Thinking whether to go for Ahrefs vs SEMrush? Choosing the right link audit software is critical for SEO agencies these days.
This article is going to dive into the Ahrefs vs SEMrush debate and try to answer a key question.
Which is the better tool for link audit, as well as other use cases? Which one offers the best value for money, and will be most appropriate for a company of your size, with your resources?
Let’s find out! In the post below, we’ve covered all the common use cases and done an in-depth analysis of the key features of Ahrefs and SEMrush – as well as compared it to an alternative solution that may be better in some situations.
- Ahrefs and SEMrush are popular link audit tools with similarities and differences in features and pricing.
- Ahrefs for link audit: Sign up, analyze backlink profile, identify low-quality links, export and disavow toxic links, monitor backlink profile.
- SEMrush for link audit: Use Backlink Analytics, perform a backlink audit, analyze toxic score, contact webmasters, create a disavow file, monitor progress.
- BacklinkManager offers an alternative solution for link audit, providing link monitoring, custom reports, and backlink quality control.
- Ahrefs and SEMrush have similarities and differences for link building, such as finding link prospects, analyzing competitors, broken link building, guest posting, and monitoring progress.
- BacklinkManager is a comprehensive tool for link building, including link exchanges, broken link building, guest posting, link partnerships, link audits, link building CRM, and link monitoring.
- Ahrefs and SEMrush can be used for broken link building, including finding broken links, verifying them, creating replacement content, reaching out to webmasters, and monitoring progress.
- BacklinkManager offers constant link monitoring and notifications, aiding in efficient broken link building.
- BacklinkManager is a better alternative for link audit and broken link building, offering a comprehensive solution for monitoring and auditing relevant links.
Ahrefs vs SEMrush – similarities and differences
Ahrefs and SEMrush are both applications for link audit, link building, and broken link building with several areas of overlap. Both Ahrefs and SEMrush are popular SEO tools used mostly for link audit in SEO agencies. Both products have several similar features.
However, there are several details about the way these particular features are “executed” in both products that may make a substantial difference for the buyer.
They also have very different pricing plans. Let’s look at the details.
Ahrefs vs SEMrush for link audit – differences
In this section of the article, we’re really going to dig into the nitty-gritty of each area of product functionality. That way, we’ll be able to figure out which tool – Ahrefs or SEMrush – is the best option depending on your use case.
Ahrefs for link audit
Conducting regular link audits is vital for maintaining a healthy backlink profile and ensuring your website’s credibility and search engine rankings. Ahrefs provides a robust set of tools to help beginners perform comprehensive link audits. Here’s how you can use Ahrefs for link audits:
- Create an account: Sign up for an Ahrefs subscription to access their suite of SEO tools designed to help with link audits and more.
- Analyze your backlink profile: Use the Site Explorer tool to gain insights into your domain’s backlink profile, including the number of referring domains, backlinks, and their quality.
- Identify low-quality or toxic links: In the Site Explorer, navigate to the ‘Backlinks’ tab and use filters to find low-quality or toxic backlinks, such as those with low Domain Rating (DR), high Spam Score, or coming from unrelated or spammy websites.
- Export toxic links: Export a list of toxic backlinks by clicking the ‘Export’ button in the Site Explorer. This will provide you with a CSV file containing the data required for further analysis or disavowal.
- Create a disavow file: Use the exported list of toxic backlinks to create a disavow file, following Google’s disavow guidelines.
- Submit the disavow file to Google: Submit the disavow file to Google Search Console to request Google to ignore the low-quality or toxic backlinks, thereby preventing any potential negative impact on your website’s rankings.
- Monitor your backlink profile: Regularly monitor your backlink profile using the Site Explorer and set up Ahrefs Alerts to receive email notifications about new or lost backlinks, ensuring you stay up to date on any changes.
- Learn more: Enhance your knowledge of link audits by leveraging the educational resources available through Ahrefs’ Academy and Blog.
SEMrush for link audit
SEMrush is an excellent tool for conducting link audits, helping you identify and analyze your backlink profile to ensure your website maintains a healthy link profile. To perform a link audit with SEMrush, follow these actionable steps:
- Backlink Analytics: Start by using the Backlink Analytics tool to get an overview of your website’s backlink profile, including the total number of backlinks, referring domains, and anchor text distribution.
- Backlink Audit: Run a Backlink Audit within the “Projects” section of SEMrush. This will help you identify potentially harmful or low-quality links that may negatively impact your website’s rankings.
- Analyze Toxic Score: Review the toxic score assigned to each backlink in your audit report. The higher the toxic score, the more potentially harmful the link is to your website. Focus on the links with the highest toxic scores for further analysis.
- Review Link Details: Examine the details of each toxic backlink, such as the referring domain’s authority, anchor text, and the type of link (follow or nofollow). This information will help you determine whether the link should be removed or disavowed.
- Contact Webmasters: Reach out to the webmasters of the sites with harmful links, requesting link removal. SEMrush provides built-in email templates to streamline this process, or you can create your own personalized outreach emails.
- Create a Disavow File: If you’re unable to get certain harmful links removed, use SEMrush’s Disavow tool to create a disavow file. Submit this file to Google Search Console to ask Google to disregard those links when assessing your site’s ranking.
- Monitor Progress: Regularly review your backlink profile and update your disavow file as needed. Continuous link audits will help you maintain a healthy link profile and safeguard your website’s rankings in search engine results.
Ahrefs vs SEMrush – is there a better alternative for link audit?
Both Ahrefs and SEMrush will help you get the job done. But, depending on your use case, there are other options to consider.
Let’s look at the options in more detail now.
Better alternative for link audit – BacklinkManager
While BacklinkManager is not a typical link audit tool like ScreamingFrog, or even Ahrefs and SEMrush, it provides an efficient solution for monitoring and auditing the links that really matter to link building agencies and clients, rather than *all* links. By monitoring links built in specific campaigns and partnerships (or acquired from specific vendors), and notifying you when a link disappears or the page is 404, it ensures your hard-earned links don’t rot. It can also help with reporting to your clients on this via Custom Reports.
Here are some of BacklinkManager’s link-audit related features:
- Link Audit: BacklinkManager enables users to ensure their backlinks’ quality with its dedicated Link Audit feature. This feature allows users to maintain control over their link profile’s quality and integrity.
- Custom Reports: With BacklinkManager’s Custom Reports feature, users can generate and share detailed reports on the status of their backlinks. These reports assist in identifying and rectifying any backlink-related issues promptly, ensuring the effectiveness of their SEO strategies.
- Backlink Monitoring: In addition to audit and reporting tools, BacklinkManager provides constant backlink monitoring, which allows users to stay up-to-date with the status of their backlinks at any given time.
As a comprehensive solution for link-building operations, BacklinkManager goes beyond traditional CRM functionalities to offer powerful tools like link monitoring, custom report generation, and goal setting. By providing these resources, BacklinkManager supports SEO professionals and agencies in maintaining the quality of their backlinks and conducting efficient link audits.
Ahrefs vs SEMrush for link building – similarities and differences
In this section of the article, we’re really going to dig into the nitty-gritty of each area of product functionality for link building. That way, we’ll be able to figure out which tool – Ahrefs or SEMrush – is the best option depending on your use case.
Ahrefs for link building
Link building is a crucial component of a successful SEO strategy, as it helps improve your website’s credibility and search engine rankings. Ahrefs offers numerous features to assist beginners in executing effective link building campaigns. Here’s how you can use Ahrefs for link building:
- Create an account: Sign up for an Ahrefs subscription to access their wide range of SEO tools and resources.
- Find link prospects: Use the Content Explorer and Link Intersect tools to discover potential link opportunities by identifying relevant websites, articles, and resources in your niche.
- Analyze competitors: Analyze your competitors’ backlink profiles using the Site Explorer tool to uncover their link-building strategies and identify valuable link prospects.
- Broken link building: Use the Broken Link Checker to find broken links on relevant websites, create replacement content, and reach out to site owners with a suggestion to replace the broken link with your content.
- Guest posting: Identify guest posting opportunities by searching for relevant websites in your niche using the Content Explorer. Pitch high-quality, unique articles that provide value to their audience.
- Monitor link progress: Keep track of your link building efforts by monitoring your website’s backlink profile using the Site Explorer tool, and set up Ahrefs Alerts to receive email notifications for new backlinks.
- Outreach: Find contact information for potential link partners using Ahrefs’ email finder feature, and manage your email campaigns with the Outreach tool to track your communication and responses.
- Expand your knowledge: Enhance your link building skills by leveraging the educational resources available through Ahrefs’ Academy and Blog.
SEMrush for link building
SEMrush is a powerful SEO tool that offers a variety of features for link monitoring. By keeping track of your website’s backlinks, you can maintain a healthy backlink profile and improve search engine rankings. Here are some actionable steps for beginners to monitor their links using SEMrush:
- Backlink Analytics: Use SEMrush’s Backlink Analytics to analyze your website’s backlink profile, including the total number of backlinks, referring domains, and anchor texts. Regularly review this data to identify trends and potential issues in your backlink profile.
- New and Lost Backlinks: Monitor new and lost backlinks in the “Backlinks” tab within the Backlink Analytics section. This allows you to track the stability of your existing backlinks and discover new link-building opportunities.
- Backlink Gap: Utilize the Backlink Gap tool to compare your backlink profile with your competitors’. This can help you find websites that link to your competitors but not to you, which could be potential link-building opportunities.
- Backlink Audit: Regularly perform a Backlink Audit to identify potentially harmful backlinks and disavow them, protecting your website from penalties and negative SEO impacts.
- Set Up Alerts: Set up Backlink Monitoring alerts to receive notifications when your website gains or loses backlinks. This enables you to stay on top of changes in your backlink profile and react accordingly.
Better alternative for link building: BacklinkManager
BacklinkManager is a versatile tool designed to cater to all your link-building needs.
- Link Exchanges: Users can set their niches and Domain Rating (DR) expectations to find and connect with like-minded link exchange partners automatically.
- Broken Link Building: With 24/7 link monitoring, BacklinkManager notifies users instantly when a link’s status changes, aiding in efficient broken link building.
- Guest Posting: BacklinkManager enables users to keep track of guest post opportunities and monitor the links obtained from these efforts.
- Link Partnerships: This tool facilitates the management of link partnerships, tracking who has built more links, and maintaining clear communication with partners through live chat and comments.
- Link Audits: With BacklinkManager’s custom reports, users can conduct thorough link audits to ensure the quality of their backlinks.
- Link Building CRM: BacklinkManager serves as a dedicated CRM for link-building operations, managing relationships with clients, freelance link builders, and vendors.
- Link Monitoring: BacklinkManager offers comprehensive link monitoring services, including a reliable link crawler, link status notifications, and management of link-building targets, goals, and target groups.
BacklinkManager is more than a CRM—it’s a complete solution for your link-building operation. With its powerful features and tools, you can monitor links, create reports, set goals, and share interactive dashboards to streamline your SEO efforts.
Try BacklinkManager today and elevate your link-building strategy to new heights!
Ahrefs vs SEMrush for broken link building – similarities and differences
Finally, most SEO agencies considering Ahrefs vs SEMrush want to look at their functionality for broken link building. Let’s dive into it in more detail.
Ahrefs for broken link building
Broken link building is an effective technique for acquiring high-quality backlinks while simultaneously helping website owners fix broken links. Ahrefs offers powerful tools to help beginners implement successful broken link building campaigns. Here’s how you can use Ahrefs for broken link building:
- Create an account: Sign up for an Ahrefs subscription to access their comprehensive set of SEO tools and resources.
- Find broken links: Use the Site Explorer to analyze a target website’s backlink profile and identify broken outbound links. Alternatively, you can use the Broken Link Checker tool to find broken links on any website.
- Verify broken links: Double-check the status of the identified broken links using Ahrefs’ Batch Analysis tool or a third-party tool like HTTP Status to ensure they are indeed broken.
- Create replacement content: Develop high-quality, relevant content that serves as a suitable replacement for the broken link. Ensure that your content provides value to the target website’s audience.
- Find contact information: Locate the website owner’s contact details using Ahrefs’ email finder feature, social media profiles, or the website’s contact page.
- Reach out: Craft a personalized email to the website owner, kindly informing them of the broken link and suggesting your content as a valuable replacement. Keep your message concise, professional, and focused on providing value.
- Follow up: If you don’t receive a response within a week or two, consider sending a polite follow-up email to remind the website owner of your previous message.
- Expand your knowledge: Learn more about broken link building strategies and best practices by exploring the educational resources available through Ahrefs’ Academy and Blog.
SEMrush for broken link building
Broken link building is a valuable SEO strategy where you find and replace broken links on websites with your own relevant content. SEMrush is a powerful digital marketing toolkit that can help you identify these opportunities and improve your website’s search engine ranking. Let’s dive into the step-by-step process:
- Step 2: Navigate to the “Backlink Analytics” tool, which can be found under the “SEO” tab in the left sidebar.
- Step 3: Enter the domain of a competitor or a website within your niche in the search bar, then click “Search.” This will provide you with valuable insights into their backlink profile.
- Step 4: Scroll down to the “Backlinks” section and click on “Broken.” This will filter the results to show only broken backlinks pointing to the target website.
- Step 5: Analyze the list of broken backlinks to find opportunities for your own content. Look for links related to your industry or niche that you can replace with high-quality content from your website.
- Step 6: Reach out to the website owners or editors hosting the broken links. Inform them of the issue and offer your content as a suitable replacement. Make sure to keep your outreach email personalized, polite, and professional.
- Step 7: Track your progress and monitor the results of your broken link building campaign using SEMrush’s “Backlink Audit” tool, which can be found under the “SEO” tab in the left sidebar.
By following these steps, even a beginner SEO can effectively use SEMrush to implement a broken link building strategy and improve their website’s search engine ranking. Happy link building!
Better alternative for broken link building – BacklinkManager
BacklinkManager offers an innovative approach to managing broken link building tasks. It provides users with constant link monitoring and real-time notifications in case of lost or no-followed links, which are essential for efficient broken link building in SEO.
- Backlink Monitoring: BacklinkManager comes with a reliable link crawler that keeps track of your backlinks’ status (do-follow, no-follow, 404) round the clock.
- Link Crawler & Linkbuilding Goals Tracker: The tool offers consistent monitoring of your clients’ backlinks, promptly notifying you whenever a purchased link is removed.
- Link Status Notifications: Users are immediately informed via in-app notifications or email when a link’s status changes, helping to safeguard your link building investments.
- Linkbuilding Targets, Goals & Target Groups: BacklinkManager allows you to easily manage your link-building efforts by setting goals for target pages and grouping these pages based on projects, domains, or clients.
- Reliable link crawler: With a two-factor check system, BacklinkManager ensures accurate crawling of your links, providing trustworthy data about your link-building campaigns.
As a comprehensive solution for link-building operations, BacklinkManager provides more than just CRM functionalities. It enables users to monitor links, create insightful reports, set goals, and share interactive dashboards, contributing to more effective and streamlined link building strategies.
Conclusion – which tool is better for your SEO, Ahrefs or SEMrush?
Hopefully, this post helped you decide whether SEMrush or Ahrefs is more appropriate for your company. As you can see – both have many upsides and downsides.
Undeniably, BacklinkManager provides a better value for money and is a better choice for a mid-market SEO, especially when it comes to link audit and broken link building.
If you’re interested in finding more book a demo with our team here!