Great article. Before reading this I was practically sold on SEMrush. However, after reading this article and the comments from other readers, I’m realizing I shouldn’t be so quick to pull the trigger and that Ahrefs may in fact be what I’m looking for. I will most likely do the trial period for both before deciding, but this article definitely opened my eyes to Ahrefs possibly being my best option (instead of SEMrush). Thanks for taking the time to write this article. Great work.
The dashboard is an easy way to get an overall picture of our ranking, backlinks, and organic traffic. And as a small company looking to drive brand awareness through search, their keyword exploration tools are essential to our SEO strategy. It's also a pretty straightforward tool to use, so can you jump right in and get a lot of benefits straight away.
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!

Another feature of Ahrefs that could potentially help you take your campaign to even better heights is their content gap feature. It gives you the option to check which keywords your competitors are ranking for so you can stay one step ahead at all times. Basically speaking, Ahrefs gives SEOs the ability to overtake their competitors through knowing which keywords to target and focus on.
The backlink index is one of the best too though at the time of writing, Moz has just improved their index. Regardless of index size, which theirs is large enough, the type of data they provide is the most useful. The broken links data is probably the most useful that isn't easily matched by other tools. Additionally, going back to the content explorer, you can find unlinked mentions, a feature that appears to have been removed in Moz's "new" tool (I may just not be able to find it).

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 backlink index is one of the best too though at the time of writing, Moz has just improved their index. Regardless of index size, which theirs is large enough, the type of data they provide is the most useful. The broken links data is probably the most useful that isn't easily matched by other tools. Additionally, going back to the content explorer, you can find unlinked mentions, a feature that appears to have been removed in Moz's "new" tool (I may just not be able to find it).
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. 

The total number of backlinks and their quality pointing to your complete website result in the overall authority of your domain. The external links that all point to a specific page will help this page to rank in the search engine results (SERPs). The relevance and quality of an external link are very important factors when you like to measure the impact / value of an link. To find out more about quality links have a look at this article on: the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog – https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2010/06/quality-links-to-your-site.html 

The pricing policy. I purchased the tool for 12 months in end of Jan 2018. This included 5000 SERP updates with a standard plan and all of a sudden, Ahref changed this back to 1000 without any warning. Their pricing page wasn't even reflecting this change, and I was informed about that when talking to a support rep. I understand the Company wants to increase pricing based on improved tools, but when you have made a 12 months purchase in advance, you would expect this new pricing to apply by the end of your contract at least... Or potentially to be grandfathered in the old pricing. But No - Ahref will basically apply this very aggressively with no warning at all or heads up. It's sad, in fact very sad as it shows the company is definitely not customer-centric.
The pricing policy. I purchased the tool for 12 months in end of Jan 2018. This included 5000 SERP updates with a standard plan and all of a sudden, Ahref changed this back to 1000 without any warning. Their pricing page wasn't even reflecting this change, and I was informed about that when talking to a support rep. I understand the Company wants to increase pricing based on improved tools, but when you have made a 12 months purchase in advance, you would expect this new pricing to apply by the end of your contract at least... Or potentially to be grandfathered in the old pricing. But No - Ahref will basically apply this very aggressively with no warning at all or heads up. It's sad, in fact very sad as it shows the company is definitely not customer-centric.
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?
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.
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.
Google Webmaster SEO Starter Guide - Originally written for Google Employees to improve website performance with users and search engines. Related Terms: SERP - Search Engine Rank Position  |  PageRank (PR) - Named for Google Co-founder, Larry Page. The PR Scale of 0-10 rates a web page. In the past, rank was based on the number of high ranking links pointing to the website. Recently factors like relevance and quality have gained importance. This website's current PR rating: 

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.
The dashboard is an easy way to get an overall picture of our ranking, backlinks, and organic traffic. And as a small company looking to drive brand awareness through search, their keyword exploration tools are essential to our SEO strategy. It's also a pretty straightforward tool to use, so can you jump right in and get a lot of benefits straight away.
The software is very easy to use and understand, it comes packed with lots of features that you may need two or more software suites to do. I find it worth far more than we pay for it. It has payed for itself in a very short time. It allows me to get very granular with my searches and also lets me export a lot of information so that I can make business decisions based on the whole picture.

I’m very local service oriented and I have several pages that our on the first page of google and I do get traffic. I see that I have a 1 rating DA and PA. There is decent competition for some of my keywords. Is possible to have a website that generates traffic with only a 1? It’s a young site and I’m trying my best to get it going stronger. I hired someone but that clearly hasn’t worked out well if I’m still at a one.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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.


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.


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?
The total number of backlinks and their quality pointing to your complete website result in the overall authority of your domain. The external links that all point to a specific page will help this page to rank in the search engine results (SERPs). The relevance and quality of an external link are very important factors when you like to measure the impact / value of an link. To find out more about quality links have a look at this article on: the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog – https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2010/06/quality-links-to-your-site.html
A little expensive. Support responses can be slow. Interface can be rather confusing although they recently improved it a lot (see above re: regular updates). I couldn't get the Chrome Extension to work in any of my installations of Chrome, so I still use competitor toolbars in my browser. You can't ever change your login email address thanks to the billing system, so choose carefully.
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.
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.

The backlink index is one of the best too though at the time of writing, Moz has just improved their index. Regardless of index size, which theirs is large enough, the type of data they provide is the most useful. The broken links data is probably the most useful that isn't easily matched by other tools. Additionally, going back to the content explorer, you can find unlinked mentions, a feature that appears to have been removed in Moz's "new" tool (I may just not be able to find it).
One of the things that AHrefs is best at is helping with a content marketing strategy. Though it's best known as a backlink index (which it's great at and I'll get into that), coming up with good content ideas is one of the things I get the most use out of it with using the content explorer. I find articles that do well for the topics I want to target and it's clear what already resonates with your audience which is powerful.
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.
If you would like to know how to use hashtags to get popular on YouTube, you can use a useful YouTube hashtags generator like Keyword Tool. All you need to do is key in the topic related to your video in the search bar. From the results, you can select relevant, high-volume hashtags to insert in your video titles and descriptions to help people find your content.
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 audit is for all pages and not only one. What happens in the majority of the cases is that pages / posts have similarities so you can group them together. For example the pages of a website may be ok but the blog post pages may be missing titles. It’s a lot of work especially for a 500 pages website but you can start from the most important pages first and work your way to the rest
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.
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.
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.
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.
Depending on the plan, you are only allowed up to 100 domain searches a day. If you purchase their top tier plan you only get double of that. Sometimes it can take you several days to do certain types of research. This can start to get a little bothersome as we work with several clients and all of them need to use this software to make sure everyone is getting the best work that we have to offer.
The errors in technical SEO are often not obvious, and therefore one of the most popular. Mistakes in robots.txt and 404 pages, pagination and canonical URLs, hreflang tags and 301 redirects, http vs https and www vs non www versions: each of them can seriously spoil all efforts to promote the site. One quality SEO website analysis is enough to solve all the main problems in this part forever.
The backlink index is one of the best too though at the time of writing, Moz has just improved their index. Regardless of index size, which theirs is large enough, the type of data they provide is the most useful. The broken links data is probably the most useful that isn't easily matched by other tools. Additionally, going back to the content explorer, you can find unlinked mentions, a feature that appears to have been removed in Moz's "new" tool (I may just not be able to find it).

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.
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? ..
In SEMrush, you can export to CSV and XLS right from Keyword Gap, Backlink Gap, Keyword Magic Tool, Keyword Difficulty Tool, Organic Traffic Insights, Bulk Analysis, Position Tracking, Ranks, Site Audit, Keyword Ad History, and PLA Research. SEO Content Template lets you export its ideas to DOC, On Page SEO checker and Log File Analyzer feature  XLS, CPC Map and PPC Keyword Tool – to CSV, and Display Advertising allows exporting to ZIP.
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