About a year ago I wrote a blog I titled “The State of SEO Copywriting in 2017.” I made the point that search engine optimization (or SEO) changes so fast that successful marketers can’t afford to sit still when it comes to staying abreast of the latest SEO trends and developments.

Given the importance of SEO to most marketers and copywriters today, I figured it’s probably time to talk about SEO again. And I found a pretty cool resource with a whole bunch of useful information about SEO and online marketing.

SEO Stats and Takeaways

The resource is an extensive info-graphic titled “55 Must-Know Things for Small Business Website SEO.” Here are a few of the most useful tidbits I pulled out of the info-graphic, along with my takeaway:

1. Google is by far the most popular Internet search engine, accounting for 81% of all desktop search traffic. Bing is a distant second at 7% and Yahoo! is less than 5%.

I guess this isn’t surprising when you consider that the word “Google” is now synonymous with Internet search — and has even become a commonly used verb (as in, “just Google it”). However, it’s still eye-opening to see how Google completely dominates the industry.

Takeaway:Plan your SEO and online marketing strategies on the assumption that most searchers are using Google.

2. Before making a purchase, nine out of 10 people start the buying process via Internet search. Meanwhile, eight out of 10 people research a company online before doing business with it. And just two out of 10 people scroll down beyond the fold on the first page of search results.

Takeaway:Ranking high in the search engines and having a vibrant web presence is really, really important for most businesses.

3. Just 17% of small businesses say they’re investing in SEO while only 25% say they’re investing in online marketing. And 71% say they do their own digital marketing instead of outsourcing it to experts.

Takeaway:Most businesses have a long way to go if they want to take advantage of all the possibilities offered by SEO and online marketing.

4. Eight out of 10 marketers believe their SEO marketing efforts are at least “above average.”

Takeaway:There’s a serious disconnect between what businesses thinkthey’re doing right from an SEO perspective and what they’re actuallydoing right.

5. Four out of 10 people use their smartphones exclusively for search. However, only about half (56%) of small businesses said their websites feature responsive design so they load properly on smartphones.

Web searchers have even less patience for sites to load on their smartphones (they’ll give them two seconds) than they do their desktops, where they’ll give sites three seconds to load. And if a site doesn’t load properly on their phone, about half of searchers (46%) never go back.

Takeaway:It’s critical that websites today feature responsive design so they load properly on smartphones and other mobile devices.

6. When it comes to SEO tactics, 57% of marketers rank content creation as the most effective. This is followed by keyword research at 49%, social media integration at 39% and link building at 36%. Interestingly, content creation is also considered to be the most difficult SEO tactic.

Takeaway:If you want to improve your SEO results, you should probably focus most of your attention and resources on creating relevant, high-quality content.

Just Do It!

I’ve written extensively about the importance of content marketing as part of an overall SEO strategy. So I’ll wrap up this blog by reiterating what I stressed in a blog at the start of last year: When it comes to content marketing, you need to Just Do It!

There are lots of different components to a content marketing program: blogs, whitepapers, e-books, case studies, info-graphics and newsletters, to name a few. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all this, so it’s usually best to start off with one or two components and grow your program over time.

But always remember the most important thing with content marketing: consistency. Publishing a blog once or twice a year or throwing an occasional whitepaper or case study up on your site when you “have time” to create one is a sure-fire recipe for failure.

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