“Our turnover has increased five-fold in the past three years and a large part of this is due to the fantastic web sites that Cariad has created which are more cost-effective at promoting our brands than print advertising. We have an excellent working relationship with Justine and her team. Their response times are excellent and they do not let us down.”
Simon Bailey, Director at Bookbinders of London
Established in 1870, Bookbinders of London (BBL Group) is a fourth-generation printing and binding company based in Highbury. BBL Group’s digital printing, annual report printing and specialist bookbinding services are in demand by design agencies, marketing companies, publishers and architects, as well as budding authors, while the company’s thesis and dissertation printing and binding service is highly popular with students.
BBL Group has three brands: www.bookbindersoflondon.com; www.thephotobookstore.com, where users can design photobooks to commemorate special events such as weddings; and www.ukschoolyearbooks.com which enables schools, colleges, universities and sports clubs to create a yearbook to celebrate the previous year.
BBL Group first approached Cariad Marketing in 2009 because it wanted a new company website which would be more effective in promoting its services and generating sales for its bricks and mortar business. BBL Group Director, Simon Bailey recalls: “We were looking for a website provider that had the right level of expertise but was not large and impersonal. Justine and her team quickly showed they knew their stuff and the new site started generating new business straight away. But most importantly, they proved great people to do business with and were always ready to meet face-to-face to talk through any concerns we might have.”
Now, the website – www.bookbindersoflondon.com – has an average of between 4,000-5,000 unique visitors per month, while Cariad’s expertise in search engine optimisation ensures the site maintains its high ranking on Google and the other search engines. Cariad has also helped BBL attract more student customers thanks to an additional feature which allows them to upload their thesis or dissertation to the site for printing and binding.
In 2011, BBL Group asked Cariad to develop an e-commerce website for its new online school yearbooks business. A relatively new but growing phenomenon in the UK, BBL saw the potential for a website which made creating a yearbook an attractive, easy and rewarding activity for teachers, students or parents. Cariad helped ensure that www.ukschoolyearbooks.com is an informative and interactive experience for users. Features such as blogs and sample yearbooks explain the yearbook concept to the uninitiated and showcase what can be done. Users can then download the free specialist software to create their own unique yearbook and click the order button when they are ready to send it to print. Launched in June 2011, the site is near the top of the search engine rankings and despite being a totally new venture for BBL, Simon Bailey reports that new yearbook orders are coming in daily.
In December 2011, BBL sought Cariad’s help with its existing photobook store website. The site had been developed by a German company to run the software which guided users through the photobook design process. BBL was happy with the software but found the website was not meeting its needs. Simon Bailey explains: “We approached Cariad to explore the options for a new website while retaining the software. This is a very competitive market and there are some large players with deep pockets so it was really important that our site was able to grab the customer’s attention.”
Cariad’s technical experts were able to detach the user-friendly photobook design software from the website and integrate it with an equally intuitive new e-commerce website. The site made an instant impact when it launched in April 2012 and Simon Bailey is delighted that www.thephotobookstore.com is now riding high in the search engine rankings. He adds: “Customers tell us they like the fact that the site is so clear, easy to use and it’s great that we can now make changes to the site within a few hours. We can see this business going from strength-to-strength thanks to Cariad Marketing’s input.”