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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.
Top Referring Content – This displays the most popular page that links to your target website. They determine the popularity of the page through the number of social shares it has. You can use this to help your SEO campaign by knowing which page/website has a decent social media following, and you can partner with them for more link opportunities to improve your backlink profile.

Ahrefs boasts the best link database among any system out there. It does most everything -- link monitoring, alerts, calculated metrics, the richest clickstream blend out there, and much more. Its UI is cluttered in a good way and the company has quick and polite support. And Tim Soulo -- the public face of Ahrefs -- has done a ton of good for the SEO community.
Competitor backlink audit – Analyse the link profile of your competitor and research the opportunities, to match your, or even better outperform your competitors link profile and subject authority. When performing an competitor backlink audit you should also analyse inbound links pointing to top performing pages, so you don’t miss out on valuable link opportunities.

Hi, Brian. Thank you for the great article. I have a question about the part about 4 website addresses. Ours currently is set to https://www., and we would like to change it to just an https:// as the main website. Will this hurt our current link profile, or will everything stay the same? This might be a foolish question, but we are a bit worried. Thank you.
Ahrefs also helps users dig deep into their competitors’ search traffic with the Positions Explorer tool. You can easily see the keywords the competition is ranking for in the search engines as well as the keywords they are spending on for their advertising and marketing campaigns. Even better, you can see the flow of organic and paid traffic they are receiving.
If you are interested in having the SEO Audit Tool on your web platform, you can have a free seven day trial of it. By embedding this tool directly on your page, you can generate great leads from your users by seeing their websites or the websites they are interested in. From here, you can target a more specific audience and see great improvements in your conversion rates!
Of the three popular backlink reporting tools (Majestic, Moz, Ahrefs), Ahrefs provides the most useful link data. Even in other areas of SEO, Ahrefs seems to always keep their toolsets fresh. They continually add in useful tools and features that make other software suites less relevant. The most recent addition is their site audit tool which provides a beautiful visualization of technical site issues.
I work with legal websites and it makes it easy to see what the top law firm websites are using for backlinks. I can then export all the backlinks into an Excel file and decide what are the best ones for me to try and obtain for our clients. The reports section is nice too, it gives us an easy to understand solution for our clients and answers their question of where their money is going to.
Hi Anil, a fantastic post. I would like to know your opinion since in my case I do not have the budget to keep two tools at the same time. I currently use semrush since there are things that I like a lot but I have doubts about the speed of the backlink audit tool. Recently I have encountered a problem in which semrush has not detected backlinks that were potentially dangerous to my website and this has hurt me. This part worries me a little because I’ve already seen the ears of the wolf. On the price-quality ratio of the two tools, would you continue with semrush or would you go to ahrefs? Thank you very much!
The tool is quite easy to use and it does pretty much what you expect it to. If you are into link research you should give this tool a try. The database appears to be a fairly good size for a new database and the ability to slice and dice that data from right within the web interface is a solid feature. If you do try it out, let us know what you think! We are also adding their link data to SEO for Firefox & the SEO Toolbar today.

However, if possible, I would like you to expand a bit on your “zombie pages” tip..we run a site where are definitely enough pages to delete (no sessions, no links, probably not even relevant with the main theme of the site, not even important for the architecture of the site)..Nonetheless, I am not very sure what is the best technical decision for these pages…just deleting them from my CMS, redirecting (if there is a relevant alternative) or something else? Unindex them on Search console? what response code they should have? ..
Top Referring Content – This displays the most popular page that links to your target website. They determine the popularity of the page through the number of social shares it has. You can use this to help your SEO campaign by knowing which page/website has a decent social media following, and you can partner with them for more link opportunities to improve your backlink profile.
Provides a way to track the effect of link building activity and demonstrate the impact on search traffic. Excellent for competitor analysis. Helps with researching what content to produce, which competitors are gaining in search and why, which keywords your site could realistically aim to rank for, and gives you enough information to plan how to do it.
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!
We realize that when you make a decision to buy SEO Software it’s important not only to see how experts evaluate it in their reviews, but also to find out if the real people and companies that buy it are actually satisfied with the product. That’s why we’ve created our behavior-based Customer Satisfaction Algorithm™ that gathers customer reviews, comments and Ahrefs reviews across a wide range of social media sites. The data is then presented in an easy to digest form showing how many people had positive and negative experience with Ahrefs. With that information at hand you should be equipped to make an informed buying decision that you won’t regret.
As a long time Moz user and I might even say a super fan of their product, it feels really odd to be writing a review of Ahrefs. But here we go--I love Ahrefs. The design, the UI, the gigantic keyword database and now the newly redesign site audit are a thing of beauty. I continue to be impressed by the data they provide, features that are added frequently and my favorite feature has to be the top pages report. (Not sure why I love that so much--but it just makes it extremely simple to research a site or competitor with that report.)

I can recommend Ahrefs to anyone in search engine optimization, social media marketing or digital marketing. Ahrefs is perfect for keyword research, competitor research, viral content research, web page audit, rank tracking, competitor tracking and more. If you are looking to find great link opportunity then Ahrefs is the tool winning in that domain.


Ahrefs make use of two link updates in your website - the Fresh Index and the Live Index. Fresh Index which updates at a longer time frame. It shows the dead links on your website, giving you the chance to change or reclaim the dead link. The Live Index, on the other hand, makes link updates every 15-30 minutes. This provides you with the chance to see regular link updates on your website.

Brian, I have a burning question regarding keyword placement and frequency. You wrote: “Use the key in the first 100 words … “. What else? I use Yoast and a WDF*IDF semantic analysis tool to check the content of the top10 rankings. Pretty often I have the feeling I overdo it, although Yoast and WDF/IDF told me I use the focus keyword not often enough.
What would be the purpose of/reason for moving back to a different url? If its been a few years, I’d leave it alone unless you watched everything decline since moving to the main url. Moving the forum to a new url now would probably be a bit chaotic, not only for your main url but for the forum itself…. Only reason I could imagine myself moving the forum in this scenario would be if all those links were really awful and unrelated to the url it currently sits on…
A few years back we decided to move our community forum from a different URL (myforum.com) to our main URL (mywebsite.com/forum), thinking all the community content could only help drive additional traffic to our website. We have 8930 site links currently, which probably 8800 are forum content or blog content. Should we move our forum back to a different URL?
If you are looking for keywords in languages other than English, you will find Keyword Tool's features very useful. Keyword Tool allows you to pull keywords from 192 Google domains and use 83 Google language interfaces to generate keyword suggestions. That way we make sure that the generated keywords will be relevant to the country and/or language that you are creating your content for.
We love the Intersecting Link Opportunity report, which helps us plan our link-earning strategy based on the semantic Web and relevancy. There really isn't a better way of finding industry websites to market with that could result in organic link wins. Our team has been using Ahrefs for as long as we can remember, mainly because it offers a higher volume of discovered links when weighed against similar tools.
Hi, Brian. Thank you for the great article. I have a question about the part about 4 website addresses. Ours currently is set to https://www., and we would like to change it to just an https:// as the main website. Will this hurt our current link profile, or will everything stay the same? This might be a foolish question, but we are a bit worried. Thank you.
Checking a website’s on-page health is indispensable to making and keeping a website SEO- and user-friendly. Whether you manage a small website or a large one composed of thousands of webpages, detection of issues can be challenging. You just cannot afford to spend days looking for every possible mistake in the code or checking for broken images or URLs.
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.
Top Referring Content – This displays the most popular page that links to your target website. They determine the popularity of the page through the number of social shares it has. You can use this to help your SEO campaign by knowing which page/website has a decent social media following, and you can partner with them for more link opportunities to improve your backlink profile.
Thanks for the article, really gives some clear insights.I am currently testing out Ahref’s and have tested Moz and Semrush in the past as well. In my opinion Ahref’s UI is the best and clearest. I will have to test Moz and Semrush again i am afraid to be sure which one to start using. Have been using SE Ranking for rank tracking mostly but have noticed rank positions are not accurate most times.
The depth of your articles impresses and amazes me. I love all the specific examples and tool recommendations. You discuss the importance of backlinks. How important is it to use a tool to list you on directories (Yext, Moz Local, Synup or JJUMP)? Will Google penalize you for listing on unimportant directories? Is it better to avoid these tools and get backlinks one at a time and avoid all but a few key directories?
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.
The Content Explorer is a nice addition for convenience, but it doesn't come close to replicating what a tool like BuzzSumo can do. Then again, it likely isn't intended to, but it's the one area of the product that feels like it might be a bit tacked on at this point. This isn't so bad though as the feature still offers a useful purpose, it's just that purpose is a little shallow.
SEOptimer is a free SEO Audit Tool that will perform a detailed SEO Analysis across 100 website data points, and provide clear and actionable recommendations for steps you can take to improve your online presence and ultimately rank better in Search Engine Results. SEOptimer is ideal for website owners, website designers and digital agencies who want to improve their own sites or theirs of their clients.
Another advantage of using Ahrefs is their “Fresh Index” “Live Index” switch that displays backlinks that Ahrefs’ crawler found. The main difference between the two is that the Live Index is updated every 15-30 minutes to show live links in your site. For Fresh Index, it is updated at a much longer timeframe, but it still displays dead links which give you the chance to reclaim or change the dead link.
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.
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).
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?
Detailed breakdown of all our key SEO metrics and performance history. It's very easy to compare our performance against competitors, and identify new opportunities to improve. The "link intersect" tool is amazing! You can easily see who's linking to your competitors and not your site, and work through the report list to build your presence on those domains.
Google’s bots crawl your site to determine its quality, and correct technical on page optimization is one of the main signals used. When you optimize your page based on the recommendations of the website analyzer, you can increase your organic traffic, improve ranking positions, and stay competitive against other sites ranking for your target keywords.
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.
I can recommend Ahrefs to anyone in search engine optimization, social media marketing or digital marketing. Ahrefs is perfect for keyword research, competitor research, viral content research, web page audit, rank tracking, competitor tracking and more. If you are looking to find great link opportunity then Ahrefs is the tool winning in that domain.
Detailed breakdown of all our key SEO metrics and performance history. It's very easy to compare our performance against competitors, and identify new opportunities to improve. The "link intersect" tool is amazing! You can easily see who's linking to your competitors and not your site, and work through the report list to build your presence on those domains.
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).
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.
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?

As a long time Moz user and I might even say a super fan of their product, it feels really odd to be writing a review of Ahrefs. But here we go--I love Ahrefs. The design, the UI, the gigantic keyword database and now the newly redesign site audit are a thing of beauty. I continue to be impressed by the data they provide, features that are added frequently and my favorite feature has to be the top pages report. (Not sure why I love that so much--but it just makes it extremely simple to research a site or competitor with that report.)
Detailed breakdown of all our key SEO metrics and performance history. It's very easy to compare our performance against competitors, and identify new opportunities to improve. The "link intersect" tool is amazing! You can easily see who's linking to your competitors and not your site, and work through the report list to build your presence on those domains. 

Another function included in the backlink profile section is the data for Referring Domains. Basically speaking, it shows you the number of websites that are linking to the domain you’ve inputted in the search bar. So, in this instance, I’m using seo-hacker.com as the target website/URL, and the number of referring domains is shown with the corresponding details you will ever need:
One thing I like about Ahrefs is that it's straight and to the point. It's very easy to get in, get your data, and get out. Each report does pretty much what you expect it to. This report shows the referring domains + number links coming from that domain. You can access the links from each domain by clicking the Expand button next to the referring domain:
The relevant keywords that you target with your ads will bring the right audience to your website. Showing your ads to people that type relevant keywords will result in higher click-through rate (CTR), lower cost-per-click (CPC) and higher conversion rates for your business. As a result, you will spend less money on advertising and generate a better return on investment.
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.
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.
With Ahrefs, users get the best backlink checking platform in the industry. With just a few clicks of the button, users have a crystal clear profile of any website or URL. From links to anchors as well as the strength of the backlinks, Ahrefs reveals them all in an instant. Users can also monitor backlinks and follow their growth overtime and deploy smart filters and advanced reporting features to quickly discover relevant data.
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.
A few years back we decided to move our community forum from a different URL (myforum.com) to our main URL (mywebsite.com/forum), thinking all the community content could only help drive additional traffic to our website. We have 8930 site links currently, which probably 8800 are forum content or blog content. Should we move our forum back to a different URL?

I can recommend Ahrefs to anyone in search engine optimization, social media marketing or digital marketing. Ahrefs is perfect for keyword research, competitor research, viral content research, web page audit, rank tracking, competitor tracking and more. If you are looking to find great link opportunity then Ahrefs is the tool winning in that domain.
SERP overview reports the top 10 results for a keyword, their key metrics like UR, DR, backlinks, traffic, and social shares. Shockingly enough, the Ahrefs also reports if there are any AdWords ads, knowledge graph, and snippets at the top of the SERP for the keyword. This is very helpful in manually analyzing whether it is possible for you to rank for the keyword.
This report can help you reverse engineer, down to the day, a link building campaign that your competitor is running (always good to be out in front of a big link push by a competitor) and can also help you evaluate your own link campaign or even help you spot a link growth issue that may have resulted in some kind of penalty or over-optimization filter.

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