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The Number of Singapore’s SEO Agencies in 2023: 25% Growth Blueprint – Blop or Flop?

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As I delve into the world of SEO agencies in Singapore, it’s fascinating to witness the industry’s remarkable growth, with approximately 315 SEO agencies established in 2023. This surge in the industry reflects its promising potential and indicates the increasing demand for SEO services in the country. These agencies offer a wide range of services to help businesses improve their online visibility and organic search rankings, including Keyword Research, Content Marketing, Link building, and many more. But as I dig deeper, the question is, how far did these agencies go? 

Let’s take a closer look at how these agencies performed after the pandemic.

The Pandemic’s Paradigm Shift

In the final month of 2019, as some businesses were forced to close, others swiftly adapted their game plan and eagerly raced to transition their products and services online. Amid this rush, SEO agencies emerged as a vital lifeline, enabling businesses to get found in the crowded digital landscape. 

Understanding the significant impact of the pandemic on traditional business operations and recognising the essential need for this shift in thinking is of utmost importance. Here are the three main reasons why:

1. Digital Competition

With lockdown measures in place worldwide, there was a surge in online activity. From remote work and online shopping to digital entertainment and e-learning, the internet has become the primary hub for all activities, thus exponentially increasing digital competition among businesses to establish a strong online presence.

2. User Search Behavior

According to a report, there were 5.81 million internet users in Singapore at the start of 2023, when internet penetration stood at 96.9%. The pandemic has substantially impacted user search behaviour, as reflected in online search patterns, where most concerns include health safety, remote working tools, online groceries, and much more. 

3. Google Algorithm Updates

Google keeps refining its algorithms, emphasising user experience and relevant content. These algorithms provide users with valuable, high-quality content and a seamless user experience. 


A Closer Look at the Skyrocketing SEO Industry

Aemorph Graph

We conducted a comprehensive analysis, revealing a remarkable 25% increase in the number of SEO agencies from 2019 to 2023. The agency count skyrocketed from 252 in 2019 to an impressive 315 in 2022. However, beyond these statistics lies the intriguing landscape of where these agencies stand today.

Where are they Now? 

With the initial outburst of online boom beginning to settle, a closer examination of the current state of these agencies uncovers an intriguing landscape. Many businesses now operate with an established online presence, and the desperate rush to get found online has subsided. So, where are these agencies now?

  • 57% of these agencies are still very much operational, catering to the growing demands of businesses seeking a competitive edge in the online realm. While a few individuals excel and ascend to become leaders in the SEO industry, others flourish by carving out a niche and delivering specialised services.

  • On the flip side, 43%  had struggled and were not able to keep up with the ever-changing SEO landscape due to outdated practices, lack of data-driven strategies, dynamic algorithm updates, neglect of user experience, and shifting SEO focus.
Status of SEO Agencies

Agencies that are slow to adapt find themselves falling behind as they face declining client satisfaction and retention rates. The inability to deliver results makes potential clients look elsewhere for more agile and forward-thinking agencies. 

Staying Ahead of the SEO Game 

To know the secret of the thriving 57% of SEO agencies, one must understand the principles of resilience and longevity amidst the ever-changing digital landscape. As the competition intensifies, standing out becomes a challenge. However, embracing the right strategies can make all the difference.

Here are key strategies for building resilience:

1. Adaptability. Over the years, the fundamental shift in SEO has necessitated agencies to be agile and adaptive. What worked yesterday may not be effective today. SEO agencies must continuously refine their methods, keeping pace with the latest trends, algorithm updates, and industry best practices, which allows them to offer cutting-edge solutions and stay ahead of the curve.

2. Building SEO Expertise. Rather than being jacks-of-all-trades, SEO agencies focus on specific areas, which helps them future-proof their SEO efforts and build a unique identity as they stand out in the crowded marketplace.

In fact, SEO agencies have significantly transformed their focus and approach from keyword stuffing and backlinking to a more diverse approach focusing on several aspects. See graph below:

Among 315 agencies, here is a noteworthy breakdown of their SEO areas of focus.

  • Content Development – 21%
  • Onsite optimisation – 20%
  • Link earning & development – 16%
  • Local search – 15%
  • Mobile optimisation – 9%

3. Prioritising User Experience. Longevity in the SEO industry hinges on understanding the evolving needs of users. Agencies that prioritise creating a seamless and enjoyable user experience through responsive web design, intuitive navigation, and valuable content are more likely to thrive.

4. Data-Driven Decision Making. Resilient SEO agencies place data at the heart of their operations. Regularly monitoring market trends, user behaviour, and performance metrics like organic traffic, keyword rankings, and click-thru rates can help agencies gain valuable insights to refine their strategies and deliver optimal results for their clients.

5. Building Online Presence. To earn trust and attract prospective clients, agencies must demonstrate their expertise through a robust online presence, which is essential to establishing credibility and authority in the SEO industry.

6. Beyond Rankings. SEO success is not solely about achieving high rankings but delivering tangible value to clients. Whether it’s driving targeted traffic, increasing conversions, or improving brand visibility, a results-driven approach cements long-term client partnerships.

7. Embracing Ethical SEO Practices. Prioritising ethical practices that align with search engine guidelines ensures the clients’ websites maintain credibility and authority. Short-term gains from black-hat SEO techniques may be strong, but they pose a threat to the long-term sustainability of an agency’s reputation.

To stay ahead of the competition, SEO agencies must foster a culture of continuous learning and innovation. Embracing new tools, technologies, and strategies empowers them to adapt to changes and deliver exceptional value to their clients.

Building Resilient Businesses in a Dynamic World

Resilience is not just about survival but thriving amidst disruptions. It has become a key factor in achieving success in today’s rapidly evolving business world. To help businesses cultivate resilience, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that explores effective strategies.

Embrace Adaptability and Diversification

Sticking to old-school methods can hold back growth. It’s crucial to embrace change and adapt to new market conditions. Explore new markets, develop complementary products, and consider partnerships to diversify income sources and services.

Tips for Sustaining Long-Term Success in Business

Sustaining long-term success in business requires careful planning and strategic decision-making. Here are some key tips to help you achieve this:

1. Smart financial planning

The year 2020 has taken a toll on businesses, with many struggling due to inadequate budget planning. One thing that COVID inspires us to do is to save. We ensured that a significant portion of our revenue was saved to safeguard against potential mishaps.

Ensure your business stays afloat by mastering the art of smart budget allocation. Here’s how you can ace it:

  • Prioritize Expenditures: Classify expenses into essential and non-essential categories. Focus on spending that drives growth and cuts non-critical expenses.
  • Forecasting and Scenario Planning: Use historical data and market trends to forecast revenue and expenses. Prepare for different scenarios, including worst-case situations.
  • Regular Budget Assessment: Regularly review and adjust the budget based on actual performance and changing business conditions.
  • Utilize Financial Tools and Software: Leverage budgeting tools and software for accurate tracking and reporting. This aids in better decision-making and financial control.
  • Involve Teams in Budget Planning: Engage different departments in the budgeting process. This ensures a more realistic and comprehensive budget, aligning resources with departmental goals and objectives.

2. Invest in technology and automation

According to research, 67% of businesses adapt to innovation and automation to stay ahead of the competition. Companies wanting to scale should seek new ways to improve services and invest in automation and data analytics tools.

3. Being innovative and taking calculated risks

In May 2020, during the pandemic and Singapore’s push for digital transformation, I decided to get certified to train others in our business practices. I draw inspiration from influential leaders such as Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Tim Cook, who exemplified the importance of taking risks, both for immediate gains and long-term triumphs. Pushing boundaries and embracing change are crucial for any business to thrive and grow.

4. Understand where your market is

Keep your business strong by paying attention to what your customers want and adapting to their needs. Also, make sure you’re aware of what’s happening in your markets so you can create a better marketing strategy and offer the right services. After all, it’s all about connecting with your customers and staying on top of trends.

5. Stay informed about industry trends

Businesses were all going online, and there was a big emphasis on social media, SEO, and SEM. In our case, we made a strategic decision to wholeheartedly invest in SEO alone, as we perceived social media to be a saturated market.

Stepping out of your comfort zone and staying informed about market trends can help you anticipate potential risks. Here are some current business trends to consider for your business:

  • Digital Advertising

Businesses of all sizes are increasingly turning to digital advertising for its efficiency and ability to tailor content to specific audience groups. This trend is underscored by its growing popularity, as evidenced in Google Trends by 32,000 searches in the past month and a 26% increase in interest over the past week. This surge reflects digital advertising’s key role in modern marketing strategies.

  • Online Course and Workshop

Entrepreneurs are increasingly offering online courses and workshops, sharing their expertise and resources. This approach is especially popular among young adults, as evidenced by a 46% engagement rate and 13 million TikTok views in the last 30 days. Online courses and workshops provide an accessible way to learn, offering a wide range of topics and the potential for interactive learning with specialized instructors.

  • E-Commerce

The e-commerce industry is experiencing significant growth, with #e-commerce achieving 573 million TikTok views over the past 30 days. For businesses offering products and services, implementing strategies like social media promotion, appealing website design, and excellent customer service is vital for delivering an outstanding shopping experience.

  • TikTok Promotion

Leveraging TikTok for business promotion reaches a vast audience. Its unique algorithm and diverse user base make it an ideal platform for marketing campaigns, facilitating brand awareness and engagement. In fact, the popularity is evident, as seen by the approximately 23,000 searches for #tiktokpromotion on Google Trends in June 2023.

Building resilience in business requires a proactive approach, adaptability, and a focus on continuous innovation. Being resilient can not only help businesses withstand difficult times but also emerge stronger and more competitive.

Additional SEO Singapore Statistics

Here are some additional insights that can help you better understand Singapore’s SEO landscape:

SEO in Southeast Asia
  • SEO in Southeast Asia. There are a total of 978 SEO agencies established in Southeast Asia, with 31% of them located in Singapore.
Aemorph Chart - Agency Size
  • Agency Size. The majority of SEO agencies (47%) consist of 2-9 employees, reflecting a preference for smaller, agile teams.
  • Industry. eCommerce (19%) dominates the industries served by SEO agencies, highlighting fierce competition in online retail.
Aemorph Chart - Client Type
  • Client Type. SEO agencies primarily cater to Small Businesses (43%), demonstrating a focus on helping smaller entities establish their online presence and compete effectively.
  • Client Budget. The average cost of an SEO campaign in Singapore falls below $75,000 per month, with budgets distributed across various spending levels.
Hourly Rate
  • Hourly Rate.  A significant portion (41%) of agencies charge hourly rates between $100 and $149 per hour. 
  • Keyword Ranking. 15% of agencies use keyword ranking as their primary measure of performance over the past year, followed closely by pageviews and sessions at 12.4%.
  • Shift in SEO. 18.7% believe that machine learning or AI is a leading factor driving changes in SEO, followed by the deprecation of third-party cookies at 13.9%.
  • Return on Investment. Most (59%) reported an increased ROI from SEO over the last 12 months, while 20% experienced a decreased ROI.

References: Clutch, Statista


Singapore’s SEO agencies are thriving, with a strong presence in the digital marketing landscape. Despite the initial boom and subsequent fallout, the future looks promising for SEO agencies, offering a wider array of choices for businesses looking to navigate the online world. While the industry continues to grow, both new entrants and established agencies must adapt, innovate, and consistently deliver exceptional results to stay ahead in this competitive domain. For SEO agencies, it’s not just about riding the wave of demand but also about staying ahead of the curve.

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