A night at the WOBA’s, celebrating local businesses

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This year the WOBA gala dinner was held at Heythrop Park and I was delighted to be there as one of the judges. Together with Paul Gingell, MD of Burford Garden Centre, we had a tough job selecting a winner in the Retail category. It was great to see so many outstanding finalists, and all the winners truly deserved their awards. The calibre of nominees this year demonstrates what a great place West Oxfordshire is to do business in.

It was a pleasure to be involved in the WOBAs and it gave me a great insight into how other businesses in this area work.

West Oxfordshire has a great reputation for independent business – you only have to look at Witney town centre to see evidence of that. Back in 2011 a group of local business people came together to create the WOBAs – West Oxfordshire Business Awards – as a way of celebrating business achievements in the area. Each year businesses large and small compete for awards in a number of categories, with the winners being unveiled in style at a local venue.

The main aim of WOBA is to connect the 8000+ businesses in the area. Entry into the awards is free and every business is encouraged to apply, regardless of size. In fact, the categories are tweaked every year to ensure as many businesses as possible can take part. It’s a great way to increase your business profile and it’s a true community affair – even the award given to the Business of the Year is manufactured locally, with students at Witney and Abingdon College competing to design the winner’s trophy. And if you don’t fancy being a nominee, there are plenty of other ways you can get involved, as all the organisers, judges, sponsors and supporters come from the local area.

Social media services – available now

SEO

We just wanted to let you know about our expanded service offering. As well as high quality website, digital and print design we are now able to offer social media services at a very competitive price. This includes:

  • Social media campaigns on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook
  • Blog content creation for posting onto social media platforms
  • Social media campaign planning and execution

But why might you want to outsource your social media? Maintaining an active online profile takes time and effort, and if you’re not a natural tweeter or blogger, that’s valuable time you could be using more profitably. We work with professional social media experts who will quickly get a feel for your business and promote you effectively across the most appropriate platforms. Let us manage your blog by creating incisive articles that both entertain and inform your visitors, positioning you as the expert in your field. We’ll also promote your business via social media, tweeting news, tips and your latest offers. You’ll soon find your online presence grows, creating more fans, more orders and, ultimately, more profit.

HPiVS get a new website

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HPi Verification Services is one of the companies licensed by the European Commission to issue the CE certificate of quality to manufacturers selling products into the European market. The company has clients all over the world and on every continent, from sole traders working from a shed in the garden to huge blue-chip organisations and household names like Pfizer, General Motors and BAE Systems.

HPiVS recently asked us to create a new brand style for them – one that would stand out both on and offline. We created an identity that is fresh, modern, and appeals to a global audience, whilst retaining the professional nature of the business.

As part of the rebrand we were commissioned to design a website that incorporated the new identity. In this modern world where the internet is accessed more often via mobile phone than computer, a key requirement of the site was that it worked across all platforms. We chose to use WordPress, because of its advanced content management system and cross-platform functionality. The design of the site follows the new brand guidelines and incorporates icons and imagery from the brochures and exhibition display stands we also created as part of the rebrand.

Alasdair Reay, CEO of HPiVS, said: “One Hat has lifted the appearance of our organisation and with it our own feeling of self-worth. As we handed out new fliers to be proud of in front of an exhibition stand that drew admiring glances, it was as if our new image brought renewed professionalism to the team. We recommend One Hat to any company wishing to get noticed.”

Three Reasons Why Having a Mobile-Friendly Website is More Important Than Ever

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Is your website mobile-friendly? If it isn’t, you could be missing out on potential customers – and thanks to an update from Google it may be even more difficult for people to find your website in the first place! Here are three good reasons why it’s important to make your site as mobile accessible as possible.

  1. More web searching done on mobile devices than computers – A survey last year found that 60% of web browsing was done on a mobile device. Okay, the survey focus on digital media sites rather than the entire web, but it’s an indication of the way things are going, and if your website only looks good on a large screen, you could be putting people off.
  1. Your site could be difficult to navigate – If your site isn’t mobile friendly, it probably means people are having to zoom in to read the text, or do a lot of scrolling around to find information. Do you really want to make it so difficult for web visitors to find what they’re looking for? A mobile-friendly website is much easier to navigate.
  1. Google will rank you lower in the search engine results – The search engine giant recently updated the way it ranks websites, with the most mobile-friendly websites featuring higher in search results. If you’ve noticed fewer visitors to your site in recent days, it could be because you’ve slipped down the rankings – which could result in a dip in your sales.

So what can you do? Well, Google has released a tool to let you test your website and determine how mobile-friendly your site is. Have a go now and see how well – or how poorly – your website performs.

Test your website for free

The change currently only affects searches made on mobile devices, so if you have a site that ranks well in other areas, you could still score highly for those searching via desktop computers. However, with so many people accessing the web via their phones, staying mobile-unfriendly could be too big a risk for your business to take.

Mobile Plugin

Tip of the day.

WPtouch is a mobile plugin for WordPress that automatically adds a simple and elegant mobile theme for mobile visitors to your WordPress website. Recommended by Google, it will instantly enable a mobile-friendly version of your website that passes the Google Mobile test, and ensure your SEO rankings do not drop due to not having a mobile-friendly website. For more information about using WPtouch to achieve Google mobile-friendly status, please read our comprehensive mobile-friendly guide.

The administration panel allows you to customize many aspects of its appearance, and deliver a fast, user-friendly and stylish version of your site to your mobile visitors, without modifying a single bit of code. Your regular desktop theme is left intact, and will continue to show for your non-mobile visitors.

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