How Does Google Handle Javascript When Crawling, Rendering & Indexing Pages

Here are some notes I have collected for those optimising a website built with Javascript and the challenges with Javascript in terms of search engine optimisation in 2018.

Read the full article here How Does Google Handle Javascript When Crawling, Rendering & Indexing Pages

A Hobo Site Review can quickly identify any issues on your site that is holding your site back. See Hobo SEO Review Prices

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Cramer-Krasselt and Porsche cobble together a visceral spot.

Reel Chicago – February 16, 2018

By Colin Costello

Well, this Reel Ad of the Week from Cramer-Krasselt made me smile. I was not aware of perhaps the coolest Italian cobbler this side of Geppetto, but Porsche USA and Cramer-Krasselt have now introduced me to the legendary artisan Ciccio Liberto.

Who is Ciccio Liberto, you ask? (And why do we care?) Well, for over 50 years, Porsche race drivers have sought out the Sicilian’s handy work in order to the shoe them for races.

And that’s what happens in this visceral spot directed by Stink USA’s Nacho Gayan and edited brilliantly by Whitehouse’s Adam Marshall. Featuring a bright red (is there any better color for a Porsche?) 718 Boxster GTS, driving across Sicily’s landscape, we see a driver easily handle the hairpin curves that come his way while intercutting with shots of Ciccio’s shop.

The sound of the Boxster’s engine pit against the pulse of the cobbler’s old sewing machine is exhilarating to say the least. When the car arrives in front of Ciccio’s shop, an exchange of shoe boxes takes place—the new pair ready for the driver and the old pair ready for repair.

When Ciccio pulls out the old pair to inspect them, the pleasure of driving a Porsche is clear from the hole nearly worn through the sole. Newly shoed, the driver is clearly now able to drive faster (queue the music) and better.

And, really, who wouldn’t be with custom racing shoes — or any shoes? And yes, Ciccio is so beloved that a grown man would call him “maestro.” It all ends with the tagline, “Made for Drivers.” Watch the 1:29 video below:

The new 718 Boxster GTS models boast superior performance thanks to a completely new generation of turbocharged, flat-four cylinder engines. It also features a completely retuned chassis and the latest generation of PCM (Porsche Communication Management), which can be enhanced with services such as real-time traffic information, Google Street View and Apple Car Play.

Porsche USA, which set a new sales record in 2017 and continued growth in January 2018, has also launched a short tribute video to “living legend” Ciccio. It features the likes of CJ Wilson (former MLB player turned Porsche driver) and Dario Franchitti (three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500) rhapsodizing about Ciccio’s life and the impact of his shoes on racing.

I now want a GTS. Time to speak with our lovely publisher about a raise.


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Friday Reading #125

What a week – first we got to enjoy Simeon’s despondent face after having traveled all the way to Wales only to see his homeland lose in the Six Nations, then the simple joys of pancake day on Tuesday, followed by loved up good vibes on Wednesday (check out some of the best cards we received here). And Thursday was, erm, sunny?

Mercedes have cased some offence in China with their latest post on
(now deleted), an image which quotes the Dalai Lama,
who the government consider a ‘political agitator’. A useful reminder of the international nature of social.

On the subject of brands offending, this week Pepsico announced that they’re looking to
create a female-friendly crisp
 that women can eat in a ‘more feminine
way’. Their aim is to create a snack that means women don’t have to
‘crunch too loudly in public’, or ‘lick their fingers generously’, because
apparently women don’t like to do so in front of others. This offering should
go down really well…

You can’t have missed Nike’s epic ode to London youth culture this week, real kids mixing with Skepta in a corner shop, Gareth Southgate as God, it struck the perfect tone. Fast Company have spoken to W+K about the process and details behind the scenes.

Can you see atoms? Well on some level, of course you can, they make up everything you’re looking at. But a single atom? Of course not, at least not without a powerful microscope. Yet amazingly, by holding it nearly static in an electrical field, David Nadlinger has managed to capture a remarkable photograph of a single atom you can see with the naked eye.

Everyone is getting hilariously rich, and you’re not. As clickbate titles go, it’s pretty effective. But the New York Times article it links to, about the rapid ascent of crypto currency wealth and the communities it’s created, makes for fascinating reading.

Unilever’s Keith Weed has called for Facebook and Google to address their platforms being used to “create division in society and promote anger and hate”, with a veiled threat to reconsider their digital spend. Could this be a turning point in the balance of power, or just another short lived bump? Time will tell.

Can you have it all with a programmatic buy? According
to Google yes you can! They have recently run a test to gain an understanding
of how much more efficient it is to run campaigns through a consolidated
programmatic guarantee system, vs a direct route. The results are in and programmatic guarantee systems
were able to reach 11% more unique customers, with greater control on frequency distribution. Good news for relentless retargeting.

Navigating SXSW madness, as told by GSD&Mers

We’re a month away from SXSW. Yep, that’s right—the week that fills our streets with music, people and even more booze and food than usual. Deep breaths. For those of us who embrace the madness with open arms, we caught up with both GSD&M’s SXSW vets and new mavens to get the best tips, tricks and tracks for SXSW 2018. Spoiler alert: playlist included.


Name: Bill Bayne

Years attending SXSW: 15

Pro tip: When there are a few bands I don’t know on a lineup, I’ll stay in that venue to experience their show versus running all over town with a schedule.

Must-see band: Quiet Slang. More commonly known as Beach Slang, they’re reimagining their Replacements-y gnashed catalog into a softer vibe played with piano and cello.


Name: Mason Endres

Years attending SXSW: 5

Pro tip: Never plan for things to go as planned. If you make a schedule, it’s not going to happen.

Must-see band: The Magic Gang, Sunflower Bean and Jared & The Mill.


Name: David Rockwood

Years attending SXSW: 25 whole years

Pro tip: Random is way better than planning.

Must-see band: BRONCHO


Name: Candi Clem

Years attending SXSW: 1

Pro tip: Stay hydrated. Take advantage of networking opportunities.

Must-see band: My favorite artists at SXSW are the ones I haven’t discovered yet.


Name: Jack Epsteen

Years attending SXSW: 8, I think?

Pro tip: Don’t overschedule, let the day and night guide you. And most of all, NO FOMO.

Must-see band: Ratboys!


Name: Rye Clifton

Years attending SXSW: 7, I think

Pro tip: Go alone. It is a lot easier to sneak in places when you aren’t part of a group.

Must-see band: The Fantastic Plastics


Name: Elizabeth Thompson

Years attending SXSW: At least 12?! How is that possible? Does 10 make me sound younger?

Pro tip: Forego fashion for function when it comes to shoes, and attend the events you love, even if your friends don’t.

Must-see band: The best I can do, so far, is local favorite David Ramirez, Will Varley, Peach Pit, The Yellow Traffic Light, a TBD beautiful crooner at St. David’s church during the Communion Showcase.


It seems as though there’s a general consensus that going with the flow of SXSW is the most fun and effective way to make it through the chaos—that, and comfortable shoes. Aside from the tips and tricks, there is a playlist with all of the above musical suggestions and then some.


Happy festing!

Friday Reading #124

Us here at Goodstuff towers can’t be anything but impressed
by Elon Musk’s genius marketing move of firing his latest car into space –
although I don’t think our clients will be seeing any extra-terrestrial based
outdoor campaigns in the same way as Telsa achieved (unless Roy has something up his sleeve).

It doesn’t seem as fun for our friends around the corner
at the Filthy Five, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple who have had
a collective telling off in The
, Facebook unable to persuade the world that it’s actually
a positive force
, and Youtube just not getting it right on Logan Paul
and the question of diversity. It’s been a fun ride with the big tech monsters
for the last 15-20 years, but are we approaching a time for the crunch of

It’s not all bad for the big guys – Google pioneering work
on AI is being moulded for real human needs in their UX-AI project. Technology
companies trying to improve rather than disrupt human experience has to be the
way forward, which Amazon’s
show they are moving in the right direction.

While we can’t build acre large biospheres around Tottenham
Court Road, we’ve got some more practical ways to make your life better – the
big digital insights for 2018
, why everyone’s playing German
Board Games
, and a bunch of ‘90s PC parts playing Africa by Toto.

But if we can leave you with one thing as you head into the
weekend, renewed in the spirit of a new year full of possibilities, it’s a rat showing like a
human being

How to create a content marketing strategy

As mentioned in one of our previous blog posts (describing some of the major trends to be expected in 2018), eight out of ten marketers believe content marketing is a key constituent of marketing success, yet only three out of ten within the same sample had a content marketing strategy in place. Setting a strategy isn’t hard, but it can be daunting to know where to start when it comes to working out what is needed – by whom, in what format, how often, why, and so on. That is why we recommend the use of the long-established SMART goals methodology (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely).

For a bit of fun, in this article we have adapted this approach to fit in with some famous lines of verse from arguably one of England’s finest content creators, Rudyard Kipling.

‘I keep six honest serving-men:
(They taught me all I knew)
Their names are What and Where and When
And How and Why and Who’

Answer these six questions in relation to how you require your content marketing efforts to benefit your organisation as a whole, and you will have gone a large way towards setting a strategy. Unlike Kipling, though, it seems logical to address first the question of ‘Why?’ rather than as Rudyard has positioned it towards the end of the ode. Marketers believe content marketing is important, but why is that?

Why do we need content marketing?

The answer to this question of why we need content marketing is linked to how we have seen marketing develop with the rise in the importance of all the digital channels. Instead of aiming for a transactional relationship where one party sells and the other buys, and that’s pretty much it, marketers across the board are now aiming for deeper, lasting relationships. With the advent of social media and automated marketing, the use of which will only become more and more sophisticated as artificial intelligence picks up much of the legwork previously delivered by humans, marketing messages are becoming far more tailored and personal. Instead of using the blunt instrument of traditional mass marketing, customers can be wooed with messages tuned to their specific likes and dislikes. Therefore, rather than a sale being the ultimate goal, a long-term – ideally lifetime – relationship between brand and consumer is the new aim, as per our recent bowtie marketing blog.

These new media channels are already swamped with far too many intrusive sales messages, but savvy marketers know that what people really want is excellent quality information and – most importantly – not to feel sold to. Sometimes, that information will be specific to a product or service, but often it is information relevant to a problem that a customer has and wants to solve or a need or desire that they want to satisfy. Consumers trust people – and brands – which they perceive, to be honest, transparent, reliable and helpful. They also trust independence, which is why consumers typically give more credit to reviews by peers in preference to a brand’s official marketing output and explains why YouTube stars (aka vloggers) have quickly become huge influencers. In such a world, brands that build relationships by listening to and solving their customers’ problems will build the deepest relationships. They will have consistent, coherent narratives that their customers buy into – think Dyson’s championing of British inventiveness, or Aldi’s assertion that the named brands people love are good (cleverly leveraging the building of those brands) but their own brands are just as good, and much cheaper. The ultimate prize is to have such a good relationship with your customers that they do much of your marketing for you. Content marketing helps to deliver and/or amplify brand trust.

So that’s the ‘why’ at a broad level. In terms of a plan of attack, it’s worth asking the question of your own organisation. Why should your business have a content marketing strategy? Establish clear objectives – website hits, positive reposts, click-throughs leading to sales, etc. – for what you want to achieve in terms of engagement with prospects and customers. And once you have set a strategy down and are producing content, make sure you understand how each piece fits in with the strategy and why it will help build relationships with your target audience – this is also why it is important to map out your stakeholder needs and to have a good understanding of segmentation, so you can generate helpful personas and profiles for different customer groups.

HOW will your content marketing contribute to business objectives?

Answering this question is where the meat goes on the bones. Unless you have a clear idea of how you are going to attain them, strategic goals are just so many fine words. It requires a deep understanding of your own business and of your market. If either of these is missing, gaining such understanding should be an essential first step within the strategy. What are the key products or services on offer, and where do they sit in the market? Do all consumers have the same perceptions? A brand is often in reality far more a matter of how others view it than how the organisation would like it to be perceived. How will you build on your brand’s position, or change perceptions if this is one of your aims? An honest assessment is required to identify where strengths and weaknesses exist, in both your own organisation and within competitors. Which are the products/services that sell, and why? Analyse sales figures and other available data to form a picture based on objective information.

Each piece of content produced should advance your progress towards your goals and have a clear purpose – growing your customer database, raising awareness, provoking interest, building relationships, improving SEO benefits, generating sales. Quite possibly, each post will help boost several of these objectives at the same time. Each should carry a consistent tone of voice and add to the story of your brand; decide beforehand how your story will be developed as each additional item is posted, and how you will vary it according to your relationship with an intended recipient. The messages going to customers who have little or no awareness of your brand will be very different from those who are regular buyers or even advocates. They should also be adapted according to the segment (or – in the case of B2B – industry) being targeted, and perhaps also according to their location.

Also, be pragmatic. A successful content marketing strategy does not need to be that sophisticated to be successful. There are some key considerations you need to tick off if you want to have an impact – your content must be relevant, informative and interesting to your primary target audience. The important thing about content is that it hangs around for a long time in the eyes of the search engines if it is hosted in the right way. This is why SEO optimisation is so important. A well-optimised piece of content can appear on the first page of Google almost immediately, driving high quality traffic to your website.

WHERE will you post your content?

Not so long ago, ‘Where?’ would just have been a matter of your desired geographical reach, but now it applies to a host of digital platforms too. Which video platform will you use? YouTube is the obvious, but not only, choice. Facebook is still massive, but maybe Instagram might work better. LinkedIn is of course a big player in the B2B world. Once a piece of content is created, it is easy to modify it for a variety of platforms – the modifications and postings can even be automated using marketing platforms such as Hubspot, Marketo and the like. Of course, it will usually appear on your website too, and well-constructed emails still register great response rates – this year, a strategy should include measures to ensure your mailings are set up to comply with GDPR, which lands in May. We will be writing more about the implications of GDPR in a future blog.

WHAT content will you produce?

Set out what you want to post and when (presupposing, of course, that there is a satisfactory answer to the question ‘Why?’!). ‘Content’ embraces a multiplicity of different formats. All content must, of course, be engaging, so be aware of what your audience tunes into. Video has become one of the most effective mediums and this trend is sure to grow in 2018, so ignore it at your peril. It is of course just a part of a media mix that also includes blogs, whitepapers, webinars, newsletters, and so on.

WHEN will you produce your content?

When you post could be determined by when sales campaigns are planned, or in response to changes in market conditions, such as new laws coming in, a new craze, or even the weather – suppliers of fencing increase their activity in the wake of gales! If your market is affected by specific changes like this, your strategy should include the need to have content ready to roll as soon as opportunities arise.

WHO is involved in the strategy?

‘Who’ is the last of the Kipling questions and, in this context, it applies both to who within an organisation is going to be responsible for producing the content, as well as who the target recipients are.

Regarding the former, the strongest brands spread the production of content as widely as possible. The more employees who are involved in the process, the more authentic the picture consumers build-up of that company. ‘Marketing’ may be the primary responsibility of a specific group, but every employee is a brand representative whenever they interact with a customer. Obviously, guidelines are necessary to ensure the brand’s reputation is safeguarded and that a consistent message is maintained, but the more that individuals can ‘be themselves’ within such parameters, the more interesting their contributions will be. For example, ordinary members of staff don’t need to be great actors to take part in videos – these days viewers are likely to be more impressed by honest and credible amateurs than by slick professionals.

When it comes to audiences, we’ve already said that messages should be tailored to the people they are intended for. As well as identifying the intended recipients for your different messages, ensure content is focused on appealing to real individuals rather than abstract groups by creating realistic buyer personas.

Six honest serving-men

This is just one approach to creating a strategy, but it’s one that works. The six questions can be asked at every level, from the initial forming of the overarching strategic goal, through the subsidiary goals and tactics to use, right through to the creation of each piece of content. If each element of your strategy addresses ‘What, Where, When, How, Why and Who?’ you can be pretty confident you have covered all the bases. The only thing to bear in mind is to try to find ways to measure the effectiveness of your campaign on an ongoing basis against pre-determined goals. As a general rule, “if you cannot measure it, it’s not worth doing” – but of course measurement can be defined in any number of ways. It is not all about instant sales. It could be about building up long term value in your brand and/or protecting your position in the marketplace against aggressively advertising competitors. The good news is that you will tend to have the last laugh in this respect, as long as you create a well-thought out content marketing strategy that includes reference to search engine optimisation and social media marketing.

Keep up to date

The world of content marketing strategy changes all the time. To keep up to date with all the latest news is almost impossible, but you can keep on top of things by following us on social media – TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn. If you would like to have a conversation with us about content marketing strategy, please contact Stephen Brown on 020 7795 8175 or – you can also visit our website at to find out more.

Category Snapshot: Free-from Q4 2017


Category Snapshot:

Free-from Q4 2017

This quarter confirmed that free-from is no longer limited to an aisle: its presence can be felt around the store. With a perception of being ‘healthier’ and with large brands crossing over by launching their own free-from ranges, it’s no surprise that 78% of British shoppers bought into the category at some point in 2017 (Kantar). So what media choices are brands – and retailers – opting for to capitalise on peaking interest, particularly in the run-up to Christmas?

new innovations

The category continued to see new product launches this quarter, with significant media presence in-aisle to convert shoppers already visiting that area of the store. This followed through online too – namely from existing brands which are not synonymous with the category. For example, Unilever’s launch of the Ben & Jerry’s free-from range opted for branded online search to bring their ice-cream into a free-from shopper’s consideration. The use of such media shows even large brands are keen to attract or re-acquire the growing numbers of shoppers turning to free-from.

widening appeal

A mix of brands continue to opt for non-category specific media in order to drive awareness earlier in the shopper journey. For example, in its launch campaign for Food Should Taste Good, General Mills made use of branded front-of-store ATM media to communicate its flavour credentials and the sharing occasion to appeal to shoppers who may never have considered free-from. Similar can be said of Alpro advertising in retailer magazines. This at-home media educates a shopper on its brand values and – while it does work to differentiate its products from direct competitors – it also widens the brand’s appeal to ethically conscious shoppers.

festive free-from

Across the major supermarkets, the free-from category was signposted to shoppers in December explicitly for the Christmas occasion, capitalising on the trend for an alternative Christmas meal in line with the rise in a free-from lifestyle, with retailers showcasing their wide offering. While this directional media is positive for the category, brands in the category would do well to make sure they aren’t left vulnerable to the threat from the increasingly diverse own-label offering – which represented 19% of the category’s growth this year (The Grocer). This can be achieved through a mix of: in-aisle media to clinch a shopper at the point of decision-making and out-of-aisle branded media to communicate a brand’s key USPs.

the Super Six: retailer comparison

When comparing the free-from aisle in a similar timeframe in the Super Six a few observations can be made:

Across the Super Six, many supermarkets made use of media in the free-from aisle. Often, this would be to demonstrate the variety of products or – and particularly in December – to alert shoppers that other free-from products can be found elsewhere in the store. Retailers are increasingly keen to signpost their free-from sections and particularly to promote own-label products within these communications. While brands are still making use of media such as fins and pings to talk ‘new’ in aisle, it’s important that brands consider the entire path to purchase given the increasing appeal of the category and the numbers of traditionally non-free-from brands entering into the category. Brands with larger free-from ranges can create brand-blocking on shelf, and many make use of shelf-ready packaging. These are good ways to create stand-out but it should be noted that these are also being employed by own-label, putting more pressure on brands to reach shoppers through media before they reach the aisle.

key learnings

While in-aisle media remains important in a growing category, talking brand values or USPs before the shopper enters the aisle will also help to differentiate free-from brands against not only each other but the increasingly strong presence of own-label options being listed and appearing in retailer-led media.

Free-from brands should look to ensure where possible that they are visible through shopper media in ‘mainstream’ categories in order to steal from beyond the free-from category – rather than allowing for the inverse to take place.

If you’d like to read the full article, give us a shout at



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Category Snapshot: BWS Q4 2017


Category Snapshot:

BWS Q4 2017

 ‘Tis the season to be jolly, and with party season in full swing, brands tend to go big at Christmas both with media and promotions. However, with more and more consumers drinking less alcohol [The Grocer, Alcohol report 2017], how did brands combat this and make sure that shoppers are still getting merry over the festive period?

in the Christmas spirit

The BWS category was one of the categories with the strongest growth this Christmas, growing 5.7% vs last year [Nielsen]. This was considerably driven by premium spirits sales, with shoppers trading up to brands or products they might not have tried at any other times of the year. Using recipe inspiration is a great way to do this, particularly when making cocktails at home has increased by 23% this year. Brands should make sure that when suggesting recipe content, all items are easy to pick up in-store, for example by merchandising them all together, ensuring customers don’t switch to a cheaper alternative at the last minute. Online is great for this as you can purchase all items with one click on a banner.

fanatic about flavours

Branding is especially important within this category, as it’s a huge deciding factor for shoppers in this category. To stand out from competitors, some brands used media to showcase the flavour of the drink within for example, showing the spices and seeds that were used to distil the liquid. Others looked to suggest the perfect meal pairing based on the taste profile of the drink. This is a great example of driving awareness as well as educating shoppers on what the beverage is complementary to. Soft drink brands such as Fever Tree have previously done this very well, leveraging flavour to make sure they are the mixer of choice and it’s great to see alcoholic brands using a similar method to encourage purchase through education and complete meal solutions.

the 3 s’, space, shippers & six sheets

With more BWS sales going through the till during this festive quarter, brands should ensure they have sufficient stock in store to cater for the increased demand. Using secondary space such as gondola ends, shippers and pallets are a great way to help with availability, not to mention increased visibility around store. However, brands should be careful not to de-value their brands with a “pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap” tactic. Bespoke branded shippers with the ability to carry a brand message and creative are a better way at doing this. We recommend supporting this with other branded media like six sheets to further highlight the brand positioning.


the Super Six: retailer comparison

When comparing the BWS aisle in a similar timeframe in the Super Six a few observations can be made:

Retailers varied quite a lot in terms of what went on in the aisle this quarter. Whilst Morrisons and Co-op chose to focus their media on giving shoppers inspiration either through recipe content or food pairing suggestions, Asda used media such as hotspots to encourage spirits as a gift this Christmas – an eye catching secondary display which creates stand out in a busy aisle. Tesco focused their media on encouraging shoppers to stock up and increase their basket spend with a multi-buy promotion. Some Tesco stores have had their BWS section updated to have more of an independent off-licence look and feel, which despite deep discounts, helps the category still feel premium. This re-fit, is very much in-line with the growth of independent labels in the category, whilst many of the categories in store face range rationalisation, craft beers are in a different league with all supermarkets increasing their range. Waitrose extended their range by 27% this year, to a total of 95 different beers! But with so many different brands to choose from smaller brands should make sure they invest in media to stand out from the crowd.

key learnings

An extremely busy period for the beers, wines and spirits category with a huge amount of media driving a successful quarter of category growth. With so much noise going on in-store, it can be difficult for brands to stand out. BWS brands should make sure they are thinking carefully about how they activate in this period, looking at more unique ways to create cut through in a busy shopper space such as with consumption ideas or dialling up flavour profiles.

If you’d like to read the full article, give us a shout at



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