Moz vs Semrush — Which is Better?

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Moz vs Semrush

In this in-depth Moz vs Semrush comparison, I’m going to put two industry-leading SEO tools head to head — and help you find out which one works best for your business.

I’ll discuss how both Semrush and Moz Pro compare in terms of:

  • Domain analysis
  • Keyword research features
  • Backlink analysis and building
  • Site auditing
  • Broken link analysis
  • Ease of use
  • Pricing and value for money
  • Support

…and more!

But first: what exactly are Semrush and Moz?


What are Semrush and Moz?

Simply put, Semrush and Moz are two products that help you optimize your website for search engines

They do this in many different ways, but the key thing they give you is lots of information — information that you can use to:

  • find out what phrases people use when searching for businesses like yours
  • create content that is likely to generate organic search traffic
  • identify opportunities for building links (‘backlinks’) from other websites to yours
  • tweak technical aspects of your site so that it has a much better chance of performing well in search results.

Both tools:

  • can provide you with keyword suggestions that can be used as the basis for creating search-friendly content
  • tell you how difficult it will be to rank for specific search phrases
  • help you spot websites that might be worth approaching for a backlink
  • let you perform an “SEO audit” on your website to find out if there are any technical improvements you can make to it that will result in better search rankings
  • work with any website building tool or CMS — so regardless of whether you’re using Shopify, Wix, Webflow or Squarespace, you can gain SEO insights with them.

That’s just scratching the surface though — there are lots of other nifty features provided by Semrush and Moz that are there to help you climb up the search rankings. You’ll find out more about these as you progress through this comparison.

Let’s start with something called domain analysis.

Semrush and the war in Ukraine

Semrush is technically a US-based, publicly-traded company with 23 offices around the world. In the context of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia however, some in the SEO community have understandably voiced concern about the company’s Russian roots (both its founders are Russian and it has a lot of employees in Russia).

At Style Factory, we are committed to a fully honest, transparent and ethical approach when it comes to product reviews. We are also 100% against the war (and are supporting child victims of the violence in Ukraine). So we wanted clarity on this issue too — for both us and our readers.

We are pleased to note that Semrush has publicly announced its firm opposition to the invasion (which we feel is a brave thing for a Russian-founded organization to do) — and we are still comfortable with continuing featuring Semrush on our site, as we believe the company is ultimately an international organization that has taken as ethical an approach as it can in this situation.


Domain analysis

One of the most useful things you can do with Moz and Semrush is simple domain analysis — this means getting a basic overview of how a domain is performing in search results.

Typically, domain analysis is performed on

  • your own website — to see where SEO improvements can be made
  • on a competitor’s website — to establish how difficult it will be to outrank them in search results (and to find ways to do so).

Once you’ve entered a URL into Semrush or Moz’s domain overview tools, you can expect to see the following from both products:

  • an ‘authority score’ which gives you an at-a-glance indication of how well a website is likely to perform in search results
  • the number of external links — backlinks — pointing to the website (the more of these the better from an SEO point of view).
  • the number of keywords the website ranks for.
  • anchor text commonly used in links to the website.
  • competing domains.

Carrying out domain analysis is easy enough with both tools — but on balance, I prefer Semrush’s approach to it.

To perform domain analysis in Semrush, you simply go to an appropriately named — and easy to spot — ‘Domain Overview’ section.

Semrush domain overview tool
Getting a domain overview in Semrush

In Moz however, you have a bit more work to do to get a domain overview.

This is because the platform splits up domain analysis into two different sections, ‘Keyword Research’ and ‘Link Research’ (pictured below) and you’ve got to flick between these two options to get the data you need.

Domain analysis in Moz
Domain analysis in Moz involves looking at two sections, ‘Keyword Research’ and ‘Link Research’ (the ‘Keyword Research’ view is shown above).

Additionally, if you want to see comprehensive data about domains that might be competing against a particular website, you’ve got to either set up a ‘campaign’ in Moz to do so — i.e., allocate one of your project slots to a particular website — or use a separate ‘competitive research’ section.

(Moz limits project slots based on what plan you’re on — the entry level plan only lets you set up 3, for example. More on this issue shortly).

All this contrasts a bit negatively with Semrush’s domain analysis option, which returns keyword data, link data, competing domains and much else besides all at once — you genuinely get a full ‘domain overview’ with Semrush, rather than a partial one (and without the need to use up any precious project slots).

It’s worth noting that as part of its domain analysis tool, Semrush gives you an estimate of the monthly traffic to the domain you’re analysing — and this is not available in Moz.

The best you can do on this front in Moz is connect your Google Analytics account to the tool and view your stats within the dashboard — this is fine for monitoring traffic to your own site, but no use for competitor traffic analysis.

Connecting Google Analytics in Moz
The only site traffic stats you can access in Moz are those provided by a Google Analytics account

Now, based on my own (small-scale) testing of Semrush’s traffic analysis feature, I didn’t always find the figures returned to be 100% accurate — but to be fair, Semrush does make it clear that it is providing estimates, and gives you an indication regarding the likely accuracy of each one (see screenshot below).

Semrush traffic accuracy information
Semrush traffic accuracy information

The important thing to remember with Semrush’s traffic estimates is that they should be used to identify trends (i.e., is site A more popular than sites B and C?) rather than taken as gospel.

Accordingly, there is a nice feature in Semrush’s domain analysis that you won’t find a direct equivalent for in Moz — its ‘competitive positioning map.’

This gives a really good at-a-glance indicator of how a site is performing against key competitors, based on how many keywords it ranks for and monthly traffic estimates.

Semrush's 'competitive positioning map' feature
Semrush’s ‘competitive positioning map’ feature

Another nice domain analysis feature that you get in Semrush but not in Moz is ‘keyword intent’ data.

When you analyse a domain with Semrush, you get shown a table containing data about why people click on search results for it — to research something, find a specific page, purchase something etc.

The 'keyword by intent' table in Semrush
The ‘keyword by intent’ table in Semrush

Ultimately, because of the fact that its domain overview feature gives a genuinely holistic view of a site’s SEO performance, and includes traffic estimates too, I’d give the win in the domain analysis department to Semrush.

Now, let’s take a look at keyword research features — a very important part of both Moz and Semrush.


Keyword research features

Keyword research is generally about four things: 

  • Establishing how many people are searching for a particular keyword
  • Establishing how difficult it is to rank in search results for that keyword
  • Finding out who is already ranking for that keyword
  • Getting suggestions for other ones.

Both Semrush and Moz make it very easy for you to find out all the above information.

Keyword research in Moz
Performing keyword research in Moz

You just enter a keyword into their aptly named ‘keyword overview’ tools, and you’ll get the key information you need immediately: search volume, keyword difficulty score, the sites that are currently ranking for it, and a list of related keywords.

Performing keyword research in Semrush
Performing keyword research in Semrush

Both platforms use a score out of one hundred to indicate keyword difficulty, with a higher score indicating higher difficulty.

Semrush keyword suggestions
In Semrush, keyword difficulty scores are provided in percentages (see KD% column, above)

Prioritizing keywords

Both Moz and Semrush provide you with data to help you spot the keywords that you have the best chance of ranking for.

Moz does this via its keyword ‘priority score’ feature. As the name suggests, this gives you an idea of how much effort you should put into trying to rank for a particular phrase.

Moz calculates this by looking at:

  • the traffic generated by a keyword
  • how difficult it will be to rank for it
  • what percentage of organic clickthroughs it generates.
Moz’s keyword priority score - a feature that is not currently available in Semrush.
Moz’s keyword priority score – a feature that is not currently available in Semrush.

It’s a nifty little feature and particularly useful when you’re compiling large lists of keywords.

Semrush has a related feature which is possibly even more useful, however — it provides an estimate of the number of links to your content that you’ll need to build in order to rank for a particular phrase. (In the screengrab below, I’ve highlighted this with an arrow.)

Semrush data showing you how many links you will need to to rank for a particular phrase
Semrush data showing you how many links you will need to to rank for a particular phrase

This piece of information gives you an immediate indication of the amount of outreach work you’ll need to do in order to rank highly for a phrase. This is extremely helpful and will enable you to make quick (but informed) decisions regarding whether or not you should target a particular keyword in an SEO campaign.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always return a precise number of links — sometimes you get a slightly vague statement about needing to do a lot of work to rank for a particular keyword (see screenshot below), but in general, it works well and lets you make quick decisions about which keywords to focus on.

A 'very hard' keyword difficulty score in Semrush
A ‘very hard’ keyword difficulty score in Semrush

It’s fair to say that Semrush brings more ‘context’ to keyword research than Moz. As with domain analysis, it gives you search intent data as part of the results, telling you if a particular keyword you’re researching is ‘informational’, ‘commercial’, ‘navigational’ or ‘transactional.’

Keyword intent in Semrush
Search intent data provided by Semrush as part of its ‘keyword overview’ results

These labels are defined by Semrush as follows:

  • Informational = the keyword is being entered by a user who wants to find a specific answer to a question
  • Commercial = the user wants to investigate brands or services
  • Navigational = the user wants to find a particular page or website
  • Transactional = the user wants to complete an action (i.e., a purchase).

This keyword intent feature is extremely useful when you’re filtering keyword suggestions. When you enter a phrase into Semrush’s ‘Keyword Magic’ tool, you’ll often end up with a very long list of suggested phrases. Semrush’s ‘keyword intent’ dropdown menu lets you exclude a lot of irrelevant stuff really easily and focus on the phrases that are most likely to be revenue-generating for your business.

Filtering by keyword intent in Semrush's 'Keyword Magic' tool
Filtering by keyword intent in Semrush

You also get a useful ‘trend’ graph in Semrush’s keyword overview results that gives you an at-a-glance indication of the popularity of a particular keyword over time:

The 'trend' graph in Semrush
The ‘trend’ graph in Semrush

There’s nothing really comparable in Moz — so when it comes to keyword research, the tool with the most comprehensive contextualization data is definitely Semrush.

Keyword lists

Semrush and Moz both allow you to create lists of keywords that you can refer to any time you like, using their ‘Keyword Manager’ and ‘Keyword List’ tools respectively.

These work in a similar way, allowing you to check in on how keyword difficulty is trending over time, or export keyword data to any SEO clients you may have.

Free trials of Moz and Semrush

Using SEO tools like Moz and Semrush can represent a significant investment, so it’s important to road test these products before committing. Fortunately, both products let you do this.

With Moz, you can avail of a free 30 day trial.

Semrush’s standard trial is shorter, lasting 7 days — but for a limited time they’ve made a 30-day free trial available, which you can access using this link.

Data sources for keyword research

One thing that’s worth noting with regard to both Moz and Semrush is that all the data they provide for keyword research is, generally speaking, based on search results in Google — unlike competitor Ahrefs, they don’t source data from other search engines like Bing, Yahoo or YouTube.

(Check out our Ahrefs vs Semrush comparison, our Moz vs Ahrefs comparison or our full review of Ahrefs for more information on this product).

I say ‘generally speaking’ because Moz does let you look at how your site is ranking for particular keywords on other search engines — Bing and Yahoo — if you use its ‘Rank Checker’ option (which offers a quick way to see where your site currently ranks for a given keyword).

Moz's 'Rank Checker' tool
Moz’s ‘Rank Checker’ tool

Semrush and Moz’s main focus on Google is understandable, as it dominates the global search engine market (over 92% of all searches are carried out using it).

However, some users might appreciate search data from other sources — I’m thinking in particular of video content producers, who would find the presence of YouTube data in Moz or Semrush very helpful.

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How well a site performs in search results depends heavily on how many backlinks — external sites linking to it — exist for the site in question.

So how Moz and Semrush help you understand your site’s backlink profile — and build new ones to it — is important to understanding which of these two products is best.

With both Moz and Semrush, you can enter a domain name and see a list of all the backlinks to it that each can find.

In order to provide this data to their users, both Moz and Semrush maintain their own indices of the web. These contain a large number of domains and keywords.

Both companies are pretty open about this data, publishing data on their websites about the size of their databases.

At time of writing, there are 21 billion keywords and 800 million domains in the Semrush database.

Semrush database size (correct at time of writing)
Semrush database size (correct at time of writing)

Moz states that it has 40.7 trillion links, 718 million domains and 7 trillion pages in its database, along with 500 million keywords.

Moz database statistics
Moz database statistics

So, if these figures are accurate, it suggests that the more exhaustive data is to be found in Semrush.

However, based on my own testing, where I looked at linking domains identified for a mix of small, medium and large websites, Moz often seemed to find the greater number of backlinks.

To give some specific examples, when performing some backlink analysis on online store builder domains as part of the research for our ecommerce reviews, I got the following results:

  • Big Cartel: Moz found 453k referring domains; Semrush found 333k.
  • BigCommerce: Moz found 315k referring domains; Semrush found 332k.
  • Ecwid: Both Moz and Semrush found 68k referring domains.
  • Godaddy: Moz found 2.5 million referring domains; Semrush found 2.2 million.
  • Shopify: Moz found 2.3 million referring domains; Semrush found 2 million.
  • Squarespace: Moz found 9.2k referring domains; Semrush found 189k.
  • Volusion: Moz found 95k referring domains; Semrush found 119k.
  • Webflow: Moz found 142k linking domains; Semrush found 205k.
  • Wix: Moz found 130k linking domains; Semrush found 1.3 million.

Given that my testing was of a small-scale nature, I’d be reluctant to draw too many conclusions from the results.

But it’s interesting to note that a bigger backlink database doesn’t always lead to more backlinks being surfaced.

(It’s also interesting to see some odd-looking results in there — for Squarespace and Wix in particular, where Moz’s referring domain totals were considerably lower than Semrush’s).

In terms of the backlink analysis itself, both Moz and Semrush give you lots of useful information about the backlinks that point to a domain, including breakdowns of:

  • the number of ‘dofollow’ links vs ‘nofollow’ ones
  • anchor text used
  • new vs lost domains

Semrush also gives you some data that’s not present in Moz, namely:

  • outbound links
  • backlinks by country
  • backlinks by industry
  • referring IPs

And I prefer the way that Semrush presents all this information — as the screenshot below shows, a series of simple but attractive graphs spell out the key stats in a way that helps you digest them easily.

Backlink analysis in Semrush
Backlink analysis in Semrush.

Clicking on these graphs typically takes you to the data tables they are based on; with Moz, you mostly see tables (some graphing is available, but it’s nowhere near as extensive as in Semrush).

Backlink analysis is great for getting an idea of

  • how many links point to your site
  • how a competitor’s stacks up against it
  • whether it’s worth approaching a particular website for a backlink.

But a key attraction of tools like Semrush and Moz is the facilities they provide you with to actually build links. After all, backlinks remain one of the key ingredients (some would argue the key ingredient) to securing a high search ranking.

So how do both products fare on that front?

Well, Moz and Semrush both provide you with ‘link intersect’ tools. Moz’s is called ‘Link Intersect’, and Semrush’s is called ‘Backlink Gap’.

Moz’s link intersect feature.
Moz’s ‘link intersect’ feature lets you compare more domains than the Semrush equivalent.

These allow you to compare a URL from your website against a competitor’s, and give you an exportable list of websites that are currently linking to your competitor, but not to you.

You can then reach out to these website owners, asking for a backlink — and in doing so, ‘close the gap.’

Moz’s link intersect tool is slightly better than Semrush’s, because it allows you to compare your site’s backlinks against five others, whereas Semrush limits the comparison to four other websites.

The 'backlink gap' feature in Semrush.
Semrush’s ‘backlink gap’ feature.

However, I’d argue that overall, Semrush has the edge on Moz in the backlink building department, because in addition to providing suggestions based on a ‘link intersect’ approach, its dedicated ‘link building’ feature can also automatically surface link opportunities by examining the content on your domain.

This link building feature simply outputs a list of URLs from related websites that it might be worth approaching for a backlink.

Not only this, but Semrush can also provide you with email addresses that are associated with those websites, which saves you from having to look them up yourself.

What’s also great about this feature is that you’re not just working with a spreadsheet of URLs — you’re dealing with a more ‘CRM’ style interface, with each domain listed as a ‘domain prospect’.

Domain prospects in Semrush
Domain prospects in Semrush — this feature is very useful for outreach campaigns

You can click on a button beside each domain prospect to move it into different stages of a link-building pipeline, and send outreach emails directly within the Semrush interface (by connecting a mailbox — Gmail, Yahoo etc.).

This is a fantastic feature, and there’s nothing really comparable in Moz.

Overall, both Moz and Semrush give you good backlink analysis functionality — but for me, because of its automated approach to link building, and its excellent CRM-style backlink building tool, the winner here is Semrush.

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Semrush provides a tool — a ‘toxic link report’ — to help you identify poor-quality links (i.e., spammy links that can lead to you being penalised in search results).

Semrush's toxic link report
Semrush’s toxic link report

You can output a list of these links, and then upload them to Google in a ‘disavow’ file (this asks Google to ignore them).

Where possible, Semrush also gives you contact details for the owner of a toxic link, so that you can contact them and request a removal before going down the disavowal route.

Moz does let you find toxic links too (via its ‘Spam Score’ report), but a more convoluted process is involved. You have to export all your links into a spreadsheet first, and then assess them manually for toxicity (there’s some good tips here on how to do this). No contact details for any toxic links are provided by Moz.

So overall, when it comes to identifying toxic links, it’s another win for Semrush.

However, a negative aspect of Semrush’s link auditing feature is that to access it, you will be required to set up a ‘project’ — and, as mentioned earlier, limits apply to the number of these that you can run at once.

(These limits depend on plan type — more on this shortly).

Are toxic link reports helpful?

Moz and Semrush’s tools both work well in terms of helping you identify potentially spammy links for disavowal.

However, it should be pointed out that Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller is not really a fan of the concept of toxic links, or the tools that identify them; additionally, he and some of his colleagues at Google have said that it is rare for disavowals of poor-quality links to lead to a positive impact on search results.


Site auditing

Both Moz and Semrush provide ‘site auditing’ features that allow you to evaluate how well your site is performing from a technical SEO and on-page SEO perspective.

During a site audit, both tools will look out for issues which might be having a negative effect on your search ranking, including:

  • Duplicate content
  • Crawl errors
  • Missing headings
  • Overuse of keywords

Both products provide you with a wealth of really useful suggestions, but I’d argue that Semrush comes out top in the site auditing department. Its site audit tool is considerably easier to use than the Moz equivalent, giving you all the information you need in one place.

In Moz, as with its domain analysis tools, it feels as though there’s more clicking around the place to do — you have to flick between a few different sections in the navigation to get at the info (a ‘crawl’ section, a ‘redirects issues’ section, a ‘page grader’ etc.).

You can definitely surface some really useful technical SEO data with Moz too, however — I particularly like its ‘on-page grader’ tool, which allows you to enter in a page’s URL and a keyword and then view a very clear list of things you need to do to improve its chances of ranking for that keyword.

Moz’s on-page grader tool.
Moz’s on-page grader tool.

It’s not quite as good as Semrush’s on-page SEO checker however, which goes through your whole site (not just one page) and gives you a list of actionable tips for improvement for each page, in order of priority.

These can include suggestions on: 

  • which keywords to add
  • steps you can take to make a page appear as a Google ‘featured snippet’
  • how to improve your body copy and meta descriptions
  • which websites to approach for backlinks
  • length of content
  • internal linking strategies…

…and much more.

And, when an issue is identified, you have the option to send it to project management software Trello (or, using Zapier, another content management tool), so that your team can work on resolving it.

(There’s also the option of sending a task to ‘Semrush CRM’ — a simple built-in customer relationship management tool that lets you keep tasks on SEO tasks for you or your clients.)

Semrush on-page SEO suggestions
Semrush’s on-page SEO suggestions

The Semrush SEO checker is extremely easy to use, and is a really great tool to have in your SEO arsenal.

The bottom line on site auditing is that both Moz and Semrush will both give you a substantial amount of high-quality information that you can use to make big improvements to your site’s technical SEO and on-page SEO.

I would argue however that Semrush — as is the case with a lot of the other SEO information it provides — puts more of it in one place, displays things more coherently and gives you a quicker understanding of the changes you need to make.


Broken link building is a pretty important SEO tactic.

It involves finding a broken link (i.e., one that no longer leads to a live web page), recreating the ‘dead’ content that it used to point to, then asking anybody who used to link to this dead content to link to your new content instead.

This approach helps you to build up new backlinks to your content — and the more backlinks that point to your website (generally speaking) the better your content performs in search.

Oddly, broken link building is not something that’s particularly easy to do in Moz — you have to create a campaign for the site you want to examine for broken links, export a list of links, go through their status codes (a 404 status code indicates a broken link), search for a relevant site owner’s contact details online, and finally, send an outreach message from your email program.

By contrast, you can do broken link building in Semrush without using up a project slot, by running a backlink analysis report, clicking a ‘broken pages’ option and exporting the results.

Spotting broken links is easier in Semrush than Moz, thanks to a dedicated 'broken pages' option.
Spotting broken links is easier in Semrush than Moz, thanks to a dedicated ‘broken pages’ option.

As with Moz, the broken link building process could be a bit easier in Semrush — there’s still a fair bit of clicking around, filtering and exporting to do in order to get a list of broken inbound or outbound links.

(The situation is better if you’re using a project slot however — Semrush will output a list of all external broken links in its ‘site audit’ report).

Ultimately, because you don’t have to use any of your project slots to access broken link building functionality, and because its site audit feature identifies them easily, it’s a win for Semrush in the broken link building department.


Interface and ease of use

When it comes to interfaces, Semrush’s menus are laid out in a more logical fashion, and its dashboards seem to group pieces of information together in a more coherent way. 

And, if you like data visualization, the Semrush approach — with its emphasis on graphs — will definitely appeal too.

With Semrush, you get a really quick ‘at-a-glance’ understanding of SEO information — but with Moz, you often have to do more digging, or clicking about the place, to get at the data you need.

That’s not to say that Moz is particularly hard to use; it’s just not as intuitive.

Data visualization in Semrush
Semrush places a big emphasis on data visualization.

Semrush also gives you much more contextual help — every piece of data has an icon beside it highlighting what the information provided means; and any error identified by a site audit is accompanied by a ‘Why and how to fix it’ link, which when clicked provides you with very ‘actionable’ information about your problem and potential resolutions.

Contextual help
Semrush provides you with a lot of contextual help

But the area where Semrush definitely wins hands down in the ease-of-use stakes is its site auditing feature. It’s very simple to use and outputs a really-easy-to follow set of instructions for improving your performance in search results.

And, if the idea of carrying out link building without exporting a lot of Excel spreadsheets appeals to you, then Semrush is definitely a better option. Its CRM-style approach to outreach means that you can work ‘in the box,’ keeping all your data within the product and emailing site owners directly from it.

So for me, in the ease-of-use department, the winner is definitely Semrush.


Pricing and value for money

Compared to a lot of other business apps, Moz and Semrush are expensive.

That’s understandable however, as you’re not just paying for functionality, you’re paying for access to a lot of data, including intelligence on your competitors. 

There are four Semrush pricing plans available:

  • Pro: $119.95 per month
  • Guru: $229.95 per month
  • Business: $449.95 per month
  • Custom: negotiable

A 16.7% discount is available if you pay upfront for a year, and there’s also a free trial. Normally the trial lasts just 7 days, but for a limited time you can avail of a 30-day extended trial via this link.

Moz comes in 5 varieties:

  • Standard: $99 per month
  • Medium: $179 per month
  • Large: $299 per month
  • Premium: $599 per month
  • Enterprise: negotiable

A 20% discount is available if you pay upfront for a year, and a free 30-day Moz trial is available (this trial length is pretty generous by comparison to similar SEO tools, some of which don’t provide free trials at all).

There are a few key things to zoom in on when trying to out which offers the most bang for the buck for your business.

Number of users

By default, all Semrush plans only come with one user account or ‘seat’. You have to pay an additional monthly fee to add additional users to a plan ($45 per month per ‘Pro’ user, $80 per ‘Guru’ user and $100 per ‘Business’ user).

Moz is a bit more generous when it comes to users, however: although like Semrush its cheapest plan only provides one seat, its ‘Medium’ and ‘Large’ plans come with more (2 and 3 respectively), and the monthly fee for an additional user is more reasonable ($49 per user per month, irrespective of plan type).

Projects

Both Moz and Semrush place limits on the number of projects (or ‘campaigns’) you can create.

This matters because some important functionality on both products is ONLY available if you are working within a project — for example, site auditing and broken link analysis (both products) and identifying competing domains (Moz).

So, for users needing to perform these tasks on a bunch of different websites, this could become a headache — although the project limit doesn’t render this impossible, it makes things more fiddly than you might like, and you’d effectively have to keep a project slot free for any ‘ad hoc’ work.

With Moz, projects are capped at 3 on the $99 plan; 10 on the $179 plan; 25 on the $299 plan and 50 on the $599 premium plan. You can increase these limits at a cost of $10 per project, however.

Semrush’s equivalent limits are 5 on its $119.95 plan; 15 on its $229.95 plan and 40 on its $449.95 plan. Unlike Moz though, you can’t change these limits by paying an extra monthly fee.

Semrush add-ons

There are quite a few Semrush features that are not available without purchasing an add-on.

These are:

  • Semrush .Trends’ — an analysis add-on that gives you access to more detailed competitive intelligence on your competitors (market share, extended traffic analysis, benchmarking data and more).
  • Local SEO’ — this lets you monitor and manage local directory submissions, track local rankings and manage entries on Google My Business and Facebook.
  • The ‘Agency Growth Kit’ — aimed primarily at SEO agencies, this allows you to white label Semrush data, provide custom branded reports to your clients and advertise your SEO business on Semrush’s Agency Partners’ platform.

These add-ons are not particularly cheap — ‘Semrush.Trends’ will set you back an additional $200 per month; the local SEO add-on costs $20-$40 extra per month; and the growth kit costs $100 extra per month.

The Semrush 'Local SEO' add-on
The Semrush ‘Local SEO’ add-on costs $20-$40 per month.

In addition to purchasing one of the the Semrush add-ons discussed above, you can also add functionality to your Semrush account by purchasing a third-party app from the Semrush app center.

14 third-party apps / integrations are currently available, with a focus that’s chiefly on analytics and data, and they range in cost from $15 to $169 per user.

Moz doesn’t yet provide a similar ‘app store’, but depending on your needs, you can use its API to integrate it with other applications.

Reports per day

Semrush is much more generous when it comes to the number of reporting requests you can make each day: even on its entry-level plan, you can pull 3,000 domain analysis / keyword research reports per day.

Moz by contrast places much stricter limits on reporting — on its starter plan you can only run 150 keyword queries a month, for example, or 5,000 backlink queries per month.

Crawl limits

Both Semrush and Moz place limits on the number of web pages you can crawl for technical SEO errors (as part of your campaigns’ site audits).

In Moz, the limits are much more generous than the Semrush equivalents. For example, on the Moz entry level plan, you can crawl around 400,000 pages per month; the equivalent Semrush limit is 100,000.

This disparity in crawl limits continues across all plans. So if you are dealing with a lot of very large websites, Moz may be a better fit for you.

Pay-per-click (PPC) data

If you’re working on a mix of SEO and PPC projects, you’ll find that Semrush represents better value. This is simply because it includes comprehensive PPC data, whereas Moz doesn’t.

Semrush includes detailed CPC competition and distribution data, live ads and PPC campaign planning tools.


Customer support

When it comes to customer support for Moz and Semrush, I’ll have to admit to not having much direct experience of either company’s support teams.

(I guess this is basically a good sign, as it indicates that the products are both relatively easy to use!)

Semrush wins when it comes to the kind of support on offer though — it provides 3 channels of support: phone, live chat, and email. Moz by contrast, only offers email support.

Moz customer support
Moz customer support is limited to email

Semrush also makes it a bit easier to access support, by providing a help icon on every screen and displaying a phone number clearly in the footer.

Semrush live chat feature
A live chat option is visible at all times within the Semrush interface.

Free trials for Moz and Semrush

Both Moz and Semrush allow you to try out the product before committing to their monthly plans.

Moz’s free trial lasts for 30 days. The length of this trial is very generous given how much data you can theoretically access during it.

Normally speaking, Semrush’s trial lasts for only 7 days —but for a limited time only, the company has made a 30-day free trial available using this link.


Moz vs Semrush: conclusion

So which is better, Moz or Semrush? Overall, whilst I’d be happy to use either of these tools for an SEO-related project, my overall preference is for Semrush. It is easier to use than Moz, provides considerably more features, gives you more generous reporting limits and offers CRM-style project management tools that allow you to manage link building campaigns in a sophisticated way (and without ever leaving the platform).

If Moz was considerably cheaper than Semrush, then I’d be tempted by it — but as the products are so similarly priced, it’s hard not to view the more feature-packed Semrush as the better-value product. Simply put, Semrush gives you a lot more SEO bang than Moz — but for the same buck.

So ultimately, while there’s lots to like about Moz, for me Semrush is the winner in this shootout.

I’ll leave you with a summary regarding the relative pros and cons of each.

Reasons to use Semrush over Moz

  • It is, generally speaking, more user-friendly.
  • Its CRM-style approach to link outreach means that you can create really great link building (and broken link building) campaigns without ever leaving the app. With Moz, you’ll need to resort to spreadsheets and email programs more often.
  • Its site auditing features are more comprehensive.
  • It provides really useful keyword intent data; Moz doesn’t.
  • Semrush provides a lot of data relating not just to SEO, but PPC too — if you want a tool that covers both areas, it’s a much better option than Moz.
  • It’s easier to identify and output toxic links with Semrush.
  • Broken backlink building is considerably easier in Semrush.
  • Semrush provides a lot of nice data visualization features that aren’t present in Moz.
  • It tells you how many backlinks you will realistically need to get a keyword to rank.
  • It’s more generous when it comes to the number of reports you can pull per day. If you envisage doing a lot of backlink or keyword research every day, then Semrush is considerably better value than Moz.
  • Phone and live chat support are available for Semrush — this is not the case with Moz, which limits support to email only.
  • More contextual help is provided in the Semrush interface.

You can try Semrush free here.

Reasons to use Moz over Semrush

  • Its crawl limits are considerably more generous — and more suitable for users needing to work on very large websites.
  • Its link intersect tool lets you compare backlinks for 5 sites at once (Semrush lets you compare 4).
  • It gives you (limited) ranking data not based just on Google search results but on Bing and Yahoo’s too.
  • Its standard free trial is considerably longer than Semrush’s (although that said, for a limited time a 30-day trial of Semrush is available here).
  • Its entry-level plan is slightly cheaper than the Semrush equivalent.
  • Additional users are included on the more expensive Moz plans; Semrush by default only provides on user per plan, irrespective of tier.
  • You can add projects to Moz for just $10 per month per project — this offers users more flexibility when it comes to project limits than Semrush.

You can try Moz for free for 30 days here.


Alternatives to Semrush and Moz

Semrush and Moz are by no means the only options when it comes to SEO platforms! Alternatives include:

We’ve yet to review all of these, but we do have an Ahrefs review, an Ahrefs vs Semrush comparison and a GrowthBar review available. You might also be interested in reading our full Semrush review.

Got any thoughts or questions about Moz or Semrush?

Now: over to you! If you’ve got any questions about Moz, SEMrush or keyword research in general, do let us know by adding a comment below. We do our best to answer every query.

Comments (2)

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This was extremely helpful Chris! I’m working with a new company and was hesitating to purchase Semrush to keep costs low – I’ve used it before with an agency so it was constantly in use – but for my own research, I was hoping to find a cheaper alternative. You’ve convinced me Semrush is the most valuable tool. Appreciate your thoroughness. Look forward to reading more of your articles.

Thanks Jennifer! Really glad you found the comparison helpful in making a decision on the two tools.