Why You Need SEO in 8 Statistics

Like it or not, Google is still the dominant force for online search results. If you want to be found online, you want to be found on Google.

Steven Krohn

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing your website to not only be found on Google, but ranked well. You’ve undoubtedly heard more than once how important it is, but how many times have you been told why?

Here are 8 Google search statistics to highlight why you need SEO.

In 2016, over two trillion searches passed through Google

We’ll be fair: Google doesn’t release specific numbers for things like search volume through their platform. But they did say the number was in the trillions, plural, so it was over two.

Even if two trillion was the actual number, that means 63,000 searches … every second.

The search volume that passes through Google is staggering, with billions of searches a day looking for information. Maybe they want a product, or a service, or advice. Maybe what they need is you. Make sure your information is in front of that audience.

Globally, most desktop searches are through Google

79% of web searches run from a desktop computer pass through Google. The remaining 21% is spread across Bing, Yahoo, and other smaller search engines.

Ranking well on Google search results for keywords related to your products and services is the surest way to be found online. It’s the largest market, the best known, and the one most likely to return results for your business.

But if you think the desktop numbers are high, wait till you see mobile:

96% of mobile searches are on Google

Mobile internet use has been skyrocketing over the last decade, and nowhere is this clearer than in mobile search results. People on the go who want to find information simply take out their phone and look for what they need.

And when they do that, they go through Google.

This introduces a different aspect to Google SEO than you might be used to: optimizing your site for mobile devices. Long gone are the days where SEO was just about content and keywords. Now, you need to ensure you have a responsive website that loads quickly and efficiently no matter where someone accesses your site.

Of course, while keywords aren’t the only factor any more, they’re still important, especially on mobile:

Searches with “…near me” are increasing rapidly

You’re out on the town, it’s lunchtime, you want to find somewhere to eat. You open up your phone and search “food near me”, or “pizza near me”, or anything in that vein. You see a few results pop up in Google with restaurants close by, and make your way to lunch.

This has become increasingly common over the last few years. Searches with “near me” doubled in 2016 alone. People know Google is smart enough to know where they are at a given moment and can populate their searches with relevant content quickly.

“Near me” and “nearby” are useful keywords here, but location information is also important. Make sure to have where your business is located on the website, so that you’re not showing up for someone who’s a hundred miles away looking for a local shop.

Relevancy is more important than company name for most people

You might think that big name brands will inherently attract more people through Google search results. For about a third of all users, you’d be right.

But for 65% of users, it’s relevancy that’s key to them clicking on a link, not brand recognition.

If people see ten links when looking for a specific service, and only one of those links seems to mention the service they’re after exactly, that’s who they’ll click on. For example, you’re looking for air conditioning re-gassing for your car. If your local mechanic specifically mentions re-gassing, while a service center at a name brand dealership just mentions they do “everything”, you’re more likely to go for the person who specifically says they do re-gassing.

Half of users find a new company or product after a search

This, perhaps more than anything on the list, neatly demonstrates why you need SEO. 51% of users on Google end up discovering a new product or brand during their search. It’s more about what you can provide and how well it meets their needs, than the size or prestige of your company.

One third of clicks go to the top organic search result

In case you’re not familiar, an organic link is a search result that isn’t paid (you will see “ad” written next to paid links). 

Paid ads are regularly skipped by people suspicious of whether the link will actually take them to something relevant, or if it’s just there to drive traffic to the site. Instead they go to the site that’s there organically, as it’s perceived to have a better chance of being relevant.

34% of clicks go to the top organic link on desktop, while 31% go to the top link on mobile.

Search engines are 10x better at closing than outbound leads

A billboard or cold-calling campaign has a close rate of around 1.7%.

SEO has a close rate of 14.6%.

If you’re unsatisfied with your conversion rate, SEO may well be what you’re looking for to attract leads and convert them. There can be a significant time and monetary cost, especially if your site is particularly outdated, but the ROI more than makes up for it in the long term.