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How does the Ahrefs SEO WordPress Plugin work?
How does the Ahrefs SEO WordPress Plugin work?

Find out more about the features of the Ahrefs SEO WordPress plugin

Anna avatar
Written by Anna
Updated over a week ago

Ahrefs SEO Plugin focuses on one single feature: the Content Audit. A content audit is a process where you analyse the performance of all content on your site to determine whether it should be left as it is, updated, merged into another page, excluded from the analysis or deleted.

After you’ve installed the plugin, you will be guided through a setup wizard where you will be required to connect Ahrefs & Google accounts.

After connecting the required accounts, you will be able to select pages to include or exclude within the scope. Unchecking pages that are not optimized for organic search like “About”, “Privacy Policy” or “Company” will give you better recommendations and a more accurate Performance Score.

You can also set up daily, weekly and monthly schedules to have content audits run automatically. For sites that are updated on a weekly basis, we recommend setting up at least a monthly scheduled audit.

The content audit will take some time to complete, since it involves multiple API calls to Ahrefs, GA & GSC. In the meantime, an ‘in progress’ screen indicates when the audit process will be completed. Learn more about what factors can influence the speed of the audit.

You can also get a preview of the report by clicking on ‘View report’.

After the analysis has completed, the report will contain a summary graph section with two charts:

  1. Performance Score - % of well-performing pages out of all included pages (does not include pages/posts excluded from analysis)

  2. A clickable summary of the number of pages associated with each suggested action

Below the summary graph section, you will see a list of posts & pages.

There are different suggested actions depending on the performance of the page across multiple metrics like keyword ranking position, amount of traffic & number of backlinks:

  1. Do nothing: If your article is ranking in the top 3 position for its target keyword.

  2. Update: If your article is ranking for its target keyword within the top 3–20 positions and the target keyword is unique across all pages, we’ll suggest optimizing your article by updating it with new and unique content.

  3. Merge: If your article is ranking for its target keyword within the top 3–20 positions and the target keyword is not unique across all pages, we’ll suggest consolidating the content from all similar articles into one.

  4. Exclude: If your article is not ranking for its target keyword within the top 20 positions but is in the top 50th percentile when it comes to traffic across all pages on the site, this most likely means that this page is not supposed to attract organic traffic. We’ll suggest excluding it from the audit so that it doesn’t affect your performance score.

  5. Rewrite: If your article is not ranking for its target keyword within the top 20 positions and is receiving low traffic, we suggest reviewing and matching search intent by analyzing the SERP, rewriting and republishing the article.

As you can see from the evaluation logic, choosing & approving the right target keyword is extremely important.

In every row, you will be able to approve or change target keywords. The suggested target keywords are based on the top ranking keyword by position, with data pulled from GSC.

If you already use other SEO plugins (Yoast, RankMath, AIOSEO) and have specified target keywords there, we’ll automatically assign and sync them on each audit.

If not, we strongly recommend manually reviewing each suggested keyword and either approving or changing it. After approval, the target keyword will be locked from any automatic changes. You can still manually change the keyword but subsequent content audits will not programmatically change it.

If you prefer to change the target keyword, the plugin suggests other lower ranking keywords & keywords detected through TF-IDF which gives you an opportunity to understand what other phrases the page might be optimized for. In some cases, you might prefer keywords that have generated higher clicks & impressions so those metrics are available at a glance.

While you can manually exclude pages from the audit, certain pages are automatically excluded:

  1. Noindex page

  2. Non-canonical page

  3. Redirected page

  4. Out of scope

  5. Newly published

  6. Added since last audit

  7. Error analyzing

To give a better representation of your content quality, automatically & manually excluded pages are not part of the calculation of Performance Score.


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