Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (AWT) is a free SEO tool that shows you which keywords your website ranks for, which backlinks point to your site, and provides a complete SEO audit of your internal links and page structure. In short, Ahrefs Webmaster Tools is an all-in-one on-page and off-page free SEO tool from Ahrefs, one of the largest premium SEO tool providers. It’s a tool that is limited to providing on-page, off-page SEO data for a verified website.
What data does Ahrefs Webmaster Tools give you?
Ahrefs Webmaster Tools gives you the same data as their premium Site Audit and Site Explorer tools, which is:
- On-page SEO performance – find 404 pages, broken links, slow-loading pages
- Organic keyword rankings – find which keywords your site ranks for
- Backlinks – find which websites link to you.
How to use Ahrefs Webmaster Tools:
First, you need to sign up for Ahrefs Webmaster Tools for free. You’ll need to verify your email address to get started. Next, fill in your name and create a password. Next, you need to verify your website. You can now verify website ownership by connecting your Google Account to Ahrefs.
- Import from Google Search Console
- DNS record
- HTML file
- HTML tag
I strongly recommend that, if you’re going to try using AWT, you do not give Ahrefs access to your Google Search Console data. I also don’t recommend using it at all. More on that later.
Next, you can set up your Site Audit crawl. Just like in the regular Ahrefs tool, site audit will crawl every page on your website (no size limit) and flag issues like 404 pages, broken links, missing meta descriptions, or slow loading pages (think of it as a substitute for Screaming Frog).
You can configure Site Audit to regularly crawl your site and send you emails to flag changes or issues. I’m not going to lie, it’s a great feature, but it’s nothing new and has been available to paying Ahrefs customers for years.
Next, you can click on your project to enter Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and view all the backlinks and keyword rankings for your site.
Once you’ve verified your site, you can access Site Audit and Site Explorer for free. They work the same way as on a premium Ahrefs plan. The only catch is that you can’t see data on other websites, and you are giving Ahrefs a LOT of precious data. And that’s not good for you.
How Does Ahrefs Webmaster Tools work?
Here’s where we get to the problem. Ahrefs Webmaster Tools requires access to either Google Search Console or verifies your site through an HTML tag or DNS record.
When you use GSC, you are giving Ahrefs the ability to track every page on your website and see all your Google data on keywords, CTR, backlinks, etc. But if you’re an online content creator interested in your website performance (and not so much in competitor analysis, keyword research, etc.), Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (AWT) offers a GREAT dashboard with the most important SEO metrics for your websites.
Ahrefs Webmaster Tool Limitations:
There are limits to how many URLs are crawled and how long data is retained.
• Monthly crawled URLs – 5,000 per project
• Data retention – 3 months
• JS rendering – yes
• Backlink index – “Live” only
• Rows per report – 1,000
• Rows per month – 100,000
• Export rows per report – 1,000
• Export rows per month – 10,000
Advanced SE Reports:
• Content gap – 10 rows per report
• Link Intersect – 10 rows per report
• Competing pages/domains – 10 rows per report
• Top pages/subdomains/paths – 10 rows per report.
Ahrefs Webmaster Tools is a killer service. There are so many features packed into this tool there is more to it that I haven’t even covered.