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How to Use Ahrefs for Keyword Research

It’s good to have a few trusted keyword research tools under your belt.  Our teams at Content Refined are currently using two in conjunction: SECockpit by SwissMadeMarketing, and Ahrefs.  We started using Ahrefs a while ago when SECockpit stopped returning results in certain fields and niches (i.e. we stopped getting results for cbd oil related keywords).  Ahrefs has a ton of detail in their results, and I really like the way that they suggest alternatives.

So here are the basic steps for using Ahrefs to determine whether a keyword is competitive.  For our purposes, we are looking for a few key metrics:

  • monthly search volume over 500
  • keyword density under 30
  • most of the other top competitors have a low domain authority

These are the tried and true metrics that Content Refined usually sticks to (unless there’s a unique site that needs something slightly different).  We’ve talked about this before in an article about SECockpit.  For that article the monthly search volume filter was set to ‘over 1000’.  We’ve since found that over 500 is a valuable metric with more opportunities for a lot of sites.

For Ahrefs Keyword Research, follow these steps in this order:

  1. Go to ‘Keywords Explorer’ from the headings.
  2. Search for the keyword. In this example, ‘ketamine infusion’.
  3. Scroll down to ‘also rank for’ and click on the ‘view all #’.Ahrefs keyword explorer
  4. Click on KD and put ’30’ in the “To” section. Click ‘Apply’.Ahrefs keyword KD to 30
  5. Click on Volume and put ‘500’ in the “From” section. Click ‘Apply’.Ahrefs Volume from 500
  6. Now you’ll have a list of keywords with good metrics.Ahrefs keywords with good metrics
  7. Click on one that looks good, in this example, ‘ketamine infusion therapy’.
  8. In the new page, scroll all the way down to the ‘SERP Overview’ section. There you’ll be able to see the Domain Rating (“DR”) of the top competitors’ websites. Make sure that the majority of these are under about 35. In the example ‘ketamine infusion therapy’, most of those DRs are low, which is good!Ahrefs keyword Domain Rating
  9. Determine whether this is a good keyword for your needs, and copy the details as needed into your keyword research plan.
  10. Begin search again with a new keyword, as much as needed, to complete your keyword research.

I love finding new strategies and tricks for finding the best competitive keywords in any niche.  For Content Refined we also go back once or twice a year and run some data analysis to see which tools are working the best.  We did that last year around this time, and are currently in the process of running a new set of data analysis (I’ll be sure to share the findings for you guys).

Keep me updated about what tools and strategies you guys are currently using in the comments below!

About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

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