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  • Google AdWords PPC (pay-per-click) using negative keywords to save your money

    Posted on February 23, 2016

    screen shot of google resultsGoogle keep changing the way they give you feedback on your own campaigns, often for the better. One incredibly valuable piece of information used to be buried so far within the data that you might have assumed it was being hidden on purpose, but now Google are publishing it in a place that anyone can find and make great use of, if you know where to look. It is given its own tab within Campaigns > Search Terms. What you can find he is actual search terms that people used when finding your advert and clicking through to your site – and costing you  money. So it is very important that you check on these search terms for the obvious reasons of confirming what you are doing correctly, but also to see how Google send you a visitor based on their search terms which may not correspond with your own campaign objectives. In our case you can see a full search term  used was “999 designs logo store”, this search is obviously not meant to be for Evolution Design but it triggered our as with its use of designs + logo.  So for us it is a waste of our ad budget and worse the searcher will look at a single page and then leave again, or ‘bounce’ as Google ranks it making our bounce rate higher, which is bad when used as part of Google algorithm.

    screen_2016-04-25 15.04.31So the way to use this information is to take these actual terms and create a list of Negative Keywords. These are words when used along with others words amongst your bid terms will stop your advert from being triggered, so saving you money on what would have been a wasted click and stop your bounce rate from getting worse.  You really ought to have added negative keywords at the outset of creating your campaign, but it’s never too late to do it and update the list based on what you learn from Google. You can add negative keywords in a flexible way either at campaign level or per different ad group. You probably ought to use both methods starting with some obvious words for all ads, such as job, recruitment, student, free etc. – words that you do not mind Google searchers using to find your site through organic/natural search but not when it is being paid for – and then add specific words for each ad group. It all saves you money and half the battle of media buying is to cut down on wastage and make your campaigns more efficient.

  • North British Distillery Company website re-design

    Posted on January 25, 2016

    North British Distillery website, image of Scotch whisky casksIt is always nice to start a new year with the launch of a new website It is especially pleasant when it is for such a prestigious client as the North British Distillery Company Ltd, one of Edinburgh’s most illustrious distilling institutions. This is a replacement website for the North British, the new site is fully responsive design so that it reformats for tablets and mobile devices as well as desktop PC’s to enhance the site visitors experience and meeting the expectations of new technology.

    The design brief for the new website was; to present the full company story, from early beginnings in 1885 through the traditional production process and quality of the Scotch Grain Whisky in a contemporary presentation brought fully up to date, imbued with heritage. As well as the highest standards of quality, the actual quantities of grain whisky distilled in west Edinburgh are quite staggering. Using their four Coffey Stills, the 2.5 billionth litre of alcohol was produced in late 2015.

    Grain Whisky sample bottlesBy visiting the site to learn about the process from malting and mashing to fermentation and distillation. The website also tells the story of how this Edinburgh company grew and established itself as a fundamental part of the Scotch Whisky industry as it became global.

    The new site is WordPress allowing the Client to update the sites text and image content as well as the site architecture. We also added Google Analytics for the first time to provide user information for evaluation purposes.


  • Ampersand & design

    Posted on January 23, 2016

    How did this obscure character become such contemporary design icon and why do designers love & so much? This character does have a past but is so familiar in today’s world of design and ubiquitous keyboards where the Ampersand = &

    B&L logoOur own designers love to have the option of using an ampersand when creating a new logo, the identity of a company and Brooks & Lyndhurst is a prime example. Part of the reason for the success is that although it has an instant understanding of what it means, this character has the ability to be adapted to a huge degree but yet we still understand its connotations in an unconscious split second. There are no other text characters that are so versatile and can be changed and personalised so much yet remains instantly recognisable. Here you can see that we have adapted the character to contain a reversed B and also an L, so it is a character and an icon in one go, quite an achievement in logo design giving our client a unique icon as a distinctive piece of intellectual property.

    The chart below shows the vast array of versions all instantly recognisable as an ampersand when in situ. The word ampersand is a corruption of the phrase “and per se &” It was also common practice to add the “&” sign at the end of the alphabet as if it were the 27th letter, pronounced as the Latin et or later in English as and. As a result, the recitation of the alphabet would end in “X, Y, Z, and per se and”. This last phrase was slurred to “ampersand” and the term had entered common English usage by 1837. The full  etymology is available here but it is cumbersomely written. We are more interested in its ubiquitous use today in logo design and typography.ampersands Today ampersands are most commonly visible in between business names often originally formed from partnership of two or more people, such as Johnson & Johnson, Dolce & Gabbana, Marks & Spencer, and Tiffany & Co., as well as some abbreviations containing the word and, such as R&D (research and development), R&B (rhythm and blues), B&B (bed and breakfast) and P&L (profit and loss).  It add strength to a name and a sense of long establishment, more of a connection that the word ‘and’ alone does. It adds a lot of design value from what is basically a short cut found above the number 7 on your qwerty keyboard.

    In 2010 over 400 Designers collaborated on a typography project “Coming Together” to create a font based entirely on the ampersand visit FontAid to view their creation Font Aid IV. There is no other typographical character with that versatility.

    Trebuchet_MS_ampersandDesigners and Illustrators can have a lot of fun with ‘&’ to the point where it becomes a character in the non-typographical sense.  Sometimes the Ampersand symbol is created by mirroring the Latin word ‘et’  meaning ‘and’.  Here we can see the modern font Trebuchet MS, employ ampersand characters that reveal its origin but are still an ampersand at heart. If you follow Tumblr you can see a different ampersand every day at the project.

    Although is is a space saving character, what is the biggest drawback of the ampersand in a brand? Well that would be the inability to use & in a domain name so the famous D&G/Dolce & Gabanna becomes where they have taken out the and entirely as it does not translate to every language. Will it one day become useable in future domain names? I’m sure it will as it would be guaranteed to be bought with many permutations by companies as part of their domain portfolio, how could they afford to not buy it? Surprising that the money obsessed domain registrars have not already made it happen.

    By Neale Gilhooley, posted on 29th February 2016


    Fast Co – Why designers love the ampersands article post on the Ampersand