Moz vs Semrush — Which is Better?

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Written by Chris Singleton | Researched and reviewed by Matt Walsh

The quick verdict

Overall, the better SEO tool is Semrush. It provides considerably more features, has more generous reporting limits, offers more comprehensive support and comes with sophisticated CRM-style project management tools that aren’t present in Moz.

Moz does have a couple of advantages over Semrush — its plans come with more seats, its page crawl limits are more generous and its link intersect tool lets you compare more websites’ link profiles at once.

But ultimately, given that it simply gives you many more features than Moz at a similar price point, the clear winner in this shootout is Semrush.

Reasons to use MozReasons to use Semrush
More generous site crawl limitsIt’s easier to use
More generous link intersect toolMore generous reporting limits
Some ranking data from non-Google search engines providedData provided not just for organic results but PPC too
Longer free trialPhone support provided
Some plans cater for multiple usersBetter for broken link building
Provides cheap way to add extra projectsGives you search intent data automatically

Moz vs Semrush video comparison

Key alternatives

Ahrefs, SpyFu

In this comparison, I’m going to explore how both Semrush and Moz Pro compare in terms of…

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

…and more!

But first: a look at the background of Semrush and Moz.

Semrush and Moz: the background

Semrush and Moz are two of the best-known SEO tools on the market — but they have quite different backgrounds.

Semrush is the younger of the two solutions. Founded in 2008 by SEO enthusiasts Oleg Shchegolev and Dmitry Melnikov, it was designed specifically to be an SEO tool.


Moz has a rather different history. Founded in 2004 by SEOs Rand Fishkin and Gillian Muessig, it began life as a blog and online community that discussed SEO (“SEOMoz”). This in turn evolved into an SEO consultancy, and finally into an SEO tool — Moz Pro.

Moz Pro
The Moz Pro platform

Despite their different backgrounds however, both Moz and Semrush share a key aim: to provide you with data that lets you craft effective SEO campaigns.

They essentially do this by giving you a lot of data — information that you can use to:

  • find out what phrases people use when searching for businesses or services 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 better chance of performing well in search results.

Both tools also:

  • 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 content management — so regardless of whether you’re using WordPress, Squarespace, Webflow, Wix or Shopify, 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 designed to help you climb up the search rankings. You’ll find out more about these as you progress through this comparison.

Let’s start our deep dive into both platforms’ feature sets now, with a look at domain analysis.

Domain analysis

One of the most useful things you can do with Moz and Semrush is 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
  • a competitor’s website — to establish how difficult it will be to outrank them in search results (and to find ways to do so).

Carrying out domain analysis is easy enough with Semrush and Moz — in both tools, it’s a case of navigating to a ‘Domain Overview’ section, where you’ll find the relevant data.

Getting a domain overview in Semrush
Getting a domain overview in Semrush

The arrival of a domain overview section in Moz is a fairly new (and welcome) development; until recently, you had to use two separate tools — ‘keyword research’ and ‘link research’ to perform domain analysis.

Moz's new 'Domain Overview' feature
Moz’s new ‘Domain Overview’ feature

In terms of the data you get in a domain overview, both tools give you the key data you’d expect to find, namely:

  • an ‘authority score’ that 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.
  • the top-ranking keywords the website ranks for.
  • anchor text commonly used in links to the website.
  • competing domains.

It’s worth noting that Semrush gives you a key additional piece of data here though — an estimate of the monthly traffic to the domain you’re analysing.

An organic traffic report in Semrush
An organic traffic report in Semrush

Unfortunately, Moz doesn’t do this —  best you can do on this front with the tool 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 (or a site for which you have access to Google Analytics), but no use at all for conducting competitor traffic analysis.

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

Now, based on my own testing of Semrush’s traffic analysis feature, I didn’t always find the figures returned to be 100% accurate — especially where smaller websites with lower levels of organic traffic were concerned.

To be fair to Semrush however, the tool does make it clear that it is providing traffic estimates, and gives you an indication regarding the likely accuracy of each one (see screenshot below).

Semrush traffic accuracy estimate
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 absolute gospel.

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

When you analyze a domain with Semrush, you are 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

And finally, some advertising data (pictured below) is included in the Semrush domain overview tool — paid keywords used by a domain, paid position distribution etc. This isn’t included in the Moz equivalent.

Advertising data in the Semrush domain overview
Advertising data in the Semrush domain overview

Ultimately, because of the fact that its domain overview feature gives a more holistic view of a site’s SEO performance, and includes traffic estimates too, I’d say that the overall winner in the domain analysis department is Semrush.

However, there are a couple of handy metrics that Moz provides in its domain overview for which there are no Semrush equivalents.

First up, there’s Moz’s ‘brand authority’ score. As its name suggests, this feature gives you an idea of how well-known the brand behind a website is — something that many SEO experts believe can have an indirect impact on search results.

The Moz ‘Brand Authority’ feature (currently available in BETA).

The brand authority score is based on US data (but it should serve as a good ‘shorthand’ metric outside the US too).

There’s also a ‘domain search theme’ indicator in Moz. This tells you, in a few words, what the site is mainly about. For example, when you perform domain analysis on the Style Factory site, you are told that the main focus of the site is ‘digital marketing tools’ — which is reasonably accurate.

Domain search theme feature in Moz
The ‘Domain Search Theme’ feature being used in Moz

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 easy enough for you to find out all the above information.

Performing keyword research in Moz Pro
Performing keyword research in Moz Pro

You just enter a keyword into their appropriately-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 using its 'keyword overview' feature
Performing keyword research in Semrush

Both platforms use a score out of one hundred to indicate keyword difficulty, with a higher score indicating that it will be harder to rank for a given keyword.

Keyword difficulty scores presented by Semrush
In Semrush, keyword difficulty scores are provided in percentages (see the ‘KD%’ column, above)

Prioritizing keywords

Moz and Semrush both provide you with data to help you focus on the keywords that you have the best chance of ranking for.

Generally speaking, you do this by looking at the search volume of a particular keyword (i.e., the number of searches for it in Google each month) along with the keyword difficulty score, and make your decision as to whether to try ranking for it based on those two key pieces of information.

However, both tools give you additional metrics to assist you with this process.

In the case of Moz, this comes in the shape of 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's priority score metric
Moz’s keyword priority score – a feature that is not currently available in Semrush.

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.

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

Semrush gives you a related metric which is arguably 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. It’s an extremely useful metric that will enable you to make quick (but informed) decisions regarding whether or not you should target a particular keyword in an SEO campaign.

Unfortunately, this feature 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 screengrab below).

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

But in general, it works fairly well and lets you make quick decisions about which keywords to focus on.

It’s fair to say that Semrush brings more ‘context’ to keyword research than Moz too. As with domain analysis, it gives you search intent data alongside its keyword data / suggestions, 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).

Now, this search 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. But the ‘search 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.

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

Tip: for a quick guide to how the keyword research process works in Semrush, you can watch the video below.

Creating 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.

Creating a keyword list in Moz
Creating a keyword list in Moz

These allow you to check in on how keyword difficulty is trending over time, or export keyword data to any SEO clients you may be working with.

However, Semrush recently added some additional functionality to its keyword list tool that you won’t find in Moz: topic clustering.

This aims to you identify keywords — based on a phrase that you enter — that can help you build up topical authority on a subject (search engines can reward sites that cover all aspects of a particular topic in depth).

Creating a clustered list in Semrush
Creating a clustered list in Semrush

This feature is definitely handy and gives you a lot of food for thought when it comes to what topics and phrases cover on your site. However, you will need to review the output carefully, as some of the suggested topics can be a bit off target.

Topic cluster suggestions in Semrush

Free trials of Moz and Semrush

Using SEO tools like Moz and Semrush can represent a significant monthly 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 the company has recently made a double-length free trial available, which you can access (for a limited time only) using this special 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, YouTube, Baidu or Amazon.

I say ‘generally speaking’ because when it comes to rank tracking, there are more options available from both platforms.

Moz lets you look at how your site is ranking for particular keywords on other search engines — Bing and Yahoo — if you use its ‘Rank Checker’ tool (a feature that offers you a quick way to see where your site currently ranks for a given keyword).

Moz's 'Rank Checker' tool
Moz’s ‘Rank Checker’ tool lets you check search positions for keywords on Bing, Yahoo and Google (deskop and mobile)

And Semrush lets you perform rank tracking for Baidu and Bing.

Setting up Google, Bing or Baidu rank tracking in Semrush
Setting up Google, Bing or Baidu rank tracking in Semrush

Semrush and Moz’s main focus on Google is understandable, as it currently dominates the search engine market — at time of writing, 91.37% of all searches worldwide are carried out using it (source: Statcounter).

Search engine market share stats, April 2024 (Source: Statcounter)
Search engine market share stats, April 2024 (Source: Statcounter)

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.

Related resources: for more information about Ahrefs, check out our Ahrefs vs Semrush comparison, our Moz vs Ahrefs comparison, our Ahrefs vs Moz vs Semrush shootout or our full review of Ahrefs.

How well a site performs in search results depends very much 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 for it — is really important.

With both Moz and Semrush, you can enter a domain name and view a list of all the backlinks to it that each tool 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 fairly open about this data, publishing data on their websites about the size of their databases.

At time of writing, according to Semrush, there are 25 billion keywords, 43 trillion backlinks and 808 million domains in its database.

Database statistics for Semrush (2024)
Semrush database size statistics (April 2024)

Moz currently states that it has 40.7 trillion links, 718 million domains and 7 trillion pages in its database, along with 1.25 billion keywords.

Moz database statistics
Moz database statistics

So, if these figures are accurate, it suggests that Semrush should always be able to surface more backlinks during domain analysis.

I wanted to put this theory to the test however, so I did some domain analysis on the website builder and design tools that we typically cover in our ecommerce reviews.

I ran the relevant URLs through both Semrush and Moz to see how many referring domains both tools surfaced for each one. My results were as follows:


As you can see from the table above, Semrush surfaced more referring domains than Moz: it ‘won’ seven out of the 10 contests.

Now, given that my testing was of a small-scale nature, I’d be reluctant to draw too many firm conclusions from the results. But the evidence here does suggest that Semrush’s bigger database will probably translate into ‘bigger’ data.

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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
  • active vs lost links

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

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

You also get a lot more filters in Semrush that you can use to go through backlink data. In the screenshot below, you can see that with Semrush, it’s possible to filter referring domains by status (active, new, lost etc.); time period; dofollow vs nofollow; industry category; and authority score.

Referring domain filters
Use filters in Semrush to go through referring domain data

In Moz, as the screenshot below highlights, you can only really filter by link type (dofollow, nofollow, redirect etc.) and link state (active or lost).

Backlink filters in Moz Pro
Backlink filters in Moz Pro

I also prefer the way that Semrush presents backlink data — 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 data presented by Semrush
Some of the data visualization you get when performing 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 what’s provided by Semrush).

So, overall, when it comes to backlink reports, it’s a clear win for Semrush.

Backlink analysis is essential 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 in 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 has an edge when it comes to the quantity of sites you can cross reference against each other — it allows you to compare your site’s backlinks to those of five others, while Semrush limits the comparison to four other websites.

The 'backlink gap' tool 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 tool’ 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 — and this 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’.

Surfacing domain prospects in Semrush
Finding 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, Outlook, Yahoo etc.). This is a fantastic feature, and there’s nothing 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.

A banner advert for Semrush

Broken link building is a pretty important SEO tactic.

It involves a three-step process:

  1. Finding a broken link (i.e., one that no longer leads to a live web page).
  2. Recreating the ‘dead’ content that it the link used to point to.
  3. 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 may perform in search results.

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

The broken link building process is easier in Semrush — you can run an inbound link report and then click filter it to get an accurate list of broken backlinks.

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.

Importantly, Semrush lets you identify broken outbound links too (Moz doesn’t facilitate this at all). If your site has a lot of broken outbound links, this can indicate to search engines that your content is out of date — and thus not worthy of ranking too highly!

Ultimately, because it’s easier to perform both inbound and outbound link analysis with Semrush, it’s a win for Semrush in this area.

Semrush provides a metric — an ‘overall toxicity score‘ — to help you identify poor-quality links (i.e., spammy links that can lead to you being penalised in search results).

The 'toxicity score' in Semrush
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. No contact details for any toxic links are provided by Moz.

Moz's spam score
Moz’s spam score

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

However, you should note that to access toxic link reports in Semrush, 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. Moz, by contrast, lets you generate a spam score for any website without requiring you to use up a project slot.

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

However, it should be noted 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.

In fact, Mueller has gone so far as to say that owners of websites that have never been penalized might want to consider deleting their disavow files, and that really, the disavow tool is only for use when Google has applied a manual penalty to your website (or you’re confident that it’s highly likely to).

So, it can be hard to know what to do with toxic link data — but at least Semrush and Moz both give it to you, and you can make your own decision regarding whether or not to disavow the poor-quality links surfaced.

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.

In Semrush, the site auditing tool is called — appropriately! — ‘Site Audit,’ and Moz’s is labelled ‘Site Crawl.’

A Semrush site audit
A site audit being performed using Semrush

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
  • Poor site performance / low Core Web Vitals scores

Both products provide you with a host 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. And it gives you more information too: for example warnings when structured data is incorrect, JavaScript isn’t minified or hreflang tags are not looking right.

Banner advert for Semrush

And in Moz, as with its domain analysis tools, it feels as though getting the information you need involves more clicking around the place — you have to flick between a few different sections in the navigation to get at the info (an ‘ on-demand 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 a page’s URL and a keyword and view a very clear list of things you need to do to improve that page’s chances of ranking for that keyword.

(Significantly, you don’t need to use up a project slot to use this feature.)

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, via Zapier, another content management tool), so that your team can work on resolving it.

Sending SEO tasks to Trello
Sending SEO tasks highlighted by Semrush to Trello

(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.)

SEO suggestions made by Semrush's on-page checker
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 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.

Interface and ease of use

When it comes to interfaces, Semrush’s menus are arguably laid out in a more logical fashion than Moz’s, 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 big emphasis on graphs — will definitely appeal too. With Semrush, you get a really quick ‘at-a-glance’ understanding of SEO information — but in Moz, you often have to do more digging, or clicking about the place, to get at the data you need.

Matters aren’t helped by the fact that Moz seems to be mixing a new interface with its old one at the moment — if you click its ‘Domain Overview’ option you’ll see its new interface, but any other option will take you back to the old one.

That’s not to say that the Moz interface is particularly hard to use — it’s just not as slick or intuitive as Semrush’s.

The Semrush interface (March 2024)
Semrush places a big emphasis on data visualization.

Semrush also gives you 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 (see screenshot below for an example).

Contextual help being provided during a Semrush site audit
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. This is 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

There’s no getting away from it: 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 some pretty serious competitive intelligence.

There are four Semrush pricing plans available:

  • Pro: $129.95 per month
  • Guru: $249.95 per month
  • Business: $499.95 per month
  • Custom: negotiable.

You can save up to 17% by paying upfront for a year, and there’s also a free trial available.

Semrush pricing plans
Semrush pricing

Tip: normally the Semrush trial lasts just 7 days, but for a limited time you can avail of a 14-day extended trial via this link. This gives you access to all the Semrush key features and data and much more time to use them.

Moz Pro comes in 5 varieties:

  • Standard: $99 per month
  • Medium: $179 per month
  • Large: $299 per month
  • Premium: $599 per month
  • Moz 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 commendably generous by comparison to similar SEO tools, some of which don’t provide free trials at all.

Occasionally Moz runs other discounts too — at time of writing, for example, the company is running a 20% discount on all its plans (to celebrate its 20th anniversary).

Now, there are a few key things to zoom in on when trying to find out which of these two tools 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,’ ‘Large’ and ‘Premium’ plans come with additional ones (2, 3 and 5 respectively).

Furthermore, the monthly fee per additional user is more reasonable than Semrush’s: it’s $49 per user per month, irrespective of plan type.


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, toxic link analysis and rank tracking.

So, for users needing to perform those sort of 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’ll effectively have to keep a project slot free for any ‘ad hoc’ work.

With Moz, projects (known as ‘campaigns’ in Moz-speak) 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 just $10 per month per project, however.

Campaign limits in Moz
Campaign limits in Moz

Semrush’s equivalent limits are 5 on its $129.95 plan,15 on its $249.95 plan and 40 on its $499.95 plan.

Project limits in Semrush

Unlike Moz though, you can’t increase these limits by paying an extra monthly fee (if you need higher limits, you’ll need to negotiate a ‘custom’ plan with Semrush).

Semrush add-ons

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

These include:

  • 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.
  • ImpactHero‘ — this is a ‘sales funnel’ analysis tool that helps you understand how your visitors interact with your website along with which content performs best at each stage of the funnel.

These add-ons are not particularly cheap — ‘Semrush.Trends’ costs an additional $289 per month; the local SEO add-on costs $20-$40 extra per month; the agency growth kit costs $69 to $249 extra per month; and ‘ImpactHero’ costs $200 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.

A screenshot of the Semrush app center
The Semrush app center

39 third-party apps / integrations are currently available, with a focus that’s chiefly on analytics and data, and they range in cost from $10 to $169 per user, per month.

Key apps in here include Influencer Analytics, an app that helps you identify relevant influencer/content creator partners for your services, and AdClarity, an app that gives you a holistic view of your competitors’ advertising activity across several different advertising channels (display, social, video etc.). Another app worth investigating is ContentShake, an AI writing assistant tool.

(There’s also a few free apps available — these include a website speed tester, a local listings checker and a plagiarism checker).

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.

Advert (Semrush)

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 run just 150 keyword queries per month, for example, or 5,000 backlink queries per month.

So when it comes to keyword research, Semrush definitely provides a lot more value for money.

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 considerably more generous than the Semrush equivalents. For example, on the Moz entry level plan, you can crawl around 400,000 pages per project, 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.

Rank tracking

Rank tracking (also known as position tracking or SERP tracking) lets you track a website’s daily rankings for a custom set of target keywords.

When it comes to entry level plans, Semrush’s rank tracking limits are a bit more generous than Moz’s: on the Semrush ‘Pro’ plan you can track 500 target keywords, while Moz’s equivalent plan limits you to 300. With the other Moz and Semrush plans, the limits are fairly similar.

However, Moz does have a bit of an edge when it comes to rank tracking in that it also gives you an ‘on demand’ rank checker that lets you perform 200 ‘ad hoc’ rank tracking queries per day.

Pay-per-click (PPC) data

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

The advertising research tool in Semrush.
Semrush gives you access to detailed information about the ad campaigns associated with particular domains

Semrush includes detailed CPC competition and distribution data, live ads and PPC campaign planning tools in its dedicated ‘Advertising research’ section (pictured above). There isn’t really anything comparable available from Moz Pro.

Customer support

When it comes to customer support, Semrush provides the more comprehensive offering. It gives you access to three channels of support: phone, live chat, and email. Moz, by contrast, offers two: email support and live chat.

Moz customer support
Accessing Moz customer support

Both tools provide you with easy access to live chat when you’re logged into your account. As for Semrush’s phone support, this is can be accesed via a ‘contact us’ button in the footer of their site.

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

In the case of Moz, support materials are only available in English. But Semrush provides them in 14 different languages.

An image of French-language Semrush help page.
Unlike Moz, Semrush offers its support materials in several different languages

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 double-length, 14-day free trial available using this link.

Moz vs Semrush: the verdict

Overall, the better SEO tool is 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 without ever leaving the platform.

If Moz was considerably cheaper than Semrush, then I’d definitely 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 roughly the same buck.

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

I’ll leave you with a summary regarding the relative pros and cons of each — and do feel free to leave any questions in the comments section below. We read them all and will do our best to help.

Reasons to use Semrush instead of Moz

  • It’s easier to use.
  • It’s considerably 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.
  • Its CRM-style approach to link outreach means that you can create really great link building campaigns without ever leaving the app. With Moz, you’ll need to resort to spreadsheets and email programs to do this.
  • Its site auditing features are more comprehensive.
  • Semrush provides really useful search 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.
  • Some useful ‘topic clustering’ tools are available in Semrush that you won’t find in Moz.
  • It’s easier to identify and output toxic links with Semrush (although it’s questionable how useful this data is these days).
  • Broken backlink building is 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 build in order to get a keyword to rank highly.
  • In addition to facilitating rank tracking for Google and Bing, Semrush lets you set up rank tracking for Baidu (Moz caters for Google, Bing and Yahoo).
  • Phone support is available for Semrush but not for Moz.
  • More contextual help is provided in the Semrush interface.

Reasons to use Moz instead of Semrush

  • Its monthly 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 a domain with for 5 others at once (Semrush limits you to doing so with 4).
  • Moz’s standard free trial is considerably longer than Semrush’s standard one.
  • The Moz entry-level plan is a bit cheaper than the Semrush equivalent.
  • Additional users are included on the more expensive Moz plans; Semrush by default only provides one user per plan, irrespective of tier.
  • It’s cheaper to add additional users to a Moz plan than a Semrush one.
  • 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.
  • Moz gives you an ‘on demand’ rank tracking tool that’s not available in Semrush.
  • In addition to facilitating rank tracking for Google and Bing, Moz lets you set up rank tracking for Yahoo (Semrush caters for Google, Bing and Baidu).
  • Its brand authority metric — something that is not available in Semrush — is handy for evaluating how established the company behind a website is.

Alternatives to Semrush and Moz

Semrush and Moz are by no means the only options when it comes to SEO platforms! Some well-known alternative SEO tools include:

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

Got any thoughts or questions about Moz or Semrush?

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

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.