5 Growing Trends in SEO Technology You Need to Know of in 2021

5 Growing Trends in SEO Technology You Need to Know of in 2021

Over 5 billion Google searches are submitted every day. That massive number is telling of how integral Google is when it comes to how people interact with the world wide web.

To get into Google’s good graces and have your online content surface as a top result, you’ll want to get proficient at SEO.

SEO, for the uninitiated, stands for search engine optimization. It’s a collection of techniques content makers and webmasters leverage to earn Google’s attention.

In this post, our team touches on AI SEO, influencer SEO, and other trends we’re seeing pick up steam in the search engine market. With this information, you can better tailor your content and will see more return on your marketing investments.

Keep reading to understand what you have to look forward to in the world of SEO come 2021!

1. AI Will Better Service Needs

AI SEO is not a new concept. Search engines are essentially collections of artificial intelligence technologies that can scan content and predict what’s most relevant to searchers.

As 2021 dawns, we’ll continue to see Google and other search engines pour resources into helping AI better understand searcher’s intent. That way, more relevant results can be delivered, faster.

2. How We Speak Will Make Waves

From talking to digital home assistants (ex: Amazon Alexa) to using the assistants built into our phones (ex: Siri), people are searching the web more frequently with their voices.

What does that mean for SEO? Mainly that keywords and phrases you’re targeting that are based on how people type questions may start to drop in rank in favor of how people verbally state questions.

For example, the phrase “best restaurant in New York” may have been a valuable keyword to target in 2020. From 2021 onward though, “what’s the best restaurant in New York City” might be a more exact match for searches.

Voice search enables a more natural interaction that you’ll want to stay cognizant of as a marketer.

3. Influencers Will Influence SEO

Companies are spending unprecedented portions of their marketing dollars on influencers. A big reason why is because influencers influence SEO.

When you get an influencer to drive a high velocity of traffic to a new product you have on a website, that velocity is noted by search engines and will boost not only your product page’s search rank but your domain’s rank as a whole.

That benefit has a long tail and is worth investing in.

4. Video Will Pop Up First

Today’s web users prefer video to text. We’ll continue to see SEO honor that reality by putting videos higher up on results pages.

Your company can take advantage of this trend by doubling down on your video budget and scaling back other content marketing avenues.

5. Mobile-First Becomes “Less Than” Mobile-Only

Web traffic from mobile has grown by 222% in the last 7 years. It now accounts for the majority of online browsing domestically. Those staggering facts suggest that if people started building online products that worked solely for mobile devices, they’d still stand to do well online.

Search engines already know to lift mobile-friendly web content to the top of results. In 2021 though (or a little later), engines may start favoring mobile-only web experiences.

AI SEO, Voice, and Other Innovations Are Transforming Search

The SEO strategy you live by today may very well be ineffective a year from now. The best thing you can to do avoid being left in the dust is to keep educating yourself on innovations and continue to pivot where necessary.

For more information on AI SEO, SEO strategies, SEO trends, and more, check out the newest content on our blog.

Welcome Mats – How Top Sites are Growing their Mailing Lists

Welcome Mats – How Top Sites are Growing their Mailing Lists

What is the secret to growing your mailing list like crazy overnight? One of the best ways to do this is through the use of a popup lightbox window like OptinMonster. However, as of lately, a new and FREE tool has gained the attention of many of the world’s top bloggers and it’s actually working even better than any and all previous methods used!

This method is called Welcome Mats — and it’s free to download and use through SumoMe.

With traditional popup lead generation forms like PopUpDomination or OptinMonster, the lightbox will appear over the content of your site and fade out the rest of your content — which has worked extremely well for site owners of all sizes. However, with these new Welcome Mats, the lead generation form basically takes over the whole screen when someone first gets to your site. This leads to a much higher engagement and conversation rate.

In the video below you will get a quick walkthrough of what Welcome Mats are, how they work and how to set them up and customize them for your own sites.

I previously showcased 32 top bloggers and the popup windows they were using to increase email signups to their mailing lists. Now it’s time to show you how top blogs and sites are using Welcome Mats to take their engagement and sign up numbers to a whole new level!

Get Inspired with These 10 Welcome Mat Examples

Before walking through the list of hand selected Welcome Mats shown below, I want to stress the importance of both customizing and split testing your results. What you will notice with many of the examples below is that you can really customize the look and feel of these lead generation forms to match with the branding of your site and have a great call to action in the process.

Let’s first take a look at some of the more creative and branded approaches to using Welcome Mats.


Problogger is one of the largest ‘blogging resource’ sites on the internet today. The site was started by Darren Rowse, who is very well known throughout the world. By incorporating his picture and the “Build a Better Blog” call to action, he is both building his brand while getting people to join his list who are genuinely interested in creating a better blog.



This welcome mat is a perfect example of how to get the attention of your audience. HelpMyBusiness.com was created by Andrew Lock and just like the example with ProBlogger, he is using his personal brand in his Welcome Mat. However, Andrew is taking his engagement and conversions to another level by incorporating his cat and using humor with his call to action of “Subscribe to the Show, or the Kitten gets it!”.



Welcome Mats aren’t just being used by bloggers, they are also being used by thousands of regular sites and for businesses as well. Maidnhouston.com is a cleaning service that is using their Welcome Mat to not only serve as a source for new email signups, but they are also providing a 15% off coupon on their first cleaning. This is a perfect way to both increase email signups while also bringing in new paying customers in the process.


[thrive_link color=’blue’ link=’https://zacjohnson.com/sumome’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]Click here to setup your Welcome Mat for Free![/thrive_link]


SpeakEasy is a mobile app for connecting with locals in your area to help you “Find the authentic places and experiences that only locals know about.”. Through their Welcome Mat, they are using a picture of their startup team to not only show the faces behind the company, but also to show the same time of experience you might have with your own friends and family, and how this app might relate with you in the same way. “Join our startup story” is also their call to action get you on their mailing list.



Everyone loves a good coupon code and feeling like you have VIP access is even a bigger plus. StellyBelly is an ecommerce story for children’s clothing and their Welcome Mat is one of the most targeted out there. Nearly all people who visit the site are shopping for kids clothing, which is covered with their image backdrop. However, where it really gets exciting is how they have a “Text Message” call to action in addition to saving 10% off instantly when they take action through the Welcome Mat!



As we’ve seen with previous examples, using a Welcome Mat as a way to bring in new customers and providing them with discounts works extremely well. Wiggles.ch is an online jewelry store that offers a 20% discount coupon to all users that subscribe through their form, while also using a colorful image of a woman with a necklace on.



Not all Welcome Mats need to be high tech, fancy looking or even provide a discount or coupon. In Matthew Woodward’s case, he keeps it simple, while also seeing a massive increase in emails signups in the process. Most people coming to Matt’s site are interested in online marketing, making money and ranking their web sites in the search results. With his simple call to action of “Unleash My Personal SEO Strategy – Get instant access now” — why wouldn’t you take action? You can also read his case study on this here.



Growth Hackers is a community site for everything relating to business, entrepreneurs, tech and more. To go along with their simple site design and navigation, they decided to take the same route with their Welcome Mat — simply offering the end user the ability to get the most recent and best growth posts sent right into their email each week. The good thing about a call to action like this, is that you know everyone who signs up for these mailing, really want them. (since there is no incentivized offer)


[thrive_link color=’green’ link=’https://zacjohnson.com/sumome’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]Click here to setup your Welcome Mat for Free![/thrive_link]


Noah Kagan is the man behind OkDork (his personal blog) and also the successful startup AppSumo.com. Through OkDork, Noah shares his best advice, case studies, news and more relating to everything from increasing your email signups, conversions, revenue and much more. With his Welcome Mat, Noah takes a much different approach than everyone else on the list — in that you really have no idea what you are getting… but it definitely makes you want to signup to find out!



When it comes to creating a success site and business on the internet, it seems like there is an endless supply of resource sites out there that provide high-quality tutorials, case studies and guides. Robbie Richards is an online marketer and blogger who also falls into this mix. With his vast experience and success online, he shares his own personal stories and case studies on how you can follow along and do the same — all of which ties into his Welcome Mat, which simply gives an offer no one can pass up — getting an extra 200,000 people to your site!


How to Setup Welcome Mat on Your Site

Now that you’ve seen what’s possible through the use of a free Welcome Mat, it’s time for you to setup this same type of lead generation on your site!

As mentioned earlier, the tool is from SumoMe, which provides their users with 12+ free tools to help better market their sites and increase lead generation. All of which is easily done and managed through their free WordPress plugin.

Welcome Mat App from SumoMe

To setup a Welcome Mat on your own site, you will need to:

  1. Create a free account with SumoMe
  2. Install the free SumoMe WordPress Plugin
  3. Click on the Sumo Store icon and click the “Welcome Mat” app to install.
  4. Create your Welcome Mat within the plugin
  5. Publish, Split Test and Increase Signup Conversions Immediately!

To unlock the full potential of Welcome Mat and all of it’s advanced customization and tracking features, you will need to upgrade to the Pro version — however, the free version is definitely a great way to see improved conversions and signups right away.

Enough about how others are using SumoMe and Welcome to increase their conversions and revenue… now it’s time for you to do the same!

Top 7 Lead Capture Tools for Growing a Mailing List

Top 7 Lead Capture Tools for Growing a Mailing List

Customer acquisition is one of the most important aspects of building your brand. Your customers are your ticket to success, so you need to find creative ways to bring more customers in, but not just any customers — customers who will become brand evangelists.

You also want to survey your audience and find out what they want as you try to improve your content, service or products. Measuring the success of your efforts along the way can be an important part of your strategy.

However, acquiring customers can be costly if you don’t choose the right tools.

For bloggers, site owners and everyone in between, it’s important to have plenty of tools in your arsenal. Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of our business that allows us to scale in size, while also automating the process.

There are plenty of custom-created software that you can invest in, but there are also many helpful tools on the web that may serve your purposes as well. Many of which I will be covering in the list below.

Which Tools are Best for Capturing Website Leads?

Lead generation tools can be a bit confusing sometimes regarding which ones to use and how to implement the technology to maximize your impact on your target audience. Your leads generation tools should be easy to access and use, not too expensive, and they should allow you to focus on the market you want to reach.

We have scoured the web to find some of the best capture tools that will help you grow a mailing list and improve your email marketing campaigns.


Hello Bar

Hello Bar is one of the most effective, yet unobtrusive ways to grow a mailing list and grab the attention of your audience. You’ve likely already seen this tool already being used on various websites and blogs, and the way the tool works is quite simple.

Site owners can add Hello Bar to their site through the use of a WordPress plugin or placing a line of code on their site. In short, it’s a simple Javascript embed code, so it’s compatible with nearly every CMS. Once this is in place, a sticky, non-scrolling bar will appear at the top of any web page you like. The end result is an attractive, yet prominent place that can be used for promoting your latest content, collecting emails for your mailing list or even to simply bring awareness to your latest sales or promotions.

Another great feature of Hello Bar, is that it’s free for all site owners. Premium features, such  as RSS feed integrations (for dynamic promotion of the latest blog posts), SSL compatibility and removal of Hello Bar’s branding are also available for anyone looking to pay a few dollars per month to upgrade.


MailOptin is a powerful WordPress plugin that allows site owners and bloggers to easily convert new and existing site visitors into email list subscribers and high-value leads. Through the use of their WordPress plugin and platform, users will have the ability to not only create custom forms and automate triggered emails for their lists, they also have the necessary tools and tracking in place to build a powerful relationship that nurtures and engages with them in the process — all within WordPress.

When it comes to the actual creation of lead generation forms for your site, MailOptin has a wide range of options to choose from. Some of the most popular and effective solutions are their lightbox popup, notification bar, slide in windows and also before/after post subscription forms. In summary, MailOptin offers all of the subscription form options and customizations necessary for turning your site content and traffic into a lead generation machine. Download the MailOptin WordPress plugin for free, and also upgrade your account to unlock all features.



GetResponse is another good tool for creating and growing your leads list. It allows you to create personalized emails, welcomes, and birthday messages through a convenient autoresponder and set up a series of emails for your contact lists.

You can set it up and forget about, it and it will keep working for you while you sleep. Customers will get notifications if they sign up for your newsletters and you can manage all of your contacts in one place.

Don’t forget to check out my GetResponse Popup Windows post on how 10 different sites are using the service to increase conversions on their own sites.


Gravity Forms

One of the greatest things about using WordPress to power a site, is that it’s easy to create a contact form of your own. However, there are plenty of tools out there to bring contact forms and engagement to a whole new level.

Gravity Forms is a tool that does exactly that. Not only can you completely customize the look, feel and options for your forms, you can also easily integrate with other platforms like Aweber, MailChimp, Paypal and more. In short, this is the perfect tool if you want to create customized forms on your site for building your mailing, or just for customization over simple contact forms.


WP Subscribe Pro

WP Subscribe Pro is a good tool to use to generate more leads for your mailing lists. With this tool, you can boost your traffic to subscribers and collect leads to promote your brand.

WP Subscribe Pro supports many other tools as well including Feedburner, MailChimp, and Aweber. It is a plug-in that you will be able to use within your blog and website to capture emails of interested visitors. It allows you to integrate your email campaign within your website and blog.


LeadFlows by Hubspot

LeadFlows by Hubspot allows you to use onboard analytics to figure out what is working best on your site and what needs to be changed. It helps, you build contacts, and it, allows you to plan your strategies with your email campaigns and organize your contacts. You can select the features you want to use and check the progress of your campaigns as you go.

It’s also free, so you don’t have to pay monthly premiums to keep it.

Lead Generation Card

There is a cool tool called the Twitter Lead Generation Card which allows you to let users express interest in what your brand offers.

You can let your users securely share their email addresses with businesses without leaving Twitter or having to fill out forms of any kind. This is a quick and easy way to build your leads while analyzing how it is working.


Scroll-Triggered Pop-up

This tool called “Scroll-Triggered Popup” is designed to help you get the attention of visitors who have engaged with your site. You can specify the events you wish to track such as the percentage of the scroll and verify that visitors are engaged with the content you are presenting on your page.

The purpose of this tool is to:

  • Get more subscribers to your newsletter
  • Make it easy to share your posts
  • Fill out a contact form
  • Display best offers
  • Share related content

It’s very customizable and you can display any content or call-to-action within the plugin. Pop-ups can be obtrusive but this tool seems to be fairly unobtrusive and just allows visitors to add themselves to the list of email subscribers if they choose to do so. They can also exit out of the application if they don’t want to.

Best Tools for Growing Your Mailing List

These are just seven examples of leads capture tools. There are more available on the web for you to discover and try out, and plenty of examples and case studies to guide you along the way. Think about how you want to utilize your content and what types of groups you want to reach. All of these tools can help you in some way but some of them are more robust than others.

Hello Bar is a snazzy way to increase engagement without taking up a lot of website space. GetResponse is great because of the autoresponders and instant notifications capabilities. Gravity Forms is also another great tool for all site owners to consider since we all need contact forms.

Only you know how much you can afford to invest in your email lead generation and outreach, but these tools are a good sampling of price ranges that allow you to build your brand while building your mailing list over time.

Whatever tools you choose, it’s best to try out the features first and see what works and what doesn’t. With time you’ll learn which features are the most important to your business and which ones you can do without.

The goal is to utilize either free or premium tools that will help you reach your business goals and cut your customer acquisition costs down.