General SEO

SEO Data. Explained in 5 Minutes, 53 Seconds

Mateusz Makosiewicz
Marketing researcher and educator at Ahrefs. Mateusz has over 10 years of experience in marketing gained in agencies, SaaS and hardware businesses. When not writing, he's composing music or enjoying long walks.
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The number of websites linking to this post.

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    SEO data helps you to improve your website’s visibility in search engines (like Google) and get more visitors to your site. There are six core types of SEO data:
    1. Organic traffic data.
    2. Keyword data.
    3. SERP data.
    4. Backlink data.
    5. Content data.
    6. Technical SEO data.

    Here’s a 5-minute(ish), beginner-friendly introduction to each of them.

    Organic traffic data refers to how often people visit your website through unpaid search results.

    Key data

    • Clicks: how many times people clicked on a site from search results.
    • Impressions: how often a site appears in search results.
    • Click-Through Rate (CTR): the percentage of clicks compared to impressions. A high CTR indicates that a webpage is relevant and attractive to searchers.
    • Organic traffic estimates: tools like Ahrefs give you these numbers for sites you don’t own, so you can learn from them and improve your SEO strategy.

    How to get it

    To get organic traffic data from Google, set up a free Google Search Console account and navigate to the Performance report. This works only for your websites.

    How to get organic traffic data in GSC.

    If you’re using Ahrefs, open Site Explorer and plug in the URL of any page or site you want to analyze.

    How to get organic traffic data in Ahrefs.

    Key use cases

    Keyword data helps you work out which keywords are worth targeting (and how hard they might be to rank for).

    Key data

    How to get it

    In Ahrefs, open Keywords Explorer, paste a few keywords related to your business, or use the AI feature to brainstorm some ideas.

    How to get keyword data in Ahrefs.

    Next, you can use Keyword ideas tools to generate even more keywords and apply filters to refine your list.

    Matching terms report in Ahrefs.

    Key use cases

    SERP (Search Engine Result Page) data allows you to see which pages rank in which positions for a given keyword, and how those rankings change over time.

    Key data

    • Organic rankings: what pages rank for a given keyword.
    • Rich results: which keywords trigger specific rich results (like featured snippets, video results, or map pack), and which pages rank for them.

    How to get it 

    In Ahrefs, SERP data is virtually anywhere you can see a keyword.

    For example, if you want to see keywords your competitors rank for, open the Organic keywords report in Site Audit.

    How to get SERP data in Ahrefs.

    You can also peek inside the SERPs.

    How to get SERP data in Ahrefs (2).

    And if you want to track a specific set of keywords, for example, the keywords you target on your blog, add them to Rank Tracker to get data like this:

    How to get SERP data in Ahrefs' Rank Tracker.

    Key use cases 

    Backlink data helps you see which websites link back to another website.

    Key data

    • Number of backlinks: how many links a site has from other sites.
    • Number of referring domains: How many different sites link to a given site.
    • Backlink type: Types of links, like dofollow (better for SEO) and nofollow.
    • Domain rating: This is an Ahrefs metric that represents the strength of the website’s backlink profile on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 100.

    How to get it

    The quickest way to get backlink data on any site is to use the Backlinks report in Site Explorer.

    How to get Backlink data in Ahrefs.

    Quick tip: if you want to see just the best backlinks, turn on the “Best links” filter (it’s customizable, too).

    Best link filter in Ahrefs.

    Key use cases

    Content data refers to the information about the performance of specific articles and pieces of content.

    How to get it

    You can find this data in Content Explorer. Plug in a topic related to your website, turn on the “In title” mode, and run the search.

    How to get content data in Ahrefs.

    Then, you can apply some filters to refine your search. Say you’re looking for guest blogging opportunities. You could use a combination of website traffic and domain rating filters to get over 9,000 potentially good-quality sites to reach out to.

    Content data example in Ahrefs.

    Key use cases 

    Technical SEO helps you understand the technical health of your website, and prevent problems that might limit your performance.

    Key data

    • Indexability issues: ensures search engines can find and list a website’s pages.
    • Broken pages: pages that don’t load correctly, often showing error messages.
    • Internal links: links within a website that help in navigation and structure understanding.
    • Performance and stability: focuses on fast loading times and smooth website operation (most often measured through Core Web Vitals).
    • Mobile experience: ensures a website is user-friendly on smartphones and tablets.
    • Schema markup: code that helps search engines understand and display webpage content better.

    How to get it 

    In Ahrefs, set up a project in Site Audit and let the tool automatically find all your SEO issues.

    How to get technical SEO data in Ahrefs.

    Key use cases

    Before choosing an SEO tool, make sure to learn more about the data it provides.

    Size of the indexes. A bigger index ensures that less data is overlooked. This means you potentially won’t miss out on good keyword or backlink opportunities.

    Accuracy of data. Obviously, more accurate data means less room for mistakes in your strategy.

    Granularity of data. This refers to the number of data points available. For instance, Ahrefs stores over 60 different data points on backlinks. Details can make a huge difference in SEO, so the more information you can get, the better.

    Update frequency. For example, Ahrefs updates its backlink index every 15 to 30 minutes to keep the data fresh. Obviously, the web is constantly changing, and SEO data needs to reflect that.

    There are a few sources where you can look for this information:

    Final thoughts

    Want to start collecting your own SEO data? Try our free SEO tools.

    Article Performance
    • Linking websites

    The number of websites linking to this post.

    This post's estimated monthly organic search traffic.