What is AHREFS?
Ahrefs is a paid SEO tool predominantly known for its backlink analysis features, however has developed into a comprehensive software suite facilitating keyword research and technical SEO audits.
With data that is widely accepted as more reliable compared to other competing tools, along with a comprehensive set of different features, Ahrefs makes a viable all-purpose platform for SEO, but does come with its setbacks.
Site Explorer is Ahrefs most prominent feature, allowing you to analyze a site or web page’s organic traffic performance in terms of quality in line with their Domain Authority and backlink profile.
Similar to tools such as Semrush and Moz, Ahrefs outputs a list of backlinks for a given URL, however, unlike these competitors, it allows you to filter through and group these backlinks into categories such as Nofollow, Sponsored, Highest URL rating, Highest Domain rating and so on.
This is extremely useful when dealing with larger sites, such as major eCommerce brands that may have literally millions of backlinks.
Keyword research and rank tracking
Uniquely, Ahrefs keyword explorer searches and analyses keywords for Youtube, Amazon, Yandex, and Bing as opposed to constraining you to Google alone.
Ahrefs provides a dashboard of metrics for each keyword, which acts as a great comparison tool when deciding on what keywords to proceed with. Including CPC, CTR, SERPS position history, and search volume.
The one weakness this feature has in comparison to other platforms is that it does not generate good related keyword suggestions, many are irrelevant – SEMrush does a much better job at this.
Ahrefs rank tracking feature is similar to that of competing platforms. You input your target keywords and can monitor their rankings. Unfortunately, even on the highest paying plan, Ahrefs only update this data every three days. If SEO is just a minor part of a digital strategy this isn’t a major issue, but for in-depth SEO projects, rankings must be monitored periodically every day, making this tool not rigorous enough.
In summary, Ahrefs is a great all-around tool if your digital priorities align with their strengths. It has some limitations on keyword research and rank tracking for more focussed projects but when it comes to the ease of analyzing the data available, Ahrefs excels.
Fact: Ahrefs states their crawler is the second most active preceding Google, meaning you can be confident of accurate link data.
The site audit tool is similar to most online technical crawl tools, it outputs a site health score with actionable recommendations. This is good for users unfamiliar with the ins and outs of technical SEO to know exactly what needs to be done, as well as offering the detailed technical findings a more seasoned SEO professional would be seeking our during a periodic audit.
KEYWORD ANALYSIS AND CONTENT EXPLORATION
As with all third-party tools, Ahrefs does not exceed the accuracy of Google tools in terms of keyword and traffic data, but is commended for its near closeness.
The filtering features on Ahref’s keyword research tools facilitate efficient filtering and analysis of large volumes of keywords. Inclusion and exclusion filters, along with means of filtering by position volume, competitiveness, traffic, and even SERPS features, enable you yo hone in on keyword groups specific intent and purposes.
Ahrefs reveals competing domains for given keywords as well as top-performing pages to inspire content and implementation.