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11 Actionable Use Cases for Beginners

There are a lot of instruments and options in Ahrefs that may assist increase your search engine optimization/advertising and marketing efforts. However to an entire beginner, our search engine optimization platform can appear overwhelming.

So in case you lack expertise in search engine optimization instruments like Ahrefs, I’ve chosen 11 easy and tremendous actionable use circumstances that you would be able to attempt proper now and get speedy worth from.

Right here they are:

  • See how much search traffic your competitors get
  • Learn which pages bring search traffic to your competitors
  • Study what people are searching for in Google
  • Gauge the full search traffic potential of a topic
  • Find critical SEO issues that hurt your website’s performance in Google
  • Estimate the ranking difficulty of any keyword
  • Find out where your competitors got their backlinks
  • Discover your competitors’ “linkable assets”
  • Monitor your ranking progress for thousands of keywords
  • Find gaps in your content strategy
  • Find hundreds of quality link prospects in seconds
  • Advertisements

    1. See how a lot search visitors your opponents get

    Each enterprise proprietor desires to understand how their opponents are doing.

    • Are they getting extra visitors than me?
    • Is their visitors rising, or has it hit a plateau?
    • Will I beat them at my present development fee, or ought to I work more durable?

    Ahrefs’ Web site Explorer helps you reply these questions by exhibiting you the way a lot search visitors your opponents get and permitting you to benchmark your individual search visitors in opposition to them.


    As seen from the screenshot above, our personal web site ( will get over 1 million visits per 30 days from Google search. Again in 2019, we surpassed one among our fundamental opponents ( by way of natural search visitors.

    There are two essential caveats, although:

  • Ahrefs solely studies the search visitors of an internet site. It doesn’t account for direct visitors, referral visitors, visitors from social networks, and so forth.
  • The visitors numbers in Ahrefs are estimates. These estimations will usually deviate fairly a bit from the precise numbers that you just see in your Google Search Console. However that discrepancy ought to keep constant for all web sites inside one area of interest.
  • Let me provide you with an instance to raised clarify that second level.

    Let’s say Ahrefs reveals 20% much less search visitors than what your web site will get, in accordance with Google Search Console. What this implies is that our software would doubtless under-report the visitors of your opponents by that very same 20% too.



    In a latest research by the oldsters at AuthorityHacker, Ahrefs’ visitors estimations had been essentially the most correct and most constant amongst all main search engine optimization platforms.

    2. Be taught which pages deliver search visitors to your opponents

    After you determine how a lot search visitors your opponents get, the following step is to check which of their pages account for nearly all of that visitors.

    Ahrefs’ Web site Explorer can reply this for you in a heartbeat. Simply open the Prime pages report, and also you’ll see a listing of your opponents’ pages sorted by the quantity of search visitors they get.

    For instance, 33.3% of all search visitors to this very weblog comes from 5 articles:

    Pages that have the most search traffic

    You will get a lot of insights in regards to the advertising and marketing and enterprise methods of your opponents by finding out their top-performing pages:

    • Which pages deliver nearly all of their search visitors?
    • How a lot search visitors goes to their homepage vs. different pages?
    • How a lot search visitors do their product pages get?
    • What levels of the client’s journey have they focused with their pages?

    Finding out what works for your opponents will allow you to make higher advertising and marketing selections when planning your individual technique.

    3. Research what persons are looking for in Google

    One of many keys to rising your visitors from Google is to check the favored searches in your trade. That is to make sure you’ll be creating content material about issues that many individuals are looking for. In search engine optimization, we name it doing key phrase analysis.

    Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer helps you to gauge the recognition of any search question and helps you uncover 1000’s of related key phrases that you could be need to goal.

    For instance, the key phrase “bitcoin” will get a median of 6.5 million Google searches per 30 days in the USA alone. And its international search quantity is 25 million searches per month.


    If you happen to personal an internet site within the cryptocurrency area, I’m positive you received’t dream of rating on the high of Google for the key phrase “bitcoin.” The competitors is just too fierce, making it actually not possible to rank for that key phrase.

    However there are tons of searches that include the phrase “bitcoin” in them that even a brand-new web site could possibly rank for.

    The Matching phrases report in Key phrases Explorer offers you a whopping 558,968 key phrases that include the phrase “bitcoin” ordered by their month-to-month search quantity:

    List of keywords containing "bitcoin" with corresponding KD and search volume


    Ahrefs boasts the most important database of U.S. search queries. It incorporates over 4 billion key phrases as of October 2021 (with hundreds of thousands of latest queries added each month).

    You might also need to test the Associated phrases report in Key phrases Explorer, which reveals you key phrases in some way related to the phrase “bitcoin” however don’t essentially include that phrase in them:

    List of related terms for "bitcoin"

    4. Gauge the total search visitors potential of a subject

    When choosing key phrases to focus on, we have a tendency to take a look at their month-to-month search quantity as a sign of how a lot search visitors they might deliver us.

    However the search quantity of a person key phrase will be slightly deceptive. It is because webpages by no means rank for only one key phrase.

    In response to our personal research, a web page that ranks #1 for some key phrases will even rank extremely for a couple of thousand different related key phrases and get visitors from them.

    For instance, let’s take a look at the key phrase “submit web site to engines like google.” 

    KD and search volume of "submit website to search engines"

    It will get simply 450 searches per 30 days within the U.S., in accordance with Key phrases Explorer.

    But when we scroll all the way down to the SERP overview report, we’ll see that the #1 rating web page for this key phrase (which occurs to be from this very weblog) will get 5,893 visits within the U.S. alone and ranks for a complete of 1,224 key phrases.

    SERP overview for "submit website to search engines"

    Listed here are a few of these “additional” key phrases that it ranks #1 for and will get visitors from:

    Organic keywords report showing high traffic and "no. 1" position for "extra keywords"

    As you possibly can inform, “submit web site to engines like google” is only one of some ways totally different individuals phrase their searches. And in case your web page occurs to rank excessive for this search question, it’ll inevitably rank nicely and get search visitors from all these variations too.

    That’s the reason it will be significant that you just don’t make your search engine optimization selections primarily based purely on the search quantity of a person key phrase alone.

    It’s best to make it a behavior to look at the top-ranking pages and see how a lot complete search visitors they get from all of the variations of that search question.

    In Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer, we even have a helpful metric simply for that, which known as Site visitors potential. 

    Traffic potential of "submit website to search engines"

    This metric reveals you the way a lot visitors the #1 rating web page for your goal key phrase will get in complete, which is commonly a way more insightful and actionable quantity than the search quantity of that key phrase.

    5. Discover important search engine optimization points that damage your web site’s efficiency in Google

    Google has a daunting list of recommendations, which site owners must observe so as for their web sites to attraction to the search big.

    And it’s an actual disgrace if the one you love web site with all its helpful data doesn’t get the search visitors that it deserves due to a bunch of pesky technical search engine optimization points.

    Ahrefs’ Web site Audit will assist be sure that doesn’t occur. It’ll scan your web site for over 120 widespread search engine optimization points and supply detailed suggestions on the best way to repair them.

    List of top issues, with most severe issues at the top

    You may as well arrange recurring web site audits and monitor your search engine optimization Well being rating over time. That is particularly helpful when there are lots of individuals in your organization who could make modifications to your web site and, in doing so, might by accident break issues.

    Example of health score report. Charts summarizing "issues distribution" and "error distribution," respectively

    6. Estimate the rating issue of any key phrase

    Some key phrases are extremely straightforward to rank for, whereas others are just about unattainable—even for large, authoritative web sites. However how are you aware which is which?

    In Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer, now we have a helpful metric referred to as Key phrase Problem (KD) rating. It scores every key phrase on a scale from 0 to 100, with the latter being the toughest to rank for.

    KD of keyword "marketing"

    As you possibly can see within the screenshot above, the key phrase “advertising and marketing” has a KD rating of 79, which is taken into account to be “tremendous exhausting.”

    And there’s additionally a brief clarification, which fits proper under this quantity:

    We estimate that you just’ll want backlinks from ~329 web sites to rank within the high 10 for this key phrase.

    Let’s break it down phrase by phrase as a result of it explains how our KD metric works.

    • “We estimate” – Our KD metric is merely an estimation. Google makes use of a whole bunch of various rating components, which fluctuate relying on the search question. No software will be 100% correct in predicting a key phrase’s rating issue.
    • “You’ll want backlinks from ~329 web sites” – We all know for a fact that backlinks from different web sites are one among Google’s most essential rating indicators. It’s fairly unlikely that you just outrank the top-ranking pages until you get as many (or increased high quality) backlinks as they have.
    • “Rank within the high 10” – There’s completely no solution to predict if you’ll ever rank #1 for a key phrase. However rating within the high 10 is way simpler to foretell.

    That being mentioned, we don’t advise our clients to make essential search engine optimization selections primarily based on this straightforward two-digit quantity alone. The true rating issue of a key phrase is way more advanced and nuanced than that.

    Ahrefs’ KD metric is extremely helpful when filtering by means of 1000’s of key phrase concepts and discovering the so-called “low-hanging fruit.”

    For instance, there are virtually 2 million search queries in Ahrefs’ database that include the phrase “advertising and marketing.” However solely 29,000 of them have a KD rating of lower than 5 (i.e., very straightforward to rank for).

    Matching terms report for "marketing." Shows results with low KD

    However don’t get too enamored with low KD key phrases. If some key phrases have a excessive KD rating, it doesn’t imply it is best to keep away from it. It simply means that it’s going to take a number of work to rank for it. And the earlier you begin engaged on that, the earlier you’ll get there.

    7. Discover out the place your opponents acquired their backlinks

    One of the widespread jobs of an search engine optimization skilled is to determine the place the top-ranking pages acquired their backlinks (and the best way to get the identical backlinks for their very own web page).

    Ahrefs’ Web site Explorer is a completely indispensable software in such a scenario. Simply take the web page that ranks #1 for your required key phrase, plug its URL into the software, and go to the Backlinks report.

    For instance, there are 526 pages (coming from distinctive web sites) that hyperlink to the #1 lead to Google for the key phrase “search engine optimization coaching course” with a adopted hyperlink:

    Backlinks report for Hubspot Academy's "seo training course" page

    Now we have our personal “search engine optimization Coaching Course” right here at Ahrefs, and we actually need it to rank nicely in Google for the respective search question. So having the ability to discover all pages that hyperlink to our search engine optimization opponents is extremely priceless.

    We’ll then want to succeed in out to the homeowners of those pages and make a case for together with our search engine optimization coaching course proper subsequent to the one they’re already mentioning. If we handle to get hyperlinks from their pages, it’ll assist us rank increased for that key phrase.


    Ahrefs has the most important database of stay hyperlinks. We put a number of effort into often recrawling our total backlink index in order that our information all the time stays updated. Additionally, we don’t report hyperlinks which might be not there.

    8. Uncover your opponents’ “linkable property”

    If you wish to develop the authority of your web site within the eyes of Google, it’s important to publish the sort of content material that different individuals need to hyperlink to from their very own web sites.

    However how are you aware what individuals in your trade are more likely to hyperlink to?

    Straightforward! Simply research the web sites of your high opponents and see which of their pages have attracted essentially the most hyperlinks. You are able to do that by plugging their web sites into Web site Explorer and accessing the Finest by hyperlinks report.

    For instance, listed here are essentially the most linked pages on this weblog:

    List of most linked pages for Ahrefs' blog

    As you possibly can see, 3 of the highest 5 most linked articles on Ahrefs’ weblog (excluding our weblog homepage) are information analysis research. This means that information analysis research are what entice backlinks from individuals within the digital advertising and marketing and search engine optimization trade.

    Attempt that with the web sites of your high opponents, and I’m positive you’ll discover some patterns of the sorts of pages (or assets) that entice backlinks in your trade.

    9. Monitor your rating progress for 1000’s of key phrases

    Even when it’s pretty new, there’s likelihood that your web site is rating in Google for a bunch of key phrases. It could not essentially rank on the entrance web page, however there are 9 extra pages of search outcomes the place it might be hiding.

    The Natural key phrases report in Web site Explorer will present you just about the entire key phrases that your web site is rating for in Google.

    For instance, even my long-abandoned private weblog nonetheless ranks #1 for a bunch of key phrases:

    Keywords that Tim's blog ranks no. 1 for

    And I can simply see my total rating historical past for any of those key phrases if I click on on the “Place historical past” button:

    Graph showing ranking history

    Similarly, you possibly can plug your competitor’s web site into Web site Explorer and see all of the key phrases that they rank for, together with their rating historical past.

    And in case you have a listing of your most essential key phrases that you just need to preserve a detailed eye on, you possibly can add them to Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker. 

    10. Discover gaps in your content material technique

    A “hole” in content material technique is when your opponents are all rating for essential key phrases that deliver a lot of priceless visitors to them whereas your individual web site doesn’t have any pages that concentrate on these key phrases.

    That will help you remedy this downside, now we have a report inside Web site Explorer referred to as “Content material Hole.” It seems to be for key phrases that every one your opponents are rating for, however you don’t.

    Listed here are the outcomes of operating the report between our personal weblog and three of our opponents’ blogs:

    List of keywords Ahrefs doesn't rank for

    As you possibly can inform, there are fairly a couple of high-volume key phrases that two or three of our opponents are rating nicely for, whereas our personal weblog is nowhere to be seen.

    Do this with a couple of of your individual opponents and see if yow will discover some essential matters that you just’ll need to goal by yourself web site.

    11. Discover a whole bunch of high quality hyperlink prospects in seconds

    Let’s say you’re doing search engine optimization for a productiveness app. Wouldn’t it’s helpful for you to get a listing of all web sites that talked about the phrases “productiveness app” someplace within the content material?

    I’m positive will probably be. It is because you possibly can then attain out to them and attempt to negotiate and get a hyperlink from their web site, proper?

    Properly, that’s precisely what Ahrefs’ Content material Explorer may also help you with. Simply do a search for “productiveness app,” and also you’ll get a listing of over 78,000 pages that point out this phrase someplace of their content material.

    However you in all probability don’t want that many. No worries. You should use a bunch of filters in Content material Explorer to trim that listing all the way down to the perfect pages solely:

    • Area score: 40 to 90
    • Web site visitors: From 1k
    • Language: English
    • Exclude subdomains
    • Exclude homepages
    • One web page per area
    • Filter express outcomes

    Content Explorer results with filters applied

    These settings will go away you with simply 3,000 out of 78,000 pages. And you’ll all the time tighten your filtering much more if it’s essential to additional shrink your listing of hyperlink prospects.

    Last ideas

    In order that was a listing of 11 easiest and most actionable use circumstances of Ahrefs that had been chosen with the search engine optimization newbies in thoughts.

    Many of the use circumstances are fundamental, however that doesn’t imply they’re ineffective. You’ll be stunned how far you may get in case you put them to motion.

    Obtained any questions? Be happy to ping us on Twitter.

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