After the wild ride that was 2016 in terms of marketing trends, many business owners have since wondered what changes or new movements would start to bubble up and become the norm in 2017. Some remarkable statistics are in that will change the way you think about SEO, and, if you haven’t already done so, change your mind about the effectiveness of  digital marketing efforts. In this blog, we will share some astonishing SEO statistics from 2017 and get right down to how they affect your business.

There are 15% fewer blue links on the SERP

The search engine results page is where all of the magic happens. It is the area where we measure marketing success, and where your customers interact with your company’s online presence (93% of online experiences start on a search engine!). According to, there are now 15% fewer blue links on the SERP than in previous years. In its effort to spice up make its results page, Google has diversified and shows more trending news, Twitter boxes, local results, and Wiki pages. The result is less space to work with.

BlueHat Analysis: Just because there is less space, doesn’t mean there is a reduced benefit—in fact, it’s the opposite. Organic search still drives 51% of traffic. That means there is an added benefit to seizing one of the spots and less competition for you if you get there. It also means a more diversified campaign; focusing on local, social, and paid ads is becoming more important. Social draws 5% of traffic to websites now, and PPC can result in an 89% incremental lift in traffic over your normal organic numbers.

72% of customers who searched locally visited a store within 5 miles

Search and location information can provide concise data with wonderful applications for businesses. One of them is determining how far a consumer is willing to go for an average search. This answer surprised us: Over 70% of consumers visited a store within 5 miles after searching locally.

BlueHat’s Analysis: imagine placing a billboard on the side of the road within 5 miles of your store and having a 70%+ success rate. That’s the power of local search (and without all of that ugly advertising ruining a beautiful view!). Harnessing the power of Google’s new location information and honing ads down to geo-targeted areas will allow buy-ready organic traffic to turn into buy-ready foot traffic.

82% of marketers report SEO effectiveness on the rise

SEO isn’t nearly as simple as it used to be. What once was a few simple tricks focusing on a keyword for your homepage is now a complex industry with numerous strategies. It takes coordinated efforts across on-page, off-page, content creation, social media, and other marketing efforts to see success. Despite all of this, 82% of marketers report that SEO effectiveness is on the rise. 42% of that group reported it was a “significant increase”.

BlueHat’s Analysis: SEO is becoming more challenging with each day, but as more consumers become search-savvy, as buying trends continue to change, and as the tools available become more sophisticated, the benefits only increase. Yes, SEO takes more work these days, but your business will benefit from the increased brand awareness, added organic traffic, social media following, and thought-leading content.

SEO keeps changing, but as each year goes by it only becomes more effective. These stats for SEO in 2017 and how they could affect your business are just the tip of the iceberg. Investing in an SEO campaign across multiple marketing channels is essential for success. Stay tuned for more news and helpful tips from BlueHat Marketing!