Optix Solutions takes Flight

Optix Solutions Duck and Mature DuckWell things are looking a little different around here. There’s a new website. A new event. Plus, did we mention we have a new brand? So say hello to the new version of Optix Solutions.

Gone are the days of the Rubber Ducks. Fun though they were, both the duck, our values and our work have all evolved over the past few years to culminate in something; well, more mature.

The entire team have all gone above and beyond to make this all happen and we’re immensely proud of how far things have come. So, here’s the 3 key things you need to know:

The New Brand

Yes, it’s here. The Rubber Duck has officially gained its wings and grown into something more mature, with the ability to take flight and soar. Not just floating on the top of the water. But enough with the duck related metaphors.

It all ties back to our brand values which are to:

Delight – We strive for excellent and exceed expectations

Engage – We use our passion, knowledge and creativity

Support – We care about our clients and each other

You’ll be seeing the new coral colour and matured duck across the entire business. And those of you coming to our digital marketing event? Well, you’ll be the first to see it.

The New Website

Yes, it’s finally here. After mutterings of ‘cobblers shoes’ and ‘coming soon’ we’re delighted to push our new website live. Designed and developed by the whole Optix team, it features new digital services; a fresh new design, some tremendous client case studies , plus a complete breakdown of our processes; from start to finish in how we work with you.

So, look around, explore and test. We want your feedback. Just send it in here.

The Digital Marketing Seminar

Tomorrow sees the launch of our biggest digital marketing seminar to date. With over 100 people registered, we’re aiming to wow you all with our new services, our new brand; alongside some fascinating talks covering different aspects of digital.

We’ll see you there.

If you’re not able to come along though then keep an eye on the Optix Solutions Twitter feed for updates throughout the day.

We want your feedback so get your thoughts down and send them onto us. Whether they’re good, bad or somewhere in between we’re keen to hear what you think and use it to make things even better. Start by contacting us here.

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How to Use Google Analytics: Our Top Tips

Al: Okay so welcome back to coffee table top talks with Optix Solutions, I'm delighted to be joined by Mr Thomas Haynes from the digital marketing team here at Optix Solutions. I wanted to talk to you today really about an area of your expertise which is analytics. Analytics is essential in any website otherwise how do you know how well your website is doing unless you look into these stats? It's the kind of thing you help our clients with on a daily basis so you obviously know a lot about it but I want to focus on the basics initially today and we've only got a couple of minutes so I’m just going to fire a couple of questions at you. What are the top 2 or 3 things to focus on to getting a good analytics set up?

Thomas: The main thing is not to just focus on traffic. A lot of people when they first start using analytics will just look at how much traffic they've had each month and that’s the only real metric that they count. There are metrics that are a lot more useful in terms of measuring your success and working out where to spend your time and effort.

Al: So for the benefit of the guys out there a couple of them maybe?

Thomas: The first thing you should do is make sure you have got some goals set up on your account.

Al: Ok, so what's a goal?

Thomas: A goal is a way of tracking a successful visit to your site, so if you're doing e-commerce, it might be a sale or if you want someone to sign up to your newsletter, that might be a goal that you put in place.

Al: Does a goal need to be at the end of a process, does it need to be triggered by something?

Thomas: Yes, there are various different ways of triggering goals but it is the last stage of the process.

Al: And then you can monitor how much of that traffic you were talking about at the beginning is turned into those goals at the other end of the funnel.

Thomas: Yes and you can see which types of traffic are performing best for you from different activities and sources.

Al: Meaning then you know where your marketing money is going and what's working and what's not. Ok that's really interesting. What other things do you think people should look out for?

Thomas: You need to look at your referrals, so as well as looking at your traffic from search engines, you also need to be looking at which sites are sending traffic to you.

Al: Any reason why that's important?

Thomas: It’s really useful for instance if you are using social media, analytics will pull out social referrals specifically so you can see how activity is working for you, how many visits each different place you are showing content on is getting and then how much traffic that is providing you with.

Al: Am I right in saying there are a number of clients that might be paying for advertising on other websites – they might be doing a one off campaign with an industry magazine website and they want to know that the money they have spent on that advert is actually worth it in terms of the traffic it's generating and that's where you find that out?

Thomas: You would find that in referrals, but you could set up specific campaign tracking that will give you just that information.

Al: Oh wow, ok, well let's leave that for another day. Is there anything else specifically that people should look at?

Thomas: A good metric is bounce-rate. So, when a user visits your site, if they don't interact with your site at all and they click back or they close your site straight away then that counts as a bounce.

Al: Okay so just to take someone through that: they might go to a search engine, type in something, find the link to your website, click it, go to that page, then close the browser afterwards, and that essentially is a bounce. Do we see that as a bad thing?

Thomas: We normally look at it as an indication of how well the content is performing. It's not always a bad thing; it might be that the user visits your site on their phone, finds your phone number then gives you a call. They will have appeared to have bounced but are actually still interacting. Generally speaking a high bounce rate is a sign of content that users aren't really interested in or isn't giving them what they want.

Al: So we're talking: bounce rate and conversions based around goal setting and if you get those kind of things right you're probably going to be a bit further ahead of other people and obviously the referrals you mentioned earlier as well. Thank you very much for coming in to talk to us today and that's it for today's coffee top talks.

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Meet Dan White Our Latest Addition to the Optix Family

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Hi there! My name is Dan White and I've joined the digital marketing team here at Optix Solutions as the new Digital Marketing Manager. How did I find myself here? Just read on and you'll find out… Back in 2009 I graduated from the University of Reading with a degree in History & Archaeology. Exciting times indeed but I wasn't going to be the next Indiana Jones.

I fell into digital marketing by accident, firstly working for a recruitment company, followed by a move to North Devon which saw me working with a start-up holiday cottage agency. After getting to help to market some fantastic properties in and around Exmoor, I took the step to go freelance and become a digital marketing consultant. I worked with some fantastic businesses doing everything from social media training, email marketing and maintaining websites for hotels, IT companies and a naturally being in North Devon; a few surfing websites.

Although I got to meet some new people and work on some great projects, the life of a freelancing had its up's as well as its downs so I wanted to rejoin the vibrancy of office life.

So why did I want to work for Optix?

From the first meeting with Alastair there was definitely something different about Optix (different in a good way – naturally). I've spent a good deal of time meeting with different agencies looking for a job and even set up a check list blog post of ‘what I'm looking for in a marketing agency’. I’m pleased to say that Optix stepped up to the mark and everything clicked. It was like when you go house hunting and know when you've found the one. With a genuinely dedicated, friendly and professional bunch of people it’s a fantastic working environment. Plus, with a wide variety of fascinating clients, there’s never a dull moment.

As things move forwards I'm hoping to bring with me my skills for social, plus the varied experiences and tools that come with being a freelancer.

So, if you want extra information about digital marketing then you can find me over on Twitter @danwht, or if you have any questions then feel free to email me at dan.white@optixsolutions.co.uk.

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New Beginnings

A trait thats highly encouraged in the Optix team is entrepreneurial sprit. Its hardly surprising when you think that the two directors started the company at the tender age of 19 and while still at Exeter University.

Where other companies might be concerned about staff upping sticks and creating their own business we take quite the opposite. We say good luck, we support them and we wish them well on their way. And today we bring you news of just this type.

For the last couple of years Charlie Martin and Olly Harrison have been front of house at Optix, helping us build the company and look after a number of our clients. This Christmas, the boys will leave the Optix stable and start their own company, a sales & marketing agency named Gusto.

We know that at times like this there is the temptation for tongues to wag and as we all know, careless whispers cost lives, so we wanted to officially acknowledge this news, celebrate the  creation of this new company and let the world know that we are all fully intending to work together moving forward.

We wish the guys the best in what will no doubt be a challenging but rewarding journey, its what they’ve always wanted to do so we’ve no doubt they’ll be a success.

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Taking care of our clients

Hi There.

My name is Dave and I'm a Senior Developer here at Optix.

Recently I redeveloped our client area and wanted to share with you all the sort of thing we like to do for our clients here at Optix .

Support

The first section is an area where you can submit support tickets.

You can report bugs, request changes and even request a quote for some new functionality you'd like. Once submitted we're alerted of what you would like done. We then assign it to the relevant person who will keep you updated via email throughout the process.

If you've requested a change or a bug fix there's also the ability to leave comments on the task and have a conversation with the person at Optix involved.

Once the task has been completed the person who made the change will let you know it's been completed and log the amount of time it took.

All tickets that have been submitted are kept for historical accuracy so that they can be referenced upon in the future, if the need arises.

Resources

The next section is a new feature, which will hold all kinds of useful documents for you to view and download. As of writing this there's not much in there for you, but as time goes by we will be adding all kinds of things we deem could be useful to you.

Content Request System

This is another new area of the website and is a pretty big feature.

Whilst going through the process of building a website, or adding new features to a current one, we may need to get some content or information from you. This is where the content requester comes in.

If we need something from you, we add in a new request, which in turn alerts you. You can then log into your client area and supply us with that content. What's wrong with just sending it over in an email like usual, you ask?

We, as a team at Optix, get thousands of emails a week, and using a centralized system such as this, allows us (and of course you) to keep a better track of what exactly has been submitted so that we can give you a higher degree of accuracy when it comes to making your shiny new website.

This system also gives us the ability to be able to reference details you've submitted way into the future with ease when it comes to any changes you'd like to make. If you're already a part of our client area, please take a look at it when you get a chance.

The new layout really is beautiful. If you're a client of ours but don't have access to the client area, or don't know your login details, give us a ring on 01392 667766 or email your account manager and they'll be able to help you out. The client area can be found here: http://client.optixsolutions.co.uk/ 

Many thanks for reading, Dave.

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What is Inbound Marketing?

Not sure what all this Inbound Marketing stuff is all about?

Here's a great, concise explanation from Alastair and you can always contact us here if you'd like to find out more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YntIH4IwyOE

For many years marketeers have focused on outbound marketing… 

Your message is pushed out attempting to buy people’s attention. Think Radio, Think Magazine Ads, Think TV. With Inbound Marketing the focus switches to ‘earnt’ attention. By providing your prospects with something of value they give you permission to keep marketing to them. For example, giving away advice in a blog article or whitepaper which your prospect finds via Google is a good form of Inbound Marketing. If you’re lucky, they subscribe to your blog feed and in turn give you permission to market to them in the future.

This is the first step.

True inbound companies work on converting these prospects into customers, taking them on a journey down a purchasing funnel. This is called lead nurturing. This consists of email auto-responders; automated emails which give your prospect useful information, help & advice through the buyer funnel, Conversion optimisation; offering up different formats of the same page on your website to find out which convert more regularly and even dynamic content; if I know you’ve downloaded a document from my site before, I might put a personal message for you next time you return – you’re now marketing to an audience of 1.

The first step to inbound marketing is to work out your buyer personas. In my business, one of our personas is Bob. Bob is the managing director of a successful business turning over more than a million pounds a year. He built the business from scratch and is fascinated by marketing because he recognises that it’s the route to take his business to the next level. He’s a passionate person who knows what he wants and looks to employ the best people for the job. He doesn’t try and drive people down on price because he appreciates quality.

Now, when we create our marketing material we think of Bob. Would this blog article be of interest to him, would this letter we’re sending out get through his PA? Is this whitepaper something he’s likely to print and take home to read?

With Inbound marketing, your focus becomes more defined and less time is wasted trying to appeal to all.  

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