30 Jun Web Design + SEO: In One Agency?
The answer is NO!
On a long enough timeline, one can become an expert in any subject. Because digital is such a young space, it has not been around that long and the truth of the matter is, that 1 agency cannot achieve equaling levels of expertise in multiple digital marketing channels.
However, 2 agencies can! One agency will struggle to accomplish a level of expertise in multiple channels of anything digital. The fastest way to accomplish a complement of expert level skill sets, is to acquire that skill set through an acquisition or merger (if possible).
If you were a plumber looking to start a general contract business, would you learn how to dry wall, do electrical, flooring, framing etc…? A much faster approach would be to build a team of subcontractors to manage that work for you and to manage it at an expert level!
Logical Media Group (LMG) opened their doors back in 2006 as a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) specialty firm. Our core competency was Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC).
Our go to market strategy was to partner with companies that needed an SEM solution. We would (and still do) reach out to traditional PR firms and web design firms and offer to be an outsourced search marketing solution for their clients. Back in the early days we would be happy to white label our services, and, if we were lucky, we’d be introduced and go direct with the client.
The benefit to this approach was that it was a harmonious relationship. A web design firm did not possess the SEM skillset, and the same was true for us; as a digital agency, we did not have the web design skills. This way, our services and presence were welcomed, wanted, and warranted.
What does “yin” and “yang” mean in a relationship?
Yin and yang means that, in a relationship, there is a harmonious balance to all things in the universe. The concepts of “Yin” and “Yang” are said to have originally represented light (yin) and dark (yang). This has of course evolved, and expanded into a metaphor for how opposites complement each other to create a harmony and balance in the universe.
Two principles, one negative, dark, and feminine (yin) and one positive, bright, and masculine(yang) whose interaction influences the destinies of creatures and things. Their interaction is thought to maintain the harmony of the universe and to influence everything within it).
Similarly, at LMG we quickly recognized that being an expert in one channel, does not make you an expert in all channels. Over the years, we created numerous relationships with web design firms, and our goal was always to partner with professionals, and service our clients with an expert level of quality. This is the balance we sought out for our clients, to bring specialists in SEM and specialists web design to our clients.
“Many web design companies offer SEO services when they should not. If web design is your core competency, then stick to what you are good at and design great sites!”
- Chris O’Neill, Logical Media Group and The Ocean Agency CEO
In all honesty, if I were a web-design firm, to separate myself from the competition, I would very likely tell everyone I built SEO-friendly websites but that is not what I should be doing! What I should be doing, is finding a partner to come in and offer the expert-level SEO service on my behalf.
Just like Yin and Yang, the idea is not coalescence; rather it’s complementation. Think of it in these terms: A general contractor would never install the electricity in a house, they would bring in an electrician. On that same note, an electrician would never install the roof for a house, they would bring in a roofer. You would truly need to bring in an expert in each field and digital is no different!
A few years back, LMG acquired a web design firm here in Chicago called The Ocean Agency. Ocean has been in business since 2003 and brings over 10+ years of experience and expertise in web design. However, we intentionally did not dissolve the Ocean brand name and fold it under the Logical brand. In accordance with a true Yin and Yang, we purposefully kept the two brands active, as we wanted our customers to know that we are truly experts in both web design and search engine marketing.
Even still, it was not until we acquired Ocean and brought expert level web design services into the Logical house, that we really recognized the significance of these two companies coming together. The complement of services created a balance within our organization whereby we can and do, offer both SEM and web design at an expert level. Not only did we realize it but so did our clients!
So at the end of the day, the answer is still NO! To truly be an expert in both digital and web design, you need a harmonious partner relationship that brings years of experience and expertise to the table in their respective fields. Only then, Grasshopper, will you have balance.