The ever-growing dependence on technology, like anything in life, includes pros and cons. Technology has made it easier for us to communicate than ever before. It has made the world smaller, increasing global reach and expanding the pool from which companies can do business. These are great things.
Technology (and the internet) has also made it easier for people to gather information, which on the surface is a great thing; the answer to any question you may have is right at your fingertips. The problem lies in people’s propensity to believe everything they read on the World Wide Web, which is dangerous and a slippery slope.
No matter how advanced technology gets, one thing will remain unchanged: statistics, actual facts and figures, from reputable sources will ALWAYS win out.
This is going to be a relatively short post in which I lay out some important statistics as they relate to SEO. I also include the takeaway/benefit to you, the reader, in hopes that you learn something that will improve your digital marketing efforts. As esteemed hip-hop artist Jay-Z so effectively put it: “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.”
#1 89% of customers begin their buying process with a search engine.
Takeaway: 9 out of 10 people visit Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., once they decide they need/want to buy something. Used to, people would go visit the store that carries the product or service that they want to buy, and browse the products (or services) in person. Now, people are doing internet research before they set foot in their car. If these prospects can’t find you on search engines, they’ll be buying from businesses that they CAN find: your SEO-invested competitors.
#2 The top organic result still captures about the same amount of click activity (32.8%) as it did in 2005. However, with the addition of new SERP elements, the top result is not viewed for as long, or by as many people.
Takeaway: In the last 11 years, not much has changed for that prestigious #1 spot on Google; it still gets around the same amount of click activity, BUT searchers are bouncing (not staying very long). The main thing you should take away from this is that you need to give SEO a shot, because you no longer need to get allllllllllllll the way up to the number one spot in Google. If you are consistent with your SEO efforts and make it to the 1st page, you are going to grow your website traffic tremendously. “If you’re not first, you’re last” could be changed to “If you’re not on the first page of a SERP (Search Engine Results Page), you’re last” when it comes to SEO.
#3 Organic results that are positioned in the 2nd through 4th slots now receive a significantly higher share of clicks than in 2005.
Takeaway: Piggybacking off the above point, simply getting into the top 4 is good enough to see significant increases in website traffic. There are many other scenarios that could explain the second, third and fourth results getting more clicks over the last 11 years, but the main takeaway is that you no longer need to rank the highest on a SERP to get some action; ranking on the first page (and more specifically, in the top 4 slots), is an SEO victory.
#4 Lead generation (cited by 61% of corporate marketers) and Web site traffic (57%) are the top SEO objectives for marketers at enterprise companies in 2015. 54% want to improve traffic conversion rates. Just 24% cited attributing sales and revenue to SEO as a top goal.
Takeaway: People are understanding (correctly, I might add) that the main objective of SEO is to gain more website visitors and increase leads. SEO efforts cannot guarantee you more sales; there are many factors that affect the process of converting website visitor to paying customer. But if you focus on SEO, you are becoming more visible to your target audience, your brand is gaining more exposure, and you are consistently filling the top of your sales funnel. Don’t invest in SEO to achieve more sales and revenue, because that isn’t the main goal. Invest in SEO to expose your business to people who are actively searching for your product or service. Over time, you will increase sales and revenue because of your SEO effort.
#5 50% of search queries are 4 words or longer.
Takeaway: 1 out of 2 searchers are having success finding what they are looking for by searching phrases or questions, not just words. So, instead of searching “Accountants Charlotte”, you could search “Tax and Bookkeeping Accounting Firm Charlotte”. The stats show you have a good shot of finding what you are looking for. As a business, this means targeting long-tail keywords with your SEO efforts.
#6 88% Of Consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Takeaway: You better do a good job for your customers, or else. Before Yelp, Amazon, Craigslist, etc., people would complain to their friends and family about how terrible a product or service was. Even if their friends and family told someone else, the reach pales mightily in comparison to how many visitors see online reviews. As stated above, 89% of people visit search engines to start their buying process. A good amount of those searches are to find your product or service, and it has become standard to include reviews attached to every aspect of online shopping. Be sure to take care of your customers, offer a great product or service, because if you can ensure outstanding reviews online, you will guarantee yourself more customers.
#7 For every $92 spent acquiring customers, only $1 is spent converting them.
Takeaway: Businesses understand the importance of acquiring customers; getting people in the door, getting visitors to their website, etc. But they neglect an incredibly vital part of marketing and only do half of what’s required to reach their goal: the don’t CONVERT these visitors. If you want to grow your business, chances are you can’t cash in website clicks. You need to have a lead-capture form on your website and include a call-to-action to your visitors, to ensure they don’t just visit your website, admire the fonts and colors, and go elsewhere. Gaining exposure to your business and brand is the first step, but be sure not to just stop there.
#8 72% of marketers say relevant content creation was the most effective SEO tactic.
Takeaway: CONTENT IS KING. Content Marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand, and you can’t hope to be successful in one without the other. Create and curate helpful, consistent content to build an online audience. This will build trust in your knowledge of the industry, and they will want to see what you can help them with. Cha-ching.
#9 Google produced 86% of all organic search visits in the US and 90% of mobile organic search visits.
Takeaway: Google is THE search engine. Don’t neglect Yahoo, Bing, etc., but Google has an impressive track record of searches and ranking with them should be your number one priority when it comes to SEO (duh).
#10 Organic search drives 51% of all visitors to business-to-business and business-to-consumer Web sites, whereas paid-search drives 10% and social 5%.
Takeaway: I always talk about how SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Paid-search is a sprint. If you want to get consistent, sustainable website visitors and lead flow, you MUST invest in SEO. Paid-search can be used as a supplement from time-to-time, but it is nothing more than a temporary solution. Investing in SEO will rank you organically, ensuring long-lasting placement and consistency in the long-run.
#11 Business address/location is the primary piece of information sought by local searchers.
Takeaway: People want to know where you are located, so be sure to have a Google business page. Also make sure your address is prominently placed on your website, so that it’s easy to find. Searchers, just like most humans, are lazy, so they won’t spend a ton of time searching for your address. Make it easy for them and you should see more visitors face-to-face ready to buy.
#12 18% Of Local Mobile searches led to a sale in just one day.
Takeaway: Be sure to have an effective, mobile-friendly website because 2 out of 10 people searching for your on their phones will buy from you that day. If they can’t find you on SERPS, these customers will buy from your competitors that same day. Also, mobile-friendly websites help with SEO, so it’s a win-win.
#13 The top challenges in SEO are link building (cited by 41% of corporate marketers) and keyword research (39%).
Takeaway: Even professionals struggle with vital components of SEO and marketing; luckily for you, Lexco doesn’t. Visit us at www.LexcoDigital.com to get SEO help today (shameless plug)!