Which online tool is the best for SEO work?

These well-known SEO tools claim to be the best in the business—as they should.

Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, and Semrush are among the most complete, easy-to-use, cost-effective SEO platforms.

SEOs and marketers trust them for tasks like keyword research, backlink analysis, rank tracking, and content research.

While they’re designed to help with SEO work, each platform brings something unique. Before we start, it's important to note that no single tool will do everything perfectly for every business, so I'd recommend grabbing a trial for each tool and seeing how they work for you.

In this comparison, I’ll look closely at their features, usability, pricing, and other factors that set each platform apart.

Ubersuggest vs Ahrefs vs Semrush

Ubersuggest overview

A screeshot of Ubersuggest's home page.
Image Source: ubersuggest.com

At one point, Ubersuggest was in every “top keyword research tools” listicle on the web. That speaks volumes about the tool’s capabilities in generating keyword suggestions, evaluating keyword difficulty, and so on.

Today, Ubersuggest is known for so much more.

In addition to keyword research, the new Ubersuggest helps with site audits, backlink analysis, traffic analytics, etc.

Ahrefs overview

A screenshot of ahref's homepage.
Image Source: ahrefs.com

Ahrefs is a popular platform with everything you need for SEO success. It lets you find keyword suggestions, run site audits, discover SEO content ideas, spy on competing domains, and more.

Ahrefs also has basic PPC or paid campaign management features. This is helpful if you target both organic and paid traffic in your digital marketing strategy.

Semrush overview

A screenshot of SEMRush's home page.
Image Source: semrush.com

Semrush is a comprehensive digital marketing platform. It helps you dominate search engine rankings and offers a unified interface for your social media and PPC campaigns.

Semrush is dedicated to continuously improving and future-proofing the platform. They roll out product updates and integrations every couple of months to beef up the already capable platform.

TL;DR: Semrush takes the cake!

If you don't want to read into each detail, here's the bottom line...

Semrush may not be the cheapest SEO tool on this list, but the value it provides is off the charts.

Semrush has many features for keyword research, competitor research, link building, on-page SEO, and content research.

Semrush goes beyond SEO to help brands and agencies hit their marketing goals. It has features for other digital marketing tasks like social media marketing, advertising, brand monitoring, and trend watching.

However, to read in more detail about the comparisons, see below.

How easy are they to use?

SEO tools have glaring differences in the user experience they provide.

The interface’s design, learning curve, and overall “feel” of the platform—these details have a direct impact on your efficiency and productivity.

Ubersuggest Ease of use

Ubersuggest follows a clean and consistent design language that makes important features easy to find. It also features a beginner-friendly onboarding process to help set up your first project in no time.

Ubersuggest's onboarding process
Image Source: ubersuggest.com

Ubersuggest is great for new projects because it sends keyword suggestions right away. It also lets you enter competitor domains so you can track their top keywords and SEO performance immediately.

Ubersuggest's site navigation/menu
Image Source: ubersuggest.com

Ahrefs ease of use

Ahrefs groups its features into various pages, which you can navigate directly from the top bar. This includes the “Site Explorer,” “Keyword Explorer,” “Site Audit,” “Content Explorer,” and more.

Ahrefs' site navigation/menu
Image Source: ahrefs.com

Ahref’s starting page for its features looks clean and less overwhelming.

It uses a simple search tool on Site Explorer. Enter a domain, choose what you want to explore from the drop-down menu, and click the search button.

Ahrefs' site explorer page
Image Source: ahrefs.com

After running your search, Ahrefs will show a report page jam-packed with data.

The most important metrics are immediately visible above the fold, whereas in-depth information is presented using interactive charts.

The Semrush dashboard
Image Source: ahrefs.com

Ahrefs’ sidebar navigation for the Site Explorer tool can overwhelm newbie users.

By default, all sub-menus are expanded, revealing dozens of links that will take you to another report or tool. There’s also “Overview 2.0,” which is the same report but with a more colourful, readable, and visual-heavy design.

Expanded menus can be collapsed to make the interface look cleaner and more focused. However, the menu structure itself—in addition to the “Legacy” stuff—can make Ahrefs a bit confusing for beginners.

Semrush ease of use

Semrush may not be as user-friendly as Ubersuggest, but it’s simple enough to help beginners get started right away. And despite its arsenal of advanced SEO tools, the onboarding process is designed to acquaint you with all the important features ASAP.

Here’s a tip: Create a free Semrush trial account, then follow along with our walkthrough.

From your main dashboard, Semrush lets you track competitors immediately or create a new SEO project.

A page where you can add your comeptitors or create a project
Image Source: semrush.com

To create a project, enter your domain and assign a project name. Semrush will take you to your project dashboard, which contains all the essential tools to supercharge your marketing campaign—from site audits to content tracking.

The page where you can set uo position tracking, site audit, backlink audit, etc.
Image Source: semrush.com

From your dashboard, use the top search bar to analyse a domain or conduct keyword research. This will take you to the appropriate Semrush tool—no navigation necessary.

Search bar of Semrush
Image Source: semrush.com

How good are they for keyword research

When comparing SEO tools, you can’t forget about keyword research.

Here’s a quick look at how each tool generates juicy, target-worthy SEO keywords.

Ubersuggest keyword research

Ubersuggest’s keyword research feature is as straightforward as it gets.

On the “Keyword Overview” page, plug in a seed keyword, set your language and location, and hit ‘Search.’

Empty box where you can enter your keywords
Image Source: ubersuggest.com

Ubersuggest will pull up basic keyword metrics like search volume, SEO difficulty, and CPC.

The tool also generates a chart that tracks the keyword’s search volume over the last 12 months. As a bonus, the chart includes the search volume from mobile devices—useful for mobile SEO and mobile conversion optimisation.

Ubersuggest's keyword overview page
Image Source: ubersuggest.com

Below these figures, you’ll find both keyword and content ideas tailored to your target keyword.

For a better view, just navigate to the ‘Keyword Ideas’ or ‘Content Ideas’ page from the main menu.

Other Ubersuggest keyword research features:

  • Easy competitor keyword research. Generate a keyword overview report using a competitor’s domain to reveal their best keywords instantly.
  • Keyword lists. Group keywords into lists for future campaigns and save your keyword research progress.

Ahrefs keyword research

Ahrefs’s Keyword Explorer provides a list of keyword ideas not just for Google, but for other search engines as well. This includes YouTube, Yahoo, Bing, Amazon, Yandex, and a few other search engines.

Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer page
Image Source: hhrefs.com

Keywords Explorer can be used in two ways. You can enter your seed keywords manually or import your saved keywords list as a CSV or TXT file.

After clicking ‘Search,’ Keywords Explorer shows essential metrics like search volume, traffic potential, and keyword difficulty. Right beneath these details are lists of similar keyword ideas you can add to your strategy.

Ahrefs' overview page of a keyword
Image Source: ahrefs.com

Other Ahrefs keyword research features:

  • Organic and paid position history. Check out how the top 10 organic and paid results changed rankings over the past 24 months.
  • SERP overview. Analyse the featured snippets, backlink count, top keywords, and SEO strength of the top 10 results.
  • Keywords lists. Create and manage multiple keyword lists for different projects or clients.

Semrush keyword research

The “Keyword Magic Tool” is the centrepiece of the Semrush keyword research workflow.

It generates an exhaustive report about your target keyword along with a massive and diverse list of potential keyword ideas.

Empty box where you can enter your keyword in Semrush's Keyword Magic Tool
Image Source: semrush.com

Keyword Magic Tool features an impressive range of tools for extracting profitable keywords from the keyword search results—without overcrowding the interface.

For example, if you want keywords that contain a specific term, just use the keywords list to the left.

Results page after clicking "Search" in the Keyword Magic Tool
Image Source: semrush.com

Semrush’s advanced keyword filters help you easily find phrase match, related, broad match, and question-based keywords. Filter keywords based on specific metrics and included terms to comb through the keyword results with even more precision.

Filters to get better keyword research results
Image Source: semrush.com

Other Semrush keyword research features:

  • Keyword gap. Find keywords that your top competitors rank for.
  • Search intent analysis. Understand what drives your target audience to use specific search keywords.
  • Position tracking. Proactively monitor your search engine rankings for specific keywords.
  • Keyword Manager. Get real-time keyword data for your saved keywords and effortlessly export them into downloadable reports or other Semrush tools.
  • Easy competitor research. Enter a competitor’s domain in the “Keyword Overview” tool to reveal their target keywords.
  • Mobile keywords. Research mobile keywords and track your rankings in mobile search.

To get higher rankings, you need to learn how to inspect websites for SEO issues. If you run a digital marketing consulting agency, this will help you create an effective SEO roadmap for your clients.

Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, and Semrush are all equipped with tools for domain analysis.

Ubersuggest’s domain analysis relies on the “Site Audit” feature.

Click ‘Site Audit’ from the main menu and use the search bar as usual.

Empty box to enter your domain for auditing
Image Source: ubersuggest.com

Once the audit completes, Ubersuggest highlights potential SEO issues related to crawlability, content optimisation, site speed, and more.

Results of the site audit
Image Source: ubersuggest.com

Ubersuggest’s domain analysis may not be as in-depth as other tools. However, it has a few interesting tricks up its sleeve.

Click ‘Backlinks Overview’ from the main menu to get an overview of a website’s backlink profile. This reveals crucial information such as the domain’s backlink growth over time, backlink target pages, and anchor texts.

Other Ubersuggest domain analysis features:

  • Find backlink opportunities. Easily find potential backlink sources by comparing your competitors’ referring domains with yours.
  • Scoop up top-performing posts. Use the ‘Top Pages by Traffic’ to figure out which pieces of content work best for you and your competitors.

One way to analyse domains with Ahrefs is to use the Site Explorer tool. This reveals essential information, including Domain Rating (DR), backlink count, and the number of referring domains.

A screenshot that shows the site's Ahrefs rank, UR, DR, number of backlinks, etc.
Image Source: ahrefs.com

Below these metrics, you’ll find interactive data charts, which are the highlight of the Ahrefs domain analysis experience.

These data charts make it easy to analyse the SEO performance of your target website over the years. You can also quickly export the data as a CSV file with one click.

A graph that shows the refrring domains, avg. organic traffic etc.
Image Source: ahrefs.com

For advanced SEO data, Ahrefs’s Site Audit tool gives you a comprehensive view of your website’s SEO health.

The Site Audit report highlights issues like broken links, slow pages, excessively long title tags, and image redirects. It also recommends internal link opportunities between pages that tackle similar or related topics.

Other Ahrefs domain analysis features:

  • Top pages. Identify the website’s top pages in terms of backlinks, traffic, and social media reach.
  • Competitor analysis. Ahrefs identifies competing domains, analyses your competitor’s backlink profile, unveils their organic keywords, highlights their top-performing pages, and more.
  • Link intersect. Spruce up your backlink strategy by identifying domains that link to your competitors but not to you.

Semrush has loads of features under its belt for domain analysis.

The “Domain Overview” tool, for instance, provides a wealth of actionable insights for SEO and PPC in seconds. Simply click ‘Domain Overview’ under “Competitive Research,” enter the domain you want to analyse, and click ‘Search.’

Empty space box to enter your domain for domain analysis
Image Source: semrush.com

Semrush instantly reveals valuable SEO metrics about your target domain, like its own Authority Score (AS), search traffic, and backlink count.

Results of Semrush's domain analysis
Image Source: semrush.com

Scroll down to find lots of information on the domain’s SEO and PPC performance. This includes its top organic keywords, search intent distribution, main organic competitors, and traffic distribution by country.

PIeces of information about a site that's pertinent for SEO and PPC
Image Source: semrush.com

Semrush comes complete with a site auditing tool for on-page SEO. This lets you do a deep dive into the on-page ranking factors on your website and how to improve them.

Other Semrush domain analysis features:

  • On-page SEO checker. Get actionable on-page optimisation ideas based on data acquired from competitors.
  • Backlink gap. Find prospective link sources by analysing shared link sources between competitors that you’re missing.
  • Backlink audit. Evaluate your website’s backlink profile and clean up links from spammy sources.
  • Semrush CRM. If you fancy yourself as the best B2B SEO agency, the Semrush CRM lets you create a custom client portal to provide clients with self-service tracking options.

What about their pricing?

Before I wrap things up, here’s a quick comparison of each tool’s pricing plans.

Ubersuggest pricing

Ubersuggest’s entry-level plan starts at $12 per month or $120 for lifetime access. For agencies that manage over eight websites, the “Enterprise” plan costs $40 per month or $400 for lifetime access.

Ahrefs pricing

Ahrefs’s “Lite” plan starts at $99 per month, which includes all of the platform’s basic features. Their pricing goes up to $999 per month for advanced features like SSO, audit logs, and access management for agencies.

Semrush pricing

Semrush charges $119.95 per month for the “Pro” plan, offering all the features small marketing teams and individuals need. For businesses that take on up to 40 projects at a time, the monthly cost is $449.95 per month.

Ubersuggest vs Ahrefs vs Semrush: Who’s the Winner

Your competition is fierce, and you can’t outrank anyone if you cut corners or settle for platforms that do less.

If you need long-term SEO results, use Semrush.

The unique, robust, and comprehensive features Semrush brings more than justify the slight price difference between Ahrefs. Not to mention that Semrush comes with a more streamlined interface and better onboarding experience.

To top it all off, you can use some of Semrush’s core features for free. Click here and sign up for a free account today.