Info Tech

Buying Bike Locks For Improved Security: What are Your Options?

Man looking for a space to park his bicycleBikes do not weigh much, which makes them convenient not only for the owner but also for the thieves. They can easily move a great-looking bike from its supposedly secure place and resell it. This is because the authorities rarely monitor stolen bikes and they usually see it as an “assumed loss”. As such, bike theft is quite an enormous and rising issue in several cities around the globe.

As you install bike shelters in your UK offices, inform your staff regarding the different locks that they can buy to ensure improved security.

The primary step to secure their bike is to choose the right lock.

Luckily, there are many options to choose from:

  • The most famous lock choices for city riders are U-locks. These have turned into a symbol for fixie culture and bike messengers, which is why there are small U-lock images on belt loops or back pockets. These are easy to carry, practically lightweight and strong. However, the inflexibility and shape of the lock restrict where you can lock it. This is why some riders tend to go for chains or cables instead.
  • In Scandinavian nations, frame locks were first made popular before these gradually gained their reputation in North America. However, most of the cities in North America only use this type as a secondary security precaution.
  • On the other hand, urban and recreational cyclists prefer folding locks. This is mostly due to its similarities to U-lock, but with a more flexible chain. These are also lightweight and easy to carry.

As the number of bicycles seen on the streets rise, the number of thieves taking advantage of the owners’ vulnerability also increases. Make sure your bicycle does not end up as an “assumed loss” by investing in reliable locks.

October 15, 2017 at 1:00 amInfo Tech

3 Qualifications to Look For When Hiring An SEO Consultant

The recent economic boom opened up a lot of work opportunities in Singapore, with SEO consultancy jobs as one of the most coveted. The consultants work with clients from all over the world. They are often in charge of building a company or brand’s online presence and eventually getting top rankings in search engine results pages.

As a person with a brand or company to improve, you need the help of these consultants. Look for the following skills before hiring someone:

Analytical Capacity

SEO ConsultantAn SEO consultancy job requires the analysis of loads of data from all sources. These sources include audit reports of the client’s website and work practices, keyword research results and a lot more. This is a necessary part of the job because it helps you formulate the best marketing strategies for your company.

Measure how capable a consultant is through their portfolio. Did they help other brands get higher rankings? Find information on the methods and tools they use. Look for someone who knows the latest in keyword and market analysis.

HTML Knowledge

An SEO consultant in Singapore would need to understand how HTML files and tags work. These tags are not visible to the website visitors since they work in the background to define the elements on each web page. SEO optimises the page using HTML elements for better search engine rankings.

Updated with SEO News

There have been numerous updates (e.g. Panda and Penguin) not only in the rules that search engines implement, but also in the algorithms they use to rank web pages. A good SEO consultant is aware of these changes and should be able to modify their approach depending on what works.

SEO practices change and SEO consultants should know how to adapt. Make sure to find an expert who knows how to change tactics if what they’re doing is not working.

May 13, 2015 at 12:14 amInfo Tech

The Secrets of Data Analytics

analytics dataMost people aren’t wired to process numbers. Humanity evolved recognizing faces, clouds, animals, but never numbers. To force the brain to calculate and analyze the meaning behind different batches of numbers is a painful exercise.

Data is King

Fortunately, there are service providers that can help companies gather the raw data they need to improve their business. This is a great development, as it takes care of one of the most tedious parts of the process, providing accurate details of the state of each business. Gathering data isn’t the only thing companies need to do, though, as they still need to figure out what all those numbers mean.

Data Analytics is Work

This is where data analytics come in, and the real hard work begins. Data analytics involve taking the raw numbers and interpreting them in a way that normal people can understand. It’s a useful skill to have because it allows managers to pinpoint the areas where the business is lacking, and where it’s excelling.

It also gives managers an idea of why certain parts of the business are doing well, while others can’t keep up. This begs the question, “If data analytics are so great, why isn’t everybody doing it?” This is because there aren’t many businesses that offer analytics services.

An Honest Analysis

Besides availability, another obstacle in using data analytics is that there are few ways to know whether the analyzer really knows what they’re doing. Other than being able to understand the jargon of the industry, there’s little anyone can do in determining the credibility of a data analyzer. Some make their language as hard to comprehend as possible to confuse their clients. Fortunately, there is a way of finding the people who are genuine in their mission to help people. A data analyzer should manage to make a complex sequence of figures and variables easy to understand.

This takes a lot of effort to accomplish, and it’s that effort that shows clients if an analyzer is serious about doing their job. Find a serious data analyzer, and work with them to ensure business success.

November 27, 2014 at 12:00 amInfo Tech

Building Blocks of Effective IT Project Management

The future of your business depends on how you manage your information technology infrastructure. If you think your efforts are not enough to bring your company to the top, it is time to make the right adjustments.

Here are the things you should focus on to achieve success and dominance in your industry:

Establishment of Needs and Goals

You work hard to fulfil the needs and achieve the goals of your business. When you establish your objectives, you find a reason to keep going and get the results you want. Your goals motivate you to do what you have to do and stay on track.IT project management

Procurement of Efficient Tools and Software

This process involves developing or investing in efficient software that will help optimise your operational processes. Companies like Q4 Technology offer assistance in choosing the right tools for your business. They may offer technology solutions that will improve your operation, cyber security and cash flow.

System Integration

You have the tools you need to manage your project and grow your business. Your next move would be to integrate those technologies into your entire IT infrastructure. Working with the pros is a good way to make sure everything will work as expected. IT specialists know how to match new tools with the existing technologies you use to get the best results.

Establishment of IT Security

If you think your IT infrastructure is secure enough, think again. There are ways to identify and avoid threats to your systems. Having the right antivirus and other security features will help protect your files and online transactions against unauthorised access and other fraudulent activities.

Monitoring and Assessment

This process is necessary to determine whether the technologies you have implemented are working effectively or not. You can identify areas for improvement and start looking for better solutions. Working with trusted IT service providers and consultants is a good move, as these professionals can guide you through the assessment process and provide reports in real time.

Managing your IT project is easy when you have all the resources and help you need. Invest in a proven effective management solution to gain positive outcomes for your business.

November 25, 2014 at 12:27 amInfo Tech

From Records to Engagement: How Cloud Computing Benefits Your Business

Cloud ComputingAfrica is currently undergoing a technological renaissance. It is now home to millions of users who are embracing mobile technology, a trend that could change the landscape in the business sector. A recent research reveals a massive surge of tech hubs in Africa, with South Africa topping the list of countries with the most number of hubs. Businesses now have better access to technologies like cloud computing, which would help them improve their process model.

Changing the landscape

Cloud computing is one of the greatest game changers in recent decades. Many Internet service providers explain that business enterprises initially switched to the cloud model to reduce operational costs; but as the cloud proved to be a very effective platform, businesses realised the other potential applications of the technology. For example, cloud computing makes it easier to harvest and organise relevant data from social networks and mobile apps.

Making the switch

Other than the financial flexibility offered by the cloud, businesses also realised that a cloud-based network allows them to switch from systems-of-record (supply chain data, human resources, finance) with systems-of-engagement.

How exactly does this switch benefit organisations? Let’s take for example companies that manufacture smart televisions. Switching to a personalised cloud-based solution, which factors consumer engagement, they are able to interact directly with consumers. They analyse the data from these interactions and use them to deliver enhanced customer experience.

Cloud computing’s pay-per-go model is slowly making the one-size-fits-all model irrelevant. Enterprises want a custom solution that simply fits their need – nothing more and nothing less. After all, there’s no point in purchase features you don’t need. This is extremely helpful, especially to local start-ups in Africa who have so much promise, but have little capital to spend.

Cloud computing is reshaping the way companies interact with consumers. Businesses can now make process adjustments on-the-fly, enhance customer experience more quickly, and save on costs. With cloud computing, businesses have nowhere else to go but up.

November 18, 2014 at 1:00 amInfo Tech

5 Web Design Mistakes You Need To Ditch Before 2015

web designCompanies all over the world need to update their sites regularly to reflect the latest trends in web design. It is a habit borne out of necessity as businesses need great web designs to be compelling enough to drive conversion rates upwards. As 2014 comes nears its close, it is again time to look at prevailing trends in web design and to forecast what will work in the coming year.

Birmingham web designers digitalcherry.co.uk warns industry professionals to scrap these 5 web design mistakes:

1. Bad Accessibility – Always keep in mind that great browsing experience makes web visitors more likely to land you conversions. In order to avoid turning pages into a cluttered mess, you can make use of sliders. It is a great way to showcase content, photos, and videos.

2. Boring Fonts – Don’t bore your viewers with commonplace fonts. Use of unique, creative fonts instead. This is an intangible that great designers need to make use of. Your website should reflect your company’s personality to have a distinctive edge.

3. Meaningless Graphics – It again boils down to visual pollution. Simplicity works. They make web browsing much more pleasant an experience. In order to avoid being stale, you can make use of other tricks, such as parallax scrolling, to add pizzazz to your site. It adds great personality to pages, so long as you do not overdo it.

4. Gradients and shadows – Flat designs are the new trend that is dominating websites. This trend should continue well into 2015. For this reason, do away with gradients, reflections, drop shadows, and bevelled edges.

5. Navigation bars – Most users find navigation bars cluttering to web pages. They simply take up too much space. When you need them, make use of slide-out menus instead. Simplicity is more attractive to users; slide-out menus make it possible to have better all-around site navigation.

Web design is all about embracing change and letting them take your site to a whole new level. Keep this in mind and do yourself a favour; do away with these web outdated web designs before the year ends.

October 24, 2014 at 2:50 amInfo Tech

Flight of Fancy: 4 Things to Consider in Aerial Photography

aerial photographySeasoned photographers say that good photography is about looking at things from a different perspective. The challenge is to take shots of usual subjects, but with heavier focus on other oft-hidden details. Now, you have the chance to capture amazing scenes by taking your photography skills to the skies.

Aerial photography is not a new technique. Most photojournalists and cinematographers use aerial shots to give the audience an impressive view of the landscape. It also familiarizes audiences with settings, which is important when establishing the flow in a story. It is an important skill to learn if you want to diversify your skill sets.

Here are some handy reminders you can use to master aerial photography:

Use the Right Gear

DSLRPros says mastery of aerial photography involves having the right gear first. Fortunately, there are many different tools you can use to experiment with the craft. Drones, for instance, are now widely available, and more shutterbugs are using them to up their game. If you are planning to board a small aircraft, though, make sure your camera is completely secured to avoid any mishaps.

Choose the Right Lens

Likewise, you should know which lens to use. Obviously, you cannot change it once the drone has taken flight. Decide early on, and take test shots, if possible.

Consider Camera Shake

Taking shots from the air can be problematic because of camera shake. Any movement is magnified, which might compromise the quality of your images and videos if you do not use stabilizers. When using drones, make sure the camera is secured tightly.

Know the Right Time to Shoot

Lastly, it is also important to know when to do your shoots. Sometimes, a landscape becomes even more intense and dramatic during certain weather conditions. The golden hour is also an excellent time to capture cityscapes.

Aerial photography can be intimidating at first, but with the tight rigs and techniques, you can fly high and capture beautiful moments. In time, you can master this skill and improve your craft.

September 18, 2014 at 12:19 amInfo Tech

Picture Perfect: Your Quick Guide to Using Images on Your Website

You know that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” But in online marketing, it’s definitely more than a metaphor for conveying a complex idea. A photograph can be worth high volume traffic. If your web pages display relevant images, you’re doing a great job. It means that you’re carrying out some steps to engage your audiences. Remember, online visitors don’t just read your text content; they also look for further clues that will validate their decision about whether they will buy your product or like your social media page.

According to Alyka, using images on your website has some unwritten rules. You can’t just place a generic stock image without modifying it or making it contextual and relevant. Here are the other rules on using pictures to drive traffic to your website.

stock imagesUse Expressive Images

If your objective is to sell, place pictures that will elicit certain emotions. They should act as a decision-making trigger. If you’re running a restaurant reservation website, you should place pictures of people enjoying their food. These depictions will trigger some emotions on the part of your online guests that will make them reserve restaurant seats.

Use Stock Photos Wisely

Many graphic designers treat usage of stock photos as a crime. It’s not an offence at all if you know how to use them properly. Online consumers can easily tell original photos from stock photos. But if you’re going for the second option, make it look professional. If the website is about your business consulting and mentoring services, don’t just settle for photos of businesspeople shaking hands. Make it subtle by using a photograph of a person climbing stairs. Even if it’s not obviously related to your business, your audiences can connect the dots and will have an impression that the photo is about advancement, which is something your company provides.

Own the Season

Display images that go with different occasions. Doing this will give your audiences an impression that you’re updated or that you care about the things outside your business. If you’ve got no idea how to do it, look at Oreo’s Facebook Page to see how.

Caption it!

Don’t hesitate to put a caption whenever appropriate. The caption doesn’t need to sound like you’re selling; the call to action will take care of that. Instead, come up with taglines or questions that will act as a subtle trigger.

These are only some tips that will help you use photographs to drive web traffic. Don’t forget to optimise your images for search and more importantly, don’t steal. A good photo is no use if you get hit with a lawsuit because of copyright infringement.

August 27, 2014 at 4:09 amInfo Tech

Stronger Social Media Strategies: Winning against Small Startups

Social media help online businesses find a way to compete against bigger and older players. By virtue of wide connection, businesses can build stronger brand reputation and possess wider market reach through different social networking sites. They use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, among others, to connect with their audience.

To maintain a progressive stance in the business, you should, however, take a proactive approach in beefing up your social media strategies.

Here are a few social media approaches that can help you:

Social Media1. Concentrate on content optimization.

Mentors of ZooSEO explain businesses that tend to concentrate on content optimization can generate higher returns on their investment. With the increasing use of mobile devices and smartphones, users are now actively engaging in social sites through handhelds. To target this growing market, you need to focus on mobile optimization—knowing where and how to project your content and brand on different markets. By analyzing your market and its behavior, you can devise suitable strategies that work.

2. Continuously strengthen your social media engagement.

Keep in mind that social media are interactive platforms and not billboards where you only need to set up advertisements and posters. You have to create engaging and highly “sharable” content to attract consumers to your page or website. Be the intelligent marketer as you produce informative content, which your market can use and share on their news feeds. You should also observe proper posting schedules for each post to make a statement. By not swamping your followers’ news feeds, you can avoid losing a number of patrons, and decreasing credibility.

3. Engage in customer interaction.

A number of businesses “retweet” or “regram” the photos and other posts of their followers and those who use their products. By posting testimonials from popular personalities or regular patrons, you may effectively encourage other followers to do the same. With active customer interaction, you can relay a sense of appreciation to your customers.

A growing number of Internet users visit different online shops and retail stores. This results in the emergence of online boutiques, which may add to your list of competitors. It is important to always keep your guard up by constantly innovating your social media tactics. Make sure to produce more valuable and intelligent content than small startups, which are still discovering the ins and outs of the business.

July 26, 2014 at 4:34 amInfo Tech

New Content Marketing Strategies for Better SEO Returns

content marketingBusinesses that want to be relevant online need to invest in digital marketing and search engine optimization. Thing is, trends in the said fields are constantly changing and evolving – search engines aim to provide users across the globe nothing but the most relevant answers to their queries.

When it comes to SEO today, it’s content creation that matters most. NuStudio.net.au says SEO for Google requires the maintenance of high standards and implementation of carefully-crafted methodologies. With that in mind, here are some useful content marketing ideas you should look into and think about:

Use Visuals

Research by Social Media Examiner found that 60 per cent of online marketers use visual content. The report also reveals that 70 per cent have plans of using more visual content on their websites – whether it is through pictures or infographics. You also can’t ignore the rise of image-driven social media sites such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

Go for Infographics

More people are searching for infographics on Google, emphasising just how relevant it is today. Instead of plain and boring text, present your content through infographics. This way, you can quench the needs of both readers and visual learners. Hire graphic designers if you aren’t too confident in your Photoshop skills to ensure that the illustrations, numbers, and graphs look professional and neat.

Longer is Better

What is the perfect length for a blog entry? According to serpIQ, the average blog post length that appears in the first page of search results is 2,000 words or more. The study also notes that as the number of words goes down, so does rankings.

Markets and audiences will keep evolving; so should you. Give your visitors more than just great content. Adapt to their ever changing lifestyles and you’ll gain their loyalty and more followers as time goes by. Hire effective SEO experts so you can make the right impact fast and always.

July 5, 2014 at 1:40 amInfo Tech