You may already be familar with Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools, but ahref Webmaster Tools certainly puts a focus on providing a wealth of information to help you with your Search Engine Optimization Strategy.  After vetting the data across multiple free and paid tools to confirm accuracy we have now chosen to make this tool part of our standard onboarding process since it includes information that our clients cannot get from Google or Bing.  Some of our favorites include the ability to export crawled URLs, export skipped URLs, duplicate & near duplicate content report, and image information.

Setting Up Ahref Webmaster Tools

There are several options in how you can setup Ahref Webmaster Tools to make it easy for users of all technical skill levels.  In our setup, we chose to install the HTML tag directly onto the website versus verification through Google Webmaster Tools or the other implementation methods.  After implementation, we immediately chose to run the site crawl to test the features and also setup a weekly crawl schedule during slow traffic periods.  Ahref will send an email after each crawl with a summary report to allow you to more easily monitor any changes or issues that may have occurred with your website week over week.

Ahref Scheduled Site Audit

Export Crawled URLS to a CVS File

Afreh Webmaster Tools will scan up to 5,000 URLs per month and can be exported by visiting the “Bulk Export” tab from the left navigation.  This is certainly a differentiator to the other webmaster tools available and can be a helpful tool for a variety of Content Strategy initiatives.  The information provided in this export includes URL, status code, content type, indexable, title, title length, meta description, meta description length, h1, h1 length, canonical url, number of words, link information, load time, etc.  With this information a user can more easily identify areas of opportunity in the meta data and also target content that could be improved for SEO value.

Ahref Bulk Export

Export Skipped URLS

Knowing what content gets skipped in a crawl can be just as important as reviewing the information that was crawled.  The information provided includes link type, if it has a noindex tag on the element, source code, target url, reason the crawl skipped, and more.  Reviewing this information can be key in finding mistakes such as adding a page with a noindex tag on it which can be common from website redesigns and/or implementation of an SSL from a previous non secure website.  This information should be reviewed on a regular basis or anytime a larger change was made to your website.

Duplicate & Near Duplicate Content Report

There are various ways where content gets created and flagged as duplicate content or near duplicate content.  With Google and other search engines favoring unique content this is certainly an important area to address for your SEO and Content Strategy.  Most tools will outline duplicate data within the meta information, but neither Google or Bings tools highlight on page content duplication so this is a unique information you can gather from Ahref.  Where this tool falls a little short is that it doesn’t break down what portions of content might be shared on multiple internal pages like you would get with a tool like Siteliner.

Image Information

We were happy to see this information available from the site scan as this is information that is typically not included in other webmaster tools and even with some paid site scan tools.  Some of the information we typically look for is to check if any images are missing alt tags since these not only assist the SEO strategy, but are an important feature for ADA compliance.  We also look to review the image file size since it is a common mistake of website admins to upload images that haven’t been properly optimized which then cause longer page load times on the website impacting both SEO and the user experience.

Image Scan from Afreh Webmaster Tools

Each webmaster tool has benefits and unique content and information to add to your Search Engine Optimization strategy and Ahref Webmaster Tools is no different.  In fact, we found this can be a powerful tool especially for those clients that have limited budgets to allocate to third party SEO tools and thus has become a standard practice for our onboarding process.  Contact us if you would like to discuss support for your Search Engine Optimization strategy.