As an SEO marketer, I've wanted to write an Ahrefs review for a long time. It's no secret that Ahrefs is one of the most popular SEO tools on the market.
In fact, it's often considered the gold standard regarding link-building and keyword research. And now that I've finally had a chance to test the tool extensively, I'm ready to share my thoughts.
In this Ahrefs review, I am going to stay as objective as possible. I have used some other popular SEO tools as well, so I’ll also discuss how Ahrefs fares up in comparison to them based on my own testing.
What is Ahrefs?
Ahrefs is a website analysis tool that helps you understand your website's traffic, backlink profile, and more. If you're serious about improving your website's traffic and search engine rankings, Ahrefs is a tool you need in your arsenal.
Ahrefs can be used by both small businesses and large enterprises alike. Its features include keyword research, competitor analysis, and site audits.
Value For Money:
Ahrefs Pricing Details
|Ahrefs Pricing Plan||Cost (Per Month)|
|Lite Plan||Starts at $99|
|Standard Plan||Starts at $199|
|Advanced Plan||Starts at $399|
|Enterprise Plan||Starts at $999|
Ahrefs charges you on a pay-per-go basis if you add more data or users to your subscribed plan.
What Ahrefs Does/What Is Ahrefs Used For?
Ahrefs is a tool that can be used for keyword research, link building, and competitor analysis. It is a paid tool and is considered one of the best SEO tools on the market. Here is a quick summary of everything you can do with Ahrefs:
- Analyze the backlink profile of any website
- Find the keywords that are most profitable for paid as well as organic search
- Find content that is shared the most for any topic
- Get traffic estimations and keyword ideas for your content
- Track mobile and desktop rankings for different locations
- Get monthly/weekly/daily reports to track changes in rankings
- Conduct a website audit and identify common SEO issues
- Monitor your website health over a period of time
- Get alerts for new or lost backlinks, keyword rankings, and web mentions
Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO tool that can easily replace several other tools.
It provides users with new ideas for link building and content analysis, social stats and ratings, option to export data, various charts and graphs, and much more.
Optimize Your Site With Ahrefs: Key Features
If you visit the Ahrefs website, you’ll see that they five main tools/key Ahrefs features listed. All of them have a lot to offer.
In this section, I will discuss all of them in detail so you get a good idea of what Ahrefs has to offer. Before we look at the main tools, let’s take a look at the Ahrefs dashboard.
The Ahrefs dashboard is clean and simple. It's easy to find what you're looking for, whether it's a specific keyword or your overall site performance.
The graphs and data are easy to understand, and you can easily see how your site is performing over time. Overall, the Ahrefs dashboard is a great way to keep track of your website's progress.
One thing I particularly like about the Ahrefs dashboard is the ability to check your Google Search Console directly on the platform.
What’s more, you can see GSC data that’s older than 16 months as well. Even on GSC itself, you can’t do that!
I also really like the fact that Ahrefs allows you to sort projects into folders. It keeps your projects organized and ensures that you are only sharing the specific folders with team members that need access to them.
This is a great feature that makes project management easier with Ahrefs.
Email alerts are a great way to keep track of your projects and their performance.
You can set up email alerts for each project so you can be notified when something changes or if there is an update. This way, you can always stay on top of your projects and know what is going on with them.
Site Explorer is the main tool in Ahrefs’ toolkit. You can use the Site Explorer to view and analyze how your competitors are doing in paid and organic search.
You can also get insights in what strategies your competitors are using to get higher rankings.
Currently, the Site Explorer has over 475 million keywords and an index of over 1.9 trillion backlinks. It’s also powered by the second-most active crawler (after Google). Pretty impressive numbers, right?
So, how can you use Site Explorer? It can help you with three main SEO functions:
Organic Traffic Research, Paid Traffic Research, and Backlink Checker.
Organic Traffic Research
With this tool, you can see which keywords your competitors are ranking for in the search engines, and how much traffic each keyword is sending them. You just need to enter the URL of any website that you want results for.
When you do this, Ahrefs tool will fetch you the volume, KD, CPC, traffic, position, and more. It’s pretty neat and organized. Here is a sample report:
If you want to have a clear picture of how a site is performing in the SERPs over time, you can check the movements sub-category in the Organic Traffic Research section. You can also check the top pages that are bringing in the most traffic along with the competing domains for any keyword.
Before you start writing any content, you can also check out the Competing Pages section to check which other pages are ranking for the same keyword.
However, my favorite competition analysis feature on Ahrefs is Content Gap.
With this feature, you can get a list of keywords that your competitors are ranking for but you aren’t. Checking out what your competitors are ranking for is a great way to find new keywords that you can start targeting.
It is possible that you could be overlooking valuable keywords simply because you haven’t thought to look for them. And with this feature, you can save a lot of time on research.
Do you want to know how many backlinks a website has, and where they're coming from?
To find your website's backlink profile, simply paste the URL into Site Explorer and click on the “Backlink profile” tab. This gives you access to a goldmine of data that can help you build a rich backlink profile for your website.
To keep track of any backlinks that you gained or lost during a specific time period, you can see the New/Lost backlinks section.
To get the most accurate picture of your site's backlink situation, it is important to check this section on a regular basis. By doing so, you can keep track of your progress and make sure that your link-building efforts are paying off.
This section also has options so you can check all the referring domains, referring IPs, and anchor phrases pointing to a specific URL. You can also get a list of internal backlinks for your website along with the traffic it is fetching.
Paid Traffic Research
If you want to stay ahead of the competition, it’s important to know what they’re up to. And one way to do that is by finding out if they’re buying PPC ads and which keywords they’re bidding on.
My favorite Paid Traffic Research section is “Ads.” In just a few clicks, you can check out all the ads in the search results for any target URL. Volume, traffic, CPC, keywords – it has all the juicy details you need to learn about your competitors’ PPC strategy.
There is also an option where you can see the top landing pages that are getting the most traffic for PPC ads. As a PPC marketer, you’ll have everything you need to create a strong PPC campaign at your fingertips.
Another really interesting section on Ahrefs is “Pages.” It gives you a quick glance at the top pages on any website with the most backlinks. You can also check which web pages have had the greatest growth in terms of links.
What’s interesting is that you can also check which pages have received the most shares on social media platforms. Along with the URL, the tool shows the total number of shares on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Even the Outgoing Links section is great to get an overview of any website’s outgoing links. You can check out all the websites that a URL is linking to along with their broken links, and anchor text of outgoing links.
Overall, Site Explorer has some incredible tools to help you build strong SEO and PPC campaigns. And the best part is that the most complex data is presented in an easy-to-understand format.
Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
What makes the keyword explorer in Ahrefs unique compared to other SEO tools out there, is that it looks beyond Google. It integrates with YouTube, Baidu, Yandex, Amazon, and other search engines as well.
Using the Ahrefs keyword research tool, you can get data for 171 countries.
When you enter any keyword into the Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, you get comprehensive data for multiple keyword metrics including:
- Search Volume: The total volume of searches for your entered keyword in a specific market.
- CPC: Average cost per click that advertisers pay so that the keyword appears via paid search.
- Keyword Difficulty: This metric gives an estimate of how difficult it is for any particular keyword to rank.
- Clicks: This shows the number of clicks that each keyword generates. It can vary according to the search results page and the type of query you’ve entered.
- Global Volume: Check the search volume from all markets where the keyword is entered.
- Return Rate: Check how many times a particular user has searched for the same keyword in a month.
- Keyword Ideas: You can check more keyword ideas and related questions to a given keyword.
While the Ahrefs keyword tool has a lot of data, it is neatly presented. Check out a sample report from Ahrefs in the screenshot below:
The Site Audit feature on Ahrefs is really simple. You can enter any URL to check any technical issues you might have. Ahrefs crawls all the web pages on your site and checks for 100 pre-defined SEO issues.
It then provides a comprehensive SEO Audit report. It includes your SEO health score, top issues, crawl status of links, issues distribution, and other important data.
When you scroll down, you also find a list of all the SEO issues on the site you are checking. For each issue, Ahrefs also shows details of what the problem is and how you can fix it. To check it, you can just click on the “?” button on the right side of the report.
Ahrefs also has detailed reports on technical categories including Performance, HTML Tags, Social Tags, Content Quality, Localization, Incoming Links, and Outgoing Links. For each of these categories, you’ll get a visual report with multiple clickable elements.
When you click on any element, Ahrefs opens Data Explorer which shows a list of all the affected pages. You can check out a sample report in the screenshot below:
You can also add filters to this list so that you get exactly the results that you are looking for. Understanding the correct filters to apply here might require some advanced SEO knowledge though.
With Rank Tracker, you can set which countries and keywords you want to figure out ranking for. Using Ahrefs Rank Tracker, you can check all the keywords that you are ranking for along with the associated keywords.
Using this tool, you can check the following main metrics:
- Visibility: Check the total percentage of clicks you get on your site from organic search.
- Average Position: Check the average position for all your tracked keywords over a period of time.
- Traffic: Check the number of searches your tracked keywords send to your website.
- SERP Features: Check how many keywords are showing enhanced search engine results pages where featured snippets, maps, and other such non-standard elements are added.
- Position: Check how many results moved up or down in rankings.
Comparison with Other Tools
When it comes to SEO and link building, there are a lot of different tools out there. The most popular ones apart from Ahrefs are Moz and Semrush. All three of these tools offer a lot of features, but they also have their own unique advantages.
Ahrefs is best known for its comprehensive database of links and its ability to track competitor backlinks.
Semrush is great for keyword research and competitive analysis. And Moz offers powerful tools for tracking your website's SEO performance.
So, which tool is the best? Well, that depends on what you're looking for. If you need a comprehensive tool that can do a little bit of everything, Ahrefs is a great choice.
Even for those who want to specifically focus on link building and competitor link analysis, Ahrefs should be the right pick.
If you're focused on keyword research and competitive analysis, Semrush is a good option. And if you want to track your website's SEO performance, Moz is a great tool.
For a more detailed comparison of the three tools, you should read my blog post on Semrush vs. Moz vs. Ahrefs.
1. Which is better, Ahrefs vs Semrush?
Both Ahrefs and Semrush are among the best SEO tools out there. They have their own pros and cons. But if your focus is on getting quality backlinks, Ahrefs should be your pick.
2. Is Ahrefs free?
No, Ahrefs is not free to use. Their pricing plans start from $99 per month.
3. How does Ahrefs get its data?
Ahrefs has its own search crawlers that work around the clock, using data from its independent database. They are not affiliated with any other search engines or similar services.
That means they do not get their data from Google, Altavista, Alexa, and other such platforms. Currently, they have probably the largest index of backlinks and it is updated every 15 minutes.
4. Is Ahrefs the best SEO tool?
While there are other SEO tools available, such as Moz and Majestic, I believe Ahrefs offers the most accurate and up-to-date backlink data.
In addition, Ahrefs is constantly updating their backlink database, which provides you with the most current backlink information. If your focus is on building a strong backlink profile, Ahrefs is definitely the best SEO tool for you.
5. Is Ahrefs worth the money?
As someone who's been using Ahrefs for a while now, I can say that it definitely is worth the money. The tool is constantly being updated with new features and improvements, and it really has everything you need to perform comprehensive SEO audits, backlink analysis, and keyword research.
Should You Use Ahrefs?
The answer to this question really depends on what you're looking for in an SEO tool. If you're just starting out, then Ahrefs may be a bit too expensive for you.
However, if you're already established and are looking for an all-in-one tool that does it all, then Ahrefs is definitely worth the investment.
If you've got the budget and are serious about marketing, then you should be using Ahrefs. In my experience, Ahrefs is unique compared to other SEO tools.
They probably have the largest index of live backlinks in the world. This means that they are able to show you more data and give you more insights into your link-building efforts than any other tool out there.
Second, their crawler is really fast and accurate. This allows them to update their index more frequently, so you can always be confident that you're getting the most up-to-date data possible.
So, what’s the final verdict? Give it a go if you want a detailed SEO analysis.
Do you have any questions related to this Ahrefs review? Please feel free to mention them in the comments sections. I’ll be happy to answer them for you.
Ahrefs Review: Pros, Cons, Key Features, Pricing, and More
In this Ahrefs review, I discuss the main features, pricing, pros, and cons. Also, read how this SEO tool compares to Moz and Semrush. Check out this post now!
Price Currency: $
Operating System: Web
Application Category: Social Media Marketing Software
- Rich functionality
- Can use it for SEO analysis of Google, YouTube, and Amazon
- Large keyword and backlink index
- Great data filters
- Good customer support
- May be expensive for small businesses