I compiled more than 60 current SEO stats and charts as well as related content marketing and website data (including small businesses). Explore the latest numbers for click-thru rates, backlinks, technical SEO and much more.
Organic Traffic and Click-Thru Rate Stats
53% of website traffic is from organic search BrightEdge, 2019.
Advance Web Rankings tracks millions of keywords and has an excellent set of data worth checking out:
March 2020 (US desktop computers) for 2,899,347 keywords.
57.53% (first three positions)
Backlinko had some comparable results in its 2019 study. Backlinko partnered with ClickFlow in an analysis of Google Search Console, including query, position and click-through rate data from 98 websites and 5,079,491 search queries. Notable findings include:
First position gets 31.7% of the clicks.
First three organic results account for 75.1% of the clicks.
The #1 organic result is 10 times more likely to get a click compared to a website in the #10 position.
Page title tags that contain a question have a 14.1% higher CTR vs. pages that don’t have a question in their title.
Title tags between 15 to 40 characters have the highest CTR (8.6% higher compared to page titles that aren’t in that precise range of characters.
Google sure likes to keep searchers on its own website properties. The most popular search engine provides immediate answers or guides people to other results so often than most browser-based searches in June 2019 resulted in zero clicks, according to SparkToro.
Google search engine results pages (SERPs) are filled with all sorts of elements other than the traditional top 10 organic results.
MozCast constantly tracks what appears among the SERPs. All of these features push down the regular results. What used to be a #5 position in effect could be in the same spot as a #10. And the #10 from the past really is more like a #15 on the “first” page of results. It just takes forever to get through the top 10.
In May 2020, MozCast showed that:
- Related questions (people also ask) appeared 87.1% of the time over the previous 30 days
- Google Ads consumed the top of the page 39.5% of the time
- Featured snippets appeared 9.4% of the time
Similarly, the SEMrush Sensor also monitors SERPs and reports on the volatility of the SERPs over 30 days.
In May 2020, examples included:
- Local pack: 18.15%
- Featured snippet: 9.16%
- Knowledge panel: 27.80%
Spam SEO Stats
All sorts of decisions can lead to penalties from Google. SEMrush in 2020 looked at data from 850 websites. In 53% of the penalty cases, the trigger was a sponsored or paid link. It doesn’t mean all sponsored or paid links will doom you with Google. Your risk factor depends on whether the referring link source is dubious.
In 2018, Google sent 4 million notices about manual actions for websites that violated Webmaster Guidelines (2019 data isn’t available yet).
Small Businesses with No Website
Only 64% of small businesses have a website (Clutch, 2018).
So why don’t they often have websites? They point to cost concerns (26%), a belief that a website isn’t relevant in their industry (27%), and that they can get by with a social media presence (21%). Clutch described the relevance factor this way: “Small businesses in extremely niche industries may also find that they can generate sufficient leads through their reputation and word of mouth. “
Only 63.6% of marketers invest in SEO (HubSpot Research, Global Survey, Nov – Dec 2019).
About 55% of marketers believe SEO is either “very important” or “extremely important” in their overall marketing strategy (HubSpot Research, North American Survey, Jan-Feb 2020).
53% of marketers are taking steps to rank for Google Featured Snippets (HubSpot Research, North American Survey, Jan-Feb 2020).
It’s unfortunate, but 70% of small businesses simply don’t follow an SEO strategy (The Manifest, 2020).
2020 Small Business Study (Online Marketing Coach)
I recently released a 2020 study, “Small Businesses Aren’t Mining SEO Gold.” I looked at 200 U.S. small business websites (randomly selected from ReferenceUSA data). Here are a few highlights:
- 77% don’t include effective keywords in page content headers.
- 60% don’t include useful keyword phrases in SEO page titles.
- 69% have very low domain authority scores (20 or less on a 1-100 scale).
- 33% have 50 backlinks or less.
Backlinko in 2020 released a ton of data on Google search trends. Here are some of the key findings and backlinks data based on the Domain Rating from Ahrefs:
A keyword phrase ranking #1 on Google has 3.8 times more backlinks than positions #2-#10 (on average).
Amazingly, 95% of all pages don’t have any backlinks (Backlinko).
Similarly, Ahrefs updated some data for a 2020 report and found that 66.31% of website pages don’t have a single backlink:
Backlinko in 2019 analyzed blog posts and discovered that 94% of them couldn’t attract even a single link from another website.
Only 24% of small businesses that use SEO actually commit time so they can secure quality backlinks to their websites (The Manifest, 2020).
Technical SEO Mistakes
SEMrush identified several technical categories like:
SEMrush found that 50.8% have duplicate page titles and 49.7% have duplicate meta descriptions.
Backlinko in early 2019 released extensive findings. Here are a few highlights:
On average, long-form content attracts 77.2% more links than short blog posts.
In a 2019 content marketing study, SEMrush found that long content (3,000 words or more) gets 3 times more website traffic, 4 times more shares and 3.5 times more backlinks than articles that have an average length between 900 and 1,200 words.
Page Content Headers (Headlines)
In other study, Backlinko found that headers or headlines that end with a question mark get 23.3% more social shares than headlines that don’t feature a “?” at the end.
SEMrush in 2019 found that content that features a long headline (at least 14 words) gets 2 times more traffic than an article that has a much shorter headline in the 7 to 10 words range.
SEO Stats about Prices
Ahrefs in 2018 surveyed SEO professionals and got a good feel for pricing trends, including:
- 74.71% charge clients a monthly retainer fees (94.23% of retainers are $5,000 or lower).
- 36.78% of respondents prefer to charge hourly for at least some of the work they do or all of the work they perform for clients.
- 25% of respondents charge $100-$150 per hour.
Orbit Media has tracked blog creation, including the amount of time each blog post requires. Here are some of the 2019 comparisons with 2014:
The average blog post takes 3 hours and 57 minutes to write (a 65% jump over 2014).
The average blog post is 1,236 words long (that’s 56% longer than blog posts in 2014).
Ahrefs in 2020 released fresh data from its Content Explorer index (over a billion pages) and discovered:
90.63% of website pages don’t get any traffic from Google and 5.29% of website pages get 10 visits or less each month.
25.02% of website pages that rank among the top 10 on Google don’t have a meta description – based on 20,000 keyword phrases (Ahrefs, 2020)
Studies of search engine ranking factors have evolved over time. Some companies don’t provide recurring surveys any longer or they only offer niche data, not overall website data.
In a 2019 SparkToro survey, more than 1,500 SEO marketers offered their views of key ranking factors. Most of the professionals (66.3%) indicated that they believe the weight of Google ranking factors actually varies depending on the search query.
In the survey, the respondents cited content relevance and quality backlinks among the most important ranking factors:
Voice Search SEO Stats
In 2018, a PwC study found that 71% of U.S. adults preferred to rely on a voice assistant rather than make the effort to type their search query online.
A Backlinko study (released in 2018) of 10,000 results from Google Home identified several factors, including:
- 70.4% of results were secured with HTTPS
- The average word count was 2,312 words
- 75% of voice search results were among the top three positions for the search query
- 40.7% came from a featured snippet
Other Content Marketing Trends
70% of marketers regularly focus on content marketing (HubSpot Research, Global Survey, Nov-Dec 2019).
53.85% of marketers measure Customer Acquisition costs (HubSpot Research, North American Survey, Jan-Feb 2020).
Here is a summary from the 2020 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs report: