Yearly Archives: 2019

Online business security – take control before it’s too late

Posted on December 27, 2019 at 4:03 pm

Over the past few years, hacking and online fraud has become an increasingly bigger risk and is something that is a very real threat to many ecommerce businesses.

If you have a website that sells products online then it is vital that you ensure that the software, you use, or any applications are always up to date. As a responsible website owner, you need to try and keep your customers security in the forefront of your mind. The website needs to be coded in such as way that uses the latest advances and offers protection against the code being manipulated. Updates are often created to add in security features to programs and therefore if an update is not done in a timely manner, you may be opening your business up to a cyber-attack. If your website has a content management system, this will also need to be updated. If you are using an off the shelf CMS system, you will usually be notified when an update is available, and it is then up to you to install it. If you use a bespoke content management system, then the programmers who designed it will need to make updates for you.   

Posted in IT Solutions

Using Facebook for your advertising and marketing of your business

Posted on November 11, 2019 at 10:18 am

Social media can be great for businesses who are looking market their business to large number of people quickly. It can also be a good way of keeping in touch with your existing customers and letting them know about events, sales or product launches etc.

Facebook has become increasing popular over the last decade with over two billion monthly users making it a potentially huge marketing avenue. Many companies are now using social media to marketing their business as they have started to see the potential it has.

Facebook marketing either using the free posting / sharing aspect or the paid for advertising can work well for many industries and different types of business. If your business deals direct with the public then social media is especially important as you can connect with individual users and offer those competitions, special offers and the chance to interact with you instantly. Even if you only do business to business trading, Facebook should still be used as you may be able to reach directors of companies or decision makers as well as it having a positive effect on your website position on Google.

Posted in Marketing

How to ensure your social media is giving out a positive message

Posted on October 21, 2019 at 7:49 am

Social media is a hugely popular marketing tool for many businesses and it can very quickly help you establish your brand and start interacting with your customers.

Although social media has many advantages, if used in correctly it can end up having a negative impact on your business, so it is important you understand what you are doing.

You may find that people have started to leave reviews on your social media accounts or that they have mentioned your company in one of their posts. If this happens you should ensure you acknowledge any activity on social media good or bad. If they have put a positive comment on about your company then a quick post thanking them for their feedback and stating that you are pleased they have had a positive experience can go a long way, but if they have put something negative on there then it is important to think carefully before responding. Refrain from nasty or negative comments in reply to a post on social media, it is never a good idea and not only will you upset that person you may find that you get a lot of bad press from the other people reading or commenting on the post too. If you do find a negative comment, reply saying that you are disappointed to learn about their experience and would like to contact them directly to discuss.

Posted in Marketing

What are the benefits to using a marketing agency for your SEO?

Posted on September 27, 2019 at 12:41 pm

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is a marketing strategy that is applied to your website in order to improve the rankings on the search engines such as Google. You can choose to do certain elements of SEO yourself with limited knowledge but you do need to be very careful not to make a mistake which could have detrimental results.

SEO companies can really help turn a business round and bring a failing business up to make it highly successful.

Different agencies may have slightly different views on what is needed to be done in order to push you up the rankings but it should always be based around the search engines ranking algorithm. Ideally to help you choose which marketing agency you should go with, you need to see results that they have gotten for other clients. All good marketing companies should be able to give you this information and may allow you to contact their existing clients for feedback on their services.

SEO is not usually cheap but you can often make back the money you have spent via an increase in sales. To get the full benefit of using an SEO company you need to understand a bit about how it works and work alongside the agency. They will need your help with understanding elements of the business and industry if it is relatively niche.

Posted in Marketing

Creating corporate videos and the costs involved

Posted on August 23, 2019 at 10:36 am

More and more companies are now using videos as a way of advertising their products and services and often this is seen to show great results. Corporate videos can be a great way to advertise your business as it allows you to share a lot of information in a short time. Some people do not like to read through paragraphs of text but will be quite happy to listen to information given in a video.  When creating a video you firstly need to decide what it is going to be used for.  It may be that you want to introduce your staff and show off your showroom or you may use it to show how a particular product or service works. You have a number of options available to you when it comes to creating a video and these options often affect the overall cost.

If you have a phone with a decent camera then you can of course film a video yourself and upload it to YouTube free of charge, but if you want a high quality, professional video, then you should hire a videographer. They can use a range of techniques such as special effects, editing, fading and music layered over the top.

Posted in Marketing

What types of content is most popular on the social media sites?

Posted on July 19, 2019 at 1:13 pm

Social media is being used more and more by businesses as a marketing tool.

A lot of businesses struggle to know what content to put on the social media sites to get the most out of it and to engage their followers. We have summarised some of the most popular social media sites and the types of content that is often used most on these sites.

Facebook – Quick updates, funny stories or images always go down well on Facebook. Also, sports and entertainment posts seem to do great on Facebook, so if you are within these industries then you may want to start here.

LinkedIn – On LinkedIn, content regarding luxury goods, jewellery and airlines received the most interactions across LinkedIn as well as posts reading job postings or vacancies.

Instagram – and for those of you within the arts industry then Instagram is the place to post your content. This image based social media platform is the ideal way to show off your creations and stir up conversation.

Twitter – Twitter is great for quick snippets of information and to direct people to full articles. If you often have news to share then Twitter may be the perfect place for you to do that.

Posted in News

Slow starting computer?

Posted on June 10, 2019 at 9:58 pm

Computers are used by a huge percentage of us every day. It may be that you use one for your job or that you use it in your own time for going on social media sites, editing photos, creating budgets or writing letters.

If you are using a computer in your working day then time is often money. If the computer is slow to start up and running slow when opening new applications or switching between them then you need to find out what the issue is and resolve it to allow you to work faster.

There are many reasons why your computer may be running slow and there are often simple checks you can do yourself before taking it to a specialist who will charge you to carry out these checks and changes.

Firstly you should ensure that your computer is free from viruses. Ensuring you have a good quality anti virus is essential. Make sure that you only have one running at a time as more than one, and you may find they conflict with each other and slow the computer down even more. Make sure that it is set to run a scan on all your hard drives as well as any portable devices. Viruses are one of the biggest causes of a machine running slow. 

Secondly check how much RAM memory your computer has. If the computer has little RAM then it will use the hard disk of the computer to run applications slowing it down. By increasing the memory in your computer, you can help improve speeds overall. 

Posted in IT Solutions

Getting to grips with new IT systems

Posted on May 20, 2019 at 12:50 pm

As with all technology, over time it becomes out dated. You need to ensure that you replace and upgrade equipment as needed to ensure that your business is utilising IT equipment and software to its best advantage.

If your business has recently started using new IT equipment or systems then it may take you a bit of time to adjust to using it. You should be offered training on it initially but this may be very basic or you may be trained by someone’s who isn’t all that familiar with it themselves.

It is important to understand how the system works to make sure you are using it correctly. It will also allow you to find out all the features that are available, many of which may make processes easier and quicker, cutting down on the time you spend doing certain tasks.

Sometimes you can find good user guides online or better still videos of people talking through how you use something and what exactly it can do.

If you have recently purchased IT equipment, the place you purchased it from may offer training courses although this may not be included in the price. If not, they will probably be able to recommend companies that do offer this service.

Posted in IT Solutions

Choosing the right laptop

Posted on April 8, 2019 at 12:26 pm

When it comes to choosing a laptop you are inundated with options. Prices range from a couple of hundred pounds up into the few thousand pounds and many fall somewhere in between.
Certain laptops are better for certain tasks, so if for example, you play a lot of games on your laptop then you will want to opt for one that has a great graphics card and lots of memory.
If you use your laptop for work then it is important that it is fast and reliable. You should always do plenty of research and read reviews on a number of sites to get a true idea of how good a laptop is. Some of the main retailers such as Pc World, allow you to compare a number of laptops so you can see what you get for your money. As with many things, often if you spend a little bit more you can get a much better spec but you need to know where to draw the line.
SSD memory has been around for a number of years now but is being used in more and more laptops. SSD stands for Solid State Drive and not only does it make the laptop faster, but it can also mean it is more reliable as there are less moving parts. Laptops that have SSD memory fitted can be quite expensive compared to non-SSD models and you may find that you have to drop in hard drive size to make up for the additional prices.

Posted in IT Solutions

Is your website clustered?

Posted on March 28, 2019 at 1:24 pm

A website can be a powerful selling tool. You want to give your customers lots of information and showcase your products of services. But you need to do it in a tasteful way and be sure that you don’t actually end up putting people off by having too much on there.

Research shows that a website that has too many adverts or too many moving parts or simply just too much information can be overwhelming and off-putting. Often many of the people that actually land on these types of sites will leave without even trying to look for what they came on to the site for. If there is constantly moving banners, with little time for them to actually read them or annoying pop-ups that keep coming up, you need to rethink your site and quickly.

A website should be easy to navigate round with information that is easily accessible when needed. It can help to have a simple search function for people to use who know exactly what they want to find.

Simple changes such as shrinking the description of products and adding a click to expand option can keep the pages consistent and tidy whilst still allowing your visitors to access the information if they wish to.

Your home page is often the first page that a visitor lands on, so take plenty of time to ensure that it is right.

Posted in Design

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