Month: January 2019

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

The Wonderful World of Workflowy

Workflowy is a productivity app (web and for phones). I love Workflowy and use it heavily when I want to ‘get things down “on paper”‘.

Workflowy is different to other productivity apps in that it’s all about Lists.

You create a List, then drill into the List to create sub-lists and so on.

What I like about it is the fact that you can focus on one specific list (or sub-list). You don’t have your screen cluttered with dozens of other related or semi-related lists or projects.

If you want to spend time thinking about what you need to do for your summer holiday, you can create a list (perhaps under a main list you created called ‘Personal’?) and focus just on that list. Maybe you will create sub-lists under ‘Summer Holiday’ of ‘Travel’, ‘Costs’, ‘Clothing’, and so on.

Perhaps you are an Under 19’s football coach? Well, why not create a list under ‘Personal’ called ‘Sports’. And inside that list one called ‘Under 19’s Team’. You could then focus on what needs to be done for that team by creating sub-lists for ‘Players’, ‘Matches’, ‘Practice’. You get the idea

Check out the video to see how it works!

Please let us know by email, Facebook Messenger or in the Comments any questions you might have.

by Jonathan Jonathan 1 Comment

WordPress – Quick Tip #1

If your website is using WordPress, then first of all, it’s a great choice. It offers a huge amount of versatility and plugins so you can make WordPress do pretty much anything.

What if you want to adjust one of those mythical dark secrets to help your search engine optimisation?

Here’s a couple of places that are easy to get to that can help.

The <title> tag

The<title> tag is very important in that this is what generally shows up in search results on Google:

Who said you didn’t have control of Google? The highlighted lines come from the <title> tag of those websites. So, first point, imagine being able to use an enticing line to encourage searches to visit YOUR site?

Obviously, you need to remember to be informative about what your site provides but you can twist the words around and test results.

For instance, if you were one of the above sites you could change the <title> tag to be:

Six months FREE online invoicing from the best in the industry

Anyway, I digress since the point of this article was to show you HOW to change this in WordPress!

First, sign in to your WordPress site and click on Settings on the left hand side at the bottom.

You will see this screen:

The first part of the <title> tag is taken from the ‘Site Title’ section and the rest of the <title> tag is taken from the ‘Tagline’.

Why not change yours now?

Questions? Email us or send us a Facebook message!

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

Onsite SEO and offsite SEO

We’ve all heard of SEO right? Search Engine Optimisation? But what is ‘Onsite SEO’ and ‘Offsite SEO’?

Getting your website to rank (on the likes of Google or Bing) as highly as possible for certain keywords or phrases is called Search Engine Optimisation.

It is often seen as a dark skill, and extremely difficult to get good ranking. To be fair, for the average website of a small business, it is very difficult!

What this blog entry hopes to help with is to at least give you some guidance on how you can make small changes to best optimise your website.

Onsite SEO

Onsite SEO is stuff you can do to your web pages such as the actual text you write (called ‘content’) and the meta tags of the page.

You may have heard of ‘Content is king‘ and to a large extent it is! Google (we’ll use Google as our search engine of choice for now) has some very clever algorithms which can see whether a website/web page is useful to the potential site visitor.

So that’s the first thing you need to know. Make sure your website content is relevant to the potential site visitor. If you are a garage that specialises in fixing classic cars, then make sure the pages on your site reflect this.

Don’t over populate the site with what you think are the right keywords. Don’t flood your site with ‘classic car repairs’.

Here’s one example that shows how Google knows how good your site is:

First impressions

Let’s say a searcher searches for’ classic car repairs’ and clicks into your site. The searcher has a quick look at your home page but doesn’t get inspired and doesn’t immediately see the information he/she is expecting. The searcher then hits the back button and continues their search for another website.

What do you think Google is going to think about your site now? Would Google be wrong to assume that perhaps your site isn’t a good site to show in the search results? Especially since searchers seem to be going back to search results pretty quickly to look for another site?

So lesson one would be to make sure your site is decent to look at, works well on mobile devices and also has the content once would expect when they search for ‘classic car repairs’.

Meta tags

Just a quick one on meta tags. They are still relevant! The <title> tag and <description> tag are both used to show searchers in the search results. Like this:

In the image above, you can see three organic results (I’m referring to the ones at the bottom of the image). AM-Restorations; Devon Classic CarsHome and Classic Car Resprays, Bodywork and Restoration | car resprays. body …

Let’s take the bottom result as an example. In the HTML code of the site there is the following:

<title>Ian Webb Specialist Cars | Classic Car Specialists in Liskeard, Cornwall</title> 

Editing this code to reflect your site is important. If you use a system such as WordPress, you can change this in settings. Other sites will have similar options to change the title of your page. The same goes for the description tag.

If you have a custom designed site, then you will either have to edit this yourself or get your web designer to do it for you.

That’s enough to be going on with on Onsite SEO. Below is a short description on Offsite SEO.

Offsite SEO

Offsite SEO as the term suggests is SEO relating to your site that happens away from your website. This includes getting links from other sites to yours, setting up a Google account with a business address, phone number, opening hours and so on.

Offsite SEO might also include details about your business on social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.

This side of SEO is huge and deserves another blog post (or three!) on another day. For now, concentrate on your website (Onsite SEO) and how it looks to the visitor.

Does your site retain the visitor for more than a few seconds? Can they find useful information about your services and related topics?

Feel free to comment on this post on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn if you have any questions.

by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

Don’t be scared of Excel

Yes, using Excel (other brands of spreadsheet software are available) can look a little scary. But don’t need to be!

Excel is a powerful piece of software that could potentially save you a lot of time, present information in useful ways, and highlight areas of your business that could prove extremely helpful.

You can make a spreadsheet to do very simple things, such as automatically adding up a list of invoice amounts for a given month, or keeping a running total of stock (numbers of products AND the total amount at cost or retail).

Attached at the bottom of this post is an Excel file with two tabs. One tab is a simple list of invoice numbers with dates and amounts. The other is a slightly more complicated stock system with values.

On the INVOICE tab I have also used ‘Conditional Formatting’. Conditional Formatting is a very useful feature. In the Conditional Formatting on the INVOICE tab, I’m colouring amounts of equal to or less than £25 with a pink background and red text. This is just to show you that perhaps there is a problem (i.e. should you have invoice amounts of £25 or less? Is there a mistake?).

The STOCK tab is perhaps a little more complicated but hopefully you get the idea?

I should say that there are systems out there that can do all this for you as well. Check out the likes of Quickbooks, Xero, Zoho, and many more! Of course, you may have to pay for these especially since they have a number of features (some of which you might now need!).

So, simple spreadsheets may help.

Additionally, spreadsheets don’t have to look ugly! Check out the attached to see what I mean.

Apologies if the attached isn’t an accurate representation of how these things work. It’s just meant to illustrate how spreadsheets can look and provide simple solutions.

Do you use Excel? Do you use online solutions like Quickbooks, Zoho? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Download the file

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by Jonathan Jonathan No Comments

The Rebirth of Anything I.T.

Anything I.T. was ‘founded’ in 2003 by Jonathan Burrows. At the time we fixed computers and built websites for customers in the Plymouth area. It was okay but ultimately things change and so we moved on to other pastures (not necessarily greener!).

Jonathan continued Anything I.T. part-time while working full-time. This gave him the opportunity to keep up-to-date with various technologies. During that time, he grew his knowledge to encompass Apple Mac, Linux, PHP web development and a lot more.

So where is Anything I.T. now?

At the risk of sounding big-headed (I’m not), I (and the small team we are growing) can do pretty much , well, anything I.T. related. You name it, we can probably do it!

Having said that, if you were to tie us down, then I would say our best areas are in the following:

  1. Web: Design, Build, Customisation, Hosting, Help & Support, Analytics, onsite SEO, E-commerce
  2. Information Technology: Specialising in small-medium business I.T., including remote support, Office application support (Outlook, Word, Excel), computer networking
  3. One-on-one: Small business coaching and solutions. Perhaps you are keen at getting as much I.T. work done yourself as possible? But maybe you just need that little extra help from time to time? Then that’s where we come in

During the summer of 2018, Jonathan decided that going back to full-time on Anything I.T. was the best course and more fully suited his personality and ‘life goals’.


Phoenix (Rebirth)

So, now we are moving into 2019 with renewed enthusiasm (and time!) to provide our clients with a professional and helpful service.

Want to chat? Feel free to message us on here. We will quite happily tell you we don’t think a job is right for us if we feel that way. If that is the case, then we would endeavour to point you in the direction of someone who can help!

Take care,

Jonathan

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