Over the past few years, we’ve seen quite a few marketing strategies that came and went, but no strategy so far has been as consistent as content marketing.
Apart from that, people’s interest in content has been high since it became a thing.
Content is one of the most popular and consistent search queries on Google. If you take a look at Google Trends for the queries with this word over the past five years, you’ll see that public interest in content hasn’t dropped during that entire period:
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Content plays an important role in creating and promoting brand awareness and brand values. It is a great mediator between a brand and its customers, who often communicate and spread product information through content.
However, most importantly, content is great for driving organic traffic and for SEO in general. Companies around the world invest thousands (and sometimes millions) of dollars to create content specifically for that reason.
In general, yes, having a content marketing strategy for your brand is great. But if you’re only starting your content marketing journey, you need to know what makes Google like content so much and what the current state of content marketing is.
To answer this and other questions, we’ve combined the most crucial statistics from the top authoritative resources that show the importance of content for SEO.
The Role of Content in Search Engine Optimization
First, let’s take a look at the role of content in regards to SEO and the average results that content can deliver in terms of organic traffic.
1) Content was named the No.1 SEO tactic in 2019
Last year, Search Engine Watch, together with Zazzle Media, did a survey involving SEO managers and agencies. The participants expressed their views regarding the role of content in SEO.
The results of the survey showed that the overwhelming majority considers on-page content creation the most effective activity for SEO.
2) Content can increase traffic by up to 2,000%
Back in 2012, Marketing Sherpa and the company called Distribution wrote a case study that described how content helped Distribution improve their traffic.
The company revamped its blogging, whitepaper, and webinar strategies, as well as increased the volumes of produced content in general. As a result, Distribution saw an increase in traffic by 2,000% and a boost in revenue by over 40%.
Another similar and more recent case study comes from Optinmonster describing 25 strategies that helped them increase traffic. The majority of these strategies deal with content creation, which, according to Optinmonster, helped them boost traffic by 1064%.
3) Updating content can improve organic traffic by over 100%
In 2014, IntuitSolutions shared a case study in which it described the strategy that was used to improve organic traffic. In just two months, the company managed to increase traffic by over 100% by simply updating old content.
IntuitSolutions not only tried to make the existing content more relevant but made some tech updates. They removed duplicate meta descriptions, irrelevant metadata on the product pages. These actions already improved the crawlability of its website and increased organic traffic as a result.
4) Blogging is one of the top strategies for better SEO
The 2019 B2B content marketing report from the Content Marketing Institute covered the top organic content distribution channels that B2B marketers used for one year. Blogging (89%) is in the top three, preceded by social media (91%) and followed by email marketing (87%):
Image credit: Content Marketing Institute
However, if you take a closer look at all the organic distribution channels from this graph, you’ll see that all of them involve content creation. This proves that content is one of the dominant tactics in SEO.
5) Blogs lead to 434% more indexed pages
Speaking about blogging, there is a specific reason why this strategy is so good for SEO.
According to the infographic by Tech Client, if you have a blog, your website will have 434% more indexed pages than other websites that don’t publish blog posts.
What does it mean?
This means that your website will have more pages that Google has visited, analyzed, and added to its database. Such pages have more chances to rank higher.
The Impact of Content on Brand Awareness
Now, let’s take a look at content creation from the marketing point of view, and see how consumers, who deliver traffic to your website, respond to content.
1) 41% of consumers review content before engaging with a brand
As it was already mentioned in the introduction, content acts as a mediator between a brand and the consumers. It is also one of the characteristics, which consumers evaluate before they start buying from a brand.
Last year’s Demandgen report proves this point – 41% of consumers wouldn’t engage with a brand until they read three-five pieces of content. More than half of the respondents (63%) also said that they would share the content they like to support their favorite brand.
2) 75% of consumers want brands to deliver more rewarded content
In terms of which content consumers want brands to deliver, last year’s study by Marketing Dive has revealed that the majority (75%) wants more rewarded content that includes videos, interactive content (polls, surveys, infographics), as well as personalized content.
This statistic is also supported by the general popularity of rewarded content.
For example, regarding video marketing, Cisco’s report made a prediction that online videos will comprise about 82% of the entire internet traffic by 2022.
As for interactive content, another Demandgen report claims that this type of content gets 2x more engagement and has a higher reusability value, potentially bringing repeat visitors and more brand exposure.
3) Optimized content has a very high CTR
Another stat proving that consumers love content is content’s average click-through rate (CTR).
Advanced Web Ranking, the tool that measures Google’s organic CTR history, has shown that, on average, content that ranks first in the search results can draw up to 30% of all clicks for the search query.
If the content ranks second in the search results, it draws about 15% of all clicks on average, and the content in the third position has an average CTR of 10%. This is still a good result, considering that an average CTR for email marketing varies between 1-5% depending on the industry.
4) 70% of companies actively invest in content marketing
Because of the growing interest in content among the consumers, more and more brands invest in content marketing.
HubSpot’s report that surveyed over 3,000 marketers has revealed that over 70% of companies are already investing in content marketing and outsource content creation to thesis sites, influencers, or freelancers. They also claim they plan to keep investing in content marketing in the future.
5) 78% of companies have a content team of 1-3 specialists
In addition to investing in content creation, companies around the globe are also creating in-house teams to support their content marketing strategies.
The recent poll by SEMrush revealed that 78% of companies have a content team of 1-3 specialists. In these teams, 52% of companies have a writer, 36% of respondents have a social media manager, and 34% have an SEO specialist to help them optimize their content.
SEO Content Characteristics Stats
Now, as we’ve reviewed the role of content both for SEO and brand awareness, let’s take a look at some stats that can help further content optimization.
1) An ideal keyword density is around 1-2%
Marketers often ask the question of how many keywords are enough and what good keyword density should be.
According to SEO specialists from Alexa, a good keyword density is 1-2%, meaning that a keyword should appear once or twice every 100 words. This is enough for the search engine to determine what the page is about.
2) Long-reads rank better on Google
Another question that often concerns marketers and even raises debates in the marketing community is the word count of a well-optimized article.
Last year’s HubSpot research of their top 50 most-read articles has revealed that the best word count for a blog post is 2,100-2,400 words.
But while this length is already good for SEO, the source emphasizes that it’s not the only ranking factor. Marketers should also keep in mind backlinking, alt-text, domain authority, keyword optimization, and other factors crucial for SEO.
3) Short-read content is shared less than long-read content
Another confirmation that long-read content performs better than short-read in terms of SEO is how often it is shared.
According to the report by SEMrush, short content (up to 600) words is shared rarely, while long-reads of 3,000+ words are usually more popular:
From this graph, you can see that the length of 2,000-3,000 is still the most optimal and delivers good engagement on average.
4) Long-read content receives more backlinks
One more proof that long-reads bring better results is how many backlinks they receive.
Backlinko’s 2019 report reveals that long-form content receives 77.2% more backlinks on average than short content. Backlink acquisition is one of the top strategies to rank higher in Google results. Considering this stat, writing a long-read post will bring you more exposure, and, as a result, will help your content rank higher.
As you can see, over the years, content has shown incredible results in terms of SEO. Numerous case studies that were mentioned in this post prove that content is an effective tactic to boost organic traffic, bring new leads, and even boost sales.
But most importantly, all these statistics indicate that content is here to stay. More and more companies keep investing in content marketing, increase their budgets for this strategy, and you should do the same if you want your brand to remain competitive.