Search engine optimization (SEO) is a complex topic.

It’s never as simple as optimizing a page for organic traffic.

While that’s the main goal, there are countless ways to go about doing it.

From link building to on-page SEO to content marketing and every method in between.

And from the outside looking in, it can hard to tell whether the cost will be ROI positive.

With these SEO statistics, we’ll provide direct insights into just how effective SEO and different SEO tactics can be.

Without further ado, here are the XX SEO stats you need to know.

Feel free to jump to a section below:

Search Engine Statistics (Including Mobile)

SEO Return on Investment Statistics

Local SEO Statistics

SEO Content and Ranking Statistics

Wrapping Up

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Search Engine Statistics (Including Mobile)

There are countless search engines, but which is the most popular, and how big are they? In this section, we’ll explore general search engine statistics, including mobile search, too.

  1. 93% of the time, an online session begins by searching keywords on a search engine.[13]

SEO tools google search result page moz

While pay-per-click ads will show up on search results, they obviously aren’t free:

SEO can help you capitalize on how the majority of online experiences start: right on search engines!

  1. 51% of all website traffic (worldwide) clicks on organic results. Only 10% click on paid search. Only 5% click on social media. [17]

While paid search and social media are great ways to grow your business, organic search drives the most traffic.

  1. In 2019, Google accounts for 74.80% of search engine market share worldwide. Second to Google is Baidu, with 11.32% market share. Bing has less than 10% of the market share.[2]

search engine market share chart showing bing, google, yahoo, and baidu in 2018 and 2019

When getting into search engine optimization, Google should be your main focus.

Google’s market share is dominant and the vast majority of people worldwide use it.

While it’s smart to optimize on other search engines, they shouldn’t be your main target.

  1. Google alone processes more than 40,000 keyword searches every single second. That’s over 3.5 billion searches in a single day and 1.2 trillion per year![9]

Organic searches are conducted every second by the thousands.

It’s why SEO is such a big deal. Capitalizing on those keyword searches is a fantastic way to grow your business.

  1. 16-20% of keywords searched on Google in any given day have never been searched before.[4]

New keyword searches are performed every single day. Which means keyword research is more important than ever.

While head terms like “SEO” are going to be nearly impossible to rank for, there are countless long-tail variations being searched on a daily basis, many of which nobody is optimizing directly for.

  1. Every year, Google changes its algorithm around 500-600 times.[1]

That equates to nearly two changes every single day. While not all are major updates like Panda and Penguin, they impact search results often.

Staying on top of SEO updates is a full-time job. It can be time-consuming, but if you want the best performance, it’s critical to be in the know.

Consider following popular SEO blogs (like ours :)) where you can learn about SEO changes, new tactics, and more.

  1. Currently, over 50% of the global population has access to the internet, and therefore, uses search engines to find information. [3]

Bar Graph displaying global population with internet access from 2014 through 2021

With more than half of the world using the internet, it’s critical that your business is optimized for search engines.

Without SEO, you’ll be forced to spend your money on ads alone to bring in relevant traffic.

  1. In 2018, mobile devices accounted for 52.2% of internet traffic worldwide. In Asia, more than 65% of web traffic is conducted on mobile devices.[8]

Bar Graph displaying share of population using mobile devices to access internet 2009-2018

Mobile traffic is here to stay, in fact, it’s already outpaced desktop traffic.

This has big implications for SEO.

Simply optimizing your desktop site is not enough anymore. Not when the average user is going to view your site on a smaller screen and a slower connection.

Factors like site speed and usability are now big points of optimization in SEO.

  1. As page load time goes from one second to ten seconds, the probability of a bounce increases by 123%.[10] Site speed is a critical factor of dwell time. The faster your site, the lower the bounce rate.

Page load time chart showing percent of bounce rate as load time increases

Site speed is extremely important for delighting users who click on your post in the search results.

If your site doesn’t load fast enough, users will leave your site for good, costing you both a lead and sending negative signals to Google that your content and site are not satisfying user problems.

This can negatively impact your SEO.

  1. The best practice for page speed is three seconds. But, the average website in every industry takes more than double that to load.[10]

horizontal bar chart displaying average internet speed based on industry

Increasing your site speed will have compounding effects on your SEO.

Search engine optimization is amazing for attracting new potential customers. But if those potential customers can’t even load your page, or leave before it does, your hard work is all for nothing.

Optimizing site speed ensures you give yourself the best chance at attracting and converting potential customers.

Use tools like Google’s Test My Site to improve your speed. Shoot for three seconds or less.

SEO Return on Investment Statistics

Is SEO worth the time and financial investment? Let’s find out with data. Here’s what the latest studies and surveys say on the ROI of SEO.

  1. 40% of business revenue on average is generated by organic search. [17]

Optimizing your organic presence helps you build brand awareness and drive relevant traffic, fueling business growth.

  1. On a given Google search, users are 20x more likely to click the organic search result over a paid ad.[18]

While paid ads can help you show up in the top search results without content and optimization, organic search drives most of the traffic.

  1. 57% of surveyed marketers said that search engine optimization generates more leads and customers for their business than any other marketing tactic.[12]  

Marketers love SEO, and for good reason. It’s one of the best ways to attract qualified leads without paying for advertising.

  1. Brands that post more blog posts each month generate 4.5x more leads.[14]

Graph displaying Impact of monthly blog posts on inbound leads as posts increase

Content marketing (blogging) and SEO go hand-in-hand.

And companies that spend more time blogging generate higher returns on investment through greater lead generation.

  1. Companies that prioritize SEO and content marketing are 13x more likely to generate a positive return on investment. [14]

In a HubSpot survey, marketers who implemented content marketing reported far higher ROIs than those who didn’t.

Takeaway? Content is still king.

  1. In a report from Ascend2, 81% of companies studied reported being ROI positive with their SEO strategy. [15]

According to data, the vast majority who implement SEO strategies produce a positive return on their spend.

Local SEO Statistics

Local SEO is a subset of SEO where your focus is ranking for local searchers and local search terms, like “shoe store near me.” Here are the latest local SEO statistics.

  1. Every month, people visit over 1.5 billion business locations related to keywords they searched for on Google. [11]

Local search engine optimization is a huge market. If your business has a brick and mortar store, local SEO should be a huge priority in your budget.

Even if you don’t have a physical retail location, you can still optimize for local SEO as a local brand and product.

  1. 30% of all mobile searches on Google are location-based.[11]

Mobile searchers are constantly on the go, looking for their next purchase and brand to engage with.

  1. In the last year alone, there has been a 1.3x increase in searches for “where to buy / find / get.”[11]

Mobile, local searches are often very high-intent. This means that people searching for these keywords are ready to purchase, giving your business a chance to attract them for free, without paying a dime on ads.

  1. 76% of users on Google who search for something in their local area will visit that business within one day. 28% of them will purchase something.[11]

Local SEO can be a goldmine for your business. It enables people to easily find your products or services when they search in their local area.

Without it, you are missing out on a huge market.

SEO Content and Ranking Statistics

Content is the life force of SEO. Without content, it’s brutally difficult to rank for keywords. Here are the latest stats on content and rankings.

  1. According to Google’s Andrey Lipattsev, backlinks and content are the most important, impactful ranking factors.[5]

While there are potentially hundreds of factors that can impact your SEO efforts, content and backlinks are the most important.

Creating high-quality, long-form content is critical to targeting your keywords, delighting users, and sending the right signals to Google crawlers.

Backlinks work to increase your domain authority and relevance, which in turn improves your chance at ranking on the first page of a given Google search.

You can only optimize your product pages so much. Content helps you bring in organic traffic by providing value to searchers. The more value you provide, the more customers you can convert.

  1. There are an estimated four million blog posts published every single day.[6]

Google search results page what is seo

A simple Google search for common topics will net you million of results:

More blogs exist than ever before, and more people are writing content on a daily basis then we’ve ever seen.

Creating content for your target market works. But making great content that stands out amongst the competition is brutal.

If you are new to blogging, you’ll likely want to hire an outside party to consult on strategy. Generic blog posts won’t work anymore. There are too many published daily, and the quality demands have increased 100x in the last few years alone.

  1. The average word count of a first result blog post on the first page of Google is 1,890 words.[7]

Total word count in relation to google content ranking position

While word count isn’t a ranking factor at all, long-form content is often far superior.


It allows you to target more topics, subtopics, and information with one post.

This helps to increase dwell time factors like bounce rate, time on site, and more, all contributing to your SEO success.

Long-form content provides more value by being a “one-stop-shop” of information for customers.

In your next post, be sure to write at least 1,890 words of GOOD (not fluff) content.

  1. On average, the top ranking content on a given search result has the most backlinks of any page ranking for that keyword.[7]

Graph showing number of backlinks in relation to google ranking

To improve both your content strength and site authority, acquiring backlinks from reputable sources is imperative.

Without high-quality backlinks from diverse sources, your content won’t rank as easily. Beyond total backlinks, you should also aim to get links from as many different websites as possible.

For example, just having 100 links from the same site can be seen as spammy. But having 100 links from 100 different sites is a strong indicator of relevance, quality, and authority.

For some effective link building strategies, follow our guide here.

  1. The first ranking post on a given search engine results page (SERP) will get 32.5% of clicks. [16]

Google SERP showing what is seo and top results showing seo strategy

Ranking first is a guaranteed way to boost your traffic from organic search. But it’s harder than ever before.

Continue to improve your content and outreach for backlinks.

26. Search engines not only rank pages, they can also now rank individual passages within a page.

One of the biggest changes to SEO in 2020 was the announcement that Google is working on ranking specific passages (or sections) of pages for specific queries. It is TBD what percentage of queries this will affect, but it is a seismic shift and thus you can expect a lot of informational queries to be affected by this change.

Combined with Featured Snippets, it’s now more important than ever to specifically answer the question in a concise way rather than just writing a lot of words about a topic.

Wrapping Up

Search engine optimization is a complex and diverse system of tactics, tools, and strategy.

We hope these SEO statistics helped you to inform your next decision, whether it be to implement SEO, improve your mobile presence, or generate better content.

Want to learn more about SEO?

Explore our SEO guides below!

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