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How To Use Ahrefs For Link Building & SEO

By the Rhino Rank team
27th Nov 2023

Do you need an effective tool to boost your website domain authority? Ahrefs is the answer!

This powerful SEO tool has a range of features that have been designed to cater to SEO professionals and everyday website owners alike. From analyzing Domain Rating (DR) and Referring Domain (RD) scores to conducting keyword research and monitoring organic traffic, Ahrefs does it all.

In this blog, we explain how you can take advantage of SEO tools to increase your website authority and search engine rankings!

Key Takeaways

  • Ahrefs is a renowned domain rating (DA) checker that provides users with essential tools to improve their website’s authority and SEO performance.
  • Utilize Ahrefs’ resources and new features to conduct regular audits of your website and improve your online visibility and organic traffic.
  • Effectively monitor keyword rankings, and referring domains, analyze competitors’ backlinks, and benchmark your website’s performance using Ahrefs’ metrics.

Getting Started with Ahrefs

Having a good grip on domain authority, domain rating, and individual page authority is crucial to having an effective online presence.

Ahrefs, a popular tool for analyzing website authority, has its in-house authority metric called Domain Rating (DR). Running on a scale of 0 to 100, the higher a website’s Domain Rating, the stronger and more authoritative the site is. Ahrefs Domain Rating score is calculated by considering the following factors:

  • The quantity and quality of backlinks the website has
  • The authority of the domains linking to the website
  • How many of the domains linking to the website are unique

Utilizing domain authority (DA) checkers like Ahrefs can do wonders when trying to maximize website performance, increase a site’s referring domains, and boost individual page authority. So, why not create an account and start optimizing your website today?


Creating an Account

Getting started with Ahrefs is easy. Simply navigate to their website, click the “Sign up” button and enter your details including name, email address, and password to create an account.

For those who are on a budget or just starting in SEO, there is a free tool called Website “Authority” Checker that will allow you to analyze and monitor your site’s authority scores. You can also sign up for their Webmaster Tools to get free limited access to the Site Explorer and Site Audit tools.

Those who are seeking additional features or fewer restrictions can choose from Ahrefs four subscription plans:

  1. Lite ($99/month) – Designed for individuals and small businesses
  2. Standard ($179/month) – Designed for freelance SEOs and marketing consultants
  3. Advanced ($399/month) – Designed for in-house marketing teams
  4. Agency ($999/month) – Designed for larger marketing agencies

Each plan has different levels of access and usability, enabling users to find the subscription that best matches their needs and their budget. It’s also worth noting that opting for annual billing will save 20% off the total payment!

Keyword Research Using Ahrefs

Optimizing SEO performance relies on selecting the right keywords. Using Ahrefs features, you can identify and utilise relevant key terms with a high value, naturally boosting your site’s search engine rankings, organic traffic numbers and overall domain authority.

Ahrefs robust Keyword Generator and Keyword Explorer provide a wide range of relevant keyword ideas, alongside each keyword’s monthly search volumes and difficulty scores. This information enables users to prioritize which target keywords are likely to have the biggest impact on their website, and ultimately deliver more powerful results.

Identifying Target Keywords

Ahrefs has two keyword research tools:

  1. Keyword Generator – This free tool allows you to find thousands of relevant keywords in seconds.
  2. Keyword Explorer – This paid-for tool generates thousands of great keyword ideas, analyzes their search engine ranking difficulty and calculates their organic traffic potential

The data these tools generate helps users to identify “low-hanging fruit” keywords. Assessing which new keywords would be easy to achieve and rank high for, alongside carrying out competitor analysis, helps to ensure website owners are not missing out on targeting valuable words or phrases.

Analyzing Keyword Difficulty

When creating an SEO strategy, it is important to take into account keyword difficulty. Ahrefs scores this metric on a 0-100 scale, with 100 being linked to the hardest ranking terms. By taking into account how tough the competition will be when targeting certain keywords and phrases, you can decide where best to spend your time and resources. As a general rule, it is best to focus on keywords that have good search numbers and low-difficulty rankings, as these terms should generate good organic traffic numbers and improve a website’s domain authority and page visibility.

Take your SEO game to the next level by harnessing the insights provided by Ahrefs, and watch your website authority, referring domain count and search rankings soar to new heights.

Backlink Analysis and Link Building

Ahrefs is known for being a powerful domain authority checker, offering useful insights into your backlink profile, identifying areas of SEO improvement, and pinpointing link building opportunities to get backlinks and boost your website’s rankings in Google.

Analyzing the quantity and quality of your website’s incoming links, Ahrefs enables you to easily identify poor-quality inbound links and deal with them accordingly – either by contacting the original webmaster and asking the link to be removed, or disavowing the link using Google Search Console. To boost your site’s overall domain authority and performance levels on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages), it is important to build high authority backlinks from relevant sources.

Analyzing Your Backlink Profile

By inputting your website’s URL into the Ahrefs Site Explorer tool, you’ll be able to get an in-depth look at your website’s backlink profile and search traffic. You will also be able to get an insight into the number of referring domains that link to your site, the anchor text each inbound link uses, as well as assess your competitor’s backlink profile and link building strategies. By analyzing this data, website owners can easily identify opportunities for strengthening their site’s authority through more efficient link building efforts.

Finding Link Building Opportunities

Ahrefs offers many tools to help users find excellent link building opportunities. These include:

  • Site Explorer – Users a detailed look into their website’s organic traffic and backlink profile.
  • Content Explorer – Users can quickly identify the top-performing content in their niche and identify thousands of new link prospects.
  • Broken Link Building – Users can identify broken links, and contact the webmasters directly to offer a high quality link replacement.
  • Unlinked Mentions – Users can easily identify online mentions (citations) of their brand that do not contain a link back to the site.
  • Event Link Building – Users can easily find bloggers and social media influencers who may have an interest in an event they are running.

These tools are great for identifying potential linking opportunities or generating content that should naturally attract valuable backlinks and boost your website’s domain rating. You can also use Ahrefs to keep an eye on what your competitors have been doing when it comes to their backlink profiles, making sure you stay ahead of the game.

Using these tools also allows users greater control over building a successful backlink portfolio, ensuring links are being built from relevant sites with high domain authority ratings, which will then enable higher rankings in search engine results. Utilizing Ahrefs to optimize your website for better online visibility will also ensure the website is deemed trustworthy and credible by search engines, like Google and Bing.

Site Audit and On-Page SEO Optimization

It is important to carry out a thorough site audit and optimize on-page SEO elements to boost your website’s domain authority score and its presence in search engine rankings. Using an analysis tool like Ahrefs allows you to obtain useful information about how healthy your website is. Enabling you to audit your website, uncover technical issues, and identify ways to optimize existing page content simply.

Addressing any issues identified in a site audit will ultimately lead to better user experiences, improve the site’s overall visibility and authority, and increase search engine placements and traffic.

Performing a Site Audit

You can use Ahrefs Site Audit tool to run an SEO audit on your website, enabling you to quickly identify technical errors, and user experience (UX) issues, and find out what is holding your website back from ranking at the top of the search results.

After analyzing all the results, you can determine where best to focus your time and efforts. By conducting site audits regularly, you’ll be able to steadily increase your website authority and ensure the ongoing success of your site in search engine rankings.

Optimizing On-Page SEO

Ahrefs Site Audit tool also provides numerous insights into how best to enhance the SEO elements on your website, including meta tags, H1 page titles, content quality, and keyword usage. In addition, it also highlights how to improve the website’s internal linking structure, as well as tips for boosting page speed optimization for better organic traffic generation.

Optimizing these components through Ahrefs can give your site an edge over competitors when it comes to search engine visibility. Good SEO is essential to ensure your business succeeds in the world of digital marketing.

Competitor Analysis and Benchmarking

By scrutinizing competitor SEO efforts and tracking the performance of your website, you can gain invaluable insights into what makes a successful SEO campaign.

Ahrefs tools provide useful data to help compare how well your site measures up against other websites in terms of keyword rankings, backlink profiles, content gaps, and overall domain authority. This enables you to make more informed decisions that will set your website apart from the competition.

Analyzing Competitors’ SEO Strategies

Ahrefs provides many resources to help you with competitor analysis, including:

  1. Site Explorer – Users can easily see what keywords their competitors are ranking for, how much traffic these keywords are generating, and assess which external websites are linking to their competitors’ websites.
  2. Content Gap – Users can quickly identify gaps in their website content compared to their competitors, which helps generate new content and keyword opportunities.
  3. Organic Competitors – Users can use this tool to assess which competitors rank highest for their chosen target keywords.

By keeping track of your rivals’ domain rating, backlink profiles, keyword standings, and content production through Ahrefs’ tools, it is easy to identify improvement opportunities within your SEO strategy. This will also ensure you stay ahead of competitors in terms of ranking factors, making sure your site remains at the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) and continues to grow its visibility and authority.

Benchmarking Your Website

To ensure your website remains competitive and continues to climb in search engine rankings, it is essential to benchmark your website against competitors and regularly monitor your SEO progress.

Ahrefs analysis tools enable you to quickly compare your site’s domain authority score, organic traffic, and organic keyword numbers against competitors and the industry averages. In addition, by reviewing your site’s backlink profile and keyword placements, you will be able to determine which pages would benefit from further technical optimization; enabling your website to outperform competitors and consistently climb the ranks on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

Monitoring and Tracking Progress

It is essential to regularly analyze and review your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) performance and keyword rankings to ensure your website continues to deliver the results you need.

Ahrefs provides you with the perfect tools for this purpose, allowing you to stay informed about evolving trends and accurately assess the progress of your online presence. By keeping track of your SEO metrics, such as domain rating and traffic numbers, you will be able to implement data-driven decisions toward improving your overall SEO strategy.

Setting Up Alerts

Ahrefs alerts feature provides real-time insights into a website’s SEO performance, the three alert triggers you can set are:

  1. New And Lost Backlink alerts – Get notified when your website gains a new backlink or loses an existing backlink.
  2. Web Mentions alerts – Get notified when your website’s brand name is mentioned online, or when people start talking about your target keywords and phrases.
  3. New Keyword alerts – Track the web traffic and current ranking position of your target keywords, so you can see how your web updates are impacting your online performance.

By setting up these alerts, you can stay informed about what people are saying about your business and your competition. This will enable you to make the right SEO changes that will ultimately have the biggest impact on your website authority, visibility, and domain rating.

Tracking Keyword Rankings

By using Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker, you can gain a better understanding of your website’s visibility by monitoring how well it ranks for certain keywords over time. Having this data on hand allows you to automatically track positions and keyword metrics, using a wide range of interactive graphs, and ultimately make informed decisions about optimizing SEO techniques and strategies.

With such a handy tool at your disposal, ranking higher than your competitors for your target keywords is in reach. As a website owner, Ahrefs will enable you to improve your position in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) by elevating your domain rating and keyword numbers.

Tips for Maximizing Ahrefs Usage

Leveraging Ahrefs’ resources is essential for maximizing the benefits it gives to your website. Here are our top 5 tips for ensuring you get the most out of Ahrefs:

  1. Explore Ahrefs Acadamy

The wealth of resources offered through Ahrefs Academy is perfect for boosting SEO proficiency. With a wide range of video tutorials, step-by-step guides, and a new professional certification course there is something for everyone. By taking time out to learn more about how to best utilize Ahrefs to boost your domain authority and page ranking.

  1. Read The Ahrefs Blog

The world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and digital marketing is constantly evolving. So, if you want to boost your website authority and rank higher in search engines like Google, you need to stay on top of the latest SEO trends and strategies, and The Ahrefs Blog can help with that. With a wide range of tutorials and case studies, discover how to boost your on-page SEO scores, improve the effectiveness of your backlink building and generate new website traffic.

  1. Complete Ahrefs SEO Guides

New to the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Ahrefs has a beginner’s guide to SEO that includes everything you need to know about understanding how search engines work, how to conduct keyword research and optimize your web content, improve your website’s internal links, and much more.

  1. Utilize Ahrefs Help Center

Got a question you can’t find the answer to? Utilize Ahrefs online community to ask questions about the tool’s latest features and connect with other users to share insights, tips, and strategies. The collective knowledge of the community can also provide additional perspectives on how to go about optimizing your site to boost its organic traffic, domain authority and overall domain rating.

  1. Stay Updated on Ahrefs Features

If you want to take full advantage of the SEO tools Ahrefs has to offer, you must stay up-to-date on their latest features and updates. To stay in the loop on what’s new at Ahrefs, you can monitor their blog posts, take part in community discussions and follow them on social media platforms. Staying informed will help your website maximize its potential and generate results.


Utilizing Ahrefs SEO tools is essential if you want to stay on top of the latest marketing trends and ensure your website is optimized correctly. Whether you need help with keyword research or competitor analysis, backlink building or conducting site audits, this versatile tool can assist in your optimization efforts to boost organic traffic and increase the domain authority of your website.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Ahrefs for free?

Ahrefs provides several free SEO tools, including a completely free keyword generator and site audit tool. This means that any website owner can experience the benefits of Ahrefs without breaking the bank.

How do I create an Ahrefs account?

To register for Ahrefs, simply visit their website and click on the “Sign up” button. All you need to do then is enter your name, and email address and create a secure password. After that, you, can pick a subscription plan or take advantage of their free Webmaster Tools offer.

What is the Ahrefs tool mostly used for?

Ahrefs is a comprehensive tool that is used for driving website traffic and optimizing web pages. Through the platform, users can conduct backlink audits, keyword research, rank tracking, carry out competitor research and analyze their website’s user behaviour. All of this helps to maximize SEO results, and in turn, boost a site’s visibility and domain authority.

What is Ahref domain authority?

Ahrefs domain authority is calculated using Ahrefs own authority metric, called Domain Rating (DR), which is used to estimate the site’s “link popularity” compared to other websites.

What is a good Ahrefs domain rating?

It’s not possible to say that a Domain Rating of 30 is good, or 50, or 60, or even 70. It’s all relative. However, there’s a general rule of thumb: Your website’s Domain Rating (authority) is good if it’s higher than similar sites in the same industry or niche.

What is the difference between Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA)?

Domain Rating (DR) is a ranking metric that was developed by Ahrefs to determine the strength of the linking domains in a website’s backlink profile. On the other hand, Domain Authority (DA) is a metric that was developed by Moz to predict how well websites will rank higher on search engines. Both are metrics used to gauge a website’s authority.