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Your Guide to Summer Web Traffic, Conversion & Lead Performance Across Industries [Data from 150,000+ Businesses]

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Your Guide to Summer Web Traffic, Conversion & Lead Performance Across Industries [Data from 150,000+ Businesses]

Last summer, as physical businesses began to reopen, analysts predicted one of the largest summer slumps we’d ever seen.

And, when analyzing over 130,000 businesses, we certainly saw dips in engagement and conversion that affected some industries more than others.

This year, we’ve seen a lot more of the economy open back up. But, unfortunately, businesses have still worried about which direction they’re going due to the rising costs of inflation and continued economic uncertainties. At this point, many business owners could be asking, “How do I stack up to others in my industry?”

To help you, we collected data from more than 150,000 businesses to see how web traffic, conversions, and inbound leads were trending up or down MoM and YoY in July.

Here’s what we learned:

Editor’s Note: These insights are based on data aggregated from 150,000+ HubSpot customers globally between July 2021 and July 2022. Note: Because the data is aggregated from HubSpot customers’ businesses, please keep in mind that the performance of individual businesses, including HubSpot’s, might differ based on their own markets, customer base, industry, geography, stage, and/or other factors.

Overall Outlook

While some businesses are seeing heavier dips in traffic MoM and YoY, they’re still increasing performance YoY when it comes to Inbound Leads and Web Conversions. This shows that while we might be seeing signs of online seasonality, business could still be increasing from 2021 when COVID-19 still played a major role in economic uncertainty.

 

Next, let’s dive into some more specific metrics.

Inbound Leads

Overall inbound leads were down 1.68% MoM, but up 14.04% YoY in July. So while companies might be seeing a bit of seasonality, they might not need to call it a summer slump just yet.

Noted in the chart below, three MoM and YoY increases worth noting were in Financial Activities (12.4% MoM and 23.22% YoY), Leisure and Hospitality (11.46% MoM and 20.41% YoY), and Education and Health Services (8.27% MoM and 9.26% YoY)

While Leisure and Hospitality’s growth is not too surprising given the opening of economies and the summer months, there seems to be a lot more interest in Financial Activities as well as Education and Health Services.

 

But where do these leads come from? Two common areas businesses gain conversions and contacts from are their website and email marketing strategies. So, let’s dive in and see how different industries compared in July.

Website Traffic and Conversion Rate Trends

Across industries, July web traffic was down 5.2% month over month (MOM) and 11.44% year over year (YOY). This trend was seen across all industries.

While it isn’t uncommon to see lower web traffic in the summer (a theme we saw last year), the 11.44% annual drop across all industries is quite interesting as more and more people are connected to the internet, have web-enabled mobile devices, and even have multiple social media accounts. Although this dip could be due to even more time outside of the house than in 2020 and 2021, we’ll have to continue watching these themes to gain more context.

While you don’t necessarily need to panic if your traffic is dipping this summer, you should still take steps to optimize the web content and URLs you have. Here’s a data-driven report on how web managers around the U.S. track and optimize site traffic.

The good news? Overall contact conversion rates were up 3.76% MOM and 8.89% YOY in July. While this is good news for those involved in web conversion optimization, you should still take this data with a grain of salt as conversion rates can go up when traffic dips down.

Two industries that did not see a monthly increase in contact conversion rates were:

  • Technology, Information, and Media: down 1.45% MOM
  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities: down 2.49% MOM

These data points aren’t super shocking as these industries have been historically susceptible to summer slumps and economic uncertainty. If you’re a marketer in one of these spaces, it’s important to continue aiming for the highest traffic possible, while still taking dips during the summer with a grain of salt.

Email Engagement Data Trends

Although more and more marketers are leveraging email marketing each day, inbox clutter might be getting lighter for subscribers this summer.

In July, most industries sent 5.61% fewer emails than in the previous month. But, in the scheme of things, email seems like a more active channel with 19.26% more sends year over year.

Email Send Changes by Industry

Industry

MOM

YOY

Construction

5.89% increase

24.57% increase

Education and Health Services

4.27% decrease

7.25% increase

Financial Activities

0.11% increase

28.74% increase

Leisure and Hospitality

1.8% increase

12.87% increase

Manufacturing

9.25% decrease

21.69% increase

Other Services (except Public Administration)

5.69% decrease

11.9% increase

Professional and Business Services

13.59% decrease

14.48% increase

Technology, Information and Media

8.38% decrease

1.77% decrease

Trade, Transportation and Utilities

7.95% decrease

1.49% decrease

Along with the number of emails sent MoM, nearly all industries saw a MoM open rate decrease in July, Leisure and Hospitality (up 1.42% MoM), Manufacturing (up 2.6% MoM), and Professional and Business Services (up 1.51% MoM).

This data could demonstrate that businesses are increasingly investing in email, but are adapting to send fewer emails during summer when engagement could be lower.

If you’re noticing dips in summer engagement and aiming to create an email cadence that works for your brand, without encouraging unsubscribes, check out this guide.

For email data and best practices directly from email marketers, read this post with even more original HubSpot Research.

More Resources and Research

Want to learn even more about the latest marketing trends, themes, challenges, and opportunities? Check out our State of Marketing Report below, plus this post which offers you a few of the major highlights we found from more than 1000 marketers.

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

Here’s a challenge: search “SEO RFP” on Google. Click on the results, and tell me how similar they are.

We did the same thing every other SEO does: We asked, “What words are thematically relevant?” Which themes have my competitors missed?” How can I put them in?” AND “How can I do everything just slightly better than they can?”

Then they do the same, and it becomes a cycle of beating mediocre content with slightly less mediocre content.

When I looked at our high-ranking content, I felt uncomfortable. Yes, it ranked, but it wasn’t overly helpful compared to everything else that ranked.

Ranking isn’t the job to be done; it is just a proxy.

Why would a high-ranking keyword make me feel uncomfortable? Isn’t that the whole freaking job to be done? Not for me. The job to be done is to help educate people, and ranking is a byproduct of doing that well.

I looked at our own content, and I put myself in the seat of a searcher, not an SEO; I looked at the top four rankings and decided that our content felt easy, almost ChatGPT-ish. It was predictable, it was repeatable, and it lacked hot takes and spicy punches.

So, I removed 80% of the content and replaced it with the 38 questions I would ask if I was hiring an SEO. I’m a 25-year SME, and I know what I would be looking for in these turbulent times. I wanted to write the questions that didn’t exist on anything ranking in the top ten. This was a risk, why? Because, semantically, I was going against what Google was likely expecting to see on this topic. This is when Mike King told me about information gain. Google will give you a boost in ranking signals if you bring it new info. Maybe breaking out of the sea of sameness + some social signals could be a key factor in improving rankings on top of doing the traditional SEO work.

What’s worth more?

Ten visits to my SEO RFP post from people to my content via a private procurement WhatsApp group or LinkedIn group?

One hundred people to the same content from search?

I had to make a call, and I was willing to lose rankings (that were getting low traffic but highly valued traffic) to write something that when people read it, they thought enough about it to share it in emails, groups, etc.

SME as the unlock to standout content?

I literally just asked myself, “Wil, what would you ask yourself if you were hiring an SEO company? Then I riffed for 6—8 hours and had tons of chats with ChatGPT. I was asking ChatGPT to get me thinking differently. Things like, “what would create the most value?” I never constrained myself to “what is the search volume,” I started with the riffs.

If I was going to lose my rankings, I had to socially promote it so people knew it existed. That was an unlock, too, if you go this route. It’s work, you are now going to rely on spikes from social, so having a reason to update it and put it back in social is very important.

Most of my “followers” aren’t looking for SEO services as they are digital marketers themselves. So I didn’t expect this post to take off HUGLEY, but given the content, I was shocked at how well it did and how much engagement it got from real actual people.

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

Writing a book is a gargantuan task, and reaching the finish line is a feat equal to summiting a mountain.

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Being position-less secures a marketer’s position for a lifetime

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Optimove Positionless Marketer Optimove

On March 20, 2024, the Position-less Marketer was introduced on MarTech.org and my keynote address at Optimove’s user conference.

Since that initial announcement, we have introduced the term “Position-less Marketer” to hundreds of leading marketing executives and learned that readers and the audience interpreted it in several ways. This article will document a few of those interpretations and clarify what “position-less” means regarding marketing prowess.

As a reminder, data analytics and AI, integrated marketing platforms, automation and more make the Position-less Marketer possible. Plus, new generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Canna-GPT, Github, Copilot and DALL-E offer human access to powerful new capabilities that generate computer code, images, songs and videos, respectively, with human guidance.

Position-less Marketer does not mean a marketer without a role; quite the opposite

Speaking with a senior-level marketer at a global retailer, their first interpretation may be a marketer without a role/position. This was a first-glance definition from more than 60% of the marketers who first heard the term. But on hearing the story and relating it to “be position-less” in other professions, including music and sports, most understood it as a multidimensional marketer — or, as we noted, realizing your multipotentiality. 

One executive said, phrasing position-less in a way that clarified it for me was “unlocking your multidimensionality.” She said, “I like this phrase immensely.” In reality, the word we used was “multipotentiality,” and the fact that she landed on multidimensionality is correct. As we noted, you can do more than one thing.

The other 40% of marketing executives did think of the “Position-less Marketer” as a marketing professional who is not confined or defined by traditional marketing roles or boundaries. In that sense, they are not focused only on branding or digital marketing; instead, they are versatile and agile enough to adjust to the new conditions created by the tools that new technology has to offer. As a result, the Position-less Marketer should be comfortable working across channels, platforms and strategies, integrating different approaches to achieve marketing goals effectively.

Navigating the spectrum: Balancing specialization and Position-less Marketing

Some of the most in-depth feedback came from data analytic experts from consulting firms and Chief Marketing Officers who took a more holistic view.

Most discussions of the “Position-less Marketer” concept began with a nuanced perspective on the dichotomy between entrepreneurial companies and large enterprises.

They noted that entrepreneurial companies are agile and innovative, but lack scalability and efficiency. Conversely, large enterprises excel at execution but struggle with innovation due to rigid processes.

Drawing parallels, many related this to marketing functionality, with specialists excelling in their domain, but needing a more holistic perspective and Position-less Marketers having a broader understanding but needing deep expertise.

Some argued that neither extreme is ideal and emphasized the importance of balancing specialization and generalization based on the company’s growth stage and competitive landscape.

They highlight the need for leaders to protect processes while fostering innovation, citing Steve Jobs’ approach of creating separate teams to drive innovation within Apple. They stress the significance of breaking down silos and encouraging collaboration across functions, even if it means challenging existing paradigms.

Ultimately, these experts recommended adopting a Position-less Marketing approach as a competitive advantage in today’s landscape, where tight specialization is common. They suggest that by connecting dots across different functions, companies can offer unique value to customers. However, they caution against viewing generalization as an absolute solution, emphasizing the importance of context and competitive positioning.

These marketing leaders advocate for a balanced marketing approach that leverages specialization and generalization to drive innovation and competitive advantage while acknowledging the need to adapt strategies based on industry dynamics and competitive positioning.

Be position-less, but not too position-less — realize your multipotentiality

This supports what was noted in the March 20th article: to be position-less, but not too position-less. When we realize our multipotentiality and multidimensionality, we excel as humans. AI becomes an augmentation.

But just because you can individually execute on all cylinders in marketing and perform data analytics, writing, graphics and more from your desktop does not mean you should.

Learn when being position-less is best for the organization and when it isn’t. Just because you can write copy with ChatGPT does not mean you will write with the same skill and finesse as a professional copywriter. So be position-less, but not too position-less.

Position-less vs. being pigeonholed

At the same time, if you are a manager, do not pigeonhole people. Let them spread their wings using today’s latest AI tools for human augmentation.

For managers, finding the right balance between guiding marketing pros to be position-less and, at other times, holding their position as specialists and bringing in specialists from different marketing disciplines will take a lot of work. We are at the beginning of this new era. However, working toward the right balance is a step forward in a new world where humans and AI work hand-in-hand to optimize marketing teams.

We are at a pivot point for the marketing profession. Those who can be position-less and managers who can optimize teams with flawless position-less execution will secure their position for a lifetime.

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