SE Ranking and Ahrefs are two of the most well-known tools in the SEO world.
Therefore, deciding which solution is worth investing in isn’t easy.
This article will compare Ahrefs and SE Ranking to help you determine what all-in-one SEO tool is best for you.
Introducing SE Ranking and Ahrefs
As an all-in-one SEO software, SE Ranking has many features that can help you develop a solid SEO strategy and better understand your competitors.
Depending on your needs, this SEO tool can be divided into several categories:
- Keyword Research, Site Audit & Tracking, Backlink Research & Tracking, PPC Research, Reporting, lead generation and social media.
SE Ranking is an online SEO tool for entrepreneurs, agencies and internet marketing professionals.
Ahrefs is a versatile SEO tool that covers keyword research, site auditing, rank tracking, and other essential SEO features.
Ahrefs was primarily a backlink analysis tool for the first few years after its launch in 2011.
Ahrefs quickly built a solid reputation in the SEO space, and today it is widely recognized as one of the most accurate backlink analyses. Since then, Ahrefs has expanded its toolkit with several new features.
Now that you have a basic understanding of both tools let’s compare their features, prices, pros, and cons.
Keyword research: SE Ranking vs. Ahrefs
Although most people have a general idea of the keywords they want to rank for, it’s impossible to figure out all the search queries for your topic.
That’s why it’s worth investing time in keyword research to identify the exact keywords people use to search for your business, products, or content.
In this section, we will compare the keyword research features Ahrefs and SE Ranking provided to see which tool is superior.
SE Ranking allows you to discover keywords for your campaign. It not only finds keywords on the most popular search engines but also allows you to specify the location by country, city or zip code and by the device (mobile or desktop).
The Keyword Tracking feature will enable you to monitor changes in the SERPs for your chosen keyword. It also helps to monitor activity in Google Maps and ads.
In addition, the tool has an extensive database with nearly 357 million keywords since its last update, which is 10x more than before!
SE Ranking lets you perform keyword research for up to five competitors. So you can see how their page ranking compares to yours.
The Keyword Suggestion Tool can help you discover new opportunities. Enter a seed term to find new words and phrases to target (URL works too).
Then sit back and watch SE Ranking do its job. It’s as simple as that.
Keywords Explorer was once one of the most miniature tools in the Ahrefs toolkit. However, that changed with the release of Keywords Explorer 2.0 in 2018.
Ahrefs has updated its flagship keyword research tool with several new features and expanded its database.
Although Keywords Explorer is still far behind Ahrefs’ backlink analysis tool, Site Explorer, in terms of usage and popularity, it can still generate a decent amount of keyword ideas with accurate data.
On keyword difficulty, search volume, and other SEO metrics.
In short, Ahrefs’ Keyword explorer can help you get consistent results, but you can also use the fantastic filtering options to create a fine-tuned list of keywords to target.
Winner: SE Ranking.
Both of these tools have outstanding keyword research capabilities. You can get reliable information about search traffic, competition, and keyword difficulty for each keyword and generate many keyword ideas for your website.
On the other hand, SE Ranking has the edge over Ahrefs as it provides superior PPC analytics.
Ahrefs has always had a hole in its cupboard regarding PPC analytics. I expect the company to release new features soon to address this issue.
If by then, you’re running PPC ads on Google and Bing, you’ll be disappointed with the lack of PPC options in Ahrefs.
As a result, I would rank SE Ranking higher than Ahrefs regarding keyword research.
Competitive Research with Historical Data: SE Ranking vs Ahrefs
Say you want to dive deeply into a competitor’s search engine marketing strategy to see what steps they took to get where they are today.
Of course, looking at the previous month’s statistics will not be enough.
We believe that any niche study should include historical data. Because having historical data could allow you to observe how the playing field was in the past, how it evolved, and what factors may have influenced it.
Do both Ahrefs and SE Ranking have this feature? Let’s see.
Good news! SE Ranking has a historical data feature for competitive research.
Keyword Research’s historical data feature allows you to view in-depth research reports from past months.
For any month before February 2020, you can browse, filter, and export data from any Keyword Research tool module.
SE Ranking users enrolled in the Business and Enterprise subscription plans have full access to this feature.
Subscribers to the Pro plan have access to data for the current month and previous months. Essential subscribers can only see data for the current month.
You can find historical data in competitive research and keyword research tools. All you have to do is enter a domain or keyword to analyze, then select a country.
To access this historical data, you can use the top horizontal menu, navigate to Keyword Search, and initiate a Keyword Search.
Next, click the date picker at the top of the screen to select the month for which you want to view data. It’s so simple.
If there were one Site Explorer feature that could spark an overhaul of one of Ahrefs’ core reports, it would be the historical keyword and ranking data feature.
Ahrefs now allows you to view historical rankings for keywords dating back to May 2015.
You can access the entire keyword history for Ahrefs users on the Advanced and Agency plans.
However, Standard plan users can access historical data for 24 months, and Lite plan users can only access historical information for six months.
You can access historical data by typing the URL on the site explorer and going to organic keyword 2.0. Then you can choose a date you want for all recorded information up to May 2015 or make a comparison.
It’s hard to pick a winner regarding this feature, so I have to say it’s a tie!
First of all, Ahrefs and SE Ranking have this feature, which is good news for all of us already.
Looking only at database records, Ahrefs could win since you can go back as far as May 2015, while SE Ranking only allows the user to go back as far as February 2020.
However, let’s not forget that full access to historical data that allows you to go back to before May 2015 requires having an Advanced ($399) or Agency ($999) plan, which is quite expensive if you are a small business owner or entrepreneur. And if you have Ahrefs Lite for $99, you can only go back six months.
Whereas, for SE Ranking, based on the pricing plan associated with this feature, with only 111€ per month (the price is between Ahrefs Lite and Standard), you can get complete historical data dating back to February 2020. Therefore, SE Ranking offers you this functionality without breaking the bank.
Site Audit: SE Ranking vs Ahrefs
Technical SEO is just as important as keyword research and link building. Technical SEO errors such as site structure, XML sitemap, SSL certificate, robots.txt file, etc., can prevent your site from ranking better on Google.
You can avoid these issues by regularly checking your site’s SEO health.
Since most major SEO tools include site audit functions, you can quickly identify and fix technical SEO issues on your website.
Let’s compare the SEO audit features of these tools to see which one finds the most specialized SEO audits on your website.
Finding issues on the page manually is time-consuming.
SE Ranking, like all other all-in-one SEO tools on the market, includes a feature that allows you to address technical errors, missing tags, slow page loads, image analysis, and internal link issues.
As stated earlier, you should regularly check your domain for any issues on the site. Indeed, there are over 100 issues that could cause your pages to rank lower than expected.
These include slow pages, duplicate metadata, missing social media tags, poor content, and broken links.
Ahrefs Site Audit can explain every error well, so you know how to fix it. You can also schedule the site audit to crawl your pages at a specific frequency, day, and time.
However, if you are about to do an SEO audit, Ahrefs might only help you do a basic audit because you won’t get a full audit.
Second, the audit report is not detailed enough to justify the wait. If you’re using Ahrefs Site Audit to check for technical errors on your website, another software might do a better job.
Therefore, it’s best to use Ahrefs’ Site Audit tool to identify and fix only the most essential SEO and indexability issues on your site’s page.
Winner: SE Ranking
SE Ranking’s site audit tool outperforms Ahrefs. As stated earlier, Ahrefs Site Audit is best used to identify and fix fundamental SEO issues on your site.
If you rely too heavily on Ahrefs audit reports, you might believe your website has no technical SEO issues.
SE Ranking, on the other hand, performs a thorough website audit and gives you a complete picture of your site’s technical SEO health.
It detects errors and warnings that you weren’t aware of. SE Ranking also better prioritizes technical SEO issues, so you know which mistakes to focus on first. SE Ranking is, therefore, the winner of the site audit category.
Backlink Analysis: SE Ranking vs Ahrefs
Google considers backlinks as “votes of confidence”. There is a strong correlation between authoritative backlinks and increased search traffic.
Ahrefs was initially developed as a backlink checker, earning a solid reputation among SEO professionals as the most trusted backlink analysis tool.
Although it has added many new features and tools to its platform, people still buy Ahrefs for backlink analysis.
In other words, how does SE Ranking’s backlink checker stack up against a tool well known for its backlink analysis capabilities? Let’s go back to the comparison.
SE Ranking Backlink Checker
SE Ranking’s Backlink Checker feature helps you identify backlinks that point directly to your pages.
The tool then evaluates the results and provides you with all the necessary metrics to determine their overall quality.
It will also tell you the status of the backlinks, such as whether they are do-follow or no-follow, how many domains are affected in total, the anchor text used, trust ratings and other information.
When you use the backlink monitoring and management feature, you can filter your backlinks and create a list that you can submit to Google for disavowal.
You can even assign a budget based on the market value of a backlink, which will allow you to estimate the cost of your link-building campaign in advance.
This feature is beneficial for those who run an SEO agency.
Ahrefs Site Explorer
On Ahrefs, this particular feature is called Ahrefs Site Explorer. The Ahrefs Site Explorer tool offers an in-depth look at a website’s backlink profile.
Not only can you use Site Explorer to check your site’s backlink profile, but you can also use it to spy on your competitors’ backlink profiles.
This feature allows you to understand better your competitors’ link-building strategies and reverse engineer the backlinks of some of their top-performing pages.
In other words, you can identify link-building opportunities on your website and outperform your organic competitors in search results.
Naturally, you need this feature if you want to outrank domains that target the exact keywords you.
To get started, go to the “Site Explorer” tab in your Ahrefs dashboard and enter the domain you want to analyze.
The general report will give you a quick overview of the site’s performance in organic and paid search and high-level SEO and backlink metrics.
Ahrefs outperforms SE Ranking in backlink analysis. Backlink analysis remains the most powerful feature of Ahrefs.
Ahrefs has a more significant link index than SE Ranking, but most importantly, it takes fewer clicks to reach the data you’re looking for in the general report. For this reason, Ahrefs wins this category.
Ranking tracking: SE Ranking vs Ahrefs
SE Ranking’s position tracking feature can allow you to monitor your rankings from any location, language, and device.
SE Ranking tracker can track a keyword from 5 different search engines: Google, Google Mobile, Google Maps, Yahoo!, Bing, and YouTube. This function can help to:
- Review Google Ads Ranking: You can track Google Ads ads while monitoring your keyword’s position in Google’s organic results.
- Google SERP Features Monitoring: Get a detailed picture of the SERP Features that Google displays in response to search queries and see if you appear there.
- Google Maps for Local Search: Keep track of your Google Maps SERP (Local SEO) results and locations.
- There is a wealth of additional information for each keyword: besides the positions on Google, you get the search volume, the relative traffic forecast, the KEI, the number of search results, the Google suggested bid and the overall level of competition for each keyword.
- Depth Tracking to the Top 200: Examine keyword positions from the bottom of Google’s SERPs. Be aware of any changes, even on the farthest SERPs.
Ahrefs Rank Tracker can check positions for specific keywords and countries. Ahrefs shows all the keywords you’ve already ranked for and related keyword suggestions.
The Rank Tracker provides detailed information for each keyword entered in the tracking setup and summarizes the data for all your projects using the following metrics:
- Visibility: An estimate of the percentage of all clicks for tracked keywords that result in a visit to your website.
- Average Position of the tracked keywords.
- Traffic: An estimate of the number of clicks generated by the positions of the keywords tracked.
- SERP Features: The number of keywords that appear in enhanced SERPs (search engine results pages) that include maps, snippets, or other non-standard elements.
- Positions: Position changes indicate how many results have gone up and how many have gone down in the rankings.
- The distribution of the positions of your keywords in the highest results (1-3), the other first pages (4-10), the other first five pages (11-50), the other first ten pages (50- 100), and not appearing (101+).
- Comp: The number of competitors you follow
- Locations: The number of sites (countries) in which you track positions.
- Keywords: The number of keywords in the domain you are tracking.
Winner: SE Ranking
Both Ahrefs and SE Ranking have a robust rank tracker that lets you check the ranking performance of your keywords.
However, if this is your desired feature, you should use SE Ranking. Why? For one simple reason:
SE Ranking gives you access to a rank tracking feature for 250 keywords under the Optimum plan for 23 euros per month. While the Ahrefs Lite plan, which costs $99 per month, only lets you track 500 keywords.
And for additional factors to consider, if you are using Ahrefs Lite, you can only have new rank tracking data every seven days, whereas SE Ranking can provide rank tracking every day for just $23. per month.
On the other hand, if you want to reduce the cost of the position tracking feature so that it is only updated every week (weekly), you can subscribe to SE Ranking for only €13.80 per month, which is a very competitive price for an SEO tool of this size.
White Label: SE Ranking vs Ahrefs
If you are unfamiliar with white labelling, you might wonder, “What is white labelling?”
To put it simply, white labelling or white labelling is the process by which a product or service removes its brand and logo from the final product and instead uses the brand requested by the buyer.
And often, white and private labels can be used interchangeably to describe this action.
You may look for SEO tools with white-label features if you sell SEO services for clients, such as a digital marketing and SEO agency.
This feature aims to get your own software-based professional SEO service, with no link or affiliation involved.
As I mentioned, the white label feature allows your clients, colleagues, and employees to use the Google Rank Checker and other marketing tools tagged with your brand and custom domain. And with SE Ranking, you can do it!
Using White Label, you can customize the SE Ranking platform and present it as your own development.
This option can help you connect your domain to the SE Ranking service, create a custom interface and login page, enable or disable Live help and Feedback widgets on the login page, remove or leave links at the bottom of the page, and set up automated or manual reports from your email.
You can use your SMTP server if you wish.
This feature can allow your customers to access the platform through your domain, but installing anything on the server or hosting is no need.
The whole interface of SE Ranking will be customized to your brand after setting up the white label.
Currently, Ahrefs does not yet have this functionality, and Ahrefs does not allow users to white label their reports.
If you intend to show Ahrefs data to a third party, you must follow attribution guidelines, the most important of which is to credit Ahrefs as the data source. Therefore, our reports may only include the Ahrefs logo.
However, to have this feature on Ahrefs, you need to integrate a third-party app that offers the white labelling feature and log into your Ahrefs account. And don’t forget that there may be additional costs.
Winner: SE Ranking
The winner of this feature is undoubtedly SE Ranking for apparent reasons. You can use the white label feature and sell your SEO services under your brand.
Ahrefs does not have this feature yet, and if you want to have white label functionality with Ahrefs, the only way to do that is to integrate with third-party software.
Pricing plan: SE Ranking vs Ahrefs
For some people, pricing plans play a significant role in software adoption. So, let’s check the price comparison between the two software.
One thing that sets SE Ranking apart from the competition is its flexible pricing structure.
You have to choose between the three different plans:
- Essential: 31.20$ per month (250 keyword rankings, ten websites).
- Plus: 71.20$ per month (Ranking of 1000 keywords, unlimited websites).
- Business: 151.20$ per month (2500 keyword rankings, unlimited websites).
However, it is possible to get a significant reduction by adjusting, among other things, how often the company checks your orders, the number of keywords it tracks and the duration of your subscription to the chosen plan.
So the prices for the plans listed above vary depending on how many keyword rankings you choose to purchase. For example, if you want to track 500 keyword rankings in the Essential project, the monthly cost increases to $32 per month.
For this reason, SE Ranking’s pricing structure is unique in that it differs from the standard pricing practice in the SEO industry, one of its most attractive features. Most SEO tools charge $99 per month for their basic plan (including Ahrefs). You can get started with SE Ranking for as little as $23 per month.
Ahrefs offers four different plans ranging from $99 to $999 per month;
- Lite: $99 per month (5 projects, 500 tracked keywords).
- Standard: $179 per month (10 projects, 1500 keywords tracked).
- Advanced: $399 per month (25 projects, 5000 tracked keywords).
- Agency: $999 per month (100 projects, 10,000 tracked keywords).
The main features of each plan are the same. However, the amount of data obtained from each component sets them apart. With the Lite plan, for example, you can track 500 keywords. With the Agency plan, you can track up to 10,000 keywords.
Each plan offers the same level of access as the others. However, the higher your payment, the more you can enjoy each feature.
Remember that there are some exceptions to this rule. A Lite plan, for example, doesn’t allow you to track mobile leaderboards.
The main difference between the two plans is the amount of data you have access to.
Winner: SE Ranking
Price is another factor in favour of SE Ranking. In terms of price, SE Ranking is much more affordable than Ahrefs and offers more value for your money.
Conclusion: What to choose between SE Ranking and Ahrefs
SE Ranking is the winner
Both Ahrefs and SE Ranking are well-known SEO tools. When comparing these tools based on SEO and PPC functionality alone, SE Ranking wins because it includes more PPC data in your keyword research reports.
Also, SE Ranking’s Site Audit tool is better at identifying technical SEO issues and recommending solutions.
SE Ranking also has a lower price, as mentioned in this post’s pricing section, which is significantly cheaper than Ahrefs.
Ultimately, the decision between Ahrefs and SE Ranking comes down to your priorities.
If you value data and accuracy more than price, Ahrefs is hands down the best option for link building.
If you prefer keyword research, whether SEO or PPC, and site audit functions to backlink analysis, and if cost is a factor, SE Ranking is the best option.