Help for Small Business With their Social Media Marketing

In 2014 Facebook will be looking at driving revenue and targeting peoples news feeds and posts with more ads. Certainly the place to be and the place for your business to be active. Think about adding posts, specials, things that will ignite peoples interest. Add some product videos for more impact. Overall, Facebook is the king of social media and any business looking to generate followers and increase their reach should be actively participating and marketing their small business here. Because Facebook is such a popular platform for both desktop and mobile users I would recommend speaking to a social media experts before you do anything. Investing now can pay massive dividends in the future.

Expect to see the Twitter social platform become much more popular amongst Australian users. This is great for small businesses wanting to make quick tweets about a product or service. Considering you can only write up to 160 characters this is a simple marketing exercise for your small business. Get as many followers as you possibly can and write quick snappy sales driven posts that will get the phone ringing. The beauty for business is the speed at which you can tweet. Think about it. If you are having a sale or a promotion, why not send out a quick tweet to all your followers.

Personally I like LinkedIn. It’s a great way to connect with businesses and professional people, but I have to admit that for small business owners, this is NOT the best social media platform. In fact, I really would not waste too much time here unless, you are trying to reach out to professionals. If that is the case, then go for it. Ideally, small businesses need to keep marketing and promoting themselves and LinkedIn is not the best place for this.

Google Plus
Whats Google+. No one knows about it, especially small business owners. They all know Google but they are totally unfamiliar with the social aspect of this giant. Well Google in its efforts to rival Facebook, came up with the social platform Google+. Unfortunately, it has fallen flat and its popularity is not as good as it should be. It’s the new kid on the block in an area completely dominated by the established Facebook. However, because every business wants to have a great SEO ranking on Google, and Google is now placing a high ranking value on social media, small businesses better start getting active on Google+ if they want to improve their overall online position. Yes, it may seem like a hassle, but the reality of Google+ is very clear. Either you get on board or your website rankings will suffer.

I absolutely love this platform. Not only is it incredibly easy to use, but it is a combination of Facebook and Twitter. If there is one social media platform that businesses should be on, its Instagram. Post photos quickly with a small statement and watch people start following you. It is an App so users will be getting images from you each time you post one. Keep them interesting and you will see how quickly people start following you. All the big names are on there and there is no reason why you can’t be there as well.

A word of warning….Instagram is highly addictive so just be careful about how much time you spend on it. Try it out and see how you go.

If you need some help or advice about establishing and maintaining your presence on these social media networks, give us a call on 02 9360 8514.

Are You Looking For a Website That Generates Sales for Your Company?

Your Website Needs To:

Your website is really your most important marketing tool. Like a shop front for retailers it is the place that all your customer sand clients are going to visit to check you out, find out more about your business and perhaps even buy from the site. It’s for this reason that your websites main landing pages need to look as good at it possible can so that site generated traffic will hang around long enough to buy from you. That is these people need to be converted from a casual browser into a client. Essentially all pages on your website needed to be constantly selling. The home page is no longer the main selling page of the site. All pages, each and every one of them needs to be selling hard – 24/7!


This is why for your website to succeed you need to have the combination of great looks and a clear defined strategy.


Your web strategy should be high-performance design

All websites we design at Hopping Mad Designs are carefully designed to get the best possible response from the user – that is someone looking at your website.

Where we place icons, navigation and buttons throughout the site has been carefully thought out so users experience is maximised. We just don’t place graphics randomly hoping that it will work. We take this part of the web process extremely seriously because if we don’t your competition will. This is what is now needed to succeed online.

Small minor tweaks and placements, might seem insignificant to you, but overall this could improve site conversions and reduce bounce rates. I have actually made 1 small amend to a clients site and we found that this helped his sales jump by about 60% – we work on ensuring your website is a high performance marketing tool.

Does Your Website Have Tracking & Analytics?

Hopping Mad will build your website so that we are able to track and manage your analytics from the moment it is launched. Our aim in doing this is to accurately measure and analyse your sites performance. In doing this, we can make small improvements to each page and in turn improve overall conversions. Being able to work with a web or graphic design team that understands and knows about these techniques is going to make a huge improvement in your online success. Trusting this to amateurs can and will result is nasty is not disastrous outcomes for your business.


Call To Action Buttons are Winners!


How you design a call-to-action, to the way it is placed on your landing page, even the colours you choose and the wording will have an impact and could mean the difference between getting or loosing the sale.

Buttons with Call to Actions like:’ Order your Free Book Now’ or ‘ Free Delivery Australia wide’ are going to really grab the users eye – at Hopping mad Designs we know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to the design and placement of these call to actions.

An interesting point to note is that: a well designed and worded call-to-action will receive 21 times more hits than a poorly designed one. Think about this when you look at your website!

Killer Web Copy Is A MUST.


The copy or content which is used throughout your website, even each individual landing page  is going to affect the way in which people respond to the site. If they like what they read, well then they are probably gong to buy from you. If they think your content is rubbish, then expect them to leave the site. Think of it like a retail shop. If a customer walks in and the place is a mess with rude staff, they are going to run away. The same philosophy and principles apply here.


Is your current website converting as many customers as it could?


Most web companies will look at 2 things when working on your site – cost and functionality.

At hopping Mad Designs we don’t work that way – all our sites are designed and developed with user experience (UX) and consumer conversions in mind. We want your site to influence buyers decisions and keep them coming back for more. It’s a collaboration between us and you that does not end once the site is deployed – it’s a process of evolution. Working out what is working and fine tuning the site till it is that high performance engine is what we do best.

I Hate My CMS What Can I Do?

There are many reasons why a person would have a CMS and my pet favourite( as I hear this al the time) is the prices people have to pay just for the rights to use the CMS. Many web companies like to charge a monthly fee for the CMS. A total rip off yet people still pay for it, but it is one major reason why businesses hate their CMS. The monthly fee may be small but it all adds up and basically you are paying for nothing. A great reason to look for another CMS platform.


Another reason is access. Some CMS platforms will grant only limited access and deny you full access to your website. This is restricting and will limit the amends that you will be able to make to the website. If you feel that you do not have full site wide control then your CMS needs to be changed and you are obviously being held to ransom by your web provider. If this is the case don’t worry – give us a call here at Hopping Mad Designs 02 9360 8514 and we can fix things up quickly and easily.


What happens if you are using a custom made CMS by your website designer and they suddenly go out of business or you are unable to contact them. This is quite common and if this happens to you then basically you are stuck with a website that has a CMS that no one else can use. Again, don’t stress too much. We can transfer over all the artwork files to a new WordPress CMS in a couple of days. Simple solution that will solve a lot of problems.


Never be afraid to let your web developer know your thoughts about the CMS system. There is always a solution and if they get childish over your requests, simply move to another platform. You don’t have to settle for an average CMS solution when there are just so many much better alternatives available.

Why Every Web Page is a Landing Page

This is the reason why every page is a landing page.

Suppose you are looking for a particular service, say a good law firm for example. You are online doing your research and you click on a link that takes you to an internal page of a law firms website. You are not on the glitzy home page, but a rather text heavy, boring internal page about the firms values. However, interesting this may be for someone looking for this information, for you, unfortunately, this is a complete waste of time and guess what happens next? You exit the website. That’s right a potential good customer has just left your web page and gone looking elsewhere. This is why each individual landing page has GOT to have a clear navigation structure and information funnels to guide the user to either the home page or an inquiry form. Simple as that. Either you treat each page on your website with the same amount of importance and have those visible customer friendly hot boxes, or you will be penalising yourself. In short, each page on your website is it’s own home page. Or better still, each page is a micro website. If you can get your head around this then you are well on the way to better on site conversions and in turn a higher inquiry rate.


Some great characteristics what a landing page should have.

1) The title is the first thing that every good landing page should have. This is done with your developer but it should accurately describe what the page is about. This is also what Google will read so for EO and indexing this page correctly, the title is going to make a massive difference to site visitors and ultimately conversions.

2) Have a large very visible heading. Users need to know what they page is about once they land on it. If the search query that they put into Google roughly matches the heading then this is a great start for the landing page. We call this site semantics and if this is executed properly you should see a bump upwards in your online rankings.

3) Does the landing page answer a specific question or solve a particular problem. People coming to your site, who have found it by conducting a search, are looking for a quick solution. Your landing page should be design and formatted in such a way that site visitors will be able to immediately see an answer or be able to buy what they came shopping for.

4) With Ecommerce shopping cart websites, each landing page must be aimed at converting the browser or potential customer into a paying customer. There is really no point in having the best looking home page which has a great Gooole ranking with enormous amount of traffic for your website, if the pages that really matter ( the product pages) look like they were developed in a day. Customers need to enjoy their browsing experience, not just for 1 page but for the entire site. You can add mobile version of the site to this equation as well. Poorly designed internal shopping cart pages will result in lost sales and unfortunately and I have seen this many times before, the death of the website and business. Whilst it may be a great idea and have loads of potential, if these internals are not converting users, then the site will fail – this is a 100% certain. In the web world especially when you are trying to sell a product, a near enough attitude will not suffice anymore.



As a web designer and someone who firmly believes in the power of online marketing, I cannot emphasise enough how vital it is to optimise each page of your website for conversions. As a great example, just have a look around each page of this website and will clearly see how most ( not every landing page) has been treated graphically for better conversions.

Invest In The Web Design Process

Your Website is a Powerful Marketing Platform, use is wisely.


Businesses are starting to realise the power that is hidden in their website. Let’s go back a few years and look at what was happening online. Businesses could rank their website easily on Google and traffic ( including inquiries) would pour in. People were far less critical of websites and basic online expectations and user experiences were quite low. That is, people we just happy to find the site and make an inquiry.


Today, however, people demand a lot more from websites and expect to be wowed when they land on a site. Combine this with social media engagement, blogging and the competitive nature of the digital space, and you have a recipe for  websites that need to be designed and developed to a much higher standard.


Hence, websites if poorly designed, built and marketed, will fall flat. This is the end result of clients wanting to invest little time and money into their now, main marketing medium. If people are willing to spend accordingly and invest dollars into their website, without the usual cutting of budgets, they will see the benefits flowing through.


A good tip here for people wanting to get a website developed is look for a company that’s going to charge a proper amount for their time and design abilities. If you decide to partner with a web design company Sydney that offers templates at a cheap price, expect to receive just that in return. A dud!

Most Businesses are asking for WordPress for their Website Design

Why is a WordPress Website So Popular?

There is no definitive answer for this, but I can make an educated guess and its because businesses are getting annoyed using CMS platforms that they:


  • have to pay monthly expensive fees for the rights to use the intellectual property of the CMS. What  I mean by this, is that some web design companies will build your website using their own custom made CMS, which has some seriously bad ramifications. I wont go into the full extent of these now, but one main issue is that you are tied to that web company forever. If you ever want to move your site away, you can’t do this. You are stuck with them as they will not release the source codes for the CMS. I have seem this happen to hundreds of times and the end results are never pretty.


  • Have limited control over the content and they site in general – for example, some CMS platforms do not allow for the website to be converted to mobile friendly or touch friendly websites. WordPress has simple plug ins that do allow for design flexibility and the ability for easy browser viewing conversion.


  • Are unhappy with the CMS performance and usability.



People have finally woken up to the fact that a website is there as a marketing tool. It is simply not a set and forget instrument for your business.

Businesses that have embraced WordPress are now finding a level of flexibility in content creation and site functionality that they have never had before.

The days of businesses settling for any CMS solution for their website are over. Education and past experiences have opened the eyes of many people who want the best CMS possible for their site.


I must say that it’s refreshing to work with people who now understand the value and importance of a website and how vital a WordPress content management system platform is in facilitating this.

Retail eCommerce Websites Have Finally Woken Up.

For years, I have witnessed major retail brands settling for second best and treating their website as a secondary marketing tool. That is until now, where I have seen a major shift in retailers attitude towards their digital environment.

What has happened is that most major retail chains, have seen physical foot traffic at their stores go down, combine this with high rents, staffing issues and the website, now seems like a great marketing alternative to focus on.

Retailers have also discovered the wonders of utilising social media and content marketing through their blog as a way of engaging with their audience and customer base. Their website is the perfect medium to bring all  these external marketing platforms together nicely.

What I can tell you is that most successful online retailers have begun to treat their website with a level of respect that was unbelievable in the past.

Retailers are now looking at using credible web agencies, and are prepared to pay for this service to manage and bring to the table, new ideas that will ensure users not only find the website ( through SEO), but make a purchase. They are relying on these agencies more and more to add value on a constant basis to their site and in a way be a online business consultant. This is becuase there are so many variables when it comes to the online world, that the Australian retailer now needs serious professional help.

Old school retailers, who have not updated their site in years are now contacting us at Hopping Mad Designs to help them stem the tide of sliding revenues and turn their website into a profit making machine.

It’s truly amazing. It’s like the wool has been peeled back over their eyes and they can now visualise what their eCommerce website can actually do for them. As an example have look at the way retailers are now incorporating Instagram into their website and using this tool to get business.

The future is now and the clever retailers have finally woken up and discovered a wonderful thing called a website!


Make 2014 the year you conquer Social Media.

In our digital environment, there are clear benefits to making smart use of social media platforms.


But, social media content is rarely given the time, investment and professionalism required. You wouldn’t write your own TV commercial, so why would you write your social media content?


If you want results, quality professional content is key. To help Australian businesses answer their content needs, Hopping Mad Designs has partnered with the expert writing team at Quip Creative, to form Web Content Creators.


Web Content Creators offers a cost-effective content subscription service that combines our knowledge of digital platforms with Quip’s expert wordsmiths, to offer an affordable content solution.


You simply sign up to a plan that suits your marketing budget and needs. Our writers will deliver original, professional and tailored content, ready for you to publish on your website, e-newsletter, social media accounts and more.


Our writers for blogs, websites and articles are professionals, and our content is written specifically for you.


It’s easy, it’s professional and it works. Make 2014 the year you get more from social media with a Web Content Creators subscription. One monthly article costs less than a print campaign, yet the potential audience is exponential.


Sign up today, at


If you have a website, especially one that is an eCommerce store, you need, just like retail outlets, to have the highest amount of passers by and exposure. The only feasible way online to achieve this desired level of traffic is through a search engine optimisation campaign.

Generating interest and users to your site, is best if it is positioned on page 1 of Google. Similar to a bricks and mortar outlet, you really want to be situated with the highest amount of foot traffic.

An SEO (search engine optimisation) campaign, if handled by a proper agency will bring you the highest volumes of web traffic and in turn drive sales and revenue.


What is Search Engine Optimiation?

“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the technique of bettering the organic rankings of a website on all the search engines. That is, the non paid rankings.


How is Your Website Ranking Determined?

Your websites overall ranking is determined by a huge amount of variables:

– how relevant is your website in relation to the keyword search performed by the user.
– the content on your website and how it relates to the search query. Content and the way it is formatted will have a massive impact in your online rankings.
– your URL structure ( website semantics) and site description as well as headings.
– in bound links from high page rank sites.
– your social media activity and how popular your site is amongst other users – are people talking about your site, recommending it to other users and is there online chatter about your site?
– internal graphics, site speed, bounce rates and the way users interact with individual landing pages.

All of the above factors are small pieces in a huge jigsaw puzzle, that help determine your Google ranking, but implementing proper SEO strategies, by a credible SEO firm, your companies website can over time, improve it’s organic, natural rankings.

A point to note here: Search Engine Optimisation is sometimes handled by companies that have little idea about what they are doing. SEO is a very complicated process and if you are truly serious about getting as far up on the rankings as possible, then this MUST be done by a SEO team that has a past credible and proven SEO history. Going down the path of working with a company that has discounted its rates to get your business will only end up badly!

The following Awesome Search Engine Optimisation Tips outlined below are simple to implement and will ensure that your website has the best chance of ranking and being the best sales person for your business tht it can be!


10 Awesome Search Engine Optimisation Tips

 1. In bound links from external, relevant websites will do wonders.

Without doubt if you had to mention 1 awesome factor that will help with your websites SEO, is the amount of relevant links to your website from other industry respected websites. If for example you are a electrician, then in bound links from respected trade journals, will help propel your website to page 1. 

These type of inbound links from websites, blogs, social media platforms and various articles will help the search engines find your website, index the pages and if there is enough of these types of links, then the positive, great rankings will surely follow.

I like to think of it like the ‘unpopular kid’ at school. If this child starts hanging out with the popular kids then he/she in turn will also start to become popular. This is the theory of inbound links in it’s most crude format – if your website is attached to popular sites, then your new site will become popular and surge in the SEO rankings.

Another way to think of it is like votes. An in bound link is a vote and the more votes you have the more the better it is for your website. A really important point to note here is that, it is nor the quantity of inbound links, BUT the quality. If yu have too many links from poor ranking websites that are not relevant to your business, then Google will treat these as spam, and you will be penalised for this.

2. The Search Engines Appetite for New Content is Insatiable

A search engine is a very hungry beast. All it wants is text and information. The more you can satisfy this hunger the more you will rank. Also known as content marketing, providing web pages of text will with SEO rankings. Images, animation and photos are not entirely SEO friendly, BUT text is, so the more you can publish on your website or blog, the better it will be for you.

The main aim of search engines like Google or Yahoo, is to provide information for people looking for products, services or educational information. If you can provide this for the engines, then they will reward you by ranking these pages. Also if people find these pages and like what you have to say, they might recommend these pages/blog articles to friends, etc and this will also help boost your rankings.

A point to note here is that you need to keep all pages relevant, web URL’s consistent and make sure that the content is totally unique.


3. Keyword Research Will Matter.

Work out your target market, think about the types of keywords or phrases they will use for their search and develop micro web landing pages based on your findings.

If you are selling a specific type of tennis racket for example, develop a web pages specifically for this type and brand of racket, rather than just the generic term tennis rackets. Being specific and developing content around this product or service is an AWESOME SEO TIP.

If you are too generic, then you will be competing with more websites and this will be harder to rank. The more niche your market, the easier it is to rank a landing web page.

An point to note here, is that the content need to be between 1000-2000 words. Anything less may not be sufficient enough.


4. Keep your Web Pages Unique – Plagiarise at Your Own Peril!

There is really no point in taking someones else’s content and trying to pass this off as your own. The engines are far too smart for this and your page will NOT get ranked. Plagiarism is not on and if the original writer finds out about this, you may end up with some intellectual property issues.

The search engines need and absolutely love new content, so go the extra mile, spend the time and effort writing your own web copy and you will see your SEO rankings rise.


5. Make Your Websites Individual Pages Keyword Rich.

Of course you have to use keywords in you website, but make sure that you do not over stuff these pages with too many keywords.

Make sure that each page has it’s own unique keywords. Just because you may offer many services or lots of products, this doesn’t mean that you have to put all your keywords on 1 page. Spread them out evenly throughout your site and try to have keyword specific pages.

A good example of this is a law firm. They may offer many types of services in different areas of law, but this should not mean that they put all of these in 1 page. A good way to  work this in a SEO friendly manner is to have a services navigation tab and from there, you can have as many different pages as you like to reflect each individual service offering; divorce law, conveyancing, litigation, commercial law etc etc.

A point to note here is to write as though you were writing any article. Sure, use keywords, but write naturally, not for the search engines. Keyword stuffing on one page, sounds terrible and will not only annoy your readers but may appear spammy to the search engines. This is NOT ideal for SEO.

6. Does Your Site Take Forever to Load.

Try opening your website and see how long it takes to load. If it is more than 3 seconds then there is an issue. What you need to do is look at all your images and if there are videos, try to optimise them for web resolution; 72dpi. Slow loading sites are a SEO killer, but the fixes are simple and often very quick to implement.

If there is any type of flash animation anywhere on the site, get rid of these files immediately. Flash is also a SEO killer and this issue should be addressed immediately. Web animation was once popular but if your web design agency wants to do this then this is a critical  SEO mistake for a new website – be very aware of this!


7. When was the last time you updated text on your website?

If the answer is: I don’t know, then there is a problem. Search engines will keep coming back to your site to check for any new information. They preference and then rank pages that have new content because they try to deliver users up-to-date information. Just look at how quickly news websites have information indexed and ranked. It can be in as little as 5 minutes. Obviously, this will not happen for your website, but ideally you should be updating pages and content every week.

This may seem like a very arduous and time consuming task, but if you want to rank your website and are serious about SEO then this is something you MUST DO.

If you are stuck for content and can’t think of anything to write, then maybe chat with a web copywriter.


8. Have you Installed Google Analytics Yet?

This is a great tool provided by Google and is super easy to install. These analytics will allow you to analyse important data such as number of website visits, time spent on each page and more importantly, where they have come from. This is especially powerful if you have an eCommerce website and rely on these tools to examine and refine pages for optimum performance.

If you study your web results, you will find that some pages have a higher bounce rate than others, which is not ideal for SEO. Tweaking these pages and then going back in a couple of weeks to see how the results have changed is another awesome SEO tool.  Sign up for a Google analytics account, it’s free – give the code they provide you to your web developer who will be able to install it into your site.

9. Put a Blog on your Site.

Adding a blog to your site has 3 advantages and is another AWESOME Search Engine Optimisation TIP.

a) by adding content to your blog ( like I am doing now for the Hopping Mad Blog), will encourage the search spiders to keep coming back to your site – this is fundamental to SEO.

b) Make your blog interactive. What I mean by this is encourage readers to comment and leave their feedback. This interaction will keep users returning, perhaps referring other people to your blog, which is another AWESOME SEO technique. As long as users keep coming back to your blog or website, the engines will pick up on this and the reward for you is a better SEO profile.

c) Blogging keeps you thinking about your business and encourages you to interact with other bloggers and learn more about your industry online. You will find that if you start blogging for SEO, this will lead to other awesome avenues of getting your brand and business out there to a wider audience.

10. What are your competitors' doing?

I find a great way of looking at SEO is to study what my competition is doing. A yourself, why are their pages ranking on page 1 and yours not? When you type in industry specific keywords, why are your competitors always there, sometimes with 2 URL’s on the first page? If this is frustrating you, then all you need to do is study their pages., look at their content, the images, any videos, the website structure, as well as all the titles, and the way the URL matches the heading.

Looking at what your competition does and trying to emulate this is critical, but can be hard to implement if it is not fully understood. A DIY approach may cause you even more problems and harm your rankings further. I strongly urge you to deal with a SEO company for this so there are no stuff ups or errors made. Once you get your head around this, you can then have a go at it on your own. But NEVER EVER try this without getting specialist advice first.

I have been working with SEO for many years and helped many businesses throughout Sydney and Australia overcome very bad Google rankings by implementing some of the above AWESOME SEO strategies. These points are just a small portion of the entire SEO puzzle, but even if you follow just a few of these, you will over time, begin to see a change in your business websites rankings. Some points are easier to implement than others, but for you to really achieve successful organic rankings go and speak with a professional in this field.