As we approach the end of 2017, our 20th year in business let’s take a quick look back at some of the digital challenges we have converted into opportunities for our clients. Maybe there are some familar themes or possibly areas where our experience could be of benefit? For this I am joined by Dan Moe our Head of Digital. So Dan, Firstly Celsur, the leading stationery supplier, which I know provided us the most lengthy project this year. I understand the biggest challenge with this job was joining-up our newly designed responsive front end with a complex legacy back office and CRM system? Whilst of course enhancing the UX and the branding.
How did you manage to connect the existing with the new?
“We were put in contact with the development team who manage the client’s CRM. Together, we thrashed out the specification for a REST API to connect the two data sources. Once all the relevant data had been agreed, it was a matter of programming the site to talk to the CRM via the API when any activity took place.”
TAG Farnborough Airport’s website is something we have been proud to be associated with for many years. I know that we have recently been improving the site’s responsiveness and performance on different mobile platforms and devices.
How have you been able to maintain the original site’s look/feel when going responsive?
“I can’t tell you all my secrets – someone might be watching! It was a staggered approach over a few iterations really. The previous version of the site was very graphic heavy which when built wouldn’t have had any consideration for high resolution screens such as retina. The first phase was to modernise the look and feel of the site as a whole, brightening up the colours and removing the reliance on background graphics. In other words, bring the site more up to date with contemporary CSS code. Once we had it to that point, is was a case of removing any fixed widths and applying styles for each device size, optimising the experience where we could for touch screen devices. Care needs to be taken working backwards, as ideally, sites should be built mobile first, but we are very happy with the final result.”
I understand we are also currently looking at search engine optimisation for TAG Farnborough – how will this impact the content and coding?
“Content wise, the site will need to be rewritten to be keyword rich. What we aim to do is gain more relevant visitors to the site, so a lot of research goes in to finding the correct search terms. On a code level, we ensure that proper meta and description tags are used, generally we utilise the Yoast SEO plugin to manage this. This also gives the client the ability to manage this going forward. Another important stage is to make sure the site is built with a proper HTML outline, so if sectioning elements are used, nothing is left untitled for example.”
Elit’Avia is another aviation client we have been supporting with their brand and digital profile for a few years. With these guys am I right in thinking we have been building the content management system into their site so they can keep the content refreshed and relevant themselves? Albeit with some training in WordPress from us.
What sort of ‘support from a distance’ can we provide for clients like Elit’Avia?
“Correct. We have in the past set up training videos for clients as part of the delivery. But when budget is a factor we have other options such as a written training document, or the good old fashioned screen cast session. It really depends on how technical the client is, or what level of support they require.”
That’s great Dan It is always good to understand the digital challenges underpinnng the brand and marketing aspirations on digital projects
Now, instead of looking back, let’s look forward. What do you think will be the main challenge next year? I suspect it may be all about GDPR?
“Yes, GDPR is going to have a massive impact on any company that gathers peoples personal data for marketing. This means many websites are going to need to be adapted in order to be compliant. We are currently finalising our internal processes in order to be ready for the GDPR.”
Beyond this what else might drive projects, I understand that security is a developing issue?
“Another problem to make people aware of is making the internet more secure. A while back Google called for all websites to run over HTTPs by default and is now actively taking steps to notify users of their Chrome browser (which currently has 76.1% market share) whether or not the site they are visiting is secure. This means that any site with a text input will be flagged as insecure unless the connection has an SSL certificate. Many people are still unaware of this, we have taken steps to ensure our clients are prepared for this, but I see this gathering even more momentum next year.”
To view how some of our 2017 digital challenges turned out please click on the links below:
To view our website portfolio please click here
To discuss how we can turn your 2018 challenge into opportunity please contact Frank Norman our Client Services Director on 01784 410380 or click here