When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) software, you have plenty of options. Is Ahrefs the best tool to help you surge up the search engine rankings? We will help you figure that out by looking at Ahrefs’ features, pros and cons, plus pricing so you can see if this SEO tool fits your needs and budget.
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What Is Ahrefs SEO Software?
Ahrefs is an SEO tool that got its start in 2011. It was initially created for backlink analysis so users could see where sites were linking to and vice versa. Now, Ahrefs has grown into a more comprehensive tool for SEO. Yes, it still has backlink-checking capabilities, but you can use Ahrefs to do so much more thanks to these core features: Site Explorer, Keyword Explorer, Site Audit, Rank Tracker, and Content Explorer.
Beyond those essentials, Ahrefs also offers additional bells and whistles like SEO toolbars, domain comparison, link intersect, apps, plugins, and more. Now that you have had a sneak peek at the core features of Ahrefs, it is time to take a deeper dive into what this tool can help you accomplish in terms of boosting your site’s SEO and presence in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Before we do that, though, let us discuss who Ahrefs is intended for.
In simple terms, Ahrefs was created for anyone (especially Internet marketers and digital marketing firms) looking to boost traffic to their websites so they can expand their reach, boost sales, increase profits, etc. The SEO software is a good fit for individuals, SEO agencies, and small, medium, and large businesses. What can keep someone from putting this handy SEO tool to work? Its high price, which we will discuss later on.
But to sum it up, if you have an online presence, an ecommerce store, or a website, Ahrefs can be extremely helpful in taking your brand to the next level.
Read: Best SEO Software and Tools (Free and Paid)
What are Ahrefs’ Features?
As mentioned, Ahrefs initially launched over 10 years ago as a backlink checker. While it still maintains that functionality as part of its feature set, Ahrefs also offers many additional features to make your content and sites SEO-friendly. Here is a breakdown of Ahrefs’ top features.
Since Ahrefs started as a backlink checker, it comes as no surprise that the tool excels in this department. What is a backlink? It is a link that a user can click to visit a different website to see further details on the topic you are discussing. This adds instant value and credibility to your content.
With Ahrefs, you can quickly pinpoint any bad backlinks that can negatively impact your site’s ranking so you can get them removed. You can also use the backlink checker to see what your competitors are doing. If you see that they have certain solid backlinks, you can reach out to those sites to try to get a backlink of your own.
Ahrefs does not stop there, though, as it also helps you find broken backlinks. And if you need help with anchor links, head to the Anchors section. It will reveal anchor link performance and give you ideas on how to create new, optimized ones in the future. All of these capabilities linked to the backlink checker can be found in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer section.
Read: Link Building Strategies for SEO
The backlink checker is not the only helpful tool in the Site Explorer section, as Ahrefs also offers a Content Gap feature that can help you quickly pinpoint money-making opportunities.
With Content Gap, you can see what keywords your competitors are ranking for that you are not. The feature will give you a chart that shows areas where you could add content to outrank your competitors without relying on trial and error. By having such data at your fingertips, you can quickly develop ideas for new content. Even better, you could get ideas to create entirely new sites to get a leg up on the competition.
Ahrefs also excels in keyword research. It can help you find both short and long-tail keywords that you can rank for, and it will offer details on the competition for each, so you do not waste time trying the impossible. For example, you may find that a specific keyword has a “Hard” difficulty, and you would need backlinks from hundreds of sites just to rank in the top 10 for that word. Instead of wasting your time with all of that work, you could aim for longer keywords with less competition.
Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer also makes it easy to come up with keyword ideas for your content. You can see the most popular questions related to keywords, which can help you create new content to answer what users are asking. And with each keyword idea comes plenty of detail in the form of location-based search volume, global search volume, parent topic, keyword difficulty, and more.
Read: SEO Basics for Web Developers: Relevancy and Keywords
If you have an existing website, you will want to use Ahrefs’ Site Audit feature to see how it can be improved, so it becomes more user-friendly and lands higher in the search engine rankings. Could your site have solid performance and be profitable as-is? Sure, but without an audit, you may overlook areas where it could be even better.
Instead of manually monitoring each page for errors (which would be impossible if your website was massive), Site Audit does all the work for you to pinpoint issues like:
- 404 pages
- Broken links
- Erroneous redirects
- Lacking HTML structure
- Links to broken pages
- Missing meta information
- Non-indexed pages
Best of all, you can schedule audits, so you never forget to check your site’s health, and each time, Ahrefs will look for 100-plus SEO issues to ensure everything is up to snuff.
Read: What is On-Page Search Engine Optimization?
Rank Tracker is Ahrefs’ version of position tracking software. It comes in handy when you want to track your site’s keywords to see where you stand in the rankings. Most importantly, Rank Tracker can let you know if your rankings drop, so you can make quick fixes to retain your position.
Does Rank Tracker only let you monitor where you stand? Nope, as it lets you do the same for competitors too. In fact, you can set up searches that will alert you every time a competitor surges up the SERPS for a specific keyword, so you do not fall behind. By seeing your and your competitors’ rankings rise and fall, you can discover why that is happening to adjust accordingly.
This core feature of Ahrefs lets you find the most popular articles on any topic. Use it to find low competition topics, link-building opportunities, partnership prospects, and more. And if you want to see your competitors’ content marketing strategy so you can reverse engineer it and see success without reinventing the wheel, Content Explorer helps you do that too.
Read: Semrush vs Ahrefs SEO Tool Comparison
What are Ahrefs Pros And Cons?
Where does Ahrefs excel, and where does it fall short? Here are its pros and cons.
Ahrefs is very easy to use. Even if you do not know much about SEO and have never used such software before, you will find Ahrefs incredibly beginner-friendly and simple to navigate. You can find the information you are looking for quickly, and the software performs well without delays. As a plus, you will also find tons of educational videos and content to help you learn more about Ahrefs and SEO overall. Add in all of its features like the Keyword Explorer, Site Audit, Rank Tracker, and more, and it is easy to see why so many people use Ahrefs for their SEO needs.
There are not many downsides to Ahrefs, but its biggest one may be a massive obstacle for individual users: Price, which we will discuss in a second. Beyond that, some find the lack of a customer service phone line to be a turnoff.
How Much Does Ahrefs Cost?
Ahrefs comes in four pricing tiers, and there is no longer a free trial, so you will have to invest some cash to get started:
While the SEO software’s features are worth the investment, an individual user may not have the $99 to spend monthly.
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