How to Use Ahrefs for Blog Content Ideas
Writing piece of content that no one wants to read is simply a waste of time and effort. A lot of times, you should write what you “need”, not what you “want.” I mean, you should first analyze what people want to read and adjust your articles towards this topic instead of writing an article about something that only you are interested in.
It might sound anti-creative and laboring to write stuff you actually don’t want, but that’s the hard true every content creator who is looking to grow his audience need to understand. You simply need to research what people are looking for and tailor your content to fit their needs, answer their questions. This way, you will gain more traffic, thus more business.
And I shouldn’t convince you about why you need traffic right, the more you have the more your website is going to thrive. So, let me show you a couple of ways that will help you gain quality blog content ideas that will grow both your audience and your wallet.
But first, let me tell you a couple of words about Ahrefs. The tool that we’re going to discuss in this article.
What is Ahrefs?
First, let see what actually Ahrefs is:
Ahrefs.com is an online service that analyzes millions of website throughout the whole world and provides you with tools to use this data in the best possible way. These tools can help you grow your search traffic, research your competitors, find keywords to rank higher in Google, monitor your niche, etc. If you’re wondering why your competitors are ranking so high in the search results and why they’re getting all the traffic, you can use Ahrefs tools to spy on them and “steal” their techniques and apply them on your website.
I have to mention something important before I proceed, though. Ahrefs is not free, nor it’s cheap. I’m sure that a lot of people won’t be able to afford the services they offer. I mean, who can afford paying $100 per month along with all other expenses: a WordPress theme; WordPress plugins; Hosting; domain, etc. Still, in this how-to guide I will show you how you can squeeze the maximum of their trial period:
Currently, they offer a trial for $7 and this can actually be enough to come up with endless content ideas. Hopefully, after several months you can afford their awesome services and get a regular package so that you can use all of their data and rank higher in the search results.
Let me first mentioned a couple of words in regards their main tools:
- Keywords Explorer: Have you ever used Google Keyword Planner? Well, one of their main features is similar to the Google Keyword Planner. It allows you to check what is the search volume of different keywords and also gives you suggestions. I must say that Ahrefs keywords explorer is much better than the Google’s. You might think I’m crazy for saying this but it’s true. It gives a lot more details and suggestions.
- Content Explorer: This tool allows you to find popular topics. It’s a mixture of Google Trends and Buzzsumo.
- Site Explorer: The most powerful tool. Using this, you can investigate different sites in-depth. You can find your competitor’s main target keywords and see their best pages in a matter of seconds.
I will show you step by step how you can generate thousands of blog content ideas using only these 3 tools.
How to Use Ahrefs to get Blog Content Ideas
Let’s start in the same order I described the tools above:
Keywords Explorer for generating content ideas
Once you get an account with them, you simply access your dashboard and you navigate to the Keyword Explorer tool. You type a keyword there and you hit enter. You can also specify which country you will be targeting from the drop-down. I will be searching for this term: “brew beer at home”:
As you can see, the term “how to brew beer at home” is being searched for twice as much people than the term I searched for. Along with this insight, there are other suggestions and modifications of the term I entered. Also, there is an interesting indicator above: Keyword Difficulty.
According to Ahrefs, keyword difficulty is: Keyword Difficulty is an estimate of how hard it would be to rank in Top10 Google search results for a given keyword. It is measured on a non-linear scale from 0 to 100.
Basically, if the difficulty is higher you should narrow the choices and find something else to write for. Below the scale and the actual difficulty score, there is also an estimation of how many backlinks you need to acquire to rank in top 10pages in Google. In my case, and according to their date, I need at least 24 backlinks to get my content close to the top page.
There is something else cool on this page. If you scroll just a bit down, you will see the top ranking pages for this specific keyword:
The report also shows you how much traffic they are getting and also for how many keywords this page is ranking for. Along with other data. If you click the keyword number, you will see for what other keywords this page is ranking for and you can use them in your article also. How cool is that:
I’m not finished with the keywords explorer.
So far we only saw how to find only one good suggestion, let’s expand and find other ideas. Simply go back and click on the Search Suggestion on the right side:
This report will give you new content ideas and also show you what is the potential traffic for these searches.
Content Explorer for generating content ideas
Let us see how we can generate some cool content ideas with the help of Content Explorer.
Content Explorer is situated right next to the previous tool. Simply click and type a topic you want to research. Let’s type beer:
We get 3,314,164 results. You see a lot of data: title; approximate organic search; shares and etc. However, this search is really broad. 3 million results it’s a lot to cover. So let’s narrow the results and see what will happen.
Click Organic Traffic > Type a number in the From field. I will search for articles that get at least 1000 people on the sites per month. This way you will see only content that is worth investing time in:
This time I got only 19,493 results and some cool blog content ideas:
From here you can investigate the articles. Change the search term and find even better ideas.
Site Explorer for generating content ideas
I’ve saved the best tool for last.
Site Explorer is a really cool feature and it will give you a lot of great ideas for your niche website. Let me show you how to use it.
You probably found a couple sites from the previous examples. If not, you can simply search in Google for topic similar to your site and see what sites appear on the first page of Google. In my example, I found these sites ranking on the first page of Google:
Obviously, these sites are the ones I should exlpore and investigate. Since they’re getting all the trafic there should be something cool that I can use for my site.
My next step will be to enter the website I want to examine in the Site Explorer tool and hit enter:
This is what I got as a result:
As you can see, this site is huge. It receives approximately 58,000 monthly organic search traffic. This is huge. If you click on the number of organic keywords, you will see which are the main keywords this website ranks for:
The above data is good, but it’s not enough for generating blog content ideas. So, let me show you something else you can try. Go back and click on the Top Pages report. You will see the top pages of the site you’ve entered. Here’s the real gold:
You see the traffic for each page, how many keywords and how many backlinks the page has. From here, you can easily find content ideas. I will suggest finding the pages with the least amount of backlinks. This will gives you a better chance to outrank it and get more traffic.
If a single page/post has fewer backlinks, your chances for outranking this page/post are higher. Basically, there isn’t much of a point to try to outrank a page with thousands of backlinks. Instead, focus on the articles that are easy to beat but still get quite a good amount of organic traffic. In my case, this will be the post with 7 backlinks and main keyword: soldering stainless steel.
Click on the Top Keyword, or on the little arrow so you can see all the keywords this post is ranking for:
This single post gets 2,346 organic visitors per month, which is quite a good amount of traffic for a single post. You can read the whole article and make a better piece of content. This way, you can outrank this post.
You can repeat the same process with each and every one of your competitors. Simply, find several websites that are getting all the traffic for your particular niche and execute the same steps from above. Within only a few hours, you will gain endless content ideas. Well, not endless but you can book your entire year with something to write about.
Before the final credits, let me share something else that can help you even more for gaining more visitors to your website:
How Ahrefs can help you build Backlinks
Getting backlinks to your website is number one factor for ranking high in Google. This is uber important. Once you publish new content, you should focus your efforts towards promoting this content and also getting people link back to your article.
Still, before anything else, make sure that your content is high-quality. You see, no one wants to link to a post that is not helpful.
Ok, let’s see how we can use Ahrefs to get backlinks to your website.
Pick a competitor website and click on Best By Links. Now, on the top choose 200 Ok. This will give you the pages and posts of your competitor’s website that has the most links:
Next, click on the More field and select Link Intersect and paste a couple of the pages of your competitors site inside here. Make sure to choose the Prefix option and click Show Links Opportunities:
This report will show you legit websites that are linking to this specific competitor. Write these websites down and use this information to outreach this sites:
If your content is better than your competitors, you have a chance to convince the website owner to change the link to your personal site, thus helping you rank higher.
As you can see, Ahrefs is a really powerful tool with a lot of features all focused towards helping you grow your website. At first, you might get confused from all the options and all the reports, but following only the steps above will be probably enough so you can narrow the stats and find good blog content ideas.
The problem here is that the tool cost way too much for an average website owner to afford. Still, you get what you pay for. The internet is full of data and it’s hard to find what you’re looking for. Tools like Ahrefs that can analyze, report and give you the right answer are becoming more valuable with each passing day.
Before they offered a free version if they services but unfortunately this is no longer present. Still, 7 bucks to get started will be enough to get enough content ideas and gain some good quality traffic to your website.
I hope this guide helped you understand how Ahrefs tools work and how you can find topics to write about. Leave comment below if you have a question and feel free to share it with your friends bloggers.