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10 SEO Stats That Will Make You Look Smart Around the Water Cooler

This is a post from contributing author Victoria Greene - Brand Marketing Consultant & Freelance Writer.

You may be new to SEO – or you may not. But as a B2B marketing manager, it’s wise to polish up your knowledge. Statistics tell us that SEO is one of the most important traffic drivers out there, directly influencing lead generation. Attaining visibility in organic search engine results comes down to a combination of creative and technical factors, from your backlink profile to your content marketing strategy. When it comes to convincing others in your team of the importance of a solid SEO strategy, here are 10 vital statistics you should keep up your sleeve.

75% of users never make it past the first page

You’ve probably heard the phrase that ‘the best place to hide a dead body is page two of the Google search results’. If not, crack that one out at your next meeting.

It’s a fair point to make, because as multiple sources including Junto Digital tell us, 75% of people never click past the first page of search results. Which means if you’re currently ranking on page 2 – even at the top of page 2 – it’s no good. Only one quarter of users is ever likely to come across you and even fewer will visit your site, because:

Websites ranking in positions 1-4 get 96% of all clicks

Position 1 naturally gets the most clicks, at around 33%. Positions 2, 3 and 4 then receive the subsequent 63% of clicks between them, which leaves a puny 4% of clicks for anything lower than position 4. Sorry position 5 – it’s not a good day for you. At least not according to Business 2 Community.

The average word count of a ranking web page is ~2000 words

When it comes to SEO, sometimes more is more. We now know that the average Google first page result contains 1,890 words, according to HubSpot. In fact, the higher up you look, the more content each page is likely to have.

Of course, sometimes there are anomalies, but that is the general trend. From this we can learn that Google favors websites with plenty of content – and on top of that, these sites are also more likely to receive more backlinks, assuming the content is valuable and good quality.

40% of marketers see changing search algorithms as their biggest obstacle

According to HubSpot’s latest marketing statistics, 40% of marketers say the most challenging obstacle to SEO success is frequently changing search algorithms.

Moz tells us that Google updates its search algorithm approximately 500-600 times per year. That’s an awful lot of updates – but for the most part, they are minor and barely noticeable. It’s the major ones you need to look out for, such as Google Panda, Google Penguin, and most recently Google Fred, which aims to target black-hat SEO tactics.

Concerned about being penalized? Check your website doesn’t do any of the following.

For best results, SEO and PPC should be used in tandem

Business 2 Community also tells us that when organic SEO techniques and PPC campaigns are combined, you can expect to receive 25% more clicks and 27% more profits than if you only used one or the other.

This cross-pollination gives better and faster results because 89% of customers begin their buying process with a search engine, so marketers must do whatever it takes to be visible – whether that’s strategic link building, carefully crafted meta titles, or giving Google some sugar.

Just under half of all Google searches are local

HubSpot’s local SEO stats tell us that 46% of all searches on Google are local. That is, users are searching for businesses and places near their own location – often using a mobile device.

This is important, because what we also know is that around 78% of local mobile searches later result in offline purchases. These are not the kind of numbers to be scoffed at. If you’re a local business ranking #1 for say ‘computer repairs’ in your area, you will receive ~33% of those 46% of searches. So if 100 people in your area are searching for local computer repairs on a daily basis, that’s around 33 people landing on your website, and potentially around 25 dropping by your store.

B2B buyers do ~12 searches prior to engaging

Back to HubSpot’s trusty marketing statistics, which tell us that the average number of searches that a B2B researcher will do before engaging with a brand is 12. As a B2B marketing manager, this should come as no surprise. We know that selling to a B2B buyer is an entirely different ballgame to B2C. The B2B selling space is evolving, and traditional sales processes are becoming less effective. Why? Because the B2B audience is online, and nearly half of all B2B researchers are millennials.

50% of search queries are four words or longer

That’s according to Wordstream, who know a thing or two about online advertising. We now know that ‘one does not simply type one word into Google’. Marketers often fall into the trap of thinking this way, when in reality, customers are searching in phrases and questions – also known as long tail keywords.

Long tail keywords are strings of keywords that are usually between three and five words long, the difference between ‘website’ and ‘B2B website design best practices’. Search engines love long tail keywords because they appeal to specific crowds of people – just like your business.

49% of B2B researchers use mobile devices for product research while at work

So say our friends at HubSpot. B2B marketers must embrace mobile if they wish to succeed. Is your B2B website optimized for mobile search? If not, that’s something to address right away.

With more B2B decision makers using mobile devices during their research and selection process, even while at work, some of the first factors to address are your website’s page speed and design. A fast, responsive website is key to keeping hold of those buyers as they make their way through your website, and those of your competitors.

The top three traffic sources driving sales for ecommerce sites are organic, email, and PPC

If your B2B website conducts any kind of sales online, you can’t afford to ignore these top three traffic drivers, with organic search traffic at 22%, email marketing at 20% and PPC at 19% – according to Smart Insights. You may also be surprised to learn that social media only account for 1% of traffic: much less than many marketers think.

To drive online sales, organic search traffic must be a priority. SEO is a long-term strategy not a quick win – companies must be willing to invest sufficient funds in their SEO optimization to ensure they are not being outstripped by their competitors. Those using an ecommerce service like Shopify should consider making use of the advanced marketing and SEO features on offer, which include advanced analytics, advertising credits, and targeted marketing emails.

So how much of this did you know already, and what did you learn that surprised you? Either way, we’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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