As even more of our lives moved online in 2020, search engine optimization (SEO) was once again deciding where we directed our attention. When it comes to SEO statistics, 2021 promises to continue that trend. Here are 33 SEO statistics to keep an eye on in 2021.
Is SEO still important in 2021?
Contrary to what some may believe, SEO is still the lifeblood of the internet. Search engine optimization performs two crucial functions for your website:
- SEO helps create a website that search engines can find and understand
- SEO delivers high-quality content to people who are looking for it
The best practices to achieve these two goals may change slightly from year to year, but the importance of creating a high-quality, easily understandable website never does.
33 SEO statistics in 2021
With that in mind, these are the statistics to pay attention to this year.
- The user experience (UX) is the most important thing (and now the top factor in Google’s placement of your site in search results).
- Optimizing for semantic search means predicting how people search (when they don’t know what they are looking for).
- Specific, long-tail keywords get three to five percent more clicks than generic search terms. These are often three or more words long, on a specific subject.
- More searches are getting longer. 50% of them are more than four words (and 8% still ask a question).
- “Zero-click” searches account for 50% of Google search results. This type of search produces an explainer box that answers the search question so that the consumer doesn’t need to leave Google for more information.
- Optimizing Google My Business remains key for local SEO, with one billion people using Google Maps searches every month.
- An estimated 75% of SEO is completed “off page” and includes developing backlinks, posting to social media, and updating directories.
- 80% of people online are looking for local results (“near me” searches).
- Just 21% of consumers visit more than one website from their search results.
- And you still need to aim for the top: The top three search results get 60% of clicks.
- “EAT”—expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness—still matters to Google when it comes to developing high-quality content for your site. Content is still king.
- But content doesn’t have to be brand-new. Updating old content and adding new images increases traffic by up to 106%.
- Videos are crucial to getting you to the top of the organic search results.
- That’s because consumers love video: 84% have bought a product and 74% have downloaded software or an app after watching a video.
- Google still rules the internet roost when it comes to searches: 75% of desktop and 96% of mobile searches occurred on Google.
- Contrary to popular myth, YouTube is not the second most popular search engine. Google Image Search is.
- The rules of Google search change constantly, with an estimated 500 to 600 algorithm changes annually.
- Google’s May 2020 Core Update favored protecting businesses in the time of COVID by focusing on authoritative sites with high-quality content. This trend will continue as we navigate an internet landscape changed by the pandemic.
- Bad news for sponsored search, though: 70 to 80% of users ignore sponsored content.
- Social media marketing is good, but SEO is better: search engines send 300% more traffic to websites than social media.
- An estimated 90% of all webpages get zero traffic from Google.
- Why no traffic? Over 55% of pages don’t include backlinks—those clickable links that take you to another site (and drive visitors to you from elsewhere on the web)
- More backlinks means more traffic.
- Of the 200 factors that Google uses to rank websites, backlinks are one of the indications that your site is authoritative and trustworthy.
- It’s no longer helpful to keep your content short. The first organic search result on Google is a page that averages over 2,461 words. Long-form content is better than short snippets of text.
- Voice search favors long-form writing, too. The average first page search result featured content that was 2,312 words.
- Don’t fret: high-quality featured snippets are set to snatch traffic from even the most well-written websites.
- And over 40% of voice search results came from a featured snippet.
- Technical SEO includes tracking website visits, time on site, and pages per session, while decreasing bounce rate—and it’s crucial for better page rank.
- Know your audience: 62% of the largest group of folks online (millennials and Gen Z) prefer visual search.
- Properly optimizing your images remains one of the best ways to hit the first page search results.
- Consumers are looking for the “best” of things “right now”: these searches have increased 125% in the past two years.
- Analyzing data from your website visitors is crucial to adjusting to SEO trends in 2021.
Get help with your SEO marketing
The most challenging SEO statistic in 2021? 75% of consumers still never click past the first page of search results. This means that your SEO has to be on point and up to date.
And in 2020, COVID-19 has reshaped the way we use the internet. Because so many of us are staying in, the focus has shifted even more to high-quality, evergreen content that still manages to pivot when needed. Consumers are still online, but their patterns of use are changing, and SEO trends are tracking that into 2021.
If these SEO statistics in 2021 have you reeling, Boost can help. With digital marketing strategies to help increase traffic, boost conversions, and grow your business, we are here to help you make sense of it all.
Get in touch today to get the help you need for 2021!