Organic traffic plays an important role in any online business. You can’t ignore search engines and traffic they generate. Research shows that 68% of online experience starts with a search engine and as much as 93% of global traffic comes from Google search engine.
Getting organic traffic isn’t easy. You need to optimize your website for search engines, so it ranks high in search results for the right keywords. It is something you can’t do without an effective SEO tool. Ahrefs is one such SEO tool that is focused on improving your website’s organic traffic. It is a powerful SEO platform that offers you multiple SEO tools to help you fully understand all the aspects of your website’s SEO.
This detailed Ahrefs review will cover everything you need to know about this all-in-one SEO tool.
What is Ahrefs?
Ahrefs is an easy-to-use all-purpose SEO toolkit that offers you several SEO tools and features. It is a professional SEO tool that covers everything ranging from keyword research to content marketing to site audit to ranking tracking to backlink analysis to competitor research and much more.
It has five main tools:
- Site explorer
- Keyword explorer
- Site audit
- Rank tracker
- Content explorer
Additionally, Ahrefs offers a wide range of free tools that you can use after creating a free account. The free tools include backlink checker, broken link checker, keyword generator, authority checker, SEO toolbar, SERP checker, keyword tool, website checker, rank tracker, WordPress plugin, and several others.
Let’s see how these exciting features and tools help you improve organic traffic and SEO game of your business.
Key Features of Ahrefs
Here is an overview of the main Ahrefs features:
1. Site Explorer
It is a core Ahrefs feature that shows you a complete overview of your domain. It gives you a full-fledged overview of organic traffic, backlinks, ranking keywords, and paid search of any domain. It shows you Ahrefs rank, UR, DR, total backlinks, organic keywords, organic traffic, and traffic value.
The backlink profile shows you a complete overview of the backlinks including referring domains, referring pages, URL rating, new and lost backlinks and domains, anchor texts, and much more:
The organic search section gives you a complete overview of the organic traffic, organic keywords, traffic value, country statistics, top competitors, ranking position, anchor text, historical ranking data, top pages, and other essential information.
The best part: A limited version of site explorer is available for free. You can create a free account and get most of these details for one website (that you own) at no cost.
2. Keywords Explorer
An SEO tool without a decent keyword research feature is useless for the users. Keywords are the backbone of SEO and this is something the guys at Ahrefs are aware of. Its keyword explorer is exceptionally thorough that collects data from 10 search engines including Google, Amazon, Baidu, Bing, YouTube, and it supports over 171 different geographical regions.
The keyword data is updated every month and currently, Ahrefs has more than 7 billion keywords in its database. You can get data of any keyword including keyword difficulty, search volume, CPC, global and local volume, keyword ideas with parent topic, and clicks each keyword receives in SERPs.
Finding the right keywords and generating keyword ideas that will drive clicks gets easier with the Ahrefs keyword explorer feature. It is an easy-to-use feature that lets you select different search engines and find search engine specific keyword volume and ideas.
3. Site Audit
Site audit analyzes your website for more than 100 SEO issues including HTML tags, content quality, performance, outgoing links, incoming links, social tags, and more. You can generate user-friendly reports with graphs and charts making it easier to take action based on the audit report.
Your website receives a health score that shows the overall performance of your website. You’ll get to see a complete list of issues and recommendations to improve your website’s SEO performance. The solution to fixing issues is provided in detail so you know how to fix SEO issues.
It provides an in-depth crawl report of the website that can be fully customized based on variables you select. You can add your website and set a crawl schedule for it.
You can use site audit free of cost by signing up for Ahrefs Webmaster Tools that give you limited but free access to site audit features such as crawl statistics, health score, etc. and site explorer features such as organic traffic, backlinks, and paid traffic statistics.
4. Rank Tracker
One of the primary reasons for using an SEO tool is to track keyword ranking. Ahrefs rank tracker helps you track keywords. You can track up to 500 keywords with the basic plan and the ranking data is updated once every week.
The rank tracker shows you ranking data on featured snippet, image pack, sitelinks, top stories, knowledge card, and others. This type of detailed ranking data is hard to find with other SEO or rank tracking tools where you just SERP ranking data without any specific details.
One of the amazing features of the rank tracker is that it lets you compare your SERP positions of your competitors. You can see how much traffic each competitor receives for a specific keyword:
The rank tracker shows you data on other critical metrics too such as CPC, return rate, clicks, CPS, and more. You can go beyond ranking and search volume, and check clicks and return rate for decision-making.
5. Content Explorer
It is one of the best Ahrefs features that make it superior to other SEO tools. Content explorer helps you find top-performing content based on any keyword. There are more than a billion webpages in the Ahrefs content explorer database.
The content explorer shows you DR, organic traffic, traffic value, referring domains, social shares, and other critical information about each top-performing page based on your search query.
You can individually check each search result and further inspect its history, backlinks, referring domains, anchor text, and organic keyword. For example, you can check all the keywords a specific top-performing page is ranking for:
The filtering feature is amazing that lets you quickly find content based on your specific needs e.g. you can content based on the number of word count or posts published by a specific author:
Content explorer helps you find opportunities and makes your life easier. You can find content that has the potential to rank well, you can find linking opportunities, and you can reverse engineer your competitor’s content.
The opportunities are unlimited with the content explorer.
How much does Ahrefs cost?
You can create an account free of cost and access all the free tools at no cost. Ahrefs comes with a 7-day trial for $7 that gives you full access to all the features. The plans start at $99 per month (for monthly billing) and $82 per month with annual billing.
You get access to all the features with the Lite plan. You can add additional users for $30 per user. However, the update frequency is limited with the Lite and Standard (starting at $179 per month) plans, and the reports are limited too (in terms of the number of rows). The Advanced (starting at $399 per month) and Agency (starting at $999 per month) plans offer you exceptional update frequency and full reports.
If you are a single user with one or more websites, the Lite plan will be more than enough to take control of up to 5 websites.
There are several things that make Ahrefs a top-quality and highly valuable SEO tool. Here is an overview of the major Ahrefs pros:
- The user-interface is quick without any lags.
- The database is updated and the data you receive is accurate.
- It has a powerful and highly effective site-wide crawler that crawls your website quickly and with high reliability.
- It offers a lot of free tools that require a simple sign up.
- It monitors multiple ranking features (e.g. images, featured snippet, etc.) that make it better than several other rank tracking tools.
- Site explorer is its most powerful feature that gives a full overview of any domain you like including backlinks, organic traffic, and paid traffic.
- The content explorer with its filter feature is one of the best in the market.
- It supports several geographical regions and 10 different search engines.
- Proactive customer support with tons of helpful material including articles, how-to guides, video tutorials, and a community of experts.
- Free Webmaster Tools that offers a lot of value and insights (e.g. organic traffic, crawl statistics, backlinks, etc.).
- You can explore it for $7 for 7 days. This gives you a good idea of how it works and if it is a good match.
There are a few things that you might not like about Ahrefs including:
- It is expensive making it hard for small businesses, bloggers, affiliates, and startups with a limited budget to even use its Lite plan.
- The user interface isn’t user-friendly as it has a learning curve. If you haven’t used any SEO tool in the past, you’ll have to go through a few tutorials to get started.
- It doesn’t have any mobile app. You can only use it on the desktop. Creating a mobile app for such a comprehensive SEO tool isn’t easy but a basic-level mobile app will do wonders, especially when other SEO tools (e.g. SEMrush) don’t have mobile apps too.
Should You Use Ahrefs?
If you can’t afford its premium plan, go for the free tools. The free tools provide you with tons of useful data about your website.
If you can afford a paid plan, go for it. You’ll never regret it. The data you get with Ahrefs is worth a lot more than what you pay.
However, registering for a free or a paid plan with Ahrefs won’t help you much if you aren’t willing to invest your time in data analysis and you aren’t ready to take action. Ahrefs will show you data, numbers, graphs, and charts – how you use all this data will define the fate of your website.
Ahrefs + action-oriented user = WIN.