10 Things You Can Do in Ahrefs for Free

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Ahrefs offers a wide range of free SEO tools for digital marketers on a tight budget.

In this article, I’m going to walk you through each tool and when to use it.

Setting up your website for success means starting with the basics: making sure it’s in good shape, both from a technical and backlink standpoint.

This involves a technical audit to check your website’s SEO performance, as well as a backlink audit to see if there are any spammy backlinks that could hinder your future link building efforts.

1. Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (AWT) is the right tool for the job. It gives you access to two of our core tools: Site Audit (for the technical audit part) and Site Explorer (for the backlink audit part).

Once you’ve created a free account and imported your projects from Google Search Console (GSC), AWT will automatically run a comprehensive crawl of your website to check for 140+ predefined SEO and on-page issues.

These are more than what GSC covers. You can access them from the All issues report in Site Audit, where you can sort them by importance and tackle them accordingly.

Click on the question mark beside each issue to get detailed information and learn how to fix it.

Among its other useful reports, our free site audit tool also has an Indexability report. This is important because pages can’t rank if they’re not indexed by search engines—because they get no traffic.

Pay close attention to misplaced “noindex” tags, but also to pages with duplicate content that may cause indexation issues.


Although not technically related, the Internal link opportunities report is a hidden gem.

This report is basically about finding internal linking suggestions on autopilot. It does so by looking at the top 10 keywords for each of your website’s ranking pages and finding mentions of them on your other pages.

Use it to level up your internal linking game and pass on link equity from high-authority pages to lower-authority ones.

Moving on to AWT’s other tool, let’s look at Site Explorer, which gives you a high-level view of your website’s backlink profile throughout various reports.

Right off the bat, you can see the cumulative backlinks and unique referring domains for your website in Overview 2.0. The size of your backlink profile makes much more sense, though, when compared to the competition (more on this in point #7 of this article).

The “Performance” chart can also paint a picture of the pace at which you’ve acquired links from unique referring domains. Any significant spikes followed by a sudden dip may indicate a negative SEO attack to be wary of. Luckily, we’ve experienced steady growth.

For a more in-depth view of your backlink profile, the Backlinks and Best by links reports are your go-tos.

For example, (1) you can check the Best by links one, (2) apply a 404 HTTP status code filter, and (3) filter out your most linked-to broken pages. Since they’re broken, they’re wasting link equity.

Next, you can fix them and ask the referring domains to link back to the new fixed page.

With your website in good shape, the next step in the SEO process is keyword research. This boils down to picking the right keywords that can drive targeted search traffic to your website.

2. Ahrefs’ Free Keyword Generator

Our free keyword generator can help you discover 150 keyword ideas for (almost) any keyword.

Just type in a broad keyword like “drone,” hit “Find keywords,” and you’ll see the top 100 most popular keywords. And the top 50 related questions.

This tool also shows keyword-related metrics, such as search volume and Keyword Difficulty (KD) (more on this one in the next point), which can help you with choosing a worthy topic.


Let’s say you enter “drone” and the generator kicks back “drone with camera.” If you want to explore that topic further, feed it back into the generator. If you want to go even narrower, do another round.

The best part about this tool is that you can search keywords for other popular search engines besides Google, like YouTubeAmazon, and Bing.

3. Ahrefs’ Free Keyword Difficulty Checker

Now that you’ve decided on your keywords, it’s time to assess how hard it would be to rank for them.

Our free keyword difficulty checker does exactly that. It estimates how hard it is to rank in the top 10 on a scale of 1 to 100, with the latter being the hardest.

For example, “drone” has a KD score of 75 out of 100, meaning it’s super hard to rank for it.

On the other hand, “drone with thermal camera for hunting” has a KD score of 3 out of 100, meaning it’s easy to rank for it.

Our keyword difficulty checker also tells you how many links from unique websites you need on average, since KD is solely based on the average number of referring domains the top 10 results have.

The higher the KD score, the more backlinks you‘ll need to increase your chances of ranking.

10 Things You Can Do in Ahrefs for Free

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