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How does the Ahrefs SEO WordPress Plugin work?

In the recent v0.7 release, we’ve updated the plugin to focus 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 everyday, we recommend setting up at least a weekly 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.

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 – the target keyword is ranked within the top 3 position

  2. Update – the target keyword is below the top 3 but within the top 20 position, is unique across all included pages and the page has 1 or more backlinks

  3. Merge – the target keyword is ranked below the top 3 but within the top 20 position and is similar to the target keyword of another page

  4. Exclude – the target keyword is ranked below the top 20 but is in the top 50th percentile when it comes to traffic across all pages on the site

  5. Update – the target keyword is ranked below the top 20, is in the bottom 50th percentile for traffic and has 1 or more backlinks

  6. Delete – the target keyword is ranked below the top 20, is in the bottom 50th percentile for traffic and has no backlinks

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.

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. Out of scope

  3. Newly published

  4. Added since last audit

  5. 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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