Category

Website Design

Website development: What’s your strategy?

By | Website Design

Great websites don’t just happen. They require a well thought out plan long before your website designer and developer even reach for the keypad. And while it’s easy to get lost in all the pretty and cool aesthetics, you firstly need to make sure your website is developed with your business goals in mind. This is where you need a little thing called strategy.

Like most businesses, your website is the hub of your marketing activity. Giving your website a good foundation will ensure you get the most out of your site. Neglecting to allocate time and resources to strategically plan your website is a crucial mistake many businesses make.

A clearly defined strategy ensures effective design and development, and will avoid any costly setbacks. So what does a website design strategy involve? We’ve broken done some of the steps you should include in your planning when designing a new website.

Define your goals

To put it simply – what are the main reasons you need to have a website? And how will this support your overall business strategy? The clearer you can be with setting your goals and measurable objectives, the more successful your site will be.

Zero in on your target audience

Focus on the customers that matter. Your website should be built around their needs and your content should reflect this. It’s easy to get bogged down talking about your products and/or services, but how do they provide a solution for your audience?

Brand considerations

Your site should reflect who you are. What kind of feelings do you want your site to convey? What are the key messages and USPs you want to articulate? How will you stand out from your competitors?

User centered design

You’ve defined your audience, now your website designer needs to consider how to design your site to ensure the best user experience. A good looking website is useless if it lacks substance and provides no value. Your site should be easy to navigate with engaging content and strong calls to action that drive your desired outcomes. Think about any business processes you could incorporate into the functionality of your site too.

Create realistic timeframes & budget

We’d all love to have a website created in the click of a finger, but if you want it done properly then don’t rush the process. Break up your website project in stages or sprints if required, and set realistic deadlines that you, and your website designers and website development team (whether internal or outsourced) can agree upon.

Outline your budget and resources dedicated to the project. Your budget will determine the level of functionality your website can offer, so it helps to know what is in and out of scope from the very start.

Measuring success

Tracking your results is critical to understanding whether your site is achieving its goals. Determine how you will measure your success and the process you intend to take.

Having a solid website strategy will ensure your project stays on track, but more importantly it will aid your online success.


 

Ready to start planning your website? Get in touch with Perth’s leading website design team today to get your digital road map moving in the right direction.

7 Quick Tips for Improving Your Website Conversions

By | Website Design

Been monitoring your website traffic lately? How much of it has actually resulted in conversions? One of the metrics digital marketers bang on about all the time is the number of visitors they attract to their site, but what good is that if those users aren’t doing what the website is intended for?

There are many things you could and should be doing to help increase your conversion rates. Having a solid digital strategy helps, and if you’re a time poor digital marketer or small business owner, you’ll definitely benefit from these quick and effective tips to boost your website conversions.

Play nice with your fields

Whether it’s email opt-ins or account sign ups the same rules apply: Include only the fields you absolutely need. Users don’t have time to be messing around with forms, so the fewer fields you include the better. Once you have the bare necessities, you can always ask users to share more information down the track. If you insist on including lots of fields, perhaps consider making them optional. Remember, you want to attract customers not send them away!

Review your headings

We’ve all heard it, your heading is what’s going to attract attention, so make sure you nail it. What you say in your headline will determine whether your visitors continue to read on or move on, so spend some time brainstorming heading ideas. Then run with your best pick.

Inspire action with your CTAs

How clear is your call to action? Tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do, simple as that. And if you’re using links, try driving action with buttons. They tend to be more visually appealing and easier to click on – especially when we’re talking about mobile users.

Image is everything

The reality is most people won’t buy something without seeing what it looks like. The images you display on your site is all your visitors have to go by, so having professional, high quality images will go a long way. Key takeaway: don’t skimp out on your images.

Utilise social proof

We all know how powerful word of mouth can be, and the next best thing is having testimonials or customer reviews on your site for all to see. Everything suddenly seems more credible when you have someone else boasting about your products or services, so get onto it!

Create a sense of urgency

If you run an e-commerce site you should highlight when your products are low in stock. Showing you only have 4 items left of a particular product, may catch the eye of the shopper who was on the cusp of making a purchase.

Open up your payment gateway

Give your customers as many payment options as possible. You can’t assume everyone wants to use the current method of payment you have available, so the more options you can provide the better the shopping experience for them.

To round it off, it definitely pays to always test your landing pages. Things like your heading, images, calls to action are a great start to helping you understand what resonates with your visitors.

Want to know how else you can improve your website conversions? Give our team a hola today and start turning those visitors into customers.

Part 2: Bringing home the bacon – how to attract quality website traffic

By | Website Design

Was it something you said? Or perhaps the way you look? You think your website design hits all the right spots because you’re now clearly getting the traffic, but why aren’t your visitors hanging around?

We’re an impatient bunch when it comes to consuming online content, and if you’re not making a quick impression when a user lands on your site, you can expect them to be gone within 60 seconds.

If you read Part 1 of our blog you’d now be full bottle on some of the ways to generate traffic to your website. That’s the easy part. Getting users to stay long enough to convert – now that’s the challenge!

There are many reasons why users don’t stick around, some more obvious than others. Poor website design, hard to understand content and difficult navigation are key factors (of which we’re happy to point out should you need some guidance). It’s a no brainer that if your website isn’t responsive these days or developed with user experience in mind, visits will fall short. But what about the less obvious reasons? Let’s get into them!

Unsecure site

Having a secure site means your website is safe in the eyes of the user and ensures all your data isn’t at risk from intruders. Websites displaying a ‘HTTPS’ in front of their URL tell your visitor your site is secure, and any information shared between them and your site is protected. Google now labels unsecured sites, to make it even more obvious to users. They also rate secure sites highly, so you’ll be doing your organic search ranking a favour too.

Regardless of whether you handle sensitive information, having a secure site is good practice and could mean the difference between a user staying or leaving your site.

Annoying pop ups

While it might serve a purpose for your marketing efforts, pop ups or excessive advertising on your site is enough to make visitors hit that back button. We all find it annoying at the best of times, so think about how much value this is providing your visitors before u venture down the pop up path.

Auto play on audio & video content

Not everyone wants to be welcomed with a video playing as soon as they enter your site. Yes video content is popular at the moment, but you should give users the option of when they consume it. Our tip – set your audio and video to off as a default, or at a minimum play the video on mute and give the user the option to turn on the volume. Having video content stream automatically can also impact the speed of your site.

Hard to find contact details

Sometimes all a user wants to do is contact you. If this information isn’t easy to find they might give up and go to your competitor’s site instead. Make sure your contact information is clear, and provide as many forms of contact as possible. Easy enough right?

Outdated content

If your content isn’t relevant for visitors they won’t be interested, and if they’re not interested they won’t stay. If you’re not updating your content regularly to remain relevant, you’re not giving users a reason to come back. Google also likes it when you keep your website content fresh, so not only are you keeping users engaged, you’re also keeping the search engines happy.

Slow page loading

Have you noticed how long it takes for your site to load? If you don’t know you better check. Users don’t want to be waiting forever for your site to appear, and in the digital world forever really means within 3 seconds. Do you really want this to be the reason why visitors are heading for the exit door?

 


 

Time for a website redesign? Get in touch with Perth’s specialist website designers at Cloud Cartel.

Web Design Usability

Website design usability: Are you making these mistakes?

By | Website Design

The average user will spend less than a minute on your site to find what they’re looking for before they decide to abandon you. How do you make sure they don’t? With a fine tuned website design that enhances your usability and overall user experience.

Good usability means your website is doing the job in helping users get to the information they’re after with ease. So, not only do you have to grab their attention from the moment they land on your site, you also need to ensure they can easily navigate their way around in as few clicks as possible.

Usability testing is a great way to understand how users interact with your website and identify ways to improve your website design for better usability. There are also some common mistakes that you can spot yourself, so here we go:

Slow page loads

The quicker your website can load the better. Users don’t have time to wait around and the expectation is, if it doesn’t come up within 2 seconds you’ve lost them. Quite literally every second counts. Images that haven’t been optimised properly are a key culprit to your lag time, so it’s worth checking out.

Too much noise

People scan websites, so a site design that overwhelms the eye is not doing you any favours. Familiar with the phrase less is more? A cluttered design, content that is difficult to read due to terrible layouts and poorly written copy, with no obvious calls to action all contribute to flaws in your site’s usability.

Invisible links

Don’t you hate it when you think something is a link and it’s not, or the links on a website aren’t obvious enough? By this we mean highlighting the text so that it’s different from the rest of the text, so you actually know it’s a link. This is particularly important for mobile users who are viewing sites on smaller screens. Also making sure your clickable areas (such as buttons) are large enough, is something to take note of.

Nowhere to search

If users know what they want but can’t be bothered looking around your site, they will automatically utilise search if it’s there to locate it. Not all websites require a search function, but if your site is content heavy, includes a blog or is an ecommerce site, having a search bar is essential to improve your usability. And it’s easy enough to do if you have a WordPress site, with its built in search functionality.

Overcomplicating your forms

Remember how we’re trying to make it as easy as possible for users to get what they need from your site? Whether it’s a newsletter subscription, resource download, webinar registration or request for more information, your forms should be designed with the least amount of fields required. It’s a fine line between how much data you want to gain from a potential customer verses what they really need to provide. Tailoring your forms for mobile users is also a must. There’s nothing worse than a form you can’t fill out on your mobile – am I right?!

What, no contact information?

It’s a no brainer really but it does happen. Not only is it bad customer service, but also your credibility becomes questionable if you don’t provide any contact information. In many cases, visitors will come to your site with the purpose of getting in touch with you, and if they can’t, well, we all know the answer to that.

Simple fixes like these can do wonders to improve your site’s usability. Bottom line, if you can provide visitors with a well designed website that is easy to use and provides a good user experience, chances are they’ll return and convert or become a loyal customer.


Is it time for a website design review? Give the Perth website design professionals at Cloud Cartel a call today.

8 Reasons Why You Should Design a Website Using WordPress

By | Website Design

What’s so good about WordPress? Just ask the millions upon millions of people who run their business website on this platform. As the most popular content management system (CMS) on the planet, it’s not hard to see why WordPress powers over a quarter of all websites on the Internet. So let’s delve into why.

If you’re looking to design a new website for your small business, here are our top reasons why you should consider a WordPress website design.

  • Versatile

These days WordPress is more than just a blog. Whether you’re after a business website, eCommerce site (online store) or a personal blog, you can create any kind of website you want. How is this possible? WordPress is open source software, which means it’s freely available and can be modified, enhanced and redistributed by anyone with the knowledge and capabilities to do so.

  • Endless functionality

With access to an unlimited source of plugins and extensions, you can ensure a WordPress site will cover off your entire website wish list. Want to easily integrate video or other forms of multimedia on your site? Done. Want users to interact on your site through social media? No problems. WordPress can handle it all.

  • Search engine friendly

WordPress sites tend to rank better in Google over other websites because the platform makes it easy to manage the fundamentals of search engine optimisation (SEO). The CMS is built on a framework that is easily understood by search engines, and it comes with standard features that assist you with your on-page SEO. Plugins such as Yoast SEO can also help boost your SEO efforts.

  • Responsive

A responsive site is a good site – we all know that by now right? With mobile browsing on the up and up, having a website design that is optimised for mobile is essential. WordPress accommodates this with all of its modern themes supporting responsive designs. This means your site will automatically adjust to enhance the user experience no matter what the device.

  • User-friendly

If you want to take a hands-on approach to running your website, then WordPress makes content management easy. If you know how to use a text editor such as Microsoft Word, you’ll have no trouble managing your website. The CMS has been designed to make it easy to edit existing content, create new pages and publish content without any coding experience necessary.

  • Quick to load

Assuming your site is configured properly, you can expect speedy load times for your WordPress website. A quick site load can make all the difference between someone staying or leaving, and making that all-important conversion you’re after.

  • Troubleshooting and support

The WordPress community has a massive following of users and developers all supporting each other to provide solutions to their website issues. There are numerous dedicated forums that exist, where you can post questions and get advice and feedback to help you on your merry way.

  • Innovative

Because WordPress is open source, it is constantly improving and moving forward with technology. From developing new features, plugins and customisable elements, your site can continue to evolve along with your business

Convinced yet? At Cloud Cartel, we have loads of experience designing and developing WordPress sites. Check out some of the recent work we’ve done for our amigos here.


 

Do you need to design and develop a website for your business? Contact the website design specialists in Perth to get started.

SEO Web Design

The Importance of SEO in Web Design

By | SEO, Website Design

The situation

You need a website and you want to get it up fast. Your digital consultant has recommended integrating SEO into your overall website design. But instead you decide to leave it out of scope for now, because it’s going to delay your site going live. Right move or wrong move?

Cloud Cartel’s perspective

Sure leaving SEO out while designing your website means it gets produced quicker, but at what cost? Spending a little bit of extra time getting it right from the start, will actually save you more dollars and time in the long run.

Here’s why.

Did you know 50% of website traffic comes from organic search?

It’s a no brainer that SEO affects the level of web traffic to your site. A well designed website that is SEO friendly, will generate the leads and sales – that lets face it – is what you’re after in the first place. Having a nice looking website is great, but what good is it if it can’t be found?

When designing a website there are a number of factors your web designer should consider – namely the user experience, the device, the browser, the aesthetics and search engines.

All too often though, SEO is placed on the backburner of a website design project, when it really needs to be part of the process.

Your website is your marketing tool

When designing or redesigning a website, it’s done with the intention of fulfilling your business goals. Whether that’s generating more traffic, brand awareness, leads or sales – incorporating on-page SEO is going to help you achieve this.

As part of the website build, your web designer will consider SEO into the navigation, information architecture (structure), content and design. Doing all the work upfront as part of your site build, means your website is already optimised the moment you ‘go live’.

If you leave this work to commence after your site has been launched, it’s likely you’ll have to change certain aspects of your site – which could prove a more costly and timely exercise than if it was addressed at the start.

Get found sooner

You want to start driving visits and leads as soon as your site launches right? But what if the visits aren’t coming and your business isn’t appearing in searches?

Having all the fundamental SEO elements in place from the get go, means you’re already one step closer to being found on SERPs.

Because you already have the correct SEO in place, search engines will be able to accurately categorise your site from the moment you’re live. With this in mind, why would you wait to integrate SEO, knowing it’s going to help you attract visitors?

Be more productive

Understanding how SEO impacts your website and building it into your design process makes good business sense. You’re making decisions and implementing tactics that will benefit you long after your website goes up.

You’ll save time not having to start back at square one, to ensure your website is optimised. And it means you can push ahead focusing on other aspects of your digital marketing, as well as looking at ways to continuously improve your SEO.

Bottom line: Just like bacon and eggs – SEO and web design go together. If you’re working with a website designer to redesign or develop a new website for your business, make sure they incorporate SEO right from the very start.


Contact the digital experts at Cloud Cartel to get your SEO friendly website up and found on Google.

single-page-multipage-web-design

Single page or multi page website design – which is right for your business?

By | Cartel Related, Website Design

First impressions count. And so does a well designed website. With so many different design options out there, it pays to have a thought out digital strategy in place to help determine the best solution for you.

Which leads us to single page and multi page designs. It’s a major consideration when designing a website so, which is right for your business? Here are a few triggers for deciding the best route to take.

What is the difference between single page and multi page designs?

Sometimes also referred to as a pageless design, a single page site utilises – you guessed it just a single HTML page to render content and functionality. The content is divided into sections and made accessible by scrolling up and down the page. On the flip side, multi page sites display content across multiple pages that is broken down into a more complex menu.

Benefits of a single page website design

  • Simplified navigation and design

Providing just a linear experience makes for a more simplified journey. Because the navigation is straightforward, you’re controlling where users go and what they see, avoiding the likelihood of being driven off to another page on your site, that may or may not be relevant to them.

  • Improves user engagement

We all know you only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention when they land on your site. The average user will only stay on a web page for 15 seconds, so the quicker you can get your message across and hold their interest the better – and a single page site enables this.

  • Logical flow of content

Storytelling becomes easier with a single page. You’re providing the user with the order you would like them to consume your content, and your call to action becomes very clear. The catch here is, not to overload your site with too much content, as that will have the opposite affect in promoting a positive user experience.

  • Great for mobile devices

Yes multi page sites are responsive these days, but when you compare it to a single page design, the viewing experience on mobile will be better. It’s always going to be harder to make a more complex site work perfectly on mobile. The scrolling nature of a single page site makes it ideal for mobile users too.

  • Easy to maintain

Websites in general are easy to maintain these days using content management systems such as WordPress, but by condensing your content to just one page, the process becomes even easier.

Benefits of a multi page website design 

  • Ideal for complex web projects

Businesses that are ecommerce driven, have a broad range of content and lots to say, or require enhanced functionality, work best in a multi page format.

As we already touched on, trying to cram too much content on a single page creates a poor user experience, and won’t do the user any favours to locate the information they’re after.

  • SEO friendly

If search engine rankings are a priority for you, then it’s a lot easier to reach your goals with a multi page site. They usually rank higher than single page sites because they can utilise various keywords, which are optimised for each specific page. Having less content on a single page site does make it easier to maintain, but your SEO may suffer as a result.

  • More to share

It’s hard to share something if all of your content sits on the one page, but with multiple pages your marketing and sharing capabilities are greater. With a multi page site there are no limitations as to how much content – images, videos or blog articles and so on you include.

Trying to add too much content on a single page site will also impact your page loading time, so if you have lots to say, often – stick with multiple pages.

  • Better analytics

More pages mean more insights. Analytics are a great source for gaining understanding on how well your website is performing – what’s working or what’s causing users to leave. With a single page site all you really see is how many visitors you’re attracting and how long they stay on the page for.


 

There’s no right or wrong approach to choosing a design, what’s important is understanding the purpose of your site and how you intend to use it. Grasp this and it will become clear the type of website you should design.

Need to design a new website? Speak to one of our expert digital consultants right here in Perth to get started.

 

What makes a great website design in 2018?

By | Website Design

Everything in the digital space is accelerated. What’s trending one day, quickly becomes obsolete the next. Website design is no different.

Recent figures have shown mobile browsing now officially eclipses desktop usage. If your website isn’t providing a satisfactory mobile experience for your audience in 2018, you’re falling behind the pack. Above everything, your website design and functionality should be focusing on mobile first.  

If you’re looking to develop a new website or redesign your website this year, here are some of the latest website design trends to consider.

1. Brighter colours

There’s no such thing as a web safe colour no more. These days our devices and monitors are better equipped to handle richer, more vibrant colours, giving website designers more choice and freedom to explore use of colour. Bright and bold colours can instantly attract attention and provide another way for brands to set themselves apart from the boring competition.

2. Big and bold typography

Similarly, typography has come a long way. Device resolutions are getting sharper meaning legibility is getting easier, giving rise to designers experimenting with custom fonts. We’re also seeing oversized typefaces, which can improve user experience (UX). Injecting a little bit of personality into your typography will add to an impactful website design.

3. Gradients and shadows

Goodbye flat design, shadows and dynamic gradients are making a comeback. We’re noticing gradient filters being applied to photos to create a more visual impact, and gradient backgrounds are proving to be a great alternative where images are hard to source. Our web designers in Perth are also exploring shadow effects. When combined with colourful gradients they can create more depth and enhance the UX of your website.

4. Animation

With so many cool creation tools out there for designers, we’re seeing lots of small animations popping up as a new way of engaging users and creating a more dynamic site. Animation helps with brand storytelling, conveying ideas and informing audiences in a snapshot. It’s great when used for entertaining the user while a page is loading, or as an interesting hover from a regular static link.

5. Particle background effects

Continuing on the animation path particle backgrounds are great at attracting instant attention. It’s all about creating subtle movement within a backdrop or image to create dynamic backgrounds and eye-catching visual effects. The beauty of incorporating this into your website design over video backgrounds is the quicker loading times.

6. Asymmetric layouts

The move from traditional grid based layouts to a more unconventional style was a trend that surfaced in 2017 and the appeal remains strong. The use of asymmetrical layouts allows for a more unique experience and web designers are embracing the fresh change.

7. Illustrations

Custom illustrations can really bring out a brand’s personality and make your business more approachable. It’s a great way to visually engage your audience and make your brand stand out.

We recommend refreshing your website design every 3 to 5 years to ensure the best and most modern, up-to-date user experience and give your business that competitive edge.


Want to talk website design? Give Cloud Cartel a hola today to chat about our website design services and what we can do for you.