What’s the most important thing you can do when creating content for your website, whether an enticing piece of sales copy or a value-loaded blog?
Writing for your target audience in mind.
Keyword research means you can develop content that addresses your prospective customers’ needs and rank as high as possible in the search engine results.
Keyword research tools make it easy to see what words and phrases you should use. However, which tool is the best?
In this article, I’ll compare two popular keyword research tools: AnswerThePublic vs Ahrefs. Which has the best features, which is the most affordable, and which will drive the best results for your business?
We’ve already looked at Ubersuggest vs Ahrefs; now it’s time to dive into our fantastic search listening tool, AnswerThePublic. Let’s get started!
How To Make AnswerThePublic Work For You
AnswerThePublic is a search listening tool and part of the NP Digital suite of marketing tools. It specializes in analyzing search behavior to see what questions people ask online.
It works by collecting autocomplete data on Google. You type in a one or two-word ‘seed’ keyword to get started, and AnswerThePublic provides you with all the relevant autocomplete words and phrases that appear for this keyword. This is a great way to discover keywords you might not have thought of before or that your competitors aren’t using.
Along with the various other uses of this tool, AnswerThePublic can help you identify search intent, as well as what type of keyword is suitable for each part of your website.
For example, you can use the questions in your FAQ section or answer bank, or the comparisons as blog post titles for customers with commercial intent.
The data comes with search volume and cost-per-click information so you can see which keywords are the best ones to use. Look for the orange dots at the center of the visualization – the darker the dot, the higher the search volume!
The visualizations make it easy to present data to your team as well as see potential keyword clusters. These are groups of keywords that have similar intent and that work well together in the same piece of content.
Finally, you can save your searches for future reference and even track changes. This means you get a weekly email with all the new search terms that are available, meaning you can always keep up to speed with the latest keywords in your industry.
We developed AnswerThePublic to be as cost-effective as possible. After all, all businesses should be able to carry out high-quality keyword research no matter their marketing budget!
There are three pricing tiers for AnswerThePublic, each with a 7-day free trial.
- Individual at $9 a month – perfect for freelancers and small businesses
- Pro at $99 a month – great for medium-sized businesses
- Expert at $199 a month.- ideal for larger organizations and digital marketing agencies.
This is fantastic value for money. To put it another way, the lowest-priced AnswerThePublic plan is nearly ten times cheaper than the lowest-priced Ahrefs plan!
One thing we offer that other tools like AnswerThePublic don’t is a lifetime plan for individual use. This means you pay $99 once and can access the latest version forever! No monthly fees, just lots of fantastic data at your fingertips.
Is There a Free Version of AnswerThePublic?
There is! The free version of AnswerThePublic is a great option if you don’t have a marketing budget for keyword research or want to try the platform before buying.
With the free version of AnswerThePublic, you get:
- One search a day (or three if you sign up for a free account)
- Unlimited keyword results with limited search volume and CPC data
- Visualization downloads
- Access to previous searches
AnswerThePublic Customer Thoughts
“Answer the Public is the best place to go to when looking for content ideas on almost any topic. Simply type in your topic and it generates curated top ranking topic headings you can use for email headers, social media content and blog posts! Saves time and energy doing research.”
Five-star G2 review from Edirin
I love getting feedback about AnswerThePublic and try to read every review, whether positive or negative.
We’ve brought in new question categories, more accurate keyword data, and improved filtering and export options off the back of reviews from our awesome customers!
AnswerThePublic users love how easy it is to use, how much data it offers (even on the free plan), and most importantly, how much value for money it provides.
Using Ahrefs as a Keyword Research Tool
Ahrefs claims to be the most active SEO bot in the world and the third most active web crawler behind Google and Bing, crawling five million pages every minute. That’s pretty impressive!
What does this mean for you? It means Ahrefs is home to a massive amount of accurate, regularly updated data. In SEO, where precision is of the utmost importance, this can make the difference between ranking on the first page of Google and getting stuck on the second page of the results.
Ahrefs is a little different from AnswerThePublic. While AnswerThePublic focuses on keyword research and search listening, Ahrefs consists of a suite of SEO tools. As well as keyword ideas, it provides competitor insight, content suggestions, and how to improve your on-page SEO.
If you’re looking for tools like AnswerThePublic, you’ll get lots of useful information to supercharge your keyword research strategy! Let’s look at some of Ahrefs’ cool features.
The Keywords Explorer in Ahrefs is highly detailed. Just type in a keyword, and you can see:
- How hard it is to rank in the search engines for that keyword
- How much traffic you can get for ranking for that keyword in different countries
- Additional keyword ideas
- Historical and current information about the top ten ranking pages. For example, how many backlinks a page has and its ranking history
As well as data for keywords to target in Google, you can also get information for YouTube, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, and Amazon – perfect for finessing your Amazon listings!
Another nifty feature is Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, available for paid-for and free account users. Just verify your website (either by uploading an HTML file or through Google Search Console), and you can access lots of valuable information about your site. This includes:
- Overall website performance, including domain rating and traffic value
- Backlinks on your website, including anchor text and broken backlinks
- The keywords you’re currently ranking for
- Which domains you’re competing with
- Websites you link to
- An opportunities report, with suggestions for which keywords you should target to get on page one of Google and which pages might become a featured snippet
Ahrefs comes with its own free WordPress plugin that makes SEO super simple. Install it on your website, and it will tell you if your articles need rewriting, merging with another piece of content, or removing entirely.
Finally, there is a free extension for Chrome and Firefox. Add it to your browser and you can get keyword metrics in the search engines, as well as SEO metrics for websites you visit.
(While AnswerThePublic doesn’t have its own browser extension, Ubersuggest does!)
Ahrefs is more expensive than AnswerThePublic, but it does provide a wider range of tools. Ahrefs offers four different pricing tiers:
- Lite at $99 a month – ideal for small businesses and freelancers
- Standard at $199 a month – brilliant for medium businesses
- Advanced at $399 a month – great for large businesses
- Enterprise at $999 a month – fantastic for international organizations and digital marketing agencies
While Ahrefs doesn’t provide a lifetime plan like AnswerThePublic, you can save money by paying annually. When you do this, you get two months free of charge, so you’re only paying for ten months.
One thing to keep in mind is that Ahrefs doesn’t offer a free trial, which makes it tricky to see which pricing plan is suitable for your needs.
Is There a Free Version of Ahrefs?
No, there isn’t a free version of Ahrefs. However, Ahrefs does offer a collection of free SEO tools, including the previously mentioned Webmaster Tools. Other no-cost tools the platform offers include:
- Keyword generator for Google, Bing, YouTube, and Amazon
- Keyword difficulty checker
- Backlink checker
- Website authority checker
- Broken link checker
- Website traffic checker
- SERP checker for analyzing the top 10 rankings for any keyword as well as where your domain ranks
- AI writing tools
These free tools have limited functionality compared to the paid-for versions that are part of the Ahrefs package of tools.
Ahrefs Customer Thoughts
“The best part of Ahrefs is it provides the most accurate data and metrics about your site, keyword research, competitor analysis, and many more things. Additionally, it provides a free audit of your site on a weekly basis giving you complete details of errors and areas of improvement.”
Five-star G2 review from Saurabh
Ahrefs has been on the scene for 13 years, and over that time, it’s acquired hundreds of thousands of loyal customers. In fact, the platform proudly states on its homepage how many people have signed up over the last week!
Users love how comprehensive Ahrefs is, how much historical data they can view, and how they can use it for backlink analysis.
There are also lots of training videos to help you get to grips with Ahrefs, as well as SEO concepts in general.
AnswerThePublic vs Ahrefs: Comparing Features
Both platforms have features in common and features that make them stand out from the pack. I’ve put together this AnswerThePublic comparison table so you can easily contrast the two.
|Pricing||From $9 a month||From $99 a month|
|Lifetime plan available||Yes||No|
|Free version available||Yes||Yes|
|Free trial available||Yes||No|
|Number of users||From 1 (additional seats are available with other plans or can be purchased)||From 1 (additional users can be added for free or a charge depending on level of activity)|
|Search engines it gets data from||Google, Bing, Yandex, and own databases|
|Projects available||From 1||From 1|
|Content ideas and topic research||No||Yes|
|AI content generator||No||Yes (as a standalone tool)|
|Social media tools||No||No|
|Training and support tools||Yes||Yes|
|API support||No||Yes (with the Enterprise plan)|
|Automated reporting||Yes||Yes (Rank Tracker Updates for an additional cost)|
|Access to training and SEO tools||Yes||Yes|
At this point, I want to mention Ubersuggest. Ubersuggest is a free keyword research tool and, like AnswerThePublic, is part of the NP Digital suite of marketing products.
Ubersuggest allows you to carry out competitor research and offers content suggestions. Ubersuggest and AnswerThePublic complement each other well, with Ubersuggest offering additional functionality that stands toe-to-toe with Ahrefs.
For example, Ubersuggest provides SEO auditing, historical data, content ideas, and a free Chrome extension.
AnswerThePublic vs Ahrefs: What’s Better For Keyword Research?
So AnswerThePublic vs Ahrefs… which wins out?
I’ve written several platform comparison blogs, and my answer is always the same… It depends on your budget and what you want to achieve.
Ahrefs is a very comprehensive tool when it comes to overall SEO. As well as keyword research, you can look at what your competitors are doing and how you can optimize your website to increase organic traffic. It’s sleek, fast, and highly powerful!
However, it’s a costly tool, starting at $99 a month. If you just need a platform for keyword research, you might find the price is too much.
We designed AnswerThePublic so that anyone, from the smallest micro-business to the largest digital marketing agency, can get valuable insight into the keywords they should use. It’s easy to use, it’s affordable, and the visualizations are fantastic for seeing how different keywords work together.
Can You Use AnswerThePublic and Ahrefs Together?
Yes! It doesn’t have to be AnswerThePublic vs Ahrefs– why not use both together to get the best of both worlds?
You can use both platforms to maximize the number of keywords available to you. AnswerThePublic can help you identify trends and frequently asked questions, while Ahrefs can help you see what people are searching for on platforms like Bing, YouTube, and Amazon.
The more keywords you have at your disposal, the more likely you are to find the ones that resonate most with your target audience.
Keyword research is an essential part of any SEO strategy. Nail down the right words, and you’ll be one step closer to more organic traffic, increased brand recognition, and additional sales.
Optimize your page for the right keyword, get the first organic result in Google, and you’ll get over 25% of all clicks!
AnswerThePublic and Ahrefs are both fantastic keyword research tools, and no matter which one you choose, you’ll be one step closer to winning at SEO. Ahrefs is a robust suite of tools for advanced SEO strategy and monitoring rankings, but can be tricky for beginners.
However, if you’re new to keyword research, don’t want to worry about monthly subscription fees, or need something you can jump straight into, AnswerThePublic is a brilliant option. And with a 7-day free trial, it’s easier than ever to get started!
While there are many sites like AnswerThePublic out there, I think it’s number one when it comes to straightforward keyword research.
Do you prefer AnswerThePublic or Ahrefs for keyword research? Which other AnswerThePublic alternatives do you enjoy using? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
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