Gartner Magic Quadrant 2020

Gartner Magic Quadrant 2020

The Gartner Magic Quadrant 2020 for digital experience platforms (DXP) has been announced. Sitecore has retained their leading position for a third consecutive year. Achieving high scores for ‘ability to execute’ and ‘completeness of vision’. This demonstrates their vision of empowering brands to deliver meaningful and personalised experiences at scale.

You can explore previous reports Gartner Magic Quadrant 2019 and Gartner Magic Quadrant 2018 to learn how the market has evolved over the years.

What is Gartner’s Magic Quadrant?

Gartner Magic Quadrant is a series of market research publications produced by Gartner. It helps enterprises evaluate which platform will best suit their needs. Selecting the right platform can mean enhanced customer experiences. The report evaluates vendors based on exceptional ability to execute and completeness of vision. There are four quadrants that vendors can be classified as:

  • Leaders:

Leaders are vendors who score high on both criteria’s. Leaders are usually vendors who are established organisations with a strong customer base.

  • Challengers:

Similar to leaders, challengers lack vision but have the opportunity to transform into leaders.

  • Visionaries:

Visionaries are usually smaller businesses, that lack the ability to execute visions.

  • Niche players:

Niche players are typically start-ups or newer companies lacking both vision and execution.

How does Sitecore compare?

The Gartner Magic Quadrant 2020 report has seen some major shifts, with the addition of new entrants and leaders. It’s essential for CMS platforms to evolve to meet technological advancements and customer needs.

Gartner analysed the strengths and weaknesses of each leader. We’ve summarised the key points for you, but you can read the full report here.

Gartner Magic Quadrant 2020

Sitecore

Gartner lists Sitecore’s key strengths as offering a broad set of digital experience capabilities. Specifically, for organisations with sophisticated digital marketing requirements. The DXP offers a range of features to benefit any customer. Whether that’s personalisation,  Sitecore marketing tools or Sitecore SXA.

A caution listed is Sitecore pricing. A common frustration amongst users is the lack of transparency on cost, combined with not getting the most out of the platform. Working with an experienced Sitecore Partner could help harness Sitecore’s powerful features and remedy these issues. These issues seem to be a common theme with most quadrant leaders, however, quality reflects the premium pricing offered for the DXP and the high ROI associated with sophisticated technology.

You can explore Sitecore features and learn in-depth whether the DXP suits your enterprise’s needs.

Adobe Experience Manager

Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) remained at top stop this year. It remains a strong choice for enterprises that have reached digital maturity. A key strength of AEM is its ability to deliver seamless experiences across multiple digital touchpoints, similar to Sitecore. A core weaknesses identified was its premium pricing.

Not sure which is best for your organisation? You can read more in a Sitecore vs Adobe Experience Manager guide.

Acquia

Acquia is the primary vendor behind open-source platform, Drupal. The DXP has a great understanding of the industry which is reflected in product vision. However, although Acquia markets itself as an open-source platform, its pricing can resemble premium qualities.

You can learn more in a Sitecore vs Drupal guide.

Episerver

Episerver has a strong digital marketing product portfolio, which is often favourable in contrast to confusing tech focused platforms. Gartner reports that it lacks brand awareness and visibility, which means the DXP is less frequently chosen by enterprises.

You can find out more about how Episerver stacks up against global leader, Sitecore in the Sitecore vs Episerver guide.

Liferay

Liferay is a new entrant into the leader quadrant this year, replacing Oracle. The DXP has content management, analytics, digital commerce and other capabilities on offer to its user base. Gartner lists a key strength of Liferay is its good understanding of the DXP market, strong capabilities are on offer for extensibility and application integration which appeals to IT buyers.  However, organisations with mature digital marketing requirements find Liferay’s customer-centric functionality limiting.

Which DXP is right for me?

If you’re looking for more information beyond the Gartner Magic Quadrant 2020 to shortlist the best DXP’s for your organisation, using a CMS comparison guide can be a great next step. Alternatively, speaking to group of experts with over 20 years’ experience in creating enterprise level digital solutions is recommended.

We’re a long-standing top tier Sitecore partner, with decades of experience in helping enterprises leverage Sitecore to achieve their digital strategy goals.  Get in touch to speak to our expert team of certified Sitecore specialists or book a Sitecore Demo today.

Global social media usage is steadily increasing, with over 3.5 billion social media users worldwide. Social media marketing for construction companies can help reach new and existing audiences. Construction companies can capitalise on free brand exposure by producing quality content and engaging with their followers.

In this digital climate, social media has become core to our daily routine. Millennials (born between 1981-1996) hold the highest daily social media usage, at 90.4%, followed by Generation X (born between 1965-1980) at 77.5% and Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) 48.2%. These statistics highlight that social media has become intrinsic in daily life across age groups, especially those generations furthest from retirement age.

Construction companies can use social media as a channel to control the conversation about their brand, share important news about their organisation and importantly, to engage a demographic suitable for recruitment. Social media platforms host a huge audience for construction companies that they might not otherwise be able to reach. An audience of digital natives that could help the construction industry move forward in a digital era.

Invest in a social strategy

It’s important to remember that the same people that use social media at their leisure to look at the latest popular meme or cat video are likely the same people that work as investors, buyers, finance professionals etc. Social media marketing for construction companies is crucial to maintain a positive brand perception to each audience segment, this includes investors. Creating conversations online that build free exposure will ensure investors have made the correct choice in injecting money into construction projects. A social feed that shares:

  • Press releases
  • Website content
  • Consistent tone of voice
  • Builds brand image
  • On-site projects
  • Job opportunities

creates an engaging social feed and gives reassurance to investors that the organisation is thriving and moving in a positive direction. The social posts also have the benefits of attracting new audiences for recruitment purposes, which indicates growth and a future of the firm.

An aging workforce

The aging workforce in UK construction companies is problematic for the industry. The inevitable retirement of the existing workforce alongside the recruitment challenge of attracting a younger generation of workers, poses a real threat to many construction organisations. Many skilled construction workers have successfully carried out their role for decades, however, these jobs are now very unpopular with millennials and digital natives. The rise of digital transformation means younger generations seek out innovative roles in digitally savvy sectors.

The construction industry admits that it has been slow to adopt modern technologies and digital marketing transformation. Social media marketing for construction companies is a great way to combat the challenges the industry faces. By helping create brand awareness to recruit the next generation of construction workers. Construction organisations like Balfour Beatty have already started to bridge the digital skills gap, by introducing innovative graduate schemes and apprenticeships in business and technical fields. These opportunities help construction companies mould their perfect employee, giving graduates the skills needed to excel in the construction industry, and in turn the sector benefits.

Construction companies can determine which social media channels best suit their needs depending on demographic and audience usage. A paid social media strategy has the benefit of driving traffic to a website much faster than organic methods.

How social media helps SEO

A common strategy is to separate organic SEO and social media within marketing departments. Website authority holds a lot of power, making it a critical SEO factor to focus on. Achieving a high authority backlink from a social channel will help search engines rank your higher in SERPs.

There are five ways social media can help you rank better in SERPS:

  • Gain quality links
  • Build a strong audience
  • Increase number of branded searches
  • Learn user intent
  • Local SEO

It’s important to note, social media does not directly boost SEO. However, creating a strategy for social promotion or amplification of your content, will achieve backlinks to your website.

Social media and smartphones

There’s no escaping the shift towards the use of mobile over desktop for social media. Smartphones have had a huge impact on social media usage. The rise of visual content is correlated with the increase in smartphones, using richer forms of media to engage on the smaller screen. Nearly 80% of all social media time is spent on mobile devices. Instagram has more than one billion monthly active users and the growth of the platform has meant organisations must re-assess their digital marketing strategy, to ensure their content is mobile and image optimised. Instagram is a platform that solely works for smartphones or tablets. The social channel can be used on desktop, but the user experience is seamless on smartphones and tablets. Instagram’s inbuilt advertising and influencer marketing opportunities means referral traffic to websites can be high. Organisations must deliver websites that are mobile first to ensure potential customers have a seamless customer experience.

Video content on social media is king

The amount of visual content shared daily has grown to over 3 billion images and 10 billion videos between Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. The growth of live videos has given users an effective way to engage with audiences. This gives audiences the opportunity to get to know organisations and provides a real-time channel for communication.

54% of users would love to see more video content from the brands they follow. Any construction organisation can start creating video content as part of their social media strategy. A good place to begin is to identify what your overall objective is, and then how you’re going to achieve those results. Video content can be a simple brand message, project story, customer review, product reveal or company employment benefit that will help your organisation influence its targeted audience. For construction companies this might be for recruitment purposes or to nurture investor relationships.

Kickstart social media marketing for construction companies

We’re a leading digital marketing agency with offices across the UK. We design, build and optimise websites using the Sitecore platform. We help enterprise level organisations achieve their digital goals by finding smart solutions to complex problems. Kagool is top tier Sitecore Partner with over a decade experience in delivering optimised omni-channel customer experiences.  Get in touch to learn more about our digital marketing services.

Sitecore Horizon is a next-generation editor interface that brings the content editing experience right up to date and offers marketers some great new features. The content editing experience in Sitecore has always had two options:

  1. The Content Editor, where authors can navigate the content tree and edit an item’s fields.
  2. The Experience Editor, where non-technical authors can edit content in a WYSIWYG editor.

Sitecore recommends that sites should be built to support editing using the Experience Editor, as this reduces the need for training and controls the level of access users have to content. The Experience Editor has been in the platform for a long time (since version 6.5) and was built before rich web user interfaces were commonplace, so it’s high time that the editing experience was switched up a gear.

Over the last couple of years Sitecore have been hard at work with UX research and taking on feedback from the community to produce Sitecore Horizon. Horizon has been built from the ground up with the end user in mind and combines the best bits of the Content Editor and the Experience Editor.

Installation

Sitecore has been trying to make life easier for developers and in this Sitecore 9.3 release they’ve made huge improvements in the way you install Sitecore. Installing the platform is now a breeze with the install assistant and installing Sitecore Horizon is also no exception.

Sitecore provide clear documentation on how to install Horizon and a PowerShell script with a few settings that need changing for your setup. We managed to get a developer version of Sitecore and Horizon running within an hour.

With Sitecore Horizon set up and ready to go, here’s a look at some of the new features:

Speed up your experience with page editor

The page editor offers a faster experience than the Experience Editor and is also more intuitive. The editing experience has been stripped back and is much more light weight and focusses on the everyday needs of marketers.

Sitecore Horizon

From the page editor interface, you can edit content, create pages, add components to the page and publish. The page editor uses a lot of contextual menus, which results in fewer clicks and allows the editor to carry out their tasks without moving to different screens or navigating dropdown menus.

The existing Experience Editor interface has grown in complexity over the years and added features such as A/B testing and personalisation. These features are not in Horizon yet and for now you’ll still have to use the Experience Editor to access these, but if you need simple interface for a CMS author then Sitecore Horizon is perfect.

Page Insights

Once you have created and published your content you can monitor the page’s performance in the view just by clicking the bar chart icon. Here you can keep track on the value per visit and the conversion rate of the page all within the context of the page rather than using the separate Experience Analytics interface.

Sitecore Horizon

The insights view gives you the following metrics for the page:

  • Visits per day and average value per visit
  • Conversion rate by date
  • Time on page by date
  • Bounce rate
  • Time on this page
  • Bounce rate by date
  • Simulator Mode

In the simulator mode you can preview how your site will look in different devices. Currently iPhone 7, iPad and desktop, again all within the context of the page you’re editing. In the example below we can see how the page will look in an iPad.

The simulator view also gives you the option to rotate the device and even allows you to edit while in these different device views.

This is a great addition that can not only help marketers, but can also help developers. Front end developers could potentially use this simulator view to help them design and debug visual issues for various devices.

Simulator Timeline

As content gets updated in Sitecore and different version of the content is created it has always been difficult to keep track of what changes were made to a page and when. The simulator timeline makes this easy and allows you to see the changes to the page over time.

Sitecore Horizon

With the simulator timeline enabled the user can drag the marker along the timeline, day by day and see the precise date and time of the changes.

Behind the scenes

Looking behind the scenes of Sitecore Horizon, the interface is a separate .Net Core application and sits in a separate website to the content editor. With Sitecore’s endeavours to build a true headless CMS, with scalability, it makes sense that Horizon is decoupled so it can be scaled separately from the traditional CMS role.

Horizon also uses  GraphQL and Sitecore Hosts architecture. Sitecore Hosts is a pluggable framework that standardises base functionality for development. Sitecore are now using this modular pattern to release new features that sit outside of the normal Sitecore content management vs content delivery role. Horizon is one of the first examples of this.

The future of experience management

The Horizon Experience Editor offers a slick new, page-focused intuitive interface that makes it easy for marketers to edit and optimise content. It is a vast improvement from the Experience Editor interface and offers higher levels of productivity when editing content. Although this is the first release of Horizon, in future releases of Sitecore we expect the Horizon editor to have more features added and eventually the Experience Editor will become legacy.

Horizon also gives us a glimpse of where Sitecore is heading in terms of underlying technology and architecture. The future definitely seems to have more of a focus on .NET core and a decoupled and future proofed architecture.

If you’re considering embarking on a new Sitecore project or considering a Sitecore 9 upgrade to version 9.3, its highly recommended to install the Horizon interface.

How can your organisation benefit from Sitecore Horizon?

Sitecore is constantly evolving, with each update comes new and innovative features. We’re a long-standing top tier Sitecore Partner, with decades experience helping enterprises achieve their digital strategy goals. Not currently using Sitecore? Contact us today to book a Sitecore demo.

Launched in 2017, the HR Awards recognises and celebrates achievements of HR professionals. Vicki Richards has been shortlisted as a finalist in two categories in the 2020 awards.

Hosted by the BBC’s Sian Lloyd, the awards recognise the best HR professionals across a variety of industries. Specifically showcasing outstanding individuals and teams in the best HR, learning and people management practice across wales in the last 12 months. Winners will be announced at the ceremony on the 27th March.

Vicki’s recognition for Kagool by the HR Awards marks a series of recent accreditations for our efforts to make Kagool a great place to work, having recently gained certification from Investors In People and Best Companies. The shortlist demonstrates to our employees, clients and stakeholders that we value and understand what makes a great workplace.

Acorn’s Director of Permanent Recruitment, Pavan Arora said, “We are absolutely delighted as founders to see these awards continuing to go from strength to strength, with yet another new category and input from external judges.

“We are truly grateful to all those who continue to support us in recognising the best HR talent in Wales and have, as ever, been delighted with the volume and quality of entries received.”

Kagool’s Head of HR, Vicki Richards said, “I’m thrilled to be shortlisted for the HR Awards. I’ve been working really hard with my team to make our agency a great place to work by listening to the team and introducing lots of new initiatives throughout the year. It’s a really exciting time to be at Kagool and I’m looking forward to a great year ahead”.

The construction industry is facing a digital revolution. Digital transformation is putting pressure on organisations to evolve technology, after projects are becoming more sophisticated and complex. Construction organisations must re-evaluate their digital roadmap to get ahead of the competition. We carried out in-depth testing and analysis around core aspects of digital effectiveness in the construction sector. The report focuses on The Construction Index’s ‘Top 100 Construction Companies 2018’.

Our 2020 Construction Digital Census report uncovers the digital maturity of construction companies. The report highlights strengths and weaknesses of the sector’s digital marketing. We’ve discovered opportunities that construction companies are missing out on. It’s an exciting time for the construction sector, for companies to take strides forward on their digital roadmap and implement a new digital marketing strategy.

Evaluating construction digital effectiveness

We analysed the digital effectiveness of the UK’s top 10 construction companies. Construction marketing performance was evaluated on factors such as: search marketing, video marketing, social media and email marketing. Companies were given scores for their performance in 8 different categories. This was then combined to determine their rank in the Digital Maturity League Table.

Construction Digital Census

The Construction Digital Census includes:

  • The Digital Maturity League Table
  • A detailed analysis of the core aspects needed for successful construction digital marketing
  • Financial success vs maturity
  • Insights and statistics that highlight digital transformation
  • Recommendations for implementing best practice

Ready to see the leaders in construction marketing?

Uncover which construction companies are digitally mature and which aspects of digital the industry is struggling to perform well in.

Download the 2020 Construction Digital Census report to learn unique construction insights and how to overtake the competition in an exciting market.

Despite the internet being popularised in the 1990s, the question, ‘What is internet?’ still receives over 8,000 searches monthly in the UK and 18,000 in the US. Organisations cannot afford to ignore digital any longer and should be looking at how to fine tune their internet marketing strategy to deliver great results.

What is the best online marketing strategy?

A successful internet marketing strategy will utilise all tactics of the marketing mix to achieve greater conversions and ROI. These five digital marketing tactics have been proven to help organisations improve their performance.

1. Dominate SERPs with SEO and PPC

Google receives over 77,000 searches per second. This means ranking on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs) is essential to gain online visibility and drive traffic to your company’s website. SERPs consist of both organic and paid search results. SEO and PPC have become a primary focus for organisations in this digital climate, with Google holding 90.1% of the total search engine market share. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of making your website more visible to search engines. Achieving first page ranking organically is a common goal of most organisations, as it can produce a healthy return of investment (ROI). Pay-per-click (PPC) ads also offer a fast and targeted way for organisations to drive traffic to their website. With 95.3% of clicks going to the top four search results, should you fail to rank organically within the top four, paid search is a great tactic to consider for improving brand visibility and positioning.

2. Build positive PR

Achieving a business profile or press release in a leading newspaper has long been a traditional PR technique. Digital PR has become an increasingly popular tactic for internet marketing strategy. A core element of digital PR is gaining high authority links from quality online publications. This can help organisations achieve higher ranking in Google SERPs and can benefit domain authority in the long term with link building. Organisations can build online visibility and a positive brand image.

3. Create quality content

72% of marketers suggest content marketing is their most effective online marketing tactic. SEO and content marketing work together to build a strong online marketing strategy. Content marketing costs 41% less than paid search. Producing quality content that your audience are searching for will help you rank at the top of SERPs. Start with keyword research. Discover what your audience are searching for, so that you know what to write about. On-page SEO techniques such as:

  • alt tags
  • meta descriptions
  • title tags
  • internal links

will optimise the content to rank higher on SERPs. This will drive traffic to your website and improve conversions.

4. Control the conversation with social media marketing

There are over 3.7 billion active social media users worldwide. That works at around 10 new social media users per second. This means creating a conversation with your audience online is essential to achieve your internet marketing strategy. Start by choosing which social media channels you want to represent your business on. Not all platforms are right for you.

  • Facebook

Facebook has 2 billion monthly active users.  The platform appeals to a range of generations who are keen to stay connected to friends and family. Facebook offers a great advertising platform with different creative formats that helps generates leads and sales.

  • Twitter

Twitter has 330 million monthly active users, with around 500 million tweets send per day. This makes Twitter a great platform to create online conversations. Similar to Facebook, Twitter offers the option to advertise but with limited creative options.

  • Instagram

Over 95 million photos are uploaded onto Instagram each day, with over 1 billion active users. Instagram has become a great way for brands to increase visibility of their products in a visual way, through sponsored posts and influencer marketing.

  • LinkedIn

Over 3 million companies have created LinkedIn accounts. LinkedIn is ideal for building and nurturing relationships for B2B businesses. Often associated as a professional networking platform, some organisations may not choose this platform to sell their e-commerce products. Similar to Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn offers an advertising platform with highly targeted campaign tools.

  • Pinterest

Pinterest has over 200 million active users each month. Pinterest has long been the go-to visual platform for inspiration, but with the growth of Instagram it’s easy for organisations to favour one over the other. However, organisations shouldn’t forget the SEO advantages Pinterest offers. Optimising Pinterest images with keywords can help improve visibility in SERPs.

  • YouTube

YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google. The average person watches 40 minutes of YouTube content per day, making it a great platform to reach a broad demographic. YouTube advertising has become a powerful way to build brand visibility.

5. Stay connected with email marketing

99% of consumers check their email every day. This means staying connected with customers is an easy and effective way to let them know you value them. Email marketing continues to be one of the best ways to reach out to potential customers and leads. Personalisation is a great way to display relevant and highly targeted content to the user and build more meaningful customer relationships.

Email subject lines are crucial to the success of an email campaign. 50% of email recipients make a quick decision on whether to open an email or not, based on the subject line. This means writing an enticing subject line is extremely important to increase click through rate (CTR).

An integrated internet marketing strategy

An integrated internet marketing strategy can transform any organisation. It’s important to consider each digital marketing tactic and see how it can fit within your organisation. There are many channels that can suit your organisation depending on your audience and your goals. Partnering with a digital marketing agency, can ensure your organisation will achieve results faster.

Is your organisation ready to start the decade with a new internet marketing strategy?

If you’d like support with your internet marketing strategy, we’d love to help. We’re a top tier Sitecore Partner, with over 20 years’ experience helping organisations achieve their digital strategy. Get in touch today to book a Sitecore Demo, or discuss your digital goals with a digital audit.

25% of all IT budgets will be spent on cloud services in 2020 according to Gartner’s predictions. When choosing a cloud services platform, there’s a lot for organisations to consider, especially as the choice of products available is increasingly competitive. Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are two market leading cloud platforms available to businesses developing web applications as their core offering. Although Azure joined the cloud market sometime after AWS and owns a fraction of the public cloud market in comparison, it arrived with a bang and is a serious contender in the cloud space.

But between AWS vs Azure which is best?

What is Azure?

Azure, or Microsoft Azure is a known as a public cloud computing platform that offers the following:

  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a service)
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service)
  • SaaS (Software as a Service)

It gives users access to computing resources over the internet for building, testing, deployment and service management. Azure is regarded as a ‘hybrid platform’ because it’s customers needn’t move everything directly into Azure. Users can run a subset of their landscape on premise alongside Azure hosted services.

…and AWS?

In 2006, Amazon launched their cloud service platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS) during cloud computing’s early transitional phase. It offers a wide range of APIs and cloud computing services on demand to individuals and organisations globally. As a close competitor of Azure, it shares a lot of similarities. But how do the two differ? Which is best for your organisation?

Round one: Compute

‘Compute’ covers how well each system helps to calculate, process and, well compute data. If you’re not too familiar with what a desirable cloud service provider should be offering, it’s essentially speedy data analysis and graphics rendering. For organisations there’s two routes:

  1. Buy more hardware
  2. Move to cloud services

Azure and AWS differ on the compute aspect. The AWS favoured solution is its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances, which are beneficial for scaling computing on-demand and can be customised. Whilst Azure centres its computing offering around Virtual Machines (VMs) and a series of tools, such as Azure Autoscaling and features that support deployment applications on the cloud like Resource Manager and Cloud Services.

Round two: Security

Nearly 66% of organisations believe security is the biggest challenge in cloud adoption. Azure and AWS both perform well in terms of security and follow best practice by offering role-based access control (RBAC). This means organisations can determine which users have access to specific resources within the cloud.

Thanks to Microsoft’s history in networking, Azure’s RBAC (called Active Directory) is especially strong and its capabilities exceed AWS’s offering. Azure provides an underlying platform (they refer to it as “foundation”) across its entire landscape. They continually invest in this foundation layer to ensure security is constantly reviewed and updated. This is broken down into three categories:

1. Physical security

This is the multi-layered protections that are implemented across all data centres within the 54 regions they offer. One of its key purposes is to stop any unauthorised access to their network. This includes features such as DDos controls. Along with these sort of security controls, Microsoft are constantly working to identify flaws and vulnerabilities in their landscape.

2. Built-in security controls

Azure’s built-in tools are provided to deliver the following:

  • Identify management through Azure Active Directory
  • Use VPNs or dedicated Azure ExpressRoute
  • WAF – Web application firewalls
  • Using Azure data storage with its built-in encryption to protect and safeguard data.

3. Azure unique intelligence

Azure security centre threat protection allows organisations to identify risks and threats through a dashboard. The dashboard has big data and machine learning running in the background in order to capture and analyse the data to provide you with meaningful information.

Although AWS doesn’t offer the same level of sophistication in security as Azure, it doesn’t neglect to protect its users and their data either, but it does require a knowledgeable cloud architect.

Round three: Pricing

Cost is a huge deciding factor for organisations considering a move to the cloud. When comparing Azure vs AWS, they’re closely matched. Both Amazon and Microsoft platforms offer free introductory tiers with limited usage that allow users, ‘try before they buy’, and both have credit available to attract the attention of start-ups.

AWS has a pay-as-you-go model that charges users per hour, whilst Azure customers pay by the minute. Although AWS’s pricing does offer slightly more flexibility, Azure customers can choose from short term packages that are pre-paid or charged monthly.

The cost of cloud services is deeply intertwined with scalability. Whilst you can look at pricing as simply as a set budget, it’s more realistic to monitor costs vs performance.

Conclusion: Azure vs AWS which is best?

If you look at Azure vs AWS on a feature-by-feature basis, there isn’t that much variance or a clear winner. Both are strong contenders in the cloud service provider market, but finding which provider is best for your organisation requires discussion around specific requirements. Digging deeper into your business’ needs will highlight whether your company and its background is more aligned with Azure or AWS.

Speaking with a Microsoft Gold Partner like Kagool is a good place to start. We are a leading Sitecore Partner who has over 20 years’ experience in hosting, designing, building and optimising websites for enterprise organisations. Contact us today to find out more about Sitecore Azure hosting. Not currently using Sitecore? Book a Sitecore demo today to learn how your organisation could benefit from the leading global platform.

 

Sources

www.dezyre.com/article/aws-vs-azure-who-is-the-big-winner-in-the-cloud-war/401

www.computerworld.com/article/3429365/aws-vs-azure-vs-google-whats-the-best-cloud-platform-for-enterprise.html

hostingtribunal.com/blog/cloud-computing-statistics/#gref

Digital trends and technological innovations have been disrupting and forcing sectors to evolve over the past decade, pushing digital marketing to the forefront of modern marketing strategies. Some industries have been slower to embrace digital transformation than others and risk falling behind. The construction industry is lagging behind with digital marketing and adoption of new technology – and it knows it. 54% of UK construction decision makers surveyed admitted that the sector has been slow to adopt digital.

However, in the last few years there has been the starts of a digital revolution. Construction projects are larger and more complex than ever before. The construction industry has started to adopt AR in marketing, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, drones and 3D printing to enhance projects. Embracing new ways of working, increasing project efficiency and speed, productivity will enable differentiation. 81% of construction organisations state within the next 12 months they will be taking bigger leaps to improve their business digitally. Attracting, engaging and retaining investors through a digital marketing approach will be critical to ensure greater sales, share price and brand visibility.

It’s time to transform construction digital marketing.

Digital transformation and BIM in the construction industry

Most UK construction organisations have been slow to embrace digital technologies. The evolution of digital has meant organisations need to rapidly adopt new technologies to keep up with industry trends. Construction organisations have one common goal in mind – higher productivity.

The construction industry is actively taking steps to advance, with new technology. Traditional construction careers are now being transformed into more automated and intelligent roles. Through Building Information Modelling (BIM) the construction industry is undergoing a digital revolution. BIM is a process of creating and managing information on a construction project. It is an intelligent 3D model based process that gives architecture, engineering and construction professionals more insights and efficiency. Embracing digital construction means organisations can benefit from optimised projects and leveraging new tools.

Construction Digital Census

Four tips for successful construction digital marketing

Although the construction industry might be taking steps to transform technology, their digital marketing strategy needs to also be prioritised to maintain survival. The construction industry is moving forward, welcoming digital transformation, digital tools and systems

Follow these four digital marketing tips to ensure your organisation achieves its business goals:

1. Achieve visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs)

Any construction digital marketing strategy should include search engine optimisation (SEO). 93% of online experiences start with a search engine and Google holds 90.1% of the total search engine market share. New visitors typically find organisations by completing an online search. This means achieving top rankings on SERPs is an important step to attract website traffic and build online visibility.

Start by researching your audience. Keyword research will give you an understanding of which specific terms users are searching for. Digital marketing tools like SEMrush can help you analyse specific keywords and identify search volumes.  Based on the keyword research findings, it’s important to choose a keyword that has search volume and is suitable to your audience. Optimising the content with the specific keywords with help achieve great visibility in SERPs and drive traffic to your website. Organisations are advised to optimise their websites according to Google’s guidelines. Construction organisations who disregard this, risk losing out to competitors.

Construction organisations who utilise on page SEO techniques like:

  • Meta tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Alt tags
  • Heading tags
  • Short URL strings to rank better
  • Internal links
  • Fast website speed
  • Marked up structured content

Will benefit from targeted and relevant traffic driven to their website. This has the potential to make a large impact on your organisations goals, such as increasing investments, leads or careers applications.

2. Build a strong PR strategy

Developing a strong public relations strategy has been a core marketing tactic for decades. Implementing both digital and traditional PR strategies is a critical tactic that ensures brand growth and recognition. The internet gives a plethora of channels to advertise, build brand visibility and deliver messaging. Digital PR looks beyond an offline audience and uses new trends in: content marketing, SEO and social media marketing, to improve an online presence. Integrating an SEO strategy with a digital PR strategy means construction organisations can achieve the following:

  • Secure high authority links to your website
  • Improve SERPs SEO ranking
  • Drive website traffic
  • Improve public image and business relationships
  • Increase conversions
  • Build a strong social media audience

It’s important to make a PR plan that answers: what is the content going to be? where it’s going to be published? who it’s aimed at? This will help identify which online or offline press the content is going to.

Achieving a good brand image is a core marketing approach that constructions organisations must consider as part of their overall strategy. Demonstrating credibility, trustworthiness and professionalism in the industry, is a compelling way to attract and retain investments.

Negative PR can take different forms in an organisation. How you respond to it, quickly, will prevent negative publicity from getting worse. Generating content about your organisation can help reinforce a positive brand image.

3. Develop a results-driven content marketing strategy

Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing tactics, making it a smart choice for construction organisations to adopt into their marketing strategy. Implementing SEO into your content marketing strategy will generate favourable results, by optimising for keywords this will drive traffic to your content. 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing to increase leads. Construction organisations can leverage content marketing to rank at the top of SERPs and drive traffic to their websites.

Start by developing a content plan, which determines who the content is for, what the goals are and where it’s going. Keeping the user at the forefront of your strategy will help drive more meaningful results. Some website platforms like Sitecore, have personalisation capabilities, which means you’re able to show relevant content at the right time to users, building customer loyalty and driving conversions. Linking the content plan with an overall social media strategy will enhance overall brand visibility.

4. Stay social

There are 3.2 billion social media users, which amounts to 42% of the world’s population. This means social media marketing is an essential tool to build an online audience and control a conversation. Construction organisations can nurture relationships to build brand loyalty and advocacy, which can result in greater investments. Social media improves SEO rankings by increasing third-party links, mentions and interests in brands content. This demonstrates the importance of integrating SEO into a wider digital strategy.

Building a social media plan and scheduling posts is a great way to help construction organisations post content consistently. Marketing tools like Hootsuite can schedule Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram posts. It’s crucial to choose suitable social channels for your business, understanding who your audience is and what channels they use, will determine what platforms to utilise. In a world that is online 24/7, customers expect businesses to accessible to them everywhere at anytime that suits them. Not having a presence on your audience’s preferred platform could risk losing business and the opportunity to get closer to your audience.

How effective is your construction digital marketing?

If you’re keen to get more out of your construction digital marketing, get in touch today – we’d love to help. At Kagool, we help enterprise level organisation to achieve their digital goals, We specialise in creating seamless digital experiences using the Sitecore platform, providing a range of services including digital strategy, design, support and search marketing.

Sitecore has two concepts known as content management (CM) and content delivery (CD) instances or roles. Each performing a very different role to the other. In a nutshell, it’s the idea that one role is used for creating, maintaining and managing content, and the other is purely used to deliver the content to the end user.

Sitecore is designed to be a scaled platform with clear separation of content management to content delivery. It allows for content management to be done in isolation, providing a secure environment to work in.

Now let’s deep dive in to these roles.

What is Sitecore content management?

Sitecore’s content management environment is the “world of content editing”. It’s purely for content editors to access, create, amend and update content for their website. Editors can login into the “Sitecore dashboard” of Sitecore Experience Platform which provides a number of options, dependent on the editor’s role. Ultimately the “content editor” is what would be accessed to manage content changes:

Sitecore Content Management vs Content Delivery

The content management environment and dashboard is typically locked down to the customers’ internal network so that outside access is denied. This is from a security point of view, to prevent someone attempting to gain access to the content management interface, where they could sabotage the content on your website and ultimately publish it.

Given the power that Sitecore harnesses, the “content management” instance is more than just a place to edit content. It’s where content editors can really utilise all of Sitecore’s features to get the best out of the platform.

Not only can they manage the content but they can:

Working with the “master” database

If you’re wondering how it’s possible to create and edit content without it being visible to the public, then this is a high level overview, call it Sitecore 101 on databases.

There are a number of databases that all perform different roles. In this case we will focus on the one around content editing. The content management instance makes use of the “master” database.

The “master” database is the master repository of content, where all content editors will be making their changes. As long as your instance is configured correctly, “versioning” should be used by content editors. This allows the tracking of changes to be managed through versions of an item. Without versioning, content simply gets overwritten and should you need to look historically at what a piece of content was, you would not be able to do so.

All content changes get stored in the “master” database and they will go through (providing your Sitecore instance is configured correctly) various stages of workflow prior to being “allowed” to be published. Once all stages of workflow have been approved, the latest version of an item will be published. This replaces the previous version, although the previous version will still be accessible in the content editor to view, as shown in the below screenshot.

In this case, you can see on the right hand side “9”, this is the number of versions of the “About us” item. The content editor is free to look at earlier versions.

In the “yellow” warning message, its telling the editor that the version being worked on is “version 9” and is not in a “publishable” state. This is because it has not gone through workflow, therefore if the editor publishes this item, version 8 will actually be published. Demonstrating a good practice of using versioning and workflow.

Sitecore Content Management vs Content Delivery

What is Sitecore content delivery?

The content delivery role, server, instance is one that the end users can see, and delivers the live website. When a user is viewing a website, that site is being surfaced via the content delivery instance.

Content delivery instances only display published content. So when a content editor has finalised their piece of content and its gone through the various stages of workflow, they make it “live”. The process for this is very straight forward, they’re presented with an option to “publish” the content. In doing so, behind the scenes, that piece of content moves from the “master” databases to the “web” database. Once it arrives in the web databases, it is live and available for the world to see.

A content delivery server only connects to the “web” database for content, it does not have access to the “master” database.

An application can have multiple content delivery servers to manage high traffic coming to a website. Most of the applications we build have a minimum of two content delivery servers. They’re fronted with a load balancer which effectively distributes traffic between the two content delivery servers, which manages the performance of the application by not overloading it with traffic. This could cause performance degradation.

How can enterprises differentiate Sitecore Content Management vs Content Delivery?

It’s quite difficult to differentiate unless you have access to the infrastructure itself, however, you might get a clue by simply going to your live domain and appending ‘/sitecore’ to the end of the url.

In a true content delivery environment, you would be presented with a “page not found” or restricted access message of sorts. However, if you are presented with a Sitecore login screen, this could mean one of a few things:

  • You are running a single Sitecore instance which acts as a combined CM and CD
  • Your CD environment has not been configured correctly

Due to there being a number of ways to architect a Sitecore environment, dependent on the scale of your application, there are applications which run on a single instance. You should still try and ensure the admin area is locked down to a restricted IP range.

How can Sitecore help me?

The delivery environment can manage any amount of traffic thrown at it. If your application can’t handle the traffic, it’s easy enough to add additional content delivery instances into the mix, which allows the distribution of traffic between instances. This ensures the user experience is not impacted.

We’re a leading Sitecore partner with over 20 years’ experience, designing, building and optimising website solutions for enterprises.  If you’d like to explore Sitecore Content Management vs Content delivery further and the information in this article rings true to your organisation – let’s talk. If you find that versioning is not being used by content editors, Sitecore workflow is not in place, performance is an issue, then get in touch and we would be happy to audit your Sitecore platform and discuss how to get more from your investment.

Is SEO for construction companies important?

Getting to the top positions in Google’s SERPs should be a priority for any marketer. 94% of all organic traffic is reported to come via Google, whilst the search engine receives over 228 million searches per hour. That’s a sizeable audience for construction firms to be reaching with their brand. The first organic listing on desktop receives nearly 20% of all clicks, whilst the first organic result on mobile receives 27.7% of clicks. If delivered correctly, SEO for construction companies could easily help an organisation to dominate Google SERPs and grow their audience.

Google continues to evolve and update its algorithms that dictate how digital marketing teams approach SEO and digital strategy. This can make it a challenging task for businesses that don’t have dedicated specialists available to ensure their content and digital output is set up to get the best results. Fortunately, there are some aspects to SEO for construction companies that remain consistent and that aren’t too difficult. Apply these five simple steps to your digital marketing strategy to avoid missing out on high volumes of valuable organic traffic.

1. Find out what your audience is already searching for

Sounds almost too easy doesn’t it? But it’s pretty simple – if not a little time consuming. Why waste valuable time and money trying to come up with ideas to attract traffic to your website and gain online visibility, when this approach can tell you what your target market already want to know?

At a basic level, Google has a suite of free tools available to help marketers carry out keyword research and some analysis around trending topics. For digital marketers that are better acquainted with search marketing and have the budget to invest in subscription tools, there’s some great ones available that go into a lot more granular detail. Understandably, most companies don’t have the internal resource to focus on SEO and so partnering with a digital marketing agency, like Kagool can help your organisation achieve great results, faster.

Having previously delivered SEO for construction companies, our clients benefit from our advanced keyword research, in-depth analysis of competitors, customer behaviour and the wider market to identify search terms that will best generate conversions.

Construction Digital Census

2. Remember Local SEO

Globally, nearly half (46%) of the 3.5 billion daily Google searches are reported to be local searches. But if this doesn’t convince you that local SEO for construction companies shouldn’t be ignored, then maybe the fact that 76% of local searches result in consumers picking up the phone to give the business a call. In addition to this, 18% of local mobile searches generate a sales conversion within 24 hours. Impressive huh?

The key point here for construction companies is that, it makes sense to make your business, products, services and contact information easily accessible to your audience. Besides, they’re already looking for you, and quite likely within a local proximity. So why not make it easier for them to become a customer? By creating and optimising content that provides the information that they’re searching for – your company will dominate Google’s search results. Conveniently, stepping your brand ahead of your competitors that have overlooked the power of local SEO for construction companies.

National and global enterprises can adopt local SEO into their digital marketing strategy to leverage online visibility and engage an existing audience that’s already looking for them locally.

3. Hello Google (urls, H1, relevant content)

Why Google? Google has the lion’s share of the market, at 94%, leaving other search engines like Bing as less of a priority – although its important to note that this certainly doesn’t mean smaller search engines should be ignored. It just means, Google write the rules and if your business wants to get noticed by billions of potential customers, then you’re best to follow their guidelines for SEO for construction companies.

There are several ways that organisations can win the battle for that number one spot on Google SERPs.

4. Build your organisation’s online profile with backlinks

Imagine your business gained a recommendation from a trusted name in your industry, automatically your brand is regarded as a credible organisation by association. This is how Google regards backlinks from authoritative websites. Earning these links signals to Google that your site’s content is valuable to their users and therefore will be ranked highly. SEO for construction companies would benefit from building links across reputable news sources, like leading UK construction magazine ‘Building’. The higher volume of relevant, quality websites that link to your site, the more likely you are to get your brand in front of your target audience.

5. Build a website that loads quickly on any device

Google uses your loading speed to rank your website in its search results. It’s not a huge factor of SEO for construction companies but a poor speed can impact performance.

Customers are often described as impatient when it comes to waiting for websites to load. But they have a point, slow websites are annoying. Conversion are reported to drop by 7% from just one second additional delay. It’s understandable that visitors quickly leave and choose a competitor with a faster website that’s accessible on whichever device they’re using. It’s a better user experience – simple.

By 2020, its predicted that over 2.87 billion people will be using smartphones. 57% of consumers stated that they wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile website.  Organisations that ignore the importance of providing a fast loading time and a seamless experience across all devices risk falling behind.

How to achieve great SEO for construction companies

Our team of search marketers can help to create and implement SEO marketing strategy to your organisation’s overall marketing strategy. Contact us to speak to one of our Google certified experts today to find out how partnering with Kagool can help your business achieve its digital goals.