We are positively thrilled to announce that a project for Glengoyne Single Malt Whisky has been nominated for Best Use of Video at the Drum’s 2016 DADI Awards. Come the 19th October we will be presenting ourselves in London for the prize-giving ceremony.
But first, a little backstory. On a rather dark and miserable November afternoon, we presented an idea for a campaign celebrating Burns Night to Glengoyne. Not long before Christmas, after an anxious wait, the email came through from the Marketing Director giving us the green light, at which point it was all hands to the proverbial pump to make sure we could deliver on the very tight schedule.
The idea centred around Glengoyne’s Family database, comprising over 50,000 fans of the brand from around the world, many of whom engage on social media on a regular basis. How – we asked ourselves – can we bring all of these people together to celebrate our national poet’s life and showcase the incredible global reach of the Family?
Then it came to us: invite all of them to record a verse of Robert Burns’ infamous poem ‘Tae a Haggis’, collect them all, then edit the videos together to take the reading around the world, one line at a time. We were absolutely amazed by the response, with videos flooding in from the United States, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, England and Scotland.
The result – we think – speaks for itself.
Sláinte…and naturally we’ll let you know how we get on, if we don’t see you there!
You’ve heard the rumours. You’ve seen the think-pieces discussing a year-on-year drop in organic traffic and how native mobile-apps hoover up all ‘traditional’ searches. It all points to one thing, they claim – the end of Search Engine Optimisation.
If you work in digital marketing however, you know the truth: SEO is far from dead. Now, perhaps more than ever, the fundamental principles of search engine optimisation are crucial to any successful digital marketing strategy.
But how can we prove it?
At the end of February, one of Mackerel Media’s clients came to us with a problem. Despite being a well-know, large Scottish based firm, their organic search listings weren’t appearing on the first page – what could we do to help them?
Now anybody will tell you that, unlike the relatively fast gains that can be made through PPC marketing, search engine optimisation is about playing the long game – but there can be some quick SEO fixes that can make a real difference in a reasonably short period of time.
Our initial investigation into the client’s website revealed, among other SEO quick-fixes, that most of the firm’s pages were missing H1 headings. The H1 heading element of a page has long been a stalwart of on-page search engine optimisation – but opinion has been divided over just how much influence it has on your final position on the SERP. However, with everything else seemingly set up correctly, the missing H1’s seemed a logical explanation for the underperforming pages. The next step was to get creative…
Working closely with the client, Mackerel Media was able to introduce around sixty new H1s to pages across the clients site – ranging from sector specific keywords to high volume sector terms, retroactively adding them to complement the existing site content. In total, all of the H1s were added in less than a day.
As a result, search positions have increased dramatically, with the number of our client’s pages ranking on the first page of Google up a massive 40.74% from last month. What’s more, the number of pages which now rank in first place for our client’s keywords has increased by 52.63%.
In just one month, Mackerel Media’s client saw a 22.72% increase in total pages ranked simply thanks to some in-depth investigation and the introduction of H1 headings. If SEO truly is dead, then we’re yet to see any evidence.
And while this is a single example, it is far from an isolated case. Every day here at Mackerel Media we see the effects a well structured, planned and executed SEO strategy. Whether a site requires a technical overhaul, on-site content improvements or an off-site outreach programme – each change you make will have an effect on how Google, and ultimately the internet as a whole, will rank your page.
So next time somebody tells you SEO is dead, remember: the right changes can make a huge difference to where your site ranks amongst its competitors… who are almost certainly all making SEO improvements as well.
Moz have recently come out with Moz Local, a new tool that checks all of your Local Listings and makes sure that they are up to date and accurate. You enter your business’s URL and Postcode and you’re given a pretty graph that telling you what’s complete, incomplete, inconsistent or any duplicates you may have. Sounds simple, right?
Getting the graph and information was free (which is the best price ever for a tool and pretty useful to get a general idea of where your weaknesses may be), but what Moz then offers is to get these all sorted for you, in one fell swoop. I thought I’d give it a go.
My initial use of Moz local has been good so far. Previously I would have had to think about all the places that our company could be listed and then see about creating an account on each one of them and then updating them one by one.
It took me around 5 – 10 minutes or so, from clicking on “Start Using Moz local” to entering business information (and asking Nick for the company credit card) to being on the dashboard with a quick click through tour of what’s available.
Filling Out Content
Adding Mackerel’s information was quite easy and straightforward. Overall there are four sections to fill out : Basic Information, Additional Information, Additional Contact Information and Advanced.
Basic Information is fairly straightforward, however under the categories section we have a message from Moz saying :
“Enter between 1 and 5 categories for your business separated by commas. Categories should be added in the order of importance for your business. Checkout Category Research to see all categories.”
To which I thought, “Great, where do I find these categories?“ but there was no link on the page. Having a look later, I found my answer in the Moz Q&A Forum. It’s here by the way: https://moz.com/local/categories .
Additional Information seems to be related to Foursquare which doesn’t really apply to us but I do have a few clients in mind. Here you’ve got a 150-character Description, Opening Times, Photos (which you add using URLs), and Payment Types.
Additional Contact Information is just in case you want to add extra numbers, secondary lines, mobile and Fax (apparently still a thing).
Finally there’s your Advanced section which asks for a URL to your logo, a display URL, Social Media URLs, any External Media URLs, Promotions (links to menus, product, discounts), Brands you stock, Certifications, Neighbourhood your listing is found, Containing Location (If you’re in a mall/shopping center) and a Store code (a unique ID for each of your listings to distinguish them from each other.
When you first arrive at the Dashboard, you’re welcomed by a quick click-through tour telling you what each section does. Your main sections here are: your Listings, Distribution, Performance, Visibility, and Reputation.
Each of your listings is set out nicely with your distribution score, and the progress of each of the local listings that Moz Local has sent your info to. I immediately saw a jump as some as the listings updated straight away, but Moz does then tell you that some could take a couple of weeks and you’ll get an e-mail when it’s all up-to-date.
Listings and Distribution cover your general information that you’re looking at getting updated. Performance, Visibility and Reputation however, are extras that you can purchase that allow you to get your Google Analytics and other Insight information in the same place. When you click on these, get to use these on a trial basis to check them out, though it seems to take a little while for them to get up and running.
The largest annoyance that i’ve had so far is that Moz Local is reporting I have possible duplicate listings, and saying that I should “Simply ‘close’” to delete them. There’s just one thing; there’s nothing to close.
For now I find that this is a great wee tool for getting all the info in one place, and saving a bit of time getting your company’s information distributed to the local listings. It seems like Moz still have a few bugs to sort out, but give it time and it will definitely be a resource to add to the proverbial Toolbox.
Every once in a while, an idea, an audience and a client willing to take a risk conspire to create an opportunity to do something special for a brand. We were delighted to get the go-ahead from Ian Macleod Distillers on such a project for Glengoyne Single Malt Whisky.
The idea was simple: showcase the global Glengoyne Customer Family by asking them to celebrate Burns Night through a reading of ‘Tae a Haggis’, to be released in time for the 25th January. Their contributions would be edited together to create a single reading of the poem that circled the globe.
To kick things off, emails were sent to the Glengoyne Family database in late December 2015, asking them to contribute in the most passionate way they could imagine. We were amazed by the results! Family members from around the world donned their kilts, set themselves up and read their favourite verses of the poem with amazing enthusiasm. Submissions came from a snowy forest in Saskatchewan, from a sunny tennis club in Melbourne, from Sweden, from New York, from a warm New Zealand, from Taiwan, from the frozen Norwegian Countryside, from Germany, from Switzerland and of course from Scotland itself. Some of the Distillery team were kind enough to contribute as well. Editor extraordinaire Marc Grundy pulled everything together against a very tight deadline and delivered an amazing final film.
We were delighted with the end result, as was the client. Just shy of 40,000 people were reached by the campaign on Facebook, the video was viewed over 22,000 times and – most importantly – we celebrated Robert Burns’ birthday in a way only the Glengoyne Family could. Enjoy!
First it was ten, then it was seven, and as of today, it’s now three. Google has taken a scythe to the Local results pack in its SERPS and appears to now only show three results.
Anyone who operates in the local space will be concerned by this change as it marks a major change in the space available on SERPs. The screenshot below shows a local result from Scotland for [glasgow distillery] in which the three-pack is clearly visible:
Why are Google doing this? Simply, we don’t know for sure, but we do know extensive testing has been taking place on the layout of these results, and the new layout does (to a certain degree) resemble that on tablet and mobile devices, so perhaps it is all being done in the name of a more unified user experience that encourages more users to click (or tap) through to extended listings.
There’s also an argument that limiting the available places increases competitiveness and will encourage local businesses who are pushed out of the three-pack to place Ads to recovered lost visibility and traffic.
Alongside this, there is of course the ongoing confusion around Google Local listings, how they are organised and ranked, how exactly organisations can improve their positioning and gain more traffic. Looking at the three results in the map above tells us little about how results are selected other than by geography – two lack reviews entirely and aren’t even distilleries, unless of course Blythswood Square has changed considerably since I was there last week.
Time will tell.
As anyone who has worked in an agency environment will know, constant deadlines and constant busy-ness can mean that by the time you’ve caught your breath, as I have done this week, you realise it’s April, spring has sprung and before you know it, the UK General Election will have passed and we’ll be well into summer.
So without further ado, it’s time for a brief update on some of the work team Mackerel has been up to over the last few months!
Regulatory requirements mandated that the investment and financial advice arm of the Dundee law firm Thorntons be spun off into a new company and as such, October 2014 saw the birth of Thorntons Investments as a separate entity.
Headed up by Steven Webster, the team comprises a number of highly experienced investment and mortgage advice professionals and as a measure of their considerable success at launch, the firm had over £315m in client assets under management.
Our role was varied and detailed, ranging from searcher demand analysis, through market analysis, to site structure planning, an on-site SEO plan and advice on content.
Back in late summer 2014, we were challenged by leading global payroll firm activpayroll to deliver a comprehensive SEO strategy and campaign, which naturally we were more than happy to accept. Work started straight away, and continues on a daily basis.
The company’s success story is incredible, and it’s in no small part thanks to founder Allison Sellar’s incredible passion and dedication. She and her team have taken an accountancy firm in Aberdeen and transformed it into a truly global organisation that is taking on some of the world’s largest payroll providers and beating them hands down – long may that continue!
The end of 2014 saw us delighted to win a contract to provide digital marketing strategy, planning and delivery support to infrared heating company Redwell GB, which is working hard to bring the benefits of modern IR heating to the UK. We’re working with the team to roll out our comprehensive marketing strategy that will see us target a number of key markets in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer over the coming weeks, months and year. It’s a hugely interesting project, with a hugely motivated and committed team behind it – we’re very pleased to be involved.
Glengoyne & Ian Macleod Distillers
Our work with Glengoyne Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky and its parent company Ian Macleod Distillers continues apace, and indeed our services have expanded to cover national and international social media advertising campaigns that have delivered truly staggering audience and engagement levels. A number of exciting projects are underway and under wraps, so watch this space for more.
A little closer to home, we were delighted to be appointed to support Scotland’s leading independent courier firm Eagle Couriers in the planning and development of a new web site. Working closely with partners Holyrood PR and Digijuice, we delivered searcher demand analysis, structural planning, an on-site SEO plan and content optimisation advice. Very happily, the new site enjoys very strong organic search rankings for key search terms!