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Where can I quickly find opportunities to improve my website's SEO?
Where can I quickly find opportunities to improve my website's SEO?

Find out how to quickly spot opportunities to improve your website's SEO through the Site Explorer's Opportunities report

Constance Tan avatar
Written by Constance Tan
Updated over a week ago

The Opportunities report in Site Explorer helps you prioritize the most impactful actions you can take for your website right now, based on our own experience and research.

This report covers 3 main areas of SEO: creating and improving content, building links, and optimizing the technical aspects of your website:

Clicking on each opportunity opens a report in Ahrefs for the target website. More information about each opportunity can be found below:

All Opportunities


Content

1. Low hanging Fruit Keywords

This opportunity is about targeting keywords for which you already rank in positions 4-15, but could rank higher with additional improvements (aka, low hanging fruits).


We target these keywords because if your website has pages that already rank for these keywords, then it can be easier to build on pages with some success rather than to start creating new content from scratch.


To find these keywords, we open the Organic keywords report, and filter for keywords in positions 4-15:

You now have a list of keywords and URLs which you can optimize its on-page elements for and build backlinks to, in order to improve their ranking:

You can change the filter to positions to 6-10, or 6-20 etc. But the idea is to focus on keywords your website already ranks for (but not highly).

Related guides:

2. Featured Snippets

This opportunity is about looking for pages that can jump to the top of SERPs by ranking for a Featured snippet, one of the SERP features you can find in Google search results. Very often, ranking for a featured snippet allows your website to rise to the very top of Google search results (a place known as "position zero").

We have also conducted research on millions of featured snippets and found that:

  • 12.3% of search queries have a featured snippet

  • 8.6% of clicks go to featured snippets

  • 30.9% of featured snippets rank in position one

In summary, ranking for featured snippets are a good way to jump the rankings and gain more visibility and organic traffic for your website.

To find these opportunities, we open the Organic keywords report and filters for Featured Snippets where the target doesn't rank, and for keywords ranking in positions 2-8, as you'd need to have to be already ranking on the first page of Google’s search results:

Find Featured Snippets using Site Explorer


This is because to rank for a featured snippet, You'd need to have to be already ranking on the first page of Google’s search results.

Related guides:

3. Top suggestions from Content Gap

Competitors are a great source of inspiration. You can use the keywords your competitors rank for to find new content topics, copy their SEO tactics, or steal traffic from competitors.

This opportunity finds the top 10 competitor websites for the target URL based on similar ranking keywords, and opens the Competitor Analysis > Content gap tool for it:

Top suggestions from Content Gap opportunity

You'll get a list of keywords that these 10 competitors rank for, that the target URL does not rank for.

The Search volume and KD metrics for each keyword help you gauge the potential of each keyword to see if it's worth targeting for your own website.

Each result also has a SERP button. To assess search intent, you can click on SERP overview to view how the top results answer the search query, and see if you can make better content.

You can also use our AI Identify Intents button to do that for you:

Identify search Intents using AI in Ahrefs


Related guides:

4. Content with declining traffic

Pages that you’ve previously found success with may no longer be successful after some time. Updating pages with declining traffic is a key step in our own content audit process.

It could be a previously top performing page that now faces more competition. Or the search intent for the keywords they rank for, has changed.

This opportunity helps you find such pages by opening the Top pages report, and then filtering for pages that declined in traffic compared to 6 months ago:

Find content with declining traffic in Site Explorer

You can hover over the Change bar to see the difference in traffic between the 6 months:

In the above example for our Paragraph Rewriter free tool, the page started to rank for a different keyword with less search volume and dropped in position, resulting in the drop in monthly traffic.

If you have a Wordpress website, you can also quickly find content worth updating by installing ourfree WordPress SEO plugin.

Related guides:

5. Pages only published once

Not every page you create the first time will be amazing. If the first time does not work, don’t be afraid to try again. You can revisit them, figure out what went wrong, and republish them with improvements to boost their performance.

We ourselves have done this several times with positive results. If you look at the number of republished posts on the blog in Ahrefs’ Content Explorer, you’ll see that we’ve republished 200+ of our 2k+ blog posts at least once:

To find such pages we open the target URL in Content Explorer, and filter for results that only contain the target URL, pages that are published once, and have only up to 50 page traffic monthly:

Ways you can improve the page when republishing it:

  • Improve titles and other on-page elements

  • Improve alignment to Search Intent

  • Fix any technical issues (e.g. broken links)

Related guides:

6. Potential Cannibalisation

Keyword cannibalisation happens when multiple pages rank simultaneously for the same keyword but are similar enough to be consolidated. You can see proof of this when a search engine like Google constantly swaps the ranking positions of multiple pages.

When keyword cannibalisation happens, your overall traffic for both pages could be diluted as a result.

To find possible cases of keyword cannibalisation, you need to first find keywords where multiple pages are ranking for the same keyword. To do so, this opportunity opens the Organic Keywords report and filters for keywords with multiple ranking URLs:

You can click on the "x more" link next to the URL to open up SERP overview and see all the pages that are ranking for this keyword, and check if the search intent of the pages are similar:

You can click on the "line graph" icon next to the URL to open up Positions history graph and see if pages are swapping positions over time:

The above is an example of keyword cannibalisation since different URLs keep fighting for similar positions over time, and all pages shown serve a very similar search intent.

The general recommendation is to consolidate the pages experiencing cannibalization, but only if the content overlaps enough that consolidation makes sense.

Related guides:

Links

7. Redirects to implement

Broken links occur naturally because websites often remove or redirect pages. If you have broken pages that many sites are linking to, you’re losing potential referral traffic and “link equity.”

By redirecting these 404 pages to relevant live pages, you can reclaim this link equity and boost the authority of your website, which can improve your chances of ranking higher.

In order to find other websites that are linking to broken pages of your website, this opportunity opens the Best by links report and filters for pages that have HTTP code: 404 Not found:

In the Best by links report, these 404 pages are shown in order of highest number of backlinks, helping you prioritize which broken pages to consider redirecting first.

Related guides:

8. Internal Link opportunities

You may be missing opportunities to create contextually relevant Internal links that can help boost the overall link authority of pages. Effective internal linking helps to distribute PageRank across your website, and is often overlooked.

To find such potential internal links, this opportunity opens the Site Audit > Internal Linking Opportunities report for the most recent crawl of the target URL:

This report takes the top 10 keywords (by traffic) for each crawled page, then looks for mentions of those keywords on other crawled pages.

You can use the Advanced filter to further narrow down specific keywords, or parts of the website you'd like to prioritize first:

💡 Learn more about how to use the Internal link opportunities report in our Academy course.

The great thing about internal links is that you can control the target location of the link itself. This allows you to directly pass on that essential link equity from your pages that receive the most links to those that receive the least.

Here at Ahrefs, we call this process of “bridging the gap” with internal links the Middleman Method. You can see how it works below and learn more about this SEO strategy here.

Related Guides:

9. Top links from Link intersect

Similar to before, we can use competitors for inspiration of new backlink ideas. To do so, this opportunity finds the top 10 competitors to the target URL based on commonly ranking keywords, and opens the Competitor Analysis > Link Intersect tool for it:

This report shows what referring domains link to some or all competitors, but not your target website.

You can also use the Link Intersect to see what referring pages link to some or all of your competitors’ homepages, but not your website’s homepage.

So this one does the same thing, but for specific pages only:

Understanding how your competitors get links can give you insights on their link building strategy. You can then assess and take inspiration from the link building tactics that are working for them.

Related Guides:

10. Unlinked brand mentions

There may be other websites out there that are mentioning your brand, but not linking back to you. Such websites become easier prospects for you to build new backlinks with. It also potentially opens a door to build new relationships for future opportunities to collaborate with.

To find such websites, the opportunity opens the Web Explorer report and filters for unlinked mentions of your target website:

Unlinked mentions are online mentions of your brand or product that don’t link back to your site. Hence this report filters for the following pages in our index:

  1. Page content contains the word "Ahrefs"

  2. Page does not linking out to ahrefs.com

  3. Website is not ahrefs.com

💡 Learn more about how to use Web Explorer in our Academy course.

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Technical

11. Critical issues

Technical problems with your website send a negative signal to search engines, which may cause your website to drop in rank, or disappear from SERPs completely.

Technical SEO can get complicated. But if the fundamentals are done right, most of the battle is already won. We prioritize error issues here because they make a bigger impact than Warning or Notice issues. It also helps to create a less intimidating list of issues to start with.

To find the most important technical issues on your website, this opportunity opens the most recent Site Audit crawl for this website and filters for only issues with Error importance:

For more information on each issue, click on the "Why and how to fix":

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We hope this is useful. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our live chat or email [email protected].

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