The Growth of Digital Marketing in the UK

When it comes to content, the internet is like a melting pot of words and phrases from all around the world. From English to French, Chinese to German, the online universe is awash with words from countries of all sizes.

According to Internet World Stats, English is the most commonly used language on the internet as of November 2015 with 879 million users searching in this language. Next on the list is Chinese with 704 million and trailing back in third is Spanish with 256 million daily users using this as their default search language.

With more people searching in English than any other language, it’s clear that this language requires special attention when it comes to SEO as more users will be looking for content in this language.

The UK’s Digital Marketing Boom

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According to SEO Companies Ranked, US companies such as WebPageFX and iProspect are at the top of the tree in 2016 with five-star ratings when it comes to digital marketing services in English. However, as you move down the list, you start to see a number of UK-based outfits creeping into the top ten.

Although the UK hasn’t always been at the forefront of the digital marketing industry, it’s now a thriving enterprise. According to Luke Brynley-Jones, the founder and CEO of Our Social Times, 28% of all marketing roles in the UK are now filled by digital specialists.

Moreover, 64% of most marketing activity is outsourced to digital agencies with 20% of that figure relating to SEO consultants. Building on this, The Drum’s Digital Consensus 2014 listed and ranked more than 240 agencies in the UK that now employee between one and 100+ members of staff.

Indeed, as highlighted by The Drum, London-based agencies such as Greenlight, which was recently ranked within the country’s top ten digital marketing companies as seen in their article on the subject (http://www.greenlightdigital.com/blog/posts/greenlight-scores-a-place-in-top-10-of-the-drum-independent-agencies-census-2015/) have been winning critical acclaim.

Through its bespoke campaigns with major brands such as Pret, Santander and New Look, Greenlight was ranked as the fourth best independent agency in the UK in The Drum’s peer poll and this recognition has since translated into increased revenue and, therefore, a fifth place ranking for financial performance in 2015 with The Drum.

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While the UK might still have a way to go before it ranks ahead of the US in terms of digital marketing prominence, it’s clear the industry is growing. According to data from the Content Marketing Institute, 42% of UK marketers now have a documented content strategy compared to 43% in the US. However, it’s not just the rate at which the UK’s digital marketing scene is growing. Indeed, it’s also a market with a growing reputation for excellence.

UK Marketing Agencies Shining in the SEO Spotlight

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Building on its 2014 list of top-rated UK agencies, The Drum recently published its 2015 list of leading independent companies as highlighted above. Aiming to promote excellence in the industry, The Drum’s poll rated agencies in a variety of areas, including the peer poll (client and peer ratings), the financial poll (how well an agency is doing financially) and the elite poll (a combination of all factors).

As we’ve noted, in 2015 a number of London-based agencies stood out. Greenlight Digital enjoyed another year within the UK’s top ten independent agencies. Also ranking highly in other categories such as Elite was Essence and Total Media. Also based in London, these agencies notched up big scores when it came to buying, SEO and overall campaigns.

Beyond The Drum’s assessment of the UK’s digital marketing scene, The 2015 Search Awards also listed a variety of agencies that have all gained global recognition in their respective niches. Indeed, from Brainlabs’ local campaign for Deliveroo to Verve Search for its best use of PR in a search, the UK’s finest have proved they’re a match for any other English-speaking nation.

In fact, even as far back as 2012 the SEO industry in the UK was worth more than £500 million, according to Econsultancy. Today that figure has been far exceeded and, as more agencies win awards and gain international recognition, we can only expect to see that figure increase further in the coming years.

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About the author:

Matthew Roblin is a freelance writer originally from Toronto, Canada and is currently living in Finland. Having studied a university degree in tourism, he specializes in the travel niche and also tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts his writing. When he isn’t at his desk writing while often listening to Jazz, you can find him biking around town, at a local cafe or even at a cottage enjoying Finnish Sauna.

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