SEO Agency 101 – Round 3

Revisiting our SEO Agency research uncovers industry changes, and their impact in 2016. Is SEO finally dead? Or is it just called something else?

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UK SEO Agencies 101 - 2016 Update It’s been three years since we published our SEO Agency 101 (The Return). During this time, the wonderful world of SEO has evolved considerably and we wanted to return to the research piece to explore how SEO agencies have adapted to change.

The original list of 101 agencies was sourced from Econsultancy’s supplier directory. This year, we have used the same 101 agencies to ensure consistency, although this introduces some challenges in the data as, from the initial list of 101 agencies:

  • 14 have gone bust or do not exist anymore
  • 17 have rebranded and/or merged
  • 70 have not changed

This left us with only 87 of the original 101 agencies to analyse and compare. This needs to be taken into consideration when analysing the findings drawn from this version of our SEO Agency 101 as they may vary slightly due to a difference in the sample size.

In our last SEO Agency 101, we noted that there was a drop in the number of services offered by the various agencies. This trend seems to have continued over the past few years, further supporting the idea that these services are beginning to fall under the umbrella tag of digital marketing. This is again emphasised by the wordcloud at the bottom of the infographic. The terms “digital” and “marketing” are the most prominent, far outweighing terms such as “SEO”.


When analysing the use of social media, some interesting trends have emerged since our last piece of research:

  • Overall, the number of agencies using Twitter has declined, however there has been a rise in the average number of followers each agency has. Further to this, the overall usage of Twitter has increased with a rise in the number of accounts posting over 50 tweets a month.
  • The trends in the use of Facebook are very similar to that of Twitter with a decrease in the number of agencies with Facebook pages. Again, similar to those trends in Twitter usage, the average number of likes has risen significantly, with nearly half of the pages having over 500 likes.
  • The most significant change in how all of the agencies use social media is the rise in Google+ and LinkedIn accounts. Agency presence has grown on both platforms with, LinkedIn proving to be extremely popular – nearly every agency has a profile.
  • Of particular interest is the drop in the number of agencies using blogs. Not only that, but those that do still blog fail to upload more than three posts a month.

What do you feel have been the key changes in the industry over the past few years? Do you feel our round up offers a true reflection of the industry in 2016? And how do you see SEO evolving in the future?

You are welcome to republish the infographic if you wish to but we would appreciate a credit back to this page as it needs more explanation than most standalone infographics.

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