11 Best Ahrefs Alternatives & Competitors For 2023 (Top Picks)
Now that Ahrefs has introduced automatic billing for overages and restricted the number of reports available across all its plans, many marketers are looking for an alternative.
If you’re one of them, you’re in the right place.
In this post, we’ll be comparing the best Ahrefs alternatives & competitors on the market.
Below, you’ll find a bunch of SEO (search engine optimization) toolkits and platforms that offer similar features to Ahrefs and can help you to supercharge your SEO campaigns and dominate the SERPs in your industry.
If you see one you like, click through to try it out.
Ready? Let’s get started!
The best Ahrefs alternatives – summary
- Semrush – Best alternative to Ahrefs overall. Ideal for SEO professionals and businesses.
- SE Ranking – Best affordable alternative to Ahrefs. Ideal for individuals.
- BuzzSumo – Best alternative to Ahrefs’ Content Explorer. Includes backlink analysis as well.
- Accuranker – Best alternative to Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker. Accuranker supplies the data for Ahrefs’ rank tracking tool.
#1 – Semrush
Semrush is the best Ahrefs alternative overall. It’s the most similar tool to Ahrefs out there, however it offers more value for money and more features.
Semrush is a full-featured online marketing platform that offers a complete range of the best SEO tools. Like Ahrefs, you can use it for keyword research, backlink analysis, rank tracking, site auditing, etc.
However, Semrush offers a lot more tools overall. In fact, it offers 40+ different tools. Including their Traffic Analytics tool which is an equivalent to Similar Web.
Semrush offers enterprise-level features and is geared towards serious marketers and businesses with larger budgets—but it’s worth every penny.
Semrush also offers a free trial, unlike Ahrefs, so if you’re not ready to invest in a paid tool yet, it could be a great alternative.
Where Semrush really stands out, though, is when it comes to PPC analysis. For example, its keyword research tool gives you data from both organic search engines and Google PPC (something Ahrefs doesn’t currently offer).
You can also see the keywords your competitors are bidding on in their PPC campaigns and even view their ad copy. If you’re running Google Ad campaigns in conjunction with your SEO strategy, these features should come in very useful.
We also really like Semrush’s local SEO features, like their listing management tool.
If we had to nitpick, we’d say the Semrush UI could be a little more intuitive. We felt it wasn’t quite as easy to navigate as Ahrefs but ultimately, that’s mostly because Semrush has a lot more tools. Try it out for yourself and see what you think!
It’s also worth noting that Semrush offers 3,000 reports per day on the lowest plan. Ahrefs only offers 500 per month across ALL plans, even their $999/month plan.
Pros and cons
|Very broad feature set||UI is a little harder to navigate than some other tools|
|Powerful keyword research capabilities|
|Excellent for both SEO and PPC analysis|
|Accurate and reliable|
|Far better value for money than Ahrefs|
You can sign up for a free Semrush account to get started, but you’ll only have access to a limited number of data requests and tools. So, I’d recommend taking their free trial to see exactly what the platform has to offer.
Paid plans start from $99.95/month (billed annually).
Read our Semrush review.
#2 – SE Ranking
SE Ranking is one of the most affordable Ahrefs alternatives. It offers most of the same core features but with plans starting at less than a third of the cost of Ahrefs.
Despite the lower prices, usage allowances are generally far higher which makes for incredible value for money (by comparison). It’s also affordable for those with large numbers of projects.
There are those that think of it as just a rank tracking tool for it’s far more than that – it’s an all-in-one SEO tool with some of the largest databases of links & keywords of any other tool.
Again, there’s a lot of overlap between Ahrefs and SE Ranking in terms of functionality. It comes with most of the same SEO tools: a keyword rank tracker, site audit tool, backlink checker and tracking tools, keyword research tool, on-page optimization checker, competitor analysis solution, etc.
On top of that, it offers a few extra features that Ahrefs lacks. The marketing and SEO plan is one of our favorites. It provides you with a comprehensive marketing roadmap to help you achieve your goals, complete with an SEO checklist of all the tasks you need to work on to get there. You can customize your to-do list by adding your own tasks.
Another reason we like SE Ranking is that it’s great for agencies. The White Label feature lets you customize the look of the SE Ranking interface with your own brand colors, logo, and domain so that your clients will never know it’s a third-party tool. Other agency-focused features include branded reports, custom user roles, and automatic page change monitoring.
In fact, their report builder is one of the best around.
Because SE Ranking offers flexible pricing, you customize your plan so you only pay based on your usage needs. For example, the less frequently you need to check rankings, the lower the price.
This makes SE Ranking a lot cheaper and more scalable than Ahrefs. And their backlink checker & competitive research tools allow for far more searches than Ahrefs.
Pros and cons
|Affordable pricing||The interface may be a bit complex for new users|
|Great for agencies thanks to built-in report builder & generous allowances for the number of projects|
Plans start at $23.52/month and scale depending on your needs. A free trial is available.
Read our SE Ranking review.
#3 – BuzzSumo
BuzzSumo is ‘the world’s #1 content marketing platform’. It’s the best alternative to Ahrefs’ Content Explorer by a long way and comes with some of the most advanced content discovery and research tools you’ll find anywhere. And it’s the go-to platform for PR pros.
You can use BuzzSumo to analyze content in your niche and generate tons of ideas for your marketing campaigns. It can also be used for competitor analysis, keyword research, discovering influencers, monitoring, and more.
To get started, you can enter a domain into the search bar and click Find content. BuzzSumo will find all the website’s top-performing content pages and list them for you to explore. Alongside each piece of content, you can see social media engagement stats (e.g. Twitter shares, Facebook engagements, etc.).
From there, you can view the Top Sharers of each piece of content. This makes it easy to find influencers that are likely to promote your own content). You can also view its backlinks to find new link-building opportunities and open up an in-depth content analysis report.
In the Discover tool, you can use the Content Ideas Generator to generate dozens of new topic ideas to inform your content strategy. You can also uncover trending topics, identify the keywords your audiences are searching for, and even discover questions audiences are asking about different topics, which you can then add to an FAQ section to enrich your articles.
BuzzSumo is a fantastic tool all round and has a number of applications. It makes it easy to plan content, find influencers, analyze the content strategy of competitors, and more.
Pros and cons
|Powerful content discovery and research tools||Not as many SEO tools as Ahrefs|
|Essential for content marketing||Backlink data is limited and difficult to filter|
|Influencer discovery feature|
|Great for competitive analysis|
|Powerful solution for monitoring mentions across the web|
|Content analyzer makes it easy to find backlinks from high performing content|
Paid plans start at $119/month. Save 20% with an annual subscription. You can try BuzzSumo with a 30-day free trial.
Read our BuzzSumo review.
#4 – Serpstat
Serpstat is another all-in-one SEO solution with many of the same tools as Ahrefs. It stands out for its excellent backlink analysis tool.
Serpstat has all the features you’d expect from an all-in-one platform, including backlink analysis, rank tracking, keyword analysis, site auditing, etc. In fact, it has over 30+ tools in its arsenal in total.
You get access to PPC research, keyword research, rank tracking, site auditing, backlink analysis, reporting, keyword clustering, and more.
There’s also a substantial database of keywords for competitive research purposes. And various keyword research methodologies included.
What I particularly liked about Serpstat is the malicious sites report. Not only can you find all the usual backlink data, you can also view all of the malicious sites that link to yours. You’ll also see the type of vulnerability.
It’s also rather good value for money. While Ahrefs offers 500 monthly reports across its tools, Serpstat offers 4,000 daily reports across searches for sites, keywords, and links.
Pros and cons
|Powerful backlink dashboard||Keyword difficulty metric could be improved|
|All-in-one solution with 30+ tools||Backlink database not as big as other platforms but it’s improving|
|Innovative Keyword Trends feature|
|Extensive keyword database for competitive research purposes|
|API access for their core tools available on all plans.|
Plans start at $45/month depending on the length of your subscription period. Free trial available.
#5 – SEO PowerSuite
SEO PowerSuite is a downloadable marketing software suite that integrates with Webmeup’s backlink index – one of the largest around.
We’ve tried a lot of SEO software, and none of them have come close to SEO PowerSuite in terms of value for money. It offers tons of features, some of which include functionality you won’t find on Ahrefs (or anywhere else), at a fraction of the price of its competitors.
These features are grouped into a few main tools: the Rank Tracker, WebSite Auditor, SEO SpyGlass, and LinkAssistant.
There’s a lot to like about all of them but SEO SpyGlass is our favorite.
It can help you to uncover thousands of backlink opportunities that other tools miss thanks to its huge database—it crawls 7.1 billion web pages on a daily basis.
The main limitation here is that we’re dealing with downloadable software. Some components within the software, however, are cloud-based. The backlink database is a good example of this.
The upside of downloadable software is that it’s unusually affordable. There’s even a free plan that you can get a lot of mileage out of.
The WebSite Auditor is fantastic. It’s one of the best site auditing tools we’ve tested.
The Rank Tracker tool is solid as well. It includes a bunch of keyword research tools as well as rank tracking. As standard, it will track rankings from your computer and includes some sophisticated algorithms to avoid being blocked by Google. I’d recommend using proxies to track keywords though. While it is an extra expense, it still makes it one of the most affordable rank tracking solutions on the web.
Pros and cons
|Great value for money||Requires software download|
|Powerful LinkAssistant tool||No monthly payment option|
|Huge database||LinkAssistant app needs updating inline with modern link building tactics|
|Broad feature set|
|Free plan available|
You can download SEO PowerSuite and try it out for free. Premium licenses start from $299/year.
#6 – Majestic
Majestic is a popular alternative to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer tool. It’s also a popular option for SaaS companies that want to incorporate additional data & metrics into their SEO platform.
Majestic provides award-winning Link Intelligence data. It’s the home of popular metrics like Trust Flow (a data point that tells you the quality of a site’s backlink profile), and Citation Flow (a data point that tells you the quantity of links in a site’s backlink profile).
Both metrics are invaluable for analyzing your site’s (or your competitors’ sites) backlink profile and website authority.
Aside from the above, it also offers additional unique metrics like Visibility Flow, which helps you to skip the ineffective directory-style links and find valuable editorial-style links; Topical Trust Flow, which scores a site based on its topical relevancy; and Flow Metric Scores.
The Site Explorer puts all these metrics and more at your fingertips. You can use it to find any site’s top backlinks, compare to-level metrics, and a lot more.
The Link Context tool is another neat feature. It enables you to browse and audit backlinks by seeing them in context.
Pros and cons
|Advanced Link Intelligence Data||Higher learning curve|
|Add metrics to your existing SEO software||Dated user interface|
|Tons of unique data points|
|Explore backlinks in context|
Plans start from $41.67/month (billed annually).
#7 – Moz Pro
Moz Pro is another fantastic Ahrefs alternative. Like Ahrefs, it’s super popular and offers a suite of enterprise-level tools with comparable database sizes.
And while prices may seem similar on the surface, Moz Pro offers better value. Although, a little less value than other tools on this list.
Moz Pro comes with a Keyword Explorer, Site Crawl, and Link Explorer, all of which are similar to their Ahrefs equivalent. And they have surprisingly large databases. For example, their backlink database is one of the largest around.
You can also use it to track your rankings, optimize your on-page content around your target keywords with recommendations and suggestions, and create custom reports.
Moz Pro also offers its own proprietary SEO metrics, including Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA). If you found Ahrefs’ DR to be an unreliable indicator of your website authority, Moz’s DA might be a better alternative.
Just remember that these metrics are from third-parties and increasing them doesn’t mean you’ll rank better.
Pros and cons
|Industry-leading authority metrics||Expensive when compared to other tools on this list|
|Accurate and reliable|
|MozBar browser extension|
Plans start at $79/month billed annually. You can try it out with a 30-day free trial.
#8 – SpyFu
SpyFu is another Ahrefs alternative worth checking out, especially if you’re mainly interested in using it for competitor analysis.
SpyFu leads the industry when it comes to competitive research. It enables you to gather a wealth of competitive intel that can help you to dominate the SERPs.
Use it to spy on your rivals and find out the organic and paid keywords that are driving them traffic. Plus, uncover invaluable insights into their SEO and PPC campaigns, including data on every ad variation they’ve used over the last 15 years.
SpyFu also offers other SEO and PPC tools for backlink outreach, keyword research, rank tracking, and custom reporting.
Pros and cons
|Ideal for competitor research||Discount requires signing up for a third-party tool|
|Spy on your competitors’ campaigns|
|Excellent for SEO and PPC analysis|
|Easy to use|
SpyFu plans start at $33/month but they’re offering a limited-time lifetime discount to $9/month when you sign up for ClickCease. See their pricing page for details.
#9 – AccuRanker
AccuRanker is a rank tracking platform. Its lightning-fast SERP checker and position tracker are easy to use and a great alternative to Ahrefs equivalent tool.
Do you know why Ahrefs is so expensive for rank tracking? Well, it’s partly because they buy the data they use from a third-party— and Accuranker is that third party.
As such, you can save a lot of money by cutting out the middleman and going directly to Accuranker. Use it to see where you and your competitors are indexed on every page, analyze the SERPs, and keep track of your organic ranking positions.
Ahrefs only updates rankings weekly as standard, even on their $999/month plan. But with AccuRanker you can get daily rank tracking for a lot cheaper.
But, it gets better! You can check your rankings on-demand when needed. This is quite useful for the times when Google’s rolling out an update and you don’t want to wait till the next scheduled update.
Pros and cons
|SERP feature analysis||Only includes rank tracking|
|Historical data||No introductory plans|
|Accurate and reliable|
|On-demand rank tracking|
|API access to incorporate rank tracking data into your own tool(s)|
AccuRanker offers flexible pricing based on usage requirements. Plans start at $99/month for 1,000 keywords.
#10 – WebCEO
WebCEO is another great Ahrefs alternative for agencies. It comes with 23+ pro-level SEO tools.
WebCEO does everything you’d expect an all-in-one marketing platform to do. You can use it for keyword research, traffic analysis, backlink checking, site auditing… all the usual stuff.
On top of that, it offers some extra goodies that Ahrefs doesn’t have, like instant ranking checks, toxic links auditing, branded reports, white-label tools, and a free trial.
One particularly unique feature is their content submission tool. This helps you get your site included in various directories and content promotion platforms.
For those of you interested in reporting, you may find the inclusion of social media analytics useful. Of course, it’s no substitute for a dedicated social media analytics tool, but it’s a nice addition that could offer additional value for your clients.
Pros and cons
|Some unique features||Pricing plans are a bit confusing|
|Free trial available|
|Affordable pricing options|
Plans start from $33/month when billed annually. A free 14-day trial is available. Some plans do include scanning fees.
#11 – Morningscore
Morningscore is one of the best Ahrefs alternatives for beginners. It’s incredibly easy to use with a fun, simple UI.
Morningscore claims to be the ‘easiest all-in-one SEO tool’—and it delivers on that promise. We found its interface to be refreshingly straightforward.
Gamification and SEO goals make tedious tasks more fun and accessible, and you can still do most of the stuff you can do with Ahrefs. Other SEO tools include: keyword research and management, rank tracking, backlink monitoring, competitor analysis, and website auditing.
Pros and cons
|Built-in gamification||Not as many advanced features|
|Very easy to use|
Plans start at $65/month. You can also get a 14-day free trial.
Ahrefs alternatives FAQ
What is Ahrefs?
Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO platform for marketing professionals. It comes with several useful tools to help with all aspects of your SEO marketing campaigns.
These tools include the Ahrefs’ Site Explorer (for competitor analysis and checking backlinks), Keywords Explorer (for keyword research), Rank Tracker (for keyword position tracking), Site Audit (for auditing and optimizing your site), and Content Explorer (for analyzing top performing content in your niche).
Does Ahrefs charge if you go over plan limits?
Yes, if you go over your plans, Ahrefs will charge you overages. They won’t warn you overtly, they will just charge you more money. This applies to new plans rolled out in 2022.
You can monitor report usage from your account but it’s not immediately obvious when and where these reports will be used.
And there are only 500 reports available per month no matter if you’re on their $99/month plan or $999/month plan.
At the time of writing this post, reporting credits are being used up simply for refreshing your dashboard. And, it’s entirely possible to use up all of your monthly credits within a few days simply by viewing your dashboard & checking verified projects. Something that free users of Ahrefs Webmaster Tools can do regardless.
This resulted in huge backlash from users in the Ahrefs Insider Facebook group. But customer complaints have fallen on deaf ears.
This doesn’t apply to legacy plans, however, Ahrefs have stated that they plan to get all customers onto new pricing plans eventually. But they do not have any kind of timeframe as to when this will happen.
Can I use Ahrefs for free?
Ahrefs doesn’t offer free trials so you can’t use the full version for free. However, you can use the Ahrefs Webmaster tools for free and get limited access to Site Audit and Site Explorer. Just bear in mind that you’ll need to be able to verify your ownership of a website in order to do so.
It is possible to verify your site via Google Search Console, but we would recommend caution. Ahrefs have not been transparent about how this data could be used.
Is Ahrefs accurate?
No tool is ever completely accurate. However, Ahrefs offers a high level of data accuracy and includes large databases of keywords and backlinks.
Ahrefs combines keyword data from Google Keyword Planner with Clickstream data to give accurate search volume estimations.
However, in some of our tests we experienced technical issues with Ahrefs, where they would continuously report old backlinks as new links in each of our monthly reports. This glitch continued for 5+ months but it appears to have been resolved.
Which is the best SEO tool?
It’s tough to say what the best SEO software is as each has its own strengths and weaknesses. However, we’re big fans of Semrush—it’s a super-powerful, enterprise-level marketing platform with an extensive suite of tools to help with every stage of your SEO campaigns.
Semrush has a wide range of SEO features, including – backlink research, rank tracking, keyword research, site auditing, PPC research, blogger outreach, social media scheduling, and more.
But if it’s outside of your price range, we recommend SE Ranking. It offers the best balance of functionality and affordability.
Finding the best Ahrefs alternative for your business
Ahrefs is a great SEO toolkit, but it’s not the right choice for every business. All the tools we’ve listed above are great Ahrefs alternatives. If you’re not sure which one to choose, here’s what we’d suggest:
- Semrush is the overall best alternative to Ahrefs. It’s a full-featured online marketing platform that can do everything Ahrefs can and more.
- SE Ranking is the best choice if you’re on a tighter budget. It’s a great, more affordable alternative to Ahrefs, especially for agencies.
- BuzzSumo is the best alternative to the Ahrefs Content Explorer. It’s a complete content marketing platform with lots of unique features. You can also use it for backlink research.
We hope this helped. Good luck!
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