Two of the most popular SEO tools on the market today are SE Ranking and Semrush.
How do these SEO tools compare? In this SE Ranking vs Semrush comparison, we review the details of these two SEO platforms to help you understand the differences.
See the table below for a key feature comparison between Semrush & SE Ranking.
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SE Ranking vs Semrush Overview
In the world of SEO tools, SE Ranking and Semrush are two of the most popular SEO toolkits on the market.
Introduced in 2008, Semrush is the more established of the two SEO tools, making it over a decade old. SE Ranking is a newer SEO platform that was founded in 2013.
Both tools are categorized as all-in-one SEO software platforms, which include a wide range of features for managing and improving SEO campaigns.
For example, SE Ranking and Semrush both provide features for keyword research, rank tracking, competitor insights, site audits, on-page SEO, content marketing, social media management, and reporting.
While both SEO tools are excellent choices for small businesses, marketers, bloggers, consultants, and agencies, each platform differs in a variety of ways, from capabilities and limitations to user interface, customer support, and pricing plans.
Learn more about the key differences between SE Ranking and Semrush below. Each major feature is compared in detail to help you choose the right tool for your needs.
This table provides a brief feature comparison between SE Ranking and Semrush:
|Keyword Research||Keyword research tool includes a large database of search query data with metrics like search volume and keyword difficulty for SEO & PPC campaigns.||The Keyword Magic Tool offers the largest database of keyword data such as search volume and keyword difficulty for SEO & PPC campaigns.|
|Rank Tracking||Rank tracker with daily, three days, or weekly updates. Track keywords in Google, YouTube, Bing, and Yahoo.||Rank tracker with daily keyword ranking updates. Track keywords in Google's search engine.|
|Competitor Research||Competitor organic traffic trends and analytics, top pages, and keyword rankings.||Competitor organic traffic analytics and trends, top pages, and keyword rankings.|
|Backlink Analysis||Large backlink database. Monitor and audit backlinks for changes such as new and lost links.||Largest backlink database with link audit tools. Monitor backlinks for changes such as new and lost links. Audit link toxicity.|
|Site Auditing||Audit your site for technical errors, issues, and opportunities.||Run site audits to identify technical errors, issues, and opportunities.|
|On-Page SEO||On-page SEO audits and data-driven content optimization tools.||Detailed on-page SEO analysis tool for page-level audits.|
|Content Marketing||Content marketing tools and editor are offered as add-on features||Content marketing tools are included in the Guru plan|
|Reporting||White-label report builder||White-label report builder|
|Support||Chat, email, phone||Chat, email, phone|
|API Access||Business plan required||API-specific subscription|
|Fixed Plans||Essential, Pro, Business||Starter, Guru, Business|
|Pricing||Starts at $49.00 per month||Starts at $119.95 per month|
|Discount||20% off with an annual plan||17% off with an annual plan|
|Free Account||No||Yes with limited features|
|Free Trial||14-Day Free Trial||7-Day Free Trial|
While Semrush provides more total features and research data, SE Ranking offers more flexible and affordable plans with many similar core features.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Key Features
In this section, we will delve deeper into the key features of SE Ranking and Semrush, comparing their offerings and highlighting the primary differences that might influence your decision when choosing the best tool for your SEO strategy.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Keyword Research
First, let's compare SE Ranking and Semrush in terms of keyword research features.
The ability to research keyword ideas is a crucial feature of all-in-one SEO software.
SE Ranking's Keyword Suggestion Tool:
SE Ranking's keyword research tool provides you with keyword suggestions, search volume estimates, keyword difficulty scores (KEI), CPC bidding estimates, PPC ad competition levels, and more.
With over 7 billion keywords in its database, it is a powerful tool for discovering and analyzing keywords for your SEO and PPC campaigns.
The interface is user-friendly and offers additional insights such as top organic SERP listings, traffic estimates, and total keyword rankings for each suggested keyword.
Semrush's Keyword Magic Tool:
Semrush's keyword research capabilities are more extensive, with a database of over 20 billion keywords.
The Keyword Magic Tool offers all essential keyword insights, such as search volume, keyword difficulty, CPC, PPC ad competition, and SERP features.
The interface is clean and straightforward, and you can view trends for each keyword, access global volume data, related keywords and questions, and the top 10 SERP results.
Semrush's keyword research tool also includes features like keyword gap analysis and bulk analysis for multiple keywords at once.
While the UIs differ, each toolset provides the most important keyword insights such as:
- Monthly search volume estimates for each search query
- Keyword difficulty scores (SE Ranking calls this KEI or keyword effectiveness index)
- Cost-per-click (CPC) bidding estimates for Google Advertising
- Pay-per-click (PPC) ad competition levels for Google Ads
- Total URL results on the SERPs for each keyword phrase
- Unique features found on the SERPs for keyword phrases
- Keyword grouper tools to save segments of relevant keywords
Both SEO toolkits offer two of the most comprehensive keyword research tools on the market for finding and analyzing search terms used on Google.
This includes stats for both organic search and paid keywords related to Google Ads pay-per-click advertising.
However, Semrush has the larger keyword database, exceeding 20 billion keywords, while SE Ranking has so far grown to include more than 7 billion keywords.
The Semrush keyword research interface is clean and straight to the point.
With Semrush, you can conveniently see a small trend visual for each keyword next to the search volume. This can help you understand search demand and which broad and long-tail keywords to prioritize in your SEO campaign.
Also, clicking on the arrow next to a keyword brings up a pop-up window that shares global volume data, related keywords and questions, and the top 10 SERP results.
With SE Ranking's keyword research interface, you're able to see a lot of helpful data in one view.
The keyword suggestions interface shows the top Organic SERP listings with their traffic estimates and total keyword rankings on the right side of the keyword table.
The design is intuitive and easy to use. The metrics in the keyword difficulty column stand out nicely so you can quickly get a sense of how competitive each keyword is.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Keyword Research Verdict
When evaluating SE Ranking and Semrush for keyword research capabilities, both platforms offer impressive features that cater to various user needs and preferences.
SE Ranking's keyword research tool provides an excellent combination of essential keyword insights and a user-friendly interface, making it a compelling choice for those looking for a powerful yet cost-effective solution.
The tool's intuitive design and the presentation of important metrics like keyword difficulty scores enable users to quickly gauge the competitiveness of each keyword.
On the other hand, Semrush's keyword research capabilities are more extensive, with a significantly larger database of over 20 billion keywords.
The Keyword Magic Tool goes beyond providing essential keyword insights and offers additional features like trend visuals, keyword gap analysis, and bulk keyword analysis.
These advanced features give users more in-depth information, enabling them to make well-informed decisions about their keyword strategy.
In terms of keyword research features, Semrush emerges as the winner due to its comprehensive analysis and larger keyword database.
However, SE Ranking should not be overlooked as it offers one of the best keyword research tools for the price point.
For those on a tighter budget or solo site owners, SE Ranking provides nearly as much value in terms of keyword research as Semrush does.
Ultimately, the choice between SE Ranking and Semrush will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and budget.
If budget is not a constraint, Semrush offers more advanced features and a larger keyword database for more extensive research.
However, if you are working with limited resources, SE Ranking is a highly competitive alternative that still delivers valuable keyword research capabilities.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Rank Tracking
Both SE Ranking and Semrush are equipped with reliable keyword rank tracking tools to help you monitor and optimize your website's search engine performance.
These rank tracking tools share several features, including:
- Tracking rankings on mobile and desktop devices
- Side-by-side ranking changes comparison
- Daily rank tracking options
- Competitor rank tracking
- Keyword SERP history
- Tagging and filtering
- Traffic and visibility metrics
- Search volume data
- SERP feature tracking
Both SE Ranking and Semrush include daily rank tracking updates.
A notable difference between the two rank tracking tools is the range of supported search engines. Semrush focuses on Google and Baidu, while SE Ranking expands its tracking capabilities to include Google, YouTube, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex.
Semrush's Position Tracker Tool:
The Semrush position tracker interface makes it easy to understand keyword trends and how keywords you're targeting are distributed across different position ranges.
The user-friendly design encourages continuous optimization and makes it easier to monitor changes in search visibility.
SE Ranking's Rank Tracker Tool:
The SE Ranking rank tracker offers both an overview dashboard and the ability to separate and organize keywords by folders and view similar data versus Semrush.
The color-coded “dynamics” column and highlighting feature allow for quick assessments of ranking changes across your monitored keyword positions.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Rank Tracking Verdict
Although SE Ranking's keyword setup, tagging, and folder organization are appealing, Semrush's position overview interface stands out for quickly scanning ranking trends and understanding search visibility changes.
However, it is essential to consider the search engines supported by each tool – Semrush only tracks rankings on Google and Baidu, while SE Ranking covers Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex.
Nonetheless, with Google dominating over 90 percent of the search engine market share, both keyword rank tracking tools are excellent choices.
Ultimately, it's challenging to declare a definitive winner in rank tracking.
Both SE Ranking and Semrush offer accurate rank trackers for monitoring your site and competitor rankings. The choice between the two platforms depends on your specific needs, preferences, and search engine focus.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Competitor Research
Competitive insights can make or break an SEO platform. Fortunately, SE Ranking and Semrush provide extensive competitive insights in their own ways.
Both SEO tools include competitor insights related to:
- Domain authority scores
- Organic search traffic
- Organic keywords
- Top-ranking keywords
- Top-performing pages
- Paid search traffic
- Backlink insights
- Historical data (depending on the plan edition)
There are a couple of key differences between Semrush and SE Ranking when it comes to competitor analysis and research features.
Similar to the keyword research tools, Semrush provides more total data than SE Ranking. SE Ranking, on the other hand, offers historical data in starter plans for three previous months (the historical data range is uncapped in the mid-tier plan), while Semrush offers historical data collected since 2012 in their mid-tier Guru plan.
While both SEO toolsets include multiple interfaces for various off-page or off-site competitor statistics that would be a bit excessive to share in this comparison review, you can get a good idea of the type of data provided in the images below.
Semrush displays high-level domain metrics nicely for analyzing domains. Clicking on many of the metrics will lead you to more detailed reports for the given metrics.
Example reports include authority score, organic search traffic analysis, paid search traffic, backlinks, display advertising, keywords, and backlinks.
While some of Semrush's interfaces may seem cluttered or feel overwhelming for some, I found I didn't have a problem with them after getting used to the platform.
SE Ranking includes similar domain insights and sidebar navigation options for drilling down into the data for detailed competitor analysis.
The SEO platform provides a cleaner simplified approach to displaying data insights that you might prefer depending on your preferences.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Competitor Research Verdict
Both tools offer impressive features to help you better understand your organic SEO and Google Ad competition. However, Semrush has an edge due to more data.
You can extend competitor data further with Semrush's add-on offering that includes Traffic Analytics and Market Explorer tools for more insights into your rivals' marketing strategies. However, the add-on costs $200/mo on top of a Semrush plan.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Backlink Analysis
While backlink analysis is a key aspect of competitor research, Semrush and SE Ranking offer multiple tools for analyzing, monitoring, and managing backlinks.
Both SEO tools provide the following backlink insights:
- Domain authority scores
- Page authority scores
- Individual backlinks
- Referring domains
- Referring IP addresses
- Link anchor text
- Dofollow and nofollow links
- Link filtering options
- New and lost domains
- New and lost backlinks
Semrush includes a larger backlink database with 22 trillion backlinks, while SE Ranking currently includes 2.7 billion backlinks processed.
Semrush also provides a backlink audit tool to check your backlink profile for toxic links and the ability to output a list of these links for the option to then upload a disavow file to Google (requests Google to ignore these links).
Additionally, Semrush includes a link-building tool that acts as a CRM to manage link prospects with the ability to integrate your mailbox and send outreach emails, create customized email templates, and track open and reply rates.
Here's what the overview of Semrush's backlink audit tool looks like:
Currently, SE Ranking only provides backlink research and monitoring tools.
For me, SE Ranking detected almost as many referring domains as Semrush for the domains I analyzed, being under by only a couple of links.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Backlink Analysis Verdict
Semrush is the winner in terms of total backlink features. However, SE Ranking offers extensive backlink research and monitoring capabilities at a lower price.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Site Auditing
When looking at both SEO platforms, each toolkit offers an SEO audit tool with checklists of potential problems to resolve sorted by severity.
You can evaluate site health for factors and signals related to site architecture, security, crawling, loading speed, usability, and localization.
Both SEO audit tools include the following potential problem scans and features:
- Overall site health
- Duplicate and thin content
- Index status of crawled pages
- Technical SEO issues like broken links
- Internal and external link considerations
- Use of anchor text within internal links
- Missing metatags, alt tags, descriptions, etc.
- Compare site audits and share reports
- On-site issues categorized by type and severity
- Page structure and HTML element usage
- Analyze XML sitemaps and robots.txt files
- Descriptions of issues and how to fix them
- Custom settings to adjust audit crawls
- Scheduled and automated audits
While both SEO platforms give you the ability to audit the critical site-wide technical SEO errors and issues, Semrush offers a bit more insight across the platform in regards to the elements checked for technical and on-page SEO audits.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Site Auditing Verdict
In comparing SE Ranking vs Semrush, both SEO tools feature convenient website audit overview interfaces and detailed displays of site issues that have been identified.
While I prefer Semrush's overview interface for assessing site audits, both tools are excellent for conducting deep audits for critical site-wide errors and issues.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: On-Page SEO
Semrush and SE Ranking include tools for checking your on-page SEO.
Semrush's on-page SEO tool groups potential optimizations based on categories:
- Strategy Ideas
- Backlinks Ideas
- Technical SEO Ideas
- User Experience Ideas
- SERP Features Ideas
- Semantic Ideas
- Content Ideas
The idea tasks tab offers a nicely sorted list of possible optimizations, making it easy to prioritize and get started on-page optimization activities.
SE Ranking lays out a useful visual with an optimization score grouped by category for the analyzed keyword, warnings, and errors, to quickly get an idea of what to improve.
The image above shows you a glimpse of SE Ranking's new AI-driven content analyzer and on-page SEO checker tool.
The new tool includes over 80 new checks and informational blocks categorized by type and issue severity so you know what to fix as soon as possible.
This includes SEO issues related to titles, descriptions, URL structure, text usage, and much more.
The on-page checker uses an upgraded page analysis algorithm where audit results change based on rival site metrics displayed in the Google SERPs.
You can also use the new competitive comparison feature to compare on-page parameters side-by-side against competing pages to find optimization opportunities.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: On-Page SEO Verdict
Based on using both tools, Semrush currently offers more in-depth on-page optimization than SE Ranking, especially if you enroll in the Guru plan.
While SE Ranking's on-page SEO tool will help you follow best practices for optimizing your content, Semrush offers more competitor-based insights and semantic term ideas.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Content Marketing
Semrush provides tools to help you perform research and write marketable and SEO-optimized content as part of its Content Marketing Platform, which is included in the mid-tier Guru plan or higher.
The Content Marketing Platform unlocks the following marketing tools:
- Topic Research
- SEO Content Template
- Page Audits
- Post Tracking
- Brand Mentions
- Marketing Calendars
- Plagiarism Checks
As of 2023, both SEO platforms include tools for topic research and optimizing content.
SE Ranking now has an edge when it comes to on-page SEO with its content editor and data-driven NLP insights based on a seed keyword and top-ranking sites on Google.
I find the Topic Research feature super useful for discovering trending topics, subtopics, and clusters to write about that are aligned with what's being searched on Google.
The SEO Content Template feature helps you optimize your content for things like semantically related keywords, readability, and backlinks based on the top 10 ranking web pages in the Google SERPs for your targeted keyword.
Semrush also includes a social media tracker, auto-post to social media profiles, and brand monitoring tools for insight into your social media marketing and brand presence.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Content Marketing Verdict
As of October 2022, SE Ranking has released a new content marketing toolkit as an add-on feature. This includes a content editor with recommendations for keywords to use, content structure, and quality, based on the top-ranking pages on Google.
Semrush is the current winner when it comes to content marketing research features. In terms of content writing and optimization features, SE Ranking now has the edge with its keyword suggestions feature powered by NLP (natural language processing).
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Reporting
The ability to create flexible SEO reports is an important aspect of SEO platforms.
Both SEO software platforms include SEO reporting tools with:
- Customizable report builders
- Drag-and-drop report widgets
- Convenient report templates
- Automatic scheduling options
- White-label PDF reports
The main difference between Semrush and SE Ranking for reporting primarily comes down to the number and types of widgets and data you can report on.
Since Semrush provides more total data and features, there are more reporting options at your disposal. However, SE Ranking still provided great reporting when it comes to all the essential SEO aspects like rankings, competitors, audits, and backlinks.
The Semrush report builder works by selecting specific widgets in the left-hand sidebar to create reports.
The SE Ranking report building uses widgets that you simply drag into the report from the left-hand display panel.
Each tool also offers integrations with third-party applications. Both tools allow you to connect to and pull data from Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Further, you can connect each platform to Google Data Studio for another approach to SEO reporting. (Guru plan is required for Semrush's Data Studio integration).
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Reporting Verdict
In terms of SEO widgets and metrics, both reporting tools are effective choices for sharing performance and progress reports with an in-house team, clients, or yourself.
However, when it comes to digital marketing and reporting beyond SEO-specific metrics, Semrush offers more comprehensive reports than SE Ranking.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Customer Support
Based on my experience with their support teams, both SE Ranking and Semrush offer friendly, knowledgeable support, including free demos and onboarding assistance.
Both SEO platforms offer three support channels: chat, email, and phone.
The contact info for each tool is pretty easy to find on their respective websites.
Semrush lists its phone number for support prominently in its website footer, alongside an email address and a link to the contact us page. There's also a chat option that appears in the lower-right corner.
The same goes for SERanking, except for a public email address. You can just send a message through their contact page to get in touch by email.
Both SEO platforms also share helpful guides and documentation online that are helpful for beginner-level digital marketers and SEOs. There's also the Semrush Academy, which provides free online digital marketing training courses to further your education.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Pricing
While subject to change, next we take a look at the pricing of Semrush vs SE Ranking.
Semrush offers 3 main pricing plans:
- Pro: $119.95 per month
- Guru: $229.95 per month
- Business: $449.95 per month
Custom enterprise plans are also available.
You can get a discount of up to 17% if you choose to be billed upfront yearly.
Understand the difference between Semrush pricing plans here.
Currently, Semrush offers a free trial of the Pro or Guru plan.
SE Ranking also offers 3 primary subscription plans:
- Essential: Starts at $49 per month
- Pro: Starts at $109 per month
- Business: Starts at $239 per month
These are the rates for a monthly subscription.
You can also get in contact with SE Ranking regarding a custom plan for specific needs.
An annual subscription plan gives you a 20% discount and an optional free migration or data transfer from a previous SEO platform to SE Ranking.
You can learn more about the SE Ranking pricing plans here.
SE Ranking offers a free trial of its Essential plan + white-labeling features.
SE Ranking vs Semrush: Pricing Verdict
With Semrush, you're paying a premium for access to leading data with a slight edge on accuracy and a wider feature set.
On the other hand, SE Ranking is a much more initially affordable tool for similar essential search engine optimization features and a large amount of fresh data.
Both tools have a bit of a learning curve due to including so many different features.
Here are a few plan considerations between the two SEO platforms to keep in mind:
- Both tools' mid-tier plans are required to be granted access to full historical data.
- Semrush's middle-tier Guru plan is required for content marketing tools.
- If you require more than 5 scheduled PDF reports per month or the Google Data Studio integration with Semrush, you'll need the Guru plan for up to 20 reports.
- All SE Ranking plans let you create and export unlimited manual or scheduled PDF reports, but you'll need the middle Pro plan for branded white-label reports.
- Semrush plans require an add-on fee for each additional unique user account.
- SE Ranking's Essential plan grants access to 1 user, however, the Pro plan offers up to three user logins and a generous 10 user seats with the Business plan.
- The third-tier plan for each tool is needed for API (application programming interface) access, which is used by developers to develop and feed data into custom apps.
Whether you decide on SE Ranking or Semrush, my recommendation is to go with the middle-ground plan for considerably more value, including complete tool access, history data, more reports, and larger use limits overall, especially for large or multiple projects.
Although, the starter plans are worth checking out for beginners or solo site owners just starting out with content creation or who only require tracking a small set of keywords for a single physical location.
Semrush is the premium offering, while SE Ranking is the lower-cost alternative. Both are considered swiss army knives for SEO with incredible functionality.
Alternatives to SE Ranking & Semrush
While SE Ranking and Semrush are undoubtedly powerful SEO tools, they aren't the only options available in the market.
Here's a list of alternative all-in-one SEO software platforms, each with a brief overview:
- Ahrefs: A well-regarded SEO tool known for its extensive backlink database and robust keyword research capabilities. Ahrefs is a popular choice for marketers seeking in-depth analysis and insights.
- Moz: A user-friendly platform offering a comprehensive suite of SEO tools, including keyword research, site audit, and rank tracking. Moz is known for its focus on educating users through resources and a supportive community.
- SEO PowerSuite: A desktop-based software package that includes four distinct tools for keyword research, rank tracking, on-page optimization, and backlink analysis. SEO PowerSuite is suitable for users who prefer offline functionality.
- Mangools: A collection of user-friendly SEO tools, such as KWFinder, SERPChecker, and SERPWatcher, designed to make keyword research, competitor analysis, and rank tracking simpler and more accessible.
- GrowthBar: A Chrome extension that provides easy access to essential SEO data, including keyword rankings, backlink profiles, and competitor insights. GrowthBar is perfect for marketers looking for a lightweight and convenient solution.
- Serpstat: An all-in-one SEO platform that offers keyword research, backlink analysis, rank tracking, and site audit features. Serpstat is known for its affordability and comprehensive data, catering to businesses of all sizes.
- Majestic: A powerful tool focused on backlink analysis and link-building strategies. Majestic offers an extensive database of backlinks and unique metrics, such as Trust Flow and Citation Flow, to help users identify valuable link opportunities.
- SpyFu: An SEO and PPC tool specializing in competitor analysis, allowing users to gain insights into their competitors' organic and paid search strategies. SpyFu is ideal for marketers looking to outperform their competition in search rankings and advertising.
Final Thoughts: SE Ranking vs Semrush
In conclusion, both SE Ranking and Semrush are powerful and feature-rich SEO platforms, each with its own unique strengths and weaknesses. After exploring the ins and outs of these SEO tools in this SE Ranking vs Semrush comparison review, we hope you now have a clearer understanding of the key differences between them and can make an informed decision based on your specific needs and budget.
While SE Ranking may be the go-to choice for small businesses and individual marketers looking for an affordable and user-friendly solution, Semrush excels in providing comprehensive data and advanced features that cater to the needs of larger enterprises and seasoned marketing professionals.
Ultimately, the choice between SE Ranking and Semrush depends on your individual requirements, marketing goals, and budget. We recommend taking advantage of the free trials or demo options both platforms offer to get hands-on experience and evaluate which tool aligns best with your marketing strategy.
Whatever your decision, investing in a powerful SEO tool is essential for driving online success, improving search visibility, and staying ahead of the competition in today's digital landscape. Happy optimizing!
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