Ahrefs Setup

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  1. Log into ahrefs and confirm that you're on the Dashboard screen
  2. Click the orange + New project button
  3. Enter the {CLIENT} homepage URL into the text field under Domain or URL. For Scheme,
  4. select http + https
  5. Enter the {CLIENT} name in the text box under Project name. Click Next
  6. On the Keywords screen, click Next. We will add keywords in Phase III of the on boarding process.
  7. On the Competitors screen, add any URLs of competitors identified by the client. Click Next.
  8. On the Mentions screen, click Finish
  9. Click on the Keywords explorer tab in the header nav bar. In the text box, enter in a major transactional keyword for the client and hit enter. For example, we may use "minneapolis seo" for Sweor. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen, and take note of the top 10 URLs listed in the SERP overview section. Discard any links from aggregation, review, or job posting sites.
  10. Repeat the process in the previous step with an additional major transactional keyword. For example, we may also use "digital marketing minneapolis" or "minneapolis web design" for Sweor.
  11. After you have a few lists of competitor URLs, cross-reference the lists to identify any overlaps. Sorting the URLs in adjacent columns within Google Sheets is a quick and easy way to perform this task. Take note of the most prevalent URLs, and discard any that are already listed as competitors in Ahrefs.
  12. Click on the Rank Tracker tab in the header nav bar. Select the {CLIENT} from the list of projects.
  13. Click on the Competitors sub tab in the Rank Tracker view. Click on the Add competitor button.
  14. Enter any competitor URLs identified in the steps above. In total we want, 5 tracked competitors in Ahrefs--comprised of both those identified by the client and within your own research process.
  15. Click on the Site Audit tab in the header nav bar
  16. Click + New project
  17. For Scope & seeds > Scope, set to http + https / {CLIENT} homepage URL / Subdomains
  18. For Scope & seeds > Project name, enter the {CLIENT} business name
  19. For Scope & seeds > Choose URL sources, keep the default options Website, Sitemaps, and Auto-detect sitemaps checked
  20. Skip the Ownership verification option for now--Click Next.
  21. For Speed, keep the default options. Click Next.
  22. For Scheduling, keep the default options. Click Create Project.
  23. Review the results of the first site audit crawl once it finishes. Using the results of this report alongside those of the Screaming Frog site crawl, compile a list of maintenance tasks.  Use the list in Phase III - Screaming Frog as a guide.