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  • Brand development marks 5th anniversary for AWS

    Posted on June 1, 2015

    Some industries are more competitive than others and one way to gain a reputation is to work within a niche market as AWS Recruitment have been doing for the past five years. AWS Recruitment specialise in the Not for profit sector, focussing on fundraising jobs and executive search. The two founding partners Alan Surgeon and Donna MacKay between them have many years of industry experience of finding the right staff for various roles within the not-for-profit sector. Previously having both worked for other well known industry agencies for many years before deciding to start their own agency to be run the way they wanted it to be to suit the particular needs of a specific client profile.

    Awards13Working to service the recruitment needs of a number of well known-local and national organisations looking to source candidates in a variety of different positions at different levels, recently AWS were delighted to be awarded ‘Best Of’ Recruitment Practice Awards, Silver Awards for; Customer Service in Scotland and also for Contribution to the Charity Sector. AWS are also corporate sponsors of the Institute of Fundraising Events in Scotland. Industry recognition is wonderful and gives a real boost to what had previously been a word-of-mouth marketing campaign, growing organically by reputation. Having gained an enviable reputation for integrity within the industry partly as AWS were early adopters of social media, something that the recruitment industry has excelled at and that the new website aims to enhance with more prominent links to LinkedInTwitter and Facebook.

    AWS new logoNow five years on for AWS Recruitment and it has been an exciting time culminating with the move to a new office and the development of the AWS brand and the launch of a brand new website all taking place.  The new logo includes a development of their Bonsai tree icon which helps to differentiate the brand from competitors and to ensure that some of the brand equity is retained plus the icon can be used in other ways such as on Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.  A new colour palette has been introduced across printed materials and on the website and the strapline of Fundraising Jobs and Executive search really says it all.

    AWSRec About usThe new WordPress site has a Blog and a fully updatable Vacancies page, useful for Employers and Candidates with links to an Upload your CV form. The new site has also been built as a Fully Responsive website formatting automatically to best fit the screen of PC’s mobile and tablet to make the site easier for visitors to use and also to be more attractive to Google since their algorithm was amended in mid-May dramatically termed as #mobilegeddon. Director Alan Surgeon said “having worked in the sector for 13 years there is nothing I enjoy more than helping our clients source the very best high calibre Fundraising and Executive level candidates but also working with fantastic candidates throughout Scotland within the Not for Profit sector. As a boutique consultancy it is important to keep an online presence, fresh and relevant and thanks to Evolution Design we have done just that”.

    AWS have also joined Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce as a way of connecting with and raiding their profile with more local businesses. You can visit the AWS site here and see some of their own client testimonials together with current vacancies of course.

  • RamsayCornish.com now with added blogging & live online bidding

    Posted on April 24, 2015

    RamsayCornish Homepage screenshot imageWhen you have a great story to tell a Blog can be the best way to promote it. The evolution of the Edinburgh-based Auctioneers and Valuers website has moved on another leap with the addition of two major new developments. The RamsayCornish.com website now has an Auctioneers Blog as way of gaining and retaining site visitors. Already we are seeing a different type of site visitor brought in by the sale highlights news as well as behind the scenes views. Many visitors would go to a Blog but may not have been so keen to visit the company News page. Blogs are less formal, have wider appeal and are often easier to promote. Google certainly favours them as people tend to spend more time reading often more than a single page on a typical Blog visit, just do any search and you will see a Blogs are often ranked higher than classic website product pages.

    RamsayCornish Blog screenshot imageRamsay Cornish use their Blog to host the latest sale news, what value each item realised etc and forth-coming regular weekly sales and particularly future special event sales. These all make good content for search engines and also are great to promote via social media, especially for really topical items and even better with such a visual medium as each item on sale has already been photographed so why not make as much use of the images as possible. Links to their Twitter feed and Facebook page are on the site if you want to follow. Ramsay Cornish have also been carefully using e-mail marketing for a few years to keep potential buyers and also sellers involved with the latest news and special events and their has been a lot to report to a very loyal readership. If you want to join the e-newsletter you can sign up on the website.

    Bespoke_B1Also added to their website is the new Live Online Bidding function, aimed to bring in a new audience right into the Sale even if they do so from their own home anywhere in the world. The full catalogue is picked up and shown on the Invaluable web auction portal real time allowing bidders involvement. This opens up the sale to a new audience of collectors and specialist buyers and should increase the value achieved by some items.  At the same time the site now offers successful buyers the ability to complete the payment transaction for their purchase via PayPal, for ease if desired.

    Google seems to agree ranking Blogs above company News pages and visitors spend more time and are happier to share Blog posts. And if promoted via social media they can gain short and long term traffic uplifts. This should form part of your social media strategy and to for instant proof your webstats will confirm traffic and site usage trends. As well as adding the Blog we have also included live online bidding on their website, inviting a potential global audience of collectors for the first time. You can view the current auction catalogue at RamsayCornish.com. We have been very pleased to help Ramsay Cornish at each stage of the sites evolution and by including Google Analytics it is much easier to really understand the customers needs and evaluate both the sites performance as well as the use of marketing efforts such as e-mail, social media and referring links.

    If you want to see some great stats to back this up then read > “the irresistible business case for blogging” by Econsultancy

    Posted by Neale Gilhooley, Evolution Design

  • Get responsive – Google’s ‘mobile-friendliness ranking’ boost is here!

    Posted on March 17, 2015

    By Neale Gilhooley (updated 20/5/15).  We are all aware of the impact that mobile devices (mobiles, tablets and even wearables) have on website usage, especially when we view our own webstats. Now it is official that Google are putting more emphasis on mobile friendly or responsive websites in this rare announcement ‘expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal’ and they even gave rare advance warning of the deadline of 21st April 2015, aka Mobilegeddon. OK it sounds a bit Y2K but it is real and if you don’t get in line go to the end of the line.  (Note: on 19th May search engine Bing’s Blog also announced it would be soon be doing similar).

    staff using an ipadThis has long been suspected amongst SEO specialists and bloggers but now it is official Google practice, its a fact it is also good business practice. So you had better adapt or risk losing search results rankings and subsequent site traffic if your website is not mobile friendly or better still fully responsive assuming you have not already done so. This is not just about smartphone and iPhone use, it also covers iPads and other tablets, so read on and it is not just mobile search it will affect search results across the board.

    screen sizes of many mobile devicesResponsive Website Design (RWD) is more than just a web design trend, it is fast becoming a web design requirement, pretty high up the must have check list, especially after 21st April. By the end of 2015 it is estimated that desktop viewers will become make up less that 50% of site visitor stats.  But we are not talking about mobile websites, these tend to work at the lowest common denominator level and in many cases are being left behind as the experience is a far cry from the desktop site.

    So what is RWD? Responsive web design is about crafting sites displaying with optimal viewing experience – easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling – across a wide range of devices without forgetting that we are designing for people not their devices.  So in short images and text content scale to fit the window, controlled by inserting spacers as breakpoint to ensure that the site is displayed in its best form automatically. So as long as the site is set out in a sensitive way the user can view with the least obstacles. Designing responsively does away with the need to create a separate mobile site, It provides users with a seamless brand experience across devices and gives them access no matter how they access your site.

    Screenshot_2015-03-02-12-26-26View www.evolution-design.co.uk on your mobile. Yes some images display better than others but we have given emphasises to displaying; our branding, contact info, the menu then the text followed by the images. You can see how it reforms to portrait or landscape use and importantly it can decrease loading times of user requested content (another Google indicator). Like many RWD websites it is a much better user experience when viewed on reduced smartphone on-screen real estate (display area space), but is a serious improvement without the users need to pinch and expand the page resizes to best display the page. So why are people visiting your website? Is it for the same reasons that you want them to visit, are they going to the pages that you desire? At least being fully responsive and checking your webstats will give you some indication if your inbound enquiries and orders do not. And lets face it anything that can enhance the users experience has to be worthy of consideration in web development. It is also time to stop obsessing about the ‘below the fold’ as mobile users have no problem scrolling down the page to find the content they want as a swipe is faster than a scroll. But remember that RWD is a user experience tool and SEO tactic, not a replacement for strategy or great content.

    Text Screenshot landscape formatIf your website is WordPress you can ask us to reformat it quite easily and while this will help make your website as future friendly as possible when converting your website to a responsive site it’s a good opportunity to rethink the content from a users perspective. We would urge you to look at your website and your webstats as part of this process. Remember that while you are improving the presentation people don’t want to read screeds of text on a mobile, ever and Cookie Consent or T&C’s tick boxes can be hard to find if care is not taken especially if these block access to pages or contact or ordering.

    Google Developer Mobile Emulation Tools screenshotBeing seen on a mobile does not necessarily mean that your site is mobile friendly or has been optimised for these devices. With some web skills you can use this useful resource to find out > Device Mode & Mobile Emulation Developer Tools were created by Google Chrome’s tech guys help developers to see how the site performs for almost every screen size out there. Or you can ask around the office or via your colleagues to see a site perform live, always the best test.

    When did you last take a look at your Google Analytics account? Within Audience it you can find a new tab called Mobile which will tell you not just the percentage of mobile users but also which devices they used to access your site, right down to the phone model.

    chart showing Google Analytics Top 12 mobile devicesHere are our stats for the latter part of 2014 and you can see a lot of interesting data here. The number of uses visiting via Apple devices is huge, with an almost equal split between iPhones and iPads. Page views and length of visit (duration) also varies dramatically by phone make and model. Although based on much lower useage It possibly highlighting some issues with the Samsung Galaxy both the III and IV have very few visitors and they spend very little time on the site. So we can now take some action on these points and review and troubleshoot.

    Also instead of just adding pages and content it’s always a good time to take content off if it is not performing or out of date. Your webstats will tell you.

    Further reading:

    Google Webmaster Central Blog 

    Bing Mobilegeddon soon Blog post

    Chrome Device Mode & Mobile Emulation Developer Tools

    Wikipedia RWD article

    Brad Frost; Missing the Point post

    How Fortnum & Mason increased mobile conversions by 57% with RWD blogpost with before & after designs