If you’re looking for the latest statistics on SEO ROI, we’ve got you covered.
You know that SEO is a huge buzzword right now. It’s all over the place, and everyone seems to have an opinion on it. But when it comes down to it, most people are just looking for the facts: what kind of ROI they can expect from their effort, where they should invest, how much time they can expect it to take, how much it costs…and so on.
When you’re trying to make the case for investment in SEO, it can be really hard to find the right statistics. You want something relevant, comprehensive, and easy to understand.
And that’s where our list of SEO ROI statistics comes in! It’ll help you get concrete answers about what kind of investment you should make in SEO—and whether or not it’s worth your time.
SEO ROI Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
If you are a part of the digital marketing world, the chances are that you are constantly hearing the terms search engine optimization (SEO) and return on investment (ROI). But how often do you get that chance to learn more about their impact globally?
Here are some of the most intriguing SEO ROI stats we discovered:
- Organic search has the highest ROI.
- According to estimates, on average SEO generates ROI of 200%-275%.
- Every dollar invested in SEO brings eCommerce businesses a profit of about $2.75.
- Organic search traffic has increased to an average of 53.3% across all industries.
- Organic search brings 300% more traffic to websites than social media.
- 53% of shoppers do Google research before deciding to buy something.
- The first position in Google has a click rate of 28.5%.
- There are over 100,000 Google searches each second.
- The average ROI of the real estate industry is 1,389%.
Did we manage to mesmerize you with these numbers? Continue reading to learn more about how crucial SEO and ROI data are and how they transform every industry out there.
General SEO ROI Statistics
1. Organic search has the highest ROI of any digital marketing channel.
A SearchEngineJournal survey posted on Twitter shows that organic search is the most profitable digital marketing channel. Nearly half (49%) of the respondents claimed that organic search leads to the highest ROI based on personal experience.
On the other hand, 19% said that paid search led to the highest ROI in their case, and 14% responded that email produced the highest ROI for their website.
2. On average, SEO delivers an ROI of 200%-275%.
The latest Nielsen figures place the average ROI of marketing at $1.09. The organization lists SEO, email marketing, and roadside signage among the top three marketing channels considering ROI.
However, based on Profitworks analyses, search engine optimization has an average return on investment, which ranges from 200% to 275%. According to their data, every $1 companies invest in SEO brings them a profit of between $2 and $2.75.
These figures correspond to an in-house analysis done by MOZ, which sets the average SEO ROI of eCommerce businesses at $2.75 per dollar spent.
(Nielsen, Profitworks, MOZ)
3. Organic search traffic has increased to an average of 53.3% across all industries.
According to a BrightEdge Research study, the organic search figure has increased to 53% in the past eight years. Just for comparison, it was 51% in 2014. Moreover, the same research discovered that organic and paid search is the leading traffic source.
About 68% of all trackable website traffic came from organic and paid searches, which is far more than what was gained from the display and social media.
While the study didn’t provide any figures regarding the ROI, we discovered already that the average ROI of organic search is between 200% and 275%. So, with increased traffic and increased SEO efforts, companies can also expect to see their ROI boosted.
Google is a heaven for people in a buying mindset. About 95% of people looking to buy something go straight to Google to find whatever they want.
The same rule especially applies to B2B (business to business) purchases. So regardless of whether you are looking to order online or look for the location of the store, Google is the place to go.
However, it’s interesting to note that TechCrunch discovered that about 40% of Gen Z are now using TikTok and Instagram to perform searches rather than Google. Additionally, more than half of product searches (55%) take place on Amazon.
These figures show how habits are shifting and how content optimization shouldn’t only focus on search engines. Very soon, optimizing your content for Amazon and TikTok will be equally important as optimizing it for Google.
Well-built keywords can do wonders for your business. For example, when we research Google with the help of keywords, the first results we get are ten purely organic blue links. The click rate for the first search results is almost 35%.
Interestingly, the click rate rapidly declines for the links that pop up in second through the tenth place, with the second one getting a 17.1% click rate and the tenth one 2.6% click rate.
Consequently, companies that manage to get the best ranking positions get the most potential customers to their websites. That’s why they can also expect a better ROI than the rest.
6. Over 90% of all listed websites do not get organic search traffic from Google.
More precisely, 90.63% or 847,833,932 websites do not get organic search traffic from Google. The study of over a billion websites also showed that 5.29% or 51,533,239 websites get less than ten visits from Google searches per month.
Basically, their SEO efforts have no ROI whatsoever. The main point of search engine optimization is to drive organic traffic that will bring you conversions. If 90% of websites don’t get organic traffic, then 90% of websites have 0% SEO ROI, and that’s sad.
That said, how many get regular 1,001+ visits from Google search? The answer is 0.21% or the top 2,094,758 websites.
7. SEO takes roughly 3–12 months to show a positive effect on your site’s traffic.
SEO is a process that takes time to show positive results. It’s a long-term investment, but it’s so worth it!
In the beginning, SEO ROI can be very difficult to measure and notice results from. But after 3–12 months (depending on your site), you’ll start to see an increase in traffic and rankings.
This is because it takes time for search engines to begin ranking your site based on the new keywords and content you’re trying to optimize.
We recommend taking the time to get to know your customers and their needs, so you can create a solid foundation for your site. Then, once you’ve done that, start implementing SEO basics and see how they affect your traffic over the next 3–12 months. If you see an increase in traffic, continue on with those practices; if not, try something else!
If you’ve just started to optimize your site, don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t seem like things are improving right away—it will take some time for your changes to have an impact!
However long it takes for your site’s SEO changes to take effect, it’s important not to give up! The process can take some time, but once it does start working, the results are worth it!
(Semrush, SEJ, Ahrefs)
SEO ROI Statistics Based on Location, Industry, and Campaign Type
8. Search engines drive 76% of all traffic to B2B sites.
Out of the total trackable traffic, B2B has a combined search traffic of 76%. Of those, 64% are average organic visits, and 12% are average paid search visits. Even regarding revenue outcomes, organic search is the most extensive channel, with 44.6% of the total revenue.
That is believed to be because people explore solutions they need, which leads to organic search having a significant role in the discovery. Once they better understand the products or services they need, they may use other channels to make a purchase.
9. The technology industry has the second-best average organic visits stats.
While there is no doubt that the B2B industry dominates with 64% average organic visits, the technology industry is in second place with almost 60%. Moreover, the average paid search visits in the tech industry are nearly 10%, making the combined search traffic 70%.
The media and entertainment industry also seems to do well, landing 53% of the average organic visits and 6% of the average paid search visits, with a combined total of 59%.
10. The B2B and technology industries generate twice more revenue from organic search than other channels.
The B2B companies generate a 52.7% average organic revenue share. It’s double the average of other shares of revenue (23.4%), as well as the average paid search share of revenue (22.9%), and a lot more than the average social share of revenue (0.9%).
The same can be seen in the technology industry, which generates a 58.8% average organic revenue share. The average other shares of revenue for the tech industry is 29.4%. As for the average paid search and social share of revenue, it’s 11.7% and 0.2%, respectively.
11. The retail and eCommerce industry has the highest average paid search visits.
The same BrightEdge Research study showed us that the retail and eCommerce industry has the best results when it comes to paid search visits. The sector leads with 23% average paid search visits in addition to the 41% average organic visits.
On the other hand, the travel and hospitality industry is right below it, with an average of 23.4% average paid search visits and 41% average organic visits.
12. The media and entertainment industry has higher revenue from paid search than organic search.
While the B2B and tech companies thrive thanks to organic search, the media and entertainment companies benefit most from paid search revenue.
According to the data, the media and entertainment industry has a 38.9% average paid search share of revenue compared to the 34.7% average organic share of the revenue.
Still, when it comes to the average social share of revenue, even in this industry, it is pretty low, barely reaching 0.7%.
13. More than half (53%) of shoppers do Google research before deciding to buy something.
Recent data posted by Google shows us that over half of US consumers do thorough Google research before deciding to buy something. They want to ensure they make the best possible choice, so they spend a lot of time researching the item of interest before finally buying it.
But that’s not all. A similar study revealed that 56% of in-store shoppers use their smartphones to either research the item before buying or shop while they are inside the store.
14. About 71% of consumers prepared to spend are visiting a retailer’s website or app.
Based on Google’s consumer insights, when people are in the I-want-to-buy moments, they most often use their phones to visit the website or the app of the retailer. In fact, over 70% of consumers have this habit. Slightly less, or about 64%, use Google search to browse when they are in the mood for shopping.
Other popular ways consumers spend their I-want-to-buy moments are visiting a non-retailer website or app (42%), visiting a store or different location (41%), and looking at images or photos online (23%).
15. SEO drives 15 times more clicks than pay-per-click advertising.
If it’s done correctly, SEO can bring 10 times more traffic and 15 times more clicks to your website than PPC.
With SEO, you can find the right customers for you, become a meaningful part of their lives, and when the time comes, they will make a purchase. On the other hand, PPC is an expensive marketing strategy that sometimes doesn’t deliver the needed results.
Since you are paying per click, you will pay for everyone who clicks on your link, regardless of whether their visit will bring a purchase or an accidental click.
16. The first position in Google has a click rate of 28.5%.
Believe it or not, the first organic search result on Google is clicked by 28.5% of users who see it.
To understand how high this percentage is, let’s look at the other click rate data:
- Second search result – 15.7%
- Third search result – 11%
- Forth search result – 8%
- Fifth search result – 7.2%
- Sixt search result – 5.1%
- Seventh search result – 4%
- Eighth search result – 3.2%
- Ninth search result – 2.8%
- Tenth search result – 2.5%
As you can see, it’s a long way from 28.5% to 2.5%. Keep in mind that there are ten search results on the first page of Google. That means there is a 26% difference in the clicks between the first and the tenth search result on the first page. It appears that users do not scroll down, same as they do not switch to the second, third, or other pages from the search results.
Consequently, the first results also get better ROI results, while the rest have a bad SEO return of investment as they’re just not getting enough leads.
17. There are over 100,000 Google searches in one second.
According to the latest Internet Live Stats, there are 105,412 Google searches every second. That means there are over 9.1 billion Google searches every day.
This number is rapidly growing, which can be seen if we compare it with previous data.
For example, there were 10,000 searches per day in 1998, 63,000 searches every second in 2016, and 81,000 searches per second in 2020.
(Internet Live Stats)
18. Google has 91.46% of the global search engine market.
Speaking of Googling, there is something no other search engine managed to achieve. Google currently holds over 90% of the search engine market as of July 2022. Let’s try to paint a picture of how much this percentage really is.
Here are the other popular search engines and their stats:
- Bing – 3.29%
- Yandex – 1.48%
- Yahoo – 1.34%
- Baidu – 0.91%
While Google has the ultimate first place globally, there are some countries where alternative search engines are taking the lead.
For example, almost 86% of internet users in China used Baidu daily in 2021. About 60% of Russian internet users used Yandex in 2021. And, 55% of internet users in Japan preferred to use Yahoo over Google.
These figures clearly show what search engine should be your priority when it comes to optimizing your content. Naturally, since more than 90% of users go for Google, that’s the primary target for SEO marketers. Yet, the other search engines shouldn’t be overlooked either.
19. The real estate industry has the highest ROI from search engine optimization.
The real estate industry has the highest SEO ROI, reaching an average of 1,389% in three years. The medical device industry is in close second place with 1,183%, PCB design and manufacturing is in third place with 1,101%, and the financial industry services is fourth with 1,031% SEO ROI.
If you are curious about the SEO ROI of other industries, here are some interesting numbers that may surprise you:
- Higher education and college industry – 994%
- Oil and gas industry – 906%
- Industrial IoT – 866%
- Pharmaceutical industry – 826%
- Manufacturing industry – 813%
- Biotech industry – 788%
- Solar energy industry – 770%
- Commercial insurance industry – 758%
- Addiction treatment industry – 736%
- B2B SaaS industry – 702%
- Construction industry – 681%
- HCAC services industry – 678%
- IT Staffing industry – 612%
- Legal services industry – 526%
- eCommerce industry – 317%
20. Thought leadership is the most effective SEO strategy for generating ROI.
According to the latest data, thought leadership content strategy has an ROI of 748% and a ROAS (return on advertising spend) of 9.10. The campaign includes thorough keyword research based on target audience persona needs and pain points, search intent, and transactional behavior.
The other well-known SEO campaigns are technical and standard content marketing. The first one has 117% ROI with 1.35 ROAS, while the second has 16% ROI and 1.05 ROAS.
21. The average company reinvests 3.8% of its revenue into advertising.
Based on a 2022 ROI report, companies often reinvest about 3.8% of their revenue into marketing plans. That said, most companies reinvest between 1.4% and 9.2% of their revenues into advertising.
The percentage depends mainly on the country, which can be seen by the significantly higher investments in the Asia-Pacific region (4.6%) compared to the rest. On average, North America reinvests about 4.1%, Europe 3.7%, and Latin America 3.0%.
22. Over half of the global companies are underspending on marketing.
Over 50% of companies throughout the world are underspending when it comes to their marketing campaigns. The 2022 ROI report shows us that the average underinvestment level was 52%.
Of all global campaigns, 66% of digital video and 60% of display campaigns are underinvested, not reaching the needed numbers. Moreover, 43% of social and 31% of TV campaign plans are also underinvested.
23. North America is the zone with the strongest ROI opportunities.
Even though 57% of marketing plans are underinvested in North America, the latest data confirm that it is still the most robust ROI opportunity zone.
North America has a 66% average level of underinvestment among the marketing plans categorized as underinvested, with a 59% average ROI growth opportunity from increasing investment to the optimal numbers.
We see similar numbers in Latin America, with a 52% average level of underinvestment and a 59% average ROI growth opportunity from increasing investment.
24. Video marketing is becoming more popular than ever.
After eight years of research, Wyzowl discovered that videos could help marketers achieve their goals faster.
For example, 87% of the marketers that joined the study claim that videos helped them increase their traffic. Moreover, 94% confirmed that videos helped them improve their understanding of their product or service. Lastly, 81% of marketers explained that videos had helped increase sales.
Younger generations seem to respond better to video content than written text. So, optimization of social media channels like YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok should be on any business’ priority list.
We hope you found these SEO ROI stats helpful and informative!
If you’re reading till the end, chances are you’ve already figured out that SEO is a valuable part of your business strategy. You’ve also probably realized that it’s not as simple as just throwing up some keywords on your site and waiting for the money to roll in.
But don’t worry! This doesn’t mean you can’t measure your success—it just means that you have to be more intentional about what you’re doing.
Start by doing some research into different strategies that could work for your business and see what the statistics say about their effectiveness. Then try them out, measure their effectiveness, and use those findings to inform your next round of decisions.
The best thing about SEO is that there’s always something new to learn!