BuzzSumo vs Ahrefs: Which is Best for You?

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There are dozens of SEO and digital marketing platforms available. They all seem to have great features and competitive pricing, making the process of choosing the right one for your business takes a lot of time and effort.

This article isn’t going to discuss all the options you can possibly use but will instead focus on just two very effective and respected all-in-one toolkits: BuzzSumo vs Ahrefs.

Find out which, if either, is best for you!

What are These Tools For?

Feeling a little confused?

Ahrefs and BuzzSumo are essentially all-in-one SEO and content marketing platforms that specialize in research, competitor analysis, content strategy, optimization, and site monitoring.

They are used by digital marketing professionals to run successful online businesses and deliver great content. They are sometimes referred to as social insight tools because they excel at finding the best relevant content people are searching for and talking about.

They both come with content explorer, keyword research, monitoring, and many other features. BuzzSumo has unique features like influencer and digital PR marketing, while Ahrefs content explorer and data analysis capabilities are some of the best in the business.

Both platforms are relied upon for researching ideas, developing and executing content marketing strategies, analyzing competitors, and monitoring trends.

There are overlapping features and similarities shared between the two platforms. Both Buzzsumo vs Ahrefs will allow you to use tools that:

  • Analyze topics and trends
  • See all backlinks and referring domains for a piece of content or site
  • Filter a piece of content by language or custom date range
  • Discover keyword ideas and analyze ranking difficulty
  • Filter by top-level domain
  • Save advanced searches for sites, keywords, and authors
  • Receive new content alerts

Now let’s dive a little deeper into the uses and features of each platform.

Uses of BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo's logo.

BuzzSumo is used to research new ideas by collaborating with influential people and discovering high-performing content that works. But it’s also used to manage content marketing strategies and handle many SEO tasks related to delivering content and keyword ranking.

With BuzzSumo you can analyze billions of data points, collaborate with influencers, research content ideas, track comments, and monitor trends. Other ways to use BuzzSumo include:

  • Competitor intelligence
  • Keyword research
  • Content strategy
  • Crisis alerting
  • Digital PR
  • Influencer marketing
  • Video marketing

BuzzSumo is really good at identifying truly authoritative authors and content creators with engaged audiences (and has the largest index of social media engagement).

BuzzSumo Features

BuzzSumo specializes in allowing its users to find and deliver great content through research or tracking the most influential content creators. Its core features provide the tools needed to successfully accomplish these tasks:


Content Discovery

BuzzSumo trends is great for content discovery.

One of the cornerstones of effective SEO is researching topics to identify keywords and publish relevant content. Digging deeper into content examples and thinking creatively is how you deliver the best new content.

Hitting a wall and being unable to think of creative new ideas is a major inconvenience for marketers. BuzzSumo offers an easy-to-use tool for your content discovery roadblock.

With BuzzSumo’s content explorer you can discover new content, browse topics, trends and forums to formulate ideas that will kick start your marketing strategies and help you create that ideal piece of content.

Its built-in keyword research tool allows you to search for words and phrases that your target audience is searching for. It’s a very useful tool that lets you see monthly search volume to identify high-demand topics and understand the popularity of specific keywords (see: finding low competition keywords).

You can obtain PPC data to see which keywords generate the most advertising competition. You can also see search volume trends to explore the popularity and seasonality of keywords over time. Compare or combine this information with other BuzzSumo insights to deliver the most comprehensive piece of content.

Basically, BuzzSumo’s content explorer tool allows you to browse trending topics, identify high-traffic keywords, see content examples, drill down into shared content, and use the information to start ranking for keywords and generate content ideas.

You can even compile questions from forums and review sites like Reddit or Quora to learn how to better engage readers.


Content Research

BuzzSumo's content research feature are quite robust.

Research is very important to any content marketing strategy. BuzzSumo’s research capabilities take your content explorer activities to a deeper level. BuzzSumo is always crawling the web and social media to feed its users with data-powered content insights in any niche.

BuzzSumo has a huge database where users can search for billions of data points about sites, articles, and social media posts.

The Content Research tool allows users to filter by content type from billions of articles to identify top formats that resonate with audiences. Users can also search years of content performance data and search by domain to perform competitive benchmarking.

Content Research is great for finding out what content is shared the most on social media and what people like talking about. You can search for the top-performing posts on Facebook, identify trends, and get useful page/post-analysis data.

Users can also analyze the backlink profiles of competitors or websites linking to key referring domains. Sort backlinks by social media engagement or receive real-time updates and alerts when new inbound links are created.

With the Content Research tool, you can curate and publish the best content possible with less work and target the readers that matter.


Find Influencers

Finding influencers with BuzzSumo is a major perk.

Influencer marketing is a highly effective strategy for drawing authority from influential people and gaining more readers to grow your brand.

You want to publish good relevant content that will attract readers and perform well in any niche. Influencers, thought leaders, and top-performing content creators are an excellent source of authority and what people are searching for.

BuzzSumo allows users to find authors with authority. It gives you a tool to see who has the fans and followers you want to target. You can search niche blogs by size or language, identify the top authors in any domain, and see who is getting the most links, likes, and shares.

Identify leading voices across social media and find the most relevant content publishers for your campaign. Analyze tons of profiles and metrics to see which influencers are helping out and sharing your competitor’s content.

Just enter a keyword and gain access to influential people with large and active followings.



Monitoring keywords and more with BuzzSumo has never been easier.

Brand monitoring is crucial for the growth and success of your business. You need to know what people think of your products, content, and websites. You also need to know what’s going on in your niche and what people are saying about your competitors.

BuzzSumo allows an SEO like you to monitor competitors, track brand mentions, and receive industry updates. Pick up on important events with alerts and stay on top of social media trends.

You can create alerts for keywords, brands, and topics. Anything that has an impact on your business. See how many mentions or likes your brand is getting. Keep up with the latest industry news, current and emerging niche products, and track your competition.

You can also create alerts for influencers and key content creators, bloggers, and journalists.

Last but not least, you can track new backlinks as they are created in real-time. See which content gets new links, convert mentions into links, and learn how to grow your business.


BuzzSumo Pricing

BuzzSumo's pricing options.

BuzzSumo has four plans designed for any type of business: Pro, Plus, Large, and Enterprise. You can pay monthly or yearly and cost savings increase with the plan level. Yearly plans are cheaper. Free 7-day trial for Pro, Plus, and Large. You also get more users per plan vs Ahrefs.

Pro ($99/month)

Unlimited monthly searches, 5 users, 1 year of data, 5 alerts, 50 exports, 5 projects (1K items), 10 trending feeds.

Content analysis reports, influencer searches, domain reports, backlinks.

Plus ($179/month)

Unlimited monthly searches, 10 users, 1 year of data, 10 alerts, 150 exports, 10 projects (5K items), 20 trending feeds.

Content analysis reports, influencer searches, domain reports, backlinks, question analyzer.

Large ($299/month)

Unlimited monthly searches, 15 users, 2 years of data, 30 alerts, 200 exports, 30 projects (10K items), 50 trending feeds.

Content analysis reports, influencer searches, domain reports, backlinks, question analyzer, YouTube analyzer, top author search.

Enterprise ($499+/month)

Unlimited monthly searches, 30 users, 5 years of data, 50 alerts, 400 exports, 30 projects (40K items), 150 trending feeds.

Content analysis reports, influencer searches, domain reports, backlinks, question analyzer, YouTube analyzer, top author search.

Uses of Ahrefs

Ahref's logo.

Ahrefs takes pride in helping you find and deliver great content too. Ahrefs is used by experienced marketers worldwide to conduct in-depth research, analyze competitors, grow search traffic, and rank higher in the SERPs.

With Ahrefs you can focus on the following:

  • Site optimization
  • Competitor intelligence
  • Keyword research
  • Content strategy
  • Rank and site monitoring

SEO pros use Ahrefs for backlinks analysis and keyword research because it has the biggest live index of backlinks and keywords of any platform (it also updates its algorithms regularly to provide the most accurate data).

Ahrefs Features

Ahrefs is a highly influential tool in the SEO community and is used by many top marketers. You can do anything related to SEO with Ahrefs. It has excellent backlinks analysis, keyword research, rank tracking, and site monitoring features. Ahrefs Content Explorer and keyword research tools are some of the best in the industry.

Ahrefs also boasts the largest index of live backlinks and keywords of any platform in the world. It’s a premier all-in-one tool for backlinks and technical SEO analysis. Moreover, Ahrefs constantly updates its algorithms to provide users with the fastest up-to-date data.

For a video tutorial on using Ahrefs, go here.

Let’s take a look at the core features of Ahrefs:


Site Explorer

Ahrefs site explorer is its main feature.

With Ahrefs’ Site Explorer you can get a deep look at the backlink profile and organic search traffic of any website. It’s a competitive research tool for paid traffic research, backlink checking, and seeing which keywords and pages are bringing the most organic search traffic.

Essentially, it’s a very useful tool for analyzing your own site’s backlinks or that of your competitors. You can explore profitable keywords for organic or paid search, research backlinks with one of the fastest backlink crawlers in the industry (across the biggest index of live backlinks in the world), and research outgoing links.


Keywords Explorer

Ahrefs keyword explorer is great for finding keywords.

Keyword research is one of the most important SEO activities. With Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, you have a powerful tool for discovering new keyword ideas, analyzing their ranking difficulty, and assessing their traffic potential.

Keyword Explorer is one of the best comprehensive research tools on the market. Users can look closely at what their competitors are searching for or use the tool to obtain keyword and content ideas.

You get thousands of keywords suggestions populated from an updating database of more than 7 billion search terms across 7 search engines. Keyword Explorer gives you a keyword difficulty score (KD) as well as search volume, “click”, and advanced SEO metrics.

You can see the parent topic of any keyword and obtain a SERP overview and positions history too. Get the search volumes of up to 10,000 keywords in one query.

This deep research tool also allows you to get a SERP overview report to see what traffic your top-ranking pages are attracting and what keywords they are ranking for. You can save and categorize keywords into lists and revisit them anytime.


Site Audit

Ahrefs site audit is nice for finding problems on your site.

Auditing is another important aspect of successful SEO. Ahrefs Site Audit allows you to analyze the on-page SEO issues that are affecting your site’s performance.

It’s important to find technical optimization issues when making adjustments to improve your website. Site Audit allows you to optimize your site and monitor its health over time with exhaustive site analysis functions and SEO health scores.

There are over 100 SEO issues you can check for and monitor with Site Audit. Get data on performance issues, social tags, content quality, backlinks, HTML tags, outgoing links, and external pages.

Site Audit also features a Data Explorer tool for deeper analysis of your websites. You can go beyond pre-defined issues and customize the data points you want to analyze using filters and parameters. It gives you a completely personalized picture of any URL.


Rank Tracker

Ahrefs rank tracker can track your keyword rankings.

You can monitor rankings, schedule reports, and track your performance against competitors over time with Rank Tracker.

Basically, you can track the ranking progress of keywords and get periodic reports (updates for desktop or mobile sites).

Rank Tracker is all about visualizing how your SEO efforts are performing. You can see what proportion of organic search clicks land on your site, the average ranking position, positions distribution, and traffic stats.

You also get data on 13 SERP features like sitelinks, top stories, thumbnails, Adwords, shopping results, knowledge card, videos, and tweet box.


Content Explorer

Ahrefs content explorer is another great feature of the platform.

One of the most important features is the Content Explorer tool for discovering and analyzing top-performing content in any niche. Content explorer tools are useful for finding popular articles on any topic.

Ahrefs Content Explorer will let you research over a billion pages and filter them by key SEO and social metrics. Take a look at organic traffic, domain rating, referring domains, traffic value, and socially shared content.

You can also discover your niche’s top-performing content and analyze topics and trends to see which produce the most quality links. Social media engagement is important too and you can use Ahrefs Content Explorer to analyze which topics generate the most shared content and receive the most social shares.

Ahrefs Content Explorer and Site Explorer are similar to BuzzSumo’s Content Discovery and Research tools.


Ahrefs Pricing

Ahrefs pricing options.

Ahrefs has four plans: Lite, Standard, Advanced, and Agency. Ahrefs is more expensive than BuzzSumo at the higher plan levels and you can start a trial on the Lite and Standard plans for $7. You also get less users per plan vs BuzzSumo.

Lite ($99)

1 user, some locked features, lowest level of reporting and analysis features.

Standard ($179/month)

1 user, more reports than Lite, more rows per report, indexing positions, domains, keyword alerts, higher batch analysis than Lite and more exportable data rows for each core tool than Lite.

Advanced ($399/month)

3 users, more reports than Standard, more rows per report, indexing positions, domains, keyword alerts, higher batch analysis than Standard and more exportable data rows for each core tool than Standard.

Agency ($999/month)

5 users, more reports than Advanced, more rows per report, indexing positions, domains, keyword alerts, higher batch analysis than Advanced and more exportable data rows for each core tool than Advanced.

Ahrefs vs BuzzSumo Wrap-Up

All-in-one SEO toolkits like BuzzSumo and Ahrefs enable digital marketing pros to discover relevant content, generate keyword ideas, engage with influential people, research and monitor on-page SEO metrics as well as analyze backlink profiles, site traffic, and keyword ranking performance.

Ahrefs and BuzzSumo are both extremely powerful tools that will handle the needs of any digital marketing business. When it comes to BuzzSumo vs Ahrefs, the former isn’t as sophisticated as Ahrefs but it does have unique features like influencer marketing, digital PR, and video marketing.

BuzzSumo is more affordable than Ahrefs at the higher plan levels and has great content explorer and influencer marketing features.

On the other hand, Ahrefs is one of the most respected platforms out there and a favored toolkit for experienced professionals who love highly technical SEO analysis. Ahrefs is always updating algorithms to provide the most accurate data for users. It also boasts the biggest index of live backlinks and keywords on the web.

Ahrefs is more focused on SEO compared to BuzzSumo and you will see this emphasis throughout its features. Tools like Site Audit and Content Explorer really allow you to drill down your analysis with customized SEO metrics and look at comprehensive pre-defined SEO issues.

Ahrefs Content Explorer and Site Explorer can do almost everything that BuzzSumo can do and more. Although Ahrefs is ideal for the more technically minded SEO who needs to perform deep research and track metrics, it’s still very useful for broader activities like content discovery, positioning, and social media outreach (as is BuzzSumo).

When comparing BuzzSumo vs Ahrefs for filtering pieces of content, Ahrefs has an excellent best match filter that lets you look at domain ranking and explore backlink profiles. BuzzSumo lets you identify people who shared specific pieces of content, particularly on social media platforms like Twitter.

BuzzSumo has a clean design interface and comes with a handy Chrome extension. Both platforms utilize a ton of crawled data. BuzzSumo has a huge database of articles and social media posts (including the largest index of social media engagement), but Ahrefs has the largest index of backlinks in the world and the fastest web crawlers. Overall, Ahrefs is better for data analysis than BuzzSumo.

Ahrefs content explorer, keyword research, rank tracking, and site auditing tools are some of the best in the industry. Although BuzzSumo is a very respectable platform that will probably serve your business needs, the ultimate choice has to be Ahrefs because of its sophistication, deep technical analysis features, and being able to do almost anything BuzzSumo can do and more.

But if the price is a concern, check out these articles on Ahrefs alternatives or link building software.

Leave your questions and comments below!

Contributing Author: Brian Kihneman

Header image for Nicholas Altimore.Article by:
Nicholas Altimore

Hey I'm Nick, the Founder/Director here at SirLinksalot. I have a passion for building online businesses and taking websites to the next level with the help of my amazing link building team.

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