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Best Tools for SEO analysis and SEO audits

Best Tools for SEO Analysis and SEO Audits 

Whether you have your own website or want to figure out how competitive SEO landscape is - there will be times when tools must be used for determine that.

You can't go into a website and figure out whether it's competitive or how competitive it is just by looking at it. Same way you won't be able to tell what keywords are great for targeting, which of your articles are doing the best.

Great tools that let you analyze both competitor and your own website have the highest value, because all you need is just that single tool to do everything related to SEO.

Look at it this way - a website that brings in 100k monthly organic traffic from your industry and targeted location is a pure GOLDMINE.

You can analyze this competitor, look at how they've driven so much traffic and adapt it to your own website. All the statistics will be right in front of you.

This is why I decided to run you through a list of best tools for your own website analysis, keyword analysis and competitor analysis. Most of the tools I talk about fill the void in each of these categories, being the best at all of them.

Specifically I will focus on features that are the best to use and the most unique to each tool. Will go through step-by-step explanations of how to use them properly, how to gain advantage over your competitors and use all of these SEO analysis tools to your advantage.

This is a long article piece with nearly 7000 words of content, which is why I decided to add table of contents for you to find specific content more easily. You can press on a specific category and it will bring you to a section of post that analyzes selected category.

Here's a list of my top SEO audit and SEO analysis tools:

SEMrush

SEMrush is probably one of the coolest tools to use. As the creators of SEMrush call it - it's all-in-one SEO suite and I have to agree with that statement.

SEMrush is  definitely one of the primary tools I use for both competitor analysis and my own website analysis.

SEMrush homepage

And what better place to find a single suite that fits all your SEO needs?

Let's look at how to get the best out of all their features by going through them one by one:

Registration on SEMrush

First what you're going to do is register by pressing the bright green "Log in" button on top right and filling "register" tab on a new window that appears in the middle of your screen.

SEMrush registration

An email confirmation form will appear. All you need to do is wait for the email to arrive and then press on a link within it.

This is self-explanatory, you have to press on one of the sections I've highlighted in next screenshot:

SEMrush confirmation email

It should have brought you to a successful registration page. At this point, you want to press on SEMrush logo on left side of the screen, which will bring you to the primary dashboard.

From here it will be a little more difficult, but I will go through each step one by one, naming the most interesting and useful tools on their SEMrush platform.

General overview of SEMrush statistics

The popup on right side of your screen shows that this is an account with highly limited features, unless you upgrade and start paying them a subscriptions, but there's enough things to do or look at without having upgrade. It's definitely more than good enough for starters

Different analysis tools are on your left side, but we're going to start with their primary feature - website analysis. To start analyzing a specific website, all you have to do is enter a domain name into the search bar at the top of their website. It could be either your website or your competitor website.

SEMrush primary dashboard

For this example, I chose to analyze their own website - SEMrush.com.

Right away on a primary screen it brings up data that is highly relevant and interesting to see.

SEMrush primary domain analysis

At the top we have selection of languages. SEMrush is unique in it's own way, because it shows statistics of a page from different regions of the world. You can select any of the 130 languages (at the time of writing this) and stats would be shown just for that location.

Once you select a language that you want to analyze statistics of, the first 4 sections are definitely things you want to look at. Paid search and display advertising show traffic and keywords that your website or your competitor website is advertising on.

Organic search section shows how much traffic comes from the location you selected just from search results alone. It doesn't take into consideration paid traffic, social media, referral traffic or anything other than organic traffic from search results.

What's interesting about that is that these results could be used to determine how strong of a competitor a specific website is within your targeted location. The same way you could measure potential of an industry - find the highest ranking website within that industry and see how much traffic they are pulling in from targeted location.

Tip of the day:

Want to learn to build high traffic into your own website? Learn from people that have already done it.

Section right below your numbers shows mostly which regions you're ranking most keywords in and how well you've been doing in the past.

SEMrush competitor keyword research

Section even further below is something even more interesting, but it's better to analyze that by selecting "Organic Research" on the right side of your window. This will give you a more in-depth look at primary keywords that bring in traffic for your own website or competitor website.

SEMrush organic research section

Your current screen should be separated into 2 primary sections - a graph and a table righ below it.

SEMrush organic research sections

The top section is essentially the same graph as you saw on the previous screen. The interesting part and one I wanted to mention - table right below it.

This table alone, if used in a proper way, could help you increase organic traffic tremendously. Let me get into the reasons why. 

With default settings it's set up to show keywords that bring in the most traffic to a website and which exact section it's bringing traffic to (URL column in the table).

Isn't this insane?

Think about it - you get to see which exact pages and keywords bring in the most traffic for competitor websites. Remove any brand-related keywords like "SEMrush" in this case and you have a table that is as close to being a gold mine as possible.

Just think about the posibilities of this information?

Find the best performing websites in your industry, look at this table and you will have a list of keywords you could aim for. You don't even have to out-compete the website you're looking at!

If for example this website you're looking at is bringing in 10k monthly visitors by sitting in 1st position on a specific term, what stops you from creating content around the same topic and pushing to 2nd or even 3rd ranking on the same one?

When they get 10k traffic from 1st position, getting 1-2k from 3rd position is definitely do-able. Now multiply this by 10 or 20, all of which you can create content on and all of a sudden you're looking at up to 40k organic traffic coming right into your website.

And that's just from the targeted location you selected!​​​​

Not saying that every ranking on this list is going to be easy to achieve, but having information that you would normally see in Google Analytics or Google Webmaster Tools, but accessible to anyone, puts you at a huge advantage, especially if you know how to use that tool. This is exactly why we're introducing you to the best tools for SEO analysis and audits - to have an advantage over others.

You have to remember that others might be using this strategy themselves though.

SEMrush competitor research and backlink-building

Previously mentioned benefits of SEMrush isn't where it starts shining though. What I have for you is a different extremely cool feature they have. It will help you research competitor websites up to 5 times faster and help you build backlinks.

What exactly am I talking about? None other than their competitor research feature.

Within the same menu on right side bar, you should select "Competitors" subsection.

SEMrush competitor research

Same as with previous section we looked at - this is seperated into graph and table right below it. Once again, the table is what makes it interesting.

SEMrush competitor list

What you have here is another beauty when it comes to competitor research. This list is created based on how many of the same keywords both websites are ranking for.

Think about it this way - for a blog writing about dog breeds, the most likely results that are going to come up here will be other blogs or digital magazines that write about the same topics, because they will be ranking for most of the same keywords.

It's unlikely that let's say a software company, that has nothing to do with dog breeds would appear in this search.

That in and of itself is great, because it means you are able to find your biggest competitors by researching it for literally seconds. A full list is right there in front of you and it can even be exported if you want to analyze it further.

It doesn't get any better than this... or does it?

This competitor list is actually one of the ways I have personally built some of the highest quality links during years of freelancing and agency work.

Want to learn how? I've prepared a guide just for that, which I'm willing to shate completely for FREE:

Start-Cap Backlink-Building Strategy Box

Learn how I built thousands of high quality backlinks with a single strategy using SEMrush

And this still isn't where we finish talking about all the unique features of SEMrush tool.

SEMrush gap analysis

One of their new features is called "Gap Analysis", which we're going to select on the right side of our SEMrush report.

SEMrush Gap Analysis Toolbar Selection

At the time of writing this, they have 2 primary gap analysis tools in this section. I won't be surprized if soon they come out with more, because I feel like it will be a popular one to use.

What you're going to see in the page is up to 5 domains that could be used to find either matching or missing keywords / backlinks. Let's say we take SEMrush.com and Serps.com domains here. 

What we need to do is add these domain in the middle of your window and press "Go" on the right side.

SEMrush Gap Research

What you will end up with is a table right below, which shows the same keywords both of your websites are ranking for and how each website is doing in comparison.

The primary use I see with this is to enter your website and several of your competitor websites to find exact keywords you need to improve on.

This will give you great insights into what could be done better on your website. Maybe you have some low hanging fruits that could be picked up and push upwards?

If you use the menu on left side to switch to "Backlink Gap", it will compare the backlinks that your website has.

This means you are able to analyze which domains the competitor has backlinks from and rate them from highest to lowest in authority levels. Isn't that amazing?

What stops you from exporting this list and looking at each individual website, finding the best opportunities and websites you can do outreach to in order to get yourself some backlinks from new domains? Let me answer that for you - absolutely noone stops you and using this strategy, which will allow you to tremendously increase organic backlink numbers by receiving a backlink goldmine.

SEMrush SEO content template tool

SEMrush SEO content template tool helps you by giving recommendations as to which content to optimize and how to do it with a given keyword.

It's great one to use for beginners, because you've given results for all top competitors and it shows you how they're optimizing search results to best optimize it.

In order to start using SEO content template tool, you need to head into "SEO Content Template" section on left menu.

SEMrush SEO Content Template Menu Selection

Once in this page, the primary keyword and location of search results need to be selected. Add the keyword in search bar and on the right side of it select country, region or city you want to do research for.

SEMrush SEO Content Template Search

As an example we're going to use "best fitness workouts" keyword and US location.

It brings us to a dashboard that shows primary results, related keywords, list of pages you could attempt to create backlinks from, average readability score, recommended text length. On top of that it lets you analyze meta data for top 10 results and gives you some basic recommendations about page titles, H1 tag, etc. All this data can be exported and analyzed on an exported file.

SEMrush SEO Content Template Results

The primary benefits I see and my recommendation would be to use this for semantically related keywords. They provide you with quite a big list of keywords here that have been used a lot by your competitors and that are determined to be similar.

Having this list of keywords will help you create a list of keywords that can help you increase organic rankings or just give you ideas about what can be used to further improve your content.

Serpstat

Serpstat isn't used as much as SEMrush, but some of it's unique features are really great when performing website analysis.

I use Serpstat almost as often as SEMrush and am glad I have access to it.

Serpstat doesn't require you to register an account at all. What you need to do is head into their website - https://serpstat.com/ and keywords or domain could be analyzed right away.

That said, paid features definitely provide you with more benefits and more daily reports, but it isn't mandatory. If you're going to use it for a while - I suggest getting the paid version. It doesn't cost nearly as much as SEMrush.

The most basic plan on their platform starts at $19 each month if paid monthly and you get a 20% discount for annual plans.

Now let's get into what makes serpstat a great tool and puts it as one of the best SEO analysis tools on the list.

Serpstat website analysis​​​​

In the initial search bar you can put any website. It could be your own website or a competitor site.

Let's try going through this with the same example we used on SEMrush tool - semrush.com. We're also going to select US rankings, because that's the primary target audience for SEMrush platform.

Serpstat Main Dashboard

At a first glance, the results on top show very similar metrics as you've seen on SEMrush report. It shows visibility rating, search engine traffic levels, number of ranked keywords and number of keywords the website is advertising on.

Serpstat Top of Dashboard

You had the same stats shown on SEMrush, except for visibility metric. That said, you might notice that the traffic level is different. SEMrush showed organic traffic levels at 36.7k and serpstat shows it at 220k. So which one should you believe?

What's the difference between SEMrush traffic data and Serpstat data? SEMrush specifically looks from searches from that region, while serpstat looks at the language set to your browser and if it's set to the language you selected (in this case English US) - this would count as US traffic, eventhough the person on the other end might not be in US.

What I personally found is that metrics from SEMrush are usually much lower than what I see from analytics, so I personally prefer to look at traffic levels on serpstat website, which tend to be more accurate.

Below the first setion, there's quite a bit of data that could be found on other tools such as SEMrush. I still think that serpstat is a better solution at least for beginners, because it offers just as many metrics and statistics as SEMrush, except the tool itself is much cheaper. This is why I prefer serpstat over SEMrush.

Now when we sorted out that question, the other one people usually have - what is visibility ratio according to serpstat?

Visilibility metric by serpstat

Visibility is a relative index that indicates how often a certain domain name will be shown in search results for the keywords it is ranking for. Serpstat looks at keywords the website is ranking for within top 20 results and then determines how high of a visibility it has based on how high it appears.

Generally speaking higher visibility websites tend to rank better on search results and drive more traffic to the website than those with lower visibility number.

Without the visibility metric right at the top, I wanted to look at a different section of this analysis. If you scroll down, you will notice that one of the sections is called "Pages with the highest visility".

Serpstat Pages With Highest Visibility

This section provides very interesting bit of data.

It will give you a list of pages within a website that are the most visible on that whole domain. This means if you're able to find the most visible content of your competitor - you can look at this content and develop your own content strategy based on how successful other pages have done it.

Analyze the top content pages on here and you will learn exactly what content strategies or topics have worked the best for your competitors.

I've also used serpstat's "Pages with the highest visibility" section to develop high quality pitches for linkbuilding guide I've created. The full guide is available completely for FREE by signing up below:

Start-Cap Backlink-Building Strategy Box

Learn how I built thousands of high quality backlinks with a single strategy using SEMrush

If you don't have enough pages shown here, you can extend highest visibility page section to view visibility for all your indexed sections by pressing on the "Pages with the highest visibility" title.

It will open up a window that analyzes not just the links themselves, but also how many keyword each of tham rank for, shares of those specific pages and potential traffic. All of it is shown in a single table that can be exported.

Serpstat backlink analysis tool

Serpstat also has great backlink analysis tool. All the primary stats for backlink audits will be shown.

To open up serpstat's backlink analysis tool, you have to select "backlink analysis" menu item within a menu that will appear on left side of your page

Serpstat Backlink Analysis Menu Item

Once backlink analysis is selected, you will be shown results with number of referring domains, referring pages, referring IP addresses, anchor texts, serpstat's page rank and trust rank as well as trends for all of these in previous months.

The full dashboard looks something like this:

Serpstat Backlink Analysis Dashboard

What you should pay the closest attention to is serpstat page rank and trust rank, which essentially determine how trustworthy your backlink profile is, based on number and quality of backlinks the website receives.

Another graph you want to look at - new and lost backlinks. I failed to get this graph into previous screenshot, so going to take another picture of it right now.

Serpstat New & Lost Backlink Graph

If you look at it closely, it has 2 sections of it. One below 0 mark shows how many backlinks have been lost and green one shows how many new backlinks have been gained within a pre-selected timeframe.

As you can see in this example of SEMrush website being analyzed - there was a huge drop in number of backlinks between 27th of November and 4th of December, 2017.

That said it isn't as big as their increase between the same period. As long as you have increasing number of backlinks and their quality is high enough - traffic levels and rankings for your pages will keep increasing.​​​​ The only exception for this would be if your website is very poorly optimized from the inside.

Right below the "New & lost backlinks" section, we have anchor texts. This is also something you need to pay close attention to.

The anchor text is set of text that is used to link to a website. An example for this would be - SEMrush. As you can see the word "SEMrush" is highlighted and it is the anchor text for semrush.com link in this case.

A webmaster of a website is able to choose exactly what anchor text to use for any of their links and anchor texts affect rankings of a website for the specific keywords used as the anchors.

If you look at SEMrush example, you will see that the primary anchors used on their website are "semrush", "sem rush", an empty text box, their affiliate website, "semrushbot", "www.semrush.com" and others.

Serpstat Anchor Analysis

These anchors help them rank for brand-related keywords such as "SEMrush", but barely help with ones like "website analysis tool" or "seo analysis tool", aren't on the list and could be much more important in some cases.

Usually you don't have any trouble ranking for your own brand either way, while you do have some troubles with other keywords.

My recommendation for anyone manually doing link-building is to focus on specific keywords you want to rank for instead of brand-related keywords. That said, you do need to mix it up, because the whole backlink profile needs to look as organic as possible.

If you don't have many natural backlinks when starting to build up your portfolio - try to get some brand-specific or random keywords in there as well. This will help you achieve more natural results.

Serpstat SEO audit tool

Serpstat's audit tool is really cool. You get fully exportable documents with most technical issues being audited and all relevant recommendations provided in a single report document.

Audit is only for paying users and unfortunately you're not able to perform one as an unpaying customer.

This will allow you to assess strong and weak points of your own website or your competitor website. Doing an audit on a competitor website will give you a lot of information about places you can push harder on.

The audit tool can be accessed by pressing "Site Audit" button on top left of your serpstat dashboard.

Serpstat Site Audit Menu Item

This will bring up a window that looks something like this:

Serpstat Audit Popup

In here you might not have a project to select if you're just starting off, which means you will have to press on area I've highlighted in above screenshot - "Create new project".

Once you do that, it will let you select a domain you want to analyze. Here you can add either your own domain or a competitor domain, whichever you want to analyze.

When domain is selected, a new window will open, where it you have to press "Start Audit".

Serpstat Starting an Audit

Selecting this option will open up a new window, showing you several options. This window is primarily used to determine how the crawler should act within given website, how many pages need to be analyzed and what type of crawler it should use.

Serpstat Audit Crawler Options

The primary things you need to look at here is whether you want crawler to look at subdomains of your website and how many pages you want analyzed. The crawler will find even unindexed pages, so make sure you're not using too much of your monthly limit on a single audit.

I usually prefer to use around 5000 pages per audit, unless the domain doesn't have as many pages, in which case only the number of pages that are available will be analyzed.

Number of threads and User Agent crawler type should be left as default selections in most cases and I wouldn't recommend changing them, unless you know what either of them mean or know that you need results shown only from a user with a different browser.

A finished audit document provides you with categorized suggestions. Primary categories are:

  • HTTP status codes, 
  • meta tags,
  • headings,
  • accessibility & indexation,
  • redirects,
  • links,
  • server parameters
  • HTTPS certificates
  • hreflang attributes
  • AMP pages

The full audit will look something like this:

SEO Audit Report

It separates all suggestions and flaws of your website into "High priority", "Midlle priority", "Low priority" and "Information" sections. This will be easy for you to manage as higher priority flaws need more immediate attention than lower priority ones.

Just following suggestions on an audit like this will let you optimize content pretty well and increase your organic traffic levels over time.

If it makes it easier for you - the full report could be exported by pressing a small "Export" button on top right of your results.

On top of suggestions related to SEO, it provides you with an overall score, showing how well your website is doing in range of 1 to 100. Just below the score you're able to restart a full audit and it will fill up your whole right side, showing how much it has improved since your last report.

For a more in-depth view of your categories and suggestions - all you have to do is scroll down and it will show you a categorized section of your audit with exact pages that have specific pages. In order to see these pages, you will have to press on a flaw it checks.

On the right side of each metric, it shows how many pages have the same issue.

Serpstat Audit Categories

Example above shows that the analyzed website had 10001 pages that were broken and show 4xx server status code (if you can't see the image details, because they are too small - press on that image and it will be shown in full size).

Each subcategory will have similar results next to it, showing exactly what the error is and if you press on "Server status code: 4xx" or any other error -  it will open up a page with full list of website sections that have that exact flaw.

Serpstat keyword analysis

Serpstat allows you to analyze keywords in 2 ways. You can look at primary keywords each website ranks for (with all their metrics) or search for keywords and then look at suggestions.

First we're going to look at keyword analysis of a website.

In order to analyze keywords of a website, we need to head back into domain analysis. To do that, on a top left menu you have to select "Website Analysis", followed by "Domain Analysis" and "Overview" selections.

Serpstat Keyword Analysis Menu Selection

It will open up a screen we had at the beginning of an audit. Once you have this opened - press on "Show all" option below "Organic keywords" table.

Serpstat Organic Keyword Short List

This will open up a list of all the keywords you're ranking for. The table will be separated into following sections: position you're ranking in, volume on google, cost per click (when using paid advertising), PPC competition (how competitive is paid advertising on this search term), number of results it shows and which section of your website is ranking on that term.

Within this table, you're able to see best performing positions first and how well they've done in the past.

Serpstat Keyword Research Position Changes

I've taken several keywords from SEMrush website's rank list and the screenshot above shows how well they're doing.

I specifically targeted these keywords to give you an overview of them. The first column shows numeric value of a keyword, second column showns the keyword itself and 3rd one shows current position.

If you look at the green text added to 3rd column, you will notice that one of them has an arrow pointing up with a number "2" next to it and second one has a tag "new" next to it.

This means that SEMrush has recently increased positions for keyword "website site map" to 1st position from 3rd (by going up 2 positions, which is what the symbol represnets) and "how to create a sitemap" keyword is new to their ranked keyword term.

Using this awesome keyword research tool, you're able to find keywords that your competitors are struggling with and ones that are constantly dropping in rankings, then create superior content and outrank them.

Now the second type of keyword research I wanted to talk about is where you specifically search for a certain keyword and the tool provides you with metrics as well as similar keywords.

You can start this research by heading back into homepage of serpstat. Then instead of a domain, enter a keyword you want to research.

Serpstat Homepage Keyword Research

For this examples I've selected "Fitness blog" keyword that will be researched within US results.

Top row shows search volume of that specific keyword within selected region, competition level (for paid advertising), cost per click (for paid advertising) and keyword difficulty to rank for.

Serpstat Top of Keyword Research Results

Within this section, you should pay closest attention to search volume and keyword difficulty. From my personal experience, anything that is below 25 on difficulty rating is really easy to rank for, anything that is between 25 and 40 is mediocre and anything above 40 is really difficult.

Therefore when doing keyword research, I would recommend looking of keywords below 25 or 30 keyword difficulty, especially if you're beginner with SEO. Then create very high quality strong content around that keyword.

Second row shows similar keywords for organic search and paid search. Just like with previous keyword research example for a website, if you press on "Show all", it's going to show every similar result it's able to find with the same metrics - difficulty, volume, cost, PPC competition and number of results.

If on a primary dashboard you scroll down further, it shows you a keyword trend for the past 12 months. This is taken from Google's trend page - trends.google.com. You should look at keywords trend and determine whether it's worth ranking for - whether the keyword trend is increasing or at least staying around the same level. 

If it's constantly dropping - I would highly recommend you develop content around a different keyword as the value of one you selected will be lowered going forward.

If you scroll even further, you will find primary competitors for keyword you selected and ones that were determined to be similar. They will be listed based on how much threat it poses if you want to rank for selected keyword. The higher the domain, the more likely it's going to directly compete with your pages.

The same results are shown for paid advertising competitors keywords as well.

As you might have noticed, we went through quite a few features that Serpstat offers. It's quite a unique and cheap tool to use, my recommendation would be for everyone looking to increase SEO rankings to purchase at least a single month of membership and try it out. Audit your website, fix the issues, maybe do some competitor research and keyword research for the future. It's really worth the money you'll end up paying.

Serpstat ends up being #2 on our best SEO analysis tool list for a reason.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a terrific tool, mostly used for backlink analysis. They offer the best analysis tools for anything related to backlinks and I use them all the time.

Up to this point, I haven't found a tool that analyzes backlinks better than ahrefs, therefore I recommend you start using them as well, especially when starting to build up your backlink portfolio.

It is used more by advanced marketers, because monthly plans start at $99 and you can save 20% on annual payments. You are able to use a trial account, but it's highly limited and will end up costing $7. Either way you will need to register a trial account first

The tool still ends up at #3 position on our best SEO analysis tool list as it offers very unique and well-formed reports.

Registering Ahrefs account

Registering an account on ahrefs isn't difficult at all. Head into Ahrefs homepage

Ahrefs Homepage

RIght away you will be met with a bright orange "Start my 7-day trial now" call-to-action button. Just press that, even if you want to try a trial accound and cancel right away. Unfortunately they're not offering any free trials, so you will end up paying $7 even for a trial version.

This will bring up a popup that asks you to select which plan you want to take and your email as well. Unforunately you need to set up a payment method in order to use it, but you're able to cancel before making the first payment.

Ahrefs Registration Form

What you need to do is fill out this form. Add your email address and tick the terms box. Then look at whichever option suits you better. If you're going to use this as a long-term account without a subscription, then it doesn't matter which one you choose, as you're going to cancel a long-term plan either way.

When you press "Continue", a confirmation email will be sent and you will be asked to fill out a short form about your business and it's website. Filling out all the information they're asking you to add will allow you to use their tool.

If you wish to cancel a subscription plan - on the top right press on an avator icon and select "Subscription plan" option.

Ahrefs Subscription Cancelation

On top of your page, you will have "Change plan" button, which you need to press and then remove your paid plan.

This will set you up with a limited Ahrefs account.

Ahrefs domain analysis​​​​

At the top of your page, there will be a search bar. You can enter either your own URL or your competitor URL in there.

For the purposes of this guide, we're going to use SEMrush domain name again.

Ahrefs Search Bar

Once you search for a specific domain, a number of statistics will be shown at the very top. Overall Ahrefs Rank, UR (URL Rating), DR (Domain Rating), number of backlinks, number of referring domains, organic keywords page is ranking for and estimated organic traffic.

Ahrefs Primary Metrics

Let me explain what all of this means:

  • Ahrefs rank. This metric represents how well page is performing out of all websites indexed by Ahrefs crawlers. Being rated at 2512th position is great for a website like SEMrush as this shows really high website trust level. The lower this metric - the higher trust level a website is going to have.
  • UR. This stands for URL Rating. It shows how strong a backlink profile is on a given URL address. This metric goes up to 100 and high metric means the homepage has really strong authority. It look specifically at the homepage of a website, not an overall profile.
  • DR. This stands for Domain Rating. This is an overall backlink profile rating in the range between 1 and 100. While URL rating shows how strong a homepage is, this metric shows how strong the whole website is. What I've noticed is that these usually tend to be closely related to how well pages are performing on search results. Higher ratings usually mean higher ratings.
  • Backlinks. It shows a total number of backlinks leading into the website.
  • Referring domains. This shows how many unique domains are linking into the website.
  • Organic keywords. This is self-explanatory. Shows how many keywords it ranks for within top 100 results on Google. What I've noticed is that Serpstat shows more accurate results for organic keywords than this tool.
  • Organic traffic. This is an estimated traffic metric metric. Our previous tools on best SEO analysis tool list have analyzed traffic from specific regions, while this looks at an overall traffic level. What I found is that Serpstat shows more accurate results than this.

A row below this one shows trends for ahrefs rank, referring domains, referring pages, new & lost referring domains, new& lost backlinks. This isn't something we're going to look at, because I don't believe these need explaining.

What's a little more interesting is statistics shown on the right side, which we're going to analyze one by one.

First section from the top shows domain types.

Ahrefs Domain Types

In this section you will notice that the endings of links are separated and it also shows how many domains have do-follow links.

There are 2 types of backlinks - do-follow and no-follow. Do-follow links are the only ones that provide direct SEO value to your website as no-follow links aren't being followed by crawler, therefore their benefit isn't noticed.

What you should be aiming for when building up a backlink portfolio - try to build more do-follow links than no-follow links as these are much more valuable. That said, indirectly no-follow links still impact your SEO, because they make your backlink profile look more natural.

Now we're going to look at the types of domains for each website. .edu and .gov domains are the most valuable ones from the list, because not everyone can create these and Google knows that only governments or real education websites control the domains that end with either .edu or .gov, therefore giving them much higher authority.

If you're able to build up few links from these types of domains - impact to SEO from them could be the same as several hundred links from any other domain. You still need to make sure they're used in the right context, but if they are - these types of links are the ones to build whichever way possible.

The other types of domains, such as .com, .net, .org have equal value.

Now let's look at the next section - backlink types.

Ahrefs Backlink Types

This is a very similar analysis as domain type analysis, except we're looking at total number of backlinks and analyze where these links appear.

The most valuable ones are text links, followed by image links, redirect links and form links. What you will end up doing with any manual link-building campaign is focusing on text links, unless you're building them with any infographic strategy, in which case it might be done with images.

Section below this shows overall URL rating of links leading into your website on a scale of 1 to 100 and their distribution.

Ahrefs URL Rating Distribution

This is where you're able to tell how many of targeted website's backlinks are rated well. These tend to be rated poorly whenever used on new or low quality domains, with unrelated anchor texts, without any context surrounding the link or when the link is hidden.

Preferably you want to keep these ratings as high as possible for your own website and the only way to do it is to create high quality links manually until you reach a point, where high quality backlinks are being built organically from all the traffic you're generating.

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Without the things we already looked at, you can do more thorough backlink analysis by pressing on number of backlinks, keywords or referring domains at the top of your results.

This will bring up a screen, where you're able to find every single backlink, referring domain or organic keyword for your own or competitor website. This is great to have, because keeping backlinks under control is a must.

Unfortunately you can get "attacked" by a competitor, where they intentionally try to sabotage your business or website by creating a huge number of extremely low quality backlinks in a short period of time. In order to be ready for this, you have to know how to check backlink numbers and trends, be able to find huge spikes in the graphs.

Whenever you see a huge spike in links, you are able to determine when that move was made by mousing over it and then find exact links that were created by analyzing full backlink list and looking at the last column, that shows when the link first appeared on your website. An attack like that can be stopped by disavowing all links created within that timeframe.

Conclusion

We've talked about some of the best SEO analysis tools in this article. Ones that stood out the most, having the best and most unique features that were accessible for a low price point were as follows - SEMrush, Serpstat and Ahrefs.

SEMrush offers great regional research, competitor research, trend research and keyword research opportunities. You're able to find some of the best competitors from your industry, analyze them to find strategies that worked the best for them and learn to apply the same ones to your own website. Price point for SEMrush paid features is pretty high, but you're able to find free 30 day trial version for SEMrush by Googling it.

Serpstat is another great tool for keyword research, SEO audits and competitor research. They offer moderately cheap payment plans, which makes it a much more accessible tool than other 2 we analyzed in best SEO analysis tool list. With serpstat, you're able to perform high-quality SEO audits for your own website or competitor website, which help you find both strong points and weak points of a website.

Ahrefs is mostly used for backlinks analysis. You're able to analyze the quality of referring domains, overall backlink quality for your own website and competitor website as well as track links for each site. Notifications will be sent to your mailbox whenever you set up website tracking, informing you about every new link placed on your website. You're also able to analyze the quality of your backlink profile to find which places need more improvement and their research tool capabilities allow you to find lists of websites from low quality link attacks from competitors.

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