SEO Basics:

The Statistics

by R.E.S. Martina

 

As the leader of the marketing, advertising, branding, outreach, customer engagement, social media, or other digital lead generation efforts for a company in the green tech or sustainability sector, you know that attracting and retaining customers and clients is a numbers game. That’s why I wanted to share some powerful statistics with you about search engines to demonstrate their ever-increasing prevalence in our lives. And no search engine reigns supreme like Google.

I would challenge anyone to name one legitimate competitor to Google. Bing? Yahoo? 

As you’ll see momentarily, Google has completely dominated the search engine niche, and that is the main reason why when we talk about SEO, we focus primarily on discussing Google’s algorithms.

If you’re unfamiliar with SEO and digital marketing, I go over a lot of the common terms in the SEO world in my previous post – SEO Basics: The Terminology.

Matey E shares some SEO basics

In his recent YouTube mini-series, Matey E, the Founder and CEO of Marketing Strategy for elative.io, shares some of the most noteworthy statistics around search engines, and in this blog post, I’ll discuss what each of them means in the context of your marketing efforts.

 

Search Engine Statistics You Need to Know

  • Google has 92.18% of the search engine market share worldwide (Gs.statcounter, 2019).

92%! Like I said before, at this point in time, Google has become the de facto monopoly in the search engine market, to the point where spending any time optimizing a website for one of the other search engines has very little potential for any significant ROI.

 

  • Google is the most visited website. Google has been visited 62.19 billion times in the year 2019 (Similarweb, 2019).

Another statistic demonstrating how Google has integrated its way into each and every one of our daily lives. Google has done a great job at slowly expanding its offerings to become more and more intertwined with life online. 

Whether it’s Google Maps, which is an extremely comprehensive app with directions, hours, phone numbers and more for millions of businesses, Google Docs and Sheets, which provided free, cloud-based alternatives to Microsoft’s Word and Excel, GMail, which has essentially become the standard email client, or Google Chrome, the alternative to browsers like Firefox and Safari, Google has become much more than a search engine.

 

  • Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day (Internetlivestats, 2019). 

As a marketing professional, this number is absolutely staggering to me. Obviously every search isn’t made with the intent of making a purchase, but if you’re playing the numbers game, it sounds like Google is the place to play it.

 

  • An average person conducts 3–4 searches every single day. (Moz, 2019)

We live in the age of information. Whether it’s finding a restaurant menu before you arrive, checking the hours of a store before you drive there, or searching for tickets for a concert, searching on Google for instantaneous information has become almost second nature to most of us.

And within that fact, lies opportunity. In a later post, I’ll talk more about content marketing and attracting traffic by providing valuable, relevant content. But for now, I’ve provided a brief explanation of content marketing and other digital marketing strategies in my previous post – SEO Basics: The Terminology.

 

  • 15% of all searches have never been searched before on Google.

With 3.5 billion searches per day, this is a very interesting statistic and the main reason SEO is a constantly changing game that requires consistent updating and tweaking. It only takes one viral video for people to begin searching things that have never been searched before, so there is always the potential for massive upswings in search volumes for things that are trending.

 

  • Google takes over 200 factors into account before delivering you the best results to any query in a fraction of a second.

Google rose to dominance at first simply because people preferred the results its search engine provided to the results of the other search engines of the time like Altavista, Ask Jeeves and Yahoo. And Google never stopped investing in improving that algorithm either.

While 200 factors may seem like a lot, if you’re interested in learning more about how Google’s algorithm works from a functional standpoint, check out my post about Understanding Google’s E.A.T.-based Algorithm.

 

  • 63% of Google’s US organic search traffic originated from mobile devices (Merkleinc, 2019)

I remember a time when cell phones just called people. Nowadays, most of us – myself included – struggle to be separated from our smartphones for more than a few hours. And this statistic shows that not only do Americans use their phone for texting, social media and phone calls, but a significant portion of organic search traffic is now occurring over our mobile devices, rather than computers or laptops. 

Another factor to consider in the ever-evolving art of SEO.

 

  • 46% of product searches begin on Google (Jumpshot, 2018)

This is an interesting statistic because it actually shows an area that Google isn’t overwhelmingly dominant in, and that’s product searches. I don’t have the corresponding data, but I would assume that a large chunk of the remaining market share for product searches belongs to Amazon. 

As dominant as Google is in the search engine market, Amazon is equally dominant when it comes to its role as the online shipper of pretty much anything. And with the combination of Amazon Prime’s 2-day shipping, Amazon has undoubtedly become the first place many people check if they want to purchase something online and have it arrive quickly.

The distinction here is that people visiting Amazon are essentially bottom-of-the-funnel consumers. They’re ready to make a purchase and have already done most of their research. By the time they’ve reached Amazon, they’re mostly going to compare price and customer reviews.

The goal of SEO is to interact with these potential consumers a little earlier in the conversion funnel through relevant, valuable content so that they see your company’s product or service before they even reach Amazon.

 

  • 90 percent of survey respondents said they were likely to click on the first set of results / first page (Searchengineland, 2018)

I discuss this statistic in my previous blog post – SEO Basics: The Terminology

‘If someone can’t find their desired results on the first page, they’ll end up changing their query, instead of looking at the second page.’

Taking this into account, this means that a website that ranks on the second page or worse of Google is nearly invisible.

 

  • Organic search produced 23% of all site visits (Merkle, 2019) 

As Matey E mentions in the video series, this is most likely due to the growth of both paid search and direct site visits. As Google has become more and more willing to make slight tweaks to their user interface, they’ve also slowly made it slightly less obvious as to what is and what is not a paid advertisement. In addition to this, as social media marketing on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn has become much more standard, the number of people visiting websites via direct link has also increased.

 

Now that you know more about why SEO is so important and Google is so dominant, you’re ready to learn some of the tips and tricks of the trade! In my next blog post I’ll discuss the first steps you can take to start Search Engine Optimizing your company’s website.