If you’re looking for a paid SEO tool there is a good chance you have heard of Ahrefs. Ahrefs is a SEO tool that I got the experience to check out which has a lot of useful functions for SEO’s, internet marketers, bloggers, etc. Thanks to Tim Soulo I got a free 30 day trial to check out all the things you can do with their software. This Ahrefs review will show you all the features of this software, so that you can get an upper hand on your competitors (from a SEO standpoint). So, over the last 4 weeks I got the chance to check out the software to show you what you can do with it.
The first thing your going to want to do is sign into the ahrefs dashboard. This is where you can setup your website so you can manage a number of different metrics that you’re going to want to check out.
You are going to want to enter your URL of your website down below and click “Add a website.”
Then once you do that you will be prompted to a page where you can enter in your keywords you want to track or choose from a list of keywords that are already ranking in Google.
The dashboard will then show you all the websites you have added. Here is an example of what mine looks like for tbwhs.com and another site I wanted to check the SEO on:
Ahrefs will then show your Ahrefs rank, domain health (issues and non-critical issues), domain ranking, backlinks, referring domains, organic keywords, and then your tracked keywords.
This feature shows all the on page optimization factors at glance. Here you can see all critical and non-critical problems that your website might have. You can check the response codes, pages, performance, content, titles, meta descriptions, meta keywords, h1 and h2 tags, URLs, and links (internal and external).
The crawl report tool is a very powerful tool in Ahrefs that shows you all your pages and the response codes. For example success pages (200’s), redirects (301 and 302’s), page not found (404’s), and server error (500’s). See this post on browser error messages for more information on them.
The disavow tools was created shortly after the infamous Penguin update by Google. This tool was developed to tell Google to disavow or disregard the link from a site you specify. Therefore, it doesn’t hurt you in the SERPS.
With this “Disavow links” tool by Ahrefs you can add a number of links to it and then export the results so that you can submit them to Google in through Google Webmaster Tools.
The “Rank Tracker” feature in Ahrefs allows you to track a number of different keywords. You can manually add them or Ahrefs will show you keywords that you’re already ranking for in Google. What is nice about this tool is you can specify the location that you want to check from. For instance, you can put in a zip code on the east and west coast in the United States and see exactly where your keywords rank on Google.
I also recommend you read this Rankie WordPress plugin tutorial which is a WordPress ranking plugin that will track your keywords.
One really nice feature about Ahrefs is they have a feature where you can get alerts in your email inbox. You can easily turn these on and off with a tab located right next to the icon next to the domain name you are tracking. You can track new links pointing to your website, links no longer linking to your website, the placement of your keywords in the SERPS, and new mentions.
Site Explorer is one of my favorite features of Ahrefs. You can check any url you want by putting in the domain name. Within seconds you can have a full report of all the backlinks (and internal links) pointing to a website.
You can check the websites new, lost, broken backlinks, anchors used, top referring content, referring IP’s, organic search, top pages, best links by pages, link growth, social shares, top content, outgoing links (anchors and broken links), and paid searches.
You can export any of the data you want to a .csv or .pdf. This is very helpful if you have SEO clients or want to have a report that you can check without having to go through the process at a later date in time.
The Content Explorer feature at Ahrefs allows you to search for content that was published anywhere on the internet for keywords you specify. I suggest you use broad terms and then narrow it down. You can drill down and find out different content that was created between a specific time frame, too.
This will show you a number of different metrics on the articles that were published like traffic, DR (domain rating), RD (referring domain names), traffic, tweets, likes on Facebook, Google +1 shares, LinkedIn shares, Pinterest pins, total links pointing to that piece of content, etc.
The Keywords Explorer allows you to do research on different keywords you type in. They can be phrase match, related, or exact match. This will show the KD (keyword difficulty), volume (searches per month), CPC (cost per click), results, etc.
There are a number of data tools you can use with Ahrefs. Ahrefs supports API’s so that you can access their index which crawls 6 billion pages daily and indexes 90 billion unique pages. There is no extra charge for using these tools because they are included in your Ahrefs subscription. The following tools are available:
- Linked (SEO backlink tracker)
- SEOTools for Excel
- LinkMiner (by Point Blank SEO)
- Link Risk
- CS Dazzle
These extra tools make boring and time consuming task much easier. For instance, SEOTools for Excel will make it quicker to sort through URL ratings, backlinks, domain rating, metrics, anchors, pages, etc.
Compare 5 Domain Names
You can compare 5 different domains to each other which shows you lots of metrics on the 5 domain names you are checking. You can view their social shares, referring .gov, .edu, .com, .net, IPs, SubNets, referring pages, backlinks, crawled pages, text, dofollow and nofollow, redirects, images, etc.
Ahrefs SEO Toolbar
Lastly, you can check up to 200 domain names at once by using their batch analysis tool or define different link intersects (full domains or subdomains).
I have tested out the customer support with Ahrefs and found it to be rather quick. For instance, I had a question on DR and RD and what it meant from the Content Explorer and was surprised at how fast I got a response from Ahrefs.
On their support page they actually show you when their team was last active. In my case it was 1 hour ago. There were three agents that were active Anna, Helen, and Tim. I did end up getting a response from Helen in 46 minutes.
Also, there are a plethora of how-tos and articles about SEO in their help section and on their blog.
Feedback From SEO’s
Ahrefs does get a lot of positive feedback from other SEO’s that have been working in the industry for 10+ years.
AuthorityHacker.com has published a review which gives them 5 5/5 for effectiveness, 3/5 for price, 3.5/5 for ease of use, and 4/5 for support. They really like the in-depth Site Explorer, content Explorer, rank tracker, and the crawl report tracker. They do feel that the keyword tool is very involving and sort of underdeveloped (see Jaaxy review for my keyword tool recommendation). They also state that the “Standard” price tag is on the higher end.
SEOBook.com has published a review written by Eric Convino. Eric states that the speed of the tool is very fast and is updated every 30 minutes, easy to use, and the database is very big which shows lots of links on sites you are doing SEO research on.
G2Crowd.com has collected a lot of feedback from SEO’s that have used Ahrefs over the years and their readers rate Ahrefs with a 4.6 out of 5 stars (37 ratings total).
Prices & Plans
There are some different plans you can choose from with Ahrefs:
There is a newbie plan which shows you all the tools that you can use with Ahrefs.
The Lite plan is $99/month. You can set up five campaigns, get 300 tracked keywords, 5 million rows/month, comes with site explorer, positions explorer, content explorer, rank tracker, crawl report, and alerts.
The Standard plan is $179/month. You can set up 15 campaigns, get 1,000 tracked keywords, 30 million rows/month, comes with site explorer, positions explorer, content explorer, rank tracker, crawl report, and alerts.
The Advanced plan is $399/month. You can set up 40 campaigns, get 5,000 tracked keywords, 125 million rows/month, comes with site explorer, positions explorer, content explorer, rank tracker, crawl report, and alerts.
You can downgrade and upgrade your plan at anytime. There are even options to upgrade to more campaigns, tracked keywords, rows per month, etc. You will have to pay extra for the extra features you want, though. Custom plans are not a problem with Ahrefs.
Overall, I really do like Ahrefs for my SEO projects. It’s a very powerful SEO tool that is easy to use and has a lot of powerful tools you can use to managed your SEO on your websites, and your competitors sites.
I was very happy with the functionality of this SEO tool though. It has a lot of great features and I love how easy it is to use. If you are interested in checking out Ahrefs they do offer a free 14 day trial for their Lite and Standard plans.
I would like to hear from you and your experience using Ahrefs down below, though. Please leave your comments, questions, advice, etc.