Cheap Web Design is a Waste of your Money

Why is a Cost Based Solution Detrimental to your Website and Online Marketing?

There are so many answers to this question that I could literally write thousands of words on this topic. But due to the nature of my blogs I will try to keep it as brief as I can.

The first and over arching enemy of any website is lack of planning. Businesses might have a goal in mind, but if they are approaching a web developer based on the cheapest price they can give; the end result is likely to be far from what was expected. See, these web companies are more than happy to take your business and will say about anything to get you to sign on the dotted line. Once they get you in, they will design and develop a template for you without any consideration for the end result. Basically, you end up with a rehashed, standard, web template that has no reflection on your business or target market. You might think to your self how well you have done by getting the cheapest website around, but as soon as you launch it, your clients  ( if you have any) are going to notice what a poor looking site it is and you will pay the hefty price of lost business and clients deserting you. This unfortunately is the nature of the web – if people don't like what they see they will look elsewhere.

If you want your website to rank on Google then I can almost guarantee you that the cheapest web option is going to hamper and delay any sort of chance you have of ranking. Why? Because, these web and SEO cowboys are dodgy and have absolutely no idea about how Google works and what are the necessary ingredients that go into making a website Google compliant. Their main aim is to take you money and move on. They don’t care about website semantics, content, titles and all the other juicy goodies that go into your ‘on page’ optimisation.

Yes, you may get a very standard template but once launched you are never ever going to get to page 1 of Google. The only thing I can suggest is that you get a team like Hopping Mad Designs to design and develop your next website. This way you can be certain that your website WILL have a much better chance of getting to page 1.

If you rely on Google for driving new business and feel that you are getting no where with your current website, then get in touch with one of our SEO specialist who will be able to conduct a full website audit and make some great SEO suggestions.

Cheap website design makes your company look cheap. Think about it for a moment. A website is your window to the world. It is your store front online, so why would you look for a company that is going to put you at a disadvantage from the get go. Succeeding online and being competitive in the world where Google dictates the rules, means that you have to face some harsh facts and realities regarding your website. That is, you will need a hell of a lot more than a $300 dollar website if you are going to get clients and kick your competition aside.

Nowadays, there are far too many variables that go into making a website work, to leave it to a bunch of amateurs who out source all their work to India. If you are happy to do that, then well and good, but don't expect your website to generate any sales or inquiries. Expect it to fall FLAT on its face!

Some of those great ingredrients that all good websites need include:

Website copy: your content has to sell. It’s just too competitive online to trust anyone other than a copywriter to write your website copy. Online users will give you a few seconds and then make their choice whether they stay or disappear. Great content written by people that know what works online is going to give your website the competitive edge. And I am not containing this to the home page only. I mean site wide content, professionally written.
Social Media: one simple rule here, get on board or perish. Learn to love Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and integrate this into your website. Again, not many web companies can advice you on  ways to use these platforms to your advantage, hence the need to speak to people who have experience in this social media space. Wrong decisions from the outset and a lack of appreciation fro what’s possible online will end up costing you a fortune in potential new business.

Website Graphics: I see so many businesses that have really appalling websites. I am not joking when I tell you that it still amazes me how many big companies have lousy websites. And the worst part is that their last website can be less than a few years old. What happened is that they went for the cheap n nasty option and now their sales and online inquiries are shot to pieces.

Having your website created with people who have a strong graphic back ground is going to make a huge difference to how the site looks and what impression it makes. Spending the extra money now and getting a website designed by graphic experts will save you the hassle of having to do it all again in the short term.

Responsive Mobile Websites are now expected and I can assure you that being thrifty is not going to get you a site that renders on mobiles and tablets. All consumers and all your customers are now using their phones to buy products or search for services. If your website makes life difficult for this mobile base then….well you know what will happen! And if you don’t your competition will, as they scoop up your clients by the handful.

Conversion Rate Optimisation or CRO is all about converting those precious site visits into customers. Sure, you can get any old website design and yes you might be able to rank it on Google, BUT does it sell? Does it really funnel the clients right through to the buy button? Does it scream ‘we are the best’? And lastly, does it keep your customers coming back with easy navigation and user friendly graphics? If your website hasn’t been designed with CRO in mind then the potential for lost revenue grows with each missed opportunity. I cannot harp on this enough in this blog. That is, the web space is so competitive and so flooded with information that you have to make the best and seize every opportunity given to you. This is why it is imperative that you have a serious budget when looking for web designers. Being tight and overly frugal with the dollars is a sure way to sabotage your business.

The golden rule here for those businesses contemplating getting a website built is to look around and go with a company that can offer a complete digital strategy. Remember web design is only 1 very small component of the whole internet pie. Once you can understand this and once you are prepared to invest in the success of your website, then and only then will you have any chance of making your website the most powerful marketing and sales tool you always wanted it to be.

I am not writing this to try to pump up your price expectations before visiting us. I am however, concerned with the number of Australian businesses that fail online because:

– they are not willing to pay for a proper professional service that can help them
– do not understand the internet and are unwilling to learn. Basically, they have blind faith and put all their trust in some firm based in the sub continent or in a third world country.
– are far too ‘old school’ and are not open to new technologies or ways that can improve their bottom line.
– think that the website is just a brochure online and nothing more.
– the list goes on and on….

Anyways, if you would like to know what a great marketing tool your website can be, why not come in and chat with one of our web specialists here at HMD.


The advantages of having a mobile responsive web design

What are the Advantages of a Mobile Responsive Website?

The advantages to your business or company of having a responsive site are huge – in fact, there are so many of them I will try to list as many as I can think of.

1) You don’t annoy the new user base (that is the demographic aged 15-65) who basically consider their mobile devices as an extension of their body. By annoying I mean, they do not have to squint and navigate their way around a desktop site that is far too big for their screen. Essentially, they will just move on to another site that is far easier to browse on.

Related post: How to Increase the Sales Conversion Rate of My Website?

2) If you are selling a product online you make the whole eCommerce shopping experience so much easier by having the website developed specifically for this mobile market – if these guys can tap away happily, they will be more inclined to open their wallets and spend their money with you. The harder you make this experience, the more likelihood there will be shopping cart abandonment. PayPal tells us that Smartphones and tablets are everyday tools. In 2019, 73% of Aussies shopped on their mobile, and 55% of them did so every week. 20% of mobile shoppers abandoned a purchase because the experience wasn’t mobile-friendly. With these statistics in mind, it’s imperative that you make the eCommerce shopping experience as seamless as possible if you are going to capture a slice of this mobile ready-to-buy audience.

3) It will make SEO or search engine optimisation easier because all website URLS’ are the same, therefore you only need to optimise 1 website and this will transfer across all platforms. No matter the device, Samsung, Apple or whatever, a responsive design makes it far easier for Google to crawl the site, index it and in turn rank it. However, before you start jumping for joy and thinking that you are going to be on page 1 of Google for as soon as we build the site make sure you speak with us about our SEO services.

4) You will save vast amounts of money and time on any website changes that you need to be done. Why? Cause you only have to make 1 amend on the desktop version and this will transfer across all the other platforms. One amend and it’s done. Rather than do one for the desktop and one for the tablets and one for the mobile, this nifty technology does it in 1 go.

5) As stated above you will find that your customers will be happier which will result in higher conversions and lower bounce rates. This means more money in your bank account.

6) Your company looks more contemporary. It will make it appear more up to date with the latest technologies and this, in turn, will see your brand value skyrocket. Old outdated websites that look like they were built in the ’90s could be harming your image online. Think about this for a minute. Why would I shop with you, if your website looks horrible when a much more pleasurable experience is waiting for me 1 click away.

7) Blitz your competitors, blow them away and dominate your online space by being responsive. All you need to do is check your rivals website on your iPhone and if it looks unresponsive then go ahead and grab the advantage.

Steal their customers, plunder the market, divert all those juicy big new sales to your site and watch your profits rise. Your website is your showroom to the world. If you can make it as attractive as possible in the online environment, then you are going to smash your competition. This is 100% certainty.

8) If you have a current site that is not responsive and you want to take the plunge, this will force you into looking at your website from an entirely new perspective and may get you to look at your online marketing as a whole. Like a home renovation, you might only look at adding a deck out the back, but you end up remodelling the entire house. This is perfect for businesses that have been stagnant and somewhat lazy with their website, internet marketing, blogging, copy and social media. If it compels businesses to make positive changes in their approach to their business, through this one bit of new technology, then it’s a good thing. For example, I have seen businesses come into my office and want a small change to their website and after a 1-hour meeting, they have decided to re-evaluate their whole online position. In a way, it opens their eyes to the many great possibilities online.

OK where to from here…..if all this sounds like something you are after and you want to take the next step please contact the team at HMD and we will show you exactly what we can do for your website and bottom line.

5 Ways To Tell That Your SEO Team is Ripping You Off.

Are you not getting the kind of SEO results you were promised. Has your Google rankings been in a slump for the past couple of months; even more?

Maybe someone is not being completely honest with you about your SEO.

Updated by Joanna Basile on 25th May, 2020

Follow are some tell tale signs that your SEO agency has been ripping you off. After you’ve read this don’t get angry, just make the call or send the email and terminate your current SEO agency agreement. It’s as simple as that!

1) Long term SEO Contracts

This is a common occurrence and happens all the time with Sydney businesses. This is the worst type of SEO scam and is one of the quickest and easiest ways that you can get ripped off.

The way it works is that these SEO shonks will lock you into a 12 month contract and then pretend to do work. What happens is that they blame the poor, pathetic results, not on their lack of ability or work but on the Google algorithm. Most people go along with this but I am here to tell you that you need to open you eyes, wake up and know that you are getting completely ripped off every month when they deduct money off your credit card.

Also read20 Questions Your Potential SEO Partner Must Know

2. Zero transparency

If they do not or unable to provide you with an activity report at the end of every month then these guys are having a go. They are not providing these end of month reports simply because they are not doing anything. Or even worse, they are afraid to show you your rankings because they have completely tanked. Ask yourself this question; what the hell are you paring for each month if you can’t get an activity statement.  Letting this go by and not taking action is letting these guys off the hook and basically they are taking your money. You would not allow anyone else to do this so why be complacent when it comes to your internet marketing.

3. They outsource all their work

This is a major turn off. Ideally you want a local Sydney based company to be working on your SEO, NOT someone sitting at a desk half way around the world. You want them to be accountable and you want to be able to have meetings face to face whenever you want. Yes, outsourcing your SEO to third world countries is a cheaper option, but what’s the level of work you are getting and is it completely Google compliant. Honestly, I would say that you are getting shafted and more than ripped of if it is going to India – get your money back, do whatever it takes and make it happen immediately. Trusting these guys with your SEO is like going there for a medical procedure. You wouldn’t do it so why would you trust these guys with your business. Its insanity and ultimately you will be paying a heavy price as these SEO scam artists start to ruin any chance you have of ranking.

Don’t get me wrong here and don’t think that I am painting everyone with the same brush, but overall in my many years of SEO experience, outsourcing is SEO death. If you don’t believe me give it a try for a coup0le of months and see the results you get. My phone number is here 02 9360 8514, and I am available for a counselling session after you deal with these guys!

4. Excessive link building & no content marketing

Guess what, Google’s latest updates now requires you to be adding content to your website and I mean adding content on a very regular basis. If you are not aware of this and have not been told about the importance of blogging or content marketing, then I can tell you 1 thing for sure. Your SEO team are just building links. Again, guess what happens when you only focus on link building? You contravene a Google rule and your site will get penalised for over optimisation. SEO companies keen to get your business and lock you into a contract will say almost anything to you so you believe them. They will out right lie to you over the phone and completely BULLSH** you to get you to sign on the dotted line. They wont however, tell you what is required in order to rank. This is because their core business is all about turn over – see once you sign up they basically don’t give a stuff about you and its all about the next sale. BE WARNED about this and be especially aware of non disclosure of topics like blogs and social media. For these guys you are just another number a blip on their sales chart.

5. Cheap SEO prices

Whilst you might think you are smart by going for the cheapest SEO quote, I can tell you from experience that this is again a path to tears, ranking drops and being treated like a second rate citizen. Cheap SEO fees mean 1 thing and 1 thing only, cutting corners, insanely stupid back links and the worst type of customer service you are likely to get.

I often get calls from people wanting me to do their SEO but they try to price shop and say that the other SEO company is offering a better deal. All I say is good luck to them. If they are prepared to trust their marketing to someone who acts like it’s a Persian bazaar then they are going to get what they deserve.


How to Recognise the TOP 4 Dodgy SEO Practices

SEO in the past has been often misunderstood. Businesses used to engage a company, let them do what they have to do, and hope for the best.

They put full trust in these providers and believed all the lies and stories they were told. Businesses would go down this path blindly for years, paying in some cases, huge amounts of money for little return and very poor rankings.

Nowadays, and I have really noticed this recently, the public has woken up and is very aware of the SEO scams and the right questions to ask a supplier. They have become much less trusting and are really making decent, honest website design and SEO companies like us jump through many hurdles before they are prepared to commit. That’s totally fine, cause we do not hide anything and are prepared to answer all those difficult questions, all fully backed up by proven results. This is why so many businesses and companies in Sydney trust Hopping Mad Designs with their Search Engine Optimisation.

Anyway enough of the self-promotion….read these and absorb them well, so next time you are looking for an SEO company you WILL KNOW WHAT  TO AVOID.

1. They are promoting a Page 1 Guarantee

This is a laugh and anyone who says this should be avoided. So let’s be totally honest here and lay our cards on the table. No one and I mean absolutely nobody can guarantee anything, least of all a page 1 position on Google. Why? Cause nothing in Google land ever stays the same. The algorithms are always changing and rankings are consistently fluctuating. This is the nature of the search results and the search engines. NEVER, for 1 minute believe that your SEO company can get you to page 1. Sure, if they are any good they might give your website a better chance/percentage of a good ranking BUT nothing is certain.

So why do these SEO companies offer a page 1 guarantee without getting the pants sued off them? It’s very simple and quite sneaky. What they do is offer to rank a large number of keywords. Perhaps 15, 20 or even 30. You as the customer get excited thinking that all these keywords are going to be ranking on Google ( cause they guaranteed it). What they didn’t tell you is that they will rank your NON CORE UNCOMPETITIVE keywords that have absolutely no value or web traffic.

As an example, any SEO team can guarantee a page 1 ranking for: ‘left-handed plumbers based in Timbuktu’ BUT to rank ‘ plumber Sydney’ is another story. This is the money keyword and the one you want to be ranked BUT I can bet any money that they won’t be able to do this and this keyword will be outside the guarantee.

So before you fall for the baloney about Page 1 Ranking Guarantees ask them exactly what keywords will they guarantee. Say to them’ ‘page 1 for what?’ If they can’t answer this to your satisfaction get rid of them. Remember, you want to rank on page 1 for your 6 top keywords NOT your bottom 6 keywords that no one will be searching for. These SEO agencies are out to rip as much money out of you as they can so be very careful before you sign on the dotted line. Google even tells us that if they guarantee you that their changes will give you first place in search results, find someone else.

2. They ShowYou Google Analytics which is really not SEO

This is a beauty and a favoured smoke n mirrors tactic. Sure Google Analytics is a great tool for dissecting and analysing web traffic, but it is not SEO. Let’s be very clear about this. If your SEO company is showing you Analytics as part of their SEO performance then they are pulling the wool over your eyes. Because these SEO guys are doing nothing, they need to at least show you some statistic or graphs to get you to pay for the next month of SEO. They might say things like, there has been 80 visits to such and such a page this month compared to last month where there were only 60 visits. BIG DEAL! This is not SEO. This is a statistic, which may be useful but it doesn’t explain or show what they have been doing the last month for their money. It’s a complete con, a sham, a trick to make you think that they are doing something, when in fact they are not.

Traffic to your website is going to occur regardless of your SEO campaign or not.  If all you receive is an Analytics breakdown, then rest assured you are getting ripped off.

3. SEO takes a lot of time and work

SEO takes time. There is no way around this and if you think that you can get a ranking quickly then you are dreaming. It’s a fool’s paradise and if you see your competitors ranking quickly above you, then they have spammed their way to the top. And guess what’s going to happen? A google penalty. That’s right, their site will get pinged by the search engine for somehow manipulating their authority and they will pay the price. This is certain. SEO takes time and if you are SEO impatient then you will land up in serious trouble.

SEO is a full-time job for some businesses. You need to be constantly adding content and looking at improving the performance of your website. Managing your social media, addressing page fluctuations, looking at your ‘on page’ variables and all this needs lots of love and attention. Simply back linking is not enough, in fact, if Google sees this type of inorganic activity then this could be reason enough to have your website devalued. See, the point I am trying to make here is that your website needs to appear as though it is a source of information. A ‘go to’ place for anything industry related. It’s all about building your brand and authority online. Pretty similar to what I am doing with this Hopping Mad blog. I am always adding content, pages and monitoring my rankings. And this is what needs to be done with your website if there is any chance of it ranking.

Make sure you ask your SEO provider what they are doing each month. Don’t just sit idly by and pretend that this is a necessary monthly expense. Really hammer them on what they have been doing and why they are unable/able to rank pages within your site.

Google loves unique content that is engaging and fresh, with links from relevant websites that steadily increase.  Achieving these outcomes, therefore, requires real people doing real things – teams of people writing a high-quality unique content and actively building your businesses profile across the web. Search Engine Land tells us that content should be your first priority when thinking about SEO. Quality content is how you engage, inform, support and delight your audiences.

You should ask your SEO providers how much work goes into your campaign each month. How much labour was spent on your campaign, and what did they actually do?  You should ask to see the actual work if link building is part of the campaign. Don’t be shy to ask, the results might actually be quite illuminating.

4. Please sign a 12-month contract

Watch out! The old 12-month contract is an SEO killer and you should never put pen to paper if they ask this. OMG, I have seen so many disaster stories when companies have done this. They believe the hype and BS, surrounding SEO and unfortunately get locked into a long term contract.
There are many reasons why it’s ok to sign up with a hosting company or a mobile phone company BUT when it comes to SEO, this should be month-to-month. Why? Cause these guys need to be showing you their monthly performance and only get paid if you are happy with what you see. Contracts lead to complacency and you WILL FIND that after say 3-4 months your rankings will start to slide. PLUS these types of players looking to lock you down are really dodgy ones and you will be stuck with 12 months BAD SEO, which is going to kill any chance you have of ranking no and in the future.

I’m telling you, readers, out there – stay well away from SEO contracts – it’s like burning your cash or throwing it away. Make them prove their value rather than blind faith that they will do the right thing by you.

Interesting Social Media Statistics for Australia in June 2014

Check these Social Media Statistics Australia – June 2014

  1. Facebook – 12,300,000 users
  2. YouTube – 11,500,000 Unique Australian Visitors
  3. – 6,159,000
  4. LinkedIn – 4,125,000
  5. Blogspot – 3,050,000
  6. Twitter – 3,733,300 Active Australian Users
  7. Instagram – 1,860,000 Active Australian Users
  8. TripAdvisor – 2,100,000
  9. Tinder – 1,250,000 Australian users – this one is really amazing considering that this is a dating website
  10. Pinterest – 890,000
  11. Google Plus –85,000 monthly active Australian users – this figure is somewhat disappointing as Google was really hoping to take on Facebook with their own version – unfortunately it failed and these results are the worst for the online media giant.


  • Instagram – this is the surprise of the social media platforms with a huge uptake – everyone I know is on this and it is growing by the day. If you are not on there get on it ASAP. This has taken off like wildfire and yes it might take a while to get your head around it but believe me when I tell you that this is a massively popular platform.
  • Twitter – this is a no brainer, everyone and most businesses are on Twitter, so start tweeting.
  • Without doubt Facebook is the king of all social media platforms – there are no rivals and it has absolute authority in this space. If you have a business and you do not have a business profile of Facebook for your website, then you are really behind in the game. In fact, ignoring FB, could be quite damaging for your brand. Users expect now to see that your business has an active FB profile – its really a must have web add on.
  • LinkedIn has a stable user base and is always a favourite for professionals and businesses.
  • Tinder has around 1 million Australian active users, which is really quite unbelievable cause it is really a start up – goes to show you how quick Aussies (especially singles) are happy to get online.

Of course it’s very difficult and time consuming to be on all these platforms. My advice is to choose 1 or 2 of them and be very good at these. Over stretching yourself and trying to be at all places at once is going to dilute your message. Being a master of say Facebook and being active on there daily will be a hell of a lot better than publishing small amounts of content, news or specials over 10 platforms. Be realistic with what you can do, set your marketing intentions and be committed to engaging your client base with regular and interesting updates. There are business out there that rely completely on social media, so rather than ignoring and thinking that this is a passing fad, it’s a better idea to join the masses. Being left behind only means that you will have to play catch up with your competitors.

Make your choice wisely. Be careful and study what your customer base is using and then market for them. No point being on Facebook when your clients are all on Instagram. It’s a pity cause you are going to loose business and be selling to the wrong kind of people. As always if you are unclear about this or need some advice please call us at Hopping Mad Designs