Digital MArketing | Web Design

School of
Stitched Textiles

School of Stitched Textiles logo



The School of Stitched Textiles (SST) are the UK’s largest provider of distance learning Textiles Education courses. They’re one of the few centres in the world offering textile courses that are uniquely accredited by City and Guilds. We have been working with SST for nearly 6 years. Over the years we’ve manged all aspects of their digital marketing, from SEO to social media management, and we’re proud to say that we have been instrumental in their success. Today, SST are recognised as being a top resource and course provider for Textile artists, makers and crafters. 

01. Digital Marketing

Six years ago, we were approached by Head of Centre, Gail Cowley to assist the organisation with their digital marketing. After assessing the online learning industry, the key players and analysing all aspects of the business, we were able to build a long-term plan to facilitate growth. 

As an online business they needed to have a strong online presence, so we began supporting them in the following areas. 

Marking Communications

When we first started working with SST they weren’t fully utilising their email marketing platform. Using this channel to only send out newsletters or important announcements we knew that by creating personalised content and structured on boarding processes, that we could really increase engagement and conversions. Now when customers sign up they receive information that is tailored to their interests. Their email marketing channel is now so successful it is one of their highest converting channels sources of website traffic.   

Copy Writing

For many businesses, writing copy can be tricky. Although business owners know their product and their business, they often find it difficult to do it justice and ‘sell’ it effectively. Before rewriting the copy, we worked with SST to established the main ‘message’ that they wanted to get across. We created several key sound-bites that could be used over and over throughout their copy to quickly convey what they offered, and how it would benefit their customers. We also used these in campaigns and across social media. 

Today, we continue to write all of the copy for the school including emails, campaigns, brochures, web pages, adverts and content through our freelance copywriting service

Content Creation

Before working with us, the School of Stitched Textiles used to publish short blogs on Blogger. Although they had a reasonable following we felt that it would add more value to host the blog on their own website, which would also allow them to rank for long-tail keywords. After exporting existing blogs and creating a dedicated blog section on the domain, we set about creating a killer content strategy. 

Each week we work with our client to publish interviews with inspiring and leading textile artists, and we create and promote graduate stories. We’ve also written in-depth articles targeting long-tail search terms around crafting, mindfulness, specific techniques, and other initiatives such as bursaries, student exhibitions, and give-aways. As a result, the readership for the SST blog has increased by over 96%.

One of the most successful blog series we created is the Artists You Have to Follow series. This content strategy service has generated over 126,000 web visitors and remain the top content (second to the homepage).

Blog content written and designed by Yabber Marketing for the School of Stitched Textiles

Social Media Management

We continue to manage SST’s social media channels. As well as creating content for their Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest we also regularly create videos for YouTube and Reels. These will consist of updates, artist interviews, student work and graduate stories, largely repurposed from their blog and website. We also created a hashtag #MyStitchJourney which is used by all of their students to tag and share their course work,  which the school can then repost.

Online Advertising

Over the years Meta Adverts have been successful for raising awareness and generating leads. For many campaigns, we’ve set up, created, measured and optimised Meta campaigns to maximise advertising spend and successfully generate thousands of leads. Google Ads have also been used to attract and re-target website visitors.

02. Webiste Designs

Since 2017, we’ve actually developed two bespoke website designs for the School of Stitched Textiles. When we first started working with them, they were relying on a very outdated html site which was very hard to update, hard to navigate, not search engine friendly and lacked inspiration. Given that the site is so visual we proposed a website redesign and migration to a faster hosting provider. 

2017 Redesign

A look at how the homepage for SST began and redesigned 2017.

After the redesign in 2017 the site outperformed in every area. Organic traffic more than doubled, web traffic was converting at over 30% and they entered into the top ten position for more 270 competitive keywords. The overall website health also improved! As a result the School was able to attract students from around the world and out sell at every enrolment. 

2023 Website Redesign

Due to SST’s continued success they have since developed a podcast, offer bursaries, and more recently built them a dedicated student exhibition, allowing visitors to vote for their favourite pieces. After 5 years we felt that SST needed to revamp, refresh and modernise their site to further develop the user experience. In 2023 the new design was launched! The new and improved design is faster. slicker and is fully optimised for Search Engines.

Course Page over view - above the fold. Website Design by Yabber Marketing for the School of Stitched Textiles

03. Custom Development

We have done several custom developments for SST. As well as introducing voting mechanisms and automating a lot of the customer on-boarding processes, we also designed and built a vast Directory for independent businesses. 

The Stitch Directory allows independent craft stores and haberdasheries list their business for free. Once approved by the team it is published on the site and users can easily find out what they sell, where they’re located and connect with them on social media channels. 

The Stitch Directory has been carefully designed to ensure that both users and administrators can operate the system easily. 

The Stitch Directory was built and designed by Yabber Marketing for the SST
A listing on the Stitch Directory, designed for SST

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