It’s hard to find an online marketer who doesn’t consider SEO as the most effective form of inbound marketing strategy. Who would have thought that the rise of search engines, particularly Google, would give rise to a whole new industry whose value is approximated at $70 billion today? Any marketer who wants to penetrate the industry would do well by familiarizing himself with the latest SEO statistics.
Google Processes More Search Queries Now Than Ever
Only five years ago, Google processed 1.7 trillion searches. But in 2016, this number has ballooned to 3.5 trillion searches. It’s astonishing to witness such a remarkable growth, especially when you consider the fact that many social media platforms have emerged during the same period. Many people would find it surprising that search engines continue to be the leading traffic source for content sites, taking the edge over social media by a whopping 300%.
This statistic only proves how powerful search engines remain in terms of driving targeted traffic to websites. In fact, 66% of marketers agree that building their organic search presence is the most important thing they can do for their inbound marketing strategy. This point is emphasized by 85% of retailers who think that search marketing plays a crucial role in customer acquisition.
Search Traffic Leads to Conversions
What makes search engine optimization so compelling for marketers is that it has been shown to effectively increase conversion rates. Studies show that search traffic converts 10 times as much as social media traffic on desktops.
One reason to explain this huge discrepancy in conversion rates is the use of longtail keywords. These keywords contain four or more words. Targeting these search queries enable marketers to deliver the exact content potential customers look for.
Mobile is a Game-Changer
Did you know that 50% of people begin their search using a mobile device? Mobile searches have already surpassed desktop searches many years ago, and the gap is expected to increase going forward. Considering that the average user spends three hours a day on his or her smartphone, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a significant portion of this time is allotted to looking for products or services the user is interested in.
About half of mobile searches come from users who need local information including business hours, address, and directions. These local searches on mobile lead to sale within the same day 18% of the time. Any business who wants to drive traffic and boost conversions should start optimizing for local searches.
The Basics Remain the Same
These statistics can either be convincing or intimidating. On one hand, they prove that SEO has become a tougher field, especially with all the updates released by Google. It can also be just what you need to finally launch an SEO campaign for your site. But no matter how challenging the process seems, you can take comfort in the fact that the basics of SEO have remained the same amidst all the changes over the past few years.
A prime example is the power of links, which continue to be the most influential ranking factor for Google search rankings. Google doesn’t deny that backlinks are included in their top three ranking signals alongside content and RankBrain.
The SEO industry is gearing up to reach $100 billion in the next few years. It’s interesting to look back and remember how easy it was to rank on Google’s first page just by stuffing keywords in your content. Today, it has become a lot more complicated. But by mastering the basics and adapting to the constant changes in search algorithms, it’s possible for any marketer to succeed in the realm of SEO.