When it comes to search traffic, SEO is often overlooked and PPC favoured for its immediate results and actions. However, having a strong SEO foundation and SEO strategy is essential for your content marketing plan to drive results and increase website traffic.
From successful link building and keyword research to local search and mobile queries, here are just 20 key statistics to help reveal why you should still focus your efforts on SEO in 2020 and beyond.
(Source: Internet Live Stats)
In 2019, Google’s search engine market share comprised 73.88%, compared to Bing with a share of 10.85%. This means that if you want to be found, then your website needs to be ranking where the customers are searching, and that’s on Google.
Interestingly, 15% of all Google searches are brand new queries that haven’t been searched before. As Google’s BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) algorithm takes into account search intent and its context, it’s important that you write for humans in a natural way. It also means that you need to continually look at keywords that you are ranking well for, as well as continue to research new keyword opportunities.
Getting your website ranked number one in Google has never been so important. In fact, according to Backlinko, the #1 search result in Google resulted in 31.7% of all clicks. Position #2 received on average 24.71% CTR and position #3 had an 18.66% CTR. However, only 0.78% of Google searchers clicked on a link from page two.
This means, if you’re not ranking in the top three positions on page one of Google, then the likelihood of your content being found is less than 1%. Targeting long tail keywords with high search volume, but low competition is one way that you can start ranking higher.
Google uses more than 200 factors to rank a website. Whilst no one really knows what these factors are, some of the most important ranking factors to concentrate on include inbound links, keyword intent, page load time, domain security, meta tags and content structure.
Today, longer form content is dominating page one of search rankings and Google just loves content rich websites. In fact, the #1 search result typically has 2,416 words, with the #10th result having 2,032 words.
Of course, it’s important to remember that writing a longer article of over 2,000 words won’t necessarily mean you will jump to page one of Google. There are other ranking factors involved which often correlate with content length such as the number and quality of backlinks, social shares, dwell time and click through rate to name just a few.
Ahrefs conducted a study with over one billion pages and discovered that a whopping 90.63% of all pages received zero traffic from Google, whilst only 5.29% received two visits per month or less. One of the main reasons for this is that these pages had no backlinks, whilst other reasons include the page topic had no long-term traffic potential, the page didn’t match search intent and the page wasn’t indexed.
So, if you want to be in the 9.36% of pages that receive organic traffic, make sure the page has quality backlinks, talks about a topic with organic traffic potential, matches search intent and is indexed by Google.
Backlinks are incredibly important and are one of Google’s “top 3 ranking factors”. However, 66.31% of pages don’t have a single backlink, and only 26.29% have links from three websites or less. There is a strong correlation that the more backlinks a webpage has, the more traffic it receives from Google. In order to rank highly in Google, it’s essential that you build high-quality backlinks to your page.
As at May 2020, 50.34% of worldwide website traffic was delivered by mobile device, compared to 46.67% by desktop and 2.99% by tablet. It is important to remember though that this is worldwide data, so it might not reflect what’s happening in your business. I recommend checking the Device reports in Google Analytics to see how much traffic mobile devices are responsible for. However, it’s important to remember that Google is switching to mobile-first indexing for all websites starting September 2020.
Creating new blog content is all well and good, but it can often be time consuming. Rather than creating new content from scratch, you should consider refreshing older content from six months ago or even a year ago. According to a Historical Optimization study by HubSpot, optimizing your old blog content with fresh, up-to-date information, has the ability to generate even more traffic and conversions that it already does.
You can do this by identifying any articles that are worth updating, have become outdated or has the potential to rank for high search volume keywords. You can then refresh the content with new information such as videos, images and statistics and make any page changes to make it easier to read (such as insert headings and add bullet points). Republish this post and share with your audience on social or through email. Google will reward you as it loves fresh content, whilst the post already has a degree of page authority.
If you’re a local business then “near me” searches are increasing across almost every category, with people combining locally sensitive searches with other intent signals. Examples include “where to buy flowers near me” or “where to buy apples near me”. Targeting these type of keyword phrases can help you rank higher in local search.
People always love lists so having a ‘bests’ list or ‘bests’ article in your content strategy will help to drive traffic to your website, particularly as this search query has grown in the last few years, particularly for mobile. Ideas include ‘best suburbs to buy property in right now’, ‘best cameras in market right now’, ‘best road trips in NSW right now’.
(Source: Smart Insights)
Targeting long-tail keywords with four or more words compared to generic searches of one to two words can increase your CTR by 3% to 5% by position. This is typically because long-tail keywords have fewer ads and less competition, whilst have a better chance of matching search intent. So, rather than targeting ‘red shoes’ which is too generic try targeting a long-tail keyword phrase such as ‘cheap womens red shoes’.
Based on an Ahrefs survey of two million randomly selected pages, only 5.7% of these studied pages ranked in the Top 10 search results within one year for at least one keyword, with high Domain Rating websites performing much better than websites with a low Domain Rating. The majority of these pages achieved a Top 10 ranking between 61 to 182 days.
After analysing 10,000 Google Home search results, Brian Dean found that 70.4% of Google Home result pages are secured with HTTPS. If your website isn’t already HTTPS, I recommend asking your web development agency to change this for you. It should only be a quick fix.
(Source: Search Engine People)
Studies show that blog posts with video attract as much as three times more inbound links than posts without video. This is because you are reaching a larger audience – those who want to read and those who prefer to watch content in a video format. People also love to share videos rather than text, so making sure your video has subtitles will also be beneficial.
(Source: SEO Expert Brad)
Almost half of all Google searches are for local content. If you are a local business it is important to employ local SEO, especially as local searches result in purchases 28% of the time. Easy wins include claiming your business on Google and Bing as well as generating positive Google reviews to build trust.
More and more search queries are benefiting from featured snippets as they help provide consumers with answers faster, rather than clicking through to a website. This means there is a greater opportunity for lower-ranking pages to reach the top of search results with minimal effort. Types of featured snippets include paragraph snippets, table snippets, numbered list snippets and bulleted list snippets.
(Source: Search Engine Journal)
Approximately 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine like Google, Yahoo!, or Bing. This means that it’s essential that your business appears in the search results so that potential customers can find you.
(Source: Search Engine Watch)
Consumers tend to trust organic search results far more than paid ads. In fact, 94% of clicks are generated by organic results. You should therefore focus more of your efforts on organic SEO for long term growth rather than solely rely on the immediate effects of PPC which can get expensive.
Want to learn how SEO can be implemented within your content marketing plan to improve search rankings, increase website traffic and site conversions? Contact me today for a free quote.