As we are heading towards the end of the year, it is time to look at some SEO statistics for 2021. We believe that these data will give you a relevant benchmark for your own SEO efforts. At the same time, we believe that we should all be aware how consumers interact with search engines in looking for products and services.
We will not make a long introduction, but simply look at the data and explain what it means for you and your business.
1. Google Accounts for 70% Desktop Traffic
Google is starting to lose its dominance for desktop internet traffic. The competitors are, as follows:
- 13% Baidu
- 12% Bing
- 2% Yahoo.
However, since internet traffic is now predominantly mobile, this is not a worrying sign for Google. Actually, this year the internet giant has completed its switch to mobile first indexing for all websites.
2. More Than 200 Ranking Factors Determine Google Search Results
This is one of the SEO statistics for 2021 that show just how complex the Google algorithm has become. When we say that SEO is no longer about keyword, we mean it. Page experience signals, site security and fast loading pages are just as important for Google as keywords.
Also, authority, expertise and trustworthiness of a business and its domain name are also key ranking factors. In this day and age, you need to prove that you are a reliable and honest business if you want to appear in Google searches.
3. 20% of All Google Searches are First Time Queries
Did you think that you have to compete with others for established keywords all the time? Look at what SEO statistics for 2021 show: one fifth of searches are for terms never before used by other people.
This means that long tail and LSI keywords are increasingly important. They give you the chance to rank for key phrases that your competitors have not considered using so far.
4. 85% of Consumers Perform an Online Search before Making a Purchase
The internet has become the dominant source of information for consumers. TV, print and radio ads are no longer effective. People have developed psychological mechanisms to block out these forms of advertising. They want to focus their time and attention on what matters to them.
Thus, they resort to search engines and social media to look for product recommendations and reviews. They also use online searches to compare offers and make a purchasing decision.
5. 4 Out of 5 Consumers Perform Local Searches for Information
The nearest drugstore, a good restaurant, a reputable kindergarten or the best place to print large posters? Whenever people want to find products, services or information in their local community, they perform local searches.
Among other SEO statistics for 2021, this one has a tremendous relevance for small businesses. Google Maps and the Local Pack are the most desirable pieces of internet real estate where you want your business to show up. With the recent changes to Google My Business, you will be able to manage your business listing on Google in a simpler and more integrated manner.
6. 1,447 Words Is the Average Length of First Page Results
Long form articles are increasingly popular, as demonstrated by this statistic. When users search for information, Google gives priority to detailed, in-depth articles and blog posts. For consumers, these articles have the benefit of offering them all the information they need in one place.
For businesses, long form articles offer the opportunity to:
- Showcase their expertise on the topic
- Generate high quality backlinks
- Target several main and secondary keywords, including long tail and LSI keywords.
7. 51% of Smartphone Owners Found a New Company through Search
If you were still having doubts about the effectiveness of SEO, here is an eye opening statistic. More than half of the consumers who have a smartphone and mobile internet access discover a new business through search.
This means that at any given moment a potential customer may discover your website and start browsing it. If your lead nurturing strategy works properly, you should be able to convert a good percentage of all new website visitors.
8. 88% of People Trust Online Reviews as Much as Personal Recommendations
One of the biggest building blocks for local SEO is generating positive reviews for your business on Google My Business and elsewhere. And here is the reason why you should focus on this.
According to SEO statistics for 2021, consumers rely on these reviews as much as they would rely on a recommendation coming from a family member, friend or neighbour. The number is staggering and indicates that, although there were issues with fake reviews in the past, the average consumer still believes that most reviews are genuine and honest.
9. 60% of Consumers Use Their Smartphone to Search for Holiday Gifts
Mobile is the new norm for internet browsing. No business can hope to rank on Google and engage with customers in a meaningful way if they do not have a mobile friendly website.
If you are still looking for ways of improving your website, here is the number one thing to do: make sure your site offers an optimal browsing experience on most smartphones, including older ones, with less powerful processors and smaller screens. More than half of consumers will use their mobile phone to look for Christmas and New Year gifts this coming holiday season.
10. Nearly 70% of All Searches Contain at Least Four Words
Detailed keywords are not only better for ranking, they are also what consumers use. Since the BERT update to Google algorithm, consumers realised that Google actually understands the fine differences in intent. Thus, they are using increasingly complex search phrases.
Thus, you should also focus on natural language in your keywords. While some SEO tools will insist that you should use “laptop Perth prices”, try the more natural sounding phrase “laptop prices in Perth”.
11. 61% of Marketers Focus on Improving Their SEO Efforts
Do you need proof that SEO works? Then SEO statistics for 2021 have the answer for you. 61% of professional marketers are intent on prioritising the SEO strategy as the number one inbound marketing effort.
12. The First Page of Google Search Results Generates 98.22% Clicks
How important is it to get your website on the first page of Google search results? It is tremendously important. Just 0.78% of clicks come from the second page of search results. The gap between the first and second page is obvious – because Google has become so good at picking the right results and displaying them in order of relevance.
If a second page click gets a click, then it probably contains highly specific information that the user absolutely needs.
13. 55% of Marketers Put Blogging at the Top of Their List of Priorities
Content remains king of digital marketing according to SEO statistics for 2021. Blogging is the most important activity for more than half marketing specialists. It should also be your top priority, no matter what else you wish to try to improve your results.
14. 1.9 Seconds Is the Site Load Speed for Top Ranking Websites
How fast should your site load to get the green light from Google in terms of ranking? The answer is: just under 2 seconds. That sounds extremely fast, but this is what consumers expect. If they blink their eyes and your site has not loaded yet, they go back to search results and choose another website.
15. Search Engine Leads Convert 10 Times More than Outbound Links
Last but not least, here is the reason why every business is working hard to get on the first page of search results. The average conversion rate of search engine leads is 14.6%. By comparison, outbound leads (direct email campaigns, cold calling) convert in proportion of 1.7%. You do the math and see which of the two marketing methods is more efficient.
The SEO statistics for 2021 indicate that this remains the most efficient and cost effective digital marketing strategy for all businesses. There is a definite trend towards mobile internet as primary source of traffic and for local search optimisation.
Thus, if you are working on your 2022 digital marketing strategy right now (as we believe you are), make sure that you give SEO sufficient time and resources. It is your best chance of finding new customers at an affordable cost to your company.