To accurately gauge public opinion when it comes to search engine optimisation, you really only need to hammer two words into Google. Try it now – just enter ‘SEO’ and ‘is’ and see what suggestions follow. Rank 1 – ‘SEO is dead’. Rank 2 ‘SEO is b******t’. But then a couple of suggestions down, you get ‘SEO is it worth it’ which comprehensively illustrates the fact that so many assume SEO is history, though at the same time still aren’t 100% convinced.
Well, here’s a newsflash to clear things up once and for all…SEO is alive, well and getting stronger by the day.
As is the case with so many things, one of the best ways of fully clarifying the true power and potential of effective SEO is by examining a few concrete facts and statistics. Of course there’s far more to success than simply sucking up to Google alone, but to construct and implement a solid content marketing plan with strong SEO focus is to stand every chance of hitting the big time. And to illustrate this, what follows is a brief overview of several key stats and facts collated from Google, Hubspot, eConsultancy, MarketingSherpa, SEMPO and other leading brands, just to show where things lie as of right now:
Content Marketing is King
First of all, the longstanding cliché that argues ‘content is king’ should perhaps these days the replaced by ‘content marketing is king’. After all, not all content or content strategies are of the same calibre. Surveys have shown that quality content marketing can increase overall revenue by up to 40%, while accelerating blog traffic a whopping 2,000%.
The Organic Way of Life
When it comes to the links search users actually bother to click on, at least 70% are organic. Or in other words, Google was right to declare war on spam links some time ago as it’s clear that the overwhelming majority of web users have no interest in them whatsoever.
Paid Ads Perform Poorly
And it’s exactly the same story when it comes to those paid and sponsored listings that top the table and stand out prominently with pretty much every search carried out. Research suggests that despite their prominence and indeed the heavy costs of getting them there in the first place, up to 80% of web users ignore them entirely and only ever pay attention to the organic search results.
First Page Prowess
When it comes to SERP rankings, it’s pretty much the same tale today as it has always been. Specifically, studies have shown that approximately 75% of all web users never bother looking beyond the first search results page. And among those who do, a huge proportion don’t have any real confidence in the results they are presented with.
Contrary to popular belief, some of the most traditional web ‘habits’ of all are still the most common and prolific Internet activities of all. Along with social media, email and search engine use represent two of the three top web activities of all.
The Beauty of Blogging
The power and value of blogging from a business perspective is something that is near-universally acknowledged these days. Nevertheless, millions of businesses still simply do not bother. Those who do however stand to reap the rewards – it’s no secret that higher numbers of indexed pages breed higher numbers of leads. Brands with blogs have on average more than 430% more pages indexed than non-blogging businesses.
In terms of the costs of tapping into leads in the first place, an outbound lead (like a cold call for example) costs on average 60% more than an inbound lead. So not only are inbound leads considerably more likely to convert, but there also exponentially cheaper to hook in the first place.
Search Still Rules
When it comes to the way in which web users find their way to websites and services, search engines still outperform everything else by miles. Social media may have gained serious ground over recent years, but search engines still direct 300% more traffic to content sites than anything else on the web.
Killer Close Rates
Statistics show that standard outbound leads – print advertising, direct mail etc. – have close rates in the region of 1.7%. By contrast, leads generated by SEO have a close rate that’s closer to 15%. And once again, given the fact that inbound marketing like SEO is exponentially cheaper than traditional inbound marketing, it’s something of a no-brainer.
Last but not least, approximately 80% of web users state that they click the organic search results produced by search engines on a very regular or daily basis. At the other end of the scale, approximately 80% once again said that they instinctively avoid clicking on paid ads, sponsored links and basically anything else that doesn’t appear in the primary results list. Given the fact that more than 90% of all web experiences begin via a search engine…well, it’s self-explanatory, really.