Top 5 Ahrefs Alternatives in 2021
by Mike Khorev
In the world of SEO, Ahrefs is certainly one of the most prominent tools used by many SEO marketers—veterans and beginners alike.
However, Ahrefs is certainly not a perfect tool for everyone: some might think it’s too expensive and are looking for cheaper/free Ahrefs alternatives, some others might want different features and benefits.
Here, we will discuss five of the best alternatives to Ahrefs available, but before we begin, let us discuss the benchmark: Ahrefs itself.
A Brief Overview on Ahrefs
Ahrefs is one of the most popular SEO tools/software available today. A common misconception is that Ahrefs is just another keyword research tool. While it’s true that keyword research is indeed one of Ahrefs’ strong suits, Ahrefs is—technically— a suite of various SEO tools from content research/curation, link building analytics, SEO audit, and many more.
There are at least five core features where Ahrefs really shines:
- Backlink Profile Analysis
Ahrefs is often regarded as the best in the backlink analytics department, especially due to its massive link index. Simply enter any URL, and Ahrefs will give an in-depth report about the backlink profile. We can use this insight to build our own link building tactics and validate our target keywords.
- Keyword Research
Probably the most important feature for any SEO tool. While some might say that Ahrefs is relatively subpar in this department (as we’ll learn while discussing Ahrefs alternatives below), Ahrefs actually offers an excellent set of keyword research features, giving you all you need to find and analyze target keyword and content ideas.
- Content Insights
Analyze various topics and trending content to find out which actually produce the most backlinks, traffic, and engagement on various social media networks.
- Site Audit
SEO audit is an important aspect of SEO success, analyzing your site to find possible technical errors and optimization issues, so you can make the necessary adjustments.
- Rank Tracking
Track the ranking performance of your target keywords, where you can filter by device and location.
Ahrefs offers four different plans:
- Lite for $99/month, 1 user, some locked features
- Standard for $179/month, 1 user, most core features unlocked
- Advanced for $399/month, 3 users, more data with each analysis and report
- Agency for $999/month, 5 users, even more data than the advanced plan
As you can see, Ahrefs isn’t necessarily an affordable tool, and this is probably the biggest reason many people are looking for Ahrefs alternatives.
Part of why Afrefs is relatively expensive is the fact that it included several different tools in one. This can either be a good or bad thing. For example, those that only want a content research tool might opt for a dedicated tool for that, which might be more affordable and might offer more focus in its features.
With that being said, here are some of Ahrefs alternatives we’ll recommend.
SEMRush is often regarded as Ahrefs’ closest competitor for several reasons. First, SEMRush is also an all-in-one SEO suite.
In fact, for a bit of history, SEMRush was the first one to adopt that approach as a well-rounded SEO tool, while Ahrefs initially is “just” a link analytics tool.
However, over the years, Ahrefs has added various features and tools to catch up with SEMRush, the leading all-in-one SEO tool at that time. We might get a hint about this at how Ahrefs priced their plans $0.95 cheaper than SEMRush.
Nowadays, they both offer very similar sets of features, but there are also key differences to consider, which in general are:
- Ahrefs is still better—overall— in the link analytics department, considering it was their first expertise
- SEMRush, on the other hand, offers more keyword research features. However, some might feel that SEMRush’s UI for keyword research is too complex due to all the displayed metrics
- SEMRush is slightly better in the technical SEO features. For instance, the site audit feature is more comprehensive.
- SEMRush offers more accurate, and faster rank tracking
- Ahrefs wins in the content analytics and research department with its “Content Explorer” feature
- Pro for $99.95/month, Guru for $199.95/month, and Business for $399.95/month
Conclusion: for most SEO purposes, SEMRush is the better tool and the $0.95 difference is definitely worth it. However, if you want to focus more on backlinks analytics and content insights, Ahrefs is still better.
2. Moz Pro
Another strong contender as one of the best Ahrefs alternatives, Moz Pro is yet another all-in-one SEO suite offering various different tools from keyword research to site audit. Moz offers a similar price to Ahrefs with the standard plan costing $99/month, so they are very similar to each other in many different aspects.
It is noting that Moz Pro’s Large plan is significantly cheaper than the comparable Ahrefs Business plan ($249/month vs $399/month), so it might be a plus point if you require a large amount of data/insights and a lot of users.
One of the key highlights of Moz Pro is the Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority(PA) metrics, both developed by Moz and are widely used by SEO marketers nowadays to measure ranking performance.
Again, since both tools are offering similar features, here are some important considerations between the two:
- Ahrefs, again, is better in the link analysis department, but it’s worth noting that Moz Pro includes DA and PA in its link analytics (called Link Explorer). Moz Pro is slightly better than SEMRush in this department.
- Moz Pro shows more keywords compared to Ahrefs and SEMRush in its Keyword Explorer.
- Moz Pro is the pioneer of local SEO analytics and is still the best today in this aspect
- Moz has a great community, and its blog is one of the best resources for SEO information and tutorial
Pricing: Standard ($99/month), Medium ($179/month), Large ($249/month), Premium ($299/month)
Conclusion: offers less functionality overall compared to Ahrefs, but some really nice features in its Keyword Explorer and Moz Local. The Large plan is more affordable than Ahrefs’ and SEMRush, and if you regard DA and PA as important SEO metrics, Moz Pro is the way to go.
Unlike SEMRush and Moz Pro, which we have discussed above, BuzzSumo is not a dedicated SEO suite, but rather focuses on content analytics, one of the key features of Ahrefs.
BuzzSumo only offers two core features, but is really good—if not the best— on what it does:
- Content analytics: scouring the internet and social media networks for the trending content for the topic, and displaying key metrics like engagement, number of shares, backlinks, and so on
- Influencer outreach: finding key influencers for a certain topic, a unique feature not offered by Ahrefs
It is also worth noting that BuzzSumo does offer basic SEO analytics functionalities like keyword research and backlinks analysis, but they are not as comprehensive as Ahrefs’.
Pricing: Pro ($79/month), Plus ($139/month), Large ($239/month), custom plan available.
Conclusion: if you are only looking for a content analytics tool, BuzzSumo is a more cost-efficient alternative while providing a more in-depth content analytics feature. If you are also planning to start an influencer marketing campaign, BuzzSumo is a great choice.
4. SEO Powersuite
As the name SEO Powersuite suggests, this is another all-in-one SEO tools suite, similar to what Ahrefs offers.
However, there is one key difference from SEO Powersuite compared to Ahrefs, SEMRush and Moz Pro: it is not sold as a SaaS product with a monthly subscription, instead, you only need to pay for one time, much like traditional software.
The best part about SEO Powertools is probably the fact that the free version is so good with all the SEO features from the premium packages included, you are only limited in volume and you can’t save projects or generate a report. Meaning, if you only want an analytics tool for strategizing purpose, the free version is probably sufficient.
It is also worth noting that SEO Powersuite offers a really good link profile analytics feature, comparable to Ahrefs’, and some might even swear that SEO Powersuite is better than Ahrefs’ in this department.
Pricing: a free version with all SEO features (limited data volume only), $299 one-time purchase for the Professional package (unlimited data), and $699 for the Enterprise package with advanced reporting features.
Conclusion: an excellent Ahrefs alternative with great core features. The traditional one-time-only pricing will be more cost-effective if you plan to stay long in the SEO game.
Majestic is a UK-based SEO suite offering various SEO features from site analytics (site explore), link profile analysis, domain comparing, and others.
However, just like Ahefs, Majestic is especially focused on the backlinks analytics department, with over 230 billion URLs in its link database.
Probably the most interesting selling point as an Ahrefs alternative is Majestic’s pricing: the basic plan, called Lite, is ‘only’ $41.67/month, more than half of what’s offered by Ahrefs and SEMrush, while offering comparable features in the backlinks analytics department.
However, for other crucial SEO features like keyword analytics, Majestic is a little lacking compared to other alternatives in this list.
Pricing: Lite ($41.67/month, 1 user, 5000 data volume), Pro ($83.33/month, 1 user, 15000 data volume), Full ($333.33/month, 3 users, 30000 data volume)
Conclusion: an affordable alternative if you are especially looking for a backlinks checker.
Each of the Ahrefs alternatives we’ve discussed has its own pros and cons: some are affordable (one is free), some others offer a different set of features and/or specializations. It’s important to choose the right SEO tool according to your needs and your budget to maximize cost-efficiency. If you want to discuss what tool will be right for your business don’t hesitate to contact B2B SEO consultant.
January 15, 2022