It’s the end of SEO as we know it. On 21 April 2015, Google rolled out its new algorithm for non-mobile-friendly websites. In a statement the company said: “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”
So what does this really mean and why should you care?
You need to make sure your website is mobile optimised.
If your website is not optimised to be viewed on a smartphone or tablet, then you will not appear high in the search results, it will be harder for people to find you, and you’ll be losing out against your competitors who do have a mobile-optimised website. You are either mobile-friendly or not, there are no degrees of mobile-friendliness in this algorithm.
This means that in the case where websites that do accommodate for mobile, they would be getting an additional rankings boost.
Keeping Google happy is one reason to make sure you are mobile friendly, but the biggest reason is to keep your customers happy.
The latest 2015 digital device stats from the Global Web Index show that of 40,000 Internet users surveyed, 80% own a smartphone.
It also showed that the majority of adults (16-64) now personally own a desktop or laptop AND a smartphone with nearly half owning a tablet.
This shows the importance of providing great online experiences across multiple devices. Your customers are expecting it – and Google will punish you if it isn’t.
There are two ways for you to check whether your website is mobile-friendly
Just Google your brand using a smartphone. If you see a grey “mobile-friendly” label next to your site, then you’re all fine and don’t need to worry.
In today’s world, if your website is not fully responsive to allow your visitors to visit your website via their computer, their tablet, or their mobile, at a time and a place when they want to, then they will go elsewhere and you will lose their custom.
Whether you like it or not, it is all about the customer experience and more importantly consumer behaviour!
So, if you’ve tested your website to see if it’s mobile-friendly, and – shock horror! – it’s not, then get in touch with us today to have a chat and see how we can help.
We’re a multi-talented bunch here at DTW and we’ve had great fun creating illustrations for, and animating, our advert for the Law Society’s ‘Use a professional. Use a solicitor’ campaign.
The advert, which launched on ITV Player in March 2015, highlights how wills are not just for old people – everyone should have one!
(Turn up your sound)
We wanted to capture the attention of all of those people who don’t yet have a will, or whose circumstances have now changed making their will invalid, and highlight the importance of making a will and using a professional solicitor.
We created an engaging and thought-provoking animation that promoted wills to a younger audience in a fun, creative and eye catching way. By combining clean line drawings with injections of colour and using cute animated characters, we created a stunningly simple but highly emotive advert that resonates with a younger, as well as older, audience.
The 30-second advert was part of a larger campaign DTW worked on for the Law Society as part of its Consumer Campaign. Integrating PR, social media, video, online advertising, out of home advertising and ITV player advertising, 2015 marked the second phase of DTW’s work on this national campaign, pointing consumers to the Find a Solicitor website to search over 140,000 legal professionals to find the best solicitor to suit their needs.
Following last night’s PRMoment awards in Manchester, we’ve got another item to add to the #TeamDTW trophy cabinet.
We won the award for the Internal Communications Campaign of the Year jointly with Coast & Country Housing for the “I am Coast & Country” campaign, based around the video we created for Coast & Country Housing.
The “I am Coast & Country” video has been used extensively as the centre of Coast & Country’s induction programme, internal communications and in broader external communications work. Coast & Country Housing is the largest registered provider of accommodation in the Redcar and Cleveland Borough, owning and managing over 10,000 properties.
We were also shortlisted for our work with Hartlepool Borough Council. The “Hartlepool – A Vision for the future” campaign used video and mixed photography with futuristic artists’ impressions to create an image of how eight different sites across the town could look following development. In just five months, the Vision project has led to the direct creation and safeguarding of 300 jobs in Hartlepool and attracted £1.75 million of new investment.
The PRMoment awards celebrate excellence and recognise and reward outstanding campaigns and exceptional talent in the UK PR and Communications sector. The awards attracted over 650 entries from 200 companies from across the UK.
Providing solutions outside the traditional PR toolbox is a fun and exciting way to broaden horizons. One of the recent projects I’ve worked on uses interactive mapping technology to keep people up-to-date about road and construction work in their area, and about how it might affect their daily journeys.
By blending traditional skills of communication with new technologies available to us on the web, we have helped our client meet the needs of an increasingly tech-savvy populace, more used to navigating with a smartphone than a road map.
The project in question is the Mersey Gateway bridge. A £2 billion landmark piece of infrastructure spanning the River Mersey. Work on the bridge affects the whole area of Halton Borough Council, and tens of thousands of residents, commuters and road users. It’s a massive project, with work across multiple sites, and with hundreds of people involved.
Using a custom Zeemaps overlay that works with Google Maps, we developed the ‘Down Your Street’ tool. It allows people to navigate at a street-by-street level to see how their daily journeys could be affected by project work. The tool is readily available on the project’s website, and works across mobile devices.
The interactive map is highly visual, simple to use and is broken up into nine main project sections. Visitors can click through each section to find out about construction work, road works, road closures, footpath diversions and tree clearance work.
Each map is illustrated with graphics of the work going on within that section, and visitors can select these to bring up even more information about what’s happening. The map is updated daily and provides our client, Merseylink, with an agile solution to provide people with information to help their day-to-day journeys.
The system is flexible and allows us to add information as and when we need to. Of course, to complement Down Your Street, we still provide information on road works to the public through traditional channels, such as press releases.
Ultimately, blending new tech, with tried and tested communication methods results in the end user – in this case the people who use the interactive tool – having a wealth of information at their fingertips.
*** Don’t forget to turn up your sound when watching! ***
When working in the world of film there is one strict rule of thumb – don’t work with children and animals. In the spirit of DTW we thought we would challenge it, get ten children, two dogs and a pretend horse to re-create Christmas for our video greetings.
A very early morning start saw props, staff and toys for all girls and boys loaded up and carefully and decanted into one of the director’s houses. As if by DTW magic, a converted church and outdoor woodshed that doubled up as a perfect grotto, were dressed and filled with fun and mayhem.
The script was carefully recorded and, amongst the very crazy chaos, perfect gems of elvish monkey business were captured. Much to the DTW team’s surprise, there were no diva fits, tantrums or doggy mishaps. Although the children were quite bemused as to why members of staff were enrolled on the mock naughty and nice list.
The children’s camera elfie – selfie photography was outstanding – obviously their parent’s artistic nature has rubbed off onto said offspring.
The elves did a sterling job; they were extremely happy, full of chocolates from retakes and covered in glitter.
The smaller members found the wrapped presents with no contents very misleading, so took it upon themselves to rewrite the naughty and nice list, as team DTW have of course, been absolutely amazing this year!
Its’ important not to become entrenched in what we think, we should do, as designers and artists, it’s important to listen to other disciplines. This can only enhance what we do as agencies. The Design Museum is a fantastic example, lines are blurred, boundaries are broken and this place brings all walks of life together.
Times like this reminded me of the importance of leaving the bread and butter for a day, and how important in an ever-changing design landscape, it is to renew our ideas and thinking and to lead in our field.
I travelled through the life and work of Louis Khan, a revolutionary architect of our time. There was such a strong bond between his work and the work I had been presented last month by Suzhou and Wuxi University from China.
I could feel a whole conversation bubbling inside and unraveling around the use of architecture in everyday design. This was only then reflected and confirmed by the next exhibition.
Daniel Weil is a partner in the international art group Pentagram. Like myself he questions and shakes those boundaries. I simply loved the personal approach of raw sketchbooks. It is an intimate journey as you see more than a sketch – from beginning to end you see someones outpourings of expression and critical design thinking.
He draws on personal exploration whether that is exploration, travel, parenting, sport or fashion. Showing his relationship between personal aspirations and clients aspirations are fused.
Hairs stand on my neck as he quotes,
“My design doesn’t compromise the opportunity to invent, it gives you the sense that everything is connected.”
This man sings from my song sheet, this is my ethos too. As designer, artist or visual thinker we must make connections. It could be through the context of social media, a visual conversation or collaboration.
DTW is in the media today, with the focus on our new client The Law Society – we’re delivering a major PR and marketing campaign for it across England and Wales.
The national ‘Use a Professional’ campaign, which is launching across England and Wales this month, is to promote private practice or high street solicitors and encourage people to use their services.
So, if you’re reading this and you need some good service from a solicitor – jump on to the Law Society’s free online Find A Solicitor website, which matches people needing legal advice to qualified professional solicitors in their town or area.
It’s a great project, and the office has been buzzing with ideas and inspiration with #teamDTW spending the summer finalising and testing the creative concepts, travelling around the country shooting videos, working on real-time bidding advertising campaigns and planning creative PR and social media campaigns.
The focus is all about the importance of using a professional solicitor to deliver important services that you need – sounds simple doesn’t it? Yet many of us don’t do it – we’d rather get something done cheap or fast.
Whether we are getting a ‘good’ service is often overlooked.
The legal profession is not alone – as any PR and comms people reading this will already have realised.
Everyone can do PR, right?
Wrong, but professionalism is something that the PR industry is still grappling with. Talk to people at CIPR Council meetings or the more engaged members of the PR community and they get it – we need to be professional in everything we do to deliver a future for the industry – training, evaluation, ethics and professional development.
What we’ve collectively been less good at is demonstrating the huge value that the public relations function can bring to organisations. In an era when reputation has never been so important, we must take this issue and tackle it head on.
That can mean challenging colleagues, superiors and clients when it comes to devising and delivering campaigns that make a difference. We must be relentlessly focused on outcomes, think from a customer perspective and not compromise on quality.
The Government Communication Service, under the watchful eye of Alex Aiken, is doing a great job in showing the way. Those of us operating in the private sector should take note.
Professionalism and expertise isn’t a ‘nice to have’, whether you are getting legal advice, growing your business or delivering challenging behaviour change campaigns, it’s an essential.
Creating meaningful campaigns that make a difference and help our clients succeed.
DTW, Bank Chambers, Market Place, Guisborough, TS14 6BN
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