Real Estate SEO Tools Exposed: SEMrush vs Ahrefs vs MozPro Review (2019)

In Business Strategy, Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Real Estate Marketing, Search Engine Optimization by Robb FahrionLeave a Comment

Reading Time: 7 minutes

SEO real estate is an ultra competitive industry, and it is critical for you to be well equipped with the best SEO tools for keyword research, backlink research, and website rank tracking.

real estate professionals are using social media

Online search is increasing and your prospects need to easily find your website in Google and other search engines and local directories.

the online real estate landscape

How you utilize these SEO tools will make or break your entire SEO campaign, as well as your blogging, outreach and pre-outreach, content marketing, and digital marketing efforts.

This brief review presents the key advantages, features & benefits of the best 3 SEO tools currently available to help real estate websites, and real estate companies with three essential SEO tasks:

1. Keyword Research

First thing you need to realize is this: although keyword research is crucial, it is time consuming for a real estate company or real estate website owner to attempt this process on their own, particularly if you’re new to the whole SEO approach and best practices.

Have you ever considered outsourcing keyword research for better SEO results? Then you should partner with a VA who is skilled in SEO, and can efficiently use the tools described here.

Time spent on trying to determine the best LSI keywords vs Seed keywords vs Long Tail keywords for your real estate campaign needs will add up in the end. So, you want to ensure that you focus on what you do best, like talking with clients, meeting with prospects, creating property listings, and so on.

SEMrush is the first competitive keyword research tool I want to showcase for this article since it’s the one I’m most familiar with. Not only does this particular tool assist you in revealing the keywords used by your competitors, but it also allows you to access their database containing 2 million keyword ideas.

I’m referring here to the feature I like the most … namely the Keyword Magic Tool.

This enables you to enter your seed keyword, and within seconds you’ll be rewarded with thousands of keyword ideas to help you rank in Google for specific key terms and phrases actively used by your prospects. and more probably, overlooked by competitors.

You can sort and filter keywords using multiple metrics including the 3 below, which I consider to be the most important:

  • Search Volume
  • Trend
  • Keyword Difficulty (KD)

For example, here’s a search query for [houses for sale in los angeles]


houses for sale in los angeles search query

It’s essential that you select your target country (US, in our example), and click on the ‘exact match’ option to gather very specific keyword data. You’ll be able to find keywords with less competition, which will boost your chances of attracting highly relevant local searches for Google local rankings.

Broad matches will provide less volume and less specific keyword data.

Here’s an example for [houses for sale in pasadena tx]


houses for sale in pasadena tx search query

If you want to get a general view of a specific keyword, then use the keyword overview option, and run it either before or after the Keyword Magic tool, it’s up to you.


semrush keyword overview option

The unique SEMrush algorithm will suggest keywords that are semantically related to your initial search, and sort them by phrase match and related keywords. This allows you to instantly find the right keywords for your campaigns.

This is an excellent opportunity for you to build long-tail keywords and create keyword-rich content that will  boost your rankings in Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines.

You can export data to XLS and CSV formats, and get a complete overview of all the keywords and their particular metrics.

You can also send your newly created keyword list to SEMrush Position Tracking - a service created specifically for tracking your website’s rankings according to your target keywords in the Google Top 100 organic results. 

Next, we move on to Ahrefs, and their keyword explorer option.

They boast about having the most complete keyword research tool currently available on the market - more than 7 billion keywords (across Google, YouTube, Amazon, Bing, Baidu, and other search engines), updated with fresh data every month.

They monitor over 150 million keywords in the US alone.

This exceptional keyword research tool provides you with access to thousands of fantastic keyword ideas, while allowing you to analyze their ranking difficulty and calculate their traffic potential at a quick glance.


ahrefs keyword explorer

Using the Keyword Difficulty Score you’ll find the “low-hanging fruit” among your top keyword ideas, while the “Clicks” Metric is the only feature on the market that shows the estimated number of clicks for your keywords.

Here’s how Moz’s explorer tool helps with keyword research for the real estate industry.

Enter a URL or keyword to discover and prioritize the best keywords to target.

Get a comprehensive keyword analysis, suggestions, and more! Perform superior research in less time. Identify which keywords your site could rank for right now, and discover high-impact suggestions.


moz explorer tool

A different version of this keyword generates less volume, but is easier to rank for, while the organic CTR is higher, which means you should receive more clicks by targeting this keyword, while ensuring that your (meta) description is compelling enough to prompt searchers to click.


different real estate keyword version

You may want to watch this video and take notes in order to complete your keyword research strategy and better understand the whole process:


2. Backlink Research

No matter how amazing your SEO strategy and content marketing game plan seem to you, you still need premium, high-authority websites and blogs to link to your real estate pages and blog posts.

Earning natural backlinks from other ‘authority’ sites and industry blogs shows your website is trusteed, and content is worth linking to, isn’t so?

I’m all about quality link building to promote local visibility, and long term, residual traffic gains. This means that you should aim for white-hat, relevant links, while avoiding the spammy or low-tier links altogether.

It is better to have 10 quality inbound links from trustworthy sites than to have 100+ links from untrusted online locations.

This is where these competitive backlink research tools come into play.

Let’s run a SEMrush backlink analysis for https://ryanserhant.com/, a well known NYC real estate website, owned by US real estate mogul, Ryan Serhant.


ryan serhant home page

Look at the ‘domain overview’ section first.


semrush domain overview section

For backlink research, you’ll see the following:

  • Total (new and lost) backlinks, and referring domains.
  • Back-link types (text, image, form, and frame)
  • Follow vs no follow percentage

You’ll be able to:

Understand how authoritative a referring domain is, and where it is located;

Discover top anchors.

Spy on the strong authority links of competitors, and see which trusted web resources refer to your domain.

ryan serhant website backlinks

Every real estate SEO professional knows that .edu or .gov backlinks are bombs that can boost your website in SERPs. Even a handful of these can make a significant difference in search results. SEMrush will indicate whether the website you are conducting your search on owns these types of high-quality links, and identify them for your convenience.

Let’s inspect the Ahrefs Backlink Checker feature next, which can be found in their Site Explorer tool.

Get an in-depth look at the organic search traffic and backlink profile of any website or URL.

First, let’s examine the overview section - which shows results such as these…


ahrefs overview section

This is probably the Most Powerful Backlink Checker on the planet, and they claim to have the second most active web crawler after Google, This fact translates to having the best backlink database in the industry (its index updates every 15 minutes).


ahrefs backlinks review

You can obtain a complete breakdown of your competitors’ websites and linking profiles, including details such as...

  • Number of referring domains ( New & Lost)
  • Number of backlinks  (New & Lost)
  • Domain Ratings (DR) & URL Ratings (UR)
  • Ahrefs Rank (AR)

Ahrefs has the fastest backlink crawler in the industry, and boasts the world's biggest index of live backlinks (over 14 trillion links). This makes Site Explorer the best tool for backlink research.

See the estimated organic traffic to each linking page & referring domain. Get awesome insights into the popularity of the linking web page and website with organic traffic estimates. No other tool shows you this.


ahrefs referring domains

Their proprietary Domain Rating (DR) and URL Rating (UR) metrics are super-useful for judging the "backlink popularity" (strength) of a target.

Plus, multiple filtering options are available, such as:

Use the "404 not found" filter to find highly linked-to broken pages on any website, and kickstart a broken link building campaign.

This is ideal for real estate broken link building. 


ahrefs broken backlinks

See a complete breakdown of all outbound links

The Linked domains report shows SEO metrics for every outbound linked domain.

ahrefs outbound links

Top pages with the most organic traffic.

The "Top Pages" section under ‘Organic Search’ allows you to quickly identify which pages on a target website receive the most traffic, top keyword, as well as its traffic volume. 

You can also check any website, while filtering results by the page containing the most backlinks and social shares. So, you can reverse engineer their best content practices and backlink profiles.


ahrefs top pages

Discover your missing link opportunities

Just think about it: if a website is linking to every one of your competitors, what are the odds that they will link to you, too (once they find out you exist, of course)?

With the help of Ahrefs' Link Intersect tool, you can easily find the sites that link to your competitors, but don't link to you (yet).


ahrefs link intersect tool

Let’s delve into Moz’s link explorer tool now.

Enter the URL of the website or page you want to retrieve link data for, and a comprehensive analysis will present itself.

Check success metrics, including Domain Authority (DA), Page Authority (PA), Spam Score, and complete link counts to any site.


moz link explorer tool

Research top-performing content to see new and lost links


moz top performing content

An interesting option is the Check the Spam Score of backlinks, which helps you to decrease the number of spammy links pointing to your site, while increasing the quality links. Also, the Link Intersect feature under ‘check spam score’, helps you discover fresh link building opportunities to grow your back-link profile, and increase local organic traffic.


moz spam score tool

3. Website Rank Tracking

Maybe you’re thinking: Okay, I have the right set of keywords, then I conducted backlink competitive research. How can I now check the web page rankings of my competitors on search engines… and, what is my Google rank for a search in the real estate industry?”

When it comes to tracking your local real estate SEO results, you need to understand why backlinks and Google ranking is vital for keyword rank tracking.

All the tools mentioned in this review contain remarkable rank tracking features enabling you to find Google rankings based on the keyword prospects you are searching for.

For example, check out SEMrush’s ORGANIC research tool, which helps you to monitor your top ranking positions, as well as that of your competitors, while revealing their top ranked keywords, traffic volume, and other sensitive data.

The organic research reports look like this


semrush organic research report
semrush organic research report tool

You’ll be able to:

Analyze a complete list of your competitors’ organic keyword rankings and pages.

See a competitor’s recent highs and lows in their search rankings.

Identify all competing domains opposing your website regarding organic search traffic, and more.

Next. Ahrefs website rank tracker exposed.

Monitor your rankings over time, and chart your performance against that of your competitors. Get scheduled reports, straight to your inbox.


ahref website rank tracker

Owning SERP features is beneficial for any page. With Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker, you receive data on a total of 13 features: Featured snippet. Sitelinks. Top stories. Image pack. Thumbnails, and more.

See how you stack up against your local competitors:

Want to keep an eye on the SEO performance of your competitors in the local search results?

Ahrefs' Rank Tracker charts your data against that of up to five of your competitors, and automatically reports on three key areas:

  • Ranking Progress
  • Search Traffic
  • SERP Features

ahrefs competitor research tools

Gain insights with the “share of voice” functionality

Find out which websites and pages are fighting for search traffic using your list of tracked keywords.

Rank Tracker uses data from the top 100 search results for each of your tracked keywords to show the “share of voice” across all discovered pages and websites.


ahrefs rank tracking

Track your rankings, as well as that of your competitors with MozPro, and measure your SEO impact.

Track your site’s keyword ranking performance and overall visibility on the SERP over time, to see what works and what doesn’t. Better yet, track the movements of your competitors on the SERP to reveal the flaws in their strategies, while building on yours.


mozpro ranking keywords

Compare mobile vs desktop visibility

Customers demonstrate different search behavior on desktops than on mobile devices. Compare and optimize for both in MozPro. Compare US mobiles and desktops down to the national and local levels.

Here are some brief pricing comparisons between the 3 SEO tools scrutinized in this review. 


semrush pricing
ahrefs pricing
moz pro pricing

Go on, give your favorite tools a try, and let us know if you have any questions or comments about today’s article or about the latest SEO ranking factors



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Robb Fahrion

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Robb Fahrion is the Co-Founder and a Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.


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Robb Fahrion
Robb Fahrion, Partner
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