Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

There are no dedicated digital optimisation agencies, so we launched Hookflash

By Oliver Walker, MD, Hookflash

Customer experience has never been as important, and challenging, as it is right now. And there are no signs that consumer expectations are abating. You only have to look at the stats: 64% consumers want companies to meet their needs faster according to Accenture. While PWC reveals that 32% of consumers will walk away from a brand they love following a bad experience.

And Adobe data provides the case for getting it right: 86% say they will pay more, and 64% are willing to recommend a brand, following a good customer experience.

But the reality for most brands is that it’s easier said than done. Whether it’s tools not integrating, teams that don’t talk, or decisions being made without data, these challenges can hamper progress.

It’s why we launched Hookflash in early 2023. Firstly, with a dedicated mission to start on one area of the customer experience, and often the first point of interaction for many organisations.

We help brands to drive the maximum potential from their websites. And we do this through the collaboration of Digital Analytics, SEO, and Website Experimentation (otherwise known as CRO).

Data must sit at the heart of the decisions we make. It shows us how people came to the site, often provides context as to why, what they do when they get to the site, what they think of the site and ultimately, what proportion return and/or convert on the site. With the release of GA4 and a fifteen-year heritage in building the largest Google Analytics partner in the UK, we are well equipped to help our clients best use and connect GA4 to get the best insights from the tool.

We use data to fuel, monitor and continue to refine our SEO and Website Experimentation efforts.

But the critical point is not just that we offer three, best-in-class services under one roof. Plenty of organisations do that. It’s the synergy between them.

It’s why our experimentation team has developed a measurement blueprint with our analytics team, to ensure that when it comes to analysing site performance, we’re collecting data on everything that we need.

It’s why we automatically collect critical SEO data points in every digital analytics implementation, and have built out comprehensive, automated dashboards to report on our SEO results.

And its why our SEO and Experimentation teams co-ordinate, so that changes that should please the search engine are tested by users to understand the impact it has on the user journey, and to conversion, before we go live.

Yet there are no dedicated digital optimisation agencies.

There are some great media agencies. That don’t focus on website optimisation. There are some brilliant CRO agencies. That don’t connect into SEO. And there are dozens of exceptional SEO agencies. Rarely do they have the depth of analytics capability to really get into the weeds of the data.

Some of the larger – network and independent – organisations are truly full service. But their ideal customer profile and day rates tend to be premium with a capital P.

And if you are the right fit, often they are so full service they’ve had to make difficult decisions around where disciplines sit, often leading to synergistic disciplines like SEO, CRO and Analytics sitting in different P&Ls.

It means that we can work independently, and partner with media agencies for SEO, analytics, experimentation and CRO, or a combination of the three. We don’t compete with them in other areas and can integrate with their teams.

The prevailing winds are blowing our way. In the 16 months since we’ve launched, a huge amount of focus has been on durable measurement in a privacy-first world. And a critical cornerstone of that is adapting the tracking architecture a business has. Namely, moving to “server-side”. And guess what? By moving tracking server-side, you speed up page load times, helping to deliver a better customer experience, and so, your SEO ranking and improved conversion rates. Analytics + SEO + Website Experience.

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I mentioned two reasons for launching Hookflash. The second is to build an incredible place to work, where people enjoy the work they do, can develop and flourish, and most importantly, deliver truly impactful work for clients, building deep and trusted relationships with our clients. Having previously built Periscopix, one of the UK’s largest and most award-winning performance media agencies, we understand what good looks like and the best path to get there. We’ve also worked network-side and understand the different motivation for working at and with one, and everyone has a place.

But for us right now, we’ve found a sweet spot that’s serving our clients to get the most from their website.


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