Marketing @ Ahrefs. Current learning project: Korean. I also summarise books on my personal blog.
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  • Tweets 172
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    Are you curious about the state of SEO in 2021? Then look no further.

    We’ve curated, vetted, and categorized a list of up-to-date stats below.

    Click to jump to a category, or keep reading for our top SEO statistics.

    Editor’s Note

    This post is part of a case study where we strategically created a page and ran an outreach campaign to acquire links. Here’s the result:

    seo stats links

    Learn how we did it here.

    Joshua Hardwick
    Joshua Hardwick
    Head of Content

    These are the most interesting SEO stats we think you should know.

    1. 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine. (BrightEdge)
    2. 0.78% of Google searchers click on results from the 2nd page. (Backlinko)
    3. 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search. (BrightEdge)
    4. 92.96% of global traffic comes from Google search, Google Images, and Google Maps. (Sparktoro)
    5. SEO drives 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media. (BrightEdge)
    6. 69.7% of search queries contain four words or more. (Ahrefs)
    7. 60% of marketers say that inbound (SEO, blog content, etc) is their highest quality source of leads. (HubSpot)
    8. SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate. (HubSpot)

    These stats about ranking in Google might surprise you.

    1. 90.63% of pages get no organic search traffic from Google. (Ahrefs)
    2. The top-ranking page gets the most search traffic only 49% of the time. (Ahrefs)
    3. Only 5.7% of pages will rank in the top 10 search results within a year of publication. (Ahrefs)
    4. 25.02% of top-ranking pages don’t have a meta description. (Ahrefs)
    5. 40.61% of pages have meta descriptions that truncate. (Ahrefs)
    6. Google shows meta descriptions in search results only 37.22% of the time. That rises to 40.35% for fat-head keywords and drops to 34.38% for long-tails. (Ahrefs)
    7. The average top-ranking page also ranks in the top 10 search results for nearly 1,000 other relevant keywords. (Ahrefs)
    8. The average page in the top 10 is 2+ years old. (Ahrefs)

    Google says that backlinks are one of their top three ranking factors. Check out these link-related stats.

    1. 66.31% of pages have no backlinks. (Ahrefs)
    2. Most top-ranking pages get ‘followed’ backlinks from new websites at a pace of +5%-14.5% per month. (Ahrefs)
    3. Generally speaking, the more backlinks a page has, the more organic traffic it gets from Google. (Ahrefs)
    4. The average cost of buying a link is $361.44. (Ahrefs)
    5. The average cost of publishing a paid guest post is $77.80. (Ahrefs)
    6. 73.6% of domains have reciprocal links, meaning that some of the sites they link to also link to them. (Ahrefs)
    7. 43.7% of the top-ranking pages have some reciprocal links. (Ahrefs)

    Most SEO campaigns begin with keyword research. Here are some stats about how people are searching on Google.

    1. 92.42% of keywords get ten monthly searches or fewer. (Ahrefs)
    2. 70.87% of keywords with more than 10,000 monthly searches consist of only one or two words. (Ahrefs)
    3. 13.53% of keywords with ten searches per month or fewer consist of only one or two words. (Ahrefs)
    4. Around 8% of search queries are phrased as questions. (Moz)
    5. 0.16% of the most popular keywords are responsible for 60.67% of all searches (Ahrefs)

    How much do SEO professionals charge for their services? Are you charging higher or lower than the average? Let’s look at the stats.

    1. 74.71% of SEOs charge a monthly retainer fee for their clients. (Ahrefs)
    2. For monthly retainers, $501-$1,000 per month is the most popular pricing tier. (Ahrefs)
    3. For hourly pricing, $100-$150 per hour is the most popular pricing tier. (Ahrefs)
    4. For per-project pricing, $501-$1,000 is the most popular pricing tier. (Ahrefs)
    5. 88.28% of SEOs charge $150/hour or less for their services. (Ahrefs)
    6. On average, SEOs who’ve been in business for 2+ years charge 39.4% more per hour, 102.41% more for monthly retainers, and a 275% more for one-off projects than those who’ve been in business for fewer than two years. (Ahrefs)
    7. On average, SEOs serving the worldwide market charge 130.74% more than those serving the local market for monthly retainers. (Ahrefs)

    As SEOs, it is important to understand where search engines are right now—and where they’re going.

    1. 12.29% of search queries have featured snippets in their search results. (Ahrefs)
    2. The #1 result in Google’s organic search results has an average CTR of 31.7%. (Backlinko)
    3. There are an estimated 3.5 billion searches on Google each day. (Internet Live Stats)
    4. 39% of purchasers are influenced by a relevant search. (Think With Google)
    5. 61.5% of desktop searches and 34.4% of mobile searches result in no-clicks. (Sparktoro)

    If you serve customers locally, you should focus on improving your local search presence so more people can find you. These stats show the importance of good local SEO.

    1. 30% of all mobile searches are related to location. (Think With Google)
    2. 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day. (Think With Google)think with google
    3. 28% of searches for something nearby result in a purchase. (Think With Google)
    4. Yelp appears in the top five search results for 92% of Google web queries that include a city and business category. (FreshChalk)
    5. 54% of smartphone users search for business hours and 53% search for directions to a local store. (Think With Google)
    6. About 45% of global shoppers buy online and then pick up in-store (Think With Google)
    7. Where to buy” + “near me” mobile queries have grown by over 200% from 2017-2019. (Think With Google)
    8. Mobile searches for “store open near me” (e.g., “grocery store open near me”) have grown by over 250% from 2017-2019. (Think With Google)
    9. Mobile searches for “on sale” + “near me” (e.g., “tires on sale near me”) have grown by over 250% YOY from 2017-2019. (Think With Google)

    We’ve had great success driving customers using video marketing. Are you doing it too? If not, these statistics might surprise you.

    1. Video is the #1 form of media used in content strategy, overtaking blogs and infographics. (HubSpot)
    2. The number of comments, views, shares, and ‘likes’ had a strong correlation with higher YouTube rankings. (Backlinko)
    3. 68.2% of first-page YouTube results are HD videos. (Backlinko)
    4. The average length of a first-page YouTube video is 14 minutes, 50 seconds. (Backlinko)

    With more and more people moving to mobile search, and Google’s move to mobile-first indexing, there is no doubt that mobile SEO has become incredibly important.

    1. 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide comes from mobile phones. (Statista)
    2. There are more searches on mobile than on desktop. (Think With Google)think with google mobile searches
    3. 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product when conducting a search on their smartphones. (Think With Google)
    4. On average, ranking in position #1 on mobile gets you 27.7% of the clicks, whereas ranking in position #1 on desktop gets you 19.3% of the clicks. (SEOClarity)

    Hey, Google, what’s the current state of voice search?”

    1. 40.7% of all voice search answers come from a featured snippet. (Backlinko)
    2. The typical voice search result is only 29 words in length. (Backlinko)
    3. Approximately 75% of voice search results rank in the top 3 for that query. (Backlinko)
    4. The average reading level of a voice search result is 9th grade. (Backlinko)
    5. Websites with strong ‘link authority’ tend to rank well in voice search. In fact, the average Domain Rating of a Google Home result is 76.8. (Backlinko)
    6. 48% of consumers are using voice for “general web searches.” (Search Engine Land)

    Final thoughts

    Interested in learning more about SEO? Read about the basics here, or watch this video:


    Did I miss out on any cool or important SEO stats? Let me know on Twitter.

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    • Monthly traffic 385
    • Linking websites 1,664
    • Tweets 172
    Data from Content Explorer