HubSpot Research

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How HubSpot’s Sales Blog Team Broke a 1.5 Year Traffic Plateau

With contributions by Sarah Williams

TL;DR The HubSpot Sales Blog pivoted to an organic-first strategy that helped us bounce back from several months of low traffic. Now we’re applying this strategy to all three of HubSpot's blogs.

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A Practical Approach to Emerging Tech for SMBs: AI, Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, IoT, and AR/VR

TL;DR: Today’s small business owners represent the most technologically savvy cohort of SMBs that has ever existed. From email infrastructure to search engine optimization, CRMs to automated customer support – SMBs today have access to unprecedented technological power, and use it every day to grow better.

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HubSpot’s Guide to Winning Google’s Featured Snippet

With contributions by Matthew Howells-Barby and Aliza Schaffer 

TL;DR: Featured snippets are an organic search feature that now take significant search traffic from the search results below them. Featured snippets run on a separate algorithm than Google's traditional 200 ranking signals. To understand these signals, HubSpot’s SEO team ran a series of experiments and, together with the blog and web teams, developed a process for featured snippet optimization. The result: a clean code that allows you to capture featured snippets and a guide with best practices for optimizing your content for Google's featured snippet.

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When #1 Isn't Good Enough (for Google) Anymore

TL;DR: Traffic to the HubSpot Blog flattened out earlier this year after growing steadily since 2006. Our team dug into the trend and found that the decline was due to two main changes in Google search: the addition of featured snippets on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) and the increase in conversational search.  

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Customer Success Feeds Business Success

TL;DR: Customer service will be a differentiator for companies moving forward, and savvy businesses can tap into a powerful advocacy channel if they choose to provide world class service to their customers.

Customer success is something that many businesses say they value, but many are less willing to put in the resources into service programs. This lack of focus on customer success, coupled with high attrition within the service ranks, means many businesses are slowing down their growth potential.

However, a segment of growing businesses recognize customer success as a key differentiator that will keep their business on the growth trajectory. This report outlines why businesses should view customer success as a lever for revenue growth.

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How Salespeople Learn

TL;DR: There are millions of salespeople worldwide and yet there are no formal sales training curriculums offered in higher education. So how do salespeople learn the sales motion? What type of interaction they prefer? What are they spending their time on? According to our recent survey, salespeople:

  • Prefer 1:1 training, which is difficult to scale.
  • Depend strongly on their managers and peers for support; this is especially the case for women in sales.
  • Are unlikely to change their habits after they've figured out what works for them.
  • Probably unintentionally ended up in the sales profession.
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Topic Clusters: The Next Evolution of SEO

Written with contributions from Leslie Ye, Matthew Barby, Anum Hussain, and Cambria Davies

TL;DR: Influential search engines like Google have changed their algorithm to favor topic-based content. As a result, SEOs are exploring a new way of linking related content under a "topic clusters" model. This report serves as a tactical primer for marketers responsible for SEO strategies.

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Death By 1,000 Apps: Why Tech Is Actually Making Us Less Efficient

TL;DR: As people more adopt tools designed to make marketers and salespeople more efficient, new complications arise. Sure, people are now faster at completing work tasks, but now they're spending more time managing different technologies, performing data entry, and reconciling reports.

  • Though survey respondents indicate they have a manageable number of tools, 82% are still losing hours a week due to managing different technologies. Additionally:
    • 72% of salespeople spend up to an hour a day on data entry and connecting records from different sales tools.
    • 75% of marketers spend up to an hour a day analyzing data and connecting reports from different marketing tools.
  • Majority of respondents say 1-5 of the tools they use have redundant capabilities.
  • If they could have their time back, sales and marketing would spend their time increasing the bottom line.
  • Nearly 60% of marketing teams spend up to 10% of their budget to integrate, maintain, and manage their various tools.
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