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.

email opt ins the do's and don'ts

Email Opt-ins the do’s and don’ts

email opt ins the do's and don'ts

With more than 200 million emails being sent out every minute of the day, it’s safe to say email is still a heavily used communication platform for consumers, brands and marketers alike.

But this isn’t the only piece of evidence which proves it’s too soon to contemplate the demise of email marketing. 59 per cent of B2B marketers say email is the most effective channel for generating revenue.


So, how can your business optimise its email opt-in rates?

For email campaigns to be successful, it’s essential your business works at engaging and attracting subscribers. However, building a lengthy subscription list can be challenging, especially given the inevitability that customers are likely to unsubscribe down the track.

That’s why, businesses need to implement marketing strategies that’ll maximise their opt-ins so they can not only keep subscribers active, but also invite new subscribers in to grow their list.

But, before you kick start utilising email opt-ins, it’s important to understand what your customer behaviour is like. For instance, you could track their social insights and be aware of their entire profile to make sure your email messaging is relevant and targeted.

Need some useful tips?

Here at Fish Tank Creative, we’ve compiled what we think to be some of the best practices for businesses when it comes to optimising their email opt-ins:

  • Identify your audience’s preferences and deliver a form that actually helps your customers through the signup process
  • Provide your audience with an opt-in offer that is specific, valuable and easy to understand
  • Keep the form simple
  • If you want to include animation or add interactive elements, make sure they don’t distract
  • Keep the copy clean and attractive
  • Make it easy to close the opt-in form
  • Keep the form optimised for mobile users in terms of its size, button placement and content
  • Make sure your form is placed in the right eye-path to attract conversion
  • Test a few opt-in forms and see which one works best for you
  • Make sure your opt-in forms carry your brand personality

We want your brand to stand out from the crowd. It’s important when you come to designing and implementing your email opt-ins, that you make smart choices so your business is standing out for all the right (and not the wrong) reasons.  

So, if you want to make an effective sign-up form, this is what you should avoid when making an effective sign-up form:

  • Too many mandatory fields

Capturing information is good, but a lot of information makes visitors sceptical about how it will be utilised. Limit your form to a few fields, you can always use surveys to find out the rest.

  • Improper sizing for on-the-go subscribers

It’s recommended when it comes to designing your opt-in form that you keep mobile visitors in mind. Improper sizing will jeopardise your user getting a great experience.

  • Problems exiting the form while viewing

Some opt-in forms are so bulky that they occupy the entire screen, while others are small to see where to exit them.

Note: If you design your pop-up so that it does cover the main content of your page you’ll put your business at risk of being dropped down in Google’s search rankings. This could potentially hinder your site’s reach, and in turn, the overall success of your business. To avoid Google penalties, your business needs to ensure users have a positive browsing experience on portable devices.

For more information on how you can create beautiful email opt-ins as part of your business’s overall marketing strategy, please get in contact with us.



Uplift your EDM open rate with A/B testing


Want to improve the effectiveness of your website’s marketing efforts, but unsure how to evaluate whether the changes will be successful or not?

The solution to your problem is A/B testing.

A/B testing involves running an experiment between two web designs (A and B). By comparing the two versions against each other, you’re able to determine- via statistical evidence – which web page performs or converts the best.

From this, you’re able to gain an insight into the behaviour of the visitors accessing your web page and adjust your website accordingly to maximise conversion rates.

Not only does A/B testing help you understand the impact you’re making, but it also gives you a much fuller understanding about your customers’ behaviour and preferences.

Starting point:

Once you have determined your goal – perhaps to increase conversion rates, reduce bounce rates or increase sales – you then need to decide what it is you wish to test on your landing page.

What can you test?

A/B testing can look at anything on your website that affects visitor behaviour.

However, try focus on aspects which are most likely to have a large impact. For instance;

  • Headlines
  • Call to Action text
  • Call to Action Button
  • Any graphics used in direct correlation to sales efforts

By focusing on the aspects which have the greatest impact on your customers, you’re less likely to get caught up on minute details which may only have a minimal impact.

How A/B testing works:

In an A/B test, you take a web page and modify it to create a second version of the same page. This change can be as simple as a single headline or button, or be a complete redesign of a page.

This leads to half of your traffic being diverted through the original version of the page (known as the control, or A) and the other half through the modified version of the page (the variation, of B).

Visitors are then served either the control or variation, and their engagement with each is measured, collected and analysed through a statistical engine. As a result, you are able to determine whether changes made to the web page had an impact on visitor behaviour – positive, negative, or no effect at all.  


The benefits of using an A/B test:

A well planned A/B test can help improve your bottom line by allowing you to better understand what works and what doesn’t. This means when it comes to deciding what marketing strategies to use, decisions can be made quicker with a result that’s guaranteed to be effective as the evidence found from the A/B tests will help you better understand what your customers are responding to.  

A/B Testing process:

When running an A/B testing experiment, you should treat the process in a scientific manner.

  1. Study your website data
  2. Observe user behaviour
  3. Construct a hypothesis
  4. Test your hypothesis
  5. Analyse test data and draw conclusions
  6. Report results to all concerned

For more information or guidance on A/B testing, please contact us on 02 8399 2223 or email us.