Tongue In Cheek Personalised Gifts Web Design & SEO Case Study
We have not worked on a project before in the Personalised Gift space so this one was exciting for us as we love to take on new challenges. As you know we are busy writing out case studies for our various client projects. The main reason for this is that we get asked so much about it. It’s almost the opening question from a new client it seems. Who have you worked with? And can you show us some examples of your work? So rather than creating a boring portfolio we thought we would write some full cases studies on each project.
Adam told me this was going to be a long job and sent me this 🙂
The Web Design Brief
I have to say this Web Design and SEO project has been tremendously exciting on many levels. Manjit and Rav came to us with just an idea for a new personalised gift business and initially wanted us to provide them with a branding exercise and then create a new website based off of that. They had this crazy idea of shaking up the personalised gifts market with their quirky personalised gift captions and if I say so myself their delicious chocolates and Indian sweets.
If you read this blog you will know that Adam our sales director handles all initial inquiries into us as I myself am way too technical and would drive clients mad to be honest! So Adam handles the initial client meetings and then I’m drafted in for the more technical stuff once we have an outline brief. We then manage the work with the rest of our team depending on which areas it touches.
The girls are actually quite technical themselves with Manjit being a software tester by profession so we did actually get quite a comprehensive brief back from them which is nice and also serves to make our job easier. We like to use our Web Design Typeform for the initial idea gathering phase and then we refine the project brief based on the answers we get in that from the client.
With a bit of too and fro and a couple of meetings with Adam we ended up with this as an initial brief.
The Web Design Aspects
- The creation of a strong brand and logo focusing around the personalised gifts theme
- The design of the initial colour pallet for the brand and website
- The choice of Fonts to be used site wide
- Help with the creation of the box sleeve designs
- Design of all the pages
- Creation of the Favicon
- Hosting setup and Configuration on our SSD server
- WordPress install and configuration
- Setting up a Blog and instructing how to use it (we actually run it)
- WooCommerce store setup and configuration
- Plug-in choice, install and configuration
- SSL certificates installed and configured
- Linking the host to CloudFlare for CDN purposes
- The install of Facebook Pixel
- The install of Schema Sitewide
- Checking open Graph is installed correctly
We also had a hand in suggesting some captions and this is one of the ones that actually went to print.
Personalised Gifts and SEO
The girls wanted to take advantage of all our services and so we also quoted for SEO, Facebook and Social Media Management.
- Creation of a Google My Business Page
- Performing full SEO research and analysis around Personalised Gifts and Wedding Favors
- Producing a full keyword report again with the focus on Personalised Gifts
- Optimising all On Page SEO using Personalised Gifts as the main phrase
- Creating and posting regular blog content
- Starting a backlink campaign
- Optimising for local SEO with GMB and also local directory citations
- Optimising the site for performance and speed using Cloudflare CDN
The Facebook and Social Media Aspects
- Setting up and configuring of Facebook Business Manager (BM)
- Creating and running their main Facebook page with regular post updates
- Creating and running their Instagram page with regular posts
- Creation and running of FaceBook advertising campaigns
- Aligning all social media posting through Buffer
As you can see we had a lot to do plan and think about here. Not only did we have to help create the brand and website but also then all the marketing and social media content updates via various channels. Lot’s to do, busy us.
The Web Design Agile Process
Of course we can’t create a website from such a small brief and it’s here where we have to guide the client and tease out of them what they like. With web design it does not matter what other people like! It only matters what the clients likes. Yes there are some rules and we are here to guide but where design is concerned the customer is pretty much always right re their brand. Tongue In Cheek know this well as you should see some of the captions they have come up with for their Personalised Gifts clients!
I should add in here that generally it’s not design that sells. Design serves to draw the eye and then the words sell. Generally speaking people make their websites WAY too busy, filling every available space with stuff, floating crap in from the side and going Oooo and Ahhh as it does so etc. Users don’t want all this rubbish and this is why clean sites work so well, just look at Apple! I like the mantra of KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid.
So Adam was dispatched for meeting number two with the girls to add some structure to their brief. For this meeting we want to achieve the following points:
- Number of pages
- The names of those pages
- What is the keyword focus for each page. We know the main focus is Personalised Gifts and Wedding Favors but we also need supplementary focus keywords matched to pages too.
- What imagery goes onto each page
- Do they have this imagery
- Do they have copy for the pages or are they going to write it. Do we have to write it
- Are they going to provide the content for the blog on a regular basis or are we
- The brief for the logo
- The logins we need for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter etc
- Social Media icons links
- Hosting discussion
- Email accounts they want setting up on the host
- Contact form details
- GDPR policy’s discussed and written
- Install of the SSL certificates
- Install of all the relevant plugins
- Cloudflare account setup and correct configuration
- Wordfence Security install and the correct configuration
Again what I am expecting back from Adam from this meeting is something that looks like this:
The folders are the page names and Inside each of the folders is the exact layout for that page the copy and any images we want to use. Adam does a sketch wireframe when he is with the client that at least gives us a starting point for design and layout. It’s a lengthy process but this information gives us the framework we need to build out the initial site. As you know if you read this blog we use Agile methodology for most of our projects. The old method of sending out endless wire-frames and boring emails to the client for approval are over we feel. It’s just too slow. Agile allows us to get the basic site up and running as fast as possible and then we can edit it in real time. Our clients love this approach as they get to play with their site as it is being created and can actually see it and play with the menus etc.
For the Logo the girls wanted to keep it simple and just use their brand name in a nice font. This is what we came up with. The main font we chose for the the site is Sunday. That is simplicity itself but the girls loved it.
Logos work best when they are simple! The more simple you can make it the more memorable it will be. The worlds best logos are simplicity themselves! A logo needs to catch the eye and be remembered and nothing more than that.
Building A Personalised Gifts Website
99% of our websites are created in WordPress as you know. I won’t keep going on about why we use WordPress or indeed why we feel it’s the best choice, it just is for many many reasons. My dislike of hosted web builder solutions like Wix, Squarespace and Shopify is well known. We hosted TIC on one of our dedicated SSD super fast servers and also set it up with a dedicated IP address. The girls are serious about this business so dedicated server and dedicated IP address is the way to go. Yes it costs more but are you serious about your business or not?
We do not use or advocate shared hosting on cheap servers for any of our clients and we keep the number of sites on our servers to an absolute minimum.
Performance and SEO
Now it should be said that most web design agencies do not give a rats arse about the performance of your website. Their focus is on look and feel and then build and to be fair to them performance is really the domain of the SEO.
Most of our clients do not understand this stuff as it starts to get highly technical and as most of our clients become SEO clients of ours anyway we feel it’s the right thing to do to care about the performance of their website as we build it out for them.
So as this is the case as part of the hosting setup for Tongue In Cheek Personalised gifts website we also set the up a Cloud Flare Account and modified their DNS settings to suit. We then tied in their CloudFlare CDN with WP Rocket which is being used for on site performance. We then optimise WP rocket and Cloudflare whilst checking their metrics using GT Metrix and Google Page Speed Insights. It starts to get a bit techy!
Web Design Fine Tuning
Once we have the hosting sorted and the basic site structure up it comes down to fine tuning. We like to get as much done as possible on first build so the client has something to see. Refining something you can see and play with is way easier than trying to do it from an email and a flat image.
As we are dealing with personalised gifts with this site we have gone with quite a classic format as you can see in this shot and used a mix of static imagery and sliders.
We start adding in and configuring all the relevant plugins that the client will need and then we schedule another meeting to go over the site and get further feedback on any changes the client would like us to make.
So it’s back off to the coffee shop for Adam so he can sit with the client and thrash out all the changes needed. This is why we like to work in agile as presenting a real site even if it’s very basic allows the client to get a feel for it as they can see it and use it.
The Back End and Technical Aspects
Adam feeds back all the required changes into my technical team and I go away and make sure all the required changes and additions are actioned. At the same time we are working on the sites back-end and dashboard by adding and configuring all the plugins needed.
This is the list of initial plugins we install for a basic website.
- 404 page
- Cookie Notice for GDPR
- Divi Booster (if we are using DiVi as the main theme)
- Hide my Site (only used while we are creating and then we delete it)
- Imagify (on our license)
- Simple Page Ordering
- W3 Total Cache
- Yoast SEO
- Wordfence Security
- WooCommerce if needed
But for TIC we had a ton of additional ones as you can see from the list below. All of these need installing and then configuring correctly. Some of them are very complex to configure which you can see from my Wordfence Security guide over here. Did I say technical?
We can of course add more based on a client’s specific needs. For the girls this little lot will suffice for the time being although we are already looking at a reviews plugin for them and deciding where in the design it will go on page. Business morphs and changes as you grow with it and this is also why we like WordPress as it is relatively easy to add in additional features as you need them.
SEO for Personalised Gifts
As you know we specialise in three things here at 15Degrees-North. Web Design, SEO and Facebook Advertising. We don’t actually advertise at all for Web Design as we only do it for a select few clients and even then only on projects that interest us. For all of our web design projects we take into consideration the sites basic SEO setup and also its performance. Most of our web design clients morph over to be an SEO client of ours at some point.
For a new site we will look at the following aspects:
- An initial keyword report will be produced so we have some idea which keywords and phrases to target in the on page copy and also the blog posts moving forwards. For TIC we focused on the main keyword phrase of Personalised Gifts as this is their core market with Wedding Favors as their secondary market. Total search volumes for Personalised Gifts is in the region of 120000 a month so very healthy search volumes here.
- As I mentioned above we have already installed Yoast SEO plugin and this is used to craft each page and also to set the pages SEO title, Focu keyphrase which in this case is personalised Gifts and also its meta description tags. We can also use Yoast to define if the page or post is Cornerstone Content or not.
- We will also discuss with the client if they have a Google My Business Account or not and if not we will set one up for them and also configure it. This is important as it helps greatly with Local SEO and also map pack placements.
- We also want to ensure that the site is performing at its optimum in terms of speed and for this we like to use WP Rocket Google factors in page load speed among other things in determining where you will rank or chosen keywords so it is very important to ensure that your site is performing at its best. We like to use GT Metrix and also of course Google’s own speed tester Page Speed Insights
- We make sure that we have found and fixed all on site technical errors by performing one of our Full SEO Technical Site Audits
- For new site of course they won’t have any back-links at all so we perform an initial competitor analysis and recommend an SEO Campaign to the client so that we can start to get the site ranking.
- As part of the SEO campaign we also discuss a content creation strategy for new content, Cornerstone content and blogging frequency.
The Project Delivery
Once all this is done we have a final handover meeting to make sure the client is happy with all we have done and then if they are we make the site live. As is the case a lot of the time we have control of the site while we are performing SEO and making updates and blog posts etc.
You can find Tongue In Cheek Tongue In Cheek Personalised Gifts
I can say that Both Manjit and Rav have been a joy to work with and I fully understand now why they will dominate this space in years to come. We enjoyed the creative process with them immensely.
Our Own Personalised Gifts
Oh one more thing. The girls in their appreciation of all the hard work we have done and continue to do on this project have created two custom sleeves so that we can send out our own funny personalised gifts.
If you have a project you would like us to look at be it Web Design, SEO or Facebook Ads drop us a line using our contact form here