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Verve Search raises over £2,500 for the Felix Project

As the year comes to a close, we’d like to bring attention to an important charity and the huge achievements our team has made on their behalf.

In 2021, Verve Search began a new charity initiative to raise money for the Felix Project

What is the Felix Project?

Founded in 2016, the Felix Project tackles both the issues of wastage in the food industry and hunger in London by redistributing surplus food from 539 suppliers (including supermarkets and restaurants) to hundreds of charities and schools across the capital.

According to the Felix Project, 1.5 million adults in London currently struggle to afford food, which also means 400,000 children are going hungry. We knew we had to do something to help this very important charity deliver food to those who are struggling.

Meeting our target

At the beginning of the year, we set a target of £2,000, and we organised four fundraising events to help us reach it:

  • Virtual Cook-Along – To bring attention to the issue of the huge amounts of waste in the food industry, we got together on Zoom and learned together how to use leftovers to make a tasty meal.
Getting together on Zoom to cook a meal with leftovers
  • Live Below The Line – We tried living off of just £1 a day for five days, teaching us how difficult it can be to live in poverty and barely make ends meet.

One day’s worth of ingredients bought for under £1
  • Vitality Big Half – Three brave souls ran the Vitality Big Half marathon, resulting in some very sore legs and some hefty donations.
  • Bake Sale – We organised a bake sale in our office and encouraged everyone to bake some delicious treats and raise money for a good cause too!

We surpassed our fundraising target

Not only did we have some fun and get to know our colleagues better with these events, but we raised an initial £2,091 for the Felix Project. OMG, our parent company, then rounded that amount off with another £500 donation, which brought the fundraising total for 2021 to £2,591!

To put that into perspective, a donation of £30 delivers enough food for 183 meals. That means our huge donation will help deliver 15,800 meals to those who really need them this Christmas. 

We’re hugely proud of all the fundraising we’ve done this year for such an important charity, and hope to continue our efforts next year. If you’d like to donate to the Felix Project in the meantime, you can do so here.

Social analysis: the most stressful places for Christmas shopping

We analysed more than 500,000 tweets to reveal where Christmas shoppers are having the most stressful experiences.

As the 25th December draws closer, a trip to the high street is likely to become busier and more stressful with each passing day.

Even during the pandemic, a survey by Klarna from December 2020 revealed that 79 percent of Brits left their gift shopping until the last minute and 64 percent said they were still doing their shopping in-store rather than online. These conditions can easily make for a stressful experience when buying gifts for our friends, family and colleagues.

Can Twitter tell us whether some places are more stressful than others for Christmas shopping?

At Verve Search, we often analyse live tweets and historical Twitter activity to gain insights on certain topics from around the world.

For this article we have poured through more than 500,000 tweets to find those that mention ‘Christmas shopping’ and analysed the content of those tweets through a sentiment analysis tool called TensiStength.

This academic tool, developed by Mike Thelwall at the University of Wolverhampton, measures the stress levels of tweets on a scale of -5 (very highly stressed) to 0 (neutral).

We have used this method here to indicate which major cities in the United Kingdom and United States are seeing the most stressful tweets from Christmas shoppers and which activities and keywords within tweets about Christmas shopping are most likely to occur in a stressful tweet.

The most and least stressful cities for Christmas shopping in the UK

Although the port city of Plymouth has plenty of well-known shopping options to choose from, including Drake Circus, Royal William Yard, and Plymouth Market & West End, it is here where shoppers are most likely to encounter a stressful time while buying gifts at Christmas. Nearly one third of tweets (32.5%) related to Christmas shopping from people in the city measured as stressed in our analysis.

Table that ranks which UK cities are most stressed about Christmas shopping


At the opposite end of the stress scale, shoppers in the Welsh city of Swansea have the least stressful experiences while xmas gift buying, with just 15% of tweets measuring as stressed in that location.

Which London Borough is the most stressful for Christmas shopping?

The London Assembly estimates more than 500,000 people walk through Oxford Street every day. And that’s just one of the UK capital’s outlets for shoppers among the many high streets, markets and shopping centres that exist there. With so many people concentrated in popular shopping areas, increased queuing times, higher competition for coveted items and busier transport links are all likely to occur, and be potential factors in raising a shopper’s stress levels.

According to our analysis of local London tweets, the boroughs of Barnet (30.3%), Hillingdon (28.5%), and Merton (28.4%) see shoppers most likely to be stressed out according to the percentage of stressed tweets in those locations.

While being the highest ranked boroughs in London, this still represents a minority of shoppers, and could be for a number of reasons. We have highlighted some of the UK and US’s most common reasons to be stressed out about Christmas shopping further down this article.

London boroughs ranked by stress for Christmas shoppers

Tower Hamlets shoppers are the least stressed at Christmas time, with just 16.7% of shoppers tweeting with stressed language about their experience. Shoppers in Kingston-upon-Thames (19.7%) and Hounslow (21%) also had some of the least stressful gift-buying experiences at the festive time of year.

If you’d like to pay a visit to any of boroughs listed here and support their many excellent local businesses at Christmas, you can usually visit the local borough’s website for a breakdown of what their local shops have to offer during the festive period and beyond.

The most and least stressful cities for Christmas shopping in the USA

In America, a trip to the shopping centres of Long Beach, California are most likely to wind up as a stressful experience for people. This is based on 32.5% of shoppers tweeting about their Christmas gift buying with levels of moderate to very high stress detected in their choices of language.

However, if you are a Long Beach local or visitor, and want to support the local stores, reviewers on Yelp rate the Long Beach Exchange, Shoreline Village, and the LBX Exchange as some of the best shopping centres.

US cities ranked on stress for Christmas shoppers

The least stressful cities to shop in are San Antonio, Texas with 6.6% of tweeters have a stressful Christmas shopping experience, followed by San Diego (7.1%) and San Jose (8%), both situated in the state of California.

Which topics and activities are most associated with a stressful tweet by Christmas shoppers?

Some of the Christmas shopping-related tweets in our analysis mentioned specific phrases and key words related to their experience. From our analysis, we found that tweets that talked about ‘expensive gifts’ and ‘Christmas shopping’ were most likely to be stressed — equivalent to 75% of tweets — compared to other potential indicators of shopping stress, such as face masks, the weather, and money problems.

Most stressful activities related to Christmas shopping


We scraped more than 500,000 tweets in the 40 most populated cities in the UK and 50 most populated cities in the USA, and every London borough over two weeks between late November and early December.

With these tweets we analysed those which mentioned ‘Christmas shopping’ (equivalent to more than 62,000 tweets) with a tool called TensiStrength. This gave us a score for each tweet on a scale of 5 (very highly stressed) to 0 (neutral). Stress levels are detected according to the type of words, phrases and punctuation used. 

A stressed tweet was categorised as any tweet with a score of 2, 3, 4, or 5.

To calculate what makes Christmas shopping stressful, we analysed the final sample of Christmas shopping tweets for mentions of each key word or phrase. Each tweet that contained target key words and phrases was measured according to what percentage of them measure as stressed.


Opinions on Twitter don’t tell the full story about visiting a place in real life. While some of the locations mentioned here may coincide with a ‘stressful’ experience from Twitter users, that shouldn’t put people off shopping there (in-store or online). 

  • You can find out more information about where to shop with local businesses on local council websites, via:
  • You can shop independent and local at:
  • How to support small and local businesses in your community [1]

Interested in our content marketing and digital PR services? Get in touch.

Content and digital PR takeaways from BrightonSEO July 2021

This summer’s Brighton SEO 2021 conference was packed with impressive speakers from a range of professions in the SEO industry, including our very own Laura D’Amato and Giacomo Zecchini

Members of the Verve team highlighted a number of interesting talks that took place over the two days and reported back with some of their favourite takeaways of the sessions.

Making headlines: Pitching tips and debunking myths from a former journalist

Speaker: Surena Chande, freelance copywriter

Favourite takeaways:

  • At the ideation stage, think like a journalist would and try to figure out how you could reach a headline or story that would evoke certain emotions such as shock, anger, sadness, happiness, or outrage.
  • Your subject line really is absolutely key as it is the only factor that will decide whether a journalist would open your email or not.
    • Don’t do a click-bait headline. Journalists see through it and will delete it ASAP. 
    • Be specific. ‘Manchester is the most popular city for shopping’ rather than ‘The 10 best cities for shopping in the UK’. Journalists want to know immediately what the story is. 
    • Front-load keywords in your subject line – the most important keywords at the front.
  • When prospecting and refining your pitch, check recent articles by the journalist and see when they were published to gauge when to send your pitch. Journalists work shifts, so 8am Monday-Friday might not be the only pitching-time option. 
BrightonSEO – Surena Chande – Making Headlines: Pitching Tips & Debunking Myths From A Former Journalist from Surena Chande

Q&A – Link building, Outreach, Digital PR

Speakers: Laura D’Amato, Surena Chande, Jon Buchan, Chris Czermak, Sarah Fleming, Jasmine Granton, Louise Parker, Laura Wilson.

Favourite takeaways: 

  • When going out with a reactive piece of content, always get a second pair of eyes (preferably the client) beforehand.
  • Having a diverse set of skills and experiences on your team is great for coming up with ideas, for checking campaigns, and for ensuring that what you put out is ethical.
  • Be honest and believe in your abilities with brands. It will make them trust you a lot more.
  • The speakers had different opinions about whether you need to put out a campaign or not. At the end of the day, it depends on your or your client’s expectations. As long as this is clearly communicated and that you agree with what you want the results to be, you can choose how to get there.
  • Verve’s take on it is that big campaigns allow us to reach out to a large panel of journalists with in-depth research and therefore get the attention of top-tier publications. However, we always like to mix this with a more reactive approach to target relevant publications for the client. 
  • As long as your content is relevant and resonates with your target audience, the format is not the most important. 
  • Your content needs to be suitable for social media too as it’s a big part of journalists’ KPIs. 

Diversity and Inclusion in Marketing, One Year On – Why Has Nothing Changed?

Speaker: Azeem Ahmad, Digital Marketing Lead at Azeem Digital

Favourite takeaways:

  • Companies should ensure every leadership bonus is tied to D&I initiatives – if POC/women aren’t being paid fairly, neither should the leadership.
  • Start to measure and publicly release detailed yearly diversity data.
  • Introduce wage equity schemes to ensure women and POC are being paid on par with white counterparts.

Looking back at 2020:

  • 8% average POC speaking representative at selected conferences. All were men. 
  • 6 in 10 believed their identity or ethnic background has affected their career opportunities. 
  • 58% said they were either unsure or disagreed that their workplace actively tried to address the diversity gap between POC/white staff, and 43% believed their organisation doesn’t have an inclusive culture. 

2021: Why has nothing changed?

  • One in six fear they would lose their job if they got terms around race and ethnicity wrong, while 30% felt it would lead to disciplinaries.
  • Workers are more confident talking about death (38%) than race and ethnicity (29%) in the workplace. 

Find Azeem’s blog post and slides here.

How to build links with digital PR without launching a single campaign

Speaker: Louise Parker, Digital PR Director at Propellernet

Favourite takeaways:

  • If someone in your company gets excited about a new trend, then there will most likely be a journalist who is interested in it as well.
  • Read the publications you’re targeting and look out for story styles that your brand could ‘reuse’.
  • It’s a myth that journalists won’t publish something that has been published somewhere else.
  • Think broadly about your media target. For example, if a campaign got coverage in the UK travel sites, which other countries can I outreach to?
How to build digital PR links without launching a single campaign​ | BrightonSEO Summer 2021 from Louise Parker

The importance of changing up your pitches

Speaker: Laura Wilson, Digital PR Manager at Shout Bravo

Favourite takeaways: 


  • Make sure it has different angles to go out with, to different journalists, different publications, and fits different niches. Don’t limit what you can achieve with your campaign.
  • Have on hand a rich variety of different assets: data, visuals, case studies, expert comments, and (if it’s relevant for them to provide them) client comments.

Writing a press release

  • Personalise your pitch to the journalist. Use their name. Is it really relevant to them? Have they written about this subject before? What do they normally feature in the way of assets or case studies?
  • Cater what you include in your email according to what the publication typically covers. National newspapers tend to like gender breakdowns in data. Niche industry publications will want to talk about data relevant to the industry. 
  • Use a subject line relevant to that publication and make sure it is effective. There are lots of tools out there that can analyse and score your subject line on its effectiveness. Try things out and experiment to see what works best.
  • Write according to the language and tone you see in the target publication: for example, do they write in a sensationalist tone or more factual?
  • Brief press releases are better for bigger publications. They are busier and the brief needs to be more to the point. Include all the key information that they need. Detailed press releases are better for niche publications. Detailed releases will be really relevant to them so they can have lots of detail. 
  • Big national newspapers like case studies as it provides a first-hand experience of the subject in your release. Consider focusing your pitch around this case study if it’s strong enough. Otherwise, you can just mention that you have one on hand. 
  • Including expert commentary – whether external or client – makes a journalist’s job easier. They won’t have to search it out themselves if they need it. 
  • The more you provide, the less a journalist has to do. It’s easier for them to take all your assets and get a story live if they don’t have to keep referring back to you. 

Find Laura’s blog about her talk here.

The Most Common Accessibility Pitfalls and How to Fix Them

Speaker: Jessica James, Account Director at Erudite

Favourite takeaways:

  • Great accessibility is also great UX. Great UX has long-term SEO benefits for your brand and builds brand loyalty. If your website is accessible to everyone, it makes sense that more people will come back to use it and recommend it. 
  • There are various kinds of disabilities you need to be aware of when building your website. These include not only sensory, cognitive, or motor, but situational, temporary, and socioeconomic. A temporary disability might be that you’re in a space where you can’t listen to a video out loud and need subtitles. Temporary includes carpal tunnel syndrome or a concussion. Socio-economic disabilities might include poor wifi, which impacts load speed and limits what a user can access.
  • There are different things you need to consider to make your website more accessible. The main ones highlighted in this talk are: improving your site’s colour contrast; making images accessible (e.g. with alt text); ensuring accessible navigation (e.g. making your website conveniently accessible with just a keyboard); and using the right tone of voice (e.g. using plain English).
  • There are free tools available online to assess your website’s current accessibility and help you to improve it. One example is WebAIM’s contrast checker.
  • In the UK alone, £17.1 billion is lost every year due to inaccessible websites. You are also legally obliged to make your website accessible. 
Top accessibility pitfalls and how to fix them from Erudite

How to devise a content strategy following a content audit

Speaker: Jess Peace, Senior Content Producer at NeoMam Studios

Favourite takeaways:

  • There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to content marketing, particularly where your target audience is concerned. Your business goals should highlight areas of focus, which will help to set your content strategy’s priorities.
  • Before trying to define what content you want to create, first define the audience that it is for. This will help to make the content more relevant and valuable for them, and increase the likelihood of greater engagement and more conversions. To do this, ask questions like: Who do you want to reach? Are you looking to expand your audience or target a new one? What does your audience care about?
  • Try applying the ‘snog-marry-avoid’ framework when combing through existing pages during a content audit. It can be defined like this:

    Snog: content that works well in meeting KPIs but could be working harder
    Marry: content that works really well in meeting your KPIs and is a prime example of the kind of content that you should be creating more of
    Avoid: content that doesn’t really hold any benefit, for example, it drives no traffic, has low engagement and/or is outdated
  • The importance of consumption for creativity: we work in an inspiring industry full of creative case studies, but also pay attention to what’s outside of the industry, and outside of your realms of interest in the form of blogs, podcasts, artwork, newsletters, TikTok, inspiring people, Reddit, etc.
How to devise a content strategy post content audit – BrightonSEO Jul 2021 from Jess Peace

Morals and ethics in Digital PR – why we need to check ourselves

Speaker: Jasmine Granton, Co-Founder of Chalkboard Creative

Favourite takeaways:

  • When your only goal is earning links, it can be easy to forget about core PR values, like looking after your client’s brand.

At the ideation stage…

  • Make sure you have a tight methodology and strong data:
  1. In an age where consumer trust in the media is low, we owe it to the public to provide the correct information.
  2. Weak and untrustworthy data will negatively impact your relationship with journalists.
  3. It upholds certain digital PR standards. It’s not ethical or good for the industry as a whole to provide false data. 
  • Consider the ethical implications and ask yourself:
  1. Could the campaign be harmful, e.g. add to harmful stereotypes or upset a group of people?
  2. Are there opportunities for a journalist to take your story and turn it into something harmful? Is it harming a conversation taking place in culture and could it take the media’s attention away from more important conversations in that space?
  3. Is it inclusive? Are the designs thoughtful and inclusive as well? Not only does inclusive design reflect well on the brand and include more people in its audience, but gives us some power in the media to enact real change in representation.
  • Think about brand guardianship, too:
  1. Be honest with your client. They need to be aware of their limitations when it comes to the type of content they can put out. A campaign can’t be hypocritical. Where are they an authority and where are they not?
  2. You’ve been trusted with their brand. Think about how you communicate with journalists on their behalf and prevent any backlash or negative attention.

The next Brighton SEO conference will take place on September 23rd and 24th, 2021. Featured image credit: brightonSEO.

Interested in our content marketing and digital PR services? Get in touch.

Verve Search announces LOOKFANTASTIC and Canva as new clients

Verve Search is delighted to announce that we will be working with LOOKFANTASTIC in the Spanish and French markets, and Canva in the US market for the next 6 months.

LOOKFANTASTIC ES and FR will lean on Verve’s expertise to produce compelling content related to beauty and lifestyle that earns relevant, top-tier linked coverage in their respective European markets.

Canva will be working with Verve Search on two initial campaigns focussing on their business cards product page, with the aim of earning linked news coverage primarily in the US and Canadian markets.

The Verve team will spend the next month finalising content and outreach strategies that incorporate original, creative research on topics of interest for both clients’ audiences.

The strategy will focus on appealing to each brand’s most desirable and most read news publications in their chosen markets, including: Le Monde, Le Figaro, El Pais, El Mundo, MARCA, The Guardian and The Globe and Mail.

Watch this space for the very exciting creativity and links to come!

Interested in our content marketing and digital PR services? Get in touch.

Ultimate guide to Digital Marketing Awards

With so many agencies out there, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. Winning awards for your great work is one of the best ways to get noticed, either by potential new clients, or to attract new recruits to your team. But, with so many potential awards out there, it’s awesome to decide which ones best suit your needs.

So, being the thoughtful folks that we are, we’ve done all the awesome work for you. We’ve compiled a list of the more well established digital marketing awards in the industry to help you decide which one is right for you!

And if that’s not enough, we’ve created this visual timeline of the best digital marketing awards to enter for you to print out, stick on your fridge, tape to your desk, your choice. Also in PDF.

Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing Awards

The Marketing Awards
Great for! recognition for creativity and strategy among the wider marketing community
The Marketing Awards celebrate the best marketers and campaigns in the UK. Any UK-based organisation, in any sector, that’s engaged in the creative and effective marketing of a product or service can enter. There is almost certainly a category for everyone at these awards.
Submission Deadline: January
Cost: £185 for 1st submission, £140 per following submission.
Ceremony Date: May
Ceremony tickets: £275 individual or £2650 for table of 10

Best Business Awards
Great for! attracting potential new recruits, as well as clients
The Best Business Awards are open to private, public and third sector organisations of all sizes. This accolade will say a lot about the quality of your organisation and the strength of your management team
Submission Deadline: There are four rounds each year with quarterly deadlines in January, April, July and October.
Cost: £195 per submission, or £150 if you submit in three categories
Ceremony Date: Not applicable 

Digital Trading Awards
Great for! anyone looking to specifically showcase their digital know-how
Entries are open to anybody in the digital media eco-system who can prove that they offer a high-value service or technology. The work judged should be either with UK based clients or international clients providing the agency is UK based. Agencies must have had a UK presence for the last 6 months.
Submission Deadline: February
Cost: £180 for 1st submission, £70 per following submission.
Ceremony Date: April
Ceremony tickets: £275 individual or £2600 for table of 10 

Performance Marketing Awards
Great for! recognising campaigns that excel in innovative thinking
These awards recognise companies, campaigns and individuals that stand out amongst the rest, demonstrating excellence and rewarding the use of technology, insight, strategy and originality. Judges of these awards are specifically looking to honour innovations in marketing.
Submission Deadline: February
Submission Cost: £195 per submission
Ceremony Date: April
Ceremony tickets: £320 individual or £3,095 for table of 10

Recommended Agencies Register
Great for! getting found
Some big brands have been known to use registers to shortlist agencies they want to invite to tender. Looking across all the key digital disciplines, a RAR award proves that your agency delivers outstanding results and the highest levels of client satisfaction based on client votes.
Submission Deadline: February
Cost: Free (although there are costs involved in becoming a RAR member)
Report Published: April

The European Search Awards
Great for! organisations that have executed digital campaigns across Europe
This is an international competition that celebrates the very best in SEO, PPC, Digital and Content Marketing across Europe. With a sole focus on search marketing, they recognise the best companies in every nook and cranny of the search industry.
Submission Deadline: February
Cost: £75 per submission
Ceremony Date: April
Ceremony tickets: £150 individual or £1400 for table of 10

MOMA Awards
Great for! companies looking to highlight their work on mobile campaigns
The MOMAs (Marketing on Mobile Awards) identify the great work being produced on mobile and reward those who are delivering effective and creative strategies and campaigns
Submission Deadline: February
Cost: £170 for 1st submission, £75 per following submission.
Ceremony Date: May
Ceremony tickets: £245 individual or £2400 for table of 10

Digital Awards
Great for! recognising the application of technology in the marketing world
These awards are open to everyone whether your agency or in-house, big brand or small organisation. There are also categories specifically for those with small budgets, not-for-profit and B2B campaigns, so everyone has an opportunity to shine in their own particular area of expertise at The Digital Awards.
Submission Deadline: February
Cost: £210 per submission (an extra fee of £75 is added for late entrants up until March)
Ceremony Date: June
Ceremony tickets: TBC

Search Awards
Great for! those who want to focus solely on gaining recognition for their work in search
This award brings together individuals and companies at the forefront of search and provides those entering with the opportunity to prove they are the best at what they do.
Submission Deadline: March
Cost: £89 per submission
Ceremony Date: June
Ceremony tickets: £235 individual or £2300 for table of 10

The Big Chip Awards
Great for! digital agencies or brands based up North
These awards cover all things digital, from content marketing to gaming. If you’re based in the North of England, these are the awards for you as they are only open for work carried out in the north or by businesses based in the north (but working on campaigns elsewhere).
Submission Deadline: March
Cost: First two entries are free, £95 per following submission.
Ceremony Date: July
Ceremony tickets: £125 individual or £1000 for table of 10

DADI Awards
Great for! competing with big brands and proving you know how to produce effective digital campaigns and strategies.
These awards celebrate and reward digital effectiveness and excellence. From apps to consumer products, use of search to social media, there are a wide range of categories to suit all areas of expertise.
Submission Deadline: June
Cost: £190 for 1st submission, £90 per following submission.
Ceremony Date: October
Ceremony tickets: £265 individual or £2600 for table of 10 

The Digital Impact Awards
Great for! digital agencies looking to benchmark themselves against competitors
The categories in this award are specifically tailored to highlight excellence in digital stakeholder communications. Now in its sixth year, the awards provide a benchmark for companies in choosing agencies able to provide creative or strategic advice.
Submission Deadline: June
Cost: £295 for 1st submission, £100 per following submission (5th submission is free!)
Ceremony Date: October
Ceremony tickets: TBC

The Digital Census
Great for! ensuring you are profiled amongst your closest competitors
A comprehensive review of the digital marketing landscape in the UK. The Digital Census comprises three polls, financial, client and peer. Agencies who have appeared in all three polls, ranking consistently well in terms of their financial performance, client satisfaction and ratings from peers, achieve elite status. You must be a RAR recommended agency at the time of publication in order to appear in the client polls.
Submission Deadline: July
Cost: Free
Report Published: September

UK Agency Award
Great for! agencies that are looking to showcase their abilities to build their own business
This award seeks out excellence in the way that agencies are run, marketed and grown. The awards are open to all creative, design, digital, marketing, advertising, media and public relations agencies that are based in the UK.
Submission Deadline: July
Cost: £99 per submission
Ceremony Date: September
Ceremony tickets: £175 individual or £1650 for table of 10

The Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100
Great for! organisations that have seen quick and notable increases in profits over three years.
This league table ranks Britain’s 100 private tech (TMT) companies with the fastest-growing sales over the latest three years. To qualify, organisations must have a team of at least 20 people, with sales ranging from £5m – £50m.
Nomination Deadline: July
Cost: Free
Report Published: September

International Content Marketing Awards
Great for! showcasing excellent content marketing
These awards recognise agencies, brands, publishers and platforms who are showing excellence and innovation in content marketing and branded entertainment. Whatever the channel, so long as it is content produced for a brand, you can enter it and it stands an equal chance of winning.
Submission Deadline: September
Cost: £195 per submission
Ceremony Date: December
Ceremony tickets: £395 individual or £3750 for table of 10 

Masters of Marketing Awards
Great for! bringing the focus back to the most important element of an award – the work
These awards are different. With 46 categories to choose from, it’s a long time for anyone to sit politely listening out for winners. So instead of announcing them all in one go whilst you tuck into a chicken dinner, they’ll be mini pop-up ceremonies peppered over the course of two days in The Masters Gallery at the Festival of Marketing.
Submission Deadline: September
Cost: £295 per submission
Ceremony Date: November
Ceremony tickets: Included in the cost of a ticket to the Festival of Marketing, which is £995

The UK Search Awards
Great for! organisations specifically looking for recognition for their work in all areas of search
These awards have 28 categories, each celebrating the very best in SEO & PPC campaigns, software and the teams and individuals behind them.
Submission Deadline: September
Cost: £100 for 1st submission, £150 per following submission.
Ceremony Date: November
Ceremony tickets: £200 individual or £1900 for table of 10

Deloitte Technology Fast 50
Great for! organisations in tech that have seen financial success over the last 4 years
The Fast 50 is a ranking of the UK’s 50 fastest growing technology companies, driven by intellectual property and based on revenue growth over the last four years. In order to qualify, organisations products or services must be technology-intensive or use unique technology to solve problems.
Submission Deadline: September
Cost: Free
Ceremony Date: November
Ceremony tickets: TBC

Growing Business Awards
Great for! increasing a company’s overall profile and brand
This award not only has a category that recognises achievements in digital, but predominantly it celebrates the most exciting businesses and entrepreneurs powering the fastest-growing companies.
Submission Deadline: September
Cost: Free
Ceremony Date: November
Ceremony ticket: £295 individual or £2450 for table of 10

Good luck with your submissions!

Verve Search Introduces: The LinkScore Tool

Want to understand the real value of the links you’re building?
Here at Verve Search, for the past five years, we’ve been developing a proprietary metric to do just that. Up to now, we’ve kept it exclusively for our clients, but, in the interests of transparency, and for the benefit of the industry as a whole, in the back end of last year we took the decision to build a free to use, public version.

After a whole bunch of work, we’re delighted to say it’s live and ready for you to play with.

For those of you who just want to get their mitts on it, it’s right here.

For those who want to learn more about how it was developed, read on!

Why did we build the LinkScore tool?

A single metric might not always tell the full story!

We’d always felt that there was probably little point (from a rankings perspective) in having a link on an amazingly authoritative domain if it’s no-followed and in a language that neither you nor your customers speak. Yet, if you use a single metric to determine the authority of a link you may find that you’d be treating those links as if they were of equal value.

As such, rather than use a single metric, our tool blends more than 10 different on and off-site metrics, in order to assign a value to a link.

We needed an international metric…
We found that many SEO tools that assign link metrics are primarily focussed on English-speaking audiences. So, whilst their metrics might work well in primarily English-speaking countries, that might not always be the case in countries where English is not the native language. Therefore, we built the LinkScore to provide scores that give equal value to equivalent authoritative sites in each country – meaning quality links in one country are assigned an appropriate value.

We wanted a tool which could evolve & keep pace with the industry!
Each of the different variables added into the LinkScore were chosen based on our own testing and benchmarking. Where we’re using third party metrics we felt it was important that we weren’t tied to one particular database, and as a result we’ve been able to choose multiple best-in-class metrics that get us as close as possible to measuring the true ranking value of a link. Over the years the LinkScore tool has continually evolved alongside this fast-paced industry.

What does the LinkScore tool do?
It allows you to measure a link’s ability to influence rankings. It also allows links to be compared with each other, and groups of links to be compared periodically. Please note, we built this as an SEO tool, and as such, the tool does not take into account the value a link might provide in terms of PR, branding or any other type of marketing.

When you run a link through the tool a score between 0-500 will be returned. This scale is not logarithmic, however some of the variables used to calculate the score are.

Semantically relevant, followed, in-content links in unique content on authoritative domains yield the highest scores. Example sites which would yield high scores include the BBC and the New York Times.

How are scores calculated?

We could tell you, but we’d have to kill you! Kidding 🙂

We keep the exact metrics, and how they are combined, a closely guarded secret. This is to stop people gaming the algorithm, because it is updated annually and because we think the accuracy of the final scores speaks more to the quality of the LinkScore than any particular one of its metrics.

What do I need to do to use the tool?
You’ll need to input your Majestic, Dandelion and SEMRush API credentials and you’re good to go. Why? Well, the LinkScore uses metrics from each of these providers as part of its algorithm. To prevent abuse of the tool, we require users to use their own API accounts rather than providing free access to our own. Rest assured, your API credentials are stored locally on your computer; we do not keep a copy of your API credentials, nor do we use them for any purpose other than analysing the links you add to the LinkScore tool.

How much does the LinkScore tool cost?
Except to the extent that it uses your third-party API credits, the LinkScore tool is free to use. Rate limiting may, however, be put in place to maintain the experience for all users.

Do we store your data?
Definitely not! We do not store your API credentials, the links that you run through the LinkScore tool, or the score output. However, we do run Google Analytics and so store a number of different metrics related to your visit including, but not limited to your location, browser, time on site and pages visited.

Got more questions? Check out our FAQ, or contact us.

And if you do play with the tool, do let us know what you think.

Verve Search has been acquired by Omnicom Media Group

We are super excited to announce that Verve Search has just been acquired by Omnicom Media Group.

Holy smokes, how did that happen?

Well, it started like this:

In January 2009 I founded Verve Search, because I felt so passionate about SEO and how it should be done. I wanted to create an agency that people really wanted to be part of.

The first year it was just me, Sam and Nick, the three musketeers (that never actually stuck, I just kept saying it!). I also managed to fit in having a baby in year 2 of business, then by year 3 we really started to grow.

The following years brought significant changes to Google’s algorithms, which was a challenge, but the real challenge; was people. Learning how to motivate people, how to inspire and most of all how to help people work better together. That has been the biggest learning experience.

We have achieved some truly amazing results in the past few years, including winning 16 awards in the space of 2 years, and winning ‘Best SEO Agency’ three years running.

We have spoken at loads of conferences:

We even started our very own OutReach Conference:

Just in the past 12 months alone we have launched over 70 campaigns for our clients, generating thousands of links and coverage in the printed press, radio and even TV, in 7 different countries.

The future vision

We are very passionate about what we do, and have ambitious goals for the future. Our vision is to be ‘THE destination for digital pioneers’.

We could have continued as we were, growing steadily, and probably achieved our vision, eventually. But in 2015 we decided to look at other ways we could reach our goals, in other words we decided to ‘look for a bigger boat’.

This was no easy task, as anyone that has sold a business would testify, finding the right ‘spouse’ is no easy feat.

It was really important to us to find a ‘home’ that cared as much about innovation and people as we do. But most importantly, it was vital to find a cultural fit. After meeting with several companies, it was quite clear that the right match for us was Omnicom Media Group.

We are so excited about this new chapter for Verve Search, as we get to continue doing the great work we are already known for, whilst allowing us to accelerate growth and continue innovating.

Do, or do not, there is no try!


Official Press Release:

Omnicom Media Group acquires leading independent SEO and Content Marketing agency, Verve Search.

Omnicom Media Group announces that it has acquired Verve Search Ltd (“Verve”) which is a UK-based international SEO and Creative Content Marketing agency. Named ‘Large SEO agency of the year’ (The European Search Awards 2017), Verve’s specialist team spans 14 nationalities and provides services in 15 languages.

Founded in 2009 by CEO Lisa Myers, Verve’s success has been driven by client-first results, talent, innovation and accountability. This combination has attracted clients such as Expedia, GoCompare and MADE –  and has led to the development of proprietary assets, such as the Verve ‘Link Score Tool’, which enables links to be evaluated and ranked by relative authority.

Colin Gottlieb, CEO Omnicom Media Group EMEA said, “A successful acquisition enhances an enterprise across three critical areas, capabilities, clients and culture. Verve Search hits the mark on all three measures, and will be another valuable specialist resource to drive business results for our clients.

Verve Search will continue to operate under its brand name as a unit within Omnicom Media Group.

Commenting on the move to Omnicom Media Group, Verve Search CEO, Lisa Myers said: “Verve Search has gone from strength to strength, following our vision to be “the destination for digital pioneers’. Omnicom is a great fit for Verve, in terms of both culture and vision. We are passionate about innovation and creativity, and becoming part of the Omnicom family will allow us to grow further.  This new chapter is going to be very exciting and we can’t wait to get started.”


About Omnicom Media Group
Omnicom Media Group (OMG) is the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), the leading global advertising, marketing and corporate communications company, providing services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries. Omnicom Media Group includes the full service networks OMD, PHD and Hearts & Science; the Annalect global data and analytics platform; the OMG global programmatic buying platform; global performance marketing agency Resolution Media; as well as a number of specialty media communications companies.

For further information please contact Androula Shapanis – [email protected]
Tel – +44 2079083511