As an experienced SEO who has used Ahrefs extensively to grow client sites and my own business over the years, I’m often asked – does Ahrefs really live up to its reputation as one of the best SEO tools available today? Can it help you skyrocket organic traffic and outperform competitors?
After leveraging Ahrefs for keyword research, backlink analysis, content optimization, and more in my agency and personal sites, I’m in a great position to provide an in-depth Ahrefs review from firsthand experience.
I’ll share how the tool’s comprehensive dataset and tactical SEO capabilities have directly impacted search visibility and traffic for the sites I manage.
In this Ahrefs review, I’ll assess the platform honestly across metrics like tool accuracy, usability, customer service, and value. Most importantly, I’ll overview how implementing the insights gained from Ahrefs has helped improve our organic rankings substantially over time.
So without further ado, let’s get started right away.
Ahrefs Review (2024): In A Nutshell
Ahrefs is not just another SEO tool; it is so much more than that. It helps you optimize your websites for search engines so that they can rank higher for certain keywords. It was launched back in 2010 by Dmitry Gerasimenko, and now it is being used by the world’s leading companies like Netflix, Facebook, LinkedIn, eBay, and Shopify. Ahrefs’s bots crawl your website and search engines, and based on that, they provide you with actionable insights.
With Ahrefs, you can find out the keywords people are searching for on different search engines, create the best content that will attract traffic to your website, find backlink opportunities, and so on.
When this tool was first launched, it was only known for its backlink index, but over time it introduced new features making it a complete suite of tools for digital marketers. I have been using Ahrefs for two years now, and the results I got from this tool are amazing.
Note: Semrush is the talk of the town in the SEO industry, and it is a direct competitor to Ahrefs. I have done a detailed Semrush review that you should check. What’s more, you should also check out my detailed Semrush vs Ahrefs comparison here.
Now I will explain all the tools of Ahrefs in detail and how you can use them to your advantage. Let’s get into it.
Projects Dashboard Of Ahrefs
You can add as many verified projects as you want in the projects dashboard. It will show you an overview of all of your projects. You can directly see the health score of your website.
It also shows you some metrics such as domain rating, referring domains, backlinks, organic traffic, organic keywords, and the number of tracked keywords. You can click any of these metrics, and it will show you a detailed overview of them.
When you click on the GSC Performance, it will show you the search console overview of all the projects. You can see the total number of clicks, total impressions, average CTR, and average position. It will also show you the graphical representation of total impressions and the number of clicks. You can see all the details in the below screenshot.
The next tool on Ahrefs is the Site Explorer. With this tool, you can spy on your competitors and get a complete overview of their websites. To use this tool, you just need to enter the domain URL in the search box and hit the search button. It will show you a complete overview of the website. For example, I have run a search on my website, and here is what the result looks like.
This is the new version of the overview, which is called overview 2.0, where you can see the performance of the website over time, DR, referring domains, paid traffic, backlinks, organic traffic, organic keywords, and paid keywords. You can also see the structure of the site from the left-side options. As you scroll down further, it will show you traffic share by country and organic pages by traffic.
Ahrefs is the world’s largest index of live backlinks, more than Semrush. They refresh their data every 15-20 minutes. They use their backlink data to determine other metrics for a website, such as domain rating, Ahrefs rank, and URL rating.
As of writing this review, they have already crawled 216 million domains and indexed 404 billion pages. After indexing these pages, the recent number of external backlinks and internal backlinks is 3.6 trillion and 27 trillion.
To check the backlink profile of any website, you need to click on the backlink profile from the left side of the site explorer tool. It can show you live backlinks, referring domains, broken backlinks, internal backlinks, anchors, referring IPs, and link intersect.
As soon as you click on the backlinks option, it will show you all the backlinks that are coming to that website from different domains. Here is an overview of DemandSage’s backlink profile.
Keywords Explorer Tool
Keyword research is an essential part of any online business, and for that, you will need the best keyword research tool; what’s better than the Keywords Explorer tool of Ahrefs. The keyword index database of Ahrefs is huge. Their database already has 20.8 billion keywords from 10 different search engines across 243 countries.
To do keyword research on Keywords Explorer, you just need to enter one or multiple keywords separated by commas in the search box and select a search engine & country.
You can also just upload CSV or TXT files, import keywords from there, and hit the search button. On the results page, it will show you different metrics such as traffic potential, global volume, keyword difficulty, the volume of the keyword in the country you’ve selected, different keyword ideas, position history, Ads position history, and SERP overview. Here is the screenshot of the page.
Site Audit Feature
If you want to see your website’s on-page SEO performance, then the Site Audit tool of Ahrefs is best. After using this tool, you don’t need to keep guessing, and you will be able to create a crystal clear strategy so that your website can rank easily on the search engines for any keyword.
The Site Audit tool also does an exhaustive analysis of your website, and based on that, it shows the health score, possible SEO issues, key data in charts, and ways to fix the SEO issues.
To do a site audit, you need to add a project on Ahrefs, which requires you to verify that you own that website. You can audit your website for its on-page SEO performance after verifying your ownership. The above screenshot is the result of running a site audit on DemandSage. You can see the graph of URLs crawled, Health score over time, total issues, and all previous crawls I have run on my website.
Rank Tracker For Tracking Keywords
The Rank Tracker of Ahrefs allows you to track the rankings of your keywords. You can monitor the rankings of the keywords over time and get detailed reports of that directly to your email. You can monitor the Google rankings of your keywords for mobile and desktop across 170 countries. To set it up, you just need to enter the keywords or import your list of keywords, select a country or countries, enter the URL of your competitors, and voila!
When you click on your project to see the performance of your keywords, it will show you different metrics such as SERP features, positions, average position, traffic coming from those keywords, and visibility. As you scroll down, it will show you the keywords you’ve selected to track. It will show the current position of your keywords, volume of those keywords, traffic, KD, SERP features, URL, location, and last updated.
The content explorer tool helps you discover and analyze top-performing content of your niche. In this tool, you just need to enter any word or phrase, and it will show you relevant pages with useful social and SEO metrics. Ahrefs discovers almost 40 million new pages every 24 hours and indexes around 11 billion pages daily. You can also use advanced operators to refine your search. This is what the Content Explorer tool looks like.
To give you guys an example, I’ve run a query on “Ecommerce SEO,” and here is the result of that query.
As you can see, it shows you the number of published pages for the same topic over time, top authors, and URLs containing that same topic. In the URLs, you can directly see the DR, referring domains, page traffic, and the value of that page traffic. They also have different filters to help you find what you’re looking for, and these filters refer to domains, website traffic, social shares, page traffic, and so on.
The Domain Comparison helps you to analyze the backlink profile of up to five domains at once. You can see how your website’s backlinks compare with your competitors. You can also compare the SEO of your website with your competitors side-by-side.
After this comparison, you can figure out which competitor has a better backlink profile than yours, and based on that, you can create a plan for it. Here is what the domain comparison tool looks like.
You can see many metrics in the above screenshot, such as the number of dofollow and nofollow backlinks, referring IPs, SubNets, referring domains, and so on. You can also see the anchor text graph of those backlinks in text, redirect, and form.
As you scroll down, you can also see another graph of dofollow and nofollow backlinks and a graph comparing all domains’ referring domains, referring pages, and new-lost referring pages.
Ahrefs SEO Toolbar
Ahrefs SEO Toolbar is a Chrome and Firefox Extension that you can free of cost, which pulls important SEO metrics on any page or website you visit. All the top SEO experts use this extension to see on-page SEO reports and SERP positions of any website or page. Some of its features are a country changer for SERP, a redirect tracer with HTTP headers, a broken link checker, and a link highlighter.
Free SEO Tools Of Ahrefs
Apart from many amazing paid tools, Ahrefs also offers amazing free SEO tools. Here is a quick overview of all the free tools:
- Ahrefs Webmaster Tools: If you want to improve your SEO performance and get more traffic on your website, then Ahrefs Webmaster tools are the best option. It gives you access to the site explorer tool for your website only. I have created a step-by-step guide to set up Ahrefs webmaster tools on my Ahrefs free trial post; click here to check it.
- Backlink Checker: The backlink checker tool gives you a glimpse of the backlink tool of Ahrefs. You can check the number of backlinks, referring domains, and domain ratings of any domain.
- Broken Link Checker: With this tool, you can check your website’s broken internal and external links within a few seconds.
- Website Authority Checker: This tool allows you to check the authority of any domain. It shows the domain rating of any website, which is based on the backlink profile of the domain.
- Keyword Generator: The keyword generator of Ahrefs is one of the best free keyword research tools out there. It helps you find thousands of keyword ideas for Google, Bing, Amazon, and YouTube in a few seconds.
- SERP Checker: The SERP checker allows you to check the top 10 ranking pages of any keyword for any region.
- SEO Checker: With the SEO checker tool, you can improve any website’s SEO performance, figure out a way to improve it, and attract more organic traffic.
Ahrefs Free AI Writing Tools
Apart from different SEO features, Ahrefs also offers free AI writing tools that you can use to enhance your marketing efforts. Here is a quick overview of all these tools:
- Paraphrasing Tool: With this free paraphrasing tool, you can rephrase sentences. You can also choose the tone of your sentences. You can paraphrase up to 100 words at a time with this tool.
- Outline Generator: This free outline generator can help you turn a completely blank page into blog posts in just a few minutes. You just need to enter a text of 5-100 words to get the best results.
- Title Generator: Using this free title generator, you can create headlines for your blog posts, landing pages, and so on. It will help elevate your click-through rates and rankings in the search engine.
- Meta Description Generator: Writing a meta description for your blog post can be a headache, but with this free tool, you can create meta descriptions for any post in no time. It will also create SEO-optimized meta descriptions that help you rank better on search engines.
- Instagram Caption Generator: Using this AI-driven caption generator, you can create engaging Instagram captions for your posts, reels, and stories.
- Social Media Bio Generator: Are you bored with having a normal bio on your social media profiles? Use this AI-driven bio generator tool to generate bio for your social media profiles and attract the audience with your content.
What is Ahrefs Academy?
Ahrefs gives you everything you will need to start optimizing your website for search engines, but it will be all for nothing if you don’t know how to use those resources. That’s where Ahrefs Academy comes in. It teaches you how to use all the tools of Ahrefs properly and also how to get better digital marketing. They have multiple courses on “How To Use Ahrefs,” “SEO Course For Beginners,” “Advanced Link Building,” and so on.
The instructors of these courses are Sam Oh, VP Of Marketing at Ahrefs, Tim Soulo, CMO at Ahrefs, and Si Quan, Marketer at Ahrefs. If you want more resources on all these topics, you can also check out Ahref’s blog, where they have covered everything related to SEO, Blogging, and Digital Marketing.
Who is Ahrefs For?
Ahrefs is pretty much for everyone who wants to attract visitors and increase the traffic of their website. Everyone can use it, whether it is a small business owner, a big brand, or even an individual. Ahrefs was launched as a backlink analysis tool first, but over the years, it became a complete SEO toolkit, and now I can’t live without using Ahrefs every day.
It helps me find content ideas, keywords, and backlink opportunities that my site is missing, track the keywords, and audit my websites without any hassle. This tool is so powerful that it can fulfill the needs of big SEO agencies and enterprises. This tool has a learning curve, but it is easy to learn and start using. If you ever get stuck somewhere, you can just go to Ahrefs Academy to find helpful videos regarding the tool.
Ahrefs is a preferred tool for many organizations, and they rely on its proficiency to analyze competition and form strategies.
Ahrefs Review: Pros & Cons
Here are the benefits & drawbacks of using Ahrefs.
- You can use Ahrefs’ keyword explorer tool to research keywords for different search engines, including Amazon and YouTube.
- With every Ahrefs subscription, you get access to all the core tools that you will need for any SEO project.
- You can easily analyze any broken link on Ahrefs in comparison to other tools.
- With the domain verification system, you can work with unlimited websites on Ahrefs at an affordable cost in comparison to other SEO tools.
- Ahrefs offers an invaluable metric called traffic potential, which allows you to find future traffic potential keywords.
- There used to be a 7-day trial on Ahrefs, but they have discontinued this offer.
- All the Ahrefs plans only offer one user access, and to add users, you need to pay more.
Ahrefs Pricing Explained
Four different pricing is available on Ahrefs. Here is a comparison table of these plans:
|$99/mo or $990/year
|$199/mo or $1990/year
|$399 or $3990/year
|$999/mo or $9990/year
|Google Data Studio
The pricing of Ahrefs is a bit more expensive than other SEO tools, but if you choose to pay annually, then you can save up to 16%.
Although Ahrefs is a great tool, not everyone will still love it, and for those, I have also listed some of the best Ahrefs Alternatives here.
|Handling Your SEO & Marketing Needs
|Affordable SEO Tool
|Free SEO Tool
|Growth Hacking Tool
|Google Search Console
|Detailed SEO Reports
Is Ahrefs Worth the Hype — Final Verdict
So this is my detailed Ahrefs review now; the only question remains: Is Ahrefs right for you?
The answer is yes; Ahrefs is a great weapon to have in your arsenal because it can easily help you eliminate the competition. With its free tools, you can research keywords and create a strategy to rank on search engines. With their detailed SEO reports, you can find the areas in which your website needs improvement. However, their premium plans are a little bit expensive, so if you have the budget for them, you should definitely consider buying their subscription.
I hope with this detailed Ahrefs review, you can figure it if this tool is right for you or not. Let me know your thoughts on Ahrefs in the comment section below.
FAQs On Ahrefs
No, Ahrefs does not offer any discount or free trial, but you can save 16% on their annual plans. Previously, Ahrefs used to run an offer where you could use all the tools of Ahrefs for seven days at just $1, but now they have discontinued.
Once you exceed your monthly credit limit on Ahrefs, you will get additional credits, which you will have to pay in the next billing cycle.
If you have purchased a monthly subscription and request a refund within 48 hours of the purchase, then you can get a refund. However, if the Ahrefs team finds out that you have used the tool extensively during this period, then they can cancel your request.
You can upgrade or downgrade your plan on Ahrefs whenever you want directly from your account settings.
Both Ahrefs and Semrush are amazing tools. You can use Semrush for all purposes related to digital marketing. However, Ahrefs is good for SEO only.