Inside the industry and inside the agency
It’s been a busy year for New Business at Wickedweb, achieving a brilliant milestone of most successful year of business to date. To round off the year in style at the perfect time for a celebration, Business Development Director Anna Dixon gives an exciting end-of-year rundown of 2013.
2013 in a Nutshell
2013 has been another fast-paced and exciting journey. The seasons seem to have rolled into one as we make new connections and turn our focus to the next brief… and we have seen such a variety of digital briefs this year, which we are well equipped to respond to, with our full service complement of digital experts in-house.
We have been appointed by clients across numerous industries, including fashion, sports, corporate consulting, defence and security, legal, education, FMCG, charity, restaurant, energy and waste, cosmetic and entertainment. The consistent theme across all our project appointments is the difference we know we can make to that client. Regardless of their sector, their digital challenge has excited us and we know we can add value to their online presence throughout 2014 and beyond.
The biggest challenge we have faced this year is the adoption of a new internal process internally, changing the way our delivery team’s work on proposals, and balancing this with the speed at which prospects require cost estimates so they can make their supplier decision. Pitch and tender deadlines seem to be tighter than ever. But the result has been more accurate estimates and clearer delivery schedules earlier on in client discussions, which has benefited both the agency and client, and helped the new business team make informed decisions on lead qualification.
We have extended our portfolio of clients for which we have been implementing both Kentico and Magento platforms over the last 12 months. We are excited about each of the platforms and their innovative roadmaps, including the new version launches scheduled for 2014, which will deliver functional benefits to all our clients.
A Recipe for Success
The industry is highly competitive and as the old saying goes – you’ve got to be in it, to win it. Our experience tells us that if we really want to win it, we have to add value in all we do and demonstrate passion in our pitch. We have to prove how much we understand the client’s business, the digital challenge they are facing and our hunger to be their partner agency to solve it. On many an occasion, our secret ingredient has worked!
As a trend, we have seen clients looking for greater reassurance in their decisions to appoint agencies. There have been more stages added throughout procurement processes, greater due diligence and scrutiny of our finances and accreditations and wider groups of stakeholders involved in decisions, increasing the competition yet further. The lead time from enquiry through to conversion has increased as a result and clients are tentatively proceeding with proposals, one stage at a time. To strengthen our credentials further, we are applying for our ISO 27001 (data security) – just one example of how we are ensuring our processes meet the standards expected for opportunities at this level.
2013 - Our Most Successful Year.
We are delighted and proud to share that 2013 has been Wickedweb’s most successful year in securing new work and whilst the celebrations are planned, its vital to remember that “new business is everybody’s business” – client services, usability, design, development and media teams are all brand advocates, and through delivering the honest, ambitious and brilliant work we hold as our values and high standards, Wickedweb will continue to be a progressive sales force within the industry in 2014.
A 15th birthday celebration these days typically comprises a semi-parented house party with covert alcohol consumption and awkward attempts at dub-step dancing. On 27th September 2013 however, Google smashed this tradition out of the water, celebrating its 15 year milestone with the launch of a mega algorithm named “Google Hummingbird”. Nothing too flash then.
The aftermath of any new algorithm or update from Google is always an uncertain period of speculation, with SEO bods everywhere frantically piecing together information strategically leaked from various sources, in a bid to figure out its components. Like an earthquake, the scale of destruction is often difficult to measure until the chaos has calmed down and the aftershocks have ceased.
Following the release of Hummingbird, the SEO team spent a busy few months measuring the effects of Hummingbird and understanding its elements. Let’s now take a look at Google Hummingbird 3 months on.
What was Hummingbird?
Hummingbird, unlike updates such as Penguin 2.0, was a brand new algorithm. It was designed around long tail query strings, interacting with and servicing internet users on a more human level.
In a world where internet searches are performed from a multitude of devices, Google has decided to adapt to cater for changing ways in which a user searches for information. Conversational based searches are on the rise as smart phones promote the use of natural language search functions such as voice searches.
How powerful were the effects of Hummingbird?
The Hummingbird update is, according to Google’s Senior Vice President Amit Singhal, the biggest algorithm change since Google Caffeine in 2010. Caffeine was a search index algorithm to return fresher search results displayed to users, to satisfy their expectations for latest, relevant content. Hummingbird, although a new algorithm seems to build upon elements of Caffeine to provide fresh content, but developing an even more intelligent way to understand a user’s search intent and return relevant results based on synonyms and knowledge graphs from each user query.
Google Hummingbird builds an understanding of user intent from search interaction, returning top quality content that offers the user the freshest, most engaging and most relevant results that maximise user satisfaction.
What does Google Hummingbird mean to users?
Google is always striving to improve the user experience, and Google Hummingbird is simply, or rather complexly continuing this tradition. Developed to return the very best and most satisfying results to the user, Hummingbird aims to get on the level of the user and focus on a collection of conversational based keywords to provide pages that offer the most amount of relevant information to satisfy the user’s query.
The update was named Hummingbird as it aims to get the information quickly and precisely, in much the same way that a Hummingbird extracts nectar.
What does Google Hummingbird mean to SEO people?
Hummingbird is not nearly as scary as we might think. If we have all been working to comply with Google’s changing algorithms, refreshes and updates over the years, we should already be maintaining the delicate balancing act of satisfying both the user and the search engine and meeting Hummingbird’s criteria. This means creating well written, well researched content that is engaging to the user and naturally serves a core purpose. Hummingbird is a natural progression of this mind-set, taking the principles of Google’s previous algorithms and giving us a return on the fruits of our labour, by connecting outstanding content with those who are looking for it.
Wickedweb is delighted to announce that our client ARCADIS, the international engineering and consultancy company, has successfully completed its 1,000,000km ARCADIS125 Sporting Challenge. The global initiative celebrates 125 years of ARCADIS with a focus on sporting teamwork, fun and creativity. Members of ARCADIS and group companies including EC Harris contributed to the global challenge. 22,000 participants from around the world achieved a staggering 1,029,983km from activities including running, cycling, swimming, skiing and many other sports.
ARCADIS originally set an ambitious target of 250,000km for the sporting challenge, however this goal was easily surpassed with over 2 months remaining. Zack Smith, Member of the ARCADIS Executive Board, then decided to up the goal to 1,000,000km for the eager participants.
The unique initiative supported three global charities: WWF, JDRF and Transparency International. Wickedweb aided ARCADIS with strategy, web development and design for the ARCADIS125 website that included a global leader board, a comment wall and a charity dashboard. Each participant had their own unique dashboard where they could update their distance completed and assign it to one of the charities, and also upload their photos and videos of the challenge.
To celebrate the magnificent achievement ARCADIS kindly provided Wickedweb with a delicious cake, which was quickly eaten by our hungry Wickedwebbers!
We’re thrilled to announce that Wickedweb has been ranked 4th in the Drum Top 100 Digital Census, for agencies with 1-50 digital staff.
Providing a comprehensive review of the digital marketing landscape in the UK, the Drum Digital Census comprises three main polls; financial, client and peer. Wickedweb ranked highly in terms of financial performance, client satisfaction and ratings from peers, which has led to our elite status.
Thank you to our peers who ranked us as their most respected agency - we're incredibly proud to have achieved our impressive ranking. Fingers crossed for the top-spot next year!
We’re thrilled to announce that the Reed Learning website, designed and built by Wickedweb, has won the IMA Best in Class Award in the ‘Training/Vocational’ category, with a fantastic overall score of 494 out of 500.
The highest honour bestowed by the Interactive Media Awards, the Best in Class Award represents the very best in planning, execution and overall professionalism. In order to achieve such a prestigious award, the Reed Learning project had to successfully pass through a comprehensive judging process, achieving very high marks in each of the judging criteria – an achievement only a fraction of sites in the IMA competition earn each year.
Utilising a points-based scoring system, each area of the website is marked out of 100. We’re thrilled that the Reed Learning design and build project received consistently high marks for each of the core areas; design, content, feature functionality, usability and standards compliance & cross-browser compatibility, to achieve an impressively high overall score.
A special mention and congratulations to Reed Learning’s Engagement Team; Account Director Neil Narain, Project Manager, Glen Richardson and Executive Designer, Emma Aktins, as well as the wider Wickedweb team who have helped to support the project.
To find out how Wickedweb can help with your project contact us today on:
Tel: +44(0)20 7183 4999
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