Technical vs Creative Agencies

Published: January 16, 2018  by 

two desktop computers and laptop on a desk with coffee mug and succulents

Traditional & Creative Agencies

What’s the difference?

Large and one vertical agencies usually offer one-size-fits-all packages that are easy to sell and implement quickly. They often automate many of their processes for efficiency. For example, if a traditional agency does offer SEO, the keyword research is likely templated for each industry or business vertical except for a few variables. If they offer web design, they often develop a proprietary content management system and try to fit it to every client, regardless of the business model or individual business needs.

Creative agencies develop print media, build public relations, and place ads on TV and radio. Their focus in on the aesthetic and relational aspects of a business. A creative agency often values form above function, sometimes forgetting or choosing to ignore technical aspects of a website or digital ad campaign in favor of design. Some creatively focused agencies may not even offer SEO or web development, and if they do, these packages are likely limited.

The Technical Agency

Technically-focused agencies, like BigWing, approach each client differently with unique strategies, because each client has specific goals and needs. While technical agencies may not offer the full gamut of creative or media services, they focus on the digital aspects of your brand as paramount. For example, keyword research isn’t duplicated, even for clients in the same industry, but is thoughtfully developed considering each client’s competition, goals, and location. It’s never a one-size-fits-all solution.

Technical agencies will likely implement widely-used content management systems with a broad knowledge base and large web-based communities, creating unique user experiences for each client’s needs. The solutions offered by technical agencies are typically inbound-oriented: they pull in and nurture your ideal customer, rather than pushing out a blanket message.

Let’s take a look at some of the key things technical agencies consider on every project: visibility, usability, accessibility, and analysis.

Visibility

Content must be visible to users and to search engines. What cannot be seen will not get indexed and, therefore, will not show up in search engine result pages. Technically-minded agencies work to see a website through a search engine’s eyes and learn how to get every bit of relevant content on the website indexed. Crawlability, indexation, and site structure are all very important factors in determining how visible a site and its pages will be to search engines.

Our web development team builds sites with the latest crawlability standards in mind.

Local Optimization

Good visibility also means being searchable in the maps and directories (if you have a brick-and-mortar business or area-based services) as well as searchable via voice. Can someone find your print supply store if they ask Siri, “Give me directions to a print supply store near me”?

BigWing is LSA (Local Search Association) Certified. Read our blog post about our LSA Certification or find more about the certification on the Local Search Association’s website.

LSA Certification sticker

Building technically sound websites is one thing; however, the adage, “If you build it, they will come,” doesn’t usually work on the internet–at least, not quickly–even if your site is built well.  It is also important to know where your audience is online and how to market to them.  A good digital agency does research to find the ideal audience not only for engagement, but also for conversion.

Usability

From the front end to the back, an agency or organization should be focused on a website’s function as well as its form. A website can have the most pleasing aesthetics, but if visitors can’t find what they need or website managers cannot effectively change aspects of the site, it can quickly become obsolete.

When a technical agency builds a website, they focus on user experience from both sides: the visitors to the site and those maintaining the site. It is important for an SEO specialist or website administrator to be able to quickly and easily change meta data and onsite content to capture traffic from an ever-changing search landscape, or to create effective redirects when a page goes missing or its URL is changed.

Accessibility

Have you thought of how a person with a vision impairment interacts with a site? There are many shortcuts one can use when designing a website to get the desired look. Some of these shortcuts can look great, but can also jeopardize a site’s accessibility. Sometimes agencies forget or neglect the accessibility aspect in favor of flashy graphics and functions.

A site’s information and navigation should be structured logically and specific elements labeled to describe what is on the page. Images should have descriptive alt attributes and captions rather than keyword stuffing. Anchor tags (links) should have unique and informative text to describe the page they link to instead of just “click here”. Sometimes, it is also very useful for a video to have a transcription.

A technical agency should design and update sites and post media with all potential audiences in mind. Sites need to be designed in a way that a person using a screen reader can easily navigate and digest the information.

Analysis

If it doesn’t get measured, it won’t get improved. Well-rounded technical agencies can deliver content and measure its performance, which may lead to content optimizations, such as a structural change or keyword research. A thorough analysis of a campaign or a site can inform where efforts should be focused, which service line to use in a given scenario, and which pages should be prioritized during an optimization campaign.

Using keyword research, competitive analysis, A/B testing, historical traffic data, page traffic, and many other metrics, a technical agency can develop a site that is able to perform well in a competitive market by filling a niche role, taking a technical advantage over its competitors, or providing the best user experience to its users and customers.

Bigwing Technical SEO Audit

Technical oversights can happen at any stage of a website’s development or during web maintenance and subsequent updates. We help clients discover and repair these issues through ongoing SEO and web maintenance and also offer an in-depth, technical SEO audit of the site. In this audit, we dive deep into several aspects of the site that may affect the sites visibility, accessibility, security, and user experience.

Contact us today to learn more about our technical SEO audit or request a quote.