If you are accessing Ahrefs for the first time, this is what you will see after logging in:

Step 1: Add the URL/Domain of the project

To add a new project or campaign, simply input the URL or domain and then click on "Add project".

If you already have a project or campaign created, click on "+ New project" to add new subsequent projects.

When you add a new project, it gets automatically added to Rank Tracker and Site Audit. The total amount of projects is predetermined by your subscription:

Step 2: Scope: Determine the Protocol, Mode and Project Name

After you have your domain or URL specified, select the protocol and mode that is suited to your needs. This step is important as selecting an unsuitable protocol or mode can cause you to get very different results. 

Find out what the different modes mean.

The project name would already be pre-populated for you from the URL's title tag, but feel free to amend where you see fit.

Then click "Continue". 

Step 3: Verifying Ownership

Read more for detailed instructions on verifying website ownership

Step 4: Site Audit: Schedule, URL Sources and Crawl Settings


You may run scheduled crawls with predefined frequency:

URL Sources:

Crawl Settings:

Read more for setting optimal crawl speed in Site Audit

Step 4: Rank Tracking - Adding keywords to track

Input the keywords that you wish to track, add in the location(s) with which you wish to track those keywords and then click "Continue". 

These Keywords will be added to the Rank Tracker tool for the purpose of tracking how well your website ranks in the organic search results. You will also get regular email reports with the ranking progress.

Read more on how tracked keywords are calculated and how to choose the correct location.

Step 5: Add the Competitors you wish to track for the project [For Rank Tracker tool]

Add in the competitors that you wish to track against your own website for the previous set of keywords that you have entered. You can either pick from the list of pre-populated competitor ideas or input a new one manually. Then click "Finish".

These competitors, together with the keywords in step 4, will be added to the Rank Tracker tool for the purpose of tracking how well these websites rank in the organic search results when compared with your target URL/Domain. 

Read more on how to add competitors on Ahrefs Rank Tracker.

Step 6: Check that the project is displayed on your Dashboard

And there you have it - your Dashboard project created :)

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