I get it – all these SEO tools are ridiculously expensive and you are trying to find a way to up your SEO game without breaking bank. Ahrefs Webmaster Tool may be just what you are looking for.
This is a big “give” for the Ahrefs team and after playing with it a bit to understand what you get exactly, I am shocked they are giving so much away for free.
But as with everything in life there is a trade-off and you can learn more about that below as well.
So let’s talk about the cool stuff you get for FREE!
Want to skip the fluff below and just get started? Just click the button below!
Why Did Ahrefs Create The Webmaster Tool?
From what I have read in the groups I am in, they really just wanted to do something to give back. Being a blogger or small business owner – they understood the financial constraints and wanted to give something back for free that business owners can benefit from.
But of course – there will be other benefits to them for doing this like backlinks (like my post!), keyword ranking and of course lead-gen because when you get a taste of Ahrefs – you will probably want the whole thing and they know that!
The Video Overview
How Does It Work?
Simple! You can go to the sign-up page and scroll to the bottom to get your free account. But before you do read the below information about proving ownership!
You will need to prove you have ownership of any website you want to add with one of the following options.
- Be able to connect the website and Ahrefs with Google Search Console (recommended) – see my Trade-Off area below before using this method
- Upload an HTML file to the root directory
- Add a TXT record DNS at your registrar or host
- Add a HTML meta tag to your homepage header
What Does Webmaster Tools Include?
This free platform offers website owners enough to check on their website health, keyword opportunities and backlink data.
Below are some of the highlights of what I think will be most useful to first-time Ahrefs users!
The site audit in the Webmaster Tool is probably one of the best things about this! If you have not done an audit in a long time, now is the time to get rolling to get a great basic audit that can help your organic SEO game.
Below are some of the features in the audit:
- Redirect issues (3xx
- Error codes (4xx, 5xx etc)
- Indexability issues to show pages that are not being indexed
- Internal and external link report to show broken links, nofollow/dofollow etc)
- Title tag, meta description and header tag issues with length, duplicates and more
- Social tag overview
- Duplicate content issues
- Hreflang issues
- Site speed and file size analysis
- Image size, alt and broken issues
- JS and CSS file issues
- Structure explorer to analyze the distribution of your site content, depth of pages, organic traffic and more
This is just a summary – but there is so much more to play with!
You can now easily see all the keywords your website is ranking for! This is a great opportunity to find keywords that we consider “low hanging fruits” like those in positions 6-10 that might be quick wins for you!
You can also see the search volume and keyword difficulty for each term you rank for helping you ensure you are targeting the right phrases!
It will also show you the position it last saw you ranking in and if you have any special rank positions like the featured snippet.
See which pages are bring you the most traffic.
View all of your backlinks and referring domains! You can also see backlinks you have recently gained or lost.
The most important feature to use for this section is the broken links! When other websites link to a page on your website and you remove or change the URL – it will be a broken link. This is a loss of potential backlink juice!
Finding these backlinks and fixing them by either asking the referring domain to fix the backlink to go to the right URL or by adding the URL back to your website is a quick win!
Internal backlinks are so important these days! This tool will help you see where in your content you have internal links to help you maximize your internal linking.
How Many Websites Can Be Added?
According to Ahrefs you can add as many websites that you can verify as noted above!
Every month you are allowed 5,000 crawl credits per month and you will be able to see all of your backlinks and keywords.
Yes, the statement that nothing in life is free is true. While there is no financial payment for this tool – there is a trade-off you should know about.
You should read these in full – I did and was fine with their usage of the data, but I know some are not. There is another Ahrefs Webmaster Tools article out there that is specifically saying to not use AWT for this reason!
Data Collection and Use as defined in their terms is “You understand and agree that Ahrefs may anonymize and aggregate any data you share with the Service, including data associated with your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts, and use it without identifying you for purposes of improving the Service.”
So what does this mean exactly? It means it is taking your data right from your dashboard and use it to give more accurate data in their paid version of the tool when users do their keyword research.
No one knows your name – your website or any of that. It is just compiling keyword data.
If you have a lot of concerns about this type of thing then I would recommend not using the Google Search Console option for connecting to the tool as this will allow them to really get access to all of your GSC data.
At first I did not understand the excitement – but when I tested it out as a free user, I could see why the Ahrefs team was so excited to share this! There is not a lot out there that is free to help with SEO, and this is off the charts awesome.
Let me know if you sign up and what you think?
And as always – if you have questions, concerns or need a how-to video just let me know!