This is what we've been up to in August...
August has historically been our quietest month due to holidays, but it’s been a great opportunity to get caught up with the workload and therefore we’ve managed to get a few websites finished and live. We received a great testimonial form a new client earlier this month: “A great team to work with. Everything completed to time and budget”.
Thank you, Ian.
We introduced ‘Mid-Week Treat’ at the beginning of August which is a bit of downtime every Wednesday morning to have a break from the computers and bond over something which isn’t strictly work related. We’ve started off by playing Monopoly and it’s already clear what drives some members of the team!
I encourage any small business with a team do this because it’s proving a brilliant way to further understand how each person works. From the way the banker counts money out to those who skip along their squares without counting, you can see similar traits in how people work day-to-day.
It’s that time of year again. Twilo has been nominated for a ‘prestigious’ award that claims to recognise small to medium companies that have had a positive impact on their customers in ‘one of England’s most instrumental economic regions’. While I believe that Twilo HAS made a big difference to the region; improving the standard of websites, increasing the turnover of local businesses through digital marketing and earning a ‘black badge’ (said to be worth £250,000 to the local community) in a short stint at BNI, there’s no evidence at all as to why we are nominated or where that nomination came from.
One month later, the results are in. Twilo Creative Limited has been awarded ‘Most Innovative Web Design Company 2018 – West Yorkshire’.
WOOHOO! WE WON!
…On the back of not returning any emails, no contact between us and anyone on the awards committee or even a phone call to our business. We’re sent an email with a price list featuring different tiers of promotion in their online publication. You can buy a trophy, a full page editorial and add some clout to your website, but at what cost?
Don’t tarnish your hard work with false praise. Earn it!
Joke of the Month
I deleted my Twitter account …
I don’t want to sound paranoid but I think people were following me.
This month I have found dependency injection interesting, this is a way of providing all the necessary resources to a function or method without having to manually add these as attributes.
A common method of injecting dependencies is to simply add any attributes required manually, however when building large systems this can become increasingly difficult. A better way to do this is to type hint the attributes required, this method uses the attributes present on the function or method to guess what dependencies are required, this is called Reflection.
An example of one of these Reflection Dependency Injection Systems is in Laravel, normally when calling this method:
You would have to instantiate the class and then call the method having already instantiated a different User class and fed this into the method. Using Laravel’s Dependency Injection you can simply call this method from a route and the user attribute will be automatically fed into the method using the route variable:
This method of Dependency Injection allows a method to be much more compact and with less code repetition than you would usually find in a large app.
Simon likes to make fires, here's what he's burnt this month...
- An old fence
- A kitchen worktop
- Himself no doubt
August is traditionally a quiet month for digital business due to many clients and potential clients taking summer breaks away from their businesses. It’s a bit of a paradox really as consumers are still searching for products and solutions and businesses are still procuring goods and services so why slow down?
That’s why we encourage our clients not to rest on their laurels in August as revenue figures don’t ‘have to’ look like this.
Launching and optimising clients’ advertising campaigns at key moments is a strategic weapon of choice at Twilo. We advise clients to let their competitors snooze and lose whilst our clients are optimised and have relevant, fast loading landing pages ready to convert. People may not be at their desks piloting their business, but with the proliferation of smart phones, it would seem not so smart to neglect ‘mobile traffic’ on the move. Obviously it depends what business you’re in…or does it? It’s not quite ‘Game Theory’ but using historical market and client data can predict the best time to advertise, whether it be time of the day, day of the week or month of the year.
Twilo had the opportunity to soft launch a new clients’ website early August and then hard launch with a Google shopping Ad campaign in the run up to the August Bank Holiday. Why? Timing is everything and the moral of the story is don’t let your competitors eat your lunch (or picnic, or barbecue) during the so called ‘quiet summer months’ or at any other time for that matter.
Twilo have done just that with one of our recently on-boarded clients through a program of Conversion Rate Optimisation. Test, test and test again with results that prove August can be Awesome!
During my first month at Twilo I have learnt many new and exciting things such as: how to use AdWords and Analytics, how to create a marketing campaign, how and when to use different types of Keywords e.g. +broad +match and “phrase match”, how to edit image sizes on Photoshop and much, much more.
I also helped my manager with a work experience student who came in the office for an afternoon, explaining who our clients are and how we use Social Media for them. When using AdWords, I created a campaign that gave me my first conversion for a client. I wrote my first blog for a client and another for the Twilo blog.
Even though I have only been here a month I am fortunate enough to oversee some social media accounts for clients which involves me writing information about the business or a product/service and then finding a photo that suits the piece. I’ve found it interesting to see how a business uses social media compared to how I use it personally as a clients aim is to promote their brand and give information to their customers which helps them build a stronger relationship. I am looking forward to learning more detail about Google Analytics as I have been leaning the basics first and I will find it interesting to see how a business can grow and to see how their customers are connecting with them and how they got there.
You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and likewise a website only gets one chance to create the right impression with its users. For most users the homepage will be their first contact with the website, so as web designers we spend a lot of time thinking about the best way to express a brand through the design and layout of its homepage…
However, as beautiful as a design may be, it can be instantly let down by it’s content. The most common problem is a lack of fresh content, or perhaps content that is entirely out of date. We’ve all seen websites with ‘recent’ news from 12 months ago, banners for events that have already passed, or out of date sale offers. Stale content can badly damage a website’s chance of success, so it’s important to have a content schedule with reminders of dates when stale content should be replaced, and fresh content added. An added benefit of this is that website owners become more engaged with their websites – and encouraged to be more active and creative. Google also loves an up to date website with plenty of fresh content… And for web designers it’s always nice to see projects flourish rather than slowly rust, so everyone really does win!
Photo of the Month
And to end, here's something cool we've seen this month...
A fully functional (yes it drives) Lego Bugatti. It only took the Lego team 13,000 hours to build so we aren’t sure they will be going into production any day soon, but it definitely goes on the Cool Wall for August!
Lee reckons he could have built this but he was a ‘twoer’ short…