Blog - Spartan Website Design

Specialising in proven eCommerce websites for online retailers.

SINCE 2007

How To Improve Your Abandon Cart Stats

We all know the frustration of looking at the web stats and seeing the, sometimes large, proportion of customers who got as far as the cart and then whoosh, disappeared. Where did they go? Was dinner calling, lunch break up, a giant hot air balloon landing in their back garden momentarily distracting them from their purchase? It’s hard to know in most cases what prevents someone from completing their purchase, but there are some useful tools which can help bring those people back from their state of abandon to become a fully fledged, signed-up customer.

One thing to ensure is that your website has the checkout experience as smooth and easy as possible, otherwise it’s possible your ‘almost customer’ lost interest in pursuing their purchase. Your website needs to be easy to select the product, simple to see and click on the basket and ensuring the checkout experience is as easy as possible.

So if, despite your best efforts, you’re still seeing people drop out before they finish their purchase, it’s time to intervene. As well as Google Remarketing, which we covered in our last blog post, there are some great plugins you can add to your retail site to help bring customers back to finish their purchase. One allows you to auto email people who got as far as entering their email address to remind them their basket is waiting. This is very effective and does work to draw people back who were merely distracted during the checkout process rather than having a complete change of heart.

We hope you found this blog post useful. For help with setting up an effective online route to purchase and all aspects of the creation of an online retail website, get in touch.

Google Remarketing

In our last blog post we looked at Google Shopping, a powerful way of attracting a potential buyer. But what happens if a buyer is attracted to your site but doesn’t buy there and then? How do you remind a potential customer of your product once they have left? The answer is remarketing.

The chances are, if someone is browsing the internet for a product, that they will visit several websites before making a decision. Remarketing is a way of reminding a customer about your product or service once they have left your site, and hopefully whilst they are still considering their purchase in the coming days or weeks.

You’ve probably seen remarketing ads before. They’re the image based ads which follow you around the internet as you browse, advertising a product or website you have viewed in the previous days or weeks. The websites they appear on have signed up to host Google Display Ads.

To set up remarketing you need to have a bit of technical know-how. Firstly you define the audience you want to target within Google Analytics and then you import it into your Google Adwords account. If your website numbers are quite small or you want to keep things quite general you can keep your remarketing audience as anyone who has visited your site. If you have bigger website hits you can create an audience as specific as anyone who has abandoned the shopping cart (you need at least 100 visitors to create an audience). The great thing about remarketing ads is that you are only charged when someone clicks on your ad, hence a potential customer may have your advert popping up several times reminding them of your product, without it even costing you anything.

Although the click through rate on remarketing ads is generally quite low, they are performing the very useful role of reminding people of your product as they consider their purchase. People may well end up revisiting your site through an organic search of your business name too. Remarketing ads are a great way of bringing potentially lost leads back to your websites.

Tips: Make sure the remarketing ad you create reflects the audience you have targeted. 

We are currently offering Free Google Adwords Audits through our digital marketing partner. This will include advice on whether remarketing is right for your business – get in touch for more info.

Google Shopping – a Retailer’s Guide

In our last blog post we looked at Google Search engine ads, one of the most popular methods of getting traffic to your website. In this blog post we’ll be introducing a very important channel for retailers: Google Shopping.

What is Google Shopping? Google Shopping campaigns put your product images, price and business name right in front of people searching on Google making it great for retailers. The ads appear alongside Google search results when people search for the products you’re selling, making them a powerful way of attracting a potential buyer.

If you sell products it’s worth setting up some or all of your products on Google Shopping. You only pay when people click through to visit your website or view your local inventory, making it very cost effective. Google Shopping ads work on all devices and will take people directly to where the specific product page is, making it easy for them to buy.

You’ll need to work with your website developers to set up a feed of your products that goes into Google Merchant Center. This then syncs with your Google Adwords account to make a Pay-Per-Click campaign within Google Shopping. You can then manage your Search Engine Ads and your Google Shopping Ad campaigns from the same place.

Tips: Make sure you have described your product with all relevant product keywords in the title and description, as Google matches search queries to the keywords in the title and description.

We are currently offering Free Google Adwords Audits through our digital marketing partner. This will include advice on your existing Google Shopping campaigns or advice on whether Google Shopping is right for your business – get in touch for more info.

Google Ads – How Search Engine Ads Work

Having a website with no visitors is like having a shop with no footfall. There are several ways to get traffic to your website and in this blog post we’ll be introducing one of the main channels: Google Ads. There are lots of different ways of setting up ads in your Google Adwords account but the most popular method is Search Engine Ads.

So what are Search engine ads? These ads are the ones which respond to a user’s search on Google, appearing in the top 4 slots below the users search and the bottom four slots on page 1. Even if your website is brilliantly designed and has top notch search engine optimisation (SEO), the best position you can get to without paid Google advertising is the top position below the 4 ad slots.

If you’re serious about getting potential customers to your website you need to be aiming for one of the top 4 ad positions AND position 1 of the natural search results! The great thing about search engine ads is that, if set up correctly, your ad should only be appearing to people who are actively seeking your product or service. What’s more, you only pay if people click on your ad (even if they click on it more than once, you pay for 1 click).

Tips: When setting up your search engine ad campaign it’s best to run it to the search network only (by default it’s set by the search and display). It’s also worth being aware of how keyword matching and negative keywords work and to write compelling ad text which makes potential customers want to click and saves on wasted clicks!

We hope you found this useful. Watch this space for next month’s blog post on another great advertising feature in your Google Adwords account: Google shopping – great for retailers.  For advice or help setting up your Google Adwords account, get in touch.

We are currently offering Free Google Adwords Audits through our digital marketing partner – get in touch for more info.

How to Drive Traffic to Your Website

You’ve set up your website, it’s modern, responsive, well designed and slick, with killer branding and excellent copy. You’ve thought about your customer base with images and wording which reflect the lifestyle your brand represents and resonates well with your target audience. So what next?

Challenge number two is driving traffic to your website, and we don’t mean any old traffic, we mean visitors who will really get your products and are most likely to take action. Your website has huge advantages over a physical store since it can make it’s presence known without paying the business rates for a high footfall location. Whilst only the big brands can afford to open their doors on Oxford Street, it’s more of a level playing field online. If you have a great product, a savvy marketing plan and use your budget wisely, your online business will be going guns in no time!

There are three main channels which we’d advise using to drive traffic to your website. The first is Google Advertising via a Google Adwords account, the second is social media marketing (paid advertising as well as regular posting) and the third is email marketing.  These three channels attract potential customers in different ways and allow you to capture people’s interest at different points in their customer journey.

Google Adwords has the advantage of showing your ads to people who are active seekers. If you have set up your Adwords account correctly your advert will only appear to people who are looking for the product or service you are offering.  Social media marketing and email marketing are both ways of generating interest about your product or service amongst customers or potential customers who aren’t actively seeking what you offer.

Over the next few blog posts we’ll be going into more detail on the different ways you can drive traffic to your website and the different website features which can help generate traffic. Watch this space!

6 Things to Consider when Planning Your New Website

Great Branding and a Great Look

First off, your website needs to represent your business effectively with well thought out branding, good quality images and excellent copy. Make sure your website is attractive to your customer base with images and wording which reflect the lifestyle your brand represents and resonates well with your target audience.

If your site looks outdated, with poor quality images and rambling text this clearly doesn’t give your brand the edge over your competitors. You need an overall look which really tunes into your customer base with an attractive, clean look.

Intuitive Design

Your website doesn’t just need to look good, it needs to be user friendly. It needs to seamlessly take the visitor where they want to go, with easy navigation and clear calls to action: it needs to be logical as well as being pleasurable to use. If your visitor experiences confusion or frustration whilst navigating around your site they will probably go elsewhere.


To give your visitors the best experience of your website it needs to be responsive to whichever device they are using, whether it be laptop, mobile or iPad. A responsive website automatically reshapes and resizes itself depending on the device your site is being viewed on, as well as adjusting the navigable elements to suit the device (such as simplifying menu bars and product displays for a mobile). Read our blog post on responsive websites to find out more.

With Google’s switch to a mobile first index it’s even more essential you choose a web designer who understands the importance of designing for all devices.

High Performance

Choose a web designer who can make sure your website is secure, safely hosted, loads quickly and navigates correctly. Here at Spartan we work exclusively with open source platforms like WordPress, WooCommerce and OpenCart. These systems allow us to build a bespoke, flexible and secure website that is tailored to your needs.

Integration with Other platforms

Your website doesn’t work in isolation, it needs to blend seamlessly with other platforms such as eBay, Amazon, Sage, PayPal and Mailchimp as well as all of your social media accounts. Not only do you need a web design company with the expertise to integrate external platforms, you also need your website to be built flexibly so additional features such as e-commerce functionality or even EPOS integration can be added in later if needs be.

SEO-Friendly Code

To make sure potential customers have the best chance of finding and visiting your page, it’s essential to have clean, SEO-friendly code. SEO-friendly code acts as a guide for search engines by providing a clear picture of your site’s content. Make sure you choose a web designer who understands SEO and can optimise your site for search engine rankings.

If you want a website which gives you the best return on investment choose a web design company with the experience, expertise and in depth knowledge to give your business the edge. Here at Spartan we create visually stunning, intuitive and mobile responsive websites which incorporate your in depth knowledge of your business with our design and development expertise.

Get in touch on 01392 366933 to chat with one of our team or get inspired by browsing our portfolio here.

Christmas & New Year Support

Merry Christmas from all of the team at Spartan.

Please note that our offices will be closed from 12:30pm on Friday 23rd December 2016 until 9am Tuesday 3rd January 2016.

During this time our support services will be limited to email only. If you have an urgent support request please email it to Emails will be collected daily and answerphone messages will be checked sporadically.

We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and look forward to seeing you in 2017.

New Year New Website

Is your website getting lots of hits but no sales? Or are the numbers of hits starting to decline?  Are people arriving at your website and then bouncing off quickly or browsing for a long time but not following through with a sale or call to action? If warning bells have been ringing for a while that your website is not performing as well as it should it’s time to stop burying your head in the sand and take action! A good website can be all it takes to make business boom in 2017.

In a digital age every business needs a website that can perform the vital functions it needs to prosper. You need your website to represent your business well and perform as well as it would offline. The design of your website needs to be clear, attractive to your customer base, responsive to what device they are using (desktop, laptops, tablets and mobiles) and intuitive to their needs and desires. If your website confuses, frustrates or doesn’t offer clear, simple calls to action your customers will simply go elsewhere.

An attractive looking website is very important. If your site looks outdated and clunky your customers may arrive and quickly carry on browsing elsewhere. However, fantastic website design doesn’t just mean outstanding graphic design (which we are very much in favour of!), it also means a layout which is simple, speedy, user friendly and professionally presented.

If you want a better return from your website it’s time to call in the experts. Here at Spartan we create visually stunning, intuitive and mobile responsive websites and specialise in eCommerce. If you’re an eCommerce business a well designed website that makes it easier to sell can transform your local shop into a UK wide and even international business.

Get in touch on 01392 366933 to chat with one of our team or get inspired by browsing our portfolio here.

Black Friday – An Online Retailer’s Guide

Black Friday – An Online Retailer’s Guide

Have you heard of Black Friday? Are you building it into your marketing strategy? If you’re an online retailer it’s time to take note, since Black Friday is now the biggest shopping day of the year in the UK. We inherited it from the US back in 2013 (it falls the day after Thanksgiving) and it’s gaining more and more momentum in the UK, especially with online shoppers. Last year shoppers spent a record £1.1bn with UK online retailers on Black Friday and this year it’s set to be even bigger.

Plan ahead

If you market your products well and offer a great price and shopping experience you could sell a lot more than you’d bargained on, so make sure you have enough stock to fulfil orders.

You also need to make sure you build up interest across your marketing channels in advance. Create strong and compelling messages with good quality images across your digital marketing channels (e-newsletter, Google Ads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram etc) and schedule content to go out on the day itself.

Offer a great shopping experience

Customers abandoning their cart is a huge frustration to online retailers, but an effective website with a simple, intuitive shopping cart experience can reduce cart abandonment enormously. Don’t miss out on Black Friday traffic by having a poorly designed shopping and checkout experience.

Make sure your website is mobile responsive

Many Black Friday sales will be done via mobile this year, so make sure your website is mobile responsive. If your online shop is not easy for users to navigate whilst using a mobile or tablet, they may well lose interest and go elsewhere. Last year,  £495m of the 1.1bn spent during Black Friday being was spent by users on smartphones and tablets.

Track results

Don’t forget to see what worked and what didn’t. Use tracking codes and look in Google Analytics to see where your buyers came from and what devices they were using. A well designed website will allow you to quickly and clearly look at your online shop’s statistics, reports and view recent trends for specific products and your website as a whole. This data will be useful for your next promotion and will help you make decisions on where to promote your products and how successful your website was at giving buyers a good user experience.

We hope this guide helps you get the most out of Black Friday. Whilst some smaller, independent online retailers may decide not to join in the Black Friday fervour these tips should help your website and future marketing campaigns perform better. If you need help with your web design contact us here at Spartan, the eCommerce experts.

New Broadcast Wireless Systems Website

Recently we were approached by Broadcast Wireless Systems to discuss a new website redesign.

Broadcast Wireless Systems is a UK company founded to provide specialist provision and support of wireless systems to the world-wide Broadcast industry.

Our dedicated satellite team operates under the Broadcast IP Systems brand.  Through Broadcast IP Systems we offer satellite hardware and air time in partnership with the many of the world’s largest satellite platform providers.

The new website is fully responsive across all devices with a clear navigation and contact details.

They wanted to create some standalone icons to promote their core services with a clean blog to update latest news and events.

Visit the website here.

What the Customer Said

‘We required a complete redesign of our website and also to merge in the website of a second company that had recently been acquired.  Spartan and the team captured our requirements effectively and added in a design flair of their own.  The whole development process was undertaken quickly and efficiently and we have been very pleased with the result.  The support throughout has been second to none.’

If you are interested in a new website design contact us for more information.

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