Ahrefs is a major player in the marketing industry, and it’s a tool beloved by thousands of marketing experts and site owners.
It’s not cheap, though. It also doesn’t offer every feature that some site owners want or need.
It’s those shortcomings that have other people searching for Ahrefs alternatives. Sure, Ahrefs is fantastic and can offer valuable marketing insight, but it’s not the only option available today, or even the best.
I wanted to know if Ahrefs was the tool I should be using for my marketing campaigns or if there was another. I also considered using multiple software apps to meet my needs.
Below is my look at alternatives to Ahrefs and some considerations I made when comparing the options. If you’re wondering about Ahrefs alternatives or just wondering why someone would pay so much for marketing software, I explain all that and more below.
What is Ahrefs?
Ahrefs is a tool designed to help website owners figure out how to be more successful through improved SEO (search engine optimization).
It does that by assisting them in monitoring backlinks, keyword rankings, as well as analyizing keyword search volumes and trends over time.
Ahrefs isn’t just about looking at a website owners own property, but also examining and comparing their website with other similar sites that are out there.
By reviewing the competition, the tool tool helps website owners figure out where they can improve and how they can achieve the levels of success desired.
Ahrefs is a suite of different tools, which is why finding alternatives to Ahrefs can be difficult if you’re looking to replace the whole thing at once.
We examined lower-cost alternatives or even free alternatives to Ahrefs that replace one or more functions of the tool down below.
What Specific Functions Does Ahrefs Offer?
Ahrefs is a bunch of useful tools and functions put together in the form of one powerful web tool.
Below is a list of the features that Ahrefs provides to its users. These are functions that Ahrefs replacements will have to deliver at least one at a time to replace the tool.
Ahrefs makes it easy to see what your competitors are doing to rank. You’ll get a look at their backlink profile as well as the different keywords currently ranking on Google.
You can even quickly compare which keywords your competitors are ranking for that you aren’t, so you know what content to build to expand quickly.
Ahrefs offers keyword suggestions from a database with more than 3 billion keywords. The software also offers search volume history figures and a difficulty score metric to help with choosing more accessible keywords.
Ahrefs is best known for its backlink research capabilities, and this is the best feature of the tool.
You can analyze backlinks from websites all over the world and get access to the most in-depth reports for backlinks for you and your competitors.
Learn About Content
Ahrefs makes it easy to find out what content performs best by looking at the content that’s ranking most highly through SEO metrics, social metrics, or raw traffic.
Track Keyword Ranks
Watch your SEO keyword ranks go up or down over time with this tool. See exactly where you rank over time and how your website is growing.
Realtime Backlink Monitoring
You can see when you or competitors get new backlinks in realtime, so you have feedback on what’s working, and you can dig into the strategies of your competitors as well.
Ahrefs does a great job of emailing you when a competitor’s backlink shows up in the database.
That said, backlinks do take a while to show up in Ahrefs (two to three weeks on average), so this is somewhat misleading.
Leading Ahrefs Alternatives
Ahrefs does so much that there are literally hundreds of alternatives to the software tool available for purchase today.
Some are free, some are offered at a cheaper price point and some are offered at around the same price. We decided to explore some of the best alternatives available today.
SEMrush is the most obvious of the Ahrefs alternatives, though it’s not too much cheaper than Ahrefs. Pricing is very similar between this tool and Ahrefs.
Both of these products offer similar tools for the following purposes:
- Competition analysis
- Rank tracking
- Keyword research
- Backlink analysis
- Domain comparisons
- Site audits
- On-page site optimization
- PPC research
SEMrush stands out by also offering more powerful content idea generation tools, social media management tools, and by providing more reports overall.
It also does a bit better with keyword research than Ahrefs, though I should mention you should take keyword volumes with a grain of salt. They’re not always accurate since they are an aggregate of data over time.
With that said, Ahrefs handles backlink analysis more effectively. It also offers daily alerts at the highest level. It does a much better job of helping you track what your main competitors are doing versus SEMrush.
For the most part, SEMrush and Ahrefs serve the same purpose, but you should get SEMrush if you’re more concerned with content generation and keyword research.
You should get Ahrefs if you’re more concerned with backlink analysis and keyword rank alerts. For more, be sure to read our article on Ahrefs vs SEMrush.
Serpstat is a tool designed to check your site’s statistics and give you a clean report about your progress.
It ends up being one of the more capable alternatives to Ahrefs thanks to all the tools built-in.
Serpstat boasts several great features:
- Unlimited users at no extra cost
- Monitor keyword ranks for you and competitors
- Identify leading competitors
- Compare domain vs domain
- Analyze up to 200 domains in batch
- Get content ideas, look at potential traffic and social shares for content ideas
- Analyze PPC info, look at competitors for PPC
- Keyword research
With Serpstat on your side, you’ll find it easy to track your keyword ranks and backlink stats daily.
You can also compare your site to any of your competitors. There are powerful tools for pay-per-click, backlink and keyword comparisons between domains.
There’s also a batch-comparison tool that lets you compare up to 200 domains at the same time in a batched process.
If you’re looking for a tool for monitoring your site’s progress with accuity, Serpstat does well.
You can use the tool for additional purposes such as keyword research and for generating content ideas, but that’s not what it excels at most and not the main reason you should get this software.
Majestic is a powerful SEO tool designed primarily for monitoring backlink data. Pricing ranges with the service depending on your needs.
It starts around half the cost of Ahrefs at the lowest level, and it’s high-powered Pro version comes in at the expense of the lowest Ahrefs subscription today.
With Majestic you’ll enjoy access to the following capabilities:
- Gather backlink data for websites
- Analyze backlink differences in sites
- See backlink overlap between sites
- Analyze on-page ranking factors
- Bulk backlink analyzation
- Keyword research
- Keyword rank tracking
Overall, Majestic is one of the more specialized Ahrefs alternatives. It focuses on backlink tracking and analyzation above all else, but it tosses in keyword research capabilities, as well as rank tracking if you opt for the higher-cost plan.
SEO Power Suite
SEO Power Suite is an exciting tool that offers a blend of the features provided by Ahrefs, and it’s one of the more affordable alternatives to Ahrefs.
This tool handles keywords, backlinks, SEO audits, content optimization and more, and it does it for an affordable one-time purchase cost, or for free if you’re willing to use many of the features at a less powerful level.
The software suite offers the following features:
- Keyword research
- Keyword rank tracking
- Onsite SEO audit
- Content optimization help
- Backlink auditing
All of these capabilities are available for free to an extent, but if you pay a one-time purchase price for the professional version, you’ll unlock the full power of the software for life.
It’s a powerful tool, and it works surprisingly well for the cost. Of course, you won’t find every feature from Ahrefs, but you still get a lot for your money. Most SEO experts should have more than enough tools to keep them going for a long time.
This tool is just for keyword and backlink monitoring. It stands out because it’s affordable, and it gives you daily backlink and keyword rank updates.
To get daily updates from Ahrefs, you need to pay for the highest-priced plan. You can get this tool at the lowest price for 1/6th of the cost of that top-tier plan through Ahrefs and get daily updates.
Of course, you’ll get updates on far fewer competitors and less in-depth information. If you’re looking for cheaper alternatives to Ahrefs monitorbacklinks.com is a decent tool to use for backlink and keyword rank alerts.
Free Alternatives to Ahrefs
While it’s nearly impossible to find a free tool that replaces all the functionality of Ahrefs, there are Ahrefs alternatives for free that offer one or two functions from the tool in at least some small capacity.
Below is a list of those free tools for you to look through while searching for alternatives to Ahrefs free, or more affordable options, at least.
You can use the suggestions to get started when first building up your business, or even as a long-term solution for at least some of your needs when you’re trying to save money.
Open Link Profiler: Backlink Analysis
Open Link profiler is a helpful tool for analyzing the backlinks of one website. It’s not designed to compare the link profile of multiple sites, and it doesn’t offer the depth of information that some other tools have available.
If you’re looking for a way to analyze the backlinks of a website, you can see most of the links coming in, where they are coming from, and even export those links using this online tool.
It’s simple to use — most people can figure it out in just a few minutes, and it’s an excellent place to start when trying to figure out where competitors get their backlinks.
The significant difference is that you don’t get backlink updates like with Ahrefs, and you get far less data about backlinks, especially for larger websites.
You likely won’t notice too much of a difference when looking at small or new sites, though.
Google Keyword Planner: Keyword Research
When looking for a free tool to do keyword research with, it’s hard to beat Google’s Keyword Planner tool.
As long as you have a Google Adsense account, you can gain access to Keyword Planner and use it to look up different keywords as well as how much competition there is surrounding those terms.
This tool is jam-packed with useful information. The main issue people have with it is that all the data can be challenging to understand. If you’re looking to get started with keyword research without spending any money, Keyword Planner is an excellent way to get going.
Once you’re ready to spend money, you can get a tool with a more straightforward interface and more useful comparison features to help you get better keyword recommendations.
Serps: Keyword Rank Tracking
As a website owner, it’s essential to track the keyword rank of different terms you’re targeting.
Seeing keyword improvement isn’t just motivating, it also helps you understand when you’re making the right decisions for your website.
Serps is one of the Ahrefs free alternatives for keyword rank tracking.
This tool lets you look at the keyword rank on a specific domain on Google or Yahoo.
It’s cumbersome to use because you need to input each keyword you want to track while Ahrefs lists off the keywords your ranking for and their positions, but it’s better than nothing.
If you use it, make a list of all the keywords you’re monitoring on a spreadsheet or something.
To check your rank, you enter one keyword and your domain, and you’ll get rank information shortly after. You must do this for each keyword you want to track, which is slow, but it does work.
I can’t end the list out without mentioning the uber-SEO guru Neil Patel, can I? Ubersuggest is by far the best free SEO tool on the planet.
If you have absolutely zero budget, I highly suggest plugging your website into Ubersuggest — you’ll be shocked at how much data you’ll get for free.
Ahrefs is a powerful software service. It offers all the functionality that most site owners and plenty of marketing teams need.
It’s not the only option worth considering, though. Other products like SEMrush, Majestic, Serpstat, and the other highlighted products are excellent alternatives to Ahrefs.
Each offers some of the functionality of the tool, and some provide additional features as well.
Hopefully, the overview above makes it clear that you can get some of the functionality of Ahrefs without spending as much for it, or you can get new features by changing up which software solution you pick.
If you’re still unsure, give them a try. Most of the apps listed offer free (or nearly-free) trials, so there’s no risk in my eyes.