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The Simple SEO Strategy = 639% More Traffic (Works in 2020)



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Using a repeatable SEO strategy is the only way to achieve consistent search engine traffic results.

The bottom line is:

The repeatable (and proven) step by step SEO strategy I’m going to show you today is what we used to achieve 639% more organic search traffic for a “dead” fashion blog content marketing:

2,938% more organic search traffic a consumer-facing brand:

So if you want to stop doing guesSEO and use a proven SEO strategy to achieve search engine rankings for your web pages, then keep reading.

Easy 4-Step SEO Strategy (Plus 2 Bonus Steps)

This process is simple on the surface, but you need to understand the nuance behind the SEO ranking factors of each phase.

Here’s how the process looks:

Let’s start with step #1, which is:

1. Audit

Starting a search engine optimization campaign without an SEO audit is like building a house without a foundation. You need to audit your website and off-site signals to get a clear understanding of what you’re working with.

Believe it or not, I start my audits in reverse order.

Most SEOs start with on-site signals, but I always start with off-site signals.


Because backlinks are the single biggest search results ranking factor. It’s been proven time-and-time again.

For example, Backlinko found that the total number of referring domains correlated to better rankings:

SEMRush discovered the same:

And even Ahrefs agrees:

I’ve audited over a 1,000 SEO campaigns through the years and backlinks are always the determining factor of web pages performance.

That’s why we must start there.

6 Step Backlink Profile Audit

1. Are the backlinks high-quality?

The first thing I look for in a link profile are low-quality links.

Low-quality links aren’t a problem when they comprise a small percentage of your profile.

That said, what does a “low-quality” link look like?

Let me show you.

Here’s an example of web 2.0 spam:

You’ll see that the content is unreadable and they’re using exact match anchor text. There’s an attempt to make the link more credible by adding an external link to a trusted source.

However, it’s a futile effort because there are way too many other factors working against this placement.

Here’s an example of a public blog network link:

This one isn’t as obvious because it (almost) looks like a real website. But there are a few signs that it’s nothing more than a private blog network.

First, the outbound links aren’t topically relevant and are using exact match anchor text.

Secondly, the homepage has ~50 full-length blog posts.

Most people who use PBNs know that the homepage is often the most powerful page on a site.

In this case, the most powerful page on a rebuilt expired domain.

Here’s the last low-quality link example, a “DoFollow” blog comment:

I don’t think I need to elaborate on why this is a low-quality link.

Avoid this nonsense.

Here’s a simple workflow for combatting these links if you have them.

Don’t remove the links

This might seem like an odd recommendation, but this is a huge mistake that people make.

You do not, I repeat, you don’t want to go on a link removing spree.


Because removing links (even low-quality ones) will reduce your website’s authority.

If your authority drops, so will your rankings. Removing toxic links is a part of the process.

Just not at this point. Instead, you need to:

Load up on NEW high-quality links

Most people don’t realize this, but link-related penalties aren’t just because of low-quality links.

It’s also because of a lack of high-quality links.

For example, an authority website like Moz can have the exact same low-quality links that you do and NOT get penalized.

The reason is that those low-quality links represent a very small percentage of their overall link profile. The majority of their links come from high-quality, trusted sources.

As a result, that offsets any toxic links they may in their profile. So instead of removing your toxic links, actively work to acquire new high-quality links to offset them.

Slowly remove the worst offenders

Once you’ve built up a nice base on high-quality links from real websites, you can begin removing toxic links.

Do it slowly while you continue to acquire new links.

2. Are the backlinks relevant?

Most of your links should come from relevant sources. Relevance comes in two different forms: topical and geo-targeted.

The best way to think about link relevance is to use a method I created called The Relevancy Pyramid:

In essence, you need to focus on acquiring links on websites at the top of the pyramid first. These are your most relevant opportunities. Work your way down the pyramid as you run out of opportunities.

3. Are the backlinks hitting the right pages?

The biggest mistake link builders make is sending all their backlinks to a transactional web page.

You have to remember that backlinks are votes.

How many websites are willing to “vote” for a boring page about a Chicago plumbing service?

Not many.

Driving the majority of your links to these types of transactional pages is a huge footprint and is unnatural.

Do this instead:

You should drive backlinks to informational assets at the top of the funnel. If these assets are constructed well, they deserve “votes” (backlinks).

4. Is there an effort to acquire new backlinks?

I haven’t put much emphasis on this over the years, but I now think it’s a huge factor. You have to continually acquire new backlinks to your website.

The reason is two-fold.

First, you will lose backlinks. Websites shut down (or hacked), people remove links, posts get deleted, etc. It’s inevitable.

Secondly, what does it say about your content and website if it stops getting new backlinks?

It indicates to Google that you’re no longer getting votes. That may imply that your website or content isn’t popular or high-quality any more.

You have to continue acquiring new backlinks to your content and website to solidify your website’s authority.

Here’s an example of perfect link velocity (Backlinko):

Need more backlinks? Try these 7 untapped link building techniques.

5. Is the anchor text over-optimized?

Using keyword-rich anchor text was all the rage back before 2012.

Now it can get your website penalized.

Read my anchor text guide to learn how to optimize it the right way.

Now that you know what you’re working with, you need to audit your on-site SEO.

Here are important items to analyze.

4 High-Impact On-Site Factors to Audit

1. Are you targeting the right keywords?

Every effective SEO campaigns start with the right keyword ideas for your web page. Some people call them topics. Regardless:

You need to structure your pages around phrases that your ideal customers are searching for in Google. I recommend focusing most of your effort on informational keywords at the top of the funnel.

However, you should also tackle transactional and comparison types of keywords for a web page as well because they will have the best conversion rates.

So how do you know if you’re targeting the “right” keywords?

It all comes down to qualification.

2. Is your site architecture built well?

Site Architecture is a lead domino for SEO performance because it impacts so many other facets of the process.

For example, a well-designed site architecture can help search engine crawlers navigate through each of your web pages better, which leads to better indexation.

Also, an effective site architecture can drive link equity to your most important pages, which will help them perform better in organic search.

How you attack structuring your site architecture will depend on the type of website you have.

Here are some general rules of thumb about building an effective site architecture:

Remember that internal links are votes too

Just like external links, you should think of your internal links as “votes” for a page. The more links (votes) a page has, the higher the value.

You can use Screaming Frog to see how many internal links a page has. Just look under the “Unique Inlinks” column.

If you want a page to perform better, give it more internal link love.

Make your page easily accessible

Every page on your site should be accessible for crawlers unless intended otherwise. This will ensure proper indexing.

Understand that internal Links are not valued the same

For example, internal links on your homepage and your site-wide menu are valued more than links in your footer, sidebar, or even within a blog post.

Try to keep depth to 3-4 clicks

This will ensure that your pages are getting crawled and indexed well. In general, the deeper a page is on your website, the less valuable it is to Google.

You can see how deep each of your pages are in your site architecture with Screaming Frog. Look under the “Crawl Depth” column.

Just remember:

Less clicks = more value, more clicks = less value.

Use intelligent anchor text

You should always use exact match anchor text with your internal links. Just be careful with site-wide navigational links because they can cause issues.

It’s better to create a category page and then link to the other pages than to jam it into the menu.

The main reason is because of anchor text over-optimization.

If you have 1,000 internal links for “dark roast coffee” and then you acquire 100 external links with that same anchor text, it could lead to over-optimization.

Consider using breadcrumbs

If you have a large website, you may want to consider using breadcrumb schema because this will ensure proper coverage.

Mega menu is useful for big sites (such as eCommerce sites)

A mega menu may be a necessity for large websites.

Make sure you have a sitemap

SEO 101, but your site should have a sitemap.

3. Are there any content-related issues?

“Content” applies to every page on the website in this case. I always find that most issues are content-related. Some content-related issues you need to watch out for are:

Thin content

“Thin” often applies to landing pages with low word counts. However, “thin” can also apply to pages with regurgitated content that doesn’t add any unique value.

You can find pages with low word counts using Screaming Frog. Look under the “Word Count” column.

Duplicate content

Every page on your websites should have unique content. It’s okay to have the same testimonials on some pages, but the bulk of every page should be unique.

Use Siteliner to find duplicate content.

Keyword cannibalization

Once you pick a qualified keyword, use ONE page to target it. Don’t create another page targeting the same exact keyword phrase. This is why so many SEO experts talk in “topics” instead of keywords.

Keyword cannibalization occurs when two pages are targeting the same exact keyword phrase.

Keep in mind:

It makes sense to create new pages for similar keywords if the intent is different.

For example, I have a blog post about “backlinks” and a post about “buy backlinks”.

These have different intents.


Don’t stuff keywords all over your page.

You only need your primary keyword phrase to show up in prominent locations such as your URL, title tag, meta description (which Google will likely rewrite any way), H1 tag, first sentence, sometimes your H2 tag (but I typically use a variation here), and your last sentence.

Other than that, just write naturally the keyword density should work itself out.

Lack of linkable assets

This goes along with the link profile audit section. If you don’t have anything worthy to link to, then your SEO campaign is going to be a struggle.

4. Does the site have technical issues?

Technical issues impact your SEO performance on two levels.

First, if Google can’t crawl and index your site well, you won’t rank well.

Second, if technical issues are hurting the User Experience (UX), Google may devalue your website.

Technical SEO is a big topic, but here are some key areas to tackle:

Crawling & indexing

If Google can’t crawl your site, your pages won’t get indexed. If your page isn’t indexed, you won’t rank.

Therefore, optimizing your crawling and indexation is critical.

The good news is that it isn’t super hard.

The lead domino is your site architecture.

Also, fixing other technical issues like the ones below will improve your crawling and indexation. Lastly, make sure you aren’t using “noindex” tags incorrectly or blocking crawlers in the robot.txt file.

Mobile friendliness

It’s common knowledge that your website needs to be mobile-friendly. If it isn’t, make it a priority.

Page loading speed

Page loading speed is a big deal because it can affect your SEO performance and conversion rates. Aim to get your page loading below 3 seconds.

Use Pingdom, GTmetrix, and Google PageSpeed Insights to improve your page loading speed.


302 redirects and redirect chains are two types of redirects that should be tackled. There’s some debate on whether you should change 302s to 301s, but we recommend that you do.

404s & broken links

404 errors are only a problem at scale, when they have existing backlinks, or when they’re accidental.

Broken links are never good because they will hurt the user experience.

Now that you know what to audit, it’s time to move onto phase two:

2. Optimize

The audit phase identifies every issue holding your campaign back. Now you need to optimize all existing issues before moving onto anything else. Many of the issues you’ll encounter are easy fixes.

However, there are some that will require intelligent logistics.

Let me show you a few of my “go-to” optimization techniques that don’t require new content or backlinks.

4 Simple SEO Techniques

1. The Phantom Technique

This is the most basic technique on the list, but you wouldn’t believe how many sites don’t take advantage of it.

All you need to do is add “best” or the “year” onto your title tag wherever it makes sense.

I’ve recently finished a few hundred SEO content audits and 95% of these clients aren’t using title modifiers.

It’s crazy how much traffic you actually miss out on when you don’t use them.

For example, we added the year “2020” to a client’s page and now 3 of their most popular queries have the year attached to it.

Although we would still be getting traffic from the primary phrase, we would have missed out on 1,000 new organic search visitors.

There aren’t many easy wins in SEO, but using the Phantom Technique is one of them.

2. Tunnel Vision Technique

One of the biggest mistakes I see websites make is trying to target too many keywords at one time. It’s much better to have tunnel vision and allocate all your resources to dominating ONE keyword phrase.

That’s how we grew this clients organic search traffic by 1,337%:

We only focused on a blog post and used all of our resources to make A) make the blog post incredible and B) acquire as many links as we needed.

Having this type of tunnel vision directs all your focus and resources and helps you avoid spreading your resources too thin.

Here’s how to execute the tunnel vision technique:

  1. Identify a qualified keyword
  2. Allocate all your resources to dominating that keyword
  3. Keep working on the page and promoting it until it ranks

Once the page is ranking in the top 5, move onto to another keyword phrase

3. Spider Food Technique

So if you want a particular page on your website to rank better in Google, then you need to show Google’s crawlers that it’s a priority.

That means you need to move your page higher up into your site architecture.

Once you do that, Google will be able to crawl that page easier and frequently.

It also signals to Google that your target page is important.

Here’s an example:

If you go to the Gotch SEO blog, you’ll see that there’s a blog post titled “How to Learn SEO in 2020 (According to 130 Experts)”.

When you click on that learn SEO blog post and scroll down to the “Start Learning Now With These SEO Resources”, you’ll see that I’ve linked to many of my other blog posts.

This blog post is pinned to my blog page because I want Google to crawl that page and all my other important blog posts.

It also means that any backlinks that are acquired to my learn SEO blog post will send link equity and authority to all the other blog posts I linked to.

Here’s the big takeaway:

Make your most important SEO-driven pages easily accessible to Google’s crawler.

4. Authority Transfer Technique

The Authority Transfer Technique is a powerful way to distribute link authority (PageRank) to your most important SEO-driven pages.

Here’s how it works:

1. Identify what pages on your site have existing backlinks

The best way to find these pages is to use Ahrefs.

Open up Ahrefs, enter your domain, and start the analysis.

Then click on “Best by Links” under “Pages” and sort by “RDs”:

2. Add internal links on those pages to relevant SEO-driven pages

Now all you need to do now is add internal links.

Your internal should target pages that are A) topically relevant and B) you’re trying to rank.

I recommend using exact match anchor text with your internal links (it’s safe to do so as long as they aren’t site-wide).

I recommend using this technique every time you publish a new SEO-driven page.

It’s one of the best ways to give your page a boost out of the gate (by leveraging existing authority). Your goal should be to push your pages up the SERPs as far as possible before acquiring links.

The Authority Transfer Technique is one of the best ways to accomplish that goal (fast).

3. Create

Now that you’ve audited and optimized your site, you need to create. There are many different types of content to create for SEO purposes, but there’s one that stands above all else.

Linkable assets.

Every business should create informational assets with the intent of driving backlinks to your site.

This is the most natural way to build your site’s authority.

In fact:

This is the exact strategy I use for growing every website’s authority. It’s called the Reverse Silo technique:

In essence, you grow your site’s authority by creating top of the funnel, informational assets.

It’s best to target keyword phrases that are highly linkable.

Does this mean you shouldn’t target keywords that isn’t as linkable?

Definitely not.

But if you’re trying to grow your site’s authority (and get as many backlinks as possible) you should focus on linkable ideas.

To verify that an idea is linkable, use Ahrefs Keyword Explorer. Enter your keyword and scroll down to the “SERP overview”. If the ranking pages have links, then it’s a linkable topic.

In addition to creating linkable assets, you need to improve your transactional pages.

“Transactional” pages are built around keywords that have transactional intent.

Some examples include: “los angeles personal injury lawyer” or “SEO services”.

These pages must be built differently than an informational asset that targets the top of the funnel keywords.

I have a post dedicated to SEO content, but here are some ways to create effective transactional pages:

Video. Video. Video.

Did I mention you should use video? Using HQ videos on your transactional pages can increase trust, dwell time, and conversion rates. It’s a good investment.

Use Relevant Testimonials

Every great transactional page will have testimonials.

Micro Stories

I like picking 3-5 customer stories and displaying those on the transactional page. This increases word count and helps increase trust even further.

Educational Section

There is always an opportunity to educate your ideal customer. What information can you give them that will help them make a better decision?

An example from the SEO industry is: “7 Steps to Take Before Hiring an SEO Agency”.

Add an FAQ Section

Every product and service will have common questions that pop up. Add these questions and answers to your page. It’s a super-easy way to add more unique content.

4. Promote

Here’s the truth about this SEO strategy:

It won’t reach its full potential if you neglect the Promote phase.

Ever heard this idea:

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

That “tree” is your website.

You can’t expect your site to perform well in Google in no one knows your brand and you have no links.

Backlinks are validation that your brand is doing something right or that your content is valuable.

You thinking your content is “good” is a moot point. “Good” is subjective.

The only way to prove that something is “good” is through external validation.

In the case of SEO, links are that validation.

So how do you get more backlinks?

Here are some of my favorite techniques:

1. The Switch Up Technique

The Switch Up Technique is my favorite way to build relationships fast. As you may or may not, building relationships is a critical piece to getting more backlinks.

Most people fail at link outreach because they’re metaphorically trying to hit a home run on the first date.

Just like in sales, you need to take baby steps along the journey.

You have to build relationships with the websites (and people who are capable of linking to you) BEFORE you ask for something.

There needs to be an exchange of value.

“Value” comes in many different forms including money, help, or content.

Here’s a perfect example of a student of Gotch SEO Academy exchanging value with me (I had no choice but to link to this tool because it solved a REAL problem and added REAL value):

Money works well, but you can acquire links without having to pay people. But that will only be possible through building real relationships.

The first step to accomplishing that is to use the Switch Up Technique.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Go through your blog content and examine all your external links.
  2. See if you’re linking out to general websites like Wikipedia, CNN, or any authority website with many authors.
  3. Go to Google and look for a replacement from a lower authority blog.
  4. Change the link
  5. Reach out to the person

Use a non-threatening template like this:

Hey [NAME],

My name is [YOUR NAME] and I’m the [YOUR POSITION] at [YOUR COMPANY]. I was doing some research on [TOPIC] and discovered your guide about [TOPIC]. I really enjoyed it. I never realized that [SOMETHING YOU LEARNED FROM THEIR CONTENT]. Super cool. Anyway, I won’t take up any more of your time. I just wanted to thank you for putting the article together and wanted to let you know that I linked to it from my article: [INSERT NAKED URL] – it’s about [TOPIC].

Thanks again!

2. Oprah Technique

I created a cool name for this technique, but it’s super simple.

You’re going to get interviewed and land links.

Go to Google and enter “interview + niche” or “interview with + [YOUR COMPETITOR]”.

Add all these prospects to your link building document. Then, just reach out and pitch yourself for the interview.

Use a simple template like this:

Hey [NAME],

My name is [YOUR NAME] and I’m the [YOUR POSITION] at [YOUR COMPANY]. First, I just wanted to thank you for all the amazing interviews you’ve been doing. I’ve listened to your interview with [INSERT ONE YOU LIKED] multiple times because it’s so incredibly valuable. Quick question: are you accepting new interviewees at this time? If you are, I would love to chat because I [COOL RESULT].

Let me know, thanks!

3. Relationship Accelerator Technique

The Relationship Accelerator Technique serves a dual purpose:

  1. It can help you build relationships with key “linkerati” (people who are capable and willing to link to you)
  2. It can help you score links with very little effort.

There are a few different ways to go about this, but my favorite techniques are to host expert roundups, host interviews, or ask for expert contributions to your content.

In short:

You’re giving value upfront because you’re going to link to these expert’s website. In exchange, you’re building a relationship with them and there’s the possibility that they’ll link to the content they’re featured in.

This is often referred to as “ego bait” and it’s incredibly effective.

Even if you don’t score a link, the relationship you’ll build can lead to something else in the future.

4. Reverse Guest Post Technique

This is by far one of the most untapped link building methods. It actually surprising how little people use it.

In short:

You’re going to pitch experts (who have blogs) to create content on your site as a guest author. It’s an easy pitch if you have some traffic and a decent audience because most experts want to promote themselves.

For example, I had Venchito Tampon write a guest post for GotchSEO.com and check out the links that it has picked up:

That’s because Venchito references because it not only adds value, but it benefits his brand as well. It’s a win-win.

There are a few important points to keep in mind about this strategy:

  • Be selective about who can write for your blog (they should have an audience and website)
  • Make sure they write on a topic that you haven’t covered yet to avoid keyword cannibalization (multiple pages targeting the keyword phrases)

Bonus #1: Convert

Getting more traffic is awesome, but it’s worthless if you can’t convert it into leads and customers.

This is the point where most SEO campaigns fail.

Some SEOs are amazing at ranking and driving traffic. But they’re horrific at converting that traffic.

As a result:

Clients get pissed because they’re not seeing the one result they actually care about:

New leads and new customers.

Driving traffic to a website without a conversion foundation is a pointless endeavor.

If you want to see real success from all your SEO efforts, you shouldn’t do SEO right away.


Build a conversion foundation and then use SEO as fuel on the fire.

I won’t get deep into CRO because it’s outside the scope of this guide.

But there’s one high-impact action I highly recommend you take:

Create Relevant Lead Magnets

A user can receive a lead magnet (a quality content asset) when they enter their email. Since most people aren’t ready to buy, this is the perfect baby step.

The key to a successful lead magnet is relevance.

Whenever I build lead magnets, I always make them hyper-relevant to the ToFu (top of the funnel) content.

For example, this “52 Lucrative SEO Niches” lead magnet is strategically placed on my “How to Start an SEO Company” guide.

And because it’s hyper relevant, the squeeze page has a 60% optin rate.

Pretty insane, right?

It’s all because of relevance.

I have these relevant lead magnets throughout my site which result in ~50 new email subs every day.

But the trick to taking this to another level is to have a remarketing layer.

Bonus #2: Remarketing

Did you know that ~97% of website visitors aren’t ready to buy?

That number applies to organic search traffic driven by an intelligent SEO strategy as well.

So even if you do an awesome job and you convert 1-3%, you’re still missing out on an enormous amount of new revenue.

The good news is that you can change it.

You just need to set up remarketing campaigns.

My go-to source for remarketing are Facebook Ads.

Let me walk you through a basic remarketing campaign.

So when anyone visits “link building” related content on my site, they get placed into a custom audience.

Once they’re in that audience, they’ll start seeing my relevant lead magnet offer: “7 Untapped Link Building Techniques” (if they’re not already an email subscriber).

This add alone has driven an additional 166 new email subscribers for only $1.72.

I’m willing to invest that much to acquire a new email sub because A) email is my primary marketing vehicle and B) the lifetime value of a Gotch SEO customer is much higher than $1.72.

Your Turn

Launching an effective SEO strategy isn’t simple, but it’s worth it.

Quick question for you:

What part of your SEO campaign are you going to tackle after reading this?

Let me know in the comment section.

Nathan Gotch is the founder and CSO (Chief Search Officer) at Gotch SEO. Since 2012, Nathan has achieved SEO success across countless verticals including health, technology, law, and many more. He’s also grown Gotch SEO’s training division, Gotch SEO Academy, past 1,000 students.

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40 + AMAZING Email Marketing Statistics (for 2020)



Do you want to get an overview of what is happening in email marketing right now? Do you yearn to discover what types of emails are most successful, and what the future holds for this marketing type?

Well, then you have come to the right place. Indeed, below you will find statistics on each of the following categories:

  • Email marketing and customer engagement
  • The impact of emails on conversion rates
  • The use of emails in customer support
  • Whether customers prefer email to other forms of communications
  • The future of email marketing

You’ll also find a brief introduction and summary on each section and a final summing up at the end. So what are you waiting for? Roll your sleeves up, crack your brain open, and get into some seriously sexy email stats!

1. Email Usage & Engagement

Anyone telling you that social media has killed off email marketing is sorely mistaken. Indeed, with so much potential to nurture relationships with customers and acquire new ones, email marketing is most definitely still alive and kicking.

Oh, and did you know that email marking is one of the most cost-effective kinds there is? Something that makes it pretty much vital to any successful and on-budget marketing campaign. Yep, that’s right email most definitely still holds its own in the world of marketing, and you can see there are plenty of stats to prove it below:

  1. 3.9 billion globally used email in 2019 (Statista).
  2. Global email users will grow to 4.3 billion by 2023 (Statista).
  3. In only 2019, 293.6 billion emails were sent and received per day. (Statista).
  4. It is expected that the number of sent and received emails will grow to over 347.3 billion daily emails in 2022 (Statista).
  5. Welcome emails get opened 82% on average (GetResponse).
  6. You can boost orders by 69% by sending three abandoned cart emails. (Omnisend).
  7. 35% of marketers send customers between 3-5 emails every week. (Not Another State of Marketing)
  8. Over the last year, 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement (Not Another State of Marketing, 2020)
  9. 31% of B2B marketers report email newsletters are the top way to nurture leads. (Content Marketing Institute, 2020)
  10. Over 350 million dollars was spent on email advertising in the US in 2019. (Statista, 2019)

2. Email & Customer Support

There is plenty of noise about live chat and chatbots in the customer service sector right now. However, before you swap all of your customer service provision across to these tools, it may be worth taking a pause. The reason being that the stats show users still want to communicate, interact, and solve their problems via email. Indeed, email is an essential part of the customer service process. Just check out the stats below that prove it!

  1. Email remains the most used digital customer service channel, with 54% of customers using email customer service in 2019. (Forrester) 
  2. Response within the hour is what customers expect when they send an email to a business. (Toister Performance Solution).
  3. 62% of customers want to use email to communicate with a business. Beating phone, live chat, and contact forms (HubSpot Research)
  4. 57% of customers prefer to contact companies via digital media such as email or social media rather than use voice-based customer support. (Ameyo)
  5. 45% of executives with web or mobile self-service capabilities report noticeable reductions in phone inquiries, and 39% report less email traffic. (Information Today)
  6. 81% of retail businesses say reply on email for customer acquisition (Emarsys)
  7. 80% of retail businesses depend on email for customer retention. (Emarsys)

3. Email & Conversion Rates

While conversion rates for email marketing may not be quite as high as in 2018, the figures and the ROIs show that the email approach is still successful, a great deal of the time. Of course, a more targeted approach is preferable here, with triggered and segmented emails doing best.

  1. The average email conversion rate was highest in 2018 at 18.49%. (Barilliance)
  2. In 2020, the average email conversion rate remains high at 15.11% conversion in 2020. (Barilliance)
  3. Emails accounted for 19.8% of all transactions. Only paid search (19.9%) and organic traffic (21.8%) did better. (Custora E-Commerce Pulse)
  4. 306% higher click-through rate is what you can expect from Triggered Email Campaigns– vs. non-triggered emails. (Barilliance)
  5. 36% of total email revenue comes from segmented emails. (Barilliance)
  6. For every $1 invested, you can expect an average email ROI of $38. That is a 3,800% increase. (Barilliance)
  7. B2C marketers using automation have seen conversion rates as high as 50%. – (eMarketer)
  8. Conversion rates are used by 60% of marketers to evaluate an email’s effectiveness. – (DMA)
  9. Click-through rates can be raised by an average of 14% (and conversions by an average of 10%) by using personalized email messages – (Aberdeen.)
  10. Email has the highest conversion rate (66%) for purchases made as a result of receiving a marketing message – (DMA)
  11. Conversion rates rise by 28% when a call to action button rather than a text link is included in an email. (Campaign Monitor)

4.Consumer Preferences With Email

Do customers like emails from your business? That is the critical question here. After all, you won’t want to send them if they will do more harm than good. Of course, the stats show that emails are still a very welcome form of communication from the users’ point of view and that they are associated with a range of other benefits as well, as you can see from the info below.

  1. 80% of respondents said email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention. (eMarketer)
  2. The type of email with the best customer response rate is Email My Cart at 22.64%. (Barilliance)
  3. 43% of consumers will choose whether to open an email based on who sends it. (MailChimp)
  4. 43% of email users will report spam if they don’t recognize the senders’ name or email address. (MailChimp)
  5. First thing in the morning is the most popular time for consumers to check their emails, with a whopping 58% doing so. (Optinmonster)
  6. 60% of consumers prefer email over any other promotional channel. (Optinmonster)
  7. Users check their emails for deals from brands at a rate of 44%. (Optinmonster)
  8. After receiving a marketing email, 60% of consumers have made a purchase. (Optinmonster)
  9. Consumers hope for rewards when signing up for marketing emails at a rate of 85%. (Disruptive Advertising)
  10.  Users open 40% of all cart abandonment (SaleCycle)

5. Email Forecasts & Predictions

What does the future hold for email marketing? Well, the answer, as you can see from the numbers below, is many things, including an overall rise in email daily usage. More personalization and better targeting are likely too. At the same time, marketers are likely to show more respect for customer privacy. Perhaps most notably, email marketing shows the potential further to increase business ROI by a massive 22%!

  1. By the end of 2022, over 347 billion emails per day will be sent and received. by the end of 2022. (Statista)
  2. By 2023 global email use is predicted to reach 4.4 billion. (Statista)
  3. By 2021 email clients such as Gmail will readily accept video, and it will be commonly used for email marketing. (Jarrang)
  4. Expect to see an increase of personalized images in emails in 2021, such as live-data weather reports. (Jarrang)
  5. Hyper-targeted emails will become the norm. (Campaignmonitor)
  6. Interactivity and animation are set to become the next significant trend in email marketing. Designmodo
  7. In the coming years, marketers will focus more on subscribers’ privacy, embracing privacy laws like GDPR or CCPA (Litmus)
  8. In 2020 and beyond, email personalization and segmentation will be increased and boost ROI up to 22%. (Litmus)

Final Thoughts

Despite the rise of newer forms of marketing, emails still have an essential role to play. Indeed, they continue to promote engagement in healthy numbers. Not to mention that they help to foster quality connections with potential customers.

Customers also prefer email contact when it comes to customer service, which is, of course, a massively important aspect of customer retention that shouldn’t be ignored. Indeed, providing the most positive experience for your customers by communicating with them in the form they choose is just good business. The reason being that you are much more likely to be able to present them with additional buying opportunities later on.

Target and segmented email continue to show excellent promise for high rates of conversions too. This means that if it’s an effective marketing strategy you are looking for, email is the answer.

Customers also continue to like emails over most other forms of communications. That they continue to open and respond to them, and they enjoy deals and rewards delivered via email. However, privacy is a significant concern for most users, and businesses need to respect this if they are to optimize their email marketing results.

Finally, things seem bright regarding what we can expect from email marketing in the future. Indeed, we can expect developments such as integrated video and personalized images to be commonplace, which will only make email marketing even more effective than it already is!

Latest posts by Nathan Gotch (see all)

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Role of featured snippets in website traffic boost



30-second summary:

  • Featured snippets account for a 35.1% share of all clicks.
  • The featured snippet and knowledge panel SERP give a better click-through rate together.
  • Users click on featured snippets that seem “informative”.
  • Users who prefer the regular search results listings don’t click on featured snippets.
  • “People also ask” boxes are an unpopular choice showing the lowest amount of clicks.
  • 24% of users consider a featured snippet as an ‘Ad’ and don’t click on it.

Featured snippets are probably the first thing people see when they perform a search query. Acquiring the position ‘zero’ on the SERPs, the featured snippets dominate the page and immediately capture the attention of the viewer. 

However, does it make an impact on the visitor? Do the featured snippets get more clicks when compared to the top results? How does the audience perceive them?

To answer these questions and more, we at Engine Scout recently conducted a study and analyzed how featured snippets influence searchers’ behavior and overall experience. 

The methodology applied for the featured snippet study

In our study on featured snippets, we collected data from 3552 testers, who were asked to look at four different SERPs with snippets. They were required to make a search on Google related to a specific keyword and make a selection from the results.

To collect an unbiased opinion, featured snippets were not mentioned anywhere in the survey.

There were three choices for the testers to choose from: Ads, featured snippets, and regular result listing.

They were later asked which section they clicked on to estimate the Click-through rate (CTR). 

Featured snippets - sections

What is a featured snippet and how does it boost website traffic?

The featured snippet is a summarized extract from a post that answers the user’s ‘search query‘ most accurately. It is placed above all the Google search result listings, occupying position zero.

This means no matter what your website’s ranking for a certain post if Google chooses a featured snippet from your post, it will appear on the top.

According to Ahrefs, it is 99.58% true that Google will only consider your content for a featured snippet if it is already ranking on Page #1. The other 0.42% pages that Google considers account for their ‘People also ask’ box SERP feature. This feature only receives a total of 6% click shares, for the same reason.

The ‘concise and direct‘ nature of these featured snippets motivates users to click on them. According to our study, they account for 35.1% of all clicks which translates to getting ‘extra traffic‘ to your website. 

Optimizing a post to rank for a featured snippet can be tricky. Any content can be worthy of becoming a ‘Featured-Snippet,’ including a paragraph, a list, table, or even a video.

Try these three quick strategies to win more featured snippets that get clicks to your website.

1. Include direct answers to a search query in a paragraph snippet

Paragraph snippets account for 82% of the total featured snippets.

These snippets give the most relevant response to a query in a paragraph form. They usually also display a pertinent image alongside or above the text.

Here is an example of how Google shows a paragraph snippet when asked about ‘What is SERP?

2. Make the best use of keywords in your paragraph

Attaining the first rank in Google for a keyword requires quite an effort. 

Enriching your optimized content for featured snippets with the right keywords increases your chances of that ‘Position Zero‘ in the SERP.

Try to include question-oriented keywords in your content. People find search results with keywords resonating with their question as “trustworthy” and “informative.” This is the primary reason why they prefer a featured snippet over all other organic results.

Take a close look at your competitor’s featured snippets for some inspiration. Make a list of keywords that have triggered a featured snippet for them, and make your content surrounded by these keywords.

Several online tools can lessen your workload by retrieving information and keywords from the competition’s snippets. You can use them if you find it time-consuming to manually optimize your content for featured snippets.

3. Include a knowledge panel in your content marketing strategy

A box with information relevant to a search query appearing on SERP’s right panel is called a Knowledge Panel

It only appears when the search is about an entity, for example, business, person, or location. The information inside this box lets the reader know about the entity and gives them a way to reach out to it.

Featured snippet alone offers a close competition to the organic listing for the total click share. 

But pages ranking for both the featured snippet and the knowledge panel outperform the organic listings for the CTR. A double featured snippet leaves behind the CTR of organic listings, getting 42.1% of the total click share.

Therefore, it is an added benefit if you strategize your featured snippet to trigger a knowledge panel. 

For reference, check out this post to see how Gennaro Cuofano structured his featured snippet with his Amazon author page reference. Google considered this reference and used it to display a knowledge panel alongside his featured snippet.

The other side of the story

Featured snippets can sometimes work opposite to their intent.

According to our study, 24% of users confuse featured snippets for Ads.

Featured snippets and how people confuse them for an ad

Therefore, merely optimizing content to target the featured snippet doesn’t ensure a high CTR.

Google keeps altering its interface to make the Ad label on the paid search results barely noticeable. 

As featured snippets also acquire the top position on SERPs, it is very natural for someone to get confused and not click them.

According to Dr. Pete Meyers, the Marketing Scientist at Moz:

“The lesson for SEOs is that we can’t just target a feature — we need to understand query intent, what our buyers expect from that feature, and how they perceive that feature.”

Try to make your content look like a straightforward, quick answer to a query with images for references to appear very different from an ad.

Wrap up

Google introduced the featured snippet to make it easy for searchers to find relevant answers quickly. With voice search technology becoming a common search tool for half of the smartphone users,  featured snippets catered to the trend and enabled users to read the answer out loud.

To make Google identify your content worthy to pick snippets from, you have to optimize your content so it’s relevant and appropriate for voice search SEO, so it helps to bring in more traffic to your site. 

Jonathan Gorham is Co-Founder at Engine Scout Digital Marketing. He can be found on LinkedIn.

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What you need to know and five steps to prepare for 2021



30-second summary:

  • Google page experience metric goes live in 2021.
  • Rewarding pages that offer a better user experience.
  • The signal measures a site’s performance, security, and mobile-friendliness.
  • To prepare for 2021, get a fast web hosting service, optimize your content for mobile users, and install security measures (firewall, SSL, etc.).
  • Avoid pop-ups and whole screen banners that restrict the visitors’ access to content.

The newest search ranking benchmark that’s cooking in Google’s development lab is the Google page experience metric. 

In short, this upcoming metric aims to measure (and rank) the overall responsiveness and user experience of websites that show up in Google’s search results.

Google plans to introduce this metric alongside the current ranking factors. However, there isn’t an exact date announced when this metric goes live.

As Google’s developers officially state in their blog:

“The ranking changes [Google page experience] described in this post will not happen before next year [2021], and we will provide at least six months notice before they’re rolled out.”

You still have plenty of time to react. However, we suggest planning ahead and implementing some of the best practices as soon as possible.

Let’s take a look at what you can expect from this ranking update and how you can prepare your site from the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) perspective.

Elements of the Google page experience metric

Google is mainly building the new metric upon the Core Web Vitals that their Chrome team launched earlier this year.

The overall goal with Google’s page experience metric is to ensure the Google Search users are getting a mobile-friendly, safe, and straightforward browsing experience.

Let’s look at each element that contributes to the page experience metric.

1. Core Web Vitals

Google developed the Core Web Vitals because the average user enjoys fast and seamless web surfing. They also created a Chrome User Experience Report, which you can use to evaluate your site’s current performance according to these signals.

Google page experience metrics


The Core Web Vitals consist of three separate signals:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – quickness of the largest content piece’s loading time.
  • First Input Delay (FID) – responsiveness to the user’s clicking, scrolling, and typing.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – visual stability of the page.

To tick a box in each of these signals, your pages’ LCP should be below 2.5 seconds, FID below 100ms and the CLS score less than 0.1.

2. Mobile-friendly site

Google already favors sites that are optimized for mobile users, and rightfully so.

Research conducted by Statista reveals that there are an estimated 3.5 billion smartphone users this year, with this number growing to 3.8 billion in 2021. It’s safe to say that sites that aren’t mobile-optimized will miss a lot of traffic. 

Therefore, it makes sense that Google only wants their search to display mobile-friendly sites.

3. Safe-browsing

Google puts a lot of emphasis on security and weeding out potentially harmful sites from their search results. After all, if the top search results harm users, it won’t look good on Google at all.

One of the signals with the upcoming page experience metric concludes if the indexed site contains any malicious or deceptive content. Some straightforward examples are malware, spyware, social engineering scams, and false information.

To get a sense of how this works, check out Google’s Security Issues report. You can also scan your website to see if any issues pop up at this time.


Following the security topic, Google also prefers secure sites with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. Visibly, the difference is between http:// and https:// (where the latter is SSL secured) in the website’s URL.

The SSL certificate’s job is to encrypt any data that travels between the user and the servers. Even if a cyber attack occurs, the hackers are unlikely to make sense of the data.

If you’ve used the Chrome browser, then you might have come across a security warning with a suggestion that the connection is not secure. This is mainly due to the site missing an SSL certificate.

HTTPS - Google page experience


5. No intrusive interstitials

Last but not least, Google aims to punish sites that aggressively keep the visitors away from quickly accessing the content they are looking for in the first place.

The main culprits here are the pop-ups that cover the entire screen, are difficult to dismiss, or keep popping up while consuming the content.

However, disclaimers, cookie usage information, age-sensitive content confirmations, login dialogs, and reasonably sized banners aren’t going to affect your ranking.

Google page experience - Remove interstitials


Five steps to optimize your site for 2021

Google’s new page experience metric isn’t going to substitute the current ranking elements. It becomes an additional ranking factor, but the most essential part from an SEO perspective is still the quality of the content.

Still, since the page experience metric IS going to affect the ranking results, it’s a great idea to know what you can do to prepare.

Here are a few steps you can take to get your site ready for 2021.

1. Get an excellent web hosting service

Your site’s performance is already one of the key ranking factors today. Either you have a server in-house or using a hosting service, it’s wise to make sure your site is fast and responsive.

You can analyze your site’s responsiveness with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool or use a website performance monitoring tool such as Pingdom.

Additionally, you can check out sites that gather and share performance data on web hosting providers.

Example website performance data


2. Keep your page’s size lite

Images go hand-in-hand with today’s websites. However, overstuffing your web pages with visual content is going to make your site slow.

There are a few ways to approach this problem, depending on the nature of your site.

You can optimize your images and make them weigh less by using an image compressor such as ImageOptim. If your page is already content-heavy, consider spreading the largest items to multiple pages within your site.

Alternatively, you can use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) such as CloudFlare to cache your content closer to the visitor’s access point.

3. Optimize your site for mobile

As we proved earlier, the world is heading rapidly to mobile. It’s not enough for your users to access your content with their smartphones; they also expect your site to adjust to the smaller screens.

Therefore, your site needs to be mobile-optimized. 

The good news is that most modern website creation platforms, such as WordPress, already have mobile-friendly templates that don’t require extra coding efforts.

You can quickly test if your site is mobile-responsive by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly testing tool.

4. Install security measures

Website security definitely deserves a separate article to cover all the bases, but let’s only focus on Google’s perspective.

First, don’t knowingly add any malicious scripts or deceptive content to your website.

Secondly, protect your site from malware and other hacking attempts by adding a firewall. While it’s not clear yet if Google will check your site for a firewall, you should have one in place either way.

And finally, install an SSL certificate that encrypts your data since Google is already keeping tabs on if a site is secure or not. However, most of the modern hosting services already include an SSL certificate with their plans.

Overall, investing in website security is worth it for peace of mind and from the SEO perspective.

5. Tone down or remove large pop-up banners

Google considers anything that keeps its users from accessing the content they search for as a nuisance.

Therefore, a piece of straightforward advice – don’t put a giant banner on your site. Make the promotion more subtle, and you won’t have any problems with Google.

As a reminder, cookie information, age-restriction policies, and login dialogs are the exceptions. Although, please don’t go overboard with these either for the sake of user experience.

Google page experience - Remove large pop up banners


In conclusion

Google’s page experience metric will become one of the search ranking signals in 2021, but there isn’t an exact launch date yet.

Still, you can start preparing your site for the upcoming changes. Even if it’s unclear how much weight this new metric has on the search results, offering your visitors a great user experience is a substantial value on its own.

Start by testing your site’s performance, security, and mobile-friendliness. The results give you a pretty good idea of what to tweak and add to your site.

However, remember that the most important ranking factor is still the quality of the content.

Gert Svaiko is a professional copywriter and mainly works with digital marketing companies in the US and EU. You can reach him on LinkedIn.

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