Updated on August 15th, 2022
AHRefs is undoubtedly the industry leader in SEO analysis software. It’s used by so many of the largest websites to do their on-page SEO and work out their competition strategy with their industry peers.
It’s a complex and feature-rich product there’s no doubt about it. But it’s also a high-value software site and thus it commands a premium fee.
Cost Considerations – AHRefs
If you’re a beginner blogger you might have looked at AHRefs price tag with some trepidation.
When I started out with my first website, AHRefs was way beyond my budget. With no revenue coming in, it was very difficult to justify the $99 per month cost.
It made me think, are there any free or low cost tools that perform a similar function?
While you may not find the same great AHRefs dashboard experience, there are a variety of different tools that will do similar things. Some of these tools are even free.
Here’s 10 tools that we found that perform some of the same functions that AHRefs does. There’s obviously other features in AHRefs that are only available on their site. This is because they have their own web crawlers which they base their analysis on.
Domain Authority with Moz Toolbar
You can download and use the free Moz toolbar called Mozbar to review the domain authority for your site or another website. This toolbar works as an extension in Google Chrome.
The free version of Mozbar can allow you to easily view the DA (Domain Authority) and PA (Page Authority) of any website as well as spam score.
You will however need to create a Moz account (also free) for the extension to work. You can download Mozbar here:
The actual Mozbar looks like this:
DA ranking has many uses. You can use it to determine what other sites to contact in your backlink outreach campaigns.
Another strategy is to look at the DA of the sites having the top ranking posts on a keyword. Then have a look to see if you’re likely to beat them based on your own site’s DA.
Find Competitors Keywords & Top Pages with Keywords Everywhere
Ever wanted to find out what keywords one of your competitors is ranking for?
Well, Keywords Everywhere can help you with this. Keywords Everywhere is a web browser extension that allows you to do SEO analysis from right inside your Google homepage.
For example, this is the keyword analysis for Neil Patel’s post: What is Affiliate Marketing
You can use this information to find out the main pages driving the business of your competitors and try to compete with your competitor’s top ranking pages.
Free Site Audit with Ubersuggest – AHRefs Alternative
Have you ever wondered if you’ve optimised your website for SEO? Site audit is a powerful way to check that your site is up to scratch with all of the latest known SEO settings and tweaks.
The great thing is that Ubersuggest provides a free site audit. Just submit your site at this link.
This is the type of report you will receive (an SEO analysis for Backlinko):
With this report, you can easily fix up any SEO problems with your site that you mightn’t have noticed. This might include missing meta descriptions etc.
Find Search Keywords with Ubersuggest
Ubersuggest will also give you up to 3 free keyword searches per day. For any search keyword or keyphrase, you can find related ideas to blog about.
If you’ve got a post that’s already doing well in search results, use Ubersuggest to find related keywords to blog about and build that momentum.
Here’s a report of related keywords for the search keyphrase “how to surf”:
If you were already ranking for this search term, you might use these suggestions to include in your ranking post so that it can rank for additional keywords.
Monitor Search Results with Google Search Console
Google Search console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) has powerful tools for your blog. Using this tool you can easily see what keywords you’re ranking for and then find those pages that are delivering that keyword traffic.
One great feature of Google Search Console is the ability to easily view how many impressions your search term is getting and consequently how many clicks it’s getting. Clicks divided by impressions give you your CTR (Click through Rate).
You can use this information to improve your SEO title and meta description to provide a more clickable engaging presentation in search results and improve CTR.
Combined with Google Analytics, Search Console is probably the most valuable resource for the growth of your website.
Find your own backlinks with Google Search Console
If you’re wanting to view the backlinks coming into your site you can go to the links tab on the left-hand menu of Google Search Console.
So you have an idea of all of your incoming external links and also internal links.
This is good for helping you to keep track of your own inward bound links whether they transfer an SEO benefit or not.
Analyse your Competitors Backlinks – AHRefs Alternative
You can use Moz Link Explorer to review and rank your own or your competitor’s backlinks by their relative strength.
Here’s an example of the free report that you’ll get with Moz Link Explorer:
Use this information to perhaps go to the same root domain websites as your competitors and see if you can also get links from them.
Full Site Speed Test with Batchspeed
Have you ever wanted to measure the speed of all of your web pages at once for both mobile and desktop?
Well, Batchspeed will let you do this for free. The thing that we love about Batchspeed is that you can export a report to a spreadsheet for all of your web pages including desktop and mobile versions.
This can allow you to analyse what’s slowing down your site, what’s working and what’s not working and identify areas for improvements.
Here’s a sample report:
Check Broken Links with BrokenLinkcheck
Broken links are always a bad thing to have on a website.
They frustrate the site visitor and they have a negative effect on SEO.
So how can we easily check if our site has any broken links?
Broken Link Checker is a free site that scans all of your web pages and reports back the page location of any broken links.
It’s a good idea to run this scan regularly as links can change if other sites take down a web page or go offline altogether.
Summary – AHRefs Alternatives
There’s no doubt that AHRefs can be a powerful resource for a successful growing site.
But if you’re just starting out or can’t afford the AHRefs monthly cost, there’s some good options out there which can really help you out.
Many of them are free or low cost. Obviously it will take extra time to navigate these sites and you won’t get the same analysis as you would have with the premium AHRefs product.
Frequently Asked Questions. – AHRefs Alternatives
What is Domain Authority (DA)
Domain Authority is a metric developed by Moz which measures how well a website should rank in search results.
What is Page Authority (PA)
Page Authority is a metric developed to give an estimate between 1 and 100 of how well a page will rank on search results. It was developed by Moz.
My Page Authority (PA) is increasing so why isn’t my Domain Authority (DA) also increasing?
Improving your domain authority takes time and requires a healthy quantity of inward-bound links. These backlinks should ideally be from other medium to high DA sites. In comparison, Page Authority is a conceptual view of how a web page alone should rank based on predetermined criteria.
Is AHRefs worth the cost?
Yes, particularly if you’ve got a growing site that’s earning income and is scalable. In this case, the benefits of growth from AHRefs should more than offset the cost.
Can I just blog without using keywords?
Whilst you certainly can, it will reduce the number of visitors that you get from search engines. This is because you’re not targeting the particular keyword search phrases that people are actually typing into Google.
Are social media posts counted as backlinks?
Unfortunately they are not counted as backlinks in the SEO sense. I.e. they don’t transfer any of the so-called “link juice” of the root domain.