It’s not always easy to find the evidence of how quickly natural search is growing, but the big news for marketers and online business owners is that we are finally starting to see real world results.
A study was recently completed of over 50 brands and a total of 1.1 billion natural search visits that took place during 2014. Some of the growth stories will come as no surprise to search engine optimisation specialists, but others will certainly catch you off guard.
Natural Search Is a Massive Way to Grow Your Online Business
Here’s the biggest news of all that we would like to share with you right away… The average business or brand that is actively engaged in search engine optimization saw its natural traffic percentages rise by 20% year-over-year in 2014.
And even more impressive, this rise in natural search engine traffic has even outpaced paid search, which in a separate study PPC traffic also grew but only by 9% year-over-year in 2014.
Another interesting statistic is this… In 2013, 18.1% of the search engine traffic came from natural search. In 2014, this percentage grew to 21%, which is a large move when you’re talking about billions upon billions of searches taking place.
Not only are we really seeing a major lift for search engine traffic in 2014 when compared to other channels including paid search, social media, banner advertising and more, but it’s also quite helpful to understand that a large majority of the traffic going to sites that are actively engaged in search engine optimization will receive that traffic naturally from the search engines.
Obviously, there are major differences depending on verticals and the particular market that the business was in. As an example, insurance websites and financial sites saw slower growth rates than other verticals. They grew at a roughly 9% rate year-over-year in 2014, which is very similar to the growth in pay per click.
But on the other hand, healthcare and pharmaceutical websites saw a huge spike in growth and many of them topped 70% growth year over year in 2014. This is obviously a huge difference, so your vertical does make a difference. But overall, we have seen an explosion in natural search engine results and traffic on many websites in all different markets.
Conversions & the Spike in Natural Search Traffic
As business owners, you’ll certainly get excited when your website starts to get more traffic, but if it doesn’t convert into paying customers than it really doesn’t mean anything to you. Or it means very little over the long run if anything.
That’s why we’re happy to tell you that conversions from natural search – i.e. online store purchases, creating an account on a website, filling out a contact form – have also grown when compared to the numbers in 2013. In fact, online conversions from natural search have grown by as much as 27% in 2014 alone! And on average, the natural conversion growth rate is up 40%, which is an incredible sign for business owners and marketers who are looking to perform strong in 2015. It shows that purchasing power and consumer confidence is returning to the marketplace.
In 2014, natural search conversion has become even more valuable. With e-commerce websites, we have seen the average value per order grow by 8.5% when compared to the 2013 numbers. Although we must tell you that the average order per website did slip by 4%.
What does this tell us? It tells us that even though individual orders were down for the year, the people that are buying are purchasing more products per order and spending more money. We expect this trend to continue going into 2015 as the economy improves.
What Does This Impact on Natural Search Mean in 2015?
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way… If you are not actively pursuing search engine optimisation for your brand than you are missing out on a huge amount of traffic and conversions. You have to become engaged in SEO if you want your business to grow and thrive in today’s online environment.
Since the search engines are constantly changing, having an expert in your corner to help navigate these rough waters is a must. Do not go at it alone because you could potentially cause more harm to your website that good.