10 Stats to Justify SEO

SMS Text

Have you seen the potential of SEO but are struggling to convince your boss or colleagues?

You are not alone. SEO can often be viewed as a difficult, techy oddity, and not something that every company needs. Small-scale businesses often think they won’t benefit from spending money on online marketing.

To help you explain the potential of SEO and justify your request for increased spending, I’ve compiled this list of 10 statistics that I find particularly compelling:

1 – There are over two billion people online

A study by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) discovered that the number of internet users across the globe has now exceeded two billion.

In 2010 alone, more than 226 million people came online for the first time. Market researcher IDC predicts that by 2015, an astounding 2.7 billion people worldwide will be online.

That’s about 40% of the world’s population, which is a lot of potential customers.

2 – 38 million of them are in the UK

If your business doesn’t want to target international business, then your boss may not care about the rapidly growing number of internet users in the developing world. But even so, the numbers for the UK market are compelling.

Research from the Office for National Statistics shows that 38 million UK adults used the web last year. Of those, more than 30 million accessed the internet at least once a day.

You’d pay a lot of money to have a shop on a street that had that kind of footfall!

3 – 31 million are actively shopping online

The ONS study found that 31 million people purchased goods or services online in the 12 months to August 2010.

What’s more, the higher their income, the more likely they are to use the web. The research body found that 98% of people with an income exceeding £41,600 used the internet. That compares to just 69% of adults with an income of less than £10,399.

So, many of your potential customers are using the internet to shop – and the wealthier they are, the more likely they are to do so.

4 – These customers spend hours online

On average, an online adult in the UK spends 22 hours and 15 minutes on the internet each month, according to the UK Online Measurement Company (UKOM).

That’s an increase of 65% compared to just three years ago. Interestingly, 22.7% of that time is spent accessing social networks and blogs, showing just how important a social marketing campaign is alongside your SEO efforts.

5 – People spend billions online

Despite the economic woes, spending online continues to grow. In August 2011 alone, UK shoppers spent £5.2 billion on the web, according to the IMRG/Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

That’s 14% more than in the same month, the previous year.

6 – 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine

So, people are spending a lot of time and money online. But does that necessarily mean that you need SEO?

The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. A study by Forrester from 2006 found that 93% of all internet traffic comes from a search engine. You cannot afford to be missing out on that many potential visitors.

7 – Google dominates all

Although you should rank for all search engines, it makes sense to prioritise Google.

Google received more than 92% of search engine traffic in 2010, according to Statcounter.com. The runner up, Bing, gained just 3.17% of search engine traffic.

Such a compelling statistic also shows that it’s a good idea to funnel paid search spending towards Google.

8 – Customers click on top-ranking links

If you operate in a niche market then you are potentially already appearing on the first page of the search results for the major keywords.

This might make you think that it’s not worth investing in SEO to drive you to the very top of the results pages.

But you’d be wrong. A study by Optify showed that the top ranking website has an average click-through rate of 37%, while 60% of the clicks go to the top three results.

9 – Britons are online on the go

If you want to target customers on the move, you might be advertising on buses and in free papers. But market research agency IDC has predicted that soon more users will access the web through their mobile phones than through computers.

And according to the Office for National Statistics, 71% of 16 to 24-year-olds are accessing the internet using their handsets, so clearly you should be advertising to them online.

Who needs a poster on the bus?

10 – 41% of businesses are winning customers using social media

A successful SEO campaign works hand in hand with a social media strategy – and it’s never been more important to be targeting customers socially.

Research by workplace provider Regus shows that 41% of UK firms are successfully winning customers through their social networking efforts. Not only that, but 48% use social platforms to engage with their existing customers.

Your SEO spending will boost your social marketing – winning you business through two different channels.

Daniel Bianchini

Daniel Bianchini

Director of Services at White
Daniel Bianchini is an Oxford based SEO Consultant currently working for White.net. He is currently the Director of Services and lead on a number of... Read Full Bio
Daniel Bianchini
Subscribe to SEJ!
Get our weekly newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!
  • Nick Stamoulis

    It’s amazing that some businesses are still holding out. A web presence can really make or break a business. While branded search is important, it’s necessary to rank for industry keywords in order to build your visibility and attract a new audience.

  • Ken Savage

    An important piece with some of my clients are not how they rank on Google.com lately but also Google.fr and Google.de etc…

    I think anyone with a legitimate international business online cares about SEO but how they are performing country to country is something a mystery. Just a little education goes a long way. Nice post Daniel.

  • George

    I smiled when I am reading this. Google dominates all, that’s a fact. Doing SEO, trying hard to rank at Google, or even just that Google would recognize you. You have put good points and justified SEO really well. more power!

  • Ling

    Most of the companies in my country haven’t seen (or realize) the power of the internet. Most of the people also still rely on traditional way of trading.
    Even so, some of the young technopreneurs have started to build their own online stores with little capital. And soon, the companies as well as the people will witness the multiplying power of the internet.

  • shankar reddy

    seo can often be viewed as a difficult, techy oddity, and not something that every company needs. Small-scale businesses often think they won’t benefit from spending money on online marketing.

  • Wayne

    I had no idea how important SEO was. Now i am starting to understand why my website guy keeps telling me. He has also encouraged me to find this stuff myself and yours is the first. Keep them coming.

  • Manish

    Hey Daniel, nice points. There are some business owners who simply ignored the importance of SEO. After reading this post they will come to know about the true value of SEO. If any business owner wants to earn money from his or her website, then he or she should give importance to SEO and must implement it as soon as possible.

  • Patricia

    Thanks for this insightful and informative article. It really helped me learn how important for a company’s website is to take some time to do some seo optimization and how the lack of it your company.

  • buzzquotient

    I agree with you Daniel and it seems that you have done alot of research on this particular topic. I would like to make a special mention of point 10 and I feel that SEO blended with Social Media brings great result. It build authority, authenticity and also helps manage online reputation and increase brand awareness.

  • AJ Ghergich

    Good points but I find that if you don’t make the case more specific to the client they wont care about broad statistics. Showing them projected ROI for actual rankings in the top 10 for their specific keywords tends to be the most effective.

  • Richard

    Always good to have some UK based stats to wave in front of the unbelievers

  • Leon Zorge

    Nice article, how many companies are still sleeping, after reading this showcase.
    SEO, linkbuilding and other marketing facts are essential for the business owners, let we hope that they are opening there eyes after reading these facts.

  • Lusine

    Yes, SEO is necessary, because for business, increasing traffic to websites and converting that traffic into new clients is integral to success.

  • marcus

    Great post Daniel…pithy and pertinent.

    I’m going to tweet this!

    Nice point about Google Uk…..Google completely saturates the UK, unlike in the states, where it has about 70% market share.

    To be honest though, anyone who thinks seo is less than majorly important must have their head up their backside

  • Laila

    Hi Daniel, I am currently creating an infographic and some of the details are taken from the stats you’ve outlined here in your post. I will be including references and credits. I hope that’s okay.

    Thank you for always creating authority information when it comes to online marketing.