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8 Easy (But Effective) Ways to Grow Your Email List

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8 Easy (But Effective) Ways to Grow Your Email List

Your email list is one of your business’s most important marketing assets. Rather than fleeting traffic from temporary social media posts or paid ads, these are people who have engaged with you and you have direct access to.

You can make money at the click of a button whenever you need to with a strong email list. Unlike other marketing channels, you have full control and ownership here.

So how do you grow your email list? We’ll go through the most effective tips and tactics I’ve learned by growing multiple email lists in the tens of thousands.

The email growth mindset you need

Before we dive into the action steps, let’s get your head straight. When it comes to growing an email list, you don’t just want as many raw numbers as possible.

Not only does this get expensive fast, it also hurts your email deliverability when you send content to lots of unengaged (and downright non-existent) email addresses.

Instead, you want to focus on growing a highly engaged email list. Quality AND quantity.

That means you should clean your list often, never buy generic lists, and always offer something of value to your newsletter subscribers. I’ll talk more about that last point later.

Eight key tactics to grow your email list

Now that I’ve got you thinking about quality leads, let’s talk about the tried and tested tactics for growing your email list.

1. Put your opt-ins in all the right places

Start with all your bases covered. Make sure you have email opt-ins in the usual places: 

  • On your homepage
  • In your sidebar
  • At the end of your blog content

These are obvious places, but they can be overlooked—we want to start with a strong baseline before we get into the more advanced tactics.

Something like this works well:

Email opt-in example

What should you say in your opt-in? 

While you can have a general “Join 7,000+ brilliant minds like yourself,” it’s better to have something more targeted to your audience’s desires. 

Unless your content is something special to your readers (which, let’s be honest, it better be if you want to grow an online business), no one is going to sign up for another generic email spam list.

2. Attract high-quality website traffic

The quality of your email list starts with the quality of your website traffic. No matter how well your opt-ins convert, it won’t matter if the right people aren’t visiting your website.

That’s where SEO and content marketing come in. Great content targeting relevant keywords can attract quality traffic on autopilot from search engines like Google.

SEO has a learning curve and takes time to work, but it’s one of the most effective forms of content marketing to grow your email list.

It starts with keyword research—knowing what keywords your ideal customers are searching for and how to rank for those keywords.

You can do this quickly with a competitor content gap analysis. Simply type your website into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and click the Content gap button at the bottom of the left-hand menu here.

Ahrefs' Content Gap tool in left-hand menu

Then, plug in three or more of your competitors. If you don’t know who your competitors are, you can find them with the Competing Domains report right above the Content Gap report.

Ahrefs' Content Gap tool

Once you hit Show keywords, you’ll get a list of all the keywords your competitors rank for, but you don’t. That can sometimes be tens of thousands of keywords, so you’re better off starting with keywords that all the competitors rank for to get the most relevant results: 

Content Gap report results

From here, you’ll have a solid list of ideas for what you need to create content for.

Want to learn more? Start with these SEO guides:

3. Create content upgrades

A content upgrade is exactly what it sounds like—an “upgrade” to the content you’re currently reading.

A few examples of this can be:

  • An “ultimate guide” to burning fat on an article about exercises to lose weight.
  • A budgeting spreadsheet on an article about how to create a budget.
  • A video series about how to play the ukulele on an article about the best ukuleles for beginners.

You can get as creative as you want with this. What’s something you can give your readers that will be really valuable to them and relevant to what they’re currently reading?

For example, I’ve got thousands of emails by creating a spreadsheet comparing over 50 different small campers as a content upgrade on my guide to the best small campers.

Here’s what the opt-in form looks like:

Content upgrade email form

And here’s a look at the spreadsheet they get when they sign up:

Small camper comparison spreadsheet

My readers were more likely to subscribe to my list because they got something relevant that was really useful during their research to figure out which camper to buy.

Ready to do this yourself?

To figure out which pages you should create upgrades for, take a look at your highest-trafficked pages in Google Analytics. Just go to “Pages and screens” in GA4 (or Behavior > All Content > Landing Pages in the old GA), and it automatically sorts by number of views.

Google Analytics traffic report

Then create content upgrades that make sense for your highest-trafficked pages.

Try to think of upgrades you can use across multiple pages to save on time and costs. For example, an ultimate guide to weight loss can be promoted across articles about best foods for weight loss, best exercises for weight loss, etc.

Again, search engine optimization is going to be your best friend with this tactic. If you combine content upgrades with posts that are ranking on Google, you’ll grow your email list on autopilot.

4. Host giveaways

Let me start with a giant disclaimer: Generic giveaways are a great way to grow an email list… full of fake or unengaged emails.

Many people create emails (that they never actually check or use) for the sole purpose of signing up for giveaways. Or they sign up and then immediately unsubscribe after the giveaway is over.

Instead of giving away something generic, such as cash or some fancy electronics, stick with giving away something directly related to your target market.

For example, if you’re in the fitness space, give away fitness equipment. If you’re in the woodworking space, give away woodworking equipment. You get the idea.

Better yet, if you sell products of your own, give away your own products. That way, even if someone leaves your email list, you’re still at least on their mind whenever they use your stuff.

One example of a well-done giveaway is this one by iKamper:

Instagram email contest giveaway

Here’s what makes it good:

  • It’s giving away its own products.
  • It partnered with other big brands in the outdoor camping space.
  • All of the products in the giveaway are relevant to iKamper’s customers (no generic products or cash).

In other words, only people who may be potential iKamper customers are actually signing up for the giveaway. 

Plus, by partnering with other brands, it’s increasing its reach while also building relationships with powerful partners.

If you’re going to do a giveaway, make sure you do it legally. Notice how it says in the post that Instagram isn’t endorsing its giveaway. This is just one of the things you need to do to legally hold a giveaway. These rules differ from country to country.

5. Use exit-intent pop-ups

Pop-ups are annoying, right?

Of course—if it’s something you don’t care about.

That’s why you should only use exit-intent pop-ups with, well, intention. Don’t just spam your readers with “Hey! Sign up for my list!” without offering them something they care about.

Instead, only use exit-intent pop-ups to give your readers something they really want. A discount code can work, although that doesn’t guarantee customer retention.

The approach I’ve found to work the best is to combine these pop-ups with the content upgrades we went through in tactic #3. It makes your upgrade obvious and lowers your chances of the pop-up being really annoying.

Speaking of being less annoying… here are some other tips to avoid aggravating your readers:

  • Make sure your pop-up is easy and obvious to close out. Make the “X” in the corner easy to see and ensure the pop-up closes if they click outside the box. 
  • Only display the pop-up after a certain amount of time on a page or after a certain scroll depth so it doesn’t display right away and make people immediately leave. You should be able to set these conditions in the pop-up settings of most tools.

That way, you maximize the benefits of the pop-up and minimize the annoyance.

Here’s a great example of an exit-intent pop-up:

Tim Ferriss exit-intent pop-up

It’s good because:

  • It’s easy to close. (There’s a visible “X” and a “No, thanks” option.)
  • It’s offering something of value, not just asking you to subscribe.
  • It’s highly relevant for Tim Ferriss’ audience (he talks a lot about how to improve your life).

There are many tools and plugins you can use to create the pop-up and manage your subscribers. I personally use ConvertKit to manage my list and Thrive Lightboxes to make my pop-ups, but use whatever you prefer.

6. Never spam your list

OK, this is an obvious tip. But it can’t be overstated to not exhaust your list with useless emails. This boils down to:

  1. Not sending something your list won’t care about.
  2. Only sending two to four emails per month unless your emails are about something time-sensitive that people obviously want more frequent updates on (like news or market updates).

Subscriber retention also hugely contributes to sustainable growth. That’s it—on to #7.

7. Utilize a drip feed

The last thing you want to do is let your hard-earned email list go cold. It can be easy to forget to send consistently—besides, not everyone on your list is at the same stage of your marketing funnel.

That’s where a drip feed comes in. This is a series of emails you set up ahead of time to “drip” out to your list over time. It’s basically a way to ensure you’re sending to your list consistently without needing to write a new broadcast email every week.

For example, your drip campaign can look like this:

  1. A reader subscribes to your list to get their ultimate guide to weight loss.
  2. Your email marketing software sends them a welcome email along with their PDF.
  3. The next day, your new subscriber gets “dripped” another email with a video version of their guide that also promotes your products.
  4. A week later, they get a check-in email asking how they’re doing with their goals.
  5. Etc.

These “dripped out” emails can promote your older content, share your new content, give tips and best practices, and occasionally promote relevant products to your list. 

Plus, they give you the added benefit of only needing to schedule the emails once, then let the automation handle things for you from there.

Speaking of automation…

8. Segment your list

Would you want to get an email about weight loss tips if you’re trying to bulk up? Probably not. That’s why if you offer content on different topics within a niche, it’s best to segment your list so your readers only get the emails that are most relevant to what they care about.

There are several ways you can segment your list:

  • Segment based on which content upgrade they signed up for (i.e., weight loss guide gets into the weight loss segment, muscle building guide gets into the muscle building segment).
  • Simply ask your subscribers their preferences in the welcome email. Give them a bulleted list of topics that are hyperlinked with different tags for different segments. For example, you could make a list like this:
    • I’m interested in losing weight.
    • I’m interested in building muscle.
    • I’m interested in having more energy and being generally healthier.
  • Segment based on which product(s) the subscriber purchased.

Each email automation software is different in how it handles these types of automations and tags. But for ConvertKit (the one that I use), here’s how to do this:

Click the Automate dropdown, then Rules.

ConvertKit automation rules

Click + New Rule in the top right, and you’ll be prompted to choose a Trigger and an Action. Depending on which segmentation strategy you want to use from the three I mentioned above, you’ll need to do a different trigger.

For this example, I’ll keep it simple—click Subscribes to a form as a trigger and Subscribe to a sequence as an action. (Note that you’ll need to set up the form and sequence before this for it to work.) This makes it so whenever someone subscribes via the form you chose, they will be added to the sequence (the “drip feed”) you selected.

Additionally, click the + under the Subscribe to a sequence action and add the second action Add tag with the corresponding segment tag for that particular form. This will add a tag to anyone who subscribes to that form, thus allowing you to “segment” them.

ConvertKit triggers and actions

When you’re happy with the settings, click Save Rule. That’s all you have to do.

Final thoughts

Again, your email list is arguably one of your business’s biggest assets. It’s a customer list that you have control of—unlike other marketing channels

The tactics I’ve outlined above have helped me build several lists in the tens of thousands, with people who stay engaged and care when I send out an email.

Treat your list like gold, never take advantage of it, and remember that there are real people at the other end of those emails. That’s the way to grow and keep a high-quality email list.

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What Is Schema Markup & Why Is It Important For SEO?

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What Is Schema Markup & Why Is It Important For SEO?

Schema.org is a collection of vocabulary (or schemas) used to apply structured data markup to web pages and content. Correctly applying schema can improve SEO outcomes through rich snippets.

Structured data markup is translated by platforms such as Google and Microsoft to provide enhanced rich results (or rich snippets) in search engine results pages or emails. For example, you can markup your ecommerce product pages with variants schema to help Google understand product variations.

Schema.org is an independent project that has helped establish structured data consistency across the internet. It began collaborating with search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex back in 2011.

The Schema vocabulary can be applied to pages through encodings such as RDFa, Microdata, and JSON-LD. JSON-LD schema is preferred by Google as it is the easiest to apply and maintain.

Schema is not a ranking factor.

However, your webpage becomes eligible for rich snippets in SERPs only when you use schema markup. This can enhance your search visibility and increase CTR on your webpage from search results.

Schema can also be used to build a knowledge graph of entities and topics. Using semantic markup in this way aligns your website with how AI algorithms categorize entities, assisting search engines in understanding your website and content.

This means that search engines should have additional information to help them figure out what the webpage is about.

You can even link your entities directly to sites like Wikipedia or Google’s knowledge graph to build explicit connections. Using Schema this way can have positive SEO results, according to Martha van Berkel, CEO of Schema App:

By helping search engines understand content, you are assisting them in saving resources (especially important when you have a large website with millions of pages) and increasing the chances for your content to be interpreted properly and ranked well. While this may not be a ranking factor directly, Schema helps your SEO efforts by giving search engines the best chance of interpreting your content correctly, giving users the best chance of discovering it.

Listed above are some of the most popular uses of schema, which are supported by Google and other search engines.

You may have an object type that has a schema.org definition but is not supported by search engines.

In such cases, it is advised to implement them, as search engines may start supporting them in the future, and you may benefit from them as you already have that implementation.

Google recommends JSON-LD as the preferred format for structured data. Microdata is still supported, but JSON-LD schema is recommended.

In certain circumstances, it isn’t possible to implement JSON-LD schema due to website technical infrastructure limitations such as old content management systems). In these cases, the only option is to markup HTML via Microdata or RDFa.

You can now mix JSON-LD and Microdata formats by matching the @id attribute of JSON-LD schema with the itemid attribute of Microdata schema. This approach helps reduce the HTML size of your pages.

For example, in a FAQ section with extensive text, you can use Microdata for the content and JSON-LD for the structured data without duplicating the text, thus avoiding an increase in page size. We will dive deeper into this below in the article when discussing each type in detail.

JSON-LD encodes data using JSON, making it easy to integrate structured data into web pages. JSON-LD allows connecting different schema types using a graph with @ids, improving data integration and reducing redundancy.

Let’s look at an example. Let’s say that you own a store that sells high-quality routers. If you were to look at the source code of your homepage, you would likely see something like this:

Once you dive into the code, you’ll want to find the portion of your webpage that discusses what your business offers. In this example, that data can be found between the two

tags.

The following JSON-LD formatted text will markup the information within that HTML fragment on your webpage, which you may want to include in your webpage’s

section.



This snippet of code defines your business as a store via the attribute"@type": "Store".

Then, it details its location, contact information, hours of operation from Monday to Saturday, and different operational hours for Sunday.

By structuring your webpage data this way, you provide critical information directly to search engines, which can improve how they index and display your site in search results. Just like adding tags in the initial HTML, inserting this JSON-LD script tells search engines specific aspects of your business.

Let’s review another example of WebPage schema connected with Organization and Author schemas via @id. JSON-LD is the format Google recommends and other search engines because it’s extremely flexible, and this is a great example.



In the example:

  • Website links to the organization as the publisher with @id.
  • The organization is described with detailed properties.
  • WebPage links to the WebSite with isPartOf.
  • NewsArticle links to the WebPage with isPartOf, and back to the WebPage with mainEntityOfPage, and includes the author property via @id.

You can see how graph nodes are linked to each other using the"@id"attribute. This way, we inform Google that it is a webpage published by the publisher described in the schema.

The use of hashes (#) for IDs is optional. You should only ensure that different schema types don’t have the same ID by accident. Adding custom hashes (#) can be helpful, as it provides an extra layer of insurance that they will not be repeated.

You may wonder why we use"@id"to connect graph nodes. Can’t we just drop organization, author, and webpage schemas separately on the same page, and it is intuitive that those are connected?

The issue is that Google and other search engines cannot reliably interpret these connections unless explicitly linked using @id.

Adding to the graph additional schema types is as easy as constructing Lego bricks. Say we want to add an image to the schema:

{
   "@type": "ImageObject",
   "@id": "https://www.example.com/#post-image",
   "url": "https://www.example.com/example.png",
   "contentUrl": "https://www.example.com/example.png",
   "width": 2160,
   "height": 1215,
   "thumbnail": [
     {
        "@type": "ImageObject",
        "url": "https://example.com/4x3/photo.jpg",
        "width": 1620,
        "height": 1215
      },
      {
        "@type": "ImageObject",
        "url": "https://example.com/16x9/photo.jpg",
        "width": 1440,
        "height": 810
      },
      {
        "@type": "ImageObject",
        "url": "https://example.com/1x1/photo.jpg",
        "width": 1000,
        "height": 1000
      }
    ]
}

As you already know from the NewsArticle schema, you need to add it to the above schema graph as a parent node and link via @id.

As you do that, it will have this structure:



Quite easy, isn’t it? Now that you understand the main principle, you can build your own schema based on the content you have on your website.

And since we live in the age of AI, you may also want to use ChatGPT or other chatbots to help you build any schema you want.

2. Microdata Schema Format

Microdata is a set of tags that aims to make annotating HTML elements with machine-readable tags much easier.

However, the one downside to using Microdata is that you have to mark every individual item within the body of your webpage. As you can imagine, this can quickly get messy.

Take a look at this sample HTML code, which corresponds to the above JSON schema with NewsArticle:

Our Company

Example Company, also known as Example Co., is a leading innovator in the tech industry.

Founded in 2000, we have grown to a team of 200 dedicated employees.

Our slogan is: "Innovation at its best".

Contact us at +1-800-555-1212 for customer service.

Our Founder

Our founder, Jane Smith, is a pioneer in the tech industry.

Connect with Jane on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Us

This is the About Us page for Example Company.

Example News Headline

This is an example news article.

This is the full content of the example news article. It provides detailed information about the news event or topic covered in the article.

Author: John Doe. Connect with John on Twitter and LinkedIn.

If we convert the above JSON-LD schema into Microdata format, it will look like this:

Our Company

Example Company, also known as Example Co., is a leading innovator in the tech industry.

Founded in 2000-01-01, we have grown to a team of 200 dedicated employees.

Our slogan is: Innovation at its best.

Contact us at +1-800-555-1212 for Customer Service.

Example Company Logo

Connect with us on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Our Founder

Our founder, Jane Smith, is a pioneer in the tech industry.

Connect with Jane on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Us

This is the About Us page for Example Company.

Example News Headline

This is an example news article.

This is the full content of the example news article. It provides detailed information about the news event or topic covered in the article.

Author:

Example image

This example shows how complicated it becomes compared to JSON-LD since the markup is spread over HTML. Let’s understand what is in the markup.

You can see

tags like:


By adding this tag, we’re stating that the HTML code contained between the

blocks identifies a specific item.

Next, we have to identify what that item is by using the ‘itemtype’ attribute to identify the type of item (Person).


An item type comes in the form of a URL (such as https://schema.org/Person). Let’s say, for example, you have a product you may use http://schema.org/Product.

To make things easier, you can browse a list of item types here and view extensions to identify the specific entity you’re looking for. Keep in mind that this list is not all-encompassing but only includes ones that are supported by Google, so there is a possibility that you won’t find the item type for your specific niche.

It may look complicated, but Schema.org provides examples of how to use the different item types so you can see what the code is supposed to do.

Don’t worry; you won’t be left out in the cold trying to figure this out on your own!

If you’re still feeling a little intimidated by the code, Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper makes it super easy to tag your webpages.

To use this amazing tool, just select your item type, paste in the URL of the target page or the content you want to target, and then highlight the different elements so that you can tag them.

3. RDFa Schema Format

RDFa is an acronym for Resource Description Framework in Attributes. Essentially, RDFa is an extension to HTML5 designed to aid users in marking up structured data.

RDFa isn’t much different from Microdata. RDFa tags incorporate the preexisting HTML code in the body of your webpage. For familiarity, we’ll look at the same code above.

The HTML for the same JSON-LD news article will look like:

vocab="https://schema.org/" typeof="WebSite" resource="https://www.example.com/#website">

Our Company

Example Company, also known as Example Co., is a leading innovator in the tech industry.

Founded in 2000-01-01, we have grown to a team of 200 dedicated employees.

Our slogan is: Innovation at its best.

Contact us at +1-800-555-1212 for Customer Service.

https://www.example.com Example Company Logo

Connect with us on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Our Founder

Our founder, Jane Smith, is a pioneer in the tech industry.

Connect with Jane on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Us

This is the About Us page for Example Company.

https://www.example.com/about

Example News Headline

This is an example news article.

This is the full content of the example news article. It provides detailed information about the news event or topic covered in the article.

Author: John Doe Profile Twitter LinkedIn

Example image

Unlike Microdata, which uses a URL to identify types, RDFa uses one or more words to classify types.

vocab=”http://schema.org/” typeof=”WebPage”>

If you wish to identify a property further, use the ‘typeof’ attribute.

Let’s compare JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa side by side. The @type attribute of JSON-LD is equivalent to the itemtype attribute of Microdata format and the typeof attribute in RDFa. Furthermore, the propertyName of JSON-LD attribute would be the equivalent of the itemprop and property attributes.

Attribute Name JSON-LD Microdata RDFa
Type @type itemtype typeof
ID @id itemid resource
Property propertyName itemprop property
Name name itemprop=”name” property=”name”
Description description itemprop=”description” property=”description”

For further explanation, you can visit Schema.org to check lists and view examples. You can find which kinds of elements are defined as properties and which are defined as types.

To help, every page on Schema.org provides examples of how to apply tags properly. Of course, you can also fall back on Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

4. Mixing Different Formats Of Structured Data With JSON-LD

If you use JSON-LD schema but certain parts of pages aren’t compatible with it, you can mix schema formats by linking them via @id.

For example, if you have live blogging on the website and a JSON-LD schema, including all live blogging items in the JSON schema would mean having the same content twice on the page, which may increase HTML size and affect First Contentful Paint and Largest Contentful Paint page speed metrics.

You can solve this either by generating JSON-LD dynamically with JavaScript when the page loads or by marking up HTML tags of live blogging via the Microdata format, then linking to your JSON-LD schema in the head section via “@id“.

Here is an example of how to do it.

Say we have this HTML with Microdata markup with itemid="https://www.example.com/live-blog-page/#live-blog"

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We can link to it from the sample JSON-LD example we had like this:



If you copy and paste HTML and JSON examples underneath in the schema validator tool, you will see that they are validating properly.

The schema validator does validate the above example.The schema validator does validate the above example.

The SEO Impact Of Structured Data

This article explored the different schema encoding types and all the nuances regarding structured data implementation.

Schema is much easier to apply than it seems, and it’s a best practice you must incorporate into your webpages. While you won’t receive a direct boost in your SEO rankings for implementing Schema, it can:

  • Make your pages eligible to appear in rich results.
  • Ensure your pages get seen by the right users more often.
  • Avoid confusion and ambiguity.

The work may seem tedious. However, given time and effort, properly implementing Schema markup is good for your website and can lead to better user journeys through the accuracy of information you’re supplying to search engines.


Image Credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita
Screenshot taken by author

 

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VIP CONTRIBUTOR
Chuck Price

Founder at Measurable SEO

Looking for a Content Marketing Solution to Increase Traffic and Revenue? I’m the founder of Measurable SEO and former COO ...

Advanced Technical SEO: A Complete Guide



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Gen Z Ditches Google, Turns To Reddit For Product Searches

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In this photo illustration, the Reddit logo is displayed on a smartphone screen.

A new report from Reddit, in collaboration with GWI and AmbassCo, sheds light on the evolving search behaviors of Generation Z consumers.

The study surveyed over 3,000 internet users across the UK, US, and Germany, highlighting significant changes in how young people discover and research products online.

Here’s an overview of key findings and the implications for marketers.

Decline In Traditional Search

The study found that Gen Z uses search engines to find new brands and products less often.

That’s because they shop online differently. They’re less interested in looking for expert reviews or spending much time searching for products.

There are also frustrations with mobile-friendliness and complex interfaces on traditional search platforms.

Because of this, traditional SEO strategies might not work well for reaching younger customers.

Takeaway

Companies trying to reach Gen Z might need to try new methods instead of just focusing on being visible on Google and other search engines.

Rise Of Social Media Discovery

Screenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Gen Z is increasingly using social media to find new brands and products.

The study shows that Gen Z has used social media for product discovery 36% more frequently since 2018.

This change is affecting how young people shop online. Instead of searching for products, they expect brands to appear in their social media feeds.

1719123963 547 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Because of this, companies trying to reach young customers need to pay more attention to how they present themselves on social media.

Takeaway

To succeed at marketing to Gen Z, businesses will likely need to focus on two main things:

  1. Ensure that your content appears more often in social media feeds.
  2. Create posts people want to share and interact with.

Trust Issues With Influencer Marketing

Even though more people are finding products through social media, the report shows that Gen Z is less likely to trust what social media influencers recommend.

These young shoppers often don’t believe in posts that influencers are paid to make or products they promote.

Instead, they prefer to get information from sources that feel more real and are driven by regular people in online communities.

Takeaway

Because of this lack of trust, companies must focus on being genuine and building trust when they try to get their websites to appear in search results or create ads.

Some good ways to connect with these young consumers might be to use content created by regular users, encourage honest product reviews, and create authentic conversations within online communities.

Challenges With Current Search Experiences

The research shows that many people are unhappy with how search engines work right now.

More than 60% of those surveyed want search results to be more trustworthy. Almost half of users don’t like looking through many search result pages.

Gen Z is particularly bothered by inaccurate information and unreliable reviews.

1719123963 785 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Takeaway

Given the frustration with search quality, marketers should prioritize creating accurate, trustworthy content.

This can help build brand credibility, leading to more direct visits.

Reddit: A Trusted Alternative

The report suggests that Gen Z trusts Reddit when looking up products—it’s their third most trusted source, after friends and family and review websites.

1719123963 403 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Young users like Reddit because it’s community-based and provides specific answers to users’ questions, making it feel more real.

It’s worth noting that this report comes from Reddit itself, which probably influenced why it’s suggesting its own platform.

Takeaway

Companies should focus more on being part of smaller, specific online groups frequented by Gen Z.

That could include Reddit or any other forum.

Why SEJ Cares

As young people change how they look for information online, this study gives businesses important clues about connecting with future customers.

Here’s what to remember:

  • Traditional search engine use is declining among Gen Z.
  • Social media is increasingly vital for product discovery.
  • There’s growing skepticism towards influencer marketing.
  • Current search experiences often fail to meet user expectations.
  • Community-based platforms like Reddit are gaining trust.

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Google Clarifies Organization Merchant Returns Structured Data

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Google updates organization structured data for merchant returns

Google quietly updated their organization structured data documentation in order to clarify two points about merchant returns in response to feedback about an ambiguity in the previous version.

Organization Structured Data and Merchant Returns

Google recently expanded their Organization structured data so that it could now accommodate a merchant return policy. The change added support for adding a sitewide merchant return policy.

The original reason for adding this support:

“Adding support for Organization-level return policies

What: Added documentation on how to specify a general return policy for an Organization as a whole.

Why: This makes it easier to define and maintain general return policies for an entire site.”

However that change left unanswered about what will happen if a site has a sitewide return policy but also has a different policy for individual products.

The clarification applies for the specific scenario of when a site uses both a sitewide return policy in their structured data and another one for specific products.

What Takes Precedence?

What happens if a merchant uses both a sitewide and product return structured data? Google’s new documentation states that Google will ignore the sitewide product return policy in favor of a more granular product-level policy in the structured data.

The clarification states:

“If you choose to provide both organization-level and product-level return policy markup, Google defaults to the product-level return policy markup.”

Change Reflected Elsewhere

Google also updated the documentation to reflect the scenario of the use of two levels of merchant return policies in another section that discusses whether structured data or merchant feed data takes precedence. There is no change to the policy, merchant center data still takes precedence.

This is the old documentation:

“If you choose to use both markup and settings in Merchant Center, Google will only use the information provided in Merchant Center for any products submitted in your Merchant Center product feeds, including automated feeds.”

This is the same section but updated with additional wording:

“If you choose to use both markup (whether at the organization-level or product-level, or both) and settings in Merchant Center, Google will only use the information provided in Merchant Center for any products submitted in your Merchant Center product feeds, including automated feeds.”

Read the newly updated Organization structured data documentation:

Organization (Organization) structured data – MerchantReturnPolicy

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