Our world is moving online. There are more people online (5.18 billion, over 60% of the wold population), more transactions occuring online, and more time spent online. As these numbers grow, so does the importance of understanding search engine optimization, or SEO.
So what can you do? How can you improve your online presence, ensure you rank in search results, and put your best foot forward online?
You must have an SEO strategy. Over 90% of pages on the web do not receive any organic traffic from search engines, and this comes down largely to where you rank in results. Regardless of how great you, your product, or your services are, if you do not have an SEO strategy, you will not have a strong online presence.
With over 50% of website traffic coming from organic search, and over 95% of consumers going online to learn more about businesses, showing up on page 1 of search results can have a significant impact on the reach and reputation of a brand, business, or public figure. Understanding, developing, and carrying out an effective SEO strategy can not only be beneficial, but is necessary in our digital world.
Here, I have compiled 91 SEO statistics to get you up-to-date on the latest trends, best practices, and factors to consider when it comes to refining your SEO strategy.
What is SEO?
SEO is the practice of implementing a combination of strategies to improve the ranking of your owned assets for relevant keywords in search engines.
If this definition didn’t help you, just think about when you Google something. When you search for anything, you will be brought to a results page. What ranks on that first page of results is Google’s attempt to answer your question and give you what you’re looking for. Google’s answers are heavily impacted by SEO, and having a strong SEO strategy can help increase your visibility, and thus your audience.
If you want to learn more about the best practices of SEO, read our guide here.
SEO Statistics for 2023
SEO is an ever-changing field. While learning the basics is vital for building a strong foundation, staying up-to-date on emerging trends, technologies, and updates is key to setting yourself apart, which is a cornerstone of SEO. With 90% of organizations reporting that they are prioritizing SEO this year, the importance of stay ahead of the curve cannot be overstated.
Search Engine and Results
SEO is all about where you show up in search results. Knowing what you’re working with is a great place to start.
- When people go online, they tend to start with a search - 93% of user experiences online begin with a search engine.
- There are several search engines out there - Google, Bing, Duck Duck Go, etc. But when we talk about search, we often say we’ll Google it. Google has become nearly synonymous with online search because Google has over 85% of the search market share.
- It probably won’t surprise you, then, that Google Chrome is also the most popular web browser with a 62.85% market share as of May 2023.
- Though the difference is small, this is actually a decrease from a 63.21% market share in 2021.
- There are nearly 100,000 Google searches per second. This adds up to roughly 8.5 billion searches per day.
- There are just over 1.1 billion websites online. Of these, over 80% are inactive, meaning that a fraction of these are updated, maintained, and visited.
- Have you ever wondered why Google shows you certain results over others? Google takes over 200 factors into account when it comes to where things rank in search results.
- Although Google ads and paid results occupy prominent positions on the Google results page, over 90% of users report skipping over these in favor of organic results.
- Over 50% of all website traffic comes from organic search. This is one of the most important statistics to keep in mind when considering the importance of SEO, as it highlights the importance of ranking well in search results to reach your target audience.
- Your concern should not only be about ranking, but where you rank. The top three results in Google account for nearly 55% of clicks.
- The #1 Google result gets 27.6% of clicks on its own and is 10 times more likely to receive a click than the #10 result.
- If you aren’t on the first page (top 10 results) of Google, you may as well be last. Only 0.63% (yes, you read that right) of users click on something past the first page of Google results.
- Let’s talk keywords (or search queries). 92.42% of keywords get ten monthly searches or fewer.
- On the other hand, 0.16% of the most popular keywords are responsible for 60.67% of all searches.
- When a website ranks well for one keyword, it is likely that it will rank well for several related keywords. In fact, the average top-ranking page for a particular keyword or search query also ranks in the top 10 search results for nearly 1,000 other relevant keywords.
- A majority of searches (over 70%) with a monthly search volume of more than 10,000 searches consist of only one or two words.
- That said, nearly 70% of searches in general contain four or more words.
- Up to a quarter of search queries are phrased as questions.
- Wrapping up this section, we’ll look at Google updates. These updates have a huge impact on SEO best practices and where things rank in results. 2023 has been a BIG year for Google updates (or so we think!). When it comes to updates, Google can play it close to the chest. Though there are generally several confirmed (and suspected) updates per year, different experts estimate that Google rolls out as many as 600 to 5,000 algorithm updates a year.
- That said, most updates that Google releases are small and won’t have a visible impact on results, unlike the more substantial updates.
- In 2023, there have been roughly four confirmed Google updates, the most recent being the August Broad Core Update.
Your website is your most valuable owned asset when it comes to SEO. How your website functions and draws in - or deters - visitors can have a massive impact on your clicks, ranking, and return users.
- Although on-page SEO matters (and it does, I promise), the most important ranking factor to determine where a page ranks in results is direct website visits (or, clicks and engagement).
- That said, loading time, site structure, and content quality can all have a significant impact on user experience, which Google has prioritized more and more in recent years.
- Nearly 90% of online users won’t return to a site after a bad experience, meaning user experience on your site should be a top priority.
- Let’s get into the details. Google prefers secure sites (or sites that use https). 81 of the top 100 sites on the web use https as their default.
- Loading time is one of the most important factors when it comes to user experience. 47% of users won’t wait longer than two seconds for a website to load.
- Over 25% of the top-ranking pages don’t have a meta description.
- This doesn’t mean meta descriptions don’t matter. Unique meta descriptions for each page can increase CTR by as much as 5.8%, as well as increase ranking potential for target keywords.
- Although meta descriptions can help you tell search engines and users what your page is about, they may not display exactly how you expect in search results. While a meta description occasionally populates as the snippet in Google results, Google rewrites snippets – thus, not displaying meta descriptions – 70% of the time.
- Over 55% of pages don’t have a single backlink. The more backlinks a page has, the more authority and traffic a website will receive, boosting the site in search results.
- Though backlinks aren’t exactly on-page, a backlink strategy is vital to improve the strength of your site. The top-ranking results in Google have 3.8 times more backlinks than those that rank below them.
Content and Media
Quality content is one of the most important pieces of an effective SEO strategy. Quality content can not only improve your website rankings, but can help you reach wider audiences, expand your online brand, and establish you as a reliable source of information in your industry.
- Businesses that publish regularly on their blogs get 350% more traffic than those that don’t keep up with their blogs.
- Additionally, businesses that update and republish old blog posts with new content and images can increase traffic by over 100%.
- It may be tempting to generate tons of content and publish quickly, but SEO content should always prioritize quality over quantity - otherwise, you can get lost in the sea of blog posts online. In 2023, 7.5 million blog posts are published every single day on WordPress sites alone, and this number is expected to continue to increase.
- Content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising. With the vast majority of users avoiding advertisements, it shouldn’t surprise you that quality content tends to lead to more clicks and higher credibility.
- Although people avoid online advertisements, the same isn’t true for sponsored content. Research has shown that consumers remember branded content twice as long as they remember a traditional advertisement.
- Consumers spend roughly 2.5 minutes reading sponsored articles on average, which is right around the same amount of time they spend reading editorial – or non-sponsored – pieces. What’s more, sponsored content can give your business the opportunity to build out backlinks, strengthening your site.
- When it comes to content length, you’ll want to go long - the top 10 results for most keywords have an average word count of roughly 1,450 words.
- Remember, though, that SEO is not only about doing everything right, but doing everything better than everyone else. When it comes to content, the longer, the better. Pieces between 2,000 and 3,000 words consistently outrank 1,000-word pieces, and the average content length of the #1 article in search results contains roughly 2,500 words.
- I love written content (obviously), but it is not the end-all-be-all when it comes to SEO. Video holds the #1 slot as the top performing form of media.
- Need proof? Video content is over 50 times more likely to rank organically on page 1 in Google than written content, and including videos on a website can increase time spent on page by 88%
- This is due, at least in part, to the engagement it receives, as videos have a 41% higher click-through rate (CTR) than plain text results.
- When it comes to video sharing and video platforms, YouTube is the top performer. It is the second most popular website with 74.8 billion average monthly visits and 2.7 billion monthly active users.
- That said, TikTok is on the rise, particularly among younger users, with 1 billion monthly users.
- YouTube, which was acquired by Google in 2006, ranks very well in Google search results, with 88% of the videos ranking in the top 10 results on Google ranking on YouTube for the same search.
- For businesses, YouTube content can prove invaluable. In a study shared by Google, 90% of users reported they discover new brands or products on YouTube.
- Don’t forget your keyword! 90% of the top ranking videos on YouTube include at least a part of the target keyword in the video’s title
- As with written content, you want to create video content that interests users. An analysis of over 1 million YouTube videos found that the number of comments, views, and shares have a strong correlation with higher YouTube rankings.
- Closed captions on your videos can also have a significant impact, increasing comments by up to 4%. This number is likely to increase, with more and more people watching videos with captions on. What’s more, captions increase the accessibility of your video content.
- Although written and video content are the top performing forms of media when it comes to SEO, images are not to be forgotten. Google Images accounts for over 20% of search queries, and images are returned for nearly 30% of search queries on Google.
- Roughly 70% of consumers report that the quality of a product image factors into whether or not they will purchase that product.
- Images can help written content perform better as well. Content with optimized images can increase user engagement by up to 90%, and updating old posts with new images can increase organic traffic by over 105%.
- When you include images, people are also more likely to remember what they read – content with a relevant featured image can increase recall up to 65%.
Since Google’s Mobilegeddon update, mobile search has only grown in importance when it comes to SEO. There are more and more mobile users signing on every day, and search is changing to accomodate them.
- Of the 5.18 billion people online, 4.97 billion (or 96%) access the internet via mobile devices.
- It’s already impressive that Google has roughly 85% of the search market share, but mobile numbers are even more impressive: Google captures nearly 95% of all mobile traffic.
- Over 92% of internet users access the internet through a mobile phone and nearly 60% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices.
- A website that is well-optimized for mobile will see other benefits; 80% of the top-ranking websites are optimized for mobile devices.
- Mobile users interact with search engines and results differently than desktop users. There is a greater drop off in clicks between results #1 and #2 from mobile users, meaning that position #1 is roughly three times more valuable than position #2 when it comes to mobile search.
- People are using their devices more and more when it comes to shopping online, with 40% of users reporting they prefer to use their phones for the entire shopping process.
- According to Google, smartphone users have a higher buyer intent than desktop users, and searches for product reviews have increased by over 30% over the last two years.
- With so many mobile users, mobile experience is more important than ever. Over 50% of users report that they are less likely to engage with a company again after a poor mobile experience, and users who have had a poor mobile experience are over 60% less likely to purchase from that brand in the future.
- That said, a positive experience can work in your favor. 74% of mobile users will return to a website if it is mobile-friendly, and users are 67% more likely to make a purchase if the website is mobile-friendly.
Nearly its own world, social media can have an impact on your overall SEO efforts, and can increase brand awareness, recognition, and audience engagement.
- SEO drives over 1000% more traffic than organic social media.
- But social media still serves a purpose. Since 2020, the number of social media users worldwide has grown from 3.6 billion to 4.9 billion. That’s over 62% of the population.
- In the United States, these numbers are even greater. There are 302.35 million American on social media, which is 90% of the US population.
- Additionally, the average amount of time spent on social media daily is much higher than time spent on any particular webpage.
- The most popular social media platforms as of January 2023 are Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
- Facebook is the most popular social media platform with 2.95 billion users – over 37% of the world’s population.
- Instagram just makes it into the top 4 most popular social media platforms with 2 billion users worldwide.
- 81% of Instagram users report using the platform to research products and businesses.
- 50% of Instagram users have visited a website to make a purchase after seeing a product or service on the platform.
- Linkedin has nearly 900 million members in over 200 countries worldwide.
- As of January 2023, Twitter had 556 million users worldwide (though, according to a Pew Research Center report, as much as 60% of Twitter users report “taking a break” from the platform in the past year).
- Although the social media giants remain in the top spots, some newer platforms are on the rise. TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users and BeReal has 73.5 million monthly active users.
Local search make up a significant portion of search queries, and for businesses that serve a certain population or region, or have brick and mortar establishments, understanding and leveraging local SEO is a key element of a successful strategy.
- 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information
- 97% of people learn more about local companies online than from any other resource.
- Over 30% of all mobile searches are location-specific.
- “Near me,” “where to buy,” and “close by” type searches are growing exponentially. “Near me” mobile queries have grown by over 200% in the past two years.
- The average business’s Google My Business listing is viewed over 1,200 times each month.
- That said, over 50% of local businesses have not claimed their business’s Google My Business listing. Without claming the listing, you cannot ensure that information is correct, and you may be missing opportunities when it comes to best presenting your business online.
- 42% of local searches involve clicks on the Google Map Pack, which is also related to your business’s Google My Business listing.
- When considering search intent, local businesses should consider voice search, as nearly 60% of consumers use voice search to find local businesses.
Technology changes, public interest changes, and how people interact online changes. To set yourself apart, you need to not only pay attention to the present, but to what is up ahead.
- ChatGPT currently has over 100 million users with over 1.5 billion monthly visits to the site. At the end of 2022, OpenAI took the SEO world by storm with the release of ChatGPT. AI has been an active conversation in SEO even prior to ChatGPT’s release regarding images, content, and automation of the more mundane processes; however, since ChatGPT joined the conversation, the presence of AI in SEO has exploded and will likely continue to grow.
- Although AI has not been fully incorporated by everyone in SEO, it’s getting there. Earlier this year, only 10% of marketers reported using AI for SEO content generation, but 60% reported that they aim to by the end of this year.
- Within the industry, it seems that AI is improving SEO performance. Over 67% of marketers that utilize AI for keyword research report having seen an increase in organic traffic and search ranking, nearly 64% report that using AI improved link-building strategies, and almost 80% report having seen an increase in website rankings and functionality when using AI for website analysis
- More people are using voice search when looking something up. Over 40% of the adults in the US use voice search daily.
- By 2025, the percentage of American households predicted to own a smart speaker is 75%.
- As I said, images are not to be forgotten. Image search is on the rise. This may be due in part to younger users – over 60% of Gen Z and Millennials prefer visual searching over other new technologies.
- Speaking of Millennials and Gen Z - these generations are using platforms such as YouTube and TikTok as search engines, particularly when it comes to how-to searches.
- Zero-click searches – or searches where the user does not click past the search results page – are becoming more common, due likely in part to featured snippets in Google SERPs. Currently, over 25% of searches result in no clicks.
- Over 30% of featured snippets come from the #1 organic result, but snippets are often pulled from any prominent results.
If you want to learn more about SEO, reputation, or how to best present yourself online, reach out to Status Labs for a free consultation.