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Friday, Dec 1, 2023

A Focus on SEO Has This Firm in Catbird Seat

North Hollywood-based Hennessey Digital, which was formed in 2015, offers digital marketing services to law firms nationwide.

With its 120-person team spread throughout nine countries, the company works with law firms to boost web traffic, improve placement in search rankings and generate more leads. Founder and Chief Executive Jason Hennessey is a self-taught expert in search engine optimization and reportedly learned by reverse-engineering the Google search algorithm.

In addition to SEO work, the company also offers website creative services, conversation rate optimization, paid media, content strategy and development, website development and studio services for products such as podcasts and videos.

The company reported a 70% growth in revenue during the last three years, jumping from $8.3 million in 2020 to $14.1 million last year, putting it at no. 7 on the Business Journal’s list of Fastest Growing Private Companies. Its clients include prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump, whose law firm’s website has seen a 1,000% boost in traffic since 2019, according to Hennessey.

Why has your company grown so quickly?

Our company’s rapid growth can be attributed to a combination of factors. Firstly, we’ve been fortunate to offer a product/service, in a specific niche, that meets a strong market demand. Additionally, we’ve focused on innovation, customer satisfaction and efficient operations, which have helped us gain a competitive edge. Moreover, our dedicated leadership and team have played a crucial role in scaling our operations.

What are your particular challenges of fast growth? Recruiting enough skilled people? The drive to expand supply chains? Acquiring enough space for your expanding needs?

As a digital marketing agency specializing in services like search engine optimization, rapid growth presents particular challenges. Recruiting specialized talent, maintaining quality and adapting to algorithm changes while expanding our client base can be demanding. Balancing strategies with scalability, keeping up with the competitive landscape, and efficiently allocating resources are ongoing tasks. We rely on advanced tools, streamlined processes, continuous staff training and staying ahead of SEO trends to overcome these challenges and ensure our clients receive top-notch services even during periods of fast growth.

Growing companies often relocate out of California. Do you think that trend will continue? Are you tempted to relocate?

While we acknowledge the potential tax benefits of relocating out of California, our current stance is that we have no plans to leave the state. We value our roots in California and the opportunities it provides for our business.

It’s worth noting that we operate as a remote company, with over 120 team members working from various locations around the world. This flexibility allows us to effectively conduct business from anywhere, irrespective of our official incorporation location. So, while we remain headquartered in California for now, our global presence ensures that we can adapt to changing circumstances if necessary.

There’s been a longstanding prediction of a recession. Do you believe one is coming soon? If so, what have you done to prepare for it? How do you project it will affect you?

While there have been predictions of a recession, it’s hard to say with certainty when it might occur. We’ve taken steps to ensure our financial stability and agility, such as diversifying our product/service offerings and maintaining a healthy cash reserve, to mitigate the potential impact.

If you could go back in time, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently at your company?

Reflecting on our journey, I now realize the importance of early investment in research and development. We’ve witnessed firsthand how innovation plays a crucial role in fueling our growth, and had we made it a priority sooner our expansion would have advanced even faster. Furthermore, I would have recognized the value of acquiring strong leadership and seeking coaching and mentorship earlier in our company’s evolution. The wisdom and guidance from experienced professionals can be instrumental in navigating the intricacies of rapid growth, providing invaluable insights for sustainable success.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d offer to another leader whose company is experiencing fast growth?

The most crucial piece of advice I’d offer to another leader whose company is experiencing rapid growth is to maintain a laser-like focus on your core values and company culture. When scaling quickly, it’s easy to become consumed by operational challenges, expansion plans, and external pressures. However, staying true to your organization’s fundamental principles, and nurturing a positive and cohesive culture, will serve as a guiding light during times of rapid change. It will help align your team, foster a sense of purpose, and ensure that as you grow you do so in a way that reflects the essence of your company. Additionally, be open to continuous learning and adaptability, as the ability to pivot and evolve is essential for sustainable success in a fast-growing environment.

Hannah Madans Welk
Hannah Madans Welk
Hannah Madans Welk is a managing editor at the Los Angeles Business Journal and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. She previously covered real estate for the Los Angeles Business Journal. She has done work with publications including The Orange County Register, The Real Deal and doityourself.com.

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