In comparison just 12% of agencies specialise in SEO while 7% focused exclusively on paid search. A further 10% of agencies carry out both SEO and paid search.

What area is your main focus as an agency?

The report, published in partnership with Netbooster, is based on an online survey of more than 500 client-side digital marketers and agencies. It covers search engine optimisation (SEO or natural search), paid search (PPC) and social media marketing.

In-house or agency?

The report also asked businesses whether they outsource their search, display and social media marketing to an agency.

A majority of companies (69%) take care of social marketing in-house, while only 7% exclusively use an agency.

This could suggest that companies are generally keener to own and manage their social activity in-house because of a reluctance to let a third party control messaging.

In comparison, 52% of companies carry out their SEO in-house and 42% employ someone to take care of paid search.

Paid search is the activity most likely to be outsourced entirely to an agency, with 28% of respondents selecting this option.

Do you carry out your search, display, and social media marketing in- house or via an agency?

Looking back over six years of data, the percentage of companies carrying out their paid search in-house has remained fairly consistent.

The lowest proportion was 38% back in 2008 and 2009, while it peaked at 45% in 2012.

Do you carry out your paid search in-house or via an agency?