Do you want to know the best tool – SE Ranking vs. Semrush – for your SEO and marketing campaign?

As someone who has used both tools, I have detailed reports to guide you in the right direction. So, in this comparison post, here is a glimpse of what you’re going to learn;

  • Overview of both SEO and tools
  • How easy is it to use each tool?
  • Backlinks tools
  • Keyword research tool
  • Competitive Research
  • Technical Site Audit
  • Pricing
  • And lots more

So, without wasting much of your time, let’s go deep.

Semrush vs. SE Ranking Overview

Both SEO tools are cloud-based, popular, and all-in-one-SEO platforms. Semrush and SE Ranking let you do many SEO tasks within their platform. 

We will get into everything you can do on both SEO platforms in a minute; let’s briefly run this down…

Semrush is an American public SaaS company founded on August 3, 2008. Since then, the company has established itself as a voice to reckon with in the SEO industry.

It has already been used by over 10 million users worldwide as of August 17, 2022.

Semrush has over 55 SEO and content marketing tools, making it one of the most feature-rich all-in-one-SEO platforms.

SE Ranking, on the other hand, was established in 2013. It is a new SEO platform compared to Semrush’s existence.

But that’s not removing what this SEO software has in its arsenal.

Based in the United Kingdom, Ingestre Palace, London, SE Ranking is a privately owned company. It has a user base of over 600,000 as of July 2022.

SE Ranking has over 20 SEO and content marketing tools to help you in every step of the SEO journey.

Semrush and SE Ranking have excellent user review star ratings at trustworthy sites such as G2 Crowd, TrustPilot, Capterra, etc., averaging over 4.5 on all review sites.

Let’s start the Semrush and SE Ranking comparison review with ease of use.

Ease of Use 

One of the first things I look for in a tool is how easily I can navigate the user interface. Is it difficult or easy to find what I’m looking for? 

Based on this aspect, let’s explore SE Ranking and Semrush’s ease of use.

SE Ranking 

First, the SE Ranking sign-up process is easy. It required your name and an email address only.

You can try it free for a 14-day period, which requires no Credit card. Once your account is up, you can use the SEO tool.

The user interface is beginner-friendly.

Finding your way around essential SEO tools isn’t a difficult task. Here is how the SE Ranking dashboard is at when writing;

SE Ranking dashboard

Each SEO tool has a module with a brief description of what you can achieve.

To start each tool, click on its icon or through the top navigational menu.

SE Ranking has done a neat job of organizing the most essential SEO tools into six main menus. You don’t necessarily need an onboarding process to use SE Ranking. 

But if you need to find something, there is a live chat on the page.

The last thing you’d expect is to get lost in your dashboard; that will never happen with SE Ranking.

Semrush

Signing up for Semrush is not complicated. It requires an email and your name.

You must enter a valid payment method if you sign up for the free trial. But you won’t be charged until the trial period is over.

Semrush is home to several SEO and content marketing tools, and it’s no wonder its dashboard needs a bit of a learning curve.

For beginners, it is easy to get lost in the dashboard.

Here’s the Semrush SEO dashboard.

Semrush SEO Dashboard

While Semrush has done a great job keeping things organized and structured, its extensive list of tools on the sidebar means you need time to get used to its menus and navigation.

Once you log into your Semrush account, everything is thrown at you. And it could easily get overwhelmed seeing dozens of tools at once.

This is one area Semrush needs to review and do more to help first-time users of its platform.

However, there is an extensive help document to help you understand the purpose of each tool and how to use it.

Ease of Use Verdict: SE Ranking Winner

Semrush dashboard is clean and easy to use, but SE Ranking did a better job and is more beginner-friendly.

For first-time SEO software users, you won’t find it hard to use SE Ranking.

Link building is at the heart of search ranking signals; getting the correct links will be difficult without accurate link data.

To measure the accuracy of both tools’ link data, I used a test site with significant links to analyze both tools.

So let’s see how SE Ranking vs Semrush link-building tools fair to each other.

SE Ranking

So, I entered the test site URL into the SE Ranking backlink checker tool. Here is the result;

SE Ranking backlink report

There are some vital link data that I focus on in the report:

  • Referring Domains
  • Number of backlinks
  • Anchor text data
  • Link attributes data
  • Referring domain’s authority score
  • Top linking countries
  • Top linking pages on the website
  • And more

These are essential link profiles to analyze if you want to bridge competitors’ gaps and find link opportunities you never knew existed. 

SE Ranking offers a backlink checker tool that lets you analyze the following link data:

  • New, lost, and active links
  • Referring linking domain
  • Number of backlinks to the analysis website
  • Anchor text – you can check by word count, link attributes, number of links, and date.
  • Referring IP
  • Distribution map by country and ccTLDs.
  • Authority score of linking domain

Overall, there is so much going on with the SE Ranking backlink checker tool

Semrush Analytics

The result of the test site springs up more information in the Semrush backlink analytics tool.

Semrush backlink report

On this report page, there were a few more data:

  • Monthly visit
  • Link toxic score
  • Link type – image, text, video, form, and frame
  • Referring domains by country
  • Keywords
  • Business categories of links
  • Live updates of links

Semrush has more in-depth link data to explore in its report. You can do and achieve more with the Semrush backlink analytics tool than you can with SE Ranking.

From the analyzed domain, both backlink tools report many referring domains and backlinks.

So, picking the winner here is not a matter of SEO tool data accuracy but of more required features to perform a full-scale link analysis campaign.

SE Ranking offers a simple and basic backlink checker tool. This is enough if you’re checking for link sources, attributes, anchor text, and more.

Semrush has more built-in features that give you deep insights into link data so you can achieve more doing less.

Its backlink database has over 43 trillion indexed links and is still growing.

For example, SE Ranking only reports link attributes as do-follow/nofollow, while Semrush goes one step further in its report:

SE Ranking link attributes
Semrush link attributes data

Keyword Research 

Keywords are the currency in search marketing.

The amount of organic traffic you could get depends on how well your keywords are refined and targeted.

So, using the right tool is very important in SEO.

Let’s see how Semrush and SE Ranking compete in this regard.

SE Ranking

From its databases of 190 countries, you can research keywords by your target location and analyze marketing metrics to help you pick the right terms.

There are several keyword tools in SE Ranking: 

Keyword overview 

The keyword overview tool gives you a broad insight into your analyzed search term. On its dashboard, you’ll see the following keyword metrics for your focus search query:

  • Search volume
  • Keyword difficulty
  • CPC – cost per click
  • Related keywords
  • Organic search results for the analyzed keyword
  • Keyword Idea – related and similar keywords.
  • Popular Ads for the analyzed keyword.
  • Ranking Dynamics – Historical data.

Keyword Suggestions

The keyword suggestion tool gives you deep insights into your keyword data. And provide more research tools to perform keyword analysis.

You can filter keyword data by:

  • Related
  • Similar
  • Search volume
  • Word count
  • Character
  • Cost per click
  • Competition 
  • Relevancy
  • Exclude/Include
  • SERP features 

In addition, you can see the top 100 ranking pages in SERP for the analyzed search term, along with estimated traffic cost.

And you can export your keyword data in Excel or CSV files.

Organic Results 

This is a competitive analysis tool. Here, you can analyze the top-ranking URLs in SERP for a given keyword by:

  • Ranking URLs
  • Traffic share
  • Traffic cost
  • Number of backlinks
  • Referring domains
  • Number of Ranking keywords 
  • Domain Trust and Page Trust
  • SERP position 

In a nutshell, you get deep insights into competitors’ ranking pages for your target keyword.

Ads History 

Get the PPC campaign data for websites that target keywords similar to your search phrase. This is a valuable tool for PPC advertisers. 

It lets you see competitors’ ad copy, landing pages, and traffic costs. You need to click on the domain URL to dig deeper into each competitor’s domain metrics

Keyword Manager 

This feature is handy for keeping your keyword organized and for manually adding your keyword to SE Ranking.

It is also helpful in exporting keyword lists, grouping, and tracking keyword changes.

Semrush

Semrush boasts one of the largest keyword databases – 25 billion- and is still growing. And it has some of the best keyword tools on the market. 

Here is what doing keyword analysis on its platforms is: 

Keyword Overview

When you launch keyword research with the overview tool, first, you can analyze a single or up to 100 keywords at once. This depends on your subscription plan.

The report is a very comprehensive one. On its dashboard, you have keyword data for:

  • Keyword intent
  • Advertisers competition level
  • Keyword trend for the past 12 months
  • Related keyword 
  • Questions
  • Keyword variations
  • SERP analysis for the top tanking pages
  • Cost per click
  • Global and country-based search volume
  • Ad copy and ad history – how active advertisers bid on the keyword.
  • PLA copies

These are valuable keyword data to help your research.

Keyword Magic

This is where you get more marketing metrics for your keyword.

The Keyword Magic tool gives you deep insights into your analyzed keyword. You can filter the result by several selections:

  • Keyword-related search queries
  • Exact match keyword
  • Keywords to exclude in the result
  • Keywords to include in the result
  • Language 
  • Semrush keyword difficulty
  • Keyword broad match
  • Number of words in the keyword – i.e., single, two, or three-word keyword
  • SERP features and results
  • Group keywords by common words

The keyword tool is more feature-rich and advanced in research than most tools today.

Keyword Manager

The Semrush keyword manager is a competitive keyword research tool that allows you to analyze up to 1,000 search queries for real-time data.

If you’re launching an extensive marketing campaign, this is an ideal tool to scale up the research process and discover hundreds of easy-to-rank keywords in bulk.

To drill down on keyword selection, you can filter the result by:

  • Tag keyword
  • Geolocation
  • Competitive density
  • Trends 
  • Click Potential
  • Last know changes 

The Semrush keyword manager gives you advanced options to research and manage your keyword for a better marketing campaign.

Organic Traffic Insights 

Keyword research is more effective when you can gather data from multiple sources to compare, analyze, and get a big picture of your campaign.

This is what you get with Semrush Traffic Analytics Insights. 

It lets you integrate Semrush with Google Search Console and Google Analytics and import keyword data for more insights.

You can analyze mobile and desktop keyword data for more intelligent marketing decisions here.

Keyword Tool Verdict – Semrush Winner

Semrush is the clear winner here. The amount of data available in its keyword tool is incomparable to that of SE Ranking.

Its database of 21 billion keywords means you get more search queries than SE Ranking’s 7 billion keywords database.

Also, Semrush keyword reports contain the search term intent, which is missing in the SE Ranking. For this feature alone, I give it to Semrush.

Technical Site Audit

The first step toward a search-friendly website is a good on-page SEO signal. The more healthy and optimized your website, the better it ranks.

You need a solid website auditing tool to analyze your site pages in-depth. Let’s explore SE Ranking and Semrush website auditor tools.

SE Ranking

Overview 

First, you can specify which user agent to crawl your website pages. SE Ranking has a few bots specified in its setting: 

  • SEBot-WA 
  • Googlebot 
  • Googlebot-image 
  • Bingbot 
  • Yahoo! Slurp 
  • Yandexbot 
  • Baidu Spider
  • Chrome on Windows
  • Chrome on macOS
  •  Chrome on IOS
  • Firefox on Windows
  • Firefox on Linux
  • Safari on Mac OS
  •  Opera on Windows.

Except you know what you’re doing, you’d go with Googlebot or the SEBot-WA.

When you enter the domain URL and hit the Start Audit button, the audit could take several minutes.

Depending on the website size, sites with thousands of pages will take longer to complete.

When the audit is completed, an email notification is sent to your account registered email. You can click through to view the site audit data.

The Website Auditor Overview dashboard has plenty of on-page SEO signals to wade through. You get deep insights into the following:

  • Pages Crawled – Total number of crawled website pages
  • Health Score – Overall website health score
  • Core Web Vital – Google core web vitals detailed report.
  • URL Found – Number of internal URLs found on the website.
  • Top Issues – A breakdown of the top 5 errors that need immediate attention
  • Distribution by Category – The category the error belongs to (Warning, Notice, or Critical)
  • Domain Metrics – Domain expiration date, backlink data, referring domain, Google, Bing, and Yahoo index pages.
  • Page Indexation – Number of not indexed pages in search engines
  • HTTP Status Code – Scanned page distribution across HTTP response code.
  • Click Depth – Number of clicks to reach a page
  • Meta Robots Tag – Percentage of scanned pages across meta robots tag.

Issue Report

If you want to go technically in-depth into each or specific error in the overview report, click on the Issue Reports by the sidebar menu.

This is where you can dive deep, analyze each error more in-depth, and get recommended SEO tips to fix it. Errors are grouped by relevance in the report. 

SE Ranking site audit

Crawled Pages

The crawled pages tool gives you great insights into the on-page technical factors of your website pages. Here you can see:

  • The number of crawled pages on your site. 
  • Number of internal links to each page
  • Number of errors found on each page
  • HTTPS/HTTP Protocol 
  • HTTPS server response code
  • Robots.txt status code for each page
  • The page title and title length
  • Meta description character length
  • Canonical URL for the page
  • H1 Heading found on the page and number of character
  • Pages with more than an H1 title tag
  • Duplicate the H1 title on different pages.
  • H2 found on pages and pages with multiple H2 tags
  • Depth of clicks to reach the page from the home page
  • Refresh redirect time
  • Link attributes – do-follow or nofollow
  • Number of internal links pointing to each page and its attributes
  • Internal/external links

Found Resources

This is a helpful feature for detecting resources affecting page speed on your site. SE Ranking did an impressive job by separating this feature in the chart.

At a glance, you can see:

  • Source Url – how many URLs the resource found on your website
  • Type – the resource type – code, image, files, etc.
  • HTTPS status code
  • Page size
  • Loading time

These are important page optimization metrics for analyzing page speed and performance tests.

If you want to analyze all the URLs on your website (internal/external), the found links feature lets you do that here.

There is a list view of all the URLs found on your site organized by:

  • HTTPS status code
  • Type
  • Source URL
  • Anchor text
  • Anchor type
  • Alt Attributes
  • Link Attributes

This feature is handy for quickly navigating your website links and detecting certain issues.

Crawl Comparison

This feature lets you compare audit reports for a website on different dates and changes. You can compare the changes if you’ve changed the detected errors in the last report.

This is a good feature for tracking on-page SEO progress.

Page Changes Monitor

This is a helpful tool to track changes on a web page in real-time. You can track several changes, including:

  • Changes H1 tag
  • HTTP status code
  • H2 tag in the content
  • Image alternative text
  • Headline
  • Body Content
  • Search engines index status (Bing, Yahoo, and Google)
  • Crawl
  • Internal and external links
  • Keywords in content
  • Page canonical 

This could be useful for multi-author websites or when you’re in the middle of a campaign. And you don’t want anything to go wrong.

Semrush 

When launching the site audit tool in Semrush, you need to set the crawling agent and a few parameters.

You choose between the Google bot and SiteAuditBot – desktop or mobile agent.

The Audit tool analyzes your pages for over 140 SEO errors.

You can go through the list from the overview page to attend to the most critical error first.

Semrush site audit

There are a couple of things you need to pay attention to on the overview page depending on the result:

  • Issues – On the navigation bar, if you click on the issue menu, you see a list view of issues. The good part is that Semrush gives you SEO tips to resolve the error. If you hover your mouse over the text “Why and how to fix it,” it reveals a panel with some implementation tips.
  • Crawled Pages – On this tab, you see a list of your website pages along with these metrics – number of unique pageviews, crawl depth, number of issues affecting the page, robots.txt instruction, HTTP status code, and option to re-audit the URL.
  • Site Structure – The directory that is crawled on your site.
  • Statistics – The statistics give a two-way view (list and chart) of the errors found on your pages. It organized the errors by relevance and resources. This allows you to see the whole issue in one picture.
  • Compare Crawls – This feature lets you compare the SEO audit of a webpage against two different dates. So you can see the changes you’ve made and new issues that surface.
  • Progress – This helpful feature lets you see historical records of changes to your site’s on-page SEO factors. You can customize the data in the report to contain only what matters to you.

Technical SEO Audit Verdict – Draw (Its a tie)

Honestly, it is a very tough one here to pick a winner. I couldn’t spot weaknesses or a lack of essential technical SEO features. 

Though SE Ranking appears to pack many features, what we’re looking at are essential tools that move the needle. Based on that, both tools have what is required to run an effective on-page technical SEO audit.

Let’s call this round a tie or leave it for our audience to judge.

Competitive Analysis

If you want to grow fast, scale your business, and avoid trial and error to a minimum, competitive analysis should be at the center of your SEO strategy.

Here’s how SE Ranking vs Semrush plays in the competitive analysis tools.

SE Ranking 

Overview

First, SE Ranking lets you perform location-based competitor analysis from these databases:

  • Country – select by country.
  • Continent – Select the target continent
  • Worldwide – analyze worldwide data.

This gives you a super-targeting option to narrow your analysis to a more specific marketing campaign.

But at the time of writing, you can only research competitions for the Google search engine database. That’s never an issue, anyway.

Next, the competition overview dashboard has plenty of data to dig into. 

  • Backlinks data
  • Top organic ranking pages
  • Traffic data
  • Traffic distribution by country
  • Organic ranking keywords data – new, lost, Improved, and decreased.
  • Organic ranking keyword distributions
  • SERP features – knowledge card, rich snippet, images, video, People Also Ask, Site links, carousel, reviews, and ads.
  • Top organic competitors for the analysis domain
  • Organic competitor’s semantic comparison – overlapping keywords
  • Paid marketing metrics 
  • Top organic subdomains 

Organic Traffic Research 

Under the organic traffic research menu, you have a list of competitive analysis tools. Let’s walk through it.

Keyword – Analyze competitor’s keyword data by different locations it drives traffic. See each location’s ranking keyword, SERP features, ranking URL, keywords, traffic cost, search volume, and more.

Ranking Changes – A detailed view of historical data of competitors’ keyword position changes in SERP. You can see data as far back as February 2020. 

Competitors – A comprehensive list of your competitor’s traffic and backlink data. There is a column for missing keywords, common keywords, total keywords, traffic cost, and total traffic. You have a detailed comparison graph chart for the entire backlink, keywords, total traffic, and traffic cost.

Competitor Comparison – Compare up to 5 of your competitors side-by-side with your website. And see the number of ranking keywords, keyword difficulty, SERP features, competitor’s level, and cost-per-click data for each domain.

Traffic Distribution By Country – A map covering the top five countries with the highest traffic to your website pages.

Pages – The top pages on the analyzed domain, along with each URL traffic share percentage, number of organic ranking keywords, estimated traffic volume and estimated traffic cost.

Subdomains – An overview of existing subdomains on the analyzed website with traffic and keyword data.

The paid traffic research tool gives you an overview of your competitor’s paid search marketing metrics. You can filter the results by keyword difficulty, character, word count, traffic share, search volume, position, etc.

Clicking on the expand option reveals the competitor’s ad copy and the paid position on SERP.

SE Ranking competitor keyword analysis

Like Organic traffic research, paid Traffic Research also has SEO tools such as:

  • Keywords – paid keyword data
  • Ranking Pages – changes to paid keyword position over time.
  • Ads history – PPC campaign history for the analyzed website
  • Competitors – Competitors in paid search marketing
  • Competitors comparison – Compare paid keyword performance to competitors.
  • Traffic Distribution By Country – Paid traffic distribution by country
  • Pages – PPC ads landing pages 
  • Subdomains – Subdomain for the PPC campaign.

Semrush

First, when you enter your competitor’s URL and hit the search button, Semrush runs the report from its worldwide database.

On the report overview page, there are a lot of marketing data.

On the report, you can see the following marketing and SEO metrics:

  • Competitor’s Keyword data – ranking keywords, intent, organic, and paid keywords. 
  • Backlink data
  • Paid traffic analysis
  • Ads text samples
  • Anchor text
  • Branded vs. non-brand keyword data
  • Domain authority score
  • Google search engine index pages
  • Top organic search competitor
  • Competitive position map
  • Organic search engine traffic data
  • And lot more

Traffic Analysis

This is the Semrush competitive research tool for analyzing a competitor’s marketing strategy. This tool allows you to compare up to 5 websites side by side.

You’re able to see key traffic and marketing metrics such as:

  • Website historical data as back as 2017
  • Competitors landing pages
  • Analyze mobile and desktop traffic data
  • Bounce rate 
  • Duel time
  • Audience engagement rate
  • Analyze traffic data by location or worldwide
  • Uncover competitor’s traffic sources
  • Unique visits
  • Audience overlap between websites

You can analyze global or country-specific, desktop or mobile data. This is an advantage if you’re marketing in a specific market segment.

Keyword Gap

The Semrush keyword gap works in 3 easy steps – enter up to four competitors’ domains, choose the keyword to research (paid, organic, or PLA), and run the report to get insights into your competitor’s keyword metrics.

Semrush keyword gap

You can filter keyword results by several conditions:

  • Search intent
  • SERP position
  • Search volume
  • Keyword difficulty 
  • Common words
  • Word count
  • Exclude and include
  • And more

Organic Research 

To win the SERP, you must monitor and know what your competitors are doing to reach the top ten.

This is what the tool lets you achieve.

It lets you research the opportunity gap between your website and your competitors.

You can see the keywords that bring them traffic, top-ranking pages, changes in keyword position, SERP placement and features, organic traffic costs, and more.

Overall, it lets you dig deep into your competitors’ top-performing keywords. So you can find gaps and opportunities to grow.

The backlink gap lets you run a link analysis of up to 5 domains at once and get a detailed report about each analyzed URL. 

Enter your website and four other competitors’ domains to start the tool, and hit the “find prospect” button. The report will display all link data about each competitor’s link profile.

You can see all referring domains to your competitor’s website, link attributes, authority score, lost, new and old links, etc.

This is a helpful tool to start your link-building outreach campaign.

The purpose of this tool is to find websites that are linking to your competitors but not linking to you.

So you can discover opportunities to find potential link partners.

Competitive Analysis Verdict – Semrush Winner

While SE Ranking put up a good fight in this area, the competitive research data available in each Semrush analysis tool can not be overlooked. 

However, one feature that impressed the SE Ranking competitive research tool is the ability to research competitors from more target options, i.e., continental level.

Other than this, Semrush is the clear winner.

Pricing

Price is one of the determinant factors for purchasing a product; this SE Ranking vs Semrush won’t be complete without a closer look at their pricing structure.

SE Ranking

The SE Ranking subscription plan is one of the best I’ve ever seen in recent years.

There is so much flexibility in SE Ranking pricing options. It offers three standard plans on its website and several plans to choose from:

  • Essential – start at $18.72/month
  • Pro – Start at $42.72/month
  • Business  – start at $90.72/month

Each plan includes a daily, 3-day, weekly, monthly, 3-month, 6-month, 9-month, and annual subscription plan.

Semrush

Semrush offers 3 standard subscription plans: Pro, Guru, and Business. The Pro starts at $119.95/month, Guru at $299.95/m, and Business at $449.95/m.

Semrush offered a more direct approach to its subscription plan, but SE Ranking is more affordable and flexible.

Pricing Verdict – SE Ranking Winner

SE Ranking is the clear winner if we’re looking at subscription plans, flexibility, and affordability.

But when you look at what’s available at what price, it may be worth reevaluating your needs vs. the cost.

You will always get what you pay for.

Overall, the SE Ranking price is more budget-friendly and affordable than the Semrush price.

Other Marketing Tools

Semrush and SE Ranking offer more tools than I’ve discussed on this page, but these are essential for any website.

I have discussed technical SEO tools, backlinks, competitive research, and keyword tools.

These are the most used and needed SEO and marketing tools.

If you need to see a list of more tools, you can explore SE Ranking tools and features on this page and Semrush here. Or, you may want to check my SEO Powersuite comparison with SE Ranking.

FAQ – SE Ranking vs Semrush

Semrush comparison with SE Ranking won’t be completed without answering a few regular questions in the SEO communities.

Is There a Free Alternative to Semrush?

Several free tools like Google Keyword Planner, Search Console, Ubersuggest, Answer The Public, and more are free alternatives to Semrush. But SE Ranking is a good choice if you’re looking for a more affordable option with premium features for less money.

Is SE Ranking Accurate?

I compared SE ranking data with Semrush, and the differences are not too far apart. From my analysis, SE Ranking is accurate in its data report. 

There could be slight differences in SEO data for most tools, but that’s understandable. Considering the methodology and source of data are not the same, there are bound to be slight differences. 

Is Semrush The Best SEO?

Semrush is one of the best marketing and SEO tools today. However, many SEO tools have excellent and helpful features, making it impossible to handpick a tool as the best.

A tool is as good as it serves your marketing and business needs.

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