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Mobilegeddon The Aftermath

by Simon Thomas from Toucan Internet LLP

25th August 2015

Post Type: Newspaper Article

When HAL asked what are you doing Dave in the Stanley Kubrick film rendition of the Arthur C Clarke classic 2001, a Space Odyssey, it epitomised our distrust of autonomous processes that we allow to impact our lives. Pre programmed devices and services fed from the data we leave in our wake steer our lives more than ever and none more than Google providing answers to your questions on which we all rely to make informed decisions.

 

We all understand that Google chooses answers according to a set of over 200 rules or The Algorithm, and this is continually updated to improve the search results in a fair manner. This will improve the search results for some companies and penalise others. Google, as this the Information Age big player, is the one we must influence to improve our outcome, but we must play by the rules. Fortunately the rule writer in the Google inner sanctum manages this with responsibility, humanity and common sense.

 

Deciding on the facts from the hype in the search arena and then seeing how this will affect your presence on the web is the job of the search marketer. 

 

If your presence does not depend on Google search results then just consider needs of your the users when putting your website together, if they use smartphones to see your site it makes sense to provide them a site they can use with near equal benefit as someone on a wider screen device like a tablet or desktop.

 

If your commercial performance does however depend on the search engine result position then the latest Google algorithm update means you do need to have a website that is properly optimised and that now includes having a properly responsive site; that is one that automatically adapts to the device screen on which it is displayed. There is considerably more paranoia in the SEO market than with previous Google updates suggesting that its impact will tear the very fabric of the Internet apart especially as it is given the Hollywood blockbusteresque name of Mobilegeddon, implying that if your site does not work on a mobile device you are out of business on line. The reality however, some weeks since the release on 21st April, is somewhat mixed. Anyone having lived through and planned for digital Armageddon 15 years ago with the Millennium Bug will tend to be a touch more reflective when it comes to such cataclysmic pronouncements. 

 

The real crux of this is how has this update actually affected search engine result positions (SERPS) for websites  since the Mobilegeddon day. The truth appears to be that the sites without responsive pages are suffering significantly poorer search engine traffic for generic search results, however brand specific searches are affected the least as Google will still naturally refer to the best search result to the brand site, be that a responsive webpage or not.

 

Some facts:

  • This update only affects search results from mobile devices. It does not affect results on searches from Tablets or PCs.
  • It is a page level change and not site wide.
  • Quality non-responsive pages may still appear high in the mobile search results if there is superior content.
  • If your audience is predominantly desktop you still need to consider that your mobile audience is only going to grow.

 

Ultimately we should always come back to the simple fact that a good website that best meets the intended audience demands is going to be the winner. So write it well, keep up with and even lead in your market with regards layouts and facilities, keep it relevant, interesting and engaging, and take on board the right expert advice from time to time to stay ahead; then your site will remain in the limelight and return commercially.

 

 

Further reading:

 

Article by Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP

Simon has been developing websites since 1995 and has a wealth of experience in commercial website development.

simon@toucanweb.co.uk

toucanweb.co.uk


Presentation Packaging for Sporting Events

by Noel Greenwood from GWD

30th July 2015

Post Type: New Member Article

Sport continues throughout the year but this Summer seems particularly full of major events. From the Tour de France, Wimbledon, British Moto GP, Open Golf, The Ashes and many more, there are so many sports to either participate in or view throughout the summer. If you are holding a themed event of your own, are an active sponsor or are using Corporate Entertainment to promote your product or services then appropriate presentation packaging can add impressive, creative and memorable flair to the proceedings.

At GWD Ltd we offer the highest quality promotionalconfectionary and gift packaging; all three of which can be tailored to suit a sporting theme.

Why should I use Presentation Packaging?

Well, apart from the obvious opportunities of advertising and increasing Brand awareness and visibility it says that you’re a professional organisation. There is a psychological element here. A consumer looking upon a stunningly designed and packaged product will be likely to think as follows: If a company cares so much and has given so much thought to the presentation of it's product in strongly suggests that it has given a similar amount of thought to the product itself. The time and care invested in the packaging must be representative of the care and belief that the Company have in the product itself. It shows that you are willing to invest in the customer experience, and insinuates that you are similarly willing to invest such time in the consumer himself. It breathes quality.

Jockey Cap packaging deigned for Royal Ascot
Jockey Cap packaging deigned for Royal Ascot

Our services, be they via promotional, confectionery or presentation packaging, exist to help you sell your product and enhance the value of your brand. Corporate or promotional packaging is our speciality.

How do I Find Presentation Packaging for my Product?

Fortunately you're in exactly the right place! GWD were established in 1986 as manufacturers of bespoke and off-the shelf presentation packaging. We are not wholesalers: you are at source when you come to GWD. Our team or in-house designers and cardboard engineers will work closely with you and your designers to create the packaging, from the appropriate shape, colours, style and theme, resulting in boxes that truly represents the impression that you want to give to your product or brand. If you wish that to be associated with a particular sporting event you may be sponsoring or using for corporate entertainment that is possible too.

Round packaging such as this can be simply styled with a sport motif
Round packaging such as this can be simply styled with a sport motif

Our selection of shapes and sizes allows us to cater from football to cricket, and everything in between. Recently, we supplied a confectionary box in the shape of a jockey cap for the Jockey Club to use at the Royal Ascot, for example. Our circular packaging is perfect for cricket or football, oval boxes for Rugby (it's the World Cup in England this year) or American football. More intricatley-designed, specialist shapes are also possible. Feel free to call or e-mail with any enquiries.

Bespoke hampers can be designed with your logo/brand and incorporate specific events too, if desired
Bespoke hampers can be designed with your logo/brand
and incorporate specific events too, if desired

Whilst we have some regular designs to choose from, our packaging is created from scratch. This allows you to create a feel that best suits your requirements. Whatever theme - sports related or otherwise - you choose, our presentation packaging can help your product truly stand out.

So, whether you are looking to create something simple or complex, here at GWD we pride ourselves in rising to the challenge and coming up with presentation packaging that best suits your needs. With so many sporting events to enjoy this summer why not add that personal flair and embrace some clever sporty packaging?


 

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk


Presentation Packaging for Unique Brands and Creative Designers

by Noel Greenwood from GWD

22nd May 2015

Post Type: New Member Article

At GWD Ltd (Harlow, Essex) we have been in the presentation packaging business for 25 years. That’s a LOT of experience. In that time we have created the packaging for thousands of clients, helping them to present and promote their brand to their customer base and drive sales.

We have worked with many large Companies over the years as well as a number of smaller, more unusual  brands who often provide the most challenging and interesting projects. One of these include an exclusive, one-off presentation package for a hugely famous, global rock star!

A number of our clients begin their search for presentation packaging with no clear idea how to proceed. In this case we are always happy to provide advice and guidance for them. However, larger companies will have a clearer idea and often have their own internal graphic designers or creative teams. In these circumstances we like to work closely in a consultative capacity with them to deliver the perfect presentation packaging for their product.

Presentation packaging, cardboard handbag

Presentation packaging, cardboard handbag

This collaborative approach is vital. GWD has experienced presentation packaging designers in-house and invaluable experience in the industry. Our designers and cardboard engineers are used to the inherent technical issues, which are involved in the creation of the packaging, difficulties which may be unfamiliar to graphic designers. Thus, it is advantageous that we talk to the customer’s designers at the earliest opportunity. There no point in a costly and time-consuming design being created, printed and approved which simply cannot then be manufactured commercially. By the same token there are many aspects that we can add to the design, different facets or possibilities, such as foil blocking, de-bossing or embossing which may not be immediately obvious to anyone outside of our industry.

Presentation packaging with drawers

Presentation packaging with drawers

GWD also offer an invaluable sampling service to bring your creation to life. Our design team can mock-up your creation to help add value and save unnecessary expenditure through deconstructing and reconstructing original designs. Sampling is often a valuable part of the  decision-making process.

Talking directly to designers can also reduce the risk of ‘Chinese whispers’ which can occur if there are too many stages, or too many interests in the development process. Messages can get confused if the chain of communication is too large.

So we would ask that your creatives talk to us directly before they embark on the design process. We can help in bringing any designs to life and manufacture them on your behalf.

 

The Managing Director of GWD LTD is Noel Greenwood.  He can be reached on (01279) 416093 or at www.gwd.ltd.uk. Noel would be particularly pleased to hear from any designers or creatives working on promotional or presentation packaging.



Colour - A home seller's best friend

by Angela Westgarth from The Personal Property Shop

03rd April 2015

Post Type: Newspaper Article
Colour - A home seller's best friend

If you’re living in Bishop’s Stortford and thinking of selling your home this spring, you may have started thinking about ‘selling prep’. This is a term used by lots of estate agents in Bishop’s Stortford and it refers to getting your home ship-shape and ready to sell.

You might have been considering giving the garden a facelift, maybe even putting in an extension or a new bathroom or kitchen. There are so many options when it comes to adding as much value as possible to your home (read our post “How to add value and sell faster”) but believe it or not, adding a splash of colour makes a huge difference too.

Here are our top tips for using colour to really show off your home for sale:

Give your front door some love. Is your front door looking a bit shabby and in need of TLC? Giving it a fresh lick of paint not only makes your door happy but can drastically improve the look of the frontage of your property too. We find that blue, green and red are the best colours to go for if you want maximum impact.

Skirting board and ceiling touch-ups. I know as a colour link this seems tenuous but giving your skirting boards and ceilings a fresh lick of white paint can have a surprising effect on the neat appearance of a room. We often neglect to pay attention to these areas but remember - buyers look EVERYWHERE.

Small space? No worries! If you don’t live in an 8 bedroom mansion it can be hard to create the illusion of space, especially with all your bits and pieces floating about. Our top tip for cosy-sized homes is to keep your colour scheme light and bright. Magnolia, pale duck egg blue, salmon pinks and even pale greens and greys are all great if you’re keeping up with interior trends. Banishing dark paint will illuminate your rooms and make them look bigger.

It’s not all about paint. Adding colour doesn’t have to be about getting the paintbrush out. Adding contemporary wallpaper as a feature in a dining room or bedroom is on trend and is a slightly less messy way to give your rooms some personality on the cheap.

Colourful furnishings. This is probably one of the cheapest ways to impress your buyers subliminally when they come to view your home, particularly if you live in a new build property. New-build tend to be decorated as a very blank canvas to appeal to as many people as possible, but this can come across as bland. So to push past the plain look, accessorise with bright scatter cushions, feature ornaments, bright flowers and lampshades to give your rooms a pick-me-up.

It can be hard to know when to stop when it comes to preparing your home, so it’s best to ask a friend to help you focus on between 1 and 3 rooms that need attention the most.

Adding a splash of colour can make you, and your potential buyers, feel happy even on a down day so try out some of these techniques and let us know how you get on! We’d love you to tweet us some pictures of your colour experiments to @PPropertyShop.

Bye for now colour-lovers!

What to read next "How much should you spend on your home before you sell?"


Why now is the best time to sell your home...

by Angela Westgarth from The Personal Property Shop

21st March 2015

Post Type: Newspaper Article

If you live in Bishop’s Stortford, I know you’ve heard it all before:

“Sell now- buyers waiting!” “Housing market has picked up- sell now!”

You might even think that there’s no guaranteed good time to sell your home in Bishop’s Stortford, but in fact, we as estate agents know for a fact that spring time is the best time to put your home on the market. Here’s why:

  1. The hubbub of the festive season is over - often, especially for first time buyers, they spend one too many Christmases living at home with family and they decide that NOW is the time to get that all important first house.
  2. The weather is improving - this might seem a mundane point BUT once the sun decides to make more of an appearance this can have a huge positive impact on your property photographs. We all know how crucial great photos are to selling your home so having the weather on-side is a must.
  3. The summer holidays haven’t started yet - this is important. Most people factor in a few weeks for their sales to complete and ideally you want to move house when everyone has a bit of time off. So putting your house on the market before the summer holidays is great because lots of other likeminded movers will be doing the same.
  4. Tie in with your spring clean - this can be a super handy way to kill two birds with one stone as they say. Giving your home the dreaded spring clean needn’t be a chore if you’ve got hopes to sell. By giving your home a serious deep clean you can rest assured that potential buyers will fall in love with your lovely, tidy home.
  5. Fresh start - much like the above, in spring time lots of people will be looking for a fresh start; either to try something new or start a new job and often, people will be looking for a new home too.  In the spring, people are de-cluttering their homes and their lives and your property could be exactly what they need; de-clutter and stage your home in the right way and it could sell like hotcakes.

Obviously the spring time buzz can’t be applicable everywhere and to every situation and there are a few pitfalls that you need to make sure you avoid.  One tip is to:

Check out your council’s website - you don’t want to put your home on the market just as major road works are about to start up the road or just as planning has been granted for a huge building extension next door.

Selling your home is all about tactics and timing. Make sure that not only you and your home are prepared but that you are as clued up as possible about what is happening in your local area so you can make sure you don’t put your home on the market at the wrong time.

To celebrate spring, we’re asking everyone for their top spring cleaning secret! You can tweet your secret to @PPropertyShop or emailinfo@thepersonalpropertyshop.co.uk and we will share the top tips on our Facebook page.

Happy selling!