What Are Landing Pages and When Should You Use Them?

This was posted on November 9th, 2015




Landing pages can be an incredibly valuable way of converting visitors, but what’s the best way to use them effectively and what impact can they have on conversions?

The vast majority of businesses and websites don’t use landing pages, but the ones who do are the ones picking up the business. So many companies throw so much money at SEO, Adwords and other forms of online marketing to send people to a static website, where they can get lost, mooch around looking at different things and then disappear. You don’t want that. You want visitors to convert into customers, and the only way you can do that is to convince them in the same way you would a conventional shopper.

If you ran a shop on the high street and a customer came in, would you leave them to wander around the shop looking at items, staring at the ceiling, reading the posters on the wall and then leave? No, you’d ask them what they were looking for, help them find it and convince them to buy it. That’s sales.

What landing pages are

Landing pages are web pages specifically designed to convert a visitor into a lead, by ‘squeezing’ them onto a single page which convinces them to provide you with their email address, phone number or other details in exchange for a high-value offer.

From the visitor’s point of view, they’re getting something great for free or are going to benefit in some way, and for that they’re willing to allow you to sell to them in the future. These are pretty warm leads and they’re next to free to obtain, so why would you not make the most of them?

Where landing pages come into their own

You want people to buy from your website. That’s natural. However, 96% of first-time visitors on your website aren’t going to buy anything. That’s what all the statistics say. So why lose the 96% to potentially go and buy elsewhere? You can get a large number of those in your contacts book or on your mailing list and sell to them in the future — when they’re ready to buy.

It’s often the next best thing from a sale, and can quite often be even better. If you’re looking for returning, loyal customers, this can be a great first way to build up that rapport by offering them something and engaging in a two-way transaction. Funnelling people into leads and then sales is a prime sales tactic and one which should never be understated.

What should a landing page contain?

Above all else, your landing page should have most of the content above the fold, have a strong call to action button and be direct and easy to read. It should also:

  • Have an exciting, compelling title which tells people what you want them to do
  • Use short, concise sentences geared towards generating interest
  • Use bullet points and short features to break up content and focus the eye
  • Have an exciting and compelling image which is relevant to what you’re offering

Driving users to your landing page

Users can be driven to your landing page using Google Adwords, Facebook or Twitter advertising or even scannable QR codes on posters or leaflets. A simple ‘Scan this QR code for a free copy of my book’ can go a very long way to generating long-term customers.

If you’ve got a promotion running, make it an exclusive promotion to people finding you either through Facebook, QR codes on posters or on Twitter. If you’re running an event, offer discounted tickets to people scanning the QR code to get to your landing page. You need to offer them something. Simply saying ‘visit our website’ won’t do a thing.


In summary, landing pages can be enormously beneficial to website owners in terms of creating leads and generating future business. Building up an email mailing list in this way is absolutely vital to ensuring the future of your business and giving you a pool of relatively warm leads to work from in the future. After all, those people would’ve just gone elsewhere — likely to a competitor — if you hadn’t got their contact information, so what have you got to lose?

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Should All Websites Be Designed Primarily for Mobile?

This was posted on November 2nd, 2015



It’s been obvious for a long time now that designing websites for mobile usage has been extraordinarily important. Mobile usage has been growing exponentially and for a good couple of years it’s been vital to have a mobile response version of your website for people to visit on smartphones and other handheld devices.

Now, though, the tide has changed. Mobile devices account for the vast majority of web browsing, with laptops and desktops now beginning to languish in obscurity, relatively speaking. The stats say that mobile sites should no longer be a secondary consideration, but the primary one and that a desktop version of your website should come second.

Let’s have a look at some stats.

There are 1.2 billion mobile web users around the world. In the United States alone, 25% of internet users use mobile only, rarely or never using a desktop machine. Over 85% of new handsets sold have mobile web access, and seeing as virtually everyone owns a mobile phone this a potentially huge market.

The statistics say that the majority of users will only ever see the mobile version of your website. For that reason, then, it needs to work and work well.

Desktop is still an important medium, but it’s now secondary to mobile. It shouldn’t be forgotten, but we have to accept that the online world has moved on and that not only the future but the present is with mobile usage. However, that doesn’t mean the end of the web as we know it.

It’s all about adapting. Ensuring that your website is progressively designed for mobile usage is vital, and a properly responsive website design will respond to the device that’s requesting it, regardless of whether that’s a smartphone, tablet, laptop or 40ft-wide projector. Allowing your website to scale gracefully and remove unnecessary features as screen real estate becomes tighter is now a vital part of website design.

Your main efforts should be put into mobile design, whilst still being able to take advantage of all of the benefits of the desktop version of your website (primarily the extra screen space and capability for Flash and other plugins). For this, you need to ensure your website is properly responsively designed. That’s where we come in.

To make sure your website is fully designed for mobile usage and therefore able to accommodate the majority of your potential customers and website visitors, call us today to speak about responsive website design and mobile usage.

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8 Hottest New Design Trends for Your Website

This was posted on October 29th, 2015



Design trends are always changing and always have been, and the internet’s no different. In fact, design trends tend to change even more quickly online.

If you’ve not redesigned your website in the last couple of years, you’re likely to be lagging quite some way behind. This can have a negative impact on your business and could easily be losing you money. Here are 8 web design trends which will help keep you up to date:

1. Flat-look design

Flat design has been tried out in many forms and has been very successful, with the new iPhone operating system, Windows 8 and the new Gmail layout (not to mention the new Google branding) all employing this almost-flat styling.

It strips away all the frills and nonsense and utilises simple typography, simple shapes and bold colours to convey a message clearly and simply — and that’s what web users want nowadays.

2. Hand-drawn illustrations

These are quirky and fun and jump out and catch the eye in an online world where photographs and carefully designed graphics are the norm. The rough and ready appeal of hand-drawn graphics can’t be easily replicated and as such gives a really unique feel to any website.

For businesses in creative industries or appealing to creative types, this is a superb way to get your message across and convey that creativity in a unique way.

3. Focus on typography

Typography is one of the most important parts of the internet right now, with huge importance being placed on the types of fonts being used to create a brand and make your website and its content stand out.

It’s not just a case of picking one which looks nice — it’s about the message it conveys. You’d be amazed how a simple change of font or typeface can have a huge impact on the sales and enquiries you’ll get through your website, which is why big brands pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to get typefaces designed.

4. Quality images

It’s not just a case of grabbing some royalty-free images from a stock source, but creating high-quality images which convey a particular message. Superimposing different elements and text can have a huge benefit, too.

Simplicity is the key here, with use of colour and focusing of the eye being of extra importance. A careful, considered use of images can make a huge difference to your website.

5. Moving images and cinemagraphs

These are increasing in popularity and used to be known as ‘animated gifs’, but have been effectively rebranded as ‘cinemagraphs’. Rather than being animated cartoon-style images, these are effectively moving photographs.

Caution should be exercised here, as you don’t want to end up with your website looking like something fresh out of 1995.

6. Interactive stories

Infographics are a great way of getting a message across, and if it’s done in the form of a story it can be even more effective. People love stories and a big hook at the start can make people click on and run through the infographic.

Making sure users want to know what happens next is a vital way of hooking them in and funnelling them through into becoming a new lead, fan or customer.

7. Minimalist design, putting the user first

No longer is it a good idea to throw everything you can at users. They don’t want to see it all. They want the basics and that’s it. Give the users what they want, not what you think they want.

Extensive menus, submenus, sidebars and confusing navigation will do just that — confuse people. And you don’t want confused potential customers. Keep things simple and minimalist and watch your sales and enquiries skyrocket.

8. Re-workings of older trends

A lot of previous trends are still knocking about but in different, updated forms (see cinemagraphs, above). Some of the more popular re-worked trends included endless scrolling, which was originally designed for mobile users but has had huge success on desktop; and parallax scrolling, in which background elements move at a different speed to the foreground, which can be very effective when used properly.


If you want to speak to us about incorporating some of these cutting-edge design trends on your website, give us a call today and we’ll see what we can do for you.

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Is Your Website Costing You Money?

This was posted on October 26th, 2015




Generally speaking, businesses have websites created because they want to generate more business and make more money through the web. However, a poorly designed website could actually be costing you money. Here are five ways in which your website could be causing you more problems than it’s solving:

1. Being slow to load

We have a tendency to think that if a site is slow to load that means it takes somewhere between 20 and 30 seconds. That’s extremely outdated, to say the least. Nowadays, in 2015, if your site doesn’t load in under 3 seconds, the vast majority of visitors will disappear and go to another site — probably your competitor. Usability studies have shown this to be true time and time again, so your site needs to load almost instantaneously or you’ll be losing money.

2. Huge images and bloated pages

This is very much tied into the point above, but is more easily rectified. Images should be compressed to ensure the file size is as small as possible, meaning it won’t add too much to the loading time of the page and will ensure that visitors stay on your website rather than disappearing off to your competitors. The file extension you use is important, too. Don’t just use jpgs for every image and assume that’s best — it’s often far too big for what’s needed.

3. Usage of third-party scripts and external coding

If you’re using Adsense, Google Analytics, Facebook and Twitter sharing buttons, YouTube plugins and various other external coding, this is likely to add a huge load to the amount of time it takes for your website to appear. You should defer external scripts to load after the rest of the page has appeared or, even better, get rid of everything that’s not essential in order to keep your site lean and clean.

4. Hidden or late-loading CTAs

Your call-to-action (or CTA) is what you want your users to click on to take an action. It’s the button that says ‘buy now’, ‘subscribe’ or ‘call us’. This is the target you want all website users to complete, so ensuring it is displayed prominently and loads early is absolutely vital to your website working for you. If not, it could be losing you money.

5. Pop-ups! Pop-ups everywhere!

If you’ve got a big ‘JOIN OUR MAILING LIST’ or ‘GET MY FREE WHITEPAPER’ popups appearing as soon as someone enters your website, the statistics show that they’re likely to just click off and go elsewhere. They didn’t join your mailing list, didn’t want your whitepaper and could well have been a potential customer who you’ve just put off. Think of it like a high-street shop. A potential customer walks in the door. Do you run over and scream in their face ‘HERE, HAVE A FREE WHITEPAPER. SIGN HERE TO JOIN MY MAILING LIST TOO’? No, so don’t do it online either.

We have years of experience in knowing what works online and what doesn’t, and the fact is that online behaviours and requirements are changing constantly. For that reason, you need a web design company which keeps on top of the latest developments and can ensure that your website continues to work for you and doesn’t lose you money — in fact, we can help you make sure that your website creates new business and does the job it was meant to do. Call us today for more information.

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Mindblowing Internet Usage Stats in 2015 and What They Mean

This was posted on October 23rd, 2015




Each year, the Office for National Statistics releases data on internet usage for households and individuals — something which may sound very dry but is actually vital for anyone running a website or an online business. After all, if you’re looking to target internet users as potential customers, you want to know what they’re up to.

The most startling fact, perhaps, was that the internet was accessed every single day by 78% of UK adults in 2015. Compared with just 35% of them in 2006, this is an astonishing increase that shows just how connected we are every day of our lives.

A remarkable 96% of people aged 16 to 24 access the internet ‘on the go’, or in other words on their mobiles or tablets. This is an enormous revelation for those who still think having a mobile-optimised website isn’t important. If your website isn’t optimised for mobile, you’re missing out on 96% of that segment of the market, which is not great business sense by any measure.

Social networking is also on the rise, being used by 61% of adults. This is one of the primary new routes of advertising and shows some excellent returns — growing each day in most industries. Of those 61%, a huge 79% access social media either every day or almost every day.

If you’re not yet selling online, you’re missing out. 76% of adults bought goods or services online in 2015, which is up from just 53% in 2008. Clothes and sporting goods were the items most often bought online, but the vast majority of industries saw a big increase in online sales. If you’re not selling online, you’re missing out on 76% of the market.

Over the past quarter, 22% of adults bought online just once or twice, with 28% of adults completing more than 11 transactions online, or more than roughly one a week. 42% of adults had made purchases totalling £100 to £499 in the past three months. This goes to show that high-value goods are also bought online in ever-increasing numbers.

And to show how Britain is becoming more and more connected, in 2006 only 57% of households had internet access. That’s now an astonishing 86%, which goes to show that the offline world is no longer where you should be concentrating your efforts. The internet and online shopping is now ubiquitous and needs to be the focus of your efforts if you’re to be successful in business in 2015, 2016 and beyond.

If you want to take advantage of the web and make it work for you and your business, contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

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Back to the Future Day is Here… And The Predictions Were More Accurate Than You Might Think…

This was posted on October 19th, 2015




The Back to the Future film franchise is one of the most successful in film history, with the three films still being amongst the most rented and bought movies in the world — thirty years on from the first film’s release.

Although the original film saw Marty McFly and Doc Brown going back in time to the 1950s, in Back to the Future Part II the pair go forward to October 21st 2015 — just two days away from today. The October 21st 2015 of the Back to the Future world had flying cars, hovering skateboards and some rather bizarre fashion developments, but how much did the writers predict correctly?

Undoubtedly, there was a lot of artistic licence involved on the part of the writers and they will have predicted most things in a very tongue-in-cheek manner.

No World Wide Web

Back To The Future II does of course predict some huge changes in technology, that many of us have lived through, but the Internet, arguably one of the biggest changes in modern technology was not even hinted at.


Work on the Internet was well underway by the mid 80s although it was not until the end of the decade that the World Wide Web as we now know it began to emerge and the start of the 90s that the first websites became available.


The thing we were all waiting for in 2015 was the hoverboard. We were practically promised them by BTTF2 and we were totally let down, right? Wrong. Lexus have, in fact, manufactured the world’s first genuine overboard.


Unfortunately for us, it’s unlikely to become an everyday reality until the world’s roads and pavements are adapted to contain huge magnets — something which is very unlikely to happen in the near future. However, I am sure Lexus have gained large amounts of publicity online with the whole venture.

Television Technology


Marty’s house in 2015 features a wall-mounted flatscreen TV (still a pipe dream in the 198os) which can display a number of channels at once and also shows video calling from a phone. The caller on the other end is shown swiping their credit card in a small scanner in order to send money to the other person. All of this is very possible and, in fact, routine now in 2015 if you use a little artistic licence with the phone’s credit card scanner and assume that to be Apple Pay. Interestingly, the film shows that outsiders are able to monitor and listen in to private phone calls… The less said about that the better.

Video Calls

Although the Internet is notable by its absence in Back to the Future 2, the film’s writers did manage to conjure up something that we are incredibly familiar with these days. Marty McFly talks to his boss via video call; something which could feasibly happen these days. Although, unlike in the film, we are not limited to making video calls from our big screen television. Programs like Skype have enabled us to make video calls from anywhere in the world, using our computer, smartphone or tablet.


Self-lacing Shoes


When Marty arrives in 2015 one of the first things he does it to put on a pair of self-lacing ‘sneakers’ and it is reported that this is something that Nike are working on. Whether this is simply a next viral marketing exercise or if it set to become reality it will be very interesting look out for.

Predictions that didn’t make it…yet

However, there were one or two pretty much rock-solid predictions by 1980s standards which fell flat on their face.

A newspaper headline headline reads “President Says She’s Tired” — no female president for the United States yet, but it’s looking ever-closer. In fact, it’s the ubiquity of newspapers in the fictional 2015 that looks most odd — not one character is reading the news on anything resembling a smartphone or tablet.

It’s also probably best that we don’t focus on the fashion aspect of BTTF2, too. Let’s just say most of the characters look like tinfoil-wearing mobile phone radiation conspiracists.



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Is Single Page Design the Future of the Web?

This was posted on October 15th, 2015



We’ve all seen websites that don’t have any sub-pages, menus or the usual, traditional hierarchical structure that many websites have. These single page designs, or pageless designs as they’re also often called, are popping up all over the place, but why?

Put simply, in the early days of the web it was usual for websites and online design to imitate print design. After all, that’s what people had been used to for hundreds of years: Separate pages for different types of content, a header at the top followed by the content, and so on. These archaic elements are finally being kicked into touch, though, as leading designers start to create websites that really innovate.

The fact is that people really don’t mind scrolling nowadays. What they don’t like is lots of clicking. We’re more than happy to scroll — you probably use ‘bottomless’ pages every day, especially if you scroll through Facebook or Twitter. Those pages don’t have bottoms, yet they’re the sites we use the most. What if you had to click on each person’s Facebook name to view their latest status? The chances are you probably wouldn’t.

Pageless designs tell a story in a logical order, rather than making you shift around the site to find out the story for yourself (and probably not in the order the designer or company who own the website intended you to). It’s easy to digest, intuitive and there’s no waiting for pages to load. The page seems less blunt, more designed and tailored to the end user and these are all enormous benefits when it comes to generating business through your website.

What’s more, these pages give much, much higher conversion rates on average. They’re shared more often on social media websites and have a much lower bounce rate. They also respond well across mobile devices and scale nicely for people using smartphones to browse the web — which most people do.

If your customers prefer it, why not give it to them? It’s also easier for you or your website design company to update as you only have one page to worry about. There’s no more worrying about menu structures and information architecture, either. Smart, pageless sites are generally much cheaper to create, load faster and force you to simplify your content (with all of the user experience and SEO benefits that brings).

It’s all food for thought, that’s for sure. Some of the statistics and studies into single page design are simply astounding, but we think that’d be better kept for another post. For now, though, it might be worth thinking about how pageless design could revolutionise your website…

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How Quality Content Could Revolutionise Your Site

This was posted on October 12th, 2015




The phrase that’s been bandied about in recent years is that content is king. Most have us have heard that, but what does it mean and why is quality content even more important now than ever?

The fact of the matter is that websites such as Google are placing ever more importance on quality content. Poorly written articles, blog posts and content just won’t cut the mustard with Google. It’ll see your website as being inferior to those of your competitors and send users to them through the search results instead of to you. That’s the cold, hard truth.

So what is quality content and how do you create it? Google has published a whole raft of guidelines on quality content and how to avoid triggering bad content filters. Some of the worst things you can have on your website are:

  • Auto-generated content
  • Hidden text
  • Content scraped or copied from other sites
  • Pages with little or no content
  • Doorway pages
  • Pages loaded with irrelevant text or stuffed keywords

Unfortunately, a huge number of websites have at least one of these in place. Usually it’ll be little or no content or content that’s been used elsewhere online. If that’s the case, you need to revolutionise your content.

1. Make your content relevant and readable

Don’t use corporate speak — the Flesch-Kincaid readability scale is used by Google to ensure that easy-to-read sites are given a big boost over more complicated wording. Google is also starting to value longer articles and pages: in 2015 alone, the average text length of the top 30 ranking pages in Google searches has increased by 25% compared to 2014. You don’t need to be concise: make sure all of the information is there and readers will appreciate it if it’s done properly.

2. Write as an expert, but not as a dullard

This is more of a caveat on the previous point. Don’t write like a school kid, but don’t pretend you’re Professor Stephen Hawking either. You need to sound like an authority in your industry whilst still being accessible to the general reader or visitor. This is where a skilled copywriter really comes into his or her own.

3. Write for humans, not for Google

Don’t write your content with Google and SEO in mind. Write for human visitors. After all, Google’s main aim is to provide the best sites for human visitors. If you try to aim it at Google, that’s a very short-sighted approach and will likely backfire. Target human beings and Google will follow — and you won’t need to worry about algorithm changes tripping you up either.

Most importantly, you need to ensure you know your audience. How old are they? What’s their gender likely to be? What about their hobbies and interests? Educational background? Do they have children? Know your target market and ensure you’re creating your content around them. The tone of your writing should always be geared towards your target audience.

4. Focus on the user experience

This is tied into the point above, but you need to make sure that your whole site is structured towards the user experience. Make it easy for people to navigate through your content and allow them to spend more time on it.

Google knows how long people spend on your website — especially if they go back to Google straight after or use the Chrome browser or Google toolbar. If they leave your site seemingly unsatisfied, your rankings will suffer. If the majority of visits end in a phone call or form submission, you’re likely to see your rankings rise.

One of the areas in which people trip up is in telling everyone about the features of their products or services. Don’t do that. Instead, focus on the benefits those features can offer — especially over your competitors. So you can get out to my house inside 24 hours? OK, fine. What, that’s almost half the time any of the competitors can get there in? Great, you’ve got the job.

At the same time, you should know what objections potential customers might have (price, quality, safety) and address those before they even surface in their mind. Create trust and put them at ease.

5. Create naturally shareable, readable content

Simply writing articles and popping a few backlinks in doesn’t work as a lnikbuilding strategy any more. It’s all about content that people share on social networks, so create something cool that people will actually want to share and pass on. That way, you’re going to have SEO success. And we don’t mean things that you find cool as an industry insider; think of the general man on the street and what he’d want to share. Aim for that.


When all’s said and done, creating quality content is extremely difficult and the goalposts are moving all the time. Fortunately, professional copywriters and content writers are on hand to take the sting out of the tail and help you to create content that converts and will help boost your Google rankings.

For more information on how our professional copywriters and content writers can help revolutionise your website, call us today.

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