ClickZ Enterprise SEO Tools Buyers Guide: Ahrefs Review


ClickZ, Search Engine Watch’s sister site, has launched an innovative new series of buyers guides, created with the aim of cutting through the complexity of the technology landscape to help our community of readers to make better decisions about vendors.

The second guide in the series is dedicated to enterprise SEO tools.

With $80 billion predicted to be spent on SEO services annually by 2020, these software packages play a vital role in helping marketers derive insights from masses of data.

The core component (60%) of the ClickZ SEO tools vendor guide scoring comes from our customer survey, which received over 1200 responses and evaluated technologies across the following six areas:

Scores were awarded across 36 sub-categories, with six grouped under each of the categories highlighted in the image above.

A further 20% of the scoring came from the ClickZ expert advisory board, which features representatives from Vodafone, LEGO, GroupM, and Macy’s.

The author attended interview sessions with all six vendors in the guide, along with at least one other member of the advisory board. The output of these interviews were scores that make up the final 20% of the results seen in the guide.

Ahrefs: Company Profile

Ahrefs has quickly become a staple of many SEO toolkits, based on the depth of its backlink data and the comprehensive nature of its site audit capabilities.

This came through in our survey, with 80% of Ahrefs users stating that they use the tool for backlink tracking. Its approach to this field is sophisticated, taking into account the traffic that backlinks refer to a domain rather than focusing purely on the acquisition of a link in itself. Furthermore, the Ahrefs database has link data from over 220 billion pages across more than 200 billion domains, with 4.1 million pages crawled every minute.

The new technical SEO audit tool is a significant improvement to the platform and helps to position Ahrefs as a real contender in this space. This feature scored particularly well with our panel of industry experts.

Moreover, Ahrefs is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market for keyword research and analysis. Its vast database contains over 6 billion keywords and, combined with a user-friendly interface, this makes it a reliable and helpful platform for both novice and advanced SEOs.

The Ahrefs content index contains over 907 million pages too, which allows for sophisticated and in-depth content ideation. The full scale of the Ahrefs databases can be discovered here.

With a range of further innovations in the pipeline, the company’s ambition now is to provide a comprehensive SEO solution to compete with the established enterprise tools. Built on a robust dataset and an increasingly lengthy list of useful performance tools, Ahrefs is in a great position to become a leader in the enterprise SEO space.


Ahrefs: The ClickZ Customer Survey Results

The three areas in which Ahrefs received its highest scores from current customers were backlinks, site audits, and keyword research. In fact, it was the highest scorer out of all the technologies we reviewed for its site audit capabilities.

Ahrefs has continually built out its list of features to encompass all of the areas that matter to the modern search professional. As the platform evolves over time, its commitment to delivering the most consistent and insightful data to customers remains very much intact.

This begins with keyword research, where this vendor boasts a database of almost 6 billion keywords. This was reflected in its scores for this category, which were high for both keyword research and keyword suggestions. Ahrefs also provides users with access to sophisticated SERP analysis tools, which allow for in-depth analysis of performance by content type.

Ahrefs drew particular praise in our review for its updated site audit tool, which can crawl and report on JavaScript-rendered pages. Importantly, this feature integrates well with the other data sources available within Ahrefs, such as the traffic and backlink metrics. As a result, Ahrefs does an excellent job not only of identifying technical errors, but also of demonstrating the impact that rectifying these issues has on performance.

Ahrefs’ Content Explorer tool, which uses data from backlinks, search traffic, and social shares to analyze topics, was a core reason for the platform’s high score for content ideation. The Buzzsumo-esque feature helps with long-tail keyword research, as well as highlighting the topics that resonate with different audiences. As SEO continues to converge with content marketing, this tool proves invaluable for their customers.

It was perhaps no surprise that Ahrefs was a leader in the backlinks section of our guide, as the company established itself on the SEO tools scene based on the strength of its backlink index. Ahrefs has since evolved into a range of new areas and is perhaps underestimated in this regard, but it is worth stating that backlink analysis remains a particularly impressive area of the platform.

This vendor scored well for the reliability of its link tracking and competitor analysis features, too. Ahrefs also contains a proprietary metric to calculate the strength of a website based on the quality and quantity of inbound links it receives, known as Domain Rating.

Overall, this platform provides excellent value for money, with monthly packages available at $99, $179, $399, and $999. A 20% discount is also offered when companies sign up to an annual package.

Ahrefs is also at the forefront of innovation with many of its features, so these packages provide access to a lot of insightful tools for a relatively low level of investment.

Across our panel of experts and a large quantity of current customers, Ahrefs scored very well across all categories and was seen by many as an indispensable SEO tool.

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