Is SEO Dead in 2022? What Does Our Data Say?

We took the opportunity to analyze 2021 SEO results across 15 of our clients to answer the question definitively. Here’s what we found.
Do a search for “SEO is dead” and you’ll get over 54,000 results. Scan the first ten pages of these results and the oldest article you will find dates back to 2010, in which the author indicates the question has been around since 1997. The most recent opinions on page one range from “no”, to “hell no”, to “yes and no”, to “no, but it’s changing”.

We took the opportunity to analyze 2021 SEO results across 15 of our clients to answer the question definitively. Here’s what we found:

2021 SEO Growth Results at Rocketship

Based on our data, not only is SEO alive and well, but it is still providing the single best source of growth and leads. Our data set looks at YoY data from clients that have subscribed to Rocketship’s SEO services for a minimum of 12 months, across 8 different industry categories. Here are the aggregate results:

Average YoY website traffic growth from organic search: +108%

Average YoY increase in conversions (inquiries) from organic search: +83%


When Will the Question, is SEO Dead, Die?

For starters, let’s acknowledge why this question continues to be asked. One reason is that this time of year many companies assess their marketing mix and budget allocations to determine how much they should spend on SEO vs other channel strategies. Fair.

Another reason is that in the world of search, things change frequently. There are thousands of search algorithm updates every year, and the trend for some time now has not favored organic clicks:

  • Organic click-through rates have been slowly declining
  • Paid placements have expanded and consume a greater share of search results listings
  • “Zero click” searches are increasing as Google increasingly scrapes websites to provide answers directly in the search results

But Do these Indicators Really Mean SEO is Dead or That You Should Reduce Your SEO Allocation in Your Marketing Mix?

The answer is no, and here’s why.

  1. Traffic from organic search still converts better than traffic from other channels like social media, display advertising, and referral sites.

Amongst our dataset of 15 clients, the average conversion rate from organic search visitors was 7.04%, compared with 5.68% from other acquisition channels (paid search, paid social, organic social, display, and referral). This means that dollar for dollar, investing in SEO generates 24% more sales than other online acquisition channels.

  1. Organic search still accounts for the majority of inquiries generated by company websites.

On average, over half of all website-generated inquiries are attributable to organic search visits.


In almost all cases our clients receive more inquiries from Organic Search than any other channel. Of course, your traffic and conversions ratios will be impacted by how much you invest in various channel acquisition strategies.

  1. Aggregate statistics are not YOUR statistics.

Just because average organic listing click-through rates have declined in the past 5 to 10 years, doesn’t mean that yours will, nor does it mean there’s not significant business value even at a lower CTR.

The key point here is that SEO still supplies not only the highest number of visitors but also the highest converting visitors. If you want to drive the most impact, SEO should still be part of your marketing mix.

Ready to Grow Your Business? Talk to Rocketship about SEO

Organic Search is still one of the greatest opportunities to grow website engagement and leads, especially if you are a Rocketship client. But gone are the days of passive SEO. Achieving measurable results requires specialized skill and consistent, ongoing optimization.

Curious if SEO will help you reach your growth goals in 2022? Reach out to us for a free SEO audit and opportunity assessment.

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