What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and why your website needs it

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Search engine optimisation (SEO) packages from Big Wave Media

Having a great website is not a process of ‘build it and they will come’. If you want new customers you’ll want to be found by people who are looking for what you have to offer, so you’ll need Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

SEO is a process of optimising your website so people can find you in search engines (such as Google).

People use keywords to find products and services online and it’s the job of SEO to get your website in front of these people. Effective SEO helps drive more visitors to your website and more customers to your business. If your SEO is done correctly then you will benefit from it for a longer period down the line which makes it a worthwhile investment.

Why do you need it?
For many businesses their online presence is the key to their success. For others their website is the main aspect of attracting new customers and growing their business. Either way your website can be the core way the online world sees and engages with you. Can you afford not to do it properly?

As search engines continue to evolve and update their requirements it remains more important than ever that your website works within these parameters.

With so many companies already undertaking SEO as part of their online marketing efforts the competition grows daily for the attention of your customers. The good news is it is never too late to start on your SEO. An effective SEO campaign will get you in front of potential customers and increase the amount of people you do business with.

How to start and how it works
Start with benchmarking the current status of your website.  Look at key elements such as page titles, meta descriptions, back links, keyword placement as well as your position against your competitors. This gives an understanding of any areas which need to be improved and shows how your website will benefit from SEO work.

By making changes to these and other aspects it ensures your website remains compliant and updated to the demands of the search engines. Above all effective SEO is all about being relevant to potential customers.

SEO options from Big Wave Media
At Big Wave Media, our SEO services have evolved over years to conform to the daily changes and requirements of the search engines. This way we can ensure your site receives relevant traffic using methods which will only enhance your websites ability to grow your business.

We have a range of packages tailored to the needs of your budget that covers the key elements your website needs to thrive in the search engines and attract those new customers.

These range from:
Initial site audit (a website MOT)
Quarterly audits
Monthly SEO packages

All important aspects of SEO are addressed so whichever package you choose we offer a bespoke approach to your desired goals. You will received monthly reports on the work undertaken and the progress your site is making – you’ll also be able to discuss any aspects of the project with us.

Get started
To find out about your SEO options please call us on 0845 643 2385 or complete our contact form and we’ll come back to you. We are currently offering a website MOT – a full site SEO audit for half price!

Posted in Devon, Digital, Digital Marketing, Google, Search Engine Optimisation, Social, Uncategorized, Web Development, Website | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Placement at Big Wave Media

My name is Helen, and I am currently on a 2 week placement with Big Wave Media working within Digital team.

I graduated in 2013 from Cardiff University with an English Language and Communications 1st Class BA. After graduating I worked in Media Planning with Golley Slater, and as a Marketing Executive with Eversheds LLP in Cardiff. I decided to up route and move to Devon this summer, and luckily, Big Wave were able to accommodate me for a short stint in Digital Marketing.

I had already experienced the digital world during my previous roles but only within a media buying/planning remit, such as Google Analytics, Facebook PPC and Google Display Networks. Therefore, I wanted to brush up my skills before starting my new job in late July, aiming to expand my knowledge of Hootsuite (a social media management platform) and other digital marketing tools and techniques.

Working alongside Big Wave Media’s Digital Marketing Executive Hayley, we managed social media feeds for a range of clients, ensuring their Facebook and Twitter feeds are abundant with content. I constructed well over 400 tweets and Facebook posts, tailoring them for different clients events, shows and offers. This taught me new elements to using Hootsuite, in particular scheduling and bulk uploading a range of tweets. The ability to shirk URL’s quickly became a life saver as 140 characters is a short space! Other duties included researching and drafting content for infographics and assisting in the production of social media reports.

I was also lucky enough to be sat next to the Web Developers within the Digital Team, and Nick was kind enough to show me a programme called Code Academy, a free online tutorial to HTML. I had previously dabbled in HTML and CSS, so I was thrilled to be able to expand these skills. Having the web team sat nearby meant that it was easy for me to bug them with any questions I had!

I came to Big Wave with an aim of brushing up on my social media based skills, as well as learning anything extra about Digital Marketing and I feel this is exactly what I have done. I start my new job in Exeter later this July, working in Marketing and Events and I feel this placement has equipped me with some additional tools I can use to excel there.

Thank you Big Wave, it’s been grand :)

 

Posted in Blog, Devon, Digital, Digital Marketing, Facebook, Google, Internship, Social Media, Twitter, Web Development, Website | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Team Big Wave take on a Summer of Fitness

As you may be aware from our relentless tweeting and pleading, team Big Wave Media took part in the 15th Michelmore’s 5K Charity Run on Tuesday 10th June. The sun was shining as over 800 people in (very) bright yellow t-shirts gathered at Exeter’s Cathedral Green for a quick warm up and the beginning of the race. The event was a great success and everyone crossed the finish line at Exeter Castle where we collected our goody bags and a well-deserved drink!

A big thank you to everyone who supported us and sponsored our running efforts – we’ve proudly raised £535.67 for the fantastic Macmillan Cancer Support. If you would still like to donate and increase our fundraising total, please visit our Virgin Money Giving page at
http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/big-wave-media

The 2014 Michelmore’s 5K results can be viewed here. The full Big Wave Media charity run photo album can be found on our Facebook page here.

However, the fun does not stop there! Active Devon are keen to keep everyone physically active so we’re continuing a summer of fun with workplace Rounder’s! The weekly event held at Exeter’s Flowerpot Playing Fields will provide a great way to stay active, and we can’t pretend that we’re not looking forward to the sociable drinks afterwards! We’ve entered our team and the first game starts on Thursday 26th June. Wish us luck and keep your fingers crossed for sunshine!

For more information regarding workplace Rounders, please contact Active Devon directly at active@devon.gov.uk or 01392 263674.

Posted in Blog, Devon, Facebook, Fitness, Health, Leisure, News, Social Media, Sports, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Proofhub – your online proofing tool

Client surveys and insightful comments highlighted the amendment process as an area clients would like us to work on to improve. We have listened to client feedback and developed a state of the art system to improve the amendment process. Over the next week, all Big Wave Media clients will be introduced to our new system called Proofhub. This upgrade is free.

This smart online proofing tool manages the review and approval process of creative content, restructuring the delivery of your marketing projects. We hope this will significantly enhance your experience by improving accuracy, efficiency and speed, and ultimately streamlining the amend process.

“The team at Big Wave is excited at the development of Proofhub and we can’t wait to share this new service and start to see the results. We have consciously listened to important client feedback and made the decision to completely change the proofing process. Proofhub will be pivotal in improving the client experience and will provide a streamlined and innovative way of working.”

Tom Gozna
Operations Director

Here’s how your relationship with Big Wave Media may improve through the benefits of Proofhub:

Mark-Up and Commenting Tools

  • Easy-to-use, non-technical visual tools;
  • Concise feedback process ensuring no amends are lost in translation;

Collaborative Workflow

  • Simultaneous or consecutive real-time discussions;
  • Eliminates multiple emails through the standardised review process;

Easily Manage the Approval Process

  • Track activity progress;
  • Enhanced project management through the development of proof deadlines;
  • Final, electronic sign-offs decided by a lead reviewer;
  • Synchronised versions archived in Proofhub to easily review design progression;

Preview Large Files in Seconds

  • Faster distribution of digital content;
  • No need to download PDF’s and use multi programmes;
  • Safeguards artwork, eliminating the risk of downloading low-res proofs.

We have recently trialled the system with a number of clients and found the online proofing tool to be a great success. Below is some of the feedback we have received so far:

Proofhub makes the difference! It provides an elegant and simple way to amend any
artwork, no matter how complex. The comment tools allow the user to pinpoint and
amend their proofs in a clear format without the need to explain everything in an email.
The drawing tools also make it easy to illustrate your thoughts. We at DCLT have found
it has significantly improved the whole proofing process, fast, effective and simple; It’s a
pleasure to use.”

Jordan Sharples
Marketing Co-ordinator
Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust

Proofhub is working well for me. This is mainly because it reduces the amount
of emails and eliminates the need to attach sign off and amends forms.
Overall I think it is efficient and easy to use.”

Corinne Jones
Marketing Assistant
Soll Leisure

Proofhub is very quick and easy to use system which has saved me time and is not an
over complicated site. I have had some training but have found that with regular
use of the site you can pick it up really quickly on your own.”

Sheryl Kirkby
Group Marketing Executive
Impulse Leisure

Proofhub will generate a much better proofing process, resulting in quicker project turnaround times. We aim to complete each job’s review and approval process within the six pdf versions per job that are automatically provided by the Proofhub system and your service level agreement (SLA). However, should you require more than the available six versions, each additional proof will be charged at £10. Any errors created by Big Wave Media during the amendment process will not be charged.

Upgrade to a Satellite Account

A Satellite account is an upgraded account, allowing you to benefit from additional features such as your own dashboard.  The online dashboard is set up and managed from within your personalised account. The dashboard enables easy access and management of all current proofs and historical jobs.

A Satellite Account will also enable you to review your Proofhub proofs on the move using a free app which is available to download on the Apple iTunes store.

Satellite accounts are available to purchase for an £800 annual subscription for up to 5 users.


We will be contacting all clients to arrange a Proofhub training session. If you have any questions, or to book your session now, please call 0845 643 2385 or email lukesimpson@bigwavemedia.co.uk

Posted in Blog, Creative Design, Devon, Digital, Digital Marketing, Graphic Design, News, Proofhub, Website | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Roller-way the calories

It’s a struggle for Big Wave Staff to remain physically active during the working week due to sedentary office roles (unless you count moving a mouse feverishly around a desk and making trips to the kitchen to fuel up on coffee as particularly effective ways to burn calories)! Although when the office closes it’s a different story…

With the introduction of MYZONE® belts for all employees, getting active just took on a competitive twist! The team generally go to the gym and play a variety of sports including badminton, rugby and rock climbing. They’ve even organised an after work running club in preparation for the Michelmores 5K Charity Run on Tuesday 10th June!

However, Client Relationship Manager, Maria Sowden who started working with Big Wave in December 2012, has a slightly more unusual way of earning her MYZONE® Points – Roller Derby. She belongs to local team The South West Angels of Terror, burning an impressive amount of calories and earning a huge number of effort points which usually place her at the top of the leader board.

What is Roller Derby?

  • The predominately female sport is fast moving, requires a lot of stamina and is very tactical.
  • It’s a game played on Quad Roller Skates, with 2 teams of 5 skating anti clockwise around an oval track in a sports centre.
  • Teams are made up of 1 Jammer (they score points by overtaking members of the other team) and 4 blockers (the members who assist their jammer to score points by knocking the opposing teams players out of the way and making a clear path)

The full contact sport may seem rough, but all team members are well equipped with a safety helmet, gum shield, elbow, and wrist and knee pads. It is also required from each and every skater to pass a minimum skills test before they can play. This involves stopping safely, demonstration of agility, taking and receiving hits and illustration of sufficient fitness levels by skating 27 circuits of a sports hall in less than 5 minutes. This may sound like a long time until you realise the average circuit must take no more than 11 seconds to complete!

On average, a 2 hour Roller Derby training session has seen Maria burn up to 1,800 calories and earn 632 MYZONE® effort points. During a game these figures have increased to over 2,200 calories!

Whatever your chosen sport, MYZONE® belts are a great way of tracking your exercise activity and are highly effective at pushing your training boundaries.

Check out Maria’s Roller Derby team blog here. To sponsor #TeamBigWave on their 5km run please visit our VirginMoney Giving page.

 

Posted in Badminton, Blog, Devon, Digital, Fitness, Health, Uncategorized, Website | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ticket system keeps track of web amends

Across May we will be officially rolling out our new website support ticketing system.
This will help us address client website amends and development requests more effectively and efficiently.

Big Wave Media Ticket system

Here are some of the major improvements clients will experience:

  • You can submit and prioritise your website amends
  • You can submit and track development requests
  • You can report service issues
  • No need to login – simply email a support request and a ticket will be auto generated
  • Responses come straight back into your inbox
  • You can reply to a ticket response by simply replying to the email
  • A complete history trail is stored and you can re-open old tickets
  • Our knowledge base is integrated into our ticketing system, meaning we can respond with detailed, step-by-step instructions to many common questions.
  • A ticket portal allows you instant access to your open (and closed) tickets and their status as we work to respond to your requests.
  • The portal also enables you to search our knowledge base.

We are formally rolling out the new ticket system across May. Using the system requires a unique email address in the portal for each user. Over the next few weeks we will be reaching out to clients to provide access.

If you have a web project or are looking for a new website build please contact us.

Posted in Devon, News, Web Development, Website | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A simple guide to HTML eflyers

Why make a HTML email?
It is much quicker to send a graphic of a flyer or poster in an email but there are a number of reasons not to do this. One of the main reasons for this comes from email clients not displaying images as a default. Should you send an email to a customer using a graphic as a promotion and they don’t have images turned on, they will not see the contents of the email.  Although you still using images in an HTML email, you use real text where possible to make sure that if images are turned off, that the message still comes across and the user can decide to enable images.

What’s the process?
The best way to start the process of sending a HTML email is from the very first design. It is possible to slice up a flyer or poster into a HTML email but it isn’t advised. Most likely the text won’t be a web/email friendly font, it will most likely be on an angle (not possible in emails) and there will be several layers and background images that won’t display in all email clients/readers.

If a design is expected to be a HTML email too, then a new design needs to be completed. Many colours, elements and images of the design can be used but they are laid out in a way that will be email friendly. Therefore, the text will be created in the HTML and not made as a graphic and will only read as plain text if no images are turned on. Social Network icons can also be added as direct links to the relevant webpage. The email, which can be picked up in a preview window on phones and desktops, can also be forwarded to a friend, which increases your customer database.

How are they built?
HTML emails are built using a combination of HTML and CSS coding, at Big Wave Media this is done by our in-house email development or web team. They should be built using industry standards and tested to work across the majority of email clients/readers. Although emails are HTML, they are actually very different to modern day websites and are in fact more like webpages from the 90’s with a few modern tweaks. Most web coding will not work in an email.

When the build is completed at Big Wave Media, the files are uploaded into our own eMarketing system called eCampaigns and tests are sent to make sure the email will display correctly. Any issues are fixed and the test will be repeated.

How are they actually sent?
It is possible to send a HTML eflyer through a standard email client (like Outlook) although it can sometimes be a little complicated and throw up issues like having a cap on the number of recipient email addresses it can be sent to at any one time. Additionally you won’t receive any analytical data as to whether the email has been opened or if a link has been clicked.

The best way to send a campaign is through an eMarketing system. There are many on the market, at Big Wave Media ours is called eCampaigns. Systems like eCampaigns give you lots of possibilities like being able to segment your data, review rich analytics on the success of a campaign, keep tracking going even if an email gets shared on social media. The additional benefit of a system is that it is possible to have a HTML template built that allows you to create a new campaign eflyer or newsletter without any coding. You simply add your text and images and away you go. While we build templates for our own system we can also build templates for other systems so if you are using a third party system just get in touch.

When we complete a standalone HTML eflyer we then transfer it into the clients eCampaign account. If we build a template then we add a draft version for client testing. The client can then assign a certain database they would like to send the email to and it is then ready to send out immediately if required.

Like most systems, you have the ability to schedule an email to go out at a certain date and time. For example, you may want your customers to receive the email on their way to work in the morning, ensuring a more efficient opening and response rate.

For information on our eCampaigns system please visit our eCampaign page . For a standalone HTML eflyer quote please get in touch by calling 0845 643 2385 or visit our contact page.

Posted in Blog, Business Development, Digital Marketing, Email Marketing, Graphic Design, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Heartbleed

                                                              What is Heartbleed?
Heartbleed is the name given to a security bug which affects a widely used piece of software called OpenSSL. Using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), websites can provide encrypted information to visitors, so the data transferred (including usernames, passwords, and session cookies) cannot be seen by others while it goes from your computer to the website.

Heartbleed exploits a built-in feature of OpenSSL called “heartbeat”. When your computer accesses a website, the website will respond back to let your computer know that it is active and listening for your requests; this is the heartbeat. This call and response is done by exchanging data – normally when your computer makes a request, the heartbeat will only send back the amount of data your computer sent. However, this is not the case for servers affected by the bug. A hacker is able to make a request to the server for data from the server’s memory up to 65 kilobytes.

The data that can be obtained by this request may contain data left behind from other parts of OpenSSL. As this data is just a raw memory dump, what’s stored in that extra memory space is completely random. As more computers access the server, the memory at the top is recycled. This means that previous requests may still reside in the memory block the hacker requests back from the server.

Should I be worried?
At the time that the bug was initially discovered, about 17% of the internet’s services were thought to be affected. Thankfully, as the OpenSSL software is Open Source, this bug was very quickly patched and all major service providers (Google, Amazon, etc.) as well as online banks and building societies have now updated their SSL certificates and OpenSSL library, so you should have nothing to worry about.

Big Wave Media’s clients and services are not affected by this bug.
All client websites and web services were (and are) unaffected by the Heartbleed bug. Clients do not need to take any action.

In general it is advisable to change any passwords for third party services though, particularly any confirmed as initially vulnerable (such as Google and Yahoo).

It is a good habit to change your passwords regularly. When doing so, follow these good security practices:

  • Don’t use the same password across multiple services
  • Select passwords with 10 or more characters
  • Use at least upper and lower case letters, in addition to numbers.
Posted in Blog, Devon, Digital, Google, News, Social Media, Web Development, Website | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spring in our Steps

We’ve just recovered from a busy month here at Big Wave – gearing up for the challenges ahead and putting our charitable efforts into practice!

Graphic Designer, Joseba Altuna faced the challenging RockSolidRace on Saturday 15th March, whilst I braved the cold and early morning start on Sunday 23rd March and ran 10K, raising money for Age UK Exeter.

Thousands of people came from all over the country to take part in the popular RockSolidRace which boasts more obstacles per km than any other obstacle course event. Battling the cocktail of mud, sweat and nature’s finest hurdles for a gruelling 10K, Joseba and the rest of his team accomplished the course in 3hrs 19mins. By the looks of Joe, I think I got away lightly for my race!

Joe

I on the other hand, opted for the more gentle approach to a challenge! After a pre-race warm up courtesy of Fitness First, I fastened my MYZONE® belt and began the 10K race along with 800 other participants from Exeter’s Princesshay. It was a really forgiving route which meandered down through the River Exe valley finishing at Piazza Terricina at the Quay. Thankfully the rain held off and I crossed the finished line in an impressive 1hr 7mins (well at least my MYZONE® activity report tells me so!).

myzone activity reportme and josh

Team Big Wave is growing so expect a few more of these to come!
Go #TeamBigWave

Posted in Advertising, Blog, Branding, Creative Design, Devon, Digital, Facebook, Fitness, Health, Leisure, News, Social Media, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Wave Media Creating Opportunities

We recently asked Laurence, our apprentice business administrator, to give us his thoughts on his experience at Big Wave Media so far:

My name is Laurence, Larry for short. I am currently employed as an apprentice business administrator to the accounts team. I started employment at Big Wave at the end of August in 2013.

My first impression from walking through the front door is that this was a very relaxed and organised working environment. It wasn’t long before I figured that my first impressions were pretty accurate. The office is full of characters and friendly faces. All the staff have been extremely helpful, especially with me being new to this environment.

The relaxed atmosphere is very much counterbalanced by an all-round work hard mentality which each and every staff member have. There is a lot of trust and respect between staff members, as everyone is confident that each member can perform their job to an extreme quality and efficiency. The team itself has a whole wealth of skills and values, ranging primarily from experience and knowledge to innovation and creative thinking.

The role itself varies from day to day, there is always something new to learn when working here. Working here has been a truly unique experience; I cannot compare the friendly atmosphere to anywhere else I have ever worked in the past. I have found that my time working here has refined my work related skills.

Posted in Advertising, Blog, Branding, Creative Design, Devon, Digital, Internship, PR, Social Media, Web Development, Website | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment