Kissmetrics Blog

A blog about analytics, marketing and testing

Built to optimize growth. Track, analyze and engage to get more customers.

How to Never Run Out of Content Marketing Ideas Using

What if there were a way to find out exactly what the most shared content was on any subject, in any language? Not only that, but what if the content being shared was the very latest, filterable by dates and domain names, and it was available free of charge – would you want to know more?

I can’t think of a single KISSmetrics reader who wouldn’t! So here’s the scoop:, traditionally known for its site explorer, which crawls trillions of websites to provide insight on their inbound and outbound links, has just released their Content Explorer, which does all of the above and much more.

km seo

A closer look at the AHREFs Content Explorer Dashboard

In the example above, I’ve searched for search engine optimization, a relevant topic for all of us. From the resulting table, I can sort by a variety of categories:

  • Title and URL
  • Number of referring domains
  • Freshness (Date)
  • Twitter, Facebook, Google+ LinkedIn, Pinterest
  • The sum of all social media shares
  • The median of all social media shares

Over 50 languages are currently supported, and you can include or exclude specific domain extensions, including country codes. Of course, releasing a tool that does all this for free would be enough to make any content-focused webmaster positively ecstatic, but AHREFS goes much further than that.

Which Content is the Most Popular?

If you don’t want to have to scroll through a table to determine which content ranks as most popular, you can also get your information through a handy “Trends” bar chart by clicking at the top of the results area. The results page will then sort items by low, medium and high popularity, as shown in this search for “Israel elections”:

km trends

A bar chart showing which content was most popular day by day

You can also sort by tile to see the information in a more contained way. If you’d like more control than what the default filtering and sorting offers, there’s also an Advanced search:


An example of the advanced options available for searches

The site-specific search is here too, as well as OR/AND operators, proximity searches, Boolean, grouping and even fuzziness – for when you can’t remember the exact spelling of a word but don’t want that to interfere with the quality of your results.

So Where Does the “Marketing” Part Come In?

Let’s say you wanted to write a timely piece about the Apple Watch. But you want it to appeal primarily to LinkedIn users. By seeing what has already been done, you can see just what kind of content appeals most to that audience segment. By searching for “Apple Watch” (minus quotes), sorting by date and then by LinkedIn activity, I was able to generate this result:


As you can see, all the industry veterans are represented here: The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Venture Beat, Business Week, AdAge. This presents a virtually unlimited springboard of ideas:

  • What to Look For Before You Invest in an Apple Watch
  • Salesforce Integration with Apple Watch: Will It Transform Your Productivity?
  • Is the Apple Watch More About Fashion than Technology?

There Has to Be a Catch, What Are the Downsides?

If you’re starting to think that this article reads like one big ad for AHREFs, you should note that there are some drawbacks to the service. First, if you want to go beyond 20 results or set alerts, you’ll need to purchase a subscription (hey, they’ve gotta keep the lights on somehow!).

Pricing plans start at $79/month for up to 5 rows (of results) and 5 custom alerts, and pricing/number of alerts increases from that point on. There’s also the Newbie (free) plan and plans available for teams and you can upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time during your service. Billing is handled monthly or annually (with a 20% discount).

In addition, if you submit a lot of queries or switch between result styles fairly often, the site may load considerably slower, since it has billions of records to trawl through. If you’re looking for near-instantaneous results, you might be disappointed.

Making the Most of This New Tool

There are countless articles out there telling you what type of content is shared the most on various social networks and how to ensure your content reaches the right target audience. This is the first tool of its kind to bridge the gap between what works “in theory” by providing the numbers behind it, in turn giving you plenty of angles you can take to develop your own piece.

Of course, like with any tool, you should use it as a vehicle that helps you reach your content marketing goals rather than yet another shiny object. Keeping good content marketing practices in mind doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank or wracking your brain – and tools like AHREF’s Content Explorer help make both of those so much easier!

Have you tried the Content Explorer? Share your thoughts in the comments below or tell us about your favorite content marketing tools!

About the Author: Sherice Jacob helps business owners improve website design and increase conversion rates through compelling copywriting, user-friendly design and smart analytics analysis. Learn more at and download your free web copy tune-up and conversion checklist today!

  1. Nice post dear . I like your post thanks for sharing .

  2. is this a better tool to use than buzzsumo?

    • Yes, ahrefs is better than buzzsumo because it has most of buzzsumo’s features including the ability to reach influencers while allowing you to keep track of other necessary SEO factors like page ranks, backlinks and competition analysis (traffic, page rank among others). I was trying to decide myself between both but, I figured if you’re going to go with one, ahrefs is better because you’ll get more bank for your buck.

  3. Same question here.. pretty strange that Buzzsumo wasn’t mentioned at all. Is this an “advertorial” post?

  4. Nice article.
    Differentiating content performance based on region would provide much deeper insights.

  5. Interesting. Same question here though. How does it compare to buzzsumo?

  6. Sherice Jacob Apr 07, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Nope! I love Buzzsumo too — AHREFs isn’t necessarily better or worse, but one thing Buzzsumo really has going for it is the ability to narrow down by content type. Why not use both?

  7. Michael Attitude Apr 09, 2015 at 3:24 am

    Very nice article. Will have to try this tool out for sure.

  8. I have to agree with several posters this does feel like an advertorial.

    It says “this is the first tool of its kind to bridge the gap between what works ‘in theory’ by providing the numbers behind it” but this isn’t true. Buzzsumo has been doing this for quite some time through social media analytics.

  9. Larry G. Maguire Apr 27, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    In fairness to the author, the headline says “this post is about ahrefs” so what’s the big deal? The headline didn’t say the post was a comparison and then go all one sided in favour of ahrefs,

    It’s a good post with a good breakdown of how to use ahrefs service, and even if it is an advert or there was an aff link in the post so what? Does it not give value in terms of detail? I don’t believe Kissmetrics do advert posts or posts aff links or that type of thing anyway… (Excuse me if the opposite is true, but I don’t believe so)

    If you guys want a comparison between buzzsumo and ahrefs then I’m sure you’ll find an article already written on the subject.

    Good article, thanks for writing.


  10. I haven’t used AHREFs before but have heard some great things. I seem to have a never ending supply of content ideas – I use SEM rush to make sure that I am optimising my content for the best keywords. I will def look into it though. Thanks for sharing.


Please use your real name and a corresponding social media profile when commenting. Otherwise, your comment may be deleted.

← Previous ArticleNext Article →