Author’s note: Besides being a customer of Ahrefs, I have no affiliation with the tool, and this is not a paid article.
Ahrefs is a robust SEO toolset that is popular among search professionals — yet many are not using it to its fullest potential. There are so many nooks and crannies in Ahrefs that it can take a while to learn everything it has to offer.
The following lesser-known Ahrefs reports can provide useful data which can help you with your link building and content strategy.
URL Rating distribution report
Hidden in the bottom right corner of the Overview page, this report provides an at-a-glance view into a website’s backlink profile.
Each link pointing to your site has a URL Rating from 1 to 100 — the higher the number, the higher the link quality. In this report, Ahrefs groups a domain’s backlinks by URL Rating (in 10-point increments), providing insight into the quality of its inbound links.
This report is helpful for evaluating competitors’ sites or even potential link-building providers you might be partnering with. Major brands will likely have a large number of low-quality links due to link spam, which is not usually their fault. However, if it’s a small to medium-sized site that doesn’t have many high-quality links, that may be an indicator of their overall link quality.
Whether you are using this information to evaluate a competitor or to work on a client, the URL Rating distribution report gives you a good overview of a site’s backlink profile quality.
Best pages by links’ growth
Found in the left-hand side navigation, this report can help you find content that may be growing in popularity. This is important because you can focus on these pages for link building, as Google already sees natural link growth and considers it as one of the many factors that go into SERP position. Focusing on the pages that are getting traction with backlinks is simply keeping the snowball rolling down the hill.
This report can help you with your content strategy, too. By knowing which pages are getting the most backlinks, you can create more high-quality pages centered on topics your audience is linking to. This idea of working with your audience, rather than trying to make content work that just isn’t resonating with them, makes your content creation process a lot easier.
Lost Backlinks report
A lot of link builders go after competitor or industry-related broken links on external websites, but they fail to monitor their own lost opportunities. The lost links report (which has a calendar view followed by a list) allows you to find sites that were linking to you that may have removed the links.
In the calendar view, the green counts gained links and red counts lost ones.
As you view the list under the calendar, you can see where your lost links were coming from, which may give you insight into why they disappeared. Some lost links are understandable, like an awards or sponsors page that got…