Should you choose Ahrefs or Serpstat?
Your online marketing efforts can only be effective if you have the right SEO tool by your side. And in this post, two powerful platforms go head-to-head so you can determine which one is right for you.
We’ll discuss all their features, similarities, differences, strengths, and weaknesses. By the end of this post, you should know which product can help you come up with the best SEO strategy for your business.
Ready? Let’s dive right in.
What Is Serpstat?
Serpstat is a SaaS solution that’s designed to be a one-stop-shop for everything SEO.
It works great for in-house marketing teams or agencies looking to impress their clients. Through its features, you can research, plan, and execute strategies from within a single application.
But is Serpstat all hype? Or does it have the necessary features to make it a worthy replacement for other SEO tools in the market?
Here’s most of what Serpstat has to offer.
Having the ability to find new keywords to target is arguably the primary reason why online marketers subscribe to an SEO tool.
And in this regard, Serpstat does not disappoint.
Once you enter a keyword, the tool presents you with other relevant terms. And each result comes with all the metrics you’ll need to determine its value to your campaign.
What kind of metrics?
You get to see the term’s keyword difficulty, volume, CPC, and more. The social domains column gives you an idea of how many social media platforms the keyword ranks for. Simply put, you want to steer clear of keywords with tons of social domains.
There is also a Related Keywords section where—you guessed it—you can find results that are closely tied to your seed keyword.
And if you somehow need even more suggestions, you can pick one from the Search Suggestions section.
You can filter all the results so you can eliminate keywords you’re not interested in. This makes research that much faster and efficient. You can even set which country you want Serpstat to get the results from. For example, if your business is based in Canada then you want keyword results from google.ca and not from anywhere else.
The Top Pages section shows you all the pages that rank for the keyword you entered. You can even see how many Facebook shares it got as well as the potential traffic the page could get.
There’s also a section called Keyword Clustering. Here, you can organize all related terms into topics. But you don’t have to cluster them manually. Serpstat can do that on your behalf based on the parameters you set. From there, it will suggest keywords you should add depending on your site’s niche.
Finally, the Competitors section will present you with the top domains that rank for the keyword you submitted. If you don’t know who your competitors are, this is one way of identifying who your rivals are.
Serpstat’s Content Marketing feature makes sure you include the right questions, words, and phrases in your posts.
Through this feature, you can rest assured that you cover all your bases. No matter what search term your target audience uses, your post will be one of the entries in the SERPs.
The SERP Analysis feature is what you use to analyze the top results for the keyword you entered.
The top pages will pop up after you submit your seed keyword. You can then use the results as a reference. Serpstat displays the page’s Trust Rank, Page Rank, Backlinks, and Referring Domains.
This should at least give you an idea of why these pages are in the top ten results. You can even go as far as checking each page to see what kind of content it is and what they’re doing right.
You can use them as inspiration for your next article or blog entry.
Just as you can enter your domain to analyze its keywords, you can do the same thing for your competitor’s domains.
The overview will give you basic details such as the domain’s visibility, search engine traffic, and organic keywords count.
But deeper analysis will reveal all the keywords that the domain ranks for along with metrics like SERP position, keyword volume, cost, how many results there are for the term, and the URL of the ranking page.
If you go over all your competition’s keywords, you might end up discovering keywords that you’re not currently using in your posts.
But what if you want to compare your site directly with your rivals? If that’s the case, you can use the Competitor’s feature to compare domains. If you do so, you will see what keywords you have in common with the competition. And yes, you will also see keywords that you don’t share with them through this method.
Or you could use the Domain vs Domain feature to get a visual representation of your keyword performance against the competition.
Serpstat’s On-Page Optimization feature crawls your site and looks for SEO-related issues that you may have missed.
What kind of issues does it find?
It looks at your metadata and tells you if you forgot to add them. It also lets you know if your pages don’t load fast enough. Serpstat will flag any issue that could drag your pages down in the SERPs and mark them as high, mid, or low priority.
Getting other domains to link back to you is important in SEO. However, you don’t want links from sketchy sites. You only want to work with reputable sources.
This is where Serpstat’s Link Building feature comes in.
The feature reveals a couple of things. It shows you the referring domains along with its Alexa Rank, Page Rank, and Trust Rank.
You can also use this to find new and lost backlinks. You can use new backlinks to find new opportunities for your pages. As for lost backlinks, you can find ways to get them back especially if the backlink came from a high-quality source.
Serpstat will also let you know what anchor texts sites use to link back to you.
Rank Tracker monitors the keywords you submitted and lets you know how they perform in the SERPs.
That way, you’ll always know if your pages go up or down the rankings for your target keywords.
What Is Ahrefs?
So what’s the deal with Ahrefs? Why are so many people swearing by the product?
Ahrefs is one of the well-known SEO tools in the industry — and there’s a good reason for that. Aside from giving amazing results, its filter options is one of the most impressive ones out there.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s look at every feature that the Ahrefs team packed into the product.
We all have to start somewhere. And on Ahrefs, there’s no better place to start than Site Explorer.
This feature lets you enter any domain to find more information about its overall health.
You’ll see metrics like Ahrefs Rank, URL Rating (UR), Domain Rating (DR), Backlinks, Organic Keywords, Organic Traffic, Traffic Volume, and more.
This information makes it possible to gauge the quality of the site you entered.
You can configure the type of links displayed through the drop-down menu. You can display live links, recent links, or historical links.
Not only can you check the backlink profile of the domain, but you can also check both organic and paid search stats if you wish.
It’s hard not to be impressed by the amount of information Ahrefs gathers. Under Site Explorer, you can find the following data:
- Referring pages
- New and lost referring domains
- New and lost backlinks
- CTLDs (.com, .net, .uk, etc.)
- Anchor texts used
Ahrefs claims to have the largest link database among all SEO tools. That’s a pretty bold claim — and we’re inclined to believe them.
So let’s explore Ahrefs’ backlink data.
When you use Backlink Profile, you’ll see a long list of backlinks pointing to the domain you entered. Each result has almost all the metrics you’ll need to determine if they’re good or bad backlinks.
Aside from the referring page, you’d also see both DR and UR scores; referring domains; linked domains; external links count; estimated monthly traffic; the anchor text used; when the link was first seen and when it was last checked; and number of links with the same anchor and surrounding text.
Using the available filter options, you can remove backlinks that do not fit the parameters you set. You can choose to only show one link per domain. If you want, you can remove do-follow or no-follow links from the results. There’s also an option to select the language used by the linking page. You can choose which platform the backlinks come from (blog, news site, etc.).
You can even remove entries based on the number of page views that they receive.
It’s worth taking the time to explore the filter options available since it’s one of Ahrefs’ biggest strengths.
Like Serpstat, you can see new and lost backlinks. But on top of that, Ahrefs gives you the ability to find broken backlinks.
Another cool feature is Internal Backlinks. This is a simplified way of checking your internal linking structure.
Want to check what backlinks you and your competitor have in common? For that, you’ll need to use Link Intersect. Here, you can enter your competitor’s domains and let Ahrefs do its thing.
You can expand the results to see the referring page and all the metrics we’ve discussed earlier like DR and UR rating.
Organic Search makes it possible to observe your site’s SEO performance based on organic rankings.
It looks at how many keywords your domain ranks for and tells you what position they’re in, what’s the search volume, how many visitors each page attracts, and the URL of the ranking page.
Again, diving into each entry will reveal more information that you could use to understand the keyword or page much better.
There is a subsection called New where you could see if your domain is starting to rank for a new keyword. If you want to see how all your pages move per keyword, you could check the Movements subsection.
Top Pages is where you go if you want to know which pages rank for the most keywords.
Content Gap fills you in on what keywords your competitor ranks for that you aren’t.
Pages and Outgoing Links
Pages is another way to check for links. It lets you identify a domain’s pages with the most number of links. It’ll show the UR as well as external link stats like how many do-follow links it received.
The Outgoing Links feature lets you analyze all your outbound links.
The Keyword Explorer—as the name implies—is where you perform keyword research.
This feature is one of Ahrefs’ best. Why? Because of the flexibility it offers. For one thing, you can set which platform you want Ahrefs to draw the results from. You could choose between Google, YouTube, Amazon, Bing, Yahoo, and more.
You can also set what country Ahrefs should use.
And the amount of information it gives back is more than enough to help you come up with an amazing keyword strategy.
You’re provided keyword difficulty, search volume, clicks and CPC, global volume (which is also broken down by country), and more.
It then proceeds to give you keyword ideas including long-tail keywords and questions. You can use these terms and questions in your future posts to expand your content library.
Content Explorer works like Buzzsumo. It shows you the most popular posts about the keyword you entered. Aside from the usual metrics, you can also see how well these posts performed on social media.
You can use these to figure out who your competitors are and how well they’re received on social media. Or these could also be a great way of coming up with new posts about a given topic.
This is where you add keywords that you’d like to track. Ahrefs will show you where your pages fall in the SERPs relevant to the terms you add on the list.
Use this feature to check your on-page optimization.
See critical issues that prevent your site or pages from ranking higher in the SERPs.
Serpstat vs Ahrefs: How Are They Similar?
Since both Ahrefs and Serpstat are SEO tools, you’re bound to find similarities between the two. These are just a few.
Similarity #1: Keyword Research
Both tools place heavy emphasis on keyword research. So if all you’re looking for is a tool that can help you come up with new keywords to target, then either tool will suffice.
Similarity #2: Rank Tracking
Ahrefs and Serpstat have features that make it possible to stay on top of your pages’ performance in the SERPs. They will tell you what keywords rank and what position your pages are in.
Similarity #3: On-Page SEO
Both SEO tools offer ways for you to check on-page SEO factors such as missing metadata or slow-loading pages. Though if we’re being honest, both features only offer basic checks. Some WordPress plugins can offer the same thing at a lower cost (if not free).
How Are Serpstat and Ahrefs Different?
Here are the ways that Serpstat and Ahrefs differentiate themselves from one another.
|Price||Ahrefs plans start at $99/month (Lite) with $999/month (Agency) being the most expensive one.||Serpstat plans start at $69/month (Lite) with the highest at $499/month (Enterprise).|
|Data||Ahrefs provides way more data in our opinion. Also, the filter options make it easier to dig through all the information.||Serpstat mainly focuses on keywords and the metrics they provide aren’t as extensive as on Ahrefs.|
|Functionality||Ahrefs has more features which makes it a more well-rounded SEO tool compared to Serpstat.||Some of the features could leave veteran SEOs wanting more.|
|Ease of Use||The overwhelming amount of data could leave novice users feeling overwhelmed.||The data presented by Serpstat is easy to understand which could be good for those who aren’t used to working with SEO tools.|
While Serpstat is no slouch, Ahrefs simply performs on a whole other level in our humble opinion.
What’s Better About Serpstat?
Here are three things that Serpstat does better than Ahrefs:
- Pricing — Serpstat’s pricing is simply much better than Ahrefs. If you’re just starting out and can’t afford something like Ahrefs just yet, there’s no harm in starting with Serpstat first. Also, Ahrefs will bill you more money without warning if you go over plan limits. And plan limits are very low.
- Onboarding — Serpstat has onboarding materials in the form of webinars, user guides, tutorials, and case studies. Which again, makes the case that it’s the better choice for SEO beginners.
- Team Productivity — Serpstat’s Standard plan ($149/month) lets up to three users access the account. Ahrefs’ Standard plan ($179/month) only gives you access to one user.
What’s Better About Ahrefs?
Here are three things that Ahrefs does better than Serpstat:
- Research Tools — If you’re into analyzing and interpreting data, you’ll love Ahrefs. They make it so easy to get down and dirty with the numbers.
- Database — Ahrefs discovers 40 million new pages every 24 hours. That means you’ll get the most up-to-date information which is crucial especially if you’re running a big SEO campaign.
- Competitor Research — And because Ahrefs provides more data, it makes it that much easier to spy on your competitors and figure out their SEO strategy.
Who Should Get Serpstat?
Those who are looking for a cost-effective solution to their SEO needs might find Serpstat the better option. It’s certainly a formidable keyword research tool at a great price point.
It’s also the right choice for those who’d like to work with a small team since the Standard plan comes with access for up to three users.
Who Should Get Ahrefs?
Ahrefs is suited for individuals who rely on heavy data to make decisions. It’s also more geared toward marketers who already know what they need. New users might find the amount of information available hard to process.