2021 B2B SEO Stats
For years, there’s been conflicting data on the Web about the effectiveness of B2B SEO, particularly for lead generation purposes. We’ve compiled 23 recent studies and distilled them into a clear picture of the impact a B2B SEO campaign has on mid-sized to large organizations.
The 2021 B2B SEO Stats Worth Knowing
This article will lay out the findings of the B2B SEO studies in the form of common questions related to B2B SEO’s effectiveness for mid-sized and large companies. At the end of the article, I’ll compile them into one coherent conclusion.
Question 1: What are Companies Spending on B2B SEO?
- 55% of enterprise-level companies invest more than $20,000 per month in SEO. 1(North Star Inbound 2017)
- 81% of B2B companies expect to pay at least $7,500 / month for SEO. 2(SEMRush 2019)
- 61% of B2B marketers say SEO and organic traffic is their top inbound marketing priority and they plan to dedicate “substantial marketing budget” to it. 3(Hubspot 2018)
- 68% of B2B marketers say that they would be happy to redirect a mid-level marketing position’s salary to an outsourced SEO campaign. 4(ahrefs SEO pricing 2019)
- 8 out of 10 B2B executives say that projected ROI dictates what they would pay for SEO rather than any specific numerical expectation. 5(HubSpot 2018)
As far as expectations for the fee, most executives at B2B firms expect a blend of content marketing and technical SEO, with 22% also expecting assistance with light e-mail marketing and social media posting duties as well. The majority feel that investing more in SEO gave them the best opportunity to beat out competitors.
Question 2: How Does Technical SEO Affect Conversions?
- 59% of SEO specialists reported that technical onsite optimization was their most effective SEO strategy. 6(North Star Inbound 2017)
- Speed helps conversions. Mobile pages that load a second faster than otherwise-identical pages have 20% more conversions. 7(Think With Google 2019)
- By compressing images and text, 25% of websites could save over 250KB. 10% could save more than 1MB. 8(Think With Google 2018)
Technical SEO is still a foundational first step for websites going into 2021. Clearing out the pop-ups, streamlining your site architecture, and optimizing landing page meta titles will always be crucial to gaining Google’s approval. However, research shows that one technical SEO element matters more than all the rest combined: Site speed. Optimizing your website for rapid load times will make the biggest immediate impact to your company’s organic presence in 2021.
Question 3: How Much Content Do You Need?
- B2B buyers typically consume between three and seven pieces of content before speaking with a salesperson. 9(Demand Gen Report 2019)
- 73% of B2B buyers say they have less time to devote to reading and research this year. 10(Demand Gen Report 2019)
- 40% of marketers state that content development is their most pressing SEO issue. 11 (North Star Inbound 2017)
Content is still king in the B2B SEO industry, but run-of-the-mill content marketing isn’t cutting it anymore. B2B users have less time to research than they used to, and C-suite execs are choosing not to engage with the posts that come through their inbox because the majority of that content is less than insightful. It all adds up to an ever-growing need for high-quality, fresh, relevant content created by specialists—aka thought leadership content.
Question 4: How do mobile vs desktop user CTRs compare?
- First-position organic search listings receive a 27% clickthrough rate for mobile users. In contrast, position 1 results only get 19.3% of clicks from desktop users. 12(SEOClarity 2019)
- 47% of keywords in positions 1-20 rank differently on mobile vs desktop browsers. 13(Brightedge 2018)
- Clickthrough rates for position 1 results come in at 31% for desktop users and 22% for mobile. 14(Advanced Web Ranking 2019)</li>
- 50% of B2B search queries are made on smartphones. That’s projected to rise to 70% by the end of 2021. 15(BCG 2017)
- Over 90% of B2B users say they’re likely to buy again from the same vendor if they have a superior mobile experience. Only 50% will buy again if they report a poor mobile experience. 16(BCG 2017)
- Mobile interactions currently drive over 40% of revenue in surveyed B2B organizations. 17(BCG 2017)
Personally, I find this category of statistics to be endlessly fascinating. The fact that the same search results rank differently on mobile and desktop platforms—and receive different click-through rates—is a clear indication of how crucial the mobile experience will be in the years to come.
Question 5: How do organic search and paid display ads compare?
- The average conversion rate across all industries is 3.75% for organic search results and 1.77% for display ads. 18(WordStream 2019)
- 47% of global internet users use some type of ad-blocker in 2019. 19(Digital Information World 2019)
The statistics comparing marketing channels reflect what First Page Sage clients have experienced for years: SEO and thought leadership provide the highest ROI of any marketing activity. Overall, ads are losing out in favor of more personalized, relevant, and targeted content with a longer shelf life.
Applying B2B SEO Stats to Your Own Campaign
B2B SEO stats only hold mean something in relation to the overarching trends they depict. By observing Google’s algorithm through the lens of B2B clients over the last 11 years, we have a clear picture of where Google is headed.
Simply put, high-quality thought leadership content marketing continues to be the highest ROI SEO strategy in 2021. The prerequisite to succeeding using thought leadership is a solid foundation of technical SEO and keyword research.