3 things you’re possibly doing wrong on your business website

The 3 things that people do wrong on their business websites

Describing the 3 mistakes on business websites

Today we’re talking about things that can make a massive difference in the way we portray our brands online, through your online shop – your business website.

Here at Made Agency, we design and develop quite a few websites every year. As much as we love designing custom websites, we also do get requests to review and re-design websites that have been around for 3, 5 or even 10 years. After more than a decade of working on different kinds of projects, we have seen all kinds of business websites, and we know a thing or do about the ones that work best.

As soon as someone lands on the main landing page or the home page, it is essential that they understand and know immediately who you are and what you’re on about. Visitors usually spend 5-10 seconds or even less than that before the internet drives them to another link, so you don’t have a lot of time to make this happen!

We have a few key points that we run through to make sure that all those key points are hit, so if your website is not converting the way you would like it to, or not even attracting your ideal client – here’s a couple of tips to help you with that.

Think about this – 

1.  Would someone know what your business is about as soon as they land on the website? What elements convey that information?

2. Is there a call to action, an opt-in offer or a service offering so they know what to do next?

3. Is your design created to attract the client or is it distracting?

4. Do the images and graphic elements reflect your brand? Are you creating the content to reflect and enhance your brand or does it look like it belongs elsewhere?

Keeping in mind the points listed above, we have 3 points here that will consolidate the areas that are most important when trying to create a distinct and well-crafted website.

The Top 3 things that you’re possibly doing wrong on your website 

 

The content on your website is too much

If you’re tempted to look at this heading and think that this is not really you, it most probably rings true for you. Most websites have copy that is spilling out of every corner, and in most cases, it’s just- not- necessary.

With too much text, as important as it is, you run the risk of confusing the viewer, and this will, in most cases lead them to leave the website and not engage with you! All because they did not know where to look, what to do or where to go next.

This is a key point because your website is a strategic pointer towards your services and a key factor that will influence your marketing over the long (and short) term. It shouldn’t be all about your company and most importantly should not come across as a library of information.

Your website design only reflects your own personal style & design aesthetic, not your brand 

The main purpose of a website is all about attracting and serving others.  A website might look great to you but to someone visiting your brand, it might not create the same impression. We see this often especially with new business owners, and it’s completely understandable how you want to like and enjoy your own design and brand, but ultimately, you’re not working to attract yourself! You’re simply in business because you are looking to attract and serve others.

The best thing to do in this regard is to think about your ideal client and keep them front of mind when you are creating anything – whether that is the homepage or the services page – and even your portfolio. Show, don’t tell.

The solution? Learn about and focus in on your ideal client. Hone in on what makes them tick. Consider the style and design that your ideal client would be attracted to and marry that with your personal design preferences. 

Creating a clear and crisp message about what your business does 

Never assume that people will automatically understand what they’re meant to do when they land on your homepage. This is something that often happens and even though it’s something so simple and manageable, it still happens!

Like we mentioned before, it takes less than 10 seconds for a visitor to arrive, check your website, make an impression and then makes a (maybe permanent) decision of leaving your site (or staying if they love it!). This applies to businesses of every kind, products and services, blogs and e-commerce sites. The header of the website, whether it’s an image or has the text laid in with it, should communicate what your business does and give the person an idea about the value you offer.

The solution to this would be crafting a one-sentence description near the top of your website that clearly articulates what you do, what makes you unique and difference, and how your product or service will change your customer’s life.

Finale 

Take action! Check your homepage today, and go through the elements we’ve covered today. It would be even better to ask someone who is your target market, or a potential customer who has an interest and real need in your product or service and let them give you some honest feedback

Taking these 3 quick actions can really make a difference for your business.

If you’re ready to build a new presence and create a brand that you and your customers love, take a step today! Contact us on studio@madeagency.com, check out our portfolio and if you think it’s a good fit, we would love to hear from you!

 

How design is crucial to your marketing efforts

Design is everywhere.

You may already know this. What you may not know though is that design plays such an important role in the success of your marketing efforts. No matter how well you handle customer relations, or how high the quality of your product or service is, basic design elements can be the difference maker to your success.

When you think about your business, the first thing that might come to mind is your business name or logo. And this makes sense, it’s also going to be the first thing customers hear and see when researching your business.

Both give your brand identity. Your logo is like the face of your business. In saying this, it is important to make sure this face is as attractive as possible because you will likely be advertising it wherever you can. If you’re integrating your brand properly, you’ve probably added your logo to places like letterheads, document templates and email signatures.

Whilst this is a good sign of brand management, a poor logo design could be detrimental to all this hard work. Good design builds trust. It gives your business a more professional look. If your logo looks basic and outdated, potential clients will make assumptions about your business; that you can’t keep up with the times or perhaps that the quality of your product/service is subpar. People will make first impressions as soon as they see your logo, so make sure it’s a good one.

Marketing in the online realm has quickly become one of the best ways to sell a brand or idea. The success of this online marketing can all boil down your website’s performance and overall design. Web design encompasses both the aesthetic feel and general usability of a website. Despite what you might think, web design plays a crucial part in the representation of your brand and assists in shaping the opinions of your website visitors. On top of this, there are many factors that contribute to the efficacy of your web design.

Web building services like WordPress offer templates that can kickstart your design structure and organisation and help you adopt a more professional look for your brand. In this digital age, web design can be pivotal to the success of your marketing efforts and bad design can sometimes be as bad as not having a website at all. If your website is poorly designed, you run the risk of losing potential clientele. For instance, you might be thinking that the best way to attract business is by being unique and having an out of the box web design. This might be effective in some cases, however, confusion may arise for customers used to conventional layouts or those that are less tech-savvy.

One aspect of your marketing efforts where effective visual communication is essential is that of calls-to-action (CTA’s). This continues to play on that point about good web design. It is one thing to have a good web layout, but good web design includes things like CTA’s. Additionally, well-designed calls-to-action can do wonders for your marketing efforts. If they are well designed, they grab the attention of visitors and help convert readers into leads. These conversions are the ultimate goal of your marketing efforts and it is inevitable that good design boosts conversions. Another thing you can do is look at the analytics for these CTA’s, which allows you to measure the performance of such efforts.

Another area where design is very impactful is social media content. When creating daily, weekly or monthly content for the people who follow you, it is crucial that the design is not only eye-catching but also that the message is communicated loud and clear and has the right impression.

This also applies to how your emails are designed and laid out. The right design can carry all your content and encourage multi-level click-ins, whereas bad design might deter your audience, even if the content within is the best you’ve created. This is how important design; used in the right way, it will make or break how your audience connects with your brand, and eventually how they choose to spend their money on your products and services.

We’ve given you a few examples of how design plays a big part in your marketing efforts. If you are struggling to successfully market your business, it might mean that it’s time for a logo revamp, or possibly you need to restructure your website for easier accessibility. Whatever the case, use this article as a guide to direct you to better success in the marketing sphere.

We’re experts in website design and would love to help you create an exceptional brand. Check out our portfolio and if you like what you see, contact us – studio@madeagency.com

Beyond the logo: Integrating your brand into all aspects of your business

holistic branding

holistic branding

Firstly, let’s establish what we mean by ‘brand’. The brand of a company or business may hold different meanings to different people. For the sake of this article, a brand is not limited to merely a company name and logo. A brand encapsulates everything that a business is, it should be inextricably linked within all of a business’s processes and offerings.

Simply put, your brand is like the personality of your business. This is why it is important to build and maintain an image from the ground up.

As we have mentioned, your brand does not solely rely on your logo.

Although this is true, it should not take away from the significance of good logo design and implementation. Your logo ultimately embodies the brand of your business.

When someone sees your logo they should recall what they have heard about your business and what principals they associate your business with. Assuming you have a well-established brand and strong logo design, your first step towards integration should be putting your logo wherever you can.

Now, don’t go overdoing this, because that will actually hurt your brand. You should choose places like letterheads, document templates and email signatures as places where your brand can be integrated effectively.

Choosing places like these for your logo highlights communication as an important aspect of your company’s brand. In saying this, the way you communicate should be equally as reflective of your company’s ideals. When you mix good communication with effective logo implementation, you encourage positive connotations to be made between your logo and overall brand.  

In this age of instantaneity, people are quick to make first impressions. This is especially significant in terms of online branding. In many cases, the first thing consumers will do before directly engaging with your business is to take a look at your website. It is important not only to have a website (if you don’t you should probably start there) but to also consolidate your brand within all aspects of your website. For example, say your company prides itself on its ability to be punctual and easy to work with. Now, imagine that a potential customer has been recommended to your business for exactly these reasons and decides to take a look at your website.

They are then met with long wait times on pages and a layout that is hard to follow. Not only will this risk client loss, but it also contradicts the values of your company and damages your brand. In this case, integrating your brand into your website is much more than simply pasting a logo over every page. It is making sure that your website is designed with the customer in mind and allows consumers to pinpoint what it is that your company values.

Next. Verbal communication. This is a simple one but is ultimately essential to the integrity of your brand. Whilst technology is swiftly eliminating much of the need for verbal customer interaction, it is still something that should be flawless. This means phone calls, sales calls, presentations, general meetings etc, should be conducted at a high standard. Nailing this aspect of your customer relations not only instils feelings of trust and confidence within your clientele but also reinforces your brand values.

There are countless ways in which a brand can make an impact. This is not only when you create a logo, or even your website. It includes landing pages, the way you put out written, audio or video content. At the end of the day, a brand is all about how you made your customers feel – it is a positive experience, one that has impacted their life in a good way.

For branding inquiries including creating visual identities, collateral and website creation, contact us here – studio@madeagency.com

How to use Yoast SEO for your real estate website 

real estate seo services
real estate seo services

Search engine optimisation is something any web developer or website owner should be aware of. It is an underpinning component of a websites design and structure. Through effective SEO a website can improve their traffic, organic search results and overall website ranking. 

There are many tools that can help with this, like Yoast SEO for example. This plugin helps you research into your audience, determining the highest quality keywords and monitoring search engine behaviour. Having a greater understanding of your audiences search patterns gives you an edge over those who don’t, allowing you to create a more engaging and optimized website. For real estate websites, SEO can also be localised to your agencies area of focus. In doing this, you’ll be better equipped to outrank competitors in relevant search queries.

As far as search engine optimisation plugins go, Yoast is at the forefront of SEO technologies. Compared to other plugins on the market, which typically offer simple features like meta-tag additions, Yoast goes above and beyond in offering web developers the opportunity to boost their website rankings via effective SEO. Targeting keywords is one of the most important things you can do for your website to improve traffic and Yoast does this effectively. Moreover, with Yoast you will be able to optimize and keep track of these words in key places on your site.  

One of the first and most important things you can do for your website is target your keywords. Yoast has a keyword suggestion tool that will assist you in doing this. This tool provides suggestions for popular keywords as well as suggestions beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Simply enter a keyword of your choosing and yoast will expand on this and dispense alternative keywords relevant to that word or phrase. The next step, once you’ve found optimal keywords is to add them to your website. Ideally, you add these words to places like title tags,  URL structure,  headers, meta descriptions and Alt Text.

As previously mentioned, real estate agencies can improve their SEO implementation by using local keywords. Because your target audience is going to be relative to location, you can afford to be more specific. More specific keywords are also known as long tail keywords. 

Although these words will not be searched for as frequently as your main keywords they are still valuable to your website. In order to improve your search result rankings within the nearby area you should opt for such geo-targeted keywords that make use of local terms.   

There are some ways you can manipulate SEO so that you can keep links that are doing well high up on the search results. Let’s say you’ve effectively implemented SEO within your website and added target keywords to the descriptions of your listings. If a listing has found itself towards the front end of the search result pages and then sells, your first thought might be to delete it from your website. 

An alternative, that will prevent you from wasting this link, is to simply leave it up. Make it known to buyers who click on the link that the property in question is in fact sold, but list properties with similarities or within a close proximity on the page. This way you’ll be able to redirect any traffic from this page back to other pages of your website. You’ll probably be able to keep this up for a couple months and reap in the benefits.

Hope this tip helps you! We also provide custom SEO packages for businesses at Made Agency. If you would like to have a chat, please call us on 1300 877 503 or send us an email on studio@madeagency.com, we would love to assist.

What makes a good website landing page design

The first impression a user makes when they click onto your website is an important one.  Studies have found that it takes less than one second for a web user to form a first impression upon opening a website.

This is why it is essential to your success that you nail that landing page. The ultimate goal of your website is to maximise visitor conversions and the first thing to address in achieving this goal is to build and maintain a well designed landing page. 

The first thing some web designers think of doing when trying to build a superior landing page is to be unique and inventive, when really, the most successful designs are usually quite simple and stick to conventional website structures. Below, are some tips on what makes a good landing page design and how you can optimize this page to increase visitor conversions.

1. WEBSITE HEADLINE: 

One of the fundamental elements of landing page design that you should tackle first is your headline. This is generally one of the first things that visitors to your website will see and it should clearly state what your website’s ‘offer’ is. 

A website’s ‘offer’ varies from website to website and it might be as simple as consistent blog posts. Your website will not appeal to everybody that visits it so try and keep your headline and subheadline targeted towards the people more likely to stick around. Your subheadline should answer any questions users might have about your offer or confirm what your websites about. Nevertheless, your headline needs to be visible, clear and concise. Avoid confusion and strive for less words; your sub-headline will go into more detail about your offer.

2. CALLS TO ACTION :

Once you’ve got your headlines sorted it’s time to take a look at your calls-to-action (CTA’s). If you’re not familiar with the definition of a call to action, it is basically a piece of content designed to induce the user to perform an action. For example, ‘subscribe’, ‘sign up’, ‘buy now’ are all calls to action. 

CTA’s are such a vital component of your landing page as they ultimately assist in keeping a portion of your websites traffic sticking around. In saying this, try to keep these buttons above the fold and have at least 2 or 3 on your landing page. Make them stand out from the rest of your page so that visitors are visually drawn to them on arrival. You should also optimize these CTA’s for mobile use so that they are easily accessible and prevent the chances of users tapping on something they didn’t want to. Successfully implemented CTA’s should help increase and maintain traffic to your website.

3. USE OF IMAGES

Our next tip, almost as important as the first 2, is to use images. Lots of people are quick to leave websites when they can’t find what they want almost instantly. Others leave because they can’t be bothered to read an unnecessarily wordy description of a website’s offers. 

Avoid losing visitors for both of these reasons by using images that capture the essence of what your website is all about. Optimise the image so that it looks good on both a computer and mobile device and make sure that the image clearly expresses the nature of your offering.

In doing the simple points above, you’ll be better able to capture that impatient percentage of users who visit your website.

If you’re keen to improve on the branding and overall presentation of your website, contact us at studio@madeagency.com

5 reasons why your business needs a website designer

 professional website development

When it comes to your website; whether you should design it on your own or hire a web designer is a question that is always on the agenda.

Your website is the foundation of your business. It showcases your products, services and your brand.

A web designer is specialised in different kinds of areas such as Typography, Colour Theory, Diagramming, Gestalt, among others to build websites that can convey business communication objectives of the clients and that easily facilitate business transactions.

In 2019, it has never been easier to put together your own website, with many tools now easily available online.

However, here are some points of why you should hire a web designer:

1. Save Time

No matter how big or small your business is, you will always have a lot to think about, to plan, do and make happen. Let’s face it: there’s no one more time poor than a business owner, especially one who is juggling the demands of multiple clients and also trying to get their business to grow.

Creating a website requires time, research, an understanding of your audience and how each website construction tool works. Leaving this in the hands of a web designer will leave you free to solve things that really only you can solve and that matter for the growth of your business.

2. Look professional from the very beginning

With a talented web designer helping you create your website and also with any design updates and marketing collateral you may need, your website will look much more professional from the outset.

Although this may generate a higher cost in the beginning, in the long run it will help in the sales and profit of the company. No one trusts a badly designed website.

3. SEO compliance

Nowadays, it’s just not enough to have a well designed and good looking website, it’s also important to be search engine aka Google optimised. A great website is all about being the right combination of quality content, responsive design and marketing.

This means the site structure, image optimisation, speed optimisation and having a mobile friendly design work together as moving parts of the same entity.

4. Custom design

The worst thing to do for your business is to create a website for the sake of creating one.

A good web designer will always have a process that involves aligning the website to your business, products and services. What are your business aims and objectives? What do you want to generate? How do you want to influence your audience and make a mark?

With a DIY approach, you will end up using a design that has already been created and that probably looks great, but doesn’t really function well as a business tool.

It should be the goal of every web designer to have a great knowledge of both design elements and the key SEO elements that need to be researched and put together before, during and after a website design project.

If you need a new website created for your business, we would love to chat with you!

Email us on studio@madeagency.com or call us here: 1300 877 503

Remember these 5 things when creating a new website

Creative Web Design Agency
Image from Adam Birkett

Your business website is the gateway to the closure of new contracts, services and product sales. It’s your digital visit card. How will you create a visual invitation, something that will create a lasting impression?
Space between elements, effective internal search tools, and creative ways of inviting the user to interact with your website are some of the things we discuss in this post.
Although each client project will each have their own unique requirements, there are some steps that we have to follow to build a good website. The main point to remember when creating this design is the harmony between beauty and functionality.

We’ve put together our thoughts about some elements that together define the user experience:

1. Less is more

Clear intention is key. Know your why. Always keep it clean and uncluttered. This is the overarching philosophy here at Made Agency. We rarely read all the words on a website. Taking this into account, it is better to appeal to emotion and not to the amount of words. We also suggest using images as alternative ways to communicate your message.

 

2. Site hierarchy is everything 

You have a few seconds to get people’s attention and tell them what your site is about. If you establish a clear hierarchy for your information, readers can easily follow the visual information cues you have left. Then add colour, contrast, size and spacing to give more emphasis, and always be aware of what attracts attention on your page and make sure that it is always intentional.

3. Legibility as principle

The main purpose of a website is to showcase your mad skills, project yourself as an expert, pass on information and most importantly, make a sale, and this can only be done if people can read easily! Good legibility makes all the difference in a website. And for this is not very difficult:
– Contrast is the key. It is very important to have sufficient contrast between the background and the text so that it is very clear.
– You can not read what you do not see. The rule in general is that fonts less than 16pts are not used. But of course that number depends on which font you are using. The point here is that the text is large enough so that people can easily read your content.

 

4. Navigability to come across as a pro

Solid navigation helps search engines crawl your content, as well as improve the user experience. Your logo should have a link to the homepage for example. This is a common practice that your visitors are already accustomed to and that will save them some valuable clicks.
5. Responsive design is a must 
This is not anything new and it’s certainly not the latest innovation,  because being mobile is the new normal, but a couple of things to remember: make sure to put yourself in the user’s position and test all the pages, buttons and all actions that the user should take. With the new technological developments, modifying a site for its mobile version is becoming easier. But there are important differences between the big screen web and the mobile web that require special and delicate attention where a web designer can help!
Hope this helps when you’re creating a new website for your brand. We’d love to help you with anything you might want to create for your business. Email us at studio@madeagency.com, we would love to hear from you!

5 Reasons to work with a Graphic Design Agency

Graphic Design Agency
With online tools for design easily accessible, one might question the necessity of actually engaging a graphic design studio.
Why does one really need to hire a professional graphic design or an agency with a real understanding of design and commerce? The answer is simply this. With a graphic designer you will be able to create a recognised brand
in your market.
With it you will pique the interest of people who could be future consumers.
In addition to creating an identity for your brand; in the midst of massive competition, you need something that stands out and will differentiate you from competitors.
Here are some ways a graphic design agency can positively progress your brand or product:

1) Visual identity 

Having a visual identity is all about maintaining consistency – of colours and fonts, so that they are always associated with the company.
One can create brand recognition with prospective clients with a good visual identity, because from their point of view, a strong identity generates a sense of belonging and reliability.

2) Differentiation from competitors 

With an extremely competitive market and many brands selling products similar to yours, you can differentiate yourself with the help of a graphic design agency. Thoughtful design will make you stand out in the middle of competition. With consistent advice on evolving and transforming your brand, you will not only learn how to create a great brand but how to stay on brand in everything that you release in the market. Treat your agency as a partner in building your brand, it’s a great opportunity to build your brand and business!

3) First impressions are what matter 

Before a customer can make a purchase from your brand, he must be attracted to it.
With a good graphic design, the first impression will be a good one,  and will boost your brand and / or product.

4) Brand value 

With a consistent visual identity, you have brand value.
Brand value goes far beyond profit (although that is the consequence). It’s because of a value brand with a good visual identity, people pay $50 in a white shirt with a known logo and $15 for a totally white shirt.
With a good design, your brand will begin to have value, not only your product.

5) Clarity in communication 

Well done design can bring greater ease in communication.
Culturally, we associate some colours and shapes with certain products and experiences. Focusing on the consumer and how he reacts to certain sensory interactions makes it possible for us to have a clearer communication with them and thus easier for them to consume the brand.
In this way, having a visual identity, differentiating yourself from your competitors, creating great first impressions, increasing your brand value and having clarity all round in your communication are the top reasons why you need a graphic design agency asap!

Do you want to create a well-recognised brand?

Give us a call on 1300 877 503, or email studio@madeagency.com to find out how we can help you. We’d love to hear from you!

How to incorporate the Christmas spirit in your branding

brand design Sydney

 

As the holiday season is well and truly upon us, companies are beginning to add touches of Christmas cheer to their branding.  From Starbucks and the Christmas themed red cup campaign, to Coca Cola and the Christmas truck that gifts the popular soft drink to communities. Brands across the world are getting in on the festivities.

So, how can you add a bit of Christmas to your brand?

Changing your logo

Many companies change their logos for the festive season. From adding baubles and holly, to Santa hats and gift wrapping.  Woolworths added a small piece of holly to their green logo, which is a subtle way to show how they were getting into the Christmas spirit.

Update your website

From adding decorations to the website to increasing your Christmas themed content. Updating your website can be a great way to add some jolly cheer.  Many retail companies have joined in on this trend, offering customers advice on what to buy and other Christmas tips.

Sharing Christmas updates

Posting Christmas themed updates on social media can be a great way to get involved in the festivities.  Therefore you can show your followers how the brand is getting involved. It can be a great way to engage more with your customers.

Christmas email campaigns

Adding touches of Christmas joy to your e-newsletters can also add to your branding.  Brands do this by sending Christmas themed subject lines, changing the design of their email, or delivering specific festive content to receivers.

Christmas ads

With Christmas only days away, advertisements on radio, newspaper and television are increasingly Christmas themed.  Many companies add the Christmas spirit to their branding efforts by specifically promoting their offerings during the festive season. Offering new products and sales to entice buyers is also a good way to add Christmas spirit.

 

Adding the Christmas spirit to your branding can be a great way to engage more with customers by creating emotional connections.  Here at Made, we’ve been getting into the Christmas spirit by designing Christmas cards and setting up decorations around the office.

3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts for the Intro page of your website

The intro page of a website can be a very helpful communication tool. It presents a business’s fundamental values in an engaging way.  While influences people into new worlds. Also builds up an optimistic image in a couple of seconds. It gives a warm welcome and motivates the user and potential customer to stay. Either turns up your message into people’s minds.

It makes visitors enter your website and leave with a smile on their faces.

Like a good movie trailer, it makes people curious and begging for more.

3 Do’s and 3 Don’t’s when creating this web presentation for clients:

3 Do’s :

  1. Educate and Entertain the viewer
  2. Respect bandwidth
  3. Provide a ‘Skip Intro’ button

3 Donts :  

  1. Be boring – try and tickle their interest in whatever it is you’re talking about
  2. Be ugly – be creative and make your intro visually pleasing
  3. Provide useless and irrelevant information