Engage - Plug and Play
Welcome to Engage, your portal to better marketing

by Emma Moody

For most online businesses, there are two main ways to receive an inbound lead: a contact form enquiry from the website or phone call. However our experience as an agency has shown us that while almost 100% of our new customers track their contact form enquiries online, fewer than 5% track their inbound calls. So why is this? Well, call tracking is one of those technologies that people usually don’t realise is relevant to them. Many of our new customers report feeling that their business is too small to be tracking calls and that the costs outweigh the benefits, especially when contact form tracking is free.

call tracking

As advocates of call tracking, even in small businesses, Plug & Play believe that the insight gained by tracking all inbound leads by far outweighs the monthly fee. By the end of this article, you’ll be armed with all of the information you need to make a decision on whether call tracking is for you and your company.

So first thing’s first… what is call tracking?

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by Brad Girtz

If you have never worked at an agency before you might not know quite what to expect. This is especially true for graduates or people just joining the workforce. With that in mind, Plug and Play have come together to give you a window into the life of a digital agency employee. Think of us as your agency shirpa; we’ll help you understand what life is really like in an agency.

working in an agency

Flat Corporate Structure

The first thing most people notice is the flat corporate structure. Unlike many more traditional businesses, a digital agency doesn't have much of a corporate hierarchy. You usually find there are a few directors, a few managers and then everyone else is on the same level. This makes Plug and Play, along with most other agencies, very nimble. We can adapt quickly and we don’t need a big book of rules and regulations to keep the company operating. It also means if an employee wants to change something or try a new approach they can.

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by Gabrielle Richardson

Getting your first job out of university can be really tough. Not only does it seem like all the fun has come to an end and suddenly you’ve entered the real world, finding the right job can be a daunting and difficult experience. If you know you want to work in a digital agency, chances are you’ve got some good reasons why: you’ve got a particular skill set, you’re fascinated by the industry or you enjoy a fast paced environment and working with people. It can seem difficult to get your first foot in the door and get your ideal graduate job, but the good news is that recruiting at a digital agency is really hard too. Our straightforward tips will help you stand out from the crowd and secure that all important first job.

Work at Digital Agency

Having a good record of work experience is crucial. When you’re at university, try to get internships or work experience placements during the holidays. Not only does it give you a lot more to talk about on your CV than just the title of your Dissertation, work experience is an important networking opportunity and literally gives you experience of work. It sounds obvious, but for a lot of graduates, knowing what to expect and how to behave at their first “proper” job can be a shock. Having a strong record of work experience shows employers that you’re proactive, focused and keen to learn.

If you’re sending your CV to an agency or applying for a job, include a covering letter. Try to find out the name of the person who’ll be reviewing CVs and address it directly to them. The covering letter doesn’t have to be War and Peace but an introduction into who you are, why you want to work at that agency and the skills and experience you have can make a big impact.

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by Krystyna Coyle

The majority of us grew up without an education in code and digital marketing. So now as a business owner, you know it is imperative that you have a website in order to stay up to date and and ahead of the competition. You know that your website has the potential to be a valuable source of traffic and ultimately sales.

Should You Hire An Agency

Technology is changing exponentially and the pace of change is relentless. With that comes differences in user behaviour, Google and Facebook algorithms, design, technology (voice search in 2018 is set to be huge and a game changer) and competition is rife. For your business to survive you need to adapt. In order to thrive you need to drive your team to get in front of your customers, innovate and offer an edge that your competitors cannot.

Which begs the question; with regards to your website, digital marketing, design, brand, content and user experience should you do it yourself? Should you hire a freelancer? Hire a full time employee? Or should you commission an agency?

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by Brad Girtz

Event tracking is an important part of any good digital marketing strategy. Knowing what your customers are up to on your site can help you improve your business, earn you more money and give you great insights into your audience. As more sites add ecommerce, tracking will become ever more essential. With that in mind, let's examine how you can get started tracking your website users.

website tracking

When most people start out tracking they are usually looking for something quick and easy without a lot of setup. Something between an enterprise level system that requires a team to install and physically holding down your customers while you fit them with a tracking collar and ear tag.

Goal Tracking

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by Brad Girtz

I am the first one to admit that Digital Marketing has way too much confusing jargon. We have basically made up our own nerdy language. It has got to the point where we can have a conversation amongst ourselves that no outsider can understand (or maybe we are just so annoying people ignore our nerdy chatter). With that in mind, and in the interest of educating those outside of the digital marketing geek community, I have compiled this jargon busting list. This digital diatribe should help you sift your way through a conversation about digital marketing, or at least fake it well enough so as not to frighten the next herd of nerds you encounter.

translating digital marketing jargon

301 This is a permanent redirect of traffic from one URL to another. A 301 is created using the htaccess file.

302 A temporary version of the 301 redirect also done using the htaccess file.

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by James Ward

While WordPress hooks do offer a great deal of flexibility in customising core functionality, there are limitations to using them:

woocommerce hooks

  • You are at the mercy of documentation and naming convention: if either of these are not taken into careful consideration it can lead to confusion and irritation as you try to figure out why something isn't working the way you expect it to. We've all had those times where a hook doesn't fire when we're expecting it to - or maybe not at all. Most of the time it's not down to our code but rather the miscommunication of the name of the hook and its accompanying documentation.
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by Tim Morris

There was once a time before Google Chrome. To refresh your memory that time was 2007 - Steve Jobs launched the first iPhone and Leon Jackson was X-Factor champion (no, me neither). 2008 saw not only the rise of Alexandra Burke to the X-Factor throne but the launch of Google Chrome and within five years it was the world’s most popular browser.

quality assurance

One of the great things about Chrome is the wide variety of extensions available in the Chrome Web Store, but with so many extensions it can be hard to find the good amongst the bad. So in the spirit of sharing, here are some of our favourite Quality Assurance (QA) related Chrome extensions.

Completing form data

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by Gabrielle Richardson

At Plug and Play, we typically charge 15% of the total project fees for a dedicated project manager to oversee your project. When prospective clients see this on a proposal document they often say that they are happy to liaise with each member of the team as and when they need to and don’t need the extra resource. We are regularly asked: ‘Is Project Management Worth It?’ As Operations Manager at Plug and Play, I obviously think it is.

project management

Unifying Stakeholders

Even the smallest, simplest website has a lot of moving parts. There’s the website structure, the way it looks, the way it works, what it says and how it performs. That means that at the minimum, a designer, a developer, a digital marketing expert and most importantly, you, are involved in getting the website live.

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by Brad Girtz

If you are building a new website you have almost certainly heard of SEO. Search Engine Optimisation is crucial to help your customers find that shiny new website you are so proud of. So before you press the button to make your new site live, take some time to go through our complete SEO checklist for new and rebuilt sites.

Your SEO Checklist

This is a comprehensive guide to everything you should do before you launch to make your life after launch more profitable.

Do Your Research

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by Brad Girtz

Your Google AdWords account should be like a great dog. You give it money and it fetches you customers. Unfortunately, some AdWords Accounts are more similar to a dog that tips over the bins and hides all of your left shoes. These accounts waste money while providing little to no reward. So how do you figure out if your account is fetching your slippers or plotting to kill the postman?

Google AdWords Audit

Tracking & Remarketing

The first step is to check for tracking and remarketing. If you don’t know what these are here is a quick explanation. Tracking uses cookies to help you understand your customers behaviours. When setup properly tracking allows you to see what channels are responsible for sales as well as how customers interact with your site. Remarketing is the process of using your tracking to show ads to people who have already interacted in some way with your site.

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by Gabrielle Richardson

Today we’re looking back on a UX design and front end project we did with a company called Sirota.

Sirota are a HR consultancy firm who work with large, multi-national companies, advising on and building Employee Satisfaction surveys.

Sirota approached us back in 2016 to redesign their survey interface. The current system was out of date, meaning that building surveys was time consuming and difficult and taking surveys was clunky and awkward.

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by Gabrielle Richardson

A few months ago we launched a new website for advertising agency ICP. You can read all about the process we went through and what we set out to achieve with the new website here. Now that the site has been live a little while, we can take a look at the results, comparing the performance of the old ICP website with the new ICP website.

The graph below shows the performance of keywords organically ranking on Google from March to June 2017. This data is taken from Moz, a market-leading SEO tool which we use to track keyword performance.

The light blue indicates the keywords we are tracking ranking in the top three positions in Google and green indicates the lower half of page one of Google, positions 4-10.

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by Gabrielle Richardson

We are excited to announce that we've just launched a new website for a global advertising production agency called ICP. ICP manages the digital assets for leadings brands from Tiffany & Co, Unilever, Estee Lauder to Calvin Klein. You can check the new site out here.

ICP website on iPad

Our Process

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by Gabrielle Richardson

We are very excited to announce that the new Save the Student website is now live!

http://www.savethestudent.org/

Save the Student is the number 1 student money website in the UK and they came to us last year to revitalise their site. Started in 2007 by savvy student Owen Burek, the site has gone from strength to strength over the years but was in need of an update.

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by Gabrielle Richardson

In honour of World Gin Day, we thought we’d take a look back on one of our favourite projects: building the new website for The City of London Gin Distillery.

Back in 2015, an existing client referred The City of London Distillery to us as they needed a new website. With a new gin about to be launched, a popular bar and in-demand distillery tours and classes, COLD needed a website that could take table bookings, tour bookings and sell their multiple award-winning bottles of gin.

Our process started by wireframing the website layout; planning the structure of each page and the key user journeys. With the blueprints agreed, the design of the website then begins, starting first with the homepage and then rolling out the concept to the rest of the website.

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by James Ward

In the industry of digital marketing, time is money. The faster tasks are completed the larger the profit at the end of the project. If you find yourself spending time repeating the same tasks over and over again - Grunt can certainly help take the weight off!

Grunt is an “automated task manager”, as the name suggests, it can do the “grunt” tasks for you while you get on with the more interesting stuff.

Every time you make a change to your Sass or CSS Grunt can recompile and minify everything for you without you having to lift a finger, simply refresh the browser and volia your changes are there. Inserted a new image? No problem! Grunt can compress the image down to save space and increase performance - all automatically.

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by James Ward

Usability can be a difficult challenge to overcome, not because it is particularly difficult to implement, but because it is subjective. What one person deems to be simple and easy to use may be someone else's nightmare; there are definite ‘better’ and ‘worse’ approaches but there is no best, specific way of overcoming a particular issue.

WordPress does a good job of making things simple out of the box, especially when compared to alternative Content Management Systems, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement.

In this article, we'll highlight some interesting ways your web development team can boost usability in WordPress.

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