<![CDATA[Site Title]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/ Tue, 19 Sept 2017 13:15:10 GMT Tue, 19 Sept 2017 13:15:10 GMT LemonStand <![CDATA[Are you looking for a web development agency?]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/are-you-looking-for-a-web-development-agency https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/are-you-looking-for-a-web-development-agency Mon, 28 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT With website development changing so rapidly and with so many web development agencies in Sydney (and more overseas), how do you know what characteristics to base your decision on? Building a successful website is an investment and with wildly varying prices, how do you know you’re getting good value for money?

The wrong choice may result in a website that does not achieve your goals and budget, with the outcome being a terrible experience for you and your customers. Web development is more than just design, it’s a technical area and put simply, you don’t know what you don’t know and that can make it difficult to ask the right questions.

To help you navigate the unknown, we’ve put together this checklist of what you should consider before choosing a web development company.

1. Aesthetic, Design & User Experience

The first place to begin your research is the agencies own website as this will reflect the quality of their work. Is it easy to navigate, can you find what you are looking for? Do the pages load quickly and is the design attractive? Have they published case studies and testimonials?

2. Technology

The CMS or back-end of a website is an important consideration. Once the project is complete, do you want the ability to manage the content or will you pay for their services when you want to add or modify content?

3. Detail

Is everything that you requested covered in the proposal? Tick these off one by one to be sure and check any notes so that you are not surprised with another bill down the track. The project will also involve graphic design work, who will own the rights over this work?

4. Understanding

It’s important to develop a website around the needs of you target audience. This can only be done effectively by mapping each type of visitor, what their purpose and goals are. A good web development agency will insist on this type of information and will help you formulate goals to achieve the desired outcome for each visitor type.

5. Performance

An attractive website isn’t enough to keep a visitor on your website, if it’s clunky to navigate and the pages load slowly, visitors will quickly leave. The agency should specify the coding aspect for optimised performance, as well as design.

6. Quality

It’s common for agencies to outsource parts of a project to control costs, but you should check what parts are outsourced and where to. Is it local or overseas? Quality of appearance and functionality can be compromised when outsourcing.

7. Experience

Web development is a long-term project so you want to ensure you partner with an agency that is experienced in terms of quantity, quality and size of projects. If they have been around for a long time this also indicates sound business management, which is a good sign for a long-term relationship.

8. Expertise

There are many services involved in building a successful website, ranging from graphic design, to SEO, copywriting, to domain and hosting. An web development agency that is competent in multiple areas can streamline a project and manage it holistically for a better outcome.

9. Personality & Trust

Does the agency have a good reputation? Have they provided references that you can contact yourself for an honest review? Also, you will work very closely with the project manager assigned to the project. Do they seem professional and trustworthy? A strong relationship will help facilitate the project.

10. Support

Invariably, things will go wrong from time to time. Have you agreed on an on-going support and maintenance contract? Have response times been specified, this is especially important if revenue will be lost due to a problem.

11. Budget

Check the details of the proposal carefully, does it include everything you have discussed and additional services such as graphic design and stock photography. How will billing function and what happens if the project will cost more than quoted?

12. Process

Have they proposed a sound, workable project management methodology with specific milestones? Is there an estimate timeframe to completion?

If you’re looking for a web development agency in Sydney, the Redfox team has been creating stunning and functional websites for over 10 years. Contact us to find out how we can help transform your business and reach your goals or download our free guide on how to choose a web development agency

Posted in: Web Development

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<![CDATA[Understanding your target market]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/understanding-your-target-market https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/understanding-your-target-market Wed, 09 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT If we had a dollar for every time someone told us their target audience is ‘everyone’, I’m sure we could buy a small island. The truth is, you can’t afford to market to everyone, even if your product or service is designed to be used by a wide range of people.

Understanding your target market means you can narrow your focus and get a better return on your marketing investment. It helps you decide which marketing tactics will reach and resonate with the people that are more likely to buy. Of course, this doesn’t mean you’re excluding other people from buying your product, it just means you’re working smarter with the time and resources available to you.

Defining your ideal customer

To reach your ideal customer, it’s important to get specific. Stating your audience is ‘business owners’ or ‘mums’ is still too general. Pour yourself a cup of tea and consider the following questions:

  •  Who is currently buying your product or services?
  • What characteristics do they all have in common?
  • Who are your high-value clients? For most businesses, 80 percent of revenue comes from 20 percent of clients.
  • Who are your competitors and who do they seem to be targeting?
  • Who would benefit most from using your product or service?
  • What are likely to be the demographics of people that will pay more and benefit most from your product? Think about:
    • Age
    • Location
    • Gender
    • Income
    • Education
    • Marital or family status
    • Occupation
  •   What are likely to be the psychographics of this ideal customer? These include:
    • Personality
    • Attitudes
    • Values
    • Interests and hobbies
    • Lifestyle
    •  What is your ideal customer’s buying behaviour? Consider the following:
    • Where, when and why they will use your product or service?
    • Which media channels do they use to source information and conduct research?
  • What keywords are they using to search for your (or your competitors) product or service on Google?
  • Where, when and how are they likely to purchase your product or service?
  • How do they like to communicate? E.g. By email, phone, social media, commenting online or at events.

Using insights to drive sales

When you start digging deep, you may find that you have a few different target audiences. That’s fine, it just means you’ll need to target each of them separately in your SEO strategy, as they’ll each respond to different content and messaging.

You can even give your target audience a name to remind yourself that you’re marketing to real humans. When Mailchimp conducted buyer persona research, they created posters for their four target markets and hung them on the wall, to help their team understand and empathise with the people using their products.

 Once you have a clearly defined audience, you can craft an SEO strategy that will reach and connect with them in a meaningful way. You’ll know what will push their buttons and whether the tone you’re using is appropriate. You’ll be targeting a smaller portion of the market, but getting better results.

How do you find this information? You can conduct a survey among your customers, search for existing research online, or read articles and blogs by people targeting a similar audience. It’s likely you already have much of this information already. By placing it all in the one document, you can understand how to reach customers online and increase sales.

Need help targeting your ideal customer? Contact us  to find out how we can help. 

Posted in: Digital Strategy

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<![CDATA[5 Things You Should Know About Ecommerce Web Development]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/5-things-you-should-know-about-ecommerce-web-development https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/5-things-you-should-know-about-ecommerce-web-development Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT 5 Things You Should Know About Ecommerce Web Development

Website development is complicated and in any project, there are many aspects to consider, from design, to usability and performance. A website with the right combination of creativity and technical excellence can transform your business. We’ve worked on numerous project involving ecommerce web development in Sydney and these are our top 5 things to know about.

1. Product Catalogue

Product catalogues begin in a spreadsheet, and unless you have the required information readily available on-hand, it’s a big project to get prepared for. Depending on how large or complex your product range is and how much information you will need to gather, a dedicated resource is best to ensure as much detail as possible is documented for each product. Information to consider:

  • Product name – it should be unique and meaningful
  • Product description – a detailed description will help the customer and benefit SEO
  • Material
  • Dimensions and weight
  • Colours
  • Special characteristics

Consideration should also be given to how the product categories will be structured. Group common products together and if required, group them further into sub-categories. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for a customer to find what they are looking for, otherwise they can just as easily leave the website and try a competitor.

Another important area of the product catalogue is cross-referencing accessories, and any other products that will benefit cross-selling and up-selling techniques. A common strategy for doing this is creating a ‘Customers also bought’ section to encourage higher value orders.

Without focused attention on the preparation of the product data, the process can drag on and delay the development of the website.

2. Product Photography

High quality images are incredibly important. The best way to sell anything is to get it into somebody's hands, but as you can't do that online, the next best way is to help them visualise the product with high quality product images.

It’s worthwhile investing in professional photography and graphic design to re-touch the photos. Both product and application images are ideal. For example, an online clothing store should show the t-shirt on its own and a model wearing it as this helps the customer to visualise wearing the t-shirt.

Another aspect to consider is the website’s performance. Large images can dramatically slow the load time of your website. If a customer has to wait too long for a web page to load, they may get impatient and leave. An experienced ecommerce web developer will ensure images (and video) will be optimised for websites so that pages load quickly, while maintaining image quality.

3. Shipping + Delivery Strategy

Calculating shipping and delivery costs can become very complicated considering different weights, dimensions and locations can vary the cost substantially. There are different shipping methods to consider which will have different price points, whether it’s standard delivery or guaranteed next day delivery. The best advice that we can give is to keep it as simple as possible. Flat rate delivery is a popular option for simplicity, acknowledging that some orders will result in a loss. A matrix of rates can also be created on a weight or value scale, that can be calculated. Disclaimers can also be used for remote areas that can be very costly, “price on application” for example.

Free shipping is also becoming common. You are not only competing with local competitors, but national and international competitors and it’s very easy for customers to compare prices online. We highly recommend conducting a price and shipping analysis as part of the decision process to understand what the market norm is.

4. Payment Processing

Every business must have a merchant account to be able to accept payments by credit and debit cards. Not all merchant accounts are configured for ecommerce, so it’s important to discuss the options with your bank well ahead of time.

All businesses are required to go through an application process and will be provided a checklist of requirements for the website, such as privacy policy, currency is shown in checkout etc. We recommend applying for a merchant account with the same bank as your personal account, as your history will better your chances for approval.

PayPal is also a must have payment method, it requires it’s own set-up and approval process.

Additional to this is organising a payment gateway that acts as a financial intermediary between your customers and your website, seamlessly approving credit card transactions and capturing funds. There are multiple options and your website developer can guide you through the choices.

5. Marketing

Launching the website is only the beginning. There is a misconception that “if you build it, they will come”, but there’s a lot more involved to attracting visitors to your new website. Marketing strategies create an online presence to gain traffic, leads and sales.

There are multiple ways to pull in visitors to your website, here are just a few of the common digital marketing strategies:

  1. SEO - optimising your pages with the keyword phrases people are likely to search for
  2. SEM online advertising - paid advertising for Google and other search engines
  3. Email marketing - still an effective method of engaging your customers
  4. Content marketing - offering free, original content on your website can help bring new visitors and set you apart from competing websites
  5. Social media - communicate and interact with potential customers

Every project will be different, but we hope you’ve gained an advantage to understanding these 5 areas before you start planning. If you’re about to begin planning a project involving ecommerce web development in Sydney, the Redfox team has created many award-winning websites for ambitious businesses. Contact us to find out how we can help transform your business.

Posted in: eCommerce

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<![CDATA[Does the size of your logo really matter?]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/does-the-size-of-your-logo-really-matter https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/does-the-size-of-your-logo-really-matter Fri, 13 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Becoming millionaires via requests to make your logo bigger.

At Redfox we wish we had started a dollar jar for every time we had a client ask us to “make my logo bigger” we would be most of the way towards millionaire status!

We understand that your company’s branding is very important to you so we want to help you get noticed and most importantly remembered. Now, your first instinct might be to make it bigger but when it comes to brand recognition and user experience on your website, bigger is not necessarily better.

Here’s our advice to help you understand the power of your brand.

Your logo doesn’t make up 100% of your brand

Your logo is not the only way customers encounter and experience your brand. There are many other touch-points to your brand, whether it’s an encounter with your services (physical store, staff and online shop), your product (how effective your product is, how it meets their needs and solves a problem) or your various channels of communication (advertising, socials, marketing etc.). All these touch-points should be consistently reflective of your brand. They all work together and they’re certainly not limited to a simple visual experience. So actually, your logo doesn’t do all the work when it comes to making an impact on customers. 

For example, one of our clients, STS Plumbing asked us to redesign their logotype and website. If you look at their logo, it’s a very clean and simple blue and yellow logo. What makes this branding so unique? How do people remember them? Well, if we remember that the logo doesn’t do all the work, you will see that STS Plumbing have a very cheeky and quirky spin to their branding, with a play on the 50’s/desperate housewife look and feel. This is carried on through the tone of voice in the copy: “The North Shore’s Best Kept Secret” playing on suburban gossip with the use of period catchphrases. In an industry like plumbing, it’s bound to be saturated by a million and one blue-looking logos. Therefore, every aspect of your website plays a role in making your brand memorable, from the copy to the use of imagery, not simply your logo or its size for that matter. 

Why bigger doesn’t always mean “memorable”  

One important question to ask about your website is this: What is the main action I want my customers to take? You may have one main aim and a list of secondary aims too but whatever they are, it’s important to consider that site visitors need to see where you want them to go.

Where? Where do you want us to look? 

Firstly, don’t take away from the main call to action. If the main purpose of your website is to get customers to sign up to a service, and the sign up button is in your website's header but has to compete for attention with your gigantor-of-a-logo then you’re shooting yourself in the foot. 

There should be hierarchy on your website, so placing more visual importance to your logo can affect the overall experience and effectiveness. What you actually want site visitors to remember is the ease of your navigation, quick access to the information they want and the seamless process for purchasing products or signing up to a service they need. If you can give them a pleasant experience, without overwhelming the design with a humungous logo, then you will be able to achieve the aims that you outlined above as well as have them remember you as a company. 

Remember, your website and your branding work together. 

White space is not a waste of space

Good design allows all the elements to breathe. It’s tempting to think that large spaces are a waste of “prime real-estate” on your website but increasing the size of your logo isn’t necessarily the best use of your space either. 

With the steady increase of mobile and tablet browsing, it’s important to factor in the impact of the relative size of your logo to your website and on the screen sizes of devices that your visitors are using. Yes, your logo might look spectacular in a browser for desktop but when you get down to smart phone and tablet sizes (which vary) you will quickly see how your priorities in the use of space need to change. This is because user behaviours change, once you change devices. On mobile for instance, navigation will most likely take centre-stage, and any large visual elements like hi-res images or complicated animated elements — which is great for generating interest and engagement on desktop — will probably need to be stripped back or made hidden.

You cannot afford to compromise making your logo front-and-centre when your best use of space is always those user interface (UI) elements like buttons or navigation, which will get your visitors to take a desired action.

But no one will remember my logo!

Like we said before, your logo doesn’t make up 100% of your brand. 

Not everyone is going to sit there and remember every detail of your logo, and it would be ridiculous to expect your site visitors to do so just because you’ve made it especially large for their sake. Does everyone know that the two “m’s” in the Commonwealth Bank logo are actually conjoined? Can anyone draw the lady on the Starbucks logo from memory? Unless they have freaky photographic memory, then it’s unlikely. Even if they do remember it, colour for colour, typeface for typeface, those things don’t substantially influence a customer’s decision to buy your product or sign up to your service. Have you ever had a customer say to you, “I thought I’d sign up because I really love your logo, it’s pink and I totally love pink”.

At the end of the day, you don’t win customers on the visual interest of your logo alone. If we’ve made your logo a certain size, it’s because we know that user experience and all those things that customers cannot necessarily see with their eyes, but feel on an emotional and psychological level are the things that will help people remember you. That is the power of your brand.

So trust us, please don’t ask us to make your logo bigger!


Posted in: Design

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<![CDATA[Why it’s important to scope a project]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/why-its-important-to-scope-a-project https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/why-its-important-to-scope-a-project Mon, 09 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT It might seem obvious that if your business is about to increase its' digital engagement, that some sort of plan, structure or process is developed to support the efforts of the individuals, teams or vendors that are to be included in the process. However it is surprising to learn how many businesses go about this very challenging process with little no know plan or strategy.

We believe the three most significant reasons a business tends to dive into a digital strategy head first without a plan, boil down to time, money and knowledge.

These three things are intrinsically linked and the balance of each in the project will play a powerful role in the overall success of your campaign.  The more of each of these items we have, the more likely it is that the project will be successful. In a perfect world, we would have an abundance of time, an unlimited budget and a wealth of knowledge available to us to indulge in what ever project we chose to take on.

In most cases, it is rare to have an abundant amount of all of these precious commodities available to us at any one time. More often then not, we have one of these commodities in greater volumes than we have the others. If we are clever we can use the strength we have to compensate for our weaknesses.

  More of Less of
Time
  • Ideas have a chance to develop
  • More relaxed approach
  • Decisions can be considered
  • Create more pressure
  • Requires quick decisions
  • Limits creative process
Money
  • Engage a wider range of professional services
  • Engage a high caliber of vendor
  • Inability to offload work
  • Lower caliber of vendor
Knowledge
  • Better results 
  • More effective
  • Average results
  • Less effective

For example, if a small business has inadequate knowledge on a project, it can be easily overcome if there is a healthy budget to engage expertise from an independent vendor.

Alternatively if a small business has a lack of budget for a project, it may be overcome if the small business is knowledgeable on the concept of the project and is able to perform or produce some of the work them selves.

Regardless, the end goal is to create an environment where there is a harmonious balance of time, money and knowledge. Then to have these key components defined and documented so it can be used as a roadmap to navigate the challenges that will undoubtedly lay in front of us. 

We call this vital documentation a project scope. It will require a good deal of effort and hard work, but the pay off will be well worth it.  Chosing to take a path based on research, thought and preparation is what will give your small business the winning advantage over those that have chosen to ignore this vital step. Instead they run full blast into unknown; unprepared and ill equipped.

We believe that no project should ever be attempted without a project scope. It would be like building a house without a plan, or navigating without a map. It is just far too risky to set off with nothing more than intention.

Every project scope will be different, but over the countless websites, platforms and digital strategies we have successfully executed on behalf of our clients, we have defined a key set of information that we believe should be included in every project scope:

  • Marketing Plan
  • Functional Scope
  • Creative Brief
  • Domain Names
  • Technology
  • Budget
  • Timing
  • Vendors & Service Providers

Over the coming weeks, we will take a look at each of these in more details.

Posted in: Web Development

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<![CDATA[The secret to Search Engine Success]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/the-secret-to-search-engine-success https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/the-secret-to-search-engine-success Tue, 12 Aug 2014 00:00:00 GMT Search Engine optimisation is critical to the success of your online business. High visibility in search engines doesn’t just happen. Competition for the first page of major search engines is incredibly competitive. A high search ranking means exposure to millions of potential customers who are looking to buy your service or product, so the financial gain to a business is massive.

With 100’s if not 1000’s of your competitors seeking this lucrative position, how does a search engine determine who gets listed first, second, third etc? The first thing to consider is that the Search Engines are dedicated to providing the best possible results to their searchers, the engine wants the results it provides to be as relevant to the searches query as possible. So the real question is how does the search engine determine the relevancy of a website to the users search query 

Search Engines use complex algorithms to determine relevance to a search query. The more we understand about these algorithms and the criteria search engines use, the better chance we have of optimising a website to meet the criteria - we call this process Search Engine Optimisation.

Gone are the days that we can simply insert a whole bunch of keywords into a websites content, although this makes it harder for the website owner, its certainly is a good thing for internet as a whole, and particularly for the user experience, after all the internet is a massive information resource, its no good to anyone if it consists of low quality content and information. 

Whilst there are many factors to best practice Search Engine Optimisation, our experience with Search Engine Optimisation shows that there are a few that contribute to a websites ranking more than others. We have identified these as quality inbound links, quality content and best onsite optimisation.

Redfox Media are SEO Experts and have assisted countless website owners to optimise their websites to gain high ranking within Search Engines. Below are a few of our success stories:

www.blacksmithbeachhouse.com.au

  • 32 keywords ranked in position 1 - 3 on Google & Yahoo Australia
  • 15 keywords ranked in position 4 - 10 on Google & Yahoo Australia

www.australianhelicopterpilotschool.com.au

  • 10 keywords ranked in position 1 - 3 on Google & Yahoo Australia
  • 8 keywords ranked in position 4 - 10 on Google & Yahoo Australia

www.louderthanwords.com.au

  • 7 keywords ranked in position 1 - 3 on Google & Yahoo Australia
  • 11 keywords ranked in position 4 - 10 on Google & Yahoo Australia

Posted in: Search Engine Optimisation

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<![CDATA[Why heatmaps are the key to improving conversions]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/why-heatmaps-are-the-key-to-improving-conversions https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/why-heatmaps-are-the-key-to-improving-conversions Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMT Whether you’re redesigning your website or just tweaking a page, every change you make should aim to increase conversions, leads and sales. But how do you know what’s working and what’s not? Enter the heatmap.

Heatmaps are a visual representation of how visitors are using your website. They track where your customers are clicking on the page and how many times each part of that page is viewed in their browser (called a scroll map).

As visitors use your site, the colours on the heatmap will change. Brighter areas indicate where there have been more clicks or impressions, while darker areas represent places on the page that are less popular.

For example, from the heatmap and scroll of Dr Daves Vet Products, you can see that dogs are more popular than cats, some brands are more popular than others and most visitors don’t scroll to the bottom of the page. You can also see that the newsletter sign up and ‘Vet Advice & Tips’ areas have low engagement.

DR DAVES HOME PAGE HEATMAP / SCROLLMAP

How heatmaps can improve sales

There are a number of ways heatmaps and scroll maps can improve the performance of your website:

  • Heatmaps take the guesswork out of optimising your website by allowing you to identify problem areas using real data.
  • They can help you understand your customers better and keep them happy by improving their online experience.
  • Your website will be able to keep visitors engaged and lead them towards the information and links you want them to see.

Data vs emotion

These days, you can’t just create a website and leave it to gather digital dust. It’s important to regularly assess how it’s tracking against your business goals and see if any tweaks are required.

By using real data to design and structure the content on your website (rather than vague, emotive reasons) you can make the most of the limited space on your website and the limited attention span of your audience. Heatmaps allow you to optimise your website, ensuring you attract more of your ideal customers and encourage them to take action.

Before we redevelop a site or optimise a landing page, we use heatmaps to capture all the insights from your existing website. These findings, combined with data from other tracking tools such as Google Analytics, help us understand how we can improve conversions on your site and ultimately increase profits.

Optimising your website with heatmaps

Once we have the data from a heatmap and scroll map, we can develop or adjust the navigation and page layout of your website to guide the visitor towards a purchase. Redfox redesigned the Dr Daves Vet Products website and increased conversions by 35 percent, simply by making a few adjustments to the page.

  • Popular brands appear higher on the page, including within the top banner section which previously had no engagement at all.
  • Visitors can now browse and filter the product catalogue easily by brand, treatment, life stage and breed size.
  • Visitors can quickly flip between dog and cat products on the home page, with dogs set as the default as they received higher engagement in the heatmap.
  • We moved the ‘Australian owned and operated’ message to the top as that is one of their key unique selling points.

Small changes can make a big difference

You don’t have to redesign your entire website to benefit from the insights that heatmaps provide. We worked with Urban Couture to optimise individual pages on their existing site, making small and incremental changes so we could measure each change and see whether it had any effect on conversions.
URBAN COUTURE HOME PAGE HEATMAP 

Using the heatmap above we made the following changes:

  • The original newsletter signup had high engagement, but it was located at the very bottom of the page. By creating a popup window which prompts visitors to join a mailing list, we increased newsletter signups from an average of 36 per month, to a whopping 423 per month.
  • We found that visitors were scrolling through the banner on the home page, however none of the banners had a clear call to action. They were also using the search bar to find the product catalogue. We created one banner image that encouraged visitors to browse the catalogue, which reduced the ‘time to click’ by 3 seconds, increased clicks to the store page as the first interaction by 31 percent, increased store page views by 6.86 percent and reduced exits from the index page by 12.85 percent.

Have you ever used a heatmap to understand how visitors are using your website? Contact us to find out how we can help.

Posted in: Conversion Optimisation

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<![CDATA[Exciting new sites!]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/exciting-new-sites https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/exciting-new-sites Mon, 24 Mar 2014 00:00:00 GMT The Redfox team have been busy producing some really diverse and exciting sites over the last couple of months, so here's a quick introduction to our clients... 

HY's Renovation & Maintenance

HY's are one of Sydney's busiest renovation and maintenance companies working across domestic and commerical properties to transform small and large spaces into high value, high return properties. Dave and his team approached us after investing in a website that simply didn't deliver visitors, clicks or enquiries. We were excited to interpret the vision and provide an easy to use website to display their beautiful work and provide new business opportunties.

Albany Lane

We've been working with Judith from Albany Lane on the Online Accelerator program for the last 6 months to help her get a cohesive digital presence that allows her Transpersonal Coaching business to take off. Judith spent quite a few Fridays at Redfox HQ to gain clarity around her brand, market, message and opportunities.

From that, we have created her logo and brand:

 

Axiom Projects

Axiom Projects also enjoying the Online Accelerator program and their new site which showcases many of their impressive office fitout projects and their unqiue process which ensures success every time. 

EcoDATA

Robert from ecoDATA has a unique data aggrating product which helps building owners and managers compile, understand and compare their building resources information. This product allows them to make better environmental and financial choices for their building. Robert was looking for an online presence that allows this complex and highly analytic product to be easily understood by the specific target market.  

Posted in: Web Development

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<![CDATA[A Foxy Update]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/a-foxy-update https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/a-foxy-update Tue, 18 Mar 2014 00:00:00 GMT December 2013 was the start of the crazy times and it has hardly slowed down since! In the middle of the month Lance and I completed a 40 week business accelerator course called Key Person of Influence which finished with a competition called "PitchFest". After pitching to our peers throughout the day, the top 10 as voted by the group were invited to pitch to a room of investors, business owners and a panel of three judges.

I have to be honest to say that I was pretty stoked to reach the top 10 (coming 5th during the day) having set that as my goal back in June. I wish I had of set my goal as finishing in the top three of the finals, however I was still very proud to come fourth by the judges marks. If you'd like to see my 4minute pitch; here is the video: Alanah's PitchFest Video

Over the Christmas break the team scattered around the world and Australia, however Lance and I stayed in Sydney to transform the new office space!

BEFORE:

AFTER: 

We are excited to now have a lightbox out the front, and new front door signage!

We are so super excited to now have a proper strategy and planning room; otherwise known as a Boardroom... but where no one gets bored!!! As part of that, we painted one of the walls with whiteboard paint and we are having heaps of fun and focus writing on the walls:

Sadly though, Stephen, our front end developer who has been with us about 2.5 years decided it was time to move back to the States, oddly enough to a place called Roswell - just not the alien one! We wished him and his lovely wife farewell at Dos Senoritas in Crows Nest, where for the first time ever he conquered the Mac Daddy Burro. A fitting end to his time in Crows Nest!  

We have been super lucky since to hire two French front end developers in Sydney (meet Julien and Max below) as well as having Stephen stay on to manage our Search services, so our team continues to grow! 

Thats the personal side of what's been happening at Redfox; stay tuned for an update on the work we've been producing as well!

Cheers,

Alanah

Posted in: Redfox News

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<![CDATA[Optimise to Win, Pt 10: The Test-Improve Cycle - Never stop getting better!]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-10-the-test-improve-cycle-never-stop-getting-better https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-10-the-test-improve-cycle-never-stop-getting-better Fri, 17 Jan 2014 00:00:00 GMT Note: this is the tenth of our multi-part Optimise to Win series, where we show you how the best businesses get more conversions than their competition.

So, you've finally completed the marathon of getting your new website up and running! But now I'm here to inform you:

Launching the website is only the beginning of the mission.

Let's say your site was built with exhaustive research about your target audience, competitors, usability for your features, and an eye for detail. It was coded in just the right way, SEO-friendly, performant, and made to be easy to use.

Even if your site was planned & executed perfectly, you need to test & make improvements.

There are always things you don't know until you've done them. Perhaps you thought customers would like product X, but maybe they'd like product Y better -- you'll never know until you set up controlled testing & implement gradual improvement.

Types of Testing & Hypotheses to Test

Usability
  1. Can all of my users find all the products they're looking for quickly and efficiently?
  2. Can all users figure out how to initiate checkout?
  3. Is the checkout process confusing to anyone?
  4. Does every user understand what to enter into each form field?
  5. Can users find "X" on my site in a reasonable time?
  6. Are users finding it easy to read all of my content?

You can test usability by watching real users perform a task on your website, observing the four foundations of user testing:

  1. Efficiency – the tester measures how much time and how many steps are required for the user to complete basic tasks (find a product, add it to the cart, read the feedback and ratings, ask questions, buy the product. These would be basic tasks for a mobile app such as Amazon.
  2. Accuracy – how many mistakes do users make when trying to perform these tasks and how fatal are the mistakes? Sometimes, with the right information, the mistake is recoverable. 
  3. Recall – after a period of non-use, how much does a person remember about the interface and the browsing process?
  4. Emotional response – how does the user feel about the tasks he had to complete? Was the person stressed or confident, and would the user recommend the product to a friend?

Ask the user to narrate what they are thinking and doing while they perform the task in as stress-free of an environment as possible. Don't tell them this is your site - they need to be freed of any desire to hold back bad news.

Copy/Content
  1. Is my content interesting to my target audience?
  2. Can I improve the text on my Calls to Action?
  3. Are my headlines engaging?
  4. Is anyone actually reading the content?
  5. Does this content show my expertise?
  6. Can users scan content & still get the important parts?
  7. Do my product descriptions inspire purchase?
  8. Am I getting good SEO rankings from this page for its keywords?
  9. Is anyone linking to this page as an example of expert or good content?
  10. Can my value proposition be made clearer?

You can test differences in copy & content using A/B Split Testing. We utilise a service called Optimizely, which is great for copy changes, as it keeps track of conversions for each page with each option presented to users.

Design & Structure
  1. Does this colour scheme work better than my original one?
  2. Would this page be improved by adding a personal image?
  3. Is the typography readable and enjoyable to all users?
  4. Are there design elements that are confusing to users?
  5. Are my Calls to Action clear and outstanding enough?
  6. Are my competitors using any effective design elements that I can learn from?
  7. Can I make my most important content clearer?

Once again, A/B Split Testing is the easiest & most effective way to test design changes. You will be able to see which design approaches result in higher conversion rates.

Functionality
  1. Is "X" function working for all users?
  2. Do all users understand what this functionality is & does?
  3. How can I make this functionality more intuitive?
  4. Do users actually engage with this function, and if so, how often?
  5. Is this functionality discoverable to new users?
  6. Are all devices supported with this functionality?
  7. Can this function be made to perform better on older/smaller devices?

Based on multi-device testing and user observation testing, you can develop specific test cases which you can perform one by one, fixing & improving based on your results.

For more specifics, take a look at this helpful testing infographic.

Redfox Media improves on initial designs by testing, improving, and iterating whenever possible. Our clients appreciate that their websites keep getting measurably better results over time!

Sources: How to approach usability testing


For more, check out our other Optimise to Win posts:

At Redfox Media, we employ all of these methods and strategies for clients in our Online Accelerator program. Enquire now to discuss how we can help your business, and get a FREE SEO report!

Posted in: Conversion Optimisation

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<![CDATA[Optimise to Win, Pt 9: Be Natural - User expectations & how to exceed them.]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-9-be-natural-user-expectations-and-how-to-exceed-them https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-9-be-natural-user-expectations-and-how-to-exceed-them Fri, 10 Jan 2014 00:00:00 GMT Note: this is the ninth of our multi-part Optimise to Win series, where we show you how the best businesses get more conversions than their competition.

Since the internet's inception, websites have established and been refining standard 'norms' of the website interface. Users have developed expectations about how things are supposed to work, and when we break too far from these norms, users become confused and unsure about what to do. The study of these expectations and best practices is called Usability and is an integral part of User Experience testing.

Do users notice usability?

When crafted correctly, sites with excellent usability give users a sense of delight. At the very least, a site with a focus on usability provides users with a sense of relief.

Usability that goes beyond the norm gets users excited about the site -- it gives them a sense of empowerment and productivity when all actions they are accustomed to taking are honoured on the website.

Great usability drastically improves conversion rates, user satisfaction, repeat visits, and the likelihood of users recommending a site to friends.

Don't we want creative designs?

As we saw in Part 4, sites rated as "highly prototypical" (using common design patterns) and simple design were ranked as most beautiful across all categories. Why do users prefer sites with typical design structure? Because they are familiar with it. Exposure to a stimulus makes someone more comfortable with it than if it is new to them.

However, following prototypical design patterns does not imply a lack of creativity in design. Consider the familiar design patterns to be a medium for creativity that is far more effective than other possible media. Users appreciate familiarity as well as creativity, so long as they are complementary.

In design, we need to meet users' expectations while maintaining a laser-focus on the mutually beneficial actions they want to take.

When should we follow standards instead of coming up with our own solutions?

Usability experts at NN Group have agreed upon the following guidelines:

  • If 80% or more of the big sites do things in a single way, then this is the de-facto standard and you have to comply. Only deviate from a design standard if your alternative design has at least 100% higher measured usability.
  • If 50-79% of the big sites do things in a single way, then this is a strong convention and you should comply unless your alternative design has at least 50% higher measured usability.
  • If less than 50% of the big sites do things in a single way, then there are no dominant conventions yet and you are free to design in an alternative way. Even so, if there are a few options, each of which are used by at least 20% of big sites, you should limit yourself to choosing one of these reasonably well-known designs unless your alternative design has at least 25% higher measured usability than the best of the choices used by the big sites.

What is the process of ensuring usability?

  1. Determine what actions and paths your users should/will take.
  2. Learn what expectations they have about these actions & paths, related design elements, and capabilities.
  3. Implement in as user-intuitive way as possible.
  4. Test with real users in real situations.
  5. Improve & repeat cycle.

Case Study

SkinnyTies.com did not follow standard eCommerce design patterns before its revamp in October 2012.

Before:

This version of the site employed a dark colour scheme, cluttered design, unclear navigation, no standout calls to action, no real emphasis on their primary selling point (the image of multiple ties does not emphasise their skinnyness), and a very non-prototypical design for eCommerce. At first glance, it's hard to tell that it's even a shop, and there are no individual products visible.

After:

With the revamp, users immediately know what the site is about, what its selling point is, and where they should go (whether they're interested in a particular style, accessories, or whatnot). Furthermore, with the bright, active colour scheme and extensive negative space in the design, users feel free to browse at leisure and appreciate the product instead of hunkering down to try to find the one they want, relieving user stress. Using a very prototypical eCommerce design, with the cart easily visible in the header, categories & filters easy to find, and products prominently displayed, users are immediately familiar with the site and find it more beautiful and comfortable.

The results were exceptional:

Redfox Media always makes a point to craft every design with a keen eye for usability and going beyond user expectations. We know that usability makes the difference between a great website and an unusable one.

Sources: Cognitive FluencyFamiliarity Effect, SkinnyTies


For more, check out our other Optimise to Win posts:

At Redfox Media, we employ all of these methods and strategies for clients in our Online Accelerator program. Enquire now to discuss how we can help your business, and get a FREE SEO report! 

Posted in: Conversion Optimisation

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<![CDATA[Optimise to Win, Pt 8: Provide Options - Spread the net wide]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-8-provide-options-spread-the-net-wide https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-8-provide-options-spread-the-net-wide Fri, 03 Jan 2014 00:00:00 GMT Note: this is the eigth of our multi-part Optimise to Win series, where we show you how the best businesses get more conversions than their competition.

Best practices to improve the user experience

1. Have Clickable Parent Categories

If you have more than about five categories, it's likely that you would benefit from having parent and subcategories. Hierarchy and categorisation are basic human needs for making sense of the world, and of course we want to make our users' experiences as intuitive as possible.

Users expect to be able to start their browsing on a broad level and then to narrow it down. If your site has parent category headings but they aren't clickable, users will be confused and frustrated that they can't follow their normal usage pattern. Take for instance, Pottery Barn's or REI's websites.

Hovering over the parent categories gives users a "text select" cursor rather than a pointer cursor signifying a link. Users browsing for "Living Room Furniture" or "Gear" have nowhere to go, and their browsing immediately becomes much more complicated & less helpful. User testing confirms these results over and over again.

When parent categories are clickable, on the other hand, users begin to use them extensively in the beginning of their shopping process to compare & contrast the different offerings. See how Toys-R-Us and Go Outdoors have implemented deep category linking:

2. Place your subcategories in multiple parent categories when necessary

Whenever a subcategory may fit well in a parent category, it should be placed there. If "Side Tables" is in the "Living Room" parent category but not the "Bedroom" category, user testing has shown that many users will be unable to find side tables at all. It is always better to include more categories that may overlap than to try to be as succinct as possible -- if a user can't find what they want, they will quickly leave the site, likely never to return.

A Best Buy site case study shows this very clearly:

One subject was unsure whether she would find computer adapters in “Office” or “Computers & Tablets,” because the former describes a usage context, while the latter describes the type of product. Based on the subcategory options, she found the latter to be the correct one. However, in “Computers & Tablets” (above right), she was in doubt about whether to look in “Batteries & Power” or in the generic “Accessories.” Luckily, both led her to adapters. Also, notice how Best Buy has an “Ink & Toner” category within “Computers & Tablets,” as well as a “Printer Ink & Toner” category within “Office,” allowing users to find the category in any of the potentially matching parent categories.
3. Have a "What's New" or "What's Hot" category or filter

Your best users will check your site often, and they're looking for new arrivals, sales, or seasonal items. It's very easy to add products to a "What's Hot" product group and show them on the homepage, and it's also good for SEO - it keeps your page content fresh.

Furthermore, featuring a group of products can significantly increase their sales. Have an attractive item with a particularly good profit margin? Make sure it's featured, so that it gets the attention it deserves.

Take some time to sort your items for seasonality and newness - a filter that just shows recently added SKUs won't likely be as effective as if you tailor your featured offerings to what your users are most looking for at the time, with regard to seasonality and trends.

4. Suggest substitute and complementary products on product pages

Most users do some comparison shopping before buying, and the easier we make it for them, the more likely they'll buy from our website rather than a competitor. There are some great ways to present alternative products on any given product's page. Amazon pioneered this tactic and is still a market leader at suggesting similar items:

Beyond substitute products, we also need to present complementary goods along with a product -- if a user is looking at a mobile phone, we ought to suggest a good cover or headset to go with it. After someone has decided to make a larger purchase, they are extremely susceptible to buying less expensive complementary products. Suit salesmen take advantage of this fact by waiting until you purchase a suit before they suggest expensive ties, cufflinks, vests, etc. because they realise that users are much more likely to purchase add-ons after deciding to make the large purchase.

5. Keep track of a user's recently viewed items

Instead of making the user keep track of bookmarks, a wish list, or an extensive "back button" history, we can help our casual browsing users feel like they are free to take a look around without losing track of what they've already looked at using a "Recently Viewed Items" section.

For instance, CarSales.com.au does this pretty well (see top right corner of above image), but they limit the history to only 2 cars. We would recommend keeping track of at least 10 previously viewed items instead:

This functionality should be available on pages beyond just the product page, since people are just as likely to be lost on a category page as on a specific product page. There are several ways to display this list in an attractive, unobtrusive way, such as how Crate & Barrel shows thumbnail links on a small vertical column on the right-hand side:

6. Maintain lists of compatible complementary goods

Users often find it difficult to match a product with an accessory that fits without discoverable, suggested options. For instance, if someone wants to purchase a camera and a case, they need to be able to search for "Nikon D5100 case" and get only results that fit the Nikon D5100. Some users get so frustrated at being unable to find a selection of definitely fitting cases that they'll buy a camera based primarily on the fact that they know that the case they picked out will fit it.

See how Amazon shows a picker (in the left-hand column) for compatibility with whichever model of iPhone the user wants a case for, and filters the results by the user's choice:

On Newegg, it's vital that users can determine what individual computer parts are compatible with, so their compatibilities are shown on the category product list. Newegg lists series of a product, but users often aren't sure if their particular model is within a product series, so that provides another usability problem:

While it can be difficult to establish and maintain compatibility lists across your catalogue, it's absolutely worthwhile to give users those clear options.

7. Whenever you show a product, link to it and its category

It can be great to include contextual images on your product or category pages. Often, users will see something in the image that they want that isn't the primary product displayed in it. Try to include links to all of the products in an image so that users can get the one they want as soon as possible.

Consider the following image. A user saw the main banner image and immediately decided he wanted the side table:

...so he clicked it, but nothing happened. He then tried the “Save to list” button, assuming it would save all of the products shown and that he could then simply remove the other products. But that didn’t happen either. “Nooo… Arrgghhh, it only added the sofa. I would like to get the sofa table,” he said, hovering over and right-clicking the table in the image. He laughed in despair as he continued, “I want this. What do I do? I want this one [pointing at the table]. I expected it would save all of them when I used the button, but it only saved the sofa.” After searching for the table, the subject ended up abandoning the website.

If possible, always give links to all products included or a description that includes which products are available and which aren't. Users get much less frustrated if they know they can't get something than if they think they may be able to but can't figure out how. See, for example, how Pottery Barn includes the product details in the description on hover of a contextual image:

In the end, if they can't find it, they can't buy it.

In the end, we need to give users as many paths and tools as possible to make their shopping experience easier. Ensure that you focus on product discoverability in all stages of site design and product categorisation as well as in all contextual images.

Sources: Guidelines For Better Navigation And Categories


For more, check out our other Optimise to Win posts:

At Redfox Media, we employ all of these methods and strategies for clients in our Online Accelerator program. Enquire now to discuss how we can help your business, and get a FREE SEO report!

Posted in: Conversion Optimisation

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<![CDATA[Optimise to Win, Pt 7: Content Strategy - Good writing pays off!]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-7-content-strategy-good-writing-pays-off https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-7-content-strategy-good-writing-pays-off Fri, 27 Dec 2013 00:00:00 GMT Note: this is the seventh of our multi-part Optimise to Win series, where we show you how the best businesses get more conversions than their competition.

The only way to stay relevant online is to consistently have content that interest and helps your users. Unless your content is purely artwork or photography (and often, even then), that content must be extremely well-written.

What is a content strategy?

A content strategy is more than just thinking about what topics need to be covered on which pages, although that is an important part of it. A great content strategy incorporates the brand's unique qualities and projects those on to the copy, all while emphasising only the most important and interesting aspects of the written copy. Users should enjoy learning from your copy. This even extends to areas like 404 pages, button text, headlines, menu items, and especially calls-to-action.

What does a good copywriter do?

A good copywriter will first take your initial thoughts, then brainstorm to find areas that reverbrate with your target audience and do research on Google, Quora, Twitter, or other sources to find pain points and appreciated solutions. Only then do they craft headlines, titles, and meta tags as well as placing keywords, power words, and calls to action as effectively as possible.

Even if you have content that you think is well-written, it's still worthwhile to have a great copywriter have a once-over to find areas that could be improved.

SEO benefits of great copy

In order to rank well in search engines, your site must be seen as an expert in your field. How does it determine this? By the number and status of sites that link to you, the bounce and conversion rates of your site, and the keywords in your copy. All of these factors can be improved significantly with a strong content strategy and copywriting.

It's no longer about the number of times you can stick a keyword like "pizza sydney" into your web copy that determines your ranking -- those days are, mercifully, long past. These days, Google has gotten good at promoting well-written sites and demoting keyword-spamming ones. Our goal with each site is to make that site the authority for their category.

Re-use your content

It can be very tiring to create great new content all the time. Fortunately, you can re-use well-written content in many different media! Let's say you create a webinar on a particular topic that your target audience is interested in. You can take that content, reformat and restructure it, and re-release it in any number of ways.

Case Studies - the results of a good copywriter

  1. Adding two extra words to an email newsletter subject line (from "How to..." to "Hell Yeah - How to...") increased the open rate by over 23%.
  2. Adding three well-written bullet points to a newsletter signup form increased signups by nearly 85%.

What can we learn from all this?

A great copywriter can make a huge difference in the success of your website, even with small, seemingly insignificant changes. Your content is your brand and a measure of your expertise.

In reality, your website content is an invaluable business asset, as is the personality that you project through it as a brand. It's time to stop treating it as an afterthought and start giving the effort and respect it requires.

Sources: ContentVerve


For more, check out our other Optimise to Win posts:

At Redfox Media, we employ all of these methods and strategies for clients in our Online Accelerator program. Enquire now to discuss how we can help your business, and get a FREE SEO report! 

Posted in: Conversion Optimisation

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<![CDATA[Optimise to Win, Pt 6: SEO & SEM - Help your customers find you]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-6-seo-and-sem-help-your-customers-find-you https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-6-seo-and-sem-help-your-customers-find-you Fri, 20 Dec 2013 00:00:00 GMT Note: this is the sixth of our multi-part Optimise to Win series, where we show you how the best businesses get more conversions than their competition.

As of December 2013, there are at least 1.37 billion indexed web pages. That's a minimum of 1 unique web page for every 3 people on the planet.

How on earth can your target audience find your site among the heap? It isn't something that happens by accident - never fall for the "If you build it, they will come" fallacy. However, with a bit of prioritisation, planning, and work, you can earn thousands of pageviews.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

By default, when a site is created on a brand new domain, it does not exist on Google or any other search engines. It needs to be submitted to the search engines, after which it will be "crawled" by a spider (search engine bot) and added to the directory. But that's just the beginning. Google doesn't trust your new site; nor does it have any reason to refer its own users there. There are two primary tasks in SEO: categorisation and trust-building.

Categorisation - Tell Google who to send to your site

1. Keywords & phrases

Fundamentally, you need to develop a list of keywords and key phrases that your target audience uses when searching for your services or products. Fine-tune these with keyword tools that help you find similar words & phrases and give you volume information as to how often the keywords are searched in your targeted areas. This is a process that will continue throughout the life of your website, so keep it in mind. These are also vital in SEM, as you'll see below, but SEM can help you fine-tune your most successful key terms.

2. Include key terms in your content and HTML structure appropriately

There are countless techniques for on-page SEO, as categorisation is generally called, but essentially, you need to use your key terms in headings, page titles, and paragraph text. Links with key terms as the linked text are more effective in building your search engine results than something like "click here". Here is a good starting point for optimising your site for search terms.

Trust-building

So let's assume your site has been fully SEO'ed on-page, and Google knows exactly how to categorise each page correctly. We need to show search engines that your site is worth sending visitors to in the first place.

1. Content development

If your site's copy is immediately interesting to users, they will start referring your site to others (professionally, socially, or incidentally). Google realised that these referrals are in fact endorsements, and your site's trust rating and PageRank will increase because of it. The only dependable way to get a high trust rating is to consistently have great content. That can be great products with well-written descriptions, or an engaging design and useful services, or even well-written blog content that people share with their friends or co-workers.

If you don't think you can write engaging copy, we'd love to help you source a great copywriter who can give a voice to your unique brand and offerings. We will be expanding on the value of Content Development in Part 7.

2. Link-building

Once you have good content, you can start building inbound links yourself. There are innumerable ways to generate incoming links that can build your trust rating. However, these will not be useful to you if you don't have conversion-based, well-written, engaging content.

Create your Google Local listing, ensure that you're on FourSquare and as many reputable directories you can find, and ensure that your users can share your content easily and unobtrusively. Grow a strong commenting culture on your blog posts, offer incentives to engage with your company on facebook or other social networks, and always remember to utilise your keywords whenever it's fitting to do so.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM is a term we use to describe paid ads in search engine results. These tend to have a cost associated with each click of an ad. These ads are usually at the top or right-hand side of search engine results.

The benefit of SEM is that your site gets guaranteed visits, no matter whether it is naturally on the search engine results pages (SERPs) or not. This is great for new sites starting out, in order to get some traffic, gauge the market and its profitability for certain key terms, and see what kind of copy (written text) most appeals to the audience.

In 2012, Google moved to using HTTPS on its search pages. For the user, this increased privacy was helpful and built trust -- however, it means that site owners and administrators no longer have any insight into what keywords brought the users to their site. That function can be replaced to some extent by AdWords and other paid ads. They include much more robust reporting tools for tracking users who enter the site through an ad.

In addition, if you can nail down how much a given conversion is worth to your business (at least on average), you can easily craft an AdWords campaign with an eye for profitability in advertising. Seeing such tangible results and fine-tuning it for maximal results is a great way to improve your knowledge of your customers and market, as well as to increase your ability to plan for the future.

Case Study: We've helped Louder Than Words increase their leads by over 80% in the past year using a finely tuned AdWords campaign.

Case Study: Esurance reduced their cost per acquisition by 30% using AdWords mobile ads.

In the end, every website that's serious about acquiring users or customers has to work at it. At Redfox Media, we're experts at crafting your site to be as search-engine-optimised as possible and getting even more users through targeted AdWords ads.

Sources: WebWorldSize


For more, check out our other Optimise to Win posts:

At Redfox Media, we employ all of these methods and strategies for clients in our Online Accelerator program. Enquire now to discuss how we can help your business, and get a FREE SEO report!

Posted in: Search Engine Optimisation

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<![CDATA[Optimise to Win, Pt 5: Mobile-Responsive Design - Stay relevant & be usable on-the-go]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-5-mobile-responsive-design-stay-relevant-and-be-usable-on-the-go https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-5-mobile-responsive-design-stay-relevant-and-be-usable-on-the-go Fri, 13 Dec 2013 00:00:00 GMT Note: this is the fifth of our multi-part Optimise to Win series, where we show you how the best businesses get more conversions than their competition.

The global per-capita rate of smartphone ownership has now surpassed that of personal computers. One in every 5 people on earth have a smartphone. Let's let that sink in for a moment.

In three years, smartphones went from a pipe dream to an essential feature of modern life. In the same amount of time, responsive design has become an essential feature of the modern web. In short, if your website isn't optimised for mobile devices, you are losing business.

Also, tablets are showing faster adoption rates than smartphones. In just 2 years, they reached a global market penetration of 6% - smartphones took 4 years to reach that level.

As you can see in the chart below, mobile devices won't stop their acceleration anytime soon - within 3 years, more web browsing will be done on mobile devices than on desktops or laptops.

Considerations for Mobile Design

1. Context can be important

If your users are accessing your site on the go, are they looking for the same features as they would be on desktop? For each page, you need to prioritise content for each screen size or context to best suit your users. It's very simple to present slightly different content to desktop than you would to mobile users.

Are your users shopping online while they're looking around in-store? Do your users quickly need your phone or address when they're finding you on mobile devices? Will they want to watch that 5-minute-long video when they reach your homepage? Will they sign up for your services while they sit in a waiting room? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself when prioritising your site's elements.

As we mentioned in Part 4, the more you can simplify, the better.

2. Is your navigation mobile-friendly?

Mobile device users have much less screen space than their desktop counterparts, and navigation menus often take up a lot of space unnecessarily. Mobile users are often better suited to have a menu button that expands to show all options than having a full set of page navigation at the top or on the sidebar like they normally may have. There are a lot of options for navigation that works great for both desktop and mobile browsers.

3. Does your site require too much bandwidth to mobile devices?

In development, it tends to be easier to hide an element or two for mobile devices than it does to only load exactly what's needed in the first place. Generally, mobile users have much slower connections than desktops do. It is vital to serve them only the assets they need, and to minimise the assets required for mobile versions of a site in the first place. We cover this in more detail in Optimise to Win, Part 2: Performance.

4. Does your site cater to the unique capabilities of mobile devices?

If your site has a user picture for their account, do you allow a photo to be taken with the mobile phone? If your web app offers a useful service that could be used often, have you encouraged users to pin your site to their home screens? If you have sliders, zoomable images, or other interactive elements, do they work with native device actions like swiping, pinching, etc.? These are the types of enhancements that can surprise and delight users and keep them coming back. It's not too difficult to give your site a native app 'feel' with just a bit of forethought.

Sources: Business Insider


For more, check out our other Optimise to Win posts:

At Redfox Media, we employ all of these methods and strategies for clients in our Online Accelerator program. Enquire now to discuss how we can help your business, and get a FREE SEO report!

Posted in: Conversion Optimisation

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<![CDATA[Optimise to Win, Pt 4: Simplify - Focus & get rid of the clutter!]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-4-simplify-focus-and-get-rid-of-the-clutter https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-4-simplify-focus-and-get-rid-of-the-clutter Mon, 09 Dec 2013 00:00:00 GMT Note: this is the fourth of our multi-part Optimise to Win series, where we show you how the best businesses get more conversions than their competition.

As an organisation, there are always dozens of things pulling in all directions, and they all seem to need your attention at once. Culling and organising these pulls is an important part of doing business - that's the value of all forms of management.

However, your customers & users should not see that complexity. Every non-vital element on a page is like a mosquito net - some users will be caught up in it, allowing fewer users access what's really important.

What we need to do is prioritisefocus, and simplify,

Prioritise

Urgency vs Importance

Urgency is entirely different from importance, and that difference is key to understanding what your goals for users should be.

Determine the conversion goals for your site: For each element you want to include on your site, figure out where it lies with regard to both importance and urgency.

Prioritise the elements to focus on in your site by targeting conversions in this order:

  1. Important & urgent
  2. Important but not urgent
  3. Urgent but not important
  4. Neither urgent nor important

Focus

The 80/20 rule

The Pareto Principle, otherwise known as the 80/20 rule, states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

This proven principle helps us focus on the most productive 20%: our top users, customers, products, and elements of the site. Some may argue that by making less-used elements less immediately visible, we're alienating some of our users. That may be true. However, by focusing on the 20% of elements and users that produce 80% of the positive results, we're immediately serving our customers better by honing our focus.

Take for instance, the Weather Channel's recent simplification & focus of their homepage. They wanted to turn visitors & users into premium subscribers. Prioritising the important elements and removing the clutter from their homepage and included only a single, focused action. These changes increased conversions 225%.

By default, simplify as much as possible. While it isn't easy to focus on only the urgent, important elements, it make it much easier for visitors and guides their decisions towards what most benefits both them and you.

Simplify

It has been shown that visually complex sites are consistently rated as less beautiful than simpler sites. Additionally, beauty is determined within 1/50th – 1/20th of a second from when the user first sees the site. Furthermore, sites rated as "highly prototypical" (using common design patterns) and simple design were ranked as most beautiful across all categories.

Take what you've garnered from prioritising and focusing on what's most beneficial for your users and yourself, and make your website/web application as simple as possible towards that goal.

Sources: Google UX Research, Pareto Principle, Cognitive Fluency, Weather Channel Case Study


For more, check out our other Optimise to Win posts:

At Redfox Media, we employ all of these methods and strategies for clients in our Online Accelerator program. Enquire now to discuss how we can help your business, and get a FREE SEO report!

Posted in: Conversion Optimisation

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<![CDATA[Optimise to Win, Pt 3: Design for Conversions - Give users what they want!]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-3-design-for-conversions-give-users-what-they-want https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-3-design-for-conversions-give-users-what-they-want Mon, 02 Dec 2013 00:00:00 GMT Note: this is the third of our multi-part Optimise to Win series, where we show you how the best businesses get more conversions than their competition.

Do your users know exactly what to do when they land on your site?

There are two principles of website user expectations:

  1. The user has certain desires, wants, and needs that he/she is willing to direct attention towards.
  2. The user, especially at first contact with the site, needs to be clearly shown how to meet these desires.

While your company's founding principles may be incredibly interesting to you, if your user wants to see photos of your products, you are driving him/her away. On the other hand, if you present a prominent slideshow of your products and prices, but your users need to understand why your offerings are better than your competitors', you aren't capturing their attention or driving them towards conversion.

Understand users' needs

In order to meet your users' needs, you must first understand them. Only then can you lead them in a mutually beneficial direction.

Find an avenue that offers and highlights benefits to your users but that also provides benefits for your organisation, and point users down that path with a passion.

Not every user is a possible convert

Some users do not fit your target audience. They may have no desires that you can fulfill within your expertise & offerings. Don't worry about them. Focus on the 20% who can provide 80% of your business.

Suggest a mutually beneficial path

This is the role of good design. Take users by the hand and show them a clear path to what they (and you) want.

4 Proven Conversion-Focused Design Guidelines

These are best practices applicable to all website designs. Each of the following guidelines is designed to prevent users from leaving before a mutually beneficial conversion. Ignore at your own risk.

1. Provide clear navigation

We'll discuss User Experience, Usability, and user expectations in Part 9, but in short, there are certain user interface patterns that people are used to, and that we need to follow to avoid confusing our visitors. This includes having a clear, easily parsable navigation that can quickly take users to where they want to go.

Not only does this mean that your links should be easy to find, look like links, and show a clear hierarchy, but before building your site, you need to consider your Information Architecture, i.e. how to best organise your content so that it is intuitive and interesting. Having destinations on your site that succinctly address your users' concerns and desires often makes the difference between conversions and unsatisfied users.

Additionally, don't split your information into different pages unnecessarily. Users are reluctant to click on a brand new page, even more so if they aren't on the fastest internet connection or your site loads too slowly. One-page sites are quite popular these days, and with good reason: they provide all the information a user wants without requiring additional webpage loading. If you can't sum up the essence of your company on one digestible page, perhaps you need to do some good content development (see Part 7).

2. Allow minimal distractions

We'll discuss simplicity, minimalism, and focus further in Part 4, but features to avoid in particular are:

  • Modal pop-ups, especially right after the page is loaded. This frustrates users and cheapens the experience irrevocably. While it could improve short-term signups to present users with a form up-front and immediately (in line with our goal of showing users what to do), most users find such distractions distasteful at best and unacceptable at the worst.
  • Excessive ads. Perhaps your revenue is generated at least in part by ads shown on your website - however, to create a long-term community of returning and interacting users, ads need to be placed as unobtrusively as possible while still giving users the option of clicking on them. The best ads are targeted as specifically as possible to each user, so that the user sees them as a possible benefit (i.e. a good deal or awareness of a product/service they are now interested in) rather than as an annoyance.
  • Generally, don't include auto-playing video or audio. Many, if not most, users open web pages up in background tabs. Un-prompted noises are always a surprise, and often end up with the user quickly closing the site without even looking at it, particularly in a work setting.
3. Show users where to go

The best way to explain what to do on your website or application is to lead users straight through the process. That means that every page needs a suggested next step. These calls to action must be action-oriented, about solving a problem the user has. Let's take a look at some examples:

  • Homepage: What is your primary service or product? This needs to be made as clear as possible, and a button or obviously explorable element needs to be prominently displayed.
  • Product page: Obviously, a product page needs a clear "Buy Now" button (text can differ). But beyond that, what are some related products or accessories that the user is likely interested in as well? These should be discoverable in any case (see our upcoming Part 8: Provide Options). In addition, once users decide to make a relatively large purchase, they are far more willing to make smaller purchases that normally would seem excessive (see car or suit salesmen).
  • About Us page: The only reason your convertable users are interested in learning about you is in relation to the product or service you're offering. Give them the option to look into or purchase right there on the spot! Many sites dead-end on this type of content page, to the detriment of their bottom line.

Case StudyNature Air moved a call-to-action to a prominent position in the content, and purchase conversions went from up 2.78% to about 19%.

There are some users who know what they want and where they're going. They will find their way, assuming you have clear hierarchical navigation. Next Step markers lead the lost without turning away those with direction.

4. Improve the site's look & feel

Designing for conversions includes increasing aesthetic appeal and users' enjoyment of the site as well. This includes typography, imagery, stylistic approach, and layout.

  • Typography: Your content could be incredible, but unless it is both readable and attractive to the eye, it won't make a difference. Additionally, it has been shown that less familiar typefaces make the content more memorable, so consider using a less-used typeface instead of standard website defaults.
  • Imagery: Photos, charts, illustrations, and infographics can be vital to a great user experience. Use them to highlight content or ideas, expand your brand, and provide interest. Use only graphics that are tailored to the content they emphasise or refer to and that match your brand identity.
    Case Study: When 37signals included a photo of a person on the redesign of their Highrise product page, they increased signups by 102.5%.
  • Stylistic approach: There have been countless and fleeting trends in web design, but great design surpasses the temporal effectiveness of trends. Mediocre design can repel potential converts as strongly as a badly structured site, while great design can impress users and lend trustworthiness and desirability to your brand itself, improving their view of your products and services in the process.
  • Layout: Embrace simplicity and focus - give users what they want as unobtrusively as possible. Do you really need that sidebar? Is your call-to-action prominent enough? Question every element of your site and analyse its effectiveness critically and using performance data from your analytics and conversion-tracking.

All in all, focus on giving your users a consistent, helpful, friendly guide towards your common goal: conversion.


For more, check out our other Optimise to Win posts:

At Redfox Media, we employ all of these methods and strategies for clients in our Online Accelerator program. Enquire now to discuss how we can help your business, and get a FREE SEO report!

Posted in: Conversion Optimisation

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<![CDATA[Optimise to Win, Pt 2: Performance & Page-Loading Speeds - Silent, but deadly]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-2-performance-and-page-loading-speeds-silent-but-deadly https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-2-performance-and-page-loading-speeds-silent-but-deadly Fri, 22 Nov 2013 00:00:00 GMT Note: this is the second of our multi-part Optimise to Win series, where we show you how the best businesses get more conversions than their competition.

Am I losing sales & enquiries because of my page load speed?

Unless your site is one of the fastest on the web, the answer is most assuredly YES. And unless you've taken a long, hard look at page speed optimisation already, it's incredibly easy to miss the opportunities that having a lighting-fast website provides.

Let's take a look at some statistics:

  • 83% of consumers expect a webpage to load in three seconds or less.
  • 40% of consumers will wait no more than three seconds for a web page to render before abandoning the site.
  • Each 1-second delay in page response results in a 7% reduction in conversions.
  • 52% of online shoppers stated that quick page loading is important to their site loyalty.
  • 79% of online shoppers who experience a dissatisfying visit are less likely to buy from that site again.
  • 37% of shoppers on a slow website will either immediately shop at a competitor's site or stop shopping altogether.
  • 64% would purchase from a competitor the next time.

Sources: Akamai 2009, eConsultancy 2013, Akamai 2012, LightSpeedNow, eConsultancy 2012

Mobile devices need fast websites

Performance is even more important on mobile devices. Mobile devices tend to have connections that are, at maximum, half as fast as those of home and office users. However, 71% of users of mobile devices still expect websites to load just as fast or faster.

Drops in conversion

As mentioned above, there is a 7% drop in conversion per additional second of loading. That means if you're making $10,000 in sales per day, you're losing over $250,000 in sales each year for each additional second of loading.

In a study of the top 500 retail websites, the median page took 7.72 seconds to load, while the fastest-loading site, IKEA, took just 1.85 seconds. Extrapolating from the 7% per second figure derived above, that means IKEA is capitalising on a 50+% higher conversion rate (sales) than the median (amortised).

Page load affects search engine results

Since 2010, Google has included Page Load Speed as significant factor in your search results placement. In fact, improving site load speed by 2 seconds has been shown to result in at least 15% more traffic from Google.

Case Study

Action: Shopzilla improved its website loading time by 4 seconds, from an average of 4-6 seconds to 1.5 seconds. It went from being faster than the median to being one of the fastest shopping sites available.

Results: Conversions increased by 12%, page views increased by 25%, SEM performance improved by 120%, and their infrastructure costs decreased by 50%.

How Redfox optimises page loading speed

First of all, we design with page loading speed in mind. We don't load unecessary images, keep server requests to a minimum, cache seldom-changed files so users get faster page loads after their first, utilise partial refreshing, and craft minimal & highly performant Javascript and CSS.

We also use fast servers, a heavily optimised CMS, server-side optimisation, gzipping, optimised images, lazy loading (downloading content only when it's needed), minimised scripts and stylesheets, deferred rendering, and a content-delivery network (CDN).

Even if your site has a lot of images and assets to load, we optimise your "time to interact" (TTI), which is even more important than total loading time, as users can quickly see content and make use of it before everything has completed downloading.


For more, check out our other Optimise to Win posts:

At Redfox Media, we employ all of these methods and strategies for clients in our Online Accelerator program. Enquire now to discuss how we can help your business, and get a FREE SEO report!

Posted in: Conversion Optimisation

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<![CDATA[Optimise to Win, Pt 1: Why are you missing out on thousands of conversions?]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-1-why-are-you-missing-out-on-thousands-of-conversions https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/optimise-to-win-part-1-why-are-you-missing-out-on-thousands-of-conversions Fri, 15 Nov 2013 00:00:00 GMT Note: this is the first of our multi-part Optimise to Win series, where we show you how the best businesses get more conversions than their competition.

What makes users decide to purchase or enquire?

The reason that users make purchases, sign up for services, and submit enquiries on the most successful websites has nothing to do with luck. All of the best businesses consciously optimise their site to get as many users to convert as possible and add to their bottom line.

By following these proven strategies, you can take control of your destiny and improve your customer experience, increase your conversion rates, and boost your ROI substantially.

There are some optimisation secrets that the top online players don't want you to know, and we'll be discussing each of these in upcoming weeks:

For more, check out our other Optimise to Win posts:

At Redfox Media, we employ all of these methods and strategies for clients in our Online Accelerator program. Enquire now to discuss how we can help your business, and get a FREE SEO report!

Posted in: Conversion Optimisation

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<![CDATA[The 6 deal breakers for Social Media Strategy]]> https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/the-6-deal-breakers-for-social-media-strategy https://www.redfoxmedia.com.au/news/post/the-6-deal-breakers-for-social-media-strategy Wed, 06 Nov 2013 00:00:00 GMT Social. Social. Social.  Everyone’s talking about their social media strategy and yet there are still a lot of businesses who haven’t worked out how to make social media work for them. It’s clear for us that social media has become a key part of a digital engagement strategy, it can’t be avoided any longer and if you aren’t on board, you’re going to miss out!

So what are the top five unmovable facts you need to know about a social media strategy.

1) Don’t think Social Media is easy.

Just because you don’t use social media, it doesn’t mean its only being used by Gen Y & Z, and nor does it mean the youngest person in your office should manage your social media pages!  In fact the largest increase of Facebook users from last quarter was from the 40+ age group. Social Media takes time and dedication to get it right. It should be guided by the passionate people in your team, who know your business and know your customer.

2) Facebook may not be the answer. 

Facebook may be the safe bet as ‘everyone’s on Facebook’, but they are most likely on LinkedIn, Tumblr, Twitter, etc as well.  The good news is, you don’t need to have a profile for all of them, instead decide which one or two or three (if you have the capacity) is right for your business and your customers (ahem – see 3)

3) Don’t forget who your customer is?

When was the last time you took some time to reflect on;

  • Who is my ideal customer?
  • What problems do I solve for them? 
  • Who is my target market? 

It’s time to dust off your customer profiles as times, they are a’ changing and you have to keep up. So review your audience and make sure your strategy is giving them what they want. 

4) Want a result? Have a plan!

So what if you have a 100 Likes or 10,000?  It might be nice to have but how are you going to leverage those “Likes”?  Do you even know what those likes mean?  You can dish out and ‘pay for likes’, and some companies do, but how can a like you pay for bring you any real benefit. Having a large number of Likes doesn’t equal engagement. It doesn’t mean they visit or engage with your page, share or talk about you or have the slightest idea of what you may be able to offer them.  You don’t want a ton of likes; you want to build an engaged, two-way relationship with your community and the only way to achieve that is to have a well though-out strategy for engaging you audience.

5) Who you gonna call?

So you’ve decided after point 1) it’s best to get some experts to work with you on your social media strategy.  So what’s your decision process? Are you going to appoint the company that gives you the cheapest rate?  Maybe they are good, maybe they aren’t. These days you get what you pay for and it’s important to remember that they will be creating social media communications for your business, your brand and engaging with your customers. Who ever you chose to partner with, they need to know your business inside and out, and should have no qualms representing your brand with the same pride and dedication that you have.

6) Before you jump in, check your ducks are in a row.

Fantastic! You’re getting an increase in traffic to your site from your social media – let’s break out the champagne.  But before you pop the cork, your website analytics show that the quality traffic coming from social channels are only navigating through two pages on your site? Why – something as simple as a broken link, slow page load or complicated checkout process could be the reason.  Don’t think this doesn’t happen.  How many times have you been on a website when the slightest set back makes you go back to Google and look at the next company, or decide to wait until the next day to make your purchase – which you may or may not get around to doing? 

Don’t let the simple things let your site down, make sure your customer is going to get the ideal solution and result every time.

Hope you find these basic tips helpful.  If you’re still looking for answers, why don’t you fill in this 1 minute survey.­  We may have the answers you are looking for.

Posted in: Social Media

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