Bristol creative agency SIM7 has taken home a prestigious ‘Búho’ award for Brand Strategy at Spain’s Educafestival. The agency was recognised for its work creating the Real Leadership brand campaign for IESE Business School.

The Búhos (Owls) are awarded to the best global creative campaigns in the education sector, welcoming entries from Europe, Latin America and the USA. They are part of Spain’s Educafestival, an annual event (20 June 2024) held in the Centro CaixaForum de Madrid.

Simeon de la Torre, owner and creative director of SIM7 says, “As an agency that works with higher and business education clients around the world, winning a Búho is a huge honour for us. And we did it by creating something really different with a big dollop of humour and heart.

“The Real Leadership campaign for IESE has been a huge strategic branding exercise that brought together all our skills in messaging, design and positioning. It spawned a slightly insane video featuring unicorns and gorillas that has been watched over two million times, a hit podcast, billboard ads in Germany and Spain, and more.”

The Real Leadership brand campaign was conceived as an antidote to the clichéd ‘business speak’ creative that has dominated the sector in recent years. By using an authentic narrative and tapping into the genuine concerns and motivations of business leaders, it resonated with IESE’s
core audiences and has delivered substantial results in the form of awareness, enquiries and admissions.

Oriol Gil, IESE’s Brand & Content – Senior Manager (pictured, above) says: “The world of MBA and executive education is changing fast, with a more nuanced audience profile and expectations. SIM7 created a major campaign for us that pushed the boundaries of our brand guidelines and created a completely new strategy. The Real Leadership campaign features an honest, authentic and human approach that playfully mocks the outdated ‘hustle’ culture.”

SIM7’s Búho award was judged by a panel that included celebrated Spanish film director Daniel Sánchez Arevalo, as well as creative leaders from Google, Coca-Cola and Clear Channel. The Real Leadership campaign was scored for:

• Educational value and content
• Developed strategy
• Idea and execution
• Obtained results

Says SIM7’s Simeon de la Torre, “We knew from the start that this had to be a campaign with cut-through, and that pure creativity wasn’t enough. It had to be built on the foundations of solid strategy and an understanding of the sector. This is what our team does best and it’s superb to see all our hard work recognised. On a personal level, it’s been great working on something that my Spanish father can be proud of and talk to his family in Spain about – he’s always been a bit clueless about what I do for a living!”

SIM7 is a Bristol-based creative agency that works with clients around the world in sectors including education, property, technology and more:

Founded in 2017, the agency uses language to empower design and drives growth by creating brands, campaigns and strategy. SIM7 currently employs six people, has increased its turnover significantly in the past 12 months and is set to build its international client base even further in 2024/25.

IESE Business School is ranked #2 in the world (Financial Times).

For interviews, quotes and further images contact: Simeon de la Torre, [email protected]

For more information on the awards, visit (Spanish language)

BIMA star James Hobbs appointed Head of Tech at Aer Studios

Aer Studios, a leading creative technology studio in the South West, is thrilled to announce the appointment of James Hobbs as Head of Technology. Hobbs, who brings a wealth of experience from his time at Dyson and Great State, joins at a time when Aer Studios also announces a new trio of practice leads, including Max Waring (Front End), Jon Chard (Back End), and Aaron Bushell (DevOps).

Hobbs’ appointment comes shortly after the addition of Lucy Rees, Head of People and Culture, further strengthening Aer Studios’ leadership team. These strategic hires mark a significant step in Aer Studios’ growth, as well as its commitment to excellence and innovation in the creative technology sector. Last year it secured a coveted place on the BBC Digital Design Roster.

Notable career achievements for Hobbs include a six-year period at Dyson, where he successfully led the global digital technical team from its inception to over twenty members. At Great State, Hobbs was instrumental in driving the company’s technology strategy, leading an engineering team delivering multi-award-winning work.

In addition to his impressive career achievements, Hobbs has been recognised in the prestigious BIMA 100 for Sustainability, underlining his commitment to sustainable practices. This aligns perfectly with Aer Studios’ 2024 BCorp certification and its ongoing efforts to prioritise sustainability in all aspects of its operations. Aer Studios won its own prestigious BIMA Award in the Innovative App category in October 2023.

“James’ appointment comes at a time when Aer Studios is gearing up for growth,” said Tom Harber Managing Director at Aer Studios. “His experience and values fit perfectly with our ambitions. With James on board, we’re excited to amplify our efforts and lead the charge in transforming the tech industry into a beacon of sustainability for the future.”

“I’m delighted to have joined Aer Studios,” said James. “It was immediately clear from my initial conversations with Lucy and Tom that Aer Studios have a deep focus on people and planet, both of which are really important to me, alongside delivering outstanding work for clients.”

Hobbs’ arrival at Aer Studios is set to propel the company towards new heights, enhancing its technical capabilities and reinforcing its commitment to sustainable practices. With a cross-capability leadership team in place, Aer Studios is well-positioned to lead the industry in creative and sustainable technology solutions.


About Aer Studios

Aer Studios is an award-winning creative technology studio based in the South West of England. Its mission is to create meaningful digital experiences that have a positive impact on people & planet. Partnering with leading brands in the public and private sectors, its clients include Warner Media, Cartoon Network, BBC, Dogs Trust, Diabetes UK, CNN, History Royal Palaces and GOV.UK. With a particular focus on employee experience, Aer Studios ranked in the top 100 best workplaces and best workplaces for wellbeing by the Great Place to Work awards.

[email protected]

Bristol based Creative Agency joins the growing movement of companies using business as a force for good

Shaped By, a creative agency for the b2b world – based in Bristol, UK, has announced its certification as a B Corporation (or B Corp), joining a growing movement of companies that are reinventing business for the benefit of all people and our shared planet. Verified by B Lab, the not-for-profit behind the B Corp movement, the achievement demonstrates that Shaped By meets high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability alongside a commitment to goals beyond shareholder value.

The news comes as the ongoing climate crisis and widening social inequality continue to pose urgent challenges to our economy. B Corp Certification assesses the entirety of a business’ operations and currently covers five main impact areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers. The certification process is rigorous, with companies required to reach a score of 80 points in the B Impact Assessment while providing evidence of responsible practices relating but not limited to energy supplies, waste and water use, worker compensation, diversity, and corporate transparency. A business must also legally embed their commitment to purpose as well as profit in their company articles.

Shaped By is now part of a growing community of over 8,000 businesses globally that have certified as B Corps. The B Corp community in the UK is one of the largest and fastest-growing in the world, with over 1,700 companies spanning a range of different industries and sizes. Names include The Guardian, Innocent Drinks, Patagonia, Tony’s Chocolonely, The Big Issue, Finisterre, Elemis, and Sipsmith Gin.

Chris Turner, executive director of B Lab UK, says: 

“We are pleased to have B Corps of all shapes and sizes as part of our community — from startups to multinationals and across many different industries. Business is a powerful force and B Corps demonstrate that positive impact is possible in any sector. Welcoming Shaped By is an exciting moment for the creative industry. B Lab UK and the rest of the B Corp community are really pleased that Shaped By is paving the way for a new way of doing things.”

Nick Farrar, founder of Shaped By, says:

“Becoming a B Corp and joining the global community of businesses dedicated to building a better world was one of the first, and easiest, decisions we made after changes to the agency’s ownership last year. It aligns perfectly with our belief that design and creativity have the power to improve lives and positively impact the world around us. I’m looking forward to embracing what being a B Corp company means and committing to maintaining and improving our standards now and in the future.”

Bristol based PointZeroGroup has acquired world leading employee experience agency Home.

The acquisition sees Home join a growing network of employee communications and experience agencies in Bristol under the PointZeroGroup banner, further strengthening the city’s reputation as a hotbed for creative brilliance in this field.

The addition of Home to the PointZeroGroup adds employee experience to their service lines for the first time and strengthens their already burgeoning global client portfolio. All group clients now have access to a full suite of employee and candidate propositions.

PointZeroGroup now consist of Home (employee experience and internal comms), RewardPointZero (benefits communications), That Little Agency (social and digital), and BrandPointZero (employer brand). All group agencies are based in Bristol.

PointZeroGroup founder and BrandPointZero Managing Director Andy Bamford said,

“We have admired Home for a long time. Their work in employee experience and internal communications is second to none and a great addition to the PointZeroGroup. They have built an enviable group of experts that we’re now proud to call colleagues. We look forward to collaborating with the team at Home as we grow together in the coming months.”

Home will continue to operate from their office at Unicorn Park, Whitby Road.

Search: “Best Place to Eat in London”

Scroll the FYP (For You Page) of any Gen Z TikTok account and you’ll find an infinite amount of personalised content, from product reviews, dating advice, adverts for multi-pack toilet rolls, and a twenty-something woman inviting us to ‘GRWM’ (Get Ready With Me) for a day in London. It may not be obvious at first, but the reviews, advice, adverts and OOTDs (Outfit of the Day) all have one thing in common: They have been searched by users on the hunt for information.

new study from the people over at Adobe claims over 64% of Gen Z Americans use TikTok as a search engine, with “nearly 1-in-10 stating they were more likely to rely on TikTok than Google as a search engine.” The study found that 19% of all consumers are looking for new restaurants amongst other content types, with new recipes coming top at 36%. So, where will the average Gen Zer turn to find the best place to eat lunch in London? It isn’t Google.

The Sharp Shift to TikTok

Compared to other social platforms such as Facebook, X (formally Twitter), Snapchat, and Instagram, TikTok’s rise to fame amongst its competitors has been stratospheric. According to, TikTok hit 1 billion monthly active users in September 2021, which made the app one of the fastest-growing apps ever in terms of market hold since 2016. However, TikTok’s quick ascension hasn’t come without controversies and legal challenges.

As of writing, the US House of Representatives has voted to force a nationwide ban on the app, unless the Chinese parent company, ByteDance, sell their controlling stake within six months, over fears of national security and data handling. TikTok has also faced scrutiny from the EU, with them launching a formal investigation into potential breaches of the Digital Services Act, including the safeguarding of children. Only time can tell the outcomes of these legal challenges and their wider impact on TikTok’s future and its place in modern society.

TikTok Rankings Game

None of the legal actions and possible law changes appear to have slowed down the progression of TikTok becoming a tool to search for information and quick answers. TikTok Search now shows users familiar features such as auto-suggest, featured snippets with AI-generated text summarising videos, TikTok traffic analytics for creators and more.

TikTok SEO is not like traditional SEO in its performance. However, there are crossovers in features, methods and techniques. TikTok is unique in the sense that its algorithm relies less on how many followers an account has, and how many views, likes or comments a video has; however, these elements certainly do help push the algorithm. Other indicators are considered more, such as video watch time, video engagement, what your peers are viewing, your previous searches, etc.

For creators such as businesses and brands, this means that quality content is key to getting your videos out there. Even though there are fewer clear ranking factors than other search engines like Google, a TikTok SEO strategy and best practice is invaluable.

TikTok: The Future of Search

With Google now posting TikTok content in the SERPs with featured snippets, as well as Google SGE, we are at the beginning of a search engine revolution, seeking to change completely how we consume information. Alongside legal challenges, TikTok’s biggest threat may be one of its inevitable outcomes: misinformation.

With TikTok search and For You Pages being driven by user engagements, rather than something such as E-E-A-T, there is a glaring question surrounding the future of trusted news sources and reliable sources. All it takes is a small number of accounts to create content suggesting fake news about a celebrity, and the algorithm pushes false headlines, and AI-generated auto-suggest queries, building an avalanche of click-bait lies.

Get in touch with the experts

If you looking for advice on reaching a wider audience on TikTok and other social media platforms, then do not hesitate to reach out to our expert team.

Are you trying to make your ecommerce business’ website stand out in a crowded digital space?

Do you feel lost when it comes to getting your Shopify noticed by Google? You are not alone. In this article, we will share how to make the most of Shopify for SEO, explore its benefits and help you to avoid common mistakes.

Nothing is more frustrating than putting effort into setting up an online store, for no one to visit. As an ecommerce business owner, you know how important it is for your store to show up in search results. It’s important to understand how to improve your Shopify store’s visibility in search results, so you can attract more customers and grow your business.

Shopify’s tools can also be tricky to understand, especially if you’re not sure where to start.

We have listed some of the most useful benefits and avoidable mistakes to help you understand what works and what doesn’t in SEO for Shopify stores.

Whether your ecommerce site is grappling with fierce competition, battling low rankings in the search results or you are keen to broaden your knowledge with ecommerce SEO to become more confident, the Varn team have put together this article to help you understand how Shopify can be used to follow SEO best practices.

Shopify’s CMS makes it easy to create and manage content for ecommerce websites, with simple monthly plans to sell products. The platform has over 600,000 merchants across the world. Shopify regularly updates their platform with new features and integrations. The recent, tap to pay on iPhone, and twitter sales channels are efforts to improve user experience, increase traffic and attract more customers.

Why Use Shopify for SEO?

Technical SEO Benefits of Shopify

1 ) Secure Hosting and SSL Certification

Any online purchases made via your ecommerce site need to be secure. A user expects an ecommerce site to protect their sensitive data. Shopify’s secure hosting includes a free SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate, which enables HTTPS encryption, for all their hosted websites.

This HTTPS protocol signals to search engines that the website is secure. Google highlights security as criteria for a good page experience and gives preference to secure websites. This core aspect of technical SEO is not overlooked for ecommerce websites that use Shopify.

Without it, your site won’t rank well in searches.

2 ) Structured Data for Rich Snippets

Structured data, also known as schema markup, translates page details to search engines to suggest which product details to show in the SERP. The Shopify platform has an easy way to add structured data markup.

Ecommerce websites are no longer bound to the format of page title, meta description and URL. Rich snippets are a fast track to the top of the SERP. As manager of a team that’s rooted in Technical SEO, I’m no stranger to the opportunities schema provides that ecommerce businesses to benefit from.

Rich snippets your business can rank for using Shopify

Google updates and adds features to the Search Results Page (SERP) more than ever before. One of the most recent is Google’s recent SERP feature, specifically designed for cruises. Additionally, Google’s new Search Generative Experience (SGE) plans to introduce AI in the SERP, some of the most recent updates we’ve noticed is Shop with Google AI feature.

3 ) Automatic Sitemap Generation

A non-negotiable of a website’s technical SEO set up, is a well-organised sitemap. An XML sitemap is a file that lists all the pages on your website, in a structure that reflects their relevance and importance. It should be easy for search engine crawlers to navigate, understand site structure and index the pages on your ecommerce site. If Google can’t reach a page easily, how will it rank it?

Without a crawlable site, Google cannot and will not rank anything. To create an XML sitemap manually may be a challenge if you’re new to SEO and can take a long time. Whereas, with Shopify, a sitemap for your ecommerce website is automatically generated.

4) Auto-Generated Canonical Tags

Canonical tags help search engines understand the preferred version of a page, especially handy if there are multiple pages with similar content. Canonical tags are especially useful for ecommerce sites with product variants, filters, pagination, and cross-selling pages. The Shopify platform anticipates this dilemma with automatically generated canonical tags.

This feature simplifies the technical aspects of SEO for business owners, but also helps to prevent issues like duplicate content penalties. With Shopify’s automated generation of canonical tags, businesses can focus on their products and content.

Whilst Shopify auto generates canonical tags they should be strategised, monitored and planned. An organised structure helps people and search engines to find what they are looking for, without being overwhelmed or confused with lots of similar products.

5 ) Mobile Performance

Hubspot’s 2023 Web Traffic & Analytics Report found that:

“54% of consumers primarily use phones to search.” 

Google announced, via their Google Search Central Blog, that “We will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.” As mobile searches continue to dominate, Google has made mobile-friendliness a crucial ranking factor.

81% of Shopify traffic comes from mobile devices. So it’s no surprise that Shopify themes are made for mobile users, with mobile-friendliness and integrations. A responsive theme helps avoid user’s bouncing off the page because a page hasn’t loaded correctly.

6 ) Page Load Speed

Page speed, sometimes called ‘load speed’ measures how fast the content on a page loads. The speed of a website is a crucial factor in SEO.

When someone uses your ecommerce store, the user has a specific purpose, they expect to find the information, or a specific product or service quickly otherwise they will leave.

The average adult attention span is 8 seconds. Waiting 4-5 seconds for a page to load isn’t good enough. Each second the user is waiting for your ecommerce site to load is a second that they not only lose interest, but your business loses credibility. There’s a correlation between conversion rate and load speed. For ecommerce businesses, this shouldn’t be overlooked. A page’s load speed can be the difference between a sale and a user leaving your site.

Shopify has built-in speed optimisation features into its platform. One such feature is the integration of a content delivery network (CDN), which considerably enhances page loading times. This, in turn, not only improves the user experience but also provides preferential treatment to faster-loading pages in search engine algorithms, resulting in higher rankings.

Benefits of Shopify for Your Ecommerce Business

1 ) Shopify Apps

Shopify’s app store drives the number of ecommerce sales made with online businesses. A large collection of apps and plugins are available to be integrated into your e-commerce site. They can help businesses to meet their digital marketing goals such as email marketing or post purchase surveys.

The apps can help with improving SEO to the extent of compressing images and keyword optimisation. SEO apps on Shopify may seem tempting, they offer a one-click answer. But in reality, as with anything complicated, anything that offers a quick solution needs to be treated sceptically. An app alone can’t provide the quality that’s necessary for real SEO, but these tools can be used strategically to enhance or enable your organic search tactics.

2 ) Content Management and Blogging

Think of the blog section of your ecommerce store as an organic space where users can learn more about your products, services, industry, and company culture. An opportunity to focus on your niche, build a relationship with a user, and hone in on expertise.

Explore and address your ideal customers’ pain points and desires, and answer their questions. Journalists and writers for online publications might quote your expertise and feature in publications. This proactive approach to display industry expertise on an ecommerce site’s blog could pay off with links.

If your business already has a proactive ecommerce strategy, creating content doesn’t have to be laborious. An ecommerce business can boost rankings, attract more visitors, and sales with a content strategy that is informed by a customer journey mapping.

The human brain processes images faster than text, don’t neglect visuals with your blog posts, show information using visual formats like infographics. Embed social posts and videos to keep users engaged. Map each blog post to a stage of customer journey and align with internal links to your products and services.

A blog section for your ecommerce business gives you the power to rank for long tail keywords. If you are actively making social media content, this can be repurposed. You don’t need to spend a long time on content.

Turn snippets of your blog posts into a newsletter for email marketing, X or LinkedIn posts. Turn these snippets into infographics for Pinterest. The blog you’ve written can be turned into the script for a YouTube video or live broadcast. Snappy takeaways from your long form content can be turned into a reel or TikTok.

If you’d like to learn more about the process included in how to create a content strategy for your business. We have created guides to help you get started with a content strategy plan and you can learn how to build a strong foundation in how to plan a content strategy and can also explore how to write SEO friendly content.

3 ) Shopify’s Free Ecommerce & SEO Tutorials

If you are feeling overwhelmed with setting up your store, tired of not understanding Shopify jargon or it feels like every time you learn a concept, there are new roadblocks that come with it, then Shopify’s learning resources are one of the simplest ways discovering how to set up your store. They also share useful tutorials, online webinars, guides and courses.

Maybe you are new to the ecommerce or SEO space, or you’re in the process of migrating over from another platform but don’t know where to start? Shopify’s Help Centre has a large collection of webinar videos, blogs and guides suited to help all levels of expertise, so you can form a foundation of understanding that ecommerce business owners need to implement SEO on their websites.

4 ) User-Friendly Interface and SEO-Friendly Features

Shopify is brilliant for beginners and smaller brands, it is not as competitive as other ecommerce platforms like Amazon. The ecommerce platform makes setting up online and navigating the backend simple so you can focus on your business at hand. With Shopify, you get an easy-to-use platform as well as a large support network due to the large number of business owners that use it. An easily customisable shop front, lots of customer support, more features than other platforms down to the app integrations.

Can You Do SEO With Shopify?

You’ve probably gathered from this article, we love working with Shopify. It is a useful ecommerce platform that allows users to scale their business and take multi-currency payments. If you are looking for a CMS Platform with powerful marketing and SEO abilities such as analytics, abandoned cart and email notifications, Shopify is easy to use.

Top Mistakes to Avoid when Optimising an Ecommerce / Shopify Site for SEO

We have shared the most common mistakes that we encounter when optimising ecommerce business owners Shopify for SEO.

Not Planning Schema

Stay ahead of the curve, allow Google to make the most of your website, by implementing structured data. Schema markup needs to be planned, as if you fail to plan, mistakes can happen. For example, you might end up with conflicting information on the same page or miss out on using certain types of schema that could help your site rank.

Unorganised Canonicalisation

As Shopify is primarily used for ecommerce sites and products tend to have a number of variations, this ends up creating a lot of different page URLs containing very similar content.

Not correctly implementing canonicalisation not only creates potential issues with duplicate content but also results in keyword cannibalisation. Neither of which are great for SEO.

URL Structure Limitations

We have also recognised Shopify’s innate limitations surrounding page URLs. When creating sites in other content management systems such as WordPress, you have quite a lot of control over URLs, URL strings, parent vs. child pages and so on.

However with Shopify, these URL structures are very limited and most URLs are /pages/page-title, /collections/collection-title, or /product/product-title. This limitation can be avoided with keyword mapping.

Final Thoughts on Shopify SEO

A clear vision and well thought out marketing strategy is core to keep a competitive edge for ecommerce websites. As an ecommerce business owner, it’s important to recognise that Shopify is a user friendly platform. However, without a strategy that includes all aspects of SEO – technical, on-page and user experience as well as aligning with your business goals you run the risk of missing out on sales, organic search traffic, potential customers and being surpassed by competition.

Has your website outgrown Shopify’s built-in SEO?

Are you keen to avoid mistakes or adopt these strategies but unsure how to?

Shopify’s SEO tools are a great start, but for explosive growth, you need expert innovation. 

Varn’s data-driven approach goes beyond built-in tools. We conduct a deep SEO audit, fix technical issues, and unearth high-value keywords your competitors have missed. We then use that data to create a custom strategy for your business.

Get in touch with our expert team at Varn, we’re obsessed with SEO and search, keen to look at your Shopify website and help you succeed online.

Bibliography – infographic page speed / conversion correlation

As your website grows and evolves over time with loads of new content it can be easy to neglect some of your past blogs and content pieces, in favour of new shiny ones; this is a big mistake for SEO. Often, older blogs and content can be a gold mine, (or rather ‘linkmine’), when it comes to driving organic search results over time.

Here we look at refreshing old content and how you can do it to drive more organic links over time through off-page SEO, which will help all of your SEO efforts.

Step 1: Identify old content that could be improved

To find the potential content that you want to drive backlinks to, take a look at your blog content through a tool like SEMRush, (other search engine optimisation tools available), to find ones that have a bit of website traffic and are getting some traction when it comes to backlinks. It could be that there are good candidates there that with a bit of TLC can be pushed higher up the rankings.

Depending on the site set-up, you can look via sub-folder or root domain to find the blogs:

The snapshot above shows some of the top performing pages for our own blog content at Varn, ordered by referring domains:

A deeper dive reveals where the opportunity lies. The blogs above have got a handful of backlinks, and we can examine some of the key terms that they rank for and the links they are getting. If we look at the following URL we can work through a case study:

We can see from SEMRush that this URL ranks in the top 100 for terms like “keyword intent” “what is search intent” and “search intent” terms, that get 110, 70 and 390 monthly UK searches respectively.

We can also see that this blog has 4 backlinks, 1 of which is an important one:

This matches the key checklist for an ideal content improvement candidate:

If the answer to the above is yes, then we have a candidate for improvement and we can begin the optimisation process.

Step 2: Optimise old content to bring it up to date

Once you have your content outlined the next step is to start the updating process, this will stem from the keyword research conducted prior to the optimisation process, in the case of the search intent modelling blog, we outlined the following key terms to go after:

With that confirmed, we went on our optimisation journey.

How to update old content

1. Update the body content 

2. Optimize meta tags

3. Update images and multimedia

4. Improve internal linking

5. Update the publish date

Step 3: Find examples of content that ranks and check out their backlinks

The next step is to look for who the big players are when it comes to the content you are looking to get ranking, in our case we looked at the backlinks of this backlinks of article amongst other high ranking pages:

From this you can develop an outreach list of people who have written about similar content in the past and who may well be grateful for an updated version of what they want to cover, the following template can be used to reach out to these websites and let them know that you have you updated your content, and that you think it’s a bit better than the one they have referenced already.

Step 4: Benchmark the results and measure performance

Once you have the content written and updated, resubmitted to Google Search Console and outreach underway to let interested websites know that there is some new content out there worth revisiting, benchmark the following KPIs so that you know where you were and can set some targets on where you want to go.

Examples of our results:

The above process can be really rewarding, as getting the most out of your content means working smarter and not harder. Optimising past content can bring some great results. Here is an example from our client HSE Network.

How we updated old content for HSE Network

Our client HSE Network wants to rank well for safety software based terms so they can drive relevant traffic for would-be advertisers, driver safety software is one of these pillars.

They had a great article with a mix of written and video content from 2021 that was performing, but not spectacularly. For 2024, we worked with them to update the content and just two weeks on from the update, we have seen an increase in the core rankings. They went from the bottom of page one to top for the term ‘driver safety software benefits’.

How we updated our old content for SEO at Varn

Last month we optimised our core search intent modelling page.

We built it out with a link to a useful video, more general content around search intent and also brought it up to speed with recommendations on the use of AI in search. It’s early days, but since the optimisation we have seen a nice uptick in impressions which will turn into more clicks over time.

This method can help you drive more coverage and links over time

Whilst this is not driving new links or improving the optimisation of the high-value commercial pages within your site, it will help you drive deeper links which can support the SEO of the whole site. If you want to drive even more SEO equity to the higher value pages, place (where relevant) internal links to these within the content that you have updated.

If you would like any help with updating old and past content on your website, then do not hesitate to get in touch with our expert team at Varn who would be more than happy to help.

Our friends at Thinkbox are back with their annual TV wrap-up. We’ve taken a deep dive through the report and pulled out what we think are the key points!

Viewing patterns have stabilised, somewhat –

Commercial TV viewing (covering linear TV and all forms of broadcaster VOD) held fairly steady across 2023, showing only a 1.7% decline vs 2022. It’s worth remembering that 2022 was a World Cup year which naturally boosts TV viewing across all audiences. This is the smallest decline we’ve seen since 2016(!), pandemic aside.

BVOD continues to grow –

While linear TV viewing dropped 6%, BVOD saw yet another year of strong growth at 23%! The release of ITVX and all of its exclusive content was a key driver of this.

SVOD subscriptions reaching maturity in the UK –

As has been widely reported, SVOD subscriptions dropped marginally last year, although 75% of the population continues to subscribe to at least one service. The crackdown on password sharing coupled with the cost of living crisis are the lead causes of this. It does though paint a picture of an SVOD market that appears to have plateaued and points towards a more stable future of viewing trends.

The link to the full report is here. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to shoot our TV team an email!

Credit: James Budden, Senior AV Manager

VOOM Nutrition sets out to celebrate the power of plants in its launch campaign for POWR, its vegan sports endurance bar.

Developed by leading creative agency McCann Bristol, ‘The Climb’ is a cautionary tale that follows a free climber preparing to tackle ‘the Big One’, an ominous, vertical rockface that he’s always been fixated on. The film is shot with the same intensity as an epic sports documentary but ends with a ‘dark humour’ twist that viewers don’t expect, tying into the campaign line: ‘Never underestimate the Power of Plants.’

“We’re a challenger brand in sports nutrition, a category that can often take itself quite seriously,” explains VOOM CEO Robin Higgens. “While we’re serious about creating our plant-based products, our team and our customers are outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy the unpredictability of nature, something McCann has expertly captured in the film.”

McCann Bristol’s Executive Creative Director, Zane Radcliffe adds: “Humour doesn’t often find its way into health and nutrition, so it’s been a breath of fresh air to write and shoot this, and to work with a bold client who understands that you don’t always have to land the brand in the first six seconds. The joy of this film is in its restraint. The product is the punchline, which makes it all the more powerful – never underestimate the power of funny!”

Launching earlier this month across social platforms, the film was directed by Olivier Richomme at Chief, and stars GB climber and Men’s Boulder medallist, Louis Parkinson, continuing VOOM’s collaboration with elite athletes.

“The team at Chief have been an inspiration,” explains Radcliffe. “In true documentary fashion they’ve worked wonders with a modest budget and a skeleton crew to deliver a mini epic.”

Shaped By, an independent B2B creative agency, proudly announces the milestone initial public offering (IPO) of its long standing client, Rubrik, on the New York Stock Exchange.

With a partnership spanning four years, Shaped By has contributed to enhancing Rubrik’s brand identity and marketing through creative collaboration across numerous projects and campaigns. Through a top-down commitment to innovation and creativity, Rubrik has invested in nurturing a trusted relationship with Shaped By as one of its strategic agency partners.

Under the leadership of Rubrik’s CEO Bipul Sinha, there’s a profound appreciation for the power of creativity in driving business success. This IPO serves as a testament to the transformative impact of creativity when seamlessly integrated into brand development and marketing initiatives.

In celebration of this historic moment, Shaped By has collaborated with Rubrik to unveil a series of captivating ads, creatively crafted by our team, that will debut following the ringing of the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. 

These ads were featured on CNBC in the U.S, and two digital billboards in the iconic Times Square.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate the milestone achievement of Rubrik’s IPO. Our collaboration with them has been a fantastic and rewarding journey” says Nick Farrar, Founder of Shaped By. “Our partnership with the Rubrik team is underpinned by creativity, collaboration, and a shared commitment to design excellence. Together, we’ve explored innovative creative approaches and challenged conventional boundaries in the sector. It’s been a pleasure to deliver exceptional work with exceptional people. We’re looking forward to continuing our journey of innovation and success post IPO.”

Here are links to some of the work we’ve done with them. 😀

Read: Creating a voice in the cybersecurity market. 

Read: Brand refresh for Rubrik

Watch: How Rubrik differentiates its thought leadership through design