Ahrefs is an SEO software suite that contains tools for link building, keyword research, competitor analysis, rank tracking and site audits. Most of the features inside of Ahrefs are designed for marketing professionals.
In short: Ahrefs is a popular SEO tool that people use to get higher Google rankings.
What is Ahrefs Used For?
Ahrefs is mainly used to analyze a website’s link profile, keyword rankings, and SEO health.
You can also use Ahrefs to conduct keyword research for Google, YouTube, and Amazon.
And many people use Ahrefs to find content that’s performed well (in terms of social shares and/or links) on a given topic.
When Ahrefs first launched in 2011, it was mainly a tool to analyze a site’s backlinks.
And its feature set has grown A LOT over the years. In fact, I’ve been an Ahrefs customer since 2013.
Over that time I’ve seen Ahrefs grow from a link analysis tool into a fully-featured SEO suite that now competes head-to-head against Moz Pro and SEMrush.
Today, Ahrefs is mostly used by:
Small business owners that do SEO for their own websites
SEO agencies that work with multiple clients
“In house” marketers that run marketing for their employer’s site
Affiliate marketers that run several different sites
To date, this guide has 4.45K backlinks from 1.47K domains:
In fact, a lot of the sites that linked to Moz’s guide now also link to my keyword research guide:
This approach works so well that I’ve started to double down on definitive guides.
Which is one of the main reasons that our organic traffic has grown by 19.92% over the last 8 months.
And it all started from the insight that I got from the “Best by links” report.
This feature gives you a list of sites that just linked to your site (or a competitor’s site).
Why is this helpful?
Because it shows you link building opportunities that are working right now.
For example, here’s an old backlink to my site:
I got that link 5+ years ago. You MIGHT be able to also get a link from that page.
But as time passes, it’s less and less likely that person is going to go back to an old page and add a link. Plus, SEO techniques change all the time. Specifically, strategies get overused and no longer work.
Which means that it’s entirely possible that the approach I used to build that link no longer works.
On the other hand, here’s a link that’s only a month old:
The person that wrote that new article is going to be MUCH more receptive to adding your link vs. someone that published something 5+ years ago.
Bottom line? “New” backlinks can help you identify fresh link building opportunities that you can tap into right away. They also help you see what’s working best in terms of link building right now.
Lost backlinks is just like it sounds:
You get a list of pages that used to link to you… but recently removed your link.
Well, if I can find out why that person removed my link, I can sometimes get that link back.
That said: it’s normal to lose links. Sometimes scraper sites will delete a page. Or someone will update a post and remove your link because it’s no longer relevant. The idea here isn’t to obsess over lost links. Instead, use this as a way to get legitimate lost links back.
Note: Sometimes Ahrefs will show “link removed” even though the link is still there. So make sure to look at the page to confirm that your link was actually removed.
Because it gives you INSANE amounts of data on each keyword.
It’s like putting a magnifying glass (or a microscope) over a given keyword.
And in this chapter I’ll show you how to use Ahrefs for keyword research.
When you enter a keyword into Keywords Explorer, you’ll notice a bunch of cards above the fold:
This is the “Overview” section that gives you a high-level overview of the term that you just searched for.
If you’ve ever used a keyword tool before, most of this stuff (like search volume and keyword competition) should be familiar to you.
This overview is helpful when choosing a keyword for SEO… or quickly deciding between two different keywords.
But what makes Keywords Explorer unique is that you get to also see a keyword’s “Return Rate” (how often people search for a keyword more than once):
Number of clicks:
Percentage of people that click on paid vs. organic results:
And “Clicks per search”:
Why is this stuff important?
Or, put another way: what’s wrong with just looking at a keyword’s search volume?
Here’s the explanation:
As you’ve probably noticed, Google has been adding more SERP features to the results every year.
Things like Featured Snippets, “People also ask…” boxes, additional ads, video carousels, and more.
Thanks largely to these new SERP features, according to Sparktoro, “no-click searches” are up significantly compared to last year.
Which means you can’t just go by a keyword’s search volume anymore. You also need to know how many people actually click on the organic results. Because in many cases, these two numbers are completely different.
For example, take a keyword like “Mount Everest height”.
According to Keywords Explorer, that term gets 4.5K searches per month.
But those 4.5K searches only result in 763 clicks.
Which is why many SEO professionals now focus more on “Clicks” over traditional search volume.
This is a list of keyword ideas based on the seed keyword that you searched for.
In my opinion Keywords Explorer isn’t great at generating new keyword ideas. It tends to pump out simple variations of your seed keyword: