The cruel reality of search engine optimization is that any strategy renders itself ineffective without accurate data. That’s where all-in-one SEO tools come in.
SEMrush gained a solid reputation as an all-rounder. And maybe deservedly so. But it’s far from the only marketing tool out there. Lesser-known competitors such as SE Ranking exist. And based on what we found, it could be the alternative you’re looking for.
So the question now is: Which SEO tool should you get your hands on? Do you place all bets on SEMrush or are you willing to try SE Ranking?
What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Let’s find out which SEO tool is right for you.
What Is SE Ranking?
SE Ranking is a web-based software that’s packed with features catered to online marketing professionals.
Its key selling point is its keyword tracking and rank monitoring capabilities but it does more than that. SE Ranking’s user interface also shines as it goes out of its way to make sure anyone can jump right in and start using the tool immediately.
This makes SE Ranking accessible for those who don’t have any experience working with SEO tools.
So what features does SE Ranking offer?
Keyword Rank Tracker
Let’s start with SE Ranking’s most prominent feature, the Keyword Rank Tracker. The tool claims to be 100% accurate. And it checks rankings across multiple search engine platforms. This includes Google, Bing, YouTube, and Yahoo.
Not only that, but it can also track keywords across different locations. All you need to do is enter a country, a city, or a postcode. It will track your rankings in these areas. This is great news for local businesses who only concern themselves with area-specific results.
And since there’s just about the same interest between desktop and mobile search results, SE Ranking lets you switch between both. This should be enough to cover all bases.
Keyword Rank Tracker does not only cover your typical SERP positions. It also looks at Google Ads and Google Maps results.
The same tool can also keep tabs on your competition.
By entering your top competitors, you can analyze their SERP performance in the same way you do for your domain. You can cover up to five competitors.
But what if you don’t know who your competitors are just yet? That’s not a problem. You can use this feature to review the top 100 results and identify which ones pose a threat to your ranking potential.
All keywords come with important information like search volume and a traffic forecast.
With SE Ranking’s Site Website Audit feature, you can test your pages—or your entire domain for that matter—to find SEO-related issues that drag you down the SERPs.
It can even check test domains and subdomains after an HTTP authorization, which is ideal for those who have yet to launch their site.
What kind of errors does Website Audit look for?
Website Audit will tell you if you incorrectly set up your canonical tags. It also finds pages with missing metadata and headers. If you’re worried that your site does not load fast enough, this feature will tell you how your domain holds up on browsers and mobile devices.
If you have linking issues, Website Audit will let you know. It can even scan images for missing alt tags and 404 errors.
On-Page Checker works like Website Audit but on a granular level. It scans a page from your site and shows you what areas you could improve upon.
After a quick scan, you’re presented with an overall score. This gives you insight into how many errors there are on the specific page you entered.
You’ll find the issues broken down by category, making all that data easier to digest.
The On-Page Checker is even considerate enough to separate critical errors from the less important ones.
Scrolling past the overview section will reveal specific details about the issues that the feature found including an explanation on how they affect your SEO performance.
Backlink Checker and Backlink Monitoring
Two other features, Backlink Checker and Backlink Monitoring deals with any concern you may have with your backlink analysis.
Backlink Checker evaluates every page that links to your pages. It looks at factors such as its domain authority, country of origin, external linking (do-follow vs no-follow, etc.), anchor text, IP address, social media performance (how many shares the page received on Facebook, for example), and more.
Backlink Monitoring, for its part, makes it easier to observe your backlink activity. And if need be, you can upload a list of links to disavow and generate a ready-to-go disavow file.
Keyword Suggestion Tool
Keyword research plays an important role in search engine optimization. And as such, no SEO tool is complete without a keyword tool.
SE Ranking’s Keyword Suggestion Tool commits to that role.
This feature shows a keyword’s search volume along with other relevant details. There’s even a graph that shows how popular a keyword is over a given time based on Google Trends.
You also get a list of similar keywords and the most popular keyword ads.
There’s an option to change the country where the results are from in the event that you’re in a market outside of the US.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg for SE Ranking. It has features that we haven’t even mentioned yet.
Aside from its SEO assessment capabilities, it also has an SEO and PPC Competitor Research feature that lets you find keywords that your competitor uses. There is also the Social Media Management feature that handles all your posts from scheduling to publishing.
Then there are features like white-label reports, lead generator, SEO reporting, API access.
All of these features combined make it easier to come up with a strong SEO strategy that’s based on data.
But what about SEMrush? How does it compare? Do they share the same features?
Let’s go ahead and see how SEMrack stacks up against SE Ranking.
What Is SEMrush?
We’ve been in the SEO business for a while. And for many people like ourselves, SEMrush barely needs an introduction.
Just like SE Ranking, SEMrush is a web-based software service for SEO professionals. It has everything you need to develop and execute online marketing strategies.
And the best part is that all its wonderful features are accessible through one dashboard. That means you can say goodbye to all the one-task SEO applications you subscribe to — which could save you money down the line.
What features does SEMrush offer?
SEMrush has features that fall under its Organic Research category. And together, you can use them to keep your domains overall SEO health in top shape.
You have Site Audit, a feature that scans your entire domain and looks for potential risks that could impact your search engine rankings. If there are pages that Google can’t crawl or if you’re missing crucial metadata information, Site Audit will let you know. Your domain will have a health score so you can gauge your site’s health without digging through countless data.
Content Analyzer enables you to go through your pages and see how well they perform online. It shows metrics such as sessions, page views, and other information you might expect to see when you log into your Google Analytics (GA) account. That said, you’d have to connect your GA account to make the most out of this feature.
The On-Page SEO Checker gives you actionable advice on how to remedy issues that SEMrush finds on your pages. You can import a list or manually add pages that you want to track. You’re then provided a list of suggestions that you can act on to optimize your pages such as improving keyword usage and creating better titles.
Domain Overview shows you what your domain’s status in the search engine result pages or SERPs. Here you’ll find a list of your top organic keywords. You’ll also find a list of your main competitors. Basically, if you need information about your domain or your competitors’, then Domain Overview can help.
Traffic Analytics is where you go if you need to know how much traffic a domain gets. And yes, that includes your rival’s domain. See how many visits a domain receives, how many unique visitors it gets, the average duration of these visits, and its bounce rate. You can even see a breakdown of its traffic sources.
Keyword Research handles exactly what it says it does. From a seed keyword, it can generate tons of fresh keyword ideas you could target.
This is possible through the SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool. Once you enter a keyword, it comes up with a few variations and even presents terms that are related to it. You even get questions that include your keyword which you could use when you populate your site with new content.
But how would you know which of these keywords would give the best results?
That’s where Keyword Difficulty steps in. This feature tells you a keyword’s search volume and difficulty. By finding keywords with high demand and low difficulty, you can begin ranking for these terms without much competition.
And what if you want to find out which keywords your rivals use to rank in Google? For that, you’ll need the Keyword Gap feature. This feature goes through your competition’s keywords and shares that information with you. By competing for the same terms, you increase the chances of the same target audience finding you online.
Any SEO specialist would tell you: Keyword research is only half the battle.
To rank in Google, you will also need to have the right kind of backlinks. So not only do you need other sites to start linking back to you, but you also need to distinguish bad domains from the good.
SEMrush’s link building features can really help with finding link building opportunities. You can even say that its link building features are its biggest asset.
All you need to do is enter a URL and you’re off to the races. Once the results come back, you’ll find metrics like the total number of backlinks, what form the backlink came in (was it from an image? text?), if the backlink is do-follow or no-follow, what kind of extension was used (TLD), and the top anchor texts used to link to your site.
If you want to make sure that you’re not receiving spammy links, you can use the Backlink Audit feature. You can filter the results even before you generate the report. You can set it so that you see the backlink’s root domain, brand settings (if the anchor text includes your brand), domain categories, and target countries.
And once the report comes in, you’ll see how many toxic backlinks you have on your site.
Backlink Gap, similar to Keyword Gap, looks at your competition and finds all the backlinks they have. You can then cross-check the list to see which backlinks you don’t have. This is one way of finding potential link building partners when you run your campaign.
The Link Building Tool can monitor your progress so that you never miss out on the opportunities that SEMrush finds.
There are other SEMrush features that you could utilize to optimize your pages. Take the Content Marketing features that include Topic Research, SEO Content Template, and SEO Writing Assistant.
All of these can help you create better posts for your blog or articles.
Then there’s its social media tracking and monitoring capabilities. It can even look out for negative mentions of your brand online.
And just like SE Ranking, it too can handle all your lead generation needs.
All in all, SEMrush is a pretty comprehensive SEO product that has everything you’ll need to make sure you crush your competition in the search engine rankings.
Now let’s look at what features both SEMrush and SE Ranking have in common.
How Are SE Ranking and SEMrush Similar?
As you could probably tell by now, both of these SEO tools share similar characteristics. Regardless if you choose one or the other, you can expect to have access to the following features.
|Link Building||Backlink Checker|
Link Building Tool
|Keyword Research||Keyword Rank Tracker|
Keyword Suggestion Tool
|Keyword Magic Tool|
|Site Audit||Website Audit|
On-Page SEO Checker
|Social Media Monitoring||Social Media Management Tool||Social Media Tracker|
Social Media Posting
|Lead Generation||Lead Generator||Lead Generation Tool|
Similarity #1: Link Building
Both SEMrush and SE ranking have link building features that make it easier to find and analyze your backlinks.
Over on SEMrush, this task is handled by four features: Backlink Tool, Backlink Audit, Backlink Gap, and the Link Building Tool which we already discussed earlier.
On SE Ranking, you can find backlinks using the Backlink Checker and Backlink Monitoring features.
Both tools give you a brief overview of your backlink status.
With SEMrush, you can arrange the results using different metrics. By default, it displays the results according to the link’s Page Score. You can even filter by New & Lost keywords, anchor, IP address, zone, among others.
While SE Ranking has a filter option available with many of the same options as found on SEMrush, it’s not as extensive.
Both of them can help you gain a better understanding of your backlinks.
Similarity #2: Keyword Research
If keyword research is a priority, SEMrush and SE Ranking has your back.
SEMrush has the Keyword Magic Tool, Keyword Difficulty, and Keyword Gap features.
SE Ranking has Keyword Rank Tracker and the Keyword Suggestion Tool.
Both of them provide sufficient keyword data — enough to build an SEO campaign around.
With SEMrush, you can find broad, phrase, and exact keyword matches. You also have the option of choosing a question instead that is based on the keyword you entered. You can see a keyword’s volume, trend, keyword difficulty, and CPC among other metrics.
SE Ranking results show you similar keywords, related keywords, and long-tail keywords. Like SEMrush, you also see the search volume and CPC. There are additional metrics like KEI, SItes in SERPs, and Traffic Cost.
Similarity #3: Site Audit
Site audits are important if you want to address on-site SEO problems that you may not be even aware of.
SEMrush has a number of site audit features namely: Site Audit, Content Analyzer, On-Page SEO Checker, Domain Overview, and Traffic Analysis.
Over on the SE Ranking side, it has Website Audit and the On-Page Checker.
Both tools perform and feel the same. Your site receives a grade and a list of errors. Both marks critical errors and labels less threatening issues as warnings.
You get to see which pages have missing meta titles and descriptions. You’ll see if there are problems with your in-linking. Both can check if your site is not loading fast enough.
From a domain-level assessment, you can also perform page-level audits as well using SEMrush or SE Ranking.
Similarity #4: Social Media Monitoring
Social media is now a big part of SEO campaigns. So it’s nice that both SEMrush and SE Ranking have built-in social media functions that can save you a lot of time.
Both tools allow you to draft and schedule posts from within the tool. If you’re using a separate social media management tool to create scheduled posts, you now have the option of dropping those from the tools you subscribe to.
Similarity #5: Lead Generation
Finding new leads can be tough. But SEMrush and SE Ranking gives you the tools you need to find more potential clients or customers.
Let’s start with SE Ranking. Its Lead Generator feature enables you to add their On-Page Checker to your site. If your site visitors want to audit their domains, they’d have to fill a form with all the details you’ll need to get in touch with them.
SEMrush’s Lead Generation Tool uses the same concept. You embed a form on your site. If site visitors want a free audit, they’d have to enter their contact information.
With this feature, everybody wins.
How Are SEMrush and SE Ranking Different?
While SEMrush and SE Ranking share similarities, they do differ in some aspects. Let’s take a look at how they’re different.
Difference #1: Price
SEMrush’s pricing structure is pretty standard. There are three pricing tiers: Pro, Guru, and Business. There is an Enterprise option for those with specific needs.
The Pro plan is $99.95/month. The Guru plan is $199.95/month and the Business plan is $399.95/month. The plan you select has an impact on how many keywords you’re allowed to research every month.
For example: With the Pro plan, you can only get 250 keyword metric updates per month. The limit increases to 1,000 and 5,000 with the Guru and Business plan respectively.
With SE Ranking, however, the pricing structure gets a bit more interesting. Why? Because their structure is way more flexible. It can get a bit complicated though so we’ll try to explain it as best we can.
There are four factors that affect the pricing — and you get to configure each one.
- Update Frequency — How often do you need to update the rankings? Daily? Every three days? Or every week? The longer the gap, the less expensive it gets.
- Subscription Period — Are you only subscribing for a month? Three months? Six months? Nine months? Or for a full year? The longer the subscription, the bigger the discount.
- Keywords — How many keywords do you want to track?
- Plan — Which plan do you choose? Optimum? Plus? Or Enterprise? There’s a limit on how many keywords you can monitor depending on the plan you select. The Optimum plan, for example, can track 250 to 750 keywords. But on Plus, it’s anywhere between 1,000 and 1,750.
The subscription price changes depending on which combination of options you select.
The Optimum plan costs $39/month but after selecting weekly updates, annual subscription, and 250 keywords, the Optimum plan price dropped to $18.6/month.
Difference #2: Projects
Projects determine how many sites you can add to your subscription. This may not matter for those who only monitor one site. But for SEO agencies who handle multiple clients, this might become a deciding factor.
SEMrush only allows up to 25 projects on its Business plan, its highest tier (outside of Enterprise). Remember, this plan costs $399.95/month.
SE Ranking’s mid-tier plan, Plus (which is $89/month without discounts applied), lets you monitor an unlimited number of websites.
Difference #3: White-Label Reports
White-label reports will also affect some people. While both SEMrush and SE Ranking don’t offer these reports in their base plans, SEMrush only includes it in its Business plan.
SE Ranking, on the other hand, includes it in its mid-tier plan.
Difference #4: Social Media Profiles
As we talked about earlier, both products offer social media management. However, there is a key difference. Whereas SEMrush puts a cap on how many profiles you can on its social media tracker feature (based on your selected plan), SE Ranking shows no sign that it puts a limit on how many you can connect with your account.
However, SE Ranking will only let you schedule posts on Facebook and Twitter.
This might impact your decision especially if you plan on utilizing either tool for your social media activities.
What’s Better About SEMrush?
Here are some reasons why you’d want to consider using SEMrush as your go-to SEO tool.
Content Optimization Features
You can really improve your content using SEMrush’s content-centric features that SE Ranking seems to lack.
The Topic Research tool, for example, makes topic discovery an easy process. You simply enter your keyword then SEMrush finds you the best topics based on what your competitors write about using the same keyword.
You can create a content plan that would last you months. You’ll never have to scramble for a blog post idea ever again.
And its benefits go beyond that as SEMrush also helps you generate headlines, provides frequently asked questions about a given topic, and makes sure you write about topics that your competition uses to rank in the SERPs.
Social Media Tracking
SEMrush’s social media features do more than schedule and publish posts. You can use it to track your competition as well. You’d see how often they publish posts, how fast their social media accounts grow, and what hashtags help then gain traction.
Their social media features also support more platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and even Google My Business.
We’re not just referring to means you can contact SEMrush after you run into problems. Because of this product’s popularity and prominence in the SEO space, there is a lot of documentation available from both the company and its users online.
What’s Better About SE Ranking?
Here are some reasons why you’d want to consider using SE Ranking as an SEO tool.
With SE Ranking, you can experience using an all-in-one SEO tool at a price you can afford. And because you can customize its plans, you only pay for what you need.
This is why it’s so easy to recommend SE Ranking to anyone who is subscribing to an SEO tool for the first time. Given that it can do about just the same as SEMrush, we’d say you’re getting a great deal.
SEMrush requires users to pay $200 per account. That’s not something most marketers could afford, especially those who work with large teams.
But not only does SE Ranking let you create subaccounts, but you can also specify roles so each one only has access to specific data.
Better User Interface
User interface is an important factor when thinking about which tool to subscribe to. And while this topic can be subjective, it’s our opinion that SE Ranking is the winner in this department. It makes it so easy to understand what you’re looking at.
SEMrush can become overwhelming at times especially for those who have never used all-in-one SEO tools before.
Who Should Get SEMrush?
SEMrush feels like a better fit for large organizations with specific SEO needs. This product is the very definition of an all-in-one SEO tool. But the average SEO can get away with fewer features. For those people, SE Ranking might be the better deal.
Who Should Get SE Ranking?
Small- to medium-sized businesses who simply want to explore their SEO options might want to use SE Ranking instead of SEMrush. It offers most of the same features at a heavily discounted price.
SEMrush would work better for companies that need extra features like its content optimization features.