Month 5: Overview



This is the MOST IMPORTANT month and MOST IMPORTANT step in ecommerce marketing.

In month 5 you need to review and measure your traffic, conversions, and marketing to see analyze how you are performing. From this review process, you will better understand what changes you need to make on your ecommerce business so that you can take your business to the next level.

The topics covered in this month are (click on topic for guide):

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A Complete Guide to the Ahrefs SEO Suite



In this day and age online marketing is vital to the success of a business. While we cannot stress enough the importance of dedication and consistency, knowledge is the key ingredient for online supremacy, and the wisdom to use it is what gives brilliant marketers the edge. Irrespective of your talent as a writer, persistence or creativity, your business has no way of surviving as long as it does not know how to utilize the resources put at its disposal.



To ensure that your website is on the fast-track for online success it is paramount to gain a firm grasp on the performance, demographics, back-links and SEO issues of your website. Ahrefs is a tool that was designed with this exact purpose in mind. According to developers, it contains "the largest index of live links". Today we would like to take an in-depth look at its features, strengths, weaknesses and teach you how to use it.


Getting Started with Ahrefs


Let's start with the basics. Ahrefs offers a whole suite of tools (including the Site Explorer, Keyword Analysis, Domain Comparison, Competition Analysis, and Backlinks Analysis tools) which will make external and internal benchmarking a whole lot easier for you. What it does is collect, analyze and provide you with the freshest data updates on your website and that of your competition.


Its key selling points are its incredible speed (for data analysis), user-friendly interface, freshness of data and superb charts, tables of figures and graphics. The company offers 4 levels of access, and one of them is free. The other four have a price range of 49$-499$/month.


Professional Plan: 79$/month - Site Explorer PDF Export, 100 backlink report, 20.000.000 raw backlinks exports, SEO Reports, Domain Comparison, Batch Analysis & Social Metrics


Elite Plan: 179$/month - Site Explorer PDF Export, 250 backlink report,60.000.000 raw backlinks exports, SEO Reports, Domain Comparison, Batch Analysis & Social Metrics


Enterprise Plan: 499$/month - Site Explorer PDF Export, 500 backlink report, 200.000.000 raw backlinks exports, SEO Reports, Domain Comparison, Batch Analysis & Social Metrics


1. The Site Explorer



Ahref's site explore is like Majestic SEO, only on steroids. Granted, Majestic SEO is a fantastic tool, which can provide with an incredible amount of information but it can easily become overwhelming, especially for a novice. Ahrefs feels easier to control, it provides with fresher data, and it also presents it in an appealing way. Although its database is roughly 4 times smaller than that of Majestic SEO, it receives 48 updates a day, 7 days a week. In other words, if your goal is to track a large amount of back-links, and closely monitor your link-building strategies, Ahrefs is better designed for the task.


From the moment you log your Ahrefs account, you will be encouraged to enter a link. In only a matter of seconds from doing this the tool will provide with a plethora of information regarding the it. In the overview tab you will have access to the following information:

  • Referring Domains (including .gov, .net, .com, .org, and .edu)
  • Anchors
  • CTLDs Distribution
  • Referring IPs
  • Linked Domains
  • Backlink Types (including do-follow, no-follow, sitewide, not sitewide, redirect, image, form, governmental and educational)


You can click on each of these categories for additional information. For example, by clicking the do-follow backlinks number you will be presented with a list of all do-follow links to your domain. If your domain is huge, and you are having trouble handling links to your site, this tool can greatly help you because it will enable you to drill deeper into the lost links, anchor text, crawled pages and new links data. All the backlinks are sorted according to their ALR rating (which means estimated number of visitors following that link each month).


But the options don't stop here! On the left of the screen is the dashboard which offers even more vital tools. On it you can view the following:


  • New/lost
  • Anchors
  • Referring Domain Breakdown
  • Linked Domains
  • Site Issues
  • Raw Export of Data (an invaluable tool for creating comprehensive SEO reports)
  • Pages Crawled on Site
  • SERP Position

Raw Data Export tool: Depending on your subscription type you can export data in .XLS format or .PDF format


Because the Site Explorer is the most important tool in the Ahrefs suite (it can give you an idea of your backlink profile, or how natural your competitor's backlink profile is), we would like to focus on it. For this purpose, we have broken down, and explained the most important features.


New & Lost Links


The New & Lost Link tabs are invaluable for your online campaign. The process is extremely simple. You can work inside a month, week or day. Click on the dates you want, then "all backlinks" and Ahrefs will provide you with a detailed list of links. Each Referring Page URL shows details about the Domain Rank, last HTTP code, link anchor, social metrics and date.


By using it properly you will be able to foresee a major link push by a competitor, do a reverse link-building campaign or simply evaluate the quality of back-links to your website (an unnatural link growth due to an over-optimization filter might result in a penalty for your website). Once you are done playing around make sure to export the data to Excel or .CSV format.


As far as the lost links are concerned, it is typically used to manage the drops in inbound links. Additionally, it can be used to report or find links that the competitor has lost.


Anchor Text



At this point you probably already know that keyword research is vital for every online campaign. They are not only used for on-site SEO optimization and content optimization, but also for generating relevant back-links. The anchor text tool does exactly what you would expect it to do: it creates a list of anchor texts for all external links. It will also provide you with data related to the number of occurrences. By monitoring it you will be able to determine what keywords convert better, or if you are using the same keyword for back-links too often. (Anchor text, phrases and terms data is also available in the Site Explorer Overview tab)


Referring Domains


Referring domains and pages are basically the places from which visitors are directed to your website. With the referring doma


2. SEO Report Tool



The latest addition to Ahrefs (the SEO Report tool) has brought the software one step closer to becoming a complete, multi-purpose suite. During the past few months the company has added many incredible features. One of them is the "Generate Site SEO report". Here are a few things that you can check out by using the SEO Report tool:


  • Big pages
  • Uncompressed pages
  • Slow pages
  • Meta-tags and titles
  • Duplicate titles
  • Missing meta descriptions
  • Long SLUGs
  • Pages with too many external and internal links

After Ahrefs is done collecting data from your URL the report will be ready. It can be exported to .csv format for later use. Most of the SEO issues signaled here are relevant to On-site SEO and they will enable you to improve the overall performance of your website.


3. Backlinks Report

Some might argue that the graphics-heavy interface of Ahrefs is not very comfortable to work it, but it is extremely useful for beginners. Take the backlinks report tool as an example. It will provide with data that is extremely easy to understand at first glance. When accessing this tool you will see an overview screen of referring domains, anchors, target pages, TLDs and subdomains broken in beautiful graphs and sections. If you are a data-junkie the probability of getting lost in the immensity of data is very high, because virtually all information can be further accessed for more details.



One thing we really enjoyed about this data is the social signals displayed along with it. Other details include Ahrefs rank, number of back-links, number of no-follow links, IPs, subnets and number of linking domains. If you are not content with the default sorting (it's alphabetical), you can sort the data according to your own criteria.


4. Compare Domains

Finally, we can present our favorite tool in the Ahrefs suite. As we already mentioned, one of the most important aspects of online marketing involves understanding the competition. Ahrefs knows this, and after months of testing it has come up with the perfect tool. We know there are 3 or 4 relevant competitors that you are always spying on, and now you can do so more effectively with the Compare Domains tool


All you have to do is insert the name of the websites and you will obtain incredible amount of data about their social stats, referring domains, backlinks, no-follow links, redirects, images etc.



Batch Analysis


Last, but certainly not least, we have the Batch Analysis tool. Based on your subscription, Ahrefs will pull-out important data for a number of URLs that you have selected.


It will display information and metrics in a single, complex table that you can easily export. Metrics displayed include the total number of inbound links, social signals, Ahrefs rank, Domain rank, types of links and referring domains.


Similar to the Domain Comparison tool, the Batch Analysis will provide you with interesting information about your competition, and give you a better idea of your current situation.



Additional Tools:


Before we wrap up we will mention three more tools that you will not find in other suites, and which offer outstanding metrics:


  • Breakdown of TLDs (domain name extensions) for external links
  • Site-wide and not site-wide links (site-wide links can be found on every page of a domain, while not site-wide links are only referred to specific pages)
  • Social stats for every back-link, anchor and URL (includes Facebook, G+, and Twitter metrics)

Wrapping Up:


All in all, Ahrefs is an excellent tool for external benchmarking, link-building, off-site SEO, monitoring performance and finding new link opportunities. The graphical representations and user-friendly dashboard are perfect for both beginners and experts. We have to hand it to the developers for creating such a speedy and complex tool. Also, even if it seems simple and to the point, it offers almost every piece of linking information that you will need. We recommend new users to play around with the tools to determine what features appeal to them the most. Each website has its own issues and goals, so you might want to focus only on some of the tools.


DISCLAIMER:


  • For the purposes of this article we have chosen www.lifehack.org as a test subject, and excluded the Ahrefs API tool from the guide.

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