The Free and Paid Ahrefs Alternatives

When it comes to SEO we know that there’s often not a one size fits all software program or tool out there that does everything we need — however some do come pretty close.

If you’re looking for a few Ahrefs alternatives to try out, or want to add another SEO tool to your search engine marketing arsenal, then we have a great list for you below. We’ll take a look at the best paid and free Ahrefs alternatives and delve into some of the best features which make them great contenders.

Depending on how you like to work, who you work for and whether you’re an agency director or standalone marketer or blog owner, one of these tools might work better for your than Ahrefs does, or you might want to pair Ahrefs with a free alternative that offers some rather niche tools or features.

Whatever the case may be, we have some great alternatives for you below that will help you smash your SEO goals this year and help push your website, blog or store to the top of that ever-changing Google Search ladder.

Take a look at our alternatives to Ahrefs below.


A Bit About Ahrefs

We’ll get into our Ahrefs overview in a moment, but before we do, we want to take a look at why the service is so fantastic and what makes it such a standout for our readers.

Keep in mind that we kept all of the things Ahrefs does great in mind when building our list of alternatives, so you can be sure that although these are alternates — they’re still great SEO tools.


What Ahrefs allows you to do:


  • Easily Track Keyword Rankings
  • Collect Insights and Data on Content
  • Research Keywords and Determine Winners for Your Content
  • Audit Your Websites or Rival Sites
  • Run Through Backlinks on Any Website


And much more.


That said, although Ahrefs does offer just about everything you need from an SEO tool, it isn’t the tool for every SEO marketer or blog owner.

Whether it’s a little too costly, too complicated to use or just not for you, there are other options out there and we’re going to make sure you know exactly which one to choose after you finish this comparison.


SEMrush — Our Winning Ahrefs Alternative

If you’ve done any research online about SEO or search engine optimisation, you’ll have stumbled across SEMrush likely mentioned numerous times. That’s down to the fact that SEMrush is arguably the world’s most powerful feature-packed SEO tool.

To keep things brief, whatever you’re looking to do with regards to SEO or SEM is doable on SEMrush, and with ease. You’re able to effortlessly delve into rank tracking, undertake technical audits, analyse your competitors, research keywords and even go through comprehensive backlink analyses and audits.

That in mind, it’s no surprise that more than six million people use SEMrush, including the teams behind HP and eBay. It really does do it all — and very well.

If you’re interested in PPC advertising, SEMrush is here to help out too with plenty of metrics that assist in correcting and guiding search engine marketing.

Although most ideal for agencies and client-based projects, SEMrush is also an integral tool for standalone website and blog owners too.

In all, there are more tools here than you’ll ever need and you’re getting a lot of power here that will guide you from the start of your website building journey through to the time you first land at your number one spot on Google.


The Famous Keyword Database

One thing you might have heard about SEMrush is the incredible keyword database. As far as we know, and from what’s been spouted online, SEMrush does come with a keyword database that’s twice the size of the one you’ll find on Ahrefs with more than 20 billion keywords and phrases accessible in an instant.

You’ll also find that this database is updated on a daily basis too, for both desktop and mobile user keywords, and so you’re always on top of exactly what’s going on on the web and how to maximise your marketing efforts through your content creation.

When compared to Ahrefs, SEMrush’s constant keyword updates blow Ahrefs’ out of the water given that with Ahrefs you’ll need to take care of your own keyword reports and scheduling.

Although SEMrush seems to be a winner in just about all avenues, the service does seem to fall a little short when it comes to two things; user interface and backlink insights. You’re going to have a little bit of a harder time finding things on SEMrush and understanding things, and the back-linking experience on Ahrefs is a little bit better.

The Ahrefs backlink process is just a tad smoother and more insightful, though that’s about the only place Ahrefs stands above SEMrush.

That out of the way, we do still stand by SEMrush as our top alternative to Ahrefs given that the database is giant, the feature set is unmatched and you’re going to see just about everything about your rivals, even if they don’t want you to.





SEMrush Tool Set

With our outline of SEMrush out of the way above, we’ll take a look at the top tools in the toolbox that you’ll be able to make use of on a routine basis when you have an SEMrush subscription.


Website Traffic Analytics

On SEMrush you’ll find plenty of metrics about website traffic that will give you a tonne of power and guide you to make smarter decisions about content creation, backlinks and working with blogs that seem to partner well with your website.

You’ll see a tonne of data on things such as referral, organic, paid and social traffic too.

To add, when it comes to other engagement metrics like site visit times, engagement with links, bounce rates and more, SEMrush has you covered too, with all of this information displayed per-page.


A few of the datasets you’ll be able to find are:


  • The websites or channels which garner you the most traffic.
  • Which devices bring the most traffic.
  • The location of your website traffic and which locales bring the most.
  • Which subdomains and subfolders are visited most.
  • The pages that bring you the most organic visits.
  • Which of your keywords are best performing.


And more.


With that in mind, you can essentially name any website traffic metric you want to see and be able to rely on SEMrush to bring it to you.


Keyword Research Data

As we mentioned, you’ll have access to SEMrush’s ludicrous 20-billion-strong keyword database, which means you’re getting data on essentially everything you’ll ever need related to keywords.

You’ll find all of this data cleanly displayed in the Keyword Overview section of the website where everything from keyword difficulty, search volume, volume trends and more are all shown.

There’s also the Keyword Magic option here too which allows you to split keywords or terms into question-specific categories and topics. This gives you more insight into what audiences are searching and asking for and how you can better adjust your content to garner clicks.

The Keyword Gap tool is also here to assist in finding gaps in your rival website’s marketing or keyword focus, you’ll be presented with keyword overlaps but also avenues for you to ‘steal’ unused keywords to improve your rankings. Essentially this is your growth-focused keyword metric to assist in overtaking competing websites or blogs.


Rank Tracking

As we know, keyword ranks are vitally important to making sure that you’re choosing a keyword that is going to perform well in various markets and at various times of the year.

The Position Tracking section of SEMrush gives you the chance to see how specific keywords are performing in a chosen location, on a specific device and more.


This tool enables you to:

  • Keep a close eye on SERP movements and to spot avenues for growth.
  • Easily see how your keywords will compare against rival websites.
  • Spot how well a keyword ranks across a specific location, device or tag.


This feature out of the way and you’re able to understand not only if a keyword is worth pursuing, but whether it will target a specific market, device or user better than another phrase.


Backlink Auditing

A frequent pain point and time consuming task for many marketers is keeping an eye on backlinks and whether these have been gained, lost or whether your business or website is being mentioned without a link.

Through SEMrush you’re able to make use of the trillions of backlinks indexed to keep a close eye on whether you’re missing opportunities for backlinks and more.


A few of the Backlink Analytics features include:

  • The ability to identify brand mentions that have no link.
  • A simple way to analyse a competitor’s links to spot the more powerful links.
  • The ability to easily monitor your own backlinks and determine if you’ve lost any.


There are also a few other backlink related tools on offer here too which allow you to further beef up your backlink processes and spread your website’s reach further across the web.





Backlink Audit Tools

Use this tool to easily check up on your domain’s backlinking profiles and find out if there are any toxic links here. This makes it easy to send disavow messages to Google and keep your site’s rankings high.


Backlink Gap Tools

This tool enables you to quickly compare a number of rival websites at once and take a peek into their backlinks to find opportunities for your own links. Without a doubt, this is one of the simpler and faster ways to take care of this process, with up to five websites being supported at one time.


SEO Auditing

Another fantastic tool offered by SEMrush is the technical auditing feature, which gives you the chance to comprehensively assess and analyse your website’s SEO and spot errors and issues which could be causing your site to struggle.

This process takes just seconds and you’re able to rely on SEMrush to quickly outline any broken links, content thinness issues, duplicate content, improper implementation of HTTPS as well as poor crawlability issues.

With all of these points taken care of, you can quickly begin working on changes and get your website back in good order for ranking and moving up the Search ladder.

There is also the option to audit both mobile and desktop websites here too, which means you’re able to spot loading time errors and responsive web design issues too. All of which will affect your website’s ranking.

To end, you’re able to set all of these audits to take place on a routine basis or schedule so you’re never going to miss an error or problem that could damage your website’s ranking on Google — fantastic for closing avenues for rival websites to sneak into the top space on Google.


Easy Audit Reporting

For our agency readers, SEMrush can seamlessly prepare and output white-label PDF surveys which outline changes made and performance improvements or a website to be shared with clients and website owners.

You can also use this tool to assist with showcasing a competitive analysis between two websites.

On top of this, there’s an effortless way to create and distribute on-brand campaign reports. You’re able to simply drag and drop your widgets into the templates that have been pre-built and provided by SEMrush to make these processes a whole lot faster for you — saving time for your business and clients.


A few auditing tools include:

  • Effortless report-building using the data from SEMrush.
  • Email scheduling for audit report distribution to clients or agencies.
  • Easily create branded audit report documents with included templates.


Now we have those auditing points out of the way, you will notice that SEMrush allows you to save a tonne of time when it comes to creating and distributing audits to clients.


Our Other Alternatives to Ahrefs

With the primary Ahrefs alternative out of the way, we’ll now take a look at some other powerful, lesser-known and some free options to choose from. All of these platforms still offer excellent SEO services as well as a proven track record that makes them a winner for our readers.

Whether you’re new to SEO or interested in adding a secondary SEO tool to your search engine marketing belt, these are great options to consider.


Ubersuggest — Free

At the top of our list is the Ubersuggest SEO tool which is our outstanding free alternative to Ahrefs, and with this in mind, you’re getting a tonne of bang for your lack of buck!

The platform includes features which allow you to easily generate ideas from chosen keywords to assist in making content more relevant for your audiences. On top of this, there are traffic analysis tools here too, backlink analysis for rival websites and top page lists for finding out which sites are performing better than yours, and why.

There’s a keyword database here of more than 6 billion words, and there are over one billion content pieces indexed plus more than two trillion links stored as well, making this one of the most comprehensive and insightful SEO tools out there.

Let’s take a look below at some of the features we love from Ubersuggest.


Keyword Ideas

With this feature you’re able to reverse engineer content based on chosen keywords, which means seeing keywords, prepositions, questions and comparisons based upon the keyword search query you’ve entered.

That in mind, you’re able to more seamlessly create content for your audience that is relevant but also going to assist in rankings. With that said, you’ll be effectively doubling down on website traffic — creating content your audience loves, but also landing higher on the search rankings because of its relevance to a specific keyword.


Content Ideas

Through the content ideas tool, you’re going to see insights from social media websites like Facebook and Pinterest based upon which keyword or query you’ve entered.

That said, this tool will be able to show you what readers and audiences love to share the most based on a specific topic. You’ll then have a guide for which content to create and share, rather than taking a shot in the dark by producing content on what’s trending.


Backlinks Report

A rather simple yet essential tool is the backlinks report.

This is where you’ll see an in-depth look at all of your competitor’s backlinks and referring sites — and how many there are. You’ll also see a list provided of all the backlinks too, so you can follow-up and work on combatting this.



Mangools — for SEO Newbies

It’s no secret that SEO can be quite complicated, especially for those newest to the scene, and so starting out with an SEO tool that’s designed for the newbies is an excellent idea.

With that in mind, Mangools is our top choice here.

You’re getting access to one of the most simplified designs here along with an SEO toolset that covers all of the essentials. You’ll have easy access to site analysis tools, keyword research, rank tracking along with SERP analysis too.

One thing to keep in mind is that although this is an all-in-one, these tools all work as standalone features, so it can be a little hard to jump from a domain check to a backlink search, though it isn’t overly cumbersome.

When compared to Ahrefs, there aren’t as many in-depth analytical features or insights, it does still offer a tonne of data points for you to utilise to improve your website’s search rankings and to get you back in control of your content-focused marketing.

It is also a lot more affordable, making it a win for us.

Let’s take a look below at some of the features we love from Mangools.



The keyword research tool on Mangools is touted as the KWFinder and it allows you to quickly grab a tonne of long-tail keywords or phrases and see some metrics about them, which means you’re able to see whether they’re getting good search volume, what their difficulty level is or how they’re ranking.

These are excellent metrics when just starting out and looking to climb the SEO ladder for your website or blog.



For the tool that gives you some more direction with relation to keywords, the SERP checker is going to outfit a report for you with a summary of all the potentially well-performing keywords and whether you’re going to do well with these or not.



To go hand in hand with the other keyword tools, the SERPWatcher is going to give you insights on keywords and keep track of how they perform on the search engines.

This tool will give you insight into whether a specific keyword is going well on a desktop or mobile device as well as how they’re doing with relation to search volume in a specific location.

Mangools has also baked in a Dominance Index here too, which lets you know if you’re taking over the search results for the keywords you’ve chosen or not.



Moving over to those interested in backlinks now, and LinkMiner is the tool for you.

This is where you’ll be able to gather insights into your rival website’s backlinks and their link strengths. This will also spotlight link placement for you, so you won’t need to open and assess domains or pages on your own.



Working similarly to a personal site audit, the SiteProfiler takes a look at the authority of SEO power of a specific website of your choosing, where you’re able to see the health of backlinks, find out which content is the most popular on said website and also get a peek into the demographics that have made that page or website the most popular.

All of this data is essential in our opinion as you’ll be able to use it as a guide to effectively poach audiences from your competitors.


Single Tool SEO Platforms

For those of our readers who would like a single tool for SEO and would prefer not to pay for an entire suite of tools they’re not going to use, then we have a great few Ahrefs alternatives for you below.

Of course, these platforms do offer more than a single SEO tool, though they also offer one-off tools too.

As an example, you may only want to undertake keyword research or rank tracking. These tools give you the chance to do just that  one task, and save money because of it.

That said, let’s have a look at our list of the best single-tool SEO platforms below.


Majestic — Backlinks

If you’re interested in back-linking only, then Majestic is going to be the ultimate option for you.

As mentioned on a tonne of websites, Majestic is one of the best backlink tools out there, and it’s going up against Ahrefs for its backlink prowess. That in mind, you’re going to be able to get your hands on more backlink-related insight than you’ll ever need.

One thing to note is that Majestic does have a rather old-looking user interface which makes it a tad difficult to understand what’s going on at first glance, though you’ll be able to get used to this quite quickly with prolonged use.

We are happy to see that Majestic has also taken the time to develop their own proprietary algorithms to ensure their backlink analysis and metrics are going to be of a high quality and more trustworthy than a lot of other smaller competitors on the market.

The good news is that the Majestic platform is also trusted by other SEO tools, with some brands even using the Majestic backlink data in their search results; Mangools does this for example.

To end, there are two primary backlink indexes to choose from, with the Fresh Index being the most up to date option, being continually updated. The Historic Index is then a few days old and is the larger of the two, though you’re going to find a lot more information in here.


SEMrush SEO Toolkit — Keyword Data

Coming in to take the crown from all other keyword-based SEO tools is SEMrush with their standalone keyword research tool.

If you’re looking to get your hands on the SEMrush keyword database though without all of the other added tools, which can make the service quite expensive, we’re happy to say that the SEO Toolkit is the best option out there by far.

Access to those 20 billion keywords is here, and you’re going to be able to use the rival analysis tools too, which means you’re getting plenty of keyword insight to climb the SEO ranks on Google and ensure your content is well-optimised.


You’re able to use the SEO Toolkit for the following:

  • Spotlight your keyword opportunities
  • Locate question or query-based topics
  • Highlight rival websites and pull out top keywords
  • Analyse and compare up to five competing websites for their keywords
  • Analyse based on URLs, subdomains and subfolders for keywords


That said, the SEMrush SEO Toolkit is by far your best option for keyword-only workflows.



AccuRanker — Ranking Tools

When we look at ranking-only processes, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard of AccuRanker, and for good reason. The standalone tool is by far the best tracking tool for SEO professionals and newbies alike and is used across the globe by thousands of agencies.

You’re able to use those tool to monitor real-time rankings and get a good look at how competing websites are doing.

It’s good to note that this data is some of the most accurate and more often updated than every other SEO tool that we know of. This means that if you’re the owner or manager of a website that thrives on trending topics or content and you need an SEO tool to let you know exactly when a keyword begins to trend or starts to climb the ladder, then AccuRanker is for you.

This data can then be tied back to all traffic and you’re able to use to routinely adjust the keywords on your website, in its content and within meta data to strengthen your rankings.


You’re able to use AccuRanker for:

  • Understanding your market performance with ‘Share of Voice’
  • Easily process ranking data
  • Get insights on location-based ranking data and revenue data
  • Garner ranking information from YouTube, Bing, Google and Baidu.


Screaming Frog — Page Analysis

As one of the worlds most comprehensive site crawlers you’re in good hands with the Screaming Frog platform if you’re looking for insights and information on essentially every SEO element found within a specific website.

This crawler goes through everything from headings, metadata, titles, broken links, content, site loading times and much more to give you as much data as possible relating to how and why a website ranks where it does.

You’re also able to run this tool on multiple websites and work to compare the content between the two.


You’re able to use Screaming Frog for:

  • Finding duplicate or weak content
  • Spotting large files or images that could slow load times
  • Easily finding broken links, server errors or even blocked resources
  • Analysing javascript-based websites
  • Mapping data from other sources such as Moz and Google Analytics


With all these features and much more you’re able to essentially do a deep assessment of any website online to find out exactly how it operates and what you can do to improve your ranking in relation to it.


BuzzSumo — Content Analysis

Designed for the content marketing teams out there, BuzzSumo is going to be the ideal SEO tool for understanding which topics and content pieces do best in your specific niche.

When it comes to SEO and idea creation, BuzzSumo takes out all of the hard work and makes it easy to find content pieces that will perform well with regards to web traffic and also search engine rankings.

The BuzzSumo platform also makes it easy to find specific influencers to promote any type of content given that the platform has audience data which will allow you to advertise specific content to an audience that will best respond to it.


You’re able to use BuzzSumo to:

  • Effortlessly find well-performing content pieces online.
  • Understand which topics and content pieces do best relating to likes and shares.
  • Easily track comments on content pieces.
  • Find a tonne of data points on specific sets of content for the development of marketing strategies.



The Best Ahrefs Alternatives Takeaway

With all of the above said, it’s quite easy to see that although Ahrefs is one of the more popular and well-developed SEO tools out there, there are still a tonne on offer that provide a similar experience or even beat out the service.

You have plenty of tools to choose from coming with the winning SEMrush and Moz tools, but also have a great selection of standalone tools to choose from as well.

Keep in mind that you should choose an SEO tool based on your own use case, expertise level and whether you’re working for clients or yourself. You’ll want a tool that works quickly, saves you time and above all else — is as accurate and helpful as possible when it comes to meeting your SEO goals.