Ahrefs Review: A Must-Have SEO Tool For Bloggers
Ahrefs is one of the most essential tools when it comes to competitor research. It comes with dozens of features to help you in every aspect to gain competitive advantage whether you are a blogger, internet marketer, SEO analyst, or a freelancer.
In this post, I’m going to present you Ahrefs review, and help you decide whether the tool is worth for you or not.
As a blogger, this tool helps you identify top performing content of your competitors. By knowing this, you can only publish articles that are proven to get backlinks, social shares, rank higher on Google. The things may be unclear to you now. But as you read through this blog post, things will become clearer to you.
Let’s get started with the Ahrefs review.
Table of Contents
- Ahrefs Review: The Ultimate Competitor Research Tool
- FAQs About Ahrefs Review in 2018
Ahrefs Review: The Ultimate Competitor Research Tool
Ahrefs is meant to provide you an insight into your competitor site in every aspect possible. In this post, I’ll present you some of the features of Ahrefs, and I also will discuss whether the tool is worth for you or not, and present you some strategies in every section to help you get the most of the tool for blogging.
Ahrefs Site explorer feature
This is the most important section of Ahrefs, you need to be using when you buy this tool. This module alone can make a tremendous difference in the way you do blogging and competitor research.
As you can see in the above screenshot, Ahrefs has their own metrics like Ahrefs Rank, URL ratings, Domain ratings, and others. These metrics are more accurate than the Moz’s metrics like domain authority. Because the backlink index of Ahrefs is the largest in the world.
Along with this, the Site explorer also presents you the essential data of the site like backlinks, keywords, and much more.
As you may know, Ahrefs is wildly popular for competitor backlink analysis. Thanks to their crawlers which are great at speedy backlink indexation than any other tool in the market.
Let’s take a look at their backlinks section.
As you may notice is the above screenshot, the Ahrefs tool has managed to present you the backlinks that my site has, in a great way. In addition to that, there are also several filters like Link Type, Platforms and much more to sort out the backlinks that are most important to you.
You can also sort the columns like UR and DR in descending order so that the most influential backlinks come on the top. This helps a lot in knowing about the few backlinks that are changing the game for your competitors.
The broken backlink section also helps you to research the content that was in your competitor site but does not exist anymore. This helps a lot in executing broken link building.
The organic keywords section lets you spy on your competitor keywords. As you can see in the above screenshot, you can filter the keywords that your competitor is ranking for based on several metrics like volume, CPC, keyword difficulty, the number of words and of course positions. These filters are greatly essential in determining the low competition keywords that you can rank for.
The “Movements” section also tracks the changes in positions of your competitors for specific keywords. This helps you know how well your competitor strategies are going.
The top pages section lets you discover the top pages of your competitor that are leading to the majority of traffic for them. By examining this, you can publish articles on the same topic and get a good traffic.
The content gap is the best feature of Ahrefs. It helps you to discover the keywords for which two or more of your competitors are ranking for. But not you.
This feature helps you a lot to know, what topics you need to cover to get an edge over your competitors. This is also a great feature to look into when you are running out of topic ideas.
This feature enables you to research the top content on your competitor’s site that is getting most of the links. There are many sections here to explore like best pages by backlinks, best pages by the growth of links, social shares, and top content according to the traffic they’re driving. This helps a lot in getting a topic idea, that’s already proven to get a lot of traction and links.
The best pages by backlinks growth are especially very handy in terms of analyzing a viral site. What pages on their site got more backlinks in a short span of time.
Linked domains section allows you to determine what are all the domains which your competitors are linking for. As you can see the below screenshot, there are also features for you to determine the broken outbound links in your competitor site. This helps you carry out broken link building effortlessly by reaching out your competitors. This is one of the features you hardly find in any of the other competitor research tools.
It also helps in knowing whether a blog is an active outbound linker so that you can consider linking to him expecting something back from him 🙂
As you can see the features may seem simple, but by applying these features in carrying out your link building strategies strategically that too combining other tools like email outreach tools, you can make a great difference in your blogging journey.
This section lets you know the popular content of your competitors according to the social shares they received. There are also several filters you can apply to the results like domain ratings, words, organic traffic, publish date, social shares according to the specific social networking platforms and much more.
This feature alone is more efficient than tools like BuzzSumo in this regard.
The results can be sorted based on the following factors:
- Referring domains
- Search traffic
- Domain rating
- Date: newest first
- Date: oldest first
- Total shares
- Median shares
- Twitter shares
- Facebook shares
- Google+ shares
- LinkedIn shares
- Pinterest shares
You can also enter the keyword in your niche, and come across popular content is recently published around that keyword and went viral.
So as you can see in the above screenshot, the Ahrefs returned some of the best content around the web that is related to the “weight loss” niche. The above content is the most shared according to Ahrefs.
You can also sort the results based on the data the content is published. For example, if you select the “last week” as shown in the above screenshot the Ahrefs will return only the most popular content that is published since last week. With this, you can get to explore what are all the stuff that are going viral in your niche in a time period.
Keyword explorer to find keywords to target
The tool also comes with a keyword explorer tool. With this tool, you need not buy any other keyword research tools like Long Tail Pro.
Let us take a look at the functionality of the keyword research tool.
When you enter a keyword in this tool, it’ll return all the basic information about the keyword like keyword volume, competitiveness, top competitors, other keyword ideas, search suggestions and much more.
It also lists the top ranking sites for a specific keyword and lists some of the essential metrics of the sites like DR, UR, backlinks, domains, traffic, and also the number of keywords they’re ranking for. You can further click on the individual results to explore the page further and replicate their SEO strategies.
The another feature that the “agency” plan gives is the “SERP position history” feature. This feature lets you know the position your competitors were for a specific keyword. By taking a look at the ranking history for a specific keyword, that gets you to know about their traffic trends and also the potential of a keyword more accurately.
Ahrefs Domain comparison feature
This feature helps you to compare two or more domains next to each other in every possible way. As you can notice in the screenshot, I’ve compared my blog to some of my competitors. Ahrefs has compared some of the key metrics of three of the blogs I’ve compared.
It helps you in knowing what are all the areas you need to be working on to get an edge over your competitors. Some of the things that are great to compare and analyze are the link diversity, the ratio between the dofollow and nofollow links, social shares, and much more. With this data, you clearly will know the areas you are lagging behind when compared to your competitors.
Batch analysis of metrics
This feature enables to analyze multiple domains at once. At once, you can analyze up to 200 URLs. In this example, I’ve entered two sites for demo purposes.
This is very helpful if you wish to compare up to 200 URLs for keywords, backlinks and other data.
This tool lets you come across the backlinks that your competitors have in common, but your blog doesn’t have. The tool returns some of the backlinks that would be very easy for you to acquire as your competitors are all getting it.
Let us look at some of the backlinks that my competitors have, but not me.
By looking at the above results and sorting the competitor common backlinks according to the domain ratings, I can easily build some highly influential easy- to-get backlinks to my site.
This feature will be very helpful for you in case if you are struggling to find backlink opportunities. If used properly, this feature alone can make a significant difference in the rankings of your blog.
Paid search for PPC campaigns
This is a great feature for you if you make use of Google AdWords to drive traffic to your landing pages. In the above example, I entered the domain koovs.com. The Ahrefs returned me some of the keywords that the site is bidding for on Google.
This easily lets you spy on your competitor PPC keyword, and lets you target their most effective keywords in your PPC campaigns.
As you can see in the above screenshot, you can also preview the ad by just clicking on the ad preview button highlighted in yellow color.
You can also come to know about the countries for which they are targeting the ads. From the above screenshot, you can determine that the Koovs is targeting US, India, UK, and others in their PPC campaigns. This information is very invaluable for you if you run PPC campaigns for your site or your clients.
Using separate tools for accomplishing this would be just a waste of time and money.
Here are some of the top landing pages for which Koovs is bidding for. The Ahrefs also presents the top PPC keywords for each of the landing pages. You can also view the ads for the specific PPC keywords, without manually searching for the keyword on Google.
Ahrefs Rank Tracker Tool
The Ahrefs also comes with a rank tracker tool. For using this, first, you need to add your site to the projects. After adding your site, you need to enter all the keywords you wish to track for under the keywords section. Ahrefs checks the rankings of your site for the given keywords regularly or according to your set interval for the rankings.
By looking at the rankings graph, you can easily determine whether the link building and SEO efforts on your end are really bearing fruits for you.
The Ahrefs also tracks the mobile rankings of your given keywords. This is very important in case if you more traffic from mobile users on your site.
You can also let the rank tracker to periodically send you the notifications to the specified email regarding the rank tracking status.
In the free version of Ahrefs, you can only track 2-3 keywords. But with pro version, you can monitor an unlimited number of keywords. You can also add an unlimited number of sites to your projects if you have the premium version of the tool.
Ahrefs Pricing Plans
There are mainly four pricing plans in Ahrefs. They are Lite, Standard, Advanced, and Agency. For most people, the lite and standard plans are more than enough. In case if you are running an SEO agency, the advanced and agency plans are proved to be helpful.
Annual Ahrefs pricing plans come at a 20% discount. If you plan to use the tool at least for a year, going for an annual plan is preferable. The different plans come with different features and have some limitations. You can refer to this page for more information.
The support offered by Ahrefs is also awesome. They provide support via email and phone. The tool is very easy to use, and I personally think that there’ll be no need of support.
Browse more SEO Tools:
- SEMrush vs Ahrefs: Which is best Tool?
- Moz vs SEMrush: Comparison of best seo tools
- SEMrush vs LongTailPro: Comparison of best keyword research tools
- Top Moz Alternatives You can try in 2018
FAQs About Ahrefs Review in 2018
Here’s a list of some of the most important questions and terminology about Ahrefs you must know before using the tool to get better insights about it.
#1. What is Ahrefs?
Ahrefs.com is one of the most popular SEO all in one toolset for content research, backlinks and SEO analysis.
The main reason most people prefer Ahrefs over other SEO tools is that it has largest base of Live links, huge Index and provides you faster index updates so you can get better SEO metrics more accurately.
#2. How to use Ahrefs SEO tool?
Ahrefs provide you various tools which are listed below;
- Keywords Explorer tool helps you get highly relevant and most profitable keyword ideas that you can use to get better search rankings along with traffic estimations for each keywords
- Content Explorer works as a great alternative to tools like Buzzsumo which will help you find the most popular content for any topic in the web
- Site Explorer tool helps you analyse your website’s backlinks profile (you can also easily analyse the sites of your competitors to find the high traffic generating and most profitable keywords of your competitors)
#3. What is a good Ahrefs Domain Rating (DR) score?
In Ahrefs tool, Domain Rating (which is shown as DR in Ahrefs tool) generally shows the strength of a website’s overall backlink profile which is measured from 1 to 100, with 100 being the strongest.
That means, a site with a DR of 90+ will be more strongest when compared to a site with a DR of 50. That being said, the higher your DR is, the stronger your site’s backlink profile is.
Anything above 50+ can be considered as a good DR score in Ahrefs. Currently Bloggers Passion has a DR of 65 which can be shown below.
#4. What is easier SEMrush or Ahrefs?
Both SEMrush and Ahrefs are great and really help you with SEO from keyword research to backlink analysis to content analysis. I’ve used both of these tools and both are easier to use as they both have intuitive interfaces that help you easily analyse any URL.
But if you’re looking for more comprehensive SEO tool, you should probably give a try to SEMrush once. Here’s the 14 day free trial to SEMrush: Get Free SEMrush Pro Account for 14 Days (worth $47)
#5. Why are my website’s MozRank and Ahrefs ranking is different?
The simple answer is they both are two different SEO tools managed by two different SEO companies. Obviously each one of them follow their own databases, calculations, measurements etc to find out the authoritativeness of a site, so both MozRank and Ahrefs ranking will be completely different.
#6. What is the difference between Live, Recent and Historical links?
In Ahrefs, Live index contains “live” backlinks only, that means which are actually live and active at the time of crawling by Ahrefs bots.
Recent index contains of all “live” backlinks plus “lost” backlinks that had “live” status during the last 3-4 months.
Historical links index all backlinks that were seen by Ahrefs crawlers as “live”, but not necessary live today (that means it may include all your lost links as well).
#7. Why did my Ahrefs Rank drop suddenly if I haven’t lost any links to my site?
First things first: Ahrefs Rank is not a search engine ranking factor, so you don’t have to worry much about the rank even if it drops to a greater extent.
Ahrefs Ranks basically compiles a list of all the websites on the internet ordered by the size and quality of their backlink profile using their Domain Rating (DR).
So if you see a drop in your Ahrefs rank, it might be mostly because other websites could gain that ranking or backlinks along the way. That’s the reason why even if you’ve not lost any links on your site, you could see a rank drop in Ahrefs tool.
#8. How long does it take for Ahrefs to update its data?
Ahrefs backlinks (including live, historical, recent index) index is partially updated each 15 minutes and the full index is updated every 6 months, where some of the web pages will be updated 100 times, others only once, depending on their rating given by Ahrefs (often known as DR, Domain Rating).
Ahrefs Review: Final Thoughts about the SEO Tool
The Ahrefs in indeed a powerful tool when it comes to competitor research. The tool offers great value for the money. The features offered by this SEO tool like link intersect, missing keywords, are great. If you are not using this tool, you could be wasting a lot of money and time succeeding online.
Ahrefs comes almost at the same price as that of Moz, SEMrush, and other competitor research tools. But do come with lots of extra features.
Click this link to give a try to Ahrefs.
I hope you found this Ahrefs review very helpful.
Don’t forget to share this review with your friends. And let me know in case you have any questions for me in the comments section.