SEO is the digital alchemy of the 21st century. It’s about turning the lead of content into the gold of traffic, visibility, and revenue. But unlike medieval alchemy, SEO’s effectiveness isn’t a matter of speculation — it’s a fact backed by hard data.
In 2023, SEO continues to be an essential strategy for any business looking to succeed online. The following SEO data, drawn from reputable sources such as HubSpot, Ahrefs, Semrush, and Backlinko, underline just how powerful it remains today.
Top SEO Statistics for 2023
1. 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
According to a report from BrightEdge, the vast majority of online sessions start with a search engine, underscoring the necessity for businesses to rank well on these platforms.
2. Google currently holds 91.55% of the total search engine market share.
SEO data from Statcounter reveals Google’s continued dominance in the global search engine market, highlighting the importance of optimizing for Google’s algorithms. This is followed by Bing (3.11%), Yandex (1.83%), Yahoo (1.21%), Baidu (1.02%), and DuckDuckGo (0.54%). In the US specifically, Google still leads with 88.1%, followed by Bing (6.89%) and then Yahoo (2.65%).
3. The first organic result in Google Search has an average click-through rate of 39.8%.
A study from FirstPage indicates that the top position in Google SERPs enjoys a significantly higher CTR than lower positions, proving the value of reaching that coveted spot. This is a huge share of traffic, especially given that the second position gets only 18.7% and the third position 10.2%.
4. 49% of marketers report that organic search has the best ROI of any marketing channel.
Search Engine Journal‘s report demonstrates the high return on investment that SEO offers compared to other channels. This makes sense, given that SEO is a low-cost, sustainable marketing strategy with long-term benefits. Paid search follows in terms of ROI, with 19% of marketers thinking it is so; social media comes next with 18%, then email with 14%.
5. 61% of B2B marketers stated that SEO and organic traffic generate more leads than any other marketing initiative.
In 2023, the SEO industry’s value soared beyond $50 billion, highlighting the profitability of thorough keyword research and website optimization. These organic strategies surpass the effectiveness of paid campaigns, offering long-term benefits. This is especially true in the B2B sector, where a huge chunk of marketers acknowledge that SEO and organic traffic outperform other marketing initiatives in generating leads.
6. SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads have a 1.7% close rate.
This statistic highlights the quality of leads generated through SEO, which have a significantly higher chance of conversion than those from traditional outbound methods. 72% of digital marketers say content creation is their most effective SEO tactic. This highlights the importance of creating high-quality, relevant content for SEO success.
7. Updating and republishing old blog posts with new content and images can increase organic traffic by as much as 106%.
A finding by Databox demonstrates the value of keeping content fresh and updated for sustained SEO success. Regular updates not only attract new visitors but also signal to search engines that the website is active and up-to-date, further boosting its ranking in search results.
8. Content marketing gets 3x more leads than paid search advertising.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing, which is a key aspect of SEO, is significantly more efficient in lead generation compared to paid search. This efficiency stems from the ability of quality content to establish a foundation of trust and expertise. Businesses that invest in content marketing often see a higher return on investment, as organic traffic driven by valuable content tends to have a better conversion rate than traffic generated through paid search.
9. 55% of people use voice search to find businesses in their area.
According to WebFX, 55% of individuals are now using voice search tools to find businesses within their vicinity. This trend is largely driven by the convenience and efficiency of voice-activated devices like smartphones, smart speakers, and virtual assistants. With that being said, optimizing for voice search is essential, ensuring businesses’ information is accurately represented on platforms like Google My Business and Yelp. Adapting to conversational, long-tail phrases used in voice queries is key, as people speak differently than they type.
10. 70% of marketers see SEO as more effective than PPC.
Research from Databox suggests that many marketers find SEO to be a superior long-term strategy compared to Pay-Per-Click advertising. SEO is often perceived as more sustainable because it builds organic traffic. While PPC can drive quick results, its effects typically last only as long as the campaign is active, making SEO a more cost-effective solution in the long run.
11. Long-form content of over 3,000 words gets three times more traffic, four times more shares, and 3.5 times more backlinks than average-length content (901-1,200 words).
Analysis from Semrush confirms that in-depth articles can greatly improve a site’s visibility and engagement metrics. Such content tends to rank better in search engine results due to its richness in keywords, topics, and valuable insights, further driving organic traffic and engagement.
12. Mobile optimization is critical, as 87% of smartphone users use search engines at least once a day.
A report from SerpWatch indicates the importance of a mobile-friendly website as search behavior on mobile devices continues to rise. Consequently, websites not optimized for mobile risk losing significant traffic and potential conversions, as users often abandon sites that offer poor mobile experiences. To capitalize on this trend, businesses must ensure their websites are responsive, load quickly, and provide an intuitive user interface on mobile devices.
13. Websites with a strong keyword in their domain name rank 1.5 spots higher in search engine results.
SEO.com says that this advantage is attributed to the immediate relevance signal a keyword-rich domain sends to search engines, enhancing visibility for specific queries. However, the ultimate ranking success also depends on comprehensive SEO strategies, including quality content, user experience, and robust backlink profiles, which work in tandem with the domain’s keyword relevance.
14. A single-second delay in website load time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
According to research from Akamai, site speed is crucial not just for ranking but also for maintaining high conversion rates. This impact is pronounced because user engagement drops sharply with each additional second of load time, directly affecting the likelihood of conversion.
15. Video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search results than plain text.
Including videos on landing pages will increase conversions by 86%. This dramatic increase is because videos engage users more effectively, keeping them on the page longer and reducing bounce rates.
16. The average top-ranking page also ranks in the top 10 search results for nearly 1,000 other relevant keywords.
This insight from Ahrefs shows that top-performing content often has a wide reach in terms of keyword rankings. When content ranks highly for multiple relevant keywords, it increases the chances of attracting organic traffic from various search queries and boosts overall visibility.
17. The average voice search result is 29 words long.
Voice search statistics show that shorter, concise answers tend to perform better in voice search results as they align with the conversational and question-based nature of voice queries. To optimize for voice search, businesses should focus on providing succinct and relevant answers to commonly asked questions in their content and SEO strategies.
18. Pages with seven or more images or more get 116% more organic traffic than those with fewer images.
Semrush demonstrates the importance of visual elements in engaging users and improving traffic. Images and infographics can enhance user experience by making content more visually appealing and easier to digest. Incorporating a variety of high-quality images into web pages can not only boost organic traffic but also contribute to longer user engagement and improved search engine rankings.
19. Google’s top 3 results get 54.4% of all the clicks.
Backlinko’s study reaffirms the significance of ranking within Google’s top three search results, as the majority of users tend to click on these positions, largely ignoring lower-ranking results.
20. The average loading time of a webpage on a mobile device is 22 seconds.
However, 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than 3 seconds to load, according to Google. This highlights the increasing importance of website speed optimization, specifically for mobile users, as user patience for load times continues to decrease.
21. 88% of marketers who already invest in SEO intend to spend more or maintain this amount in 2023.
According to HubSpot, this reflects the enduring value and impact that SEO can deliver in driving organic traffic, improving visibility, and achieving long-term marketing goals.
SEO Strategies That Stood Out in 2023
As these statistics illustrate, SEO is a dynamic and powerful tool for any digital marketing strategy. Here are several SEO strategies that have stood out in 2023:
User Experience (UX) Optimization
In 2023, Google’s emphasis on user experience is stronger than ever, with metrics like Core Web Vitals becoming ranking factors. Websites that provide a seamless user experience, with fast loading times and mobile optimization, are seeing significant benefits in their rankings.
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) are becoming critical factors for ranking, particularly in industries like healthcare and finance. Content that demonstrates these qualities is being rewarded by search engines.
Consistently producing comprehensive and authoritative content is a trend that continues to dominate SEO. This content not only performs well in traditional search results but also in voice search and featured snippets.
Video Content Optimization
With video content’s rising dominance in search, optimizing videos for search engines, including proper tagging and descriptions, is now a key part of SEO strategies.
Semantic Search Optimization
As search engines get better at understanding the intent behind searches, optimizing content for semantic search with natural language and related keywords has become increasingly important.
For businesses with a local presence, optimizing for local search queries by maintaining a strong Google Business Profile and gathering positive reviews has become more influential.
AI is reshaping SEO through automation and enhanced analytics. Tools powered by AI are assisting in keyword research, content creation, and predicting shifts in search behaviors.
Overall, SEO in 2023 remains a vibrant and essential marketing discipline. The statistics we’ve discussed not only prove the effectiveness of SEO but also highlight the evolving strategies businesses must embrace to succeed. Keeping abreast of these changes and leveraging data-driven insights is key to maintaining a competitive edge in the ever-changing landscape of search engine optimization.
If you’re looking for expert guidance and a strategic partner to help you navigate the SEO landscape, we invite you to get in touch with the seasoned SEO professionals at Markitors. Our team is well-versed in the latest SEO techniques and can tailor a strategy to suit your unique goals and challenges.
Don’t let the competition leave you behind. Take the next step towards boosting your online visibility and driving meaningful results by contacting Markitors today. Success in the digital realm is within your reach, and we’re here to help you achieve it.