SEO Industry Approaching $80 Billion But All You Want Is More Web Traffic

Borrell Associates predicted in 2016 that by the year 2018 businesses in the United States would spend an estimated $72 billion in search engine optimization (SEO) services alone ($80B by 2020).  Search engine optimization (SEO) is a technical term to describe what people do to help a website rank on Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo (no ads, great privacy options), or any another search engine. But the industry size does not really matter – you just need to know where to turn to get your website to the top of the results.

Screenshot by TJ McCue

In last month’s post, I looked at Google Ranking Factors from a SEMrush study (link below). In that post, I promised to share a list of my favorite tools, bloggers, and posts. This is not in chronological order, and I will not overload you with all of them, but as I went through hundreds of bookmarks that I had tagged SEO or web marketing or web analytics I found a lot of cool people and ideas that can help you improve your website rank and increase sales. Here we go:

  • Neil Patel, co-founder of and KISSmetrics, along with Hiten Shah. CrazyEgg gives you a look at where your visitors’ click, called a heat map, on your website. The heatmap concept is super informative, but more amazing is the regular stream of “grow your website traffic” advice that Neil shares.
  • is a search tool and blog I find myself going to over and over. I use the free access, but I have also paid for a monthly subscription when needed. Their YouTube channel is particularly good and the Marketing with Ahrefs series with Sam Oh (that’s him in the image above) is worth every second of the two hours you will spend. I almost don’t want to share them (competitive advantage), but here are two of his videos:
  • Jayson DeMers, founder of AudienceBloom and fellow contributor here on Forbes – you cannot go far without finding something incredibly useful about content marketing or SEO without finding Jayson. You will find several of his posts linked below.
  • Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko, without a doubt or any hype, puts out some of the best SEO advice (even Neil Patel recommends Brian). I was going to give you a list of all my own favorite tools, but Brian compiled (and tested) 188 free and paid SEO tools. Just go read that; it includes all the big and little guys from Moz Pro to SEO Tools for Excel to video SEO tools.
  • I have to give another shoutout to Bill Slawski at SEO by the Sea. He is simply one of the anchors in the space (sorry about the pun, Bill) and his posts will satisfy the deep thinkers and help the beginner, too.
  • News and tips from Search Engine Land are worth the visit.
  • Last, but not least on the tools list: Yoast. If you use WordPress, you need to install their free plugin or upgrade to the low cost premium version.
  • SEO Industry data came from Borrell Associates that produces a number of advertising reports.
  • My post on 17 Google Ranking Factors from June 2018.

Finally, here is a long list of terrific Forbes post on a range of SEO, content marketing, and growing website traffic. Start with Jayson DeMer’s The First 9 Things You Should Learn In SEO. Then, The Value Of SEO And SEM For Small Businesses. This quick list could help you improve your local search results: 15 Simple Tips For Improving Local SEO.

Two more by Jayson DeMers: The 8 Things Most People Get Wrong About SEO and What’s The Difference Between Content Marketing And SEO? Quite a few content marketers will benefit from these two. Brian Sutter has a trends piece for content marketing in 2018 that is worth a read: 3 Content Marketing Trends That Will Rule 2018.

Here are the last two: Become An SEO Expert By Conquering The Google Answer Box and Online Reviews Are The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Small Businesses.

If you have a resource or tool you would like to share, feel free to contact me by clicking my name under the post title above. I often try to include reader suggestions when I update posts. I hope this helps your SEO efforts and more importantly drives website traffic and sales. Thanks for reading.

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