Organic search has the potential to capture more than 40 percent of your gross revenue. This was a statistic released by BrightEdge in 2014 – and yet it is still one of the frequently-cited stats that perfectly demonstrates the transformative power of search engine optimization (SEO).
Every business, regardless of size, needs SEO for its website. Whether you’re a small brick-and-mortar business looking for local leads or a multinational corporation expanding its influence, optimizing your website for organic search should be your priority because:
• The content you produce acts as a primary touchpoint in the customer journey.
• Optimization automates your lead generation efforts.
• You can build trust and credibility with your prospects and customers.
• It improves the user experience (UX) while browsing your website which satisfies Google too.
• It helps you establish a local presence within your community.
A well-rounded SEO strategy can transform your business in many different ways. Maximize the impact of your methods by looking at the search engine optimization stats we’ve compiled to help you keep track of the changes made to SEO through the years. Additionally, these stats will cover SEO benchmarking and SEO trends in 2021 to help you prepare for coming changes in the SEO landscape.
Let’s get started.
SEO Benchmarking Statistics
Before implementing your SEO strategies, it’s important to perform SEO benchmarking to create realistic goals based on the average numbers in your industry. See the following search engine stats below:
Top 10 Industries with the Highest Average Dwell Time (mins) (First Page Sage, 2021):
• College & Higher Education – 3:34
• Sales & Marketing – 3:31
• Solar Energy – 3:29
• PCB Design & Manufacturing – 3:10
• Medical Devices – 3:06
• Pharmaceuticals – 3:06
• Addiction Treatment – 3:06
• Legal Services – 3:02
• Industrial IoT – 2:57
• Oil & Gas – 2:55
Top 10 Industries with the Highest Bounce Rates (First Page Sage, 2021):
• Higher Education – 51%
• Construction – 47%
• IT Staffing & Services – 44%
• Solar Energy – 44%
• Legal Services – 44%
• HVAC Services – 43%
• Insurance – 41%
• Real Estate – 40%
• Addiction Treatment – 40%
• Financial Services – 39%
Top 10 Industries with the Highest Conversion Rates (First Page Sage, 2021):
• Legal Services – 7.5%
• IT Staffing & Services – 3.5%
• HVAC Services – 3.3%
• Medical Device – 3.1%
• Manufacturing – 3.0%
• Real Estate – 2.8%
• Solar Energy – 2.7%
• PCB Design & Manufacturing – 2.3%
• Industrial IoT – 2.2%
• eCommerce – 2.0%
General Search Engine Optimization Statistics
A fundamental aspect of SEO is understanding user behavior and the dynamics occurring in search engines. Take a look at the following search engine optimization stats for general search insights to help inform your strategy.
1. Among all traffic sources, organic search delivers the most traffic to websites, accounting for 53 percent of all web traffic (BrightEdge, 2019).
The findings from this study by BrightEdge show the incredible value that search engines still bring to any business website. According to the search stats published in the survey, search engines account for 68 percent of all web traffic, with 53 percent coming from organic search and the remaining 15 percent coming from paid search.
2. The average click-through rate (CTR) for the first entry on search engine results pages (SERPs) is 30.52 percent. The second entry gets 12.76 percent (Advanced Web Ranking, 2021).
If you’ve ever doubted the reason why you should target the top spot on organic search, perhaps these search engine stats can steer you in the right direction. The top entry on SERPs receives 30.52 percent of all clicks on the first page, while the second entry receives 12.76 percent – a discrepancy of 88.6 percent.
3. Google uses over 200 ranking factors in determining search rankings (Ahrefs, 2020).
Google uses a complicated algorithm that employs over 200 ranking factors to determine SERPs rankings, including technical SEO, backlinks SEO and user experience. Among these ranking factors, the quality of your content and your backlinks are considered the two most important signals.
4. About half of respondents to a marketing survey believe that organic search has the best ROI of any marketing channel (Search Engine Journal, 2018).
In a survey conducted by Search Engine Journal, more than 49 percent of respondents agreed that organic search is still the best digital marketing channel as it provides the highest return on investment (ROI).
Inbound Marketing Statistics
Inbound marketing – which includes SEO – is all about providing your customers with value through content. In this section, we share with you some stats that help you create a successful inbound marketing strategy.
1. The ideal blog post length is between 2,100 and 2,400 words (HubSpot, 2021).
Long-form content tends to perform well on SERPs. Many factors are at play here, including the number of backlinks they generate, the subject matter involved in the content, the quality of the content and the number of keywords that capture search intent.
2. Pages that typically rank at the top of SERPs generally rank in the top 10 for approximately 1,000 other keywords (Ahrefs, 2020).
Search engine optimization statistics show that the highest-performing SEO strategies are those that don’t just rank for a single keyword but other keywords, as well. SEO statistics 2021 reveal that the highest-ranking pages for one keyword are also in the top 10 for about 1,000 different keywords, which means web owners are optimizing web pages for not one but multiple keywords.
3. The quality of your content, your link profile and search intent are the top three ranking signals used by Google (MonsterInsights, 2021).
The search engine optimization statistics released by MonsterInsights highlight backlinks SEO as one of the most important ranking factors for SERPs. Ahrefs released their own search statistics that back up this claim, finding that roughly 91 percent of websites receive no organic traffic from Google. The reason? They found that 55.24 percent of their web pages didn’t have any backlinks. Make backlinks SEO a priority in your SEO strategy if you want your website to rank high on SERPs.
4. Optimizing and refurbishing old content improves organic traffic by as much as 106 percent (HubSpot, 2021).
Good news for marketers everywhere: It turns out that you don’t have to publish new content all the time. According to SEO statistics 2021, updating old content using new search stats, images or additional content boosts traffic to the page by as much as 106 percent.
Local SEO Statistics
Local SEO promises to positively impact businesses that depend on customers from their area, whether in the short or long term. As a local business owner, you can leverage local SEO statistics to make your business more visible in your area. Use the following local SEO statistics as a guide.
1. Queries including “where to buy” and “near me” through mobile have increased by 200 percent (Google, 2019).
“Where to buy” and “near me” searches are defined as searches that possess local intent. These types of searches, according to local SEO stats, also have high buying intent. Capturing these searches is good for franchise SEO and enterprise SEO if you want to boost sales for various locales.
2. More than 50 percent of searches that look for products and services “near me” lead to a physical store visit (MediaPost, 2018).
As mentioned above, “near me” searches have high buying intent. That’s why it’s no surprise local SEO stats show these types of searches lead to an actual in-store visit by the consumer.
3. Businesses that appear in the Local 3-Pack receive 5X as many views as those that don’t (MomentFeed, 2021).
The Google Local Pack is a collection of local businesses that Google deems as the most relevant to a search for a particular location. SEO statistics 2021 shared by Search Engine Watch revealed that users trust the listings on the Local Pack more than they do organic and paid search results, which means ranking here has the potential to make a positive impact on your franchise SEO efforts.
4. Among businesses that appear in the Local Pack, those ranked number two received about 19 percent more clicks than number one (MomentFeed, 2021).
Search statistics shared by MomentFeed reveal something interesting about the Local Pack. While SEO stats prove these results outperform organic and paid search results, search engine statistics also indicate that the number two spot has the highest performance, receiving 123 percent more clicks than the top organic search result. The third spot doesn’t fall far behind, with 112 percent more clicks, while the top spot receives the least amount of clicks overall at 104 percent.
Mobile & Technical SEO Statistics
With Google’s highly-anticipated Page Experience Update currently in the process of rolling out, user experience (UX) is now considered one of the most important ranking factors in SEO. That’s why you need to make sure your website is optimized for UX to improve your rankings on SERPs. Use the following search engine stats as a guide.
1. About 55 percent of global site traffic is generated by mobile devices (Statista, 2021).
The world is becoming increasingly mobile, with the number of mobile users across the globe currently sitting at 7.1 billion. Furthermore, it is estimated that this number will grow to 7.41 billion by 2024.
2. The first entry on SERPs on mobile receives 27.7 percent of clicks while receiving only 19.3 percent on desktop (seoClarity, 2021).
Mobile search typically outperforms desktop search, according to mobile SEO statistics 2021 shared by seoClarity. On mobile search, the top search result receives the highest number of clicks (a 27.7 percent share) compared to that of desktop search, whose top result only enjoys 19.3 percent of all clicks. This corresponds to a 43.5 percent increase in clicks, showing why you need to optimize your website for mobile users.
3. Smartphone users are more likely to purchase from a business offering custom features for their location in two out of three searches (Google, 2017).
Customization is the name of the game. Why? Smartphone users are more inclined to go with a business that adds custom features for their specific location. Sadly, these SEO stats are meaningless, as the features won’t matter if your website doesn’t load as fast as it should because…
4. The probability of a bounce increases by 32 percent if page load speed increases from one second to three seconds. It goes up by 90 percent if load speed increases to five seconds (Google, 2018).
Technical SEO is one of the most underrated aspects of franchise SEO. Most consumers end up looking for a different website if your website takes more than three to five seconds to load. You should look at various optimization options, like finding a better host, compressing web elements or using a content delivery network (CDN).
eCommerce SEO Statistics
For eCommerce businesses, organic search should be a key component of their lead generation strategy because it automates traffic generation while keeping costs to a minimum. Fuel your lead generation strategy on organic search using the SEO stats below.
1. More than half of shoppers say they extensively research products on a search engine before ultimately deciding on a purchase (Google, 2017).
Consumers will always want to make the best decision. That’s why they spend plenty of time looking for information about brands they want to do business with. This search for information presents a big opportunity for eCommerce SEO. Create content that fulfills their need for attention to bring traffic to your eCommerce website and attract leads to your business.
2. An astounding 94 percent of people rely on explainer videos to learn more about a product they’re interested in (HubSpot, 2021).
From the same study, 84 percent of those who viewed explainer videos were swayed to make a purchase. Including video content in your eCommerce SEO strategies can boost conversions while simultaneously improving your eCommerce website’s performance on organic search.
SEO Trends for 2021
Future-proof your business by keeping track of the latest trends in SEO that could potentially impact your rankings.
Core Web Vitals Set to Impact Google Rankings
Core Web Vitals was announced by Google last year as a set of factors that can be used to measure a web page’s overall UX. Now, these metrics are a new Google ranking factor rolling out as of June 15. It is one of the most important SEO trends to come out in recent years, which is poised to impact rankings significantly. To know more about Core Web Vitals and how to prepare your business for this update better, check out our comprehensive guide.
Voice Search Is Impacting User Search Behavior
Search stats show that voice-enabled smart devices are starting to take over our homes. TechCrunch estimates that by 2022, 55 percent of households in the U.S. will own at least one of these devices. With this takeover, these devices are poised to change SEO. Earlier voice search statistics revealed that around 75 percent of voice search results will rank in the top three and will be answered by rich text snippets. But more than that, voice search statistics say that 62 percent of users use their voice assistants before making a purchase. Here are some tips on how to optimize for voice search:
• Improve your website’s load speed.
• Optimize your content with long-tail keywords using natural language.
• Integrate content that could be featured in rich snippets.
• Follow local SEO stats and optimize your website for local search.
Zero-Click Searches Are on the Rise
A zero-click search happens when a user doesn’t click through to any web page after a search. This occurs when the user acquires the answer to their query from meta descriptions or from featured snippets, which occupy “position zero” of SERPs.
According to SEO stats 2021, zero-click searches happen in more than 50 percent of queries. One reason for this increase is the rising popularity of voice search, as mentioned in the voice search statistics above.
So, what’s the best way to prepare for the rise of zero-click searches? Integrating content that directly answers questions to increase the likelihood of capturing the featured snippet.
Whether you’re looking for help in local or enterprise SEO, we hope that our SEO stats 2021 guide was able to provide you with valuable insights to guide your strategy. This search engine statistics compilation was created to give you ideas to help bolster your rankings. Use the ideas you gleaned from our SEO stats 2021 compilation to optimize your website and attract your target customers.
In recent years, many changes in SEO were introduced that we are now starting to feel in 2021. Keeping track of these changes is essential when developing a data-driven SEO strategy. SEO is a dynamic industry where you have to pay attention to trends and search engine statistics to ensure your optimization efforts lead to results. But that doesn’t always happen, and in an industry that’s ever-changing, it’s easy to get left behind. In those cases, Thrive is here to offer our support.
Thrive Internet Marketing Agency is a full-service SEO agency that offers enterprise SEO and other SEO services to bring success to your brand. We help you leverage the potential of these search engine optimization stats and more to connect you with your target audience and grow your brand. Get in touch with us through these channels to automate your lead generation activities through our SEO services.