SEO Facts And Influencing Factors You Must Know
Do you often wonder, “How can I identify with complete precision the factors that are improving my SERPs?”
You’re not alone. Almost every online entrepreneur thinks about this question, including us. However, this puzzle is impossible to solve, unless you’re employed by search engines such as Google. That said, this doesn’t mean we mortals are resigned to SEO strategies based more on intuition than evidence. The folks at SEO Tribunal collected a number of facts and SEO statistics that give you a deep insight into the key determiners influencing SEO.. You can leverage this information to create and implement a smart, research-based SEO strategy.
All the information displayed below is obtained from genuine sources.
We’ll be discussing the following topics:
Search Engines – A Brief History
Google Algorithms – Change is the Only Constant
Which Search Engine Reigns Supreme?
Present and Future Search Volume Trends
Benefits of Ranking in Google and Factors That Influence Google Ranking
SEO Statistics and Ranking Factors for Local Businesses
Search Engines – A Brief History
The first search engine, Archie Query, was launched in 1993. Within the next five years, four search engines were launched, including Google (1998). The youngest search engine is Bing, launched in 2009.
Google Algorithms – Change Is The Only Constant
Since its launch, Google has tweaked its search algorithm several times, the following being the most important updates:
The Panda Update in 2011 (impacted search queries by up to 12%)
The Penguin Update in 2012 (affected 3.1% of queries)
RankBrain in 2016 (designed to provide more appropriate search results for users)
Which Search Engine Reigns Supreme?
This is a no-brainer. In search engines niche, Google is supreme ruler, accounting for about 92% of desktop searchers and 72% of mobile searchers.
Baidu, the most popular search engine in China, comes a distant second. About 12% of desktop searches and 4% of mobile searches are done on it.
Yahoo, one of the most popular search engines before Google, is at the third place, holding about 5% of desktop searches and 1% of mobile searches.
Present and Future Search Volume Trends
Search engines account for about 39% of total ecommerce traffic, out of which 35% comes from organic searches and a meager 4% from paid searches. At least 70% of internet users who use search engines to find information don’t pay attention to paid ads and focus solely on organic search results.
When it comes to search volumes, mobile users are growing at a significantly faster rate than desktop users. As of now, mobile searches account for 58% of total searches. With that in mind, surveys have shown that one in five adults uses voice search at least once per month.
Benefits of Ranking On Google And Factors That Influence Google Ranking
A top Google ranking provides many advantages, such as high-quality leads and up to 30% improvement in brand perception.
Top ranking factors include the following:
Page speed (a top ranking site has a speed of 1,900 ms or above)
Backlink profile (the number of links on a site ranked first on Google is six times higher compared to a 10th ranked site)
Content quality (the average word count of pages showing up on the first page of Google is 1,890)
Bounce rate (a number one ranked site has an 8.7% lower bounce rate than a website ranked 10th)
SEO Statistics And Ranking Factors For Local Businesses
Local searches account for 46% of all Google searches, which is itself a testament to how important SEO is for all local businesses. Around 18% of smartphone users who searched locally made a purchase within 24 hours. For non-local searches, this figure is just 7%.
Top four ranking factors for local businesses are:
Search Engines: Who’s The Boss?
It is true that Google is a household name and a pioneer in the search engine market! Globally, it has over 72.4% of desktop and 91.82% of mobile search engine market share.
But the fact often overlooked by most SEO’s is that the Bing-Yahoo network has over 21.3% of US search market share.
Yahoo has been powered by Bing for many years now, with over 50% of Yahoo searches relying on Bing’s index. This means that search results are very similar on both search engines and optimizing for one will also work for the other!
That said, here’s what we suggest:
Don’t exclude Bing from your SEO strategies!
Especially if you have:
- An actual business website (The average cost per click for Google Ads is $1.83, whereas for Bing Ads it’s $1.07)
- Older target audience (Bing searchers are for the most part 35+ in age and usually within the 55-64 age range)
- A target audience from the USA (85% of Bing users are located in the States)
By doing so, you will get numerous benefits, including:
- Lower competition (any SEO stats checker will confirm that most marketers go to Google);
- More money (Bing users in the USA spend roughly 22% more than other Internet users);
- Better conversion rate.
Although Google and Bing have different search algorithms, both companies share the same goal:Provide right results to their search engine users!
Our Tip: Instead of concentrating on what algorithm – concentrate on what user! Try blending the ranking factors of both.
So, how to optimize a website for both Google and Bing?
Mobile Is Key!
No matter what search engine you are trying to rank for, a mobile-friendly website is one of the crucial factors for SERP success.
The mobile-first index is already wideout as of March 26th, 2018, positively influencing mobile-friendly websites ever since.
58% of all search is done via mobile, and 40% of people are searching on smartphones only. What is more, 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.
Another stat that shouldn’t be overlooked is that 40% of people will choose a different search result if the first is not mobile friendly.
Projections show that by 2019, mobile advertising will represent 72% of all US digital ad spending.
As the all of the above suggests mobile domination, it’s also noteworthy to mention that setting up a mobile website is not that hard.
- Don’t use flash, auto zoom.
- Let users know what your website is about before they scroll down.
- Use bigger buttons and a font size of 14px.
- Add viewport meta tags.
Present and Future Trends: What Are You Missing out On?
As mentioned earlier, if there is something that is not changing in the SEO market, it is the fact that it is continuously changing.
Search engines are trying to evolve. So does SEO!
If you were to follow some old-school concept of buying some links, it would do more harm than good.
Instead, you should keep track of the trends and plan strategies accordingly.
For instance, back in the days, it was all about primary keywords. But search engines now know that 50% of their search queries are four words or longer.
Wondering whether long tail keywords are really important for your SEO efforts? Consider the following search engine optimization statistics:
- Long tail keywords have better conversion rates (According to WordStream, the top 10% of landing pages convert at 11.45%);
- They provide context behind the content;
- Long tail keywords are more specific than short ones; hence, they are less competitive;
- They are good for mobile optimization;
- They assist voice search.
Speaking of voice search, we must note that changes are also happening in this field, where searches can be longer than ten words. Check out the amazing SEO stats about voice search listed below!
72% of people who own a voice-activated speaker say their devices are often used as part of their daily routine.
In 2017, 13% of all households in the US owned a smart speaker, and that number is predicted to rise to 55% by 2022.
Today, the speech recognition word error rate is 8% which brings about the popularity of this trend. It is estimated that, by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice activated.
If you have not considered voice search in your SEO strategies yet, you can get started with the steps provided below.
How to optimize for voice search
- Use natural language; that is how people use voice search;
- Voice searches are usually questions, so optimize your keywords in an interrogative format;
- Websites with around 2300 words of highly shareable content, HTTPS, and good loading speed are more likely to show up for voice search;
- Optimize your content with FAQs and featured snippets.
Beside these future trends, if you are doing serious SEO work, there is no way you can avoid the present trends – answer boxes and RankBrain.
Google started using RankBrain, the machine learning program, to provide more relevant results for the users. Today, RankBrain is the third most influential search ranking factor, right behind backlinks and content/keywords.
In the near future, Google is set to process 100% requests using RankBrain. So, what we want to say is – RankBrain is here to stay.
How to optimize for RankBrain
- RankBrain understands what your content is about, so you shouldn’t create pages for long tail keywords;
- Value user satisfaction and improve CTR;
- Decrease bounce rate and increase dwell time.
You could also check out Backlinko’s detailed guide on optimizing websites for RankBrain.
On the other hand, Google answer boxes get triggered for 25% of searches. You do not want to miss out on that either, especially when they grant you CTR of 32.3%.
Moreover, it is not that hard to hit the answer box position when you already are on the first page!
The best practices to hit the answer box position are listed below.
- Find keywords triggering answer boxes;
- Implement structured data;
- Use lists, tables, and table of contents.
Important Ranking Factors
Although it is a changing field, some basics help search engines to function better and increase user satisfaction overall.
For instance, let us consider page loading speed. SEO statistics show that 47% of users would not wait more than two seconds for a page to load and there is a decrease in engagement rate by 8% with every delay of 500 ms.
Observing the research from Backlinko, a top ranking website has a loading speed of 1900 ms which is 17% faster than a site that ranks at number 10.
Among SEO facts, content has always been one of the key factors of Google rankings. But with the incidence of RankBrain, a lot has changed in what is considered as good content.
Google now measures whether the content is readable, comprehensive, and related to the topic (including all the LSI keywords).
So, long, detailed, and readable content is suggested, as top 10 results on an average tend to have over 1890 words.
Good and quality content will reduce the bounce rate which is yet another important factor for higher Google rankings.
Take into consideration that the bounce rate of a top-ranked website is nearly 8.7% lower than the one of a website at position 10. (These SEO stats vary slightly, but are good as reference)
Let’s get this straight. No matter what niche you are working in, don’t expect your users to read all your content.
Most of them usually scan through the content.
That said, you need to make your content design readable and likable.
By doing so, you’ll reduce the bounce rate, increase your SERP click-through rate (experts claim that higher CTR leads to higher rankings), attract more interest, and boost your credibility.
Our content presentation tips
- Use subheadings that ask users to take action at regular intervals;
- Use images to explain complicated stuff;
- Use screenshots and other graphics.
Some SEO stats to validate the above: 97% of page–one results have at least one image on their page.
Time on Site
As mentioned earlier, a low bounce rate is not always a good measure.
So, what is a good measure of user satisfaction?
Their time on the site.
The more time users spend on your site, the happier Google considers them.
Both Brian Dean from Backlinko and Larry Kim from Word Stream have confirmed these SEO statistics.
Google recently announced that they are going to label all sites that are without HTTPS as “not secure” ones.
Their SEO stats do not prove that SSL affects rankings of big percentages of websites yet. For now, only 27% of the top 10 search results use HTTPS. But we expect this to change soon.
So, to be safe, you better get an SSL certificate for your website. After all, it is quite easy to do so.
Local SEO can help your business stand out in the SERPs. If you take a look at the local SEO statslisted below, you will understand why.
- 46% of all Google searches are local;
- By 2021, mobile devices alone will influence $1.4 trillion in local sales.
Local SEO is bigger than ever. More and more of the best SEO companies are exclusively dedicating themselves to local niche.
So here are more local SEO facts and tips that you can rely on for successful SEO for local businesses.
For 93% of searches with local intent, Google’s 3-pack local listings appear in the top spot.
So, if you are there on the top in those three spots, there is a good chance you make the most out of organic results.
82% of smartphone users search for a local business using search engines and mobile searches for ‘where to buy’ have grown 85% since 2015.
What’s more, local markets have a good conversion rate as well.
For instance, 18% of local smartphone searches led to purchase within a day compared to 7% on non-local searches.
How to optimize your website for local SEO
- Make sure your website has information about NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number); including NAP info in the title alone will give you 24% ranking weightage;
- Make sure the inbound links you get to your websites include keywords related to your location. (Nearly 2/3 of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from companies whose mobile sites or apps customize information to their location);
- Include User Reviews (50+ reviews per product increase conversion rates by 4.6%, which are critical ranking factors);
- Use social media and incorporate social media share buttons;
- Optimize for mobile (60% of all searches being made on a mobile device).
See?! We promised we wouldn’t only talk about numbers.
As we’re providing rather detailed tips on SEO strategies, however, it was imminent that we supported them with some of the latest SEO statistics.
Regardless if you’re a business owner looking to raise brand awareness through SERPs or an aspiring digital marketer looking to learn the basics of SEO, the above will certainly help you set the right track towards web success and learn what it takes for a brand to stand out amongst the billions of websites found on the web.
Good luck ranking!
Original Post: https://seotribunal.com/blog/stats-to-understand-seo/