This year we have decided to truly embrace this sentiment and try to make Christmas a little better for those that are less fortunate. Therefore in lieu of cards and gifts we have chosen to make a donation to Hope House Children's Hospice. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your business and support, we look forward to working with you in 2016.
What’s the buzz about Black Friday?
Originating in the US, Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the Friday and Monday immediately after Thanksgiving where retailers dramatically drop the price of store goods in an aggressive attempt to drive revenue sales that has now evolved into a four-day weekend of discounted deals both in store and online. This annual shopping event is big business in the US but over recent years more and more UK retailers have capitalised on the success of the American event.
The social media buzz around the Black Friday weekend is now in full swing and we even received some HTML email campaigns last week in a bid to generate interest and awareness. Some large household brands such as Argos, Tesco and John Lewis even have their own dedicated ‘Black Friday’ landing page to help drive organic search traffic.
However, some retailers have shied away from the campaign altogether. ASDA, owned by American supermarket giant Walmart shocked customers by cancelling its involvement in Black Friday after the amount of bad publicity last year’s campaign generated when scenes of violence broke as bargain hunters descended on the store for the latest deals.
Only time will tell if Black Friday becomes a regular shopping event in Britain but given the amount of brands promoting Black Friday deals suggests UK retailers are now taking full advantage of this campaign opportunity to raise sales and profits ahead of Christmas.
The Christmas Countdown Begins…
This morning John Lewis has released its much anticipated 2015 Christmas advert titled ‘The Man on the Moon’. The advert was revealed on social media rather than via its usual X-Factor slot as it was recognised by the brand that it could reach a larger, more targeted audience more quickly online.
Christmas is big business for retailers with months of planning and marketing spend allocated to this significant time of year it’s no surprise that the festive period is their most profitable time. But how do you make sure your brand stands out from the crowd?
The key is integrating your online and offline marketing communication to ensure your campaign message is delivered across all platforms and customer touch points. Using ‘The Man on the Moon’ as an example the advert is backed up by heavy social media promotion, HTML email distribution, campaign landing page promoting ‘Shop the Advert’ merchandise, numerous in-store activities and even has an augmented reality app to take fans of the ad closer to the moon, all in a bid to keep customers engaged with the campaign and brand.
With just 7 weeks to go until the big day you can now expect other big brands such as Marks and Spencer’s, Coca-Cola and the large supermarkets to follow in John Lewis footsteps as we now begin the countdown to Christmas. Well, it’s certainly got all of us at Staunton Rook feeling festive!
Penguin Update is Coming!
It has been over a year since the Penguin algorithm was last updated but Google have now confirmed the next Penguin release will be a real-time version of the algorithm. This change would mean that as soon as Google discovers a link is removed or disavowed it is processed in real time. The real-time algorithm would allow a website to recover from a Penguin penalty soon after making any link improvements as opposed to waiting the current 6-12 months’ timeframe. Although there has been no date announced for the release, Google’s Gary Illyes has commented that it will be in the “foreseeable future” with industry speculation estimating the roll-out by the end of the year. Watch this space!
Vitalize Website Now Live!
We are delighted to announce the launch of one of our new clients, Vitalize Holistic Lifestyle and Wellness fantastic new website. Based in Chester city centre, Vitalize provide a wide range of holistic treatments and services to support and empower you to achieve your wellness goals. The website launches ahead of a targeted TV advertising campaign that will see Vitalize team up with one of their holistic partners Omniblend to promote the health benefits that food can have on the body, mind and soul. In addition to the design and build of their responsive website we also provided full branding support by creating the company name and corporate identity.
A Big Welcome...
This week has seen us welcome a new member to the team at Staunton Rook. Josh McInerney joins our studio in the position of Image Retoucher; he has broad background in image retouching, image manipulation and video concept design and is looking forward to the new challenges he will experience in his role at Staunton Rook. We are confident that Josh will make a fantastic addition to our growing team and offer him a warm welcome.
Why is great website content important?
Website content is vital no matter what type of business you run. As your website acts as an online shop front to everything your company does, it is extremely important to make the most of this opportunity by ensuring that your website content is of high quality. Here are just a few reasons why this is crucial:
Attract more visitors
It is no secret that the amount of high quality content on a website has been shown to correlate with its search engine ranking position. Search engines crawl your website looking for keywords and phrases to determine how relevant your site is for different searches so it is important to ensure that your website content contains the use of relevant keywords in order to make it easier for search engines to find your website and display it within their results. However, beware of “keyword stuffing” which refers to packing as many keywords onto a webpage as possible. Not only does this provide a bad customer experience and appear spammy but it is also bad SEO practice, against Google guidelines and will result in a drop in rankings.
Be Visual - Help your customers
Your website content provides the perfect opportunity to showcase your company’s products and services but it is not just the written word which is classed as content. Website imagery helps to paint a picture about a company therefore it is worth investing in professional photography of your products and team. Original photography helps to give your website a personal touch and enables you to stand out against your competitors who may all use similar stock photography images. Videos are also a great way of providing a quick and easy way for customers to learn more about your business and services. Many of our clients have used videos on their homepages as a way of introducing the company or on product pages as a way of showing how a product or service works in action.
Constantly add value
Your website content should ultimately be useful to your customers so it is important to keep this in mind when writing your website content ensuring your website contains ‘sticky content’ which is content with the purpose of getting visitors to spend longer on your website or repeatedly return. Regularly updated news pages, blogs and advice pages are a great examples of getting visitors to return to the website. A good example of ‘sticky content’ can be found on our client, Greensleeves Lawn Care website. Included in their website is a seasonal lawn care calendar on their website that includes monthly hints and tips to help customers understand what tasks they can perform each month to get the most out of their lawn.
Last but not least your website content should be kept up to date. Regularly reviewing your website content will not only help from a ranking perspective but it will also ensure that your content is still relevant to your target audience and engaging enough for customers to return again and again. Blogs and news pages provide an outlet for fresh and topical content that will not only keep your customers engaged but provide additional keyword rich content that can in turn help to drive more organic traffic.
The Evolution of Education
This week saw the launch of a brand new website and accompanying learning portal for one of our newest clients Evolve Distance Learning. The site not only acts as an information hub for schools and colleges interested in adopting the specialist offering it also provides a fully interactive learning portal complete with learning resources and a forum for students taking part in the courses. As part of the project we provided full naming, branding and corporate literature in addition to the creation of the bespoke website which is fully responsive and optimised for viewing on mobile and tablet devices as well as desk tops. We are excited to see Evolve Distance Learning take the future of distance learning in schools and colleges to new levels.
Marketing Administrative Assistant Vacancy
We are looking for an enthusiastic, hardworking marketing administrative assistant to join our busy team. The role will involve supporting the current team in an administrative capacity. The successful candidate will be working under the Account Management team assisting with carrying out various tasks to help drive individual client campaigns forward as well as taking care of daily office tasks.
It may be Friday but that doesn’t mean to say our pace has slowed – we have been working full steam all week to ensure the successful launch of the High Flyers Cabin Crew Training website and today we achieved our aim. High Flyers are a new business start-up and offer professional training and interview preparation to individuals wishing to become cabin crew. Along with the website we were commissioned to create a name and full branding for the company along with supporting marketing material. We think it looks great and look forward to seeing the company take off.
Exciting New Client!
We are very pleased to announce that CRT Medical, providers of expert first aid training courses across the UK have chosen Staunton Rook to assist with their marketing direction and re-brand to reach potential new clients and build their business.
CRT Medical have also approached Staunton Rook to completely redesign their website for the mobile world. The new responsive website will improve usability making it easier for customers to research and book one of their many first aid courses. The website will also include course video clips and an online kit shop featuring a wide variety of first aid materials and products.
Work on the project is already well underway and we are looking forward to launching their redesigned website in the coming months!
Google’s New Look Logo
Earlier this week Google unveiled their new logo for a mobile world. Recognising that their company and product offering has grown over the last 17 years, this evolution needed to be reflected in their branding. The subtle rebrand has seen the well-known colourful logo change to a simpler, sans-serif custom font that seamlessly adapts depending what device a consumer is using, whether it be a desktop, voice or mobile search.
As businesses grow and evolve, updating the company logo can easily be overlooked but corporate branding is an extremely important aspect of a company’s overall marketing. Logos visually display the company’s identity, reflect the brands personality and provide a visual way of customers recognising a business.
If you think your company logo is beginning to look outdate or no longer fits with your business strategy our in-house design studio can work with you to redesign a company logo that can reposition your business and offering, projecting exactly the right image to the right target audience.
It’s a wrap!
Whether your company vehicle is used constantly or occasionally, this provides a great advertising opportunity for your business. Having professionally designed, eye-catching vehicle livery will promote brand awareness, provide the right first impression and serve as a reminder for existing customers. We recently designed a vehicle wrap for one of our clients, CamGas. using their existing branding we created a design that transformed their ordinary, white company vehicle into a striking and colourful advertising tool to promote their business whilst on the road.
We are recruiting...
We are looking for an enthusiastic image retoucher to join our studio. Candidates will have an in-depth working knowledge of Photoshop, have immaculate attention to detail and work well under pressure in a fast paced studio. Duties will involve transforming original images into finished advert approved versions and looking after our extensive online image database day to day.
In addition candidates will also display a keen interest in photography preferably having recently completed a photographic course or degree. They will have the opportunity to go out into the field and source their own imagery for various digital and print projects.
Experience of video editing software would also be an advantage.
- Expert understanding of Photoshop and image retouching
- Exceptional organisational skills with attention to detail is a MUST
- Must thrive in a deadline-driven environment
- Keen eye for detail and composition
- Creative flair
- Ability to work in a team environment, yet can handle the production process with minimal supervision to get excellent results
- Proficiency in Adobe Photoshop CC and Adobe Bridge
- Excellent knowledge of the latest digital camera equipment
- Final Cut Pro / Premiere Pro
For further details please send your CV along with example of recent Photoshop/Video work to firstname.lastname@example.org
Generate more enquiries with a responsive website
Responsive websites respond to the size of the device viewing it and rebuild your website to ensure that the person viewing it can read the content with ease. To find out more about how your business can benefit please take a look at this short video.
Taking A Walk on the Wild Side!
We completed and launched a bit of a different web project last week for one of our long standing customers whose products are extremely unique. We have worked with Mark Stoddart International Designer for many years and the time had come for a complete overhaul of his website not only to give him a fresh new look but also to fit in with the new responsive design guidelines. The finished result is striking, the new website style really provides the maximum opportunity to show off his sculptures to the viewer and it looks fantastic whether viewed on a tablet, desktop or mobile. Along with the launch of a social media strategy the enquiries have been coming through thick and fast.
Don’t Miss Out - Is Your Website Responsive?
With the latest Google changes now in effect anyone with an un-responsive site will certainly begin to feel the effects of the preferential ranking for mobile friendly sites when it comes to their search engine positioning. As of Tuesday 21st April Googles algorithms now monitor and penalise any websites from mobile searches that are not mobile compatible. This will mean that if your website is not built to comply with visibility on a mobile device, for example where you have to tap or zoom to be able to read text, your website may struggle to compete in the mobile rankings and therefore potential or current customers may not be able to find you!
With increasingly more web searches taking place on mobile devices every day this is not something to just ignore. Act now to rectify the situation – we can build you an attractive, dynamic, fully responsive website that will ensure your company is competing and performing in the search results, providing you the visibility you need to attract new customers. Call us today on 01244 323250.
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Spring into Action
This week has been a very busy one at Staunton Rook. The Spring sunshine has everyone in good spirits and new projects have been coming in thick and fast. As new ones arrive we have also had a week of completing some existing tasks and one of our clients in particular will certainly be springing into action with the launch of their brand new website. LPG Training, the Deeside based training providers and assessors of LPG, natural gas, oil and water now have a fully responsive up to date website that will allow them to fully facilitate the needs of their customers. But it doesn’t stop there, watch this space for phase 2 as over the coming months we further develop the site into a fully functioning online training portal massively increasing the accessibility of LPG training through online learning.
A Fresh Green Start
This week saw the exciting launch of not one but two brand new responsive websites for Greensleeves, the Lawn Treatment Experts. The launch was the result of months of hard work and creativity to ensure that Greensleeves new websites fully represent them as the lawn care company of choice. The main customer facing site not only represents the national brand it also encompasses 72 franchisee sub pages making it one of the largest sites we have built in a while. In addition to the main site we also created an information site to attract potential new franchisees to the company. We are extremely excited that this site is an entrant in the category of Best Website at The Franchise Marketing Awards 2015 – watch this space for updates!!