Best of Ahrefs’ Metrics for SEO and How to Use Them!

Recently updated: January 4th, 2019

All leading search engines from Google leading the market, Yahoo, Bing, to Baidu a leading Chinese search engine, provide tools for digital marketers. Besides, there are many other tools both paid and unpaid boasting features that play a vital role in digital marketing. And one such tool is Ahrefs which boats the second most active crawler after Google.  Ahrefs is fast becoming popular among digital marketing folks across the world. If you have not used it, it is the right time to give it a try. And I am sure, you would like this tool.  This blog will tell you how to use the Ahrefs’s SEO metrics.

Best Ahrefs’ SEO Metrics

Are you ready to get deeper inside Ahref? Let us get started here:

Keyword Search Volume:

This metric shows how many searches for a targeted keyword are performed in a month.  The searches are average searches people in a given country perform for your target keyword.  The Google Keyword Planner uses the term ‘Avg. Monthly Searches’.

Note the search volume is generally referred to as the volume, and the number of searches is not the number of people. One person can do multiple searches for a targeted keyword. So a search volume of 200 searches can be generated by two people.

Also, the search volume is not equal for round the year. It may be a bit more in a month and then may go down in the following the month. Take the keyword, Christmas gift, for example, which sees a huge spike in the search demand in the month of December. That spike drastically dips as the month of January starts.

Remember, search volumes are location specific. This means the search volumes for two different locations may significantly vary. If the search volumes for a term ‘Christmas Gifts’ is 500 in the USA, this does not mean, in the UK it would be the same.

Return Rate (RR):

Exclusive to Ahrefs, meaning this feature you can find with this tool only,  Return Rate shows you how many times the same person perform the searches for a given term over a month.

There are three categories of the Return Rate – RR1, RR2, and RR3. RR1 means people do not search for the keyword again within a month. And RR2 and RR3 mean that the second keyword tends to get more repeated searches than the first one.


Google has recently added a new feature to its search structure, and this feature is called ‘quick search’. In addition, many other features have been added to the SERP. These features are meant to reduce the need for people to click through to any search results to get the answer to their queries. But this does not apply to all keywords. For example, search for the age of Donald Trump or any other renowned personality. You won’t need to click through search results. This is because Google shows you the answer in the search result page itself.

This does not apply to all search terms, for example, best CRM software. You have to click one or more results to get the answer. This means the terms like the best CRM software are likely to get more clicks through compared to the likes of the one mentioned in the first example.

Ahrefs clicks metric help you know the clickability of your target keyword. It suggests you the keywords that have potential to get more clicks compared to other terms. This metrics also displays CPS (Clicks Per Search), which refers to the average number of clicks that people perform after searching for a given keyword.

Cost Per Click:

Popularly known as CPC, this allows you to get to know the cost of a paid search result that an advertiser needs to pay for a given keyword.

Cost Per Click for a given word is not fixed. It is flexible and may change as advertisers increase or decrease their ad spend. And for that reason, you should use Google AdWords to get the most recent and accurate values for your list of target keywords. The CPC values Ahrefs provides are for reference purpose online, and you should use that as a hint. For more details and accurate data on CPC values, you should use Google AdWords.

Keyword Difficulty:

This is where most of the marketers get confused. But this metric plays a vital role in making SEO strategy.

According to Ahrefs, “the KD score is calculated by taking the weighted average of the number of linking domains to the current top‐10 ranking pages and plotting the result on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 100.”

These are the only factors that Ahrefs considers to prepare the Keyword Difficulty score. Except them, no variables are used here.

The result you get shows you how many reference domains you need to rank in the top ten for your target. This you can find just below the Keyword Difficulty score in the plain text.

That is because backlinks play a vital role in getting ranking for a particular keyword. And KD score is one of the features that make Ahrefs, one of the most favorite choices of marketers. Backlinks is also one of the ranking factors Google uses.

Organic Keywords:

You can use this metric to get a total number of keywords for which a website ranks in the organic search results.  All you need to do is just put in the Ahrefs’ Site Explorer the URL of the website you want to get the list of keywords for which it ranks.

The metric provides you the result after checking if your website ranks in the top 100 search result for any of around more than 6 million keywords in its database. The result this metric shows you is highly reliable. And you can use the keywords shown in the result for your search marketing campaign.

Organic Traffic:

This metric is used to know organic search traffic the target website, subsection or web page gets each month.

There are three ways the metric uses to calculate the traffic a website or a page gets:

  • All keywords are found for which target ranks
  • How much traffic the target gets from each of those keywords
  • Now these findings add up as to provide the result

The metric provides you monthly search volume and keyword position in the search result which is provided hourly and daily basis. The position of most important keywords that get rank for the target is updated hourly. But the ones that are less popular are updated daily and the least ones once in a month.

These are the best of the metrics Ahrefs provides for SEO marketers. But in addition to those metrics, there are many more that you can do using the Ahrefs. You can:

  • Check the strength of a target website’s backlink profile
  • See the strength of a target page’s backlink profile
  • Know the value of a website’s organic traffic


Ahrefs is one of the most widely used tools for SEO markers. But it is perhaps the easiest tool to use for digital marketing. It is easy to use the metrics of this tool and the results are presented in the most understandable manner. So it is a good tool for both pioneers in digital marketing and startups looking to gain the most of their SEOP spending.

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Amit Mishra

Amit Mishra, the co-founder of Media Search Group, loves to pen down about marketing and designing. Be it search engine optimization(SEO) tips and strategies, Social Media Optimization, Increasing Engagement, and Traffic Score, Web Design and Development, Mobile Applications, Conversion/Sales, he covers it all. Been in the business for a long time, Amit Mishra knows some of the best strategies on how to expand and grow a Business Online.