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The State of SEO: How Many Businesses Actually Use it?

The State of SEO
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Search engine optimization (SEO) is a buzzword that everyone still keeps coming back to!

In the last two decades, the whole digital marketing industry has been revolutionized with the advent of new technologies, AI, and more.

It has completely changed how businesses use it to improve their online presence, increase website organic traffic, and generate more leads and sales.

But many businesses still do not pay attention to or even understand the importance of SEO. So, how many businesses are actually using SEO, and how much are they spending on it?

Keep reading this article to find out! We will also review the latest SEO stats worldwide, focusing on small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the US.

We’ll also discuss why investing in SEO is a wise decision in 2023 and provide tips for developing a strong SEO strategy.

Latest SEO Statistics

Latest SEO Statistics

According to a 2022 study, only 63% of small businesses worldwide invest in SEO. Furthermore, almost half of the small businesses (47%) do not invest in SEO.

In 2021, 27% of small businesses began investing in SEO, and 25% plan to do so in 2022.

The main SEO tactics used by small businesses include keyword research (43%), technical SEO optimization (40%), and local search optimization (37%).

When it comes to tracking success, 21% of small businesses believe that website engagement is the most important metric.

Interestingly, over 40% of small businesses use in-house SEO software and tools instead of hiring an outside party.

Despite the lack of SEO use for many small businesses, most (79%) are confident in their understanding of SEO best practices.

SEO Stats in the US

A recent survey of 600 US and Canadian SMBs found that 57% do not have an SEO strategy, and 23% have no plans to create one this year.

A survey by UpCity that Pollfish conducted shows that only around 44% of companies now have an SEO plan in place. However, 34% of businesses plan to prioritize SEO in 2022.

SEO Spending Statistics

Despite the slow recovery from COVID-19, corporate spending on SEO and related products and services reached $47.5 billion in 2020.

This shows that SEO is still a valuable marketing tool businesses are willing to invest in.

The SEO market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10% from 2021 to 2023, with the industry’s value reaching up to $77.6 billion by 2023.

While SEO is a worthwhile investment, businesses must also consider their budget for paid search marketing.

In 2019, the estimated total business spending on paid search marketing was $41,305. However, up to 54% of marketers reported an overall budget reduction for marketing campaigns, with around 50% experiencing cutbacks in paid ad search budgets.

It’s important to note that not all businesses have full-time SEO staff. In fact, 17% of enterprises do not have any dedicated SEO personnel, and the responsibility for optimizing their website falls on other departments, such as marketing or IT.

For small businesses, it’s even more common not to have a dedicated SEO person or team. According to a survey conducted by HigherVisibility, 67% of small businesses handle their SEO in-house, with the responsibility usually falling on the business owner or marketing manager.

While having a dedicated SEO team can certainly be beneficial, it’s not always necessary for businesses to see success in search engine rankings. Many resources and tools are available for businesses to learn and implement SEO best practices.

However, it’s important to note that SEO is a constantly evolving field, and staying up to date with the latest trends and algorithm updates can be time-consuming. For this reason, many businesses choose to hire outside SEO experts, consultants, or agencies to help with their SEO efforts.

Ultimately, the decision to have a dedicated SEO team or not depends on your business’s needs and resources. What’s important is that you are aware of the importance of SEO and take steps to optimize your website and improve your search engine rankings.

What percentage of businesses use SEO?

What percentage of businesses use SEO?

According to a survey, 61% of businesses said that improving their SEO is their top inbound marketing priority. 57% of B2B marketers say that in comparison to any other marketing activity, SEO generates more leads!

However, it’s important to note that not all businesses have full-time SEO staff. In fact, 17% of enterprises do not.

SEO Services Statistics

In terms of SEO services, the top three most commonly outsourced tasks are on-site optimization (64%), keyword research (46%), and content creation (42%).

When it comes to SEO, there are several key statistics to consider:

Local SEO Statistics

  • 46% of users are looking for local information via Google searches.
  • 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles.
  • 28% of users searching locally end up buying.

Organic SEO Statistics

  • Google’s top five organic search results get 67.6% of all clicks.
  • 3% of all website traffic comes from organic search.

Mobile SEO Statistics

  • 60% of all Google searches are mobile searches.

Voice SEO Statistics

  • By 2024, it’s estimated that 55% of households will have a smart speaker.
  • 27% of smartphone users worldwide use voice search.

Why should you strongly consider investing in SEO in 2023?

Why should you strongly consider investing in SEO in 2023?

The competition is getting fierce, with small businesses and startups popping up everywhere. If you do not have a solid SEO strategy in place to help your business stand out and attract more qualified leads – things will get a lot tougher for you to survive.

Investing in SEO can help you achieve long-term benefits for your business, such as increased website traffic, improved brand visibility, and higher search engine rankings. In addition, optimizing your website and content for relevant keywords and phrases makes it easier for potential customers to find your business online.

SEO also helps establish credibility and authority in your industry, leading to more brand recognition and customer loyalty. Additionally, SEO can help you stay ahead of the curve regarding technological advancements and changes in search engine algorithms.

SEO investment is a smart business decision if you are looking to achieve long-term gains and establish a strong online presence against the new competition. By working with an experienced SEO agency or consultant, you can develop a customized strategy that’s tailored to your specific business goals and needs.

Why do you need a solid SEO strategy?

A solid SEO strategy is crucial for the success of any online business. Without it, your website may not appear on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs), which means you may miss out on valuable organic traffic and potential customers.

A well-planned SEO strategy can also help you stay ahead of your competitors. By conducting thorough keyword research, monitoring your website’s performance, and making necessary adjustments, you can continually improve your website’s visibility and stay on top of industry trends.

5 Elements of SEO to Focus on

When it comes to SEO, there are several key elements that you should focus on:

1. On-Page Optimization

According to a study by Backlinko, pages that contain the exact match keyword in their title tag tend to rank higher than pages that don’t.

You can use these techniques to optimize your website’s content and structure for search engines. It includes keyword research, optimizing title tags and meta descriptions, creating high-quality content, and using header tags and internal links to improve the user experience. Example: If you run a landscaping business in Seattle, you might want to create a page on your website that targets the keyword “Seattle landscaping services.” You would optimize the page’s title tag and meta description to include the keyword and create high-quality content that provides value to users searching for landscaping services in Seattle.

2. Off-Page Optimization

According to Search Engine Journal, backlinks are one of search engines’ top ranking factors.

You can use it to improve your website’s authority and popularity with search engines. It includes building high-quality backlinks from other websites, promoting your content on social media, and engaging with your audience through email marketing and other channels. Example: If you run a local restaurant, you might reach out to local food bloggers and offer them a free meal in exchange for a review on their website. It could result in a high-quality backlink to your website, which can improve your organic search engine rankings.

3. Technical SEO

According to Google, more than half of all website visits come from mobile devices, meaning having a mobile-responsive website is crucial for SEO.

It includes things like website speed, mobile responsiveness, and the use of structured data and schema markup. Example: If your website takes too long to load, users are more likely to bounce, and search engines may penalize you in their rankings. Optimizing your website’s speed can improve the user experience and your search engine rankings.

4. Local SEO

According to a report by Google, “76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a physical place within 24 hours, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.”

Local SEO refers to the techniques that you can use to improve your website’s visibility and rankings for local searches. It includes optimizing your Google My Business profile, creating local content, and building local citations and reviews. Example: If you run a plumbing business in New York City, you might want to optimize your Google My Business profile to include your address, phone number, and business hours. You could also create content that targets local keywords like “emergency plumber in New York City.”

5. Content Marketing

Content Marketing

According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing and costs 62% less.

It is about creating and promoting high-quality content that provides value to your target audience. It includes blog posts, videos, infographics, and other types of content that can help you attract and engage your target audience. Example: If you run a marketing agency, you might create a series of blog posts that provide tips and advice on improving your marketing strategy. Creating high-quality content that provides value to your target audience can attract more qualified leads to your website.

How can SEO help you drive long-term gains?

SEO can provide long-term benefits for businesses in various ways. One of the most significant advantages of SEO is that it can help you achieve sustainable growth for your business. With consistent optimization efforts, you can improve your search engine rankings, attract more qualified traffic to your website, and establish your brand as an authority in your industry.

By consistently implementing best practices in keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, content creation, and mobile optimization, you can help ensure that your website is optimized for search engines and is ranking well for relevant keywords. As a result, it can increase brand awareness, higher conversion rates and improve customer loyalty.

Furthermore, SEO can help you stay ahead of the competition and adapt to changes in the search engine landscape. As search algorithms continue to evolve, businesses that invest in SEO can stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices to improve their online presence.

In the long run, a strong SEO strategy can help you establish a solid online presence, attract more qualified leads, and drive sustained growth for your business. By consistently optimizing your website and staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and best practices, you can achieve long-term success with SEO.

How much should you invest in PPC and SEO?

When it comes to how much to invest in PPC and SEO, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Instead, the ideal budget for your business will depend on a variety of factors, including your industry, target audience, competition, and overall marketing goals.

PPC can be an effective way to drive traffic and generate leads quickly, but it can also be expensive. The cost per click (CPC) for popular keywords in competitive industries can be quite high, sometimes exceeding $50 per click. This means that companies with large advertising budgets may be able to spend more on PPC campaigns than smaller businesses with limited budgets.

On the other hand, SEO is a long-term investment that requires consistent effort and time to see results. While it can be less expensive than PPC in the long run, it may take several months or even years to see significant improvements in search engine rankings.

A recent survey by Ignite Visibility found that businesses typically spend between $500 and $10,000 monthly on SEO. However, larger enterprises may spend significantly more. For example, Amazon reportedly spends over $50 million on SEO annually.

In terms of PPC advertising, a report by WordStream found that the average small business spends between $9,000 and $10,000 per month on Google Ads. However, the cost per click can vary widely depending on the industry and specific keywords targeted.

It’s important to note that while PPC can provide quick results, it’s not always necessary to spend large amounts of money to see a return on investment. Careful keyword targeting, ad copy optimization, and landing page design can all help improve conversion rates and lower CPC.

Ultimately, the ideal budget for your business will depend on your specific goals, target audience, and overall marketing strategy. It’s important to continually monitor and adjust your budget based on performance data to ensure you’re maximizing your ROI.


A strong SEO strategy is essential for businesses that want to succeed online. Investing in SEO can improve your search engine rankings, attract more qualified traffic to your website, and generate more revenue for your business. So if you haven’t already, it’s time to focus on SEO in 2023 and beyond.