Using ahrefs

We all know links are important but with Penguins on the loose and rumored to be shifting into everflux mode shortly, figuring out which types of links and attracting them can be a nail-biting experience. Black and Grey Hat strategies aside, one of the key methods for link building of late leans on content.  That is, developing content that is easy to build links to and/or which attracts links on its own.  My personal favourite reasons for developing this type of content are:

  1. The best link building is the links you don’t have to build. After all, what’s more natural than links built by others who simply want to share a resource you’ve provided, and
  2. You have to build content anyway so why not tailor it to what gets shared?

To find inspiration on the content types to develop its good to look at either what’s working for your site currently or what’s working for a competitor.  The technique is the same for both so I’m going to go through one of the processes I like to use assuming we’re looking at a competitor as that applied to new sites and well-established ones.  So let’s get started:

Step One: Pull Your Core Data

In step one we need to pull all the data for which pages are being linked to.  To do this we simply log into ahrefs and enter the site we want to collect information on.  To find a site to use as an example I entered a query as you would to find your own competitors.  Assuming you wanted to rank for “why the heck is Kim Kardashian famous” you would find thoughtcatalog.com as a competitor to be inspired by.    Entering the domain into ahrefs’ Site Explorer and selecting “Top Pages” from the result options under the “Overview” drop-down on the left you would find yourself at the following page:

 

 

 

You would then export the data …

 

Step Two: Condition Your Data

In step one we pulled our data … now it’s time to put it in a usable format.  First open the spreadsheet you exported which will look like:

 

 

Next, sort the list by Referring Domains from high to low and select all the URLs where the domains is above 0 (essentially grabbing all the URLs of pages with links).

 

 

You’ll then take this list and paste it into Notepad:

You’ll then do a

 

find and replace taking out the domain, all the slashes and dashes as well as any file extensions leaving us with …

 

You’ll then save it as a .html file and move on to …

Step Three: Finding The Content That’s Linked To

You’ll then open the file in Firefox or Chrome which will look something like:

 

While this may not look like much, if you have SEO Quake installed (and if you don’t … now’s the time) you can them view the keyword density of the page

 

 

Which will give you:

In this example I took a small section from the 1, 2 and 3 keyword groupings.  This is the data we’re looking for.

With this is hand we now have access to the words most used in linked-to content.  In short – you’ve got a breakdown of what content in attracting links to the competition.  As noted, you can use this same method to review your own site to determine what articles or posts you’ve written are resonating with linkers.

An Additional Filter …

In a case like this where the topics may well be specific to timeframes and the years, months and dates brought in with the URL you can take the extra step of filtering by that URL with the year and/or month to reduce the date to that which is linked to either by the time of year or by year.  Essentially – if you want to see what’s linkable during the holidays filter to November and December and if you want to find what’s linkable now you can filter by year or year and month.

This Doesn’t Help With …

Deployment.  You now have a good idea of what topics are well-linked but you still need to get it in front of the linking audience.  But that’s a topic for another day.


 

Author Bio: About Dave Davies is the CEO of Beanstalk Internet Marketing. Dave has been working on the online marketing space since you could Ask Jeeves how to get to the various conferences he’s spoken at. To keep updates on the latest going’s on in the web world you can follow Beanstalk’s Facebook Page or on Twitter.