It’s something that I’ve said in previous posts on this blog, but it’s something that is very much worth reiterating. Knowledge is power. It doesn’t matter how driven you might be or how creative you might be, because you really need to arm yourself with the kind of data and information if you want to enjoy any kind of success. And in the case of an online business, getting a firm grasp on demographics, links and SEO is positively paramount.
Offering a whole suite of tools for this purpose is the creatively-named Ahrefs.com. As you can quite clearly surmise from the name of the site, they’re all about links and giving you the freshest data updates on not only your own website, but also that of your competition or just about everyone else on the web. In today’s review, we’ll take a look at a few of the tools that you’ll find on Ahrefs.com and the kind of data that they provide.
A Growing Suite of Tools
One of the problems with data is that it can be very dry, but it can also be very difficult to comprehend, especially for novices and the uninitiated. Even for people who are more familiar with the terminology want the data displayed in an easy-to-digest kind of manner.
And that’s one of the many objectives of Ahrefs.com. They not only maintain a “huge index of links” with “data updates every 15 minutes,” but they strive to provide you with a “friendly interface.” It’s still data, so you’ll still get tables of figures, but you also get a decent supply of graphics and charts that make the information a little easier to understand.
The Free Site Explorer and Backlink Checker
Right from the homepage, you gain immediate (and free) access to the Ahrefs.com Site Explorer and Backlink Checker. You can enter either a domain in that field or you can enter a specific URL if you want to learn more about a particular page on your site.
To test this out, I generated a report for MichaelKwan.com, which is the home domain for my freelance writing business and personal blog. Right at the top of the page, you get some quick at-a-glance information about the URL rank, the domain rank, the number of backlinks, the number of referring domains and the number of social shares.
What’s great is that you also gain insight into the types of referring domains (.com made up the majority for me, unsurprisingly), as well as the backlink types. For example, I learned that quite a large number of the backlinks pointed at my site are actually nofollow, but the majority are also site-wide links. Sifting through the report, you can learn more about the specific backlinks and domains, as well as top pages and more.
The free site explorer report is surprisingly comprehensive. You get a visual representation of the countries of the TLDs that are linking to you, a pie chart with the top referring TLDs, an anchors cloud for the most common anchor text, and so on.
Mentions Tracker and Other Tools
Working in a somewhat similar fashion to Google Alerts, you can also use the Mentions Tracker on Ahrefs.com to see where your brand or name is being mentioned on the Internet. I did a quick search for Dot Com Pho and recognized many of those mentions, but I did have to “subscribe” in order to see beyond the first five results.
And that’s where Ahrefs.com is able to monetize the site. While the Site Explorer report is free, some of the other tools are either limited or completed restricted to users who are registered subscribers of the service. One such example of this is the backlinks report, as pictured above. That can be found under the “Other Tools” section of the site, along with the domain comparison and batch analysis.
How Much Does It Cost?
If you want to utilize some of the premium features, then you’ll need to upgrade your account. There are currently three pricing plans available, starting at $79 per month for the Professional Plan. That includes 5,000 results, 60 SEO reports, 100 backlinks reports, and 20 million exports. You can ramp up to the $179 Elite plan or the $499 Enterprise plan if you need more than that.