18 Eye-Opening SEO Statistics to Prove the Value of Organic Search

This post originally appeared on the Alphametic blog.

You already know that having a prominent online presence supported by an effective SEO strategy is indispensable. People are searching for your business, and you need to make sure they find you online. The Internet, however, is a virtually endless resource with millions of search inquiries leading consumers to different places.

More than often, an online experience begins with a web search. Yet, how do you make sure people searching for companies and services like yours land on your website, and not someone else’s? One thing you can be certain of is that you’ll need to make a case to prove the value of SEO to be able to direct any of your company’s resources — or client’s resources — to site audits, content marketing, technical optimization, local, and backlink strategies.

With updates being done to Google’s search engine algorithm continuously, deciding to craft (an execute on) an SEO strategy sounds like a lot of work. How do you convince your boss or client that it’s worth it? Is keeping up with Google really that important? Yes. Being on Google’s good side, and making it to the front page, will impact your business tremendously. And what about other search engines? What is the value of being searchable? Do you show up online?

To help you make a better case for SEO to justify the value of organic search, I’ve compiled a list of eye-opening SEO statistics about organic search, Google facts, and the Internet at large. Be free to use them, tweet them, embed them, or insert them into your own presentation.

Check them out, and show them to your boss:

WHEN GOOGLE WENT DOWN FOR 5 MINUTES, GLOBAL INTERNET TRAFFIC DROPPED BY A WHOPPING 40%

Source: CNET

It seems like the Internet really does revolve around Google. In 2013, Google’s services were unavailable for only 5 minutes due to an outage and web traffic dropped by 40%. Google is the heart and soul of the Internet. How important is your Google presence and global web traffic? Very.

THERE ARE MORE THAN 2.3 MILLION GOOGLE SEARCHES CONDUCTED EACH MINUTE

Source: Internet Live Stats

What have you Googled today? When “Googled” the appropriate temperature to bake Alaskan salmon, Google connected me with 338,000 results in under 0.81 seconds. The first result was more than satisfactory. With over 3.5 billion searches conducted a day, odds are that you’ve Googled something. It might have been that very search that led you here. Back when Google launched in 1995, users were conducting just 500,000 searches per day. Today, this statistic has more than quadrupled. The growth of organic search traffic has been growing consistently.

16–20% OF ALL GOOGLE SEARCHES ARE BEING SEARCHED FOR THE FIRST TIME

Source: Internet Live Stat

How does Google answer questions that have never been asked before? Through extensive indexing, site crawling and millions of search precedents. Never before asked queries are more common than you’d think. Marketers should think about how to fashion their content strategy so that they find the right balance between targeting ultra-competitive, established keywords as well as the less popular queries that are ‘on the rise.’ Use Google Trends to find these niche golden nuggets.

THE TOP 5 SEARCH RESULTS ON GOOGLE GET 70% OF THE CLICKS

Source: Amazee Metrics

Does anyone ever go to the second page? No one really does, right? Turns out, that your position within search results is of utmost importance. Studies show that the first 5 search results receive the most clicks (70%).

ONE IN SIX PEOPLE ON THE PLANET USE GOOGLE

Source: Search Engine Watch

A big chunk of the world is “Googling” away. With 2 trillion searches conducted on the planet every year, there’s no denying that Google is the world’s most powerful search engine giant.

10% OF GOOGLE SEARCHERS ARE LOOKING FOR DETAILED CONTENT, AND GOOGLE’S ALGORITHM KEEPS THIS IN MIND

Source: Moz via Results Driven SEO

There’s definitely a correlation between longer content and Google ranking. Moz’s study found that the most popular pages had over 35,000 words and generated more than 800 links. Google prefers well-written and longer content over those that are more superficial and short. Don’t get lazy on that blog! Articles over 1,000 words might just fare better SEO wise.

MORE THAN HALF OF GOOGLE’S SEARCHES ARE CONDUCTED ACROSS MOBILE PLATFORMS

Source: The Verge

This is no surprise. Smartphones and tablets have become the new prime way to communicate, and access information. According to The Verge, more people are searching on mobile devices than ever before. Taking into account the increased smartphone and tablet usage, Google has updated its SEO algorithm to take into account mobile website usability. In the world of mobile-first indexing, a website that doesn’t work well on mobile can be affected negatively in Google’s rankings.

88% PERCENT OF SMARTPHONE USERS ARE USING THEIR DEVICE TO CONDUCT SEARCH ON GOOGLE

Source: Think With Google

In company with the previous statistic, is the fact that the majority of cellphone users use their phones to conduct searches. According to the report Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, 88% of smartphone perform searches, making the need for a mobile-friendly website crucial. People are searching on the go, and are looking for local results. Google is looking to provide the most practical, precise and relevant local search results through their regularly updated mobile-friendly ranking algorithm. Optimize your local listings with a smart local search marketing plan in place.

18% OF LOCAL MOBILE SEARCHES LEAD TO SALES ON THE SAME DAY

Source: Google

And what’s even more important, 18% of local searches will lead to a sale on that very day. In contrast, only 7% of non-local searches will. Capturing the local search market through SEO is a smart strategy. Potential customers and clients are searching, you just have to lure them to you. If you have a locally-focused business, you need to show up highly on Google Maps, and other local directories.

50% OF MOBILE PHONE USERS ARE LIKELY TO VISIT A STORE ON THE SAME DAY THEY CONDUCTED THEIR GOOGLE SEARCH

Source: Google

Having a mobile-friendly website is super important because people searching on their phones are more likely to visit your store on that very day. While 50% of mobile phone users will visit your store after conducting a search, only 34% of users searching on tablets and computers will do so.

GLOBALLY, GOOGLE’S SEARCH MARKET SHARE REACHES 82%

Source: Net Market Share

And in the World? Google is still on top. Anyone you’re trying to reach, anywhere they might be, Google is your best bet towards generating an impression, and getting your product and brand across borders. Except for in the case of China, and a few others, Google is the dominant search engine in almost every country in the world.

GOOGLE OWNS 64% OF THE SEARCH ENGINE MARKET SHARE IN THE US

Source: comScore

In the US, people use Google more than Bing, Yahoo, and all the others. The term “Google it” is popular for a reason. In a study conducted by comScore, out of a total of 17.5 billion searches conducted in one month, 11.2 billion of them were conducted through Google. Bing follows second with just 3.7 billion, and Yahoo with 2.2 billion.

36% OF CHINESE WEBSITES HAVE HIDDEN CODE THAT CONNECTS TO GOOGLE’S SERVERS

Source: The Guardian

Over 21% of the world’s internet users live in China. After having left an enormous market in 2010, Google plans to return. With twice as many people online in China compared to the US, a just a piece of the Chinese search engine market share will secure Google as the most utilized website in the world. Is your company interested in expanding internationally? You’d need to optimize for Baidu if you target Chinese audience. If so, this might be something to consider when crafting your SEO strategy.

78% OF LOCAL MOBILE SEARCHES RESULT IN IN-STORE PURCHASES

Source:Search Engine Land

People aren’t just Googling the latest cat video. They’re looking for the best store, the best product and the best service near them, and for them. With the power to Google, consumers are behind the wheel of their purchases and investments, and as we’ve learned, they never really go past the first page. So does “the best decision” = a high Google search ranking? To an extent, absolutely.

WEBSITE URLS THAT ARE NOT MOBILE FRIENDLY HAVE EXPERIENCED A 21% DECREASE IN SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS

Source: BrightEdge

Is your website’s search ranking being affected for sure? Seems like it. According to a study conducted by BrightEdge shortly after the Google’s mobile algorithm update last year, the presence of non-mobile friendly websites on the first 3 pages of Google began to fade fast. Over 20,000 websites were tested and scored for mobile friendliness, and then had their ranked recorded. A 21% decrease in ranking was found for those URLs scoring low in mobile-friendliness.

WEB USERS EXPOSED TO SLOW LOADING TIMES, WILLCONDUCT LESS SEARCHES ON AVERAGE

Source: Google

This is according to studies conducted at Google using their search engine. Speed matters. Even after rectifying a low speed, users will be reluctant to return to your website. Get rid of anything that hinders your website’s speed. Music players, flashy graphics and unnecessarily large images will stagnate loading time. Google has a few tips on how to fix a slow website.

51% OF WEBSITE TRAFFIC COMES FROM ORGANIC SEARCH RESULTS

Source: BrightEdge

How are people getting to your site? They’re Googling their way there. Chances are, more than half of your web traffic started with a search. According to a study conducted by BrightEdge, this means that over 40% of revenue is captured through organic search traffic. Social only accounts for merely 10% of web traffic, and paid search just 10%.

USERS FOCUS MORE ON ORGANIC SEARCH RESULTS 94% OF THE TIME

Source: Search Engine Watch

There is good news for those reluctant to invest in an AdWords account. According to Search Engine Watch, organic results fare better over paid ads. The higher you rank, the more clicks you get, and paid ads don’t count. Users tend to ignore the advertisements on top of the page and go straight to the organic search results listed first.

Hope the list is helpful! Have I missed any of other important SEO statistics? Please drop me a note in the comments below.