Ahrefs is the marketing software that offers a host of different SEO tools and it helps in optimizing your website or that of your client. Ahrefs is an SEO tool that can be likened to SEMRush. It offers specific SEO features and metrics that SEMRush doesn’t have and in my Ahrefs free review, we will look at all the benefits to you.
In this extensive review, you will be shown some important Ahrefs features and how to use them. Thus you’ll find out how to perform SEO site review with Ahrefs, and how Ahrefs can help grow your business. So at the end of this review, you will be able to determine if Ahrefs is for you or not.
Ahrefs at a Glance
Ahrefs is an on-demand software-based SEO suite. It gives you the opportunity to check your backlink profile, keyword ranking, domain ranking, site structure, and a whole lot more.
The software was introduced in 2011 by Dmitry Gerasimenko as simply a backlink analysis tool. But in the past few years, it’s added a lot more features. These features are what a modern digital marketer would require to perform different SEO activities.
The software can be used for a site’s SEO audit, internal link audit, keyword research, and for evaluating website traffic. The software can also be used as a backlink profiling tool, backlink gap tool, keyword gap tool, and also as a disavow tool.
Some Key Ahrefs Terminologies
- Domain Rating (DR)
Domain rating is an established Ahrefs analytics tool that shows the score of a domain name’s backlink profile. The score for this metric is graded on a logarithmic scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the highest.
- Ahrefs Rank
This is the software’s major metric that shows the strength of a Website’s backlink profile. Apart from this analytics, you can see the URL rating of different pages, and also its domain rating.
- Click keyword explorer for Google search
This metric is basically a keyword explorer feature that Ahrefs has. Consequently, using this metric, you will be able to determine the number of clicks you can get if you are ranked for a particular keyword.
- URL Rating (UR)
This metric is similar to domain rating (DR), but it can only be used for individual pages. The metric gives you a score for both your external and internal links.
Main Features For Ahrefs
Ahrefs content explorer
Ahrefs content explorer is a unique kind of content explorer. It is designed to find competitor analysis and different link opportunities. The feature makes it easier for you to source the most popular content around any topic you are working on.
On the search icon, you just need to type in the topic, and it will show the most shared content relating to that topic on the web. It allows you to exclude or include any website from the search result.
Using this feature, you will be able to:
- Find relevant and trending topics on your competitor’s Website
- Check your publishing frequency and that of your competitor
- Uncover broken links around any content
- Find republished content on any website
With this audit option, you just have to go to the site explorer and put in the website name that you want to backlink its profile.
When you’ve done that, the backlink profile of the domain will be shown to you. This feature can also help in doing things like;
- Link intersect
- Internal backlinks
- Broken link building
With this feature, you can find profitable keyword opportunities you are not taking advantage of. It allows you to compare your competitor’s domain with yours, and then find the keywords that your competitors are ranking for.
With the keyword explorer, you can perform research on platforms like YouTube, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex, Bing, Amazon, and Google.
There is also a list feature that will let you save important keywords while you are performing your research.
Link Intersect Feature
With this feature, you can easily find those high-profile sites that are linked to your competitor’s pages but are not linked to yours.
By doing this, you can find different link-building opportunities that will increase your site’s visibility.
Site Audit Feature
By adding your domain name to the site audit feature, you will have your site crawled by the auditor. You will also be given suggestions that will help you improve your site’s SEO performance.
Broken Outgoing Links
This feature shows you all the broken outbound and inbound links that are currently on a site. These broken links are not good for your user experience, so removing them will be a good move.
Lost and New Links
This feature gives you a list of a site’s new links, and also lost links and domains. You will be able to see links acquired within the last 60-30 days.
Content Analysis Breakdown
This feature allows you to see the performance of content all at a glance. You will be able to see its exact backlinks, the number of referring pages/domains over time. Also, you can view the number of shares and keywords that the content has ranked for within a certain period.
The dashboard shows the data of your site all on one page. You will be able to see different backlinks, domain rank, and a number of other different metrics. Also, see all kinds of useful information such as;
- The URL rating distribution of the links pointing to your site
- A map of country top-level domains
- List of the top 5 performing ads
- A metric of the organic traffic growth of your site
- The estimated domain and URL rating
- The link growth speed in linking unique pages
- And also a number of backlinks pointing to your website.
These and a lot more are the types of information you can view on your dashboard.
Bad links pointing to your site can negatively impact search results. This is why Google specifically recommends that you clean up such bad links.
Ahrefs offers a feature that lets you create a Disavow file you can upload to your webmaster tools. The feature will closely monitor links and domains that you have disavowed in order to avoid sharing them in your link graph results.
This feature gives you a view of the best pages in relation to the level of traffic it attracts. You’ll be able to view the search rank of these pages and the number of linking root domains. As well as access the number of keywords you rank for in the top 100 organic search results.
This feature is useful for competitors’ research. This way, you can see the kind of content that brings in more traffic for them.
Best by Links
The best links feature ranks top content by the number of referring domains it has. It helps you discover your competitors’ most useful content in relation to their backlinks.
This feature gives you the metrics of the best pages in a given domain in relation to its social metrics and backlinks.
With this feature, you can understand how a particular competitor builds its backlinks by social shares.
This tool helps you understand what a particular keyword is advertising for. It will show you a view of the top pages from the site, along with the list of keywords it advertises for.
Using the Link Section
Ahrefs offers a very useful tool for filtering downlinks into different sections. These link sections are categorized by:
- Linking by traffic
- By the language of the language page
- Links by the platform type
- Gov/Edu links
- Nofollow vs. Dofollow
Using the Site Audit Feature
With the site audit feature, you can easily discover the major SEO concerns on a site. All you have to do is add the particular domain name. Google will then crawl through the site and provide different suggestions that will improve your site’s SEO performance.
Depending on the size of your website, it may take a few hours and even up to a few days for the crawling to be complete. Once done, you can view the results and take the suggested actions.
There are four different pricing plans being offered by Ahrefs. These plans are well listed below. Ahrefs doesn’t offer a free trial but the $7 US trial for 7 days gives you plenty of time to try out all the features.
- 7 Day trial for $7 US
- Lite: $99/month
- Standard: $179/month
- Advanced: $339/ month
- Agency: $999/ month
If you decide to purchase any of these plans on an annual purchase, you will be given a 20% discount price.
Before trying out any of these plans, you have an option to use the 7 days trial for $7. This plan will help you decide if the software is a good fit for your business or website.
When you purchase any of the plans, you can also upgrade or downgrade it anytime you want.
More on the 7-day Trial
This account gives you access to features of the Lite and Standard plans for a period of 7 days. There are no limitations to the account – you can do everything with the standard account.
The plan is also referred to as the free trial. And these are the steps you can use to get it:
- Visit the homepage and click on the “start free trial” icon
- Sign up and you will be given access to your personal dashboard where you can start your projects
- The plan is available for $7 US and there will be no refund after payment
- If you purchase the free trial, you will have access to the standard and lite account until the end of 7 days
On this SEO tool, you will find help on every page you are using to work on your project. There are different pop-ups inviting you to explore a different part of the tool or view a tutorial on how to use a feature.
The tool also has a dedicated section that gives precise and detailed answers to questions the users may have. This section is the FAQ section.
For social media, Ahrefs has an automated response feature on Twitter that will give answers to any inquiry you want to make.
Ease of Use
The actions you take on Ahrefs are straightforward and swift. There is detailed info on how to use each feature you find on the screen. When a task is completed by the tool, an email notification will be sent to you. By using this software, you are guaranteed a very frictionless experience.
Comparing Ahrefs to Other SEO Tools
When using Ahrefs, you will be guaranteed a number of different benefits over similar SEO tools. Some of these benefits are listed below.
- It comes with a content explorer feature that can help you find guest blogging opportunities. You will get a database of different pages that will help you find high-profile sites willing to accept a guest blogger
- Reports about different strategies that your competitors are implementing, including the kind of backlinks they are acquiring
- It will help you find content opportunities by looking at high traffic pages of your competitor’s site.
- New features are being added to the tool constantly
- It is arguably the best keyword research tool you can find in the market
- It is a perfect content explorer for content ideas
The only notable disadvantage of this tool is its price. It’s very expensive.
How is the calculation of keyword difficulty index done?
The keyword difficulty index is calculated on a logarithmic scale of 0 to 100, of which zero is the weakest of all. Consequently, it suggests that only backlinks matter when it comes to ranking a webpage.
It carefully analyzes the backlinks of all the pages that are ranking for a particular keyword. Subsequently, it uses the strength of the backlink profile to create a difficulty score.
When Ahrefs was introduced, it was said to be just a backlink analysis tool, but it has been adding a lot more useful features over the years.
With the way the software is being developed, you should expect a lot more features in the coming months.
The interface is user-friendly and easy to navigate when you have purchased one of the plans. So the best advice I can give to you is to try out the 7 days plan. Indeed, if it works well for you, then you can go ahead and purchase any of the full plans.
I hope this has helped, please leave a comment, like, and share. Thank you. Have you used Ahrefs? Let me know what you think.