Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Digital Balance: The reason digital strategists and designers don’t eat at the same table

Do you dream about a world where digital strategists and web designers live in harmony? So do I. Well, I mean, I guess I don’t remember all of my dreams, but I’m sure it happened once or twice before.

As G/L’s copywriter, I’ve been working closely with our designers and digital strategists on the new G/L website and any client web stuff. And one reoccurring nightmare just seems to keep presenting itself: After developing a strategy, the designers will concept an outrageously creative layout using all kinds of Flash and what not. Then, like clockwork, they’ll present it to the digital department, and it will undoubtedly be dubbed, “not best practice.” After wiping away the tears of defeat, the designers head back to their desks, as do the strategists, and this process goes on till some sort of meet-in-the-middle solution is agreed on.

I’ve watched this go down time and time again. While the process is tedious, it’s the best way to ensure we are maximizing creativity and searchability. The rulebook on web design changes all the time. And SEO best practices change about as fast as Google’s crawlers can figure out our next trick. So the result of such fast-changing elements creates what I call the Jerry-Springer-Design-and-Digital-Strategy-Effect.

It’s a double-edged sword. We need to achieve Digital Balance—websites that are aesthetically unique and populated with content interesting enough to generate repeat traffic and sharing. But to get people there in the first place, you sort of need to be able to find the site. So while I don’t sit on the edge of my seat while writing meta descriptions and littering content with keywords, I do realize that for the real creative to be seen, it must first be optimized.

According to The Best SEO Tips and Practices for 2011, awesome websites with Digital Balance include:

  • Killer content
  • Keywords
  • Strategic Titling
  • Links/Backlinks
  • Social Media
  • Video
  • Mobile Functionality

Through a process of making everything digital mobile-friendly, highly searchable, and most importantly, functional, G/L delivers incredible digital work. And this is one service that won’t slow down. I guess for the sake of the websites, I’ll just try to keep the peace between my design friends and digital colleagues. From the looks of the soon-to-be-launched G/L website, we’re definitely doing something right.

Also, this is what happens when you can’t achieve balance.