Unfortunately, Google is a secretive machine. They don’t publicly state the components that websites need to be a success, which leads to a lot of trial and error… Not to mention several SEO myths that could ruin your site instead of skyrocketing it.
1) Google receives over 75,000 searches per second
Before we dive in with the good stuff, it’s important to know why SEO is important.
Spoiler alert: It’s not just because “Google is huge.”
…Although according to Internet Live Stats, there are over 74,000 individual search terms being typed into Google every second.
That equates to over 6.3 billion every single day–some of which are bound to be from people who are looking for the products or services you’re offering.
2) 67% of all clicks go to the first five organic results
Once people type their search query into Google, they’ll see a list of URLs that best-suit their keyword. These pages are called Search Engine Results Pages (or SERPS, for short.)
The activity happening on these pages is interesting.
The majority of searchers are bypassing the paid Google Ads results (along with those on page 2 or beyond), and selecting one of the first five URLs shown for their query.
3) 70% of marketers say SEO is more effective at driving sales than PPC
4) 86% of experts use PPC data to help with their SEO campaigns
That data could look like anything from average keyword CPC (to judge how tricky it’d be to rank organically for the phrase), to keyword bounce rate (to judge whether people searching for that keyword are interested in the content you already have about it).
5) 93% of Google-owned traffic is based on HTTPS sites
When you’re purchasing a domain name or building a website, you’ll have the option to create your URL with one of these prefixes:
- HTTP: A non-secure website; hackers could easily eavesdrop on the data being submitted via a web browser. Your visitors might see a “site not secure” warning if you’re on HTTP.
- HTTPS: A secure website which is harder for hackers to intercept. Websites with this certificate show a green padlock beside the URL.
There’s been a long-standing debate as to whether your choice affects the likelihood of your website performing well in search–but after Google announced their preference of HTTPS, it’s been a recommendation given by SEO experts.
In fact, it’s so important, that 93% of traffic arriving on websites owned by Google is based on HTTPS websites (although they’re working on reaching 100%.)
6) 36% of SEOs think the title tag is the most important SEO element
Our experts think the title tag–the title of your page displayed in the SERPs–is one of the most important, shortly followed by the headers and body content of the page.
7) …yet there’s a small correlation between keyword in the title tag and high rankings
Despite title tags being voted as the most important on-page factor, research by Backlinko found that there’s a small correlation between including the keyword in a title tag and higher rankings:
The bottom line: While it is important to have a well-optimized title tag, it’s not always crucial for your page’s keyword to be front and center.
SEO and Content Marketing
8) Almost three-quarters of SEOs think content is the most important factor for an SEO-friendly website
Content marketing is a huge part of SEO. Without it, Google wouldn’t understand where to rank you in the SERPs–and your target customers wouldn’t have a reason to visit your website.
That’s why almost three-quarters of our experts think content is the most important factor for having an SEO-friendly website:
9) 21% of marketers write for search engines
You’ve committed to creating content to get in Google and your audience’s good books.
…But who should you be writing for? Each has their benefits.
Our survey found 79% of marketers say writing for people is their main priority, whereas 21% focus on writing for search engines or algorithms:
10) 91% of content gets no organic traffic from Google
11) The optimal blog post length is between 1,000 and 1,500 words
So, what does ranking content have in common?
The length of content on a specific page can have an impact. According to our survey, the majority of SEO experts think that should fall within the 1,000-1,500-word range:
Side note: While it’s good to reach this “optimal length,” only write as much as you need to. Stuffing your content with garbage just to hit the 1,000-word minimum could do more harm than good. Google wants high-quality content.
12) Keyword analysis is the most popular way to think of new content ideas
Keyword analysis includes searching for popular search terms that your audience are typing into Google, and checking whether there’s enough demand for you to create content around it.
13) Keyword relevance is the most important factor
You’ve spent hours finding a list of keywords that would make superb pieces of content.
…How do you know whether you’ve chosen the right one?
(After all, spending hours writing a piece of content for a keyword with zero search volume wouldn’t be a success. If there’s nobody searching for it, there will be nobody arriving on your website from Google.)
That’s why our experts think keyword relevance is the most important factor when choosing a phrase to target:
14) 50% of search queries are four words or longer
Keywords can be broken down into two main categories.
Short-tail keywords are direct and to-the-point. People searching for them usually have an intent to buy, which is shown in queries like “women’s shoes” or “
Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are longer in length and tend to have a smaller monthly search volume. They look like:
15) Each blog post should target 2-5 keywords
You’ve settled on a bunch of keywords that you’re excited to create content for. But if you’ve got 1,000 keyword variations, you might want to streamline your list without sacrificing your targeting.
The experts we surveyed think each blog post should target 2-5 keywords:
The keywords you lump into a single blog post should be relevant. It won’t make sense to target “SEO statistics” and “title tag optimization” on the same page because you want each URL to be uber specific.
16) 42% of SEOs spend equal time on building internal and external links
There are two types of links you can create on a page–both of which are proven to have ranking power:
- Internal links: Pointing to another URL on your domain
- External links: Pointing to an external, third-party URL (e.g. A post on webtargetedtraffic.com linking to Google.com)
42% of the SEO experts we’ve surveyed say they spend an equal amount of time building both types of link:
17) A blog post should have 2-5 internal links
When our SEO experts do spend time building internal links, the majority aim for between 2-5 internal links per page:
18) 40% of SEOs think companies under-invest in the quality/relevance of their content
By this point, you’ve understood the fact that content is crucial for SEO. Without it, you’ll have a tough (and near enough impossible) job to rank for your target keywords.
…But it’s not just any type of content you’ll need.
Google wants to show the highest quality pieces of content for a search term, and they’ll only rank the best.
That being said, over 40% of the SEO experts we surveyed think companies under-invest in the quality and relevance of their content:
In a nutshell: That means the majority of companies are creating content for contents’ sake.
(Maybe that’s why so little content gets organic traffic…)
19) 12% of search queries have a Featured Snippet box
The Featured Snippet section is the box displaying an except of a page in the SERPs itself. Here’s an example for the keyword “how to start a blog”:
PRO TIP: How to Monitor and Evaluate Your SEO Performance
If you want to understand how your visitors are behaving on your landing pages, there are several on-page events and metrics you can track from Google Analytics and Google Search Console that will help:
- organic sessions by landing page. Which landing pages receive the most organic traffic and generate signups?
- organic goal completions by landing page. Which landing pages reach your conversion goals and which need to be updated or optimized?
- organic clicks by queries. Which search queries generate the most clicks to your website?
- organic clicks by page. Which pages receive the most clicks from search results pages?
- organic sessions. How many organic search sessions does your website receive?
You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.
To set up the dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Get the template
Step 2: Connect your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts with Databox.
Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.
Research by Ahrefs has found that just 12.3% of all search queries have a Featured Snippet box. Find whether your has by typing it into Google pre-content writing.
20) 93% of marketers think Featured Snippets drive more website clicks
What happens if the keyword you want to target does have a Featured Snippet box? Even if your competitors are nesting there, there’s no reason why you can’t use basic SEO techniques to take their spot.
Doing so can have incredible results; 93% of our experts said claiming the Featured Snippet box drives more clicks and visits to a website:
21) Videos help you to get 157% more organic traffic from search engines
Who said content had to take the form of written words?
The result: A 157% increase in Search Engine traffic.
22) Pages with a faster loading speed rank higher in Google
Once you’ve optimized each individual page on your website, your job isn’t done. You’ll also need to take a site-wide look at your site and determine whether a larger issue could cause your rankings to plummet.
One of those issues is page speed.
The BBC found they lost an additional 10% of users for every additional second their site took to load.
Google wouldn’t want to push their searchers towards a slow website, so it’ll come as no surprise to see that pages with a faster loading speed rank higher in the SERPs:
Check whether yours fits the bill using Google’s Page Speed Insights tool. It’ll tell you how fast your page loads on desktop and mobile, and recommend some fixes that can shorten the time your website takes to load.
23) 91% of marketers optimize their social media profiles for SEO
As marketers, we’re always looking for a strategy that kills multiple birds with one stone. It’s always good to save time and prioritize tasks that tick multiple boxes, right?
24) …Yet jut 66% see a correlation between social shares and SEO
The vast majority of website owners optimize their social media profiles. Plus, “best practices” always tell us to promote content using social media.
…But just 66% of marketers see a correlation between social shares and their search rankings:
25) 50% of companies monitor their search rankings weekly
Once your content begins to rank for your target keyword, you don’t need to check your Google Analytics dashboard like a crazy person to determine whether it was a success.
26) Mobile accounted for 52.2% of all web traffic in 2018
You’ll need to think about mobile, too–especially when mobile accounted for more than half of all web traffic in 2018. That number’s set to rise:
27) There are more Google searches on mobile than desktop
Why? Because it’s not just usage that tilts in favor of mobile. SEO does, too.
In fact, Google’s own research proves there are more Google searches on mobile than desktop.
The easiest way to cater to these mobile searchers is to follow Google’s mobile-first approach. Build your website design specifically for mobile users–and desktop second.
It goes against all of the previous design tips you’ve heard, but if Google has actively said they index websites based on their mobile user experience, it’s a must.
28) 46% of all Google searches are local
If you have a local brick and mortar store, people won’t find your business as a fluke as they drive by. They’re using local searches (such as “bike store near me”) to find businesses nearby–a tactic you can use to drive more in-store visitors.
Those visitors are increasing in volume, too.
29) 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles
So, what do those local searchers do when they’ve viewed a local SERP?
Research has found that a huge percentage visit a store within five miles.
(Think of how many people live within a five mile radius of your store. If your website is optimized for local search, you could bring 72% of them into your store.)
30) 18% of local smartphone searches led to a purchase within a day
Because so many local searchers visit a store, it’s no surprise that sales occur.
But here’s where things get surprising: 18% of local smartphone searches lead to a purchase within a day–compared to just 7% of non-local searches.
There’s a preference towards on-the-go local searches, meaning it’s not just people who live within your local area that want to find businesses like you.
It’s people on their smartphone who are in the area for a short period of time (such as a conference or vacation) who want to find and purchase something from local shops… Like yours.
31) 88% of consumer-local business searches on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours
That on-the-go mentality means 88% of consumer-local business searches either call or visit a business they’ve found via their smartphone within 24 hours.
Google My Business features like click-to-call make this possible. Take advantage by creating a listing, entering your contact information, and regularly uploading content.
32) By 2020, almost 30% of all searches will be done without screens
There’s no doubt that mobile and local SEO are taking over.
In fact, it’s a trend so popular that by 2025, almost a third of all searches will be done without a screen–using tools like Siri, the Amazon Echo or the Google Home.
33) 40% of millennials use voice search before making a purchase online
Once those voice searches listen to a list of results that match their query, 40% of them (if they’re millennials) will make a purchase.
It’s a crutch an increasing number of people are using, purely because voice search saves time. Users don’t need to sieve through thousands of results on a SERP; a voice assistant device can simply relay the one most relevant.
34) Only 1.71% of the voice search results had the exact match keyword in their title tag
Earlier, we touched on the fact that our experts think the title tag of a page is arguably the most important on-page SEO factor.
Here’s where things get complicated: Research has found that just 1.71% of voice search SERPs have the exact match keyword in their title tag:
What does that mean? Well, if you’re optimizing for voice searchers, it’s not critical to push the page’s keyword towards the front of your title tag.
Instead, rephrase your title tag to a question that your voice searcher might be looking for. For example: “What are the SEO statistics I need to know for 2019?” could be the title of this post.
35) Google Search Console is the most popular SEO tool
Search engines are complex machines. Sure, they’re manned (and built) by humans, but they often have a mind of their own.
That’s why the majority of SEO experts use tools to help them.
Our survey found that Google Search Console–a suite built by Google that tracks rankings, click-through rates and impressions–is the most popular SEO tool:
36) …and Google Search Console is the easiest SEO tool to use
Why is Google Search Console so popular?
Along with the data being pulled from the source they’re trying to impress (Google), our experts think it’s the easiest SEO tool to use:
37) In 2021, the average firm is expected to allocate 41% of their marketing budget to online
Did you know that last year, the average company was expected to allocate 41% of their overall marketing budget to online activities like SEO, content marketing, and advertising?
If that wasn’t surprising enough, the total budget is expected to grow to 45% by 2020.
Online is becoming more popular than ever.
An with users flocking to search engines to find products to purchase, consume content, and be entertained, there’s no reason why SEO shouldn’t take a huge proportion of your budget, too.
38) 38% of SEOs think marketers should get started with SEO with keyword optimization
So, do you fancy getting started with SEO?
As you can see, SEO is a huge opportunity for your business to find and engage people who are actively looking for the products or services you provide.
It means you’ll never have a sustainable, long-term way to generate customers.