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Marketing Decision Makers Value Expertise & Service Offerings, New Survey Finds

April 23, 2018

Businesses value tangible results when partnering with an SEO company, according to a new survey of over 300 marketing decision-makers.

WASHINGTON, DC, April 19, 2018 – More than one-fourth (28%) of marketing decision-makers identify expertise as the leading benefit of partnering with an SEO company. The finding comes in a new survey from Clutch, a B2B research firm, in collaboration with Ignite Visibility.

Benefits of Partnering with an SEO Company

An SEO company’s expertise guarantees that if your business runs into an unexpected issue with SEO efforts, you have an industry insider on hand for guidance, says Amanda Orson, VP of Growth at Zift, a channel marketing services provider based in North Carolina.

“The biggest benefit to partnering with an external company for SEO services is their expertise, born over seeing a higher volume and more exotic SEO problems than you’re likely to encounter with your one, or even small handful of web properties in-house,” said Orson.

More than one-third (34%) of businesses partner with digital marketing agencies that provide SEO services, compared to nearly one-fourth (24%) partner with SEO consultants (24%) and just over one-fifth (21%) that partner with SEO-exclusive agencies.

Marketing decision-makers rely heavily on referrals to find and determine the best SEO companies for their businesses.  

Over half (52%) of marketing decision-makers find an SEO partner through a referral, and 49% take referrals into consideration when choosing an SEO company for a services partnership.

Businesses Consider Service Offerings as Primary Factor for Choosing an SEO Company

An SEO company’s service offerings are the leading factor businesses consider when actually partnering with an SEO company.

Prioritizing an SEO company's service offerings – such as keyword optimization or content creation – indicates that businesses value measurable deliverables of their SEO efforts over intangible factors like referrals and price.

SEO Companies Preferred for Off-Site Services

Businesses tend to secure SEO companies for help with off-site SEO services more than on-site services, the study found.

Off-site services, such as content marketing and social media marketing, are digital marketing services that complement a business’s SEO.

On-site SEO services, however, are performed on the actual pages of a website and have more of a direct impact on a site’s search rankings. Businesses typically partner with an SEO agency or consultant for on-site services and a digital marketing agency for off-site services. 

Most Partnerships Last Less Than Two Years, Cost Thousands Per Month

It’s not unusual for SEO partnerships to end earlier than planned. The survey found that  20% of businesses expect to partner with an SEO company for at least 5 years, but less than 10% make it that long.  

Most businesses partner with an SEO company for two years or less. In addition, 61% typically spend less than $5,000 per month for SEO.

Clutch and Ignite Visibility’s 2018 SEO Services Survey analyzed findings from 303 marketing decision-makers about their businesses’ SEO strategy and partnerships.

To read the full report and source the survey data, visit:

For the raw data, a comment on the findings, or an introduction to the experts interviewed for this report, contact Grayson Kemper at [email protected].

About Clutch

A B2B research, ratings, and reviews firm in the heart of Washington, DC, Clutch connects small and medium businesses with the best-fit agencies, software, or consultants they need to tackle business challenges together and with confidence. Clutch’s methodology compares business service providers and software in a specific market based on verified client reviews, services offered, work quality, and market presence.

About Ignite Visibility

Ignite Visibility is a premier Internet marketing company based in San Diego, dedicated to providing the highest level of customer service in the industry. By establishing mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with clients, Ignite Visibility creates custom solutions uniquely tailored to meet the specialized business objectives of each client. Because a company is only as good as the promises it keeps, Ignite Visibility holds itself accountable to clearly defined key performance indicators established at the outset of every campaign. Ignite Visibility's core services are SEO, social media, paid media, email marketing, Amazon marketing and conversion rate optimization.


Grayson Kemper

[email protected]