The State of SEO Agencies

There’s been a very interesting study shared at Search Engine Journal a couple of weeks ago. It speaks about SEO agencies and the current trends in the SEO business in general.

The study was built on a survey that reached 400 respondents, including SEO agencies, SEO clients, and even people actively refusing to work with an SEO agency (which gives the study a nice balance).

We encourage you to check out the study in full, but here are some of the more interesting findings.

The Respondents

The majority of the answers came from SEO agencies (44 percent), followed closely by clients (combined 43 percent), and businesses not planning to work with SEO agencies (12 percent).

Most of the responses (75 percent) came from small companies employing less than 50 people. What this means is that SEO is mostly done in small teams, so you likely don’t need a lot of resources to take care of your own SEO, nor do you need to hire a huge company to do so for you.


It seems that the average business working with an SEO agency spends around 500-1000 EUR on online marketing per month. And around 25-50 percent of this amount is spent on SEO. There’s only a small percentage of businesses that spend less than 100 EUR on online marketing monthly, and hardly anyone devotes 100 percent of their online marketing budgets to SEO.

What all of this means is that while SEO indeed matters, it certainly isn’t the be-all end-all of online marketing.

SEO and Outsourcing

Many site owners start their SEO-related investments by trying to outsource certain smaller tasks to either agencies or SEO specialists.

Out of those businesses, clients that want to invest only up to 5 percent of their marketing budgets in SEO are usually “makers” – they don’t see outsourcing as a long-term solution and only want to get a quick boost on their own efforts. However, businesses spending more than 25 percent of their budgets are “buyers” and see outsourcing as something worth sticking with for the long haul.

Where are Affiliates?

Depending on the size and the structure of your business, you may find yourself on any side of the barricade here. Whether you’re doing SEO yourself, outsourcing just some simple tasks, or having a long-term contract with an agency, knowing where the SEO market is right now and what other businesses are doing is surely a valuable insight.