Love how you just dive into the details for this Site Audit guide. Excellent stuff! Yours is much much easier to understand than other guides online and I feel like I could integrate this to how I site audit my websites and actually cut down the time I make my reports. I only need to do more research on how to remove “zombie pages”. If you could have a ste-by-step guide to it, that would be awesome! Thanks! 

Competitor backlink audit – Analyse the link profile of your competitor and research the opportunities, to match your, or even better outperform your competitors link profile and subject authority. When performing an competitor backlink audit you should also analyse inbound links pointing to top performing pages, so you don’t miss out on valuable link opportunities.
Brand Monitoring also allows you to get insights into how competitors and other industry leaders are creating opportunities which you can seize. You can research their present and past activities which then means you’re able to adopt their best practices and find ways to distribute your content saving you time and money which would otherwise be spent on trial and error. So, in a way you are learning from what the competition is doing right.  
Do you know that there are millions of people that are searching for something on YouTube every single day? Fortunately, YouTube is trying to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for. Which is why every time you make a search on YouTube, you will see a list of suggested terms as you start typing your search query. Usually, the most popular and relevant YouTube searches show up in these suggestions.
Knowing how well your website is ranking is an essential part of doing SEO. It is important because it tells you how much all that hard work is paying off in the way of search engine ranking position or SERPs. Which of your pages are ranking, i.e., product, content, blog, etc. The Position Tracking tool allows you to monitor your regional, national and local rankings for any of the keywords you’re targeting. 

Now the Domain vs. Domain tool is a rather unusual visual tool which allows you to compare up to 5 different domains. You can then compare and contrast data from all of the domains. It is handy for SEO experts who want to conduct and later update their competitive analysis of the industry and where they fit in. The Venn algorithm uses diagrams and other essential bits of data to give you a pretty good idea of where your website is placed in the grand context of the niche.

Have you ever received a warning from Google Chrome to not visit a page? It will block the page and prevent you from going there because of some security issue. We begin by ensuring your website passes a SSL Certificate Validity Check. This a whole range of security protocols that should be within your website’s coding or built-in to the domain. It shows the world that your site is trustworthy!


the interface is quite nice. i like the feature that they can group all the things into a project, show the backlinks from each site and update sent to email in daily basis, sometimes it is quite busy that you cannot login and check all the metrics. Also, the competitors spending on ad is a good reference to see how and what have they done. And how we can react with them, like pay more to beat them or what. By the way, the backlink tool is very nice that we can remove toxic links linking to our site to prevent lowered ranking
Pros: This is about the best all-around SEO software that you can find. It does a good job at about everything and doesn't have a lot of weaknesses. The competitive analysis is really the best reason to buy the software, it's comprehensive and gives you a good look at potential competitors. There are always new features being added and tested which is fantastic and gives the software good value. Some features are better than others, but the audit and competitive analysis really are fantastic. I've used the software in various forms including Business, Guru and free. The free version gives you a taste, but the full experience is generally worth the money. Guru is worth the extra money over Pro as it gives you branded reports and the ability to manage quite a few more projects. Exports and reoccurring reports are very nice and simple to set up.
Like all backlink monitors, it doesn't pick up anywhere near all backlinks and is slow to pick up new backlinks. However, all backlink tools have this same problem and Ahrefs is the best of those tools. One of my biggest gripes is that Ahrefs drops backlinks and count them as a lost domain, but after looking into the dropped campaigns you find that a majority of them are still there and Ahrefs dropped them from your backlink profile for an unknown reason. 

Ahrefs is a system that offers users with the world’s largest index of live backlinks. The service provides businesses of all sizes and individuals with a reliable and solid backlink checker tool that delivers detailed backlink profiles for any URL or website. This backlink application gives users with a very large and clear image of any website or URL’s background. Ahrefs allows users to see what websites link to a particular URL, they anchors that they deploy, how strong the backlinks are and more.
Pros: Mostly all SEO Specialists nowadays are using SEMrush (in combination with other tools), and it is effective either for your small personal site or blog, or ever for larger corporation sites. On SEMrush you will find different tutorials in order to get started, SEO audit check, plenty of features in order to analyze your keywords rankings, organic traffic, PPC progression and how to analyze your competition.
Pros: I love how simple SEMRush is to use and how intuitive their UX is. I've used their topic research tool for clients and it has helped inform their entire content marketing strategy, from the calendar itself to the amount of paid/organic attention we give each piece of content. Their tool is always fast, loads quickly and is easy for novices to understand.
The other star feature of the Domain Vs. Domain tool is it provides you with a detailed report on the competitors’ domains. You can see all the common keywords their domains are associated with and compare their website’s position for each keyword to your own. This allows you to get some insight into what is working for the competition and mimic their success by optimizing your ad strategy and content marketing.

Check the duration of a campaign: If a competitor has been running an AdWords or any other advertising campaign for a while, there is a good chance it was a success. If the ad copy was only used for a short time, you could assume that either it was not bringing in enough traffic or it was because that was relevant to just a specific fashion, holiday or event.


Check if there are governmental or educational links: EDU and GOV links are some of the best as they help to improve authority.  So, every SEO professional knows the value of these links as they directly result in an SEO boost. Just a handful of these links can mean a great deal for your website. The tool shows if there are any of these backlinks to your website.
It depends on the size of your operation, but I think you could get just as much value out of the Mangools Suite. This is the group in charge of KWFinder. But you can also take advantage of their SERP watcher and LinkMiner, and SiteProfiler features since you have an established business. They aren't quite as powerful as Ahrefs, but they get you 90% of the way for about 50% of the cost.
Pros: The biggest advantage of SEMRush is the ability to generate enormous amount of the actionable data on the subject you want to research in. That allows to own the reliable data according to what you can confidently make the right decisions from the perspective of the SEO Strategy. This tool is beyond productiveness if it's used to its full capability. It's an invaluable everyday asset in my SEO projects.

Pros: SEMRush is a full-fledged powerhouse for SEO building strategy and SEO audits. It's pretty beefy, so I would only recommend it if you have the time and patience for SEO, as the software gives a ton of outlets in looking up actionable items for your SEO Strategy. The first thing that I really liked with SEMRush was the initial SEO audit of my site -- I was able to see what's good and what's bad about my SEO, and the quick errors or warnings for title headers and ideas for gaining more traffic was awesome. Moving on, I found their analytics just as good as Google Analytics, showing me where my traffic is coming from and where I can improve my paid search positions. I haven't used the Social or Content aspects of SEMRush but social listening looks to be baked in well and integrated nicely. If you're in the market for seeing how your organic and paid search traffic plays a part, and then strategizing in how to improve your overall position against organic search and then your competitors, I'd recommend SEMRush.

I work with legal websites and it makes it easy to see what the top law firm websites are using for backlinks. I can then export all the backlinks into an Excel file and decide what are the best ones for me to try and obtain for our clients. The reports section is nice too, it gives us an easy to understand solution for our clients and answers their question of where their money is going to.


Have you ever received a warning from Google Chrome to not visit a page? It will block the page and prevent you from going there because of some security issue. We begin by ensuring your website passes a SSL Certificate Validity Check. This a whole range of security protocols that should be within your website’s coding or built-in to the domain. It shows the world that your site is trustworthy!
One of the biggest predictors of your SEO success is the difficulty of the keywords targeted. The more difficult and highly competitive that keyword is the more effort, time and money it will require. Even though it is a generalized SEO statement using the Keyword Difficult Tools helps to predict if you’ll be able to rank for that keyword. It uses a number system and overall system which ranks the keywords based on how hard it is to target.
Do you know that there are millions of people that are searching for something on YouTube every single day? Fortunately, YouTube is trying to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for. Which is why every time you make a search on YouTube, you will see a list of suggested terms as you start typing your search query. Usually, the most popular and relevant YouTube searches show up in these suggestions.
I just tried and its working fine from my end. When clicking on the link, you should be taken to the SEMrush page where you should be able to grab SEMrush pro account for free for the next 14 days worth $47. Please clear cache for your browser and try then. Please let me know if you still face any issue in claiming the 14 days SEMrush pro account for free.
Overall: I have always had a positive experience with SEMrush. They are a supportive team and it is relatively easy to find up-to-date tutorials to help you to get the most out of their suite of tools. New features are being added all of the time, so the SEMrush team does a very good job of keeping pace with the changing world of SEO. They are clearly active in the community and work hard to share their expertise. With their 14 day trial offer you really cannot go wrong.
The pricing policy. I purchased the tool for 12 months in end of Jan 2018. This included 5000 SERP updates with a standard plan and all of a sudden, Ahref changed this back to 1000 without any warning. Their pricing page wasn't even reflecting this change, and I was informed about that when talking to a support rep. I understand the Company wants to increase pricing based on improved tools, but when you have made a 12 months purchase in advance, you would expect this new pricing to apply by the end of your contract at least... Or potentially to be grandfathered in the old pricing. But No - Ahref will basically apply this very aggressively with no warning at all or heads up. It's sad, in fact very sad as it shows the company is definitely not customer-centric.
Pros: I own a small ecommerce business so analytics is critical for our success. I've tried a few other SEO services in the past but nothing beats SemRush in terms of features and accessibility. While other services' interfaces are clunky and hard to understand, SemRush lays everything out on their page in an easy-to-use format. The features are incredible, especially the Site Audit, which compares your keyword goals to the content that is already on your site and gives you tips on how you can rank higher for your chosen keywords. Even more incredibly, they provide "SEO templates" which makes content creation easy and friendly. It's nice to have such an easy platform for writing excellent-quality articles that converst. When you're only using Google Analytics, there's still a ton of information about your content and backlinks that you're not really seeing. SemRush makes this information available to you.
AHREFS is certainly a great tool for bloggers and internet marketers. You have explained every functionality in great detail. I liked the link intersection part. It provides ou with a great opportunity to get backlinks from sites which are usually linking to your competitors. Further, its adds to the fact that these types of backlinks would be easier to get as compared to the ones that we search manually for any website. Plus, these would be niche specific too!

Overall: I have always had a positive experience with SEMrush. They are a supportive team and it is relatively easy to find up-to-date tutorials to help you to get the most out of their suite of tools. New features are being added all of the time, so the SEMrush team does a very good job of keeping pace with the changing world of SEO. They are clearly active in the community and work hard to share their expertise. With their 14 day trial offer you really cannot go wrong.
The audit is for all pages and not only one. What happens in the majority of the cases is that pages / posts have similarities so you can group them together. For example the pages of a website may be ok but the blog post pages may be missing titles. It’s a lot of work especially for a 500 pages website but you can start from the most important pages first and work your way to the rest
Great article. Before reading this I was practically sold on SEMrush. However, after reading this article and the comments from other readers, I’m realizing I shouldn’t be so quick to pull the trigger and that Ahrefs may in fact be what I’m looking for. I will most likely do the trial period for both before deciding, but this article definitely opened my eyes to Ahrefs possibly being my best option (instead of SEMrush). Thanks for taking the time to write this article. Great work.
The Overview Report shows issues which are of the highest priority, and the ones which are most frequently found on the website. If you want to fix a problem that’s reoccurring throughout the website then click on the Issues Report, and it shows all the URLs of all the pages which are affected. While the Page Report shows all the issues on a particular landing page. 

We use the tool mainly to help with our SEO clients. Personally, I like the rating tool on the page. I think it's a great way to compare your page with the top 10 ranking pages for a specific keyword. The site audit in particular can offer quick answers. SEMrush is our main SEO tool and really does it all, especially with the massive updates from last year. Track keyword ranking positions, offer some keyword search tools and compare the domain with others related to it. You can also automate reports that are labeled blank. It also performs domain analysis, tracking of backlinks and audits of sites that we use all the time in our SEO business.
It is very expensive for one user. Many companies are forced to share a login because purchasing additional user licenses is cost prohibitive for a small agency. Most small agencies and startups would only utilize the tool a few hours per week. Competitors are offering an unlimited user package, which is quickly becoming a tempting offer as their platforms improve.
What I like best is the number of tools offered to manage your client work. Two items I rely on weekly are site audits and search visibility tracking. In addition to this, there are tools offered for organic and paid competitor research which are fairly thorough, as well as optimization recommendations and backlink opportunity reports which can be useful, once the necessary setup has been process. Overall, SEMrush has become a fairly robust tool in the past couple years.
Hi Anil, a fantastic post. I would like to know your opinion since in my case I do not have the budget to keep two tools at the same time. I currently use semrush since there are things that I like a lot but I have doubts about the speed of the backlink audit tool. Recently I have encountered a problem in which semrush has not detected backlinks that were potentially dangerous to my website and this has hurt me. This part worries me a little because I’ve already seen the ears of the wolf. On the price-quality ratio of the two tools, would you continue with semrush or would you go to ahrefs? Thank you very much!
Ahrefs is incredibly comprehensive and straight forward. From keyword discovery to site audits I use ahrefs for all my SEO needs. It's the first SEO program I was introduced to when starting me SEM management career and has proven to be the best time and time again. I've used their competitors liker moz, SEM rush, and a couple other services- none of which have come close to stacking up.
Find Foreign Keywords: SEMrush has 26 regional databases that contain keywords for each of these languages. The databases are pretty expansive containing keywords for the US, Canada, UK, Russia, France, Germany, Australia, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Israel, Denmark, Netherlands, Ireland, Finland, Norway, Hungry, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore, Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong, Turkey and Argentina.
The team at Ahrefs have done an excellent job of building a comprehensive product that includes tons of useful features without succumbing to bloat. Nearly everything that's added to the tool has a use, and it's able to do more for less than most other similar platforms I've used. It's also stable and their customer support has been, in my experience, top notch.
Its simple all that’s required is to log-into your SEMrush account, click on the Lead Generation Tool on the left. The Widget Settings will open up, and you can fill out the form with all the required information that you want visitors to see. Then personalize the subject and response message in the email and hit ‘save.’ The opt-in form can be further personalized with updated colors which reflect your website’s design or branding.
Its interesting that you overlooked Ahrefs site audit tool. Unlike SEMRush which limits you to 20,000 URLs, Ahrefs can crawl very large websites. Their data explorer is by far the best in the business. SEMRush gives you a list of URLs with issues they want to identify. But no option to customize. Ahrefs, much easier to use and powerful Data Explorer are very powerful indeed.
Knowing how well your website is ranking is an essential part of doing SEO. It is important because it tells you how much all that hard work is paying off in the way of search engine ranking position or SERPs. Which of your pages are ranking, i.e., product, content, blog, etc. The Position Tracking tool allows you to monitor your regional, national and local rankings for any of the keywords you’re targeting. 

Of the three popular backlink reporting tools (Majestic, Moz, Ahrefs), Ahrefs provides the most useful link data. Even in other areas of SEO, Ahrefs seems to always keep their toolsets fresh. They continually add in useful tools and features that make other software suites less relevant. The most recent addition is their site audit tool which provides a beautiful visualization of technical site issues.
I loved it! I am currently on a 7 days trial and will look forward to monthly membership! However, one thing that I would like to add, I have used both SEMrush and Ahref, and I believe that SEMrush has a great UI/UX when comparing to Ahref. However, this will quickly escalate when we’ll use Ahref for at least 2 days continuously. I am now addicted to Ahref, when I started using it I remember it was really difficult to get comfortable with the tool whereas SEMrush is easy to get comfortable. But SEMrush is way behind in auditing backlinks, Ahref is very strong for keyword research and backlink findings. What do you think?
Google cares about Content first and Links second when it comes to how it ranks a page within it's results. This tool allows us to see where competing domains are earning links and insights into the specific content that attracts links for the competition. This insights assist us in creating an actionable strategy for our clients using a CRM such as Buzzstream to import data into.
Brian is the founder of MeiggsMedia and has a love for digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and personal finance. Brian has been quoted in several online publications, including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, MSN, AOL, Discover, GOBankingRates, Student Loan Hero and more. When not helping others reach their goals, Brian can be found at the gym, traveling, exploring Washington DC, or helping bloggers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses succeed at MeiggsMedia.

Pros: SEMrush is a very effective tool for SEO. It has a simplistic approach and it allows users to see all the relevant data of any websites. It has a very detailed keyword analysis tool that can show many related keywords, traffic data and competitors. The backlink analysis tool is another great feature of this app. I can see all the websites that are linking to mine, their countries and IP addresses, their anchor texts and if the links are follow or nofollow.
Keyword explorer, which was released few weeks back is one of the most exhaustive tools that we have see off late. Keyword Ideas, Phrase Match and KD help content marketers to align their content marketing efforts with organic search trends. Apart from that from an on page point of view, the tool gives everything that modern age webmaster need to track their overall performance.
Yes when I bought it few months back, It has nothing for Indian version of Google. So, I bought it for my client. Later, company extended my account for 3 more months for writing the review. 🙂 But I was not using it because my blog has very less organic traffic from other countries and I also write articles for Indian users. Now, I can do proper research for Indian users and track competitors 🙂

The only tool which hasn’t received much of an update is the SEO audit tool, but then again it wasn’t broken or lagging in the first place. So, despite it not receiving much love from the developers, it is still one of the best features. It is comprehensive, descriptive and useful even for someone who's taken on the gigantic job of doing their own SEO. It gives everyone a good overview of how well things are going.

The Backlink Analytics tool can provide lengthy lists of competitor's backlinks that can be exported in spreadsheet formats. You can see your competitors backlink strategies including legitimate (blogs, directories) and illegitimate methods for gaining domain and site authority on Google. I also appreciate the keyword rankings, as it allows for easy reporting and tracking of SEO optimization strategies and keyword campaigns. Great tools for tracking keywords campaigns against similar business as well.
Top Referring Content – This displays the most popular page that links to your target website. They determine the popularity of the page through the number of social shares it has. You can use this to help your SEO campaign by knowing which page/website has a decent social media following, and you can partner with them for more link opportunities to improve your backlink profile.
Pros: SEMrush offers insight into all things digital. In my experience with a few similar tools, SEMrush is the most comprehensive and easiest to use. It offers insights, reporting, tracking and planning for our clients' digital programs. We can even gain tons of insights into prospects' current digital marketing initiatives which helps close leads. It integrates with numerous other tools and is definitely a tool that will be the leader for at least the next few years.

Ankit, you have very nicely explained the difference between SEO and SEM. I understood them to be part of it each other, but never gave it a proper thought. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique that helps raise up our (search) rank bring more traffic to our website. While Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a larger concept that includes SEO as well. Internet Ads are an important component of SEM.
Terrific blog post. So much great stuff here. Just wondering about Step #16. When you promote your Skyscraper post across multiple social media channels (FB, LinkedIn, etc.) it looks like you are using the exact same introduction. Is that correct? For LinkedIn, do you create an ARTICLE or just a short newsfeed post with a URL link back to your website?
Thanks for the article, really gives some clear insights.I am currently testing out Ahref’s and have tested Moz and Semrush in the past as well. In my opinion Ahref’s UI is the best and clearest. I will have to test Moz and Semrush again i am afraid to be sure which one to start using. Have been using SE Ranking for rank tracking mostly but have noticed rank positions are not accurate most times.
Pros: I love how simple SEMRush is to use and how intuitive their UX is. I've used their topic research tool for clients and it has helped inform their entire content marketing strategy, from the calendar itself to the amount of paid/organic attention we give each piece of content. Their tool is always fast, loads quickly and is easy for novices to understand.

Love how you just dive into the details for this Site Audit guide. Excellent stuff! Yours is much much easier to understand than other guides online and I feel like I could integrate this to how I site audit my websites and actually cut down the time I make my reports. I only need to do more research on how to remove “zombie pages”. If you could have a ste-by-step guide to it, that would be awesome! Thanks!

Utilize the "broken backlink" section. Utilize the ability to isolate lost and gained links by date. Let's say you have drops around October. You could go to right before that and specifically isolate good links lost or bad links gained, etc. They also have a good amount of helpful online resources for learning how to use the tool. Great graphs show overall trends for linking domains or linking pages. Check out the ability to sort by AHREFS' quality statistics to help analyze quality/low quality links.
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