Why is the SEO industry worth $79 billion and it’s reaching $100 billion soon

The SEO industry’s worth has grown to over $79 billion since its first steps 20 years or so. Not even a global pandemic slowed its growth.

And if research is to be believe, by 2024, that number should explode to $100 billion – an increase to $21 billion in 2 years!

And of all the digital marketing channels, the one that has the highest conversion rates is SEO, with an average of 2.6%.

At least for B2C marketing.

Organic search marketing has changed a lot in the past 20 years or so. Many things are not the same anymore.

Many best practices that used to be popular are now going to the bin. One of the main reason is that as Google evolves, the whole Internet evolves.

So the question we need to ourselves is “why”?

Why is the SEO industry growing so quickly?

In this post I’ll explain my opinion on this changing reality.

why is seo worth 79 billion - Luca Tagliaferro

Search is not new

Before you disagree with me, let me explain.

SEO is the art, and science, of providing information to a query. In this sense, search is not new at all.

Before Google search was born in the late nineties, people have been searching for information for centuries. They used to go to libraries, and ask a friend or family.

We used to consult Encyclopedia, a list of names and information about pretty much everything, ordered alphabetically in a book.

We still do all of this, but finding information online is much quicker and convenient.

So, what changed? As it turns out, there are five main reasons why the SEO industry is evolving and growing so quickly.

searching before Google

1. Internet usage is growing and so are online searches

According to the most recent research, the Internet will have 4.55 billion users next year.

If you include that there is a 7.7% grow rate, we can safely assume that we’ll get 5 Billion people online in the next couple of years.

When users search online, the SEO industry grows with them in parallel.

2. The advertising industry is becoming obsolete and inbound is taking over

I use an Adblocker. And like me, another 42.7% of Internet users.

The trend has been growing for many years now and doesn’t seem to stop.

adblock users 2013 - 2019
Adblocker users according to Statista

According to the Darwinian theory of evolution applied to tech, only the fittest will survive. And what are the best alternative to advertising?

SEO, content and inbound marketing. People want content that is not intrusive, informative and they want it quickly.

3. Searches don't cost anything, for users and businesses

As users, we are very well used to search Google and Bing for free. Imagine if this becomes a paid activity, many people would stop searching.

But that’s not happening and we can enjoy free, unlimited searches.

The notion of “free” also applies to those operating in SEO, such as SEO consultants, executive, managers and businesses.

Often, SEO is seen as the free alternative to paid search advertising, even thought it’s not really free when you count the operational costs.

Tools, salaries and consultants spend your marketing budget, but compared to paid search, you don’t have to pay Google to get you the traffic.

4. As long as there is demand for information and products, SEO is the best way to find them

Because it its nature, search is a demand capture strategy.  

Other marketing channels are outbound in nature, for example banners, TV ads, sponsorships and others. This means these ads are trying to get your attention for something that a) you didn’t know it existed and b) you probably don’t care.

The fact that you type on a search bar is the best indication of strong intent, whether it’s informational or transactional. 

👉 Also read: how to start an SEO business (for beginners)

5. Ads tend to become less effective and more expensive

It’s no secret that the paid ads costs are increasing. Facebook, Google, Amazon and TikTok are charing more than ever before to allow advertisers to generate new customers.

According to Insider, Meta’s cost per thousand (CPM) grew by 61% year on year, hitting an average CPM of USD $17.60.

Meanwhile, TikTok’s CPM climbed by 185% year on year, reaching at USD $9.40 on average.

Google also experienced 75% year on year growth in programmatic display CPMs, while 14% year on year growth in search ad CPCs.

Amazon has also witnessed significant CPC increase for its sponsored items offering, with CPCs increasing 14% year on year.

These increase in costs are not always justified by higher ROI (return on investment). In fact, while costs are rising, paid ads ROI diminishes.

That’s why SEO is still the best channel to fuel website’s growth.

Grow your expertise and customers' trust, not advertising costs

It’s not hard to see why SEO is growing close to $100 billion a year industry. It has a lot of benefits and it’s the best demand capture strategy.

There has never been a better time to invest in SEO for your career and for your business.

And I can show you how to do it in my 1:1 SEO coaching time.

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