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All the news, as it happens

WARNING! Windows XP Will No Longer Be Supported From April 2014

The Windows XP Operating System Is About To Become Obsolete

You Need To Read This If You Are Still Using Windows XP

Microsoft have been saying for a while now that they are going to stop support for Windows XP. The time has finally come. As from April 8th 2014 support for Windows XP is over. This means that Microsoft will no longer provide automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance. 


Do you remember what you were doing on on the 25th of August 2001? I'm not sure I do but the guys at Microsoft were busy releasing Windows XP. Yes this operating system really is 12 years old. In computer years that's a century!

 

So why do you care?

Windows Vista is the successor to XP. Vista will still be receiving patches for security vulnerabilities and bugs. The details of which will be public knowledge as soon as Microsoft release the patch details. This will give hackers insight into flaws allowing them to break into Windows XP, and nobody is going to fixthem.

 

What Is The Solution?

It's time to upgrade your computer, or at least your operating system, preferably to Windows 7. Contact us for details on the options you have available. Don't delay, this is important!

 

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Search Engine Optimisation Basics - A Guide

Search Engine Optimisation Basics - How To

Understanding What SEO Is And Making The Most Of It

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the holistic approach to improving your websites ranking within search engines using well positioned, targeted keyphrases and the use of HTML/HTML5. Or to put it in very simple terms SEO is the window dressing for your online business/shop front. 


It helps attract visitors and search engines like Google to come into your website. SEO can be broken down into six main activities. This brief guide will help you understand what is involved in SEO.

  • Keyphrase Research Keywords/phrases are the things that people look for (type in) when they search on the net. To research keywords/phrases you can use the Google Adwords keyword research tool (free with a Google account) or another similar tool such as the SEO Moz keyword tool which is paid for by subscription. Keywords should relate to your commercial objectives. An example of a keyword phrase for our company, Bongo IT is “IT Support Oxford”. This is a highly competitive keyphrase though as there are many IT companies competing for this space. An easier keyphrase for us to rank well for in the search engines is “PCI DSS experts Oxford”. This is a much more specialised industry and therefore the competition is lower. The above mentioned tools will give you an indication of what is competitive and how many people (traffic) are searching for a given keyphrase. Using the Google search to judge and know your competition is also a very good idea. If you are planning on advertising; using SpyFU to check what your competitors are spending on online advertising may also be an option you want to take up before spending any of your own money.undefined

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  • On-site SEO This relates to the architecture and content of your websie. In the SEO world meta tags (identifiers) are used to tell the search engines what content is important and therefore what the website is about. When people are searching for something your site is about you want to come up in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s) so make sure this information (keyphrases) is researched well. Meta tags are created from HTML/HTML5 code which is a programming language. The Meta tags themselves will identify text which is important to your website and business. For instance at Bongo IT we want to show up in search results for “IT Support Oxford” so we need to have a page title tag (

    ) which also includes these words. Have you ever heard the phrase "content is king"? In SEO this relates to your written content. The better the content (and its layout) and the more informative and original it is the more the search engines like Google like it. New or updated content will also be of greater interest to the search engines that content which hasnt changed for months. This is part of the reason why blogs are so popular.

  • Off-site SEO Creating relevant backlinks to your site is important. An example of this would be posting a comment on a forum which relates to your business activities. The comment is not only informative but also has your website address for people to follow if they want more information. this will help increase traffic back to your website and can help increase your position in search engine rankings over time. There are many ways to create backlinks, directory sites for local businesses, social networks, reciprocal links, blogs, comments and squeeze pages on alternative domains to name the most common. Anchor tags can also be used to maximise your SEO potential. Put simply they are keyphrases which have the dual purpose of also being a hyperlink. An anchor tag example for our company would be "Web Design In Oxford" and would link to our web design information pages.
  • Search Engine Indexing If you do nothing at all your website will eventually get picked up by Google and their “spider” programs will crawl it, and log its content. A better way of getting found more quickly by the search engines is to manually submit your content to them. If you are not a Google or Bing Webmaster then you can still “submit website URL” to either search engine, and many more besides. Websites should all have a page or file which is a dedicated site map, usually in the form of an Xml file. If you don’t know how to generate this there are many web based programs which can help, or you can just contact us.
  • Adwords/Advertising Paid for advertising can greatly increase traffic to your website. Due to the targeted nature of the advertising you can reach clients in specific locations with your message when they search for the chosen keywords/phrases in your campaign..
  • Analytics To find out if your SEO is having any effect you will need to monitor the traffic to your site. There are a plethora of ways to do this but most commonly Google Analytics is used. We use PIWIK to monitor traffic to our website as it allows us to look at all our historical data for comparrison. Websites like Ahrefs can provide free insight into the backlinks to your site as well.

A Few Key Terms Explained:

The Meta description tag - this tag does not provide any SEO value however; it is important that this description accurately describes the content of your selected site page in a manner which makes clients want to click through to the page. 

HTML5 - As of yet there are no clear guidelines on how much the use of HTML5 will improve your search rankings.

Panda Algorithm - this looks at the "quality" of content on your website. Does not eat bamboo.

Penguin Algorithm - this checks to see who is linking to you, what content is being linked and its relevance to your website. If you have lots of links from "spammy" websites it will affect your ranking in the search results and the Page Rank (PR) of your page. Having good contextual links to your website is the best way to go.

Hummingbird Algorithm - semantically connects people, places and things through the Google knowledge base to provide "better" search results.

Top Tips

Use Long Tail Keywords (in Meta tags) - these are long phrases containing many of the keywords you want to use about a particular subject. e.g. "SEO basics for beginners, a guide to SEO and Semantic Searches" could be a good title for this article. 

Semantic Searches - this seeks to improve the accuracy of search results using the contextual meaning of words and how they link together. Use of synonyms for some keywords can help improve your SEO and give you a wider spread of potential words to be found by. 

If You Can A/B Test - If you have several domains available do experiments to see what works best. Change one thing at a time and be patient to see the results.

Thats all folkes!

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Bongo IT Join With Partner In Business - Free Business Support and Advice In Oxfordshire

FREE Business Support and DevelopmentTo Help Support New And Growing Business In OxfordshireBongo IT are proud to announce they have joined Partner? and can offer FREE support to SME businesses, in Oxfordshire“We are delighted to be joining PARTNER? the new business support group that provide servicesto small and medium (SME) sized businesses in Oxfordshire”, commented Justin Smith Director of BONGOIT Ltd (www.bongoit.co.uk).Justin added that “the range of IT support services, web site design and development, and the Microsoft products provided by BONGOIT, complement the services already available through PARTNER?, in support of start-ups and growing SME businesses, in Oxfordshire”.


  PARTNER? provide small and medium sized businesses with a range of products and services  that can help their client’s business find funding, handle employee issues, reduce costs, improve efficiencies, grow sales, and more. The PARTNER? team have extensive experience in business  including, business start-ups, internet trading, franchising, exit planning, acquisitions, and more. A unique aspect of the services PARTNER? provide is the ongoing FREE support and advice,  subject to agreement. Having an experienced Partner? available to provide advice and support  can and will save a business thousands of pounds. To find out more e mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check out the website http://partner-in-business.co.uk ABOUT PARTNER? (editors note) Partner-in-Business LLP, trading as PARTNER?, is a group of experienced business managers  and professionals who provide a wide range of services to small and medium sized businesses. Based in Oxfordshire, a unique aspect of the services PARTNER? provide is the ongoing FREE  support and advice, subject to agreement. PARTNER? in Oxfordshire will comprise of up to 30  business partners working together to support local SME’s in this region.  For further information visit www.partner-in-business.co.uk E Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Contact telephone: 01280 706683 Mobile: 07798 653 139 Partner in Business LLP Registered in England OC385856. Halstede House, Hinton in the Hedges, Northants. NN13 5NF

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How To Personalise Your Outlook Emails And Add A Signature

Personalise Your Outlook Emails And Add A SignatureYour brand is your advert to the world. It should be consistent, evolving and engaging. Using a signature and Office Stationary is the standard for most businesses.Keeping a consistent brand image can be made easier by using some of the simple tools available to you. Email is a primary form of communication for many companies and should contain your branding material. Information in the footer of your email, also known as a signature, should at least contain: your name, website, telephone numbers, fax, social media links, perhaps even your latest news. You may wish to also include a disclaimer such as this: "CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: The information transmitted, including attachments, is intended only for the person(s) or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, re-transmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and destroy any copies of this information. Have a nice day". 


  Moving on quickly let's look at how we set up a signature to put all this information into an Outlook (Desktop) email. This is the same process for the Microsoft Office 365 version of Outlook too.  Open a new mail Look in the middle of the top bar (of the new mail) for the signature icon and click it Chose signatures Click new and name your signature (it is possible to have multiple signatures) Click ok In the text box provided type in your full signature starting with the usual end to your mails such as "Kind regards, Fred" and add the other details afterwards. You may wish to add a logo to the top of your signature too. Click ok, it is now the default signature, and close the window Now when you create a new mail your signature will appear. The next step is to create Office Stationary to really personalise your messages. In the Outlook main program window go to File Options Mail Stationary and Fonts Theme, and pick your theme. Try a few different themes to see what suits you and have a play with the other settings.  Right that's all folks, have fun :-)

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Cloud Migration Experts Oxford - Easily Migrate Your Company to Office 365 - Your Office In The Cloud

Bongo IT Are Office 365 & Cloud Consultants.

Bongo IT Have Completed Multiple Types Of Cloud Migrations Quickly And Efficiently.

 

What Do Bongo IT Do?

 

Educate you and your staff on the how's, why's, and when's; and help you to get an ROI in terms of productivity, not just a product.

 

For more in depth information please see our product page Office 365 Information

 

Bongo IT have helped organisations in Education, Retail, Charity/Not for Profit, and SME's unlock the power of the cloud. From a business of 1 to 22,000 people we are the go to consultants.


 

  • We will consult with you to help you decide on the package that suits you.
  • As part of this we might see the need to hold discovery seminars to get a more informed understanding of your business, and to educate your team leaders and/or staff on the benefits of Office 365.
  • Teach you the productivity benefits of using this cloud solution.
  • Train your staff on the best usage of MS 365

 

Implement Solutions

 

  • We will transfer any existing email you have onto the cloud. We will set up your computers to work with the new versions of the software.
  • If you have an office server we can transfer all your files to the cloud and decommission your old office business server.

 

NB: There should be no downtime however sometimes circumstances will not allow for this. In these rare cases we will minimise downtime by completing the migration during the evening or at the weekend.

 

Testimonial from one of our clients:

" I have recently switched (to Office 365) both the Charity I set up (The Nasio Trust) and my business (Expert Wealth management) with Bongo IT. In the process bongo IT have been excellent – Justin did both ours and his support was great – any issue that arose he dealt with them asap. My experience since switch is very positive – adding new devices / machines to the system is so easy now – whilst it is still early days I can see that we will save on IT support etc going forwards. We are already seeing the benefits of the remote working aspect and bring your own device benefits of office 365. I can also see me getting rid of a number of IT services we currently use to solve the remote working issue – for example – GOTOMYPC, GOTOMEETING, DropBox etc etc. There will be some incremental cost savings around." Jonathan Hunt.

 

What is Office 365?

  • Reliable - Microsoft hosted servers in secure datacentres
  • Secure - Encrypted email
  • Work from anywhere - login at portal.microsoft.com and have access to all your email and documents
  • Collaboration - Easily collaborate with colleagues, share documents and run business webinars

The Microsoft Office 365 Cloud is still a big unknown for many companies. So let's have a look at Office 365 itself and what benefits it holds for your business. Basically Office 365 is just like the Office that you know and love (we hope you love it!). There is a new look to the interface which is colour coded by Application but the layout is basically the same. As it is all connected to Microsoft's servers you gain reliability, business continuity as well as always knowing that your data can be backed up (some data must be backup up manually from your local computer) and your software is always on the latest version. As the data is in the cloud it enables easier remote working and access to files from any machine. In a nutshell this version of Office gives you peace of mind for your business and is highly capable it it's business functionality. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_365.jpg

 


Office 365 features all the standard Office applications such as:

  • Powerpoint.
  • Publisher.
  • Word.
  • Excel.
  • Sharepoint.  
  • OneDrive for Business (formerly Skydrive) is much like a business orientated version of Dropbox for storing and collaborating work documents. Using this tool you can backup, open, edit and share your documents.
  • Lync allows instant messaging, document sharing and webinars with your work colleagues. You can even invite up to 1000 people who don't have Lync to join your webinars. All your email is hosted on the Microsoft servers so there is no need to worry about downtime or backups of your email. It is a fast and reliable solution for your business.
  • Access.
  • Onenote.

FREE Office 365 & Lync Webinar Trial

For a free trial of Office 365 including Lync just contact us, we permanently run a live webinar which we can use to show you around the system, ask us for the link to it. Lync is an extremely powerful and cost effective way of running any professional webinar. There are many versions of Office 365 available so please contact us and let us guide you to the right solution. 

 

Contact us now and get your business onto the cloud.

 

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IT Services Oxford

Computers and the City

This blog post is simply us sharing some of our recent inspiration of Oxford based business with you. Times have been difficult recently but we believe in a bright future. If you get overly sentimental then read no further!

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5 Ways To Create Quality Backlinks To My Website

Free Backlinking For Your Website

FYI - This article is quite old now so you will need to check the material to see if it works for you. The principals are still passed on to newer websites though, good quality, trusted places to post your content gets good backlinks.

Google Profiles -probably the best known of these back linking sites and another Social Media Hotspot (you knew I would mention it again!). Just sign up and get yourself an account and make sure you use your web address in your profile description...and in your posts too.

MSN Articles- Msn is constantly updated with news and articles on a huge range of topics, to get a backlink you just need to comment on an article leaving behind your thoughts, name & website link.

Yahoo Answers -you will need to work at this one as you will need to answer circa 20 questions before you can start adding your own back link. Great for building you PR weighting up though...and for helping people with their questions of course!

GoDaddy - by now you will probably have heard of GoDaddy. To get a back link from here just find Bob's blog (currently top right in a tiny font size!), watch a video and leave a message.

From Our Blog! Yes that's right. Why not leave a comment with us and let us know what you think. We have a PR of 1 on our blog currently but its on the up I tells ya! Please like our Facebook Page too

Some good tools for checking your backlinks and websites health include ahrefs, SEOmoz and SEOWorkers. There are also more Google Aps than ever so go and check them out now!

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EU Cookie Law Explained

EU Cookie Law

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small text file placed on the user's machine by a website. This file allows the website to keep track of activity on the site during visits, and access that information on subsequent visits. The information includes login and personalisation preferences, as well as analytics information. 

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Reading The Web And The Magic F - By Rosie M Rogers

How you read the web - and 5 ways to improve your copywriting

I’ve got some bad news for you. Of all the brilliant, titillating and engaging online content that you are writing for your website, only 28% of those words are read by your audience. Web users don’t gorge over every word when they read the web, they scan for the information that they need. To optimize your copy, you need to understand how people read the web.

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How To Maximise The Potential Of Your YouTube Channel

Maximising YouTube Traffic

This is a really quick guide to optimising your existing YouTube channel.

These are techniques some of the ones I have used myself with great success whilst running campaigns for various clients, most recently for Dark Matter Audio. During those campaigns we had our YouTube videos watched by thousands of people. Now I must admit we had a great mix of PR and media hype at the time surrounding the release of an exciting new product so the videos were going to do well because they were well placed, timely and shared a popular interest however; to maximise on any success here are some of the things you need to think about when using your YouTube channel/s.

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What is PCI-DSS Consultancy?

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) is an information security standard for organizations that handle cardholder information. All merchants, whether small or large, need to be PCI compliant. The burden of compliance can be daunting at first, but at Bongo IT we are here to help.

You may have noted that in 2018 some of the Payment Service Providers e.g. Barclacard have tightened their regulations and are now providing more difficult questionaires. If you now find yourself stuck, please speak to one of our team.

 

What is involved

Our first step is to document the cardholder data flow. This allows us to understand how sensitive data flows through your systems, and which parts of those systems need to be scanned. We will then look at reducing the number of systems involved in the flow of cardholder data, to lessen the compliance task.

After filling in the correct questionnaire for your level of interaction with cardholder data, we initiate the scan. The scan tests all the systems through which data flows for basic security vulnerabilities. After rectifying any vulnerability, and re-running the scan until no vulnerabilities remain, compliance is achieved. We will then inform your Payment Service Provider (PSP) that you are compliant. The scan will automatically run every 3 months, and will inform you if you ever drop out of compliance.

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How Do You Get A Blog?

How can I get a blog?....

....is a regularly asked question. Around 124,000,000 searches are done every month on Google to try and find out this information which struck me as an awful lot of searches for which there should be a really good answer. Thing is there are so many pieces of blog software out there now its difficult to know which one to pick if you are just starting out. Heres a few of the sites which you might want to use starting with the most popular...

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Tips On Optimising Your Facebook Business Page

This is a quick post on how to optimise your Facebook (FB) account for your business

I'm going to assume you have a Facebook account set up and that you have gone to Facebook Pages and created a page for your business or organisation. If not then that's where to start. Some quick information on Facebook that should interest you.

  • There are 300m photos posted every day
  • Circa 2.2 billion interactions a day
  • 1000 real fans can equal 185% increase in traffic to your website
  • 92% of professionals have had a customer from Facebook

 

Useful Tips On Optimising Your Facebook Profile... Finally! 

 

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How To Set Up And Optimise A Twitter Account For Business

How To Optimise A Twitter Account For Business

Hello there, hope you are all enjoying the weather around Oxford at the moment. We have had a couple of inches of snow and it’s still going!

So … Twitter. Why use it? 

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How To Set Up And Optimise A Pinterest Account For Business

How To Set Up Pinterest For My Business

Hi All, recently I have been asked by a few clients to help them with their current Pinterest accounts or to set up a new account for them. Why do they want to do this you may ask? It’s because they want to engage with their audience in a visual medium, drive more traffic to their site and/or make more sales. Pinterest is one of the fastest growing sites in history. To get an idea of who is using Pinterest and how it’s being used I’ll give you some stats:

  • Pinterest shoppers, yes it’s the ultimate in window shopping if you’re just browsing but Pinterest shoppers actually spend more money, more often, and on more items than any of the other top 5 social media sites. (Source: comScore).
  • Pinterest pins which include prices receive circa 36% more likes than those which do not. (Source: Shopify).
  • The number of daily Pinterest users has increased by more than 145% since January 2012. Pinterest users are 79% female which is extraordinary! (Source: Shopify).
  • Pinterest leads in both awareness and visitation among social image sharing sites, with 36% of online consumers aware and 19% visiting. (Source: BizRate Insights).
  • Pinterest generates over four times as much revenue per click as Twitter and 27% more revenue per click than Facebook. (Source: Converto).
  • Of online consumers in the US 47% of have made a purchase based on recommendations from Pinterest. (Source: BlogHer).
  • Pinterest generates traffic like you wouldn’t believe, more than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn  combined. (Source: Shareaholic).


OK so ask yourself this. Do the stats above appeal to me? Do I have (or could I have) a lot of great photos or graphics that relate to my business or products? Do I want to easily improve my web visibility? If the answer to one or all of these questions is YES then a Pinterest account is almost certainly for you. It really won’t take long to setup we promise but if you need our help just holla.


Ok so I want an account. How do I set it up for my business?


Follow this step by step guide!

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Anyone Can Check Their Own SEO Hotspots

But do you check?

Well I don't know about you but I'm always interested to see what trusty old Google (yes we probably can say that about Google now. It's pretty old and clearly here to stay!) has to say about our company. So I often (at least once a week) ask myself these questions:

Is the information I find about us today still relevant?

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It Pro's In The Know

Spiceworks Network Monitoring And Management

This is just a quick post to tell you about this fantastic site Spiceworks  which is used by and contributed to by a huge community of IT Professionals. We use the network monitoring App to monitor servers and networks. Basically it can sniff out IT issues before they happen meaning a fast response time, and potentially, disaster aversion. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_spiceworks-network-tool.jpg

Oh and its all free. Yep you heard us...Free! Well done Spiceworks, we salute you.

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Facebook's Promote Feature

Ok so this is my first social media post on our new site. This post assumes that you have a company page set up on Facebook, if not and you need help just let us know. By the way we are in the process of designing a much better looking site so expect to see updates over the coming months, I digress!

So where is the promote feature on Facebook (FB)?

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  • FREE IT STRATEGY SESSION

  • At Bongo IT, we know that technology is increasingly dominant and crucial to maintaining business performance and productivity.

    Organisations should make sure they are making the right IT decisions for their current needs, whilst also planning for the future with flexible and scalable solutions.

  • As a special offer, we are offering a FREE one hour consultation to address your current IT setup and recommend an effective strategy for your future requirements.

    Addressing issues such as computer hardware, broadband, data security, file sharing, compliance and more, we’ll help you build a plan and ensure you deploy the most cost-effective IT strategy for your company’s needs.

CONNECT WITH US

READ OUR BLOG

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