News - 20 Jan, 2022 – 5 Min Read

2021: A Year in Review

Todd Padwick
By Todd Padwick

Founder, Creative Director

Year in review

Foreword

You certainly don’t need me to remind you that 2021 hasn’t been easy. But amidst all the chaos and confusion, I’ve seen glimmers of positivity — I know that the past few years have made us more resilient and adaptable, and allowed us to find moments of joy in even the most unlikely of places.

And when it comes to business, I’ve certainly noticed an encouraging trend of companies offering more support to their staff than ever before. It’s cheering to see, and hopefully something that’s here to stay.

Personally, this strange period of time has seen me move out of our office in London, and temporarily relocate to Barcelona. I’m really enjoying the freedom remote working gives, and being able to travel more. But of course, I miss being in our beloved London studio (which we still have), collaborating, and conversing with the team. But if all goes to plan, I’ll be returning before the end of 2022.

I’m excited about 2022. We have plans in place to further grow the agency and introduce more services and people — I’ll be announcing more details on this throughout the year — but first, I’d like to look back at what we’ve achieved over the past 12 months:

We've gone headless

Since the launch of new headless content management systems such as Sanity, and existing systems like Craft CMS introducing headless as core, we’ve been able to adopt technologies we’ve had our eyes on for a while and roll them out as a core service. We won’t weigh you down with the intricate details here (because we’ve already written about that), but what we will say is this means we can level up our websites with seamlessly fluid, interactive experiences.

We may not have been the first agency to adopt this technology, but we don’t believe in mindlessly following trends. Instead, we rigorously test, research and experiment until we know whether the technology in question will work for us and our clients. In this case, we’d felt the required technology wasn’t quite ready. Key elements such as SEO, and feature rich headless content management systems were lacking. So we waited until these issues were sorted before we took the plunge.

Seamless page transitions on the website we built for Positive Group

We introduced strategic SEO as a service… and we’re already seeing fantastic results

For years we only offered technical search engine optimisation (SEO) support, leaving the SEO content strategy to our clients’ marketing teams. But we began to realise that many of them were in real need of this too. So, we’ve now teamed up with Make Digital, offering full-service SEO as a core pillar of our retainer packages. I’m incredibly happy with this addition as it enables us to help our clients to grow and extend their reach further than ever before.

We’ve seen some excellent results already. Within just a few months of offering The Writer strategic SEO guidance, they reported:

  • A 50% drop in bounce rate
  • A 260% increase in time spent on blog articles
  • A 50% increase in new leads generated via the website

We intend to fine-tune this service even further in the new year with the addition of monthly high-level ROI reporting geared for stakeholders, alongside the more in-depth data driven reports for marketing teams.

We introduced CRO as a service

More suitable for our larger, high traffic clients, we now offer conversion rate optimisation (CRO) as an ongoing service for our retainer packages. This is the process of KPI driven user experience tracking and multi-variant testing, to determine possible improvements that might gain an increase in conversions. This is a very recent introduction to our services, so I can’t reveal any stats just yet, but I am confident we’ll see some excellent results in early 2022.

We’ve launched some fantastic projects

We’ve partnered with some amazing new clients this year as well as continuing to work with our much-loved existing ones. The results of which are some ground-breaking new projects, both big and small, to add to our portfolio. Here are just a few (some we have to keep under wraps for now):

We’ve re-launched our own site

The launch of our own website was long awaited. Our clients always come first. So redesigning our own site has been put on the back burner for over two years. But finally in December 2021 it went live, and we’re incredibly proud of the result. It’s a much better reflection of who we are and what we value, and we look forward to developing it even more throughout 2022 (after our clients’ sites, of course).

Conclusion

I’m grateful to our team, our partners and our clients for collaborating with us and being a core part of the inception of such fantastic digital solutions. I cannot wait to grow and further develop our services alongside you all in 2022 and beyond, with the shared goal of creating unique, engaging experiences.

Thank you, for, against all the odds, such an incredible year.

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