14 important SEO statistics and what you need to do about them

Love to rank at the top of Google but don’t have a strategy yet? Discover 14 important SEO statistics and what you need to do about them.

To many small businesses and freelancers, getting to the top of Google is a mystery. They assume it’s only something you can do if you’re a big company with a hefty SEO budget, or somehow get lucky.

But we’re happy to tell you that both assumptions are wrong. Anyone can rank at the top of page one of Google for the right keywords with just a little SEO knowledge and effort. And we’re proof of that! Eight and a half years ago we launched this website with a little self-taught SEO knowledge and no budget.

Today we’ve had over four million hits from Google (all organic) and rank at the top for hundreds of search terms (we reveal how we got an article to the top of Google in days here).

14 important SEO statistics and what you need to do about them

If we can learn and use SEO effectively, so can you. And to demonstrate why you should spend the time doing so, here are 14 important current SEO statistics and what you need to do about them.

1) Google has already received over 360 billion searches this year

Too many small businesses and freelancers think that they can dismiss SEO as ‘just for big companies’, ‘too difficult to learn’ or ‘something I don’t have time for’. But the truth is that if you have a business website you NEED to be working on your SEO all the time.

Just think how many people are searching on Google RIGHT NOW for what you do. And if they don’t find your website during their search, they’ll go to a more SEO savvy competitor instead.

2) Only 0.78% of Google searchers click on results from the second page

Following on from our point that you need to be working on your SEO every month, this statistic reinforces how important it is. Because it’s not enough to just guess your SEO, or set it up once and forget about it. You can’t afford to be half-hearted about SEO because if you’re not on page one of Google you might as well be nowhere.

3) The top five organic results on the first page of Google get 67.60% of ALL clicks

Once again, the statistics show that your Google ranking is everything if you want clicks (and business) from organic search. And remember: if you aren’t in those five top spots for your ideal search terms, a competitor will be. So by not working on your SEO you are, in effect, just giving business away.

4) Google’s search algorithm uses more than 200 factors to rank websites

You can’t ‘trick’ your way to the top of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). Google is constantly refining the factors it uses to evaluate websites, and trying to find a shortcut will only lead to penalties further down the road.

Over the past eight years we’ve realised that SEO is as much about psychology as it is technology. Because when you understand Google’s motivation behind SEO, it’s easy to work out what kind of activities are important, and which ones will either be a waste of time or could risk getting you in trouble.

If you want to organically climb Google’s rankings and get to that all-important top spot on page one, you need to know the basics and essentials of SEO, research your keywords and plan your content and backlink strategies. Then just spend a few hours every month building your SEO. It’s much easier than you think when you know what Google is looking for.

5) SEO drives 1,000% more traffic than organic social media

This statistic doesn’t surprise us at all. It also confirms our own experience. Here’s a quick snapshot of our traffic sources this year from Google Analytics:

The large, blue segment is organic search traffic from Google, the green segment is direct traffic and the red is traffic from Facebook. As you can see, organic search is worth far, far more to us than any other source of traffic – and we have larger social media followings than many small businesses.

The brutal truth is that SEO is worth more to most businesses for website traffic than social media, and yet it gets far less time, thought and investment. Consider how much time and effort (and even money) you spend on social media every month, then compare that with your SEO efforts.

If you want to build a successful, profitable business with brand recognition and a steady stream of customers, and if you want to increase your market share, you NEED to be actively doing SEO every month. Even just three or four hours of properly directed activity a month will make a huge difference to your ranking.

6) The average length of articles in the top position Google is 2,416 words

It’s no good writing a 400-word blog and hoping it will catapult you to the top of Google. If you are serious about ranking you need to invest proper time and effort in your content. And not just in length. The content that does make it to the top of Google will have been carefully constructed and written, with the right keywords in the right places, to satisfy Google’s requirements.

You rarely get to the top of Google through luck or by random chance. It takes a strategy and consistent effort. But don’t worry – not every blog or page on your website needs to be over 2,000 words long! Just plan the content you want to rank and give that all your SEO magic.

7) The average word count of a voice search result page is 2,312 words

With Siri and Alexa in more and more homes, voice search is becoming increasingly important. In fact, 55% of households are predicted to own a smart speaker by 2022.

So when planning your SEO strategy you need to understand how voice search differs and ensure you meet the requirements of that too. One way voice search doesn’t differ though is in loving long content. (We teach you how to optimise your site for voice search here.)

8) 91% of all pages never get any organic traffic from Google because they don’t have backlinks

While Google may use over 200 factors to rank websites, some are more important than others. And possibly one of the most important is backlinks. In fact, backlinks are so vital for SEO we devote an entire module to them here.

Here are a couple more backlinks statistics to demonstrate why its worth investing the time in them:

  • The more backlinks a page has, the more search traffic it gets from Google.
  • Top results on Google’s first SERP have 3.8 times more backlinks than those below them.

So if you don’t yet have a backlink strategy for your website and you want more organic search traffic (and who doesn’t?!!), we recommend moving it to the top of your list of priorities.

9) The top four ranking factors are direct website visits, time on site, pages per session, and bounce rate

Here’s another fact that demonstrates how important it is to do your SEO properly. Because all the trickery in the book won’t help you keep visitors if your site isn’t up to par.

We’ve already mentioned how important it is to understand the psychology behind SEO, and when you do you’ll know that it’s not just about getting people onto your website – it’s as much about the experience they have when they get there.

This is important for two reasons. Firstly your SEO will be a waste of time if people hate your website (or your content is irrelevant for their search) and they click away as quickly as landing on your site. And secondly because how people act on your site gives Google big clues about how valuable it is… and where to rank it as a result.

10) 69.7% of search queries contain four words or more

In the early days of SEO, it was all about the head keyword. Businesses would compete to dominate search for the top words related to what they do. But SEO has evolved over the years, and today our search queries have become more specific.

Which is why, as you can see, longer search queries have become more popular – and why we recommend working on your long tail and body keywords. These search terms are less competitive and more specific, meaning that the people looking for them are more likely to need what it is you do or sell. That’s why long tail keyword searches also have a click-through rate 3% to 5% higher than generic searches.

So stop trying to compete for impossible head keywords, and instead plan your keyword strategy around body and long tail keywords.

11) 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority

We’ve already covered how much more valuable SEO is than social media when it comes to driving traffic to your site. So it’s no surprise to read this statistic. And if professional marketers rank SEO as their number one inbound marketing priority, then it’s a good indicator that you should too.

12) “Where to buy” and “near me” mobile queries have grown by over 200% in the past two years

SEO is important for any small business. But if you run a local business, it’s essential. Here are a couple more local SEO statistics for you:

  • 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information.
  • 72% of consumers that did a local search visited a store within five miles.

How we use search engines is continually evolving (see the voice search statistic above), and if you get left behind now, there’s a chance you’ll never catch up to your local competitors who’ll clean up. So if you’re a local business and haven’t started planning your SEO strategy yet, we recommend doing so today.

13) Updating and republishing old blog posts with new content and images can increase organic traffic by as much as 106%

One thing that puts many small businesses and freelancers off SEO (aside from the mistaken belief that it’s too complex for them to understand) is the amount of time they think they’ll need to spend on it. But SEO doesn’t need to monopolise your time.

In fact, we can show you how to plan an entire year’s SEO strategy in a few hours, and implement in just a few hours a month. And as this statistic shows, you don’t need to start from scratch in creating reams of new content. It can also be effective making some clever SEO tweaks to the content you’ve already created.

14) You’re pretty much guaranteed 100% SEO failure if you don’t even try

This last statistic is our own! And it’s the truth. While there are no guarantees what will happen if you spend time on SEO, you can be guaranteed to get nowhere if you do nothing!

When you understand the psychology behind SEO and plan do-able strategies (with just a little knowledge – you don’t need to become an SEO guru) you can improve your Google ranking. And with the right keyword strategy and consistent application, it’s absolutely realistic to hope that you’ll climb to the coveted first page of Google.

And if nothing else motivates you to start planning your SEO strategy now, just remember this: if you’re not working towards the top of Google for your search terms, you can bet that your competitors are. And if you don’t want to hand business to them on a plate, and watch as their business takes off, then you need to start now.

It’s never too late to begin your climb up Google and secure the organic search position you deserve.

Get our help to plan your SEO strategy in the next four weeks

If you’re ready to finally master SEO and start ranking for the right keywords, come and join us in our SEO Kit now. Over the next four weeks we’ll teach you the psychology of SEO and teach you what you need to know to rank for the right keywords. Here’s what you’ll learn each week:

  1. Fix your SEO basics and essentials
  2. Research your keywords
  3. Plan your content strategy
  4. Plan your backlink strategy

By the time you’ve finished, you’ll understand how SEO works and know what you need to do to climb up Google’s rankings. And you’ll have a bespoke strategy ready to go. 

And to make it really easy to implement your strategy going forward, we give you monthly tasks to complete, and a checklist to tick them off and keep you on course.

And because, as you now know, voice search is so important, we even teach you how to optimise your site for that too, in our bonus SEO toolbox.

SEO couldn’t be more easy or do-able with our help!

We’ve designed this course for beginners and time poor business owners. You don’t need any prior knowledge of SEO, and you just need to spare two to three hours a week to complete the course. (Or less if you’re a fast worker.) 

And with lifetime access to the content, you can take longer if you wish – and return to the course every year to plan your next 12-month strategy, making it unbeatable value for money. 

So if you’d love to understand SEO and create your own strategy – with easy tasks to follow to implement it – come and join our four week course

We’ll show you how you can increase your chances of getting found for the right keywords – and knock your competitors off that all-important top spot of Google!

Ready to plan your entire SEO strategy in just four weeks, with our help? Join our SEO Kit now for instant access!

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