Ahrefs Review – Full Breakdown with Tips, Alternatives & More

Keyword research and SEO tools will help you in almost every major step to create and sell courses online (successfully). 

Today, we will review one of the most popular and highly used SEO tools in the market: Ahrefs. 

In this detailed post, we will go over: 

  • A quick summary of Ahrefs 
  • All of its benefits and features 
  • Its pros and cons 
  • Detailed reviews of two great alternative tools 
  • A buyers’ guide on how to choose an SEO tool for yourself 

So, without further ado, let’s have a quick look at the tools that we will discuss today: 



Ahrefs started as a link-building tool but has grown to become something you can use for keyword suggestions, website maintenance as well as SEO. You can even use it to analyze your competitors and identify ideas and niches that you can target in your online course. 

Alternate #1


SEMRush brings ease of use to the forefront of its user experience. With an easy-to-use interface and detailed site audit instructions, it’s a great tool to get if you don’t know much about keyword research and SEO. 


Alternate #2


Just like Ahrefs, Mangools is a complete suite designed for all your keyword research and SEO needs. While there are a number of tools to talk about, its keyword finder is really what stands out from the rest with its highly valuable and refined keyword suggestions. 


Quick Summary of the Main Product

Ahrefs is a complete all-in-one toolset that you can utilize for all your SEO needs. 

If you want to create and sell an online course, Ahrefs is definitely a tool that will help you in many steps along the way. Not only can you utilize Ahrefs to gather keywords for content creation but you can also use it when creating marketing campaigns. 

Since it’s a tool that will help you not just in course content creation but also in course marketing, we feel that its higher price is completely justified. You’ll get a lot of value out of it compared to how much you pay.

If you’ve never used Ahrefs before but want a data-driven and analytical approach to creating your online course, then we suggest you sign up for their trial account. 

It lasts for 7 days and you have to pay $7 for it. We feel this is more than enough time for you to judge whether it would be right for you or not. 

Some notable features of Ahrefs include:

  • Competitor research
  • Link building
  • Keyword research 
  • Content research 
  • Rank tracking Website auditing
  • And many more

We’ll go over all these features in detail and how they can benefit you in your online course creation journey. 

Features and Benefits

It’s important to note that while we are talking about Ahrefs’ most notable features here, the tool has many more lesser-known features as well. 

The amount of utility you can get out of this tool sometimes seems limitless. 

Some of the main features that you can take advantage of are: 

  • Site Explorer for Rank Tracking and Traffic Analysis 

Ahrefs’ site explorer is arguably its most well-known and popular feature. It’s the first thing you’re presented with when you first log in. 

Here’s how it works: 

You type in a URL of any website you want to analyze and Ahrefs provides you with an overview of that website’s overall health and SEO performance. 


Some key elements that it provides are the amount of backlinks that site has, how much traffic it’s getting from Google and how much that traffic is worth. 

Competitor Research 

Ahrefs’ competitor analysis features are almost unparalleled. 

As you can probably imagine, competitor analysis can be used in a number of ways. 

The most basic application of it would be to identify what competitor websites are and then analyze them to determine what type of keywords you can incorporate into your own content.

Here’s how you do it: 

Type in a URL into the site explorer (this could be the website for your own online course or any other similar website), then, you go into competing domains in the left-hand menu. 


You’ll be presented with the competing domains page which looks like this: 

competing domains

From here, you can check out every single competitor website and perform keyword analysis to form a list of what type of keywords you can incorporate into your own online course. 

Organic Keywords Search 

Once you open a website’s overview in the site explorer, you can click on “Organic Keywords” for a complete list of the organic keywords the website has used. 

Applying filters can really help you narrow down the keywords you’re looking for. 

If you’ve just started, try to add filters for low keyword difficulty (less than 20) and high search volume (at least above 50). 

keyword volume
organic keywords

Keywords Explorer 

The keywords explorer is the next great feature that is highly popular among Ahrefs users. 

In contrast to most other keyword research tools that only limit you to a single search engine (Google), Ahrefs gives you the option to search for and analyze keywords on websites such as Youtube, Amazon, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex. 

keyword explorer

The keywords explorer is great at providing a detailed overview of how difficult it is to rank for a certain keyword. When you search for a keyword, here’s the overview you get: 


You can then go into the different “Keyword ideas” sections on the left for further phrases and related terms you can incorporate into your online course: 

keyword ideas

While Ahrefs does provide an extremely extensive list of keyword ideas, we do have to mention that not all of those keywords will be highly relevant

Be prepared to sort through a lot of unrelated keywords and junk before you actually find keywords that can help you rank your content.

Website Auditing 

This feature may not be relevant to you if you’ve hosted your online course on an already established platform (such as Udemy, Coursera, etc.).

However, if you’ve chosen to host your online course on a website you made on your own, we highly recommend making use of this feature. 

Like most other site audit tools, Ahrefs provides you with an overall health score with a list of technical issues you can fix. 


These could be broken redirects, missing meta descriptions, duplicate or missing tags, etc. 


It’s easy to use and implement if you’re a beginner as it clearly tells you what’s wrong and on which page.  

Content Research 

Now, this is a tool that is definitely going to help you out when you create your online course as well as when you’re marketing it. 

All you have to do to use it is type in a topic. Ahrefs will then present you with an extensive list of content on that topic. 

list  of content

Of course, just like every other tool Ahrefs has to offer, this also comes with a wide variety of filters that you can utilize to narrow down your search


Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Ahrefs

When you’re browsing keyword research and SEO tools to find the most suitable one, there are a number of factors you’ll need to keep in mind. Some of these factors are:


If you’re just starting out as an online course creator, we imagine you won’t have a lot of money to spend on tools to help you out. 

While Ahrefs is a great toolset with a wide variety of features, we do have to admit that it is pricey. Its subscriptions range from $99 per month to $999 per month. 

price per month

All the plans allow you the same access to every feature we’ve described above. 

However, the amount of data you can play around with changes with every plan. 

For example, let’s look at site explorer. Here’s what you get in all four subscriptions: 

site explorer

As you can see, the numbers for the “Lite” subscription are much lower compared to the others. It’s pretty much the same case for all other features.

Number of Keywords per Month

The number of keywords you can look up per month is a major factor to look at when deciding on a keyword research tool. 

If the course topic you’re working on has many variations and different phrases you need to look up, you may run into trouble if the tool you choose provides a very limited amount of monthly keyword searches. 

For Ahrefs, you get 175 keyword searches per week which total up to 700 keyword searches per month. 

keyword explorer

We feel this is more than enough if you’re just starting to gather information on your online course. 

Important Note: You might need to upgrade to a better subscription once you actually start tackling how to market and scale up your online course. 

Number of Projects

This might not be relevant when you’re first starting out as you’ll only have a single website to worry about at that point. 

However, once you start to scale things up, you’ll learn that a tool that caters to each of your websites will be a necessity. 


When you’re first starting out, the lite subscription is perfect as it allows unlimited verified projects (all four subscriptions do) and 5 unverified projects. 

In case you’re wondering, verified projects are ones that have gone through the ownership verification process in Google’s Search Console. 

SERP Updates

SERP stands for Search Engine Results Pages. It’s basically what’s displayed when you search for a certain keyword. 

Now, what you have to understand is that not all SERP results on Ahrefs for all keywords are regularly updated. If you want up-to-date SERP data for a specific keyword and it hasn’t been updated recently, you’ll need to use a SERP update on Ahrefs. 

Here’s the number of SERP updates that each plan provides: 

updates per month

If you’re creating an online course with a topic that’s fairly popular, you won’t have to use a lot of SERP updates as they will be regularly updated by other people already. 

However, if your course topic is related to a hyper-specific niche that not a lot of people search for, you may find yourself using SERP updates fairly regularly. 

Hence, you’ll need to look at your course topic to determine whether you’ll need a lot of SERP updates or not. 

Simultaneous Logins

Again, if you’re just a single person working on your online course, this isn’t a factor you’ll have to worry about so much. 

However, if you’re working as a team or if you plan to scale the project up and add other team members later, this is a factor you’ll have to keep in mind. 

Here are the number of simultaneous logins that each Ahrefs subscription provides: 

simaltaneous logins

As you can see, you can add an additional seat for $30. We recommend this if you just need it for one more person and don’t really need all the other benefits offered by the higher-priced subscriptions. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Ahrefs

What we likedWhat we didn’t like
Easy-to-read and detailed statistics for websites 
Regular automated crawling to keep your course website up-to-date
Extensive keyword suggestions for a given keyword
Extensive number of filters to narrow down your search
Detailed competitor analysis and competitor identification with the “Competing Domains” section
In-Depth SERP overview for any given keyword
 All features and tools are available in all plans (with differing amounts of access)
Fairly expensive
Can be difficult to get the hang of initially

Social Proof

With Ahrefs being the extremely popular tool that it is, there is no shortage of praises and positive reviews that you can find for it online. 

Even the people that don’t prefer Ahrefs have said that it’s mostly because it can be quite intimidating to use when you’re first starting out. 

Here are some examples we came across on www.g2.com

social proof
social proof

Similar to Ahrefs

#1: Best User-Friendly Keyword Research Tool – SEMRush Review


SEMRush is actually one of the older tools that have withstood the test of time and stayed relevant. 

It has done so by keeping its features up-to-date and refining them so that they provide users with the maximum value possible. 

Unlike Ahrefs, SEMRush is a lot simpler to use which is why it might be a better choice for you if you’re not too familiar with SEO and keyword research. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy SEMRush

Pricing: SEMRush has three plans ranging from $119.95 per month to $449.95 per month.


Unlike Ahrefs where all the features were available in all plans, SEMRush has (very beneficial) features that are only present in higher-priced plans.

Number of Keywords per Month: The following are the number of searches you can do in each plan per day. 

reports per day

While it’s true that these reports are combined for both domain searches and keyword searches, we feel that even the cheapest plan gives you enough room to play with if you’re just starting out. 

Number of Projects: The number of projects you can have in each plan is given below.


Again, if you’re just starting out, the cheapest plan will work for you as you’ll most likely have a maximum of just one project. 

SERP Updates: SEMRush does not offer SERP updates. Instead, when you click on the SERP icon, it simply redirects you to a cached version of the Google results page. 

Simultaneous Logins: SEMRush only allows a single login in every plan. If you want to add more people, it’s quite pricey and surprisingly, it’s more expensive to add an additional person to the higher-paying plans. 

user management
What we liked What we didn’t like
Quite easy to use
Graphs and visualizations help the user with analyzing data
The site audit feature provides you with step-by-step instructions to improve your website
Even the cheapest plan provides you with a high number of searches you can perform
You can try out a 14-day free trial
You can contact support in three different ways: Phone, Chat and Email.
Fairly expensive 
Rudimentary SERP Analysis 
Many features locked behind pricier plans
Only provides results for Google and no other search engine

Best User-Friendly Keyword Research Tool

The best user-friendly keyword research tool is SEMRush thanks to its easy-to-follow user interface and pages that are laid out in a logical fashion. Furthermore, the number of searches you get per day, even in the cheapest plan, is unparalleled. 

#2: Best Budget-Friendly Keyword Research Tool – Mangools KW Finder Review


Both Ahrefs and SEMRush are amazing tools but both of them can be out of the price range of someone who’s just trying to create their first online course.

This is where Mangools comes in. A complete SEO suite with different tools is offered to you at a very affordable price. 

The Mangools Premium subscription is less than half of what you pay for Ahrefs’ Lite (cheapest) subscription. 

You’d think that Mangools compensates for this with mediocre features but that is certainly not the case. 

In fact, we feel that the keyword suggestions that Mangools’ KW Finder provides are much more refined and valuable than the ones provided by Ahrefs. You have to spend much less time parsing through them. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Mangools KW Finder

Pricing: You can see Mangools’ pricing below.

mangools pricing

As you can see, Mangools is incredibly cheap. When you’re first starting out, you can get the Basic plan as it can definitely be enough for you to create a foundation to get your online course off the ground.

Number of Keywords per Month: As you can see in the screenshot, Mangools gives you 100 words per day in the cheapest plan, 500 words per day in the next plan, and 1200 words per day in the most expensive plan. 

We feel that while it’s not the highest amount of searches, it’s still more than enough if you’re an online course creator looking to gather information. 

Number of Projects: Mangools does not have a project-specific approach to its tools. Hence, you cannot assign your own websites to Mangools for which it can pull statistics, constantly as its competitors do. 

SERP Lookups: As you can see in the screenshot above, the cheapest plan allows 100 lookups per day, the next plan offers 500 per day and the most expensive one allows 1200 per day.

Again, we think these are more than enough if you’re trying to find content for your online course.

Simultaneous Logins: The cheapest plan can only have one person using it, the next plan allows 3 people to use it simultaneously while the last one allows up to 10 simultaneous logins. This is, by far, the highest number of simultaneous logins we’ve seen so far in this review. Plus, all that for such a cheap price. 

What we liked What we didn’t like
Extremely cheap
Generous amount of simultaneous logins
Refined keyword suggestions
Detailed SERP analysis
Comes with a 48-hour money-back guarantee
Advanced SEO tools are not present 
You can’t constantly monitor your project(s) as in competitor tools

Best Budget-Friendly Keyword Research Tool

The best budget-friendly keyword research tool is Mangools thanks to its ludicrously cheap pricing. It’s much simpler to use than Ahrefs, features a highly specific SERP analysis tool and its pricing is one of the cheapest we’ve ever seen.

While many course creation tutorials online talk about how to make an online course, very few talk about how to choose what the course will be about

We have compiled a complete guide on the topic for you to follow.

google search

Guide to Buy

While there are many more things to think about when choosing an SEO and keyword research tool, we feel these are the most important factors you should be looking out for: 


The first and most obvious thing to think about is the pricing. 

When you’re first starting out, you won’t have that big of a budget to work with. Hence, you’ll be confined to either using a free tool or a tool that’s reasonably priced. 

We suggest that when first starting out, you should go for a tool that has a subscription of less than $100 per month.

Number of Keywords per Month 

An important thing to look at is the amount keyword searches that tool will let you do in a single month. 

You’ll have to think about your course topic a little bit when it comes to this. If your course topic is sprawling and requires you to search for a lot of keywords, then you’ll need something with a generous amount of keyword searches per month (at least 500). 

Keyword Suggestions

Keyword generators or keyword suggestions are something that will benefit you a lot whilst you gather information.

Not only will they help you find more content related to your content but they will also provide clues as to what words to include in your online course so that it ranks better. 

Number of Projects

When you’re first starting out, you’ll only have a single website where you host your online course. 

Maybe even in the future, that website might be the only domain where you host all your online courses. 

Unless you plan on making multiple websites for online courses in different niches, you can stick to a subscription that only lets you have a low number of projects. 

SERP Lookups

SERP lookups can be very valuable but you need to analyze how much of them you’ll need first. 

SERP refers to the Search Engine Results Page and you’ll use the results on this page to analyze what the websites on this page have done in order to rank on the first page. 

If you’re going to rely on SERP to gather information, then choose a tool that offers a high number of SERP lookups with detailed SERP analysis. 

Simultaneous Logins

If you’re working solo on your online courses, you don’t really need to worry about this.

However, if you’re working as a team or plan to add people to your team in the future, then the number of simultaneous logins a software allows will definitely be something you’ll have to keep in mind. 

CLICK HERE to learn how to start your online course business without getting overwhelmed.

Wrapping Things Up…

In conclusion, the hype is real. Ahrefs is one of the best software out there when it comes to SEO and keyword research. 

With its extensive list of tools such as its site explorer, content explorer, keyword explorer, and site audit, there’s really no end to the amount of value you can gain out of it. 

However, Ahrefs is indeed not without flaws. For one, it is super expensive. We wouldn’t suggest anyone who’s creating their first online course to go for it unless they have the budget for it. 

Secondly, it’s also quite difficult to get the hang of, especially if you’re a beginner.

That’s it for our Ahrefs review. Let us know in the comments which tool you’re using for your keyword ideas and SEO needs.