Ahrefs Review: An In-Depth Look

Ahrefs Review Comprehensive SEO Tool

Ahrefs is a well-known tool primarily used for checking backlinks, but what most SEOs forget to take into consideration is that it is capable of so much more. With their massive data index, Ahrefs is definitely one of the most sought-after SaaS tools out in the market. Tools such as this helped eradicate the days wherein Google gets played by unethical, black hat SEO tactics.  They helped the industry turn for the better, and SEO has never been simpler. With the tools such as Ahrefs being available in the market, it became simple for us to get better at what we do.

With SEO-Hacker’s ever-growing toolbox, it’s not a surprise that we try out different tools for our keyword research, competitor research, content writing and optimization, and site management. While tools may not write our content for us or do our work for us, it can help us in different ways:

  • Strategically choose content topics
  • Find the right people for our content
  • Know which people we should do an outreach to
  • Managing our website

So, without further ado, here’s my review of Ahrefs.

Ahrefs – A Comprehensive SaaS Tool

Once you enter Ahrefs’ website, you’ll immediately be taken to their homepage. It highlights everything Ahrefs has to offer, their data index, and some snippets of testimonials from SEO experts all around the world.

You Need to Know About Ahrefs Homepage

Before anything else, however, I promised you a free trial so here it is: Ahrefs Free Trial. Simply visit their homepage and click on “Start Free Trial” so you can start trying this tool out for yourself.

To get started, just sign in and you’ll be redirected to the dashboard where you can input new projects and monitor the old ones.

You Need to Know About Ahrefs Dashboard

As you can see, my team and I started numerous projects for most of our clients. The dashboard shows the users the overview of their projects (sites). Let’s break down the data displayed in the dashboard so you can better understand what they mean. The following are displayed:

  • Ahrefs Rank – This is the rank of your website based on the size and quality of your backlink profile. This changes constantly because websites regularly improve their backlink profile, and if you do not compete with your own backlink profile, then you will lose out on your Ahrefs rankings.
  • Domain Rating (DR) – This is a scale that shows your website’s total backlink profile strength. This is measured from 1 to 100, so the higher your DR is, the better
  • URL Rating – This is similar to the Domain Rating, but the only difference is that it measures a single URL’s backlink profile strength and its possibility to rank high in the Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)
  • Backlinks – It shows the total number of backlinks that are pointing to a specific website, and in this case, the client or our website.
  • Referring Domains – Similar to the backlinks data, it shows the number of domains that point to a specific website or URL
  • Organic Keywords – It shows a number of keywords the website ranks for in the top 100 search results – regardless of the location.
  • Targeted Keywords – This is the section that shows the performance of your targeted keywords over a specific timeframe.

This is just the simple overview of the website which will be expanded on the major sections of Ahrefs. The first major section, and probably the most important one is the Site Explorer section. This is what it looks like:

Site Explorer

Ahrefs site explorer overview

The overview section is the place where you can find everything you need to know about your website. It’s complete with numbers, graphs, and anything you need to see regarding the changes happening to your website. As an SEO professional, you need to be capable of adapting your SEO campaign on the spot. And with the data provided by Ahrefs, you’ll immediately know what to do to improve your site’s performance.

The best part about the overview – even Ahrefs as a whole – is that they constantly update the data that they display. The screenshot shown below was taken a few hours after the screenshot above, the differences are minimal, but could mean a lot for your campaign.

Ahrefs site explorer overview update

Backlink Profile

This is the feature where Ahrefs performs the best for link builders and SEOs alike. It shows you a comprehensive display of data regarding the backlink profile of your website. When I say comprehensive, I mean that they display everything you need to know about your site’s backlink profile.

Ahrefs backlinks

From new, lost, broken, dofollow, and nofollow links, Ahrefs’ site explorer can show you anything you want to know regarding all the links in your website.

When looking at your site’s backlink profile, there are numerous filters available for use so that you can have the best results possible. They are:

  • Group Similar Links
  • One Link Per Domain
  • All Links
  • Link Type
  • Platforms
  • Languages

Personally, I like the Group Similar Links filter due to efficiency purposes. Also, there’s a search bar you can use for finding specific links, anchors, or referring domains.

Another advantage of using Ahrefs is their “Fresh Index” “Live Index” switch that displays backlinks that Ahrefs’ crawler found. The main difference between the two is that the Live Index is updated every 15-30 minutes to show live links in your site. For Fresh Index, it is updated at a much longer timeframe, but it still displays dead links which give you the chance to reclaim or change the dead link.

These two has their own advantages, but I usually look at the Live Index much more than the Fresh Index just because I want to see the regular link updates that happen on my site.

Ahrefs backlink profile updated

Another function included in the backlink profile section is the data for Referring Domains. Basically speaking, it shows you the number of websites that are linking to the domain you’ve inputted in the search bar. So, in this instance, I’m using seo-hacker.com as the target website/URL, and the number of referring domains is shown with the corresponding details you will ever need:

Ahrefs referring domain

You can also view the new and lost referring domains you have through a calendar view which could save you time, effort, and energy.

Ahrefs referring domain calendar

When you click on the “New” button on the leftmost area of the page, then scroll down, all the new referring domains are listed. The same calendar view is displayed when you click the “Lost” button, however, the list below contains all the lost referring domains.

This feature can definitely help your SEO campaign, specifically, your link building campaign because you now have the capability to see all of the domains that removed your link from their content, and you can contact the webmaster to see if you can reclaim the lost link – this means that you now have the opportunity to either improve or continue your outreach and overall link building goals.

The other functions included in the Backlink Profile are:

  • Anchor – This basically shows all the anchor texts the referring domains used to link back to your target website. It displays all the details you need to know such as the domain that used the anchor and the snippet where the backlink is located. Also, it gives you the capability to filter the results to find a specific anchor.
  • Top Referring Content – This displays the most popular page that links to your target website. They determine the popularity of the page through the number of social shares it has. You can use this to help your SEO campaign by knowing which page/website has a decent social media following, and you can partner with them for more link opportunities to improve your backlink profile.
  • Referring IPs – This is similar to the Referring Domains part, however, this report shows you the IP of the referring domains and the network where they belong to. It also shows you how many backlinks that IP contains.

Organic Search

Ahrefs Organic Keywords

This is the section where keyword tracking and management is the focus. It shows you all the data you need to determine if the efforts you are doing for your targeted keywords is enough or you need to do something new.

Organic Keywords

Ahrefs Organic Keywords

Aside from competitor research, the Organic Search section also holds the keyword tracking function. You can check the movements of your targeted keywords through the “Movement” button. To check if there are keywords that have moved up into the top 50 results, just check the report through the “New” button.

One feature that I’m impressed with is that in the Movement section, not only do they show the movement of your keywords but they also display the links that were lost on a certain date.

Ahrefs Organic Keywords highlight

Competing Domains and Pages

This the report in which the tool shows a comparison between your targeted website’s unique keywords, a competitor’s unique keywords, and the common keywords you both have. The website/pages included in the list are the common keywords you share with your competitor that are in the top 10 of the search results.

You can use the data given so you can refocus your efforts and money to the keywords that really matter.

Content Gap

Ahrefs Content Gap

Another feature of Ahrefs that could potentially help you take your campaign to even better heights is their content gap feature. It gives you the option to check which keywords your competitors are ranking for so you can stay one step ahead at all times. Basically speaking, Ahrefs gives SEOs the ability to overtake their competitors through knowing which keywords to target and focus on.

Monitoring Features

The other features included in the Sites Explorer section primarily focuses on monitoring different aspects of your targeted website. Here’s everything that you can monitor with Ahrefs:

  • Top Pages – It shows you a ranking of your pages based on how much traffic they bring to the website.
  • “Best by” Pages – These are different reports that display a ranking of pages based on:

    • Number of Backlinks
    • Number of Backlinks Attracted
    • Number of Social Media Shares
  • Top Content – A list that details on the ranking of your content pages based on the number of their social media shares across the major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest).
  • Outgoing Links – Different reports that show a list of different aspects of your targeted website’s outgoing links. They are:

    • Linked Domains – Individual websites that your targeted website is commonly linking to.
    • Anchors – Shows a list of all the terms or phrases that are used as an anchor text for both the internal and external links to your targeted website.
    • Broken Links – A report on all the pages that contain broken links – which could help you repair or update the links of these specific pages.
  • Paid Search – It gives you the capability to monitor all the paid campaigns you are currently enacting. This includes PPC and Ads
  • Top Landing Pages – A list that reports the rankings of your targeted website’s landing pages.

Export

This is not a unique feature of Ahrefs, but what I liked about their export feature is that they include all the data that you have seen in the Site Explorer section, and you can choose to download a CSV or PDF file which is standard for most SaaS tools.

Content Explorer

Another feature of Ahrefs is their Content Explorer tool. This is primarily used for topic generation, skyscraping, and to be relevant in terms of content trends and topics. This is not the only content research tool, but it is definitely one of the most used.

The thing I liked with Ahrefs’ Content Explorer tool is that for every result, the details that you need about the results that they show is displayed immediately. And the results can be altered with different filters. Here’s a screenshot of the Content Explorer, and I search for “content marketing” as a topic.

Ahrefs Content explorer

You can also click the details drop-down button to see the details of the data that is displayed. This is what the details would look like:

Ahrefs Content explorer details

This is great for your content creation and marketing because the “details” drop-down button will show the backlinks of the specific results, the referring domain, the anchors that are used, and the organic keywords targeted in the resulting article.

Keyword Explorer

The next feature that I liked was Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer. There are tools out there that can be a substitute, but the way on how Ahrefs displays the results is structured, organized, and clean.

Ahrefs Keyword explorer

The screenshot above is just an overview of the keywords I inputted, but the gist of the details I need is already displayed after I clicked the search button. This may not mean a lot, but I definitely noticed a clear increase in efficiency because I already had what I was looking for after the click of a button.

Unlike other keyword research tools, Ahrefs’ Keyword explorer shows the “Top Countries By Volume” section which is another great thing because if you used other keyword research tools, you’ll have to go through numerous processes in order to filter the keywords by location.

Ahrefs Location filter

Rank Tracker

This is the newest tool in the Ahrefs database. It was released only recently, and I’ve had the pleasure of using it – even for a short while. And I could definitely say that it has a lot of potential in improving your SEOs campaign.

When you’re in the Rank Tracker section, you will need to input your keywords, and it will display the overview of your keyword rankings. The rank tracker also gives you 4 tabs which display different details, namely:

  • Competitors – This tab allows you to compare your progress with your competitors. This is really important because aside from keeping track of your rankings, you should also take into consideration how your competitors progress.
  • Pages – This is basically a report that groups your tracked keywords by their corresponding pages.
  • Metrics – Ahrefs outdid themselves with this one because they integrated all their keyword metrics into this feature. Everything you need to know about measuring your keyword is included in this tab.
  • Grossing – This is primarily focused on displaying how your keywords improved over 7, 30, and 90 days. This is also divided between their improvement on the desktop and mobile platform.

Other Features

Aside from the features I’ve highlighted above, Ahrefs also offers additional features, namely:

  • Ahrefs Rank
  • Domain Comparison
  • Batch Analysis
  • Link Intersect
  • SEO Toolbar
  • Ahrefs API
  • Apps

These features can also be helpful to our SEO campaign. However, I honestly think that using these features can be optional because they only offer a small amount of help.

Thoughts on Ahrefs

There are numerous SEO tools out in the market, however, if link building is the topic at hand, then I honestly think that using Ahrefs is enough. Starting with the dashboard – just input the details of your site and your keywords, then it will give your potential competitors. It’s easy to use and it also has one of the best features for finding broken links, curating skyscraper articles, and link reclamation.

The organic keywords and rank tracker feature offers immense help for any SEO professional to monitor rankings and pulling up relevant data.

The user interface is where Ahrefs performs best. It’s definitely simple yet, at the same time, informative. I have used different tools in my career as an SEO professional, and some of the tools I’ve tried are just confusing. Meanwhile, for Ahrefs, everything you need to see is right there in front of you.

However, even if it’s simple to use, SEO professional can get lost with the data that they see. Even though the data is presented in a way that a seasoned SEO professional will understand, some amateur SEOs can get confused, and will only waste your time trying to understand all the data that you see.

So, something that I could recommend is that when using Ahrefs, be sure to focus on one dataset at a time, do not take in everything at once because you’ll only be confusing yourself.

Overall, Ahrefs is a great tool – especially for link building. Whether it’s new, lost, or broken links, Ahrefs has the capacity to display the data that you need.

Key Takeaway

As I’ve mentioned, Ahrefs is a great tool – especially for link building. I and my team have saved us time and effort in our link building campaign because of Ahrefs. However, the data could really be confusing for some – which could get in the way of your link building, and even your SEO campaign.

Nevertheless, if you give the necessary time and effort to understand all the data, then Ahrefs could definitely help you take your SEO campaign to new heights. Even if the flaw I have noticed is minuscule, it is still a flaw.

What do you think about Ahrefs? Let’s talk in the comments section below.

Ahrefs Review: An In-Depth Look was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

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Google’s Project Jacquard: Textile-Based Device Controls

Textile Devices with Controls Built into them

I remember my father building some innovative plastics blow molding machines where he added a central processing control device to the machines so that all adjustable controls could be changed from one place. He would have loved seeing what is going on at Google these days, and the hardware that they are working on developing, which focuses on building controls into textiles and plastics.

Outside of search efforts from Google, but it is interesting seeing what else they may get involved in since that is begining to cover a wider and wider range of things, from self-driving cars to glucose analyzing contact lenses.

This morning I tweeted an article I saw in the Sun, from the UK that was kind of interesting: Seating Plan Google’s creating touch sensitive car seats that will switch on air con, sat-nav and change music with a BUM WIGGLE

It had me curious if I could find patents related to Google’s Project Jacquard, so I went to the USPTO website, and searched, and a couple came up.

Attaching Electronic Components to Interactive Textiles
Inventors: Karen Elizabeth Robinson, Nan-Wei Gong, Mustafa Emre Karagozler, Ivan Poupyrev
Assignee: Google
US Patent Application: 20170232538
Granted: August 17, 2017
Filed: May 3, 2017

Abstract

This document describes techniques and apparatuses for attaching electronic components to interactive textiles. In various implementations, an interactive textile that includes conductive thread woven into the interactive textile is received. The conductive thread includes a conductive wire (e.g., a copper wire) that that is twisted, braided, or wrapped with one or more flexible threads (e.g., polyester or cotton threads). A fabric stripping process is applied to the interactive textile to strip away fabric of the interactive textile and the flexible threads to expose the conductive wire in a window of the interactive textile. After exposing the conductive wires in the window of the interactive textile, an electronic component (e.g., a flexible circuit board) is attached to the exposed conductive wire of the conductive thread in the window of the interactive textile.

Interactive Textiles
Inventors: Ivan Poupyrev
Assignee: Google Inc.
US Patent Application: 20170115777
Granted: April 27, 2017
Filed: January 4, 2017

Abstract

This document describes interactive textiles. An interactive textile includes a grid of conductive thread woven into the interactive textile to form a capacitive touch sensor that is configured to detect touch input. The interactive textile can process the touch-input to generate touch data that is useable to control various remote devices. For example, the interactive textiles may aid users in controlling volume on a stereo, pausing a movie playing on a television, or selecting a web page on a desktop computer. Due to the flexibility of textiles, the interactive textile may be easily integrated within flexible objects, such as clothing, handbags, fabric casings, hats, and so forth. In one or more implementations, the interactive textiles may be integrated within various hard objects, such as by injection molding the interactive textile into a plastic cup, a hard casing of a smart phone, and so forth.

The drawings that accompanied this patent were interesting because they showed off how gestures used on controls might be used:

Controls in action

textile controller
Here is a look at the textile controller.
double tap
A double tap on the controller is possible.
two finger touch
A two finger touch on the controller is also possible.
swipe up
You can swipe up on textile controllers
extruder
An Extruder showing plastics materials being heated up to send to a mold
molded devices
The patent shows off plastic molder devices with controls built into them.

My father would have gotten a kick out of seeing a plastics extruder in a Google Patent (I know I did.)

It will be interesting seeing textile and plastics controls come out as described in these patents.


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Google’s Project Jacquard: Textile-Based Device Controls was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

4 Steps To Increase Traffic When You Can’t Have Higher Rankings

001_cover_What Should You Do When You Can’t Rank Any Higher But Still Want More Traffic

When you first look at SEO and its corresponding process, it’s actually deceptively simple. We look for the right target audience, we create and optimize our website to match the audience’s intent, we ensure that Google can find, trust, and index our website, and we eventually strive to increase traffic while having higher rankings. However, what should you do if you can’t rank any higher, but still want to gain more traffic?

SEO is not as simple as people make it out to be. There are instances where an SEO professional follows the process and executes it properly only to find out that their website can’t rank any higher than it already is. Or it attained a position on the search engine first page, but still, receives an inadequate amount of traffic. Aside from these instances, there are still many others that most SEOs are not ready for.

That’s why for today, I’ll be detailing on ways in which you can increase the relevant organic traffic you receive while not trying to rank higher. Instead, you will focus on the market itself – none of which require you to change your pages or build links. Let’s get started.

 

002_Neighboring Territories1. Neighboring Territories

This might be a business strategy, but it can also perform well when incorporated into your SEO strategy. It would be wise for you to research and find uncompetitive businesses that are in the same niche as you. You can take advantage of this because you already have an established brand, an authoritative domain, and a great website as your foundation.

Start by brainstorming for related products. Let’s say, for example, you’re working in the real estate industry, so you might think of:

  • Home Insurance
  • Area Guides
  • Property Listings

Once you’re done creating a list, you can start on your keyword research, and find out which pages are ranking for the keywords. The difference between this and looking for keyword opportunities is that in this case, you’ll be focusing on the core landing pages of the businesses. Take a look at their domain authority, landing page quality, branded search volume, and the SEO strategies they’ve incorporated, then think about what you can do to be better.

One of the examples I’ve given is home insurance, so you might find out that most of the sites that rank for it are in the field of financial services or comparison websites. Then you notice that there are only low performing sites for area guides. That’s the time to act.

The best way to start is to create to not go full force. Start small – just one landing page or a white-labeled product will do. If it receives traction and gathers more followers, you can now extend your efforts because you know that it needs more in order to help your business grow to new heights.

Remember that you are already an established brand with constant engagement from your followers. If you have the capability to expand your services and be able to reach out to more people, then you can beat other, smaller brands in those areas.

 

003_Be Accommodating2. Be Accommodating

You’ll never know if there are untapped opportunities in your field that’s just waiting for you to act. One such untapped opportunity is the potential customers that have insufficient knowledge or are intimidated by the product.

For example, your business primarily revolves around selling gadgets such phones, laptops, or desktops. Many of your potential customers will be wary of buying this kind of objects online without professional advice. This might lead to them not buying from you, or to buy similar products for a cheaper price – for the sake of reducing the risk.

Some keywords you might use are “best affordable phones”, “best gaming laptops”, or “complete desktop packages” which could encourage your visitors to spend more than they originally planned, or opt to buy online rather than buying from a local store. Pages like these could be considered as comparative or semi-editorial, but the most important aspect of creating pages like these is to make your potential customers feel like you are not imposing the sale upon them.

Purchases that are more research intensive will only give more importance to what I just stated above. If you do own a gadget selling business, you can incorporate guarantees or give potential upgrades to your products, so that any user that is not well-versed in gadget terms will have more confidence in making a purchase from your site.

Another thing you can do is to incorporate guides on your website. If you own a clothing business, then you might want to do this. This will help your visitors know what they really want from your site and will encourage them to make a purchase.

By being more accommodating, you’ll have more people interested in buying from your site, and will help you increase your sales. If you can make your potential customers feel safe in buying things from your website, and you support them by providing guides, then you might eventually change their negative perspective of buying from websites.

 

004_Improve Your Outreach3. Improve Your Outreach

Conversely, if you have potential customers that are not well-versed in the objects or services you are providing, there will also be people that are enthusiasts or experts of that field. You will have to improve your outreach and be able to accommodate the needs of the enthusiasts.

The best example I could give is through websites that feature automobiles. The main feature of sites like these is selling used cars. So, we can immediately assume that there are innumerable enthusiasts all around the world that can access your site. So, here’s what you should do:

  • Contact automotive enthusiasts that have a decent following
  • Ask them to review or “hype-up” the cars that you are selling through videos or articles
  • Make sure that the video or article that they produce is shared through all your social media channels

If you can’t contact any automotive influencers, you can:

  • Make a list of all the “classic” or “rare” cars that are for sale
  • Make an article or sales page about the specific car
  • Share the page on your social media channels

If you’re doing it correctly and with enough effort, you will not only be building brand awareness but also increase the outreach of your website. This is not strictly an SEO strategy, but it is closely related because you’ll still be doing some things that SEOs do such as building awareness, link building, influencer outreach, increasing search volume, etc.

When you build an emotional connection between you and the enthusiasts, your site will most likely be the one that immediately comes to their mind when they look for used cars, or any other object that they could associate with your services.

 

005_Build Up Your Image4. Build Up Your Image

This may be the simplest one in the list because you’ve already done it before, and you’ll only need to do it again, but with more effort. Building up your image is important because if there are wary potential customers or enthusiasts, there will also be people that may have never heard of your brand.

The most important thing to consider here is you need to appear in their feed. So, start targeting their demographic and properly research editorial sections or branded content that they are engaging, and start your image building from there.

Key Takeaway

Basically, the key to increasing traffic when you can’t rank higher is to go into the market itself. Beat your competitors, be more accommodating, improve your outreach, and build up your image. That’s it. But, don’t be deceived because you’ll be needing to put in a lot of effort to make this work.

Remember that attaining rankings in the first page is not the end point of any SEO strategy. It’s to convert as many people as possible to be paying customers.

Can you now gain more traffic even if you’ve reached your desired rankings? Comment down below if you have any questions, and I’ll try to help.

4 Steps To Increase Traffic When You Can’t Have Higher Rankings was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

How Responsive Web Design Affects Your SEO

Modern society has now shifted from a computer/desktop focused landscape to a place where the mobile platform dominates most, if not all, of the online industry. It has only been a year since Google announced that they are moving to a more mobile-focused indexing,  and the SEO landscape has never been the same. That announcement only

How Responsive Web Design Affects Your SEO was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

How to Determine Low-Quality Pages on Your Site

 SEO professionals have, at one time or another, experienced having low-quality pages. There are numerous factors in play when Google judges what quality a page has. From the searcher’s behavior to spelling mistakes, a lot of things determine your page’s quality. The great thing about knowing if your pages are low-quality is the chance to

How to Determine Low-Quality Pages on Your Site was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

The Hypothesis and the Modern-Day Marketer

How can you be so certain you’re creating the most effective marketing offers and messages? Simply put, no one can. However, instead of seeking an answer to your marketing challenges, what if you focused on the right question instead? And used your A/B testing, data and analytics to answer that question to better serve customers and ultimately increase conversion. This MarketingExperiments blog post shows you how.

The Hypothesis and the Modern-Day Marketer was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

The Danger of Marketing Background Noise: How to communicate your offer with maximum clarity

In today’s Quick Win Clinic, Flint McGlaughlin optimizes a landing page from FreedomCare. The agency really has an amazing offer that is unique and appealing – the ability to help sick patients and their families get the personalized care they need. The only problem is, the offer is not clear to first-time visitors. It lacks Clarity.

The Danger of Marketing Background Noise: How to communicate your offer with maximum clarity was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Google Secretly Updates AMP and Featured Snippets

The competition for Google’s rank zero has become harder than ever. Google AMP can now attain rank zero and have a featured snippet in the mobile search results. However, Google still maintains their earlier statement that AMP is not being considered as a major ranking factor for websites. This update was recently released with no heads

Google Secretly Updates AMP and Featured Snippets was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

What We Learned in August 2017: The Digital Marketing Month in a Minute

It’s been a month of ups and downs for many companies in the tech world. Facebook has launched its new video service, yet is bogged down by dropping post engagement.

Continue reading >>

What We Learned in August 2017: The Digital Marketing Month in a Minute was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing