Why your website MUST NOT be a DIY project

Most new business start ups are looking to save as much money as they can. Ideally, they want to minimise their risk and the best way to do this is start the business with as little cash outlay as possible.

One of the best ways they can trim their start up budget is with their website. The logic behind this is why should they spend thousands of dollars getting a website designed and built by a professional design agency when they can get a free WIX, Squarespace, Weebly or WordPress template?

Free websites are for the most part; great looking, easy to use and will suffice for your customers. The popularity of these free websites shows exactly how many business owners behave when it comes to their website.

But, this is where the real problems and issues begin because like anything provided free of charge, there are some nasty repercussions and this blog will highlight the serious nature and problems of getting a free website for your business.

Let me be perfectly clear about this….taking a DIY approach to your website is a really bad idea. Here’s why….

I have noticed the rising trend in the amount of phone calls I have been receiving lately from people saying things like: I got a free website template and I hate it or I have tried to update the website and can’t figure out what to do, or the website has been live for 12 months and I can’t find it on Google, or my website doesn’t work, its not bringing in the business I expected.

These complaints are common and they are all down to one thing; their free websites don’t perform as expected.

a) Lack of any sense of design.

These sites all look the same. There is nothing unique of different. A drop and drag approach to design is not enough to stand out in the digital space today. Your site needs personality, a creative flair to get the customers ringing. Plus these sites have little thought to the user experience or site architecture. It’s all about making things as easy as possible for the DIY web builders. This unfortunately, means that the sites are all homogenous, dangerously similar looking, and overwhelming lacking in any design flair.

b) How’s your image editing skills?

You need great looking photos, images and graphics on your website. The consumer expects this. If you use a free template and your photoshop and image editing skills are poor, your website will look really bad. To keep people on your website and enticing them to buy or inquire from it, will all depend on the user experience. Free DIY websites are notorious from really low customer conversion rates. This has the rapid flow on effect of a lack of sales leads, poor revenues and eventually closing the business OR looking at starting again. You can see the pattern emerging here. Lack of design combined with a less than satisfactory user experience can possible lead to radically reduced business leads. So the dollars you save at the beginning, could end up costing your dearly.

c) If you rely on Google, DIY websites are the death of your rankings.

These websites are infected with malware. I’m not just saying this lightly but we get heaps of calls from people that have had malware and viruses put into their website as they are very easy targets. Google detects this and this has nasty consequences for your SEO.

Also, if you try to DIY your website and implement all your ‘on page’ content, titles and descriptions, how do you know you are doing it correctly/ So many people can’t understand why their site is on page 10 of Google and when I look at their SEO attempts I see why. Put simply, it is very unlikely that a website built with a generic website template can ever hope to out perform a competitor’s website at on page 1 of Google, who have had their website professionally built with a strong focus on SEO.

The chances are next to nothing and if Google is important to the survival of your business, this point alone should be ringing alarm bells. Don’t try to implement your own SEO thinking that just because you could figure out how to launch your own site, that your SEO will be as easy. It won’t and you will end up in all sorts of issues with Google. If you don’t believe me try it out and see for yourself.

For Google to rank a website the coding must be pristine and all the on page SEO must be immaculate. Templates do not deliver this outcome.

In conclusion

You might like to try a DIY patio, or outdoor decking, but when it comes to your website and it’s digital marketing you have to leave it to the experts.

Four reasons why we really love WordPress websites

One really interesting point to note before I begin is that WordPress powers nearly 25% of the internet – can you see why we love it so much. It’s that popular for a good reason.
It’s Super Google-friendly.
Let’s be very real here. You want your website to rank on Google it’s as simple as that. WordPress websites have the inbuilt functionality to adjust all titles and description in real time so that your website is very Google compliant. Plus all the add – ons and security features make this CMS platform the golden child in the eyes of Google. At Hopping Mad Designs we have migrated websites over to WordPress from other platforms and have seen SEO rankings shoot up immediately just because we have transferred  the site over to WP.

It’s amazing how quickly Google responds to this. A point to note here is that if you are migrating a website over to WordPress you do need to implement a whole lot of whats called: ‘301 redirects’. So speak to us before you do anything as you certainly do not want to compromise any Google rankings you have. Having said that we will migrate your old website over to a WordPress with all the love and care it deserves so you preserve and improve on those precious Google rankings.

It’s Extremely easy to understand and use.
Like all businesses things change. Staff come and go, services are added, new product lines are introduced and you want to be able to have the ability to add and delete website content whenever you like. WordPress facilitates this like no other CMS platform we have ever used in the past. OMG…it’s so simple to use. All you need to do is get into the back end through a very secure admin area and the rest is child’s play. You will get the hang of it within 10 minutes.

WordPress is totally intuitive, meaning that you can add content, blog posts (blogging is great for SEO), images, products, shopping carts, news items, social media…what ever you can think of, WordPress will do it. On top of all this, when you get Hopping Mad to design and build your next website, we will train you in WordPress – this is all part of our great customer service.

It’s very flexible.
People sometimes think that because we build our websites using WordPress we are using a free theme which is very common amongst some websites. A lot of businesses actually use these themes and they work to some extent quite well. BUT, the beauty of WordPress is that we use the CMS as the building blocks for a custom-built website. See, every site we design is completely customised based on your business. Remember you are coming to us because you want you website to look completely different from anything else.

WordPress is so flexible that is allows us to get in there and create a stunning, unique looking website all within its CMS platform. PLUS WordPress allows us to design your website so that it’s mobile friendly. It’s absolutely FANTASTIC! Image, you get a completely customised website that is going to render perfectly on your mobile phone that is super easy to update.

It’s an open source platform.
This is a really important feature of WordPress & all business owners should sit up and pay attention to this 1 point if any. It is really a BIG ONE!
Ok, what does open source platform mean? It means that developers from around the globe are all working on WP to improve its usability. It is open to everyone. This means that any programmer can use it from any where in the world.

So how can this benefit my business I hear you ask? Let’s say for example you have had your website built by a company that uses it’s own in house CMS platform. This means you are essentially, tied to that web development agency for the life of the website. You are stuck, you cannot go anywhere, and if this turn sour, you are stuffed cause they own the CMS. I have seem these types of web design / client relationships turn really nasty cause the web developer will not relinquish their CMS access to the client when the relationship goes belly up. With WordPress you are not tied to anyone agency. Being open source gives your the business freedom to take your website anywhere you like.

Believe me when I tell you that this is a real issue for many people who get caught out being stuck with a bad web agency and MUST use their CMS. Basically, you have to throw you website away and start again from the beginning. In some cases this is fine but just imaging if you have a massive eCommerce site…how can you simply delete it? WordPress = Freedom! Do not forget this fact.

As your WordPress website designers and developer in Sydney, we’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have about using WordPress.

Obviously this blog tells you why we love WordPress but as a web , SEO and digital agency we do so much more than just working with WP. Why not give us a call on 02 9360 8514 to see how we can help grow your business online and get all those new sales leads that are out there waiting to be had.

10 Content Marketing Predictions for 2022

Updated 21 Sept 2021

1) Artificial Intelligence is going to affect search

With more people on their phones than ever, users are using artificial intelligence like Siri to help search queries. As soon as this starts to gather momentum we are going to see Google look at this very seriously. So rather than users searching for particular keywords, the searches will be more about phrases or questions. If this is the case then content marketing will play a huge role in your SEO campaign. Essentially the most you have out there; and this includes a well-structured FAQ page, the better chance your website will be found in the search results. Also, Google AI will never let things rest in the race for AI dominance in the search. If they see a rise ( and there is a huge uptake in this technology) in this type of search, they will definitely skew their search algorithm towards this.

2) Short snappy videos that cut through

Think Snap Chat. Think user attention spans and think how competitive the online space is. The way to cut through the noise and promote your brand will be through videos that are quirky, engaging and less than 10 seconds. I have seen the most incredible short videos on websites and social media platforms like Instagram that are so well done and so engaging that it really sticks with me. Shorter the better….but make it action-packed so it stands out and cuts through. Oberlo tells us that the preference for video content is not just limited to entertainment purposes. Video extends to brands. Studies show that 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.

Related Article: Benefits of Corporate Video Production

3) 5G is here and so are streaming videos

Lightning-fast internet speeds are going to make videos irresistible to both the consumer and the seller. If the technology is here then use it and this is where content meets video on steroids. Embrace the power and speed of the internet with professional videos and great copy.

Social media channels like Facebook Live, Twitter video embeds make video content marketing very powerful marketing and sales tool. It doesn’t matter who you are selling to, what your niche is, you will need videos to enhance and further promote your brand.

4) Visually exciting content is ‘the go’

Plain text is boring. Companies wanting better engagement with their audiences will use graphics to get their message out there to their customer base. Content marketing and copywriting is key to this, whether in the form of; infographics, animated gifs, videos or more realistic images on their website. The more visually exciting you make your business online in 2022, the greater will be your cut through rate. I include web banners in this as well, because ‘above the fold’ is where the action is happening and this is where you need to focus on your customer conversion rates. Having attention-grabbing web banners with ‘in your face’ copy is what will sell. If you don’t have this, expect sales leads and enquiries to slow down. The new buzzword in 2022 is conversion rates and making sure that customers who land on your website actually engage with it. I have written about this topic on this blog and you can discover more here at Category: Conversion Rate Optimisation

5) Reviews and testimonials

With businesses focusing on getting their customers to review and recommend their websites on platforms like Google, customers will rely heavily on brand devotees before they make a purchase.

Lets’ be honest here. Anyone can post a fake review and we see competitors do this to other businesses that they deem a threat all the time. This is why in 2022 businesses need to get fans to rave about them and use this content in all their marketing. Review sites are getting more popular and most people will Google “ company name and then review’ so you need to market positive reviews whenever they come in. We absolutely love Trust Pilot and what they have been able to do as a trusted third-party review platform. We encouraged an online travel agent to sign up to Trust Pilot and you can see how effective it’s been at getting reviews here.

6) People want answers very quickly

2022 will be the year that all websites need to address questions or search queries smartly. As stated about this all needs to be above the fold in clear concise information. For example: “ need a plumber in Sydney within 1 hour – call us for immediate help’ OR ‘ thinking about getting a divorce? Speak to us before you do anything’ OR ‘ fed up with wearing glasses? Laser eye surgery in 30 min is now possible, speak to us’. These are the questions that need to be in banners and in prominent positions on your website.

7) Ephemeral marketing for 2022

Blogs can be difficult to read and time-consuming. Marketers are looking for the next big thing that creates a sense of urgency and need to buy now scenario. Snapchat is a great example where information is displayed briefly to the user and then gone. It’s cool new alternative channels where content is key to engagement that will be the next big thing moving forward. If it’s hip and cool, then you want your business to be associated with this.

8) Quality content and videos over quantity

2022 is the year that businesses and marketers realise that they simply can’t pump content out there in an ad hoc manner in the hope of saturating the market. This no longer works as the digital space is way too crowded. Everyone is pumping out bits of information without any planning or insight into consumer behaviour. It’s now quality over quantity. Rather than posting 4 blogs per month, why not do 1 that is really a cut above the rest, with great video content and rich copy. Include testimonials, case studies, whatever, just make it super informative with a killer copy. It’s content like this that gets traction and in turn, will boost website traffic and conversions.

9) User interface is the new norm for website revamps

As a web design agency our focus has shifted over the years and this will only amplify in 2016, to a better easier to use custom user interface. Mobile technologies are slimming websites to make them easier to read and engage. The UX for all websites moving forward will have to take this into account. Concise, seriously conversion orientation graphics with a strong call to action are now site mandatories. 2022 = less waffle and straight to the point.

10) Social Media to break into more B2B content marketing plans

Social media will play a bigger part in content strategies. Platforms like LinkedIn are without a doubt a must, but Facebook and how businesses integrate their new features are going to start to play a bigger part in 2016. Luckily we have some serious Facebook addicts here at Hopping Mad Designs that know how all these new features work and how to put it to good effect for your business. If you want more visibility and higher click through rates, we can help you achieve this.

10 TIPS to get more sales leads from your website

Websites are just the beginning of your marketing journey. They are there to promote your business but the trick is; how do you get people to actually find your website. In today’s highly competitive digital space you need to bring as many potential customers through to your site. To do this you need to follow these great tips. Following these will, I promise bring in more leads. Ignore them at your own peril.
Awesome Tip # 1 to bring in sales leads: You have to start and SEO campaign. Without doubt, having your website ranking on Google for your main core service or product keywords is going to be the cornerstone of your lead generation. At Hopping Mad Designs I have personally helped new business start ups, reach thousands of unique online searches per month within 6 months. This means they are now getting more people looking at their website within a year than most of their competition, all due to an SEO campaign. SEO crosses all industry types, niches, sizes and boundaries. It is not geo specific or limited to a certain age group or demographic. Put simply, everyone on this planet (especially in Australia) uses Google and if your business is not on there you might as well close your doors. Google is about as real as it gets online.

A word of warning here: choose your SEO agency wisely as going for agencies that offer unrealistic Google rankings or over optimistic promises or seriously cheap packages to buy your business is not a good idea.

Because SEO is fundamental to the success of your business I do urge you to spake with me before you start any type of SEO campaign.

Awesome Tip # 2 to generate more sales leads: Get social and start engaging with your customer base through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus. If you have read this far you are probably thinking why do I need to bother with social media if all I have to do is concentrate on my SEO. Well, the answer is simple. People basically live on their mobile phones and when they are not talking on them, they are on social media. This is where your business needs to be front and centre. Being noticed on these platforms is a very quick, in fact instant way of getting your business or corporate message noticed.

If you have a product you need to promote, some type of special or sales, perhaps you would like to promote a new product line, introduce a new staff member, basically anything news worthy can be posted or published on your social media pages. The more people you have following you, the greater your penetration into the market and in turn, the higher the sales leads. Platforms like Facebook & Instagram are the perfect channels to get your message across. Watch what happens to your business once you start to get serious about this.


We can help you generate a serious amount of new sales leads!

A point to note here is that you need to be really careful what you put out there online. You need to have a social media strategy as posting ambiguous, irrelevant content just for the sake of it will NOT WORK. Again, like with your SEO, I recommend talking to an agency like ours that cam implement this for you. We can customise a package that you will find very affordable yet effective.

Awesome Tip # 3 to to get better quality sales leads: Start blogging today. Blogging for your business is a great way to communicate through your website any interesting news or information your customers might be searching for. Blogging positions your business as a market leader and helps you dominate and control your niche through lots of quality content. For example all you need to do is look at our blog and you can see the number and variety of blog topics we publish. It’s on going and it WORKS! All you need to do is be committed to the process of writing say 1 blog per week. Give it time and eventually you will start to see results. Again, this is a long term strategy, but in combination with SEO and social media marketing, blogging is the perfect addition.

A point to note about your blogging efforts. Make sure they are all over 500 words and they are not copied from someone else’s blog. Make sure it’s relevant, unique and interesting. Without this it’s not worth the effort.

Awesome Tip # 4 to get more clicks from your website: If your website is more than 2 years old (yes that’s right only 2 years old) then it needs a complete refresh. Nothing is going to kill your websites customer conversion rates quicker than an ancient looking website. Technology, design trends and consumer expectations change very quickly and this is why your website MUST or you loose out. If you think 2 years is too soon to redo or revamp your site, then think again.

Ask yourself this question, is your website: mobile compatible ( responsive), does it load quickly, is there out dated information, are the graphics clunky, can the customer navigate the site easily, are there easy to find ‘call to action’ hot buttons, does the website reflect the nature of your business model now, have you added new services or products that are not represented on the site,is your phone number or contact details prominent, is the information wrong, are there social media links, who wrote the content for your website (does it read well or does it sound amateurish), is the ‘on page’ SEO Google compliant, where is the blog? All of these questions need to be address immediately if you are going to generate more sales.


Let us help you with your SEO & social media

A point to note here: try to use a professional website design studio and avoid using those cheap or even worse free websites as they do NOT work effectively. You may save now BUT the consequences are dire – trust me when I tell you this as we have to come in an help businesses re do their website completely and ditch their free site as it was a utter waste of time, energy and really stressful. These free websites are designed to be a bit of a rip off. watch out!

Awesome Tip # 5 to build your business online: Add testimonials. I know this sounds trivial, but there are countless websites out there devoid of any type of testimonial. You only need a few of these to reinforce consumer confidence in your brand.

Awesome Tip # 6 to help increase revenue: This is something businesses rarely do and it should be a priority. Google your business name and see what comes up. If there are any type of negative comments or reviews these need to be mitigated and addressed NOW! Believe it or not, people read reviews and do research about a company before they buy. If they see a whole lot of negative commentary this WILL affect their purchasing decision. Think about this carefully, would you buy from a company or use their services if all you read where bad comments.
In some cases these may be warranted. But,if your business is subject to a negative online campaign based on malicious intent (could be an ex staff member, angry ex partner, disgruntled client), this can hurt your bottom line. Be proactive here, answer or reply to negative feedback, giving your reasons why they are wrong. If you can’t reply and its from a really reputable source ( like a newspaper) then you may need to engage an online reputation management company, that will help drive these negative comments at least off page 1 of Google – they can help hide these pages.

A point to note here. If the comments are through social media platforms, then you can reply and diffuse the situation. You will notice how quickly big brand names (think Qantas, AAMI, Westpac etc), can get some really nasty social media posts as soon as anything goes wrong. You will also see how quack they are to respond to any negative publicity. This is the way it should be done.

TOP Tip # 7 to get customers to ring more often: Make sure you collect the name and email address through an online inquiry form of each inquiry and with their permission, use this information to stay in touch with them through a daily. weekly/monthly newsletter. This form of direct email marketing is another great marketing tip to help boost sales. There are heaps of email marketing platforms you can use to help with this such as Mailchimp and Salesforce. If you need us to design an email template for you and help you set the whole system up, please contact us.

GREAT Tip # 8 to boost revenue: We can help you set up and manage`your Adwords or Pay Per Click campaign on Google. The reason why you need someone to help you with this is due to the expensive nature of Adwords. If you do not know what you are doing and try it alone, it can end up costing you a fortune. I always recommend using Adwords until your SEO has really kicked in. At that point you can look at reducing your Adwords spend.

Many businesses have serious budgets dedicated to this type of marketing as it can generate lots of new sales leads very quickly. Try it out and see how you go but be prepared to spend some serious dollars. If you are on a limited budget and just want to give it a try, aim for less expensive keywords (using exact match – we can go over this if you like over the phone / meeting), and test the results.

A point to note here. Adwords needs to be very targeted so if for example you are a lawyer and want to target and promote an area of your business such as will and estates on Adwords, then the web page they land on when they click on your Adwords needs to BE VERY SALES & conversion focused. You might be paying $20-$30 per click so it has to deliver a return. This is why these pages MUST be professionally designed and managed.
Go it alone and take without a focus on design and this WILL FAIL.

Tip # 9 to generate more sales leads: Try a remarketing campaign.If a customer visits your site and doesn’t buy from you, give them another opportunity by remarketing to them by having an advert pop up on another website with your brand and message. These are now really common and the reason for this is because it works. It’s a great way to remind potential customers of what they were going to buy and a gentle reminder to reengage with your business. Like Adwords this can get expensive so you will need to have the ads designed and the campaign managed to deliver the best ROI.

Tip # 10 to promote your brand: Get another business to write a blog about your business/company/product and post it on their website with a direct link back to your site. If there is a decent amount of traffic to the blog it will trickle back to your site by curious potential customers wanting to know more. This task can be challenging but if you can find the right blogger or site, it can bring in lots of juicy new sales leads.

So there you have it, 10 great tips to help boost your sales leads. Make this year the time you do something about this. Remember, it will not happen by itself.

We can kick start this process today – call us on 02 9360 8514.