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

Inbound advertising is a advertising technique that goals to tug 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. Interact and train how your services or products can resolve their downside.
  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

Methods 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 folks seek for, we are able to entice visitors to our content material month after month.
  2. Extremely focused – By writing in regards to the issues our product helps to unravel, we entice the best folks on the proper time.

For instance, we rank #1 for “find out how to do affiliate internet marketing”:

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

In line with 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 affiliate internet marketing and not using a key phrase analysis instrument like Ahrefs.

To search out the perfect matters to put in writing 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 small business 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 recognition.

Undergo the report and select people who have enterprise potential. Enterprise potential is basically how simple 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 concentrating on these which can be “2” or larger. Then, observe the assets beneath to create content material that’ll rank for these key phrases.


Engagement is all about instructing readers find out how to resolve their issues utilizing your product. To do that, you want to perceive their downside and assist them resolve it.

For instance, a searcher needs to know find out how to 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 downside. So we embrace it as a possible instrument they will use in our article.

Site Explorer pitched in an Ahrefs blog post

In reality, this text is doing the identical factor too—we’re displaying you find out how to 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 unravel that downside, 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 vital. In case your product isn’t a very good resolution to the issue, it’ll be arduous 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 folks. However the flywheel solely strikes when you excel on this stage—delighting your clients.

You possibly can’t put lipstick on a pig. So no variety of “delighting methods” you employ could make your clients pleased when you don’t have a services or products that delivers outcomes. Certainly, that’s our major focus. We’re all the time attempting to enhance our product and always releasing new options:

However new options imply nothing in case your clients don’t know find out how to 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 on the market 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 group:

Ahrefs' customer-only community

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

Ahrefs' Canny board


Listed below are some generally requested questions on inbound advertising.

What are the advantages of inbound advertising?

Inbound advertising attracts potential clients, teaches them find out how to resolve their issues along with your product, and helps clients get essentially the most out of your product. This leads to pleased clients who advocate 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 via chilly calls, chilly emails, direct mails, and so on.

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

Closing ideas

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

Your organization is probably going in a special trade, targets completely different clients, and has completely different assets. The rules of inbound advertising would be the similar, however the person ways will probably be completely different.

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