R&D Roundup – Jan 2021

From time to time, we’re reminded that the things we do each day may not jump out as interesting to us, however when shared with others they can prompt new ideas and interesting conversations.

To this end, we’re introducing a monthly series of “R&D Roundup” posts, where we’ll share some of the things we’re working on across different disciplines, as well as some industry news we’re keeping an eye on – all in the hope that others find it interesting or useful.

What we’re up to

Think Tanks

In an exciting start to the year, we’re introducing a new company-wide R&D initiative which we’ve dubbed “Think Tanks”.

For the next two months, everyone – regardless of role or specialism – will work in cross-discipline teams to identify opportunities for clients. They’ll then present their ideas back to the company, and the team with the most ambitious, creative and impactful ideas will be crowned the winners.

We’re looking forward to the conversations and ideas this sparks, and will share the outputs over the months ahead!


 

Development

Our development team are always working to push the quality of our web builds; whether it’s by fine-tuning for performance, finding ways to make code easier to work with, or finding new technologies to experiment with.

Below are a few of our favourite outputs from January’s R&D sessions.

CSS Code Splitting
This month we introduced CSS Code Splitting – a technique which ensures that a page only loads the CSS it actually needs – as a default feature in our WordPress base theme. We’ve also incorporated tree shaking, which ensures that unused code doesn’t ever make it to production. This improves pagespeed performance for all new sites moving forwards, and we’re keen to roll it out to some existing sites to benchmark the impact.

Dynamic Websites
One of our key focuses this year is to take our web builds to the next level to become more experiential. To this end we’ve been taking a multi-pronged approach; the design team have been upping their motion-design game, whilst the development team have been working behind the scenes on the WordPress Base Theme to allow us to begin to introduce slick transitions between pages whilst ticking all of the technical SEO boxes.

Additionally, Dan recently gave a fantastic internal talk about his interests in WebGL and Generative Art – something which the design and development teams are keen to incorporate into upcoming works.


 

Marketing & Analytics

Since Josh joined us back in September, we’ve been taking great strides forwards in our approach to data and reporting. In particular, we’ve had some game-changers this month which we’re very excited about.

Linking CRM & Analytics Data
For some businesses, attributing revenue back to digital marketing channels is tricky. For instance, a customer could visit a website via PPC, submit an enquiry which goes to a CRM, and then convert “offline” via the CRM a month later.

We’ve been working to finally close this gap for clients by tying up their CRM Pipeline data and events with Google Analytics, meaning they can directly attribute individual leads right back to their source and online touchpoints.

Keyword Gap Analysis
An exciting area we’ve been exploring this month is keyword gap analysis to bridge the gap between PPC and SEO campaigns. This approach involves blending data from various sources to identify areas which perform well in one channel, which may warrant investment in another.

We’ve started building some Data Studio reports to simplify the process too, which we’ll share more about over the months ahead.

 


 

Video Production

And finally, not all R&D happens at work! Our talented videographer Mike recently turned his living room into a photography studio and created these awesome shots over on his Instagram.


Top Picks

And now, we’ll bring things to a close with a few things the team found interesting or useful this month.

Microsoft Clarity – Read More
Since it was announced, we’ve been keeping an eye on Microsoft Clarity – a platform shaping up to be a real rival to HotJar. It’s still in its infancy, however we’re big fans of the “Rage Click” stat in particular.

Advanced Web Ranking CTR Study – Read More
Whilst carrying out some research and building out some tools, we’ve found Advanced Web Ranking’s CTR data/study to be absolutely invaluable.

YouTube Hashtag Search Results – Read More
YouTube have recently introduced dedicated pages for hashtags, providing another way for people to discover topic they’re interested in.

Digital PR – Read More
John Mueller prompted some excellent discussion on Twitter around the importance of digital PR, and it’s perception in the industry.

 

So that’s it for our first round up of 2021, stay tuned for more updates and top picks each month. Alternatively sign up to our regular newsletter here!