All Posts By

admin

Creating Compelling Content for your website

By | Digital Marketing, SEO

As a business, it’s up to you to sell who you are to your customers, as well as selling your product or service. A part of this process is having an updated website that is easy to read, easy to see and easy to use. The other part? Having compelling website content that people love to read.

Why is it so important?

The information on your website promotes not just your products or services, but who you are as a company. Being a new business consumer engagement is vital for your future success. It allows you to build a relationship with your audience, and the better you do that, the more they will come back looking for more.

If you are providing regular, catchy content, your business is going to continuously have visitors looking for your words. You need to know the following so that you can create the best content:

  • What people are looking for on your website
  • Whether the content is relevant to the audience
  • The best way the content should be presented to the audience

You need to create that engaging content after you have budgeted for affordable web design to make your business website look good. Below, you’ll find some of the best tips to building that content for your business site.

You need a target market

You can’t write excellent, targeted content without a consumer group to target in the first place. Once you know who your target market is, you can learn their interests and needs so that you can personalise your information to them.

You need excellent quality

Let’s be honest: you are a business leader, you may not have any idea about writing the actual content for your site. You can choose to outsource this content elsewhere, or you could learn how writing in short, concise sentences engages people. You can learn the benefits of the active voice and you can write content that is original and accurate. All of this is vital for the SEO process on your site

You need the right structure

Structuring your content is important. People need to know exactly what you’re trying to say in the first few sentences of your content. This can help you to grab reader attention immediately. Think about bullet points and tables, photos and visuals and keywords scattered through the content to up your search rankings.

You need the right format

This is a personal choice for you and what you want for your business website. You need to present your content in a way that makes sense for you, whether this is in blog posts, short stories or featured articles. Infographics and visuals are also important!

 


If you think that you need some help with writing your website content, look into the services of a professional to help you out. Compelling content catches the customers – which is exactly what you would be investing in. Be expressive, be clear and be effective, and you’ll see the difference in your bottom line.

Simple Steps to a Successful Brand Building Process

By | Branding

There is one major thing that your company owns that makes you lovable – your brand. As a new company on the market, you need to be able to carve out a brand image and reputation that people are going to want to buy from. Whether you offer a product on the shelf or a service you can provide, people prefer to buy products from brands that are familiar.

How do you get familiar? You build a brand.

A brand is not just a logo or a set of snazzy colours. You’re already in an uphill race by being a small business in a big ocean of large businesses. You’re going to be in competition with everyone from day one because these larger companies already have their names set, their customers loyalty and a marketing budget that’s bigger than yours. You need to be different; standing out from the crowd is your new job. Building your brand isn’t going to be an overnight process, not when building it up can take months – depending on how tenacious your marketing team is, of course! Your customer’s perception of your business is going to define your brand, so the real question that you need to ask yourself is this:

How on earth do I get started?

Well, you’re in luck. Below, you’re going to find some steps to building the best brand you’ve ever imagined. Good luck!

The Who

Not just a band, you need to know who you are aiming your product towards. You cannot build a wall without a location of where to get started, right? Your brand needs a starting point, and your starting point is who your target audience is. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can know who you can be everything to. Always keep your brand message tailored to exactly who you are trying to reach. Create a brand that they can relate to, and you’ll be successful!

The Why

You need a mission statement; a written exclamation about what you are passionate about and make that your reason for pushing your brand. You can’t build your brand without letting people know what you are about, and your mission statement defines this about you. Your entire visual brand should also reflect what your mission statement is.

The What

So, you know you’re starting as a small fish in a big pond, and you’re going to have a lot of competition out there. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but that doesn’t mean that you should ever imitate exactly what the big brands in your industry are doing. The whole idea of building a trusted brand is to differentiate from the competition and convince the customer base you are targeting to choose you over them. This means research!

Look into what the competition are doing and instead of copying the ideas, beat them out. You have the chance to really create an effective brand name, and you can then work out how you look better to your customers over them.

The How

Next, you need to figure out how you’re going to look better than the rest. You’ve done the research, you know your audience and you have your mission. You now need to outline all your qualities and benefits that you offer over the other competition out there. The way to show them what they are missing out on is to show them how you plan to win their business and then retain it afterwards, too. This doesn’t mean just listing all your features on your products, it means showing customers how you plan to provide an improvement. Customers buy products based on solutions to their problem; if you can show them that your solution is better than the other brands, you’ll win the business.

The Where

Your brand needs a website, a logo and a tagline. These three things together are what is going to set you apart from the rest, and visuals of your brand are vital for success. Your logo will appear on everything, and if you want people to know who you are, you need it to be easy to interpret. Invest your money here, because once you pay a good brand development company for their service, you’re going to see the difference.


 

Building your brand doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. All you need to do is follow the steps and you will be able to enjoy customer loyalty and company growth that you didn’t anticipate.

7 Website Mistakes Small Businesses Make and How to Avoid Them

By | Uncategorized, Website Design

As a small business, there are a few common mistakes that are made when it comes to having a website. In this article, we are going to discuss what these mistakes are and how you can avoid them.

Waiting To Write Content

One of the mistakes that small businesses make is waiting to write the content for the website until the design has been delivered. The content is going to help the person designing the website to create one that highlights your strategy. So, there is no point in hiring an expensive website designer without first having at least an example of the copy that will be on there.

Not Having A Promotion Plan

A lot of small business owners make the mistake of thinking that just because the website has been put up, this will automatically draw traffic. This isn’t going to be the case. Launching your website is not going to be enough to bring people in, especially if they don’t know about the website. So, what you need to do is to make sure that you have sat down and come up with an idea about how you are going to promote your website once it has launched.

Making It Harder Than It Is

If you don’t understand what certain terms mean when it comes to a website such as SEO, or HTML, the best thing you can do is keep the whole thing simple. Register your host and domain name with your credit card, and don’t hire anyone to help who makes the project hard.

Not Using WordPress

A lot of small business owners just assume that all web hosting sites are created the same. But, WordPress is going to be the easiest one to use because it isn’t locked into anything and it easy to change. If you use a different service, you might end up having to pay someone who understands the software to make a small change for you.

Not Understanding The Use Of The Website

You might have overheard someone say that a website is just something that a business needs. If you don’t understand what your website does for the company, then you need to set yourself some goals so that you know why it’s there. To avoid this, you need to identify at least three things that you want from your website, so that you fully understand the benefits it has for your business.

Too Much, Too Fast

Some small business owners get caught up paying for add-ons and services for the website that they simply don’t need. Just because you have seen it on another website, it doesn’t mean that yours needs it. You don’t want to pay a fortune just to have features that add nothing to the strategy of the site. So, you need to keep it simple and only pay for what it is that you know you need.

All The Focus On The Traffic

The final mistake that some small businesses make is that all the focus goes on the traffic of the site. While the number of people you have visiting your site is important, you also need to be focusing on conversions. Just because people have clicked onto your site, there is nothing stopping them coming on and off without actually using your service. To avoid this, you need to keep an eye on the conversions that are coming from your website.


We hope that you have found this helpful and understand 7 of the biggest mistakes that small businesses make when it comes to their website.

 

7 homepage must haves for your website design

By | Website Design

Is your homepage the most important page of your site? It’s a debatable question. Although it’s usually the page that generates the most visits, more often it’s just an entry point leading the user to what they’re really after on your site. Regardless, your homepage website design still plays a vital role in telling your story.

Your homepage is like the equivalent of what a window shopper is to a retail store. These days not all of your visitors will enter your site via the homepage, but for the majority that do, first impressions count. You wouldn’t step foot into a store if it didn’t look appealing from the outside, and the same applies to your website home.

Your homepage should answer a few obvious questions like what your business is about, what can users do on your site and why should they be on your site. With less than 3 seconds to make it count, here are 7 homepage elements to consider when reviewing or creating your website design.

Guide the user journey

Your homepage needs to take into consideration your target audience and their preferences. Look at your analytics to see where your visitors spend the most time on your site, to understand which content is appealing to them. Then capture an easy pathway to those inner pages via your homepage.

What’s your promise?

How can your products or services solve their problems? Show the user you understand their challenges. You don’t need to offer a complete solution to their problem upfront, but your homepage should entice the user to find out how you can.

Make it visually appealing

Your website isn’t all about the looks, but a professionally designed website does help to draw attention and further establish your visual branding. Video content is highly effective and a great way to engage your audience and tell your story. And never underestimate the power of high quality images to enhance the appearance of your homepage.

Include a strong call to action

What action do you want out of your visitors? Having a strong call to action (CTA) helps guide the customer journey and the steps you would like them to take. It doesn’t need to result in an immediate conversion but it should lead them to this.

How to get in touch

Provide contact details on your homepage so visitors can reach out to you if they need to. Depending on the nature of your business, it may seem like a no brainer, but even if your business doesn’t need to generate leads through enquiries, it’s good practice to have a way for users to contact you.

The trust factor

If you can show visitors your business is credible and build on their trust, then you’re onto a winner. This can be as easy as including testimonials, logos of your clients or adding a sprinkle of social proof to your homepage.

Add dynamic content

Highlight your industry know-how with blog or social feeds. It’s an easy way to generate fresh content on your homepage and demonstrate that your business has a finger on the pulse and is a great source of information.

By having a solid homepage design, you’re telling visitors that there’s more to you than just your shopfront. So invite them in!  

 


 

Think your website homepage could do with a makeover? Contact the web design specialists at Cloud Cartel today for a free consultation.

5 Killer Web Design Tips That Will Make Your Life Easier

By | Website Design

A beautiful website is a labour of love. It’s surprisingly difficult to piece together good design elements to create something amazing and functional, so here are a couple of web design tips to help you ensure that your site ticks all the boxes.

Keeping your site free of clutter

Rarely does anyone skim through your entire website, reading every single word across its pages. People simply don’t have the time or patience for it, which is why it’s important to keep your website as brief and concise as possible. There are exceptions to this, such as if you’re writing blog posts and informative content pieces, but overall, the website itself should be rather brief and to the point.

Removing clutter helps keep the flow of your website smooth and means there’s less on screen for your audience to get frustrated looking at. They know what they want and you should lead them in those directions, not throw them into a labyrinth of links and paragraphs that they feel lost in.

Learn the importance of type design

Type design refers to typography designs. In short, it refers to the fonts that you use and where you use them. For instance, headlines are often bolded and you’ll typically pick a sans serif font because they’re easier to read and are nicer to look at when they’re enlarged. On the other hand, a serif font can be used for a more serious or formal appearance.

Font sizes are also an often misunderstood concept as well. Fonts should generally be larger than you think so they’re more easily read, especially on mobile devices, and you should try to avoid long paragraphs of text, instead opting for brief yet informative lines and bullet points.

Keep colour palettes in mind

Another important aspect of web design is to ensure you stick to a colour palette that works. Colours can complement each other, but they can also clash, creating some nasty contrasts that just don’t look nice to the eye.

Make sure there’s a contrast between the colour of your text and your background, but try to keep your overall design at a maximum of around 4 colours. This will prevent the colours from overwhelming your audience yet still give you some creative freedom.

Plan your navigation

Navigating a website should be painless and simple. You should be able to find what you need in just 2 to 3 clicks. Any more and you run the risk of upsetting your audience because it takes too much browsing to find what they need.

You should also have certain links, such as that to your contact information and social media accounts, visible on every page of your site for ease of access.

Responsive websites

Having your website respond to the device it’s being viewed of is important for both design and SEO. Search engines love websites that adapt to the size and orientation of the device it’s being viewed on, and it makes it much more pleasant to browse for your viewers.

A responsive website design relies on a lot of planning, but some website creation tools will automatically do this for you to a certain degree.

The Fundamentals – Creating The Perfect Brand Strategy

By | Branding

Planning is a given when it comes to starting up a business, but far too many people overlook just how crucial it is to have a brand strategy to accompany your business. It’s one of the most technical and challenging aspects to overcome, but it’s also one of the most important because it helps to define your brand, it gives your company a personality and it maps the road for the future of your growth.

Your brand’s identity is no doubt one of the most crucial components in your success, and it’s often described with a few components:

Your Mission – Without a mission, your company lacks a purpose that your audience can identify with. What do you intend to deliver? What do you want your audience to experience? These are the sorts of questions to ask when looking for your mission.

Being Consistent – A consistent business is one that sticks in the minds of consumers. If you’re not being a consistent business, then you’re not going to last and you’ll be outlived by your competitors.

Your Message – In addition to having a mission, you also need to give a message. Your message needs to connect with your audience and create an emotional connection so that your audience is more likely to go with your brand than another.

These four fundamentals will help you create the perfect branding strategy. With these points in mind, we can then move on to the next steps.

The importance of branding

Creating a strong brand is vital to help secure more customers. It’s the centre of attention and your business will flaunt it whenever promotions and marketing are involved. It will be the cumulation of all your research into your consumers as well as defining your own company, and eventually becomes the image that you want to portray to your audience.

Focusing on the right audience

A vital component in creating your brand strategy is focusing on the right audience. This is one of the basics of developing a brand strategy, but also a foundation of your business that needs to be determined early on. With this in mind, you can focus your resources and time on appealing to an audience that is more likely to convert into sales.

Determining your goals

Another important thing to keep in mind is your goals. Your brand strategy needs to consist of a number of different components, but they should all work towards your overall goal. What is it that you want to do with your company? How do you want to appear to your audience? And what kind of narrative do you want to set for your audience?

Realising your purpose

Throughout the process of creating a branding strategy, you’ll start to discover the kind of identity that you want to portray to your audience. You’ll realise that everything from the packaging materials you use to the appearance of your advertisements will speak volume about your purpose, and this will help you align our business goals and help create the ideal branding strategy.

10 Great Web Design Tips for Your Small Business Website

By | Website Design

No matter the size of your business, having a website is a crucial component that helps to grow your digital presence, but also makes it easier for people to find you and your services. So to help you out, we’ve put together 10 great web design tips for your small business website.

Focusing on SEO

Search engine optimisation is no doubt important for all websites, regardless of their size. Make sure you focus on being easily found by Google and researching white-hat methods of SEO to help boost your presence.

Settle your branding now

Whatever logo, colour schemes or slogans you plan to use, make sure you decide as early as possible so that you can incorporate them in your website without having to use ugly placeholders.

Responsive design

A website being “responsive” basically just refers to it being able to adapt to the device size and orientation. For instance, a website that looks great on a desktop computer must automatically scale down and look fantastic on mobile too.

Optimising performance

The last thing you want is for your website to be bogged down by a ludicrous amount of images and videos that automatically load when someone visits it. This results in slow load times and too much data usage for mobile devices, creating unnecessary problems that lead to a poor customer experience.

Original content

It’s crucial that you create content that’s actually relevant to your website. If you’re selling tech items, then make sure your blog actually talks about tech and not something completely different. If you’re a blog about art, then make sure it’s relevant to art and doesn’t drift off into another subject. This will help retain viewers and customers, but also help with SEO.

Staying simple

A minimalist design is good not only because it’s often cheaper and easier to make, but it creates a better experience for your audience since there’s less clutter on screen. Try use more images and less text, and keep paragraphs as concise as possible so your audience can skim through everything yet still get all the information they need.

Planning website navigation

You should plan your website navigation so that your audience never spends more than 2-4 clicks getting to where they need to. Important information like contact details and social media accounts should be visible on every page, and the navigation should be intuitive and simple to understand.

Capturing leads

It’s important to realise that your small website needs to capture people and convert leads. This means you should create landing pages, you should profile your ideal visitor so you can appeal to their tastes, and you should also keep them informed about all of your products, discounts and services.

Showcase products

No matter if you’re selling a service or a physical product, it’s important to describe it as best you can and also includes as many images as possible to help convert leads into sales.

Utilise social media

Make sure you have social media widgets so that your visitors can share information from your website. Be it a product, descriptions or even a blog post, make it easy for your visitors to spread your content.

Branding Basics: How to Create a Catchy Slogan for your Brand

By | Branding

We all know the phrases Redbull gives you wings, Nike’s Just Do It,  or M&M’s Melts in your mouth, not in your hands right? But what is it about these brands that make it so easy to recall? And more importantly how can you create something just as memorable for your own brand?

Your brand’s slogan is in many ways like a mini mission statement. It plays a part in defining your business and in some ways reflects your personality. Together with the visual representation of your logo, it’s what grabs a consumer’s attention and shapes your brand identity.

In order for your slogan to be memorable it needs to be meaningful. And after seeing or hearing it a few times, it will naturally reinforce recognition of your brand and stick in your customer’s mind.

Easy said than done right? Being creative isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, which is where we come in of course, but if you do want to get your creative juices flowing – here are some handy thought starters when developing the perfect slogan for your brand.

Keep it short and simple

Be catchy but don’t over complicate things. Saying everything you want in a few words is harder than you think, but the shorter your slogan the better it will sound, and it will ultimately be easier to remember. Take a look at some of the most popular slogans and you’ll see none are more than 10 words long.   

Differentiate yourself

What makes you stand out from your competitors? There’s no point saying something your competition can also back up. What is it about you that sets you apart?

Be positive

There’s no room for negative Nancy in your slogan, so keep the language upbeat to inject a good feeling about you. Remember your slogan will reflect your brand, so if you start off on a negative note what does that say about you?

Tug on the emotions

People become emotionally attached to products and it’s their emotions that will drive their desire for your brand. Keep the focus of your slogan on your audience and the benefits to them not your company. It will create a stronger brand association and consumers will be able to resonate with your brand more.

Timeless trumps trends

What’s popular now may not be in a year’s time, so while it may be tempting to choose language that is current, it’s not likely to be as effective over time. It goes back to the point about keeping it simple. It’s what the best brands do, and it’s why their slogans have stood the test of time.

To top it off, make sure your slogan represents your target audience and complements the rest of your branding, most importantly your logo.

Regardless of your industry or how big your business is, every brand can benefit from a catchy slogan.

 


 

Ready to start brainstorming ideas for your brand slogan? Let the creative time at Cloud Cartel give you a hand. Get in touch today for a free consultation.

10 Effective Ways to Keep Shoppers from Abandoning your Cart

By | Digital Marketing, Website Design

So close, yet so far. It’s the conversion that slipped through the shopping cart. Despite the popularity of online shopping, customers abandon their shopping carts all the time. If you run an ecommerce site you would know this all too well. Good news is, there are simple ways you can improve the shopping experience to help reduce cart abandonment.

There are many reasons why people abandon their shopping carts, some of which include:

  • Shipping costs are too high
  • Long estimated shipping time
  • Customers comparing prices against a competitor
  • Customers only browsing
  • Poor navigation/ shopping experience
  • Distracted by something else

Regardless of the reason, it’s a lost opportunity and with over 69% of shoppers abandoning their carts in 2017, it’s a growing problem for ecommerce sites big and small. To tackle the pain of shopping cart abandonment, here are 10 proven ways to lift your conversions.

Send targeted cart abandonment emails

One of the most effective ways to lure back customers is with a follow up email. Assuming you have already captured their email address, you can send a targeted email with the customer’s shopping cart and an enticing call to action or offer, to encourage them to complete their purchase.

Be transparent

Not everyone can offer free shipping, so if you can’t, make sure you are upfront about the potential shipping costs before customers get to the end of the checkout process. Something as simple as adding a shipping calculator to estimate costs before checkout, can help to reduce the shock of an unexpected ‘add on’ cost.

Make the shopping cart visible

Shoppers like to browse. Having a cart that is easily accessible and that saves your options makes it easier for customers to review their cart at a later date. Customers can also get distracted, so being able to see at a glance what items they have in their cart, can serve as a reminder that they haven’t completed their purchase yet.

Streamline your checkout

Make it as easy and quick as possible for customers to complete the checkout process. Provide guest checkout options rather than insisting they create an account upfront. You can easily ask customers to save their information for future purchases or to create an account once they have completed their purchase.

Create a sense of urgency

Displaying items low in stock is a great way to motivate customers to complete their purchase so they don’t miss out. If you are running a promotion, having a countdown timer displayed can indicate time is running out for customers to take advantage of your special offer.

Offer various payment options

Not everyone wants to pay for their purchase the same way, so the more options you provide the more customers you will be able to cater for – such as PayPal and Afterpay.

Highlight your security features

Shoppers want to know the site they are shopping on is secure, so having an SSL certificate is imperative to gain trust. Displaying security badges on your site also helps to instill confidence in customers, knowing their personal details won’t be compromised.

Enhance your visuals

Shopping online means you can’t physically touch what you’re buying, so having high quality images that showcase your products at different angles will help customers decide whether the product is right for them.

Provide easy assistance

Sometimes customers may have a question about a product or the checkout process.  This is where having live chat enabled on your site is handy for instant confirmation. If your business isn’t equipped or resourced to handle live chat, then a basic FAQ page that is easily accessible can do the trick too.

Run remarketing campaigns

Win back customers by advertising to them while they browse other sites. You can target them with dynamic ads showing the items they didn’t purchase. By staying in their purchase mindset you may be able to encourage them to return and checkout.

 


 

Don’t forget, Google Analytics is also a great tool to identify funnel leaks and areas of your site that could be improved, to facilitate a better shopping experience and conversion pathway.

Want to improve cart abandonment rates on your ecommerce website? Contact us today and we’ll recommend the best solution for your business.

Top 5 WordPress Plugins for your Business Website

By | Website Design

Your website never closes for business, which is why you should always be looking for ways
to improve your site and give your business the competitive edge.

If you’re running a WordPress site, you have over 56,000 plugins (which keeps on growing) at
your disposal to enhance the functionality and features of your website. And to add the icing
on the cake – most are free to use. Now that’s a win-win!

We’ve come across a lot of good – and bad plugins over the years, having designed and
developed a lot of WordPress websites for our clients. With so many plugins out there, where
do you start and what do you go with? We’ve collectively pulled together 5 of the most
popular WordPress plugins worth checking out.

 

1. Contact Form 7

Majority of websites will use a form of some sort for lead generation, and this plugin is
your ticket to producing simple and effective forms in a matter of minutes. The beauty
of this tool is it is so user friendly you don’t need any technical experience, and it
looks as professional as they come.

2. W3 Total Cache

Website speed is always a hot topic, and one way to improve how quickly your
website loads is through caching. This handy plugin will boost your overall website
performance by cutting down the loading time on your site. Yess!

3. Yoast SEO

We always recommend having a professional SEO strategy in place, but this tool is
great for maintaining your basic onsite SEO. You won’t become an SEO expert
overnight but you’ll definitely learn more about SEO in general, while optimising your
content for target keywords.

4. Redirection

Gone are the days when you need to request your website designer to create a
redirect for a landing page, because this plugin can do it for you! This tool can help
reduce errors on your site with easy to manage redirects and 404 errors.

5. Smush

Why spend all that time manually compressing high quality images for your site when
you can use the award winning Smush plugin instead. This tool will automatically
resize, compress and optimise your images in a flash.

 

There are heaps of more awesome plugins out there, to check out more head to the
WordPress site.

Need a hand deciding what WordPress plugins are right for your business
website? Our expert web designers can help. Give us a hola today!