Ahrefs is a tool we use frequently at Seer. Whether it’s keyword research, finding backlink and outreach opportunities, or finding organic search opportunities, Ahrefs is a solid platform with a ton of different features.
If you're looking for new ways to use this tool, here are three features we love, as well as some tips on how to use them:
Find Unlinked Mentions, Broken Backlinks and Competitor Backlink Data
Of all of its myriad features and dashboard, Ahrefs is renowned for its backlink data. With all this data, it’s easy to get the information you need to knock out some quick wins and insights for your site.
Find Unlinked Mentions
Use the “Content Explorer” tab to search for your brand name. You can even add a “-site” search operator to filter out instances of your own domain since there will likely be a lot of these. From there, Ahrefs even enables you to highlight domains that aren’t linking back to you, making it easy to see low-hanging outreach opportunities.
Find Broken Backlinks
If your site has undergone a significant migration or structural changes, chances are there could be some existing backlinks pointing to 404 pages on your site, especially if the migration wasn’t handled with SEO in mind.
To find these opportunities in Ahrefs, navigate to the “Best by Links” report in the “Site Explorer” section. There, you’ll be able to filter for backlinks only pointing to 404 pages on your site. This list of URLs are primed for 301 redirects. Try to find existing pages that are best aligned with the content that was on the 404 page and implement a 301 redirect from the 404 URL to your identified existing page. Not only will this help the equity of your legitimate, status 200 pages, it will also ensure a better experience for users clicking on those links.
You can even export this list to get started on a redirect list to hand over to your development team for implementation.
Get a Pulse on Competitor Backlinks
The usefulness of Ahrefs’ backlink data isn’t limited to your site or the site you’re working on: you can also delve into your competitors' backlink profiles. Here are some things to keep an eye on:
- Has your competitor seen a significant increase in the number of backlinks pointing to their site? This could be a signal they’re promoting a new content asset or ramping up a large scale outreach effort
- Are there particular types of content that are earning valuable links for your competitors? These content types could be worth taking a close look at and baking into your own content strategy
- Are there specific sites that are linking to your competitors that aren’t yet linking to your site? These could be prime candidates for targeted outreach for your own site
Find Organic Opportunities
If you’re looking to find some quick organic opportunities to help optimize an existing page, check out the "Site Explorer" tab and enter the URL you’re working on.
From there, you’ll navigate to the “Organic Keywords” tab and filter by position (I typically filter #6- #20 to look at striking-distance opportunities). It’s also helpful to exclude any branded queries since you’ll likely be ranking well for those anyway and optimization opportunities might be minimal.
Now, you’ll have a list of quick keyword opportunities where your content is already ranking well, and with some thoughtful optimization, could easily be in the running for the top results in the search results.
These days at Seer, we’re all about using paid search data to find long-tail keyword opportunities. If you’re in a pinch, though, or if paid data is tough to get your hands on, Ahrefs has you covered.
In addition to standard metrics like search volume and keyword difficulty that you’ll find in similar SEO platforms, Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer does a great job of showing related queries and questions. This is especially helpful when building content outlines and audits for clients or for your own site by highlighting the types of queries and answers users are looking for.
Like other “all-in-one” SEO platforms, Ahrefs has a ton of features that can easily fit into your daily workflow and make uncovering opportunities for your site or your client's site easier.
Have any favorite features of your own? Let us know in the comments below!