With so many SEO tools available nowadays, choosing the right one can be mentally exhausting for most content creators, business owners, and SEO professionals.
In the case of Surfer SEO vs. Ahrefs, making a choice can seem almost impossible, considering how popular and incredibly effective both tools are. But don’t worry, I am here to help.
You see, I’ve been experimenting with both tools for quite a while now, and I can confidently say that I know more than just a thing or two about how to choose between them.
So, if you wish to get your time and money’s worth, I urge you to stick around.
Surfer SEO vs. Ahrefs: Overview
|Point of Comparison||Surfer SEO||Ahrefs|
|Main Focus||On-Page SEO||All-Around SEO|
|Rank Tracking||Yes (Limited)||Yes|
|AI Content Generation||Yes||Yes (Limited)|
|Pricing (Annual Billing)||Starts at $69/m||Starts at $83/m|
1. Surfer SEO
Surfer SEO is arguably the most popular on-page SEO tool out there. It’s designed to help you optimize your content so that it’s more likely to rank in the SERPs.
The way Surfer SEO works is that it analyzes the top-ranking pages for your target keyword. Then, it provides actionable insights and recommendations to help you outrank your competitors.
What I like about Surfer is that its on-page optimization isn’t just based on keyword density. I also like that it takes factors such as LSI keywords, image optimization, and heading optimization into consideration.
You can use Surfer SEO for keyword research and content planning. It can help you identify relevant short-tail and long-tail keywords to target. Having identified your target keywords, you can then use Surfer SEO to plan your content strategy by creating an outline of the topics you should cover.
What’s more, you can generate AI content that garners a lot of traffic using Surfer AI, which I’ve found to be quite sophisticated compared to other AI writing tools.
Now, although I’ve garnered some great results with Surfer SEO, I must stress that it’s not a magic bullet! If the quality of your content is subpar to begin with, no amount of Surfer SEO optimization is going to fix it.
Surfer SEO has a clean, user-friendly, and visually pleasing interface. This makes it easy to navigate its different tools and features. The SEO performance dashboard is also well-designed and intuitive, highlighting important metrics such as organic traffic and keyword rankings.
Starting with Surfer SEO is as simple as can be. All you need to do is create an account and add your website. Then, you can start researching keywords and planning your content.
I’m especially fond of how easy to use Surfer’s content editor is. Simply start writing into the editor, and it will provide you with valuable suggestions in real-time.
On the right-hand side of the editor, you’ll find a content score meter. This meter shows you how well-optimized your content is compared to your competitors’ content.
As far as support channels, Surfer SEO only offers email support. Luckily, the platform has an incredibly rich knowledge base that covers just about any question you might have.
Surfer SEO has four pricing plans that vary in terms of the number of users, content editor credits, and add-ons. Here’s a brief breakdown of Surfer’s pricing model based on yearly billing:
- Essential ($69/m): Two users and 180 content editor credits. Perfect for individuals and small teams.
- Advanced ($149/m): Five users and 540 content editor credits. Perfect for experts and mid-sized teams.
- Max ($249/m): 10 users, 1080 content editor credits, and all add-ons. Perfect for agencies and big teams.
- Enterprise (Custom): Unlimited users, custom credits, all add-ons, and a dedicated customer success manager. Perfect for large agencies and enterprises.
Note that all of Surfer SEO’s plans come with a 7-day money-back guarantee. So, you’ll be able to experiment with the platform for a week without a financial commitment.
All things considered, Surfer SEO is a powerful and user-friendly tool that can help improve your on-page SEO and rankings on search engines with actionable insights and recommendations.
On the other hand, Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO solution that covers not only on-page SEO but also off-page and technical SEO. You can use it to improve the overall performance of your SEO campaigns.
The cloud-based platform has an excellent keyword research tool that displays relevant keyword suggestions, along with important metrics such as monthly search volume and keyword difficulty.
When it comes to conducting competitor analysis, I can guarantee that Ahrefs is second to none. It helps you see the keywords your competitors are targeting, the traffic they’re getting, and the backlinks they have. And speaking of backlinks, Ahrefs has a massive database of backlinks that you can refer to, which shows all the backlinks to your website as well as the corresponding anchor texts.
Another area where Ahrefs excels is rank tracking. You can easily keep tabs on your search engine optimization efforts by monitoring your rankings for specific keywords over a given period of time.
The platform also has a variety of tools, such as crawl reports, site audits, and robots.txt analysis, that you can use to improve your site’s technical SEO. Other handy SEO features that Ahrefs has to offer include a site explorer tool, a link intersect tool, a broken links checker, a backlink checker, and general performance alerts.
Aside from its wide range of features, Ahrefs is also known for its intuitive platform that is easy to navigate, whether you’re an expert or a beginner.
When you log into your Ahrefs account, the first thing you will see is a clean and well-organized dashboard, which displays useful performance metrics such as keyword rankings, backlinks, and website traffic.
What I like the most about the Ahrefs experience is how it uses visuals, making use of different colors, icons, and graphs to represent its data. I also like how it enables you to export data in a range of formats, including CSV, PDF, and Excel.
Now, when you hover over a piece of data, Ahrefs will automatically provide information about it. This is great for beginners who are still learning about SEO.
Unlike SurferSEO, Ahrefs has two main support channels: live chat and email. And as you’d expect, the platform has a large help center that covers common questions and concerns.
- Lite ($83/m): One user and 500 credit points. Perfect for small businesses and hobby projects.
- Standard ($166/m): One user and 600 credit points. Perfect for freelance SEOs and marketing agencies
- Advanced ($333/m): One user and 750 credit points. Perfect for in-house marketing teams.
- Enterprise ($833/m): Custom users and credit points. Perfect for large agencies and enterprises.
Unfortunately, Ahrefs doesn’t have a free trial period or run discounts. Also, it doesn’t issue refunds unless you haven’t used the service during a given month of subscription.
Overall, Ahrefs is a well-rounded SEO toolset that you can use to tackle all aspects of SEO—not just on-page SEO—from a single dashboard. It’s perfect for all levels of experience, thanks to its intuitive interface and versatile features. However, you need to be a hundred percent sure about this platform when you subscribe, as it doesn’t offer free trials and rarely issues refunds.
Surfer SEO vs. Ahrefs: Common Questions
Which SEO Tool Is Better for On-Page SEO?
Although Surfer SEO isn’t as comprehensive as Ahrefs, it excels when it comes to on-page SEO. It’s designed to help you optimize your content for specific keywords with minimal effort.
On the other hand, Ahrefs is definitely effective when it comes to on-page SEO. After all, it’s an all-around SEO solution. However, it might be overkill if all you need is an on-page optimization tool.
Hence, Surfer SEO is the better option in this comparison, mainly because it specializes in on-page SEO. Then again, if you’re looking for a complete SEO solution that can take your SEO strategies to the next level, Ahrefs would be the better option.
Which SEO Tool Is Better for Keyword Research?
Surfer SEO’s keyword research tool is excellent for finding relevant keywords to target. It’s not as comprehensive as Ahrefs’ keyword explorer, but it gets the job done.
When it comes to keyword research, Ahrefs is by far my favorite tool to use. Not only does it highlight relevant keywords but also parent topics, search volume, keyword difficulty scores, content ideas, and more.
In my experience, Ahrefs is unbeatable in the keyword research category. It’s simply more comprehensive and insightful, perfect for finding high-value keywords to target.
Which SEO Tool Is Easier to Use?
Surfer is intuitive and easy to navigate, and it takes mere minutes to get the hang of it. That said, it only focuses on on-page SEO, so there aren’t too many features and tools to learn about.
Due to its comprehensive nature and wide range of features, Ahrefs is more complex than Surfer SEO and requires a steeper learning curve. But while it might take you a while to learn everything, the platform is backed by excellent documentation and support.
Although both SEO tools are considered intuitive and easy to use, Surfer SEO wins in this category because of its limited scope and fewer features.
Which SEO Tool Offers Better Support?
Surfer SEO’s support is based on email and support tickets. While its customer service team is quite responsive, and there’s a vast knowledge base full of articles and tutorials, some might be understandably turned off by the limited customer support channels.
On the flip side, Ahrefs seems to have a larger support team and a more comprehensive knowledge base than Surfer SEO. Besides, it offers more support channels, including email support, live chat, and support tickets.
It’s clear that Ahrefs has a definite edge in this category, courtesy of its diverse support channels, large support team, and comprehensive help center and FAQ page.
Which SEO Tool Is Best for Budget?
With a starting price of $69/m, Surfer SEO isn’t cheap by any means. However, it does what it promises, with countless testimonials to back it up.
While Surfer might be expensive compared to other SEO tools, it is still more affordable than Ahrefs. With a starting price of $83/m, Ahrefs is pretty expensive. It does, however, offer a ton of value for the money.
In terms of budget-friendliness, Surfer SEO is the cheaper option. That being said, I think Ahrefs provides more value for the money than its competitor.
Surfer SEO vs. Ahrefs: How to Choose Between Them
If you are still unsure, consider the following factors when choosing between Surfer SEO and Ahrefs:
- Main Focus: Start by looking into the main focus of each platform with respect to your specific needs. Go for the platform that’s best for your particular use cases, be it on-page, off-page, or technical SEO.
- Ease of Use: Consider the intuitiveness and ease of use of each platform. Obviously, the more feature-rich a tool is, the more complex it will be. So, be sure to account for each tool’s feature set.
- Budget: Popular SEO tools tend to be expensive. So, you must ask yourself how much you’re willing to pay for an SEO tool. Don’t just consider the most basic pricing plan; consider all the tiers.
- Free Trial: The availability of a trial period may help you experiment with each platform’s tools and features, which will simplify the selection process.
- Support: Consider how many channels of support each tool offers. Further, consider the responsiveness of their support teams, and be sure to opt for a tool with a rich knowledge base.
Ultimately, I believe that picking between Surfer SEO and Ahrefs boils down to each tool’s main focus.
If you’re only concerned about on-page SEO, Surfer SEO is the clear choice. On the other hand, if you’re looking to tackle different aspects of SEO, Ahrefs is the better option.
But if you’re not sure which tool is best for your needs, my advice would be to start with Surfer SEO, mainly because it’s cheaper, easier to use, and has a 7-day money-back guarantee. If Surfer SEO doesn’t live up to your expectations during the 7-day trial period, it may be worth considering switching to the more robust and feature-rich Ahrefs.