If you own a website, you’ve probably heard the term “SEO” kicked around or already use SEO already in some capacity. SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It’s a tool that you can use to make your website more likely to show up when someone Googles a relevant search term.
For example, if you own a ski supply shop and your website is where your customers can buy skis and ski accessories, you can use SEO tools to make it more likely that your shop will appear in Google search results when someone enters “downhill skis for kids” in the search bar. Using SEO successfully can be difficult, especially for website owners without experience in curating an online presence.
If you’ve just begun to use SEO tools or haven’t dipped your toe into it yet, you may find yourself asking, “is SEO worth it?” The short answer to that question is, absolutely. In fact, many website owners find their online traffic increases significantly with consistent SEO work.
We can talk all day about how Google and other search engines operate and why SEO is a critical tool to use if you want increase traffic from searches, but you don’t have to understand all the nuances and intricacies of search engine algorithms to see the answer to “is SEO worth it?” as a resounding yes. The numbers alone speak to this. In fact there are hundreds of statistics that show just how impactful SEO practices are on an internet-wide scale. Let’s cover just ten of the thousands of stats that show just how much SEO is worth it.
#1 – The first page of search results makes up 67.60% of all clicks.
Google pulls up a list of 10 organic webpage results (not including advertisements, images, videos, shopping results, or snippets). Those 10 results are almost 70% of every page ever clicked on. If your site is not showing up on the first page, there is a very low chance of a user clicking on it. In fact, the majority of users will try different search terms to find what they are looking for rather than clicking through the pages of a Google result. Because of this, it’s essential to have high-quality content with specific SEO keywords that lead people to your page in the first 10 results.
#2 – 90.63% of internet-wide content gets zero traffic from Google.
This means that only 9.37% of web content will ever show up in the search results. Let’s break this down. Google is the primary search engine used in the US, so it is typically used as the golden standard for SEO stats. This might mean part of that 90.63% is showing up through other search engines, but most likely it means it’s only being linked directly (a URL is typed directly into the search bar), it’s linked through other sites through what’s called a “backlink,” or it’s almost never seen. To be in that 9.37% of search results, you have to use SEO tools to your advantage.
#3 – Generating new content, such as blog posts, regularly can increase organic traffic to your site by as much as 106%.
Google and most other search engines favor sites that update content as often as possible. For many website owners, this can be achieved with a blog that is posted to as often as possible. One trick to getting new content posted on your website is to link social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to your blog. Every time you update any one of these, Google will see it as new content if it’s linked to your website blog.
#4 – Studies show that buyers do 70% of their research online before even opening up a sales conversation.
Using the same ski shop example, this means a potential buyer is searching for reviews, comparing options, and overall searching for 70% of all information they will receive before buying a pair of skis. Because of this, you want your website to be in the search results they find. Ideally, you want to establish backlinks from review websites, hashtags, shoutouts with your company tagged on social media, and other SEO tools that open the door more for your customer to find all the information they need online.
#5 – 2019 reports show that Google accounts for 75% of searches out of all other search engines.
In comparison, Bing is used 9.97%, Yahoo is used 2.77%, and Baidu is used 9.34% worldwide. That significant difference means you should be committing the majority of your SEO use to Google specifications. So, instead of muddling around several different search engine algorithms, you just have to focus on Google’s.
#6 – Google uses over 200 factors to create its search algorithm.
This means there is an extremely broad range of keywords and search terms taken into account when a user enters something into the search bar, as well as other factors like metadata, site speed, and “fresh” (or new) content. Since Google is the primary search engine used, you need to conform to how that algorithm can affect search results for your website. Fortunately, because Google is so heavily used, you really only need to understand their algorithm and absorb the valuable information that is publicly available on Google Support.
#7 – 70% of marketing experts have found SEO to be a more effective tool than PPC.
PPC (pay-per-click) is a marketing tool that Google and other search engines offer. While this tool does tend to place ad content at the top of a search, the competition is still high amongst marketers. Additionally, users are less likely to click on ad marked content (70%-80% of users ignore paid results). Users want organic results because they tend to be more specific to the search terms, thanks to SEO, and because they appear more genuine than a paid result.
In addition, here’s the other big advantage to organic SEO over PPC:
Organic SEO builds equity in your site. That is, you hold onto the value you invest in your high-quality site content; it continues to generate returns and becomes a foundation to build on.
With PPC campaigns, when your campaign budget is spent, that’s all money in Google’s pocket — not invested in your site.
#8 – Using voice recognition to search resulted in 40.7% of featured snippets.
Users are increasingly using voice recognition technology like Siri to perform Google searches. Nearly half of these results were pulled from a website snippet. Snippets are very useful, easy to generate SEO tools. Google Support offers instructions on how to build snippets into your site.
#9 – 50% of searches are queries of four or more terms.
Users want specifics, and they’ll type in exactly what they want in hopes of finding it on the first page of results. This means using SEO to connect queries to your site with the right keyword strings can improve your chances of showing up on the first page. For your hypothetical ski shop, one query example might be “light blue downhill skis.” If you can establish that and many similar search terms on your site, you can continually increase Google’s attention to your store.
#10 – Bounce back results are 50% more likely if your site takes more than two seconds to load.
You should be using SEO to make your website clutter-free, fast loading, and accessible. If your website takes too long to load (two seconds is a long time on the internet clock), users will most likely bounce back to other search results or start another search. You need to implement technical SEO techniques to optimize your site for loading speed.
Is SEO Worth It?
There are many other numbers, reports, and Google-led reviews that all show how SEO can truly affect your site’s prevalence in search results. To learn more about how we can answer the question “is SEO worth it?” contact MLT Group at (507) 281-3490, firstname.lastname@example.org, or online today.