SEONext Absorbs Itself into Larger Masterplan
A UK turnover of £2m would make many a director head for the golf course every morning, but SEONext’s Mark and Justin Blackhurst love their business too much to take that route. They’ve been ploughing their time into creating a potentially significant player in the online sector: DigitalNext.
Two years in the planning and officially launched at Internet World at Earl’s Court last week, DigitalNext is a logical progression for what was essentially an SEO and marketing company, turning it into a full-service web developer. The company offers digital brand development, consultancy, design, development, hosting, SEM and social media marketing. This all has one aim: improving the effectiveness of clients’ online presence.
Applying SEO to an existing website can at the very least make the invisible visible; but having control over the entire site’s hosting, design and development can make it unmissable. Although SEONext has been providing this wider service to some of its existing SEO clients since its inception, DigitalNext is explicitly offering ground-up web solutions, hence the change in branding. They have brought in talented new people via advertising, word of mouth and, in the case of their new designer, head-hunting, to create a team that can hit the ground sprinting. But it’s definitely not a simple expansion of SEONext – it’s a new entity, with the search team playing an integral part in the process.
So is this the end for SEONext? Although the day-to-day SEO work is going to be absorbed into DigitalNext, the SEONext trademark (for which the company has just overcome an aggressive legal challenge by a certain high street retailer from the 80s) will remain as an academy of SEO, enshrining their hard work, experience and authority. Indeed, DigitalNext has “Powered by SEONext” as its strapline.
Mark and Justin have no plans to uproot, either. They’re happy at The Sharp Project and benefit from the connections and the ready supply of services and ideas a few scooter thrusts away. They’ve got a big enough space to accommodate the new talent and a big enough wall to have their logo writ large on it. In fact, they’re currently negotiating an extension to the tenancy contract that will make DigitalNext a firm fixture for the medium-term future.
Like their clients, the Blackhurst bros are definitely heading upwards.