As the number of people online grows, the impact of the digital world does as well. Not only does our online presence have bearing on our “real world” presence but, more and more, our online reputation precedes us. With more people logging on by the second, having a handle on the digital world is a necessity in 2021.

Here, we compiled the 77 most important statistics for SEO and online reputation to get you up to date in 2021.

General

  • As of January 2021, 4.66 billion people – nearly 60% of the world’s total population – use the internet. 

User Data

  • 319 million of these users came online in the past twelve months – a near 7% increase. This is almost 875,000 new users each day. 
  • The average global internet user spends almost 7 hours online every day. 

Searching

Who is searching, what people are searching for, and what they hope to find are foundational to understanding SEO.

  • As of January 2021, Google Chrome is the world’s most popular web browser, with a global market share of 63.21%. 
  • Additionally, Google has more than 90% of web search volume.
  • Organic Search makes up 53.3% of website traffic. 
  • When combined with Paid Search, this traffic increases to 68%. 

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  • Regarding revenue results, Organic Search maintains its top position with 44.6%, though the lead is less dramatic than with traffic. According to BrightEdge, this could be attributed to the role of search engines in initial searches for answers – users “may be more likely to use other channels when they have a better understanding of the problems, solutions, and providers available.”
  • 90.63% of pages get no organic search traffic from Google.
  • While this number seems incredibly high, it’s important to note that there are about 6 billion indexed web pages, meaning millions do get organic search traffic. 
  • 92.42% of keywords get ten monthly searches or fewer.
  • 0.16% of the most popular keywords are responsible for 60.67% of all searches.
  • 70.87% of keywords with a search volume of more than 10,000 monthly searches consist of only one or two words, and 13.53% of keywords with 10 or fewer monthly searches consist of only one or two words.
  • That said, 69.7% of searches contain four or more words.
  • Roughly 8% of search queries are phrased as questions. 

Results

It nearly goes without saying that ranking in search results matters – the numbers emphasize just how much.

  • It is estimated that there are 3.5 billion searches on Google each day. 
  • The #1 result in Google’s search results has an average click-through rate (CTR) of 31.7%. 
  • Together, the top 3 search results in Google get 75.1% of all clicks. 
  • On the other side of things, only 0.78% of Google search users clicked on results from page two.
  • CTR increases at positions #3 and #5 before dropping significantly, with another slight bump at #10. This is likely due to users scanning the first few results before scrolling to the bottom of the page. 
  • Moving up a single position in Google results can increase relative CTR by 30.8%; however, this is not an even distribution, as some increases have more value than others.

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  • Despite the value of ranking well in results, 61.5% of desktop searches and 34.4% of mobile searches result in no-clicks. 
  • Only 5.7% of pages will rank in the top 10 search results within a year of publication, with the average age of a page in the top 10 coming in at 2+ years old.
  • The average top-ranking page for a particular keyword or search term also ranks in the top 10 search results for almost 1,000 other relevant keywords.
  • 12.29% of search queries have featured snippets in their search results.

Mobile Searches

More users are searching from their phones, increasing the importance of considering the mobile experience when considering results.

  • The number of smartphone users worldwide has jumped from 2.5 billion in 2016 to 3.8 billion in 2021.
  • Over 52% of website traffic worldwide comes from mobile phones. 
  • Although unique mobile users are currently growing at a rate of only 1.8% per year, hundreds of millions of people have upgraded to smartphones in the past 12 months.
  • The number of smartphones in use is growing at a rate of 7% per year, with an average of more than 1 million new smartphones coming into use every day. 
  • #1 results get 27.7% of mobile users’ clicks, as opposed to only 19.3% of desktop users’ clicks.
  • However, there is a greater dropoff in CTR between results #1 and #2 from mobile users than desktop users, with position two only receiving 9% of clicks. This means that position 1 in search results is 3 times more valuable than position two for mobile. 

Local Searches

The number of online users searching for local results is also on the rise, and can have a large impact on local businesses.

  • 80% of consumers use search engines to find local information. 
  • 46% of Google searches are looking for local information.
  • 30% of mobile searches are looking for local information.
  • “Near me” or “close by” type searches are growing exponentially.
  • 92% of online searchers will choose businesses on page 1 of local search results.
  • 97% of people learn more about local companies online than from any other resource.
  • 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact local businesses that have websites optimized for mobile users.
  • Local searches result in purchases 28% of the time.
  • Mobile devices are projected to influence more than $1.4 trillion in local sales in 2021. 

Social Media

  • As of January 2021, global social media users reached 4.20 billion. That is over 53% of Earth’s population. 
  • This number is projected to increase to at least 4.4 billion by 2025.
  • Roughly 90% of internet users already use social media each month. 
  • The average global user spends roughly 2 hours and 25 minutes on social media every day. 
  • Over the past 12 months, the number of social media users has increased by more than 13%. 
  • More than 90 million new users have joined social media since early 2020, coming out to more than 1.3 million new users logging on every day.
  • As of January 2021, the most popular social media platform is Facebook, with 2.74 billion users. Close behind are YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram, with Reddit, Twitter, and Quora just making the list at around 300 million users.

Media and Content

While written content is still key to SEO, other forms of media are on the rise when it comes to impacting search results.

  • Video is the #1 content strategy, pulling ahead of blogs, images, and infographics.
  • YouTube engagement – views, likes, comments, views, and shares – has a strong correlation with higher rankings.
  • Over 68% of YouTube results on page 1 are HD videos.
  • Page 1 YouTube videos have an average length of just under 15 minutes.
  • While videos currently occupy the #1 content spot, images are not to be forgotten. Google Images accounts for over 20% of search queries.
  • Over 60% of Gen Z and Millennials prefer visual searching over other new technologies.
  • Written content is not to be forgotten – 57% of marketing executives cite on-page content development as the most effective SEO tactic.
  • The average length of top-ranking content in Google search results is roughly 2,400 words.
  • Updating and republishing old blog posts with new content and images can increase traffic by over 100%.

On-Page SEO

Optimizing your own website can have a significant impact on ranking in search engine results and the user experience.

  • Despite the fact that, generally, the more backlinks a page has, the more organic traffic it gets from Google, 66.31% of pages have no backlinks.
  • 43.7% of the top-ranking pages have some reciprocal links.
  • Titles with questions have a 14.1% higher CTR than titles without. This could be attributed to the wording of searches, as users often use search engines to find answers to specific questions.
  • There is a 45% increase in CTR for pages with a perfect match to the search query (in the URL) compared to non-match (where none of the search query is matched in the URL). 
  • Although “emotional” titles, or those with clear positive or negative sentiment, tend to have higher CTRs than neutral titles, those that include “Power Words” – high intensity, descriptive adjectives – have a 13.9% worse CTR than those that don’t. “Power Words” may have more success on social media platforms than search engine results. 
  • Titles between 15 to 40 characters have the highest organic CTR. This is likely due to how they display in results, as titles that are too long can be cut off. 
  • Similarly, 40.61% of pages have meta descriptions that truncate in results, indicating that these descriptions may be too long.
  • 25.02% of top-ranking pages don’t have a meta description. 
  • That said, never underestimate meta descriptions. Unique meta descriptions for each page can increase CTR by as much as 5.8%, as well as increase ranking potential for target keywords. 
  • Meta descriptions only show up in Google search results 37.22% of the time. They show up more for fat-head keywords (40.35% of the time) and less often for long-tail keywords (34.38% of the time).

Reviews

The impact of reviews on online reputation is increasing. For a more in-depth look at reviews, check out our last post here

  • 87% of consumers read reviews online for local businesses in 2020. This was a 6% increase from 2019, and a 20% increase from 2010.
  • 79% of online users report trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family.
  • While 63% of users reported referencing Google reviews, the most popular review platform, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is considered the most trusted online review platform. 
  • 72% of US consumers reported having written an online review in 2020, a 6% jump from 2019.
  • 63% of online users have written a positive review.
  • And these positive reviews have an impact – 94% of consumers report that positive reviews make them more likely to use a business
  • 32% of online users have written a negative review.
  • And, as with positive reviews, the impact of negative reviews can be substantial, with 92% of consumers less likely to frequent a business after reading negative reviews.
  • Only 48% of online users would consider using a business with an average rating under 4 stars, and only 19% of online users would consider a business with fewer than 3.
  • 73% of consumers report that they only pay attention to reviews written in the last month, and 50% report that they only read reviews posted in the last two weeks.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a significant impact on businesses, with 67% of consumers reporting that they would not use a business if reviews said that COVID-19 health and safety measures were not in place.

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