Its interesting that you overlooked Ahrefs site audit tool. Unlike SEMRush which limits you to 20,000 URLs, Ahrefs can crawl very large websites. Their data explorer is by far the best in the business. SEMRush gives you a list of URLs with issues they want to identify. But no option to customize. Ahrefs, much easier to use and powerful Data Explorer are very powerful indeed.


Many websites rely on other traffic generation methods such as traffic from social media, email, referrals, and direct traffic sources over search engines. For sites like these, SEO errors aren’t as important because search engines aren’t their #1 traffic source. For a smaller website, a couple of errors can have a much bigger negative effect than those same errors on a larger website.

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One thing I don't like is that Ahrefs sometimes does not provide exact keyword search volume. Instead – it provides approximate numbers which confuses us in cases when we think a keyword should get more traffic that it actually does once the SEO content is published. To get the most up to date and exact numbers, you'd better off use Google's keyword planner.
There are numerous SEO tools out in the market, however, if link building is the topic at hand, then I honestly think that using Ahrefs is enough. Starting with the dashboard – just input the details of your site and your keywords, then it will give your potential competitors. It’s easy to use and it also has one of the best features for finding broken links, curating skyscraper articles, and link reclamation.
Ahrefs is incredibly comprehensive and straight forward. From keyword discovery to site audits I use ahrefs for all my SEO needs. It's the first SEO program I was introduced to when starting me SEM management career and has proven to be the best time and time again. I've used their competitors liker moz, SEM rush, and a couple other services- none of which have come close to stacking up.

There are numerous SEO tools out in the market, however, if link building is the topic at hand, then I honestly think that using Ahrefs is enough. Starting with the dashboard – just input the details of your site and your keywords, then it will give your potential competitors. It’s easy to use and it also has one of the best features for finding broken links, curating skyscraper articles, and link reclamation.


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The biggest downside I think is the inaccurate keyword volume sometimes. Previously, I was only using Google's keyword planner and it gave us more precise volumes. I guess it's easier for Google since it's their own tool and they can give better numbers. This confuses us because in Ahrefs we may see potential in various keywords but in the long run, after our articles are published – the traffic is not what we expect sometimes. Though, it's accurate enough for the most part.

If you're okay with the pricing they offer – Ahrefs is the perfect solution for any content creators out there. You are able to step up your SEO game with data on number of backlinks as well as info on that particular site. But before you start using Ahrefs, try out what Google already offers first, maybe it will be enough for you in the beginning.
I've used a couple of SEO software programs over the last 4 years. Moz, Serpstat, SEM Rush and now Ahrefs. Since the bulk of my focus is actually building links, I think Ahrefs has the most reliable results. For example, if you checked the backlink profile of 10-20 websites on Ahrefs and compared to another SEO software provider, I bet that you would average at least 10-15% more results with Ahrefs. That can be a lot more opportunities! Their keyword phrase tracker seems to work pretty quickly and seems to be accurate.
The Intersecting Link Opportunity report we love could offer an automatic version that takes into account the top 20 listings for a given keyword phrase, saving the researcher copy/paste time and having to run multiple requests. Their Most Popular Content list is definitely helpful, but doesn't give us the semantic relevancy we get from the intersecting report.
The thing that I liked the best about Ahrefs is that it contains a huge database of backlinks when I've checked my own website and my competitor's websites. This has allowed me to dig deeper and find out their exact linkbuilding and SEO strategies. Ahref contains a lot of tools and features that will make the life of an SEO professional or webmaster who wants more search engine traffic a lot easier. One of these features is the batch analysis feature. Basically, instead of entering your competitor's backlinks one at a time you could actually enter it once. This allows you to quickly check on the SEO metrics for a lot of competitor URLs in just one click.
Brian, I’m going through Step 3, which is referring to the one version of the website. I found a very good free tool (https://varvy.com/tools/redirects/) to recommend. It checks on the redirect and gives you a visual number of hops. More hops mean more delay. For example, if I use your manual method to check on https://uprenew.com, all looks good. However, if I use the tool and check, I realize there is an unnecessary 1 hop/delay, whereby I can fix it. Hope this helps. : )
I thought I was the only one confused between these two tools. I wasn’t sure which SEO tools to use and whether I should prioritize Ahrefs over Semrush or the other way around. I know they have different features. When it comes to keyword research, Semrush is better, but for backlink analysis, it’s Ahrefs. This comparison helped me decide which one to get. Thanks for the article! The comments above also helped me in my decision.
Basically, Google shows the autocomplete suggestions whenever you start typing anything into Google search box. It is in Google's best interest to show the most relevant keywords in the autocomplete suggestions. Keywords that would help Google to retrieve the most relevant websites and help users find the most relevant content for their search query.
You can schedule a weekly technical SEO audit and our Site Audit tool will automatically start crawling your website. You’ll get a notification when it is finished in your inbox. By running website SEO audits on a regular basis, you are tracking the progress of your website’s health. With the Compare Crawls and History reports, and mini-trends on the Overview, Issues, and Page reports, you can analyze the results of different SEO audits and track changes in the number of issues over time.
The overview section is the place where you can find everything you need to know about your website. It’s complete with numbers, graphs, and anything you need to see regarding the changes happening to your website. As an SEO professional, you need to be capable of adapting your SEO campaign on the spot. And with the data provided by Ahrefs, you’ll immediately know what to do to improve your site’s performance.
Its interesting that you overlooked Ahrefs site audit tool. Unlike SEMRush which limits you to 20,000 URLs, Ahrefs can crawl very large websites. Their data explorer is by far the best in the business. SEMRush gives you a list of URLs with issues they want to identify. But no option to customize. Ahrefs, much easier to use and powerful Data Explorer are very powerful indeed.

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I thought I was the only one confused between these two tools. I wasn’t sure which SEO tools to use and whether I should prioritize Ahrefs over Semrush or the other way around. I know they have different features. When it comes to keyword research, Semrush is better, but for backlink analysis, it’s Ahrefs. This comparison helped me decide which one to get. Thanks for the article! The comments above also helped me in my decision.
The thing that I liked the best about Ahrefs is that it contains a huge database of backlinks when I've checked my own website and my competitor's websites. This has allowed me to dig deeper and find out their exact linkbuilding and SEO strategies. Ahref contains a lot of tools and features that will make the life of an SEO professional or webmaster who wants more search engine traffic a lot easier. One of these features is the batch analysis feature. Basically, instead of entering your competitor's backlinks one at a time you could actually enter it once. This allows you to quickly check on the SEO metrics for a lot of competitor URLs in just one click.
Keyword explorer, which was released few weeks back is one of the most exhaustive tools that we have see off late. Keyword Ideas, Phrase Match and KD help content marketers to align their content marketing efforts with organic search trends. Apart from that from an on page point of view, the tool gives everything that modern age webmaster need to track their overall performance.

Terrific blog post. So much great stuff here. Just wondering about Step #16. When you promote your Skyscraper post across multiple social media channels (FB, LinkedIn, etc.) it looks like you are using the exact same introduction. Is that correct? For LinkedIn, do you create an ARTICLE or just a short newsfeed post with a URL link back to your website?


Lite allows you to have a 7 day trial for $7. After the trial ends, it costs $99 per month or $990 per year. This plan allows you to track up to 5 projects (websites) and track 500 keywords per project. You can search 25 batches of keywords per day, but you can search up to 10,000 keywords per batch. I like to use it to search multiple ideas for long tail keywords at once so I don't use up all my searches. 

Thank you for the great checklist. It is really useful and gave us a couple of new hints on optimization process. We’ve been using WebSite Auditor and found it exremely helpful in site’s structure and content analysis, bringing all the statistical information on the validation errors, social mentions, duplicate stuff, etc. under one roof. Still there is so many different SEO information you sometimes cannot understand what to start with. Fortunately you answered this question. Thank you again!
Your article reaches me at just the perfect time. I’ve been working on getting back to blogging and have been at it for almost a month now. I’ve been fixing SEO related stuff on my blog and after reading this article (by the way is way too long for one sitting) I’m kind of confused. I’m looking at bloggers like Darren Rowse, Brian Clark, and so many other bloggers who use blogging or their blogs as a platform to educate their readers more than thinking about search rankings (but I’m sure they do). 

Competitor Backlink Audit: Analyze the link profile of your competitors and look for opportunities that can help improve your own link building and search performance. Whenever you perform a competitor backlink check or audit, you must also check the inbound links that are pointing to top ranking pages so you wouldn’t miss out on important link opportunities.
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