The tools and plugins recommend in the site are the ones we use, have tried or tested ourselves and recommend to our readers. Marketing With WP is supported by readers like yourself. If you take an action (such as a purchase) we might earn an affiliate revenue at no extra cost to you.
In today’s world, without SEO, it’s almost impossible to scale a business profitably. Ranking on search engines organically with SEO is undoubtedly one of the most important steps to running a profitable online business.
The key to acquiring organic visitors using SEO is – analyzing the target audience’s search demand and creating relevant content to fulfill the search query.
But, how would you know what users are searching online in the first place? Or, how do even analyze your site’s content performance in search engines for a particular keyword or search term?
Let me introduce Ahrefs – the all-in-one tool to help you get content ideas, research keywords, and optimize your website’s SEO performance. With the increasing number of competitors in the online space, you need tools like Ahrefs to find untapped keywords and content ideas in your niche to create relevant and resourceful content.
This post will help you get familiar with Ahrefs, its SEO features, pricing, pros, and cons, and answer some frequently asked questions.
Ahrefs is a powerful and widely-used content marketing tool that helps you improve your sites’ visibility & organic reach through search engines like Google, Bing, Baidu, Yahoo, YouTube, etc.
It’s actually a “swiss army knife” SEO tool – it has multiple features for helping you optimize to perform better on search engines by optimizing your site’s health, generating organic keyword ideas, finding backlink opportunities, researching competitors, tracking ranks, and more.
Its primary use case – the keyword explorer tool lets you find keywords, i.e. phrases that people search on Google (or other search engines) relevant to your business. It has an index with billions of keywords, so it shows detailed data and reports about the search keywords related to your business.
Along with the list of keywords, it also provides detailed data like keyword difficulty, search volume, estimated clicks, etc. This helps you analyze and generate topics that you’ll use to create optimized, helpful content.
Ahrefs is primarily recognized as a keyword research tool in the market. However, its features are not limited to that. In fact, Ahrefs has offered five core SEO boosting tools, which we are going to see below.
Keyword Research is an important feature offered by Ahrefs with one of its 5 main tools – Keyword Explorer. Having a database of billions of keywords, you can find detailed data for any search query related to your business.
By just typing in a keyword on the Content Explorer tool, it will come up with some important data like –
- Keyword Difficulty – A score that tells how hard it is to rank for that keyword in the top 10 organic search results
- Search Volume – Average number of times people search for the term in a month
- Clicks and CPCs – Shows the total number of clicks on both organic and paid results, along with the maximum CPC (Cost Per Click) for advertising
- Global Volume – Shows total search volume globally along with breakdown with respect to countries.
These metrics help you decide if the keyword is worth pursuing creating content.
Also, you can also use other available factors such as phrase match, keywords with the same terms, related questions, SERP features, included words, excluded words, etc. to filter out great content ideas.
The competitor analysis tool helps you see what your competitors are doing. Basically, Ahrefs offer the Content Explorer tool that helps you find top-performing content or websites that run a business like yours and learn from them.
In addition to that, you can see their website metrics like domain rating, referring domains, page traffic with history, etc. By analyzing the authoritative websites in your niche, you’ll find various content ideas and backlinking opportunities.
It also comes with various filters like published date, languages, domain rating, backlinks, organic traffic, etc. These filters can also be useful to find ideas for creating search engine-friendly content.
For example, you can find your competitors’ pages with low domain authority and considerable traffic, so you can create much more in-depth & helpful content to outrank the competitors.
The site audit tool on Ahrefs crawls and quickly checks the issues that are keeping your website back and preventing Google rankings. The crawl report also shows the site’s health in a score of 1 to 100; with 100 being the best score.
A great part – the tool totally based on the cloud, so it doesn’t use your computer’s resources.
On the site audit report, you can see details like the number of URLs crawled, the number of on-page & technical SEO issues, and so on. Moreover, it also provides suggestions on how to solve those problems.
It checks your site for 100s of pre-defined errors like broken links, duplicate pages, missing or non-optimal meta tags, incomplete social tags, resource issues, low-quality content, etc.
In addition, you can see the errors in categories like performance, HTML tags, content quality, links, etc. If you want to be more specific, you can use advanced filters for finding out pages with specific issues, so that you can prioritize solving them first.
Rank Tracker is a very useful Ahrefs tool for monitoring ranking and appearance status in Google SERPs. It gives the ranking information specific to devices, i.e. desktop & mobile, as well as for 170 countries.
In addition, it also helps you observe your competitors and see how your pages’ rankings stack up against theirs.
And accessing all the tracking and content ranking history is pretty easy. You just have to input or import the keywords you want to track, input countries, and add competitors’ URLs to start the tracking.
With just that, it shows the keywords ranking over time and also allows you to select the time frame to see the content performance history. You can easily compare the different important metrics like visibility, average positions, traffic, positions history, etc. among your site and the competitors.
The rank tracker also shows the percentage of SERP features you rank on. In fact, you get the data for 13 SERP features like featured snippets, top stories, image packs, ads, videos, people also ask section, etc.
Analyzing your competitors is one of the best strategies for your site’s SEO. And Ahrefs provides you with just the right tool for it – Site Explorer.
With this tool, you can view and analyze your competitors’ performance in organic search results. Also, you can find out how they got there, so you can adopt the same strategies for your pages as well.
You can deeply research the keywords your competitors rank for, the number of organic traffic they bring, and the pages that bring in the most organic traffic.
Moreover, it also lets you check if your competitors are involved in paid search campaigns. If they are, it shows what keywords they are bidding to appear on Google SERPs’ ads sections.
Not only that, but you can also research the backlink status of your competitors. Just enter the URL in Site Explorer and see the number of referring domains from the Backlink Profile section.
Besides, Ahrefs provides additional features like domain authority checker, backlink analysis, keyword click analysis, broken link checker, keyword generator, and more.
|Plan||Monthly Prices (Paid Monthly)|
Ahrefs is a premium tool but also offers generous free access to site explorer and site audit tools. Plus, it offers additional helpful tools for free as well.
When it comes to pricing, the monthly subscription costs $83 (paid yearly) for a single user. It might look a bit higher, but the offered features totally justify it. And still, the price is lower than some of its alternatives.
Anyway, here are the premium Ahrefs pricing and plans.
- Lite: $99 per month | Site and keyword explorer | Site audit | Rank tracker | Email alerts
- Standard: $199 per month | All in Lite Plan | 6 months backlink and ranking history | SERP updates | Link tracking | Content gap finding | Competitors’ analysis
- Advanced: $399 per month | All in Standard plan | 2 years backlink and ranking history | Google data studio | Site structure | Dashboard folder
- Enterprise: $999 per month | All in Advanced plan | Unlimited backlink and ranking history | Team access management | Directory listing | Pay by invoice | API | Audit log
In addition to that, you can add multiple seats for team members on any of your plans depending on the access they can get. For example, adding causal and power users costs $20 and $50 respectively per user.
Ahrefs Pros and Cons
Now, here are some of the best parts and limitations of Ahrefs.
- Easy to use
- Best backlinks database
- Works for 10 search engines including YouTube and Amazon
- Multiple SEO improving tools
- Lets you work with a large number of sites
- Broken link analysis, both internal and backlinks
- More features are being added soon
- Trusted by SEO industry leaders
- No free trial
- New pricing plans are limited
- Geared more towards agencies and B2B
Now, let’s look at the alternatives of Ahrefs.
SEMRush is another popular keyword research and SEO booster tool. In addition, it can also be used for detailed Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or PPC analysis. However, it lacks strong click analysis, backlink analysis, and content explorer as compared to Ahrefs.
Since the rank tracker in SEMRush is more frequently updated, it provides fresh data. Regarding the cost, it’s quite expensive than Ahrefs. So, users who prefer having slightly more updated data by spending some money can go for SEMRush.
Ubersuggest is a freemium SEO tool that helps you discover content topics that are relevant to your niche. It’s offered by Neil Patel with the aim to give general users access to highly advanced SEO tools at a cheaper rate. And yes, its starting cost is one-fifth the price of Ahrefs.
However, Ubersuggest doesn’t provide keyword suggestions for Bing, YouTube, Amazon, and other search engines. Plus, the primitive link tracking and competitor analysis feature are what puts Ubersuggest behind Ahrefs.
Serpstat is an affordable alternative to Ahrefs that offers keyword research, domain analysis, keyword clustering, and several SEO features. You can also get started for free to see the available functions.
Unlike Ahrefs, which works for 10 search engines, Serpstat is useful for finding data for Google and Yandex only. Also, Serpstat has basic backlink analysis, keyword data, and metrics as compared to Ahrefs.
Nonetheless, it’s a very suitable tool to get started for small teams due to its generous tools access in affordable plans.
All in all, Ahrefs is a useful tool for users looking to improve business through organic as well as paid visibility in Google and many other search engines. It assists you to get your site higher in those search engines for relevant searches to increase website traffic, improve your brand awareness, and eventually increase your website revenue.
It not only provides keyword ideas for content topics but also analyzes your link profile in detail. You can also easily research your competitors so that it’s easy to learn their content strategies for your own benefit.
Besides that, you also get lots of premium SEO tools bundled together at an affordable cost. Thus, someone looking for marketing their businesses on search engines should definitely get Ahrefs.