Creating a home for ‘Jail Ale’ – Dartmoor Brewery Website Launch


Here at Optix we’re partial to the odd team after work beverage so you can imagine the buzz around the office when Dartmoor Brewery asked us to build them a new website. The website had to appeal to the B2C market; increasing the brand awareness of ‘Jail Ale’ whilst maintaining a drinkaware authority that falls upon any reputable brewery. Dartmoor of course want you to drink their beer, but responsibly. That really resonated in the brainstorms, kick off meetings and brewery tour right through to design and functionality. This was a brewery that thinks about the customer at every step of the process.


Encapsulating the Brief

Dartmoor Brewery wanted the site to reflect these values and also offer something new to the market, a design that reflected the freshness of the ale and the brewery without being trite or condescending. The brewery, much like Optix, feels like a family, everyone supports one another and works to improve the brew as well as the brewery so that’s what we set out to accomplish.

Not every step of the design and build process was easy, there are strict regulations for alcohol promotion, and much like the unpredictability of the moors themselves this clouded some of our ideas.


A Change of Focus

Due to this challenge we turned the focus a little by encouraging the consumer to buy into the location of the brewery itself, Dartmoor is by definition a wild, stunning, natural area of outstanding beauty and when you’re stood on top of Haytor with the wind in your hair – you can feel that magnificence in her entirety. And that’s what the brewery has taken and put into their ‘Jail Ale’ they wanted to encapsulate that almost intangible feeling into a Nationally recognised ale. 

So we took this need for combination of location, people and National brand and created a website that truly encompasses it all – see it in all its wonder here.

If you would like to discuss a website project get in touch with us.

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Digital Marketing Jargon Made Easy

Here at Optix we are so used to talking about our services, we often use words or abbreviations to describe tactics and actions and forget not everyone has a digital marketing dictionary handy! We’ll be producing a series of blogs to explain what these shortened terms mean. 


AdWords is Google’s advertising service. It allows businesses to display ads on Google. You will often see these adverts across of the top or down the right hand side of Google when you have searched for something. 

And if you’ve ever seen an advert that follows you around the internet.That’s called remarketing and can be run through Google AdWords too.

Read more about Adwords here.

Anchor Text

This is the clickable text in a hyperlink. For example you may want to send someone to but rather than writing out the whole web address you could shorten it to ‘web design’ and make that text link to that web address.


A backlink is a link put on someone else’s website that links back to yours. 

Black/White Hatting

These terms are used when carrying out SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

Black hatting refers to the use of aggressive SEO tactics which do not often have the human audience’s best interests at heart. It may get you quick, good results but can result in your website being banned from search engines like Google.  

White hatting is the ethical approach to SEO. This method will have a long-term strategy in mind and aims to please the human audience as well as search engines.


This stands for Conversion Rate Optimisation which means concentrating on converting your customers. For example, your website may look beautiful but if it takes users more than 3 clicks to get to their destination they are much less likely to convert (complete the sales journey).


This is the Click Through Rate. Often used to monitor email marketing campaigns this is often a good indication of how engaged your customers are by showing how many times someone has clicked on a desired item.


This is the practice of delivering different content to different users based on their location. For example, if you are a weather company you may only want to send people in a specific area weather news relevant to that location. 


This is the term used every time someone visits your website or views your video. Often this can also be called a ‘view’.


This is when someone sees an advert. They do not need to click or buy anything for it to be an impression. Items such as Google AdWords can charge you based on the number of ‘impressions’ it shows to customers.

Key Word Stuffing

This is regularly used when ‘black hatting’. It’s the process of simply getting as many keywords as possible onto a web page or blog post. This is not advised! Google’s core algorithms are now smart enough to detect when this is happening and penalize your content accordingly!


This is a term, set of words or phrase that people may search for in a search engine. For example, if you are an estate agents in Devon, you might want to rank highly on Google for the phrase ‘property for sale in Devon’.

Landing Page

This is a page which serves as an entry point for a website. 

Link Bait

This is content on your website that other companies may link to because they want to, not because you’ve asked them to. This will often come in the forms of a viral video, an evergreen (stays in date) blog post or useful white paper.

Link Building

This is the practice of building high quality links to your website which has been shown to help you rank naturally on search engines. Read more about Link Building here

Negative Keyword

Negative keywords can be chosen in Google Adwords to specifically tell Google that you don’t want your website website to appear in the results for a specific phrase. 


Launched in 2012, Google Penguin is an update designed to root out websites which appear to have deliberately engaged in artificially paying for links, or being involved in link networks specifically to appear higher up in Google’s rankings. Learn more about Google Penguin here.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

This refers to adverts on Google and other paid advertising options such as paid adverts on Bing, Facebook and Twitter. You only pay every time someone clicks on your ad.

ROI (Return on Investment)

One way of monitoring how well an advert is doing is to work out the return on investment. This is how much you’ve gained in relation to how much you have spent. Often, this is hard to report as a lot of ‘end goals’ may not be aiming to result in a direct sale. 

RSS (Really Simple Syndication)

This is real-time content delivered to readers through the use of an RSS reader. These aren’t as common as they once were.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Just one of the tactics we use in digital marketing. This is the art of getting your website (or individual pages) to rank highly on search engines. The higher you are, the easier it is to be found online, therefore increasing visits to your site and ultimately can help to increase sales.

SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)

Exactly what it says on the tin.

UGC (User Guided Content)

Content created by users – blogs, videos, comments, reviews, podcasts etc. 

So there we have it, the first in our jargon busting series, next we’ll be talking about web design phrases!  

If you’d like to find out more book onto our How To: Digital Marketing workshop on the 30th June here: 

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Is Your Website Ready For Google’s Big Mobile Update?

Usually when Google announces an update it comes with little, if any, warning at all. However, Google recently announced, "Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results." Whilst Google have been telling Webmaster’s for years to prepare for Mobile, this is the most significant mobile-related announcement they have released to date, and it’s clear that this time, Google mean business.

It’s Time For Action…

If you don’t already have a Mobile-Friendly website then you need to get the ball-rolling, and quickly. You have probably heard the terms “Responsive Site” and “Mobile Site” repeatedly across the web, so we are going to start by briefly defining what each of these mean.

Responsive Site – A Responsive Site takes a standard website and instructs it to fit the display size that it is being viewed on. This allows your website to fit precisely on any device in any resolution. An example of a Responsive Site is the Porsche website You can see the change in website size if you slowly drag the bottom right hand corner of your browser inward to make it smaller.

Mobile Site – This is a completely separate site that has been designed and built purely for mobile users. It may sit on a sub domain such as An example of a Mobile-Specific Site is the BBC Sports website You can see the difference by bringing up the website on a mobile and desktop device and comparing the two.

Responsive vs. Mobile Sites – What Is Better? Mobile Sites:

The Pros

  • Better mobile experience for users (may lead to higher conversions)
  • Cheaper upfront costs

The Cons

  • Recurring maintenance
  • High costs for updating multiple websites
  • May need to be upgraded in future to work on new browsers
  • Issues with optimal display on different resolutions

  Responsive Site:

The Pros

  • One website works on multiple devices
  • Only needs to be updated once as only one site
  • Recommended by Google
  • Better ROI in the long term as it won’t need much maintenance to work on future browsers

The Cons

  • More expensive upfront

A Quick Note On Search Engine Optimisation…

If Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) forms a core part of your business then this must also be taken into consideration at this point. When it comes to link building and spending time optimising a site, you need to consider the fact that updating multiple sites will be far more costly and time consuming, than updating and building links to just the one Responsive Site.

In Summary The bottom line is you need to think about why you are creating the site and what functionality you need it to have. Either way, a mobile website is a MUST if you want to stay within Google’s guidelines and within the same playing field as your competitors. If you need to discuss your website in more detail please give us a call on 01392 667766, where one of the team will be more than happy to help!

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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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‘The Big Predictions for 2014’ 24th of Jan at Optix

The digital landscape changes daily. Keeping up to speed with these changes is imperative if you want your business to succeed online.

Welcome to our flagship event, our once a year extravaganza!

Don’t worry, we’ll still be running our Optix Fridays throughout the year and we also have a special series of sector specific events planned. This one however is for those of you who want to start the year with a bang. It’s about making sure you’ve not missed out on any of the changes in 2013 and are ahead of the game in 2014. At the very least you’ll come away with loads of ideas to take back into your business and start implementing immediately.

What’s it about?

We’ll take the morning to review some of the big changes of 2013 (mobile websites, penguin and hummingbird updates will all feature) and then we’ll look forward to 2014 with our predictions on what’s going to be big and how you can take advantage of the trends and technologies available to you. As a sneak preview, we’ll be covering topics such as: creation of inbound marketing profiles, how to run split tests on your site to improve conversion rates & use of Twitter for outreach work  – amongst many other interesting topics.

Who Should Attend?

  •     Business owners who want to see their business fly
  •     Marketing managers who want to improve their digital marketing knowledge
  •     Marketing associates/assistants who want to learn a few neat new tricks

Testimonial from a previous seminar;

"We were really impressed with Optix's Digital Marketing Seminar – a very well prepared and presented morning session. The use of real life examples and references enabled us to interpret the complex digital arena. We came away feeling well informed and excited by what we could apply to our business. It was also a great opportunity to mingle and exchange notes with other business representatives. Thank you so much."  Pipex px

Venue; The Estuary Suite, Sandy Park Conferencing and Banqueting Centre, Exeter, EX2 7NN Links

You Need: Here's where you book – eventbrite booking

Please help us spread the word by sharing: Facebook Like ButtonTweet Button

If you like it Old Skool: Forward to a friend

Thanks and we hope to see you there! The Optix Team

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Google announces new Algorithm called Hummingbird

hummingbirdYesterday Google announced that they have launched a brand new Algorithm called Hummingbird which has already been live for around a month. Most changes we see such as Panda and Penguin are “updates” but this is a completely new Algorithm and the biggest change since 2001 according to Google's Amit Singhal. What’s changed? The changes are focused on understanding user intent and the meaning behind words rather than just matching a keyword to a piece of content: "What’s the closest place to buy the iPhone 5s to my home?” A traditional search engine might focus on finding matches for words — finding a page that says “buy” and “iPhone 5s,” for example. Hummingbird should better focus on the meaning behind the words. It may better understand the actual location of your home, if you've shared that with Google. It might understand that “place” means you want a brick-and-mortar store. It might get that “iPhone 5s” is a particular type of electronic device carried by certain stores. Knowing all these meanings may help Google go beyond just finding pages with matching words. In particular, Google said that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.” Source: Google has been heading in this direction for years with Knowledge Graph and answering questions directly in the search results:


What impact will this have?

Given that Google is working on understanding exactly what a user is looking for this places even more emphasis on creating great, useful content rather than trying to create a page which appears to be the most relevant result because of keywords, etc. This has been the case for a long time but this update is likely to push this even further as Google is able to understand the complexity of a user’s search phrase in even more detail. By providing good quality informational content you can ensure that your site continues to perform well. The Hummingbird update aims to answer complex questions so we might see user behaviour/search terms change as more people move toward searching for questions rather than just keywords. For example “Which are the best digital marketing agencies in Exeter?” rather than “Digital marketing agency Exeter”.

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