Ahrefs has been helping marketers build brands and expand influence since 2010, and today it’s one of the world’s leading platforms for marketing research and search engine optimization (SEO) solutions. This Singapore-based SEO platform with the unusual name offers not only an “all in one” SEO toolset, but also an extensive library of learning materials, such as this guide to identifying link building opportunities, and a Facebook community for marketers to connect and share information.
With users ranging from small bloggers and entrepreneurs to some of the world’s biggest brands including Facebook, Adobe, and Uber, Ahrefs' mission is a commitment to helping businesses rank higher and get more traffic. Ahrefs offers a range of plans and services, with options to try out the full suite of tools for free for website owners.
What is Ahrefs?
Ahrefs’ name is a play on words based on key terms in website development. In HTML coding, the "a" tag indicates a hyperlink. HREF is the most important attribute of that tag, and it stands for Hypertext Reference, the link’s destination—literally, where you want to go online. Ahrefs got its start in 2010 when company founder Dmitri Gerasimenko developed a simple backlinks index. That became the basis for Ahrefs first product, a backlink analysis tool called Site Explorer.
In the years since its launch, Ahrefs has become a major provider of SEO marketing tools and analytics. Its web crawler can process up to 8 billion webpages per day, and its suite of link checkers, keyword tools, competitor research tools and more provides solutions users can use to develop and manage a comprehensive digital marketing strategy for any brand or business.
The Ahrefs All-In-One SEO Toolset
Ahrefs features a set of five essential services for improving search visibility, plus a collection of extra tools and features including a WordPress plugin and keyword tool for Bing, one of Google’s main search engine competitors.
Site Explorer is the descendant of Ahrefs’ original backlink analysis tool. The Site Explorer interface contains several tools for analyzing the performance and searchability of any competitor website. These include:
Organic traffic research, which reveals what keywords a given site ranks for, and how much traffic these keywords generate. Ahrefs says it monitors more than 150 million keywords in the US, as well as keywords for over 150 other countries.
Backlink research, which shows the “backlink profile” of any website when any URL is entered into the Ahrefs Site Explorer. Ahrefs boasts the fastest backlink crawler available, and the world’s biggest live backlink index, with more than 14 trillion links. Increasing the number of backlinks to your website is a time-honored method for boosting website traffic potential and can also increase your website’s domain rating (DR) and the individual URL rating (UR) of particular pages.
Paid keyword research, which reveals whether a competitor site is buying PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, and what keywords they’re bidding on. Ahrefs also helps marketers understand the cost-per-click (CPC) for paid search results for any given keyword.
The Site Audit tool provides insights into a website’s on-page SEO performance. It can crawl every page on a website, and deliver an overall SEO “health score” that pinpoints multiple SEO problem areas and recommends ways to improve. Within the Site Audit tool, the Data Explorer reveals more than a hundred different data points on each page.
Ahrefs’ Content Explorer examines high-performing content on any website, with analytics that reveals the number of referring domains and social shares, along with traffic value and the percentage of traffic from organic search. This tool includes an array of charts for viewing traffic statistics, plus more than a dozen filters for refining content searches. Improving your content with relevant data can provide better user experiences for visitors, organically increasing traffic.
Rank tracking allows users to monitor Google website rankings across 170 countries, simply by inserting a list of keywords, relevant countries, and competitor URLs. By ranking pages this way, you can review the relevant data in interactive graphs that allow users to track a site’s SEO performance over time. Related tools include the SERP Checker, a SERP overview of any keyword that shows how well it ranks in search queries in 243 different countries.
A Bing or Google search starts with a question or phrase which includes keywords. Ahrefs’ keywords explorer operates on the world’s third largest keyword database which holds more than 7 billion keywords and receives monthly updates. This tool uses clickstream data to generate keyword ideas, refine search volume, and show the estimated number of clicks for each keyword.
Modern keyword research uses AI to power faster results. Scripted’s AI-enabled keyword research tool takes a single keyword from a user and uses highly granular data to almost instantly offer suggested keywords based on trending topics within that field and other data points. Organic keywords complement your content and enhance the readability of your blogs whilst boosting search engine result page (SERP) rankings.
More Ahrefs Features
Along with its main set of tools, Ahrefs also offers several additional tools that are entirely free to use for your own website. These include checkers for backlinks, broken links, and keyword difficulty and ranking, as well as keyword tools for YouTube, Amazon, and Bing. WordPress users can download and install a free Ahrefs WordPress plugin that adds Ahrefs tools to any WordPress site, focusing on keyword performance within your written content.
Ahrefs Academy and Learning Resources
Ahrefs’ brand is based on a campaign to make SEO simple and accessible for everyone, so the company also offers a substantial set of resources for learning about SEO and related subjects. The Ahrefs Academy features an extensive collection of free, downloadable SEO guides and tutorials but take note: Not all course materials are available for all levels of user, although many are available with a free Webmaster account.
The Ahrefs blog offers regularly updated information on SEO strategies and trending topics such as online privacy, multi-channel marketing, and content marketing. These blogs can help both new and seasoned marketers learn about Ahrefs’ tools, understand SEO, and make better decisions about their marketing campaigns. There’s also a Facebook Group called Ahrefs Insider, but the group is both private and secret, so you only get access once you gain your Ahrefs user credentials.
For more information on using the platform, the Ahrefs Help Center offers more than 300 support articles designed to answer frequently asked questions about the company’s tools and resources. There’s no over-the-phone support from Ahrefs, and users must rely on finding the answers they need online.
Ahrefs Pricing and Plans
Ahrefs offers a suite of Webmaster Tools that are free, but only if you can prove you need them for your own website. In other words, you can’t assess the quality of a competitor’s website for free, only your own, and only if you prove you’re the website owner.
Ahrefs’ paid plans are either Lite, Standard, Advanced, or Enterprise, and range from $99 dollars a month to $999, with discounts offered for users wanting to pay for a year all in one go. Each plan has very different limits, including how many keywords you can assess, how many users can access reports, and how many reports you can produce.
Every plan, regardless of expense, allows you to dedicate a single “power user” who gets 500 credits per month, each of which allows them to generate a single report. If these credits get used up, you can add “inactive users” who can pull five reports each, or pay additional fees for “casual users” who can pull 20 additional reports.
The pricing is fairly confusing and not as competitive as some competitors for the limits given. Moz, for example, provides 5,000 reports per month even on its most basic plan. Ahrefs' keyword limits are generally in-line with alternative solutions, however.
SEO Tools, Industry Expert Writers, and AI: A Great Combination For Content Marketers
Scripted combines SEO services similar to those offered by Ahrefs with the speed and functionality provided by AI-powered tools. Scout, our integrated AI solution, helps match businesses, digital marketing experts, and content marketers with writers that truly understand their industry.
You can use our SmartMatch technology which instantly fits your content brief with multiple qualified writers. Alternatively, you can pick your favorite writer from our network of highly-vetted content creators with years of experience in multiple industries.
AI also powers our Headline Idea Generator. Coming up with a catchy tagline that soars up the SERPs is tricky, but Scripted’s AI-powered service takes all the data surrounding your chosen keywords and provides you with plenty of ideas to pay with—all SEO optimized.
From here, our AI can then generate an entire content brief. No more painstakingly manually typing in your chosen target keywords for writers or providing in-depth explanations of your requirements. Scout does it all for you, choosing related keywords, questions the article or blog should answer, and even including any relevant resources.
For some organizations, coming up with ideas for your content strategy is a real challenge. Scripted’s Recommended Content feature generates ideas for blogs, whitepapers, and even social media posts so you can leverage industry trends while remaining relevant and consistently producing engaging content. Keep your Tweets sweet and your Facebook posts engaging with content that can be with you in as little as 24 hours.
SEO is still a major part of any business’s content creation strategy. Knowing when to publish and promote content, what keywords you should be using, and even how long or short pieces should be to connect with your target audience are all aspects of reaching that all-important top spot on Bing or Google.
Ahrefs provides SEO-specific tools for webmasters and administrators to hone their SEO strategy. Alternatives include Moz, Semrush, and Mangools. Scripted goes beyond working with SEO professionals and platforms by creating content that’s already SEO-optimized based on the latest trends, thanks to integrated AI and talented writers from across a wealth of industries.
Organic search traffic improves with better content: HubSpot states that companies that consistently publish engaging blogs get 55% more traffic. Your business reaches a wider audience with expertly written content, created by humans that are empowered by AI. Get started with Scripted today.