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Google changes make responsive design a priority

google logo
Google, the world’s leading search engine, is making changes to how it displays search results that will have a “significant impact” on sites not built to work responsively on mobile devices.

With immediate effect from 21st April, sites which are mobile-friendly will be give priority in search results on mobile. Google says: “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”

The search company didn’t specify if this would also impact desktop searches, but there is widespread speculation in the SEO community that, if it doesn’t yet, it will in the near future.

The change means that sites which are built to work responsively, with a layout that adapts to mobile, will rank higher in users’ searches than those which aren’t, and is one of the biggest changes in the way Google ranks sites that has ever been announced.

In 2014, the number of people using mobile to access the web overtook those using desktop and laptop devices – and the gap continues to grow. With the web increasingly becoming a mobile experience, Google’s new search weighting is designed to reward sites which deliver their content for the majority audience.

If you want to check how well your site works responsively in Google’s eyes, you can use their  Mobile Friendly Test which analyses individual pages on your site and advises you what needs to be done to make them mobile friendly.

Digital Museums project concludes with forum finale

We’ve come to the end of an exciting and rewarding three-year project working with nearly 40 museums across the South West to help them develop digital strategies.

The SW Museum Digital Engagement Project, on behalf of the SW Museum Development Programme with funding from Arts Council England, will conclude with a special forum at Bristol’s M-Shed on 26th March, when we bring together some of the museums involved to share what we all learned.

It’s been a fascinating project, and we’ve learned as much  from the museums as they have from us, and we’ve seen many of the museums really take off with their digital engagement as a result.

We’ve also developed and tested a series of tools and measures for museums to develop, manage and track their digital engagement, which we will be using to support other museums going forward.

The forum will  recognise some of the museums where there’s been a digital transformation, as our “digital champions” pass on their experience.

Our work with the museum sector will continue with new projects and on our dedicated museum digital marketing blog – The Digital Museum.

100k and rising as innovation drives growth for auctioneers

A recent upgrade to our Hummingbird CMS “Auction Box” plug-in has helped one of our auctioneer clients hit 100,000 monthly visits and 1.5 million page views for the first time.

 Arthur Johnson, one of the UK’s largest auction companies, launched the new online bidding platform last month, and has already seen customer engagement boom.

They hit the 100,000 mark for the first time within days of launch and as word spread among their customers, they saw 1,000 new likes on Facebook in just 24 hours.

Page views – primarily users searching for items to buy – have also passed 1.5 million a month.

MD Phil Poyser said: “I’m delighted with that – it’s phenomenal.”

Auction Box is a website platform created by Tickbox to interface with ATG Media’s Bidmaster online auction software – the most widely used auctioneer platform in the UK.

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Digital Museums consultancy and training

Tickbox were commissioned by the South West Museum Development Partnership to deliver digital engagement consultancy and training to nearly 40 museums across the region.

Drawing on more than 8 years experience of delivering digital strategy and implementation projects for museums, arts and heritage organisations across the UK, we have been helping the museums to improve their use of digital platforms across their whole organisation.

The project involved auditing and reviewing existing digital engagement in the museums, and delivering interactive workshops to support development of their digital strategies.

Following the final tranche of workshops, we organised a regional forum bringing together museums who had taken part in the programme to share experiences and selected a number of ‘Digital Champions” – museums for whom engagement with digital has been transformational and who will continue to share their knowledge and experience with partnership members going forward.

To find out more about this project, visit our Digital Museum blog.

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Adopt a Wetland app fundraises for WWT

screenshot of adopt a wetland appWorking with international conservation charity The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) we’ve developed an interactive, image-led web app to allow donors to “buy” a virtual plot of land at a number of the charity’s wetland centres.

Users can view and select acres of land to adopt – leaving a message and sharing their new purchase on various social media platforms.

The app launched for WWT’s Slimbridge wetland centre, and following it’s success has now been rolled out to three more their nine centres across the UK.

See the Adopt a Wetland app in action here.

Tickbox has been working as the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust’s digital partner since 2008 and we are currently re-developing their website on our Hummingbird 3.0, open-source based charity CMS system.