Contrary to some of the negativity floating around the web from people who’ve done it wrong, or from companies who didn’t get the results they expected, SEO is not dead; in fact, it is alive and thriving. With total SEO-related spend to reach $80 billion by 2020, there’s a major reason why so many companies are investing in promoting their business Online: it works.

Even with Penguin, Panda, Polar Bear, or any other mammalian name Google cooks up to denote its next algorithm update, SEO continues to be the dominant form of online marketing. It has surely changed, but its new, more artistic form blends PR, content creation, web design, online advertising, content promotion, local visibility, and user experience together to create a recipe that gets even better results than it used to. 57% of B2B marketers say that SEO generates more leads than any other form of marketing. That’s powerful stuff. Here are three more stats for understanding the value of SEO in 2017.

Nearly half of all customers view content before talking to a company


Focusing on creating unique, informative, and engaging pieces of content about your products, services, or industry is at the centre of any online marketing effort and will be of even more importance in 2017. According to recent research, 47% of consumers read 3-5 pieces of content from you before speaking to a sales representative. That means nearly half of everyone looking in your industry wants to read your content before taking the sales process any further. It’s no surprise that 72% of online marketers claim that creating content is the most effective SEO tactic.

Clients and Google love content. Aside from the value of attracting more leads into your sales funnel, Google’s algorithm loves fresh content. Ranking for more keywords, getting a better fresh score, and showing Google that you’re a thought-leader helps your ranking surge up the results listing.


Search engines are still the key to the web

93% of online experiences start with a search engine. People use the web to find information, stay up to date on the news, interact with friends, work, and have fun. Each of these behaviours represents a business opportunity, and agile, multi-faceted marketing across platforms (for example, via your blog, on social media, and through local listings) allows consumers to see your business.

Keep in mind: 61% of people do research about a product Online before buying. The more visibility your company has, be it on the Google SERP, in a blog, on social media, or on the local map, the better the chance that they find you when they do that research.

Location. Location. Location. There’s a reason everyone keeps talking about location in terms of search engine optimization: it matters. Google’s Pigeon Update essentially gave business in close proximity to a searcher a leg up in the results (after all, who wants to walk further than they have to?). It’s funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same. People still want their local neighbourhood restaurant, clothing store, coffee place, plumber, or pizza spot, even if they want to find it Online. 72% of consumers who perform local searches visit a store within 5 miles of their current location. Optimizing your web presence to appeal to those in your local area searching for your services (especially for tradespeople and restaurants) is not optional in the modern era of SEO.

By the way: 86% of people look up a business’ location using Google Maps, meaning that if you aren’t optimized to appear there, you are missing out on major opportunities.

SEO is alive and well, it is just a lot different than it used to be. That’s definitely a good thing. What used to be a few quick tricks to appear high on the Google ranks is now a sophisticated method of online marketing that brings together dozens of different aspects of the customer’s online experience. These three stats demonstrate that SEO’s value is only increasing, and that’s because its value to those who invest in it is increasing, as well.

Want to learn more about honest and effective SEO? Let BlueHat Marketing know about it.