A digital transformation to save lives: Anthony Nolan’s improved SEO for stem-cell donors

Anthony Nolan optimised its website and SEO, with DAM platform Bynder, to support the lifeblood of the charity and retain its supporters for the long term.

Anthony Nolan, the world’s first stem cell register, is a charity that gives three people per day a second chance of life by recruiting potential donors to the stem cell register and providing the best post-transplant care. 

The charity’s financial supporters and stem-cell donors are its lifeblood. Without its community, the organisation would not be able to function. It’s therefore important for Anthony Nolan to educate its community and the wider public on the importance of its services, so it can receive more financial donations to save more lives

From the difficulties of long load times and a chaotic network drive of sensitive information, the digital transformation, helped by Bynder, improved the charity’s community engagement levels – and importantly their SEO  – getting the Anthony Nolan brand in front of new potential donors.

So the charity decided to accelerate its digital transformation – to serve the current needs and behaviours of its online community, but also to enable the charity to better engage and retain its supporters longer term. 

The challenge

With a new website on the cards, Anthony Nolan needed to reconsider the way it managed its content so the charity can quickly get the right message out to healthcare professionals to patients. For example, when a patient appeal comes in, it must be shared as soon as possible with the relevant content, imagery, and supporting information. 

Tarnished with long load times and the inability to constantly keep content fresh on its previous website, Anthony Nolan needed to integrate new processes and tools that made usage smoother, quicker, and more efficient. 

But owning a high volume of high-res media assets comes with its challenges. The process of managing a new website risked being chaotic with a number of local network drives, no naming conventions to find assets easily, and no system to repurpose assets without absorbing time and resources from in-house content producers, designers, and developers. 

The solution

Anthony Nolan turned to Bynder to act as a cloud-based hub for its content library, which to date consists of over 11,000 media assets. 

With digital asset transformation (DAT) and digital asset management (DAM) in play, Anthony Nolan’s team can now add, replace, and edit website assets all from one location. From optimising images in line with certain browsers and devices, to gaining control over image placements, the organisation completely overhauled its content management, creation, and distribution for its new website. 

The Bynder system currently permits 75 users, each with different permissions. It creates a single source of truth for formatting, asset quality and organisation. 

This level of transparency in the fast-moving digital content workflow reduces the risk of confusion or overlap. Everything goes into one place, meaning everyone can view it, and every asset remains ‘on brand’. 

The ability to add tags makes each asset more searchable, minimising time wastage. including tags for rules of consent. For charities like Anthony Nolan which handle a lot of sensitive material, it’s important to remain compliant when storing, editing, and placing assets, especially those with images of patients and their families. By adding consent tags, users are able to reach out to the correct person for approval and publish approved content with confidence. 


Before working with Bynder, Anthony Nolan’s team were uploading assets directly to the web server. High-res images took up a lot of space in the back-end and took up a lot of download time for those visiting the website. It was key that savings were made on image size to ease webpage weight. 

Tests across the board showed that every image was almost half the size of the previous version, enabling the organisation to serve web pages to its supporters and donors more efficiently. While this benefited community engagement levels, it also improved SEO, getting the Anthony Nolan brand in front of new potential donors. 

Dave Vernon, Digital Applications Manager at Anthony Nolan, said: “When we switched to Bynder and started using DAT, we had much better control of the assets with a single source of truth. That allows us to serve small images to users, without wasting time loading large files. Without something like Bynder, we would just drown trying to manage the complexity.”