Structuring your Data for Logistics

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Following on from our article on Data Quality we’re looking to help shed some light on how to improve the structure of your data and help you to understand how data can affect how your customers interact with your business.

Most companies when starting out have rapid growth and with this often the way you manage data is not prioritised over more urgent work.  Logistics is no different and often the data you process and retain is critical to your clients in managing their data as well.

So the data you’re working with has to be accurate and easy to use.  You usually start looking closely at your data when your internal reporting starts not to tie up, i.e forecasts v actuals and also if you’re trying to interrogate your data to get market information about your clients.

The other time you look is when your clients want to know what you’re doing for them and then possibly want to measure your performance.

With Logistics, this can be a little more complex than most industries, but this article will also be relevant to other industries looking to improve their data structure.

The Process to make sure you have a decent quality of data

Every job starts from a sales lead to the customer information is the start; this could be the Billing Address, Controlling Office, Delivery Location or Locations.

 

A common mistake we have found is that often-duplicate addresses are created. This then filters through to the operations system and then you end up having 2 or 3 account codes. If this isn’t controlled early in the process, then you could have data split across multiple account codes which can have a massive impact on your reporting and potentially your invoicing.

If I took my previous company, there were over 150+ different combinations for 1 single address. This meant that a serious amount of data was missing from their track and trace system and also made invoicing a major chore to reconcile.

So, a proper process should be put in place at the start of the process to make sure only 1 address can be used for Billing and then this needs to filter through to all other systems.

The same issues for Shipper, Consignee, Notify and Agent addresses; these all need to be controlled centrally or have something in the process which allows you to check that previous addresses haven’t been entered.

Once you have the controls in place you should document the exact process on how to onboard a company and then you need to make sure you have another process to check that what you’re doing is regularly checked for data quality issues.

In my previous company, within the Road freight division, we were individually responsible for making sure the information we were entering was accurate and that no addresses where duplicated. The system did check for duplicates, but you can bypass this if you knew how. Every Christmas Eve at the start of the day a report was run and when all the duplicates where removed or merged you could go home. First Christmas I was there to 6pm, the next Christmas I was gone by 11am. The process worked very well and considering we were dealing with 1000’s of multi-drop shipments a month the whole team kept a high level of quality data.

This is the start of the process; the real part of data quality is the ability to measure the data within the supply chain. From booking the job to delivering to the client in the UK.  You would think this is not hard to manage however it’s a complete headache if you first don’t get the address information correct. Other issues then come down to the following how the shipment/booking is entered.

The paperwork your provided all the key information, from commodity codes, description of goods, which paperwork is provided i.e. C88, Certificate of Origin, Letter Of Credits, Sales Invoices etc. we also then have weights, Cubic meters, dimensions and other measures, then we have the INCOTERMS i.e. FOB etc.. , Vessel names etc…

You would be surprised at how wrong data can be. 

  • Your operation system should stop you doing crazy things like adding 30 CBM for a 20FT container. This will throw any utilisation reporting out.
  • Allowing free type on Vessel names and Shipping lines. Prevents reporting by Shipping Line or Vessel name.
  • Free type addresses into the system and particularly not allowing people to skip Towns, Countries and Post Codes.
  • Allowing dates which should be in the future be entered before they should. Logical Conditioning.

The Process is key – It will save you money

Documenting every step of your operation will mean fewer mistakes, you still will get some data issues but if you have a process in place to monitor this then you know that you can provide decent data to your clients.  Happy clients will mean more repeat business and recommendations.

If you have a track and trace system and you have a large number of calls from people asking where their shipments are, it is a big cost to your organisation. If you could reduce the calls and increase the accuracy of the data, then this in itself is a cost saving.

Let’s take my previous company, they had teams around the world constantly checking and monitoring data quality, they had teams constantly looking at ways to improve productivity. You’re saying great they had the budget for it, however as they grew, they realised how important the data is and how to retain and increase customer spend is to have proactive processes in place.

The key is to limit the opportunity to make mistakes by putting controls in place and make sure that every step of the business has the process mapped out and documented, from the time a new lead comes into the booking of a shipment or order to how you do the invoicing.

 

 

The Importance of Regular SEO

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The aim is to get your site found by more people, and fill it with relevant and engaging content to ensure people stay engaged and complete the action you’re hoping for. It’s also important to note that SEO is a continual process, and climbing the ranks of search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing requires strategy.

SEO is not a new concept, and has long been high priority for many businesses when looking at their digital marketing strategies.

At Cocoonfxmedia, we’re passionate about SEO and have developed optimisation processes using proven methodology to ensure that your website receives high search engine rankings and is easily found by your customers.

In this blog, we’ll be taking a look at the importance of maintaining regular SEO on your website and the benefits it could bring to your business.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is an integral part in SEO. Why? Until keyword research is undertaken, you won’t know what search terms to optimise your website and content for. Keywords help your website found by the right people, ensuring your traffic is relevant.

Often, what we think people will search differs from the reality and keyword research allows us to ensure that your website is reaching the right people.

Short-tail keywords often have high search volume and competition, as they are popular keywords. It may take some time to climb the ranks. Long-tail keywords contain more than 3 words, and have low search volume and competition. However, this makes the keyword easier to rank for, and also ensures you get quality traffic.

Regular keyword research allows both short and long-tail keyword opportunities to be identified, ensuring your customers can easily find you and you’re getting relevant traffic to your website.

The Importance of SEO Audits

Climbing the ranks of search engines is a continuous process and SEO audits are a key tool that will help you reach the first-page spot you’re aiming for.

Regular SEO audits bring a host of benefits including:

  • Monitoring your site for any issues so they can be quickly identified and fixed
  • Find out how your content is performing for your chosen keywords
  • Learn how to improve SEO throughout your website
  • Recognise keywords that aren’t ranking as you’d hoped and identify how to improve on-site SEO
  • Benchmarking your websites SEO performance against competitors
  • Use this knowledge to adapt your strategy to overcome any issues

Simply put, regular SEO audits ensure you’re fully informed of the factors affecting your websites ranking, and gives insight into the best way to overcome any challenges.

Local Citations get you found locally

If you’re concerned about your search engine rankings, citations can help you get found locally while helping you build your website’s credibility.

Citations are mentions to your business on other websites, e.g. Yellow Pages, and may include the following:

  • Opening hours
  • Business description
  • Contact details e.g. phone number and email addresses
  • Links to social media profiles
  • Gallery of images and videos
  • Customer reviews

Citations are an important ranking factor, as it allows search engines to verify the existence and location of your business. However, it’s vital that you aim for consistency with your citations, as search engines collect data about each business and assess the validity of the data: If the data is accurate, this will positively impact your search engine rankings, as it becomes clear to the search engine your website is a trusted authority.

We hope this article has inspired you to make regular SEO an integral part of your marketing strategy. For more information on how SEO can make big impact in your business, please contact us.

Logistics Dashboards

Logistics Industry & Data Quality how to manage it?

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As a Freight Forwarder, the demands on getting data to clients is ever growing. In fact, any business has a demand for data. Often as the company grows the processes stay the same and don’t get changed. Often the last thing you think about is how you’re going to accurate provide data to your client, and hopefully, they will not question what’s in front of them.

Logistics Dashboards

From the data you have at the moment it takes forever to provide the information and that often data doesn’t make sense.

Let me guess you’re a freight forwarder dealing with International Supply Chains, with about 10 staff you’re doing about 100 to 200 jobs/shipments a day and you’re running everything on a spreadsheet. At best an access database which has been built by an IT person or member of staff working how you worked from day one. It’s often hard to make changes.

Often or not a small freight forwarder will have the same issues as a large one, data quality even with global operating systems. Having worked for Kuehne + Nagel I know how important data is critical for every aspect of the business.

 

What Is Data Quality?

Well, it’s as it says above, it the quality of data within your business. This can be numerous issues such as making sure you have the right spelling for your Vessel names, Port of loading and discharge or making sure the dates of milestones are entered.

If any of this is not entered correctly you will find providing any data to your clients will be almost impossible or at best completely inaccurate.

Retailers particular require reports to help with their supply chains, it’s often a good way to see if there is going to be bottlenecks in the supply chain. This can help then buy their products and plan deliveries better.

Poor data can also lead to poor sales reporting and give accurate sales force cast for management. It can also provide the wrong information to your clients who may rely on the data to manage their own supply chains.

What Causes poor Data Quality

The  2 biggest causes of poor Data Quality.  One is the system itself, if you have a spreadsheet or a system which allows you to get around issues then this is the first problem. The Second would be training or lack of it.

An operator will find the quickest way around a problem in a system is their allowed, such as if they’re asked for postcode and they can put XX1 X11 into a field or allow to put a full stop in for a company name or into a date field.

Other issues are the system allows you to do strange things like for example a Booking for a shipment happens after the something has shipped.  You are thinking that’s impossible what system does that… A spreadsheet will allow you, and even the biggest logistics systems when I worked at one allowed you to do this.  So, something like this would completely through a KPI report or the average door to door report for example and any notifications which are sent for clients.

What is the solution for your systems?

There is a silver bullet, but it may cost you some money… You need to make sure your logistics operations system is robust enough to stop issues such as the above.

  • Make sure you have a central address book within a database which doesn’t allow duplicate entries. Make sure that you have someone looking after this and regularly checking the data to make sure it’s accurate.
  • When over you give an operator an option to select an address this should use the central address system to pull the information through. Things like container types should have fixed lists managed centrally. Port of Loadings and Discharges have a centralised database. Use IATA codes for Airfreight.
  • Control dates on your system by putting conditioning logic on the dates. For example, Airfreight you can go back in time to put some logic to say if it’s going into a different time zone show both actual and converted time.  Has this stored in your database so that you can report on it accurately?
  • Only allow free type areas where something which cannot be controlled i.e product descriptions, description of goods.
  • If your using container sizes and you choose a 20 FT container don’t allow the user to then enter 31CBM into a field without showing a warning and prompting them to change the container size.
  • Regularly train your staff on operational processes. Don’t have the most experienced person train a new member of staff as they may have some bad habits. Have documentation on how to enter a shipment or booking.
  • Have a report which looks at your internal data have these run daily at first and then move to weekly once your data is looking a lot better.
  • Constantly look at ways to improve the process and speed up your systems to make your operators work efficiently.

There are main different scenarios within a logistics supply chain however tackling the basics as I have mentioned in those 8 points will help.

How can we help?

Having worked for 13 years in the logistics industry and spent a large amount of that time looking/fixing and managing data and putting processes in place to improve data, we understand what is needed to make your systems better.

We have created logistics platforms and other platforms for other industries to help improve productivity and accuracy.

If you would like to talk to us about how we can help your logistics data, then please get in touch.

5 Ways to Boost Your SEO With Third-Party Review Sites

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Search engine optimization(SEO) has long been one of the most important things that websites and online companies focus on. The name of the game in SEO is getting your site more viewers and visitors interested in your content or what you are selling. Of course, there are many different strategies and tools that people may use to improve their SEO. If you are interested in learning more about the SEO tools out there, this handy guide is sure to help.

There are a few common things companies do to improve their SEO, but they are far from the only option. While things like the content you have and your own digital marketing efforts are important, so are what people say about you. There are many different third-party review sites out there and the reviews people leave can be great for your business and SEO. With that in mind, this article is going to take a look at how third-party review sites and the reviews on them can benefit your SEO.

Reviews Can Influence Customer or Visitor Behavior

There is a good chance that before you make a purchasing decision, you consult some form of review. While some might ask friends or family, it is generally more common to do a quick Google search. In fact, stats show that over three quarters of people trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation from their peers.

As a result, it is easy to see just how much these reviews can influence both customers and visitors. If you have limited reviews or poor reviews, your SEO is likely to struggle as a result. But if you have several great reviews on top-ranked third-party review sites, you are likely to find success. So by having your site appear frequently on third-party review sites and get good reviews, there is a higher chance that potential customers will visit your site over your competition.

Reviews Can Help Your Site Look More Legitimate

Everyone wants their site or company to have authority in their given industry. However, this is often easier said than done. All of your competition wants the same thing and this can make it difficult to stick out. Thankfully, getting a plentiful amount of reviews can help you appear more legit to customers. Even having negative reviews is often better than no reviews at all. If a company has no reviews or a limited online presence, many consumers will be suspicious as to why.

Also, in addition to making your site look more professional and legitimate for potential customers, having lots of reviews can do the same for Google. Reviews will help Google to understand how relevant or valuable your site is for certain keywords. If your site is being talked about or mentioned a lot, Google is certainly going to take notice.

Reviews Help People Find Your Site Who Never Would Have Otherwise

While some people will still go directly to a website when searching online, many will simply go to the review site to check out the options. For example, if they are looking for fun things to do in London, they are likely to visit TripAdvisor or another trusted review site. This is because it makes things much easier for them to find out what’s available and also see peoples thoughts on it.

They are unlikely to directly enter or search for “Joe’s Fun Museum” and thus may never end up seeing your business or site if you have no reviews. As a result, if you want to reach people who may have never noticed you otherwise, having reviews is a big help. They can put you on the map and allow interested parties to find you when they never would have otherwise.

Reviews Can Help You Create New Content

As you likely know, creating content is one of the best ways to improve the SEO of your online business or site. However, there is nothing that says this content needs to be written by you or even show up on your site. As a result, the positive reviews you get on certain sites can sort of act as user-generated content. Each review can be a helpful bit of information on your company, site or products.

 

In addition to them acting as content, they can also help you create new and original content. Many companies also use reviews as leads for case studies, for their testimonial pages and even for social media posts. Also, take what people are saying about your brand on these review sites and use that knowledge to better your content, as well.

Search Engines Will “Trust” Others More Than You

 

Well, not exactly, but hear us out. Any company can write on their site how they are the best at something. As a result, Google or other search engines are likely going to take keywords like this with a grain of salt. Instead, search engines will often rely on the statements of others to determine the value of what you offer.

For years, Google has depended on backlinks to help them come up with their rankings. Getting links from high authority sites shows Google that they endorse you, which can help your ranks and visibility. In a similar vein, Google will trust positive reviews more than you simply saying something positive about yourself. As a result, Google loves to see things like reviews as it can give them an honest look at the value you provide.

In conclusion, hopefully, this article has been able to help you learn just how important online reviews can be for your SEO.

Web Hosting Solutions for Multiple Websites

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For many business owners, the process of web hosting appears to be a straightforward process. A hosting provider is chosen and the business trusts them to securely host their website for online searchers to access. Simple. However, when it comes to web hosting for multiple domains and business websites, things can get confusing, quickly.

Case Study Background – Eventurous, a Corporate Team Building Company

Since 1989, Eventurous Ltd has been raising the bar for corporate event management and team building for businesses across the UK. To see the scope of the events available and amount of images hosted on the site, take a look at the team building activities page.

In 2018, Garlands Leisure Ltd purchased Eventurous, adding the rapidly growing company to its existing family of trading businesses, including Garlands Corporate (a business that provides team development programmes) as well as Mythe Barn Events and Mythe Barn Weddings (corporate events and weddings at the award-winning Mythe Barn venue).

With each arm of the Garlands business family requiring its own website and promotional capabilities, it soon became obvious that a better web hosting solution would be needed.

 

Web Hosting for Multiple Businesses; The Challenge

 

Each of the websites within the Garlands business family ran on a variety of hosting sites. This required a complicated infrastructure, with increasing payments to multiple hosts, various administration and other challenges including site speed and reliability. The challenge of web hosting for multiple domains became even more apparent with the addition of a new and very large WordPress website for Eventurous. The new website is very image heavy due to the promotion of a wide range of team building events and so required excellent site speeds and reliable uptime.

Web Hosting Solutions

Eventurous had previously contacted Cocoonfxmedia for website support services and had found them to be extremely friendly and helpful, providing good advice whenever it was required.  After learning of their web hosting solutions for multiple websites, Eventurous decided that accessing their new web hosting service would make the whole process quicker and easier, providing one main point of access and support.

 

The web hosting solution that Cocoonfxmedia offered included unlimited unique websites, disk space, bandwidth and hosting at secure UK based data centres for increased site speed; this provided the ideal option for Garlands to host their multiple websites, including the ever-expanding, image heavy Eventurous website that required faster upload times and site speed.

Obvious Results and Business Benefits

 

The benefits of moving the multiple Garlands business websites over to the Cocoonfxmedia web hosting package was quickly apparent.

Cocoonfxmedia made the over to the cloud hosting service simple and understandable, providing access to cPanel for easy management of the websites. In addition to the smooth transition with zero downtime, there were now significant savings from hosting the websites with one provider.

Director of Eventurous Ltd and Garlands Leisure Ltd, Joe Garland commented:

“Before we had all our sites hosted with several companies. Moving to Cocoonfxmedia was simple and the savings have been so much more than we expected. Whenever we had any questions, the response times from James and the team was quick and helpful – we highly recommend the web hosting service by Cocoonfxmedia, especially if you have a number of businesses as we do here at Garlands.”

For more information regarding web hosting for multiple domains visit our web hosting page or contact Cocoonfxmedia here.

Tricks That Will Help Boost Your Business Website Ranking

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Monarchy web study

In the UK and around the world, more business is being done online than ever before. In fact, 20% of all of the money spent with retailers in the UK is now through transactions that have taken place online. Seemingly every company is on social media, and it is incredibly important to have a website for your business for a number of reasons. Without an online presence, you are missing out on a large chunk of your target.

In general, the key to doing good business online is to reach as many people as you can. One of the best ways to do this is to rank highly within search engines. The more people that see your site, the more people that will visit it. With that in mind, this blog post is going to look at a few different tips and tricks to help you boost your business website ranking.

Provide Quality Content

There is no substitute for good content. If you create good articles or content that directly provides value to your readers, your website ranking should skyrocket. Not only does good content gets shared, which can increase traffic, but algorithms can actually measure how valuable the content within your site is.

Of course, the content should still feature keywords, headline tags, metadata and more, but ensuring content is relevant and quality is just as important. Remember, you are creating content for your reader, not for a search engine. You also want to ensure that you are being consistent with the content you put out. You don’t need to provide content every day, but whatever schedule you choose, remain consistent.

Try and Get High-Quality Backlinks

One of the best ways to increase your site ranking is to get quality backlinks for high authority sites. A backlink is when one site will provide a link to another, sort of like a citation or reference in a paper. Backlinks are great for your site as they can get a whole new audience to come to and visit your site. It also gives your site some credibility and could help form a positive reputation. Unfortunately, getting backlinks to your site isn’t always easy. Also, not all backlinks are created equally.

Backlink building is an art form and they need to be earned. Good ways to get high-quality backlinks include creating shareable content like infographics or studies, providing guest posts, or even reaching out to other sites for collaboration.

Ensure Your Site is Optimised

Case study website

In order for your site to get more visitors and raise the ranks, it needs to offer a user good user experience. One of the biggest aspects of a solid UX is quick to load times and consistent performance. If your site loads slow, is laggy or simply doesn’t perform up to par, people aren’t going to spend time on it. Ways to improve the performance and load time of your site include optimizing images, using load balancers, reducing HTTP requests and having less on-page ads.

In addition to simply optimizing your site for speed and ensuring it works well, you also need to make sure that it looks good. Navigation should be simple, pages shouldn’t be cluttered and the colour scheme/design should remain consistent. Also, be sure to optimize your site to be mobile-friendly as over half of all internet traffic actually comes from mobile devices nowadays.

Hopefully, this article has been able to help you learn some new and helpful ways to boost your business site. These are far from the only ways to build your business website ranking, but they are among the best.

For more information on our Back linking and SEO Services please contact us

5 Key Things an SME Needs to Consider When Setting Up a Website

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For an SME designing a new website, the amount of choice and number of decisions that have to be made can seem overwhelming.

In our experience, there are five important steps in the process of a new website project; starting from the initial stage of choosing a domain and setting up hosting, then developing a comprehensive design brief and building the actual website, which includes choosing a CMS, mobile-optimized theme and developing a content strategy.

1.    Choosing a Domain Name

In most cases businesses have already purchased their domain name. If you are looking for a new domain it’s best practice to choose one that is memorable, includes keywords if possible, is a .com if you target an international audience or a .co.uk if your audience is local and does not contain hyphens.

2.    Setting Up Hosting

There are a couple of key things to look for when you are deciding where to host your website. Hosting should be:

  • Fast – SSD Cloud-based web hosting is up to 16x faster than standard hosting
  • Local – Your website needs to load quickly for visitors
  • Ethical – 100% Green Web Hosting ensures that your website has a neutral environmental footprint
  • WordPress Optimized – the hosting you choose should support your CMS of choice

3.    Developing a Comprehensive Design Brief

As the saying goes, ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.’ For every project that we take on at Cocoonfxmedia Ltd, we ask the client to complete a comprehensive creative design brief. In our experience, we’ve found that this is the best way to help clients crystalise what they want from their website including details about their target audience, budget and timeline.

4.    Building Your Website

The three areas to look at when you begin building your website are which CMS to choose, how to select a good theme template and what approach to use when developing content for your website pages.

Choosing a CMS

This is the backbone of your website, a CMS or Content Management System allows for the creation and modification of the design and content of your site. Of the available CMS options, we recommend using WordPress. Worldwide, WordPress powers 30% of all websites (over 75 million at last count) and for good reason. It is intuitive to use, simple, stable and offers affordable customization using plugins.

Choosing a Theme

A mobile-responsive theme that is lightweight and loads quickly is non-negotiable. We recommend using a custom theme that is built specifically for your needs. Google has explicitly stated that they prioritise mobile-optimized websites, and a fast-loading website can lead to an improvement in conversion rates of over 12%.

Developing Content for Pages

Think of your website as an online brochure for the products and services that you offer. Content should be written to meet the needs of your clients by answering their questions and adding value. Creating optimized content that your clients love will also have a positive impact on your rankings. The regular addition of fresh content is important both for regular website visitors and for Google’s ranking algorithm.

5.    Find a Website Designer Near Me

Using a local website design company is the best way to bring your website to life for two important reasons. Firstly, you can rely on improved communications. Being positioned in close proximity to your designer means that you are able to meet with them in person and avoid any miscommunications and you’re working in the same time zone so getting timely responses is easier. Secondly, they understand the local market and can offer insights on what works and what doesn’t base on their experience.

Cocoonfxmedia Ltd is a web design and digital marketing agency in Lichfield just outside Birmingham with clients throughout the Midlands. We offer an end-to-end online marketing service and specialise in helping SMEs curate their presence on the web.

Web Development Tips For 2019

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Web development should be an ever-evolving factor to your business. There will always be room for improvement, and your website is the perfect example of this. As we look towards 2019, below are some top tips to follow that can help to ensure your website is the best it can be.

  • Focus on security

As technology evolves, business processes become more efficient, and consumer demand increases, the need to adopt cybersecurity also grows. Technology is providing business and consumers with faster performance and access to information at a rapid rate. However, unfortunately, cyber threats and hackers are working at a similar pace, meaning companies must invest in the latest tech to protect themselves and their clients. Data breaches and malware are a real and continuing threat, and cannot be ignored in your web development plan for 2019. Ensure your cybersecurity is up to date so that you aren’t caught out by costly downtime and hackers.

  • Optimise your website for voice search

You may have only just got your head around keyword optimisation and SEO, however the latest advancement for businesses to capitalise on and be aware of is voice search optimisation. This is due to the booming rise in voice-activated virtual assistants, such as Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Homehub. It means that the way consumers are searching for their products has shifted yet again compared to when manually searching online. Optimising your website to these phrases should be a priority for 2019. For example, instead of searching ‘best in-ear headphones this year,’ as a consumer normally would with a search bar, consumers now instead ask the question ‘what are the best in-ear headphones of this year?’ It is predicted that 50% of searches will be voice driven by 2020. Optimise your website sooner rather than later so that you are ahead of the game.

  • Invest in the latest frameworks

The structure of your web applications is another factor to consider in 2019. You cannot hope to provide the best results for clients and customers if your programming language is behind the times and outdated. Keeping up with advancements can keep your business running so that you can build applications rapidly. Your frameworks should offer database support and community support and should work to simplify business processes and the logistics element of your business.

Lavarel is one such framework. A relatively new PHP framework, it is incredibly popular, providing screencasts, tutorials and blog updates with their release. A key feature of Lavarel is a focus on rapid application development, with an interface providing helpful demands. This is handy for those looking for simple processes regarding business portals and accessing information. Choosing a framework that reduces workload by speeding up the coding and developmental process will provide a firm foundation from which to grow your business.

  • Chatbots

Another feature now regularly found on websites are chatbots. Chatbots are systems driven by AI that can interact with users via text, messaging or speech, depending on the type of chatbot technology used. They are a driving force in customer service and have made a considerable difference to user experience when visiting websites. Research has found that 45% of users prefer chatbots as a primary mode of communication for customer service inquiries, so if your website has yet to invest in setting up a chatbot, this should be a goal for next year. There are many reasons why chatbots have grown in popularity, including the fact that:

  • They allow for 24-hour customer service
  • They provide a more personalised service
  • They can answer consumer queries without employee intervention, thus saving valuable time and resources
  • They assist with simpler concerns of customers in real time, making customers feel valued, and, therefore, more likely to come back.
Green Web Hosting

Improve Your Web Hosting In Three Easy Steps

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For those unsure as to how to improve their current web hosting practices, it can be a minefield out there, with hosting providers and services offering various suggestions. Below is a mini-guide to how you can easily improve your web hosting.

  1. Optimise your site’s speed and accessibility

It’s vital to ensure that your website is given prominence so that it is optimised for its users. Ensuring your website is mobile-first can set it up to appeal to the ever-expanding m-commerce market, which is expected only to rise in the coming years.

Another critical consideration is site speed. Site speed has a direct impact on your site ranking, and fast-loading sites are far more likely to retain their customers if web pages are quick to load. Consumers are becoming increasingly impatient, and users will quickly leave a site that does not load quickly. Therefore, invest time and resources in improving your site speed so that you don’t lose out on valuable customers.

  1. Seek opportunities to improve your website performance

You can secure connections through appropriate web hosting, which can come in many forms and can be SSL Free as standard. No matter what hosting provider you are using, you should seek to improve your overall performance so you can save yourself time and simplify processes. Web hosting software such as cPanel can do just this, and WordPress is continually looking to make improvements to their interface and programming to improve usability for its users. Just this year they introduced a new editor, Gutenberg, with an aim to enhance usability for regular users of the site, making editing an easier, cleaner, more efficient process.

Types of web hosting to consider

  • Green Web Hosting

You can also consider green web hosting. As an energy-intensive process, the number of resources spent can be reduced by truly considering your options. You are doing your bit for the environment, but you are also getting fast results, up to the standard required.

  • Cloud-based hosting

Cloud-based hosting can simplify your business processes and make it easier for both your business and your customers. Cloud-based website monitoring, for example, can monitor the efficiency, cost and scalability of your website, leaving you to focus on growing your business. Being able to track your network, any time, anywhere is a massive advantage of cloud-based web hosting, meaning you are not limited to a set location. For businesses big or small, this lack of limitation can provide more scope and opportunity for business expansion, knowing your website and business processes are in the best hands.

 

  1. Consider website efficiency

Another way to improve your web hosting is to consider tips and tricks that can reduce the labour-intensive aspects of a website. This could include any unnecessary additions or features to your site taking up valuable space. For example, you could reduce the image sizes. A large percentage of a website’s page weight can be taken up by images. New image formats such as JPeg XR can help reduce image weight by up to 50 percent and can make your site load faster, too. The quality of the images will remain the same, which is essential for visitors to your website who will make assumptions about your business from something as simple as the quality of your images.

 

‘Epic 2019’ on the cards after record-breaking year

TEST TEST

A Midlands-based web design and digital marketing agency are celebrating a record-breaking year with plans for even greater things to come in 2019 through continued innovation.

Cocoonfxmedia Ltd in Lichfield has experienced the best 12 months in its eight-year history, thanks to double-digit growth and ongoing expansion of pioneering products and services.

The award-winning company’s creative partner, Glen Tapper, said: “2017/18 has been a ground-breaking year for Cocoonfxmedia Ltd. After eight years in business we’ve doubled in size and massively increased our services. The whole team has helped make this possible by providing the highest quality of work and through unwavering dedication to make this the most successful year in our history.

“There are several highlights of the year, but among them was starting to work for a global freight forwarding company which has utilised all our expertise in project management, design management and web development. But just as rewarding, we have also helped a small retailer go from receiving three online orders a month to 88 and counting, through a really targeted Facebook campaign.

“We have some really exciting developments coming up; we’re working on a project for a global company and we’re starting a new project in January, which will result in us breaking into the automotive market.

James said: “There’s a lot more to come from us and 2019 will be epic through innovation. I must thank our long-term clients for their ongoing support as we have retained most of our original customers for the last eight years. If you want to join us on the journey, please get in touch.”

The award-winning Cocoonfxmedia Ltd is becoming a thought leader when it comes to integrating complex data systems into one-stop, easy-to-use solutions.

By developing its own bespoke content management system and e-commerce platforms, clients are offered much more flexibility than would be possible with off-the-shelf solutions.

The CMS means multiple websites can be managed from one place, providing all the functionality needed, without relying on clunky third-party plug-ins.

Cocoonfxmedia Ltd experts have also developed a multi-language version of the CMS which means multiple sites with independent languages can also be managed through one admin area.

The e-commerce platform has been designed to be easy to use for everyone and is packed full of handy functions such as mass uploading of products, stock notifications and reminders and voucher codes.

For more information about Cocoonfxmedia Ltd and its services, please visit www.cocoonfxmedia.co.uk.