You know SEO works, but you want to figure out a way to maximize your company’s growth and revenue through it.
Cheating the system is not an option, especially with the latest algorithm changes that upgraded SEO from a manipulative marketing practice to a sophisticated marketing strategy that combines content creation, IT, branding, and content promotion.
So what do you do?
Knowledge is power in SEO. That’s why I've made this comprehensive guide covering eye-opening SEO stats and metrics to help you improve your digital marketing strategy and secure that #1 position on Google through SEO.
- Top SEO statistics
- SEO vs. other marketing channels statistics
- Ranking statistics
- Keyword statistics
- SEO industry statistics
- Search engine statistics
- Local SEO statistics
- Video SEO statistics
- Mobile SEO statistics
- Voice search statistics
- Backlinks or link building statistics
- Users & search behavior statistics
- Key SEO stats takeaways
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Top SEO statistics
This is my special section for you: the most interesting SEO stats in my humble opinion.
- Google uses 200+ factors in its algorithm for ranking websites – Backlinko
- The #1 search result in Google gets approximately 32% of all user clicks – Backlinko
- Only 0.78% of Google users click on results from the 2nd page – Backlinko
- About 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine – BrightEdge
- Organic search results in over 53.3% of all website traffic – BrightEdge
- The worldwide search engine market share worldwide comprise Google (91.4%), Bing (3.14%), Baidu (1.76%), Yahoo! (1.53%), Yandex (0.92%), and DuckDuckGo (0.66%) – StatCounter
- In comparison to organic social media, SEO drives 1,000%+ more traffic – BrightEdge
- 60% of marketers say that their inbound marketing efforts (SEO, blog content, etc) are their most crucial source of high-quality leads – HubSpot
- SEO leads are eight times more likely to close into customers than outbound leads – HubSpot
- Small businesses spend between $750 and $2000 per month or $5000 to $30,000 for one-time projects – WebFX
SEO vs. other marketing channels statistics
SEO or paid, is there a better option? Let these marketing statistics shed some light for you.
- 15% of all trackable traffic comes from paid search – BrightEdge
- 5% of all trackable traffic comes from paid social – BrightEdge
- 15% of all trackable traffic comes from all other sources – BrightEdge
- SEO has 20 times more traffic opportunities than PPC on both mobile and desktop – Moz
- Organic traffic accounts for over 40% of revenue across Retail, Media & Entertainment, Business Services, Technology/Internet, and Hospitality – BrightEdge
Here are a few Google ranking statistics, including minimum word count and meta descriptions, that may just surprise you.
- 90.63% of web pages get no organic search traffic from Google – Ahrefs
- The top-ranking page gets the most search traffic only 49% of the time – Ahrefs
- Only 5.7% of pages rank in the top 10 search results within the first year of publication – Ahrefs
- According to Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, links, content, and RankBrain are the top 3 factors for Google’s search results – Search Engine Watch
- Google search, Google Images, and Google Maps result in 92.96% of global traffic – SparkToro
- On the first page alone, the first five organic results account for 67.60% of all the clicks – Zero Limit Web
- The average top-ranking page also ranks in the top 10 search results for (approximately) 1,000 other relevant keywords – Ahrefs
- Organic search results that rank on the first page of Google average at 1,447 words – Backlinko
- Almost 60% of the pages ranking in the top 10 Google results are at least 3 years old – Ahrefs
- While 25.02% of top-ranking web pages don’t have a meta description, 40.61% of web pages have meta descriptions that truncate – Ahrefs
- Google shows meta descriptions only 37.22% of the time in search results. That rises to 40.35% for fat-head keywords and drops to 34.38% for long-tail keywords – Ahrefs
- The ideal blog post length for most posts is between 1,500 and 2,500 words – Ryan Robinson
Keyword research is a critical part of SEO campaigns. Here are some stats about how people are searching on Google.
- 69.7% of search queries consist of four words or more – Ahrefs
- 92.42% of keywords get ten monthly searches or fewer – Ahrefs
- 60.67% of all searches stem from 0.16% of the most popular keywords – Ahrefs
- 70.87% of keywords with 10,000+ monthly searches consist of only one or two words, while 29% of keywords with over 10,000+ monthly searches have three or words – Ahrefs
- 13.53% of keywords with ten or fewer searches per month have only one or two words – Ahrefs
- The first 5 organic results in the search engine results pages (SERPs) account for 67.6% of all clicks – Zero Limit Web
- Users phrase 8% of searches as a question when using a search engine – Moz
SEO industry statistics
In this section, we'll take a look at the prevailing industry standards.
What level of success can you expect after implementing SEO? What would be the average cost of a feasible SEO campaign? How much do SEO professionals charge on average?
Let’s find out.
- 49% of marketers claimed organic search has the best ROI of any marketing channel – Search Engine Journal
- The average total compensation for an SEO Specialist in the U.S. is $57,703 – Builtin
- 88.28% of SEO professionals charge $150 per hour or less for their services – Ahrefs
- 74.71% of SEOs charge a monthly retainer fee for their clients – Ahrefs
- For monthly retainers, an SEO professional usually charges between $501 and $1,000 – Ahrefs
- For hourly pricing, an SEO professional usually charges between $100 and $150 per hour – Ahrefs
- For per-project pricing, an SEO professional usually charges between $501 and $1,000 – Ahrefs
- On average, SEO professionals who’ve been in business for more than 2 years charge 39.4% more per hour, 102.41% more for monthly retainers, and 275% more for one-off projects when compared to SEO specialists who’ve been in business for less than two years – Ahrefs
- SEO experts serving the worldwide market charge 130.74% more on average than those serving the local market for monthly retainers – Ahrefs
Search engine statistics
To improve results from SEO, you have to truly understand where search engines are right now, as well as which direction they're heading in the future.
But there's a problem…
SEO is changing all the time and changing faster than ever. To help you play the game better, here are statistics focused on emerging trends in the search engine optimization world— Google algorithm updates, current ROI, featured snippets, organic CTR, and more.
- 94% of clicks in the SERPs go to organic results – Search Engine Watch
- 75% of users never go past the first page of search results – HubSpot
- 21% of searchers click on more than 1 search result – Moz
- 12.29% of search queries have featured snippets in their search results – Ahrefs
- The #1 organic search result in Google has an average CTR of 31.7% – Backlinko
- An estimated 40,000 search queries are performed every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. – Internet Live Stats
- 39% of customers are influenced by a relevant search – Think With Google
- 61.5% of desktop searches and 34.4% of mobile searches result in no-clicks – SparkToro
- Pages ranking 1 through 3 on SERPs have a 36% clickthrough rate – Searchmetrics
- 99.58% of featured snippets rank within the top 10 search results on Google – Ahrefs
- Users visit 3-3.5 pages every time they land on a website from search – SEMrush
- The average bounce rate for domains ranking in the top 3 spots is 49% – SEMrush
- The average time on site for a top 10 search result is 3 minutes and 10 seconds – Searchmetrics
- Organic search drives 300% more traffic to websites when compared to social media – IronPaper
Local SEO statistics
There was a time when outranking national brands in search results was unthinkable—nay, impossible. Not any more. Thanks to Google, local businesses can now compete with, and sometimes, even beat industry big shots.
Google rolled out the first version of their Pigeon update in 2014 that made it easier for local businesses to compete with national brands for search rankings on a local level. Under this, the search engine started to give a ranking boost to businesses closer to the searcher in location-specific searches.
For instance, a person searching for "sushi bars near me" will be shown results closest to their current location. The same goes for other location-specific searches like "home interiors in Los Angeles" or "California graphic designers."
Google uses a different set of ranking factors for the local pack, otherwise known as the “Map Pack''. Many companies made the most of this opportunity, which gave their customer base and revenue an instant boost. If you're a local business, prioritize improving your local search presence so that more people near you can find you. Trust me, good local SEO can generate big results.
Here are some stats that prove how important an effective SEO strategy is for businesses serving a specific area.
- 1 in 3 of all mobile users perform location-related searches – Think with Google
- 2 out of 3 smartphone users are more likely to buy from companies whose mobile sites or apps customize information to their location – Think with Google
- 28% of all searches for something nearby result in a purchase – Think With Google
- 30% of all mobile searches are related to location – Think With Google
- About 46% of all Google searches are for a local business or local service – Search Engine Roundtable
- 76% of people end up visiting the business within 1 day after searching on a smartphone for something nearby – Think With Google
- 92% of Google web queries that include a city and business category include Yelp in the top five search results – FreshChalk
- Nearly 54% of smartphone users search for business hours and 53% search for directions to a local store – Think With Google
- About 45% of global shoppers buy online and then pick up in-store – Think With Google
- More than 55% of shoppers say they used online video while actually shopping in a store – Think With Google
- 93% of consumers in the U.S. searched online for a local business. From these, 34% searched every day, while 73% searched weekly (up from 70%) – BrightLocal
- An average consumer spends 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading reviews before making a decision – BrightLocal
- 92% of consumers say that negative reviews make them less likely to use a business – BrightLocal
- 76% of consumers who trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends – BrightLocal
- From 2017–2019, mobile queries for “Where to buy” + “Near me” have grown by over 200% – Think With Google
- From 2017–2019, mobile searches for “Store open near me” (eg: “mobile store open near me”) have grown by over 250% – Think With Google
- From 2017–2019, mobile searches for “On sale” + “Near me” (example: “cars on sale near me”) have grown by over 250% year-on-year (YoY) – Think With Google
- 25% of websites owned by small businesses don’t have an H1 tag – Fresh Chalk
Video SEO statistics
There has been a massive growth in demand for online videos. Despite the demand, you still have to figure out how to optimize your videos so they actually reach your target audience, and rank higher in YouTube, the world’s second-largest search engine.
Here are some super interesting SEO statistics concerning video content to convince you to jump on the video bandwagon too.
- The overall watch time of online video has increased, with YouTube on TV growing by 80% year-on-year (YoY) in March 2020 – Think With Google
- Video has overtaken blogs and infographics to become the most used form of media in content strategy – HubSpot
- The average first-page YouTube video is 14 minutes, 50 seconds long – Backlinko
- 68.2% of first-page YouTube results are HD videos – Backlinko
- Posts and articles with videos earn more backlinks, plus see a 157% boost in search traffic – Search Engine People
- Videos that successfully attract new subscribers generally rank higher on YouTube – Backlinko
- After analyzing 1.3 million YouTube Videos, experts found the number of comments, view count, number of shares, and number of likes can result in higher YouTube rankings – Backlinko
- The number of comments, views, shares, and ‘likes’ had a strong correlation with higher YouTube rankings – Backlinko
Bonus statistic that really surprised me:
- Contrary to popular belief, there's no correlation between YouTube rankings and keyword-optimized video descriptions – Backlinko
Mobile SEO statistics
If you have kept yourself up to date with marketing trends, you know mobile optimization is absolutely necessary if you want customers on your website and converting.
Google has updated its desktop-first algorithm to a mobile-first algorithm, which makes total sense as the majority of Google searches now happen on mobile devices. Anything not mobile-friendly will be penalized by Google, and this isn't going to change any time soon.
Want more proof? Just look at the numbers.
- 52.2% of all global website traffic worldwide comes from mobile phones – Statista
- Mobile accounts for 58% of all Google searches – hitwise
- 87% of smartphone owners use a search engine every day – Go-Globe
- 51% of smartphone users have found a new company or product when searching on their devices – Think With Google
- On average, ranking #1 organically on mobile gets you 27.7% of the total user clicks, whereas ranking #1 on the desktop gets you 19.3% of the clicks – SEOClarity
- 27% of the entire world population is doing voice search on mobile devices. Out of 3.50 billion smartphone users around the world, over 1.1 billion smartphone users will use voice technology minimum once every week – Think With Google
- 30% of all mobile searches are location-specific – Google
- Organic CTR on mobile is roughly 50% less than that of desktop – SparkToro
Voice search statistics
Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which is 3.5 billion searches a day. In 2016, voice search was used 20% of the time within the Google App.
Just imagine the magnanimity of voice search today.
What's more, it's anticipated that over half of American homes will own a smart speaker device by the end of this year. While no up-to-date numbers have been published, one study puts smart speaker ownership at approximately 90 million in the U.S alone.
Below are more eye-opening voice search stats to help you grasp the current state of voice search.
- Websites with strong link authority typically rank well in voice search – Backlinko
- 48% of consumers prefer using voice for performing general web searches – Search Engine Land
- Voice search results typically load in 4.6 seconds. This is surprisingly 52% faster than the average page's load time – Backlinko
- HTTPS websites account for 70.4% of voice search result pages – Backlinko
- The average reading level of a voice search result is 9th grade – Backlinko
- Websites with strong link authority rank higher in voice search, with the average Domain Rating of a Google Home result being 76.8 – Backlinko
- The average Google voice search result enjoys a greater social presence as well, receiving 1,199 Facebook shares and 44 tweets on average – Backlinko
- The standard voice search result is only 29 words in length, while the average page Google voice search result has 2,312 words – Backlinko
- About 75% of voice search results rank in the top 3 for a specific query – Backlinko
- Mobile voice searches are three times more likely to be for something local than text searches – Search Engine Watch
- After analyzing 10,000 Google Home search results, Brian Dean found that 40.7% of all answers from voice search are pulled from a Featured Snippet – Backlinko
- Pages using schema comprise 36.4% of voice search results, which is greater than the global average of 31.3% – Backlinko
Backlinks or link building statistics
Do backlinks matter today? You bet they do.
Google still uses backlinks in its algorithm, so if you want your content to rank higher organically, you need an effective backlinking strategy. Let’s take a look at some statistics that prove the importance of link building for SEO.
- Google says that backlinks are one of their top three ranking factors – Search Engine Land
- The number of domains linking to a page has the highest correlation to rankings in Google – Backlinko
- Usually, the more backlinks a web page has, the more organic traffic it'll get from Google – Ahrefs
- 66.31% of web pages that have no backlinks – Ahrefs
- Companies with an active blog have 97% more backlinks to their site as opposed to companies that don't – HubSpot
- 65% of digital marketers state that link building is the hardest part of SEO – SEO Tribunal
- 73.6% of domains have reciprocal links, meaning that some of the sites they link to also link to them. Interestingly, 43.7% of top-ranking pages in Google have reciprocal links – Ahrefs
- More than 66% of pages have zero backlinks pointing to them – Ahrefs
- On average, long content receives 77.2% more backlinks than short articles – Backlinko
- The #1 search result gets an additional 5%-14.5% more do-follow backlinks from new websites every month – Ahrefs
- A content marketing campaign produces an average of 1-9 links as reported by a majority of digital marketers – Aira
- Companies using content marketing generated 97% more backlinks and landed 434% more SERPs than those that didn’t. What's more, they saw a 62% drop in total costs and still saw a 5x increase in sales leads – SEMrush
- When it comes to measuring the authority or quality of a link, 61% of digital marketers use Domain Rating from Ahrefs. This was followed by Domain Authority from Moz with 49% of digital marketers using it – Aira
- 38% of digital marketers consider rankings as the primary KPI to measure the effectiveness of link building – Aira
- 53% of digital marketers think guest posting is the most effective link building strategy, while over 63% of digital marketers prefer to outsource their link building routines – SEMrush
- The average cost of publishing a guest post is $77.80 – Ahrefs
- Most top-ranking pages get ‘followed’ backlinks from new websites at +5%-14.5% pace every month – Ahrefs
- The average cost of buying a link is $361.44, and the average cost of publishing a paid guest post is $77.80 – Ahrefs
Users & search behavior statistics
Knowing your customer's behavior and preferences can also help you implement an effective SEO strategy to ensure better results. That's why I've included some useful users & search behavior statistics below:
- 56.52% of internet users worldwide use mobile and tablet devices, while only 48.43% use desktop – StatCounter
- 65% of users who use their smartphones in their I-want-to-buy moments – Think With Google
- 39% of purchasers were influenced by a relevant search when making purchase decisions – Think With Google
- 79% of users ended up taking a relevant action on their phones before making a purchase – Think With Google
- A typical searcher uses an average of 3 words in their search query – Moz
- 18% of users enter a new query before clicking on any results for their original search – Moz
- 8% of Google queries lead to pogo-sticking. A pogo stick in SEO is when search engine users visit many different search results to find a result that effectively answers their search query – Moz
- People take 9 days longer to make purchase decisions in 2019 compared with 2015. – Think With Google
Key SEO stats takeaways
Are you feeling informed or are you feeling informed?
Here's a super short summary of all the main points to help you get started with SEO.
- Search engine optimization is pretty darn important for your company's survival
- Long-form content performs better than short blog posts
- Your website should be optimized for mobile devices
- Video and voice are the future
- If you're a local business, you should be optimizing your website for local search results right away if you haven't already.
If you want to know more effective SEO tactics and techniques, get in touch with us to learn what we can do for your company's organic ranking.