25 SEO Statistics for 2015 and What You Can Learn From Them
Love it or hate it, SEO is a major part of Inbound Marketing.
You have SEO questions and we've got the answers -- and 25 stats to back them up.
SEO is constantly changing and marketers often have trouble keeping up with the latest updates, but one thing that isn't changing is the value of your buyer persona finding you through organic search.
What makes Inbound Marketing so nice is that your customers come to you, instead of you having to chase them down.
Google is the gatekeeper to massive amounts of traffic and leads -- SEO opens the doors.
1. 54% of marketers surveyed believe there will be increased adoption and usage of SEO in 2015. (Regalix, 2015)
Despite the fact that so many people are quick to claim SEO is dead, the statistics show that not only is SEO alive and well -- but it's on the rise.
2. 96% of marketers use Search Engine Marketing to provide informational and educational content. (Regalix, 2014)
This is Inbound Marketing 101 -- makes you wonder what the remaining 4% are doing.
3. Social media signals have an influence on search ranking. (Digital Marketing, 2014)
Although Google keeps their algorithms top-secret, they have shared that social signals are more of a factor now than in the past. Also, several brands have reported a direct corrolation between an increase in social signals and a rise in search rankings.
4. 76% of marketers use Social Media to support and boost SEO. (Regalix, 2014)
Social media certainly isn't the only factor for SEO, but it does help and based on this statistic your buyer persona likely expects you to be on social media.
5. According to the Global Digital Advertising Report from Adobe, search engine marketing spend grew 12% globally from 2013 to 2014. (Marketing Tech News, 2014)
If you want to find out what marketers really care about, follow the money. The value of search engine marketing might be old news to you, but there are a lot of brands who are just now catching on.
6. Google owns 71% of the global search engine market. (Digital Marketing, 2014)
To win at SEO, you have to play by Google's rules. Ranking high on Yahoo or Bing is nice, but companies who rank on Google are getting the most business.
7. Search engine optimization is the most popular marketing tactic among terms searched by people. (Digital Marketing, 2014)
What better way to figure out how to get your brand to show up on Google than to ask Google?
SEO is one area of marketing where people are always looking for a shortcut, but the best strategy is to play the long-game.
8. Only 44% of companies say they can measure paid search ROI effectively. (Digital Marketing, 2014)
Although there are steps you can take to measure the ROI of paid search, less than half of businesses know what they are getting in return from their investment.
You have to be careful if you take the paid search route because it's easy to waste a lot of money in a short amount of time.
9. 60% of companies report that their SEO and content strategy are integrated. (Digital Marketing, 2014)
It would be hard for us to imagine this not being the case, based on our approach to SEO -- but there are still companies who believe you can rank on search engines without a proper content strategy.
Beware of SEO experts who promise dramatic results without the use of content marketing, because this usually indicates that they aren't using white-hat strategies.
10. On average, paid search now accounts for 26% (an increase of 2% from the year before) of the total marketing budget from companies who use paid search. (Digital Marketing, 2014)
Everyone wants to be at the top of Google, even if it means paying for ad space. By ranking organically, your businesses can allocate that 26% of the marketing budget elsewhere.
11. 95% of marketers use search engine marketing for inducing loyalty among their existing customers. (Regalix, 2014)
It's awesome when your buyer persona finds you on Google once, but you really win them over when they keep seeing you without specifically looking for you.
12. The percentage of organic traffic coming from mobile devices increased from 40% in Q3 to 42% in Q4 and traffic from Android devices had the biggest increase from quarter to quarter. (Merkle Inc, formerly Rimm-kaufman, 2014)
The world is going mobile and it's happening at a rapid pace. That means your website has to be mobile-friendly if you want to compete.
Also, the increase in Android devices means a wide range of screen sizes -- which is why it's important for your website to be responsive, instead of just having one fixed size for mobile.
13. 81% of B2B purchase cycles start with web search and 90% of buyers say when they are ready to buy, “they’ll find you.” (Earnest Agency, 2014)
The B2B customer is more savvy than your average consumer and they prefer to do more research before buying. Even if you get in touch with them before they find you, they will be searching your brand on Google -- it helps if you happen to own all of the content they find.
14. 57% of B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation. (NewsCred, 2014)
Again, this goes back to the previous statistic. B2B customers want to find you online.
B2B brands who dominate SEO typically have no problem getting new leads -- the problem is figuring out what to do with them.
15. 53% of marketers rank content creation as the single most effective SEO tactic. (NewsCred, 2014)
I would include myself in that statistic. We have found content creation to be the best SEO tactic for us and for our clients hands-down.
You can use the latest trick or hack for SEO, but people go to search engines to find great content -- all you have to do is give it to them.
16. On average, organic search leads have a 14.6% close rate, compared to 1.7% for outbound marketing leads. (NewsCred, 2014)
This is why we love Inbound Marketing! It's more cost-effective than traditional marketing methods and it gets results.
17. 33% of clicks from organic search results go to the first listing on Google. (Social Fresh, 2014)
It takes time to rank at the top, depending on how competitive your niche (or the keyword you're targeting) is, but once you're there the leads come pouring in.
This is another reminder for why you want to take the right approach to SEO through content marketing, because Google always catches on to the tricks that people use to game the system. Thousands of businesses have folded from being kicked off of Google.
18. 61% marketers use responsive web design as part of their mobile SEO strategy. (Regalix, 2014)
Having a responsive website is no longer a choice if you want to rank well, it's now mandatory. Google has stated that they now show preference to responsive sites. (Use this tool to see if your website is responsive.)
19. 71% marketers use broad keywords to capture leads at the top of the purchase funnel. (Regalix, 2014)
Specific keywords are great for highly-targeted traffic, but the bulk of search traffic comes from broad keywords.
20. The highest spenders are more likely to turn to organic search for information. (Marketing Pilgrim, 2014)
Go where the money is. If the highest spenders want to find your brand through search -- that's where you need to be.
21. By the end of 2018, there will be 73 billion phone calls generated from mobile search alone. Calls from search are growing by 42% a year. (Acquisio, 2014)
Marketers tend to think that the goal of SEO is to get their persona to their website, but that doesn't have to be the only goal -- especially for local businesses. Most people are already using their phone to search the web, so you should make it easy for them to get in touch with you immediately.
22. On average, conversion rates are 10 times higher from search than from social on desktops. (Perform Insider, 2015)
Social media is important, but most businesses will see higher profits by winning on Google instead of winning on Twitter.
23. On smartphones, conversion rates are 15 times higher from search than social. (Perform Insider, 2015)
It seems that for every online marketing statistic that exists, traffic from mobile is better -- from the perspective of a marketer, of course.
24. Over 58% of marketers who have been using social media for one year or longer have improved search engine rankings. (Hubspot, 2014)
Google's number one concern is engagement. They want to see that people are engaging with your content across the internet and the easiest way to measure engagement is through social media.
25. Every month there are more than 10.3 billion Google searches, with 78% of U.S. internet users researching products and services online. (B2B Marketing, 2014)
Your buyer persona wants to feel like they have made the best decision when they buy your product or service. They want to feel that they are in control of the entire process and don't want to be heavily marketed to.
Ranking well in search allows them to be happy because they can do their own research, and it works out for you because A LOT of people are online searching for what you offer.
- Love it or hate it, SEO isn't dead.
- Marketers are spending more on SEO, which means more competition.
- Content marketing and social media combined is the best, holistic approach to SEO.
- More traffic and higher conversions come from mobile.
- Organic search leads convert higher than social and outbound leads.>
About Bob Ruffolo
Bob is the founder and CEO of IMPACT, an agency he formed in 2009 to help people and their organizations succeed by changing the way they market themselves online. Since its founding, IMPACT has achieved its status as one of HubSpot's Diamond Partner Agencies and secured its place as one of the top inbound marketing agencies in the country.