How much traffic is organic search responsible for?

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We are often asked how effective search is in delivering traffic to a website. Many website owners now believe that organic search optimisation or SEO is not really worth its time but research would without doubt suggest differently.

A recent study completed by BrightEdge in May 2019 showed that organic and paid search were responsible for more than 70% of revenue for B2B organisations. The study showed that search campaigns deliver far more traffic to websites than all other traffic sources. This includes Social and display advertising. The analysis showed that both paid and organic search are responsible for 68% of all trackable website traffic.

When this percentage is broken down then 53% of that traffic is delivered by organic search and 15% is delivered by paid. What was also interesting is that the percentage delivered by organic search has infact increased over recent years.

In 2014, when this research was first implemented then organic search accounted for 51% of traffic interestingly, this has increased over recent years. BrighterEdge detailed that this data was generated from thousands of domains and tens of billions of sessions however, the company excluded direct traffic from its study.

The report details traffic data by key verticals. For instance, B2B sites received an even larger number than more general traffic distribution. More than 75% of B2B traffic originates from organic and paid search.

For the retail related vertical distribution of traffic between organic search, paid and “other” was more evenly distributed, with other and paid each responsible for 23% of visits, while organic search delivered 41%. The hospitality industry was similar to this, but with some 31% of traffic coming from the other category.

Social has for some time seen an increase in web managers marketing spend however, the report shows that since 2014 traffic generated by social media remained fairly flat at 5%. The only category that bucked this trend was the media and entertainment sector that actually sore traffic of more than 8%.

What’s interesting about this is that the report shows that over 72% of traffic related revenue is generated by search whereas on average less than 1% is generated by social activity

Of course there will be many web marketers that dispute this report. Lets assume however, that the methodology BrighterEdge have utilised is sound therefore the numbers reported show the continued importance of search exposure for any business related website. We could go one step further and say that despite the many algorythmic updates implemented over the last few years organic search is imperitive for any business that is utilising the Internet as a way of generating sales and income.

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