When it comes to building a website, the options can feel endless. In the past few years, we’ve seen an explosion in new design software and a surge of fresh ideas from the world of digital marketing. The result? A whole new generation of website builders that make it simpler than ever to create your own site.

These programs are not just for those with no technical know-how—they’re ideal for anyone who wants to build their first site or refresh an old one without hiring an expert designer. WordPress itself is an excellent example of how these builders can be used to create beautiful sites quickly and easily. With more than 60,000 plugins available and more than 200 themes on offer, there’s always something that will fit any taste or project. Here’s everything you need to know about using these tools as a WordPress site builder

What is a WordPress Website Builder?

Website builders, such as WordPress and Wix, are programs that can be used to create a website without requiring any technical know-how. These programs make it easy for anyone with a creative idea to create a site in a matter of minutes. In many cases, these websites can look more polished than those built by professional designers.

Many of the best website builders use HTML5 and CSS3. This is why you’ll find that they have an attractive interface and intuitive functionality—the design will stay modern even after years of updates. Website builders like these also allow you to quickly customize your site’s appearance with different fonts, colors, layouts, images, and other features all without having to learn code or hire someone who has knowledge in web design fields like graphic design or web development.

What’s the difference between a WordPress Website Builder?

A website builder is software that helps you design and build your website. There are a number of different programs out there, but WordPress is one of the most well-known options. A WordPress site builder integrates with WordPress to make designing a site effortless. It allows you to edit the theme of your site, add media, and manage pages on your site without needing to learn any coding skills or worry about hosting or domain names. It’s in this way that it can be used as a WordPress website builder.

You can also use these tools as a developer by using their program as a tool to create sites for clients or other projects that don’t require complex design solutions. You simply use the tools within the program you choose while working with client-provided files and save them on your computer when they’re ready for publishing. 

As an example of how websites created with these tools function without any coding experience, consider Tumblr. By using Tumblr’s website builder, building your own blog has never been easier. With easy drag-and-drop interface, you have access to all the features that make Tumblr so popular—as well as some custom ones just for those who create their own blogs.

Why Use a WordPress Website Builder?

If you’ve been wanting to build your own website, but don’t want to take the time and money out of your budget for a professional web design service, a WordPress website builder can be a great option for you.

WordPress is an open-source content management system that’s been in use since 2003. It was originally designed as a blogging platform, but has grown quickly over the past decade and has become one of the most popular platforms on the internet.

With WordPress, anyone with some technical knowledge can learn how to create a professional-looking site at their own pace. Just by following a few tutorials, you could have your dream website up and running in no time! This means that if you have any ideas or simply want to refresh an existing site with new content—professional grade websites are accessible to all.

When it comes to building a website with WordPress, there are many options available. But the most important thing is understanding just what exactly makes this system so useful in creating great websites—it’s what sets it apart from other options like Squarespace or Weebly. The power of WordPress is its flexibility; with so many plugins and themes available, it’s possible for users to customize their sites into whatever they want them to be.

From design to delivery with WordPress website builders

When using a website builder, you will be able to spend more time on the creative process and less time worrying about technicalities. The design software will often take care of the coding for you, which frees up your time to focus on aspects like content and design.

You’ll also be able to easily update your site in the future. You won’t need to hire an expert designer or developer or worry about learning HTML and CSS—with a website builder, all the updates are done for you with just a few clicks. This makes it much easier for new changes to be made without having to pay someone else.

Finally, when using a website builder, there is no limit to what you can build. There are hundreds of ready-made themes that are available as well as thousands of plugins that offer innovative features and functions. This means that there is something available for any project idea you come up with without needing to start from scratch every time.

Pros of Using a WordPress Website Builder

The beauty of a WordPress website builder is that it’s not just for beginners. If you already know how to use WordPress, then you can use one of these tools to design your site quickly and easily. They also make it easy for those who don’t have any technical backgrounds to build a professional-looking site. For example, if you want to create an Instagram feed for your newsletter, there are web builders available that can be used in minutes to create beautiful galleries.

Another big benefit is the ability to create stunning websites without having to hire a designer or worry about the tech yourself. This allows you to focus on what matters most: your business’s mission and what makes your company unique. The builders also allow a whole new generation of entrepreneurs and small businesses the opportunity to create an online presence without breaking the bank or even hiring an expert designer.

Cons of Using a WordPress Website Builder

Using a WordPress website builder is not for everyone. It’s worth considering that you might have to give up some of the freedom and control that comes with creating a site from scratch. You might not even be able to totally customize the site without hiring designers or developers, which will make it harder for your business if you plan on selling products. If you choose to build your site using a WordPress website builder, you might find yourself with a basic site that doesn’t do much more than show off your content. 

If you decide to create your own site from scratch, use these tips to improve the user experience:

  • Spending a little more upfront on design will help ensure your site looks professional and has a higher chance of converting visitors into customers. 
  • Choose a unique name for your company and make sure it’s spelled right! (Note from Dan: Check spelling… seriously?)
  • Find people in the marketplace who can help you build out features that are unique to your business needs.

Final Words: Should You Use a WordPress Website Builder?

The answer to this question largely depends on the project you’re working on. For example, a website builder might be overkill if you want to build a fairly simple website with minimal customization and a basic layout. However, suppose you’re looking for something more in-depth and customizable with features like e-commerce, content management system (CMS), or mobile optimization. In that case, a WordPress website builder can help streamline the process and save money on design fees.

And by using WordPress as your site builder, you don’t have to worry about getting locked into any particular program. The WordPress software is open source and available to use for free. You also get access to thousands of other developers who are constantly adding new plugins that can help your site grow to meet your needs!

Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar business looking to expand online or a digital-first company that needs to re-do its brand, you can consider your website the welcome mat to your business.

If your website is outdated, difficult to navigate, or fails to get across your brand’s values, it can easily leave potential customers feeling disconnected. Meanwhile, if it feels cookie-cutter or forgettable, you’ll have nothing to leverage when it comes to building a lasting reputation and fostering customer loyalty.

For all of these reasons, hiring a professional web design agency is a worthy investment. The question is, how can you choose the right one? No matter your budget, timeline, or desired look, here’s some advice to point you in the right direction and help you select a qualified team of professionals that can bring your brand’s website to life. 

1. Compare Web Design Companies’ Qualifications

When it comes time to select a web design agency, you have countless options. One of the quickest ways to narrow down your options to the best is to go through their websites. It’s a bad sign if a web design agency has a website that’s slow, outdated, inconsistent, or just doesn’t speak to you. In other words, this is a situation where you can judge a book by its cover. 

After finding your favourite websites, take some time to read through the agency’s list of qualifications. Has it won any awards? Who’s on the team? Are they certified in any design software? While there are plenty of highly talented design agencies that aren’t award-winning, these things can certainly help prove an agency’s reputation and reliability up-front.

Most web design agencies will have a list of their team members so that you can see how long each individual has been in the business. You should also see when the agency was established by checking the “About” section. While you shouldn’t necessarily avoid young talent, experience is valuable. 

Lastly, as you try to get a feel for what the agency does, make sure its team is familiar with search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). With countless factors impacting SEO—including speed and clean code—it’s important that your agency doesn’t unknowingly work against your website’s future rankings or performance. 

2. Thumb Through the Web Design Company’s Portfolio

Every web design agency will have a website design portfolio where you can look through some examples of their past work. The best agencies may even have case studies where they’ve interviewed previous clients to have them talk about their experience working with the team.

Even just taking a few minutes to look through the screenshots or links that an agency shares can help you determine the quality of its work. Beyond noting whether or not the examples are up to your standards, you should also consider if any of them match your style.

If you’re going for something entirely different from an agency’s typical projects, the company may not be the right fit. With that said, don’t let a website portfolio on its own throw you off just because you have a different style in mind. If the website agency’s team do great work, it’s still worth reaching out to them to see what they’ll say.

3. Make Sure the Practical Details Line Up

Once you have a list of website agencies that have stayed in your favour after going through their website, team, and portfolio, it’s time to do your due diligence and make sure that working with them is a practical choice.

For example, if you’d prefer to work with an agency in person, you should limit your search to those with an office nearby. It’s up to you how far you’re willing to travel, but checking where the agency is located (or able to travel to) will help you quickly determine if an agency is still under consideration.

On the other hand, if you’re working with a web design agency remotely, location still matters. More specifically, you need to know which time zone the agency works in to make sure that scheduling meetings and progress checks won’t be an inconvenience. While many teams will try to work with your schedule, you shouldn’t have to jump through hoops every time you want to call in. 

Beyond location and time zone, you might also consider the size of the agency’s team (smaller teams may not be able to take on a major enterprise project), its general timeline for projects, and its target clientele (which will impact how much the agency charges). 

4. Find a Team That You Connect With

By far, one of the best things you can do when comparing the web design agencies you’re considering is schedule a time to actually talk with the team—either in person or over the phone. When you do, go ahead and give high marks to the team that you resonate with the best.

Aside from being friendly and clear in their communication, the best web design company will have a team who are happy to spend time explaining their services, getting to know your brand, and talking about how they would approach your project.

During this call, you should ask questions pertaining to:

  • The timeline and how long they would expect the project to take. In order to provide an accurate estimate, they’ll likely ask what information or pages you want to include, among other things. 
  • The process for handling requests and revisions. How will the agency handle it if you change your mind about something during the project or if you don’t like how they executed something? Understanding if revisions are included, and to what extent, is critical to staying within budget and getting the results you want. 
  • The estimated cost and what could change it. Additional customisations and more complex website features will certainly raise the original estimate. Consider if the web design company plans to charge a flat fee or hourly rate for the project, or some combination of the two. 

There will be a lot to remember, so even if you think you can keep track of it all, make sure to take notes. This will make it much easier to compare your options after you talk to your favourite website companies. 

5. Compare Estimates From Web Design Companies Side by Side

Following the consultation, you should request a written estimate from each web design company you speak to. Obviously, your budget will be a primary consideration, but you should also think back to which team you melded with the best. Working with people that are happy to listen to you and help build upon your ideas is crucial to a successful web design project that reflects the look you’re really going for.

In addition to great communication, consider the additional services any agency offered to you (for example, help with branding, logo design, or SEO) that you’re interested in. Also factor in the estimated timelines each agency gave you, as it might not be feasible to go with your first choice if the agency is going to take six months or more when the other options can get you a site within two or three.

Ultimately, the final decision is up to you, but by doing your due diligence, you can make sure that you don’t waste time and money with an agency that’s not able to execute your requests with the speed, quality, or reliability that you want. 

Get Started by Requesting a Website Quote

Are you working on choosing a web design company? Asking the right questions is a critical step to finding the best fit for your brand. Aside from being communicative and creative, the agency’s team should be quick on their feet and dedicated to your satisfaction. For all of those things, you can turn to the team at Engage Digital. When you’re ready to take the first step, request a free website proposal from us, so you can move forward with your website project.

What happens if you’re trying to sell your car, but you’ve left it dirty – people may view it but you’re not going to get any offers. That’s exactly why you need a polished homepage design for your website.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

You need to present the best possible homepage design for your specific audience and ensure you’re presenting your products or services to their best by highlighting their unique qualities and benefits.

Undoubtedly, your website homepage is the most critical page on your website.

Sure, you might have special landing pages funnelling leads from your Google Ad campaigns, and lead capture pages pushing for conversions, or ecommerce product pages that garner a direct sale, but your homepage is most often where it all starts.

Your homepage is most likely to be the first page that your website visitors will see when they land on your website.

It’s the first impression prospects will have of your business – it’s the greeting at the door that welcomes visitors in or scares them away! 

 So, let’s explore some of the most important aspects of the perfect website homepage…

A compelling headline that talks directly to the customer

On the homepage the headline is a summation of your value proposition – it should distinctly express what this website and business can uniquely offer the visitor – that is, “what’s in it for me”.

Like a newspaper, we’ll certainly read the headlines – if something takes our interest we’ll read further.

If the article introduction resonates with us, we’ll keep reading – perhaps just skimming the sub-headings, images and bullet points, to the point that we’ve formed an opinion or have decided to take an action.

In short, presenting a compelling headline front and centre on your website homepage is the most important element you can create when designing your page. It’s the element we give the most attention in our website design and development process.

If you can’t describe your business to your visitors in that one sentence and if it doesn’t connect with their issues, then you’re not going to convert website traffic into sales.

Keep in mind these questions when creating your homepage headline:

  1. Who are you? (What is your company, product, or service about?)
  2. What do you do? (What does your company, product, or service actually do for its users?)
  3. How are you better than your competitors? (How does your company, product, or service uniquely solve a problem or fulfil a need in a way that’s better than the other options available?)
Same day flower delivery in Auckland – Wild Bunch couldn’t be clearer than that.

Blatant self-plug – here is what Engage does for their clients.

Help your audience understand exactly what you do

If you managed to get your visitors through your door with a compelling headline, now you can tell them a little more about how you can solve their problem.

Its great idea to be upfront with what you do at this point – prospects want confirmation they have come to the right place – so, tell them…

  • We offer same day delivery of flower bouquets in the Auckland area.
  • We supply and install European sourced tiles for commercial projects.
  • We provide retail display systems for multi-store retailers.
GoSweetSpot use a no-nonsense headline to explain what they do.

GDM explain what they do, who for and why on their homepage

Deliver concise and unique benefits

Our mantra at Engage is “Go beyond what you sell and focus on why it matters”(to your audience).

But so many brands use their website platform to talk about themselves.

No doubt your background and story is important to you – just make it relevant to the prospect.

The only reason you should mention that you’ve been in business since 1998, is if you back that up that your experience has developed a high quality product that will last for years.

Focus on what your research says is most important to your customer – they are most interested in what’s in it for THEM.

Prospects want to know about the benefits of buying from you, versus your competitors, because that’s what will compel them to make an enquiry or purchase.

So you need to explicitly state the factors that will compel them to buy from you rather than the other 4 websites they have up on their browser?

If they’re in research mode they want to see that your solution ticks all the boxes and more.

So place your key product or service benefits upfront on the home page and encourage prospects to read more.

Product benefits as laid out on Ratio Coffee’s homepage

Hello Fresh make it clear what their benefits are on their homepage design

On the home page, use support copy or emphasis copy to briefly explain how prospects will benefit from your product or service. If relevant, quantify the benefit with real numbers and state the timeframe that the benefit will be delivered in.

  • Using our Growthology Engine we’ll increase your leads by 20% within 3 months.
  • Buy with confidence – 30 day money-back guarantee

The difference between features and benefits

  1. Features are facts about products or services; they add credibility and substance to your sales pitch.
  2. Benefits give customers a reason to buy because they explain how your product or service improves their lives.
  3. To translate features into benefits, answer the question “So what?”

The benefits are the primary reason a prospect will buy your product. When it comes to purchasing, people are self-centred – they want things that solve their problems.

The Features-Benefits Matrix

Get your thoughts together by mapping out a Features Benefits Matrix – it will help crystallise how features of your product or service can match the benefits you can deliver your customers.

Map out your ideas with a Features-Benefits Matrix

Provide a prompt for visitors to engage with you

Most of the visitors to your website won’t be ready to buy from you, just yet.

Your goal is to get them to engage with you and then hopefully convert in the near future.

We don’t necessarily purchase the first shirt we see at the first store we visit, and we certainly don’t buy a new vehicle on the first visit to a car yard.

And so it is with a website visit – we’re not necessarily going to buy the first $100 headphones we find and we’re certainly going to research the hell out of $1000 tablet purchase.

We need to give visitors the necessary incentive, information, or time to make their commitment.

Providing an incentive is an obvious approach for an ecommerce store, where we’ll regularly see coupon offers delivered through homepage pop ups. Take 10% off your first purchase with this coupon code. Subscribe and get 15% off your first order.

Homepage popup offers are popular on ecommerce hompage designs

If you’re an app or software provider, a free trial or demo is a great way to reduce the barriers to purchasing – including a lack of experience with your solution or the trust that your app will deliver as promised.

Homepage free trial offer from ActiveCampaign to engage with their customers

If you’re a B2B business, and prospects simply need to get to know you better, then offer a high-value content offer (HVCO) that exchanges their email for your valuable content like a how-to guide, a clever cheat sheet or access to instructional videos.

High Value Content Offer – something of value in exchange for an email address

The objective for most of these offers is gaining an email address, whereby you’ll have permission to engage with that prospect on a regular basis until you’ve given them the confidence to buy from you, or they’re simply ready to make the leap and call you, book a meeting, visit your store, ask for a quote or make a purchase online.

Include prominent Calls-to-Action

The goal of your homepage is to compel visitors to dig deeper into your website and move them through your sales funnel – from awareness of your business, to interest and on to a purchase decision.

On your homepage, you’re not likely to know the visitors intention – are they just researching, have they just discovered you, or are they ready to make a purchase, call you or request a quote, right now?

Include two or three calls-to-action (CTA) above the fold of your homepage to encourage a deep dive into your website or to take action of some sort.

However, don’t confuse customers with too many opposing options.

Teamzy uses contrasting colour to make their CTA standout

Make sure you use a call-to-action title that makes sense and conveys value. A CTA like “Subscribe Now” is OK but how about “Subscribe Now & Get Free eBook” – now I’m interested.

Here’s a tip: Your CTA is where you want your visitors to focus their attention. It’s an invitation: Here’s what to do next. Create better CTA titles by completing the sentence, “I want to _______“. 

Help prospects engage with your business by figuring out where to take them on the next step. 

Make your website homepage work brilliantly on mobile

For most of our clients, even if they are B2B, their mobile traffic accounts for 60% of website traffic (and climbing). You’ll be surprised what consumers are getting done on their mobile phones even if they have an accessible desktop alternative.

So, no matter your business, your website homepage must work on mobile.

Tesla uses scroll navigation to perfection on their mobile website

We’re typically building with Responsive Design – that is, we’ll use a framework like bootstrap to quickly build fluid web pages with a set of common HTML and CSS components that adapt the same content for both a desktop and mobile screen.

In fact, many of our websites take a “Mobile First” philosophy where we design layout for mobile first and consider desktop second.

We’re usually laying mobile content to one or two columns wide, which means that any one time the user is viewing just one or two pieces of information.

We need to cleverly use the scrolling and horizontal flicking effects on mobile.

And we should consider the auto population of forms, address finders and clickable phone numbers – all to make the mobile experience of your homepage an effortless one.

We’ll declutter screens using hamburger menus – those 3 stacked lines. And design special flyout menus to help users navigate a website.

And adding sticky call-to-action buttons is a great way to make our important actions always present on a user’s screen.

Test alternative homepage designs

In an ideal world we should be continually testing and retesting ideas and content on our homepage.

An improved homepage has the ability to reduce bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who don’t go further) and more importantly, double your conversions. 

Even a 5% lift in conversions could mean a significant return on investment from A/B testing copy, images and call-to-action options.

A/B testing, sometimes also referred to as split testing, is a way to compare elements on a page against each other to determine which performs better in terms of page views, time on page, conversions, bounce rate, etc.

There are numerous free and paid tools that help us do this, like Google Optimize – so if you’re unsure which headline works best, test it.

Include Social Proof and Trustmarks on your homepage

Whether we’re purchasing a T-shirt, a dental exam, a furniture removal service, or a complex retail shelving system we want to know that we can trust the company that we’re go to purchase from or consult with.

Of course, the level of trust required will depend on the quantity of money we’re about to part with.

That trust might come from dealing with a well-known local retailers or a highly credible international brands – so showing the logos of current customers that you deal with, may instil confidence in potential customers.

GDM Retail Systems show their pedigree by the company they keep.

Memberships and accreditations are another way to demonstrate your expertise in certain fields

Digital Marketing agencies like Engage will display their expertise with accreditations.

Embedding your ratings and reviews with trusted aggregators like Google Reviews or Trustpilot is another way to display your creditability.

We’re more likely to purchase from a florist like The Wild Bunch with a 4.9 Google rating.


The homepage of your website is the window to your business.

It’s fundamental that the homepage communicates the right impression otherwise prospects will bounce and venture no further into your website.

The perfect homepage website design needs to include these key elements if it to perfectly present your brand and encourage visitors to find out more or buy from you:

  • A compelling headline that conveys your unique value proposition.
  • Copy that explains to your audience exactly what you do so that they get you.
  • An outline of your brand’s benefits – what’s in it for a customer.
  • Reasons for your prospects to engage with you.
  • Direct and prominent calls-to-action – to direct prospects to trial, view more or buy.
  • Your website homepage must work brilliantly on mobile – because 60% or more of your users will be using their mobile to browse your homepage.
  • An ability to test alternative homepage designs to optimise conversion with the best layout as proven by your website visitors.
  • Inclusion of social proof and trustmarks to provide more reason for prospects to buy from you.

Make a great start to redeveloping your homepage by downloading our website project planner.

Contact us today on 09 309 5050 or email phil@engagedigital.co.nz if you would like to discuss the redevelopment of your homepage into a conversion machine!

The simplest way to think about Google’s Core Web Vitals / Page Experience updates is that user-friendly sites will rank higher than sites that aren’t user friendly.

The good news is if you’re already providing a high-quality page experience for your visitors, you may not even have to do anything differently.

However, if your website maintenance and SEO is something that has had little attention over the past year, then now would be a great time to invest in improving your users’ page experience, while boosting your page ranking, or at least ensuring you don’t slip into Google oblivion!

Google Rewards Your Website for Being More Usable

Over the past few years, Google has developed several user experience signals, including measures of mobile-friendlinessHTTPS-security, and browsing safety.

Most recently, the company created Core Web Vitals, which helps monitor website speed and functionality. These metrics offer concrete ways for owners to measure the user experience of their site.

But Google ups the ante in 2021 to categorically state that after the mid-year update, Page Experience will be a direct ranking factor.

The Importance of a User’s Page Experience

If Google thinks your website users will have a poor experience on your pages — measured by a new set of metrics called Core Web Vitals — Google may not rank those pages as highly as they are now.

The new metrics aim to measure how a user will perceive the experience of a specific web page through technical considerations like how fast a page loads, if it’s mobile-friendly, is it running on HTTPS, the presence of intrusive banner ads and if content jumps around as the page loads.

The New Core Web Vitals

Page experience has been important to Google (and users) for some time and Google algorithm updates during 2021 are adding refined metrics around speed and usability. These refinements are under what Google calls Core Web Vitals.

Core Web Vitals metrics

Core Web Vitals include real-world, user-centred metrics, that give scores on aspects of your pages including load time, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads. They fall under these metrics:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures loading performance. LCP is a measurement of how long it takes for the main content of a page to download and be ready to be interacted with. What is measured is the largest image or block of context within the user viewport. Anything that extends beyond the screen does not count. To provide a good user experience, sites should strive to have LCP occur within the first 2.5 seconds of the page starting to load.
  • First Input Delay (FID) measures interactivity. FID is the measurement of the time it takes for a browser to respond to a site visitor’sfirst interaction with the site while the site is loading. This is sometimes called Input Latency. An interaction can be tapping a button, a link or a key press and the response given in response. Text input areas, dropdowns, and checkboxes are other kinds of interaction points that FID will measure. To provide a good user experience, sites should strive to have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures visual stability. CLS is the unexpected shifting of web page elements while the page is still downloading. The kinds of elements that tend to cause shift are fonts, images, videos, contact forms, buttons and other kinds of content. To provide a good user experience, sites should strive to have a CLS score of less than 0.1.

Cumulative Layout Shift Issues
Cumulative Layout Shift Issues
Cumulative Layout Shift Correct Function

Other Page Experience signals

How to Measure Your Core Web Vitals

While there are some excellent 3rd party apps that help SEO agencies like Engage quickly define and record website performance issues, Google now has a comprehensive suite of SEO Tools that we can use to directly detect what Google sees when it crawls our client’s websites.

LCP and CLS can be measured in the lab or in the field, while FID as a metric can only be measured in the field as it requires a real user to interact with your page.

Field tools

Lab tools

  • Lighthouse to identify technical details that web developers and technical SEO experts need to find out how to improve LCP
  • WebPageTest allows you to compare performance of one or more pages in controlled lab environment, and deep dive into performance stats and test performance on a real device.
  • TestMySite allows you to diagnose webpage performance across devices and provides a list of fixes for improving the experience from WebPageTest and PageSpeed Insights.

Run your Own Page Experience Tests

Check out your site on Google’s TestMySite tool for free. Even share your findings with your developers or send Engage an email to discuss your results…

It’s in Google’s best interest to help you improve the overall User’s Experience so they have other performance measurement tools like web.dev. – this will measure how well your website supports your users. If there are areas where it can improve, you’ll get immediate steps to increase your metrics. For a comprehensive free report try out Google’s Web.Dev

Prioritise These 3 Website Elements:

1.  Responsive Website Design

Your site visitor should be able to view your pages properly before you worry about your Google mobile ranking. Google recommends using responsive web design instead of maintaining and optimising a separate mobile site.

2.  Page Load Speed

Every millisecond of delay in your page load speed or website load time negatively affects the user. You can rely on PageSpeed Insights as a straightforward Google performance test tool for website load time.

3.  Quality Content

As potentially impactful as the page experience update is, high-quality content is still more important than user experience alone. Google stated in its original announcement that it will continue to prioriti1se sites that offer the best information, even if the page experience is slightly worse than pages with lower-quality content.

Google Page Experience Checklist:

Use the following checklist as a quick guide to the things you need to do to optimise your Google Page Experience metrics. With Google’s algorithm focusing on a page-level basis, prioritise your most important pages first.

Page Experience Signal Checks

  • Main page content loads in 2.5 seconds or less
  • Page input delay is 100 milliseconds or less
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) score is 0.1 or less
  • Zero failing URLs on the Google Core Web Vitals report
  • Zero failing URLs on the Mobile Usability report
  • URLs pass the Mobile Friendly Test tool
  • URL Page Speed Insights scores are 90 or higher
  • No issues detected on the Security Issues report
  • Website passes the Safe Browsing site status checker
  • HTTPS implemented and no mixed content errors
  • No intrusive interstitials or pop-ups

We also recommend checking:

  • Website content is relevant, useful and readable
  • Use responsive web design
  • Upgrade your website hosting
  • Keep your website framework and plugins up to date
  • Minimise the number of requests your page makes
  • Compress or remove large files
  • Optimise your media elements – video, animations
  • Fix all broken internal links and redirects
  • Monitor your Page Experience report weekly

Article References

As clever as we are, Engage didn’t make this stuff up – we’ve gathered content for this article from other SEO experts including: Google Developers, Spyfu, Neil Patel and Thrive Agency.


Over the past few years, Google has developed several user experience signals, including measures of mobile-friendlinessHTTPS-security, and browsing safety.

More recently, they have created a new set of signals, called Core Web Vitals, which help monitor website speed and functionality. These metrics offer concrete ways for SEO experts like Engage to measure the user experience of our clients’ sites.

Google prioritises five areas that contribute to a website’s page experience:

  1. Core Web Vitals
  2. Mobile friendliness
  3. HTTPS
  4. Safe browsing
  5. Intrusive interstitial content

Page experience is now a key factor in search engine rankings.

If you want to rank well, you need to have both great content and a good page experience. You might still rank well with just one or the other, but it’s not enough anymore. To truly maximise your results, both are necessary.

So, if your website hasn’t had a lot of content or SEO love lately, perhaps now is the time to put some investment into upgrading your user’s experience – auditing, and upgrading your site and improving your position versus your competitors – all with the advantage of ranking better with Google search.

Contact us today on 09 309 5050 or email phil@engagedigital.co.nz if you would like more information about our Page Experience and SEO services!

We’ve all made this mistake, right?

We send all traffic from social media or paid ads to our home page.

Home pages are usually not great at getting visitors to complete a certain action quickly.

Sure your home page might sum up what you’re all about but it’s often the most generic page of your entire site.

They’re built with multiple offers and features to provide a generic starting point for new users.

If you’re going to engage the right targeted customer with highly relevant content, then then you need to write and build effective landing pages.

Not only will you optimise conversions but you’ll also substantially reduce lead generation costs.

In this article we’re going to:

  • Explain the essential components of a high-converting landing page
  • Introduce the Problem/Solution/Benefit Formula
  • List the Five Proven Conversion Boosting Headline Formulas
  • Provide copy direction for an effective landing page
  • And provide our infographic for the Anatomy of a High Converting Landing Page

What is a Landing Page?

A landing page is a page on your website designed to convert visitors into leads. It will focus on encouraging a certain targeted audience to complete a desired action. The page will usually have a short form that allows you to capture a prospects information in exchange for an offer of value.

Anatomy High Converting Landing Page Infographic

Components of an Effective Landing Page

1. Compelling Headline

Perhaps the most important element on the page, the headline has to command the visitor’s attention. It immediately tells the visitor they are at the right place AND what’s in it for them.

It will most likely resonate the Value Proposition for your brand or for this particular aspect of your business. It has to be benefit driven and compelling!

Is this a landing page from a Google Ads campaign? Consider a headline that closely matches your advert proposition. It makes the page more relevant for the visitor and increases your Quality Score with Google.

2. Problem-solving Support Copy

You’ve captured your prospect’s attention with the headline, now confirm that your offer matches the visitor’s needs in a sentence or two. What is your promise to prospects?

3. Strong Call-to-Action

It’s crucial that we clarify what we want a prospect to do next by stating a clear Call-to-Action (CTA).  This is often achieved by applying button copy that completes the sentence, “I want to __________”. 

Use strong contrasts in colour to make your CTA buttons or links stand out. Red or orange buttons are often used to catch the visitors’ eye.

4. Reinforcement Statements

We use Reinforcement Statements to reinforce a proposition or highlight an offer. They are usually a short sentence displayed at a large point size. And often followed by a CTA or a Solution Grid. 

5. Concise Solution Grids

Our Solution Grid is a design layout defining the key features or benefits in a concise manner. That is, what are our solutions to the prospects’ main problems?

Use images or icons to convey the topic, short sub-headlines to punch the benefit and concise body copy to explain further.

A Solution Grid might come as a short row of 3 items or a longer grid of 6, 8 or more points. We might also use a Solution Grid to outline Next-Steps or How-to lists.

6. Detailed Support Information

When we want to explain sub-topics in a little more detail, we’ll often use yin-yang sections – so called as we’ll often alternate content from left of page to right of page for a friendly design flow. Each section will include a combination of a sub-heading, support body copy, relevant image/icon and an optional CTA.

7. Succinct Bullet Points

Bullet points make it easy for a prospect to grasp the essence of your offer by keeping things short. Speak to their prospect’s pain points and how your offer solves them.       

8. Striking Hero Images

Great images are as important as compelling headlines. Be sure to include relevant and engaging images to draw the prospect further in. Video is a particularly strong and engaging method to tell your story.

9. Lead Capturing Opt-in Form

Given the purpose of a landing page is to capture leads then the opt-in form is crucial. It needs to encapsulate the information we want from a prospect to complete a goal (download an eBook, sign-up to a newsletter, complete an application, or add to shopping cart).

Offering a lead magnet (e.g. eBook) at this sales stage might help us start a conversation and enable us to nurture that prospect further with personalised email.

An opt-in form may be repeated 2 or more times throughout a long landing page. Only collect the information you really need.

10. Social Proof

Prospects may not take your word for it, but they will listen to other customers. Include relevant testimonials, reviews and/or case study excerpts on the landing page. These could link to more detailed reviews but be mindful of whether tempting the visitor to another page is a good idea for this specific landing page.

11. Mobile Friendly

It almost goes without saying but your landing page has to incorporate responsive design – it has to be easy to interrupt and use on all devices.

Other Page Design Options

Remove Navigation

If you’ve led a prospect to this page from online promotion and with a direct call to action in mind, then remove distractions and any chance of them wandering elsewhere by removing website navigation.

Social Sharing Icons

Include social sharing icons so prospects can share the landing page with others across their social platforms or bookmark it for themselves to reference later.

Testing & Optimising

Use A/B Tests to optimise a landing page for conversion over time. Test substantial design alternatives and/or subtle changes in headlines, copy, images and CTAs to see what resonates most with prospects.

Page URL

It’s not only useful for the visitor but also good for google rankings, that your page url is descriptive and contains your focus keywords. http://acme.com/great-landing-page

SEO Meta Tags

Always include a short Page Title in your meta tags for the landing page. The Page Title should include your focus keywords and again concisely explain what the page is about or what’s in it for the prospect. This is what they will see as the heading in a google organic search result, so make sure it’s also compelling not just a list of disjointed words. 

Links to Other Pages

Lots of links on a home page make sense to encourage a prospect to navigate to the most relevant pages for them. On a specific landing page though, keep links just to relevant support pages so as not to distract the prospect from your intended CTA.

Live Chat Support

One of the strongest conversion tools that you can get for your online shop is Live Chat software that allows you to chat with your online visitors. Even if you make your landing page close to perfect, there will always be visitors with unanswered questions. Of course, you cannot answer all potential questions on your page, that would destroy its clearness. That’s where live chat comes in. 


For clarity and an easy user experience your page structure needs to follow the styling that has been have established for the website.

Heading styles, body copy, emphasis copy, call out grids with icons, quotes and CTA buttons should all follow a pattern that the visitor becomes familiar with so that all your content is structured and easily skim-read or followed word for word.

While some detail can be left to the design team, within your content brief identify all key styles:

  • H1 (only one per page), H2, H3 .. H6
  • Body Copy, Bullet Points, Numbered Lists, Emphasis copy etc
  • Hyperlinked copy, Buttons

Choosing Hero Images

Great landing pages have great images. It’s that simple. As mentioned above, the image you choose should help boost the overall message of your campaign. It should help to illustrate exactly what it is you’re offering and shouldn’t be too abstract or arbitrary (no matter how good they look).

Here’s a 7-step framework for judging hero images, and it goes like this:

  1. Keyword Relevance (does the image complement the targeted keywords?)
  2. Purpose Clarity (does the image help clarify the message of the site?)
  3. Design Support (does the image support and enhance seamless flow of page design leading to the CTA?)
  4. Authenticity (does the image represent your brand in a credible way?)
  5. Added Value (does the image add value? Improve relevance? Demonstrate benefits?)
  6. Desired Emotion (does the image portray desired emotions that trigger action?)
  7. Customer “Hero” (does the featured image depict the customer as the “hero” once equipped with this solution

Follow the Problem/Solution/Benefit Formula

  • Establish a problem. What’s a common issue your audience has? Identify it and agitate it!
  • Present a solution. Next, state why your product or service as the best solution to their problem. Ensure that your solution covers every detail of their problem.
  • Show a benefit. Now, you can show your prospect how much better life can be when their problem is solved.

Copy Direction for an Effective Landing Page

Step 1: Identify the Audience

The first step to creating landing page copy is to identify who you are targeting.

Step 2: Choose the Desired Action

Now that we know our intended audience, it’s important to identify the exact action we want them to take.

Your landing page should NOT be a brochure. It should NOT be informational.

The entire point of a landing page is to generate action.

Step 3: Identify the Core Problem

Once you’ve determined your targeted audience segment and desired action, your next step is to identify the key problems facing this segment that might be solved by your product/service.

Copy should use this central theme in the Value Proposition and as a filter for the rest of our copy.

Step 4: Write the Value Proposition

Now that we’ve identified the core problem for our target audience, it’s time to write our Value Proposition.

This is your business’ chance to demonstrate the value you bring to the table, IN THE CONTEXT of your audience’s needs.

Don’t talk about you.

Talk about the customer.

Step 5. Provide the Support to your Solution

After the heading and cover section, I recommend creating a “Solution Support” section.

This could involve a “Solution Grid” of 3, 4, 6 or more support summaries or you can follow up with an in-depth paragraph that explains exactly who you are, what you’re offering, and why visitors simply HAVE to get it.

Step 6: Write the How

Moving forward along our landing page, it’s time to talk a bit about HOW we can fulfil our promises to our customers.

Never lead with the “how”.

People don’t care about how until they resonate with you on “why”.

But once we’ve resonated with them at a core level and promised a central benefit that solves their problems, it’s important to touch on how we plan to deliver.

The “how” section of your landing page is all about finishing out the narrative that you are the answer to their problem.

You have the most freedom to get a bit off-track in this area but try to bring everything back to that central problem in a way that drives visitors toward the targeted action.

Step 7: Include the Social Proof

Your landing page is a narrative.

It presents a story that says YOU are the answer to your audience’s most pressing problems.

One of the easiest ways to evidence this story is social proof.

Anyone can make claims, but if you can show people that you’ve already solved these problems for others, they are far more likely to buy into the narrative.

Step 8: Write the Final CTA

By now, you’ve written the copy for your entire landing page.

It’s time to tell them to take that desired action.

They are interested.

They read your entire pitch.

Tell visitors precisely what you want them to do.


There you have it, numerous low-effort/ high-impact components to a landing page that could have lasting dividends to your business. 

It’s time to explore how you can start using these essential lessons to build your effective landing pages.

Start by implementing each of these components, and you’ll be well on your way to engaging your visitors and converting them into customers. 

Remember, consumer psychology can sometimes be surprising, the only way we can be confident that we’ve achieved our best page is by continuing to test. It’s always better to experiment with different versions of your pages to see which works best for your market — optimisation should become a routine at your company.


Meet the evolution of personalised email, sales nurturing campaigns, visitor analytics, lead scoring, content management and social media engagement and so much more – its called Marketing Automation.

Defining Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and agencies to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.

We’re now working with one central marketing automation platform that has taken over from our old email marketing system. It most useful tools for us include:

  • Personalised nurturing workflows – it’s easy to build these workflows, send out nurturing emails, check prospect engagement with those emails, track website page visits, and so on
  • Score leads based on engagements whether physical or digital and set new actions based on score milestones
  • Assess what known contacts are doing on your website
  • bIntegration with Google Analytics and Adwords
  • Create deals or opportunities and track those new individual prospects along the sale funnel

A Combination of Platforms

While our core Marketing Automation platform does a great deal, it doesn’t have to do it all. Indeed, we’d rather have it that we can pick and integrate with the best-of-class or the system that fits ours and our client’s requirements. So we also work with single-purpose marketing automation platforms including the likes of:

  • Hootsuite for social media management
  • Asana for website project management
  • Wunderlist for our day-to-day to dos and reminders
  • Wordstream for managing and optimising client Adwords campaigns
  • Pipedrive combining a trusted CRM with the power of SharpSpring

Meet Grand Engage & SharpSpring

It’s no secret that we use SharpSpring as our central Marketing Automation platform but our label for it is Grand Engage. It’s the platform we use ourselves to progress new client opportunities and nurture prospects and it’s the platform that we use with clients to manage their email campaigns, capture leads, develop prospects through their sales funnel, track one-off emails with a known client, inform sales agents of hot leads and report on conversion from AdWords.

What we like best about SharpSpring

1. Tracking the life of a lead

SharpSpring starts tracking your website visitors even before you know their names. Its then up to you to integrate lead capture tactics and forms into your website and then build out powerful automation rules and display dynamic content or send targeted emails based on a specific prospects website habits or known interests.

2. All-in-one Marketing Automation

SharpSpring offers an all-in-one package: great lead generation tools, integrated CRM, lead scoring, email marketing, online behavioural tracking, campaign optimisation, measuring ROI.

Their powerful, easy-to-use visual workflow builder simplifies marketing automation.

  • Use logic branches to engage leads at critical points in their unique buying journeys.
  • Customisable buyer personas makes delivering targeted landing pages or emails easy.
  • Receive a list of each day’s hottest leads right to your inbox, and act at just the right time to convert them to sales.

3. Integrates with Best-Apps-in-Field

SharpSpring isn’t precious about doing everything. While it admirably performs CRM or Content Management (e.g. Landing Page or form building) tasks, it also plays nicely with the systems you are most comfortable with and easily integrates with say Salesforce, Zoho CRM, Shopify, Magento, WordPress or Gravity Forms (See all SharpSpring’s standard integrations).

4. Analytics at your finger tips

We love the reporting within SharpSpring – we get to see what’s working and what’s not and apply changes accordingly.

  • Follow email stats like open rates and clicks. Know what items are your emails are engaging best.
  • Automatically track your website visitors’ conversions; from the moment they first visit, all the way through the final sale.
  • Track your Adwords search campaigns and follow cost per acquisition to determine the true cost of a qualified lead.
  • SharpSpring Reports provide all the information you need to measure your current success and accurately forecast future performance.
  • Tag as many interactions as you wish to score leads or segment lists every-which-way.


  • Marketing automation allows us to nurture leads more effectively with a pre-set series of actions, messages and touch points.
  • Marketing automation is the glue that joins all our clever initiatives together: SEO, landing pages, email marketing, lead nurturing and scoring, website personalisation, segmenting audiences…
  • Great marketing teams use marketing automation to make their campaigns more effective and to empower their sales team with better leads, culminating with greater ROI.

If you’re not presenting the most attractive and compelling ecommerce website design to your target audience then you’re definitely leaving money on the table.

The creative appeal of an ecommerce website plays a big part in engaging customers, ensuring trust and increasing the appeal and perceived value of your products.

The relationship of design with the function focus of most ecommerce sites will ensure one a site stands out from the many homogenous sites around it.

Given my line of work, I’m constantly bookmarking and cataloguing websites that catch my eye for numerous reasons. Here’s some of the reasons the following websites made my ever-growing ecommerce wunderlist:

Online Store Familiarity

I expect a catalogue of products laid out in a familiar grid. I expect identifiable Add to Cart buttons and common experience through the shopping process. Anything less could confuse, reduce trust or increase the time it takes to get through the checkout. If you are brave you could break this rule but I for one expect a certain design familiarity to an ecommerce store.

Easily understood navigation

Good navigation helps new shoppers find what they’re looking for without hassle. If you have broad market, not all accustomed with a fly-out sidebar menu, the stick to the path well-trodden.

Design Shouldn’t Overpower the Products

The focus of an ecommerce site should be on the products that are available for purchase. There are always exceptions to the rule but ensure the product remains the hero.

Ease of Checkout

Good design can make the checkout process fluid, guiding the shopper through often complicated hoops. If the checkout process involves too many steps or is confusing, shoppers will wind up abandoning their cart with items left unpurchased.

Compatibility with All Devices

Not-so-small screens with improving resolutions is fuelling the unrelenting rise of mobile phone use for ecommerce purchasers. It’s vital that our store designs consider the requirements of mobile-only shoppers and the design elements they’d find helpful – special navigation flyouts, horizontal scrolling of products, sticky View Cart buttons.

Use of Clear, Beautiful Images

Product images should be the heroes on any ecommerce store. Quality luscious photos should focus on aspiration use of products, product details and benefits. Just think when you’ve visited a store with small low-quality flat images – it certainly can easily turn you away.


DSTLD design and produce luxury denim clothes and accessories. They’re on my design radar because the industrial design layout matches this brand’s essence. Photography is aspiration and on brand but direct and detailed when it needs to be. Despite the minimalist style ecommerce items are where anyone would expect them to be.   


Huckberry say that their emails will be the most awaited in your inbox and they’re not wrong – they’re interesting, full of rich photography and content – particularly if you like the outdoors. And their ecommerce website design continues to deliver on that promise with wicked product photography. Note how you need to login in to view – with this site I haven’t hesitated.


Sometimes we get carried away with our positioning tactics! The brief says the home page must include a lavish cover image, copy that conveys our proposition, links to blog articles and videos, trustmarks and testimonials, social media feeds to facebook and Instagram. Holssen said stuff it; let’s just show our amazing products.


While not strictly an eCommerce website, FiftyThree made it to my shortlist because it’s definitely selling something. That something is creativity, style and technology all wrapped in to their product called Pencil. This landing page is as creative as the product and is loaded with well-designed benefits, imagery and animations.


I’m a sucker for great positioning and the ‘world’s most comfortable shoe’ sounds like a proposition that should resonate with a big market. This site uses typography, images and quirky illustrations to tell why you need a pair. Allbirds tell their story well and provide plenty of calls-to-action to get your buy in.

Like all great Small Business Website Design Companies we’re building propositions like this into the mantel of the websites we create. If your customers don’t understand what you do and why you’re different then they’ll go elsewhere.


Always been a fan of Beardbrand’s website design. It’s one site where bearded models aren’t just there for the hipster factor. Their eCommerce site feels like a knowledgeable and helpful friend and they happen to sell stuff.


Most of the eCommerce sites I’ve listed so far are conventional in their layout. To prove that I’m not confined to normal, meet Flambette. Note the vertical menus placed to the sides, animated copy and images on scroll. Animated product images intrigue the user and the designers have even considered page load animated icons.


Many clothing sites could make it to a list of creative eCommerce design and there is a similarity with many of the great ones. Paolita finds inspiration for their fashion designs from many cultures; European, North African, Mexico. Its demonstrated from white collections through to heavy patterned and coloured collections. I love the fresh nature of their design layout and the subtle animations on display of copy and product images.

Ethel’s Baking

If you’ve got this far with my list, you’ll appreciate I lean towards minimalist design and familiar shopping aesthetics. Ethel’s Baking is here to break that mould. While built in BigCommerce it manages to redefine this ecommerce SaaS system with it’s own highly tailored design.  


This site might have made it here because of my interests in anything Mac and handmade. But boy, what a great example of those two interests in one product. Grovemade presents their fantastic range of products with soft grey backgrounds and minimalist navigation. Nothing gets in the way of exploring their products and putting them in your cart.


In putting together this short collection of ecommerce website I’ve learnt that my design preferences are as much about current creativity as they are about practicality and familiarity from a visitor’s viewpoint. 

Sure, I came across far more intense designs but for me I found those sites over styled, not clear about what they were selling or simply too awkward to navigate. 

To me, good ecommerce design isn’t about austere model shots but about integrating on-brand imagery with a seemingly simple ecommerce shopping experience for your particular target market.     

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