How to generate better engagement with your customers this Christmas?

Is more engagement with your customers on your Christmas list this year? Do you want a simple way to stand out from the crowd on social media channels during this festive season? It won’t be long before everywhere begins Read more

The Value Of Competitive SEO Research

Competitive research is an absolutely essential part of the overall SEO process. It entails analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of websites which are ranked highly for your targeted keywords and phrases. It also allows the identification of successful Read more

How did Generate UK help a client recover from a Manual Link Penalty?

Posted on by Veronika in Google Penalty, Link Building, Search Engine Optimisation | Leave a comment

In March 2014, our client received a notification in Webmaster Tools stating that unnatural links had been discovered on their website. This told us that the client had received a manual penalty from Google. As a result of this, the rankings of the main keywords that were driving sales and traffic to the site disappeared from the top 10 search engine result pages. In March when the penalty was discovered, the organic traffic decreased by 20%, which had also a negative effect on the number of sales. 


WMT Penalty Notification

(Source: Webmaster Tools)

What is a Manual Penalty?

Google’s definition of a ‘manual penalty’ is when an actual human being from Google reviewed your link profile and discovered unnatural link building tactics, which are against the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

What did we need to do first?

We discovered that a variety of unnatural and low quality links were built by the previous SEO company, and this told us that we would be dealing with a fairly large proportion of link data.

The first step was to conduct full link analysis of the client’s link profile to understand the situation and prepare for the link removal project.

We compiled data from sources such as Link Research Tools, Webmaster Tools, Majestic SEO, Link Detox, Screaming Frog and Search Metrics.

Our analysis identified 3,800 links that needed further investigation. These links were associated with 1,412 root domains. We used our special formulas to finalise the site type of the root domains on which the low quality links occurred.

These are the results of the root domain classifications for our client:

Link Classification Table

Link Classification chart

How did we approach the link removal?

Our link removal project started on the 24th March 2014.

We first compiled a list of the links and root domains that required further investigation, and then started looking for contact details of each webmaster who owned the domains.

If we were able to find contact details we contacted the owners directly, however the majority of the sites had ‘contact us online form’ which we also had to use.

When requesting removal of the link from the websites, we ensured that we were always polite in our email requests. If we weren’t lucky enough to receive a positive response, or no response at all, we uploaded the whole ‘root domain’ into the disavow file.

The whole link removal process took over a month. On the 25th April, once we were confident enough with our results, we uploaded the disavow file, which contained a large amount of data, into the Google disavow tool.

Whilst we waited for the disavow file to process within the Google database, which normally takes up to four weeks, we also decided to refresh the content across the whole website and also improve the technical site issues.

The manual action revoked 

We were working on this project for almost three months, and after all this effort the hard work finally paid off. When checking the Webmaster Tools account on 12th May, we noticed that the manual link action had been revoked and it was the greatest achievement for us, and our client.

What happened when Google Penguin 3.0 rolled out?

When Google Penguin 3.0 rolled out on the 17th October, we were not sure what to expect. A couple of days after its roll out, we started to see improvements with the website results. The rankings of the keywords that were driving majority of the sales and organic traffic started to rank within the top 10 search engine result pages once more.

Analytics SEO

(Source: Analytics SEO)

Since Penguin 3.0, the overall SEO visibility improved, and has continued to rise, which is amazing to see. It’s a great feeling to help our clients to achieve their business goals.

Search Metrics SEO visibility(Source: Search Metrics)

If your business has experienced a link manual or algorithmic penalty, we would be happy to help you, so feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

What is Google Trusted Stores Accreditation, and is it worth it?

Posted on by Mark Osborne in Digital Marketing | Leave a comment


Christmas is rapidly approaching us, and with each UK household set to spend £4,000 online this year, with web taking a 20% share of all retail spend (, the need to show that your e-commerce site can be trusted is growing ever more important.

Unlike a physical store, where confidence can be proven after a purchase has been made, online stores needs to find a way to give that confidence to prospective buyers before the sale is made.

How can you get out of this Catch 22?

In response to this issue, Google have produced a service called Trusted Stores

Google Trusted Stores


What is Google Trusted Store Accreditation?

The Google Trusted store badge purports to provide reassurance to the customer that any store carrying this badge is legitimate. Google provides a report card that can be seen on the website, ranking the store on their Customer Service, Shopping and Returns. In addition, in certain circumstances, if an issue arises with the order, Google promise to work with both parties to resolve it.

Google Trusted Store Ratings

What’s in it for your online shop?

The Google accreditation also offers certain benefits to stores.

    • It highlights the reliability of the store, promising to give it an edge over similar non-accredited online stores
    • The Trusted Store badge is also shown on Google Shopping, making it stand out
    • Reports have shown improved sales on sites that show logos or other accreditations
    • Adds Trusted Stores on Adwords- increasing click-through rates
    • Help qualify for seller ratings in Adwords

How much does it cost?

Google don’t charge money for this service. Instead, online retailers will need to pass over a great deal of order data to Google including; the name of goods; prices; discounts, email addresses and details of returns. Some of this data is then displayed on the Google Certified Shop badge.

This means that you are effectively turning your consumers data over to a third party company, who can then use it for their own purposes.

Other possible issues

    • Google reserve the right to use the data gathered for other purposes under the fair use clause
    • Google has been known in the past or rolling out new services, only to close them down again (see Google Wave and Reader)
    • Between Adwords, Shopping, Analytics et al, retailers are arguable becoming over reliant upon Google services
    • Google Certified Shops is a US regulated system, subject to US data collection, rather than EU data protection laws
    • Is Google actually a generator of trust with consumers? More savvy members of the general public are becoming suspicious of the giants such as Google, and their logo may actually turn some people off

 Are there alternatives to Google Certified Shops?

Of course, Google aren’t the only company to identify the need to provide a method of producing confidence in online stores. Other alternatives include:

How else can I increase buyer confidence in my online store?

There are some basic steps you can take to inspire confidence that your business is legitimate. These include:

    • Display your Postal Address, Telephone and Company Registration Numbers
    • Trade Association Memberships (if applicable)
    • Clearly state you Refunds and Returns Policies
    • Security information- spell out what measures you take to protect their information
    • Ensure your navigation and checkout are clear and easy to use
    • Look professional. Pixelated images, lack of branding, misspelt words and confusing layouts may make your business look anything but legitimate
    • Include testimonials from current clients to show you are trustworthy
    • Update content on your site
    • Include any information/photos of any of your products, staff etc that have appeared in the media
    • Product Reviews- if you have customer reviews of your products, include them on the website
    • About Us info- tell customers who you are and why they should trust you
    • Won any awards? Include them


That Google has created a confidence-building measure for online shopping is proof of the massive need for it within the e-commerce market. Consumers are looking for retailers that they can trust- not just for Christmas, but all year round.

Whether you choose to use Google Certified Shops or one of the alternatives, or if you decide not to, the user experience of your e-commerce website is of extreme importance. Here at Generate UK we have experts in web design, development, e-commerce and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) who can offer their expertise on ways to improve your e-commerce site.

If you would like more information on how we can help, contact us today.

Content Marketing Show Highlights Tips on How to Develop Quality Content for Your Business

Posted on by Sean Butcher in Content, Digital Marketing, Events, Internet Marketing | Leave a comment

The Content Marketing Show 2014: Brighton Dome


Content Marketing Show


Content marketing has become one of the biggest trends in digital marketing over the last couple of years. The Google Panda algorithm update has made the need for quality, original content more important than ever before from an SEO perspective, whilst the ongoing difficulties businesses face to come up with unique, innovative ways to sell their products and promote their brand are also increasingly apparent.

It’s little surprise then that the annual Content Marketing Show was moved this year from its original home at the Institute of Education in London to the vast main theatre hall at the Brighton Dome. The Dome already plays host to the excellently organised Brighton SEO, and the team behind it clearly felt that the dedicated content-themed conference was ready to take the step up into the iconic venue.

I found the conference last Wednesday very informative and wanted to share some of the key takeaways with you.


Mark Johnstone (Distilled): What Content Marketers can learn from Advertising

Mark had the daunting task of opening the conference, and talked mainly about the connection between content marketing and traditional advertising.

One of his key messages was to think laterally about a brand you are working on, and gave the example of how Red Bull never focus on how their popular caffeinated drink tastes, instead opting for stunts such as the Felix Baumgartner skydive to boost their brand message.

He also emphasised the importance of doing customer research.

To back this up he cited an example of Lynx, whose products are often bought by females as presents for their male partners, rather than the males themselves, despite all of their advertising being targeted towards the man “getting the girl”.

He mentioned how Old Spice, a brand which may not have as “cool” an image as Lynx, have recently used this to their advantage with a message of “make your man smell like a man”, with very successful results.

The “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign, launched in February 2010, and by the end of that year, Old Spice had become the No1 selling brand of body wash for men in the USA.


Max L. Wilson (Lecturer at the University of Nottingham): Why People Favourite Things: Tweet usefulness, style and favouriting behaviour

Max delivered a more scientific approach with his short talk and discussed the psychological reasons why people interact with tweets.

Some of the most effective tweets from businesses include facts, a price and a link to further information.

He highly recommended that businesses, especially those which operate at a local level, should actively look to respond to unanswered questions, for example “Where should I eat in London?” in order to gain exposure and customers.


Content Marketing Show Stage


Emma Dunn (Caliber): How to Ideate like a Boss

Emma’s talk was all about the difficulties with constant idea creation, and suggested three phases to tackling this: Flexibility, Originality and Elaboration.

She dismissed the right vs. left brained theory as a myth and argued that everyone has the ability to be creative. She did however suggest that brainstorming can be ineffective and can lead to ‘fixation’ on one or two ideas, and instead stated her preference to get everyone individually thinking about the task at their own desks.

She interestingly suggested that a messy desk, rather than a tidy one can lead to more creative thinking, and that morning people are often more creative in the afternoons and vice versa!


Hannah Warder ( How to Guarantee a 0% Response Rate from Blogger Outreach

Hannah spoke about how she runs her own blogs alongside working as a digital marketing specialist before giving some amusing examples of ways she has been approached by some very poor outreach tactics.

She then went onto talk about ways of “doing it right”, emphasising the points of understanding exactly who you are targeting and never sending out stock emails to your whole blogger database.

She gave some great examples of interaction she has had with bloggers on Twitter during work she has done for her household appliances client, and that putting in the extra legwork and admin to make them feel loved will reap its rewards in the long run.


Content Marketing Show Attendees


Mindy Gofton (I Com): Rich Content for the Cash-Strapped

Mindy talked about the importance of setting expectations early on when you have clients who only have small budgets to work with, and to find out their objectives as early as possible.

Educating the client and obtaining their ‘buy-in’ is also vital. She gave an example of their work with a firm of lawyers in St Helens – a town well known for its love of rugby. Her team decided to create content around the sport and push it to bloggers and journalists who write about it on a regular basis.

This approach resulted in a 61% increase in brand searches and a 21% increase in enquiries alone.


Laura Crimmons (Branded 3): How to Implement an Audience Engagement Strategy Using Content

Laura started by emphasising the point that audience is at the centre of everything and to focus on what they want first and foremost.

Before creating content it’s important to find out where this audience spends their time online, whether that be on news sites, social media, blogs or forums. She suggested using the famous 80/20 rule, i.e. spending 80% of the time contacting influencers, and 20% on regular writers and bloggers for greater success.

Laura also talked about how online personas are an important element to build at the start of any campaign to help all parties understand the types of audiences they need to target.


Stephen Masters (Red Rocket Media): Storytelling Tips for you to “Remember Remember”

Stephen gave some good examples of successful content and symbolisation, such as the poppy. Whilst there have been a number of word-based phrases around this such as “lest we forget”, the poppy remains the enduring symbol of the story which everyone related to Remembrance Day.

Repeat slogans can also be effective, such as “Remember remember the fifth of November”. Other tips included using images, statements, smells and sounds in your content to all trigger memories and arouse emotions.


James Perrot (Zazzle Media): Data is the Rocket Fuel to Your Content Strategy

James gave a data-focused presentation based on his personal experience of buying a road bike from Wiggle.

Their focus on providing in-depth guides to cyclists across the experience-level spectrum lead to him becoming far more knowledgeable and therefore a brand advocate as he developed his road cycling skills.

He suggested that people were finding this content as it was well-optimised from an SEO perspective, and that Wiggle were really doing their research and making the effort to understand what their audience were searching for.

James raised the point about Google’s Hummingbird algorithm and how search terms need to become more conversational to succeed, e.g. “what are the best bikes for under £1000”, rather than just using a one or two word phrase.


James Perrin (Koozai): Organisation, Planning and Scheduling: The Secret to Content Marketing Success

James started with some interesting stats, such as:

  • 74% of brands have increased their content marketing spend this year
  • Only 36% of content marketers feel that they are effective at the practice

Reasons behind this included a lack of budget, time, as well as little clarity on goals and objectives.

He gave some tips for working more effectively both internally and externally, and emphasised the importance of clear and concise communication between all parties. James stated that editorial calendars are essential for focusing the campaign and keeping everyone on the same page.

He concluded with the statistic that 90% of advertising gets lost in the early stage as people worry too much about the message rather than focusing on making an impact.

Jon Norris (Crunch): Consume Customer Consciousness for Colossal Content Creation

Jon started by discussing two of the biggest problems in content marketing: coming up with ideas that are useful to the audience and how that content can be used to make sales.

He discussed the differing objectives of editorial and sales teams, but that in fact both should be trying to work together by understanding the audience better and creating content for people at different stages of the buying cycle.

The point of creating and understanding personas was raised again, and finding out what clients/customers are asking based on support tickets, chat logs and questions being asked on online forums were all ways to create the content that will help to draw them in.



Overall I would say that the 2014 Content Marketing Show was a resounding success.

Whilst the crowd thinned out towards the end of the day, perhaps with the majority wanting to get back to London and beyond, the day was made great with some fantastic speakers and over eight hours of interesting insight and personal experience in the well-thought-out presentations.

Here at Generate UK we are keen to stay on top of the latest trends in our industry, and implementing them for our clients. If you are interested in how we can help you, drop us a line!

Generate UK supports World Skills Day at Ascot Racecourse

Posted on by Faye Foot in Events | Leave a comment

Generate UK are proud to have supported the recent Skills Show event at Ascot Racecourse. The Skills Show is the UK’s largest skills and careers event. It has attracted over 80,000 visitors since its inception in 2011, and inspires young people to explore further education, skills and apprenticeships. This year’s event included more than local 70 businesses from all sectors and industries, their stands filled with a variety of hands-on demos, tasks and challenges to engage students.

World Skills UK- The Skills Show


Generate UK’s participation

Generate UK are proud to be supporters of the Open Your Mind initiative, an organisation dedicated to encouraging organisations to grow their business by recruiting and training young people.

Open Your Mind educates businesses on the benefits of offering work placements, apprenticeships and other programmes. The initiative promotes the importance of using their internal resources and expertise to help young individuals flourish and enhance their personal development.

We assisted Open Your Mind by conducting a short survey aimed at gaining the views and opinions of the young people at the event. I was pleasantly surprised to receive such willingness from the students to take part in the survey. It was really interesting to hear the opinions of young individuals and listen to the journey they have taken so far in deciding what career/industry they would like to explore further.

The Results

  • 47% have a firm idea about the career they wish to pursue
  • 66%% have changed their mind about a certain career based on information provided from others
  • 77% get most of their career advice/ information from family  & friends
  • 36% receive careers advice through school/college
  • 62% of schools/colleges work with business people to support your lessons or career advice
  • The top 4 skills employers are looking for:
    • Good communication
    • Organised
    • Creativity
    • Punctuality
  • 48% would be interested in a work placement with a Marketing Agency

What did we discover on the day?

Generate UK are proud to support the work of organisations like Open Your Mind who are passionate about shaping young people’s lives, and we were pleased to see just how enthusiastic the visitors to the show were about everything there was to see.


The top printers in the UK battle it out to be crowned winners at PrintWeek 2014 Awards

Posted on by Mandie Lovelock in Print | Leave a comment

I recently had the honour of being a VIP guest at the Grosvenor Hotel on Park Lane in London for the PrintWeek award ceremony. These are the UK’s flagship awards for excellence in the print industry.

PrintWeek 2014 Awards

Judging the Awards

Hundreds of the UK’s top print companies entered the 24 categories this year, and I was one of 26 well-known print experts who were asked to judge the entries. This was the third time I had the privilege of being asked to judge, and each time I have been amazed by the quality and breadth of work produced by printers in the UK.

For judging, we split into teams of four, judging different categories according to our own strengths. Each printer has to submit four different samples of work for each entry, along with 500 words of supplementary text, explaining the details of the work that went into producing the sample.

As judges, we look at each item individually and judge them on their merits (or flaws!) and mark them accordingly. As such, despite what many of the printers’ think- we don’t actually know who is going to win on the night any more than they do!

Together, we whittled those hundreds of entries down into a shortlist of just over 60 companies, all of who were hoping to be crowned one of the winners at the glittering ceremony.

The Awards Ceremony

The Awards Ceremony

Held at the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane, we enjoyed a champagne reception before were treated to a delicious menu topped off by a Paul A Young Marmalade Brownie, smoked salted caramel and Marker’s Mark bourbon ice cream, we settled in to watch the awards themselves.

Hosted by comedian Jimmy Carr, with announcements made the ‘the voice of the balls’ Alan Dedicoat, the best printers in the industry battled it out to be crowned the top in their class.

Jimmy Carr

A rousing success

Congratulations to all those who won awards or were highly commended, and may you continue to strive to be the best.

But I feel that the true winners in this are not the printers, but their clients, who get to reap the benefits of their dedication to producing such high quality print work.

For more information on how having great quality printed materials enhance your brand, just drop me a line and I’ll be only too happy to help!

How to generate better engagement with your customers this Christmas?

Posted on by Mandie Lovelock in Featured, Internet Marketing, Social Media | Leave a comment

Is more engagement with your customers on your Christmas list this year? Do you want a simple way to stand out from the crowd on social media channels during this festive season? It won’t be long before everywhere begins to twinkle and shimmer with the magic of Christmas, making it the perfect time to put together a Christmas competition that will make your customers smile.

Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas with your customers

Here at Generate UK towers, we have created a ’12 Days of Christmas’ competition that will help deliver you lead generation, social buzz and brand awareness… all whilst building cheer and goodwill with your customers.


12 Days of Christmas app first step

Why is it simple and effective?

For twelve days during December, your customers are able to enter a free prize draw by submitting their name, email address and telephone number. At the end of each 24-hour period, a winner is drawn at random and the next prize draw begins. Entrants are able to share the app via social media on channels such as Facebook and Twitter.

What are the benefits of the app?

  • Promote your brand and link it to the season of “goodwill”
  • Allow data capture of customer name, email address and telephone number which can be used for follow up campaigns
  • Utilise social media channels to promote the brand and competition, raising your brand awareness and social presence
  • Promote individual products or services during a 12 day period
  • Drive traffic to other online real estate such as your website or social channels

Easy delivery method

Hosted on one of our servers, the app contains 17 ‘pages,’ each of which can be customised in various ways to suit your needs. All you need to do is to allocate twelve prizes- one for each day of the competition period. These could include your own products, or more generic items, such as a bottle of champagne. Prizes can be tailored to fit your business and objectives.


12 Days of Christmas app next step


Why is it perfect for your business?

The “12 Days of Christmas” app has been created to reflect the spirit and enjoyment of the run up to Christmas, giving you the opportunity to interact with customers during what can be a busy month. If you wish to find out more about how the tool can be utilised with your business, contact us at Generate UK today!

Google Penguin 3.0 Algorithm Update Released: Is Your Business Protected?

Posted on by Veronika in Google Penalty, Search Engine Optimisation | Leave a comment

Google has released many algorithm updates over the years in an attempt to protect the Internet from companies who are trying to spam the search engines.

One update that had a large effect on online businesses was the Google Penguin update. First released in October 2012, this update had an impact on approximately 3.1% of English queries. This was then followed by refreshes throughout 2012 and 2013.

There has been quite a lot of online coverage about the newest update, and it appears that Google finally rolled out the new Penguin 3.0 on Friday 17th October.


History of Google Penguin update Google Penguin 3.0

  • Penguin – April, 24 2012
  • Penguin 1.1 – May 25, 2012
  • Penguin refresh – October 5, 2012
  • Penguin 2.0 – May 22, 2013
  • Penguin 2.1 – October 4, 2013
  • Penguin 3.0 – October 17, 2014


Recently there has been quite a lot of buzz in the digital world about the Google Penguin 3.0. Lots of questions have been asked, such as; ‘Is your business prepared for the update?’ and ‘What do I need to do to prevent my website from being negatively impacted by Penguin?’

Therefore we at Generate UK wanted to help our clients to fully understand how we can help to protect their business from the update.

In the past, link building was one of the most important SEO tactics, however the majority of webmasters were taking advantage of this tactic by building low quality links, just to boost the rankings and the website’s visibility, therefore most of these websites would contain a low quality link profile.

These days, the SEO tactics are not about QUANTITY but about QUALITY, that is why it’s important to keep an eye on your link profile.


Two Types of Penguin

There are two types of link penalties that you must be aware of as an online business.

Manual Penalty – Google’s definition of a ‘penalty’ is when an actual human being at Google has looked at your website and takes manual action against it. If the site has been manually penalised, you will usually receive a notification message through your Webmaster Tools account, which would look like the example below:

Google Penalty MessageIf your website does receive a manual link penalty, you will need to amend your website to remove the offending links and then file a reconsideration request to present to Google that you have done everything you possibly could to remove all your unnatural links from your profile.

Algorithmic Update - A site that is affected by an algorithm update is not suffering from a manual penalty; no human being reviewed the site but a machine has instead.

Penguin was an algorithm update and a lot of sites have been caught in its net.

When a site has been affected by a Penguin Algorithmic update its typically because they have built many anchor text links, possibly for many different keywords, all of which point to the homepage. This can mean that the homepage will not rank for a number of terms.

In order for a site to recover from an algorithm update, site owners need to remove the spam tactics such as keyword stuffing, low quality and spammy links, cloaking (or hidden content), etc. which are against the Google Webmaster Guidelines.


What do I need to do to protect my website from Penguin 3.0?

One of our first recommendations would be to compile as much link data for your website as possible. Usually, we would recommend for you to use multiple link sources.

At Generate UK we use Majestic SEO Historic & Fresh data, Link Research Tools, Link Detox Report, Webmaster Tools, Searchmetrics link data and also Screaming Frog.

The next step would be to format all of your link data and classify them into categories, which will help you to understand what types of links can be removed straight away.

After a deep analysis and formatting, this is the type of table you should end up with:


Link Footprint Classification


A table like the above table provides you with the information you need to help you identify which types of links will need to be part of the link removal process.

Ensure that you try to remove as many unnatural links as possible before uploading them to a Disavow File.

What is Disavow File & Tool?

The disavow file is a text file you can use for uploading the websites/links which you didn’t have much success in removing.

You can either disavow a whole domain or just a single link. However, we fully recommend for you to disavow a whole domain, as there is a strong chance that the domain contains more links than just the one that is pointing back to your website.

Ensure that you follow a correct guide in creating the file, as if the disavow file is not created correctly, it can also have a negative impact on your website.

Example of a Disavow File

 (Source: Disavow backlinks – Google Support)


The disavow tool was designed by Google to discount the unnatural links to your site. The use of the ‘Disavow Tool’ is dependant on the type of Google Penguin penalty received.

When the disavow file is created and submitted to Google Webmaster Tools, we need to ensure that we give Google at least three weeks to process the disavow file.

At Generate UK, we understand that this is quite a difficult and time-consuming process; therefore we are here to advise and help you to protect your business from the Penguin 3.0 update.

If you’re unsure if your website has been affected by Penguin, or want us to assist you, feel free to contact us for consultation.

A Designer’s Perspective: Re-design of The Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust website

Posted on by Mandie Lovelock in Customers, Internet Marketing, Web Design | Leave a comment

The design process is an integral part of our work here at Generate UK, but for many clients, it can seem like a bit of a dark art. In order to demystify how our designers go about coming up with their ideas, Mandie sat down with Leigh Prowse to discuss how he approached the design for one of our clients; the Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

What do you love about your job?

One of the best things about working for a multi-disciplined design agency is that I get the opportunity work with a wide range of clients, all of whom have completely different requirements and expectations. A great example of that was my work with the Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Reading.

What was the challenge?

The Royal Berkshire Hospital is one of the largest NHS Foundation Trusts in England, and they issued a tender to redesign their website to help boost their online presence. By their nature, they had specific requirements that set it apart from the average website and offered some interesting design challenges.

We were asked to design a modern, intuitive and aesthetically welcoming website that provided both value for money and flexibility, and included a CRM integration data capture facility.

Where do you start?

I took the RBH’s corporate guidelines and colour spectrum, and then began to shape them into initial concepts. I also felt it was important for my designs to reflect elements that the RBH stands for, including efficiency, a welcoming environment and excellence.

Royal Berkshire Hospital Concept

What did your concept look like?

We like to provide at least three concepts, going from a ‘safe’ version through to a challenging version. By creating visuals of the home page and a few general pages, it lets the client get a feel for the site.

With the RBH, they knew that the main users of their site were over 50, but as their use of technology is greater than ever before, I designed the site to be optimised on PC, tablet and smartphone.

Royal Berkshire Hospital Concepts Layout

What did the client think?

Once the designs had been shown to the RBH, the ‘safe’ version was dismissed almost instantly because it was felt to be too close to other NHS sites.

With the other two designs, we used an ‘e-fit’ process to let them mix and match the parts that they liked to create a final concept. From there, a consensus of opinions was reached within the many RBH stakeholders, and gratifyingly, my own personal favourite design was chosen.

Royal Berkshire Hospital Visuals

Royal Berkshire Hospital Website Responsive Showcase

The result:

The finished design went before the Board of Trustees for final approval in December 2013, with an estimated ‘go live’ date of February 2014.

I’m very proud of the results that we achieved here. The process was smooth and it was a great experience both personally and professionally.

Royal Berkshire Hospital Final Site

Sovereign Housing Association Invests in Blog Build and Achieves First Coverage in The Guardian

Posted on by Veronika in Content, Customers | Leave a comment

Generate UK designed, project managed and built Sovereign Housing Association’s blog in September 2014.

Sovereign Blog Design

At the beginning of September, we received a request from Sovereign Housing Association for Generate UK to design their blog for them. We wanted to ensure that the blog design followed their brand guidelines and any other additional requests from the client.

We created concepts for the blog homepage and the actual post pages. After a great brainstorm session with Sovereign, we tweaked the elements and ensured that the uniqueness and quality of the blog would stand out.

Blog Project Management

The blog design and build was managed step by step by Generate UK, so that we didn’t miss out any important elements. We mainly wanted to ensure that Sovereign was presented as a thought leader within the ‘public sector,’ therefore it was very important to manage the project wisely.

Sovereign Blog Build

Following approval of the design, we put together a Build Plan to ensure that all web build elements were covered. This included 2.5 days to build the blog, followed by another two days of quality control and testing, to ensure that all of the elements worked within all browsers.

The Sovereign Blog

Sovereign Blog Post in The Guardian

The Sovereign blog contains a post on the ‘Affordable Housing’ topic. This recent topic is considered as an interesting content piece, which was presented by Heather Bowman (Housing and Communities Director at Sovereign) at the recent housing conference.

Heather’s speech about ‘What is Truly Affordable Housing?’ received a lot of coverage on Twitter and also got picked up by Inside Housing who covered the story, which in turn helped The Guardian to pick up on this and put their own spin on the interesting topic.

This simply shows that investing into the quality and interesting content can have a positive outcome for any type of website.



Google Analytics Changed Visits to Sessions & Unique Visitors to Users

Posted on by Veronika in Search Engine Optimisation | Leave a comment

Keeping half an eye on the Google Analytics tool is essential as it is constantly changing. Recently there have been a couple of terminology changes spotted by one of the webmasters.

It appears that the section called ‘visits’ has now changed to the terminology ‘sessions’.  Also another spotted change in terminology was with ‘unique visitors’ which are now ‘users’.


From Visits to Sessions

Google Analytics Sessions

GA Sessions


As far as we can currently see there is no difference in the data that is represented. Simply that it has undergone a name change.  So, now your ‘visit’ is thought of as a ‘session’.


From Unique Visitors to Users
Google Analytics Users


GA Users


Likewise, we notice that the previously named ‘Unique Visitors’ has been changed to ‘Users’. This still represents a total number of users who landed on your website within requested time period.


Understanding the reasons behind these changes may come down to semantics, but all will certainly be revealed as the tool evolves further. Google announced the changes as quite big, but we cannot see yet why. We will bring you more news on the technical aspects as it is revealed by Google.


To find out more details about dimensions and metrics names, read the full list of Google Analytics dimensions and metric names on Google Developers website.

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