Surprising Online Marketing Facts You Need to Know

There are some online marketing facts you should know about. These facts on marketing will influence how you treat your marketing and the content you create.

Some digital marketing facts come as a surprise, some evolve so quickly that what we thought was true yesterday is already outdated.

Marketing statistics and data analysis of marketing facts can help you plan your marketing more effectively and find answers for your marketing analytics. You can use the marketing numbers to optimize your strategy, learn and evolve. They give you ideas for hidden marketing power and allow you to make educated marketing decisions.

Here are 26 online marketing facts that may come as a surprise – and that you should now ignore!

#1 Search is responsible for over half of all the website traffic

While this will vary for every website, 64% of web traffic comes from searches. Even if you focus on other sources for web traffic like social media or referral traffic, you should learn basic SEO to get your chunk of the search traffic!

Source: Conductor

#2 The average Top10 ranking page is 2+ years old

It is a big question for marketers and bloggers: how long does it take for a website to rank in Google search. When can the owner of a new website expect to see the first traffic from Google search?

The answer from a study by Ahrefs is: Most pages in the top 10 search results of Google search are at least 2 years old.

Most pages ranking #1 on Google search are 3 years or older.

Only 5,7% of web pages rank in the top 10 on Google within the first year!

source: Ahrefs

#3 Longform content gets more backlinks

To make your website rank in Google search, you need some backlinks. What can you do to make sure that your content earns some backlinks? You can write longer posts with more in-depth information.

Longer articles of around 3000 words get approx. 77.2% more backlinks than short articles. If you are creating content for SEO, consider that longer content will attract more links.

As a side note: Longer content also gets more social shares.

According to Moz, 85% of online content has fewer than 1000 words. This leaves you with a huge opportunity if you are willing to invest in longer and more in-depth content.

#4 Most content does not get any backlinks at all!

Your content does not get any links? You are not alone. 94% of blog posts never get any backlinks. 

Data suggests that it is harder to earn links to a website than you may have expected. And many websites fail to earn any backlinks at all.

If you think about this the other way around: All content links on the web go to only 6% of all blog posts out there.

If you get just 1 link to a blog post, your post already does better than 94% of blog posts. That seems to be an achievable goal, doesn’t it? Work for it!

Source: Backlinko


Only 3% of websites get links from more than one source. Bummer, if you want to build links, keep in mind that getting several websites to link to a blog post might be hard.

#5 Content is an integral part of marketing

Content is crucial if you want to get traffic from Google search. But content is so much more important than “just” for SEO and many marketers have realized how important content is for their marketing.

According to a study by SEMRush, 97% of marketers claim that content marketing is an important tactic in their marketing arsenal.

#6 Too many marketers still fumble around with their content

Only 57% of respondents say they have a documented content marketing strategy. And 40% say they don’t.

It seems that a content marketing strategy helps to succeed: Of the brands that say they are successful with their content, 78% have a content marketing strategy.

The most successful content marketing tactics were to improve the quality of the content, focus on SEO, Create video and visual content – and update and repurpose content!

Source: SEMRush

#7 Leads and traffic are the most important content marketing goals

Content is important for almost every aspect of online marketing. You can achieve a lot through the strategic use of content. But you need to know where you want to go.

You need goals in your content marketing. If you don’t have set goals, you will never know if your content marketing is successful and if your efforts contributed to reaching the goals.

The main content marketing goals for most businesses are generating quality leads and getting traffic. Other goals are branding, engagement, and promotion.

Source: SEMRush

#8 How do people measure content marketing success?

Which metrics do people use to determine content marketing success? Among the most common metrics are also the most common goals people have with content marketing: The number of leads and the amount of web traffic.

In addition, people also monitor page views and conversion rates. This result seems to be influenced by how easy metrics are to be measured. Because the most important metric should be ROI – all the others are only indicators that something positive is happening but they won’t pay your bills!

Source: SEMrush

#9 The most used channels for Content Distribution

The most important channels for content distribution are social media and email marketing.

At first glance, this seems to be a little in contrast to what marketing statistics say about where web traffic comes from search. Social media is not the channel where most web traffic comes from but still many businesses use it for content distribution.

At a second glance, taking into consideration that websites take years to rank in Google search, it seems a good decision that people turn to other channels than search to build their web traffic.

Source: SEMrush

#10 The most effective social networks for content distribution are Facebook and LinkedIn

This comes as a little surprise: Facebook as it mainly works with ads and LinkedIn was so far commonly known rather for B2B contacts. Instagram may gain in the future since it added more options for links for instance in stories. Pinterest as the traffic source for numerous bloggers still seems a little bit underrated and Twitter(always my first and most effective social media traffic channel) seems to always fly a little under the radar.

Source: SEMRush

#11 A small number of posts (1.3%) gets 75% of all social shares

Do your blog posts get shared on social media? No? You are not alone.

Social shares are not evenly distributed. There is a small number of power posts that get most of the social shares.

In the sample, 0.5% of posts got half (50%) of the shares.

Source: Backlinko

Don’t get frustrated if your posts don’t get a huge number of shares, that is “normal.” But you can still work on changing this. Work on getting your post onto social networks. Grow your social media audience and share your posts with your social media audience. That is the best way to give your blog posts a great start on social media.

#12 There is no correlation between backlinks and social shares

This one is interesting: It seems not to be the same content that gets shared on social media as content that gets backlinks. You would think that great content gets both. But it seems a better strategy to create content for one purpose: backlinks or social shares. Since it is not the same content that achieves both, you are up for better results if you focus on one of the two.

Source: Backlinko

#13 Headlines for social shares are longer – what else?

The perfect headline for social media shares is a little longer than the headline that you create for search listings. Headlines for search should have around 50 – 60 characters and around 8 words. Longer headlines will be truncated in search listings.

Best results in terms of social media shares are achieved with long headlines. Extremely long headlines get 76% more shares. Extremely long in this case refers to headlines with 14-17 words or more than 80 characters.

Source: Backlinko

Social media seems to love questions – people share headlines with a question mark 23.3% more often than without.

#14 List posts get more social shares

And then there are list posts: They are the most powerful type of content for social shares. List posts get 218% more social shares than how-to posts – and how-to posts still work well on social. List posts also get 203% more social shares than infographics.

List posts and why posts perform better than other types of content on social media when it comes to social media shares. 

Source: Backlinko

#15 The time adults spend on social media is growing. 

Adults now spend over 95mins on social media per day. This is partly due to the pandemic but it is not likely to decrease much in the coming years.

Source: eMarketer

#16 The most used types of content are blog posts

The most successful content does not have to be something fancy. You can create successful content even if you are not a designer, videographer or sound engineer.

Most marketers rely on blog posts, email marketing, case studies and videos. Webinars and blog posts often provide the best content marketing results. 

Looks like I am right where most marketers are: I focus on blog posts and emails and plan on creating some more videos.

Source: Content Marketing Institute

#17 The best performing type of content is video

Marketers see the best results with video content. Other successful types of content are blog posts, success stories and case studies.

Source: SEMRush

#18 Why do marketers NOT use video?

If videos are such a great type of content, why don’t more marketers use video in their marketing? There are various reasons, time is number one, but often it is lack of knowledge – and maybe just the respect for something they have not done before…

But that seems to be a thing of the past – as 79% of these marketers who are not (yet) using video believe that they will start using video in 2022.

Source: Wyzowl

#19 Explainer videos are still all the rage

The most used type of video is still explainer videos. Other types of videos like social media videos, presentations, and testimonials follow close behind.

55% of marketers create their videos in-house – it seems as if marketers have adapted new technologies and utilize cost-effective and quick video creation to answer the demand.

Source: Wyzowl

#20 Email marketing has an incredible ROI

According to OptinMonster email marketing has an ROI of 4400% – which means that every dollar you invest into email marketing is likely to bring in 44$.

Source: OptinMonster

That is a very good reason to start growing your email list right from the start!

#21 People like to get promotional emails from brands

49% of consumers love to receive promotional emails from brands every week. This gives you 2 answers: People love to hear from you and if you are afraid to write too often, do so weekly and you should do what your subscribers want you to do.

Source: Oberlo

This agrees with my email audience. Writing regular emails at least once a week seems to agree with them.

#22 Email open rates average at 18%

Email open rates vary per niche and country. The Country with the highest open rate in the study is Australia.

Please keep in mind, that email open rates also depend on the age of your email list. If you have built your email list for years and never deleted old subscribers from your list, your open rates may be slightly below average.

Email marketing generates 7.5 billion in revenue in 2020.

Source: Statista

Welcome emails have an open rate of 68,59% and a click-through rate of 16,05%.

Source: GetResponse

#23 The share of spam emails is decreasing

In 2014 over half of all emails (55%) were classified as spam. In 2021 the share of spam emails has been down to 45.1%.

Source: Statista

#24 Emails with images seem to perform better

Emails that include graphics have higher open rates and click-through rates.

The difference is significant.

Open rates for emails with images are 24,25% compared to 15,55% for emails without images. Click-through rates are 3,28% for emails with images compared to 1,3% for emails without images.

Source: GetResponse

#25 Email personalization increases email opens

More personal emails can easily lead to more marketing success.

Simple email personalization has the power to increase your email open rate by 26%.

Source: CampaignMonitor

#26 The majority of digital businesses invest in personalization

Personalization is a huge success factor. Customers are more likely to engage with and buy from a company that provides more tailored communication.

That seems to be a good reason for businesses to invest in personalization. 89% of digital businesses say they are investing in personalization.

Source: Forrester

What you need to consider when reading and interpreting online marketing facts

Some online marketing facts may be surprising. These facts on marketing influence how you treat your marketing and the content you create. Marketing statistics and data analysis of marketing facts can help you plan your marketing more effectively and find answers for your marketing analytics.

There are endless studies about online marketing. You need to be careful – some data is already outdated.

Online marketing facts are not static. Things change fast when it comes to digital marketing. New channels arise and networks change their features or policy. People change how they use social media, email and search – all of this impacts the marketing facts.

And you are unique, your marketing is unique. If statistics say one channel is not the best for everyone, it does not mean it is not going to work for you.

Don’t take data as rules that are set in stone. Marketing statistics and facts are only up for interpretation. They can help explain things and find flaws in your marketing tactic. But they are not universally true for every marketer, blogger or situation.

You may also like


  1. Dear Susanna,
    I follow you and always get surprised at the level of your production. You have plenty of posts that are very well-written, useful, and to the point.
    I appreciate the work you do and use it for my own marketing.
    Thanks for your generosity!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.