SEO milton keynes —

8 ranking statistics you should understand [UPDATED FOR 2023]

Spoiler alert... consistency is key.
By Jordan Martin-Smith | Updated 14th May 2023 • 3 min read

Ranking your site has never been so...

Back with another 8 stats that give a large amount of insight and a lot for you to ponder, as to whether you’re making the right decisions with your optimisation strategy. I really believe these are important to understand and keep to up date with, as the more you understand the behaviour of not only your customers but of the search engines too, the better your decisions will be when navigating the search engine optimisation maze.

Lets dive in… these stats about ranking in Google might surprise you.

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1. 90.63% of pages get no organic search traffic from Google.

organic search traffic graph

This is from a search traffic study by Ahrefs. A slightly bleak outlook on most website’s performance on the internet… I guess the take away from this fact is to really appreciate the gravity of what ZERO optimisation efforts will look like. However thinking more optimistically, the vast majority of websites online are not optimised, so even if you're starting today, you’re already ahead of the game. SEO is a long term and ongoing practice that cannot be left to one side. Seize the moment, begin and don’t give up!

2. The top-ranking page gets the most search traffic only 49% of the time.

In other research compiled by Ahrefs about why ranking number one is overrated, my first thoughts on this stat show that while ranking number one for a keyword or phrase is a distant, almost unattainable goal, getting in the top 10 is really the achievable and satisfying goal we should all be aiming for.

3. Only 5.7% of pages will rank in the top 10 search results within a year of publication.

I hope you see the trend emerging with these facts… again I think it highlights the importance of consistency with your SEO efforts. When discussing the optimisation campaign strategy with our clients, we really make it clear from the off that you shouldn’t be expecting to see significant results before 6 months at the earliest.

If your site is already bringing in traffic then you might see earlier results, but for brand new websites with zero traffic, your efforts will take time, and, to repeat one last time, consistency.

4. 25.02% of top-ranking pages don’t have a meta description.

It seems that meta descriptions aren’t a ranking factor, but they can entice more clicks, and that leads to more traffic… so indirectly it does affect your ranking and should be considered as an SEO effort.

5. 40.61% of pages have meta descriptions that truncate.

For those who don’t know, meta descriptions are the web page summaries displayed under the main page title on search results.

google search meta description example

When the description are truncated, it means Google has snipped it and shows the ‘…’ at the end of it rather than displaying the whole description. Google may even rewrite this part of your site entirely, if the algorithm wizard determines this is necessary (detailed more in stat number 6).

Ideally you want your meta description not to be truncated for a cleaner finish so all the info you’ve added is being displayed.

6. Google shows meta descriptions in search results only 37.22% of the time. That rises to 40.35% for fat-head keywords and drops to 34.38% for long-tails.

meta description graph

If you’ve spent time crafting a special meta description, this could be annoying. But I guess the only thing to be said here is trust the search engine king to do what is necessary to improve the user experience which will ultimately benefit your user’s experience.

7. The average top-ranking page also ranks in the top 10 search results for nearly 1,000 other relevant keywords.

Talk about the network effect.. number 1 for one keyword seems to equate to top 10 for almost 1000 others.

Again number 1 is basically unattainable but it really shows the impact of ranking highly for your desired keyword and phrases. So after clearly identifying that content is king, focus on delivery quality consistently.

8. The average page in the top 10 is 2+ years old.

Once again highlighting that this is a long term game that you must stick to. The overused term in this article is the word consistency. Please remember this if nothing else from this article. So see you in a couple years in the top 10 results. I guess the obvious comparison is like the gym. Take a before snapshot of your rankings now then get to work and in 2 years take your after shot.

And this all for this article! Take note, take heed and stay… consistent! build and optimise websites specific to your needs and your business. Want to get serious about your website? Get in touch and talk to the team.

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