The Institute of Leadership is the latest membership organisation in CPL One’s portfolio

CPL One appointed to produce a quarterly magazine and shape the Institute’s digital content.

Following a competitive tender process, the Institute of Leadership (IoL) has appointed CPL One to create its quarterly magazine, Edge, and to shape its future digital content strategy.

The new business win underlines CPL One’s expertise in creating and delivering content marketing strategies for professional membership bodies.

John Mark Williams, CEO of the IoL, said: “We were impressed by the way the CPL One team responded to the whole tender process. They demonstrated an authentic and collaborative approach and clearly have the skills and expertise to be a great partner for us. We are looking forward to working with the team.”

Lucy Oakshott, business development director for CPL One, said: “The IoL is a growing organisation with so much to offer its members. We are excited about our new partnership and the opportunity to use our journalistic and design skills to further improve the IoL’s magazine and content.”

The IoL announcement comes after CPL One successfully retained its long-running contract with the Local Government Association (LGA) and extended its partnership with the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

CPL One’s first issue of Edge will be published in September.

Animating the history of an institution

Our animated film for CIWM celebrates the Institution’s 125th anniversary by telling an important story with style.

How do you tell a story that spans more than a century if you only have three minutes to engage and inform your audience? 

When CPL One created content to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), and chart the birth of the circular economy, this was the challenge. 

“Initially, we put together a proposal with a choice of content ideas that we could create to help CIWM mark its anniversary year,” says senior account manager Alex Lamb.

“One option we suggested was animation, which we know is a good way to tell a story and something that can also stay online as evergreen content. Animation would also allow us to overlay CIWM’s brand colours and tone of voice across a mix of stock imagery and bespoke graphics and design. It would also let us weave different elements and milestones into the mix – for example, by highlighting Circular, the magazine we create for CIWM and its members.” 

CPL One’s Ian Farrell, editor of Circular, had written a feature about the Institution’s anniversary for the magazine, and this was used as the foundation from which to script the animation.

“Using the magazine feature, we broke down the 125-year history of CIWM into a timeline of different scenes,” says Alex. “It transported us from seeing waste on the streets of Victorian Britain to the advances of the present day and into the future. 

“After the first draft of the script was signed off, we set about storyboarding the animation and finding suitable images so that our designers could create a collage to illustrate the story. The creative process involved our designers, editorial team, animators and videographers.“It was a truly cross-departmental project and we really enjoy being able to work in that way. We think the animation is really strong; for us it hit a sweet spot and know it’s resonating with CIWM members too.”

If you would like to discuss how animation could help tell your organisation’s story, get in touch.

Filmmakers are the “masters of making you feel something”

After completing the first in a series of films to encourage people to become occupational therapists, Marcus Codrington Fernandez reflects on the strategy and rationale behind CPL One’s approach.

Shock horror, hold the front page, drop the mic. There’s a crisis in social care.

Admittedly, that’s hardly new news in 2020s Britain. But when we were approached by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust to find a strategy to help address a shortfall in occupational therapists, our suggested approach to the crisis did create a bit of squeaky bum time.

Let’s make a film, we said. Really? One of the greatest issues facing society and we’re suggesting producing some films can be anywhere near the answer?

There’s a perfect storm of factors that have brought about the social care crisis, including an ageing population, chronic underfunding, increasing complexity of needs, socioeconomic inequalities, changes to family dynamics and the impact of Covid-19.

Epic crisis

The scale of the crisis across the country is epic. In Cambridgeshire, the team at CPL One have devised campaigns to recruit more qualified carers across the board in various areas of social care: care workers, reablement workers, child services, adult social care and, most recently, occupational therapists. And they need to be recruited fast.

So making a film seems, on the face of it, somewhat trivial. Certainly, that’s what we feared our clients might think when we presented our plan.

However, we were confident our rationale was compelling.

The starting position for considering how to crack the problem is to face up to the fact that occupational therapy doesn’t exactly help itself. Even those in social care could be forgiven for not knowing exactly what occupational therapy is. So recruiting people to commit their lives to it needs an explanation of the role before you can start to build any cogent, rational argument.

Perhaps it could also be said there aren’t too many rational reasons to consider a career in occupational therapy. It’s not highly paid, nobody knows what the role entails from its obtuse title, it doesn’t exactly hold the same social cache as vaguely comparable roles like physiotherapist, and the offices for the job certainly won’t be featured in Wallpaper magazine any time soon.

Critical work

The most irresistible reason for following this vocation is emotional. You get to help people at their hour of most desperate need. You can very literally turn a person’s life around. And in doing so you can elevate your own. It’s unfathomable that there isn’t more social equity in being an occupational therapist. This work is increasingly critical to the health of a modern nation.

And thankfully, in spite of the obstacles, we know there are plenty of people who want to look after other people. People who like hearing other people’s stories. These people are the very definition of people-people.

People-people are the heart and soul of social care. They aren’t in it for social validation or to earn the big bucks. Just as well.

To feel complete, they simply have to help people. To feel valued, they need to value others. To be emotionally engaged they need to hear of the lives of others. It’s not rational and it’s not considered. They do it because they feel it.

That’s where the skills of content marketing come in. Words and pictures used to help people feel like they belong to something. And to feel something.

Filmmakers are the masters of making you feel something. They touch a nerve. They bring the emotion to the surface. They deal in loss as the secret ingredient of every story.

Emotional stories

So we at CPL One resolved to create stories. Short stories that can be told in 30 seconds, but that pack an emotional upper-cut to the gut. They are little more than case studies – examples of what it’s like to work as an occupational therapist. What it feels like to help someone in trauma come out of themselves. Or to help someone who had reverted to self-imposed isolation to see the value in just hanging out with others once again.

And we are telling these stories to students, people at a crossroads in their life where they are considering what kind of life they want to lead. The short films we’re making don’t draw on the techniques of advertising. There’s no persuasion involved, hidden or otherwise. All we’re doing is inviting people to decide if they feel something.

If they do, then we hope these people-people will respond to the call to action and find out more about being an occupational therapist.

It could be one of the most fulfilling things they will ever get to do in their lives.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marcus Codrington Fernandez is a strategy and creative director who has devised and led campaigns for CPL One. Marcus has been global creative director for the world’s largest communications agency and founded a number of international networks.

Adding joy into digital advertising

Joy was the theme of IAB UK Engage 2024. Here, senior account executive Chessie Cronk shares key takeaways and insights from the event.

We recently attended Engage, the annual flagship event of the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB UK). The theme this year was ‘the joy of digital advertising’. It reminded us how it’s good to embrace all things joyful (it’s one of the reasons, for example, that we are on TikTok).

Could CPL One help you to bring out a more joyful and authentic side of your brand or organisation’s personality? It’s not a frivolous question. Statistics shared at Engage 2024 show why being a little playful with your creative advertising content can help cut through with your audience.

  • 76% of people in the UK belong to a digital community (e.g. ‘BookTok’).
  • Children laugh 300 times per day vs 17 times for adults.
  • You only have about 4 or 5 hours of concentration per day.
  • 50% of 18-34 year olds, 39% of 35-54 year olds, and 22% of 55+ year olds trust advertising.
  • Since 2021, influencer, online and social media have grown the most in trust  (33%, 27% and 26% respectively).
  • 18-34 year olds trust all forms of advertising between 40-50% compared to 20-30% for 55+ (with cinema, TV and OOH trusted the most for 18-34 year olds).
  • We spend our lives trying to get rid of ads (e.g. paying for subscriptions to apps just to have an ad-free experience), but 90% of WeTransfer users (both free and paid) prefer the site with ads.

Key themes from Engage 2024

Delving a little deeper, we can group insights from Engage 2024 into five key themes that are also resonating across the industry.

  1. The power of personalisation

One of the most talked-about topics was the increasing importance of personalised marketing. Consumers today expect brands to understand their preferences and deliver tailored experiences. Geoff de Burca, chief strategy officer and Lindsey Jordan, head of creative strategy at EssenceMediacom, discussed how we can be more weird in our advertising and embrace people’s niche interests. They spoke about the importance of user-generated content (UGC) and letting go, allowing consumers to use content in whichever way they want to.

  1. The need to build trust

With growing concerns over data privacy, building trust with consumers has never been more critical. Stephen Woodford, CEO of the Advertising Association, spoke about how younger generations trust advertising far more than older generations, and how advertising is no longer at the bottom of the trust list, with government and media below advertising for the first time since 2014.

  1. The rise of AI

AI continues to revolutionise the way we approach marketing. Sam Crowther, creative director at AudioStack, discussed how companies are using AI in their advertising and creating more emotive ad campaigns with it. Embracing AI is no longer optional, it’s essential.

  1. The impact of laughter

Dara Nasr, VP global sales at WeTransfer Advertising, highlighted the positive impact of laughter. It is so important when it comes to advertising, particularly when you realise that adults only laugh 17 times per day on average. When it’s done well, advertising has the power to make people laugh and have fun, creating a positive impact.

  1. Diversity in digital

Jordan Banjo and Perri Kiely from the Diversity dance group took to the stage to discuss how they’re using radio in an authentic way, while Jamie Laing, broadcaster and producer, and Sophie Habboo, podcaster and TV personality, talked about podcasting to engage your audience and why you should only partner with brands and organisations that really resonate with you.

When these themes lock together in the service of creative content, they amplify authenticity and make everything a little more joyful.

Perhaps we could start by looking at your digital content and social media to help make your content more relevant and engaging. Or perhaps our advertising team could help you better understand what audiences like yours are looking for.

If you think we can help bring some joy to your digital advertising, get in touch.

Three reasons to be cheerful: Mike Sewell’s half-term reflections

CPL One’s managing director picks out three recent projects that epitomise the breadth of work produced by our team.

Maybe it’s because it’s school half term or something – but I feel it’s worth taking stock on progress on various fronts at CPL One in the past few weeks.

There are so many things to be proud about, including a number of new business wins, some excellent new projects delivered, and advertising and exhibition sales that are tracking ahead of the same period last year – despite what remains a tough economic climate.

But for now I’m going to concentrate on just three things that give a taste of the way our clients and their audiences benefit from the broad scope of content marketing created by the team at CPL One.

  1. Anniversary animation

Is your company or organisation about to celebrate an anniversary? If so, you should take a look at this animation marking the 125th anniversary of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM). Conceived, devised and produced by our editorial, design and animation team at CPL One, it is an asset that CIWM will be able to use throughout its 125th year. Let me know if you would like to discuss whether CPL One could do something similar for you.

  1. Theatrical podcasts

The podcast series produced by our sister company Cabbells, for Delfont Mackintosh Theatres (DMT), continues to grow in number and popularity. After previous episodes when subscribers have heard from stars such as Brian Cox and Sheridan Smith, May’s Episode Six features the revered Sir Ian McKellen and director Robert Icke talking about their production of Player Kings. The play, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, is currently at the Noël Coward Theatre in London’s West End before embarking on a UK tour during July. Cabbells specialises in the arts and heritage sector and we are proud to design and produce the programmes for dozens of DMT shows each year including, most recently, MJ the Musical and Long Day’s Journey into Night

  1. Long-term magazine contract retained (again)

A great strength of CPL One is our commitment to editorial and design excellence – and ensuring the two work hand in hand. One example is that, unlike many news organisations and perhaps even some of our competitors, we continue to invest in employing professional copy and sub-editors to ensure our content is crisp, accurate and accessible. This was among the factors that helped us retain the contract for First magazine for the Local Government Association (LGA). Strict governance rules means the LGA puts this contract out to competitive tender on a regular basis and we are incredibly proud to have retained it again. Our focus on developing an engaging design that meets accessibility standards and our ability to generate income were also given as key reasons for our success.

So there you go – three reasons for some positive half-term reflections. If you and your audiences would benefit from a new animation, a podcast series, a refreshed digital or print magazine – or any other content marketing services offered by CPL One – do get in touch.

How to future-proof a magazine

How do you refresh a well-loved membership magazine? A recent article from our sister company Cabbells looks at some of the steps involved.

Our sister company Cabbells recently posted an article explaining how they redesigned iConnect magazine for the Institute of Conservation. We republish it below, and you can also read it on the Cabbells site here.

One of our more interesting accounts is the work we do on the membership magazine for the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB).

Our scope on that particular project is to design and layout the pages and give editorial direction, subbing and proofing. 

We have worked with SPAB for several years and in that time we have established ourselves and built a strong reputation in the sector. Therefore when the Institute of Conservation (ICON) was looking for a new communications partner, we were lucky enough to be recommended by the SPAB. We still had a lot of work to do and nothing was taken for granted – in fact we took part in a detailed and competitive pitch process against several other agencies. 

In the end, it was our depth of approach and our clear passion for the sector that gave us the edge. 

ICON set out an ambitious, interesting and far-reaching brief that was designed to bring the magazine into the 21st century. There were several under-pinning strategic aims: 

1. To modernise the editorial and the design to appeal to a younger audience, without alienating the loyal and established readers.

2. To speak with a voice that unifies the many different disciplines of the profession. There are literally dozens of interest groups whose aims and interests can differ/contrast and the aim was to bring them together under one church.

3. To give a more international perspective as a large and growing percentage of the readership reside abroad.

4. There was an ambition to use the magazine as both a recruitment tool for those in the profession who weren’t yet members but also as a calling card to the general public who might have an interest in the profession.

5. Finally, the organisation wanted to raise awareness of the profession with Government and other quasi-Governmental bodies such as the Arts Council, Heritage England and The National Lottery. 

As with any profession there are idiosyncrasies and commonalities which make it unique and were keen to understand the landscape of the profession before we gave any sort of response.

We researched all past communications, spoke to experts as well as the client, and our recommendations were as follows:

1. The vision was to create a clear and dynamic voice for the wider conservation profession that encompassed all disciplines. Editorial content would appeal to conservators, whatever their specialisation, through thought-leadership articles which educate and engage across a variety of fields and specialisations. We looked at the key stakeholder groups and made sure we scheduled interviews with them throughout the year in proportion to their percentage of members/influence.

2.  We wanted to humanise the profession, put member voices front and centre and add depth and drama to the magazine. We added images of the authors/members to most articles and told stories in a first-person rather than third-person narrative. Furthermore, using the tone-of-voice document (see below) we introduced a more approachable and familiar voice to the writing. To bring more value, we worked on content repurposing across digital and we interviewed leading members to exemplify various disciplines.

3. We refreshed and improved the design to make it far more modern and excitingly visually, and made sure it highlights the incredible work that members do to safeguard heritage. Design emphasised the ‘wow’ by using more images across the pages and close-up details of the work being done. We have created a magazine that takes readers on a journey and is the physical manifestation of the work being done. It also serves as a recruitment tool at events, with a younger and more approachable tone. 

4. We created a tone-of-voice document to ensure consistency throughout all communications by having a defined document. We also brought in new content strands to appeal to both the experienced and the novice conservator. 

5. We created a 12-month editorial document which had the overall strategic aims at the top of the funnel but then broke this down so that we ensured even and fair coverage for all of the interest groups, topics, values and so on. This is monitored on an ongoing basis to ensure every article is linked back to the aims of the initial document and is presented to the client quarterly for feedback. 

Oh and finally, we even changed the name of the magazine from ‘Icon news’ to ‘Iconnect’ which has a nice double meaning and promotes this idea of the organisation connecting with members more. 

What we have ended up with is a magazine that exceeds the expectations of the client and delivers a product that you wouldn’t expect from a small heritage organisation with a limited budget. The latest cover featuring the Trump blimp exemplifies this perfectly.

The reason for this is a clear brief at the start, diligence at both ends of the equation, passion and collaboration between the client and us, their provider. 

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss how we can improve your member communications.

Who needs apostrophes anyway?

There’s a trend for erasing apostrophes from street signs. CPL One’s chief sub-editor Jo Halpin ponders the possible ramifications.

The possessive apostrophe is under attack. 

Used since the 16th century to indicate that something is connected to or belongs to a person or thing – Jo’s book of grammar, for example – the punctuation mark is slowly being erased from public signage.

Some councils in England have decided that correct punctuation is just too problematic and that their street names should no longer follow the conventions of the English language.

Most recently, North Yorkshire Council declared that all of its new street signs will be produced without an apostrophe – ‘apostro-free’, if you like… which many of the residents don’t, apparently.

The local authority says it has taken the controversial decision to avoid problems with its IT systems; the punctuation mark presents a problem for its geographical databases – a clear-cut case of ‘computer says no’.

Birmingham City Council and Mid Devon District Council have also gone ‘apostro-free’, but for different reasons. It was a matter of cost for the West Midlands authority, while Mid Devon wanted to reduce potential confusion over street names – which is odd considering the whole point of punctuation is to give clarity.

This trend for disowning the possessive apostrophe is worrying for sub-editors such as myself, whose main purpose in the workplace – and, let’s be honest, most everywhere else – is to be pedantic about grammar. 

Can you imagine a world without punctuation itd be incomprehensible wed all have to write in code just to satisfy computers but its IT its purpose is to serve us so whore the losers in the end let the possessive apostrophe go and were on a slippery slope to not knowing whos who or whats what

Linguistic laments aside, it could also spell (probably incorrectly) the end of my career.

If these councils are right, punctuating text correctly is a costly indulgence that not only confuses people, but also has the power to bring down entire IT systems.

Luckily, CPL One values high-quality journalistic skills – including subbing and proofing – and our mission statement is literally ‘We help people belong’, so that should keep the possessive apostrophe in gainful employment for a while longer.

We understand that good punctuation is key to first-class communication; it allows copy to flow, can make it more impactful, and ensures that our clients’ messaging is delivered in a clear and unambiguous way. 

In the unlikely event that CPL One ever does join the ‘apostro-free’ movement, however – and the writing on the wall reads ‘Fetch Jos P45’ – I’ll try to prevent my career from coming to a full stop by asking: ‘Who’s Jos?’

Quality up; volume down 

CPL One director Sophie Hewitt-Jones reports from this year’s PPA Festival on why it’s good to prioritise quality over quantity.

“The industrial age of magazines is making way for the artisanal age,” said Hearst UK’s CEO, Katie Vanneck-Smith, at the #PPA Festival in London last week, quoting Douglas McCabe, CEO of Enders Analysis.

Here at CPL One we’re evolving many of our specialist publications in a way that chimes with this. We put good journalism and thoughtful design front and centre to ensure that our magazines maintain a relevant and highly valued place in the lives of their readers. 

In just the past week, I have been in discussions with at least three different clients who are asking us to reimagine the reader experience and re-examine the purpose of their publications. They want us to help them elevate their magazines to nurture trust and stimulate and strengthen the connection with their audiences – who are often paying members.

They’re asking if we can make their title more special, more focused, more expert and more in-depth. Can it look gorgeous, and be on paper that feels lovely? Can it be digitally remastered? And some of the people we’re talking to are certainly willing and keen to publish less often in order to achieve greater quality of insight and higher production values (with added environmental and financial benefits). 

The craft of creating magazines that readers love, keep for reference or pass on to friends, is one to be celebrated. It takes time, thought, editorial and design expertise, and a knowledge of your specialist sector. And this is as true for a technically astute, quarterly professional journal as it is for a luxurious, monthly consumer title. 

This ‘less is more’ mantra was heard throughout the day at the #PPAFestival and it is relevant for numerous aspects of the work we do – from the frequency of newsletters or the scheduling of social media posts to how often we distribute a printed publication.

1. Reduce the volume

Post less, print less – in short, make fewer things – but ensure that what you do release into the world is deeper, more expert and done with ever more care and consideration for what your audience will engage with and appreciate. 

This can be as true for digital story output as it is for printed publications where less could mean fewer episodes: in short, reduce the frequency but up the quality and enhance the reader experience. 

2. Focus on what makes you special and expert  

People will value – and may be prepared to pay for – information, inspiration and knowledge that they can’t get anywhere else. And when that’s created by people who are at the top of their game when it comes to knowing their stuff, even better. For membership bodies, often operating in a niche sector, this is second nature. However, we still need to ensure that we really shine the spotlight on the unique, celebrate the expert, and highlight the specialist know-how that can’t be freely accessed via a quick Google search.

3. Understand and own your community 

Again, for a professional institution, or trade association, this should be obvious and ‘easy’. But it’s surprising how often we hear that organisations don’t know nearly as much as they would like to about their paying members. Loyalty is not a given, and data gets you only so far; it is the deep knowledge of what keeps them awake at night, what helps them do their jobs better, and why they get out of bed in the morning: that is the insight we really need to craft highly valued magazines. 

We’ll take inspiration from being in what Enders Analysis has described as “the era of artisan print magazines”, and strive for more craft and care rather than fall into the trap of just relentlessly feeding a production line of mediocre content. I look forward to encouraging our teams, contributors and clients to do the same.

The benefits of professional communities

We asked CPL One colleagues why community is a foundation of the work we create for clients.

Community engagement drives much of the work we do for our clients at CPL One. Why? Because it helps businesses understand customer needs and pain points, builds brand awareness, and boosts acquisition and loyalty. We believe that in a strong community individuals find the support to be themselves – and to thrive. 

But what do people really think about the benefits of being part of a community? We asked CPL One colleagues what it means to them.

Together for common goals

“A community is a place where people with similar interests or a common goal come together and understand and accept each other,” says senior account manager Russell Bass. “It’s a place where we learn from people with similar experiences. Teams are stronger than individuals and when you band together you can really succeed. 

“With our clients, community is often the backbone of what they do. They can benefit when we help them bring people together around those shared professional interests. When we create content and brand messaging that appeals to and targets those shared passions, it ultimately helps generate income so they can continue to do their great work.”

Supporting professional specialisms

Denise Burrows, production editor, says that understanding a community’s needs helps CPL One support professional audiences across different specialisms.

“Many of the clients we work with operate in very specialist fields,” she says. “A focused community is a way that like-minded professionals can stay connected, sharing knowledge and supporting each other. It’s about strengthening networks around a common purpose so people can take action and succeed in their objectives.

“At CPL One, we all have our own individual part to play in achieving the company’s wider objectives, but really we work together as a community. It helps to bring a sense of belonging, because we’re surrounded by people who understand what we’re trying to achieve. Community is about sharing information and skills, but building trusted friendships is important too.”

Respecting skills and experience

“There is a great community spirit at CPL One,” says editorial director Phil Minett. “Everyone looks out for everyone else; we work hard; there is a lot of laughter; and everyone respects the skills others bring to the table. 

“For our clients and their audiences, being part of a shared community gives a wide range of opportunities and, if the going gets tough, they know someone is there to offer expert advice and, where necessary, fight their corner for them.

“For me, there is nothing better than the comfortable feeling I get from belonging to a community. They are places or situations where I feel relaxed, as I know I am among like-minded people.”

Challenges and opportunities

“On a day-to-day level, a sense of community spirit can be about having other people to float ideas around with and use as a sounding board,” says senior account manager Michelle Davey. “Being able to talk through any challenges with others in similar situations helps reduce stress levels. 

“In your professional life you sometimes encounter projects that become more difficult than expected, and having other people around who really understand the situation and can help out is essential. For anyone who is new to a role or in the early stages of their career, it’s vital that they can talk to others and ask questions.”

Rian Swift, senior digital account executive, says that – ultimately – community is about opportunity.

“As well as the sense that you belong to something, it’s about the collaborative opportunities that a community offers – and especially about the opportunity for people to gain validation and support.”

Support. Guidance. Collaboration. Opportunity. Purpose. Trust. Friendship. If these are the foundations for a strong community, then it sounds like community could be the foundation for a profitable professional partnership.

To discover more about how we strengthen communities for our clients, contact business development director Lucy Oakshott.

Read more about why community, authenticity and value are trends that will endure.

Developing a holistic SEO strategy

Thinking about SEO before, during and after website builds pays dividends, says CPL One’s digital projects director Hannah Anderson.

Should you create an SEO approach before you launch that new website, or explore tactics after it’s up and running?

At CPL One, we know there is more to SEO than just thinking about the technical applications. Developing an SEO strategy will help drive your website’s success, and upfront strategy work  – which can be polished and refined post build – offers a robust approach. 

Incorporating SEO into the website development process isn’t just a tactical choice – it’s a strategic investment. Providing your content managers with optimised site structures, meta descriptions, page titles and body copy, allows them to work much more efficiently.

Planning your pre-build SEO 

There are three main reasons to develop a strategic approach to SEO before you build your site.

1. Keyword research
Keyword research is about more than identifying the words that your audience uses in search engines. Having a strategic approach to keywords offers understanding into what it wants to achieve or find in its searches. It enables you to craft a user journey that guides your audience along the path of least resistance. By integrating your keyword research into the build process, you maximise efficiency and add a level of insight that is otherwise not possible.

2. High-quality content
Good content remains essential for effective SEO. There has been a recent shift away from keyword-focused approaches towards prioritising helpfulness. Mere keyword stuffing of articles and pages, without aligning your site’s structure and content with user requirements, will yield little or no improvement in rankings. Crafting informative articles that tackle user concerns not only fosters organic linking but also cultivates trust, ultimately driving conversions. While content creation can take place after site construction, having some insightful articles already in position will significantly enhance the likelihood of a successful launch.

3. Visibility
Integrating SEO optimisation into the development process ensures search engines accurately index your site from the outset, instantly boosting your ranking efforts and visibility. By optimising the site’s structure early on, you not only improve navigation for your customers, but also streamline the process for search engines.

SEO beyond launch

However, don’t forget to optimise your SEO post-launch and beyond. A strategy for SEO is beneficial here, too. 

1. Outreach
Establishing links to and from influential sites is crucial for enhancing the trust and authority of your website in the eyes of search engines. Link-building is an important part of SEO, but can be challenging during the build process when you’ve no actual website to show people. Concentrate on this once your site is up and running, and ensure you continue to monitor and enhance your site links regularly.  

2. Data and insights
Following launch, data is a crucial input for ensuring your site is optimised for your audience. Make sure you are monitoring the user experience and journey. This will allow you to make informed decisions and adjust your strategies where necessary to improve results.

3. Enhancing content
By analysing user interactions, you can modify existing pages to better align with what typical users find valuable. For example, if there is a certain format, length or tone of article that outperforms others, it may be worth incorporating that style into some of your main pages.

A consistent approach to SEO from your strategic foundation through to development, while also continuing on a long-term maintenance and optimisation approach to SEO, is ultimately the most efficient way to increase your organic traffic.

For anyone about to start the journey of building a new website, we strongly recommend integrating SEO into the planning process. 

If you think you would like to discuss how we could help you with your website build or redesign, do please get in touch with our business development director, Lucy Oakshott.