressive customer supportBacklink data sometimes inaccurate
Offers one-on-one product walkthrough for all plansNot beginner-friendly
Keyword Explorer offers long-tail keywords and questions

Want to try Moz Pro? Start a 30-day FREE trial.

SEMrush vs Moz vs Ahrefs: Ratings

To give you a more diverse look at how SEMrush, Moz Pro, and Ahrefs, I checked over user reviews sites like Capterra, G2Crowd, and TrustRadius to see how other users are feeling towards these SEO tools.

As of February 25, 2020, here is how SEMrush, Moz Pro, and Ahrefs stack up:

SEMrushMoz ProAhrefs
Capterra4.6 / 5 (840 reviews)4.4 / 5 (251 reviews)4.8 / 5 (196 reviews)
G2Crowd4.5 / 5 (680 reviews)4.4 / 5 (295 reviews)4.6 / 5 (239 reviews)
TrustRadius8.7 / 10 (251 reviews)8.2 / 10 (279 reviews)9.1 / 10 (133 reviews)

The Verdict: Which Is the Best SEO Tool?

And we are finally down to the final bit of this Ahrefs vs SEMrush vs Moz Pro comparison. 

Now that you have a 180-degree view of the features, pricing, pros and cons, and what other users have to say about these tools, it is time to make a decision.

I’m gonna say it — SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz Pro are the top three best SEO tools on the market today. But if you have to choose one, here’s my key takeaway.

I highly recommend SEMrush if you are looking for ways to earn off affiliate marketing, on top of using a powerful suite of SEO tools that can do what the other tools can.

SEMrush’s basic plan is only .95 cents more expensive than Ahrefs. Is SEMrush worth it? Hell, yeah!

Meanwhile, Ahrefs is equally powerful and well-favored among digital marketing professionals. If you don’t mind using an SEO tool with no affiliate programs, Ahrefs is a good option.

Moz Pro is the wild card here. Again, if you just want to use a robust suite of SEO tools and don’t really mind if it has any affiliate programs at all, then Moz Pro is fine.

That is it for our Ahrefs vs SEMrush vs Moz comparison review. I hope this gives you something to think about when choosing the best SEO tool for 2021.

Got questions? Let me know in the comments!

Want to try SEMrush Pro? Start a 7-day FREE trial.

Prefer Ahrefs? Get a 7-day trial for $7.

Interested in Moz Pro? Get your 30-day FREE trial.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Adam Hendricks

Chief content marketer and funnel hacker at Performance Funnels. With over 10 years of digital marketing experience, Adam enjoys helping people make money online with affiliate marketing and sales funnels.