Greyhat SEO Explained for Beginners (Updated May 2020)

What is grey hat SEO?

Grey hat SEO sits somewhere in the middle, using tactics that could be seen as manipulative and are riskier than white hat tactics, yet aren’t as obvious a violation of Google’s terms than black hat. As grey hat SEO practices are riskier than white hat SEO practices, there is still a questionable risk associated with grey hat SEO practices.

Generally, Gray Hat SEO practices belong in neither the Black Hat nor White Hat category because the terms of service regarding the issue are unclear.

Gray Hat SEO is difficult to define. In the words of SEO Consultant John Andrews: 

Gray Hat SEO is not something between Black Hat and White Hat, but rather “the practice of tactics/techniques which remain ill-defined by published material coming out of Google, and for which reasonable people could disagree on how the tactics support or contrast with the spirit of Google’s published guidelines.”

-John Andrews, SEO Consultant

Common Grey hat SEO Practices

Note: these practices could be questionable and haven’t been fully defined in Google’s terms of service. Do further research on the results and experiments of these grey hat SEO strategies on Google’s search engine results page before trying these strategies:

  • Domain grabbing: Domain Grabbing is the process of buying expired domains and linking it to your website. This practice is popular for those who want to improve their back link profiles fast and easy and accelerate the process of ranking on the search engine results page. Simply done, check if the domain you are buying has good backlinks, and then do a 301 redirect of the whole domain to your website.
  • Link building in web 2.0 websites: Web 2.0 websites posses the capability for users have the ability to collaborate with the webmasters. For Google, links where users have the control of its approval, anchor text, placement, etc. is unethical. However, the purpose of Web 2.0 sites is collaboration and reward people who contribute by allowing them to link out to their own websites or resources.Examples of Web 2.0 are Wikipedia, Quora, Medium, WikiHow, and Reddit. 
  • Link exchanging: Generally, link exchanges are fine. If both webmasters have content related to each other, why not link to each other as resources right? It is when people abuse this strategy that it goes bad. To Google, the most ideal way of getting a link is organic, people read your content, people like your content, people link to your content and it makes sense. Don’t overdo your link exchanging, and you’ll be fine!
  • Social bookmarking: Social bookmarking websites are places that allow users to submit and share their content for promotion and bookmark other content that fits their interest for later reading. Websites like Folkd and Mix (formerly StumbleUpon) are popular because not only can you dump your links around but could also get some referral traffic.

Resources

White-hat SEO Explained For Beginners (Updated May 2020)

Black hat SEO Explained for Beginners (Updated May 2020)

White hat SEO or Black hat SEO? Which Strategy is Better?

Everything You Need to Know About Search Engine Optimization (The Ultimate Beginner Guide 2020)

White-hat SEO Explained For Beginners (Updated May 2020)

What is white hat SEO?

Quite simply, white hat SEO refers to the usage of SEO strategies that strictly abide by Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and take an ethical approach to earn top-ranking positions. It places a strong focus on optimizing for human audiences and is seen as a long-term approach to earn sustained visibility on the search engines. 

The focus here is on providing users with the best search engine results. I.e., you prioritize the user over anything else.

As a white-hat, you will generally:

  • Play by Google’s rules (they’re pretty clear about these in their guidelines);
  • Optimise for humans not search engines;
  • Create quality content that people actively want to read and share;
  • Create a website that stands out from others in your niche (for the right reasons!)

Some of the main qualities of white hat SEO techniques include:

  • Fresh, relevant content
  • Link building from relevant industry sources
  • Optimized image labels
  • Relevant page titles and tags
  • Natural keyword density

Seven White Hat SEO Strategies to Implement

Have a Content Marketing Plan That’s Better Than Your Competitors

According to The Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 B2C study, only 37% of respondents believe they are effective at content marketing. Since content is one of the top two Google ranking factors, it’s pretty important to get it right. Once again, this presents a huge opportunity for those willing to invest the time to make that happen.

Everyone talks about creating “great content”, but what does that even mean? It really comes down to having useful content, finding the right audience, and then reaching that audience. This doesn’t have to be a difficult exercise. It boils down to having empathy with your prospects and customers. Ann Handley created the following formula to sum it up:

Useful x Enjoyable x Inspired = Innovative Content

-Ann Handley

Keep in mind “conversational” search queries. As of July 2015, over 30% of all searches returned rich answers. Many of these answers were in response to “who, what, when, where, why, and how” queries. While it’s great to appear in position 0 and garner the traffic associated with it, the benefit is usually short lived. The churn rate for rich answers exceeds 55%.

More importantly, I suspect the conversational search/rich answers technology is being applied to voice search. Voice is the fastest growing type of search; 55% of teens and 41% of adults already use voice search daily. As devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home gain market share, I would expect the pace of voice search to grow exponentially.

Mobile is Local – Claim Your Business Listing

Mobile search and local search are inextricably intertwined. Per The Mobile Playbook20% of ALL searches have local intent. Of smartphone users:

  • 94% search for location information
  • 51% visited a store
  • 48% called a store
  • 29% made a purchase

Mobile has higher potential for your products to convert to sales. As Google continues to improve its ability to deliver hyper-local results, it is critically important to have complete and accurate data in one’s Google My Business profile. This continues to be an easy win, as less than half of all businesses have claimed their business listing.

Prioritize Your Mobile Content

Google is now doubling down on mobile, giving notice that “pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.” In other words, the Google index is going mobile first and if you don’t have a mobile-friendly page, then you will likely take a hit in the SERPs. That’s especially true for websites using intrusive interstitial ads. If you aren’t certain as to whether your website meets the criteria for being mobile friendly, log in to your Search Console account and view the Mobile Usability Report. Google will report mobile issues there, so you can take the appropriate action.

7 White Hat SEO Techniques to Double Traffic in 2017 | SEJ

On a related note, keep close tabs on Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). This open source initiative relies on AMP HTML, which promises “instant” loading—a real benefit on mobile devices. Google has been pushing this hard, but early reviews are mixed. Unless you have a news site, I’m not ready to recommend jumping on the AMP bandwagon just yet.

Keyword Research

Keyword research needs to be emphasized so many times over. Keyword optimization is constantly changing, and search terms that had high volume previously may need to be switched over to be a better performing keyword.

That’s right—keyword research is still important. With Google providing less KW data all the time, two of the largest SEO tool providers, Moz and Ahrefs, have developed and improved KW tools hoping to fill the void. However, the way one goes about performing and using the results from KW research has changed.

The new generation of keyword tools takes this into consideration by creating things like Parent Topics and Keyword Groups. Armed with this information, users can develop content that incorporates a series of contextually relevant phrases. Just be smart about it and avoid the temptation to stuff every variation of a phrase found in a KW batch onto a page.

Focus on User Experience (UX)

“The goal of UX design in business is to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty through the utility, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction with a product.” For our purposes, your website is the product. The objective is to first determine a user’s intent, then develop a methodology for smooth navigation—a methodology that evokes a positive emotion and leads to an overall good experience.

Oxford Journal, study

Google has always encouraged webmasters to make their primary focus one of providing a good user experience. As the algorithm gets “smarter”, websites that do so are positioned to benefit the most. A good user experience goes much deeper than writing clean code.

Incorporating UX best practices is easy. The web is filled with templates and advice. What separates the pros from the amateurs is A/B testing. Each one of us has our own biases that will influence how a web page is constructed. By running a series of experiments, you will be able to quantify what is working, what isn’t, and continue testing until you get it right.

Use Schema for a Competitive Edge

In 2014 (the most recent data available), Searchmetrics reported that over a third of Google search results incorporated Rich Snippets supported by Schema, but only 0.3% of websites were making use of the Google-approved Schema tool. I suspect that percentage has improved over that past couple of years, but the opportunity to use Schema as a competitive edge is still huge.

Schema, found at Schema.org, is a collection of different HTML tags that can be added to a Web page. These tags create an enhanced description that appears in search results (commonly known as rich snippets). Schema is commonly used to create Rich Snippets for OrganizationsEventsMusicPeopleProductsRecipesReview Ratings, and Videos.

Primary Benefits Derived from Using Schema

  • Rich snippets can be helpful to users and make search results stand out.
  • Schema makes it easier for search engines to understand a page.
  • Microdata can improve click-through rates.

Link Building

The day may come when links are less important to rankings, but that day hasn’t arrived yet. If you ignore one of the top two ranking factors, you’re really doing yourself a disservice. The key is to get the right kinds of links. Links that have relevance to your site. Links that require a human editorial review. The kinds of links that are earned.

My favorite approach to earning relevant links is to build a resource center. A resource center can work on just about any kind of website. In addition to attracting links, a good resource center helps to build trust and authority.

Conclusion

The bottom line is you don’t have to manage thousands or even 200 ranking signals in order to significantly increase organic traffic. Just focus on the areas mentioned above. If you do, it’s entirely possible to double, triple, or even 10X the traffic coming to your website in 2020.

Resources

Black hat SEO Explained for Beginners (Updated May 2020)

Black-hat SEO is considered to be the ‘opposite’ of white-hat SEO. Black-hat mentality focuses on finding and exploiting algorithmic loopholes. Black hat SEO is a practice against search engine guidelines, used to get a site ranking higher in search results. These unethical tactics don’t solve for the searcher and often end in a penalty from search engines.

Appearing in search results is vital for business growth, but there’s a right and wrong way of doing search engine optimization. The dark art of black hat SEO is the wrong way. Black hat SEO seeks to game search engine algorithms, rather than solve for the user. Instead of earning the right to rank highly on search engine results pages black hat SEO uses shady tactics to get you there. Sustained use of black hat SEO techniques is likely to damage your presence in search engines rather than improve it.

Many of these loopholes don’t hurt anyone, except your competitors. But some of them are incredibly unethical, such as hacking into websites to inject backlinks.

As a black-hat, you may:

  • Break (or at least ‘bend’) Google’s guidelines;
  • Focus on search engines over users;
  • Attempt to deceive users with things like cloaking and doorway pages;
  • Hack into peoples’ websites.

Black-hat SEO users violate the Google guidelines and try to rank a site higher with manipulative tactics, usually looking to gain quick wins. Black hat SEO is usually frowned upon, and can actually hurt your site rankings if you are not cautious of your link building practices. Google employs a webspam team whose core focus is to ensure that websites using black hat tactics do not rank.

Some of the main qualities of black hat SEO techniques include:

  • Duplicate content, non-relevant content: duplicate content refers to the well-known “copy and paste” content creation practice across domains and means that blocks of copied content from different sources exactly match each other or look very much alike. Search engines prefer unique content which is why content purposely duplicated across different domains is perceived as one of the worst black hat techniques.
  • Purchasing back link placements: buying links for SEO has some undeniable advantages for the buyer. First of all, it is easy. Once a transaction is done, there is no need to bother with the quality of the content. Secondly, the anchor text, a strong Google ranking factor, is also chosen according to customer’s preferences.
  • Keyword stuffing: keyword stuffing involves overusing the same keywords throughout one page in order to maximize its visibility and organic traffic. Content stuffed with keywords doesn’t look natural and because of this, it’s not user-friendly
  • Cloaking links or invisible text: Serving a page of HTML text to search engines while showing a page of images or Flash to users. Inserting text or keywords into a page only when the user-agent requesting the page is a search engine, not a human visitor.
  • Redirecting to another site or page: commonly known as doorway pages, gateway pages, jump pages or bridge pages which are specially optimized for targeted keywords and designed to rank high for particular queries. These landing pages have very little value and are solely used to trick the search engines and transfer a visitor from a chosen result to another, unrelated destination.
  • Blog comment spams: Spam comments are intended to create free backlinks. Links gained in this way are 100% ‘nofollow’ and transfer no SEO juice, which makes this technique a real waste of time. Nonetheless, it is currently one of most popular black hat practices. What is more, it is not always done manually, there are even various tools available to automatically sprinkle spam comments across the Web.

Black-hat content-stealing methods include:

  • Republishing existing posts (without attribution): Although republishing posts with attribution is perfectly fine, taking them from other sites without attribution and re-posting is not;
  • Rewritten/spun content: This might work to a degree for low-competition keywords, but it’s hardly offering any unique value. Chances are your rewritten content won’t read as well as the original and visitors won’t trust it.

Why you shouldn’t consider Black-hat SEO

Black-hat SEO is more expensive than ever before

Google is much smarter than it used to be; blatantly spammy, low-cost tactics—e.g., keyword stuffing—are no longer effective. So as a black-hat, your only option is to turn to more expensive tactics, such as building a PBN. And when you take into account the costs of doing this correctly (i.e., buying many expired domains, dedicated hosting, private whois, etc.), black-hat SEO can get real expensive real quick.

Black-hat SEO is VERY risky 

Nobody wants a Google penalty. But if you go down the black-hat route, there’s a decent chance you’ll get one. It, therefore, seems the obvious (and only) choice to many, ourselves included.

Black-hat SEO requires some level of “technical knowledge”: 

If you go down the black-hat route, you won’t get too far unless you have a profound and detailed understanding of how the web works and how you can exploit that knowledge to your advantage. Most of this knowledge is not shared publicly, which means that many people don’t see black-hat SEO as a viable option.

Instead of Black-hat SEO, consider these easy white hat SEO strategies

Quite simply, white hat SEO refers to the usage of SEO strategies that strictly abide by Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and take an ethical approach to earn top-ranking positions. It places a strong focus on optimizing for human audiences and is seen as a long-term approach to earn sustained visibility on the search engines. 

The focus here is on providing users with the best search engine results. I.e., you prioritize the user over anything else.

As a white-hat, you will generally:

  • Play by Google’s rules (they’re pretty clear about these in their guidelines);
  • Optimise for humans not search engines;
  • Create quality content that people actively want to read and share;
  • Create a website that stands out from others in your niche (for the right reasons!)

Some of the main qualities of white hat SEO techniques include:

  • Fresh, relevant content
  • Link building from relevant industry sources
  • Optimized image labels
  • Relevant page titles and tags
  • Natural keyword density

Seven easy to implement white-hat SEO strategies to improve your rankings

  1. Have a Content Marketing Plan That’s Better Than Your Competitors
  2. Mobile is Local – Claim Your Business Listing to Improve Link Building
  3. Prioritize Your Mobile Content
  4. Keyword Research and Optimization
  5. Focus on User Experience (UX)
  6. Use Schema for a Competitive Edge
  7. Build Links With Relevant Companies Within Your Industry

Resources

White hat SEO or Black hat SEO? Which Strategy is Better?

Greyhat SEO Explained for Beginners (Updated May 2020)

White-hat SEO Explained For Beginners (Updated May 2020)

Here’s Why You Should Stay Away From Black Hat SEO Practices

You may have heard of bountiful returns from black hat SEO practices, but those returns do not last. Google is constantly updating its algorithm to counteract black hat SEO practices as they do not provide value to the user.

What are some common blackhat SEO practices and why you should stay away

  • Duplicate content, non-relevant content: duplicate content refers to the well-known “copy and paste” content creation practice across domains and means that blocks of copied content from different sources exactly match each other or look very much alike. Search engines prefer unique content which is why content purposely duplicated across different domains is perceived as one of the worst black hat techniques.
  • Purchasing back link placements: buying links for SEO has some undeniable advantages for the buyer. First of all, it is easy. Once a transaction is done, there is no need to bother with the quality of the content. Secondly, the anchor text, a strong Google ranking factor, is also chosen according to customer’s preferences.
  • Keyword stuffing: keyword stuffing involves overusing the same keywords throughout one page in order to maximize its visibility and organic traffic. Content stuffed with keywords doesn’t look natural and because of this, it’s not user-friendly
  • Cloaking links or invisible text: Serving a page of HTML text to search engines while showing a page of images or Flash to users. Inserting text or keywords into a page only when the user-agent requesting the page is a search engine, not a human visitor.
  • Redirecting to another site or page: commonly known as doorway pages, gateway pages, jump pages or bridge pages which are specially optimized for targeted keywords and designed to rank high for particular queries. These landing pages have very little value and are solely used to trick the search engines and transfer a visitor from a chosen result to another, unrelated destination.
  • Blog comment spams: Spam comments are intended to create free backlinks. Links gained in this way are 100% ‘nofollow’ and transfer no SEO juice, which makes this technique a real waste of time. Nonetheless, it is currently one of most popular black hat practices. What is more, it is not always done manually, there are even various tools available to automatically sprinkle spam comments across the Web.

Black-hat content-stealing methods include:

  • Republishing existing posts (without attribution): Although republishing posts with attribution is perfectly fine, taking them from other sites without attribution and re-posting is not;
  • Rewritten/spun content: This might work to a degree for low-competition keywords, but it’s hardly offering any unique value. Chances are your rewritten content won’t read as well as the original and visitors won’t trust it.

Why you shouldn’t consider Black-hat SEO

Black-hat SEO is more expensive than ever before

Google is much smarter than it used to be; blatantly spammy, low-cost tactics—e.g., keyword stuffing—are no longer effective. So as a black-hat, your only option is to turn to more expensive tactics, such as building a PBN. And when you take into account the costs of doing this correctly (i.e., buying many expired domains, dedicated hosting, private whois, etc.), black-hat SEO can get real expensive real quick.

Black-hat SEO is VERY risky 

Nobody wants a Google penalty. But if you go down the black-hat route, there’s a decent chance you’ll get one. It, therefore, seems the obvious (and only) choice to many, ourselves included.

Black-hat SEO requires some level of “technical knowledge”: 

If you go down the black-hat route, you won’t get too far unless you have a profound and detailed understanding of how the web works and how you can exploit that knowledge to your advantage. Most of this knowledge is not shared publicly, which means that many people don’t see black-hat SEO as a viable option.

White hat SEO or Black hat SEO? Which Strategy is Better?

What is white hat SEO?

Quite simply, white hat SEO refers to the usage of SEO strategies that strictly abide by Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and take an ethical approach to earn top-ranking positions. It places a strong focus on optimizing for human audiences and is seen as a long-term approach to earn sustained visibility on the search engines. 

The focus here is on providing users with the best search engine results. I.e., you prioritize the user over anything else.

As a white-hat, you will generally:

  • Play by Google’s rules (they’re pretty clear about these in their guidelines);
  • Optimise for humans not search engines;
  • Create quality content that people actively want to read and share;
  • Create a website that stands out from others in your niche (for the right reasons!)

Some of the main qualities of white hat SEO techniques include:

  • Fresh, relevant content
  • Link building from relevant industry sources
  • Optimized image labels
  • Relevant page titles and tags
  • Natural keyword density

What is black hat SEO?

On the flipside, there is black-hat SEO. This is considered to be the ‘opposite’ of white-hat SEO.

Black-hat mentality focuses on finding and exploiting algorithmic loopholes.

Many of these loopholes don’t hurt anyone, except your competitors. But some of them are incredibly unethical, such as hacking into websites to inject backlinks.

As a black-hat, you may:

  • Break (or at least ‘bend’) Google’s guidelines;
  • Focus on search engines over users;
  • Attempt to deceive users with things like cloaking and doorway pages;
  • Hack into peoples’ websites.

Some of the main qualities of white hat SEO techniques include:

  • Duplicate content, non-relevant content
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Link farming
  • Cloaking links or invisible text
  • Redirecting to another site or page
  • Blog comment spams

Black hat SEO users violate the Google guidelines and try to rank a site higher with manipulative tactics, usually looking to gain quick wins. Black hat SEO is usually frowned upon, and can actually hurt your site rankings if you are not cautious of your link building practices. Google employs a webspam team whose core focus is to ensure that websites using black hat tactics do not rank.

Why you shouldn’t consider blackhat SEO

  • Black-hat SEO is more expensive than ever before: Google is much smarter than it used to be; blatantly spammy, low-cost tactics—e.g., keyword stuffing—are no longer effective. So as a black-hat, your only option is to turn to more expensive tactics, such as building a PBN. And when you take into account the costs of doing this correctly (i.e., buying many expired domains, dedicated hosting, private whois, etc.), black-hat SEO can get real expensive real quick.
  • Black-hat SEO is VERY risky: Nobody wants a Google penalty. But if you go down the black-hat route, there’s a decent chance you’ll get one. It, therefore, seems the obvious (and only) choice to many, ourselves included.
  • Black-hat SEO requires some level of “technical knowledge”: If you go down the black-hat route, you won’t get too far unless you have a profound and detailed understanding of how the web works and how you can exploit that knowledge to your advantage. Most of this knowledge is not shared publicly, which means that many people don’t see black-hat SEO as a viable option.

Link Building Explained: White hat, Black hat, and Grey hat Tactics

Link building practices can be identified by three distinct colors and caps. But what exactly do these different link building terminologies mean? What is the difference between a white hat and a black hat? Why does it matter what color the hat is?

Types of SEO: How They Impact Your Business

If you are new to SEO and, more specifically, link building, you may have come across references to black hat, grey hat, and black hat tactics.

These need addressing, even though we will look at some of these approaches in more depth further into this guide.

What is white hat SEO?

Quite simply, white hat SEO refers to the usage of SEO strategies that strictly abide by Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and take an ethical approach to earn top-ranking positions. It places a strong focus on optimizing for human audiences and is seen as a long-term approach to earn sustained visibility on the search engines. 

The focus here is on providing users with the best search engine results. I.e., you prioritize the user over anything else.

As a white-hat, you will generally:

  • Play by Google’s rules (they’re pretty clear about these in their guidelines);
  • Optimise for humans not search engines;
  • Create quality content that people actively want to read and share;
  • Create a website that stands out from others in your niche (for the right reasons!)

Some of the main qualities of white hat SEO techniques include:

  • Fresh, relevant content
  • Link building from relevant industry sources
  • Optimized image labels
  • Relevant page titles and tags
  • Natural keyword density

What is black hat SEO?

On the flipside, there is black-hat SEO. This is considered to be the ‘opposite’ of white-hat SEO.

Black-hat mentality focuses on finding and exploiting algorithmic loopholes.

Many of these loopholes don’t hurt anyone, except your competitors. But some of them are incredibly unethical, such as hacking into websites to inject backlinks.

As a black-hat, you may:

  • Break (or at least ‘bend’) Google’s guidelines;
  • Focus on search engines over users;
  • Attempt to deceive users with things like cloaking and doorway pages;
  • Hack into peoples’ websites.

Some of the main qualities of white hat SEO techniques include:

  • Duplicate content, non-relevant content
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Link farming
  • Cloaking links or invisible text
  • Redirecting to another site or page
  • Blog comment spams

Black hat SEO users violate the Google guidelines and try to rank a site higher with manipulative tactics, usually looking to gain quick wins. Black hat SEO is usually frowned upon, and can actually hurt your site rankings if you are not cautious of your link building practices. Google employs a webspam team whose core focus is to ensure that websites using black hat tactics do not rank.

Why you shouldn’t consider blackhat SEO

  • Black-hat SEO is more expensive than ever before: Google is much smarter than it used to be; blatantly spammy, low-cost tactics—e.g., keyword stuffing—are no longer effective. So as a black-hat, your only option is to turn to more expensive tactics, such as building a PBN. And when you take into account the costs of doing this correctly (i.e., buying many expired domains, dedicated hosting, private whois, etc.), black-hat SEO can get real expensive real quick.
  • Black-hat SEO is VERY risky: Nobody wants a Google penalty. But if you go down the black-hat route, there’s a decent chance you’ll get one. It, therefore, seems the obvious (and only) choice to many, ourselves included.
  • Black-hat SEO requires some level of “technical knowledge”: If you go down the black-hat route, you won’t get too far unless you have a profound and detailed understanding of how the web works and how you can exploit that knowledge to your advantage. Most of this knowledge is not shared publicly, which means that many people don’t see black-hat SEO as a viable option.

What is grey hat SEO?

Grey hat SEO sits somewhere in the middle, using tactics that could be seen as manipulative and are riskier than white hat tactics, yet aren’t as obvious a violation of Google’s terms than black hat. As grey hat SEO practices are riskier than white hat SEO practices, there is still a questionable risk associated with grey hat SEO practices.

Generally, Gray Hat SEO practices belong in neither the Black Hat nor White Hat category because the terms of service regarding the issue are unclear.

Gray Hat SEO is difficult to define. In the words of SEO Consultant John Andrews: 

Gray Hat SEO is not something between Black Hat and White Hat, but rather “the practice of tactics/techniques which remain ill-defined by published material coming out of Google, and for which reasonable people could disagree on how the tactics support or contrast with the spirit of Google’s published guidelines.”

-John Andrews, SEO Consultant

Common Grey hat SEO Practices

Note: these practices could be questionable and haven’t been fully defined in Google’s terms of service. Do further research on the results and experiments of these grey hat SEO strategies on Google’s search engine results page before trying these strategies:

  • Domain grabbing: Domain Grabbing is the process of buying expired domains and linking it to your website. This practice is popular for those who want to improve their back link profiles fast and easy and accelerate the process of ranking on the search engine results page. Simply done, check if the domain you are buying has good backlinks, and then do a 301 redirect of the whole domain to your website.
  • Link building in web 2.0 websites: Web 2.0 websites posses the capability for users have the ability to collaborate with the webmasters. For Google, links where users have the control of its approval, anchor text, placement, etc. is unethical. However, the purpose of Web 2.0 sites is collaboration and reward people who contribute by allowing them to link out to their own websites or resources.Examples of Web 2.0 are Wikipedia, Quora, Medium, WikiHow, and Reddit. 
  • Link exchanging: Generally, link exchanges are fine. If both webmasters have content related to each other, why not link to each other as resources right? It is when people abuse this strategy that it goes bad. To Google, the most ideal way of getting a link is organic, people read your content, people like your content, people link to your content and it makes sense. Don’t overdo your link exchanging, and you’ll be fine!
  • Social bookmarking: Social bookmarking websites are places that allow users to submit and share their content for promotion and bookmark other content that fits their interest for later reading. Websites like Folkd and Mix (formerly StumbleUpon) are popular because not only can you dump your links around but could also get some referral traffic.

Free Tools For SEO and Keyword Research: A Comprehensive Review

SEO tools are an essential for leveling up your keyword rankings and content. This is why there are now hundreds of SEO tools all vying for your attention. 

Before you go spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on SEO software, we’re going to help you by reviewing each tool, and helping you make an informed decision in order to save you from splurging on an ultimately disappointing software. Here’s a review of nine of the most prominent SEO tools you can take for a spin before you spend even a single dollar on them.

1. Cognitive SEO

Key points: Site audit; link analysis; rank tracking; social visibility; no free version.

Cognitive SEO is a tool aiming at SEO specialists running content marketing projects. In its Starter plan, the functionality is quite limited, with no Whitelabel nor API access available. There’s also no competition research and CPC management tools.

On the other hand, its limits on backlink research and rank tracking would make it a good choice for an in-house SEO running even a large-volume campaign.

Free trial terms:

  • 7 days full functionality
  • Credit card required
  • After trial, you get charged for the next month

Pricing plans:

Starter plan is $129.99/month; Business plan is completely customizable and its pricing will depend on your particular deal with CognitiveSEO.

2. SEO PowerSuite

Key points: All-in-one SEO solution; desktop software; no limits on SEO functionality; free version available.

SEO PowerSuite aims to handle all of the SEO tasks in a single desktop-based package at an affordable price. Providing everything from an SEO crawler to a mobile-friendly test tool, SEO PowerSuite is a one-stop-shop.

There are no restrictions on the number of projects, nor on the backlinks and keywords researched, so it’s great for large-volume SEO campaigns. That said, there is a limit on competitors researched at the same time, where you can’t research more than 10 at once.

It’s also a freemium tool. There is a perfectly viable free version of the software, which boasts the same functionality as the paid version, with some limits on backlink research and competitive analysis, and no limits on keywords, which makes it perfect for affordable keyword research. 

Free trial terms: 

  • 7 days full functionality
  • No credit card required
  • After trial, you move to free version

Pricing plans: 

Free version available; Professional license is $299/year and Enterprise license is $699/year.

3. SE Ranking

Key points: All-in-one SEO solution; web-based; adjustable plans; no free version.

In a similar fashion to #1, this is also a comprehensive SEO suite. It’s not the best keyword research tool, but it’s still a great SEO toolbar, and the good news is that there are no restricted functions. 

All of the tool’s functionality is available even with the cheapest plan, and the only thing that changes with the increased pricing are the limits. 

And within every plan, you can adjust the limits on keywords researched yourself, changing the final price of the product. That way, you’ll only be paying for the functionality you actually need.

Free trial terms:

  • 14 days full functionality
  • No credit card required
  • After trial, you lose access to the tool

Pricing plans: 

As per adjustments on keywords researched, Optimum plan is priced at $372-660/year, Plus is $852-1,428/year and Enterprise is $1,812-8,628/year.

4. Raven Tools

Key points: All-in-one SEO solution; web-based; uses data from different sources; no free version.

Raven Tools is a cloud-based SEO solution that combines a bunch of different databases for different features, using Moz and Majestic, for example, to give users the best results. 

It boasts a very convenient feature of integration with your email automation and call tracking software, where you could import your data from Mailchimp, and run your email campaigns from your SEO tool. 

On the other hand, there are restrictions on the amount of projects, keywords tracked and pages available for auditing. This is why it’s best used by an in-house SEO specialist, rather than an agency or an SEO with multiple clients.

Free trial terms:

  • 7 days of full functionality
  • No credit card required
  • After trial, you lose access to the tool

Pricing plans: 

Start license is $948/year, Grow is $1,668/year, Thrive is $2,988/year and Lead is $4,788/year.

5. Moz Pro

Key points: All-in-one SEO solution; web-based; no free version.

Moz is another one of the all-in-one solutions for SEO enthusiasts. From a keyword research tool to a site crawler, it’s got you covered. 

It also boasts one of the best backlink databases on the market right now, making its backlink checker one of the most sought-after features for SEO. On the other hand, there is no PPC functionality and no way to directly manage your website’s content. 

Additionally, it’s quite a bit more expensive than most other SEO tools, so it might not be the best fit for a freelance specialist or a small business owner. 

Free trial terms: 

  • 30 days full functionality
  • Credit card required
  • After trial, you get charged for a month

Pricing plans: 

Standard plan is $950/year, Medium is $1,719/year, Large is $2,390/year and Premium is $5,750/year.

6. SEMrush

Key points: All-in-one SEO software; web-based; free version available.

SEMrush is a platform aiming to be a real one-stop-shop for all digital marketers out there. SEMrush provides full SEO functionality to its users, from a robust backlink checker to local SEO tools. 

Additionally, there are CPC research tools to help run PPC campaigns.This functionality, along with pretty generous limits on the keyword research tool and projects (up to 200), makes it especially convenient for SEO experts working with numerous clients, rather than small business owners or freelance SEOs.

There is also a Free version of SEMrush, which is limited to the point of being unusable for regular work, but it’s perfectly functional as a demo of the larger tool.

Free trial terms:

  • 7 day free trial of either Pro or Guru plan
  • Credit card required
  • After trial, you get charged for the month of a plan you decided to try

Pricing plans: 

Pro plan is $999.36/year, Guru is $1,999.36/year and Business is $3,999.36/year.

7. Netpeak Software

Key points: Website audit; competition analysis; desktop-based; no free version.

Netpeak software is actually two apps, both desktop-based. There’s Netpeak Spider, which is an SEO crawler you can use as a website auditor and backlink checker. There is also Netpeak Checker, which is a tool for URL analysis and competitor research.

It’s convenient because you can pay half the price, and use either one of the apps exclusively. That said, the whitelabel SEO report tool, as well as the ability to crawl more than one domain at once and export of search queries from Google Search Console, are only available in the Pro version of the Netpeak Spider, which costs as much as both of the tools’ Standard versions.

Free trial terms:

  • 14 days full functionality
  • No credit card required
  • After trial, you lose access to the tool

Pricing plans: 

Standart plan is $364.80/year, Pro is $556.80/year.

8. Monitor Backlinks

Key points: Backlink audit; competition analysis; rank tracking; no free version.

Manage Backlinks is created to help you create a solid backlink profile. It’s first and foremost a backlink research tool. It reviews your current backlinks and gives you historical data you can analyze.

There’s a very handy disavowal tool in place to get rid of your unwanted and spammy backlinks, as well as a Competitor Links module for researching your competition’s backlinks.

This tool might work for an in-house SEO specialist or a business owner who only needs a backlink checker tool and might not have the largest budget available.

Free trial terms:

  • 30 days full functionality
  • No credit card required
  • After trial you lose access to the tool

Pricing plans:

The Start plan is $25/month; Plus is $47.40/month; Professional is $89.91/month; 5D4C is $106.16/month; 7D4C is $139.92/month; 10D4C is $187.42/month. 

There’s also a Custom plan if you need extended limits, and its price will depend on your particular arrangement with Monitor Backlinks.

9. RankRanger

Key points: Rank tracking; keyword research; backlink audit; website audit; social media integrations; no free version.

Rank Ranger aims to be the HQ of a digital marketer, with website audit, keyword research, and plenty of social media integrations. Although the Site Auditor feature can only crawl up to 500 URLs daily, and its website audit is still in beta, its main emphasis is on those integrations.

From Mailchimp to Twilio, and from Google Ads to YouTube Analytics, RankRanger can bring together dozens of different tools’ analytics, and work as a single dashboard for your entire social media and PPC marketing campaigns.

Free trial terms:

  • 14 days full functionality
  • No credit card required
  • After trial you lose access to the tool

Pricing plans:

Basic plan is $69/month, Standard is $119/month, and Pro is $399/month.

Choose your tools wisely

With SEO being the most important factor for a website’s ranking, the type of SEO tool you’ll choose will likely determine the success of your entire marketing campaign.

So choose very carefully, test drive any tool you’re interested in, and, if you decide not to proceed, don’t forget to cancel your subscription before you are charged!

A Comprehensive Guide on Affiliate Marketing: Step-by-Step

Affiliate marketing can be one of the most lucrative and easy careers out there. Some affiliate marketers are able to make tens of thousands of dollars a month just by promoting products from their own homes. The top performing affiliate marketers are able to earn MILLIONS of dollars from their affiliate marketing campaigns! You wouldn’t believe the crazy amounts of money being passed along in the affiliate marketplace – today we’re going to show you step-by-step how to get started with affiliate marketing.

Passive income.

That’s the dream, right?

Make money while you sleep.

Ever since the 4-Hour Workweek was released, everyone seems to have the same goal.

To wake up in the morning, open their laptop, and look at something like this:

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(Image source: Top 5 SEO)

For 99% of people, affiliate marketing is how they get started.

The idea behind it is that you promote other people’s products, often through an affiliate network, earning a commission if people actually end up buying thanks to your marketing.

It’s based on revenue sharing. If you have a product and want to sell more, you can offer promoters a financial incentive through an affiliate program. If you have no product and want to make money, then you can promote a product that you feel has value and earn an income from it as an affiliate marketer.

Terms and Definitions

The best definition of what affiliate marketing is can be found on Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income:

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.

However, Wikipedia talks about 4 different parties that are involved: the merchant, the network, the publisher, and the customer.

Other definitions talk about 3 parties instead of 4.

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(Image source: CJ)

I will explain all 4 parties in a second.  But, when it comes down to the actual marketing, there are 2 sides of an affiliate equation: the product creator and seller and the affiliate marketer.

Therefore, affiliate marketing can be seen as the process of spreading product creation and product marketing across different parties, where each party receives a share of the revenue according to their contribution.

It’s not just the promotion or just the product creation that defines who you are as an affiliate marketer.

You can be both the creator and the marketer and still profit from the underlying idea of sharing revenue.

Now let’s look at all of the parts of a successful affiliate marketing system.

The Merchant: Sometimes also known as the creator, the seller, the brand, the retailer, or the vendor. This is the party that creates the product. It can be a big company, like Dyson, who produces vacuum cleaners.

From solo entrepreneurs to startups to massive Fortune 500 companies, anyone could be the merchant behind an affiliate marketing program. They don’t even have to be actively involved. They just have to have a product to sell.

The Affiliate: This party is sometimes also known as the publisher. Affiliates can also range from single individuals to entire companies.  An affiliate marketing business can produce a few hundred dollars in commissions each month or tens of millions of dollars.

It’s where the marketing happens. An affiliate promotes one or multiple affiliate products and tries to attract and convince potential customers of the value of the merchant’s product so that they actually end up buying it.

This can be achieved by running a review blog of the merchant’s products.  For example:

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It could also be an entire site that’s dedicated to finding cool products related to certain topic and promoting those affiliate products.

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(This is why I’m broke is one of the most popular affiliate network sites)

The Consumer: The customer or consumer makes the affiliate system go ’round. Without sales, there aren’t any commissions to hand out and no revenue to be shared.

The affiliate will try to market to the consumer on whatever channel they see fit, whether that’s a social network, digital billboards or through a search engine using content marketing on a blog.

Whether the consumer knows that they are part of an affiliate marketing system or not is mostly up to the affiliate.

Some choose to let their consumers know and more and more affiliates tend to be transparent about their marketing being incentivized financially, but others don’t.

They let the tracking system work in the background, where the customer can follow the purchase process just as usual and the affiliate still ends up being paid a commission.

The consumer will not typically pay a higher price to the affiliate marketer, as the cost of the affiliate network is already included in the retail price.

The Network: Only some consider the network part of the affiliate marketing equation.  But, I believe that an affiliate marketing guide needs to include networks, because, in many cases, a network works as an intermediary between the affiliate and the merchant.

While you could technically promote an online course someone has created and just arrange a direct revenue share with them, letting a network such as ClickBank or Commission Junction handle the payment and product delivery puts a more serious note on your affiliate marketing.

Sometimes, affiliates have to go through an affiliate network to even be able to promote the product.  For example, this happens if the merchant only manages their affiliate program on that network.

The affiliate network then also serves as a database of lots of products, out of which the affiliate marketer can choose which to promote.

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(Clickbank is an example of a network)

In the case of promoting consumer products, like tools, books, toys and household items, the biggest affiliate network, by far, is Amazon. Their Amazon Associates affiliate program lets you promote any item that is sold on their platform.

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Anyone can sign up and then generate a custom affiliate link to Amazon products. If someone purchases through your link, you earn a small commission.

With the basic terms clarified, let’s get an overview of how you can best get started with building your affiliate marketing business.

Affiliate Marketing Overview

As I said, there are basically two sides of the affiliate marketing equation that you can choose from, assuming that you’re not going to build an affiliate network such as Commission Junction.

You can become a merchant and have others promote your product, in exchange for giving them a commission from the sales that they make.

Or, you can become an affiliate marketer for one or several products that you’d like to promote and market those to consumers, in order to make money.

While most people start by taking the affiliate route and it definitely is the easier path to take, building enough traffic to make a meaningful income just from affiliate sales isn’t quick or easy.

That’s why I’ll walk you through the 4 basic steps that you can take to get started on both sides of the affiliate marketing industry.

4 steps to becoming a merchant:

If you want to become an affiliate program merchant and then make money by having affiliates sell your product, there are 4 simple, yet not easy, steps that you can take.

First, you need to have a product idea. I’ll show you a few ways that you can generate those ideas, based off what’s already popular, in the next section.

Second, you have to validate your idea. You could just go ahead and build your idea.  But, what if people don’t even want it? An idea is only good if people actually want it to come to life.

Third, you have to actually create the product. Since creating a physical product usually comes with huge investment and risks, I’ll only show you ways to create digital products. These are the best place to get started since they typically only require your time and little or no money.

Also, once your product is created and released, you still need to find affiliates to promote your product and this is where affiliate networks can help.

Let’s go!

Step 1: Come up with a product idea

People always say it’s hard to come up with an idea. It’s not. Ideas are easy.

But, if you think that your idea has to be super original and born out of the pure genius of your brain, that’s hard.

If you want to make money with an affiliate marketing business, you can’t be romantically attached to your idea.

Instead, just look at what products and services are already out there.  Consider how you can improve upon them, by delivering something that solves the problems with those products.

You can, of course, always, choose a topic that you’re interested or involved in.

Imagine that you’re a housewife or a stay-at-home Dad, for a second.

Maybe you want to create a product that makes household chores easier. For example, you could look for a vacuum robot to get some ideas.

This is the first Google result, a review site for robot vacuums:

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Perfect!

Just by looking at the individual reviews, you can instantly see what’s bad about these robots and what you could potentially improve upon.

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No virtual walls that tell the robot where to go and where not to go is a common problem, mentioned in 6 out of the 10 reviews of the top products!

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Lack of a remote control was also a common ‘con.’

However, the virtual wall came up again and again and again.

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Therefore, a great idea could be to develop a virtual wall that works for all vacuum robots.

I imagine that you could sell anyone who owns a vacuum robot a system that works as a virtual wall, so their robot only cleans a predefined space.

Now that’s a valid idea!

This works for anything, I’ll show you.

Another way that you can do research is to use a tool called Buzzsumo, which shows you what’s popular, based on social shares.

Even if you’re into building sandcastles, you can instantly see what content has been recently popular.

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People really like cool sandcastles like this one:

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(Image source: This is colossal)

If you go on YouTube and search for ‘build a sandcastle,’ you’ll find thousands of results.

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Apparently, people really want to know how to build cool sandcastles. So, what could you do?

Record a series of videos where you show people, step-by-step, how to build 5 very specific, epic sandcastles.

Or, you can do a write-up of all of the tools that you need to build epic sandcastles.

You could even come up with some forms or stencils that people can use to make building epic sandcastles a whole lot easier.

The question is…will people pay for it?

Step 2: Validate your business idea

In order to not end up doing a great series of sandcastle videos that no one wants to buy, you have to first validate your idea.

How do you do that?

Simple: You ask people to pay you for it.

How do you find these people? Easy.

Take the URL from one of the sandcastle posts on Buzzsumo and plug it into a tool called Topsy.

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Topsy then shows you a list of all of the people who tweeted that link.

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You can then directly tell them about your idea, by hitting the reply button…

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Make sure that you ask them whether or not they would buy your idea — not just if they like it.

Anyone will say that they like something just to be nice.

If they respond with a yes, you need to directly follow up with an ask to buy.

Saying they will spend money is not the same as actually spending it.

When people are interested in your product, give them a chance to buy. You can simply use PayPal and say you’re going to build it if you get a certain amount of orders.

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Once you cross your threshold and make sure that people actually want it, you can start creating the product.

Step 3: Create your product

There are a ton of steps to follow for creating a product and this isn’t an entrepreneurship guide, but I want to point you to some good starters.

I’ll only give you resources for starting digital products, because I don’t want you to waste precious time and money on creating a physical product on your first try 🙂

Online courses:

Ebooks:

Podcast/Audio:

These are good starting points.  Creating digital products is a lot easier, since it just takes time and sometimes a little financial investment, but usually not more than a service fee or a one-time price for software.

Once you have the product created and delivered to your initial buyers, it’s time to open up the affiliate network.

Step 4: Find affiliate program partners and networks

The tech part is the easy thing here.

With tools like Gumroad or Digital Product Delivery, you can easily set up affiliate program partners and allow them to collect commissions.

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(Image source: Gumroad)

The tough part is finding partners who actually have an audience that is interested in what you have to sell.

Let’s stick with the sandcastle guide example.

Do you think there’s anyone out there who sells something remotely related?

Actually, there is.

When you enter “learn to build sandcastles,” into a search engine, several sites pop up that sell educational material about it.

Like Sand Sculpt USA, which offers sandcastle building lessons…

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or SandCastle Lessons, which offers a class on the same subject.

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Contacting them and getting them to cooperate on a sale together would be an easy pitch because it’s a perfect fit.

The more niche your product is, the easier it will be to pitch to fellow merchants.

You can simply send them an email, introduce yourself and your product and ask them if they want to partner on a sale together, where you’ll share revenue.

Pro tip: Affiliate commissions of 50% or higher are very common with digital products because you have no cost of replication. Don’t be greedy here, split the pot evenly and everyone wins.

Googling “toy review blog” also gives plenty of results, where people write toy reviews.

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What’s more, lots of YouTube channels review specific categories of toys. If you find one that reviews kids’ toys, they’d probably also be a good fit for your affiliate product.

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Just try finding one person to partner up with and start your first affiliate promotion. You can adjust commissions and details later, the important part is to get started.

However, you could also start the journey on the other side of the fence and just become an affiliate yourself.

4 steps to becoming an affiliate marketer online

Similarly to becoming a merchant, there are also 4 steps that you can take to start your journey as an affiliate marketer.

First, you need to start reviewing products in your niche. That can be done on a YouTube channel, on a blog or even just using live streams on Periscope.

Second, you have to collect emails, so that you can connect with your audience at any time you want and don’t have to hope for them to see your content.

Third, you can use joint venture webinars to make a lot of sales in a short period of time, while simultaneously growing your email list and creating new content.

Finally, once your affiliate marketing business starts making money, you can scale your growth with pay per click advertising.

Step 1: Review products within your niche

It’s easier to get started as an affiliate because you’re skipping the ‘have an idea’  and ‘creating an idea’ parts of becoming a merchant.

You already use and like plenty of products, so all that you have to do get started is to publicly talk about them.

Start by looking at the partners in step 4 for becoming a merchant, because that’s what you’re trying to start in this step.

Any product works.

Really.

Take a look at this guy, who reviews Hot Wheels tracks and cars:

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Over 300,000 subscribers for Hot Wheels? I’m sure whatever your niche is, it’s less specific.

If you like reading, review books:

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Note: A special kind of review, that usually does really well, is the comparison with a direct competitor.

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You’ll soon find plenty of people who are already doing this.  Just search for “best hair straightener,” and have a look:

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This blog reviews flat irons for straightening hair (for women). How specific of a blog is that?

She can relate to the product, as she needs to straighten her own hair.  And, if she does her research well, the blog not only ranks highly in the search engines but also actually helps women to find the best tool for the job.

Whatever you’re reviewing, make sure that you do the same.

If your reviews aren’t genuinely helpful, people will sense immediately that you’re just trying to make a quick buck.

As Pat Flynn points out, in his affiliate marketing guide, involved affiliate marketing is by far the most profitable, because you can actually relate to the product, instead of just promoting something that might make you a lot of cash.

When you don’t even know the product, how can you credibly promote it?

Note: This is a little different for consumer products than it is for online courses or books created by individuals. If you’ve known a person for a long time and trust them and know their work is great, then that’s a different thing.

When you write reviews on your blog, you can use an affiliate link to link to the products that you promote.

You can recognize them on other blogs by the long “/ref…” tail, at the end of the regular link.

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(how you know it’s an affiliate link)

This is usually the first step to start making commissions.

Simply sign up to Amazon Associates and you can then proceed to get your own affiliate link to any product on Amazon.

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Just go to the product page and click on “Short link to this page.”  You’ll get a link that’ll give you a commission if people purchase through it.

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However, if you only rely on people using the affiliate links in your reviews, that means that you need lots of traffic to actually start making serious money.

But, if you find a way to contact your audience directly, you can market to them whenever you like, not just when they come to your website.

This is where step 2 comes in.

Step 2: Create an email list with your prospective users on it

Email is still one of the best marketing channels today, so don’t miss out on it.

I’ll show you 3 super easy ways to collect email addresses from your website visitors.

Number 1: Hello Bar

Hello Bar puts a call to action on top of your website. Whenever someone visits your website, they’ll see this bar at the top.

You can offer them an ebook (maybe bundle together your 3 best product reviews) or a special review video.

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Once they click on your Hello Bar, you can redirect people to the page where they can enter their email in exchange for the content.

Number 2: Exit Gate

You can also use Hello Bar to create an exit gate. This is a popup that will lay over the screen when visitors are about to leave your website.

It is triggered by their mouse moving to the top area of the browser.

I use it to get more Facebook likes on Quick Sprout:

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But, you can also redirect people to your lead magnet and get their email address this way.

Number 3: Sidebar Widget

Many blogs completely clutter their sidebar.

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(way too many things to do here)

Don’t do it.

If you give your visitors 20 things to do, it’s unlikely that they’ll do anything at all.

Just have one call to action in your sidebar.  Again, it should offer people something in exchange for their email address.

On Quick Sprout, we’re giving away the “Double Your Traffic” course and it has worked well.

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Since you’re collecting email addresses around a very specific topic, such as finding the best straightening iron, juice maker, mini-oven, etc., you don’t need a lot of them to make the email list worth your time.

Even with less than 500 people on your list, you can create significant sales.

Just make sure that you keep your audience engaged, by sending them regular updates, ideally once a week.

Don’t make it all sales.  Just let them know when you have a new review up.

For example, I email out every single post that we do on Quick Sprout with a very simple description of what it’s about:

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Every now and then, send them a specific call to action to buy a product.  Perhaps you just found a new favorite in the latest review and think it’s really great.

You can update your audience on your change of mind, the reasons why and recommend that they switch to that product also.

But, there’s more. Once you have a few contacts on your email list, you can do this.

Step 3: Educate your audience with live webinars and content

Webinars are awesome.

Imagine that you want to buy a new fridge.

What makes you want to buy a fridge more:

  1. Reading a review on a blog
  2. Seeing a live presentation of a fridge in action

Number 2 of course!

Using a tool, like LeadPages, you can create a simple landing page where people can sign up for your webinar.

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(I use LeadPages for my webinars, as well)

Promote your webinar on social media for a week in advance and get people to sign up.

Then, you can very easily host a Google hangout that is completely free, to stream your webinar live to your audience.

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(Image source: Youtube)

Webinars are great to engage with your audience one on one, show them the product that you’re promoting live and answer any questions that they might have.

You can:

  • present the product’s features
  • show different use cases of the product
  • talk about its benefits and drawbacks
  • tell people your personal history with the product
  • help your audience get the most out of it

and much more.

Tip: Learning how to host a webinar with a Google Hangout takes less than 10 minutes. Proof? This video explains it well.

Imagine how fired up your audience will get when they see all of the cool things that your product will enable them to do.

Pointing to your affiliate link and sharing it at the end of the webinar is a soft sell and comes naturally since you just spent an hour talking about the product.

It won’t feel forced and your consumers can still take all of the time that they want to make up their mind on whether they’ll actually purchase.

Pro tip: Can you get your merchant to give you a special deal for your audience? If you promise to get their product in front of a couple hundred people, they’ll often happily give you a discount or special bundle to further incentivize people to buy.

Step 4: Grow your business with paid advertising

Once your affiliate marketing business starts to picks up steam, you can start thinking about paid advertising.

I’m not going to show you how to do it here, since I recently published a guide on both Facebook Ads, as well as Google ads, but remember: only do this once you have a way of making back your money.

Conversions are all that matters here.

You can use PPC advertising to:

  • get people to sign up for your webinar
  • grow your email list
  • make more sales

For example, if you Google “learn leadpages,” you can see that LeadPages themselves are advertising for this keyword, running Google ads, promoting their weekly live webinar.

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So, keywords related to learning about your product or topic would be a good start.

You can also target your competition. For example, right under the LeadPages ad, there’s an ad from Unbounce.

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These guys also provide a software for creating landing pages, so it’s an easy way for them to get in front of someone else’s audience.

Now, while you could try to target people who are just trying to find a review of your product, you’d probably be better off improving your SEO.

The percentage of people who buy straight through your link after reading a review is naturally low, so imagine paying for these reads. Depending on the product price, you only get a few dollars or even cents per sale, so the margin you can spend on ads is not very big.

In most cases, your best off promoting sign-ups to your email list.

As a matter of fact, getting people to sign up for a webinar with ads is the best way to go.

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(what a webinar Facebook Ad can look like)

You will win in 3 ways:

  1. They’ll be on your email list and you can contact them again at any time
  2. There’s a chance that they’ll attend your live webinar and buy the product
  3. You can put them on an autoresponder email sequence that encourages them to buy

For example, John Lee Dumas, from Entrepreneur On Fire, often runs webinars and puts them right on his homepage.

As soon as you opt into the webinar, he also starts sending you a series of automated emails.

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On those emails, he offers you other courses and free tools, like a webinar course, where you’ll learn how to do webinars to make sales.

If you opt into those, you’ll be sent 10 email lessons over several days.  At the end, he invites you to buy a more extensive course on webinars.

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After you’ve already learned a lot about webinars, you’re introduced to his more thorough and detailed course that’ll teach you even more.

He even shows a behind the scenes walk-through of the course, so you get a sneak peek.

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Once he knows how many people will end up buying the full course from the autoresponder series, he can easily calculate how much he can spend on ads to get people to sign up for the webinar or webinar course.

So, with this strategy, you have several chances of getting your consumers to buy your product.

They have a chance to buy after the autoresponder series, on the webinar, and from future emails.

When your sales start coming in from that many sources and begin to grow, that’s when you can really blow up your business with paid advertising by just driving traffic to the sales mechanisms that already work.

The Benefits of Transparency

When you establish specific parameters to increase the level of transparency in affiliate marketing, you foster stronger ties among advertisers, publishers and networks. This, in turn, results in more targeted leads, conversions, and commissions.

Further, transparency can also drive innovation. For example, many publishers today are investing in mobile capabilities to support advertisers’ efforts in this area.

Since many retailers don’t have the resources to execute all of the action items on their mobile marketing wish list, and mobile marketing is still a nascent field, publishers can step in and become an extension of the advertiser’s marketing team when it comes to trying new campaigns, new creative, social marketing, and mobile commerce testing.

The information and support they provide can improve and refine the advertiser’s mobile strategy. As both sides share what they bring to the table, the quality of affiliate partnerships will naturally improve. What’s more, you can easily see how this mobile example applies to different areas of marketing as well.

Considering all of the benefits of increased transparency in the affiliate channel, why is there still some resistance? Many times, it stems from an unwarranted fear of disclosing too much information with regard to commission structures and margins. In other instances, transparency forces the uncomfortable, albeit necessary, revealing of any affiliate business practices that may not be entirely above board. Therein lays the importance of transparency.

Yet, with so many affiliate networks, publishers and advertisers in the mix, and varying degrees of transparency, it can be hard to distinguish where to invest your resources to ensure you reap the most from your efforts. For these reasons, there need to be more consistent approaches to transparency.

Following are recommended requirements for advertisers, publishers and affiliate networks to consider when it comes to increasing transparency.

Transparency Requirements For Advertisers

From an advertiser’s perspective, having access to detailed data about the effectiveness of their campaigns at every stage is crucial. For example, if adjustments need to be made in the copy or nefarious tactics must be thwarted before they negatively impact the brand, advertisers should be able to see, at a minimum, who their publishers are, how they generate traffic, the volume and demographics of that traffic, and whether publishers are using downloadable software applications or toolbars.

Advertisers looking to recruit top publishers should consider improving their transparency by clearly providing:

  • Contact information/a live resource to answer questions
  • Commission structure
  • Mobile commerce capabilities
  • Search Marketing policies
  • Countries commissioned/shipped to
  • Gift card policies in relation to commissions
  • International e-commerce capabilities (including language and currency)
  • Hot products
  • Seasonal news
  • Return Days

Additionally, advertisers – especially the lesser-known brands — can make themselves attractive to leading publishers by working more closely with them, boosting incentives and educating them on the value of their brand as it relates to the publishers’ audience.

Transparency Requirements For Publishers

Since the affiliate marketing business is all about creating long-term profitable partnerships, publishers can endear themselves to advertisers by increasing their levels of transparency. This will help them improve conversions and payouts while ensuring their efforts are in sync with the advertiser’s brand. As they continue to deliver strong results, advertisers will invest more in them — including increased commissions, advance notice of upcoming promotions, and special offers and incentives.

Given the perks of this status, publishers should also view transparency as way to market themselves to advertisers. More specifically, publishers should discard any cloaked behaviors and provide detailed information when it comes to their business, their website and its visitors, including sources of traffic, country of origin, age, shopping habits, and other critical data that will reassure advertisers they are investing in the publishers that most closely align with their business goals.

Additionally, to further strengthen their relationships with advertisers, publishers should be sure that advertisers disclose everything they can about their brand, including hot-selling products, which promotions are most popular at certain times of the year, and other vital information that can impact their online performance.

Publishers looking to attract advertisers should consider improving their transparency in the following areas:

  • Contact information/a live resource to answer questions
  • Traffic sources (Paid Search, Organic, Email, Toolbars, etc.)
  • Mobile applications
  • User-generated content
  • Newsletter subscribers
  • Mobile traffic
  • Customer reach (geographic)
  • Paid placements (e.g., additional fees for banner placed on home page)
  • Toolbars

Transparency Requirements For Affiliate Networks

As the glue between advertisers and publishers, affiliate networks that provide greater visibility reinforce the importance of transparency while holding advertisers and publishers to a higher standard. Further, they can proactively dismiss any claims of questionable behavior by making all activities available to network members through a few self-guided clicks on a screen.

Key to providing transparency is to ensure users can easily search and access detailed profile information. Also, innovative reporting tools should offer insight into specific account activities such as commission rates, account status, and other vital account data.

To help advertisers make sense of the information, the network should augment their data with seasoned account managers that can help strengthen the relationships among advertisers and publishers and also apply knowledge and creativity to improve campaign results.

As all of our online activities become more transparent through social media and increasingly sophisticated technologies, the affiliate channel should embrace the opportunity to provide greater visibility into activities. This will strengthen performance marketing as a whole, expose and eliminate bad practices, and demonstrate the value affiliates bring to online advertisers.

Final Notes

Time to recap. So, there are two ways to get started with affiliate marketing.

You can become a merchant or an affiliate.

The 4 steps of becoming a merchant are:

  1. Coming up with a valid product idea.
  2. Validating that idea by getting people to pre-pay you for the product.
  3. Creating that product.
  4. Finding affiliates, likely through an affiliate network, to partner with who will promote your product.

The more common and slightly easier route is becoming an affiliate. There are also 4 steps that you can follow:

  1. Starting to review products in your niche
  2. Building an email list
  3. Using live webinars to educate your audience and make sales
  4. Growing your affiliate business with PPC advertising

Affiliate Marketing FAQ

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning income every time you promote someone elses products or services. If you generate a sale for the company, you get paid. If you don’t generate a sale, you do not get paid.

How much money can you make as an affiliate marketer?

Affiliate income is not consistent. You’ll to look at income from an annual basis instead of monthly. A decent affiliate can make anywhere from $10,000 a year to $400,000. A super affiliate can make upwards of $1,500,000 a year.

What are some of the most popular affilaite networks?

Clickbank, Shareasale, JVzoo, Hotmart, Clickbooth, Ads 4 Dough, Commission Junction, Amazon Affiliate Program, and eBay Partners Program.

Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme?

No it is not. Think of it as a comission only sales job. You only get paid every time you drive a sale to a business.

33 Beautiful Call to Action Examples That Simply Make Customers Click and Convert

The average landing page converts at just 2.35%. Businesses need to do everything they can to stand out.

One key way to reduce your bounce rate and keep users progressing through your funnel is to create a compelling call to action (CTA.)

In this article, we’ll look at what can you learn from the most innovative brands about creating CTAs that increase both engagement and conversions.

What is a call to action?

A call to action is any message on your site that prompts or encourages a visitor to take the next step or perform an action. Usually, a CTA takes the form of a quick phrase written on a clickable button, such as “sign up,” “talk to sales,” “subscribe,” or “read more.”

In 2019, most call to actions are created through a marketing automation software — but they can also be hardcoded onto a site. You’ll most often see CTAs incorporated on homepages, landing pages, pop-ups, and blog posts.

A clear and compelling call to action can nudge the users in a direction that helps both the visitor and the site owner achieve their respective goals. When done well, a CTA feels like the natural next step for a user, not a jarring or desperate plea for attention. The best CTAs exist to teach, delight, and engage.

Call to action examples

There are virtually limitless different ways of building CTA’s and incorporating them into your site.

Keep in mind that a CTA is much more than just a few words on a button asking the user to do something. A great CTA is a piece of marketing collateral that should incorporate killer copy, beautiful design, and cutting edge psychology.

Overall, they should also be short, informative, and ideally create a sense of urgency for a user.

Check out these examples of call to action buttons from high performing businesses across a variety of industries:

1. HubSpot

CTA Button: Get free CRM

HubSpot CTA

HubSpot’s CTA example delivers a particularly to-the-point message to visitors. By reiterating free on the button, they make it clear to the visitor that they don’t have to pay on the next page. That takes away any apprehension a visitor might have to take an action.

It’s also important to note that this CTA works particularly well because the product, HubSpot CRM, has a short and sweet name. This style of button might not work as well with long product names such as Try free accounting software.

2. SaaStr

CTA Button: How do I…?

saastr field homepage

SaaStr’s CTA example is a great reminder of how some rules are meant to be broken. Their call to action does not send the user to another page right away, but rather encourages users to type a question.

This strategy, especially when they prompt you to ask “how do I hire a great VP of sales?” builds up SaaStr as an authority that can help you with just about anything startup related.

3. Peloton

CTA Button: Learn more

peloton call to action

Peloton is a fitness company known for offering high-end home exercise bikes. But they also want to appeal to the masses. That’s exactly why their homepage features an offer of financing with very reasonable terms and an indication of “No Money Down.”

“Learn more” is both a simple and effective way of letting a visitor know that financing requires a bit of explanation. Then, the simplicity of the CTA sets the expectation that the process will be smooth and painless.

4. Proof

CTA Button: Request an invite

proof landing page

Exclusivity can be a great part of a marketing strategy. The email marketing software Superhuman has created a ton of buzz in large part due to their 100,000+ person waitlist.

If you don’t want to roll out your product to anyone and everyone, consider a “request an invite” CTA such as the one we use on our new Personalization microsite. This can generate a list of potential customers and build some hype around your company.

Our call to action also promises “Early Access”, which hints at the value that can only be unlocked if you sign up.

5. Stickermule

CTA Button: Shop now & Get samples

stickermule cta

Stickermule deftly places two call to actions side by side on the homepage of their site. It’s likely that their marketing team ran an experiment and learned that those are two of the highest value actions a user can take.

Then, they came to the conclusion, “Why not put them front and center on the homepage and give a user choice?”

Those who know what they want can get right to shopping, and the users who want samples can access them easily. It helps that both those options are great for the team at stickermule, so it’s a win-win.

Also note that “shop now ” is highlighted in a contrasting blue button color, so that it really draws the eye from the orange backdrop of the site — a slight nudge towards the more valuable of the two CTAs.

6. Drift

CTA Button: See Drift on your site

drift

Studies show that our brains light up at the idea of instant gratification. Some great CTAs will leverage this bit of psychology by including words that imply a quick and easy to implement solution.

By using the word now in the headline and “see Drift on your site” on the button, a visitor to Drfit’s homepage feels like a boost to their sales is only a click away.

7. Hotjar

CTA Button: Subscribe

hotjar

Building up an email list is a great way of building up your pipeline and nurturing your current customers into valuable readers. In order to keep them interested, you have to be able to provide them with quality content — time and time again.

By using “Subscribe” on their call to action button instead of “Sign up,” Hotjar makes their blog feel more like a publication worth reading. You subscribe to the New York Times, you don’t sign up.

This is a subtle yet effective way of growing your readership and email list. If you want to know more about analyzing your site and finding opportunities to grow your email list, check out Hotjar’s comprehensive guide to website analysis.

8. Spotify

CTA Button: Get Spotify free

spotify call to action

Spotify has a clean, colorful, and creative homepage — alongside a simple CTA. Note that they don’t just ask the user to “get Spotify,” but to “get Spotify free.”

That’s key. When something is free it is much more likely that people will give it a try, so it’s a powerful word to use in a call to action.

9. Pagerduty

CTA Button: See what they’re saying

pageduty homepage

Pagerduty puts a unique and updated spin on the CTA that is focused on highlighting customer stories.

On certain points of the site, they use strong, evocative words such as “love” — to catch the eye of someone casually scrolling down the page.

Similarly, they opt for creative button copy such as “See what they’re saying.” This is a clever tactic because that language is clever, so the button stands out, and it carries a sense of longing.

Most people don’t feel much when a CTA asks them to “read more.” What that really want after clicking this button is to see what other customers are saying.

10. Buzzsumo

CTA Button: Go!

buzzsumo

Similar to the SaaStr example above, BuzzSumo incorporates an interactive component by asking the user to enter information and try out the product. They also use quite possibly the quickest and most to the point call to action example: “Go!”

It evokes a feeling that they will get you the information you need quickly and introduces a bit of playfulness in a way that is both fresh and unexpected. Imagine how much less fun it would be if the CTA was “Search.”

11. Backlinko

CTA Button: Click to access the case study

backlinko call to action example

Accessing a case study just feels like a high-level, important action.

Imagine how much less formidable that action it would sound if the CTA read, “Click to get the information.” Backlinko is making the user feel like they are important, which is always a good idea.

12. Uber

CTA Button: Sign up

uber call to action

Uber keeps their driver acquisition site plain and simple — which makes sense given that they are targeting people who have probably heard of the ridesharing company and therefore don’t need any additional information.

If they’ve navigated to this page, they are serious about driving for Uber. By cutting right to the chase, Uber comes across as a company that is serious about efficiency.

13. Instagram

CTA Buttons: Log in with Facebook, Sign Up, Download on the app store, Get it on Google Play

instagram signup page

This desktop landing page for Instagram primarily tries to get users to access their account with the CTAs, “Log in with Facebook” and “Sign Up.”

But this page also does something very wise with regards to its CTAs. Since the vast majority of Instagram users are on mobile, the desktop version of the app smartly points users toward the App Store and Google Play Store. It’s a good reminder that no one knows your ideal customer better than you, so use your CTAs to send your visitors where they will get the most value, no matter what platform they visit you on.

14. Chewy

CTA Button: Shop Now

chewy

Almost all of Chewy’s CTAs combines a potent combination — they offer a deal and a way to quickly access the deal.

It’s the perfect way to entice online shoppers. Plus, the bright blue “shop now” makes the user feel like their savings are right at their fingertips.

15. Treehouse

CTA Button: Claim your free trial

treehouse

Treehouse’s CTA adds a subtle, yet effective twist on a button that might normally just read “start your free trial.”

By using the word claim rather than start, they imply that the free trial is valuable and worthy of some effort. To claim something takes some time, but in most cases, it’s worth it.

People claim a winning lottery ticket, for instance.

16. Kayak

CTA Button: Let’s do this

Kayak CTA

Kayak is a travel site that appeals to everyone, but especially to the adventurous and impulsive souls who might be interested in booking an exotic trip on a whim.

For that reason, it makes sense that this call to action example does not use traditional language such as “sign up.”

“Let’s do this” embodies the loose and daring vibe that appeals to Kayak’s target audience.

17. Apple AirPods

CTA Button: Watch the film

airpods

When scrolling down Apple’s homepage, the first CTA for AirPods is not a conventional “Buy Now” call to action button, but a provocative “Watch the film” CTA.

You heard that right: a film, not a movie. They are indicating that their product is worthy of your money — so much so that it has inspired an entire cinematic works.

18. Blueleadz

CTA Button: See Our Approach and Let’s Talk

blueleadz cta

Blueleadz understands that they are not a household name.

For that reason, their CTAs are optimized for the user who is intrigued enough to take action, but might still want to learn a bit more about their brand.

Instead of using a more generic “learn more” CTA, they spark curiosity by using less common phrases such as “see our approach” and “let’s talk.”

The conversational tone indicates an openness to listening to a customer’s needs and being flexible in implementing a customer’s feedback.

19. Algolia

CTA Button: Evaluate your site

Algolia cta examples

The word evaluate has both technical and analytical undertones. Evaluations are not easy — they take work and specific knowledge.

Algolia is making the user feel like they are getting a real service if they click that CTA. Plus, the white button with the drop shadow is crisp and clean. Clever CTA copy, clean design.

20. Amplitude

CTA Button: Explore demo now

amplitude call to action button

Once again, we see the use of a single (and seemingly basic) word having a big impact on the feel of a CTA. By clicking this orange call to action button, you are not just getting a demo, you are granted the opportunity to explore it.

There is the implication that Amplitude has a substantial and useful demo that is worth checking out at length. Plus, we love their use of Orange against white — it makes the CTA really pop off the page.

21. Nike

CTA Button: Shop and watch

nike

Speaking of timely, Nike introduced a beautifully rendered CTA almost immediately after the US women’s soccer team clinched gold in the 2019 World Cup. Placing the “shop” CTA so close to “watch” cleverly blurs the line between commerce and entertainment.

Sure, Nike wants you to buy athletic gear, but they are also honoring a historic moment. The combination makes for a compelling call to action.

22. Conversion XL

CTA Button: Sign me up

conversion xl

“Sign me up” feels way, way different from the more commonly used “sign up.”

It makes the user feel like they are committing to something. Also, it feels personal, intimate, and intriguing.

The style of this popup reinforces those notions, as it looks like Peep Laja of ConversionXL (a guest on Scale or Die Season 2) is staring into your soul (in a good way.)

23. Slack

CTA Button: View all customer stories

slack call to action examples

Few things are as powerful at boosting conversions as social proof, so it makes sense that Slack would want to emphasize their notable customers as part of this homepage CTA.

They do a great job of showing logos of massive, impressive companies, proving a snapshot of what they accomplished — but leaving the majority of the information behind the button.

You want to find out everything they did for Everlane? Better click the call to action to find out.

24. Clearbit

CTA Button: Get started

clearbit cta

“Get started” is a simple, albeit effective CTA. The saying has an uplifting, optimistic feel to it.

Clearbit is effectively saying, “yeah, it might sound hard to implement a marketing data engine, but it’s really not that bad. Just click the button and get started.”

25. Quicksprout

CTA Button: Start now

quicksprout cta

This CTA for Quicksprout exudes confidence.

All they need is your URL, and they can get started growing your business… fast. The simplicity, clean design, and use of white space are all to be admired on this page.

26. Lemonade

CTA Button: Check our prices

lemonade call to action examples

If you stake your reputation on something decisive, such as having the best prices, why not make that explicit in your call to action?

That’s exactly what Lemonade does. It’s a bold move, and one that makes the visitor feel like Lemonade must be doing something right if they can so confidently stand behind their product.

27. Equinox

CTA Button: Visit a club and member benefits

equinox seasonality call to action

Equinox fitness club smartly embraces seasonality with this one.

The motivating copy and time-sensitivity of the offer give the CTA a sense of urgency. Just looking at it makes you want to hit the gym, but it does so in a low-pressure way.

The two buttons provide two routes: an option to fast track your way to a workout or the route to simply learn more information.

28. Zoom

CTA Button: Get on the guest list

zoom call to action example

Tech (and recent Wall Street) darling Zoom gets creative with how they promote their demos.

Whereas some companies might not put much thought into something as standard as a CTA for a demo, Zoom leverages basic psychology to make their demo stand out. Guest lists are normally reserved for exclusive events, and the phrase evokes feelings of not wanting to miss out.

Creative language like this is a low lift way of making a normally boring call to action come to life.

29. GetHarvest

CTA Button: Learn more about Team

getharvest call to action

Harvest has built what amounts to a “choose your own CTA” adventure.

They provide a scrollable list that highlights their different features, a description, an adorable illustration, and a custom CTA. It’s a fun and different way of compressing a lot of information into a small space.

30. Wistia

CTA Button: Start for free, Explore and learn

wistia call to action button

This Wistia 3-in-1 CTA module on their homepage incorporates several elements of effective CTAs — and then takes it a step further, rolling them into a single attractive package.

With this page, they show off their multiple product capabilities in a condensed, colorful, and easy to understand way — and the CTAs make it clear what value they are providing. The use of logos from MailChimp to Casper as social proof is the icing on the cake that lends legitimacy to the CTAs above.

31. MVMT

CTA Button: Shop our Instagram

mvmt

Watch company MVMT is doing a variation on the more traditional and concise CTA: “shop.” MVMT knows that their bread and butter is purchases made off their Instagram, so they make that clear in their CTA.

Their use of Instagram images around the CTA is sure to attract the type of user they want.

32. AYR

CTA Button: I want in

AYR

Ecommerce company AYR uses forceful, arresting language in this popup. No one wants to feel FOMO. We are hardwired to want to be part of tribes, to be part of the in-crowd, so using that sort of language taps into some deep-rooted feelings for most of us.

While this is approach is not necessarily appropriate for every type of product, you should play around with CTAs that make people feel like they are missing something wonderful if they don’t click.

33. 23andMe

CTA Button: Shop now

23andme call to action examples

This 23andMe CTA is a great example of how even the most basic and most used CTA of them all — can feel fresh when paired with bright colors, fun pictures, and interesting copy. Once 23andMe ropes you in with their design and the idea that there is a very easy way of living a healthier life, all they need is a basic CTA to seal the deal.

Good luck — and most importantly, remember to test

There are many call to action examples as there are many types of businesses.

The one that fits best for you will probably incorporate several elements found on this list. That being the case, remember a key tenant of the growth marketers ethos: always be testing. If you try out multiple CTAs and see how they convert, you’ll be able to find the perfect one for your company.

What are the Effect of Personalized Marketing? Here are 25 Personalization Statistics From Industry Leaders

Personalization, it’s all the rage in marketing these days.

You see it everywhere: in the marketing emails you get in the days leading up to Cyber Monday, in hyper-relevant CTAs on landing pages, and in digital display ads across the web. We’re constantly covering the newest trends in personalization because it’s central to the problem we’re helping growth marketers solve: increasing conversion rates for their online businesses.

If you give the right message to the right visitor at the right time, you’re more likely to convert your prospect through the funnel.

And it makes intuitive sense, right?

Consumers like seeing content and messaging that’s relevant to their wants & needs. And as social creatures, humans are begging for validation that we’re doing the right thing.

That made us curious — why exactly are brands turning to personalization? Does it move the needle? Where is it most effective? And why?

We’ve been putting together a list of personalization statistics, and today we want to share our observations with you.

Without further ado, here are our findings…

25 personalization statistics you should know

Marketers are starting to catch on, but still face a difficult challenge when personalizing

  • Sixty-three percent of high-performing companies say that they are completely focused or very focused on personalizing experiences for customers.
  • 89% of digital businesses are investing in personalization.
  • 63% of surveyed marketers cited data-driven personalization as a difficult to execute tactic.
  • 98% of first-time visitors are unidentified.
  • Less than 10% of tier 1 retailers believe they are highly effective at personalization.

Consumers expect personalized experiences when shopping online

  • More than 85% of users expect and accept personalization as a part of their online retail experience.
  • 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations.
  • 71% of consumers express some level of frustration when their shopping experience is impersonal.
  • 63% of consumers expect personalization as a standard of service.
  • Over 78% of consumers will only engage with offers if they have been personalized to their previous engagements with the brand.

Email personalization is one of the most effective channels for personalization

  • The ability to segment email lists and individualize email campaign messaging are the most effective personalization tactics for 51% and 50% of marketing influencers respectively.
  • Recipients are 100.95% more likely to click on emails from segmented campaigns than non-segmented campaigns.
  • Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.
  • Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates and revenue per email.
  • 71% of consumers believe personalized experiences would influence their decision to interact with emails.

There’s a willingness to pay more when personalization is used

  • Personalization reduces acquisition costs as much as 50%, lifts revenues by 5-15%, and increases the efficiency of marketing spend by 10-30%.
  • Increasing personalization across multiple channels can increase overall consumer spending by up to 500%.
  • 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended or paid more for a brand that offers a personalized service or experiences.
  • 87% of companies see a lift in key metrics (such as conversion rates, engagement rates, or average order value) when they employ personalization.
  • 80% of respondents indicating they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences.

Personalizing the whole website is essential

  • More than half of consumers (57%) are okay with providing personal information (on a website) as long as it’s for their benefit and being used in responsible ways.
  • Personalized CTAs convert 202% better than default call to actions.
  • 77% of marketers believe real-time personalization is essential.
  • Personalized home page promotions influenced 85% of consumers to buy while personalized shopping cart recommendations influenced 92% of shoppers online.
  • The top five benefits of personalization include increased visitor engagement (55%), improved customer experience (55%), improved brand perception (39%), increased conversion rates (51%) and increased lead generation and customer acquisition (46%).

Now you can see why personalization is a topic that gets us so pumped. We hope you found these personalization statistics informative as you think about integrating these tactics on your own site.

If you’re interested in learning how you can get in on the tactics and techniques used by top B2B marketers, take a look at Experiences.