Ahrefs is one of the most well-loved SEO tools out there.
I’ve been using the platform for years, so this Ahrefs review will dive into real-world experience with the software.
While there’s a lot that Ahrefs can do, it’s also an expensive and potentially tricky tool to use. Any business owner needs to understand precisely what Ahrefs is designed for and how they can use it before investing.
In this Ahrefs review, I’ll walk you through exactly what the software can do, how it works, and what kind of results you can get.
Is Ahrefs worth it?
Let’s find out.
Overall Ahrefs Review
I give Ahrefsl 4 out of 5 stars.
What is Ahrefs?
Ahrefs is a complete SEO software suite with a full range of tools to manage your SEO strategy.
You can use Ahrefs to perform keyword research, competitor analysis, run site audits, rank tracking, manage backlinks, and more. The platform provides detailed insights into the SEO health of your website, and you can use Ahrefs to manage all aspects of improving your search engine rankings.
Ahrefs is used mainly by marketing professionals, and as it has so many different features and functions, the platform can be reasonably complex. You do need to have a thorough understanding of SEO to use it.
Suppose you’re looking for a complete software solution to help you assess your site’s search engine performance, guide your SEO and content strategy, and optimize your website. In that case, Ahrefs is one of the best tools out there.
What Can Ahrefs Do?
Ahrefs is an incredibly versatile tool for SEO. In short, the platform includes everything you need to improve your search engine rankings and send more traffic to your site.
Here are the main features that Ahrefs has to offer.
When you log into Ahrefs, you access the main dashboard, where you get a high-level overview of your website.
This displays all the projects you’re working on and shows their SEO performance and progress. You can also see your site’s Domain Rating (DR) score, which is a metric that AHrefs uses to establish your site’s authority and potential competitiveness.
This is where you can search for specific URLs and dive deep into website performance.
Add a URL and search for it to see the traffic the page gets, what organic keywords it ranks for, a historical overview of the web page, and more. You can see what backlinks the site has and what its keyword rankings are.
The Site Explorer section is handy for doing competitor analysis. You can see exactly how your competitors’ sites are performing and what they’re ranking for to help guide your SEO strategy.
This is Ahrefs’ keyword research tool - one of the best keyword research tools out there.
Type in a keyword or content idea, and you’ll access a long list of potential keywords from Ahrefs’s extensive database. All keywords have detailed insights and metrics, providing you with all the information you could want when doing keyword research.
You can also see which sites and web pages rank on the SERPs for specific keywords and their DR scores. This makes it easy to understand your site’s potential to compete for particular keywords and how many backlinks you should aim for to rank well for your chosen keyword.
The Ahrefs Site Audit function scans your entire website to pick up any SEO issues. This is a helpful function for detecting technical problems on your website that you can fix for better SEO rankings.
The Site Audit takes a deep dive into each page on your website, looking at internal links and backlinks, loading speeds, page loading issues, HTML tags, meta descriptions, and much more.
The results are presented in a very easy-to-understand format, making it a straightforward process to improve your website’s SEO health score.
One of the most critical aspects of managing your website’s SEO performance is understanding how your site is ranking. The Rank Tracker feature monitors your website’s ranking process on desktop and mobile - providing clear insights into where you’re sitting in the SERPs.
You can see what organic keywords you’re ranking for and who you’re competing against, and a historical timeline of each web page’s ranking performance.
The Content Explorer function helps plan out your content strategy.
This tool is used to research content ideas your website can cover and help you discover relevant link opportunities for this content. You can compare your content strategy to the competition and gain a clear understanding of what kind of backlinks are required for you to rank at the top spots.
Ahrefs 3rd Party Reviews
Ahrefs is one of the most popular SEO software platforms out there, so it’s got many reviews on third-party platforms. Let’s check some of these out first.
At the time of writing this Ahrefs review, the platform had a meagre 1.8-star average on Trustpilot (see here). Many users complain about the platform’s pricing strategy, the limitations of the software, and how the platform can be a rip-off for small businesses.
Ahrefs has a far more impressive 4.5-star average rating on Gartner (see here). Many happy users have appreciated the platform’s features and user-friendly interface.
G2 ReviewsG2 displays an average rating of 4.6 stars for Ahrefs (see here). Again, many users share their positive experiences with the platform, saying how beneficial the different features are and how accurate the SEO software is.
My Ahrefs Experience
By looking at third-party user reviews, Ahrefs is a mixed bag. People either love the software or are unhappy with it.
So, let’s run you through using Ahrefs first-hand to see what it does and how it works.
I’ve been using Ahrefs as my primary SEO tool for many years. I’ve used all of the platform’s different features and will provide an honest overview of my experience with the software.
First things first, let’s get signed up with Ahrefs.
When doing this, you click Sign Up, choose your pricing plan, and fill out your contact and payment details. Now, you can access Ahrefs, where you’ll want to connect your website to the software to get started.
There are no free plans or trial periods available.
This is one of the biggest barriers people face when starting with Ahrefs.
Ahrefs has four different pricing plans. These are:
- Lite: $99 per month
- Standard: $179 per month
- Advanced: $399 per month
- Agency: $999 per month
Each plan gives you a certain number of credits you can use to perform different functions. If you run out of credits, you’re stuck with software you can’t use.
Let’s address this right now - Ahrefs is expensive. Even though you can get two months free when you pay for an annual plan, investing in Ahrefs is a significant cost. You have to be sure the platform will help you improve your site’s performance to make it worthwhile. This makes it a tricky investment for small businesses.
Once you’re set up, using Ahrefs is pretty straightforward.
As mentioned earlier, you log into the platform and access the main dashboard, which looks like this:
Here, you’ll see an overview of the main SEO performance metrics you’ll want to know related to your website. This includes your site’s SEO health score, your Domain Rating, how much organic traffic you generate, how many backlinks you have, and so on.
It’s helpful that the dashboard displays any increases or drops in each area, helping you get a quick perspective of your site’s performance.
If you paste a URL in the top bar, you can quickly search that specific website or web page. This lets you gain easy access to the performance of other websites or particular pages on your site.
All of the features listed earlier are found in the top navigation bar. Each one is very self-explanatory. You either paste in your URL or type in a keyword, and you’re provided with a detailed report and actionable insights.
For example, here’s what performing keyword research looks like in Ahrefs:
As you can see, the keyword data is very well-presented and easy to grasp. You can easily see how difficult the keyword is to rank for, how much traffic the keyword is driving for other sites, which web pages are ranking for the keyword (with a clickable link to view the page), how much monthly search volume the keyword generates, and so on.
There are also keyword recommendations, related topics, and related questions displayed when you search for a keyword. You couldn’t require more insights and data when doing keyword research.
Here’s an example of what the Site Explorer reports look like:
You get an overview of the specific URL’s performance. This includes how much traffic it generates (you can compare organic traffic and paid traffic), what keywords it’s ranking for, what backlinks the page has, the DR score of the page, what country the traffic is coming from, and so on.
Again, this is an incredibly detailed, yet easy to understand, report. If you want to monitor your, or your competitors, website performance, everything you need to know is right here.
Perhaps the most detailed feature of AHrefs is the Site Audit tool, where you get a complete breakdown of each individual page’s SEO performance. Here’s an example of some of the data an Ahrefs audit reveals:
You can see a list of common errors on your site and explore the pages that these errors apply to. You could also examine the report page-by-page and see the exact health score and status of each page on your website.
The Site Audit function also reveals the crawl log of your website in real time so that you can see what pages are crawled and where you stand on your report.
This is a brief summary of what Ahrefs can do, as each report and function offers many detailed insights. However, this quick intro shows how much you can achieve with Ahrefs. Regarding SEO insights, there isn’t much (if anything) more you’d want to discover.
Ahrefs Accuracy And Quality
Ahrefs draws enormous amounts of data that it uses in reports. The big question is how reliable and accurate this data is.
Using a tool like Google Search Console, you get direct information straight from the Google search results. But, using a third-party solution like Ahrefs could sometimes mean slightly inaccurate data.
As a whole, Ahrefs is known for its excellent accuracy. However, you can’t always rely on the traffic predictions 100%. It’s common to find some deviation between what Ahrefs says and what you might generate from other software tools.
It’s also important to add that Domain Rating (DR) is a metric that Ahrefs has invented. While it’s a valuable metric to understand to help you improve your website’s chances of ranking, it’s not a ranking factor that search engines consider. So, if you use Ahrefs, you might not need to worry too much about this metric.
So, is Ahrefs worth it?
That depends entirely on what you want to achieve with the SEO platform.
Ahrefs is one of the best, most advanced SEO software solutions available. It’s got one of the best keyword research tools out there, as well as powerful features for performing competitor and backlink analysis and auditing your site’s SEO performance.
Be mindful that the software is expensive, and there are other options available you could consider. Investing in Ahrefs only makes sense if you’re going to use all of the features the platform offers.An easier alternative to enhancing your site’s SEO performance is getting content experts to create, strategize, optimize, and publish your content. Get in touch with us at Contentellect to see how we can help boost your search traffic