If you run a website, then chances are almost certain you’ve been concerned about the quantity of traffic to your site at some point or another. If you’ve kept track of the number of visitors to your site on any given day, you also know that the traffic comes in like periodic waves; at times the traffic is plentiful, and at other times you get next to no visits at all. This can be a very curious thing and can drive many website owners to grey hairs trying to figure out why this happens. This is where a program like Ahrefs comes into play.
Ahrefs is an essential tool for any webmaster interested in traffic research, analysis and management. It uses its own bot and its own index, which they state is based on information from hundreds of billions (with a ‘”b”) website connections. The index is also updated every thirty minutes and has a ranking database of millions of keywords from about nine different countries. The basic user tools include:
• Site Explorer
• SERPs analysis
Most webmasters know that the goal is to get new and frequent visitors coming to the site from other websites like Google, Yahoo, blogs and so on. Every time a new visitor comes from a different website, the process is called a backlink, and this includes search engines. Being able to track your backlinks is one of the most important ways to tell precisely where your traffic is coming from.
Say you frequently link blog articles to Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon and Reddit. You’re getting 2,000 page views in an hour. Ahrefs gives you a full analysis of where these hits are coming from. Now say Ahrefs tells you you’re getting 1,000 hits from Facebook, 500 from Twitter, 500 from StumbleUpon and none from Reddit. You can spend less time on Reddit and more time on the others where the majority of hits are coming from.
Backlinks is just the tip of the iceberg with Ahrefs. One of the main features of Ahref is its Site Explorer, where you have the option of choosing a specific URL, the domain with all subdomains or the domain with no subdomains. The interface provides interesting and vital stats, such as the total number of backlinks (including the type: text, image, redirects, etc.), unique domains and distinct referring IPs and subnets. Aside from the overview analysis, you’re provided with a slew of other research options to choose from, including:
• Newly discovered links from the previous month to the current month.
• Lost or dropped links.
• Anchor text report of external links.
• Crawled pages (Page URL and Title, Crawl Date, Page Size, etc.).
• Referring domains and subnet links from each domain.
• SERP information and positioning in multiple countries.
• Raw export of the data (based on the pricing plan).
Though Ahrefs is one of the most powerful tools a webmaster can have, there are some downsides. There are no special, so it isn’t mobile and has to run on a PC. It has to be constantly updated and it occasionally crashes and can potentially lose data (though this might depend on the resources of the PC and the internet connection itself). You access the application from its own server, so you don’t need local software installations, but this does take away some of the control that many users would prefer.
But there’s no reason to doubt its comprehensiveness. The server is quite fast, which makes the exportability of the data and the filtering capabilities very smooth for the most part. The tool does just what you expect it to do and is very easy to use, which requires very little entry-level experience. Ahrefs is highly recommended and a must-have for those who are into link research. From a scale of one to ten, it gets a solid eight.