85% of UK digital agency websites are estimated to earn less than 500 visits per month from Google’s organic search results.
8.4% of UK digital agency websites earn more than 1000 estimated visits per month from Google’s organic search results.
This analysis was conducted in January 2021; bear in mind that organic traffic estimates can vary from day to day.
|Organic traffic range||Number of websites|
|0 – 99 visits||641 (59.13%)|
|100 – 499 visits||279 (25.74%)|
|500 – 999 visits||73 (6.73%)|
|1000 – 2999 visits||61 (5.63%)|
|3000 – 4999 visits||10 (0.92%)|
|5000 + visits||20 (1.85%)|
Website survey methodology
I scraped Google UK search results using Ahrefs to find marketing agency websites that were ranking in the most populated UK cities.
I removed duplicate entries found and those that were not deemed digital marketing agencies; eg: mainly digital recruitment and web directories.
Then I used Ahrefs.com to run a batch analysis of these websites to calculate their website metrics.
What is a batch analysis ?
A batch analysis allows you to compare metrics of hundred URLs or domains.
Ahrefs collects data on the number of backlinks, referring domains, social metrics, URL Ratings and Domain Ratings, and number of links per type.
How is organic traffic calculated ?
To quote Ahrefs :
This is our estimation of how much traffic a target website or URL gets from organic search.
We calculate it based on the keywords we see that website or URL ranking for.
And because we don’t have all possible keywords, we tend to drastically underestimate the search traffic of a given website.
For example, for the Ahrefs Blog, we underestimate organic search traffic by 5x.
Top pages that get organic traffic
I then analysed the websites that earn over 1000 visits per month to identify their top page that earned traffic.
Typically an agency’s top page will be their home page.
So I decided to exclude search queries and clicks of their brand name.
39% of agencies top pages are “service” pages.
Eg: seo agency, marketing agency, web design leeds etc
The other agency’s top pages were informational articles.
On average a top page will account for 29% of a digital marketing agency’s total organic traffic.
Relationship between referring domains and organic traffic
Next, I analysed their organic traffic with unique referring domains pointing to their sites.
These websites were grouped into 4 traffic brackets.
|Organic traffic range||Average number of referring domains|
|0 – 99 visits||99|
|100 – 499 visits||218|
|500 – 999 visits||347|
|1000 – 2999 visits||655|
|3000 – 4999 visits||702|
|5000 + visits||1510|
According to a study by Ahrefs and Brian Dean and to quote “Our data also shows that a site’s overall link authority (as measured by Ahrefs Domain Rating) strongly correlates with higher rankings”.
And Ahrefs domain rating shows the strength of a website’s total backlink profile in terms of size and quality.
Correlation does not imply causation as those who do surveys say.
However an Ahrefs study produced this relationship.
Why do so many digital marketing websites have low traffic from Google ?
This is just an observation and opinion, but many digital marketing agencies and their staff are focused on acquiring and servicing their customers through non organic search traffic channels .
There’s an expression; the cobbler’s children have no shoes.
In other words, they are too busy doing work for their customers that they do not service themselves.
Ahrefs does not measure direct, social, referral or advertising traffic so these websites could still drive considerable website traffic.
Most digital agencies have strong backlink profiles
The chart above shows a relationship between referring domains and traffic.
So when you have such authority it should make earning traffic easier if the agency were to target what users searched for.
I’m a freelance, solo operator and out of this list of 1084 agencies, 71 agency websites in the UK earn more organic traffic than my website.
Domain Rating is a measurement that shows how strong a websites backlinks are in terms of number and quality of links.
It is measured on a scale of 0 to 100; with 100 being the strong domain rating score.
From these 1084 websites analysed there appears to be a relationship between traffic and DR score.
Why would digital marketing agencies want traffic from Google ?
I can only speak from my own experience but traffic to my website from Google search does result in subscribers and customers.
You can target prospects at the top, middle and bottom of the buying funnel.
And with a good strategy nurture and turn these prospects into customers.
So could these websites in the survey earn more traffic from Google ?
My little study is nothing compared to Ahrefs who analysed 1 billion web pages by their monthly search traffic.
Ahrefs discovered 90.88% of pages get no organic traffic from Google.
UX (User Experience) of Digital Agency Websites
I decided to analyse some of the mobile features of these top digital agency web pages.
This was a very basic analysis.
I copied and pasted the url of each page onto my iPhone 7 Plus to view the pages and analysed each of these 4 elements.
Call to Action
First element to analyse were the call to actions on the pages.
A call to action on a page is a signpost such as a phone number, phone icon, chat button or a get in touch link.
Only 27% of the 100 digital agency web pages I analysed contained such as call to action.
Above the Fold Checklist
The fold is the bottom of your web browser and I want to analyse 3 above the fold elements.
- Can you read the page title or header?
- Can you read the first sentence of the page ?
- Is there a benefit or offer above the fold before scrolling down the page?
This checklist has been adapted from Google’s own Lead Generation Playbook.
Can you read the page title or header ?
Yes, on 94% of the pages the page title or header is clearly visible above the fold.
Can you read the first sentence of the page before scrolling ?
On 39% of the pages, you cannot read the first sentence.
Is there a benefit or offer above the fold before scrolling down the page?
On 38% of the pages, there is no benefit or offer to encourage users to scroll down the page.
Steal the ideas from these agencies
Here’s the data that was used to compile this report.
Bear in mind Ahrefs estimates organic traffic so, in reality, 500 visits per month could be 1500 visits per month.