Insights

A quick 2018 retrospective

Company Marketing Technical

We’re looking forward to next year and getting stuck into some exciting new projects. Before we sign off, here’s a brief retrospective of our 2018, our most successful year to date.

Website launches

The team have embraced several new specialist tools, these have helped us implement new quality control procedures which further ensure we deliver great products.

We’ve extended the team with new digital marketing, design, technical and leadership hires, and continue to build on our existing client relationships delivering new projects for Mundipharma, Moller Centre and Cambridge University.

We’ve had a successful 2018 winning a diverse selection of new business, most notably, 4 big London-based not-for-profit organisations, and have launched a total of 21 new websites1, 18 of those using the WordPress CMS and three built with the increasingly popular Laravel PHP framework.

Tools and processes

The technical team have completed the implementation of a new process for deployment. This provides full version control and auditing, promotes best practice development techniques and delivers a more robust development environment.

At the same time, they’ve gained experience working with several new tools, apps and services including Mailgun, used to improve email deliverability from our web servers overcoming ongoing problems caused by corporate email server sensitivities, REACT js, a JavaScript library for building user interfaces, and GULP which streamlines and automates development workflows and tasks.

We’ve now fully embraced Sketch as our UI design tool, using this alongside traditional tools like Adobe Photoshop to accelerate our design process, improve design sign-off and help with our iterative and collaborative approach to design.

A recent upgrade to our own Salesforce system, moving to the Lightning version has already helped to achieve some impressive improvements to our reporting. It has also been helpful in guiding our clients in migrating to and integrating with Salesforce.

Mundipharma have kept us busy learning more about compliance in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector, working on four new projects for their global network.

Technical

Partly due to a significant increase in WordPress attacks early in the year, we’ve rolled out Sucuri or Cloudflare CDN (content delivery network) services for many clients, adding an additional level of protection. At the same time, in line with a recent Google Algorithm change which uses speed as a ranking factor, increasing site load time and performance, saving one client alone almost 15Gb in bandwidth per month with CDN caching, minifying and optimisation features.

2018 has been a busy year working with API’s, completing multiple Salesforce and ACT API (application programming interface) integration projects, creating complex new API’s and linking with bespoke 3rd party platforms. Alongside our API work, we’ve developed an audit trail system to provide a backup in the event of an API failure or service interruption which avoids any data loss.

Search marketing

There have been many changes to search marketing during 2018. As always Google has been the main driver for this. We saw changes to Google charity grants, search quality guidelines and a switch to mobile-first indexing.

There’s no doubt that digital technology has put users in the driving seat. The rapid development of smart devices and evolving search behaviour means that no two customer journeys are alike. The challenge for businesses to understand the digital user and meet expectations has never been greater.

To ensure we continue to provide the very best advice two members of our team have this year gained professional marketing qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, whilst maintaining our Google Partner status for the fourth year. These enable us to support clients in their marketing, website and search efforts.

5 highlights

  1. Presenting at UKinbounds members event on digital trends and best practice
  2. Not for profit pitch wins and website launches for Save the Rhino, UKinbound and The Greater London Fund for the Blind
  3. Implementing voice search and text to speech (Amazon Polly) services for new sites including Thomas Pocklington Trusts new Vitaltech site
  4. AdWords becoming Google Ads and launching a new interface which has brought great new features helping improve day to day management.
  5. Our own new website launched on the day of our Xmas party.

5 digital trends

Last year we highlighted some trends to watch out for, but did they happen as expected?

  • Faster mobile browsing via AMP – AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, a Google-backed project designed as an open standard for any publisher to have pages load quickly on mobile devices. Many businesses and publishers still haven’t adopted AMP code, we assume because like us, the benefits are not equal to the investment and anticipated organic search improvement.
  • More mobile purchasing – Mobile ecommerce sales account for 34.5% of total ecommerce sales in 2018, and still growing. By 2021, mobile ecommerce sales are expected to account for 54% of total ecommerce sales.
  • Rise of the Chatbot – this has indeed been the case
  • Increase in use of Cinemagraphs – Cinemagraphs are still photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs, forming a video clip. They are published as an animated GIF or in other video formats, and can give the illusion that the viewer is watching an animation. This trend did not kick off with quite the velocity as the industry predicted.
  • Live streaming on social media – This has become big. Video streaming accounted for 75% of all internet traffic in 2017 and is expected to jump to 82% by 2020 – http://www.mediative.com/2018-digital-trends-10-live-streaming-video/

Look out for our post in January about our predictions for digital trends in 2019.

121 launches: Angliear, BMSR, CSeast, Harley Street Executive, Taxi Management Services, Access 2 Export, Promed, Vitaltech, GLFB, Beserved, SRI, UKinbound, Birmingham Vision, Root, Go Vocal, VISAGB, Explorer Mindset, Merton Vision, Prior, Mundipharma Research, Mundipharma Decision Tree and not forgetting our own new WordPress website and bespoke PHP Dashboard.

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