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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.

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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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Security Technology

What Ashley Madison Hack Reminds Us About Internet Security

/ Insights      / What Ashley Madison Hack Reminds Us About Internet Security

What Ashley Madison Hack Reminds Us About Internet Security

Data security on the internet is a huge issue. Companies large and small spend fortunes creating infrastructures to make our data as safe as possible.

However, there continue to be high profile cases in which the sensitive data of the general public is being compromised and accessed by hackers.

With more and more data about our lives being stored online, data security is a hugely important issue, and it is an area in which public confidence has hit a new low in light of recent scandals. The latest event is a data breach surrounding the hack and subsequent bulk release of data belonging to registered Ashley Madison users.

This sight has attracted attention due to the controversial service that it provides: it was designed as a dating site for people that wanted to have affairs. It still raises serious issues about the availability of personal data.

The nature of the site and the service that it provides does not detract from the fact that users put their data on the internet in the belief that it will remain private.

The fact that hackers can access a company’s records and put them on the internet for everyone to see has rocked confidence in the ability of companies to keep our data secure. Shockingly, users of Ashley Madison had their information revealed even if they had paid the company an additional fee to remove their information.

Keeping your data secure online is extremely difficult: once you put something on the internet it is recorded. Should someone want to find it, then it is very hard to remove it to the point it cannot be found.

Therefore, it is important to make sure you share essential information only with the businesses you interact with online, and that you only put things online that you would not mind your granny seeing.

The internet is a wonderful and often scary place, make sure you are prepared and follow good data practices.

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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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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Categories
Apps Technology

Five App Trends For 2015

/ Insights      / Five App Trends For 2015

Five App Trends For 2015

Due to a smartphone market that is continuing to go from strength to strength – with smartphone adoption rates predicted to reach 81% of the market by the end of 2015 – the customer base in both the personal and business markets is rapidly expanding.

With the technology and its applications developing quickly, it is important to be aware of the latest trends when building a mobile application.

Here are five app trends for 2015. We have observed these and are adapting for them as we enter the second half of the year.

  • Focus on security

The automatic assumption is that mobile applications are safe. However, research by Gartner suggests that this is far from accurate. In fact, they predict that 75% of apps developed would fail basic security tests.

Therefore, we can expect reputable app developers to be security focused moving forwards.

  • Wearable Tech

The launch of the Apple Watch into the market continues a trend of adoption in 2015. The Apple tech has quickly caught up with rival models launched earlier, having sold more than 2.8 million units.

Therefore, we are likely to see continued development in the personal market of apps designed specifically for the use by smart watches.

  • Smart Homes and Offices

Mobile apps have the potential to give users more and more control over their build environment. From the boss able to monitor his office from thousands of miles away, to the family able to turn on the heating on the way home from work, the market is on the rise.

  • HTML5 and The Decline Of Native Apps

The development tools offered by the HTML5 programming language mean that developers are able to offer their users more flexibility than offering a native app on IOS or Google Play.

These apps are set to grow in popularity due to the ability to work on multiple platforms.

  • Business Adoption of Apps

The power of apps is now translating into the business sphere, with more and more companies, both large and small, leveraging mobile platforms for development.

These apps focused on the B2B market present a tremendous opportunity to increase efficiency by reducing costs and speeding up operations.

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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.

Categories
Technology

The Difference Between Generic & Bespoke Mobile Apps

/ Insights      / The Difference Between Generic & Bespoke Mobile Apps

The Difference Between Generic & Bespoke Mobile Apps

The rise of smart phones as the dominant mobile technology has unlocked thousands of potential practical applications to both the general public and the business community.

The ability to build and host software applications that are tailored to the phone (mobile apps) has led to large companies and independent developers publishing more than 1.4 million apps each on the Android (Google) and IOS (Apple) platforms.

The majority of these apps are developed for the mass market, with the goal being to get as many downloads as possible to the target audience. As the market has developed and become serious business, the apps have become valuable products in their own right.

It is now common to see mobile applications – from both a practical and gaming perspective – being advertised aggressively on and offline.

The Difference Between Generic & Bespoke Mobile Apps

Generic Apps are developed with the target audience in mind. Market research and testing may take place before launch to refine things, but ultimately the app is not developed for the individual or the business.

This can be a limiting factor, particularly for businesses that want to use mobile applications to streamline and optimise their operations.

The alternative is to have apps developed to solve a specific problem that an individual or company has. Typically these are commissioned by companies due to cost but it is not unfeasible for an individual to get a bespoke app built.

Why Use A Bespoke App For Your Business?

A bespoke mobile app is designed to meet the specific requirements of you ,the end user. It can take into account the unique aspects of your business and what it needs to achieve.

The advantages of getting an app made for you is that it can help solve unique issues, give you control over the software that you are using, and generate a unique asset IP for the business.

The downsides mainly involve the cost and the need to ensure that you capture your requirements. But, if you find the right company, these issues can be managed and mitigated effectively.

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

Is Your Website Active Or Passive?

/ Insights      / Increased Cloud Usage During The Pandemic

Increased Cloud Usage During The Pandemic

Does your website work for you? Does it generate revenue even while you are snoozing, after a hectic day?

If the answer is NO, then our answer is Active website! With the amount of consumer traffic that occurs online, it is no secret that your business needs a website to embrace the times. But it doesn’t end there. Making sure that your website is active can put you leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors.

 

With the advent of digital technology your website is like a shop window, and if you cant engage customers then you loose them. The simple way of engaging them is adding interactive elements on your website like Image galleries, videos and product catalogues. These not only make your website look attractive but also allow visitors to spend more time on your website thus providing more value for your brand.

 

Secondly, Capture Leads!!! Yes, your website can capture leads. By providing interactive elements for the customer to contact you easily, it generates leads for your business. A simple pop up asking for their email-id opens up opportunities for future business transactions and a channel to showcase your products and engaging the prospective customers.

 

A truly active website is capable of reaching your customers beyond the realm of simply advertising to them. Through various add-on features available for your website, you can actually have your website perform basic customer service duties for you. For example, if you own a restaurant, you could implement an online booking system that allows customers to reserve a table at your venue.

 

Go on then, tweak and turn your passive website to a sassy active one!!

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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.

Categories
Apps Technology

3 Mobile Apps that Help Businesses Save Time

/ Insights      / 3 Mobile Apps that Help Businesses Save Time

3 Mobile Apps that Help Businesses Save Time

A successful business mobile app is one that is easy to use and navigate whilst allowing a business to complete tasks in a more effective way.

The right apps can save business owners time, effort, and money. There are literally thousands of apps on the IOS and Android stores that are specifically designed for this purpose, with an almost equal mix of success and failure.

We have filtered this down to three that could instantly make an impact to your day-to-day business life.

Expensify

Whether you are self-employed or part of a limited company, monitoring and recording expenses is essential to ensure that you pay the right tax at the end of each financial year.

Expensify is a comprehensive expense report-generating app. It syncs up with your credit cards and bank accounts to log expenses, can scan paper receipts via phone camera, and creates reports and analytics.

Expensify allows you to do this, meaning that you can avoid the time and effort of keeping track of expenses, and receipts.

LinkedIn

Although it is a social media tool, LinkedIn is also the equivalent of an online rolodex of the business world that you can use to keep track of all of your contacts and the people you meet. In fact, rather than trading business cards at a networking meeting, you could add them on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn enables you to keep track of all of your contacts in one place, and stay in touch with them, and keep an eye on any changes in their status.

Invoice2Go

Admin is an unavoidable part of business, and invoicing is vital to ensure you get paid what you are owed in a timely manner.

Invoice2go lets you provide bills, credit memos, purchase orders, and estimates to clients as you complete the job. It then allows collection through PayPal and access to a reporting suite.

The problem it solves is being able to generate invoices in a quick and timely fashion without creating additional paperwork.

If you have a business problem you think an app could fix, or just questions about what apps can do, why not give us a call.

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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.

Categories
Technology web

3 Tips for Hiring a Web Design Company

/ Insights      / 3 Tips for Hiring a Web Design Company

3 Tips for Hiring a Web Design Company

If you are starting a business, the easiest and most effective means of gaining global visibility is a website. A website can even be built and put in place to generate awareness of your business before you fully launch.

Finding the right solution to building your website can be overwhelming: there are tens of thousands companies in the UK and across the world all vying for the opportunity to build and host your website.

We have put together a guide of three tips when hiring a web designer.

Define Your Digital Strategy

Whether you are a small company or a large corporate, the value you receive from your company’s website will depend upon your ability to define the purpose of the website.

Having a strategic business plan and realistic goals can help you to design a successful website. In general, if the business has a story to tell about its services, achievements, satisfied customers, and great team members, you can build an interesting and engaging website.

Consider who your target audienceis, and what you are trying to achieve.

Choose A Company With Design and Technical Skills

If you engage a professional website design and build company to develop the website for you, it is important to note that Web design and build are two separate skills: and a good web development company will use both graphic designers and programmers together to build your website.

Hiring a Web Design Company

With so many potential options in the market of web design companies, it can be hard to find the one that is the right fit for you, and which shares and can realise your vision.

Therefore, we recommend that you do your research and take your time. The first step for many businesses is speaking to companies with whom they work and getting personal recommendations.

Speak to more than one company, and choose the one that understands your needs the best. Of course, in order to do that, you must first identify, and be able to communicate your needs.

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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.

Categories
Technology

Is Social Media for Business worth the Hype?

/ Insights      / Is Social Media for Business worth the Hype?

Is Social Media for Business worth the Hype?

The allure of social media is getting harder to avoid in recent years. No matter who you speak to, social media is apparently the solution to all your business’s ills. Even our accountant is an evangelist, and for those who are not digitally native it may be a bit overwhelming.

The hype is huge, but are the returns worth the investment of time, effort and money?

The short answer is: possibly. Whether social media is worth the hype for your business will depend on the type of business you are in, the behaviours of your target market, and the digital strategy being employed.

Only once you have an understanding of these areas can an accurate analysis of your business from a social media perspective take place. The way that you use social media will vary greatly depending on the product you are selling.

Consumer Behaviours

The key factor to using social media to promote your business, is whether your target market uses social media. If so, what platforms do they use? How regularly and in what way? Once you understand these factors, you can tailor your message to suit your customer and what they are looking for from social media interactions.

Transactional v Relationship Based Businesses

If your product is transactional then the strategy will revolve around offers and short term wins. However, if your product is relationship based, then it is more about building a rapport with your audience and building long term funnels.

Finding the Right Strategy

The right strategy will take into account the behaviours of a business’s target market as well as the type of products/services that are being sold.

The right strategy varies from business to business, but is always grounded in the brand identity and message of the business both offline as well as online, as if these do not match the presence will be seen as false and damaging to the business.

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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.