Finding a digital marketing agency you can trust is no mean feat.
We’ve been around since 2006 and have seen many agencies come onto the scene, and, in a lot of cases, go.
Not us though. Trusted by 100s of brands – from global franchises and household names to local businesses – on their digital marketing projects. We’re pleased to be able to say that over 62% of our clients have been with us for 3 years or more and of those, 38% have been a client for over 6 years.
Even those that leave, often return once they’ve tried other agencies.
So, we feel we’re well placed to give our opinion and create this list of the best digital marketing agencies in the UK. This blog runs through what makes a top agency and what to look for, but if you want to skip that bit you can jump straight to the list here.
The digital marketing industry is very competitive. According to Ibis.com, there are 7,672 Digital Advertising Agencies businesses in the UK as of 2023, an increase of 6.1% from 2022. Because of the competitive nature of the sector, agencies will sometimes promise anything in order to get your business. But it’s important to be able to see through these ‘guarantees’. Whether you’re a start-up or a well-known brand you deserve to work with the best in the business.
What Makes a Top Digital Marketing Agency?
A top digital marketing agency in our view is one that has the experience, proven results, and walks the walk. A business that practices what they preach. That is committed to their clients, their team, and the broader industry.
What to Look for in a Digital Marketing Agency?
When deciding to hire an agency there is a myriad of things to consider and as there are so many out there, it can be tricky to ensure you find the best one. We wrote a guide on How To Choose the Right Digital Marketing Agency and although this was for construction businesses the main points still stand. Let’s recap:
Make Sure They Fit Your Requirement and Budget
Ask yourself what it is that you’d like to achieve and what level of investment you can make. This will ensure you don’t waste your time talking to agencies who either don’t offer the services you’re looking for or will be out of your budget. Look at whether they have experience with similar businesses and ask about their average size client.
Check That They Practice What They Preach
Do they walk the walk?
Check out the websites of agencies you’re considering. The site should have a regularly populated blog, case studies, clear design, and navigation, as well as suitable calls to action. Remember you’re looking for an agency that can market itself well, as you want them to market your business also.
Check how long they’ve been in business.
Digital Marketing agencies pop up, left, right and centre all the time. You want to ensure you’re going to be working with a legitimate, well-established agency. When you check out their website, ensure they feature an address, a client list, and case studies. If this information isn’t available, then walk away.
What’s Their Experience?
Many agencies declare they are digital experts when they have precious little experience. Maybe they have been a business consultancy or traditional PR agency but have recently seized the opportunity to market themselves as a digital agency. Many of these types of agencies unfortunately lack the skills to be able to support you properly.
A digital marketing agency that has been focused on digital for more than 17 years will have a tremendous amount of experience and is clearly doing a great job for their clients as otherwise, they wouldn’t still be around. Try and find a business that has longevity, and good reviews and will happily supply testimonials or links to case studies.
Do They Have Sector-Specific Experience?
Following on from the above, the next obvious thing is their achievements. Check out the agency’s case studies. Look at whether they’ve got experience in your field, what size clients they work with, and if they understand your market.
Having worked with other brands in a similar sector or with a similar style of business (e.g. franchises or multi-location businesses) means they understand some of the issues unique to your industry. They will also have ideas on what has worked in the past.
It shouldn’t, however, necessarily be a deal-breaker. An agency with no clients which would be competitors of yours could be a good thing and they’ll bring a fresh set of eyes, so it’s not always a bad thing, but you should ask what steps they would take to become an expert in time.
Check What’s Included
All agencies have to sell is their time and skills. For this reason, most agencies work with a time-based model. In simple terms, this means you pay for the time they spend on your business. This is generally calculated as a specific number of retainer days per month.
The agency will work out, based on the level of investment you have available, what can be done within the time, and their recommendations for what will provide the best results and the priority order, to help you reach your stated objectives. You should be able to understand the resultant roadmap and what and when tasks will be done.
That said, a good agency should also be adaptable. And be able to adjust based on the needs of your business, the broader landscape, and [the many] Google algorithm updates.
It is relatively easy to spot low-quality agencies via their pricing. If an agency charges a low price compared to the market, chances are their results will be poor too.
If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Lower prices mean lower margins, so there’s less effort, and less investment in training and tools, and this will result in a lesser skilled team.
To give you a baseline, each year a report is issued by Benchpress this gives an outline of the market averages that agencies are charging. In the last report we saw, the average day rate for agencies was between £750 and £950. Koozai sits in the mid-range of that. If the agency you’re speaking to is outside this range then we’d suggest there may be a reason for that.
The contract the agency supplies should also outline what is included in the standard monthly retainer. This should be as clear as possible. E.G: it is usual for agencies to charge for any time spent on a client account; this includes meetings and reporting, travel and phone calls, as well as the digital marketing work itself. Any top digital marketing agency will make this clear.
So, if you can’t see this, ask about it. You can be sure it will be charged somehow, it just depends on whether they’re upfront about it or disguise it elsewhere.
The Level of Commitment
You also need to consider your level of commitment. Do you have someone available to be the point of contact and who is senior enough to be able to give the agency the information they require?
In order for any agency to do the best of their ability, they require clear comms and regular accurate feedback on sales or lead quality. This is especially true when there is no automated software or data to provide this. You need to consider who will be responsible for communicating this feedback and how frequently. If you cannot provide this, then the agency will be operating in a vacuum.
As an example, the agency could be seeing data that shows they are providing a client with improving lead volumes and believing they are on the right track. However, the leads the client is seeing may not be a good fit or the quality they are looking for. If the agency is not given this information, they’ll be unaware that they need to adjust their targeting.
Another consideration is whether you want to partner with an agency for a short-term project or on a retainer for example.
This is important as some agencies specialise in projects, and when it comes to retainers, are less familiar with what it takes to keep the work on track, fresh, and providing results.
Likewise, what are the retainer terms, and does this match your commitment level? A lot of agencies will tie you into a 12-month retainer with a 30-day notice period. Meaning if you don’t give notice in those 30 days, you’re tied in for another 12 months.
Reputable agencies know their work and results speak for themselves and so don’t need lengthy 12-month contracts. They will build in notice periods, to protect both the client and themselves, and to ensure there is time to tie up and hand over the account professionally if needed, but this is generally 90 days on a rolling basis. Meaning at any point you can give notice and be released from the contract within 90 days.
Fit and Fun
Please remember, we’d hope you’re going to be working directly with your chosen agency for some time. So, choose wisely. Make sure that as an agency their culture is a good fit with yours. Ideally, you want to find an agency with similar values. Also consider if they look like they’re having fun and enjoy their work – if they do, then the chances are that they work well as a team and will work well together with you too.
If it helps there are a number of questions in this blog that we suggest you ask a prospective agency, hopefully, you’ll find them all useful.
So, now you know what to consider and look for in a top digital marketing agency, let’s take a look at our run-down, in no particular order, of the best digital marketing agencies you could consider partnering with here in the UK.
No top agency list would be complete without mentioning Koozai, and we are able to support this claim via the results we’ve achieved for the clients we’ve worked with, the awards we’ve won, and the calibre of brands we’ve represented.
Koozai has been around since 2006 and is a digital marketing agency that combines a wealth of experience and expertise with a highly specialised team and a focus on results. Our credentials include numerous awards, media coverage, and a history of delivering results for our clients. We are genuine specialists in SEO, PPC, Digital PR, Content, and Paid Social, and our size allows us to provide a level of care and attention that we feel is unmatched in the industry
We punch well above our weight. Evidenced by the fact we have and continue to work with some of the UK’s most recognised brand names.
However, whether it’s a small start-up or a household name, we only work with brands we believe in.
At Koozai, we combine our decades of experience with technical know-how, search data, and creativity to move brands up the rankings. Ensuring they get noticed and helping them use digital marketing to achieve their business goals.
We really get to know your business, what you do, how you sell, to whom, and what the specific issues are for your niche. Then we use all of this knowledge to help you do your digital, better.
The team at Koozai is just as impressive as the agency itself. With a long history of working together, the team members are all specialists in their respective fields. From SEO and PPC to Digital PR and content marketing, Koozai has the expertise to help your business succeed. We believe that by having one unified team that consists of experts in each discipline we can all work together and each channel’s activities will multiply the impact of the others. Aside from this, managing several different agencies is a nightmare and can result in the agencies all pulling in separate directions and their conflicting objectives meaning that you never actually get anywhere.
At Koozai we offer the following services:
SEO is not, as some suggest a dark art. Or even magic. At Koozai, we do SEO without the mystery and waffle.
We focus on the core elements every business needs:
- An increase in visibility, and
- More traffic
In order to deliver you more sales or enquiries.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands of people are searching for your products or services each day.
The issue is, they can’t find you. We can help to boost your visibility.
And if you’re not on page 1 of Google then you’re missing out on 99% of people. As only 1% go beyond page 1. With Koozai you won’t need to concern yourself with this statistic. We can both generate more traffic and increase your organic exposure on Google, which will, in turn, result in more revenue and more enquiries.
Our results-focused SEO experts bring experience and expertise to your business, making us the ideal partner to help your business get seen and found on search engines. Talk is cheap though, so check out our results for Srixon here.
As a top paid media agency, we’ve won many awards for our paid media services. This is because we get you the conversions and return on ad spend that you need via paid search and paid social campaigns across platforms like Google, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
We’ve been focussing on paid since 2006 (ancient, we know!) so we know that without expert management of your paid ads, you’ll have trouble targeting your ideal customers effectively and driving cost-effective conversions.
We’re an official Google Partner and experienced paid media experts. We’ve worked with many clients on their paid campaigns. You can see an example of our success for Stannah lifts here.
We’re a passionate bunch here at Koozai, with a flair for creating remarkable content strategies. Our team helps our clients to cut through the noise and make their mark. But always whilst considering your marketing goals. Be that traffic, brand recognition, leads, search performance, or engagement.
We have the experience to create visually impactful content assets, content marketing campaigns, carefully-crafted blog posts and commercial pages. We offer content creation for specific niches such as ecommerce, as well as SEO copywriting services and website content creation.
Over the years, we’ve gained a reputation for fantastic results. We ensure we listen and understand your particular needs. Then we deliver a bespoke content strategy that will help catapult you toward your goals. Much like we did for our client, Boring Money.
We work closely with the media as part of our daily activities. This provides us with direct insight which lets us create awesome digital PR campaigns which we know will get you traction in the media you want to be seen. Like all our services at Koozai, we take a bespoke approach. We work with clients from a diverse range of industries and regularly secure placements in the UK’s most influential national, business and trade media platforms. And, our talented PR experts frequently implement results-focused PR and link building campaigns for challenger businesses and established brand names.
We provide a broad range of services to our clients including brand awareness, crisis communication and reactive PR as well as specialist services for local PR or small business PR support. We’ll ensure your campaign is newsworthy but also achieves your business goals and drives results. You can see for yourself here how we helped our client MyHealthcare Clinic.
Us Koozians aren’t just digital marketing experts. We also provide website design and development services. We believe having a secure, user-friendly, and engaging website is one important part of the digital marketing mix.
Whether it’s improving website speed, increasing your rankings on Google, or increasing conversions, investment in a great website can pay back many times over. Our website development specialists will make sure your site is built with your specific business needs in mind, much like we did for Bandai.
So, if you want a top digital marketing agency that is results-driven, has proven success, and is a friendly bunch too, then drop us a line to see how we can help you.
Top Full-Service Agencies in the UK
Aside from Koozai, there are several other full-service agencies that we’ve included in this list, and for good reason. Read on to find out more:
Set up in 2015, this Milton Keynes based agency takes a cohesive approach through carefully coordinated cross-channel efforts and teams. Offering services in SEO, paid media, digital PR, content marketing, and inbound marketing, co-founders Paddy & Matt have an impressive pedigree and along with their team have worked with brands such as Veriff, Just Tyres, Post Beyond and Work Buzz
These guys are a self-styled customer acquisition agency. As part of The PHA Group, they are a company of talented people with a track record of achieving results and positive outcomes. Their experienced and professional team provides a truly bespoke service for a range of consumer and corporate clients across PR, SEO, Paid Search, Content, and Social Media. Including names such as Needle & Thread, World of Wallpaper, and La Perla
Digital 24 was founded by award-winning digital marketer Niamh Taylor. A Northern Irish agency, with offices in Belfast and Omagh, they combine Paid Search, Paid Social, Display Advertising, Organic Social, Content Marketing, and Conversion Optimisation to get the maximum value from your budget. Clients who have done just that include Colinwell, Belfast Skin Clinic, Irish Greyhound Board, and the Titanic Suites.
Embryo was founded in 2015 as a business that was very aware of the need for a company that could spearhead innovation, growth, and development. In just a few short years, the company, powered by some incredible talent, has done just that for clients such as Parking Eye, I Saw it First, and Burgess.
Part of a large international agency group, Clarity has a team that can leverage the full breadth of marketing communications tools to help you reach your ambitions. Clarity helps you deliver a “connected” strategy to build your organisation’s reputation, deepen relationships and ultimately increase your revenue. Just like they’ve done for Fit Trak, This Girl Can, Falmouth University, and ReeVoo.
Top Digital PR Agencies in the UK
Digital PR cannot be underestimated when it comes to its importance to your digital marketing. It is extremely important in the mix. A number of agencies, Koozai included, have experts in their full-service teams. The following agencies are all also doing an amazing job.
No top digital PR agencies list would be complete without Rise at Seven. Run by Stephen and Carrie, they are a team of global Digital PRs (with offices in the UK, US, Germany, France, Spain and the Netherlands) that combine search demand, media relevance, creativity, and content marketing to create stories worth talking about and linking to. They undertake campaigns, reactive newsjacking, data studies, product PR, trending stories, new product launches, and stunts for big clients like Boo Hoo, Made.com, Next Vacay, and Pretty Little Thing.
Impression positions itself as the strategic partner to the world’s most exciting and aspiring brands. They are Digital Growth Specialists helping ambitious brands like Paul Camper, Cuckooland, Teemill, and Mollie, push boundaries and drive impact.
Kaizen partners with global brands such as Savoo, DirectlyApply, Peldon Roase, and CCleaner to deliver compelling digital experiences that engage audiences and grow businesses.
As a digital PR agency with a global reach, JBH works closely with brands in the UK, US, Australia, and Europe to increase brand visibility in the SERPs — all the time driving relevant traffic, building brand awareness, and boosting credibility. Clients they’ve worked with include: Preply, Affise, Delamare, and Money.co.uk
Click Intelligence believes that when you want to make an impact in the online realm, you can’t afford to let your search marketing efforts fall flat. You need to continually adapt and improve your campaigns, turning your brand from forgettable into unbeatable. Something they’ve done for Heart & Paw, Bakers Dolphin, and Smart hosting.
Reboot has an approach to online marketing that allows them to strike the perfect balance between creative thinking and technical knowledge. Over the years they have also developed a solid Digital PR process. Their in-house strategies allow them to land coverage for clients such as Money.co.uk, 2K, and Lottie.
Top SEO Agencies in the UK
For many years SEO was seen as a mysterious discipline. These days thousands of agencies profess to be able to do SEO. Alas, many also fall well short of best practices. Koozai has been doing SEO since 2006 and as a result, knows that these agencies really know their craft.
The SEO Works has grown a reputation for delivering tangible results and great customer service. They help clients such as the University of Birmingham, Kantar Health, Faber, and the Bill Plant Driving School get more customers from search, winning awards for their work along the way.
Unlike other big-name digital marketing agencies in London, they’re not hunting down giant corporations. They want to work with small businesses like String Ting, Canopy Plants, Kavee Cages and Relco London. They focus on working as an extension of the client team and getting to know the business and audience to ensure they understand what really matters.
These folks focus just on SEO. They work with brands such as Dejex, Recipe, and Ceres, using their data-driven processes to provide results.
This SEO agency is obsessed with a positive impact on their clients, colleagues, communities, and planet. They use their profits from working with brands such as Black Orchid Gifts, Aesthetics Clinic, Master the Curriculum, and Regain Hearing, to fund projects that empower and provide education to others.
Hallam Internet is a strategic digital marketing agency. They look to fuse precision with persuasion to achieve remarkable results for ambitious brands. Brands they’ve done this for include Orgvue, Ready Steady Store, Manage at Home, and Internet Reptile.
They do SEO, and nothing but SEO. That’s because they want to focus all their energy on doing SEO as brilliantly as they can. Which they do for clients like Click Mechanic, Encore, Floom, and Hey Car.
Top Content Marketing Agencies in the UK
One of our favourite agencies. These guys are nestled in the centre of Birmingham and have brought the world of digital strategy and creative content together with proven methods of focused targeting and measurable success. They’ve provided digital & video production services for clients such as Idex, Pay Escape, Ingeous, and Leon.
They are a B2B content marketing agency that builds audiences and converts prospects. They pride themselves on creating authentic, insightful, and engaging content to grow your business. Something they’ve done for brands like YuLife, Spektrix, Arch Over, and Isams.
Started life as a Norwich agency called Further, which was acquired by Gravity Global. Clients include Snap, WaterLogic, and the Norwich University of the Arts.
As a specialist content marketing agency, the team here focuses on helping clients own the best content on the website for your business. They create content for clients such as Inkifi, Veygo, and Kitchen Knives, either for them to rank in the search engines or to gain links.
Top Paid Media Agencies in the UK
Paid Media can cover a number of elements. Paid Search, Paid Social, Display, Shopping, and Remarketing are just a few of the services which Koozai offers in this regard. These agencies are all also experts in paid disciplines.
Another of our favourite agencies. Pole Star works with brands like Cotton & Cologne, Tens, Børsen, and the Hay Group, delivering them high-performing, intelligent, data-driven digital marketing solutions.
Found is a London digital marketing agency specialising in PPC. They underpin their activity by focussing on smart data. Working with brands like Napier, Marley, and Today Tix, their team of channel experts, growth partners and data scientists significantly improve online performance.
Their team of commercially aware design and growth marketing specialists provides a comprehensive end-to-end service for companies like Aqua, Degree Skin Clinic, and Viking Extrusions, who want to grow effectively, logically, and reliably.
Other Top Agencies
There are also agencies that we come across who specialise in specific sectors or on something niche.
Three examples of these follow.
If analytics is your requirement, then Anna and her team at Polka Dot are your go-to. They believe in speaking plain English. No jargon, no bamboozling with big words, and no confusion. Just top-notch Google Analytics and Tag Manager data you can trust and practical help to drive the sales results you want. Something which their clients like Traeger, Cooks Academy, The Folio Society, and Dobell have experienced.
PushON is an award-winning full-service eCommerce agency that provides a complete range of web development and marketing services. Si and his team create websites using the most powerful open-source platforms, to push clients’ sales. Brands they’ve worked with include Silver Cross, Medline, Herdy, and Brandon Hire Station.
They drive organic growth for ambitious eCommerce brands. Using the key organic growth drivers of technical SEO, on-site content, and link reputation to help improve their clients’ organic performance. Brands for whom they’ve done just that include Reformation, Oka, and Loop earplugs.
Why Work With one of the Best Digital Marketing Agencies?
If you want to achieve great things with your brand, then you could do worse than check out some of the agencies on this list.
If you are a one-man band or have an in-house marketing team, many of these agencies will serve as an extension of that. Their access to tools and training means they can really support you with data-led insights that will help expedite improvements.
So there you have it, our round-up of the best digital marketing agencies in the UK. We hope you’ve found something or someone who suits your needs.
If you want to have a chat with us about how we could partner with you and make your business grow, then please just drop us a line. We love to chat and discuss how we’d be able to help.