Ahrefs – Here is how you can use it for free

They have the second most active backlink database just after Google. And they crawl more than 5 million pages every minute. It is Ahrefs I’m talking about. And I will show you how you can use Ahrefs completely free. Let’s check it out.

So this is the Ahrefs website. And if you click on any of the sign-up buttons, you will be taken to a payment page. What you need to do is to scroll all the way down to the bottom. Down here you can see there is a section called Free SEO Tools and you can click on almost any of these tools. And then you will be sent over to how you can use Ahrefs for free.

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How to use Ahrefs for free

So let’s take the webmaster tools for instance. Here you can see that I can sign up completely free. And just in the last seven days, 7000 different users have signed up for these webmaster tools. And in here you basically just click on the button, follow the sign-up flow, and then you’ll be sent into Ahrefs. Before I show you the Ahrefs platform, I just want to give you some context on the numbers I gave you in the introduction.

This is Ahrefs by the numbers, and you can see that a lot of different numbers that they’re running on 2600 servers, some content index. But what’s interesting is that when we scroll all the way down here to the backlink index, then you can see that I mentioned they’re crawling 5 million pages every minute. But you can also see how big their database of backlinks is, and you see here that it’s 26.5 trillion right now.

They’re crawling all the time. And that is why they have the biggest active backlink database. Because if we, for instance, compared with Semrush, then you can see this is more or less the same page. But they have 43 trillion backlinks. That’s almost double of what Ahrefs have.

And they do also say that they keep it fresh, and they make sure the backlinks are all working. But the difference between these two is that Semrush has a huge database that they update once in a while. However, Ahrefs they constantly update all of their backlinks. So this means that they also delete a tonne as soon as they figure out that the backlinks are not working any more. But here, on these two pages, you can really see all the numbers, both how many users are using it.

But you can see that, for instance, Semrush has 20 billion keywords to track on, whereas right now Ahrefs has 609,000,000 keywords. So you can compare them to each other. You can see here, for instance, in their entire keyword index, they have 12 billion keywords. So it’s really some places Semrush is better than Ahrefs. And in other points, Ahrefs is better than Semrush.

It really depends on your needs. But now let’s dive into the platform. After you sign up, and you have added your website to Ahrefs you will see the same thing I see here. We have different tools up here with the Dashboard Site Explorer and many more very interesting tools. But what I want to dive into to begin with is the site audit. So, right now I have a health score of 99 and that is thanks to Ahrefs because not only do they show me the errors, they also help me with how I can fix these errors.

So right now I have three critical errors, and it’s mainly canonical points to redirect. So, if I click on this specific issue you can see that not only do I get details about the issue, they also show me how to fix this issue and I can click view affected URLs to see exactly what is going wrong. So here I need to go in and change. So it is not a 301 URL redirect, but it’s just working as it should. And that’s just one example.

You will probably have a lot of 404s when you run this one the first time and the 404s, if you can get rid of all of those. That increases the user experience of your website, which is something that Google is really measuring now. So, Ahrefs is fantastic for making sure your website is technical and top-notch. So, going back to all the issues, you can see that what I will recommend you do first is the red warnings, and then you can move on to the yellow warnings. But some of these issues are not really issues, because here telling me that I have 355 pages which have no index and that is correct.

I don’t want them to be indexed by Google so that is not an issue and the same here no index follow page is the same amount of pages because it is the same pages. So scrolling down, you can see we have a lot of different issues. For instance my content, I have 99 pages, they have crawled where the title is too long, or the meta description is too long or an H1 tag is missing. So this is mainly on-page SEO. So you can see there are so many points they’re telling me that I need to focus on and if I fix all of these issues it just makes my website more user-friendly to use because customers and viewers they will not visit a page on my website where they will get stuck.

It will be a constant flow of information, and they will always be able to go from A to B to C. So that is why the site audit is so useful. You can see they have a lot of different other menu points out here with a crawl log. So if your website can’t be crawled you can always go to the log and see if something is blocking it or what is going on. And right now it can crawl 10,000 pages completely free, and talk about using Ahrefs for free.

What is Ahrefs actually getting out of us using it for free? Of course, first they’re hoping that all of us will upgrade our plan because we really like using Ahrefs but secondary all the data that we put into Ahrefs, they will be able to distribute to all of their paying customers, and when we scan a website that just increases the value of the data set that Ahrefs have because they will get more backlinks, more keywords, more pages that they can use in the entire platform. And that is why it’s interesting for Ahrefs to get all of those free users.

You can see that we have some tools here, also with a Page Explorer, where we get some different stats on our pages. We have a Link Explorer where you can see the link type, where the URL is going and the target URL and so on. These are just different tools that you can dive into if you want to. We also have some Structure Explorer here where we can see the structure of our entire website to see whether it should be as it is or we should change it. Then they also have some reports and down here we can see our images, JavaScript and CSS.

The site audit is really thorough and every time you have just a little time here and there, then go to the site audit and fix the errors on your website, because it will really help you increase the value of your website, and it will make your SEO work so much easier. They do also have a simple rank tracker but that you need to pay for. Then they have a Site Explorer and the Site Explorer is fascinating as well. So let me just enter my website here and then press search. So, just as we saw with the site audit, the Site Explorer is also really thorough.

It shows me the rank within Ahrefs. It is showing me my domain authority, my backlinks, my referring domains, the amount of keywords I’m ranking on which are in the database of Ahrefs, the organic traffic that they estimate I get and the value of the traffic. Then you can see here the referring domains as a graph over time and the pages, of course, and going all the way down. You can see new and lost backlinks as well. The same with domains.

Then you can see a lot of different statistics for your website. To see the referring domains, you can also see the distribution of what type of domains are linking to your website. There’s just so much great stuff and if you want to dive into your backlinks you can click here in the menu, and then you can see the 20 actually a lot more backlinks right now where you can see what type of websites are linking to your website. That’s fascinating to dive into because maybe there is a website you want to explore more or there are missing some websites, so I would also recommend you looking into this, and the same with broken backlinks let’s say someone has set up a broken backlink for you, it will be fascinating for you to fix that because that’s traffic which you are losing, but that is also part of the paid plan, so you can see that you get a lot of value for just being a free user, but you will also sometimes hit the upgrade plan.

So if you think Ahrefs is a great tool, and you have the budget to upgrade I would really recommend you because it’s really worth it. Here we have an overview of referring domains, and then you can see some more different statistics some different lists of information we can also see the organic keywords which are linking to us So this is the keywords that we are ranking on via the database of Ahrefs, and it’s just a long list of keywords you are ranking on more keywords than this, but that’s the only keywords that Ahrefs has in their database. Then you can also see your top pages, subfolders and subdomains and a lot more.

It’s really a lot of great value for you to dive into here. So the site Explorer and the site audit really brings a lot of value to you for your website and if you can go in and fix all of those issues, your website will be much stronger and all of your SEO work will just benefit you so much more.

Last thoughts on Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a useful tool you can use for free. Personally, I really like their site audit because it is so thorough. I would really recommend you to sign up because Ahrefs can easily highlight all the issues on your website, so you can achieve better SEO. Thank you so much for reading, let’s catch up on the next one.

Phillip Stemann
Phillip Stemann
I have been in the software industry for 10+ years, and I’ve gathered a ton of experience I’m sharing with you. I test out tools each week and share my findings with you, for you to easily choose the right software for your needs. I have so far reviews many types of software and even built software myself, it’s a huge passion for me.