If there’s one constant when it comes to the art of search engine optimisation (SEO), it’s that everything changes every so often.
That makes it a bit hard for most people to keep up. We have collected some verifiable and updated SEO statistics that every marketer should know to better understand SEO in 2017.
2017 SEO Statistics Every Marketer Must Know
Overall Search Marketing & Advertising Statistics
1) Since 2012, Google’s advertising revenue is greater than all of US print media (Source, 2012). We knew that print advertising was dying, but we were surprised to discover that the nails were being hammered in as early as 2012. Google’s revenue alone was more than the entire US print media industry. Sure, some might say that Google’s revenue are from global sales and that makes it an unfair comparison. Well…
2) Global digital advertising spending in 2016 was an estimated US$194.6 billion (Source, 2016), far outstripping total global print advertising spend of US$100 billion (Source, 2017). That should put the matter to rest. Globally, more ad dollars are spent on digital channels than on print channels. It doesn’t have to feel ‘weird’ that you’re spending more money on say, pay-per-click advertising, than on print ads because that’s what the whole world is doing.
3) Digital advertising outstrips TV ad spending for the first time in the US in 2016 (Source, 2017). According to the report, TV ad revenues amounted to US$71.3 billion, just under digital advertising’s revenue of US$72.5 billion.
4) Mobile makes up more than 50% of Internet advertising revenue for the first time (Source, 2016). In 2016, mobile accounted for 50.52% of all Internet advertising revenue in the United States. We’re seeing similar trends on the ground here in Singapore and Malaysia where mobile visits are fast outstripping those from desktops.
SEO User Behaviour Statistics
5) There are at least 5.5 billion search queries a day on Google (Source, 2017). That translates to 63,000 searches per second, 3.8 million searches per minute and 2 trillion searches per year.
6) 15% of daily search queries are brand new (Source, 2017). These searches have never been seen before so Google traditionally had a hard time serving good results for these. That’s where RankBrain comes in. This AI can make educated guesses about what words mean and can even learn from its mistakes.
7) 67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally (Source, 2013). You’ve probably seen this statistic before but in different forms. It’s been bandied around and re-quoted so many times that SiriusDecisions, the company that first discovered this important insight, had to set the record straight.
8) 57% of the purchase process is complete before business buyers contact suppliers (Source, 2013). This insight was discovered after Google collaborated with CEB’s Marketing Leadership Council to survey 1,500 business leaders. They discovered that for more than half of the business process, your customers are out in the ether on their own. They are forming opinions, learning specifications, generating requirements and shortlisting vendors all without your help.
9) 68% of B2B buyers say that they first learned of a solution via web search (Source, 2016). Do not take it for granted that all your enterprise clients already have a shortlist of vendors that they always buy from and won’t bother to search online.
10) Nearly 40% of people search only on a smartphone in an average day (Source, 2016). This highlights the importance of optimising for the mobile user experience.
11) 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search (Source, 2015). This dispels the myth that your main concern should be branded searches. Most people will start off with one or a few generic searches first before narrowing their search queries.
12) 90% of B2B researchers who are online use search specifically to research business purchases (Source, 2015). Ensuring that your website shows up in their searches thus becomes one of the most important activities you can undertake to get found.
13) 51% of mobile users have discovered a new company or product when conducting a search on their smartphones (Source, 2015). Again, making sure that your website shows up in their online research is critical to getting discovered.
14) 69% say that the single most influential aspect of any vendor’s website is “relevant content that speaks directly to [my] company” (Source, 2016). Content marketing helps position you as an authority in your industry. As a B2B company, one of the best ways to influence business buyers is to create content that helps your target customers solve a pressing pain point.
15) 73% of consumers say that regularly getting useful information from an advertiser is the most important attribute when selecting a brand (Source, 2015). Content is demanded from consumers as well. They expect every brand communication to be helpful, relevant and/or entertaining.
16) 87% of in-store shoppers search for information before visiting a store, 79% while inside the store and 35% after visiting the store (Source, 2014). While we won’t go so far as to claim that e-commerce will replace all bricks-and-mortar stores, we would say that retailers should start thinking of using their digital channels to augment and enrich their in-store experience.
SEO Ranking Factors Statistics
17) The average page on the first page of Google contains 1,860 words (Source, 2016). A longer article allows for better topical relevance. Google also prefers to rank pages that go in-depth into a particular topic rather than shallow articles.
18) 40 percent of shoppers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a retail or travel site (Source, 2012). Online users, especially mobile users, have little tolerance for slow loading pages. Page speed has also been an important ranking factor for the last few years.
19) Google hires around 10,000 search quality raters to manually rate quality of search results (Source, 2017). Google uses their input to improve their search algorithms.
20) The number of Referring Domains has a very strong influence on rankings (Source, 2016). Referring domains refers to the number of different domains that are linking to your website. Google prefers to see a particular website getting links from many other sites rather than a large number of links from fewer websites.
21) 57% of marketing influencers surveyed by Ascend2 claim that relevant content creation is their most efficient tactic (Source, 2016). Google is constantly looking for ways to return better results to their users search queries. They tend to reward websites that create high quality, in-depth content with better rankings and traffic.
22) The number of organic blue links on a typical search engine results page (SERP) has reduced from 10 to an average of 8.5 (Source, 2016). This was due to Universal Search results and Google’s inclusion of features such as the Knowledge Graph, Twitter Cards and so on. This means that there is going to be less and less space for organic search results, making it more competitive.