S2E06: How did Ahrefs get to 250 K organic visits a month

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In this week’s episode of Strike Gold, we speak with Joshua Hardwick, head of content at Ahrefs, a company that develops SEO tools and resources to grow your search traffic. Our conversation well left us speechless!

This episode is little the antichrist of the growth hacking bible – but an exciting lesson in making brave marketing choices.

Before joining Ahrefs, Joshua was a freelance link builder with expertise in creating great content to get backlinks for.

These days he and his small content team are in-charge of everything you read in the Ahrefs blog, landing age pages, and website copy.

Ahrefs is a SaaS suite of SEO tools you can use for keyword research, rank tracking, competitor research, backlinks analysis, and more. You can use it for almost any part of your SEO project.

Why did this conversation blow us away so much?
It starts with the fact the Ahrefs aren’t using Google analytics. Or any alternative for that sort.

Yes, you’re going, “wait for what?!! What about custom dashboards? Conversions? Anything?!”

Yup. Take a deep breath and dive into the journey and tactics that built Ahrefs organic 250K visits a month channel.

Our key takeaways:

It’s about showing up

Ahrefs aren’t trying to convert with their content necessarily.
They aim to show up whenever somebody searches for a term of a solution they can help with.
They focus on creating content that will meet their potential targets in their time of need, but they have no “pressure” of converting.

They are okay with believing that if you find value over time – you’d eventually convert.

Writing about what your features can solve

Since the Ahrefs team doesn’t count directly on the blog posts to convert, they also don’t look at their content in the traditional funnel structure. Instead, they focus on writing articles that will tie both to their audience needs and can also highlight a product or feature that they have.

This way, they can both always focus on real customer need while promoting their product as part of an actionable post that gives their audience value.

Is Google Analytics mostly a distraction?

Hmm, this one is hard to write, but Joshua said it, and now we have to at least think of it.
For a lot of content marketers, Google Analytics creates a layer of noise.

Joshua and his team ditched Google Analytics in favor of a combination of Search Console and Ahrefs own features in estimating the amount of traffic they get to the blog.

When is it time to optimize your content?

The method is pretty straight forward if a keyword’s ranking drops – you go and analyze why. Evaluate the situation and improve the text, improve interlinks, or backlinks until you climb back to the top.

It’s all about rankings, not traffic.

We hope you enjoyed this episode!

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A big thank you to Elad Levy for joining me this week. Until next time!

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