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

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 = www.xyzcompany.com.au
  • About Us = www.xyzcompany.com.au/about-us
  • Contact Us = www.xyzcompany.com.au/contact-us
  • Services / Products = www.xyzcompany.com.au/products
  • FAQ’s = www.xyzcompany.com.au/FAQ’s
  • Why Choose us = www.xyzcompany.com.au/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 = www.xyzcompany.com.au/products/red-shoesorServices = www.xyzcompany.com.au/servcies/blocked-drain-cleaningHaving 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 as:www.xyzcompany.com.au/locations/plumbers-bondiorwww.xyzcompany.com.au/locations/plumbers-manlyRemember, 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 = www.xyzcompany.com.au/servcies/blocked-drain-cleaningYou 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 = www.xyzcompany.com.au/servcies/blocked-drain-cleaning/ 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_https://hoppingmad.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/pop-up-boxes-for-navigation-example-hopping-mad-designs.jpg

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.


How to Avoid SEO Catastrophe During Your Website Redesign

Sprucing up your website is a great idea. Improving your online image with a great looking website can have great results and bring in more customers.

Giving your website an overhaul can significantly impact your SEO rankings if your web agency isn’t aware of the protocols. 

At Hopping Mad Designs, we have seen many businesses online rankings plummet after launching a new site because they ignored some basic rules of the website migration process. Yes, they might have made the site load faster, made the user experience more enjoyable and perhaps helped with sales in the very short term. Tweaking the website is only half the process; the other is the migration. Get it wrong, and your in for a wild SEO ride. Watch those much-loved rankings plummet over the next couple of weeks; this is a certainty!Website redesigns are a must for your business.Many SME’s are not worried about their website until they have to. They are probably doing ok with sales and inquiries, and their rankings on Google are also consistent, so why bother changing? This attitude can linger for years until one day, a brand spanking new competitor with a shiny new website starts taking all the business. Watching your competition do it bigger and better than you is when the alarm bells start to ring, and you decide it’s time to be proactive and get a new website.

Reasons why your business might need a new website include:

1) You still have an HTTP and not an HTTPS at the front of your URL. While this is a technical reason, it may highlight the age of your website and point out that you haven’t updated it in a while. This is a quick fix, but it can affect your Google rankings; it trusts HTTPS sites. Even Google tells us to secure your site with HTTPS.2) You still have photos of old staff that no longer employed. 3) Your websites don’t reflect your brand or business any longer.4) Your website isn’t mobile-friendly, which is a massive reason why you need a new look. Your customers are on the go and are browsing on their websites when searching for a product or service. If you are not catering to this new mobile active market, then you are losing business. Statista tells us that In 2017, 75.8 per cent of the Australian population used a smartphone, and the share was estimated to reach around 80.1 per cent by 2025. This represented just over 21.5 million smartphone users across the country.5) Your website takes longer than a few seconds to load. Slow load times are a conversion killer and will turn customers away.I have written other reasons why people leave your website, which you might identify with.

Stuffing up your Google rankings with a new website is common.

At Hopping Mad Designs, we have redesigned countless websites without any sudden drop in rankings for our clients. Why? Because we follow a rigid checklist that we adhere throughout the migration process. You don’t want to stuff this process up as it can harm businesses.Following are some fundamental mistakes many SEO professionals, marketers make during the website migration process. Knowing these are extremely helpful if you want to have a crack at this.

Poor Planning

You have not invested the time during the scoping and UX phase of the design process to learn the businesses goals. For example, there might be redundant services that you no longer wish to have on the new site. Conversely, you might want to replace old services with new ones or remove outdated products. All these need to be noted in the scoping phase so your web developer can implement them in the design phase. Having a correct and neat URL structure will help with the migration process.Let me break this down further.Let’s say you have an eCommerce website that sells tennis shoes, and you have replaced them with football boots.Your URL structure needs to change from:companyxyz.com.au/products/shoes/tennistocompanyxyz.com.au/products/shoes/footballAnd you have to add a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new one. In this way, you don’t lose any link juice built to the old URL. Let me explain. Your old tennis shoes URL would have built up some trust, authority and rankings over the last couple of months or years. It probably ranked well on Google, so you want to pass this good authority to the new football boots URL to rank quicker.301’s between old URL’s and new ones are critical to a successful website migration, especially if your radically changing the structure of your site.Many businesses had their website built using content management systems that need upgrading to WordPress websites, which involves a whole new URL structure. This means you will need to 301 redirect a whole bunch of old URLs to new WordPress style URL’s. If you have a large website, this could be the most time consuming and essential part of the redesign process. I suggest leaving these to web experts that have a sound background in 301 implementations ( unless someone is able to clearly explain this process to you).
Failing to do this 301 redirect for the migration will result in Google deindexing all your old pages and you losing all that great Google juice built up over the years. Failure to redirect old URL’s will serve up a whole lot of 404 errors ( page not found ) which is a poor customer experience and can marginally damage your brand.If you keep the same sitemap and website structure, you don’t have to worry about 301 redirects in rare cases. I can’t tell you the number of times I have had to go in and rescue websites post-launch that have not implemented 301’s correctly. Rankings have tanked, business owners are freaking out, and it’s a complete mess. 

All WordPress websites will have a 301 redirect option in the dashboard that you can easily use as shown below.

Once you get the hang of it; 301 redirects are easy to implement.

On-page Optimisation

You have to make sure all new on-page elements in the redesign are Google compliant. Essential on-page must-haves include page titles, descriptions, page load times, and the content needs to reflect the intent of that page for the user. In other words, all separate page elements need to line up nicely to give users the best experience possible. This is where your web design team must have a thorough knowledge of SEO, as the two disciplines need to work together cohesively.


Don’t do the launch on a Friday afternoon, as issues can and most likely will happen. Wait till Monday and go through your launch checklist. The most crucial thing is to check for broken or missing links. Never rush this process as you may miss something. WordPress has a broken link checker, which is a handy tool to have.

Post website launch SEO checklist

Any decent web design agency will monitor the website after launch, and the following is a comprehensive list of things they need to be watching.

1) Check redirects

All 301 re-directs need to be in place. Check to see if any of your main keywords have dropped on Google after the launch. If they have, this may be a result of missed 301’s. Businesses have rung me up in a panic complaining that their main keywords are no longer ranking, and it’s always the same; the web agency forgot to do the 301’s. 

2) Test Site-to-Live Site Audit

You might have implemented all the correct on-page elements on the test site, but have these been taken over to the new site? Go through all the main landing pages and check for apparent anomalies. Also, don’t forget about any schema markup you have on the site.

3) Website Speed

Please don’t assume that because you have a new website, it will load faster. You might have new plugins or graphics that can slow page speeds. Pingdom allows you to check page speed load times and make corrections to increase site speed.

4) Submit XML Sitemaps

When you are 100% satisfied with your 301 redirects and all the on-page elements, it is time to submit the XML sitemap. 

5) Monitoring

For the next couple of months, keep a close eye on the site and see if any issues arise. There shouldn’t be any major hiccups, but there’s always the chance you could have missed something—login to your Google Webmaster Tools account, which will highlight any issues such as broken links etc.

6) On-Going SEO

Now you have your new website and things seem to be going well; you need to maintain or improve your rankings which involves an SEO campaign that should be part of your marketing mix. A new WordPress website might give you a bump in the rankings, but that’s about it. To remain competitive and take business from larger companies, you MUST do SEO – simple as that.

14 reasons why people leave your website

You have written the best copy for your website. The images are amazing, the graphics are polished but somehow, your not getting the sales.

You are also ranking on Google and getting traffic, but somehow these are not converting into sales, and it’s starting to worry you. 

Why is this happening, and what can you do about these insufficient sales numbers? Why are these visitors who come to your site leaving quickly? Unfortunately, there is a vast difference between online traffic and actual sales. Getting people on your site to buy from you is an art and a combination of many factors. There are so many mistakes, and stuff-ups you can make that turn people and potential customers off. Missing these sales is a lost opportunity, so you must make sure that you address all on-page website issues that could be hampering your conversion rates.In this article, I want to address why people leave your site without purchasing or calling you.

1) Old website design

Forbes tells us that: It is clear that a high-quality brand website is now an integral component of any effective digital marketing strategy and that consumer standards for web design are higher than ever.Consumers, shoppers and web browsers, according to Statista, daily mobile internet consumption is set to increase to 155 minutes in 2021.The above means that people are used to seeing the latest web trends and styles online. If your website isn’t up-to-date with the latest plugins, features, and looks, people might trust the site less. They will look elsewhere with the flick of a finger. It’s that easy. Browsers and your potential customers are all conditioned by the multitude of sites they see. If you haven’t updated your website in the past couple of years, it’s time to give it a complete overhaul. Outdated web design is a primary reason why people will leave your site; get it fixed quickly. You can see how a site refresh for Doolan Wagner ( one of our web design clients ) gave customers a better user experience. And, as a result, inquiries have skyrocketed. View the case study here.Hopping Mad Designs Tip

: best give it to a web design agency with experience in customer conversion rates. There are free DIY web templates online where you can save money, but this is not a good idea.

2) Your website’s content is challenging to read.

Have you taken a close look at your website and noticed how hard it was to read? Are the fonts too small, is there a mix of clashing colours and are the graphics simply too complicated?For the best web design experience, you want users to find what they are looking for quickly. Sweor explains that; the best (and only) way to get rid of snap judgements on your homepage is to improve its design.There are some easy ways to fix the readability of your website.i) increase font size – people don’t want to have to squint to read your site.ii) line-height – don’t keep spacing between lines too small. Make browsing large chunks of text easy.iii) contrast between text and colour background – try to make it white background with black text – never a light colour text on a pale background.iv) narrow lines – it’s far easier for customers to read narrow lines than long lines, which are 2 to 3 sentences.v) use subheadings – breaking long paragraphs up with subheadings so browsers can skim the content easily and find what they are looking for quickly. A rule of thumb is a sub-heading every 2 to 3 paragraphs.vi) use bullet points – a great way to highlight points as breakouts from the text – perfect for lists or summarising details.vii) use real-life images – avoid overuse of stock images as they tend to be cheesy. Users can spot this a mile away, and it can break down the authenticity and trust of the website.viii) short snappy sentences – long sentences can lose people. Remember, attention spans are sort online as The Guardian reminds us: keep page content short and punchy and split any detailed content out into secondary pages if applicable.ix) new paragraph every 3 to 4 lines, making content more digestible and easier to find critical points.x) keep graphics to a minimum – don’t overcompensate your site with too many graphics. People cannot absorb all that information.

3) Your site relies on outdated plugins

The last thing people want to do is install a plug in to visit your site. I don’t care how great your site is or how fantastic your service is; people will not spend the time ( even if it is for a couple of minutes ) to download some plug in to view your site.

Here are some signs that you’re a plugin hoarder.

-You have no idea what your plugins do. Your developer installed them years ago, and you can’t even remember why. The worst part is that all these plugins take time to load, which can slow down your website load times, harming your internet rankings through higher bounce rates.

-You cannot update your WordPress site because of these old plugins. Old plugins can stop you from updating newer ones because of compatibility issues. All WordPress sites need the latest plugins for security and the latest features which your clients expect to see. Not having this represent a massive roadblock and a chance for customers to leave your site, especially if it’s a shopping cart.

-Your site has more plugins than content which means your web design team has gone to extremes in adding plugins that you will never use. Again, delete them.

-You have a few large heavy-duty plugins that take ages to load, and you hardly ever use them. 

Hopping Mad Designs Tip: The best way to fix these plugin issues is to conduct a complete website audit and prune outdated plugins with no benefit. It’s easy to do with the click of a mouse.

4) You’re bombarding people with ads

If your revenue model has ads on your website, trimming these ads might not be an option. But if you have a B2B or B2C website and there are ads on the site, consider removing a good percentage of these.The Harvard Business Review tells us that; Amazon features shopping ads throughout its site, making product recommendations based explicitly—and often conspicuously—on individual users’ search data, without seeming to draw any consumer ire whatsoever. If adverts target consumers based on their browsing behaviour, this might be OK, but bombarding them with ads can distract them from their immediate search goals. If you must have ads, then display them below the fold, near the bottom of the page.

5) Videos on your site auto-play.

Just imagine you at work, and you’re doing some research or shopping online, and a video automatically plays. Most people scramble to hit the back button to exit that page as the video begins playing loudly. It’s a pain and is a substantial contributing factor for high bounce rates. Videos are great for customer conversion rates, but never make them autoplay. 

6) The navigation structure is confusing

A convoluted, confusing, top-heavy navigation structure like a maze is terrible for the customer experience and an SEO killer. How many times have you gone to a website only to find that it’s impossible to find your way around? You get lost, you’re constantly hitting the back button, and eventually, you give up and leave. It’s so frustrating, especially if you like the brand and want to make an inquiry or buy something.A clean navigation structure makes the browsing experience far more enjoyable and helps search engines like Google crawl the site easily & should be the cornerstone of your on-page SEOThe rule of thumb for your website’s navigation should always be looking to enhance the user experience. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and see if you could quickly move around the site and find what you were searching for. What pathways did you go down to find what you wanted? Did you end up at a dead-end or on a page that was irrelevant? If the journey on your website is difficult, it’s time to rearrange your site navigation. Search Engine Watch tells us how this is done in: A guide to redesigning a website without affecting SEO.Now I’m not saying that you have to redesign your site, but you should take all the on-page elements into account when changing site structure not to affect your current Google rankings. The main feature you have to note is the 301 redirects from the old URL structure to the new one. Redirects can get complicated for the lay business person, so Id suggests leaving it to a professional web team. Or, check out what Ahrefs has to say in their 301 Redirects for SEO: Everything You Need to Know.

7) Your registration requirements are complicated

When people want to buy or engage with your business online, the last thing they want to do is jump through complicated hurdles in the signup process. It kills conversion rates and is another main factor why people are leaving your site before making a purchase. If you make it compulsory for users to sign in or fill out a registration form, keep it as simple as possible. CrazyEgg tells us that: for each form field that we removed, signups grew by about 10%.So bear this in mind on your next registration form. Try to keep it simple and limit it to say 3 to 4 fields.

8) You have a cookie-cutter style website

The problem with many websites nowadays is they lack any personality or unique selling point. They are unfortunately homogenous where you t tell one site from the next. With the rise of free web templates and cheap websites such as WIX and Squarespace, they have flooded the internet with cookie-cutter style sites that all look the same. I’ve personally seen some shockers where you can’t tell what the intention of the website is. It could be a plumbing website, or it could be a lawyers website. You don’t know about these templates and what the consumer perceives. Fully Charged Media explains this in greater detail on their blog: 5 Reasons Not To Use Wix For Your Website.Hopping Mad Designs Tip: If you engage the user with a decent looking website that reflects your companies brand, image and style, you will earn trust and loyalty from your customer base. And, if people like what they see, they are more likely to buy from it. I’ve also written about this here: Signs that it’s time to redesign your website

9) Slow load times

Here are some page load statistics that you need to get your head around as they are mind-blowing:

  • 1-second delay reduces page views by 11%.
  • 1-3 seconds load time increase the bounce rate probability by32%
  • a whopping 79% of online shoppers state that any performance hiccup ( especially slow page load times) will make them stay away from an online store

You can check the load speed times of your website here at Pingdom. Check your score and if it’s low, make sure you do something about speeding up your website. You can learn more from Google Page Speed Insights.

It’s a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. I won’t wait for sites to load. If they are slow, my finger is on the back button within 3 seconds.

You can also add the SEO factor into this as slow websites will not rank well on Google – that’s a fact according to Moz, who states that Google has indicated site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages.

Moz makes perfect sense; why would Google rank a site that was delivering a substandard user experience? They wouldn’t as they’ll only deliver results in the SERP’s that offer the best customer experience.

10) Poor call-to-action buttons

Can you believe this statistic: 70% of Small Business B2B Websites Lack A Call to Action, according to Small biz trends.Users need to be able to get to where they want to be on your site. They need to know where to call, buy and sign up. You can’t let them wander around your site without a clear call to actions. Like street signs, they direct people to critical pages throughout the site.If you don’t have clear and distinct call to actions and people are left stranded on your site, expect them to go pretty quickly.

Here are some tips for improving your call-to-action buttons on your site.

i) Use a strong verb in your message to get their attention. With an eCommerce site, use words like ‘buy now’ or free ‘delivery’. These are strong call to actions that prompt users actually to click the button. And, if you’re promoting a service, use words like ‘click here for more information’.

ii) Use words that entice an emotion – be creative with your use of wording such as ‘buy now and get 40% off!” Wording like this triggers powerful buying signals as people love discounts and sales. Also, add an exclamation mark at the end to highlight your point.

11) All hype & no substance

If you have hyped up your home page with fabulous images and promises that do not eventuate, people will exit the site. Many eCommerce sites will promise things like free delivery and guarantees on their products, but once you drill in and explore these further, they don’t live up to this. It’s a massive turn off and is a huge reason people don’t buy from the site.Be honest and upfront, and don’t oversell. Many businesses are guilty of this by using clickbait titles and heading to engage users. Bold headings, exaggerated promises are all part of the clickbait ethos, and it’s rampant online. Don’t be part of this trend if you want to keep customers loyal.

12) Your site isn’t responsive.

Oberlo tells us that: as of February 2021, 55.56 per cent of all web traffic comes through mobile phones. If you have to read that number again, do it and note that this figure will only grow. All you need to do is look at people and see what they are doing. They all have their heads down, looking at their phone. And they are all browsing the internet or on social media. Catering to this market in 2021 and beyond is a must to drive sales and capture a mobile audience. Therefore your site has to be mobile responsive and offer these mobile users a fantastic, seamless online experience.Google even tells us that they now mobile responsive sites are a massive ranking factor in their ‘rolling out the mobile-friendly update‘. Having a responsive site is a win-win; for your customers and your Google rankings. If you have a WordPress website, all you need is a couple of days with a decent web design agency.

13) Try using exit-intent technology.

Have you been on a website lately, and just before you were about to exit, a popup window appeared with a promotional offer? These popups are known as exit-intent technology and are a great last attempt to keep users on your site. Think about employing this great bit of technology and see if engagement or sales levels increase.Campaign Monitor is bullish about this technology, and here are a few things they have to say:

  • Email list growth: exit-intent popups that ask for an email address can encourage 4% to 7% of your site visitors to join your list. That could lead to two new email addresses for every 100 site visitors.
  • Improved conversion rates: average conversion rates are 3.09%, but the best popups can have conversion rates from 10% to 60% if you optimize them properly.

14) Your website’s been hacked

OMG, this is the absolute worst and will drive anyone away from your site in less than a second. Hacked sites with adult images or links to gambling sites are horrible. And ACS tells us that Australia is one of the world’s most hacked countries. So, the best way to avoid hacking is to engage a company to monitor your site against hacking and update your WordPress plugins frequently.


Just because you have noticed a decrease in sales leads from your website, this doesn’t mean that you can’t fix the problem. The above are helpful tools and tips to help you repair your site’s user experience, SEO rankings, and website performance. While some of these may or may not apply to your websites circumstances, areas like the design and graphics of the site are a pretty common problem that needs addressing. Even if you feel your site is working well, you should give it an audit as there are always areas for improvement.


Digital Marketing Trends that will Dominate 2021 & Beyond

2020 has been a crazy year. Everyone is still reeling from the pandemic, but business continues evolving in the digital space. 

As we all adapt to so-called ‘new normals’ in 2021, people stuck at home have set the tone for seeing an absolute explosion in digital marketing trends.

The only way many businesses have connected with their customer base is online and selling to them via eCommerce. While we have always had eCommerce, 2021 is the year it will rocket.We’ve seen big-name brands and smaller businesses adapt to new government regulations, and adjust their marketing in some new and refreshing ways. It’s been evolving almost weekly, and the following are five stand out digital trends we see for 2021 emerge.

1) Trusted Brands Rule!

Everyone was hit hard in 2020, and we are just recovering. Like a bad hangover, it’s lingering on and on. The whole COVID dilemma has somehow led to a shift in consumer behaviour where local is becoming the buzz word. People tend to shop locally from sustainable brands, give back to the community, and are trusted. So you have to start adjusting your branding to reflect this. Ask yourself these questions: is my business giving back to the community, and what environmental footprint is it leaving. If you feel that you are doing the right thing for your community and the environment, scream this out on your website and let everyone know about it. Why?The Australian Retailers Association says: Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents said they’re currently buying more environmentally friendly products than they were five years ago, and 81% said they expect to buy more over the next five years.And Forbes states that;  81% of millennials say they want to support brands with corporate citizenshipThese figures are enormous and should be a wake-up call to all traders in Australia wanting to grow their market share. You have to start remodelling your brand ( you might even look at some graphic design tweaks to your logo, website, social media accounts, blogs and email campaigns) to reflect the taste in consumer buying sentiment.Next Steps: 2021 is the year you draw a line in the sand and make those changes. Work on your branding with a new mindset. Critical elements for your business mantra need to be the environment, corporate responsibility, equality and community. Check out these sustainability projects you may want to get involved in.
Implement these changes in 2021, and you’ll be attracting a whole new customer base for the next couple of years.

Corporate sustainability is the new buzz word for businesses. Photo Credit: Corporate Sustainability Reporting in Australia

2. Update your website

When was the last time you updated your website? Is it a relic of the past? When was the last time you spoke to the agency that built your WordPress website? I bet it wasn’t recently. Online business is booming in 2021 as more people are at home browsing the web looking for things to buy in between zoom calls. You have to make sure that your site equipped with the latest must-have features.If you offer your customers a fantastic user experience, then they are more likely to buy from you. Get it wrong and ignore your site, and you’ll be left well behind by the other big brands and online businesses that invest in future-proofing their website.Next Steps: Look at your website critically and ask yourself this question: ‘Would you buy from it?’ If not, then it’s time to invest in a new website ASAP.

3. Dynamic & agile business survive

2021 is the year businesses will have to adapt and be highly agile to survive. Those that are quick to respond to change and adjust their business models to suit market conditions will be the ones that come out of this more robust than ever. Next Steps: Audit your complete online digital strategy such as your SEO, Adwords, Social media, the whole shebang and see what needs fine-tuning etc. You might find that you need to spend more on your SEO to cement your online rankings for the post-pandemic world or refine your social media to reflect your new company ethos regarding corporate responsibility.

4. Ramp up your digital marketing

Aussie businesses can’t survive if they ignore their digital marketing. Relying on word of mouth or one marketing channel is no longer a viable option. You have to be going hard on all digital platforms. As this pandemic continues into 2021 and 2022, businesses must realise that the online space is the only place. Improving your online visibility through SEO, Adwords, content marketing, social media will become a necessity as time rolls on.Nest Steps: Make the call to a digital or web agency and start looking at all your marketing options. Set aside a decent budget for this and be prepared to commit to it for the long term. By this, I mean at least the next 12 to 24 months.

5. Consistency is the key

The new normal, which could be here for the next couple of years, is a mix of work at home and a few days in the office. People are now so used to zoom meetings and work from home, which has also impacted their buying behaviour and consumer patterns.They are at home and browsing the internet to buy a pair of shoes, a new top or jacket for winter or the next painting for the wall. Perhaps they have decided to do a bit of home decoration? They are certainly not travelling for the next year or maybe two, so why not splurge on something else? Hence online shopping and the need for trades has skyrocketed and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. You are at home and staying local for the rest of 2021 and probably 2022 – get used to it! Businesses need to understand the situation and marketing to this captive, stay at home market. And, the only way to do this is to pump up the SEO and digital marketing. It’s the only way forward, and you have to be consistent with this. In times of fear and uncertainty ( think the end of Job Keeper ), businesses like to rein in advertising budgets. But this is the wrong mental approach. SEO is the perfect medium for you to take the lead and be proactive during uncertain times.People are still buying, and they will always be shopping, so give them what they want.Next Steps: If you’ve been on the sidelines with SEO or have stopped marketing your business, now’s the time to be aggressive and look at investing for the future. Get cracking, as things look like they will be this way for a few years at least!

Make 2021 the year you do something serious with your internet marketing!

For this to happen you need to be working with the right team; simple as that! At HMD we have worked closely with all our clients to help them navigate through these times and guess what? They are doing really well. Check out the 300% increase in organic traffic for Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers over the last 12 months. Or, the 287% increase in consumer engagement for Motorola over the last 6 months.

About the Author


Steven Waldberg is one of the directors of Hopping Mad Designs and has been helping Australian businesses with their marketing for over 22 years. You can read more of his marketing insights on the HMD blog.


Benefits of adding a FAQ page to your website

FAQ is also known as Frequently Asked Questions, and they are starting to become the norm with most Aussie websites.

Websites FAQ is not just for aesthetics, but they play a vital marketing role for your business. They help answer customers questions very quickly, they are great for customer conversions, and they also instil trust and confidence in your company. All websites nowadays must have a FAQ section on most pages of their site.

Your FAQ can be a single section at the bottom of a particular page, or it can be a whole page with a detailed list of commonly asked questions relating to your business.

The Benefits of a Website FAQ’s page

1) Answer questions quickly

There are so many benefits to having an FAQ section on your website. They are a fantastic, self-serving tool to help with customer information. Many customers will go looking for an FAQ section to address any questions or concerns they have. You can quickly address questions like refund policies, delivery details, product returns, product instructions and how to reset my password in the FAQ section.

Once they read these FAQ’s, there is no need to call you and send an email inquiry. Just think of all those waste of time calls you used to get answering the same questions all the time. An FAQ section will free up your time so you can work on other things.

2) Increase in Lead Conversion

If the FAQ answers a particular question, the potential customer will be more inclined to buy from the site if they have answers at their fingertips. It’s not surprising that customers leave the site if they can’t find solutions to their questions. If you can provide this with certainty and authority – you’ll clinch the deal, sale or inquiry.

Lets’ say they had a query about the delivery times of a product; if the FAQ’s gave them the answer they wanted, this is a huge conversion factor.

3) Ease the Customer Experience

Most new visitors or customers to your website will go to the FAQ section if they don’t know your policies, procedures or business processes. An FAQ section guides them through all these questions and quickly enhances the whole experience. A happy new customer who trusts your site will be more inclined to make that purchase!

Hopping Mad Designs Tip: make sure they can easily find your FAQ section, and it’s not hidden somewhere down the bottom of the page.

4) FAQ’s help with your SEO and Google rankings.

Adding FAQ’s to each main page of your site will help with your online rankings. Adding FAQ’s may result in rich snippet displays on Google, which means your website will have more real estate on Google. As of March 21, Google likes well written FAQ’s and will display these under your website.

Also, detailed answers can address long-tail keyword rankings, which can help to rank more keywords. It’s a win-win!

Hopping Mad Designs Tip: Try and be as detailed as possible in your answers. The more information you give the customer, the more likely they’ll buy from you.

5) Helps improve site structure and navigation

Add an FAQ into the main navigation at the top of the website will increase customers’ chances of clicking on them. A detailed FAQ page ( like our Hopping Mad Designs FAQ ) can also direct users to other pages throughout the site via internal linking. It’s a nifty way to drive traffic to specific high-value pages on the site. Internal linking is great for SEO, as it allows Google to crawl your site easily.

Check out the FAQ page on our Hopping Mad Designs website. Simple, clean with lots of information.

6) You become the authority

If you want to become an authority in your industry niche, a detailed FAQ section sets you up for that. You can cover as many topics as you like with clear answers. Customers will appreciate the effort you have put into this.Check out The Smith Family’s FAQ page as well as a good example.

Hopping Mad Designs Tip: you can have as little or as much information as you like. Remember, the more effort you put into the FAQ section, the more information you give customers. Make sure you also update outdated information such as prices, shipping details, returns policy, guarantees, warranties etc.

7) Less Customer Service Calls

Think about all those pesky inquiries and questions that led to nothing. FAQ’s eliminates time wasters, tyre kickers, and headaches of repeating the same answers day after day.

Letting your customers work the answers out for themselves with a detailed FAQ section frees your time up. You may not even need that customer service call centre or someone monitoring the Live Chat that’s costing you a fortune. Think about all those dollars save!!

All this allows your customer service dept to focus on urgent and more pressing issues.

8) Be better than the competition

Want to know what makes you look more professional? It’s more informative and well-written content on your website. With an FAQ section, you can enhance and show off your authority and more profound knowledge in your field by writing the best FAQ set. It’s a great way to outdo the competitors who may have a poor FAQ section.

9) Helps reduce bounce rates

That’s right. Most people will quickly glance at the FAQ section for extra information. If they find something interesting, they’ll spend more time on your site reading. Google will notice the extra time and reduced bounce rates and start ranking this page higher – especially if you encourage users to click through to other pages within your site.

How to Create a User-Friendly FAQ Page

Creating a helpful FAQ page is relatively simple. You can have it accordion style where they click on the read more for the complete answer or display the entire FAQ’s.

There are two essential steps to FAQ creation. The first is to put all your questions down and answers down and get a web developer to add this to your site. Put some creative effort into this to encourage people to read them.


How to make an FAQ’s page

1) Determine a set of questions

You have to start by thinking about questions your customers would be asking. These are called lead generation questions.

Let’s take a closer look at this.

Say, for example, you are selling children’s clothing. An excellent example of a lead-generating question is: do you ship free of charge Sydney or Australia wide? The reason being, they would be more likely to buy from you if the answer is yes – you do provide free shipping. Another top question is: are you open 7 days? If you have bricks and mortar shop, customers will want to know if they can shop there on the weekend. Take it one step further and address questions about Christmas and public holiday opening hours.

Other vital areas in the FAQ’s that are great for customer conversion include:

i) details about your shipping policy

ii) policy during COVID-19

iii) faulty product returns policy

iv) parking availability outside your shop

v) security of product delivery

Hopping Mad Designs tip: make sure the FAQ’s are relevant to the specific page. Address all questions and answers related to the page topic and never deviate from this.

You may even like to keep these questions uniform through all FAQ sections with unique answers for each page.

Common categories include: 

  • Shipping and returns
  • Sizing
  • Products
  • Payments
  • Security
  • Your account
  • Promotions and discounts
  • Delivery Details

2) Prioritise the most popular questions

Frequently asked questions are named that for a reason. Keep the most popular questions at the top of the FAQ page—Google analytics will tell you your most popular questions.

Hopping Mad Designs Tip: keep updating these questions with relevant information as they will become outdated over time.

3) Include a search bar

Although we do not have it on our site, it’s not a bad idea to have a search bar to help customers find an answer quickly. Rather than scrolling through pages of information, a search bar quickly points users in the right direction and may help with Bounce Rates.

The last thing we want is for users to find the FAQ’s too cumbersome and lengthy that they leave the site altogether in frustration.

4) Keep it branded

Get your web designers to keep the FAQ consistent with your branding’s look and feel—no point in getting a great looking website only to spoil it with a poor customer experience.

5) Update regularly

Your business is evolving, so update your policies and procedures in the faqs. If a client goes there and reads something false, you lose so much credibility – especially shoppers who hate outdated returns and refunds policies!

Update your FAQ’s with separate COVID sections as you might have changed delivery and handling procedures.

6) Monitor and improve

We talked about how vital FAQ’s are in the whole customer experience. But, you have to be monitoring these and improving on them the entire time. They are not a set and forget. Look at revising them a couple of times a year as your business changes. Most websites we build at Hopping Mad Designs are on a WordPress platform, so updates to the FAQ section are relatively simple.

The takeout

Frequently Asked Question pages are a brilliant way to help customers and your business at the same time. Use them to your advantage as they are a valuable sales and marketing tool.

For more information on how to start your FAQ page, contact us anytime.

DIY websites: pros and cons

Every business needs a website, and if you’re in the process of building your first, second or third site, you have probably heard about free websites like WIX, WordPress, or SquareSpace.

These are great options for many business owners that want a cheap n cheerful site up and running in a couple of hours.

But hang on. Before you go ahead and do this, you need to get a full understanding of the pros and cons of getting a DIY site.

I’ll highlight a few points here, but these should be enough to point you in the right direction.

Speed of delivery of DIY websites


You can have a website this minute. You can choose from thousands of WordPress, WIX, or GoDaddy templates online and download any one of them today. You get to control the design style and pick a theme that best represents your business. You can quickly drop and drag information and pictures into these templates, and presto – you have your website. Plus it’s free!!


a) With your DIY website, there are restricted design parameters. All text and images need to fit into a predetermined template which only offers a cookie-cutter style solution. Great for some small businesses but shocking for others that require some form of customisation.

b) The DIY website comes with slow hosting, which kills the customer experience and is terrible for your Google rankings.

c) If you have specific business goals, a DIY website will most likely not solve this need. A cookie-cutter website has absolutely no customisation options. It’s OK for small businesses that want a very basic online presence, but anything else, it’s not ideal.

Cheap DIY websites can cause huge problems for your business.

Cost of DIY websites


a) A DIY website’s main advantage is the cost—WordPress offers 1000’s of free or paid customisable themes. WIX websites offer paid themes with drag and drop that anyone can modify and publish immediately- even if you’re a web novice or have little technical skills. For a lot of people, this is a speedy solution.

b) You can do this yourself with little help from anyone. DIY website companies have made it simple to use for beginners. Web newbies will love this.

c) They all come with instructions and help to get started. So you can be up and live by the end of the day.


a) You get what you pay for. Sure, you can have your basic site up and running, but there may be ads running within the template. And, if you want any change or addition what so ever you will have to start paying for these. DIY websites love to offer you the bare minimum to get you in and signed up. But, once your there, every little addition will cost you extra.

b) While their hosting may be cheap, you are tied to them. Ahh, you thought you got a free website, which was the end of the story.

No, no, no!!

You are stuck with them and their hosting. If you want to transfer hosting providers, this is not easy, and you will need technical help for this.

c) While they are cheap in the start-up phase, many DIY websites only provide basic functionality that will require you to upgrade to relatively expensive monthly packages. Add ons are their business model, and over time these additional costs all add up.

The effort of DIY websites


a) You can do launch a new website very quickly. Download the free template in the morning, and by the evening, you have a new website.

b) Any changes or updates to the site can be done by you in real-time, very quickly.


a) Even if you can build it quickly, it may prove difficult and time-consuming for novices. Plus, if you have any bright ideas or want to add something unique or special that’s out of the predefined template, you can forget it. They don’t allow for this. It can be frustrating and harm your business if you cannot create add ons.

b) There is minimal online support to train you or help you if you want to make updates – that’s if you are non-technical. Any issues? Be prepared to get very frustrated and watch that blood pressure start to rise. It can be a nightmare!! You are on your own, and you have better things to do than worry about a website. You’ll probably end up contacting a web design company to help you.

Styling & Company Image of DIY Websites


a) You can choose from thousands of templates that reflect your business’s personality and brand. There are no shortages whatsoever, and some are pretty cool looking.

b) The templates are easy to modify to your business brand and style. You can drop and drag images and logos easily.


The HUGE downside of DIY templates is they look cheap and are very common. Some other businesses may be using the same template. They are all cookie-cutter in style, and if you’re comfortable with that, then it’s OK, but they all start to look the same. They all become boring, dull and customers can recognise this. It cheapens your image, brand, and business profile.

If you want to express any individuality or look different, you will not be able to. Fall in line with the rest of the sheep because DIY templates are very common. And, the worst part is, customers will see this. It may affect their decision to buy from you. All up, a shocker if you want to look unique.

Technical features of DIY Websites


One of the benefits of a DIY site is hosting is already included in the package. Yes, you pay for that, but at least it’s there, ready for you to start. The security features are not bad either, so your sites protected against hackers and viruses.


Because DIY sites are cheap, the hosting is cheap. It can be slow and very unreliable. Cheap hosting is super-bad for the customer experience, which has many adverse flow-on effects such as your internet rankings. Website speed is crucial, and slow hosting providers can be its worse enemy. If you want to speed up the hosting, you have to switch plans, and this is where they start slugging you with hefty fees. It’s a great marketing trick. They entice you with very low prices, then wallop you once you have the site.

Related post: 11 Tips to Speed Up Your WordPress Website

SEO of DIY Websites


DIY websites come with basic SEO features that give you some capability to help you get on Google. Some analytic features help you measure the performance of the site.


The downside for SEO of having a WIX or other free DIY website is enormous. Because their templates limit you, you are limited in your SEO capabilities. These websites will not rank that well on Google and can hurt your business. We have had to rescue so many companies because they have gone down the DIY websites’ path only to find they can rank them on Google. If you think you will be able to do your SEO just because you have a DIY website, you are mistaken. SEO is a very complicated process and involves many variables that DIY sites do not allow. It’s like trying to climb a mountain with one hand tied behind your back. It’s almost impossible.

Also read: What CMS platform is right for your next website design project?


DIY websites are a fun, quick way to get an amateur online. It’s inexpensive and will do the job. Overall, if you are serious about having an online presence that will help you grow your business and generate revenue and sales, you need to get it designed by a web design agency. Customised websites are intended for you, your goals, and a range of capabilities from custom plugins ( WordPress has many of these that you will need as the business grows) to personalised graphics, branding, videos, infographics, and animations.


Do you want more website traffic?

Hey, I’m Steven Waldberg. I’m determined to make your business in Sydney successful. Call me anytime on 02 9360 8514.


Can bad web design harm your SEO efforts?

Web design and SEO are intricately intertwined. So, in short, the answer is yes. Having lousy web design will harm your SEO Google rankings. You may ask how this works, and the answer is simple.
If a user conducts a search online and lands on your website, that’s excellent news. You have managed to get your website high up on the rankings where people can find you. But, if they cannot find what they are looking for and your website doesn’t answer or address their inquiry quickly, they will leave. If this happens often enough, Google will notice this and start penalising your site.

Known as Bounce Rates the more often people come to your website and bounce off that page ( to exit the site – because they didn’t get what they wanted) the worse it will be for your rankings. The most common reason for high bounce rates is a poor web design, and if you do not fix this, your SEO rankings can never improve.

To help you create a fabulous looking website that your customers will love, following are some examples of bad web design mistakes many people make and an in-depth look at SEO’s most essential components.

Examples of terrible website design mistakes

Text is too small or hard to read.

When people come to your site, they are looking for information and want this quickly. If the text is too small or hard to read, they may exit the site. The aim is to keep users on your site looking around for information, products or services they may need. Clear, bold text will reduce bounce rates and in-turn help with your Google rankings.

Also, take a look at the colour you use for your website text. Faint, hard to read colours is a massive mistake and will kill the user’s whole web experience. The trick here is to keep it simple. Make sure the text is easy to read, with separate main paragraph headings and its colour is black.

Also Read: Signs that it’s time to redesign your website

Pop-up notifications

Pop-ups are great if you have a promotion or you want the browser to fill out a form. But, try to limit these as they tend to become too annoying. Remember that people will be very reluctant to leave their details if they don’t know or trust your site. People come to your site to look around, and pop-ups can hamper the whole experience. Irritating your browsers will affect bounce rates as they WILL leave the site if these pesky pop-ups become an issue.

Your website is not mobile-friendly

The nature of search is going mobile. You can’t design your website just for desktop devices. Doing this will kill the user experience, and Google will penalise your site. You also have to look at how your website renders on iPads. People are time-poor, fussy and want information at their fingertips. Give them this! Google has tools to test if your site is mobile compatible.

Most business nowadays has mobile-friendly websites, but there are exceptions to the rule here. Don’t be one of them and expect to see decent online rankings.

Amateur content

You want to portray your business as being professional. Professionally written content will do this. Poorly written websites show users a lack of professionalism or care. You look like an amateur, and the results will speak for themselves. All pages have to have fresh, informative content that you update regularly. Please don’t be complacent about this part of your website as it’s one of the most crucial SEO ranking factors. The more you put into your website’s copy, the more people will engage with the site. It will build trust, authority and your rankings will improve.

Bad user experience

What happens when a potential customer lands on your website? Do they like what they see and start looking around the site, or is there a horrible gasp and they immediately leave? When designing a website, you need to keep the user experience in front of mind, making sure it’s easy to use, memorable, and above all, there are no hurdles to hinder the buying process. Known as conversion-focused pages these are critical to the whole web experience. So what constitutes good website design that’s also SEO compatible?

  • address all questions a user might have at the top of the page. If your essential information is in the lower half of the page, this can be hard for users and therefore, SEO unfriendly.
  • never clutter the text and make use of white space with robust, bold headings in your paragraphs
  • make it easy for people to find what they want. Contact us and buy now buttons should be made very clear.
  • have your phone number at the top of the page

Also read

: 15 gorgeous landing pages that are conversion-focused

Videos with sound

Make sure that all videos you have on your website DO NOT start automatically with sound. Uses can be in an office or a private area, and they will immediately close your site down if there’s a blaring video going off. If you want videos to play automatically, make sure they start as muted. Don’t annoy people before they have had a chance to look through your site. Loud videos can are offensive to some people. Others may like it, and this will depend on your audience. To be on the safe side, have videos as muted.

Long download times

Some people still have slow internet. Websites with large files, long pages and big images can slow the loading process down. If your website takes longer than two seconds to load this will add to your websites bounce rates. People will exit your site if they become too impatient.

While a couple of seconds might not seem like a huge deal, it does when it comes to your website’s speed. Users want fast, snappy websites to load instantly. It’s the nature of the online space and the way people search now. Do a test yourself and see how long your site takes to load. If it’s longer than say 4 seconds, then you have an issue.

Related post: Is your website design killing your business?

Fake images from cheap photo libraries

Users want realistic images of your business and even better of yourself. Try to avoid the overuse of free or cheap stock photos from image libraries. A huge turn off and people can see right through this. A fake photo of people meeting for a coffee that’s unrelated to your business or two people shaking hands ( you know what I mean ) adds to the distrust. Keep it real and spend the money on decent photos or your business and staff. People will respond better to this.

Outbound links

If your web page has lots of links pointing to other websites, this is good if you reference a document. It is not ideal if there are too many outbound links as this helps people leave your site. Keep these to a maximum of two per page.

Any of the above web design mistakes can and will negatively impact your SEO efforts. As a web design agency, we recommend fixing these as soon as possible to avoid any further Google ranking issues.

A great example of a horrible website design!

SEO tips to help rank your website higher.

A thorough website audit

If you have designed and built a new website, it’s time for a complete audit. Or, if you have an existing site, you need an audit also. Factors to consider n your website audit are:

  • site speed ( are images loading with a couple of seconds )
  • content ( is the copy unique – make sure you haven’t plagiarised it from other sites). Content plays a crucial role in any SEO campaign, so make sure you have it written by a professional copywriter as highlighted above.
  • look at your current backlink profile. Where are the links coming from to your site, and are they trustworthy? If they look dodgy or unrelated to your site get them disavowed through your Google search console.
  • look at your URL structure and make sure it’s SEO friendly. All service and product pages should reflect the nature of the content of that page. For example, if you’re a divorce lawyer in Sydney and one of the services you offer is child custody, then the URL for that service page need to be:


This URL structure should be uniform throughout the site as it makes it easier for Google to index this page and rank it.

Write amazing content

As discussed above, the copy is king for any website. But first of all, you need to address each page on the site and write unique, informative & exciting copy based on your keywords for that particular service or product.

Using the example of a child custody lawyer in Sydney, the content for that page has to be anywhere between 1000-2000 words and the trick here is to write it better than your competition.

The SEO and web design combined formula we like to use is incredible content combined with a great backlink profile will equal higher Google rankings.

It’s a simple process, and this is the cornerstone of what Google is wanting.

Offer more insights into the processes involved in child custody and reasons why your the best divorce lawyer in Sydney to handle any child custody matter. For SEO purposes, each page must have a clear introduction and subheadings ( we can create H1, H2 and H3 headings – in the backend of your WordPress website content management system ). Make it easy for the user to read with clear call to action buttons on the page.

Title tags & meta descriptions

These are a vital component for any website as the title sets the tone for the page and is what Google reads.

The descriptions are the information under the title to give the reader more insight into the page’s nature and topic.

These titles and descriptions are your selling point on Google and entice users to click on them.

Ideally, your title tag should not be longer than 60 characters, while meta descriptions should be 160 characters at most.

Never try to overuse keywords in an attempt to rank higher. Known as keyword stuffing, Google frowns upon this. Sounding natural with a sales angle to this is the best approach.

Please take a look at our example below of a well-worded SEO friendly title and meta description:

Title = Child Custody Lawyers in Sydney | Company XYZ

Meta Description = Sydney Child Custody Lawyers. Company XYZ is a specialist divorce and child custody law firm based in Sydney offering cost-effective solutions. Call 02 1234 5678

Creating backlinks

A backlink is created when a link from an external website links back to your site. The more links you get from authoritative websites, the more trustworthy your site will be. Backlinking is, without a doubt, one of the essential components of your SEO strategy. Getting it right will shoot you up the rankings, but getting it wrong will produce dire consequences.

I could go on and on about backlinking as it’s a complicated topic, but the golden rule is this; it’s quality over quantity.

Quality linking is what so many businesses fail to understand. One quality backlink from a trustworthy site is better than 1000 links from untrustworthy cheap sites. Many SEO agencies offer cheap SEO packages where they can build ‘so-called’ links to your website for next to nothing. Cheap SEO and the building of these types of dodgy links are why so many businesses fail online.

If you’re a new business start-up in a competitive niche and want to rank BUT have a limited budget, I would be cautious about commencing any backlinking campaign. Rather blog instead and aim for the long tail easier keywords.

For existing businesses with a decent SEO budget investing in a backlinking campaign is one of the best marketing moves you can make.

In summary

I always tell my clients that the road to SEO success is a long one. There are no short cuts, and you have to be prepared to invest your time, energy and some of your marketing budget. It’s an on-going process where you have to continually improve your website’s performance, creating high-quality backlinks and producing great content if you are to succeed online. But, if you put in the hard yards, there are rewards for you.

Do you want your website to rank higher on Google? Contact our Sydney web design team to find out how our SEO services can help your business grow and beat the hell out of your competition.

inlineThis article was written by Steven Walberg, one of the marketing team at Hopping Mad Designs who has helped many businesses with their online marketing. He’s a business mentor and loves creating exciting new online strategies for Sydney businesses.


Signs that it’s time to redesign your website

Rebranding your website is plausibly the last thing you want to do especially during COVID-19. Why spend all that effort, time and expense when business confidence, sales and inquiries are down?

Well, now is the perfect time to invest your energy and time into rebranding your website and giving it a complete overhaul, refresh and a new lease of life.

Posted by Steven Waldberg 24 August 2020

When COVID-19 settles and it will, you will be one step ahead of your competitors by having a new website.

So how can you tell that your site is old, outdated and in need of some much TLC? Following are five telltale signs that you’re current website needs to be deleted, dumped, trashed and replaced with a fab new design that you’ll love.

1. Staff photos are outdated

Old staff photos will immediately tell you’re clients that your website is old and that the owners aren’t particularly concerned about their image. Delete staff photos that are over two or three years and replace them with new up-to-date pictures. Also, make sure they are all the same style with the same background. Different forms of staff photos look odd and don’t reinforce your branding.

See the following example of updated staff photos for a Bali Real Estate Agency with a team staff photo on the home page banner. Taking better staff photos creates trust and reinforces your branding.

Current staff photos add credibility and trust to your business. Photo Credit: Bali Realty website

2. The site is not mobile-friendly

Most websites are mobile-friendly and will render correctly on a mobile, making it easier for the user to use the site. But if your small business website is not rendering correctly on mobile or handheld device, it’s time to take action and do something about it. If you have a WordPress site, then it may be a quick fix. You should also note that Google will index and promote mobile-friendly websites above others that are not. So, if you rely on Google rankings and you want users to be able to browse all pages of your site quickly, then making it mobile responsive is super important.

3. Does you’re website take forever to load?

If your website takes longer than a few seconds to load, then it’s time to look at either upgrading it or giving it a complete overhaul to speed load times up. If your current site is a few years old, then it’s a good idea to get in there and look at optimising all images and pictures to speed up download times. I know this may be hard to understand for most people, but WordPress has a plugin called Smush It that you can use. Read this: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-smushit/.

If you are still unclear, it’s probably a good idea to get your web developers or IT team to do this for you.

Long download times kill so many things about your website and user experience, including your Google rankings, that it must be a priority. You can time it yourself and see how long pages take to load. If you are sitting there waiting this is not a good sign.

Slow website load times kill the customer experience & can harm sales.

4. Your branding has changed.

The most important message you must keep consistent is the branding of your business. Everything must be uniform, consistent and in harmony. Business cards, signage, menus, emails signatures, even you’re website have to have consistent messaging. Many businesses ignore this, which sends a confusing message to your customer base.

If you have recently changed your logo or updated your branding make sure your website reflects this.

5. Outdated CMS

If you haven’t updated your website in a few years the chances are that your content management system is outdated. Plus you might have old plugins that are in desperate need of updating.

Outdated plugins are seriously dangerous and not only open the door to hackers but will affect the performance of the site. Most small businesses will have had their site designed and built by an agency who might be using their own CMS. If this is the case and you are still paying a monthly fee for a CMS then it’s time to overhaul your site and move it over to a more user-friendly WordPress CMS.

There are so many advantages of having a WordPress CMS that if you’re not taking advantage of this then you are simply loosing out. Read this for more insights on WordPress CMS.

6. The sites not ranking well on Google

No one can tell you exactly what Google is looking for but one thing for certain, they are not going to rank an old website that is uninformative, poorly designed with outdated content. If, like most businesses you rely on Google for leads and sales then you have to get stuck into your site and always be updating it with new graphics, information and current news. This is the best way to help improve rankings and drive new business leads.

It makes perfect sense as Google will only want to display current websites that are trustworthy with up-to-date information. So if you haven’t touched your website in years or never published a blog or news item then now is the time to do something about it.

7. You just hate the look of it

If looking at your website makes you embarrassed, or you can’t stand the sight of it, then imagine what you’re customers, think of it. Wouldn’t you love a website that you can be proud of and show your mates? Then do something about it! The site won’t change itself; you have to be proactive and get in touch with a web design agency that can craft a new, more contemporary look for you.

Note that there are lots of free websites online where you can build it yourself. We definitely suggest leaving it to experts who can customise the design based on your exact business news, look and style.

Also readWhy your website MUST NOT be a DIY project?

8. There are no ‘call to action’ buttons

How are customers going to contact you? How do they know what specials you have? What new products have you got to market and what price discounts are on offer? These are all critical call to action buttons that need to be within easy reach of customers browsing experience. If your site doesn’t have any of these, then take action on these call to actions! Get an agency that knows about user experience and high conversion landing pages to take a look at your site and redesign it.

You can see a classic example of what call to action buttons look like on our own Hopping Mad Designs home page where we encourage people to contact us. They are front and centre, highly visible and work!

Two visible call to action buttons on the home page banner on the Hopping Mad Designs page are great for customer conversion rates.

9. Your site is over 4 years old

We are not saying that just because your site is more than four years old that it needs a refresh. But, with advances in technologies, consumers expectations, styles and web trends plus what Google is looking for all contribute to one thing; overhauling your website will address all of these issues. Just like any consumer good, fashion or product, these get outdated and replacing these are the norm. Same with your website, it just looks old and needs some TLC.

10. There are dead links all over the site

Over time pages disappear. You may have deleted these and without even knowing some of these deleted pages may have had internal links pointing to them. For example, you might have been promoting a new service on the home page, and this service is now obsolete. So you have gone and deleted this page resulting in an obsolete link from the home page. Having too many dead links will turn customers away and can harm your Google rankings.

inline_331_https://hoppingmad.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/steven-waldberg-hopping-mad-designs.jpgThis article was written by Steven Walberg who is one of the marketing team of Hopping Mad Designs. He’s had years of experience in helping small businesses improve their websites performance, customer conversion rates and Google rankings.

He’s passionate about small business and has helped many Sydney businesses get more out of their online marketing.

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.