As digital marketing experts, we take our content very seriously. More so now that Google and other search engines value sustainability more than other strategies. Although links remain the bloodline of SEO, content and social media have become crucial in getting them. Creating backlinks is not enough. You need great content that’s not only unique; it should also be interesting enough to be shared on various social media platforms.
But alas – great content poses plenty of problems. For one, where do you begin drawing out ideas? Second, where do you share them? And third, how sure can you be that it will be popular? While each of us has our own tools and strategies, allow me to introduce the new Ahrefs Content Explorer. It is designed to help marketing experts conceptualize great content; while at the same time, see what our competitors are up to. If you’ve been using similar applications such as Buzzsumo, you’ll have no trouble learning this new feature.
But what separates this Ahrefs tool from the rest? Let’s take a close look to find out.
Delve Deeper Into Content
For those unfamiliar with Ahrefs, they are mainly a backlink checker and site explorer services. Basic offerings are available via a free account, but to get premium features (such as domain comparison of up to five websites and their new Content Explorer tool); you’ll need a paid account.
Content Explorer was intended to assist digital marketers in finding content related to their topic or niche. Once you enter a keyword (in this case, ‘digital marketing’), it will present you with a list based on your preferred date filter options (we picked content over the Past Month). It’s pretty straight-forward: with the links on the left-hand side and the social shares on the right. It focuses on the Big Five, which are Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. The total shares are marked with the Sigma symbol.
You also have the option to include a domain name, as well as set the language. This will filter the results to your desired settings.
Want a more detailed search? Use their Advanced Search functions, such as ‘fuzziness’ (if you’re not sure of the keyword spelling OR you need to see variations) and proximity (the tool will search for exact snippets of the word you’re looking for). Content Explorer is also capable of creating alerts (similar to Google Alerts), which will be sent to your email. You can set it to daily, weekly, or real-time intervals.
What Makes Content Explorer Different
Remember: Ahrefs is first and foremost, a Backlink Explorer tool. Just because they branched out into another aspect of SEO doesn’t mean they will offer limited insights. In fact, it’s the perfect mix of both worlds in terms of links and content. How does this help you? Pick a popular content to see its referring domains and number of backlinks. From there, you can either a) use it as an outbound link to increase your page rank (so long as it’s applicable and relevant); OR b) strategize to syndicate your content on that website.
Using authoritative internal or outbound links is a neat trick to improving a page’s rank, especially for older content. What makes Ahrefs Content Explorer so good is that you can see all this information right away – no need for downloads. You still have the option to export the file in Microsoft Excel format if you want though; but we prefer using it online because it’s faster. Content Explorer also shows whether the backlinks are do- or nofollow links, making it more convenient to analyze.
How To Leverage Content Explorer
If you’re already using paid Ahrefs services, why not try this cool feature today? Links and content are highly valuable SEO elements. Combined with a targeted social media approach, you’re well on your way to creating digital marketing success. Let’s see what we can do with the data we saw earlier:
Again, our main keyword is ‘digital marketing’. If you noticed, the most popular content on the topic is about changes or making a difference in the industry. This should already give you a couple of ideas on the type of content you want to make. Here are a few of what we’ve come up with:
- the easiest ways to fail in digital marketing
- top 5 digital marketing strategies you’re doing wrong
- rock digital marketing using this step-by-step guide
Note where content was shared, too. This will be your guide during social media marketing (remember the phrase: ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’?). Okay, so now you have a topic PLUS where to promote it. That’s already half the work done – all thanks to a single tool! Now let’s cover links. Aside from the tips above, you may also contact the authors of the popular content to help you market your work. A short, sweet email or a shoutout on Twitter should do the trick. Simply reach out to them, telling them you were inspired by their work. Don’t forget to ask them to share the link on their social media accounts.
Another option is to check for busted backlinks. Use the Ahrefs Broken Backlinks Tool found under Inbound Links to help you with this task. If there are any errors, don’t hesitate to reach out to the webmaster. Inform him of the faulty link, and suggest your content (which should be related to their topic). Not only will you be making good connections by helping out; you would also gain valuable links once approved!
More To Create, More To Love
The tool is still fairly new, so we can probably expect more features to come soon. What’s awesome now is that we can work smarter and faster. At the end of the day, it’s up to YOU to figure out how to take advantage of the tools you already own. There’s no single perfect app out there (believe us – we tried!). But if we take the time to learn its ins and outs, it can be the most powerful weapon in our digital marketing arsenal.
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