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21 Most Surprising SEO Statistics from the Pros in 2021

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SEO statistics

If you work in marketing, you are aware of how valuable it can be to arm yourself with the data you need to make persuasive arguments. Statistics are a great way to share bite-sized information with clients or management that can persuade them to take action on marketing initiatives that will propel their business forward toward success. Search engine optimization is one way to bring in many more potential customers and increase conversions. Here are twenty-one of the most surprising and interesting SEO statistics that professional marketers find valuable.

PERCENTAGE OF CLICKS FROM THE FIRST PAGE OF SEARCH RESULTS

The #1 result in Google gets 31.7% of all clicks. (Source)

The reason this stat is so important is that as SEOs we all strive for improved rankings, however, improved rankings alone will not improve/increase organic traffic. Improved rankings to the top of page one (of Google) for relevant queries will improve/increase traffic. Jumping from position 5 to 3 is great, but when you go from 3 to 1 is when you can really expect to see CTR increase and traffic take off (assuming the query has such demand). It just goes to show that the #1 position can truly be the difference between a massive traffic increase or not.

tim duganTim Dugan
VP of SEO
Zero Gravity Marketing

On the first page alone, the first five organic results account for 67.60% of all the clicks. (Source)

It is good to stay on top. Especially when being in the top 5 organic results means you have high visibility and are likely to have prospective consumers visit your page. The rules of SEO are simple: if you are not growing, you’re stagnating. It is extremely important for marketers to continue to be creative and work on improving search ranking to gain more organic traffic.

Pratik Jain
Founder
OutreachBolt

70-80% of users ignore the paid ads, focusing on the organic results. (Source)

Move over SEM, it’s SEO’s time to shine! This statistic stood out to me among the others, because it highlights the importance of SEO itself. Paid search can help a company attract new customers, but if 70-80% of users are skipping over the paid ads to view the organic results, it’s time to change up your marketing strategy. Focusing your time and energy on improving your company’s SEO to rank higher in the SERP will be more effective than Paid Search Marketing. Start by optimizing your website load speeds, keywords, and building links off-site and watch your company’s website clicks and conversions skyrocket.

Aaron McWilliamsAaron McWilliams
Director of Marketing
1Dental

75% of users don’t even click on Page 2 of search engine results. (Source)

Recent studies have shown that 75% of users don’t even click on Page 2 of search engine results. That’s a huge amount of traffic to be missing out on if you fail to make the first page!

Deepak ShuklaDeepak Shukla
Founder
Pearl Lemon SEO

TYPES OF SEARCHES

Out of the billions of daily searches on Google, 15% of them are new searches. (Source)

We’re talking about hundreds of millions of queries that have never been searched for – every single day. This provides an incredible amount of opportunity to find new keywords and queries to target and serve, and this can impact any niche out there.

As SEOs, it’s important to monitor activities such as keyword research on a regular basis, since there will always be upcoming searches and/or trends to be targeted. And, of course, this statistic came right from the horse’s mouth, making it imperative for SEOs to look for new ways to serve their audiences.

Itamar BlauerItamar Blauer
SEO Consultant

29% of long-tail keywords have a search volume of over 10k a month. (Source)

[This statistic] suggests that the association between long-tail keywords and low traffic is a false one. There will likely be industries where longer tail keywords have higher search volume than the assumed “head terms”.

As is so often the case, the actionable insight that we can take from this is quite a boring one – to keep on testing targeting different keywords in your title tags and copy and to monitor traffic on Google Search Console to see what phrases are actually bringing in traffic to your pages.

Oli GrahamOli Graham
Marketing Manager
RightlyWritten

69.7% of searches on Google are for keywords that contain four or more words. (Source)

This is surprising, because we tend to associate longer tail keywords with low volume searches. A lot of SEOs assume that it is only worth actively chasing longer tail keywords if the commercial intent is very high or if the search itself exactly matches the audience that we want to bring onto our site.

Oli Graham
Marketing Manager
RightlyWritten

It’s quite surprising that people are more engaged in searching with four words or more, which means they are probably typing in their exact query in an actual question format such as “How to sew a hole etc.” At first, I thought it’s more fitting to just search for the keyword, but now, with this latest SEO stat, I assume that people are more likely to ask Google or other search engines as if they are talking with an actual person.

What I learned with this new stat is that we should be more mindful in creating titles, and instead of making them fit in a standard, full of hifalutin words, it’s better to label them with simple tags, one that’s search-friendly. With keywords, there are a thousand articles that will flash up to their screens, and it will be ranked accordingly, but putting question type titles that are specific and fitting to how consumers usually type questions, will give your content an advantage in ranking.

Sandra MatthewsSandra Matthews
Marketing Specialist
The Product Analyst

One of the most interesting and surprising SEO statistics is that 69.7% of search queries contain four words or more, according to Ahrefs (number 6 of Top SEO Statistics). This surprises me as I thought more users would be hasty in wanting an answer and would therefore use as little words as possible. I probably thought the figure would be closer to a 50/50 split.

However, it’s a great stat for people doing SEO as it proves that there are likely to be several long-tail keyword opportunities to target. This means users are being more specific about what they want, which you can use to try and provide a better answer to their problem. Long-tail keywords also have lower competition in general too.

Adam Lumb
EN Site Manager
Cashcow Ltd

“Where to buy” + “near me” mobile queries have grown by over 200% in the past two years. (Source)

Why: The continued growth of “where to buy” and “near me” queries on mobile reinforces some of the most trending SEO best practices in recent years: Be hyper-focused on local and cater to the mobile market. As mobile users continue to become the lion’s share of website traffic, it’s becoming increasingly important to meet the consumer where they’re at – and as quickly as possible.

James BowenJames Bowen
Founder/CEO
Ripen Digital

IMPORTANCE OF MOBILE

60% of all Google searches are done through a mobile device. (Source)

This statistic lets us know that mobile phones have growing relevance in our society and the marketing landscape. This means that as a business you need to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and can be navigated on a cellular device with no issues and restrictions to make sure that the customer gets the full benefit of the website once they find it through their google search. It is also important to let us know that we need to look more towards the mobile traffic keywords to better gear the marketing towards the relevant customers.

Omair KhanOmair Khan
Outreach Consultant
Avidon Marketing Group

52.2% of all website traffic worldwide comes from mobile phones. (Source)

Optimizing your site for mobile search is crucial since mobile devices are the primary connection of people to the internet nowadays. Consumers want answers fast and tend to get impatient easily when they don’t have immediate access to what they need. Integrating your website to a more responsive design that loads fast and is easy to navigate will make sure that consumers will get the best user experience on any device, which will significantly affect how they perceive your brand’s value and the amount of time they spend browsing your content.

Bradley KeysBradley Keys
Marketing Director
PatchMD

52.2% of web traffic is generated from mobile phones. What this means is that webmasters have to optimize content to mobile phones’ screens and standard specs. Also, curating more short-form posts, as opposed to long-form content, will go a long way in tapping into the mobile market. At the same time, mobile users drive over 65% and 59% of traffic in Asia and Africa respectively. This is an eye opener to platforms that target these regions.

Swati ChalumuriSwati Chalumuri
Owner
hearmefolks.com

57% of users would not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile website. (Source)

This lets us know that building upon the previous statistic, mobile has become very important in the current digital and marketing landscape. Any business needs to ensure that its website, and all media that consumers can interact with, are mobile-friendly to ensure that consumers do not have issues by any means. This will allow them to find the company easily and also allow them to find all the information they need on the website to get the proper knowledge.

Omair Khan
Outreach Consultant
Gigworker

IMPORTANCE OF VIDEO CONTENT

Having video content on your website increases your chances of landing a front page spot by 53%. (Source)

I’m a huge believer in the power of videos when it comes to SEO. Reading that having video content on your website increases your chances of landing a front page spot by 53% definitely backs me up.

Deepak Shukla
Founder
Pearl Lemon SEO

Video is currently the #1 form of media used, overtaking other forms of content like blogs and infographics. (Source)

One of the factors Google looks at to determine search rankings is the amount of incoming traffic a website has. As people are wired into their devices and social media platforms now more than ever, creating valuable video content of your brand on these platforms is shown to have a higher probability of generating traffic towards your website than any other type of content. Not only that, but videos also have a higher chance of keeping people who visit your site to stay longer. By increasing the amount of time people spend on your site, it will significantly boost your brand’s online visibility and help search engines like Google in boosting your content to a higher search ranking.

Bradley Keys
Marketing Director
PatchMD

IMPORTANCE OF VOICE SEARCH

By 2022 it is expected that 55% of all homes will have a smart speaker. (Source)

OC&C Strategy Consultants stated that by 2022 it is expected that 55% of all homes will have a smart speaker. The impact of this on SEO is huge, although presently it has predominantly affected local searches, its effect will grow on e-commerce platforms as well as other sites. Keyword and keyphrase strategies need to be adopted to incorporate the voice search criteria along with the amendment of actual physical content.

Jenny AbouobaiaJenny Abouobaia
SEO Consultant
SEO with Jenny

BACKLINKS

Long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than short articles (Source)

According to Backlinko, long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than short articles. Only high-quality content can help you beat the competition in page 1 ranking. But you will also have to consider quantity along with quality. There are many arguments around the ideal length of a blog post.

The average length of the top 10 results is at least 2,000 words. This is because web pages with extensive, high-quality content enjoy more visibility. However, your content should comprehensively answer the question that the user asked, as well as the questions related to the main search query.

Long articles increase dwell time, telling Google that users are enjoying your content. You create authority and Google increases your ranking for the search query.

Simonas SteponaitisSimonas Steponaitis
Marketing Manager
Hosting Wiki

73.6% of domains have reciprocal links, meaning two sites link to each other. (Source)

One of the most surprising SEO statistics I’ve come across is that 73.6% of domains have reciprocal links, meaning two sites link to each other.

This is surprising, because while that is an easy negotiation for a backlink strategy, that means that a lot more sites will have a harder time when Google’s algorithm picks up on this and shows it wasn’t a natural link created because the website is a good resource.

Having backlinks to your site should show Google a natural growth and authority in the content, but having a reciprocal link could hinder that kind of growth. Try to be wise about who you discuss doing a reciprocal link with and maybe limit it to a certain number of them.

Lora BovieLora Bovie
SEO Editorial Associate
Choosing Therapy

MISCELLANEOUS

57% of marketing executives say creating quality on-page content is the most effective SEO tactic. (Source)

Content is king and it is that way for a reason. On-page content is so important because it is what everything is about at the end of the day. The quality of content plays a big part in engaging and satiating the curiosity of the end user. The importance of on-page content is decisive to your SEO efforts in every sense of the word. Which is why when it comes to ranking for keywords, the optimal length for an average article continues to increase with each passing year.

Pratik Jain
Founder
OutreachBolt

39% of global e-commerce traffic comes from organic searches. (Source)

The power of SEO became clear when I saw that 39% of global e-commerce traffic comes from organic searches. As ecommerce takes over the world, a leading driver is organic search. This is important because often people assume Facebook or Google ads are best for driving ecommerce store sales, when this stat shows four in 10 people are visiting product pages through Google. Meaning to optimize your site for this traffic, you’ll want to create killer product pages that are packed with value. Include product descriptions, reviews, questions and answers, and similar products. When you do so and drive backlinks to your pages, you’ll rank first on Google and discover a gold mine.

Brian RobbenBrian Robben
CEO
Robben Media

Google only accounts for approximately 70% of the desktop searches worldwide. (Source)

Nowadays, everyone thinks that Google is the king of search engines, while ignoring all the others. As a matter of fact, Google only accounted for approximately 75% of the desktop searches worldwide. When only indexing your website through the Google Search Console and ignoring other engines, you’re missing out on a lot of potential traffic. Many browsers, such as the growing Microsoft Edge, have Bing preset as a standard search engine which is a good reason to start looking into other search engines to promote your website.

Remco BravenboerRemco Bravenboer
SEO specialist
Reviewify

91% of all pages are never seen by searchers. (Source)

Like everything else with search engines, statistics can be tricky. Even with the billions of searches that are conducted each day, people don’t usually realize that most pages receive zero traffic. In fact, about 91% of all pages are never seen by searchers. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore most pages on your website. It just means you need to prioritize and be selective about which ones you invest time and energy on.

Rob DeloryRob Delory
Digital Marketer
Quicksilver Agency

The most interesting SEO statistic is that only 9.37% of websites on the internet get any traffic at all. (Source)

That means the vast majority, over 90% of sites don’t receive traffic from search engines, which is crazy to think about. You have to be in such an elite minority of websites to get any traffic at all. I always thought it was common for sites to get at least a small amount of traffic but it turns out it is not. This is likely because there are so many sites on the internet and so many of them don’t have any authority or even good content, so they don’t get picked up and put on page one or two by large search engines or Google.

Stacy CaprioStacy Caprio
Founder
Her.CEO

Even one SEO statistic has the potential to stick inside the mind of a manager or client and get them to consider the potential of investing in your proposed initiatives. This list is an excellent resource for finding the data you need to make your argument as persuasive as possible. Try to incorporate some of these SEO stats into your next marketing presentation and watch the impact they have on your audience.

Need Help with SEO?

I am a Chicago SEO expert with extensive experience helping businesses, like law firms, attract more customers from search engines. If you’d like help with your SEO, contact me today.