4 Global Search Statistics That Really Matter

4 Global Search Statistics That Really Matter

3rd April 2014

There are a lot of facts and figures thrown around in the digital world and never ending claims around the next big thing – so much so that it can be easy to underestimate them or discount them as irrelevant. And in many cases, that is the right thing to do but in some, failing to really sit up and take notice of  the statistics or the trends can result in missed opportunities and lost revenue.

Here are a few global digital statistics that are worth paying attention to!

The US only accounts for 10% of global web traffic

In 1996 66% of all web traffic came from the USA, however now it only makes up 10% This is a huge reduction, and a clear illustration of just much more connected the world has become in recent years. It also demonstrates beyond doubt that solely focusing your efforts on the US market will International marketingsee you missing out on a vast target audience who are online – and ready and willing to act.

Of course, targeting multiple markets requires more effort than just focusing on the US or even English speaking markets and it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to reach the other 90% of the globe overnight. But if you’re not already branching out to new markets, now really is the time to start.

Nigeria is now the 9th largest internet market in the world

Nigeria has overtaken the UK and France to make it into the list of the top 10 of countries with the highest number of internet users, ahead also of major markets like South Korea and Mexico. This African nation has seen major growth in the past couple of years, and is now a serious online presence, fuelled a lot by growing mobile internet usage.

With African internet usage in total expected to grow by 125% by 2050, this region is becoming more and more attractive as an international target. It’s also incredibly underserved both in terms of web content targeted specifically at African users and international organisations actively selling into the region. It won’t be for everybody, but if there is potential for your business here, now is the time to establish your presence before the market place gets more crowded.

Global Mobile InternetMobile now accounts for 30% of global internet traffic

Unless you’ve been under a rock the past year, you’ll be on board the “mobile is big” train. But, did you know just how big? We’ve reached a point where almost one third of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices, in some countries that number is significantly higher, and the trend of the declining desktop is only going to continue. Mobile represents the only internet access point for many users in countries like India, China and South Africa, and even in Western markets where PCs are prevalent, mobile searching is part of our daily lives.

So the advice here, if you’re not already optimising for mobile, start now. Whether you choose to go down the responsive route, create a mobile site or even just create a mobile landing page to begin with, if you’re not providing mobile users with an enjoyable, effective experience, you risk losing a huge percentage of your target audience to a competitor who is.

70% of all internet users worldwide are active social media users

To put that into numbers, that is pushing 2 billion people. While a huge number of those users are spending time on Facebook, as well as Twitter, YouTube and other familiar names but there are also a lot of other, local websites that see a high volume of users and offer ample opportunities for international brands to build those all important social relationships with users.

Being active on social media is no longer optional, but an essential part of any global online strategy – and the first step is to identify where the audience you want to reach spend their time online. For example, Chinese microblogging platform Sina Weibo is the most popular social site in China (remember Facebook is banned there) and VKontakte is where a large number of Russian’s head for their social fix. We might be separated by borders and languages, but we’re all united in a love of social media.

Whether you’re already operating in multiple countries or not even thinking about it yet, these stats should make consider the global possibilities and give you a reason to invest in that international expansion.


Written By
Gemma Birch has been working in international search since 2007 and leads WebCertain’s marketing team. She is responsible for managing WebCertain’s online marketing activities around the world as well as organising and programming the International Search Summit.
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