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Technology

Three Ways Social Media Can Help Your Business

/ Insights      / Three Ways Social Media Can Help Your Business

Three Ways Social Media Can Help Your Business

Social media is an increasingly important part of the marketing of small businesses across the UK. With more than 30m users of Facebook alone, it is getting harder and harder to ignore that your target audience is active on social media.

For business owners that are resisting moving their business onto social media it is likely that they are missing out on opportunities and risking getting passed over in favour of companies that are more proactive with their digital marketing.

If you are on the fence, here are three ways social media can help your business succeed:

Generate Referral Business From Existing Customers

Existing customers are often the most effective way of getting new business as they refer their friends and colleagues to your product or service. Social media is an incredibly powerful way of harnessing this and broadcasting the goodwill your existing customer base has for what you do.

Target & Advertise To Potential Customers

Social media is powerful for businesses, in part due to the data that the platforms create and store about their users. Harnessed effectively, this can be used to advertise your business to exactly the people you want to target.

This means that you spend less money on traditional less well directed advertising platforms such as print or radio advertising.

Customer Service

Whether you are on social media or not, your customers are talking about you both the good and the bad. If you are on social media then you have an opportunity to see what they are saying about you, reinforce the positive and fix the negative.

After all, there is no more powerful an advocate than someone who has a negative experience that is given excellent customer service.

If you are unsure how to get a strategy that works for your business contact the Aspiring Panda team.

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Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

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web Webdesign

Three Small Business Website Trends For 2016

/ Insights      / Three Small Business Website Trends For 2016

Three Small Business Website Trends For 2016

One of the reasons for hiring a professional web design company is that the industry is constantly changing and evolving. Hiring a company that works on websites on a daily basis can help your business keep in touch with the latest developments and generate more revenue.

Last year was one of change in the web design industry, the big change was that building websites that were easy to read and interact with on mobile devices became critical.

A change in the way Google ranks websites in search means that from April 2015 sites that are not “Mobile Friendly” found themselves harder to find for their potential customers.

Here are three trends we think will impact small businesses in 2016.

A Focus On User Experience

For small businesses the website is no longer a poster for the bricks and mortar presence, instead the site needs to be easy to access and active. This means that it needs to engage users, providing convenience and ease of use, whilst compelling them to take an action.

Sites that do this well will convert more customers and see a greater return on all their online marketing including social media and paid advertising.

Increased Links Between The High Street and Online

With 86% of people using the internet whilst in shops to research products they are considering buying, retailers and service providers will need to make sure that their online and offline offerings are integrated to maximise the potential of both. Businesses need to think of them as the same thing as we move into 2016.

Renewed Focus On Driving Traffic & Retaining Data

With social media becoming more and more saturated, there will be an increased need to advertise on these platforms to reach your audience.

To ensure this is of benefit businesses will need to ensure that they put the right mechanisms in place to maximise the effectiveness of any traffic driven to their website and capture as much data for retargeting and email marketing campaigns.

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Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

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Technology

How Apps Can Transform Traditional Local Service Providers

/ Insights      / How Apps Can Transform Traditional Local Service Providers

How Apps Can Transform Traditional Local Service Providers

In the last couple of years we have seen apps become an important part of the business landscape beyond gimmicks and marketing extensions.

We have seen true market disruption take place in industries that have existed for decades fuelled by apps and the way they act as a portal to interact, communicate and serve customers.

Whilst not every business can develop an app and simply become “the next Uber” overnight there are opportunities for small businesses to integrate mobile app technologies into their product offering.

These apps can be used to enhance service industry businesses such as taxi firms, takeaways and laundrettes. Here are a few ways a mobile app could transform a local company providing a service.

Offer New Products and Services

The development of a mobile app can allow a service provider to expand into new territories or even launch entirely new products. A good example of this could be a laundrette that uses a mobile app to launch a collection and delivery service to customers.

All of this could be managed within the app creating opportunities for the small business and convenience for the customer.

Gain Competitive Advantage & Enhance The Customer Experience

This kind of convenience allows small businesses to differentiate themselves from their competition.

By providing a high quality and convenient service offering via a mobile app the business can keep its customers happy and ahead of the competition.

Build Customer Loyalty & Maximise Revenue Earned Per Customer

 By offering a more convenient service an app can increase customer loyalty, an app on their phone can help keep you on their mind. Combined with push notifications that flash up from your app on their mobile device small businesses can increase the amount of orders received per customer by providing timely reminders and special offers about the service being offered.

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

Categories
Development Technology web

A Guide to Mobile Responsive websites

/ Insights      / A Guide to Mobile Responsive websites

A Guide to Mobile Responsive websites

In the last five years the way in which we search the internet has changed. Internet traffic has moved from the desktop to the mobile device. This is powerful for consumers and retailers and contributed to a huge change in the way Google ranks websites.

This year Google changed the way it treats websites that are not designed to display correctly using smart phones and tablet devices. From the 23rd of April 2015 Google changed the algorithm that ranks search engines depending on whether a website is “mobile friendly”

This change is due to the change in internet searches, with more than 50% of web searches now made on mobile devices rather than on a desktop PC. This change means businesses need to ensure their website is mobile responsive or risk a decrease in visits to their sites.

Many Businesses Are Still Not Up To Date

However through our networking and the projects we have been working on it is clear that there are still a large number of businesses that have not updated their site to be mobile responsive.

Even six months after the changes were introduced we still meet businesses that have websites that are currently unresponsive.

How To Check If Your Website Is Out Of Date

To see if your website is mobile responsive or not you can visit the Google website and take the mobile friendly test.

If Google says that your website is not mobile friendly, then it is not too late to update your site, however we recommend that you make the changes as soon as possible to ensure that you do not miss out on mobile search tracking.

If you are unsure what these changes mean for your business or would like to speak to a digital marketing expert then give the Aspiring Panda team a call.

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

Categories
web

Many London Business Websites Still Not Mobile Friendly

/ Insights      / Many London Business Websites Still Not Mobile Friendly

Many London Business Websites Still Not Mobile Friendly

Since Google changed its algorithm in April 2015, having a website that is mobile friendly has become vital. However many London businesses are still not compliant and may be missing out on opportunities to reach their target customers.

What Is Mobile Friendly

Mobile friendly is a term to describe a website that has been designed to display websites properly on smartphones and tablets. Sites that are not mobile friendly may be shrunk to fit all the information onto the screen, or be too big and going well outside the boundaries of the screen.

This makes them hard to view and navigate when using a mobile device, which is something Google wants to avoid when it points you to a website via Google Search.

How Do I Check My Site

Checking your site is mobile friendly is simple, all you need to do is run your site through the Google mobile friendly test

Why This Matters

More than six months after the change a large number of small businesses are not yet compliant and are therefore less visible in Google search. This is important as Google is the dominant platform people use in the UK to search for information.

In the UK Google is used for nearly 90% of all searches making it important to be as visible as possible.

The Challenge For London Small Business Owners

Despite the changes being live for some time, many London business websites are still not mobile friendly.

This can be for a number of different reasons, but we believe that many still do not know how important a change this was.

Keeping track of the latest digital marketing trends can be difficult for small business. Knowing which announcements and changes matter is not always easy to determine and neither is the correct fix.

If you are not sure where you stand with your website or digital marketing, give us a call and we can give you the information you need to keep your website up to speed

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

Categories
Apps Technology

10 Statistics That Show the Power of Apps

/ Insights      / 10 Statistics That Show the Power of Apps

10 Statistics That Show the Power of Apps

The rise of the smartphone has been largely powered by the influence that mobile apps are now having on the ways in which we work and play. There are apps for every purpose, from games across the spectrum of fun to apps with a hard hitting business application.

Mobile apps are going from strength-to-strength in 2015, with their applications growing from both a business and personal perspective.

To highlight the power of mobile apps we have combed the web for the latest statistics around the growth of mobile apps and related industries:

These stats show that the appetite for mobile apps is rising as the world becomes more and more digitally and mobile focused. Although the solution for every business may not be to build an app, businesses should be giving serious thought to the role that apps could play in their business.

Apps and mobile technology are not just the domain of large companies: to compete, businesses of all sizes should be looking at how mobile apps can solve problems within their business. Be that how to generate more customers, retain old ones or improve the customer experience.

Wherever your business is heading, make sure you consider the role an app could play in your business.

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

Categories
Technology

5 Checks To Make Sure That Your Small Business Website Is Fit For Purpose

/ Insights      / 5 Checks To Make Sure That Your Small Business Website Is Fit For Purpose

5 Checks To Make Sure That Your Small Business Website Is Fit For Purpose

The internet provides businesses with an opportunity to make their business accessible to customers anytime and potentially anywhere. In recent years, the concept of a company website has evolved to be much more than just a flyer or poster promoting your business on the internet.

Instead, with the right design, message, and layout your website has the ability to create and convert leads. However, this means that companies must consider the right approach for their business and invest in the development of an appropriate website.

For the small business, budgets for web design can often be tight. However, there are a number of checks you can do to make sure you have the basics covered.

Check Your Website Is Mobile Friendly

With more than 50% of internet traffic now coming from smartphones or iPads, businesses should make sure that their websites display properly on different mobile devices. In April, Google made this a factor in how easy it was for people to find your site using Google search. You can check if your site complies here – https://www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

Add an Active Element to the Site

With so many businesses starting and then fizzling out, it can be difficult for people to work out whether or not a business is still operating. Adding an active element to your website – such as a social media feed, blog or booking system – lets people know that you are open for business

Make It Easy to Contact You Using the Site

The purpose of a business website is to either sell something through the site or to get a potential customer to express an interest. It never fails to surprise us when we see attractive and interesting company websites that make it difficult to get in contact and make purchases.

Don’t lose out on opportunities – make certain that your contact information or call to action works or is easy to find.

Check Your Site Is SEO Optimised

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the term for the actions you take to make your site more appealing to the search engine rankings. An important part of this is “on-page optimisation” which is the set up of your website so Google can read it correctly.

Make sure your website is set up properly so those looking for you or businesses like yours can find you

Make Sure Your Site Loads Quickly

The average internet user is impatient: if your site takes a few seconds to load your potential customer may leave without absorbing any information. Test your website and make sure it loads quickly.

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

Categories
Apps Technology

Does Your Business Need An App? – Three Ways An App Can Create Business Opportunity

/ Insights      / Does Your Business Need An App? – Three Ways An App Can Create Business Opportunity

Does Your Business Need An App? – Three Ways An App Can Create Business Opportunity

Smartphone technology has become a daily part of our personal and business lives. With more than 46m smart phone users in the UK, there are huge opportunities for businesses to use technology as a means of generating growth. One way of accomplishing this is by using mobile apps.

Because of the huge potential of this technology, one of the most common questions we get asked is “does my business need an app?”

The answer to this question can usually be broken down into three more specific areas that will depend on the nature of the business and its customers:

  1. Can an app be used to improve the customer experience?
  2. Can an app be used to drive customer retention and revenue?
  3. Can an app increase efficiency within your business?

If the answer to any of these questions is positive, there may be potential to develop a bespoke app for a business that will meet their unique requirements.

Can an app be used to improve the customer experience?

Apps that are most regularly used by customers are those that improve the customer experience. A great example of this is Uber. By making the ordering of a taxi simple – and often cheaper – the app significantly improves the customer experience, making the app indispensible to the user.

Can an App Be Used To Drive Customer Retention?

Apps can also be used to tell customers about special offers or products, to drive revenue, and to retain customers.

This is achieved with the use of a piece of functionality called a ‘push notification’. These notifications can keep an app relevant and drive usage by pushing a message from your app onto the home screen of a users device. If an app can help increase revenue from existing customers then it may provide value to a business.

Can an App Increase Business Efficiency?

Apps can also be useful when used internally by a business. As most members of the UK workforce possess a smartphone, mobile apps can be used to keep business owners up to date on activities within a business, or to make processes more efficient.

An example of this could be financial management software that is available via an app, or a mobile app that can track the progress of an order through a factory.

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

Categories
SEO Technology

Simplifying SEO For Businesses

/ Insights      / Simplifying SEO For Businesses

Simplifying SEO For Businesses

The term SEO for businesses is enough to make owners and marketing managers shudder and think about anything else. SEO – or Search Engine Optimisation – has long been considered one of the dark arts of the internet.

Something that businesses have to outsource and pay a shady company a lot of money in order to rank highly on Google searches, unsure of what they are really paying for or whether it will last.

Change Has Come To SEO for Businesses

This is no longer true: SEO is no longer about building backlinks and “gaming” the system. Google have changed things and put a focus on creative content and social media.

This means that there are now two important aspects to the SEO of a business website: the on-page optimisation, and the content and social media.

What is On-Page SEO Optimisation?

On-page optimisation is the way in which a business website is set up to appeal to search engines. These factors can include setting up the right website keywords, making your website easily crawlable (searchable) by search engines, provides a good user experience, and that all content is unique and adding value.

See Moz and their great blog about on-page SEO

Content and Social media SEO for Businesses

Otherwise known as off-page SEO, content and social media are about encouraging businesses to visit and share the content on your website. Traditionally, this involved getting websites to link to yours, and whilst this is still important it has to be organic or you could get penalised by Google.

Creating engaging and shareable content is now key to ensuring that you have a website that Google wants to rank on its search results.

For a good blog on this see this by Digital Media Role

How Do I Improve The SEO for My Business Quickly?

There are a number of different free tools for analysing your site including www.semalt.com, who offer a basic review for free with options to upgrade. There are no simple fixes or cheats to rank your website well, just the right website format and great content.

If we can help you get your head around this then give us a call.

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

Categories
Technology

The Value Of Effective Digital Training

/ Insights      / The Value Of Effective Digital Training

The Value Of Effective Digital Training

In any discipline the right training at the right time can be the difference between success and failure: this is true of your digital content.

Once you have a well built and lead generation optimised website, you need to create content and use social media to generate leads and ensure your site ranks well on search engines such as Google.

One of the main challenges for businesses when it comes to digital media is getting the right knowledge and skills in a field that is strange and new to them. At Aspiring Panda, we recognise the power of having the right digital marketing knowledge and have seen clients’ confidence and results grow over time.

Whilst it may not be natural at first, mastering the basics of digital marketing will give business owners the power to drive their vision and target internal and external resources effectively.

Aspiring Panda Digital Training

At Aspiring Panda we have a dedicated digital training space which can accommodate up to 20 delegates at a time for workshops, seminars, and presentations on a range of different topics.

Our inaugural event saw our partners Dowsocial deliver a masterclass session. Their Managing Director Kristian Downer delivered an excellent presentation on how to develop an effective social media strategy for your business.

Over the next few months we intend to run a number of different presentations on different digital topics to businesses in the London area. These will be designed to help businesses get the skills they need to be successful in the digital age, and cover a number of related topics.

Potential topics could include: web design; social media; SEO; and graphic design. The session will be delivered in our state-of-the-art training room. If you would like to find out more about the training sessions we are running or would like to discuss using our training space, give us a call.

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.