14 Fortuitous SEO and SEM Stats and Facts

by Tom Pick March 1, 2016
March 1, 2016

Search remains the cornerstone of digital and content marketing efforts. The average B2B website gets 40% or more of all visits from organic search, and 81% of B2B purchase cycles start with a web search. On the paid side, more than one million businesses use Google AdWords, and Google’s content network reaches 80% of all U.S. Internet users.

SEO and search engine marketing stats 2016

Image credit: MarketingProfs

Of course, search, like all other digital marketing tactics, continues to evolve. Blogging has gone from eccentric to essential. Mobile has increased dramatically in importance. Though many small businesses remain skeptical of AdWords, SEM still accounts for the largest share of online advertising budgets. Speed thrills.

Check out the facts and stats below for more revealing insights from recent research on search engine optimization and marketing.

1. Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links than companies that do not, and inbound links are (of course) critical to SEO success. (Stratabeat)

2. When asked what methods they use to find local businesses, products and services, 65% of consumers mention desktop search. Another 36% use mobile search. The print Yellow Pages is, surprisingly, the fourth-most popular source at 35%. About 26% of consumers use social media sites for this purpose. (MarketingSherpa)

3. Over 50% of all mobile searches lead to a purchase, and 78% of mobile searches for local business information result in a purchase. (Payfirma)

4. Only one-fifth of small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) bought some sort of Google advertising product in 2015, with 83% of those using the paid-search service AdWords. Here’s how the spending with Google broke out:

  • 48% spent their budget on Google Display Ads;
  • 27%, Google+ pages;
  • 22% spent part of their budget on remarketing;
  • 20% used YouTube ads;
  • 20%, Google Display Network;
  • 13%, click to call;
  • 12%, contextual targeting; and
  • 8%, mobile and sitelinks


5. The top local markets where SMBs spend budgets on paid search advertising include New York City, $ 248 million; Chicago, $ 196 million; Dallas, $ 142 million; Atlanta, $ 134 million; Philadelphia, $ 128 million; Detroit, $ 118 million; and Boston, $ 112 million. (MediaPost)

6. 64% of B2B technology companies use SEO to help market their products (it’s not clear why 36% would not use SEO). 59% also use paid search / SEM. (MarketingProfs)

7. Just 30% of startups say they use SEO for marketing. A mere 12% use PPC ads. (TNW News)

8. 47% of digital marketers say SEO is one of their most effective tactics—but 39% also identify it as one of the most difficult. (TNW News)

9. Search engine marketing (SEM) will continue to capture the largest share of online spend at 47%, or about 14% of total marketing budgets. (Content Marketer)

10. SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads have a 1.7% close rate. (Project Management)

11. 52% of senior marketing decision makers say their spend includes online advertising, but only 21% said the same for SEO despite the fact that search engines display so much of their digital advertising. (Search Engine Watch)

12. According to Google, one in six people on the planet use Google to do more than 1 trillion searches each year. (Search Engine Watch)

13. After events, company websites are viewed as the second-most effective lead generation tool by B2B marketers, followed by SEO at #3—which is a bit confused, as organic search is the top source of traffic for most B2B websites. (MediaPost)

14. While Google may use site load speed as a ranking factor, consumers seem to be developing greater patience for slow-loading sites. In 2014, 37% of consumers said they would leave a Web site to buy a product from a competitor if that Web site failed to load quickly; in 2015, that number fell to 34%. (MediaPost)

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