Lancaster University

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Triumph for InfoLab21 firms at digital Awards ceremony

05/29/2008 11:01:06

A web development and online marketing company based at InfoLab21 has taken two awards at one of the biggest ceremonies in the digital industry.

EduNation won in two categories at the prestigious Big Chip awards in Manchester. The company won the Best E-Business Project award and also the Best from Lancashire award. This is the second InfoLab21 company to win in the Best from Lancashire category after NuBlue won in 2006.

EduNation won for its website First Tutors, now the UK’s leading online tutor-matching service. The first of its kind, First Tutors brings together tutors and parents and the website has been recommended by The Good Schools Guide and appeared in the national press.

The judges liked the way this entry used interactive technology to fill a clear need, bringing buyers and sellers together in a specialist sector in a trustworthy way. They were also impressed by the speed at which the business had grown, registering over 3,500 tutors already.

They commented: “This was one of those ideas that make you wonder why no-one’s done it before. A simple, effective use of interactive media to link tutors with those needing their services, the site was clear, the business model uncomplicated and the success obvious.

EduNation is run by technical director Paul Norman and managing director Anita Moss.

She said: “We’re thrilled to not only win the Best E-Business Project award but the Best from Lancashire as well.”

Meanwhile eBusiness UK Ltd, an Associate Company of InfoLab21 based in Blackburn, picked up an award in the category for the Best Use of Search for their work for the firm RU Comfy.

Established in 1998, eBusiness UK Ltd is one of North West’s leading Web Design and Search Engine Marketing companies, enabling companies to promote their brands more effectively.

Managing Director Kam Kothia said: “To be recognised by your peers is a big boost for our staff and we’re delighted. The advice and support we’ve got from the University has made a definite improvement, especially from a team of high calibre MBA students who came in and made recommendations on how we could improve some aspects of our delivery processes.”

RU Comfy employed eBusiness UK to help promote its business online and, through the use of smart search engine optimisation techniques, they cut advertising bills from £120,000 to a predicted £50,000 whilst seeing an increase in orders.

The judges said that paid search marketing should focus on achieving efficiencies and return on investment.

They said: “Not only did the winner focus on keyword-based optimisation to increase page dominance, they examined the user journey and made improvements. By redesigning the website and e-commerce processes and encouraging customer interaction through the introduction of social media such as blogs and product wish lists, they managed to increase RU Comfy’s ROI from search dramatically.”