The importance of SEO is undeniable when it comes to brand outreach and building an online presence, so the term is almost synonymous with modern-day digital marketing.
But let's be honest, making a great marketing strategy is one thing, and executing it equally effectively is another! For that, you need all sorts of tools in your arsenal.
From keyword research to studying overall web analytics and analyzing and building backlinks, everything's important. Now, If you have been in marketing long enough, you already know Semrush does it all, and it does it well. However, there's always something better and cheaper. ;)
Whether you are an SEO expert looking for Semrush alternatives or a beginner marketer just trying to get a taste of the SEO world on a tight budget, keep reading!
In this article, I will provide some of the best Semrush alternatives you can use to up your SEO game without breaking the bank.
But before that, let's address the elephant in the room:
Well, here's the thing! Semrush is more of a Range Rover of the marketing world. It gets the job done perfectly fine, but it's more of a high-maintenance luxury with features you won't even need most of the time (more on that later).
Besides, some users also report concerns about the accuracy of data gathered by the tool. Not that Semrush sucks, but here are some of the most common reasons why a vast number of beginner and intermediate-level marketers are looking for alternatives:
Ah! The most pressing issue of all is the price. When you buy a tool, you want to ensure it gives you maximum value for the price. It would help if you had some deep pockets to consider the tool as a beginner. Unfortunately, Semrush doesn't- at least compared to the alternatives we will dive into.
The cheapest Semrush monthly "Pro" plan costs around $119.95, which provides you with 5 projects, 500 keywords to track, and over 10,000 results per report. Other monthly plans like "Guru" and "Business" come at $229.95 and $449.95 monthly.
These plans provide you with more access and more features. The most notable ones include looker integration, API access, free migration from third-party tools, and many other mumbo-jumbos. But the catch is you'll use those features less often. Or NOT AT ALL if you're a beginner.
Plus, all the plans above allow only one user at a time. So if you're working with a team (which is quite apparent), you'll have to purchase additional seats. In other words, more simoleons (another dollar word I just learned).
Semrush's greatest strength is also its most significant flaw. As mentioned, Semrush is an all-in-one SEO solution that does everything- from keyword research to on-page SEO, competitor analysis, rank tracking, link building, and everything between and beyond.
There's a learning curve for beginners… and quite a steep one. While this makes Semrush extremely effective, it also makes navigating difficult. For someone who's just getting started with the tool, finding a specific feature is just like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Semrush has three separate monthly plans. The starter package provides just the basic stuff you need to get started, with the access and perks increasing as you upgrade your plan.
While this is normal for almost all SEO tools, the pricing plans of SEMrush are costly. This is also one of the reasons why many marketers are looking for better options.
If you didn't know this, now you do! But it shouldn't come as a shocker since none of the SEO tools available are 100% accurate. However, some are more accurate than others.
While Semrush occurs to be one of the most accurate SEO tools available with tons of data, sometimes, it tends to have a significant standard deviation from Google Analytics data.
Check out this case study by OWOX for more insights on that!
The good news is you can get about more or less the same results with all the Semrush alternatives I'm about to discuss. So without any ado, let's jump in!
Best for beginners, advanced marketers, and startups
SE Ranking is an affordable and powerful tool designed to cater to the needs of both beginner and advanced marketers. Just like Semrush, the tool has numerous different useful features to offer.
From simple tasks like keyword research, rank tracking, competitor research, and website auditing to advanced functions like backlink analysis and historical data analysis.
SE Ranking also offers customizable and white-label reporting that you can tailor to your client's needs. This feature especially comes in handy when presenting your data to clients or stakeholders in a visually appealing format.
Unlike Semrush, SE Ranking also has a pretty straightforward interface. Navigating the platform is simple, with clean layouts and straightforward, organized menus that maintain a smooth user experience.
SE Ranking has also recently introduced its content editor and AI writing assistant. It lets you craft SEO-optimized writings with real-time content score updates upon edits. You get ready-made briefs that include keyword suggestions, outline ideas and competitor snippets.
No wonder why it has an 89% 5-star rating on G2 and 88% 5-star ratings on Trustpilot. The best Semrush alternative for the money, period!
SE Ranking monthly plans start at just $39/month. There’s also an annual plan that provides you access to all the basic and premium tools at a discounted price.
Best for small businesses and website owners
Mangools has gained quite a reputation for being one of the best keyword finders online. However, when you pay for a Mangools subscription, you get much more than that. It's more like one platform with 5 different tools, each performing a separate function.
KWFinder is the premier tool among the others mentioned. It functions like any other SEO tool - enter a keyword and get data like PPC, CPC, search volume, and keyword difficulty.
What sets it apart is the quality of keyword suggestions it generates. It offers relevant suggestions and valuable lateral keywords for content ideas. Compared to competitors like Semrush and Ahrefs, it causes fewer suggestions, but they are high quality.
Combined with a user-friendly interface, it rivals Ahrefs and Moz Pro. It also includes a SERP Checker for competition analysis and a Backlink Checker that utilizes Majestic SEO API.
Customer support is excellent, with live chat available. Ideal for simple blogs or businesses not heavily reliant on SEO.
Mangools’ basic plan costs around $49/month. There’s also an annual plan that provides you with a huge discount.
Best tool for PPC, SEO, and content marketing
Like Mongools, Serpstat also started as a keyword finder before transitioning into the "all-in-one" SEO platform it claims to be. However, is it really that effective? Well, yes, and no!
While the suite has the necessary tools to pave your way in online marketing, it has room for improvement. Plus, it comes with a little more than a "modest" price tag, unlike other mentions in the list.
The suite has over thirty tools to help you up your game as an advanced SEO. Do any of these features stack up well against a giant like Semrush? Yes and no. Some parts are downright brilliant, and others aren't.
Serstat's site audit is comprehensive. In other words, it identifies the issues and tells you what to fix first. With just a click, you can run a complete on-page SEO audit that quickly remembers all the errors affecting your SEO and sort them into categories like a high, medium, and low priority.
The keyword research tool of Serpstat is up with the best, if not the best! It gives you a list of some great keywords to target and lets you know what topics are trending for particular target keywords, making topic research as simple as it gets. The reports are comprehensive.
Other features like rank tracking and competitor analysis are pretty detailed and accurate. However, where Serpstat falls is the backlink analysis. While it conveniently analyzes your overall backlink profile, it doesn't have a metric like "domain authority,"- which is critical when comparing your competitor's link profiles.
The Serpstat price plans start at $69/month. By subscribing to annual plans, you can get a 20% discount.
Best premium Semrush alternative
Ahrefs has many excellent features as a full-fledged world-class SEO suite.
The first feature I liked in Ahrefs is the Site Explorer. As Brian Dean puts it, it's the "bread and butter" of Ahrefs. Its working is relatively simple. All you need to do is just put in a particular site's URL, and it will give you a complete overview of the page's overall SEO performance. You get a lot of metrics, from the number of backlinks to the overall traffic and everything in between.
The Ahrefs backlink checker is just like any other premium backlink analysis tool, except that it's the most organized backlink checker I've ever used. Ahrefs has a filtering and sorting feature that allows you to see selective backlinks.
The index is also vast and up-to-date, with, according to Ahrefs, the most active crawlers after Google. It takes about 3-4 days for Ahrefs to find new links, compared to the 18 days duration by Semrush. Overall, pretty solid.
Other features like site auditing, domain comparison, and content explorer are also excellent, coupled with a user-friendly UI that makes the tools easy for both beginner and expert marketers.
However, all kept into account, Ahrefs comes at a premium price without any free trial. It does have its flaws, but when we talk about the best Semrush competitors, nothing compares to Ahrefs.
Ahrefs offers both monthly and annual plans. The monthly plans start at $99/month, while the annual plan starts at $88, with two months of free access.
Best SEO tool for social media influencers
Before I begin my review, let me just conclude the tool for you in a simple one-liner:
Spyfu is a fundamental SEO tool for essential SEO functions.
In other words, if your business entirely depends on SEO tools, e.g., you're a freelancer, this isn't something you should opt for. But for someone into part-time blogging with no colossal budget dedicated to hardcore marketing, you will like it for what it does for the budget.
While keeping the core features strong, Spyfu is known for being one of the best competitor analysis tools for the budget. It provides you with comprehensive data on keywords, ad copies, rankings, and competitors' estimated ad budgets.
The Ad History Database feature allows you to access in-depth historical data on competitors' ad campaigns, enabling you to analyze trends, messaging strategies, and ad performance over time. Using this data, you can create more pragmatic and effective ad campaigns to outrun your competitors.
Another thing I love about the tool is its keyword grouping. It allows you to organize the keywords into meaningful clusters, manage your keyword research effectively, identify content themes, and optimize your strategies accordingly.
The tool also provides you with API access. This means you can integrate Spyfu's data with other programs and platforms. It enables you to customize your workflow and utilize Spyfu's data within your existing system. The easy UI is just the cherry on top.
Overall, Spyfu is a reliable tool for the budget with limited features but extensive data that could be indispensable to your SEO strategy. There needs to be a competitor in the price range.
The basic Spyfu access costs around $39/month that can be upgraded to a Professional and Team account. There's also an annual subscription available for a discounted price.
Best SEO tool for bloggers
Before you check out Ranktracker, remember that I'm suggesting this as an alternative, not a replacement to Semrush. This means there are areas where it will work great for you, and then there are areas where it needs to catch up.
So let's start with the good things. As you may already know, Ranktracker is an excellent keyword-tracking tool. Since keyword tracking is one of its core features, you always get in-depth insights into keyword rankings over time.
It also offers historical data that I found particularly helpful in analyzing trends and patterns in my search engine rankings. Since it tracks keywords at local and global levels, it can be a significantly beneficial tool if you target audiences in different geographic locations.
The domain analysis tool is also robust. It gives you valuable insights regarding domain authority, organic & paid keyword rankings, backlink profiles, and overall domain health. Using those insights, you can weigh your website performance against industry leaders and improve upon what needs to be added.
Last but not least, Ranktracker allows you to make customizable reports. Although this isn't groundbreaking, it can be beneficial if you're a freelancer. It makes your report look more personalized and professional- two things essential when dealing with clients and stakeholders.
Ranktracker's starter monthly plan starts at $24, which you can upgrade to Double, Quad, and Hex data by investing more money. There's also an annual plan that offers a 20% discount.
Best for content marketers
Surfer, just like any great suite, offers you tons of features in one tool. While it's not a complete "all-in-one" SEO software, just like Semrush, it does have some pretty solid features you can look up to, especially if you're into digital marketing or SEO writing.
I've used Surfer to optimize my SEO content, so I'll start with the content editor feature before anything else. When writing on a specific keyword, you enter the keyword in the content editor, and it will generate all the related keywords you need to include in your piece to increase its chances.
It also tells you how many headings to include, what word count to hit, how many paragraphs to write, and how many images to have. The overall content quality can be judged with the help of the content score. The higher the score, the better the chances.
Another feature I've frequently used in Surfer is the Audit feature. And it's pretty solid. All you need to do is provide the target keyword, enter the web page URL, and click on audit. There you will get all the things that are unsuitable for your website.
The keyword research and SERP analyzer tools are also excellent but basic. Surfer if your business relies mainly on churning out new content daily. You want to go for something more powerful for more advanced SEO work.
Surfer SEO costs around $29/month for basic access, with upgrade options to Essential, Advanced, and Max packages. They also have some great discounts for the annual plan.
Best for SEO professionals and digital marketing agencies
The features offered by SEO PowerSuite are great. But what shines is the Rank Tracker and SEO SpyGlass features. Plus, the number of details and information these two tools pack in. The rank tracker, for example, puts you in the driver's seat when tracking keyword rankings, with over 19 different tools dedicated to a single function.
The addition of customizable reports is just a cherry on top. Like Semrush, it allows you to monitor keyword rankings across multiple platforms, including Google, Yahoo, Bing, and more, along with additional data and metrics for deeper insights. You also get historical data, which allows you to track the progress of your SEO efforts over time and take notes of what works and what doesn't.
The Link Assistant is a powerful tool that allows you to build targeted outreach lists, automatically look up email addresses and bulk-sending emails. The SEO SpyGlass is one of the best backlink analysis tools, with over 50+ metrics to evaluate competitor backlinks. You can switch to Link Assistant and discover more link-building opportunities with this data.
SEO Powersuit’s free version provides you with limited access to free tools. However, if you want more advanced SEO functions, you can buy one of the yearly subscriptions starting at $596/year.
The easiest advanced SEO tool to use
Moz Pro is a comprehensive SEO toolset that offers a range of features to help optimize websites, improve search engine rankings, and track performance. It provides insights and data-driven recommendations to enhance various aspects of SEO, including keyword research, link building, on-page optimization, site audits, and rank tracking.
Moz Pro has one of the best user interfaces I've ever seen in an SEO tool, with a severe amount of information both beginner and advanced SEO professionals can use. The learning curve is minimal, and all the individual tools offered by the suite are easily accessible.
The suite also offers you a browser extension called "MozBar." When enabled, it gives you a brief overview of all the crucial information you need to analyze your competitor. While the details are small, you get all the fat data you need to analyze where you stand in comparison.
The amount of time Moz Pro crawls competitor sites and prepares reports. Plus, while quite effective, the competitor analysis tool could be better than Ahrefs or Semrush, even though you pay nearly the same price for Moz Pro.
Moz Pro monthly package starts at $99/month. If you go for the annual package, you get a 20% discount. Moz Pro also provides users with a 30-day free trial.
Best tool for basic SEO tasks
Last but not least, we have Ubersuggest. It's less comprehensive and accurate than Semrush; it doesn't even compare to the top Semrush alternatives we mentioned. However, it does a great job regarding basic SEO practices such as keyword finding, competitor analysis, and generating content ideas.
The user interface is also straightforward, with all the information on a single page without making it crowded.
While it's an overall great tool for the budget, it's essential to consider the limitations before going for paid plans. For example, the device lacks advanced features like in-depth site auditing, comprehensive competitor analysis, and extensive localization capabilities.
It's still the cheapest SEO tool out there, even on a premium plan, which makes it ideal for someone who needs a basic SEO suite to maintain their online presence. All the small businesses and bloggers love this tool, and I've no doubt you'll love it, too, for its value.
Ubersuggest has very low pricing, starting at just $12/month. It also provides you free access to limited tools and a 7-day free trial of advanced features.
Now that we have a complete breakdown of all the tools you can use instead of Semrush, the final question is, which one would I recommend?
Well, this depends on which functions you value most. Are you an advanced SEO expert or someone just starting? And most important of all, what is your budget?
If I were looking for an all-in-one with a decent budget, I recommend SE Ranking.
But If I were looking at a full-fledged replacement to Semrush without caring about the budget, I would go for Ahrefs.
Which position do you see yourself in? The choice is yours!
You can cancel your Semrush account anytime by sending a cancellation request to Semrush via your registered email. Before proceeding with the cancellation, they will ask you to provide some necessary information. Once done, the cancellation will take effect at the end of the prepaid period. For more information, please visit Semrush's official site.
Ahrefs is known for its extensive backlink database and influential keyword research, while Semrush excels in comprehensive keyword data and competitor analysis.
Ahrefs offers reliable rank tracking and site auditing but has a steeper learning curve. Semrush provides a user-friendly interface, thorough rank tracking, and site audits.
Pricing varies, with Semrush offering more budget-friendly options.
Choose Ahrefs for advanced backlink analysis or Semrush for comprehensive keyword research and competitor insights. Consider your specific needs and budget to determine the best fit for your SEO goals.
Spyfu provides tons of great features at a very competitive price. However, when we analyze it at a bit more advanced level, It's far from Semrush.
Semrush has a more extensive database, detailed reports, and many tools to boost your marketing campaign. The only edge Spyfu has over Semrush is its low subscription price.
Irina is a Founder at ONSAAS, Growth Lead at Aura, and a SaaS marketing consultant. She helps companies to grow their revenue with SEO and inbound marketing. In her spare time, Irina entertains her cat Persie and collects airline miles.
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