Search engine optimization mainly boils down to keeping an eye on emerging trends. And how do you do that? By staying up to date with crucial SEO statistics. That way, you'll know what tweaks to make to your SEO strategy to achieve the best results.
In this post, we’ll walk you through ten of the vital SEO statistics you should keep in mind if you want to outwit your competitors.
1. Google Dominates Over 92% Of The Search Engine Market (Source: HubSpot)
Surprise, surprise, Google is still the world's most popular and widely-used search engine in the world! Controlling over 92% of the search engine market share, there’s no way for any digital marketer to ignore this search engine.
Let’s break down the data: Google dominates 92% of mobile searches and 72% of desktop searches! So it’s no wonder that most SEO specialists try to rank on the first page of Google’s search results. After all, why would anyone want to rank in any other search engine results?
For perspective, Google’s closest rival, Bing, only holds about 3% of the search engine market share, and here are the following eight search engines in descending order:
- Internet Archive
Why Should You Care?
Well, you should be concerned about this data for many reasons. First, Google’s dominance in search engine statistics means that you can’t ignore it in your digital marketing strategy as a digital marketer or search quality senior strategist.
You need to be where your customers, both existing and prospective ones, are. And since most customers are on Google, it’s essential to try and rank your website in Google’s organic search results.
Furthermore, investing in improving your website’s rankings on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) is the long-term strategy for most businesses because Google’s growing massively and increasing its share in the search engine world.
In 2018, Google had only 70% of the market, but by 2021, the figure had risen to more than 90%! Talk about exponential growth and dominance. So, you can only imagine how much more of the market Google will claim in 2022.
What Can You Do With the Other Search Engines?
Although Google is the undisputed market leader, other search engines aren’t necessarily useless.
For instance, if you’re looking to penetrate the Asian market, especially in China, you can’t look beyond Baidu; the search engine controls over 75% of the market there.
Similarly, if you’re in charge of the SEO strategies for a company in Russia, Yandex would be your best bet; it holds over 65% of the Russian market.
2. 81% Of Consumers Perform an Online Search Before Making a Purchase (Source: Oberlo)
Your goal as a business is to get customers to purchase your products or services, right? Well, then your digital marketers have no option but to prioritize search engine optimization because over 80% of consumers start their buyer's journey with online search queries.
Take Google, for instance. Although the search engine does not publish data on search volume, HubSpot estimates that Google processes over 63,000 queries every second!
That adds up to nearly 5.6 billion queries per day and a mind-boggling 2 trillion Google searches per year! So if you’ve ever needed convincing that content optimization is the way to go, this is it.
What Should You Do?
Although you can use other content marketing channels like TV or print advertisements, digital marketing remains the most effective way to target customers where they spend their time most.
The key here is to find out what your potential customers are searching for. So you'll need a keyword research tool like SemRush, BuzzSumo, Ubersuggest, and Answer the Public. Also, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest are goldmines of trending topics and keywords.
And keep in mind that most digital marketers swear by long-tail keywords (longer, more specific search queries). Once you have the keyword statistics for the relevant keywords you need to use, you can efficiently start the content creation process.
3. 47% Of Customers Examine 3-5 Pieces of Your Content Before Attempting a Purchase (Source: HubSpot)
Today's customers are intelligent and suspicious; instead of trusting what a company says about itself, they investigate whether these claims are true.
That's why nearly half of all customers take a look at your content and online reviews before deciding to move forward. So, if you don't produce any content, chances are you're driving a chunk of your customers away even before they have a chance to try out your product or service.
So you need to prioritize content creation and content marketing to introduce your brand to potential costumes and share positive reviews of existing ones. In general, these kinds of content are great to have on your website:
- Blog posts
- Animations and GIFs
In this infographic, the "customers examine 3-5 pieces of content" is really worth examining because it means that customers are looking for consistency.
In other words, it's not enough to produce one or two top-class content. Clients will only become convinced about your offer and abilities if you produce best-in-class content across the board.
4. Video Search Will Account For 82% Of All Online Traffic in 2022 (Source: Cisco)
In 2018, Cisco made a daring prediction that by 2022, 82% of all online traffic will be from video searches!
With the proliferation of online videos, it’s clear that this prediction is no fluke. That’s why video search engine optimization is what many businesses are trying to prioritize these days. But how do you master it?
Video Featured Snippets
You might have noticed by now that most Google searches produce featured snippets, especially if done via mobile devices. And while most snippets are text-based, Google will give more preference to content optimized for video featured snippets. So how do you implement that?
- Divide your video into clear sections: Google wants to cut through the clutter and take users directly to the part of a video that explicitly answers their questions. That's why you should timestamp your video into chapters that answer specific questions.
- Optimize your video: Be sure to add a meta description and title tag to your video. That way, Google can quickly figure out what your video entails.
- Add a transcript: Adding a transcript helps the search engine to fully appreciate what your video is all about. Many people don't do this for their videos, so this is undoubtedly a great way to stand out from your competitors.
Grow Your YouTube Channel
Have you noticed that a few YouTube links pop up each time you run a Google search? That tells you how much Google values YouTube videos. And that’s no surprise considering that Google is YouTube's parent company.
Higher YouTube rankings would likely result in higher organic search rankings on Google. And don't worry if you only have a few subscribers; building your YouTube channel is a long-term endeavor, and it may take several months for you to see results. But it's good for your overall SEO performance. So here are 16 ways to grow your channel from scratch.
Alternatively, you can focus on growing your following on video applications like TikTok to produce organic search rankings, especially if your target audience mostly uses mobile devices.
Add Videos to Your Blogs
Instead of just adding a link to a YouTube video to your blogs, we recommend embedding the videos in the article itself. It's an excellent way to reduce your bounce rate and give readers reason to keep reading.
5. 20% Of All Searches Is by Voice Search (Source: TechJury)
Voice search is more than a passing trend. Thanks to the rise of AI-powered assistants like Cortana, Siri, and Alexa, voice search is increasingly becoming the method most people use to do mobile searches.
Another factor pushing the rise of voice search is the increase in the use of smart speakers and IoT devices, from Google Home to Apple HomePod and Amazon Echo. Estimates indicate that by the close of 2022, 55% of households will use a smart speaker. Moreover, that number is set to rise to a mind-blowing 75% by 2025!
But what's making a voice search a favorite among internet users? Well, first of all, voice search is fast and convenient.
Consider this scenario: your hands are busy cooking, and you want to make a quick Google search. Would you go to your phone and open a web browser or ask Siri to find out? Indeed, the latter. In a fast-paced world, where multi-tasking is the order of the day, it's no surprise that people are taking to voice search like never before.
What's more, voice search is mobile-friendly. You can run a quick search from your smartphone without having to open your computer. Besides, it's faster to speak than to type.
Finally, voice search is also becoming something of a phenomenon. Many people enjoy the responses of AI assistants like Siri or Alexa; you'll find countless videos of YouTubers trying to get AI assistants to make funny errors.
Although voice search is not foolproof, it's getting better as AI assistants are getting more intelligent and effective. For example, Google Assistant can now process more than 100 languages.
How Can You Benefit From This Voice Search Boom?
You should be excited about this voice search boom if you’re a local business owner because people typically use voice search to find services near them.
Brightlocal conducted a study to understand how people were using voice search, and the data showed that people primarily use it to search Google Maps for the nearest local business in these categories:
- Restaurants / Cafés (51%)
- Grocery stores (41%)
- Food delivery (35%)
- Clothing stores (32%)
- Hotels / Bed & Breakfasts (30%)
So if you own a local business in these niches, then the voice search boom is excellent news for you. But to enjoy web traffic, you need to optimize for local SEO. Fortunately, there are many ways to get that done.
First of all, claim your Google My Business Listing. That way, you become visible to anyone searching for a "near me" business on Google Maps. Also, be sure to collect lots of customer reviews. Finally, we recommend that you create local SEO-optimized content and add location pages to your website.
6. For Every Second Your Website Takes to Load, Your Conversion Rate Falls by 7% (Source: Neil Patel)
Every second counts when it comes to conversion rates; a one-second loading delay can reduce your conversion rate by 7%! At face value, 7% may not seem like much, but let's put it into proper perspective.
If you’re earning $100,000 a day through your website, a one-second delay in load time can cost you over $2.5 million in sales! And if your web page takes more than two seconds to load, your page abandonment rates will be high.
Source: Neil Patel
So what can you do? For starters, we recommend doing a comprehensive website audit to pinpoint what’s slowing down your website. In addition, here are a few ways to make your website faster:
Optimize Images and Videos
Images and videos typically take up a lot of space and make your website slow. That's why we recommend optimizing them; instead of using heavy file types like TIFF, PNG, and BMP, use JPG, which is a compressed image format.
Also, be sure to compress all images and videos using compression tools like Imagify and Handbrake. Finally, rather than uploading videos on your website, you can embed them on a third-party hosting platform to make your website faster.
Use a Caching Page Speed Plugin
Page caching is an excellent way to reduce your page load speed. In essence, cached pages are static HTML versions of your website that can pop up quickly when search queries are made. This saves your server the extra work of having to bring up new pages each time.
Plugins like W3 Total Cache and WP Rocket are great ones to try out. We also recommend that you enable cache browsing for your website. However, these are technical steps, so you might need a web expert to do the heavy lifting for you.
Upgrade Your Web Hosting Package
This is an easy way to ensure your website loads at a fast speed. If you're using shared hosting, the chances are that your website will be slow, especially when there's traffic on the other sites on the server.
Besides, cheaper hosting options often come with many limitations that make your website slow. Therefore, we recommend purchasing VPS or managed hosting, especially if you expect your website to have significant traffic.
If you have the funds, why not go for dedicated hosting? You're likely to get premium hosting and features that make your website even faster.
7. 40% Of People Search Only on Smartphones (Source: Google)
When was the last time you did a search using your laptop? If you can't remember, odds are, you're part of the 40% who only search with mobile devices or smartphones.
This data is proof that we're gradually becoming a mobile-first world. In fact, search engines are rewarding mobile-optimized sites with higher rankings on the search results page.
For example, Google now has a mobile-first index that ranks websites on the first page of Google based on their mobile-friendliness, even if the search query is made on a desktop.
So how do you optimize your site for smartphone owners and mobile searches? Here are three critical aspects of a mobile-friendly site to help you get the attention of mobile searchers with ease.
- Separate URLs: This involves having separate URLs for both the desktop and the mobile version of your website; it’ll allow Google to easily direct users to your mobile site.
- Dynamic serving: This means having various versions of your websites for different types of devices. For instance, you should have distinct HTML versions of your site for tablets, phones, and laptops.
- Responsive design: This is perhaps the best of all three options. For responsive designs, your webpage's layout and design adapt to each user's screen.
8. Optimized Visual Search Leads to a Profit Increase of Over 30% (Source: Gartner)
The popularity of visual Google searches has significantly increased over the past few years. According to data released by Gartner, you can increase your profits by more than 30% if you optimize your site for visual search.
But what really is visual search? In simple terms, it's when a person uses images to search for information. Visual search is often better than a text-based search when:
- You're not sure of what you're searching for
- Your search queries are long and complex
- You want to match a specific style
Visual search is booming, thanks in part to the advancements in imaging technology. For example, Google Lens can identify over 1 billion objects. That's four times more identifiable objects than when it launched in 2017. Further, Pinterest Lens can also identify millions of objects.
Optimizing for image search is a no-brainer, especially if you're looking to market to younger generations as these demographics use an image or visual search the most.
9. Google Updates Its Algorithms 500-600 Times a Year (Source: Search Engine Land)
As we've already mentioned, Google is the world's largest and most popular search engine. So ranking on the first page of Google, especially in the top three search results, should be your priority.
But achieving that isn't a walk in the park. That's because the algorithms Google uses to rank websites are updated daily, which can amount to over 600 updates per year. And while all these updates don't significantly affect your rankings, there are a few that can make or break your SEO strategy, so you should constantly keep an eye on them.
10. 49% Of Marketers Say Organic Searches Have the Highest ROI (Search Engine Journal)
Nearly half of all marketers claim that organic traffic/ inbound marketing yields the best returns, even more so than paid and social media search.
Source: Search Engine Journal
Naturally, you'd think that paid search or sponsored posts would yield more ROI. However, SEO industry statistics suggest that organic search traffic generates the best ROI. The reason is simple: people trust organic search results more than paid ones.
What's more, organic SEO techniques are much more cost-effective than paid methods. PPC campaigns can run into thousands of dollars, and you can't keep paying for ads forever.
In contrast, getting organic traffic doesn't require as much funding, and it's a long-term and sustainable approach.
So, it’s best to focus on having organic listings and getting more organic results. Of course, pay-per-click ads (PPC campaigns) will help, but we don’t recommend you solely depend on them.
In this post, we've walked you through ten SEO statistics you need to know for your strategy in 2022. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it's definitely a good place to get started.
Overall, it's clear that search is evolving from merely text-based queries. So for 2022 and the years to come, you need to prioritize other search methods like voice, image, and video.
Ultimately, your best bet is to run a website audit to find the gaps in your content strategy. Also, don’t forget to always be on the lookout for trends and algorithm updates, and accordingly adapt your tactics. And if the SEO industry isn’t your field of expertise, you can always hire a professional to help you out.