Anyone somewhat serious about SEO will need to invest in a tool in order to maximize their growth potential. SEO tools provide you with an array of information you can use to boost your website’s online visibility and gain organic traffic. They do this by giving you insight about your competitors, keywords to target, and a plethora of other things.
In this review, we’re going to be exploring Ahrefs’ SEO software. After this guide, you’ll know about its main features, pros, cons, pricing, and much more so be sure to read on!
What Is Ahrefs?
Ahrefs is an SEO software created by Dmitry Gerasimenko. It acts as an all-in-one toolkit to help users improve their online visibility. The software includes tools such as link-building, site auditing, keyword research, backlink analysis, and more which we’ll cover in this guide.
Let’s discuss the main features.
Ahrefs Main Features
Using Ahrefs site explorer you can get an overview of any website you want, whether it’s your own site or a competitor’s. You can then use this information to make improvements to your website, or use it to find out what keywords your competition is ranking for.
You can also use the site explorer to find backlink opportunities, this can increase your website’s domain authority and help you rank in the SERPs. Using the site explorer is simple, all you do is plug your desired domain into the search bar and you will be taken to the domain analysis.
Once you’ve found a website you want to explore Ahrefs will present you with this overview, displaying all the information you need.
This includes things like the domain rating, the number of backlinks, referring domains, organic keywords, organic traffic, and traffic value. These statistics can tell you a lot about a website just from this simple overview.
You can judge the DR to find out how hard a website will be to outrank. In this case, a DR of 90 is extremely high and would be difficult to beat in the SERPs.
The organic keywords tell you how many keywords that website is currently ranking for, you can further inspect the keywords to use as keyword research.
Ahrefs site explorer also tells us the organic traffic of a site however it’s an estimate so you shouldn’t take the figure too literally as it might be incorrect.
You can use the keywords explorer feature to conduct all of your keyword research. In my opinion, this is where Ahrefs excels.
It’s extremely easy to understand. All you have to do is type your chosen keyword into the search bar and Ahrefs will gather a report on that keyword.
Ahrefs also allows you to filter the search engine to your desired choice, whether it’s Youtube, Google, Amazon, or Bing you can filter it to whatever you want. This is a feature most other SEO tools don’t have.
You also have the ability to filter by country if you’re targeting a certain place.
Once you’ve found a keyword you want to target you’ll be brought to their keywords explorer overview page. Here you’re able to dive deep into that keyword and find out of it’s worth targeting.
You can find things like the keyword difficulty, monthly search volume, related keywords, and an overview of the SERPs. All of this information is presented in a clean, neat way for you to understand it.
Let’s go through some of the key features.
Keyword difficulty – this is the score Ahrefs gives to a keyword-based on how hard it will be to rank for. In this case, Ahrefs suggests the keyword is hard to rank for – with a KD of 62 you’ll need approximately 141 backlinks to that page in order to rank in the top 10.
Volume – Ahrefs takes the last 12 months of data and gives the keyword an estimated search volume, for ‘best knives for cooking’ it’s got approximately 200 searches per month.
These are the two most common features you will use when doing keyword research.
The keyword ideas tab is also helpful when it comes to finding long-tail keywords and related keywords surrounding the phrase. It gives you a list of keywords that contain your original phrase, along with their estimated search volumes.
Finally, the Ahrefs keyword explorer contains a SERP overview for your keyword. In this section, you’ll find everything you need, in order to perform SERP analysis on a keyword.
As shown above, it displays an overview of the top 10 search results for the chosen keyword. It includes information such as :
- Website DR/UR
- Number of backlinks pointing to the page
- Referring domains
- Estimated traffic the page is getting
- Number of keywords they rank for
- The top keyword that page is ranking for
You can then use all of this information gathered to decide if a keyword is worth targeting or not.
A site audit is something you perform on your own website to look for errors or things that can be improved. This is the technical side of SEO that’s often overlooked.
Using Ahrefs’ site audit feature you can get feedback on your site, and what needs improvement. They include things like content that takes too long to load, missing meta-descriptions, duplicated content, broken links, and images with no alt text.
All of these things can negatively affect your rankings which is why it’s important to stay on top of them.
After you pick a domain to be audited Ahrefs will run the report and give you a health score along with some feedback about what needs to be fixed.
You could perform a site audit manually however it would require you to go through every page one by one and inspect them. This would be too time-consuming as the site audit feature can do it instantly. Remember time is money.
Ahrefs also has a feature that allows you to inspect a domain’s backlink profile. Backlinks have a big impact on the SERPs so it’s important to understand them and be able to read a backlink profile.
When using the site explorer feature there’s a menu on the left that gives you access to a domains backlink profile,
Here you can see everything about a domains backlink profile, including :
- Broken backlinks
- Referring domains
You then take this information to further inspect what type of backlinks your competitors are getting. If your competition is doing well and has a lot of organic traffic then it’s a good idea to copy their backlinks by trying to attain similar ones.
This can be done by contacting the site owner and asking them to backlink to you instead – just ensure your content is worth being linked to.
When you’ve picked out a competitor to inspect this will be the main overview you’re shown. You are shown what backlinks they have, what anchors are used, and the estimated traffic of the website giving the backlink. This is displayed in a very easy-to-understand layout.
Ahrefs rank tracker can be used to monitor how your keywords are performing in the SERPs.
It couldn’t be any easier to set up, simply go to the rank tracker feature at the top of Ahrefs, new project, then import your chosen domain.
Once imported, Ahrefs will start to monitor all the keywords and what their current positions are in Google. This feature is beneficial because if a keyword drops from position #1 down to #3 you’ll immediately be aware of it and thus able to fight for the #1 spot.
Benefits of Using Ahrefs
Search engine specific keyword research
A unique benefit that Ahrefs has is that they grab data from multiple different search engines, whereas other SEO tools only use Google. This gives Ahrefs a massive advantage as they collect more data, which often relates to more accurate information.
Great At SERP analysis
Being able to accurately judge the SERPs is an important part of keyword research. It can tell you if a keyword is worth going after or not, and with Ahrefs’ SERP overview you can find all of the information you need instantly.
Manage Multiple Projects
Do you have a number of websites that you need to keep track of? Ahrefs allows you to connect multiple projects so that they can all be accessed on one dashboard. This feature gives you an overview of all your websites like organic keywords, organic traffic, traffic value, and the number of backlinks.
Disadvantages of Using Ahrefs
No Free Trial Available
With Ahrefs’ 7-day free trial being removed, if you want to try out the product you’ll have to pay a minimum of $99 which isn’t cheap. You risk the possibility of paying $99 and you might not like the service.
The most obvious drawback that comes with Ahrefs is the price. You get what you pay for and with Ahrefs that’s certainly true. One month of the cheapest plan will set you back $99 which is intimidating especially if you’re new to SEO.
However, Ahrefs can be seen as an investment that you can reap the rewards from. If it’s used correctly, Ahrefs can 10x your traffic and therefore end up paying for itself as you use the tool to increase your traffic and revenue.
If you’re on a budget look away now as Ahrefs is a fairly expensive SEO tool.
They currently offer 4 pricing plans with the cheapest being priced at $99 per month :
Ahrefs recently discontinued their 7-day free trial which means if you want to test out the service you’ll need to spend a minimum of $99. This is fairly expensive especially if you don’t know with certainty if Ahrefs is for you.
There is a free version however it has very limited functionality compared to SEMrush as their free version is more flexible.
Ahrefs’ free version allows you to input your own projects and sync them up with Google analytics. Once you’ve done this you can track organic keywords, traffic, and things like the domain rating of your website.
Ahrefs – Frequently Asked Questions
Is Ahrefs Free?
Ahrefs use to have a 7-day free trial you could use for just $7 however it’s been discontinued due to a number of users exploiting it. If you want to use Ahrefs now you’ll have to buy the lite plan which costs $99 per month.
Is Ahrefs Worth It?
If you can afford the price then Ahrefs is definitely worth it. It acts as a complete SEO tool which is invaluable to anyone who wants to increase their websites traffic online. As a beginner, it might not be necessary to pay $100 a month for it, but if you’re serious about SEO then Ahrefs is a must-have.
Is Ahrefs Better Than SEMrush?
This has been a debate for quite a while in the SEO community and ultimately it comes down to user preference.
Both have their own advantages and disadvantages however as a whole SEMrush and Ahrefs offer similar services.
In my opinion, Ahrefs edges the win as it’s cheaper and I think it provides a better user experience, but that’s just me.
Is Ahrefs Accurate?
No SEO tool is completely 100% accurate and Ahrefs isn’t any different. They can only give estimates when it comes to monthly traffic and keyword search volume however in some cases it isn’t accurate at all.
I was ranking on page one for a keyword that Ahrefs only suggested had 10 searches per month. Once I gained the snippet for this keyword I was getting 600 monthly visits to that page which wasn’t accurate at all so don’t take it too literally.
Verdict – Should You Use This Tool?
To conclude, our verdict is yes you should use Ahrefs. The amount of value it brings when it comes to SEO is invaluable. It has data that most other tools simply don’t have access to.
It is quite pricy at $99 per month but if you use it properly it will increase your website’s organic traffic considerably, which in turn means more profit. The main features site explorer, keyword explorer, site audit, backlink analysis, and rank tracker are all excellent features that could be sold as their own separate tool.
To finish off, Ahrefs’ ease of use and simple interface make it an SEO tool of the highest quality.