IN 2024, there are so many social media platforms where you can advertise your business it can be overwhelming.

What do you focus on? Do you create a video or, post or upload a blog? This is a massive problem for the average business owner as the market shifts its focus from one platform to another. In truth, you have to be everywhere, but you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. The following will highlight the most popular social media platforms and help you decide where to focus your marketing efforts.

Our Top 10 list below highlights each social media platform’s demographics and best uses.


The first step to knowing where to focus your social media efforts is understanding your customer base or audience and which social media platform they mostly use. There may be some platforms you are unfamiliar with, but that’s OK; it means you get to learn a new platform and get a whole new customer base. Then, you will need to establish your marketing goals for social media. What are they? Do you want to increase brand awareness, get new customers, or perhaps generate leads or promote a sale or launch of a new product? There are really so many options on the table available to you.


  1. Facebook
  2. YouTube
  3. Instagram
  4. WhatsApp
  5. TikTok
  6. Snapchat
  7. Pinterest
  8. Reddit
  9. Twitter
  10. LinkedIn

Let’s look at these 10 social platforms closely to get a better idea of what suits your business and marketing strategy. Obviously, there are more platforms, but these are household names everyone knows and where most people are active.



  • Monthly Active Users: according to Social Media News, 18.5 million active Aussie users are on Facebook.
  • Ideal for B2C Companies – in other words, it’s suitable for businesses who want to sell a product or service to the public.
  • Most Active Demographic: Ages 25-39
  • 6 in 10 Australians use Facebook
  • Facebook is the most popular social media platform across all age groups and was one of the first mega social media platforms.

With such a massive uptake and broad user base, Facebook gives Australian businesses a golden opportunity to reach out to consumers looking for their products or services. You can publish articles, write posts, upload videos and advertise to a specific demographic and segment of the market. Facebook is great for building your brand online, communicating with followers and generating leads/sales inquiries via their advertising platforms. The only downside is that Facebook is super-popular, which means so many businesses are on there, so the content you create has to be unique and informative to get some cut-through.

Learn more about Facebook for business.



  • 17,500,000 Unique Australian Visitors per month
  • Ideal for B2C and B2B Companies – it’s a popular way to get your message out there online via video
  • Most Active Demographic: Ages 15-35
  • 1 in 2 Australians use YouTube – think about that as a powerful marketing tool
  • YouTube is the world’s second-most-visited website

People can spend hours online researching a product or service on YouTube. It doesn’t matter if you are a travel agency, a plumber or a physio; you can easily create a video and publish it online. And the reach is far! I know I’ve looked up everything from how to help a sore lower back to surfboards. It’s all there on YouTube to watch, learn, and sometimes buy or get in contact with the business. Because it’s in video format, the message comes loud and clear, and consumers don’t have to read pages of information. Obviously, you have to create video content worth watching that provides value for users. Here are some quick tips to help you get started:

  • Do you have customers who want to know how to use your product more effectively or ask for instructions? Then, create an explainer video detailing the product and how to use it.
  • Do you have a great new innovative product you want to launch? YouTube is a great platform to create a buzz around a new product. You can also embed the YouTube video on your website product page to make it more engaging.
  • Do you want to give your client’s information to showcase your business as a leader in its field? Create a YouTube Channel, create great content, and become the voice of your niche.

These are just a few examples of how all businesses could use YouTube. Be creative, think about what your target audience wants to know and create content for them. Take a look at what your competition does and do it better and more often.



  • Monthly Active Users in Australia per month: 13.5 million
  • Great for B2C. Selling products or services via Instagram is very easy with photos, reels and videos.
  • Most Active Demographic: Ages 15-39
  • 500 million+ users are active on Instagram daily worldwide, which is a mind-boggling stat.

Instagram is the birthplace of the social media influencer and has made people an absolute fortune by endorsing products. Now, if you don’t have the budget to get Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton to sell your product, you can easily snap a pic and post it online for the world to see. Getting followers is easy as well, as long as you consistently post. Creating an account is simple; the premise is to get as many likes and followers as possible. Once you have a big audience, you can start marketing to them daily. Again, like many social media platforms, it really doesn’t matter what industry you are in as long as anyone and any business can sell or promote their business on Instagram.

Here’s how to get started with Instagram for business is easy, and here’s the link to their home page.



  • The ACCC says that there are roughly 8 million monthly users on WhatsApp
  • Ideal for B2C Companies
  • Most Active Demographic: Ages 18-45
  • Facebook owns WhatsApp
  • WhatsApp is the third most popular social network worldwide

Who doesn’t have WhatsApp? I Bet no one, as everyone, uses this platform, and it’s really replaced regular phone calling. Everyone now says WhatsApp me. Businesses can reach out to users for marketing purposes, and users can contact businesses directly through the app. You can read from WhatsApp directly in their FAQs. With WhatsApp for business, you can also list important information, such as a company’s address, email and website. It’s super simple to set up, and once you are on it, you’ll never leave; it’s that convenient.



  • Monthly Active Users in Australia: 8.5 million
  • Ideal for B2C Companies
  • Most Active Demographic: Females Ages 10-29
  • Among them are 350,000 businesses that use TikTok as a marketing tool to reach new and existing audiences, according to Nine news
  • Users spend an average of 90 minutes per day on the platform.

In a word, TikTok is addictive. You have been warned, and once you start scrolling, you’ll do it wherever you go. Its short video format makes it ideal for quick digestion of information, and a link to your business bio is a great way to get social and promote your business, especially if you’re trying to target a younger audience who live on TikTok. I have used TikTok for a business with excellent results. In fact, one video went viral in a week and has had almost 25,000 views for a 30-second clip – its reach is wide and very fast. Let’s say you’re a tradie and want to do a quick video on changing a leaking tap; this is a great way to get your profile online. Or, if you are an eCommerce business and want to promote your product, you can show the product in use or how great it is. Use your imagination, be creative, have fun, and you’ll soon see why TikTok is such a powerful marketing platform for your business.



  • Monthly Active Users in Australia: 8 million
  • Ideal for B2C Companies
  • Most Active Demographic: Females Ages 15-29
  • Snapchat users spend more than 30 minutes per day on the platform, which is similar to the likes of TikTok.

If you have a business that wants to target a younger and social media-savvy audience, then Snapchat is the way to go. On this platform, you post a photo or video and share it, but the thing here is that it disappears after viewing. Great if you want someone only to view it once. It’s kind of gimmicky, but it works for this generation. If you’re having an event or want to promote something, expect the younger generation to soak it up. But, be careful as you have to market to them in a way they’ll uptake it. Being cool and hip and almost not wanting them to engage motivates them even more.



  • Monthly Active Users in Australia: 7 million 
  • Ideal for B2C Companies who want to highlight products – great for designers, architects and anyone in the creative area
  • Most Active Demographic: Females Ages 16-52
  • Most Active Countries: The United States and Brazil
  • 73% of Pinterest users have purchased from content they’ve seen, which should give you an insight into how popular this platform can be.

The social media platform Pinterest is all about creating beautiful posts that are image-rich. If you are an architect, you could post about a new building or house, or a creative design agency could post a pic of a new logo. Perhaps you are a florist who can take a picture of a new bouquet of flowers, or you are a hotel manager, villa or Airbnb host who wants to promote your wonderful place, and the list goes on; you have to be imaginative and creative – not challenging if you are in that space.



  • As of January 2022, Reddit is the 6th most downloaded social media app in Australia.
  • Ideal for B2B Companies
  • Most Active Demographic: Males Ages 18-29
  • The average Reddit user from Australia spends 31 minutes a day on the platform.

Reddit is an excellent platform for males to create searchable content and gain popularity through votes from other members. 

One of the great things about Reddit is that it provides entrepreneurs a platform to build an engaging community interested in what they have to say. By creating a subreddit specifically for your business, you can invite customers and other interested people to participate in discussions about your products or services if they like what you do or have to say. Being actively engaged on Reddit is great for businesses that want to engage a broad male audience.



  • Twitter has 330 million monthly active users globally, and 5.8 million are from Australia.
  • Ideal for B2B Companies.
  • Most Active Demographic: Males Ages 21-59
  • The controversial Elon Musk owns Twitter and has the second most popular account.

Twitter is one of the most popular and original social media platforms where businesses and professionals can interact with each other and post content. Popular content on Twitter includes real-time news, entertainment, job opportunities, sports, and social commentary. The idea behind Twitter is to get as many relevant followers as possible and share information or updates with them. It’s an excellent way for small businesses to contact owners of prominent companies, marketing, HR, and even the CEO without cold calling. 



  • 12.7 million LinkedIn users in Australia in 2023
  • Great for business marketing
  • Easy to sign up

Ideal for B2B Companies. So, if Hopping Mad Designs, for example, a graphic design studio in Sydney, wants to reach out and make a connection with heads of marketing departments in large companies, LinkedIn is the best platform. No other professional platform has this kind of database of strictly professional people, business owners, CEOs, etc. It allows small businesses to have a chance to meet more prominent players they are trying to market to. All you need to do is create a profile and publish amazing content, videos and information.

Next Steps

There is a lot to digest here, and for most time-poor business owners, the thought of creating posts and videos and being active online is simply out of the equation. So, this is where Hopping Mad Designs can step in as a creative graphic design agency in Sydney with a strong focus on social media strategies. We can do all the necessary design work and develop a logical social media strategy that effectively targets your audience. Please don’t waste time stressing about this and do something about it now by calling us on 02 9360 8514. We’ll handle everything for you.

What is Branding? The Importance of Branding In Business

Branding is vital for your business.

It’s the first thing potential customers see and the face of your business.

Your branding sets you apart from your competition, and it’s the core of your business, as your branding includes the business name, logo, and the business colours and style. Most people will, over time, recognise your branding and associate certain things with it. A strong, influential brand will leave a lasting impression, however good or bad. But one thing is sure: you need strong branding as a starting point for your business. In today’s saturated digital space, you will need a logo professionally designed by some good graphic designers who know the Sydney market if you’re going to have cut-through and be heard among all the online noise. From small start-ups to online eCommerce stores to tradies needing branding for their trucks, a brand is the first step in achieving business success.

Branding is critical

According to HubSpot, A brand is the identity and story of a company that makes it stand out from competitors that sell similar products or services.

You would be surprised by how much a strong brand can resonate and stay in a person’s mind. Big companies such as Apple, Coca Cola and Unilever understand this, and they will go to extraordinary lengths to protect their brand and name. Whilst your business may be small, it still needs a solid visual identity and name that people can identify with and want to be part of. People love being associated with brand names; it forms part of their makeup and personality. Think Lulelemon, RipCurl, Apple, Speedo and Nike. Consumers buy their products not necessarily for the product but for the branding and being able to showcase it, whether they are wearing it or typing on it. A brand creates a sense of loyalty and pride, which people become very attached to and never leave, so you have to consider branding a vital part of your business from the start. If you are intelligent and willing to invest in your branding, you’ll soon see why (later down the track as the business evolves ) this was such a smart decision. Sure, you can tweak and fine-tune your branding later on, but it’s much easier to do it right from the beginning and build upon the branding in all your communication material.

The Role of a Graphic Design Agency in Business Success

A graphic design agency is super-critical in helping businesses establish their brand, design it and help integrate it across all marketing channels. An established design agency can look at the business and its competition and develop branding design options that separate the business from the throngs of other players in the same space. As an astute business owner or budding entrepreneur, you might feel that you have some excellent ideas. Still, a graphic designer will be able to bring a fresh design perspective to this and come up with brilliant branding options that you’ve never thought of. Your designer will (in the first meet-up) be able to get an idea of your company’s values, goals, and vision and translate this into a design that speaks volumes about who you are and what your business represents. From creating a visually stunning logo to implementing consistent brand messaging, a good graphic design agency ensures that every piece of marketing material (whether online or in print) reflects the brand’s core personality.

Hopping Mad Designs: A Leading Graphic Design Agency

When it comes to branding or any graphic design work, Hopping Mad Designs is unique as we are one of only a handful of graphic design studios that can honestly say that we have been around for over two decades. This longevity means that we have designed brands for various businesses and industries. We can use the depth of creative talent and the pool of talent to develop a brand for your business that will stand the test of time and set you apart from your rivals.

How Easy Is it to Start Working with Hopping Mad Designs?

In a word, very easy. We take a collaborative approach to any design or branding project and love to work with our clients in a no-nonsense, no-frills approach that just gets the job done. We take the time necessary to get to know your business, what you’re trying to achieve and the design style you want. But rest assured, we will put on our design thinking caps to come up with some fabulous designs you’ll absolutely love. All you have to do is see some of our Google reviews to see what some of our clients think:) 

Ask us about other services we offer, like animated explainer videos or infographics that can be used to explain your business more clearly and sell your services. They’ll give you the competitive edge and impact you need to break through to your audience.

8 Red Flags to Avoid When Choosing a Logo Designer

Choosing a logo graphic designer to create a new logo or brand for your business or revamp your existing logo can be risky.

After all, this is your logo and your business’s face. You want it to reflect your brand, culture, image and business direction. So who do you trust with this critical task?

In this blog, I’ll look at 8 red flags you need to know about when choosing your next graphic design agency to tackle your rebranding. Knowing what to look out for will save you lots of time and, in many cases, loads of money, and in the worst-case scenario, having a brand or image that’s detrimental to your business or company.

Why choosing the right graphic designer should be done with lots of homework, a few interviews and taking a cautious approach.

Branding or logo design for your business is about something other than throwing a few pretty pictures or images together and hoping it works. Brand development is an emotional bond between the brand and your business. It’s the public face that spells out who you are, what your business represents and how you operate. Your logo is one of the most essential facets of your business, and once you have it, you pretty much have it for the duration of your business. It’s hard to chop and change your logo/brand as it’s pasted all over your marketing and sales material, even your vans, building signage, social media and website. It’s like a tattoo; once it’s there, you have it for the long haul. Changing it is costly, time-consuming and can negatively affect n your business. So making the right choice from the get-go is super important. A visually creative logo reflecting your business is the key to winning loyal customers. Stuffing it up can ruin your brand, image and how the public or your customers view your business. Branding is a massive investment in your business and needs to be taken seriously. The right graphic designer will know what to look out for; they’ll ask all the right questions to get the correct brief, and once they have this information filter it into a logo or brand that resonates with you, your customer base and you’re business.

Why is your logo and brand development significant, anyway?

Strong branding can significantly impact how your audience responds to your product, brand or service. Big names like Virgin, Coles and KFC all have recognisable brands that convey a feeling and personality you identify with. But, remember, there was a time when these brands were in their infancy phase, and they have evolved with the companies to reflect who they are now. They are immediately recognised and create an emotional subconscious connection between the customer and the business. Wouldn’t it be great if your company’s brand also could do this? It’s always lovely when someone looks at your logo and thinks, ‘Wow, that looks good’. They’ll remember the logo and may be more likely to be brand loyal.

Following are a few benefits of creating a credible and solid brand identity or logo for your business.

A credible brand will instil trust.

If your brand looks too cheap n cheerful, what does it say about your business, and what does it say about you as the owner? If it’s messy and slapped together quickly, it doesn’t bode well regarding the trust factor. A dodgy-looking logo is just that, dodgy, and it will reflect poorly on you. On the other hand, a cool, creative, clever logo will instil volumes of trust which is the cornerstone of any business.

Develop brand loyalty with customers.

Customers want to be associated with cool, exciting and vibrant brands. Look at Apple, Lululemon or Rip Curl, for example. People love these brands and are super loyal to them not only because of their great products but because the branding looks impressive. Once you are an Apple user, you’ll never switch. Or once you wear a Rip Curl wetsuit, you’ll wear that badge of honour in the surf for a lifetime. Also, check out the yoga brand Lululemon and how people buy the product because of the logo – they see it as something that sits with their personality. Here the brand and the human connection are genuine.

Build brand recognition

Having an intelligent, catchy well-designed logo helps build brand recognition, so whenever someone sees it, they have a positive emotional response. When I see someone in a Rip Curl wetsuit, I know that person has the best equipment, and I respect that also; if I notice someone wearing Lululemon, I see that they have good taste in clothing. 

Makes your brand stand out from the crowd

It’s a competitive marketplace, and with social media nose added to the equation, you have to have a brand that stands out from the crowd and can cut through to the consumer. A no-brainer, I know, but the more your brand looks independent and unique, the more you’ll stand out from the crowd. After all, you don’t want to look like everyone else. It’s dull, unimaginative and will only be detrimental to your business.

Helps grow your business

You still have to work extremely hard on your business, and a logo is not the golden goose, but it can certainly help you via greater brand recognition, loyalty and trust. All these combined will help grow your business over time.

What are the red flags to look out for when choosing your graphic design agency?

You must look for certain red flags and alarm bells when searching for your next design agency online (and yes, there are many to choose from, especially if you Google Graphic Designers Sydney). Knowing these will help you sort the good designers from the bad ones.

Outsourcing the design work

Many design agencies are just sales machines, and once they have your business will outsource it overseas to a cheap third party. These overseas designers may be ok, but they won’t be local, be able to understand the local market clearly and won’t be the point of contact where you can articulate what you want for your business’s image. We always find that the designer that takes the brief should be the designer working on the logo. They need to get a sense of your business and connect with the owner, and in turn, be able to nail the design brief quickly.

Note: When you work with Hopping Mad Designs, you work with Jo, the senior creative working on the logo. We never outsource and always design in-house in Sydney.

A poor portfolio of previous work

If you scour graphic design websites online, they should show their portfolio online and have various samples of their work across various industries. If they don’t have a substantial portfolio, then this is a huge red flag and could mean that:

  • They are industry newbies and only have a little work to show, which is ok, but they need to convey this to you and charge accordingly.
  • They are not proud of their work and want to show you, OR they have outsourced the previous work, and the quality could be better.
  • All their work is niche and confined to one area, which shows a need for more diversity in their design.

Watch how they present their work online and see if you like any brands or logos in your niche (if they indeed have any). And when you do finally call them, see if they can elaborate on a few case studies and explain how they got to the logo from the brief given. 

Note: Hopping Mad Designs has an ever-growing list of design examples that can be viewed proudly on our website.

Dodgy testimonials and reviews

It’s so easy to buy reviews and testimonials online, so watch out for this. If you see Google reviews that are all positive and from people that are not from businesses or have reviews but nothing concrete in the reviews, then they are disingenuous. I would ask for a few references you can call to see how they respond. This is a good sign if they willingly provide references and all work out. Also, 5-star reviews with no content are absolutely useless and a waste of time. Throwaway lines like ‘great job’ or ‘ top company’ are one-line grabs and worthless. I would also look for case studies on their website to see how the designers developed the final branding and the initial brief.

Note! Hopping Mad Designs receives authentic reviews regularly from clients thrilled with their project outcome. We’re also happy to put you in touch with any of our clients to verify their feedback and the work we have completed for their business.

Missing in action

Don’t you hate it when you engage someone to do work for you and they simply disappear, or it takes a couple of days for them to reply to an email or phone message? Even the busiest design agencies should have the common courtesy to return client calls. Ideally, you should be able to have direct contact with your designer and communicate with them once you receive the initial design options.

Note! At Hopping Mad Designs, you get direct access to speak to the company’s Creative Director and Senior Designer – Joanna Basile. We are always available and will get back to you promptly.

Not asking the right questions.

Your designer must know about your business for a brand or logo to work effectively. To do this, they need to interview you to get the brief and learn things like, your product offerings, specials, goals, customer base and what you like and don’t like about the current logo or what you like about your competitor’s branding. Failing to ask these critical questions means that the graphic designer will either outsource your logo, plagiarise it from another business, or don’t care enough. Some designers will use a cookie-cutter questionnaire; however, at Hopping Mad Designs, we like to have an informal face-to-face meeting to go over all these finer points, so we always nail the brief and develop appropriate designs for our happy clients. We understand the discovery process is crucial to creating a fabulous-looking logo.

They do your logo for free if they are designing your website.

Many people ask us to update their logo as part of their web design package, but we always say no, as a logo or brand is not an afterthought and requires as much effort as a website. Why? Because your logo is the face of your business and is the foundation that every other piece of marketing material or collateral rests on and must be given more attention than any other communication piece. So watch out for the red flag if any graphic designer starts throwing in logo updates to get the deal across the line and win your business.

Note! At Hopping Mad Designs, we know how important a logo is and will never lump it into another design job. Yes, we offer many other design services like explainer videos or annual report design. Still, we will never discuss branding while doing these jobs unless it’s an entirely new job.

They use the design ideas you provided them.

Many business owners are also frustrated designers ( yes, we have seen them), and they all like to present their ideas and interpretations of what they think their logo should look like. They’ll sit at the initial brief, show you all the design ideas they sketched on paper, and expect you to follow them. Any good designer (and this is where the red flags should happen) will stop you there and take your design ideas on board only as a design direction BUT never actually use them. It’s like me telling a doctor how to treat an illness without their input – it’s crazy. If you’re paying for a graphic design, let them do their job without too much interference or input. Sure, give them a brief but let them develop the designs. If they rehash what you have provided, they are not doing their job, and it just shows how inexperienced they are.

Note! At Hopping Mad Designs, we are upfront and honest about everything we do, including the design ideas you present. We will tell you if they don’t work or are in the wrong direction. We never plagiarise your designs and will always come up with our interpretation of what we feel is the appropriate logo/brand.

10 Easy Ways to Generate Great Leads Through Your Website

Most business owners, start-ups or existing online businesses should know that the best way to generate new leads is a combination of SEO and web design.

You can also look at generating leads, reaching your business goals via Instagram, YouTube or Facebook, and getting lots of followers by creating blog posts.

But only a few people know how to take the first steps, so I have compiled an easy-to-understand list of how to use your website to your advantage and bring in all those juicy new sales leads. 

Without lead generation, any new or established business will find it challenging to grow; it’s the lifeblood of any business. Getting new customers is vital, especially during tough economic times like 2023. If all the following points are too complicated, you might want to engage a web design agency to manage this, but you also might like to have a crack at it yourself – let’s see how you go.

High-Quality Content

I spend a lot of my time writing and publishing content to post on my blog, and you should be doing the same; at least once per month. Content marketing is a fabulous way to saturate your niche with your commentary, news, insights or industry news. It establishes you as a market leader, and you earn the public’s trust. And, if you’re blog or articles can answer particular queries regarding your product or services, and you can rank these pages, this is an excellent way to bring clients through to your website. If your content is creative and informative and speaks directly to your target audience in a language they understand, you will get new clients through this marketing channel. 

Check this example when I mentioned answering questions your client might ask as a good blogging technique. For example, suppose you’re in the air conditioning business, and you want to write a blog that will hopefully attract clients; then good topic ideas would be:

6 ways to cool your home this summer

how to install an air conditioning unit DIY

These are common questions; please ask, so if your web page is up there with the answers, they might call you for a new air conditioning unit – and perhaps the installation!

Use tools like Answer the Public to see what people are searching for in your industry and craft content around the answers you get. It’s incredible, and you’ll be using it all the time.

Optimise Your Main Landing Pages

Mailchimp defines a landing page as a standalone web page that potential customers can “land” on when they click through from an email, ad, or other digital location. I’ve also written about How to Increase the Sales Conversion Rate of My Website?

Everything is related when it comes to your website. First, it has to rank on Google; second, people must like the landing pages. These landing pages are your sales funnels and will take the potential customer to the buy now, sign up or call stage. The sales process will be challenging without well-designed dedicated landing pages for your main products or services. It will affect your website’s potential in terms of its marketing prowess. Getting it right can be a trial and error-process, so you should have a good relationship with your web designer, who can make minor tweaks until these pages run optimally.

Automate Everything

Automation is a fantastic way to build up a solid database of clients that you can market to with news, specials, giveaways and discounts. When they inquire, their email should be automatically saved in a database you can use later. Salesforce and Mail Chimp are great tools for this purpose and excellent ways to stay in touch with past clients.

Track Your Leads

Tracking leads to knowing where they are coming from is super-important as it will tell you if your marketing is hitting the target. You can use tools like Google Analytics to help you determine if the leads coming in are the ones you want. If the leads are wrong, there’s no point in spending time and money on marketing. I’ve had clients call me saying they rank on Google, but all the leads are terrible – a real pity. The issue is the message you convey on your landing pages and the impression your business gives. Hence the need for solid landing pages with the well-written copy. Take a look at how google analytics works.

Use an SEO agency

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), according to Search Engine Land, means the process of improving your website to increase its visibility in Google, Microsoft Bing, and other search engines whenever people search for:

  • Products you sell.
  • Services you provide.
  • Information on topics in which you have deep expertise and experience.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of SEO agencies in Sydney, so make sure you choose the right agency. You will find SEO is the crucial component of your marketing campaign and driving new business, so try to implement this as soon as possible.

Create a Blog Section

One of the best ways to boost your brand, product or service online and build a good rapport between you and your client base is to give them helpful insights, tips and knowledge via your website’s blog. However, remember there’s no point in creating a blog; you must use it as a marketing weapon. Blogging is also a great way to show your industry peers and clients that you are a leader in your niche, making you the ‘go-to’ company.

Create a great UX

UX or user experience is what people see when they arrive on your website. The page has to be visually engaging with a clear call to action, easy-to-find shopping carts, easy contact numbers and an overall good experience. If the user’s journey is complex, uninviting and challenging, they’ll exit the site and look elsewhere. UX principles are generally straightforward, but in most cases, you should use a web design agency to facilitate the design to get it right.

Include Genuine Testimonials

Testimonials are huge! I’ll say it again and again. Oberlo tells us 9 out of 10 people will read reviews before purchasing. It’s the most powerful marketing tool you can have, as another person’s recommendation is super-compelling and is an incredible endorsement of your product or service. So if you have good reviews, post them online or at least have a link to your Google Reviews.

Add an online chat feature.

Being able to chat with someone online immediately is a great conversion tool. Knowing there’s a real person to speak to for quick answers or a resolution to a problem is a real winner. Plus, it adds real credibility to your site as consumers know they can get a response almost immediately. 

Answer all inquiries

Don’t wait! Time is critical, and consumers want to buy or make a booking quickly. If you don’t get back to them within 24 hours (especially if you’re a tradie), you will lose the sale, and all your hard work will have been in vain. Just imagine someone who wants a tradie quickly because they have a broken hot water system. They want an answer very quickly to resolve the problem. I know a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people won’t get back to you promptly.

Final Thoughts

Generating leads via your website is relatively easy but requires effort and time. Results might take time, but if you persevere, you should start to see the fruits of your labour. But don’t become negative or discouraged if it doesn’t happen immediately. If you do get stuck or need a hand implementing any of the above steps, please call us at Hopping Mad Designs at 02 9360 8514

Shopify or WordPress: Which is Better for your business

Shopify is a powerful all-in-one website builder and eCommerce platform that can be set up in a few minutes. Even if you are a new business startup newbie, you can always contact the 24/7 Shopify team for support and help. If this sounds like your perfect next big business idea solution to help you get online, then Shopify is the way to go! They give you a 14-day free trial to test it out and see if it fits within your business model.
WordPress, on the other hand, is a massive beast and the eCommerce platform integrated is called WooCommerce. Having a WordPress CMS platform and WooCommerce allows you to use all the add-ons that WordPress allows, such as amazing-looking themes and apps and of course, it’s great for SEO

WooComemrce’s technical specs are worth reading before you use its platform. 

WordPress (WooCommerce) Advantages

Free and Open Source: WooCommerce is 100% free and open-source, meaning the entry point for startups and SMEs who are price sensitive is a great option. If the platform is free, it makes it very attractive for those with tight marketing shoestrings. WooCommerce integrates nicely with the popular CMS, WordPress so getting an eCommerce website is easy for most web designers and developers.

100% Customisable: Because you are using WordPress, you have a massive choice of design themes that would fit nicely with your business model. It doesn’t matter whether you are a professional, tradie or startup; there is a theme that you will find that suits your style. You can customise headers, footers, checkout sections, product pages and blogs. Plus, all the plugins are fully customisable, which is brilliant- see the point below. As a Sydney graphic design agency, this is not ideal as SMEs can use a WordPress theme rather than us designing one – but there are limitations to these themes and are only good for small businesses requiring a very basic website that has strict design parameters. I have personally seen many businesses ditch their WordPress themes because of their limitations.

Awesome Plugins: WooCommercie is the eCommerce plugin that converts your basic WordPress site into a fully functional online store. Of course, you will have to add all your products manually (yes, this can be a hassle), but it’s super easy, and most non-tech people will find this easy. There are also handy marketing plugins for those budding entrepreneurial business eCommerce startups to help them get more customers and better Google ranking, such as Yoest SEO (to help examine any extra on-page SEO amendments), WooCommerce MailChimp for email marketing, and WooCommerce Google Analytics to track store performance. How brilliant! 

Dynamic Inventory Management: You can create web stores with WooCommerce to sell physical and digital products. You also have the option to keep adding products regularly and set different product types and product SKUs. Also, WooCommerce makes tracking inventory and stock levels easy, which is perfect if you have many products and a high turnover business.

Mobile-Friendly: People like searching for products on their mobile devices; simple as that. And, WooCommerce and WordPress make it remarkably easy to convert your site automatically into a mobile-friendly responsive site which is perfect for users wanting to buy products on the go. And, because there’s auto inventory management, your customers can quickly tell if the product is available.

Lots of Extensions: You can choose free and paid extensions to suit your business needs if you have a WordPress site. It’s so easy. With the click of a mouse, you can have an added component to your shopping cart without having to go through the hassle of hiring a web developer or graphic designer to style the cart. You also have excellent extension options, such as store management, product pages, checkout (to make the process easier), shopping cart, product search features, payments, shipping, and stock and revenue reporting.

Fantastic SEO features: WooCommerce SEO is about getting your products in front of the consumer. You want to rank on Google if you’re going to sell, and WooCommerce makes it super simple to change titles and descriptions and have them indexed quickly. So now, with WooCommerce, you can start selling more due to their efficient SEO plugins like Yoest.

Safe and secure: WooCommerce has frequent security updates to protect your site from hackers and cybersecurity threats. Businesses need to know that their website is safe online, and they can confidently run their businesses knowing that they are using platforms designed to prevent hackers from stealing information or ripping your site down and extorting you for money. Also, from the consumer side of things, WooCommerce is an excellent plugin as it creates a safe and secure online environment for credit card transactions. 

Multiple Payment Gateways and Currency Support: WooCommerce offers targeted geolocation selling capabilities that enable you to accept various currencies from people worldwide. So, for example, if you are selling from Australia to the US, consumers in the US will have the product displayed in $US and have shipping options calculated instantly. With WooComemrce, you can take your product worldwide.

WordPress (WooCommerce) Disadvantages

Frequent Updates: If you like to be updating your website regularly, then WordPress and WooCommerce are acceptable, but for others, the constant need to update plugins and security patches can become too much effort. Every update comes with time-consuming testing that can add pressure to your busy development team or yourself.

Not Newbie-Friendly: Working out the WordPress CMS can be challenging for many business owners, and adding WooCommerce into the mix makes it a bit harder. With no customer support or anyone to call, you have to rely on online communities for help; for newbies, this is too much. Honestly, if you are a business startup, the whole WooCommerce will be a real hassle; many people throw up their arms and walk away.

Website Speed: Too many plugins will negatively affect the performance of your website. With WooCommerce, you will have to add many new plugins for functionality, but there’s a price to pay for this added super-duper functionalist and website speed and download times. Not to mention the added hosting space you might have to buy. Of course, you can always check your website speed at Pingdom to ensure your site isn’t too slow.

Shopify Advantages

Whizz Bang Designed and Mobile-Responsive Themes: Shopify has ten free and 64 premium themes, starting from AUD$100. Each theme is mobile responsive and will automatically fit all mobile phones, so there’s no stuffing around dealing with developers. All the themes are professionally designed, and you must choose one appropriate for your business. You can be up and running your store online in a couple of hours; that’s the beauty of Shopify.

Best Security: Shopify provides 100% SSL to keep their sites secure, and they hire teams of developers to ensure speed times are super-fast. Shopify is known for fast and safe downloads and understands that online shopping experiences must be flawless. According to CrazyEgg, customers will only wait a maximum of 3 seconds before hitting that back button and leaving your site. There’s another rule called the 15-second rule, and this is the amount of time people spend on your site looking for what they want. If not found within this time frame, they are gone. Shopify, more than any other online platform, knows this rule and is acutely aware of consumer behaviour. So, they make all their site easy to navigate, intuitive and fast! Plus, security is their main priority because you accept credit card payments. So with Shopify, you get speed, security and themes that are customer focused.

In-House App Store: Shopify has an in-house app store as one of its most significant unique selling points that makes Shopify by far the best online platform. You can easily integrate these apps by paying or downloading freebies to help streamline and improve the online customer experience or make your business easier to manage. Managing inventory, stock levels, payment processes, shipping, returns, and special customer discounts can all be handled with these apps.

Your Brand Domain Name: Some CMS platforms do not allow you to have your domain name, but with Shopify, you can have a domain name that reflects your business. It’s super important that your domain name matches your brand/business, and Shopify is perfect for this particular feature.

Great Analytics: You need to measure the performance of your website, and Shopify has excellent analytics that allows you to measure consumer behaviour, pages they are landing on, time spent on the site, popular products, stock levels, conversion rates and more. You can optimise your site for better performance and sales with this knowledge.

24/7 Customer Support: For most business owners, the thought of being able to reach out and get help and support is a comforting fact that enhances Shopify’s appeal even more. You get online chat help, email help and a customer service team that can handle inquiries, troubleshooting or issues.

Scalable: As your online business grows, so will Shopify as your online platform. It can accommodate sudden spikes in web traffic and is robust enough to handle a rapid increase in products on the site. So as you become a major online player, you can always have Shopify by your side and be confident that it can be there for the long term.

Shopify Disadvantages

Transaction Fees: You get a few subscription plans with Shopify, but the basic plan is precisely what it says; elementary. Greta for super-small eCommerce sites but anything more significant and you will have to start dishing out the Mulla. And while Shopify does support multiple payment gateways, if you don’t use Shopify Payments, you’ll have to pay an additional transactional fee on top of the payment processor fee (PayPal or Stripe). So, you are locked into using the Shopify payment gateway, and while that might be OK, you might want to use alternative methods. 

A tad complicated: Shopify, although it has a customer support team, has a steep learning curve, and you’ll have to practice your Shopify techniques before you fully understand all its nuances. Most people will get their heads around it, but it may be hard for others. And the jargon they use for the consumer is tricky and offbeat. A great example is instead of saying Categories, Shopify uses Collections, which might irritate some customers. 

Product Filtering and Categorisation: I feel that Shopify’s search mechanism needs to be more streamlined and allow for better filtering. For example, you can search for tennis shoes, which will display all of them, but if you want o search for red tennis shoes, it will still display all the tennis shoes—a genuine issue for eCommerce sites with a massive number of products on display. Just imagine a tradie on the job wanting to buy a part for a machine, and he can’t filter the product category; a nightmare.

So there you have it; the pros and cons of both Shopify and WooCommerce. Smaller businesses should opt for the Shopify platform, where they can quickly set up shop. At the same time, larger companies with deeper pockets should use the WooCommerce platform. The choice is yours, but you need to weigh these before proceeding because it’s hard to switch from one platform to another once you’ve committed yourself.

9 factors that make the perfect logo

Getting the perfect logo isn’t as simple as it would seem. 

Many factors go into making your business logo the perfect logo and one that lasts for years. 

Remember your logo should last for the next 5 to 10 years before you need a revamp, so what logo or branding you get now will be the face of your business for a long time, so you need to get it right. 

The following are critical factors that make the perfect logo you can be proud of and reflects your business’s personality.

1) Are the colours correct?

Ensure that the chosen colours align with your business model and ethos and resonate with your clients. In other words, if you’re a law firm, you should opt for bold, intense colours that say you are trustworthy and established. Dark blues, greens and blacks are better than light orange, red or pink. Ask yourself this question would you go with a law firm that had pink all over their marketing material or blue? Even tradies should know that your logo and branding colour scheme will tell potential clients a lot about who you are and your business; if unsure, go for neutral colours rather than striking, bright colours that make too much of a statement. Classy, stylish and understated tones are always a winner, especially if you’re looking for exclusive clientele. Bright, loud colours are OK in fashion, design or travel. It’s OK to push boundaries and incorporate loud colours, but only if they are implemented tastefully. And for this, you will need to get a seasoned graphic designer that knows what they are doing and how colours can affect people’s perception of a business.

Also read: The Psychology of Color in Marketing & Design

2) What fonts are you using?

Use standard fonts like Helvetica for your logo or branding, and never try to use over-the-top fonts to stand out. I always like to use the comparison of a law firm and the Wiggles. A law firm would always want to use a standard trustworthy-looking font, not something that would appear on the cover of a Wiggles CD. It’s pure common sense when it comes to fonts, and your graphic designer will be able to run through the appropriate fonts for your business. Again tradies can afford the luxury of more risque fonts so that their signage stands out on their vans or trucks but err on the conservative side of your font selection. Fonts in Use have a great website that shows you what fonts are popular in Australia right now.

3) The business name

Your business name is a super-critical component of your logo or branding. Choose wisely as this is the same as your name and is what people will remember. I can’t count the number of people who, like us, got the name Hopping Mad Designs, but I can tell you that people remember it years after contacting us. You can use your name as a business name, but it’s always better to have something creative that stands out and is memorable. I love how Thai restaurants incorporate the word Thai into their name, like Thai Me Up or Thai Tanic! I’m seeing plumbers and tradies get creative with their business names like Royal Flush Plumbing or Plumbers 911 (I’d use Dial 911 Plumbing). See more at What to consider when choosing a business name

 4) Number of words

Two to three words are the maximum you should use in your business name. After that, it starts to get complicated to say over the phone, and for design purposes, it’s easier with a short, sharp-sounding name. Also, you have to think about your name for your website’s URL. Long-winded words that try to cover everything you do will look odd online, in print and on your trucks. The golden rule here is to keep it to three max unless you a professional business that must list all the partners’ names. Even then, you might like to abbreviate all the names like our friends at YPOL.

5) Limit the use of colour

Never use more than two colours! Using three or even four colours starts to confuse people, and they won’t take you seriously unless you’re a painter and want to use the colours of the rainbow. But, most businesses should limit the colour palette to two. It also works out cheaper when printing in PMS colours. But, don’t be afraid to have just one colour or even shades of that colour. Some of the best logos have one colour. Look at Apple, Mc Donalds, IBM, Qantas and H&M. 

6) Look at your competition

See what your competitor’s branding looks like and try to be slightly different. You do not want to copy and replicate your competitor’s design style but use it as a yardstick of what’s successful and works with the buying public. It’s OK to study your successful competitors, see what style they’re going after, and see if your brand’s personality fits in with theirs. Remember, it’s your business, so you need a specific look that tells the story of who you are and your unique selling points. Are your competitors saying they are cheap or upmarket? Do they position themselves as a market leader, or have they gone downmarket in their look? The business owner must have a design style that sets yourself in a certain way, whether similar to your competition or different.

7) Logo elements

How many graphical elements are in the logo? Do you have an image or different shapes or images? The best way to look at visual elements and the business name is to keep it simple. Overcomplicated graphical design elements can be confusing and detract from the brand. A simple additional feature works if it stands for something significant related to the business and is not created to fill space or gaps. If you have the correct fonts, colours and design style, there isn’t much need for any additional elements to the brand. Don’t be pressured to put something in the logo. Having said that, some tradies will put drains, electrical cables or bricks in the logo to enhance what they do. In this case, it’s OK to do it.

8) Scalability

Will you be able to use the logo on a van, on outdoor signage, stationery, websites, social media and adverts? Your new logo must be easily scalable to fit all forms of communication and marketing material.

9) Memorable

Lastly, your logo or brand has to be memorable and last the test of time. There is no point in going through all the effort of creating a logo if it will be outdated in a couple of years. Of course, it’s always suitable for a brand refresh, but your logo must last at least five years. And, when people see it, they should recognise it if they have seen it before. Hence, it has to be memorable.

On a side note. There are loads of online graphic designers or cheap $5 designers that will rehash old logos and pass them off as new. So, if you get a cheap logo designed and save a few dollars, be warned as this is not the right path your company should take. Your brand is the face of your business, so you must have a professional graphic design studio do this for you. A memorable, striking logo will pay dividends for you and enhance your company’s profile. It’s so worth it!

eCommerce Checkout Page Design: What *Not* to Do

As the saying goes, you learn from your past mistakes.

With that in mind, you need to look at all your previous web design mistakes, so you never repeat them, which includes your websites checkout page.

If you have an eCommerce website, your checkout page design can be the difference between making the sale or a consumer exiting the shopping cart. It’s the place where you have one last chance to convince buyers to hit that pay now button. 

I bet you didn’t know that over 60% of people abandon their shopping cart on the checkout page. An alarming statistic if you want to help improve conversion rates. With this fact in mind, you have to make your checkout page the most robust and sales driven page on your website.

Following are some definite no-no’s regarding the design of the checkout page of your eCommerce website.

1) Not recommending other products

An eCommerce website without other product recommendations is like a salesperson not telling you about other great products they may have. It’s not a good idea. So, at the checkout page ( preferably near the bottom of the page ), make a few alternative product recommendations. Then, when they are at the checkout page, they have their wallets open with their finger on the buy now button, which is the ideal time to showcase a few of your other great products. If you don’t do this, you might be missing more sales and cross-pollination of different products, which is a definite no-no!

2) Strong Call To Action Buttons Highlighting the CheckOut Page

Like the sales desk in a shop, you can see the cash register where you pay. The same goes for the checkout page. There need to be strong pathways signals highlighting this page. You never want your customers to be wandering around your site, getting lost and not being able to find the checkout page button immediately. For this, you need clear, strong graphics. Essentially, if they cannot see this button, they will exit the site in frustration only to give their business to your competition. Placing a big, bold square at the top right-hand corner of the page with the words ‘check out’ is an excellent option as it’s obvious. So, every time you add an item to your basket, you can quickly go to the checkout page to see the total cost.

3) Have a live chat feature

Many customers won’t trust your website unless it’s a well-known brand or household name. I mean, why should they give you their details and pay for a product from you? You must be able to show a level of human interaction to help them trust you more. A great way to achieve this is to add a chat feature on the site. It’s so common nowadays that it may raise a few red flags if it’s not on the site. There are loads of chat features you can quickly install. And, if you cannot watch this 24/7 like most small businesses, most chat features will have the functionality to allow customers to leave a message.

4) Highlight security features

People shopping online can become very nervous a couple of seconds before they hit the buy now button. This is because many scammers, hackers, and dodgy sites online masquerade as credible sites, mistrusting the buying public. Placing a security icon front and centre of the checkout page will add a certain level of buyer security. Now I’m not saying this is a full-proof method, but it’s just one more in your arsenal that you can use to add an extra layer of trust.

5) Add positive reviews

Nothing sells harder than a few positive reviews from customers. So ensure your checkout page has some customer product reviews to help build trust in both their prospective purchase and your website. And according to Forbes, online reviews have been shown to impact 67.7% of purchasing decisions.

6) Have a rating system

Is the product decent, good, worthwhile to buy, and is it amazing? Place stars based on reviews next to the product so consumers can quickly see how good the product is by the start count. For example, if they see 5 stars next to the product, guess what will happen? They will more than likely hit the buy button.

7) Don’t make them sign up to buy!

Don’t you hate it when you’re at a store, and you want to buy something quickly and ask if you’re a member or would you like to join? It’s the same with any eCommerce shopping check out page; people do not want to go through a lengthy sign-up process to buy an item. The quickest way to lose a good customer at the checkout page is to make them sign up. If you want to capture their information, only ask them to sign up after they have hit the buy now button and offer an incentive for them to do this, such as a discount on their subsequent acquisition. This is one of the most critical aspects of eCommerce web design.

8) Shipping and billing details

Combine shipping and billing details will make it a lot quicker for people to check out and make the purchase. The worst thing you can do is make the billing and shipping details complicated.

9) Limit changes

If the consumer wants to change their mind and edit the shopping cart, they should be able to do this quickly without affecting other items in the cart. If they have to start again due to one change, this will kill the shopping experience. So make it super easy to change items in the cart, whether it’s colours, numbers or even sizes. Plus, if they go back to browsing once they have filled out their details on the form, the system should remember these, so the customer doesn’t have to go through the whole process again.

10) Use heatmaps

While not part of the checkout process, a heat map will allow you to track peoples movements on the checkout page. Knowing what buttons are being clicked on will help you know if the page is conversion-focused or not. Heat mapping is a great way to see if there are enough calls to action and if they are being utilised. It would help if you were using a heat map on all pages of your site, but critical ones such as the check out page are imperative.


There are far too many mistakes you can make on the checkout page of your site to mention. So the best advice I can give you is to keep a few harmful design elements well away from the checkout page. Doing this will dramatically increase your conversion rates, sales and ultimately revenue. Of course, I have not touched on the technical issues such as slow loading pages or check out pages that do not render correctly on a mobile phone, but these quick what not to do’s should point you in the right direction.

How to Increase the Sales Conversion Rate of My Website?

Getting a decent amount of traffic to your website is the name of the game. 

You have to get as many qualified customers to your website as possible to have any chance of making sales.

To get your website ranking on Google for your main core keywords is the end game. But wait, there’s more. Great website rankings are only 50% of the challenge; the other 50% happens when they land on your website. Do they arrive on your page and make an inquiry or leave your website without making a sale or inquiry

If you find that you are ranking well, but the phones are not ringing, something is wrong, and you need to take action ASAP. After all, you’ve put all the hard work and effort into getting decent Google rankings; now, you need to convert these site visitors into paying customers. 

Known as conversion rate optimisation, you must keep people excited and engaged once they land on your website. Moz describes conversion rate optimisation (CRO) as the systematic process of increasing the percentage of website visitors who take the desired action — filling out a form, becoming customers, or otherwise.

As a business owner, you always have to be looking for ways to improve your CRO rates. If you start to let them slide, you’ll soon see what happens. It’s a disaster. People will not engage with the site and start shopping or buying from your competition.

In this blog, I will highlight a few simple ways to help you improve your websites conversion rates and get more sales leads, inquiries and revenue.

What Is a Good Conversion Rate?

Many people ask this question, and it’s not as cut and dry as you’d think. Conversion rates vary between industries and competitive keywords, so we can not give specifics on this. Crazy Egg tells us that your conversion rate represents the percentage of website visitors who take action on an offer you present to them. It’s a way to track the effectiveness of your messaging and the product behind the message.

Obviously, if you’re an eCommerce business, you want to get conversion rates as high as possible. CRO Experts tell us that having a conversion rate of between 5-10% is a decent figure. Anything higher and then you’re getting into some serious conversions. You can add PPC or Adwords into the mix here, and you would like to have the maximum CRO rates as each click on Google ends up costing you money.

Conversion Rate Optimisation Tips

A quick search for “conversion rate optimisation tips“, and you will find plenty of information online. But before you go ahead and rush into making any changes to your website to improve CRO rates, you first have to know your web goals and understand your audience. Once you know what you want to achieve and what your audience wants, you can then go about the necessary web changes to improve conversion rates.

The best strategy for a business that sells directly to another company could mean a lifelong client worth many thousands of dollars or an eCommerce store where the average sale is $15 to follow these conversion boosting tips.

Write Killer Headlines

Headlines attract the eye and are the most crucial part of your landing pages—the more attention-grabbing the headline, the more chances of consumer engagement and interaction with the site. If they like the headline, then they will read further. If what they initially read is garbage, expect them to exit the page.

David Ogilvy explains that many people read the headline five times as read the body copy on average. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.

If you think about that statistic, you’ll come to appreciate how strong your headline is for each page of your website. If you get stuck writing headlines or don’t have the experience, I suggest getting an SEO copywriter to help you with this.

How can you write killer headlines?

  • You have to understand your audience and write headlines that will immediately appeal to them.
  • What’s your unique selling point? Do you know it? Well, you should, and it must be included in your headline. Ulrika from Sparrow Loans has done this on the website’s home page by highlighting that their loans help businesses within 48 hours. It’s those types of headlines that catch the readers eye very quickly.
  • Use words in an offer that solve a person inquiry, such as; ‘Do you want?” ‘Learn How To’ or’ Did You Know?’
  • Test and retest again. There’s no harm in doing this and seeing what works and what doesn’t. For example, I will change the headline 4 or 5 times before I’m satisfied with it and check bounce rates in my Analytics account frequently to see if the heading change has had any impact.

Reduce Complicated Forms

Just imagine you want to sign up for a cooking class, but you had to fill in a 3-page form before you could. Or, perhaps you want to buy a new iPhone online, but you needed to sign up to create an account without having a guest option? 

Extensive sign-up forms are a massive roadblock to the check out process and are a massive contributor to reducing conversion rates. Consumers and your customers want to get into your site, make the inquiry or buy the product as quickly as possible. Forms complicate the process and make it a hassle. If you want to improve website conversion rates, get rid of clunky, lengthy forms.

Remember, people don’t want to give you all their personal information; they want to buy without handing over all their details. Search Engine Journal puts it nicely when they tell us Don’t ask someone for their credit card number, social security, grandmother’s pension, and children’s names right off the bat – your user doesn’t trust you yet.

Hopping Mad Designs Tip: if you have to have forms keep it to a maximum of 3 to 4 fields only.

Add Live Chat

Adding a live chat feature is now super-common and at the bottom of most websites. If you were not sure about a product or service and are still sitting on the fence, then the ability to talk to a customer service rep online immediately is a great way to sway them over. Plus, it adds a level of trust where you know that there is an actual person at the end of the chat feature responding to your questions.

Include Reviews

Did you know that 70% of people will leave a positive review when asked by the business, according to Search Engine Land? Always and I mean always, ask your customers to leave a Google Review when you can. Obviously, the experience needs to be positive, just like the guys at Bali Villa Escapes do. They rely heavily on TrustPilot for their reviews, and it works really well for them. Consumers like social proof and will respond favourably to your product or service if they can browse the reviews. 95% of shoppers read the reviews posted on business review sites such as Yelp, Google, Facebook, and TripAdvisor before making a purchase.

So, the take-away here is to get as many reviews as possible as this will increase your websites trust factor and inturn your conversion rates.

Place Call To Action Buttons Strategically

Your websites primary goal is to send clear messages to your customers. You must be able to guide them to certain hot buttons or a clear call to action throughout your website. Do you want them to call you? Then place a prominent phone number at the top of the page. If you want them to submit an inquiry form, create large submit inquiry form buttons on these pages. The trick here is to make it super simple for customers to contact you or sign up for your quarterly newsletter. Whatever your intention is, make it loud, clear and very simple to find.

WordStream highlights some common examples of call-to-action buttons are:

  • Add to cart buttons
  • Free trial sign-up buttons
  • Download buttons
  • Try Our Free Trial
  • Reserve Your Seat
  • Download Whitepaper

Perhaps create a sense of urgency as well with your CTA buttons such as:

  • Sign Up and Get 50% Off Today Only!
  • Download the E-Course for $10!

Even just adding “now” builds a subtly sense of urgency for users:

  • Register For The Ultimate PPC Webinar Now!

Do You Need Help Improving Your Websites Conversion Rate?

As we’ve mentioned above, there are loads of other conversion tips that would radically help improve your website’s conversion rates, but I’ve kept them to a minimum for the sake of this article. Conversion rates are not a set and forget proposition. You have to keep testing, refining and improving your website’s performance, and over time, you will see significant improvements in your customer conversions. 

Most businesses, unfortunately, do not fully understand or grasp the power of CRO and its benefits, but those that do will be seeing vast improvements in sales and inquiries – it’s as simple as that. 

If you need a web design team to help you boost your conversion rate, you should get in touch with Hopping Mad Designs.

Contact us now, and we’ll review your conversion rates and see what we can do to help you get more sales.

Website Structure & SEO Rankings: 6 tips to get it right

Getting your website structure correct is the first step in the on-page SEO process. It’s one of the most critical components.

Get it wrong, and your chances of better SEO rankings are limited. Do it properly, and you’ll see results quickly because you can’t have great SEO rankings without a good web structure.

If you want to see your website at the top of the search engines, you have to plan your website structure which your web design agency must do. Thinking that you need to design a website and presto you rank is the wrong approach. It just doesn’t happen like that. And, with the explosion of DIY websites like Wix, websites have little or no planning and are therefore hampered in the rankings from the day they launch. It’s a real shame because many business owners have a great idea, product or service they want to rank on Google, yet they stumble and fall at this critical stage in the design process. When designing a website to avoid a catastrophe, you need to consider other factors when designing a website, but most reputable web agencies will emphasise the structure.They fail to plan a well laid out, user-friendly website where both users and the search engines quickly find the content, which is the key to having the best site structure possible.In this detailed post, I’ll tell you some of the tricks we use to create a squeaky clean website structure that will boost your SEO rankings.Why is Your Website Structure Important?There are two main reasons why the website structure is so crucial for the future of your marketing. Firstly it gives customers a better experience which means higher conversion rates and consumer engagement; critical for eCommerce sites. And secondly, it allows the search engines to index the site easily. If any hurdles or obstacles prevent the search engines from crawling your site, this will affect future SEO rankings as pages will not be indexed. Ease of use and a straightforward navigation structure is of paramount importance here.Enhance the user experience (UX) by having the best website structure.Smashing Magazine puts it nicely when defining user experience as to how a person feels when interfacing with a system. The system could be a website, a web application or desktop software.Simply put, it’s the reaction a person has when they land on your website. Do they like it and engage with the site, looking around and perhaps even buy something, or do they leave it quickly? If they exit because of the bad user experience, maybe it’s slow to load or can’t find what they are looking for, then it’s an issue. High exit numbers, also known as bounce rates, can impact your SEO rankings dramatically. Google places a lot of weight on consumer behaviour on your site, and if their ranking algorithm can detect high bounce rates, they will penalise your site.I’m not saying that your penalty will be a complete site deindex, but you can expect less than decent rankings with high bounce rates. Alternatively, the good news is that if your bounce rates are low and Google can detect a high level of consumer engagement on your website, then your rankings will improve.You can see here the direct correlation between the user experience and SEO rankings. And a massive part of the UX is the site structure, so make sure you get it correct from the get-go!

Good Site Structures Leads to Better Crawling by Google

You want Google’s web spides to be able to crawl and index your site easily. What makes this possible is a perfect site structure and URL formatting.Let me break this down for you as it’s super simple.The main navigation headings ( the buttons at the top of the page ) should be your primary services or products. Such as the following pages:

  • Home
  • About Us
  • Contact Us
  • Services / Products
  • FAQ’s
  • Why Choose us

These are your bread and butter navigation points you’ll find on most websites.The URL primary categories would be: 

  • Home =
  • About Us =
  • Contact Us =
  • Services / Products =
  • FAQ’s =’s
  • Why Choose us =

You can see how clean the site structure is as well as the URLs. People can easily see what the pages are about through the URL and the page name. It gets a little bit more complicated as we go through to the services or product pages. Here, the subcategory URL structure will be:Products = = a web structure like the above makes it crystal clear to both Google and your customers of the page’s intent which is the best site structure possible.So how do you create the best site structure for your audience and the search engines? Following is a step-by-step guide that will have you in Googles good books and will keep your clients happy and coming back for repeat visits at the same time.

Dummies guide for creating Site Structure

1) Plan ahead

Plan the site of your website structure. You have to sit down with your web designers and go over this at the briefing stage. They will help plan this out in their scoping documents, but this is a simple process for most small businesses, as you can see from the URL and site layout above. For larger web projects and eCommerce sites, you will need a more detailed site structure, but so long as your design team follows a rigid framework and methodology, it should be easy. The site logic is the same, except it’s just more significant with more headings, products and services. Design agencies will produce a set of wireframes before they even start designing, which will detail the site structure in advance. At this stage, you can see how each web page interacts with each other and the sites layout. If you can understand it and it seems logical with a seamless flow, this is the ideal layout. The trick here is to make the site logical. You don’t want your customers to get lost on the site or make it overly complex with too many navigation points. Use the KISS principle; nice and simple, and it will work; even if your business has many products or services, you need to keep them in hierarchical order under the main headings, which keeps the site nice and tidy.Hopping Mad Designs Tip: Do not exceed six primary categories as this start to become a little confusing to the user, and try to keep the subcategories consistent. For example, if one category has seven products or services and the other four, this may seem uneven. Keep them balanced if possible.

2) Develop a URL Structure that Matches with Your Navigation

For the perfect site structure, your URL’s have to match the navigation. I detailed this above, but I need to emphasise this point as critical for your SEO rankings. In addition to the above, if you are looking at targeting a local area such as Manly or Bondi to reach customers, you would add a locations main navigation page and have as the subcategories the separate suburbs such, each page would have to have content unique and specific to that area, as you never want to duplicate content or web pages.

3) Create Your Site with a WordPress Content Management System ( CMS )

We love WordPress as a CMS and use it for all our websites. WordPress websites allow developers to create a world-class hierarchical structure and customise URL’s. For SEO purposes and user experience, you could not ask for a better solution. The dashboard where you can control the sites structure and URL’s are straightforward and easy to understand, but your web team will set this up for you in the first place. Hopping Mad Designs Tip: There are many other CMS platforms, but WordPress dominates the CMS landscape for so many reasons. When choosing your web design agency, make sure you go with the agency that builds sites using WordPress. Avoid at all costs using their proprietary CMS platforms as there are hidden dangers.

4) Three-click rule

Wikipedia tells us that the three-click rule or three-click rule is an unofficial web design rule concerning website navigation design. It suggests that a website user should find any information with no more than three mouse clicks.The above makes perfect sense, especially when you are creating your site structure. Your customers should be able to find what they are searching for within three clicks. Any more, and you risk losing them. With the above exampleServices = can see that the user has been able to find the page about blocked drain cleaning in 2 clicks only. They went from services then to the blocked drains section. A third click would be more services related to blocked drains, such as:Services = commercialWhich would relate to the business showcasing their commercial block drain cleaning service. Any deeper navigation, as you can see, would start looking clunky and confusing.

5) Create a Main Heading Menu for your Primary Pages

The most efficient website structures will have their primary services and business information front and centre at the top of the page, making it easy for your customers to access the essential information quickly. I detailed the typical top-level navigation above, so try to stick to less than six headings. Anymore will look like you’re trying to cram too much information at the top, which may turn users off and become too distracting.Hopping Mad Designs Tip: Avoid animated menus as they add no SEO value. You might also like to have a small pop-up window as we do on this site when you hover over the navigation button explaining what the page is about in a bit more detail. You can see when you hover over the services tab, a small pop up window appears saying: graphic and web design services by hopping mad designs. It’s a bit gimmicky, but it’s just an added cool feature you might like to consider.inline_358_

6) Create Internal Links

The last tip for creating the best website structure to help with your SEO rankings is to create internal links between pages. You can see that some of the links I have created for this article link to other pages within this site.Ahrefs tells us that most people don’t realise is that—when used strategically—internal links can significantly boost a site’s performance in search engines. Google even tells us that linking pages are an excellent way for your website to be reindexed and ranked.Reasons why internal linking is essential:i) Adding internal links will allow you to create a website hierarchy, drive more traffic through your entire website and encourage visitors to spend more time on your site, which helps reduce bounce rates. In turn, boost SEO rankings. ii) If you link from your home page to an internal subcategory, you pass page rank helping boost the value and trust of this page. But don’t overdo this, as it may appear spammy.iii) Helps users navigate to specific pages. Plus, you can drive people to where you want them to go. A great example of this is mentioning a particular service offering on a page and linking to that specific service page. If a person clicks on this link, they will be redirected to this page.


Now you’ve read this; you may feel like you’re ready to create your link structure. This article is not intended for that purpose, as you should leave it to a professional web team to map the structure out. I’ve written this article to educate you on the many nuances that can affect your SEO rankings; the structure is a biggie! Often it’s too overlooked by agencies who want to churn out a website and get paid. Attention to the site structure is a critical element in the success of your business which is why the team at Hopping mad Designs will make a clear site map outlining the structure for you.


What Is The Most Critical Aspect Of An eCommerce Web Design?

eCommerce web design is a highly competitive and complex field, and to be successful online, you have to follow specific critical points.

It’s simple enough to build an eCommerce site but to be competitive and make it successful, you must understand the critical components that make the best eCommerce websites.

The common thread that separates the memorable and extraordinary eCommerce sites from the rest of the pack is the user experience or UX.

This article, Hopping Mad Designs, will go over the user experience. What is the UX, why it’s essential, and ensure that your customer shaves the best user experience possible on your website?

The Most Critical Aspect Of An eCommerce Web Design Is The User Experience or UX.

Wikipedia defines the user experience as to how a user interacts with and experiences a product, system or service. And this includes your website.

If you want to build an eCommerce online store better than your competition and get as many sales as possible, then the user experience has to be seamless, easy to use, navigate and overall; world-class.

Let’s start by breaking down the UX for eCommerce stores.

To explain what a user experience is and why it’s important, let’s compare the standard eCommerce website to a brick-and-mortar store to give you a better idea of what the user experience means.

Whenever you walk into a shop or store, say in your local Westfield shopping centre, you will expect to see and get:

  • Eay access into the store without anything blocking your passage.
  • Clear signage and any specials of good for sale, you should be easily able to spot these.
  • Be able to speak to a salesperson who is friendly, knowledgable and honest.
  • Buy as many products as you want using your credit card and other payment methods.
  • The shop has to be clean, uncluttered and easy to walk around.
  • Be able to get your goods and exit the store. Oh, yes, and you want a decent parking spot!

If you have had any bad in-store experience, say you are shopping with a friend, and you have been treated rudely by a salesperson, or perhaps the store didn’t have friendly energy or was poorly designed. Chances are you not going to buy from it or revisit it. You might even go online and leave a negative Google review.

You can quickly draw a comparison between bricks and mortar retail shop and an eCommerce online website. They are essentially the same.

Customers online want to be able to see and do the following:

  • If they are a repeat customer, they want to know if there are any upcoming sales online via email.
  • They should navigate the site easily and find the products they are looking for with a minimum fuss. PayPal tells us that over 70% of online purchases are abandoned at the checkout stage, which is one of the biggest challenges to face any eCommerce website. 
  • Products should be less than 3 clicks away.
  • All products are labelled clearly with detailed descriptions as well as delivery and shipping information.
  • You should be able to pay online quickly using your credit card or other platforms like ZIP or AfterPay. 
  • The website must load quickly and render on all handheld devices.

All of the best eCommerce sites go above and beyond clients expectations by making the whole buying process a breeze. Most websites that go bust never fully understand these critical must-haves for the customer experience. Many eCommerce sites I see are free cheap templates that have absolutely no thought put into the UX and look dreadful. They may load fast and have a decent check shopping cart page, but they look amateurish, which doesn’t inspire trust with the customers. The conversion rates are shocking, and they generally go out of business within the first year or so.

What elements are part of the best eCommerce web design & UX?

Now you have a clearer idea about the whole online user experience and what online customer expectations, we can now look at the variables essential for the best eCommerce website. 

A design that works on every device

Statista tells us that in 2017, 75.8 per cent of the Australian population used a smartphone and will reach around 80.1 per cent by 2025.

Your customers are fully mobile, and to capture this market, you need to fully design your eCommerce website to cater to this mobile market. Failure to do this is one of the reasons why people will leave your website.  

Online users want fast, snappy information at their fingertips and websites that show even the slightest hassle in getting to the products area are a real cause for concern.

Website load times

Simply put, your website must load quickly. No one, and I repeat, no one is going to hang around waiting for your site to load. Website page speed is critical for the customer experience and will also affect your SEO rankings. Neil Patel, in his blog How to Increase Page Speed, 

explains that 47 per cent of consumers expect a website to load in no more than two seconds.

Any longer than a two-second load time will smash the user experience, and your next online purchaser may just hit that back button and exit the site.

Top-quality, detailed product descriptions

Shopping online is highly visual. Your customers can’t touch or feel the products that eliminate the whole tactile experience, which means they need to read the product description and view the images in detail. The only way they can decide to buy or not is if the description is tempting and the product shots are clear and high-quality.

Product categories are evident

People hate navigating through different pages to find the products they want to buy. There is a three-click rule determining the user experience, which tells us that customers should get to a product within 3 clicks. Any more, and they are likely to leave the site and shop elsewhere. When you are briefing your web developer, make sure they understand this before designing the wireframes.

Easy checkout process

BigCommerce tells us that shopping cart abandonment occurs when customers add items to their shopping cart but leave before purchasing. 

Most people will abandon their purchase during the check out stage if they have to create an account. Never ask your customers to do this. It’s a killer for conversion. And give your customers a wide variety of payment options and shipping options. 

Offer Free Shipping

People love the words free, and if you can offer some free shipping, scream this out and let them know about this on the home page and the checkout and product pages.  90% of consumers view free shipping as the top incentive that would encourage them to shop online more often, according to Ship Bob. Free shipping is a massive incentive for customers to buy from your site. Wherever possible, push the free-angle as customers enjoy freebies.

Include a search bar 

Searching for products on large eCommerce sites can be a hassle and frustrating, especially when you know what you want. Adding a search bar eliminates any search hurdles by allowing customers to find what they want in one click. Over 40% of customers go to the search bar in the first instance, so definitely include this.

Customer support

Adding a contact button with a phone number adds trust as customers know that they’ll contact a real person if there are any issues with the product or delivery. If your a small start-up without the resources, then include an email such as:

Make sure you get back to every customer as happy customers tend to leave positive reviews on Google, which will further boost your websites trust factor and overall user experience.

Summing it up

There are many facets to the user experience. It’s not as simple as it looks, and for an effective eCommerce website, you shouldn’t take a DIY approach. I have seen far too many failures with sites that don’t cut the mustard. Investing in designing and building an eCommerce site with a significant focus on the user experience is worth every cent. Invest now if you have a long term strategy for your business and watch your client base and revenue grow.

Need Help With Your eCommerce Store? Contact Hopping Mad Designs

As specialists in web design and WordPress eCommerce stores, Hopping Mad Designs is here to help you create a more robust, hard selling and user-centric eCommerce website that works.

To start the conversation call us on 02 9360 8514.