Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Tweet, Like and +1 to encourage business

Connecting with customers plays an important part in keeping your business thriving. As a company with an online presence, you have a multitude of options available in achieving this, including email marketing, pay per click advertising or social media.

Social media is a term referring to users interacting and sharing content from around the web. If a user is interested in your website for example, then they may share your web address with a friend. Social media itself can present itself in many forms – blogging, social networking websites, podcasts and social bookmarking to name a few.

Creating content that your clients will be interested in is a great way to build brand awareness. Social media makes it easy for people to share this content with their colleagues. From a business point of view, content such as news articles, offers and events are great place to start.

Creating this content is all well and good; however you need to be actively promoting it too. The best way to do this is to create profiles across different social media platforms. Choosing the right platforms for your business can be tricky, so here’s a rundown of the top 4 which we feel are ideal places to start:


If you asked someone to give you an example of social media, they are likely to respond with Facebook. As the biggest and fastest growing social networking website on the internet, Facebook encourages users to connect with each other, share and ‘like’ content. By ‘liking’ content, users can show their appreciation for content (such as images and video) or a product, brand or company. The more ‘likes’ your page has the larger your reach.


Twitter is the biggest ‘microblogging’ website on the web, allowing users to send and share short posts (140 characters only) about absolutely anything - from what they are doing right now, the discussion of a topic, images, videos and promoting services. By encouraging followers, you can increase your reach and target audience.


A business targeted social networking website, allowing businesses to promote services using advertising, employee profiles, and job adverts. The site encourages you to endorse people you have worked with, as well as promote and share business news.

Google+ (Google Plus)

As it becomes a core element to Google’s search results, Google+ allows you to create personal profile page or business pages to promote and share stories across the web. By entering in company details, the site will promote your business in search results with extra features such as authoring content and adding detailed information to Google map results.

Why not follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ and keep up to date with our latest news.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Beaumont House continues with Swimming Hippo

We are pleased to announce that long running client, Beaumont House, has chosen to continue working with Swimming Hippo by extending their contract for another 3 years.

Over the next 3 years:
  • Brand new website
  • Mobile website
  • Continued search engine optimisation
  • Social media management
  • Email marketing
  • Pay per click management
We are excited to continue working with Beaumont House, and look forward to delivering their digital marketing requirements.

You must be oak-ing!

After entering into a procurement process with oak furniture specialists Harpenden Interiors, Swimming Hippo has been chosen to provide a new eCommerce website design and build.

Further details on the production of the site are still under wraps; however keep an eye out for updates on our blog.

If you are interested in selling your products online, then why not talk to Swimming Hippo about an eCommerce website design.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Keep the spam down and the customers returning – Email marketing

Email marketing is an essential, cost effective marketing tool for online businesses to market products to their customers and with email marketing providing the highest return on investment of any other type of marketing, it is likely to continue to be around for a long time.

There are several benefits to using email marketing. Production times are faster than print and customer relationships can be built by improving loyalty through targeting those that are interested. An email campaign can also provide detailed feedback with results being instantaneous, such as email open rate, click through rate and unsubscribe rate.

By including hyperlinks to products, services and news items in your emails, there is a good opportunity for a customer to go from reading your email and finding something they are interested in, to purchasing a product – all within only a few clicks.

By choosing the correct type of email design for your email campaign, you can ensure maximum reach and make sure you spread the right message. Here’s a brief description of the various options available.

Email newsletters
An email newsletter is commonly used by companies to boost their brand, and keep readers up to date with company information and news.

Catalogue email
Advertising products is a great way to use email marketing and are perfect for online retailers. This can be accomplished by promoting specific product categories or a mixed group of products.

Announcement email
These emails are used to promote time critical information, such as a sale. They can also be used to announce a new website launch or product line.

Press release
An email featuring a press release is similar to a standard announcement; however they are usually used to promote customer relations than sales.

Sales and sign-up process emails
These types of email are usually to compliment procedures being carried out over a website, for example the purchase of a product or creation of an account.

With the rise in the use of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets has meant that your customers can be targeted anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection. In 2012, 38% of emails were opened on mobile devices according to Litmus, 33% were opened using desktop clients, and the remaining 29% of readers used webmail clients.

If you would like to find out how email marketing could benefit your business, then contact Swimming Hippo on 01386 764 747 or for more information.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

By royal appointment :)

Prince William School is the 4th school to use Swimming Hippo for the production of a website and prospectus.

Prince William School requested that Swimming Hippo assist with the design process of their new school website, to update their brand and give a fresh look to their school image. They also wanted to take this branding and carry it through to their prospectus design, keeping the continuity of their brand.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Salts Healthcare

With the success of the last Salts Healthcare mobile app, Swimming Hippo have been contracted to build a second app to support nurses advising pre-op and post-op stoma patients.

Salts Healthcare are one of the oldest companies in the United Kingdom and specialise in a range of products to help support stoma patients in comfort and care.

This new, tablet friendly app will contain 4 main sections which are based on previous product brochures. The app will assist nurses in explaining to stoma patients about their operation and aftercare.

The app will include over 90 pages of content from video clips to 3D animations explaining product features.

The Speech House Hotel goes mobile

We advised The Speech House Hotel how to prepare their website for mobile use because of the high visitor numbers accessing their site via smart phones. Visit their website on your mobile to view the end result.

With up to 80% of the world’s population owning a mobile phone, and 1.1 billion of these users owning smart phones, it’s important to make sure that your website and content is accessible to these potential customers.

When The Speech House Hotel were made aware of how many customers were accessing their website via smart phone, they wanted to future proof it by creating a version which was accessible to mobile phone users. Swimming Hippo suggested that the best approach for the hotel would be a dedicated mobile site, as their current website wasn’t redesigned too long ago.

Making their website accessible to customers makes it easier for these customers to place a booking via an easily accessible link.

New responsive website and branding

We are pleased to announce our new website, which we launched in the first half of the year.

You may have already noticed our changes to our branding and website, but for those who haven’t you will find it more accessible to smart phones and tablets because of the use of responsive design.

Responsive web design is a way of producing a website that adapts to a users interface. For example if you take a look at our site on your desktop computer and on your smart phone then you will see the similarities between the design, but also how it switches from a 4 column layout to a single column layout. This was an exciting move forward for us, and we hope you find it useful.

Also included is a company profile, our extended list of services including web design and search engine optimisation as well as new services such as mobile design and app development. A range of our latest projects can also be found on our work section.

Take a look at our website to see what’s new and why not contact us to find out more about our services.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Get smart with your website design

If I asked a group of people questions about their mobile phone's, the majority would be aware of the smart phone features available on it. It’s nothing new to access a website, collect emails and even make purchases using your phone. Okay, with that in mind, now take a look at your website using that same phone. How does it appear? Is the layout designed specifically with a smaller screen in mind? Does your navigation work well on touch screen? Would you stay on your own website? Or would you leave and look for another that does work on smart phone or tablet platforms?

Keep these questions in mind when you consider these global figures:
  • 1.038 Billion Smart phone users
  • Mobile users are 5 times more likely to abandon a website if it is not optimised for mobile
  • 79% of these users will search for another site
  • In 2012 118.9 Million tablets sold. By 2016 369.2
  • Million predicted sales
  • Google predicts by 2013 more people will use mobile phones to access the internet than desktop users.*
*data source

Do you need to review your website? Recently I asked one of Swimming Hippo’s long standing clients that questions after showing that almost 25% of their traffic was from tablets and smart phones. We are now working with them to develop a mobile specific website.

When considering smart phone or tablet website design layout, there are many considerations to make. Here’s just one of the more important ones:

Mobile specific design, responsive design or app

The three typical approaches when designing for smart phones and tablets are mobile specific designs, responsive designs and apps. Each of these methods have their own advantages and disadvantages and these will need to be considered with your project requirements in mind.

Take for example if you have just relaunched the standard or desktop version of your website, would it be more or less cost effective to go back to the agency that supplied this site and ask them to re-code it using responsive design? A responsive website design recognises your screen size of a device you are using and adapts the design layout to work best on that device. Or do you require some of your content to be made available offline, making an app the right choice to achieve this objective. How about if regular updates to the site are required and you want to continue using your current content management system. Would a mobile specific design be your best option? All projects are individual and require careful consideration.

How much of your traffic is from smart phones and tablets? If you are not sure, Swimming Hippo can provide you with that data. We have experience in helping clients make the right mobile design decision first time around, avoiding costly redevelopments.

Monday, 25 March 2013

AirBoss return to Swimming Hippo

Swimming Hippo have successfully completed a comprehensive procurement process and been selected to delivery a new ecommerce website design for AirBoss.

So what is AirBoss all about? AirBoss is a Cheltenham based business that has been developing and distributing a unique and innovative wheel system
produced for brands such as JCB and Bobcat since 1991. AirBoss stands out from other tyre manufacturers because their system is puncture proof and segmented - when one segment is worn it can be replaced without removing the vehicle wheel, avoiding unnecessary downtime.

Swimming Hippo has worked with AirBoss in the past, designing and developing websites and print brochures - we a pleased to have be selected as their Digital Agency again. The services to be delivered include:

For more information on how Swimming Hippo may be able to help with your digital marketing, call 01386 764747 or visit

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Ipsley Academy

We are proud to announce that Ipsley Academy's new website has now been launched. Click the link below to explore this new site.

For more information on how Swimming Hippo may be able to help with your digital marketing, call 01386 764747 or visit