Last Updated: March 29, 2021
There are not many people out there who consider themselves experts on the topic of SEO. In order to help you get a step closer to becoming one, below we collected some SEO statistics to help you understand and apply SEO in 2021. Let’s get ourselves familiar with the basics first:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the act of influencing the online visibility of a website in a search engine’s unpaid results. Organic results are the main drive for ecommerce success and not only.
The main goal of SEO is to increase the traffic of the website or a web page, and the most commonly used method to achieve this goal is by ensuring the texts published on the website include commonly searched terms or keywords.
Sweet SEO Statistics
- 46% of all Google searches are local.
- 16% of mobile users prefer voice search or a search engine app.
- 82% of marketers notice a rise in SEO effectiveness.
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
- Search engines drive 300% more traffic to content sites than social media.
- 21% of users access more than one of the search results.
- In 2020, over 50% of searches were voice- and image-based.
SEO has become a necessary skill for everyone working online, especially for writers and publishers. Even those who are looking to advertise online need more than a basic grasp of the skill.
General Search Engine Statistics
Google is the largest playground for SEO specialists. It dominates the global search market and dictates the rules of engagement.
1. Google accounted for almost 75% of all desktop searches during 2019.
(Source: Net Marketshare)
Google is definitely the most popular search engine in the world, with 74.87% of all desktop and laptop searches from January to December of 2019 occurring on this platform.
Bing, owned and operated by Microsoft, is the second most popular search engine in the world, with а market share of 10.35% during 2019.
Baidu, the most popular search engine in China, has a global market share of 9.59% and occupies the third place on the list of most popular desktop search engines in the world.
2. 96% of mobile search traffic is done using Google.
Searching using Google is even more prominent among smartphone users, mobile SEO stats show. Data shows that 96% of all mobile searches are conducted using Google search, while Bing is the distant runner-up. A few percents of participation and just over 100,000 people use the official Bing search app.
3. Mobile browser was the first choice for online searches for 44% of US adults in 2018.
The mobile browser was the most common first choice for online searches for 44% of adults from the US, according to a survey from April 2018. SEO stats point that 18% of those surveyed claimed that they use the search window on their phone’s home screen, while 16% prefer voice search or a search engine app.
This info stands to show just how much of the market they represent, and how important mobile users are to those looking to improve their pages’ SEO.
4. 70-80% of users ignore sponsored search results.
(Source: Search Engine Land)
Just how much of an advantage it is to get your website ranked organically rather than pay Google to stick your page at the top of the results with the Sponsored mark is best shown by the fact that most of the sponsored search results are ignored by users.
Google page statistics show that 70 to 80% of sponsored search results are completely ignored by users and that they only cause distrust towards the brand advertised.
5. A 40% drop in internet traffic was seen when Google went down.
Google experienced an outage in 2013. The outage lasted for less than five minutes, but its impact was significant.
During the five minutes that Google was down, a 40% drop in global internet traffic was noticed, indicating just how dependent we are on this search engine to take us to other websites.
6. 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
Another piece of statistics that goes in favor of investing in proper SEO is that 93% of all website visits start with a search engine. Ranking your page high on the list of relevance for a particular search term can prove to be more important and useful than any form of advertising.
7. 21% of users access more than one of the search results.
Roughly, every fifth user clicks on more than one of the search results, either because they haven’t found what they were looking for or to double check the information presented on the first page visited, 2020 SEO stats tell us.
This shows that ranking your page first isn’t a necessity, and even those ranked lower on the list can get plenty of visits. Remember that some users also find the aesthetic appearance relevant and some of them will probably click through more results in order to find one that visually appeals to them.
8. Search engines drive 300% more traffic to content sites than social media.
Even though we consider social media to be the main driving force behind everything that happens online, search engines have them beaten in one category:
SEO statistics indicate that searches drive up to 300% more traffic to content sites than social media, once again showing the importance of optimizing your content for searches.
9. 60% of users click on one of the top three search results.
After they’ve scrolled past the ads, 60% of those searching for something online will click on one of the top three results. Having your page shown in one of those spots isn’t necessary, but it definitely helps with traffic to your website.
10. 50% of searches are four words or longer.
Internet search statistics can sometimes demonstrate just how inefficient we are at googling.
50% of all searches are longer than four words, and they can most commonly be shortened. Most people will search for complete terms, such as what’s the weather like in LA, instead of typing simply weather LA.
Those dealing with SEO need to take this into account, no matter how infuriated they might feel about it.
11. There are 234 million search engine users in the US.
If you’ve been wondering how many people use search engines, the answer is 234 million, in the US alone. The number represents over 70% of the country’s population and it is expected to keep its rising trend, reaching 240 million search engine users in 2020.
12. On average, pages ranked in top 10 results for any keyword have more than 2,000 words.
The average word count for the pages listed among the first 10 search results for any given keyword is above 2,000. The current version of Google’s algorithm seems to prioritize longer pages over the ones with shorter texts. In addition, content with over 1,000 words is more likely to receive more shares and links than shorter content.
13. Google’s algorithm changes more than 500 times per year.
Google SEO insights indicate it’s basically impossible to master the art and science that SEO has become, considering the fact that Google implements over 500 changes per year. The changes most often don’t change drastically the way pages are ranked.
14. 20% of Google searches are searched for the first time.
(Source: Internet live stats)
Up to a fifth of all Google searches have never been conducted before. The way that the search engine is able to find what we’re looking for is by going through millions of search precedents established in the algorithm.
Local SEO Statistics for Businesses
Local searches expand quickly as smarthpone usage and applications grow.
15. 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information.
Every fifth consumer isn’t interested in finding local info using a search engine, while 75% of consumers search for local stores, events, and locations on their phones, computers, or tablets.
16. 50% of mobile users visit a store after conducting a local search.
Local searches happen daily. These searches’ goal is to find things near the users’ location. They can be used to find directions to local stores, as well as their business hours and inventory. As such, optimizing for local searches becomes an intrinsic part of many m-commerce marketing efforts.
Local SEO stats show that 50% of consumers who conduct a local search visit the store found within a day. This piece of data refers to smartphone users. The number drops to 34% when it comes to desktop and tablet users.
17. 18% of local searches lead to a purchase.
According to data, 18% of local searches lead to purchase on the same day of the search. The number of non-local searches that lead to purchase within a 24-hour period is 7%. The advantage of optimizing your page for local searches is clear.
18. 75% of consumers prefer ads customized to their location.
Some SEO stats should come as no surprise.
A vast majority of consumers, or 75% of them, would like the ads presented to them to be relevant to their location. Users declare that they find ads that refer to their city, ZIP code, or close neighborhood much more useful and compelling.
19. More than 60% of consumers have used location info from ads.
Over 60% of consumers have used information from ads to discover new businesses in the vicinity. Whether it’s discovering a store, a restaurant, or any other business, the majority of consumers rely on local SEO for finding new things in their surroundings.
20. 54% of consumers search for business hours among local information.
SEO facts and figures derived from local searches include the information that business hours of nearby businesses account for 54% of all local searches. 53% of consumers search for directions to local stores, while 45% of them want to find out more about the availability of products in local stores.
Incorporating these pieces of data into the “online business card”, so to speak, will definitely improve in-store traffic from the locals.
21. 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company through search.
More than half of all smartphone users reported discovering a new business or a product while searching online for something else, SEO stats show. Websites that are optimized for mobile use, in both SEO and compatibility sense, are far more likely to gain new visitors that happen upon the website on accident.
22. 53% of smartphone consumers search for local information from home.
While the statistic that 76% of laptop and desktop consumers search for local information from the comfort of their home is not a giant shock, info that more than half of smartphone users do the same might be.
Search engine traffic stats show that 53% of smartphone users search for local information from home, 51% search while in transit, and 41% of them search while they are in the store.
23. 92% of consumers will pick a business on the first page of local search results.
(Source: SEO Expert)
Just how important local SEO is for businesses is best shown by the fact that 92% of consumers will choose a business listed on the first page of results of a local search. Optimizing their page for local searches is probably the best strategic move for small businesses that depend on in-store purchases.
24. 46% of Google searches are local.
(Source: Main Street ROI)
Search engine optimization statistics say that 46% of all Google searches have local geographical parameters. The importance of optimizing business websites accordingly cannot be overstated.
25. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
(Source: Search Engine Land)
Having your business’s positive online reviews front and center can aid the in-store traffic. This applies for both online and physical stores, as 88% of shoppers trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from family and friends.
26. Local searches are growing 50% faster than mobile searches.
(Source: Search Engine Land)
Local SEO statistics 2018 stipulate that local searches’ growth is 50% faster than overall mobile search growth and that may be the reason why Google is putting so much emphasis on local map ads. Every local business should get in on this while it’s still in the starting phase, as the price of local ads could very well increase in a few months.
27. Online advertising was 70% larger than TV advertising in 2020.
The telltale sign that TV advertising is on its way out is the prediction that online advertising was 70% larger in 2020. This swing in favor of online advertising was noted a while ago, and all SEO statistics have been taking it into account for a few years as a major point in favor of SEO implementation.
28. Mobile searches for store hours spike on Christmas Day.
As mentioned before, users most commonly search for store location. However, Christmas Day is the time when store hours are the most searched items. Having this info displayed is a must for every business, especially on days when people need to buy presents for family members they completely forgot about.
29. 82% of consumers look for negative reviews.
Search engine marketing stats claim that 82% of users search for negative online reviews of the business or service they are planning on visiting or using. Customers take negative reviews very seriously, and even one can impact the business negatively.
Services such as Yelp are a common source of this type of information, and they often offer to remove negative reviews for a fee. Avoiding negative reviews is, of course, much better, but as a last resort some business owners will gladly take the deal Yelp is offering.
30. 55% of marketers say blogging is their primary priority.
2018 blogging SEO stats proclaim that 55% of marketers consider blogging their number one marketing priority. Blogging has been the preferred method of marketing for nearly two decades now, and this info shows that it is not about to slow down.
31. $1.4 trillion in local sales will be influenced by mobile devices by 2021.
The importance of mobile devices cannot be stressed enough. They already play a major role in the online show, and their significance is expected to grow over time. By 2021, $1.4 trillion in local sales is expected to be driven by mobile devices.
SEO Statistics and Tips
SEO is a blend of science and art. Since Google doesn’t reveal exactly how it ranks sites, the SEO specialists theorize, strategize, test, and invent ways to capture the users’ attention.
32. 82% of marketers notice a rise in SEO effectiveness.
Recent figures show that 82% of marketers who utilize SEO in their campaigns noticed an increase in this advertising method’s effectiveness, while 42% of those noticed a significant rise in the effectiveness of this strategy.
As people learn more about SEO, its effectiveness will keep climbing.
33. Updating old posts with new images and content can increase traffic by over 100% for bloggers.
Bloggers can generate more organic traffic by simply updating their old posts with SEO-friendly content and new images.
SEO stats for bloggers predict that organic traffic can be increased by up to 111% this way.
34. Using the word because in outreach emails can increase the response rate by 45%.
Adding just one word to your outreach emails can increase your response rate by up to 45%, according to a Harvard University research.
The research found that 89% of people would let a stranger cut in line in front of them if they explained why they need to by using the word because.
Explaining why your service is necessary by using the word because early on in outreach emails has the same psychological effect, leading to a potential 45% increase in response rate.
SEO and Social Media Trending
Social networks follow logic of their own but optimizing your social media content for search engines is never a bad idea.
35. SEO is also important for YouTube videos.
Forbes SEO statistics point to the importance of SEO for YouTubers.
In order to increase the odds of Google showing their video as one of the top responses to a keyword search, YouTubers should start adding meaningful text descriptions to their videos.
The algorithm has no way to analyze the video yet, so it relies on the text provided. The text should be at least 200 words long and it needs to include common search terms.
36. The average length of Trending videos is 14m and 15s.
Longer videos on YouTube perform much better than shorter ones, as search engine optimization statistics for 2018 show clearly. Videos that make it to the Trending section, as well as those that appear among the top results of video searches are 14 minutes and 15 seconds long on average.
Comments, which are another important factor in video SEO, are also more likely to increase in videos longer than 10 minutes.
37. Reddit is a keyword goldmine.
Reddit search is an indispensable asset to anyone looking to improve their SEO. There are no front page SEO statistics Reddit can’t improve. Browse through subreddits about the topic you need, search the entire website for it and you are bound to find out what keywords are about to trend. Those are ones you should use.
38. In 2020, over 50% of searches were voice- and image-based.
The importance of quality, relevant images will only grow, as the search trends clearly indicate a shift toward voice and image searches. In less than two years from now, it is expected that traditional keyword-based searches to comprise less than half of the total search volume.
39. There are free SEO analysis tools available online.
For those who don’t yet fully trust themselves to use SEO properly, numerous SEO analysis tools are available on the internet. You can employ an SEO stats checker to tell you exactly what needs to be improved in your SEO strategy, but bear in mind that the free versions will not display the full statistics. They are excellent for basic analysis, though.
SEO and Site Speed
Loading speed doesn’t impact SEO directly all that much, but a slow site can ruin users’ experience. In turn, disgruntled visitors will affect the ranking of any site.
40. The average load speed for top ranking sites is 1.9s.
(Source: Report Central)
Top results share one thing in common: they are extremely fast to load. It takes an average of 1900 milliseconds, or 1.9 seconds, for them to load. The websites that are ranked 10 and below are usually 17% slower to load. Investing in infrastructure can prove to be as important as SEO.
41. Average mobile site loads in 22 seconds.
(Source: Think with Google)
SEO statistics mention that the average mobile site took 22 seconds to load completely. This info is devastating for webmasters, especially when we consider that Google confirmed that mobile page load speed became a major factor in ranking as 2020 algorithm change happened.
42. 53% of users will leave the page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Mobile pages that take more than 3 seconds to load will be abandoned by 53% of users. Google says that pages taking 10 seconds to load have a 123% higher bounce rates compared to those who take less than 5 seconds to load.
A lot of SEO practices are educated guesses, but there are certain facts that cannot be denied.
43. Most #1 pages get about 5%-14.5% new backlinks monthly.
Tendencies of 2020 SEO stats pointed to another important aspect in the organic search result rankings.
More links on-page can lead to a better ranking of the website. Stats even show that the first 10 results usually have 6 times more links than those on the second page.
44. Video thumbnails can double your search traffic.
The visual element is one of the most important aspects of any website’s success. Pages that include videos will commonly cause Google to pull the thumbnail and present it next to the result, setting the page apart from the crowd and leading to doubling the search traffic in some cases.
45. The first result was clicked in 31.7% of 2019 searches.
(Source: Backinko, WiredSEO)
2019 SEO statistics point to a drop in clicks on the first search result.
In 2015, 28.6% of clicks were on the first result, while in 2017 that number was lowered to 23.5%. Once again, data shows that ranking at the top is not the only important thing when it comes to SEO.
46. Just 7% of users will go to the third page of search results.
Even though ranking number one is not that important, landing your page on one of the first two pages is.
Statistics on search engines show indicate that just 7% of users ever visit the third page of search results.
47. Optimize your SEO strategy for voice search.
Voice search has never been more popular, and this trend will not slow down. Dozens of devices based on this search method have been released so far, and more are coming. Both iOS and Android phones have managed to improve the voice search function drastically in the last few years, and all indications are in favor of this type of search becoming the standard in near future.
Forbes statistics on SEO released earlier this year concluded that it is imperative to optimize SEO strategies for voice-based searches.
48. 89% of online purchasers used SERPs to make their decision
According to recent SEO statistics, search engine optimization is crucial for finding new customers. Organic searches are the main revenue source for a vast majority of ecommerce stores and business owners.
It is a sad truth that most of us will never become SEO experts, as its complexity is such that it can take a lifetime for you to even scratch the surface. Having some insight about the algorithm’s inner workings definitely helps, but that is not information available to the public and most of us can only dream about accessing it.
Determination and will are, however, a magical thing that can lead us to do the impossible. It’s not all bad news after all.
You can use the SEO statistics above to improve your knowledge on the topic of search engine optimization, as well as your web presence and business.
- Net Marketshare
- Search Engine Land
- Internet Live Stats
- SEO Expert
- Main Street ROI
- Search Engine Land
- Search Engine Land
- Think with Google
- Report Central