What It Is, How It Works, & How Ahrefs Does It

Inbound advertising is a advertising technique that goals to drag clients in with related and helpful content material.

Coined by HubSpot’s founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, the purpose of inbound advertising is creating content material to:

  1. Entice potential clients.
  2. Have interaction and train how your services or products can remedy their drawback.
  3. Delight by going above and past to assist them discover success along with your product.

Collectively, they work like a flywheel.

The inbound marketing flywheel

The right way to do inbound advertising

Inbound advertising is our core advertising technique at Ahrefs. We create useful content material that teaches our clients search engine optimisation and digital advertising whereas selling our product, precisely just like the submit you’re studying now.

Right here’s how we use inbound advertising at Ahrefs:


Rating in natural search is the primary manner we entice potential clients. We selected this channel for 2 causes:

  1. Constant visitors – By rating for matters individuals seek for, we are able to entice visitors to our content material month after month.
  2. Extremely focused – By writing concerning the issues our product helps to resolve, we entice the fitting individuals on the proper time.

For instance, we rank #1 for “how you can do internet affiliate marketing”:

Ahrefs ranking #1 on a Google SERP for "how to do affiliate marketing"

In response to Google Search Console, this submit has attracted 58,000 clicks over the previous three months:

No. of clicks, via Google Search Console

All of those persons are potential clients as a result of they’ll battle to do internet affiliate marketing with no key phrase analysis instrument like Ahrefs.

To search out the most effective matters to jot down about, we do key phrase analysis. Right here’s the method:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer
  2. Enter a time period related to your corporation or product
  3. Go to the Matching phrases report
Matching terms report, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

This report reveals you all of the key phrases containing the subject, sorted by reputation.

Undergo the report and pick those who have enterprise potential. Enterprise potential is basically how straightforward it’s to pitch your product whereas tackling a subject.

How the Ahrefs team determines the business potential of a topic

Give these key phrases a rating from 0 to three and prioritize focusing on these which might be “2” or increased. Then, observe the sources beneath to create content material that’ll rank for these key phrases.

Have interaction

Engagement is all about instructing readers how you can remedy their issues utilizing your product. To do that, you have to perceive their drawback and assist them remedy it.

For instance, a searcher needs to know how you can discover who hyperlinks to their web site. They search on Google and discover our content material. Guess what? Our product—Web site Explorer—solves that drawback. So we embrace it as a possible instrument they will use in our article.

Site Explorer pitched in an Ahrefs blog post

Actually, this text is doing the identical factor too—we’re exhibiting you how you can do inbound advertising our manner, which is search engine optimisation. And also you’ll want a instrument like ours to do that.

Perceive that this isn’t compelled. Our product is one of the simplest ways to resolve that drawback, so it’s naturally a part of the narrative. If it doesn’t match, we by no means embrace it:

Joshua Hardwick advising an author to remove a product mention

That’s why prioritizing matters with enterprise potential within the Entice stage is so essential. In case your product isn’t a superb resolution to the issue, it’ll be exhausting to “promote” it within the content material and have interaction readers in a significant manner.


Every delighted buyer can unfold the phrase to their buddies and colleagues. This will get you extra clients, who can then refer extra individuals. However the flywheel solely strikes if you happen to excel on this stage—delighting your clients.

You possibly can’t put lipstick on a pig. So no variety of “delighting methods” you utilize could make your clients completely happy if you happen to don’t have a services or products that delivers outcomes. Certainly, that’s our predominant focus. We’re all the time making an attempt to enhance our product and continually releasing new options:

However new options imply nothing in case your clients don’t know how you can use them. You need to assist them use these options and obtain the outcomes they need. That’s what we do on our weblog.

Past that, our “assist” part is offered for our clients if they’ve any particular questions concerning our instruments. 

Ahrefs' "help" section

Every new buyer can be invited to hitch our customer-only neighborhood:

Ahrefs' customer-only community

If they’ve any suggestions or concepts for options they need developed, they will talk about them locally and even submit them on Canny, our characteristic request board:

Ahrefs' Canny board


Listed here are some generally requested questions on inbound advertising.

What are the advantages of inbound advertising?

Inbound advertising attracts potential clients, teaches them how you can remedy their issues along with your product, and helps clients get essentially the most out of your product. This ends in completely happy clients who suggest your product to others.

What’s the distinction between inbound and outbound advertising?

Outbound advertising is an interruptive type of advertising the place you push a message or product to a prospect by means of chilly calls, chilly emails, direct mails, and so on.

Inbound advertising is the alternative—you create helpful content material to your viewers that they search out once they want it.

Remaining ideas

Our particular product, the shoppers we serve, and the trade we work in have knowledgeable the course of our inbound advertising technique. 

Your organization is probably going in a distinct trade, targets completely different clients, and has completely different sources. The ideas of inbound advertising would be the identical, however the person techniques will likely be completely different.

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