A (paid) online marketing tool that is mainly used for search engine optimisation (SEO). With Ahrefs you can perform backlinks and content analyses, view positions in search engines and investigate other SEO factors.

Ahrefs is known as one of the most comprehensive website crawlers besides Google. Here you will with this ahrefs tutorials learn how to use it and get familiar with the sometimes overwhelming interface. But fear not, it will all sink in.

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It is known as a tool that various website owners use for their research and analysis to effectively optimize their sites for various search engines. Even if the focus is initially for backlink analysis, it has added various features over the years for the users to make use of it completely to keep a website on top of any new content published.

1. In this section, let’s explore the five main categories of Ahrefs:

  • Backlinks Explorer
  • Keywords Explorer
  • Content Explorer
  • Rank Tracker
  • Alerts
  • Backlinks Explorer

This feature of Ahrefs is where you can view a detailed profile for your website or your competitor.

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(Source: Ahrefs.com)

2. It consists of three parts:

Organic traffic research

  • With this module, you can see on which keywords your website’s competitors score and which pages bring in the most traffic from search engines.

Backlink checker

  • To find out if your competitors have used one of your websites in their content, you can check it here. This module will also help you check if their profiles have quality backlinks, so you can decide which ones to include in your future content.

Paid Traffic Research

Finally, this part is where you can learn if your competitor is investing in paid search ads. Apart from that, you can also learn where they are using this paid traffic. How to use To use this module, open Ahrefs and navigate to the “Site Explorer” module. You will then be redirected to a screen that would ask you to enter the URL of a website, and it will bring up a generated report of its backlinks, metrics, and organic traffic.

3. Tips and tricks

To avoid nofollow links, go to “Backlinks” → “Link Type → “dofollow” after you retrieve the generated report of the URL in the Site Explorer. Use the generated list of links to use for your future content and help you and your competitor get backlinks to each other. You can also check which backlinks are present in two or more websites that you can add to your future content by going to the top navigation → “More” → “Link Intersect.”

Now, if you want to know which topic to do to get the most number of clicks for your website, you can check the “Best By Links” of a website after looking one up using this module. In this article, they cited an example of how the author was able to get a ton of clicks after learning from Ahref’s report of the website Moz that their ultimate guides brought the most traffic.

4. Keyword Explorer

As I mentioned that this is the main focus of the application, they have a database of searches, one of the world’s largest that comes from a third party company. They mentioned that they have a bank of over 7 billion keywords with updates every month. Apart from that, it is retrieved from 171 different countries. This data is also retrieved from various search engines such as Google, YouTube, Bing, and Baidu.

Apart from that, they also feature how difficult it would be to rank using a keyword search, an estimate of how many clicks it can bring to one’s website, and whether you can rank while using a specific keyword while focusing on a general topic in your content.

If you want to investigate the SEO strategy that one of your competitors used to make theirs work, Ahrefs also includes SEO metrics, ranking history, return rate, percentage of clicks, and percentage of paid clicks. After getting all this info, the suite also has a save function available, so you can go back to a former state and keep yourself up-to-date on that specific keyword.

5. How to use Ahrefs

You enter one or more keywords into their Keywords Explorer module. It will then bring up a report that includes both search volume and keyword competition.

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6. Tips and tricks

Consider the following statistics in this module’s report to choose which two or more keywords you want to create content from first:

  • Return rate – how often people search for a keyword more than once
  • Count of clicks – how often people browse the content for this keyword
  • Difference between clicks on paid results versus clicks on organic results – compare clicks made by investing in paid results versus clicks made through organic search results
  • Clicks per search – number of times a user clicks on an article related to this keyword
  • First page results for the keyword – learn if you have reached the first page of results for the content you have written for the keyword and which of your competitors has reached this level.

 

7. Content explorer

  • Published once/Republished
  • Published/First published date
  • Live/Broken
  • Language
  • Social shares
  • Domain rating
  • Referring domains
  • Organic traffic
  • Number of words
  • Traffic value
  • Site
  • Author

If the previous module contained statistics on a specific keyword, this module contains items that allow you to compare your content with the content of other websites. You can search the content database using the following filters:

8. It will help you get an idea of which article you can write

In addition to viewing the results based on these filters, one can also view more details of each published content to learn more about why it performs more or less overall. This module also includes a graph of trends for a topic of your choice over time, including information about brand mentions and the amount of content published by your competitors.

Users can also compare this module to published content for live links, dead links, and referring domains. It will help you get an idea of which article you can make into newer content for your web page and get lots of backlinks at the same time. In addition to this, you can also check for which topic you want your article to be backlinked using their “Highlight unlinked domains” feature. You can also choose to search for unlinked listings as well using your website ’s brand.

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How to use

For this module, simply visit Content Explorer and enter a keyword or subject in the search bar. After that, you will see a list of articles, where you can sort by date, language and number of words, among other things.

Tips and tricks

Make sure you check this list regularly when you are looking for a new topic to write about for your website. This will help you get clicks not only from organic search results, but also clicks from social media sites.

9. Rank Tracker

Talking about competitors: Ahrefs also has a feature that allows you to measure how competitive you are in your search results. After entering a list of keywords, a list of countries per keyword, and a list of competing URLs, Ahrefs generates a report on your rankings. The report generated contains at least these three things:

Visibility

This part of the report shows how many of the clicks came from organic search traffic that landed.

Average position and traffic

If you want to know how high or low you rank in search results, this section shows a snapshot of your progress over time.

Positioning

For this section of the report, you can choose how far your website has come based on the ranking groups determined by the application’s data.

10. How to use

After clicking on the “Rank Tracker” tab in Ahrefs, it shows a screen where you can enter keywords of your choice. After entering the keywords, Ahrefs then displays metrics, including the number of content written for it and which website URL ranks highest.

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11. Tips and tricks

Update this list regularly with keywords you want to write about or topics you have already written about. Doing this will also help you plan how to rank higher for past and future content.

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12. Alerts

In this main module of Ahrefs, it helps to give you regular updates based on these three items: web mentions, new backlinks, lost backlinks, and new keywords.

On new backlinks, the application can show you whether a particular website has gained or lost backlinks. If you’re thinking of increasing your rankings, this is useful because you can gauge your competitor’s activity and build a counter-strategy against it. In addition to learning about your backlinks, the application can also help you find out if a website has lost backlinks.

In addition to learning about your competitor’s backlink activity, the application can also give you information about what they have to say about your brand or your competitor’s brand. It can also help you learn not only which keywords to write in your future content, but also be able to find future backlinks for each of them as well.

13. How to use

Navigate to Ahref’s ‘Site Audit’ tab and enter your website on the next screen, and decide how deep the exploration will be in the following screens. For a more in-depth tutorial on how to use it, check out this video:

14. Pricing

As mentioned at the beginning of this review, this SEO tool is a paid software suite. On their website, there are three types of plans you can choose: Lite, Standard and Advanced. Apart from that, you decide to pay every month or purchase a plan for a whole year. Among them, only their Lite and Standard plans have a 7-day paid trial access and can only let a user use them, trial or not.

Aside from their price, they also list which of their features are linked to each of the modules that I explained in the previous part of this review. For example, the recently lost backlinks to historically lost backlinks under the Site Explorer feature will not be shown to Lite subscribers, while Standard and Advanced subscribers have access to this.

15. Strengths

As they have claimed to have an updated database regarding website statistics, this is a strong consideration when it comes to getting this product for yourself. Apart from that, they also have support for you to compare different websites by keyword and content. Their huge database then displays its data through a minimalist navigation interface. It helps to read the information tremendous.

16. Weaknesses

While using this, I noticed how I had to get used to using it at first. I told them in an interview that they also experienced this while using the software. With that in mind, that means getting used to this software is easier if you know SEO to the point where you are familiar with the related statistics like click-through rate (CTR) and search rankings.

Filtering through their huge database to get the data you need can also be a daunting challenge, as Haines tells Databox that it took him an hour or two to simply enter keywords on the software’s Site Explorer. Meanwhile, Hundrev warns future users that the software may not be able to get their SERP ranking data as up-to-date as possible when using the software.

I want to point out that there is a daily limit to using the Site Explorer tool on some plans.

17. Summarize

In short, Ahrefs is a paid software application where you as a website owner do your own research. From checking which keyword is getting the most clicks to how far your website ranking is, it can help you not only map out how you want your website to grow, but also stay on top of current content trends at the same time.

On the other hand, getting around the interface can be daunting if you are doing it for the first time. Apart from that, you should make sure that you have enough resources to not only try it out to see if it is a good fit for your SEO needs, and then subscribe extra to the plan of your choice.