Ahrefs vs SE Ranking Comparison: Which Should You Choose?

At first glance, SE Ranking and Ahrefs appear to be two very different SEO tools. SE Ranking focuses on creating a user-friendly platform at affordable prices that covers all the important areas. Meanwhile, Ahrefs believes its premium services are worth charging more for, due to the vast selection of tools and data it provides.

If you’d like to learn more and discover which tool is the right fit for you, check out our SE Ranking vs Ahrefs review below. It covers critical SEO features, such as rank tracking, keyword research, competitor and backlink analysis, as well as pricing details. The comparison will reveal all the critical information you need to pick the most suitable SEO platform!

What Are SE Ranking and Ahrefs?

SE Ranking Overview (+ Pros and Cons)

SE Ranking was launched in 2013 with the goal of offering a user-friendly SEO tool that everyone can use to improve their website’s online visibility. Today, the company, which is headquartered in London, has over 800,000 users, ranging from individuals and newbies to marketing agencies and professionals. With billions of keywords and trillions of backlinks, the company’s database is incredibly useful for all kinds of SEO efforts.


  • User-friendly layout and nice visual presentations
  • Backlink gap analyzer is a useful tool
  • Low search volume keyword suggestions are ideal for those with modest marketing budgets
  • Great platform coverage for rank tracking (YouTube and Google Maps included)


  • Not all services are a part of the default subscriptions
  • Keyword database isn’t as extensive as the competition’s

For a deeper dive into SE Ranking’s capabilities and user experience, consider reading our detailed SE Ranking Review, which offers comprehensive insights into its features and performance.

Ahrefs Overview (+ Pros and Cons)

Ahrefs labels itself as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that focuses on delivering web-based SEO tools. The company also offers some free tools and educational materials for the marketing industry. Ahrefs employs over 50 individuals, and its main office is in Singapore. Their database contains 24.7 trillion internal backlinks, 3.3 external backlinks, and 22 billion keywords.


  • In-depth Site Explorer tool shows very detailed data
  • Excellent search engine and platform coverage for keyword research
  • Keyword traffic potential is a useful metric
  • Advanced marketing experts and agencies will benefit from the detailed info available


  • It’s expensive, especially for individuals and small businesses
  • No social media automatic posting is available

Understanding Ahrefs in more depth is crucial for a well-rounded comparison, and our Ahrefs Review covers all aspects of its functionality, from keyword research to site audits.

Features Comparison

Competitor Analysis

The first area where we’ll compare Ahrefs and SE Ranking is competitor analysis. Let’s see what you can learn about your rivals from each platform!

SE Ranking

The platform offers in-depth competitor research. Start by entering the desired URL and receive extensive information about that domain. Don’t forget to choose a particular location and other settings before executing the search – it could be useful if you want to narrow down the results.

The overview starts with Domain Trust and Page Trust metrics, which are estimates of how search engines see the authority of the chosen site. The higher the number, the better, but according to our SE Ranking vs Ahrefs review team, it’s the other information that’s more worthy of your attention.

You’ll notice that the organic and paid traffic statistics are shown separately. You will find the current traffic estimates, keywords, and total traffic cost. The main part also shows referring domains and total backlinks, which gives you details about the site’s backlink profile.

Our SE Ranking vs. Ahrefs comparison also showed that this platform offers nice visual presentations and much more useful information. You can see a table of traffic distribution by country, along with the share, keyword total, and traffic estimates. Also, organic keywords and their distribution are available in a graph, which is a nice touch. 

Visual presentations are also available with historical data, including traffic, keyword, and backlink details. You can even pick what to focus on – the last six, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36 months, or the complete history.

According to our SE Ranking vs Ahrefs experts, the platform also has numerous SERP features. It starts with the “People also ask” section, where you can focus on questions, and extends to videos, images, reviews, and other relevant areas where you can get detailed information.

Finally, SE Ranking will also list organic competitors and offer their graphic comparisons. You can use these to identify your rivals after scanning your domain. 


Our Ahrefs vs SE Ranking team mentions that the Site Explorer is the most useful tool for analyzing the competition. It’s all so simple – you just need to enter the domain or URL to analyze, pick the right settings, and conduct an analysis.

The results are available in seconds, and they contain loads of information. You’ll notice the Domain Rating score in purple, which is a single metric that gives an overview of the entire site .

Estimated traffic is divided into two different categories, including organic and paid search. You’ll see keywords and traffic information, like estimated traffic value. That’s the sum you’d likely need to spend for the links to your website to be in first place in the search results.

Analyzing the domain’s backlink profile will show the number of backlinks and referring domains. It’s possible to filter the results by country, as well as see changes over different periods of time. You can click on the majority of metrics to reveal extensive reports , with more useful information.

Ahrefs also has a Content Gap tool, which is useful for identifying keywords that are the competitor’s weak link, and you can use it to your advantage when choosing key phrases to optimize.


It’s not easy to choose between SE Ranking or Ahrefs since both platforms offer interesting options to analyze competitors. Ahrefs has a comprehensive Site Explorer tool loaded with different information, while SE Ranking has an attractive visual presentation and a user-friendly layout.

Backlink Analysis

The next part of our Ahrefs vs SE Ranking comparison focuses on backlink analysis, which is imperative for your SEO. Here’s an overview of the performance of the two platforms mentioned!

SE Ranking

It all starts with the backlink checker, which is easy to use, according to our Ahrefs vs SE Ranking review team that tested it. After entering the desired URL, you’ll receive a detailed analysis of the chosen domain. Notice the two standard metrics – Domain Trust and Page Trust. They will tell you about the current domain performance.

It’s easy to love how the tool sorts the results, as they are easy to navigate. You’ll see each metric has a separate box including the number of anchor texts on the site, the ratio between no-follow and do-follow links, as well as referring domains. Along with the total number of backlinks, you’ll see how many are to the domain’s homepage and how many lead to other pages.

Our Ahrefs vs SE Ranking team notes that you can click on Update Report and get fresh info quickly whenever necessary. The bottom section contains a list of all the backlinks, and you have the option to sort columns and filter the results. The list will show the backlink, anchor and target URL. It’s a good idea to sort by only a single backlink per domain, as you can better see which domains refer to that website. If you find a backlink particularly interesting, you can add it to a backlink monitor.

SE Ranking also has a Backlink Gap Analyzer. It offers a quick way of identifying which websites lead to competitor domains but not to yours. It also provides useful data on how to strengthen your link juice and improve your domain authority in Google and other search engines.


As our Ahrefs vs SE Ranking review team noted, you need to use Site Explorer to analyze the backlinks of the desired website. You will notice the backlink profile results among the available ones, and you can access detailed data easily. 

It’s possible to see the anchor text, the source URL, but also the different domain sorts (.com, .edu, and so on). The platform will even show broken links if it detects any. Many sorting options are available, and you can browse new and lost backlinks, as well as choose the timeframe when to analyze the data. Different backlink attributes like follow or no-follow are also among the parameters to use when sorting results.

Ahrefs also provides the option to receive notifications when a rival gets a new backlink. You can use the Content Explorer to find opportunities for link building. It’s possible to export the data if you find it easier to work in Excel or if you want to research the contact details of websites that could be link opportunities.


If you compare Ahrefs and SE Ranking, it’s obvious that the latter wins, at least in terms of visuals and ease of use. Ahrefs link-building data is within the Site Explorer, while SE Ranking has a separate Backlink Checker and even a Gap Analyzer to help you identify link-building opportunities.

Keyword Research

You expect an SEO tool to at least offer search volume, difficulty rating, and suggestions for related keywords. Here’s a detailed SE Ranking vs Ahrefs comparison to see how they perform in this area!

SE Ranking

You can pick between Google and Yandex when searching with this platform, and if you want to focus on a Russian search engine, it could be the decision maker when choosing SE Ranking or Ahrefs. You can also focus the search on a specific country, and the actual analysis will be conducted quickly.

The layout for results is simple and user-friendly. It will be easy to find the information you need, and useful data is shown. SE Ranking shows the difficulty score, and its graphical presentation is a nice touch. 

You can also see monthly search volumes, including a graph with historical trends. This can assist you in identifying potential spikes during specific seasons. However, the platform covers data all the way back to February 2020, which should be enough for most purposes.

The third chart is reserved for cost-per-click details, and shows estimated campaign cost and statistics per country. Our SE Ranking vs Ahrefs team underlines that you should pay attention to the “Updated” next to these estimations. The text will show if the details are fresh and offer an option to update them if necessary.

In the lower part of the screen, you will find keyword ideas. They are divided into three sections:

  • Similar keywords. It seems that these include the exact search phrase you are using.
  • Related keywords. These are suggestions close to the term you researched.
  • Low search volume. An incredibly useful section with suggestions on keywords that have lower difficulty ratings.

Users, especially small businesses with modest marketing budgets, will appreciate keyword suggestions with low search volumes. You can use them to position highly, at least for some key phrases. It’s possible to see keyword details by clicking on the term, which is convenient.

SE Ranking comparison shows that you can use bulk keyword analysis to cover thousands of phrases efficiently. You can make, change, or save keyword lists for different areas in the Keyword Manager, making it a very useful feature.


You can easily find the Keyword Explorer tool to search for the desired phrases. Our Ahrefs comparison experts noticed that the tool can search for information not only on Google, Bing, and Yahoo, but also YouTube, Amazon, Baidu, Daum, Seznam, and Naver. That gives you extensive search options, and there’s no doubt this is one of the platform’s strong suits. Accessing YouTube information, for example, might be useful if you are focusing on video content.

One thing we noticed is that the depth of data varies based on the chosen platform. You’ll get the most extensive details for Google, which is expected.

If you appreciate a fine visual presentation, our SE Ranking vs Ahrefs experts noticed it’s at a high level for keyword research results. Keyword difficulty is the main focus, and the rating system is the usual – from 1 to 100. You’ll also see monthly keyword searches worldwide, cost-per-click estimation, and other valuable details.

An entire screen section is reserved for keyword ideas in several categories. You’ll see similar phrases but also questions that users ask, along with all search volumes next to key terms. It’s also possible to search for specific information per country if you prefer to narrow down the search results.

Traffic potential is a key metric that many other SEO tools don’t offer. Our SE Ranking comparison team mentions that this metric counts joint traffic for the searched phrase and its variations. This can be convenient when combined with the keyword difficulty, as it can better tell you if it’s worth ranking for a certain phrase. 


Both platforms offer impressive keyword research depth for the Google search engine, including the ability to narrow searches to specific areas. While deciding between Ahrefs or SE Ranking, consider which platform you want to research for keywords. SE Ranking also has detailed coverage of Yandex, but Ahrefs includes Bing and Yahoo, as well as YouTube, Amazon, and other platforms. That can be a game-changer when choosing the desired SEO tool.

Keyword Rank Tracking

Tracking the performance of the chosen keywords is imperative to see if your campaign has made any progress. Ahrefs and SE Ranking both offer this feature and here’s a detailed comparison!

SE Ranking

The moment our SE Ranking vs Ahrefs comparison team scratched the surface, we realized this tool offers comprehensive rank tracking. It’s because you can use it to track your positions on Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo, as well as Google Maps and YouTube.

SE Ranking requires you to create a project for the specific domain when you want to track keyword ranks. The good news is you can narrow the search to a particular language or area. It doesn’t even have to be a country or city – you can enter a ZIP code and search in that location. It’s great for businesses who find local keyword performance important.

After you pick all the settings, you can enter Projects and then rankings to enter keywords you plan to monitor. You will receive keyword suggestions, but it’s also possible to insert them manually. The suggestions will include the search volumes and keywords the tool finds most valuable.

The overview screen will show your average position rank, as well as position filters. Our Ahrefs vs SE Ranking team points out that this filtering makes it easy to see which keywords have the best results. Estimated search visibility and traffic forecast, as well as the percentage of keywords in the top tens, are also useful statistics.

Updating frequency will depend on the subscription. You can always choose the option to re-check the ranks right away by clicking the button “Recheck Data,” but don’t forget that this might take away some credit from those you have available.

If you compare SE Ranking and Ahrefs and other tools, here is where this platform proves that its visuals are among the best on the market. You can see neat graphs with useful information, such as competitor distribution based on total keyword ranking, as well as enhancements or declines of the keywords you are monitoring.

Those who’d like to focus on paid campaigns will appreciate the chance to monitor Google Ads positions. Dividing the results into organic and paid areas is useful since you’ll know how strong your CPC campaign will need to be to improve specific keyword rankings.


The platform adequately named this area the Rank Tracker. Once you enter it, you can insert keywords and the chosen domain name. The results will appear in seconds, along with the search volume, estimated traffic, and keyword difficulty rating. You’ll also see the current position in the search engine, and this and the traffic metric also show performance over time. If it’s green, the keyword made progress, while red isn’t good news, but it’s all simple to track.

Our SE Ranking vs Ahrefs team mentions that it’s possible to filter the search to specific locations and languages. You can add multiple countries but also look for a particular area, such as a city. If you are looking to improve your local SEO results, this can be convenient.

The tool also allows you to monitor performance for specific keywords in a simple visual presentation. The platform will show if you improved keyword visibility and estimate the improvement in percentages.

Setting alerts is another option you can use for this platform, which is convenient if you are a marketing agency working with clients. You can pick to receive ranking information per day, week, or month, although the selection might depend on the subscription.

Our Ahrefs comparison shows that rank tracking is only available when searching for domains that are a part of your project slots. That can be quite limiting if you are a large agency, as cheaper plans restrict the number of project slots available.


SE Ranking and Ahrefs both do a great job for position tracking. They show useful metrics but don’t underestimate the importance of being able to filter keywords by search position. SE Ranking allows you to easily find keywords that are in the top three, ten, or 100 search engine results. On the other hand, the traffic metric offered by Ahrefs can be useful, so it’s ultimately a matter of which option you like more.

Comparison of Other Features

Ahrefs and SE Ranking both come with an extensive range of features. While we only covered the most important, let’s see what else to expect from these tools.

Let’s start with Ahrefs:

  • Site audit. It offers extensive data and allows scanning your website for technical issues like 40x errors.
  • Project management. You can add projects to different folders for easier navigation, which can be important for large agencies.
  • Directory listing. It’s an exclusive list of agencies who have the Enterprise plan on Ahrefs.
  • Team access management. With some subscriptions, you can set different user permissions.

Here are more details about SE Ranking:

  • Website audit. The platform will show useful metrics, ranging from the Overall Health of the website to the First Input Delay, the Largest Contentful Paint, and so on.
  • Local SEO. You can check rankings, see local rankings and reviews, and get other useful info for optimizing your website in the local area.
  • Social media. SE Ranking is currently compatible with Twitter and Facebook for automatic posting and useful information.
  • Extensive reports. You can pick from many templates and have the option of three formats – PDF, HTML, and XLS.
  • Content marketing. With the Idea Finder and content editor, you can improve your website content quality easily.

Price comparison

SE Ranking

You can try the platform for two weeks without a credit card. All that’s necessary is to sign up for an account. If you choose to go with a premium SE Ranking subscription, these are your choices:

  • Essential. One user seat with up to ten projects and access to most features with the most credits is available at $55 a month.
  • Pro. Unlimited projects, three user seats, a page changes monitor, and historical data for keywords and domains for up to three months are available for $109 a month.
  • Business. No limitations on historical data available, API, and eight hours of team training are available for $239 a month.

If you choose an annual subscription, you’ll save 20% compared to paying monthly. As a bonus, you’ll also get a free migration from the other platform you were using in the past.


Ahrefs Webmaster Tools is an option you can try for free after confirming site ownership. Our Ahrefs pricing vs SE Ranking pricing comparison showed that this platform doesn’t have a free trial for the premium subscriptions, which we’ll list below:

  • Lite. Site and keyword explorers, a site audit, rank tracker, SERP comparison, and alerts are all included in the basic package, which costs $99 a month.
  • Standard. Six months of historical data, additional features like broken links in the site explorer, as well as competitive analysis and content explorer, are all a part of the package that costs $199 a month.
  • Advanced. The history extends to two years, and you also get a web explorer, Looker Studio, and some other features for $399 a month.
  • Enterprise. The most expensive subscription costs $999 a month and includes an API, audit log, unlimited history, directory listing, and much more.

You can buy API separately for $50 a month. If you pay any subscription yearly, you get two months free, so the savings are considerable.

To see how Ahrefs stacks up against its competitors, our discussion on Ahrefs Alternatives explores various other SEO tools, offering insights into their unique strengths and potential benefits.


The first impression from the SE Ranking pricing vs. Ahrefs pricing is that SE Ranking comes with much lower subscription prices. From the most affordable packages to business subscriptions, Ahrefs is considerably more expensive. You will, however, get a generous range of features with both tools, so it’s only a matter of finding the platform that best suits your needs.


At the end of our Ahrefs vs SE Ranking comparison, it’s clear why both tools are among the top-rated online SEO platforms out there. Ahrefs relies on its Site Explorer tool a lot, as it also shows backlink profiles and other information. It also covers various platforms for keyword research if you want to take your optimization beyond Google.If price matters when choosing Ahrefs or SE Ranking, the latter offers considerably lower premium subscriptions. You can even test it via a free trial, and our impression is that you get excellent value for money, especially with social media management, local SEO, and other extra features. Both SEO tools can be a fine choice, so it only depends on your preferences.