Are load times slowing your business down?


It’s common for businesses to prioritise sleek design, nifty functions or extra content over fast load times when building a website. Having all these added bells and whistles can be an asset to your brand, helping you to stand out against competition and attract customers’ attention. But if they begin to encroach on your website’s speed and efficiency, there’s a point where they’ll stop making your customers happy and start slowing sales down. Not convinced? Amazon reports show that just a one-second improvement in page speeds yields seven per cent growth in conversion rates and a ten percent overall increase in sales – proof that speed is a big deal.

Here are the main areas of your business load speeds may be influencing:

Customer experience

Research shows that when a website runs efficiently, we perceive the brand to run with equal efficiency, leading to better trust and improved customer retention. Alternatively, slow load speeds can kill the browsing experience. After all, how frustrating is it when a site lags for what feels like a lifetime when you’re just trying to access basic information? A website could be beautifully designed and have awesome interactive features, but at the end of the day, if it is too slow, users will simply shut the tab and switch to a competing site. In these situations, the business is not only at risk of losing a sale, but also a repeat customer, which is a big opportunity cost. Remember, consumers, value their own time above all else, which is why a smooth user experience should always be first priority.

Search rankings

While many people expect loading times to influence user experience, few anticipate how much they can also affect search engine ranking algorithms. There are two factors influencing this. Firstly, Google searches have user engagement indexes that track how many potential customers are engaging with the content on a website. So if people keep dropping off a page shortly after opening it, Google will think something illegitimate is going on, placing the site lower in its rankings. Secondly, if the search engine is too slow to connect to the data on a particular web page in time, it will simply ignore the content, leaving the site out of search results, no matter how good its other SEO efforts are. And as you’re aware, search rankings have a large impact on web traffic, which is a crucial driver of sales.

Here are some simple tips to help improve your page loading speeds:

Compress your pages

Large pages are bulky and slow to download. The best way to speed pages up is to zip them, which reduces their bandwidth, improving download speeds by up to seventy percent (according to Yahoo).

Optimise images

Large images take too long to load, but small images are too low quality, which is why striking a perfect balance is key.

Enable browser caching

Caching temporarily stores data on visitors’ computers, keeping them from having to re-download it each time they visit your page.

Minimise CSS

Excess or unnecessary code can really slow download your speed. It’s important to regularly sift through your coding and make reductions where possible. You can also copy and paste CSS into tools like CSS Minimiser, which will optimise your stylesheet automatically.

The Merryn Bourne Creative team are experts at building websites that are both beautifully designed and quick to load. For more information about improving the functions of your site, contact us today.


Why Google Analytics is your free gold mine for growth.


Google Analytics is a powerful website analysis tool which helps you understand the people who use your website. But how can this help your business? We’ve put together five ways Google Analytics can help you improve your marketing strategy and keep visitors engaged with your website and business.

Hot spots – Where are people looking?

Google Analytics shows you what parts of your website are attracting interest and the key words and phrases which pull in new visitors through search results. Meaning you can offer new content and services your customers are interested in.

Boring bits – Where are people NOT looking?

Help weed out content your customers are not interested in. Sometimes content is just not appealing, other times bad positioning can lead to great content being lost. Having a lacklustre heading is the first step in losing customers focus and an easy fix. There are some great guides out there to help write a punchy headline.

Break down the bounce.

Bounce rates are when visitors leave your site without clicking through to other pages, which means they are not engaging with your content and your business. Google Analytics helps break down what point visitors leave your site so you can see what’s turning customers away.

Desktop, tablet or mobile – How are people viewing your site?

If your customers are mainly using a mobile to use your site or a specific browser it’s vital that your site is optimised for that platform and they are getting the best viewing experience. This is where having a responsive website is important, so no matter which platform they are using your site will still be fully functional. The geo location feature of Google Analytics is also helpful in targeting your key audience and producing content that is relevant to them.

Who is the best – How does your site rate against your competitors?

You can use Google Analytics to compare your customers engagement with that of your competitors and find out where your site needs improvement. However this tool’s usefulness can depend on if your competitors are also using Google Analytics.

BEAMS arts festival 2014

BEAMS 2014

After lots of hard work of putting together numerous amounts of print and digital material Fish Tank Creative experienced the BEAMS arts festival first hand, we were impressed!

There was an amazing display of illuminated artworks that lit up the streets of Chippendale. The atmosphere surrounding the festival was fantastic and we can’t wait until we can do it all again next year.

BEAMS arts festival 2014
BEAMS arts festival 2014
BEAMS arts festival 2014
BEAMS arts festival 2014
BEAMS arts festival 2014
BEAMS arts festival 2014
BEAMS arts festival 2014

Instagram Fish Tank

How to manage multiple Instagram accounts

It’s not a secret that social media is no longer a novelty but a powerful business tool, in saying this Fish Tank Creative has just joined the world of Instagram!

Unfortunately the main flaw in the Instagram platform is there is no ability for multiple account management. It is becoming more popular to have multiple accounts (e.g personal and company accounts) and we all know Instagram only allows you to have the one account on a single device and therefore makes multiple account management a real head ache. Aside from logging in and out of your different accounts there is no way to switch between accounts.

To help us manager our Fish Tank Creative Instagram account we looked into alternative ways to manage multiple accounts on one mobile device.


We first thought the app Primary answered all our preys but unfortunately it still doesn’t support the function to upload photos to multiple Instagram accounts. Although I wouldn’t disregard this app completely as it allows you to fast-switch between different accounts which we have found to be extremely useful if you want to monitor your posts. You can also view and respond to your photo comments and wait for it…. you can pinch and zoom into photos! Instagram currently doesn’t allow the usual pinch and zoom function.


The Instapload app is quiet basic although it does allow for you to upload photos to multiple accounts. HOORAY!! Another handy little feature of this app is that you can easily download posts from other Instagram accounts directly into your photo gallery. Good bye screen shots!

One con we found in using Instapload is it seems the sharpness of your image is reduced on upload so we may have to be careful when using this app.

Instagram Fish Tank

graphic design screen printing5

Graphic designers love a good stencil.

If you think of screen printing, you think Andy Warhols’ depiction of Marilyn Munroe, right?

Basically, screen printing is using a mesh based stencil to transfer ink onto another surface. Sounds simple.

Now to practise. I went to a  screen printing course on the weekend in St Peters, with Steve Wood. Arcade Screen Printing, they are totally down with the profession, and the art of it.

Listening to the theory introduction, my mind was racing with all the ideas that a creative has with a new medium to explore.

More commercial ideas for screen printing are fabric designs, wall paper, t shirts, teatowels, artworks and posters.

Here are some shots from my first attempt. The course didn’t disappoint, and I will be going back for more.

Raymond Loewy's Google Doodle

Happy Birthday Raymond Loewy!

Today Google pays tribute to famous industrial designer Raymond Loewy with a Google Doodle celebrating his 120th birthday.

Raymond Loewy's Google Doodle

Loewy was an industrial designer, famous for his work across a wide range of design disciplines and industries. Some of his most well recognised works include the Shell logo, Lucky Strike package, the redesign of the Coca-Cola contour bottle, the livery for Air Force One and the Pennsylvania Railroad S-1 locomotive.

Unfortunately Loewy passed away in 1986. Included below are some images of Loewy’s amazing design range, but for a complete biography and gallery of his work head on over to the official website.

Avanti sketch

Coca-Cola bottles and dispenser

S1 locomotive

Assorted logos




And the winner is…


Apple has knocked Coca-Cola out of the top position in Interbrand’s annual rating of most valuable brands. This is the first time in 13 years that Coca-Cola has not taken out the top spot, being pushed down to third by Apple and Google.

Could this be a precursor to how global brand values will continue to change in the future?

Source: CNet

Intuos Creative Stylus

Wacom announces stand alone tablet and new stylus.

Intuos Creative Stylus


Here at Fish Tank Creative we’re very excited about the announcement from Wacom for their new stand alone tablets and pressure sensitive stylus for iPad.

The Intuos Creative Stylus for iPad is looking very handy. At an affordable price and offering 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity via Bluetooth, it seems like a great accessory for the iPad. Whilst there are already many stylus pens available for iPads, the ability to have pressure sensitivity when using sketching programs makes this stylus a very appealing choice for anyone working within a creative field.

But what’s really exciting is the announcement of the Cintiq Companion and the Cintiq Companion Hybrid.



Wacom is releasing two stand alone 13″ tablets. Both will feature full HD displays with touch control, front and rear cameras, Wi-Fi and ship with the Wacom Pro Pen, giving you 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity.

The Companion runs Windows 8 and comes in two versions. The standard version gives you 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, whilst the Pro version comes with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. The companion is definitely aimed at professional artists and allows for the installation of Adobe Creative Suite programs like Photoshop and Illustrator.

The Companion Hybrid works off Android and functions as a Cintiq tablet when connected to a computer or as an Android tablet when unplugged. It’s still got some fairly impressive technology inside it, running on Android 4.2  and housing an Nvidia Tegra 4 CPU. It comes in both 16GB and 32GB versions.

All three of these would be versatile tools for Fish Tank Creative. Having a tablet with high level sketching functionality would allow us to speed up the creative process when formulating concepts for our clients. It would also open up our ability to edit on the fly, making meetings more dynamic and intuitive. Being able to do some personal sketching whilst hanging out during lunch breaks in the parks and cafes of Chippendale wouldn’t go amiss either.

We’ll definitely be looking into the creative and productive possibilities that these three devices can provide when they release in the next few months.