September 20, 2023

Ahrefs affords a variety of free search engine optimization instruments for digital entrepreneurs on a decent finances.

On this article, I’m going to stroll you thru every software and when to make use of it.

When to use Ahrefs' free tool across the SEO process

Organising your web site for fulfillment means beginning with the fundamentals: ensuring it’s in good condition, each from a technical and backlink standpoint.

This includes a technical audit to examine your web site’s search engine optimization efficiency, in addition to a backlink audit to see if there are any spammy backlinks that would hinder your future hyperlink constructing efforts.

1. Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments 

Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments (AWT) is the proper software for the job. It offers you entry to 2 of our core instruments: Web site Audit (for the technical audit half) and Web site Explorer (for the backlink audit half).

Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

When you’ve created a free account and imported your initiatives from Google Search Console (GSC), AWT will mechanically run a complete crawl of your web site to examine for 140+ predefined search engine optimization and on-page points.

These are greater than what GSC covers. You may entry them from the All points report in Web site Audit, the place you may type them by significance and sort out them accordingly.

All issues report, via Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

Click on on the query mark beside every subject to get detailed info and discover ways to repair it.

"How to fix" issue dialog, via Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

Amongst its different helpful studies, our free website audit software additionally has an Indexability report. That is vital as a result of pages can’t rank in the event that they’re not listed by search engines like google—as a result of they get no visitors.

Indexability report, via Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

Pay shut consideration to misplaced “noindex” tags, but in addition to pages with duplicate content material which will trigger indexation points. 


Though not technically associated, the Inner hyperlink alternatives report is a hidden gem.

This report is mainly about discovering inner linking options on autopilot. It does so by trying on the prime 10 key phrases for every of your web site’s rating pages and discovering mentions of them in your different pages.

Internal link opportunities report, via Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

Use it to degree up your inner linking sport and cross on hyperlink fairness from high-authority pages to lower-authority ones.

Transferring on to AWT’s different software, let’s take a look at Web site Explorer, which supplies you a high-level view of your web site’s backlink profile all through varied studies.

Proper off the bat, you may see the cumulative backlinks and distinctive referring domains on your web site in Overview 2.0. The scale of your backlink profile makes far more sense, although, when in comparison with the competitors (extra on this in level #7 of this text).

Overview 2.0, via Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

The “Efficiency” chart also can paint an image of the tempo at which you’ve acquired hyperlinks from distinctive referring domains. Any vital spikes adopted by a sudden dip might point out a destructive search engine optimization assault to be cautious of. Fortunately, we’ve skilled regular progress.

"Performance" chart, via Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

For a extra in-depth view of your backlink profile, the Backlinks and Finest by hyperlinks studies are your go-tos.

Best by links report, via Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

Along with your web site in good condition, the following step within the search engine optimization course of is key phrase analysis. This boils right down to selecting the correct key phrases that may drive focused search visitors to your web site.

2. Ahrefs’ Free Key phrase Generator

Our free key phrase generator can assist you uncover 150 key phrase concepts for (nearly) any key phrase.

Simply kind in a broad key phrase like “drone,” hit “Discover key phrases,” and also you’ll see the highest 100 hottest key phrases. And the highest 50 associated questions.

150 free keywords ideas, via Ahrefs's free keyword generator

This software additionally exhibits keyword-related metrics, akin to search quantity and Key phrase Problem (KD) (extra on this one within the subsequent level), which can assist you with selecting a worthy subject.


Let’s say you enter “drone” and the generator kicks again “drone with digital camera.” If you wish to discover that subject additional, feed it again into the generator. If you wish to go even narrower, do one other spherical.

Finding more specific keywords for "drone" using Ahrefs' free keyword generator

The perfect half about this software is which you could search key phrases for different common search engines like google moreover Google, like YouTube, Amazon, and Bing.

Search engines, via Ahrefs' free keyword generator

3. Ahrefs’ Free Key phrase Problem Checker

Now that you just’ve determined in your key phrases, it’s time to evaluate how arduous it will be to rank for them.

Our free key phrase problem checker does precisely that. It estimates how arduous it’s to rank within the prime 10 on a scale of 1 to 100, with the latter being the toughest.

For instance, “drone” has a KD rating of 75 out of 100, that means it’s tremendous arduous to rank for it.

KD score for "drone," via Ahrefs' free keyword difficulty checker

However, “drone with thermal digital camera for searching” has a KD rating of three out of 100, that means it’s simple to rank for it.

KD score for "drone with thermal camera for hunting," via Ahrefs' free keyword difficulty checker

Our key phrase problem checker additionally tells you what number of hyperlinks from distinctive web sites you want on common, since KD is solely based mostly on the typical variety of referring domains the highest 10 outcomes have.

The upper the KD rating, the extra backlinks you‘ll want to extend your possibilities of rating.

Backlink estimation, via Ahrefs' free keyword difficulty checker

4. Ahrefs’ Free SERP Checker

The subsequent software is useful in understanding the SERP for any key phrase and evaluating its visitors potential.

I’m speaking about our free SERP checker, which exhibits you the highest 10 outcomes for any key phrase in over 243 international locations—with out utilizing a VPN. Plus just a few useful search engine optimization metrics for the highest three.

For instance, “drone with thermal digital camera for searching” has a search quantity of simply 100 within the U.S.

Search volume for "drone with thermal camera for hunting," via Ahrefs' free keyword generator

However should you plug it into the SERP checker, the highest search outcomes get between 1K and 1.2K estimated month-to-month search visits. That’s 10X and 12X greater than the key phrase’s search quantity, respectively.

SERP overview, via Ahrefs' free keyword generator

This occurs as a result of top-ranking pages not often rank for just one key phrase. So utilizing the highest web page’s estimated search visitors is a greater approach to gauge visitors potential than search quantity.


Try the highest 10 search outcomes to determine the search intent of your goal key phrase.

In our instance, it appears just like the search intent is usually informational.

SERP overview, via Ahrefs' free keyword generator

By now, you must have an inventory crammed with key phrases price concentrating on. It’s time for the precise arduous half: writing content material that searchers AND search engines like google need to see. 

5. Ahrefs’ Free Web site Visitors Checker

If you happen to’re nonetheless on the lookout for inspiration, one of the best place is to examine your opponents through the web site visitors checker.

I’ll go forward and paste the second search outcome from the earlier level in “Precise URL” mode and hit “Test visitors.”

Ahrefs' free website traffic checker

In addition to monitoring how the natural visitors has developed over the previous six months and the place it comes from, additionally, you will get the highest 5 key phrases that drive probably the most visitors to this web page.

Top keywords for a URL, via Ahrefs' free website traffic checker

For instance, “thermal imaging drone” is simply one other approach to rephrase our subject, so you may take into account masking it in your future article.


You can additionally search the domains of the highest 10 ends in “Subdomains” mode to get the highest pages that drive probably the most natural visitors to them and reverse engineer them. Rinse and repeat for every search outcome.

Top pages for a domain, via Ahrefs' free website traffic checker

6. Ahrefs’ search engine optimization Toolbar

A content material hole represents matters that your opponents are masking, however you aren’t.

One frequent approach to exploit it’s to examine different related pages which are rating excessive in Google and discover subtopics which you could embody in your new or up to date article.

Right here’s the place Ahrefs’ search engine optimization Toolbar comes into play. 

Our toolbar is a free extension for Chrome and Firefox that gives you with beneficial search engine optimization knowledge concerning the pages you go to: from checking redirects and damaged hyperlinks to switching SERP places. Normally, search engine optimization duties like these are lined by 4 to 6 extensions, however we sort out all of them utilizing one software.

To maneuver on with our tactic, I’m going to open the toolbar and head to the “Content material” part whereas being on the primary search outcome for the key phrase “drone with thermal digital camera for searching.”

"Content" section, via Ahrefs' SEO Toolbar

From right here, I’ll examine the subheadings to see whether or not we’re concentrating on the identical subject—apart from simply drone critiques. Appears to be like like these is perhaps subtopics we need to embody:

  • Can You Hunt With A Drone?”
  • How Can Drones Assist Hunters?”
  • Finest Thermal Digicam Drones for Hog Searching”

We’ve solely touched on theContent material” part. There are different equally (if no more) beneficial sections to additional discover.

Just like the “Outgoing hyperlinks” part, the place you may (1) examine the standing of all of the outgoing hyperlinks and (2) spotlight these seen on the web page.

"Outgoing links" section, via Ahrefs' SEO Toolbar

Or the native search simulator (just like our free SERP checker) constructed proper throughout the toolbar. That means you don’t want a VPN anymore to examine SERPs exterior your nation—the settings will probably be saved everytime you carry out a Google search.

"SERP tools" section, via Ahrefs' SEO Toolbar

Your article is finished, congrats! To extend its probability of rating greater in search, that you must construct hyperlinks to it.

7. Ahrefs’ Free Backlink Checker

One of the frequent actions in hyperlink constructing is to examine your opponents’ backlink profiles to see who hyperlinks to them within the first place with the intention to reverse engineer their techniques.

To search out out, paste the URL of a web page you’re competing with in our free backlink checker and also you’ll get the highest 100 backlinks pointing to that web page.

Ahrefs' free backlink checker

The subsequent step is to really attain out to the referring domains—like—and ask in the event that they’ll be keen to hyperlink to you as properly.

We solely have 23 backlinks in our instance, however you may also see different vital metrics akin to the entire variety of backlinks and domains, the referring web page, the commonest anchor texts, and our proprietary Area Score (DR) metric.

8. Ahrefs’ Free Damaged Hyperlink Checker

One other nice approach to construct hyperlinks is to do damaged hyperlink constructing.

It is a common hyperlink constructing tactic the place you discover a useless web page with a number of hyperlinks to it, replicate it, then ask these linking to the useless web page to hyperlink to yours as an alternative.

You are able to do this through the use of our free damaged hyperlink checker.

Simply kind in your competitor’s area, hit “Test hyperlinks,” and head over to “Damaged inbound hyperlinks.” Right here, you’ll see the highest 10 damaged pages of your goal and which pages hyperlink to them.

Ahrefs' free broken link checker

From right here, attain out to these pages and ask them to hyperlink to you as an alternative.

Whether or not that’s rating within the prime 10 search outcomes or getting extra visitors, the final step lies in bettering your content material so it has one of the best probability to fulfill its goal. 

9. Ahrefs’ Free Rank Checker

search engine optimization by no means ends. It’s a must to monitor how properly your web site ranks on your goal key phrases. 

This may be performed manually by Googling every key phrase, however it may be inaccurate as a result of Google personalizes search outcomes. It is usually time consuming because the variety of key phrases you goal will increase. 

A a lot better approach is to run your question by our free rank checker, which won’t solely present the place you stand within the SERP but in addition the SERP overview for the highest three search outcomes.

Ahrefs' free rank checker

The extra metrics are insightful for aligning on the search intent—should you’re rating past the highest three outcomes.

10. Ahrefs’ Free search engine optimization WordPress Plugin

Your article could also be rating excessive for some time. However with time, its rankings might drop. In that case, revisit it, take a look at what went unsuitable, and enhance your content material.

To do that, run a content material audit.

Our free SEO WordPress plugin automates content material audits that will help you spot under- and well-performing pages throughout your web site and perceive your general content material well being rating.

Ahrefs' free SEO plugin for WordPress

It even kicks again a sequence of suggestions (e.g., do nothing, replace, merge, exclude, rewrite) based mostly on a web page’s rating efficiency and whether or not or not the goal key phrase is exclusive throughout all pages.

Ultimate ideas

Ahrefs’ free search engine optimization instruments ought to give sufficient insights to kickstart your search engine optimization course of even on a decent finances.

When your rankings and search visitors begin to choose up, you may all the time select one among our paid plans for a whole view of your natural and backlink profile, key phrase rankings, and extra.

How are you utilizing our free instruments? Let me know on Twitter. 😊