Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a constantly evolving discipline. Every few months new search engine algorithm updates are released, new trends emerge, and new best practices develop.
At IronPaper, we encourage the companies we work with to stay at the forefront of these changes, and to routinely adjust and optimize their strategies to ensure that they are able to reach their target market. To that end, we have compiled a collection of statistics to inform your current SEO strategy, as well as emerging trends to embrace in 2015:
Search is the #1 driver of traffic to content sites, beating social media by more than 300%. – Outbrain
SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate. – Search Engine Journal
On average, we conduct 12 billion searches per month in the United States. – Comscore
The average content length for a web page that ranks in the top 10 results for any keyword on Google has at least 2,000 words. The higher up you go on the search listings page, the more content each web page has. – QuickSprout
60% of all organic clicks go to the organic top 3 search results. – Business2Community
50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase. – Search Engine Watch
70-80% of users ignore the paid ads, and only focus on the organic results. – Search Engine Land
Critical SEO Trends in 2015
1. Combining SEO with content marketing.
Combining SEO with content marketing is key in 2015, and likely beyond. While original content is a primary influencer of search visibility, SEO improves the reach of your content with extensively researched keywords, Meta tags, and penalty recovery. In this way, SEO and content marketing work together to earn inbound links and organic traffic, which boost your rankings and lead to increased sales and brand exposure.
2. Mobile-optimized sites.
In 2015, sites not optimized for mobile will struggle to achieve or maintain search visibility. Google, Yahoo, and Bing now give priority to mobile-friendly sites, while sites that aren’t optimized may experience a negative impact in their rankings. To compete, it’s important that your mobile website has the same content, search features, and level of design and usability as your desktop version. To that end, we recommend speaking to your web design company about adopting responsive web design to ensure your website performs optimally on any device – including mobile.
3. Evolving keyword strategies.
A big trend in 2015 is focusing on the user’s intent behind the search and optimizing accordingly. For example, 56 percent of mobile searches are from users seeking local information, like business hours, directions, and a physical address. By tailoring your strategy to consider user intent, you can give specific segments of users the exact information they need, exactly when they need it.
In addition, we’re seeing a shift towards very precise, long-tail keyword searches because they attract qualified traffic and have less competition when compared to broad keyword terms. To find long-tail keywords for your company, we recommend using Google’s Keyword Planner, analyzing your competitors, and reviewing industry forums to identify the natural language your prospects use.
4. The rise of Yahoo, Bing, and others.
In 2015, smart companies will think beyond Google, as Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines become increasingly relevant. Safari’s deal with Google ends in 2015, and both Yahoo and Bing are vying to become the new default search engine for the browser. In addition, FireFox cut ties with Google in November of 2014 and named Yahoo their new default search engine.
Luckily, Bing powers Yahoo search, so you only need to adhere to one new set of rules. We recommend optimizing your strategy to consider how Yahoo and Bing determine their rankings, which includes giving priority to sites that are older; are mobile-friendly; have a .gov or .edu domain; and use the exact keywords users search for. In addition, Bing and Yahoo are able to crawl flash sites and, unlike Google, give credit to websites that use it correctly.
Learn more: The Importance of a Mobile Responsive Website
HubSpot, The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics, http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics
Search Engine Journal, 24 Eye-Popping SEO Statistics, http://www.searchenginejournal.com/24-eye-popping-seo-statistics/42665/
Search Engine Landing, Research: 56 Pct. Of “On The Go” Searches Have Local Intent, http://searchengineland.com/research-56-percent-go-searches-carry-local-intent-190655