Archive for the ‘Websites’ Category

EP6: Agency Websites

June 5th, 2017

Something interesting happens when you ask an agency leader about their website. Usually a slight shift in their seat, followed by a sigh, a pained expression and a mumble about the site being due for an overhaul. A similar thing happens when you talk to marketing or new business practitioners in an agency, there’s a sense of exasperation or worse, resignation.

At a Design Business Association new business event in November, I asked the assembled audience of 60 agency folk, how many felt their website truly represented their agency offer. Just five hands were raised.

We’ve heard it all before. This isn’t a new dilemma, and we all know the reasons why so many agencies have a suboptimal website. It’s a perfect storm of lack of time, lack of resource, a focus on delivering client work, creative differences and the search for the perfect portfolio execution. But if we’re not careful, months, then years pass by and what should be a highly effective weapon in your new business and marketing arsenal is undermining the rest of your efforts and affecting the return on any new business investment you are making.

But the good news? This is a huge opportunity to make marginal gains. In this episode of Small Spark Theory, we explore the common website pitfalls and how to tackle them. And in true marginal gains spirit, you’ve only got to be that little bit better, engage with one more budget holding prospect to make a difference to your bottom line.

If you’re not sure about your website, try our quiz, just answer the following with a yes or no.

1.    Has your current website been redesigned or significantly overhauled in the last 3 years?

2.    Do you have a blog?

3.    Is your blog a subfolder of your main site (eg: or a separate, but linked url?

4.    Do you update your blog at least once a month?

5.    Are there sharing links on all of your blog posts?

6.    Is there a twitter feed on your website?

7.    Are links to ALL of your social channels active and easily seen on your website?

8.    Does your website talk about your people/team?

9.    Does it name the senior team/key contacts?

10. Are there contact details for named MD, or new business contact?

11. Get someone outside your agency (your mum, a neighbour, someone on the bus) and ask them to read the ‘About Us’ descriptor on your homepage. Do they immediately understand what you do?

12. Are your case studies up to date?

13. Do your case studies make clear the problem that you solved and what you actually delivered?

14. Do you track Google Analytics?

15. Do you know the primary source of your site traffic?

16. Do you update the content on your website yourselves or is it done by a third party?

17. Are you using SEO keyword techniques when you upload content?

18. Have you ever used Google Adwords?

19. Do you have a legal footer on your homepage stating your company registration details etc.?

20. Are you happy with your website?

If you score more than 10 no’s – feel free to get in touch, we can help!

Website grader is also an excellent resource to put your site through its paces …

This month’s book recommendation is  To Sell is Human by Daniel H Pink, listen to this episode for a chance to win a copy.

Follow us on Twitter @gunpowdertweets and join the conversation at #smallsparktheory

The Gunpowder Guide to Getting Noticed: October 23rd 2014, London

September 11th, 2014

So your agency is doing some fantastic work. You have a bunch of brilliant people who have an insightful approach to client challenges. You feel as though you have something genuinely intereresting and different to say.


So far so good.


But how do you make yourselves heard? How to you get your press releases published? How do you drive more traffic to your website? How do you grow your audience and elevate your news above the agency chatter?


Gunpowder is delighted to welcome two fantastic speakers to a special breakfast event on Thursday 23rd October in London.


Carol Lewis, Commissioning Editor at The Times and Cara Whitehouse, Head of UK/Europe at Reload Digital will be sharing their thoughts, from getting coverage in the broadsheets to boosting your online profile. We’ll look at what makes good content, where you should focus your time and what on earth you should be doing with Google Plus.


Places are limited so grab a ticket at the event page here. See you there!

Agency websites (part one). Don’t forget the people.

February 12th, 2014

It is a truth universally acknowledged that as the internet has matured and our relationship with it transformed, the role of the agency website has shifted significantly.


No longer simply an online brochure or portfolio, an agency site can, and should perform as a (relatively) low-cost, living and breathing new business person. And yet, so many are failing to deliver as a new business tool.


I’m going to leave SEO alone for this post, needless to say, being found in search has never been more important but I’ll come back to that in another post. Likewise, I’m going to leave navigation, messaging, case studies and blogging – more (so much more) of that later.


For now I’d just like to focus on people. Because we are a people business. Ask most agency owners and they will tell you that most of their new business comes from their network, either as referrals from past or existing clients or suppliers and colleagues. And, whilst recommendations follow the delivery of good work, good work happens when there is a good relationship.


So why are so many agency sites completely omitting to talk about their people?


On too many sites, there is no indication of the founders or management team on the about us page, or worse, no-one’s name on the contact page.


Not very personal, not too welcoming. Remember you want to make it easy for people to buy from you. If I’m a new business prospect, I don’t really want to phone the switchboard and ask to speak to the person who deals with new business, or send an email to “whom it may concern” at a generic email address. And if I’ve been given your name by someone recommending you, I’d quite like to be able to see you appear somewhere on the agency website with contact email address or phone number.


My quick straw poll today has observed that PR agencies are better at this, with digital agencies are falling behind by some margin and design somewhere in the middle. There’s a full Gunpowder survey of agency sites in the making, with results available in the spring. Feel free to sign up for updates here.