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Three 2017 Web Design Trends

/ Insights      / Three 2017 Web Design Trends

Three 2017 Web Design Trends

The world of web design has continued to evolve during 2016 as consumer behaviours react to the latest technologies and trends. Aspiring Panda have identified three 2017 web design trends that could affect businesses across the UK.

The key 2017 web design trends we examine relate to content, SEO and mobile accessibility as the way the public consume information and buy products and services continue to evolve.

Video Will Continue To Dominate Online Content

Content is an incredibly part of marketing your business and making the most from your web design. In 2016 video really started to dominate and one particular trend that captured the imagination of the public was live video.

Facebook Live and Periscope continue to be powerful tools for business owners to tell their story and video content of all types are forecast to grow in 2017.

Within web design this will mean considering how video can be incorporated into existing and new build websites.

Mobile Accessibility

It has been nearly two years since Google made it clear that websites that were not mobile friendly would be negatively impacted in search engine results. During this time the amount of time people spend on the internet from a mobile device has surged to dwarf desktop usage.

2017 web design trends continue to reflect the relevance and importance of designing websites considering they will be accessed primarily by mobile devices.

SEO Will Continue To Be Local & Content Driven

Search engine optimisation continues to be a powerful tool for businesses to drive traffic to their websites. The way in which this works continues to evolve and in 2016 local search was a key factor for small businesses.

In 2017 this is likely to continue as is the need to have an active website posting regular content that includes related keywords to your business.

If you are unsure if your website is ready for 2017 then give the Aspiring Panda team a call (+44) 020 8861 0115

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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

Why The Way You Market Your Business Online Is Continuously Evolving

/ Insights      / Why The Way You Market Your Business Online Is Continuously Evolving

Why The Way You Market Your Business Online Is Continuously Evolving

Many of the small businesses we speak to about web design and digital marketing are looking for a simple one off solution or strategy that will last for set period that can then be refreshed.

This approach is designed to give the small business owner the opportunity to reap the benefits of digital marketing without having to invest time and money on a regular basis. With the need to balance budgets and focus on the core aspects of the business this is understandable.

Unfortunately, the rapid advances in technology and the way in which the titans of digital marketing such as Google and Facebook work mean that it is virtually impossible to fully futureproof your business.

These companies regularly change the metrics they use to determine the way they rank small businesses within their platforms.

This means that in order to maximise the value of your website and social media efforts, the way you market your business online must be reviewed regularly and evolve with changes.

The Value Of Content & Having An Active Website

These companies reward organisations that are regularly creating new content and adding it to their website and social media channels. This means that small businesses that succeed using digital marketing need to have a strategy that involves the regular creation and publication of content.

This is why at Aspiring Panda we encourage our customers to understand the concept of an active website. A site that is easily updateable and aspects that update regularly such as social media feeds and blogs.

We wrote a full blog about active and passive websites last year that explores the differences and why it is important.

If you would like to know more about what your business needs to keep up with modern consumers and changes to the way online marketing works give us a call on 020 8861 0115

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.

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Technology

A Smart Business Website Does Not Have To Cost The Earth

/ Insights      / A Smart Business Website Does Not Have To Cost The Earth

A Smart Business Website Does Not Have To Cost The Earth

Creating a business website that suits the needs of your business can be daunting for small business owners. It is a decision that can frustrate even the most experienced business owners.

There is so much choice and the prices seem to range from pennies to tens of thousands of pounds with no one properly explaining the difference. This can make it really difficult for business owners to know what is the right fit for their business.

This conundrum led us to create our ‘Smart Website’ concept specifically designed to put a professionally developed web design within the reach of even the smallest business.

The concept is that we give business owners the features that they need in a simple way. This allows our customers to get the benefits of having a website built by experts, without the eye watering price tag.

This sites are mobile friendly, seo optimised and beautifully designed in a way that is customised to your business whilst remaining easy to maintain.

Smart Website Main Features

Be In Control – Our sites are designed to allow you to upload and update the content on your website at anytime from anywhere you can access the internet.

Use Your Own Colours – Our template is customisable to allow it to reflect the colour scheme of your brand

Integrate Galleries For Photos and Videos – Images and videos help customers picture and understand your goods and services. These can be easily integrated within your website

Integrate Social Media – Social media is a great way of gaining new customers, we allow visitors to your site to see your latest social posts and vice versa.

If you are unsure whether your business has the right web presence, or you are looking to create a new one and think a “Smart Website” is for you give us a call on 020 8861 0115

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.

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Technology

5 Quick Ways To Improve Your Website For Your Customers

/ Insights      / 5 Quick Ways To Improve Your Website For Your Customers

5 Quick Ways To Improve Your Website For Your Customers

The easier your site is to use and find the information your customers need, the more likely you are to convert visitors into clients or customers.

A business website is a place where clients and customers can find and interact with your business.

So when we analyse a site for a business one of the main things we look at is if the existing site is easy for customers to use or whether it needs to be improved.

We have put together five things to check that can make it easier for your customers

Simple and Clear Navigation Menus

The menu at the top of the page is the first place your customers will go to try and find what they need from your site.

Poor design may lead customers to leave before they find what they need.

A simple and easy to use menu structure is a quick way to guide your users around your website.

Provide Contact Information and Opening Hours

Having as much information about your company and where you can be found builds trust and makes it easier for customers to get in contact.

Put Contact Information On Every Page

If you have a physical office or retail presence, then some of your customers may be looking for you online to find out when you are open and where to find you.

Putting this information on every page makes it easier for them to get in contact which will have a positive impact on your business.

Check Your Page Load Speed

A website that loads slowly discourages visitors from spending time on your site, keep potential customers happy by making sure your website loads as quickly as possible.

Check Your e-Commerce Works

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to buy something and the system is not working properly. Regularly check your process is working properly and is as pain-free as possible to maximise the conversions from the basket to sales.

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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

Why Your Website Is Just The Start Of Your Digital Marketing

/ Insights      / Why Your Website Is Just The Start Of Your Digital Marketing

Why Your Website Is Just The Start Of Your Digital Marketing

A website is often the first step that business owners will take to start promoting their business.

However, whether you are doing everything yourself or working with a digital agency the building of your website is just the first step to building an effective digital marketing presence.

Why You Just Cannot Build A Website & Stop

Once you have built your business website that appeals to your target audience and has clear calls to action it can be tempting to put thoughts about your website to one side and concentrate on other aspects of your business.

However, while a well-built website may attract some traffic it will not reach it’s potential unless you are using other methods to generate the profile, build trust and generate traffic to your company’s website.

Part of this process is creating an active website that has elements that are frequently updated as part of the overall marketing plan.

An Active Website

The concept of an active website is one that has dynamic content that is regularly updated; this could be blog posts, feeds for your social media or even live chat functionality.

Having an active website builds trust with your audience as well as well as increasing the likelihood that It will generate traffic.

Ways Of Driving Traffic To A Website

On top of the on page SEO supplemented by the active elements of the website such as a blog, there are some different ways of driving traffic to your website. Some of these are free such as organic social media traffic, whereas many require some level of marketing investment

These include:

  • Search engine advertising
  • Offline advertising
  • Email marketing
  • Organic social media
  • Social media advertising
  • Guest blogging

Which of these different methods you use to drive traffic to your website will depend on your budget and how each fits into your overall marketing strategy.

Whichever you choose it is important to implement these methods as part of a plan and do so consistently.

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.

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Technology

Is Your Website Too Slow To Attract Customers?

/ Insights      / Is Your Website Too Slow To Attract Customers?

Is Your Website Too Slow To Attract Customers?

You may monitor whether your website is available on the web or unavailable (down) but few businesses follow the speed of access to their site.

The average internet user is impatient and easily distracted. If you manage to cut through the noise and get a member of your target audience to visit your website, then it is vital that your site is set up to hold their attention as long as it takes for them to make a buying decision.

A barrier to this can be the time it takes for your website to load.

40% of users abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, meaning that if yours takes more than a second or so you are losing access to a potential customer.

Some typical constraints we come across that may have a negative effect on the speed to which you can access the internet are

  • An unsuitable hosting solution
  • Over-elaborate design or functionality
  • Bloated WordPress theme templates with functionality, not in use
  • Unused software plugins

If you are unsure of whether your site is fast or slow to load then, you can check this out at https://tools.pingdom.com/

If your site comes back and the response time is over 5 seconds, then it may be worth speaking to your web designer about ways to improve the load times.

If you are still unsure if this is a concern for your business, then consider the following statistics from Kiss Metrics

  • 73% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that was too slow to load. »tweet«
  • 51% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that crashed, froze, or received an error. »tweet«
  • 38% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that wasn’t available. »tweet«
  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. »tweet«
  • 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.»tweet«

•   A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. »tweet«

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.

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Technology

Get Social Media Training At Our Harrow Office

/ Insights      / Get Social Media Training At Our Harrow Office

Get Social Media Training At Our Harrow Office

In May, Aspiring Panda will be hosting a nationally recognised social media expert to deliver training to local businesses on how to define their social media strategy.

The course will be run by Kristian Downer of DowSocial who we work closely with, on our digital marketing.

What is the course about?

Staying up to date and running a successful social media campaign is becoming increasingly challenging as social platforms change and evolve. Online audiences are bombarded daily with hundreds of messages and online content, making the task of measuring ROI (return on investment) rather challenging.

This social media training course is designed to be informative and interactive. The core focus of the course is on revealing new trends, understanding audience behaviours and social media principles that will enable you to create successful social media campaigns for lead generation and nurturing existing customer relationships.

Who should attend?

This training course is targeted at users of social media who want to achieve a greater understanding of how to implement and integrate social media to develop increased brand exposure, online reach and acquire new business.

Typical attendees are marketers, business owners, community managers, PR professionals, publishers and account managers.

What is the course outcome?

Following this training course, you will be able to:

  • Design a social media strategy plan
  • Choose the right social media platforms to use
  • Confidently use content and communication strategies that work
  • Adapt the language and tones to suit each social media platform
  • Integrate social media and offline marketing methods
  • Understand the methods and tools to generate new leads
  • Track and measure social media campaign success or failure

We look forward to seeing at you at this and future events at our office in Harrow.

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.

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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.

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.

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Technology

How The Internet Of Things Is Changing How We Do Business

/ Insights      / How The Internet Of Things Is Changing How We Do Business

How The Internet Of Things Is Changing How We Do Business

One of the technology trends of the next decade will be the adoption of the Internet of Things (IOT) across the business landscape.

What Is The Internet of Things?

The internet of things is the name for the ability for everyday objects, devices and vehicles to collect data and transmit it via the internet. This allows for devices to be controlled and managed externally.

A Universal Example

Utilities are one area that the general public will see the IOT impact upon their lives in the next few years. Currently smart meters for electricity usage are being rolled out, which will allow companies to monitor and bill customer energy usage without having to enter the customer premises to carry out regular meter readings.

This is also being adapted to allow homeowners to control their heating remotely, this allows them to save money on their energy by having more control and ensuring that their house is warm when they go home by turning it on when they need it, rather than to a pre scheduled timeframe.

How Will This Affect Businesses?

The ability to use the principles of the IOT means that businesses can automate and manage processes that may have been previously difficult to track and monitor.

This can assist in the decision making process and allow businesses to have a tighter control of business processes and employee productivity.

At Aspiring Panda we have recently been working with and advising companies how to use the IOT in conjunction with IOS and Android apps to assist in previously difficult or dangerous monitoring tasks.

Helping companies understand the potential benefits of the IOT has underlined to us how this will be one of the most important tech developments of the next few weeks.

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.

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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.

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.