Digital Marketing Advice

  • Non GDPR compliant agencies are a legal risk to their clients

    Non GDPR compliant agencies are a legal risk to their clients

    If you haven’t heard of GDPR, where have you been…., I want your life!

    For the rest of us it is probably the biggest issue affecting high rights at the moment and definitely the biggest issue to affect marketing since the advent of the internet.

    To me, it feels a little bit like human rights vs marketing.

    So I recently made the trip in to the heart of the legislation and attended a workshop at the Institute of Direct Marketing, just off Oxford Circus in London. My second workshop in as many months.

    Firstly, credit is due to the speaker Duncan Smith, huge knowledge and charisma, a rare combination indeed.

    So what did I learn?

    • That I am already well versed in this legislation and Crush is well on the way to being compliant
    • That it is a serious issue. I hadn’t fully made the connection between data protection and human rights before. It is there and that makes GDPR all the more powerful
    • There is more that one piece of legislation in play; PECR and the Charity Commission
    • GDPR profoundly affects every aspect of marketing
    • GDPR affects every aspects of every business, any personal information stored anywhere needs to be considered, including Excel spreadsheet and staff lists
    • You can not use assume consent for b2c marketing, ever
    • Old consent is unlikely to be acceptable
    • Clients CAN NOT use any third parties agencies that are non-compliant, if they do they are immediately liable for any data issues

    Crush Design still has some work to do before we are fully GDPR compliant, and the process is not easy. By the end of March we will be fully compliant. I imagine over 50% of agencies will be non-compliant by 28th May which leaves their clients exposed and therefore negligent in the eyes of the new law.

    We are also working on a data solution that provides clients with the hugely important ‘verification’ of consent, as well as transparency and control which guarantees compliance to GDPR.

    For more information on our GDPR solution please get in touch

    Photo by Patrick Lindenberg on Unsplash

  • Future Website trends for 2018

    I am a great fan of Digital Synopsis and once again I think they hit the mark on a lot of really good developments in website design for 2018 in their recent article

    The facts that most resonate with me are:

    • 95% of users want a good user experience (not just design)
    • But also that trust comes from quality in design with 94% not trusting degraded websites
    • And remembering that homepages are usually transitional pages, so planning the navigation to content the person wants to see is key

    On the design side the top five points they list are absolutely on the mark

    1. Bold typography and colours – though only when the brand permits
    2. Scroll trigger animations – already doing it and it looks great!
    3. Quality photography – bin the crappy stock images and take time to find something special (or hire a photographer)
    4. Your digital voice – getting better at speaking to customer through the screen in the right tone and on brand
    5. The use of Cinemagraphs – think they are beautiful, just need to figure our how to incorporate one in to a client website!

    At Crush Design we have many more views on where great website design is going. So if your website could do with some love in 2018, pick up the phone!

    A cinemagraph

    This is a still image with some subtle movement. The example below is beautiful….

    Good work Digital Synopsis!

  • A quick guide to duplicated content and Google

    A quick guide to duplicated content and Google

    All clients, and without exception, who are looking to optimise their websites to get better ranking on Google (other search engine do exist…, just) will have ask me about the dangers of duplicating content. So here is the low down.

    Why is this important?

    Google rewards fresh and regular content; but there is limit to the amount new and interesting topics one can write about (and chances are someone else in the world has written a similar article), and we all have so little time.

    Legacy of cheating

    Early Google algorithms based rankings on the amount and frequency of content updates. Sadly there was nothing to stop wise guys stealing / copying vast amounts of content and pasting it directly on to their own website to get to number 1 in the ranking, and this became an epidemic. To stop this blatant cheating Google launch their Panda update on duplicated content, and many subsequent updates.

    • Only sites that are blatantly copying large amounts of content for profit have been banned
    • Duplicated copy across your own website is ignored
    • Duplicated content from other sites is downgraded depending on the similarity and frequency

    Examples of duplicated content

    1. Systemic duplicated content – this is content duplicated due to the nature of the website, most frequently e-commerce website where there is a page for a blue jumper and a red jumper. Google can handle this and will make up its own mind on which page to index and which to ignore, alternatively you can manage this Google decision manually by using canonical tags.
    2. Press releases – sharing a really good press release is good for customer experience but not good for SEO. Google won’t penalise, it will just give that page no value.
    3. Accidental duplication – most people don’t know that and are in fact two identical sites. This is simply resolved using Google Search Console.

    Checking your site for duplicated content

    There are services available for checking your site for any duplicated content, though these are typically paid for services. Best thing to do…, hire Crush design to help you manage your website and its optimisation!

    Finally, a shout out to the photographer!

    Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

  • The best way to tender a website and find the right agency partnership

    I have always hated tendering and have made a conscious decision for Crush Design to reject the vast majority of invitations to do so.

    As a client surely this should be a worry if you are planning to tender out your website project.

    Crush Design is a highly reputable agency with an excellent client base and track record in delivering market leading websites. We could be the perfect agency but by tendering your project you automatically exclude us from the process. And I know that we are one of many high quality agencies that will not tender.

    This begs two questions;

    1. Why don’t we tender

    Tenders really only help you find agencies that are good at tendering (which we are not)
    Tenders favour those good at selling (which we are not)
    Tenders remove any opportunity to test and build trust with your future agency as everything is done at arms length (trust and partnership is key to our service)

    All this means that clients that tender their projects are likely to end up with an anonymous agency they don’t know much about, who are very convincing, bureaucratic or both.

    2. How do you go about finding the right agency?

    The first problem with tenders is that they are usually written by someone with no experience of planning and/or building websites.
    The second problem with tenders is that they are usually judged by people with no experience of planning and/or building websites.
    The third problem with tenders is that, in helping you select the wrong agency, they are a huge drain on resource for both sides (writing proposals is incredibly time consuming as is reading them all)

    Compound these problem with the probability that the tender is the basis for signing over a big project with a brand new supplier and you may be able to understand my reservation.

    Can I ask that we stop this farcical process and try this.

    Do your homework first and identify just two agencies to focus on. Decide by their reputation, quality of work, list of clients, and any other desktop means of research. Give them an initial telephone call, explain the overview of the project and judge them by their response.

    By putting in this effort and focusing on just two you will both save everyone a lot of time and endear yourself to the agencies in question

    Once you are happy with the two agencies engage with both of them to help you write your website brief / specification. My advice is offer them a consultancy budget, need only be small but it shows the two agencies that you are committed to the project. In return they should be happy to commit the time you need help you write the perfect brief, not motivated by the small budget, but by the 50/50 chance of winning such a high quality client.

    As far a judging the project, I am afraid you are on your own there, but you will have two website specifications and tenders co-written by professionals with whom you will have spent some the time to better understand them and their agency. As oppose to multiple responses written in isolation by strangers.

    Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

  • Check out our new badge for Google awesomeness

    Great news, Crush Design is now officially a Google Partner!

    When I set out on this path I did not realise just how difficult getting this certification would be. Surely it was just a case of passing a couple of exams and ‘Bob’s your Uncle’ but it does require more than that.

    We have proven that not only do we know the theory, but we have had to prove our expertise on real live projects.

    A big thank you to Leo in our team for making this happen!

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