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How to Drive High-Quality Leads Using Product-Led Content



How to Drive High-Quality Leads Using Product-Led Content

The beauty of SEO is that searchers are actively looking for your product/service or the problem you solve.

This usually means higher-quality leads, which makes SEO a fantastic lead-generation channel. 

However, it doesn’t mean you can create any piece of content, gate it, and hope that you drive thousands of leads to your business. 

Neither can you send these leads to a dedicated autoresponder sequence, and they’ll suddenly be “nurtured” and “ready to buy.”

The buyer’s journey doesn’t work like that in the real world:

  • The buyer’s journey is not linear – Nobody’s searching for a problem, discovering the solution, immediately jumping on a demo call, and converting into a customer. 
  • If you’re creating top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) content, your “leads” are early in the marketing funnel – They probably don’t know they have a problem or just discovered it. So while they can technically be considered “marketing-qualified,” the sales development representatives (SDRs) are going to find them of poor quality and a waste of time. (And these leads will wonder why SDRs are calling them!)

That’s why, in this post, we’re going to explore a better way to generate leads via SEO. 

How to use product-led content to generate leads via SEO

Product-led content weaves your product into the narrative to help solve a problem. It’s not a hard sell. You’re not trying to aggressively pitch your product. You’re still trying to provide helpful advice, with the exception of presenting your product or service as the best solution.

Product-led content is the main way we generate leads and customers at Ahrefs. And it works:

Number of users who signed up for Ahrefs Webmaster Tools in the past seven days

It works well as lead generation because:

  • For most businesses, there is a group of people who are looking for solutions or ready to buy. These people make great leads. You’d want to target them first before going up the funnel. Our process of creating product-led content mainly targets such keywords.
  • Product-led content shows your product or service in action. It encourages a simple next step for them to sign up for a trial, demo call, or more.

So how do you create product-led content that generates leads? Here’s how:

1. Do keyword research

Product-led or not, you need a way for people to discover your content. Given that 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search, Google’s a good place to start.

But if you want to get search traffic from Google, you need to target topics that people are searching for. That’s where keyword research comes in. 

Keyword research is the process of discovering valuable search queries that your target customers type into search engines to look for products, services, and information. 

The easiest way to begin is to use a keyword research tool like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer:

  1. Go to Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter one or a few relevant keywords
  3. Go to the Matching terms report
Matching terms report, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Look through the report and pick out the keywords that are relevant to your site. 

Don’t think about whether you can create product-led content for those keywords yet. We’ll do that in the next step. For now, focus on collecting as many relevant keywords as possible.

2. Assign each keyword a “business potential” score

To make product-led content work, the best way is to target keywords with high buying intent. 

The way we identify these keywords is to assign all of the keywords we discovered in step one with a “business potential “ score. 

How to score a topic's business potential

By prioritizing only topics that score at least a “2,” we make sure that every mention of our product is natural.

3. Create product-led content that ranks

This is the most difficult part of the process. That’s because creating a great piece of product-led content isn’t simply whipping up a 1,000-word blog post and adding a link back to your trial or consultation call. 

It often requires deep product knowledge, creativity, and smart copywriting. Essentially, the writer needs to: 

  • Understand what Google and searchers are looking for—and match it.
  • Understand the product or service so well that they can weave in use cases naturally.
  • Add unique nuggets of information so that the post not only stands out on the SERPs but also encourages people to link to it.
  • Make sure the content is engaging and not “oversell” the product.

Let’s look at what’s involved:

Match search intent

If you want to rank high on Google, you need to understand why the searcher is looking for a particular topic. This is known as search intent and you can figure it out by analyzing the SERPs for the three Cs:

  • Content type – Are they blog posts, product pages, landing pages, or something else?
  • Content format – Are they tutorials, listicles, how-to guides, recipes, free tools, or something else?
  • Content angle – Is there a dominant selling point, like low prices or how easy it is?

For example, if we’re targeting the keyword “inbound marketing,” the three Cs will be:

SERP overview for "inbound marketing"
  • Content type – They’re all blog posts.
  • Content format – They’re all definition-style guides.
  • Content angle – No particular standout angle for this keyword.

So if you want to rank for this keyword, it’s likely you’ll have to create a definition-style blog post. 

Cover important subtopics

If there are subtopics that most of the top-ranking pages cover, it’s likely they’re important and searchers expect to see them.

We can find out what these subtopics are by looking at common keyword rankings:

  1. Enter your keyword into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
  2. Scroll down to the SERP overview
  3. Select three to five top-ranking articles (make sure they’re similar)
  4. Click Open in and choose Content gap
"Open in Content Gap" feature in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

We’ll then select the Intersection dropdown and choose “4, 5” to see only the most relevant subtopics:

Content Gap report

In this example, it’s likely we’ll have to cover these:

  • What inbound marketing is
  • Examples of inbound marketing
  • Inbound marketing strategies

They will make good subheadings for the post.

Insert unique nuggets of information

Links are a confirmed Google ranking factor

Backlinks help pages rank higher in Google's search results

But if you want people to link to your content, you need to give them a reason to. Here are some reasons why people link:

  1. Data – You have original data, numbers, or statistics. This can be from your company’s internal data, surveys, or polls. For example, we studied our database to discover that 66.5% of links to sites in the last nine years are dead.
  2. Expert analysis and insights – You have insights from industry experts that no one else has access to. These can be in-house or external. For example, our post on ChatGPT use cases for SEO is based on our understanding of how the AI tool can and cannot help.
  3. Personal experience – You have a unique set of experiences that no one can replicate. For example, our post on what an SEO agency does was written based on Chris Haines’ 10-year experience working in an agency.
  4. Strong opinions – You have a set of opinions that is contrarian, alternative, or simply different from other experts. For example, Patrick Stox’s post about how going viral doesn’t help with SEO generated some debate and controversy.
  5. New and unique products or services – You’ve created a product or service that is uncommon, unique, or solves an important problem. For example, our beta launch of our search engine garnered quite a few media mentions.

You’ll have to find ways to insert such unique nuggets of information into your content. 

Weave your product naturally into the content

Wherever it makes sense within the content, include your product use cases. With step-by-step details (using screenshots, GIFs, and videos), show your readers how to solve problems with your product.

There is no “right” way to do this nor is there a “correct” number of use cases you should include. It depends on your product, the problem you’re solving in particular, and your copywriting skills.

You’ve seen how I’ve naturally included many Ahrefs use cases in this post. Here’s another example where Chris has integrated Ahrefs use cases into his post. 

How to weave your product naturally into your content

It’s natural because of the topic—it’s difficult to do competitor analysis without Ahrefs.

Final thoughts

Does this mean that you should not create TOFU content?

No. TOFU content still has its place.

I asked Bryan Casey, the director of digital at IBM, and this is what he has to say:

B2B buyers aren’t in the market for products 95% of the time but they’re in the market to get better at their job 100% of the time. So, that traffic is not looking to be routed to a sales rep the next week. 

But if you can make the audience “sticky” by getting them more connected to the brand so you can reach them perpetually, you’re top-of-mind and that’s a great outcome.

The goal of TOFU content is not to generate leads. It’s for brand awareness and building a relationship with them. You can still encourage them to sign up for your newsletter, but this is not a sales play. You’re simply getting your brand to be top of mind for them.

Any questions or comments? Let me know on Twitter.

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4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI




4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

In a significant leap in large language model (LLM) development, Mistral AI announced the release of its newest model, Mixtral-8x7B.

What Is Mixtral-8x7B?

Mixtral-8x7B from Mistral AI is a Mixture of Experts (MoE) model designed to enhance how machines understand and generate text.

Imagine it as a team of specialized experts, each skilled in a different area, working together to handle various types of information and tasks.

A report published in June reportedly shed light on the intricacies of OpenAI’s GPT-4, highlighting that it employs a similar approach to MoE, utilizing 16 experts, each with around 111 billion parameters, and routes two experts per forward pass to optimize costs.

This approach allows the model to manage diverse and complex data efficiently, making it helpful in creating content, engaging in conversations, or translating languages.

Mixtral-8x7B Performance Metrics

Mistral AI’s new model, Mixtral-8x7B, represents a significant step forward from its previous model, Mistral-7B-v0.1.

It’s designed to understand better and create text, a key feature for anyone looking to use AI for writing or communication tasks.

This latest addition to the Mistral family promises to revolutionize the AI landscape with its enhanced performance metrics, as shared by OpenCompass.

Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

What makes Mixtral-8x7B stand out is not just its improvement over Mistral AI’s previous version, but the way it measures up to models like Llama2-70B and Qwen-72B.

mixtral-8x7b performance metrics compared to llama 2 open source ai modelsmixtral-8x7b performance metrics compared to llama 2 open source ai models

It’s like having an assistant who can understand complex ideas and express them clearly.

One of the key strengths of the Mixtral-8x7B is its ability to handle specialized tasks.

For example, it performed exceptionally well in specific tests designed to evaluate AI models, indicating that it’s good at general text understanding and generation and excels in more niche areas.

This makes it a valuable tool for marketing professionals and SEO experts who need AI that can adapt to different content and technical requirements.

The Mixtral-8x7B’s ability to deal with complex math and coding problems also suggests it can be a helpful ally for those working in more technical aspects of SEO, where understanding and solving algorithmic challenges are crucial.

This new model could become a versatile and intelligent partner for a wide range of digital content and strategy needs.

How To Try Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Demos

You can experiment with Mistral AI’s new model, Mixtral-8x7B, to see how it responds to queries and how it performs compared to other open-source models and OpenAI’s GPT-4.

Please note that, like all generative AI content, platforms running this new model may produce inaccurate information or otherwise unintended results.

User feedback for new models like this one will help companies like Mistral AI improve future versions and models.

1. Perplexity Labs Playground

In Perplexity Labs, you can try Mixtral-8x7B along with Meta AI’s Llama 2, Mistral-7b, and Perplexity’s new online LLMs.

In this example, I ask about the model itself and notice that new instructions are added after the initial response to extend the generated content about my query.

mixtral-8x7b perplexity labs playgroundScreenshot from Perplexity, December 2023mixtral-8x7b perplexity labs playground

While the answer looks correct, it begins to repeat itself.

mixtral-8x7b errorsScreenshot from Perplexity Labs, December 2023mixtral-8x7b errors

The model did provide an over 600-word answer to the question, “What is SEO?”

Again, additional instructions appear as “headers” to seemingly ensure a comprehensive answer.

what is seo by mixtral-8x7bScreenshot from Perplexity Labs, December 2023what is seo by mixtral-8x7b

2. Poe

Poe hosts bots for popular LLMs, including OpenAI’s GPT-4 and DALL·E 3, Meta AI’s Llama 2 and Code Llama, Google’s PaLM 2, Anthropic’s Claude-instant and Claude 2, and StableDiffusionXL.

These bots cover a wide spectrum of capabilities, including text, image, and code generation.

The Mixtral-8x7B-Chat bot is operated by Fireworks AI.

poe bot for mixtral-8x7b firebaseScreenshot from Poe, December 2023poe bot for mixtral-8x7b firebase

It’s worth noting that the Fireworks page specifies it is an “unofficial implementation” that was fine-tuned for chat.

When asked what the best backlinks for SEO are, it provided a valid answer.

mixtral-8x7b poe best backlinks responseScreenshot from Poe, December 2023mixtral-8x7b poe best backlinks response

Compare this to the response offered by Google Bard.

Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AIMixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AIScreenshot from Google Bard, December 2023Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

3. Vercel

Vercel offers a demo of Mixtral-8x7B that allows users to compare responses from popular Anthropic, Cohere, Meta AI, and OpenAI models.

vercel mixtral-8x7b demo compare gpt-4Screenshot from Vercel, December 2023vercel mixtral-8x7b demo compare gpt-4

It offers an interesting perspective on how each model interprets and responds to user questions.

mixtral-8x7b vs cohere on best resources for learning seoScreenshot from Vercel, December 2023mixtral-8x7b vs cohere on best resources for learning seo

Like many LLMs, it does occasionally hallucinate.

mixtral-8x7b hallucinationsScreenshot from Vercel, December 2023mixtral-8x7b hallucinations

4. Replicate

The mixtral-8x7b-32 demo on Replicate is based on this source code. It is also noted in the README that “Inference is quite inefficient.”

Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AIScreenshot from Replicate, December 2023Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

In the example above, Mixtral-8x7B describes itself as a game.


Mistral AI’s latest release sets a new benchmark in the AI field, offering enhanced performance and versatility. But like many LLMs, it can provide inaccurate and unexpected answers.

As AI continues to evolve, models like the Mixtral-8x7B could become integral in shaping advanced AI tools for marketing and business.

Featured image: T. Schneider/Shutterstock

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OpenAI Investigates ‘Lazy’ GPT-4 Complaints On Google Reviews, X




OpenAI Investigates 'Lazy' GPT-4 Complaints On Google Reviews, X

OpenAI, the company that launched ChatGPT a little over a year ago, has recently taken to social media to address concerns regarding the “lazy” performance of GPT-4 on social media and Google Reviews.

Screenshot from X, December 2023OpenAI Investigates ‘Lazy’ GPT-4 Complaints On Google Reviews, X

This move comes after growing user feedback online, which even includes a one-star review on the company’s Google Reviews.

OpenAI Gives Insight Into Training Chat Models, Performance Evaluations, And A/B Testing

OpenAI, through its @ChatGPTapp Twitter account, detailed the complexities involved in training chat models.

chatgpt openai a/b testingScreenshot from X, December 2023chatgpt openai a/b testing

The organization highlighted that the process is not a “clean industrial process” and that variations in training runs can lead to noticeable differences in the AI’s personality, creative style, and political bias.

Thorough AI model testing includes offline evaluation metrics and online A/B tests. The final decision to release a new model is based on a data-driven approach to improve the “real” user experience.

OpenAI’s Google Review Score Affected By GPT-4 Performance, Billing Issues

This explanation comes after weeks of user feedback about GPT-4 becoming worse on social media networks like X.

Complaints also appeared in OpenAI’s community forums.

openai community forums gpt-4 user feedbackScreenshot from OpenAI, December 2023openai community forums gpt-4 user feedback

The experience led one user to leave a one-star rating for OpenAI via Google Reviews. Other complaints regarded accounts, billing, and the artificial nature of AI.

openai google reviews star rating Screenshot from Google Reviews, December 2023openai google reviews star rating

A recent user on Product Hunt gave OpenAI a rating that also appears to be related to GPT-4 worsening.

openai reviewsScreenshot from Product Hunt, December 2023openai reviews

GPT-4 isn’t the only issue that local reviewers complain about. On Yelp, OpenAI has a one-star rating for ChatGPT 3.5 performance.

The complaint:

yelp openai chatgpt reviewScreenshot from Yelp, December 2023yelp openai chatgpt review

In related OpenAI news, the review with the most likes aligns with recent rumors about a volatile workplace, alleging that OpenAI is a “Cutthroat environment. Not friendly. Toxic workers.”

google review for openai toxic workersScreenshot from Google Reviews, December 2023google review for openai toxic workers

The reviews voted the most helpful on Glassdoor about OpenAI suggested that employee frustration and product development issues stem from the company’s shift in focus on profits.

openai employee review on glassdooropenai employee review on glassdoor

openai employee reviewsScreenshots from Glassdoor, December 2023openai employee reviews

This incident provides a unique outlook on how customer and employee experiences can impact any business through local reviews and business ratings platforms.

openai inc google business profile local serps google reviewsScreenshot from Google, December 2023openai inc google business profile local serps google reviews

Google SGE Highlights Positive Google Reviews

In addition to occasional complaints, Google reviewers acknowledged the revolutionary impact of OpenAI’s technology on various fields.

The most positive review mentions about the company appear in Google SGE (Search Generative Experience).

Google SGE response on OpenAIScreenshot from Google SGE, December 2023Google SGE response on OpenAI


OpenAI’s recent insights into training chat models and response to public feedback about GPT-4 performance illustrate AI technology’s dynamic and evolving nature and its impact on those who depend on the AI platform.

Especially the people who just received an invitation to join ChatGPT Plus after being waitlisted while OpenAI paused new subscriptions and upgrades. Or those developing GPTs for the upcoming GPT Store launch.

As AI advances, professionals in these fields must remain agile, informed, and responsive to technological developments and the public’s reception of these advancements.

Featured image: Tada Images/Shutterstock

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ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites




ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

ChatGPT Plus subscriptions and upgrades remain paused after a surge in demand for new features created outages.

Some users who signed up for the waitlist have received invites to join ChatGPT Plus.

Screenshot from Gmail, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

This has resulted in a few shares of the link that is accessible for everyone. For now.

RELATED: GPT Store Set To Launch In 2024 After ‘Unexpected’ Delays

In addition to the invites, signs that more people are getting access to GPTs include an introductory screen popping up on free ChatGPT accounts.

ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive InvitesScreenshot from ChatGPT, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

Unfortunately, they still aren’t accessible without a Plus subscription.

chatgpt plus subscriptions upgrades paused waitlistScreenshot from ChatGPT, December 2023chatgpt plus subscriptions upgrades paused waitlist

You can sign up for the waitlist by clicking on the option to upgrade in the left sidebar of ChatGPT on a desktop browser.

ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive InvitesScreenshot from ChatGPT, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

OpenAI also suggests ChatGPT Enterprise for those who need more capabilities, as outlined in the pricing plans below.

ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive InvitesScreenshot from OpenAI, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

Why Are ChatGPT Plus Subscriptions Paused?

According to a post on X by OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman, the recent surge in usage following the DevDay developers conference has led to capacity challenges, resulting in the decision to pause ChatGPT Plus signups.

The decision to pause new ChatGPT signups follows a week where OpenAI services – including ChatGPT and the API – experienced a series of outages related to high-demand and DDoS attacks.

Demand for ChatGPT Plus resulted in eBay listings supposedly offering one or more months of the premium subscription.

When Will ChatGPT Plus Subscriptions Resume?

So far, we don’t have any official word on when ChatGPT Plus subscriptions will resume. We know the GPT Store is set to open early next year after recent boardroom drama led to “unexpected delays.”

Therefore, we hope that OpenAI will onboard waitlisted users in time to try out all of the GPTs created by OpenAI and community builders.

What Are GPTs?

GPTs allow users to create one or more personalized ChatGPT experiences based on a specific set of instructions, knowledge files, and actions.

Search marketers with ChatGPT Plus can try GPTs for helpful content assessment and learning SEO.

There are also GPTs for analyzing Google Search Console data.

And GPTs that will let you chat with analytics data from 20 platforms, including Google Ads, GA4, and Facebook.

Google search has indexed hundreds of public GPTs. According to an alleged list of GPT statistics in a GitHub repository, DALL-E, the top GPT from OpenAI, has received 5,620,981 visits since its launch last month. Included in the top 20 GPTs is Canva, with 291,349 views.


Weighing The Benefits Of The Pause

Ideally, this means that developers working on building GPTs and using the API should encounter fewer issues (like being unable to save GPT drafts).

But it could also mean a temporary decrease in new users of GPTs since they are only available to Plus subscribers – including the ones I tested for learning about ranking factors and gaining insights on E-E-A-T from Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

custom gpts for seoScreenshot from ChatGPT, November 2023custom gpts for seo

Featured image: Robert Way/Shutterstock

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