Search Engine Optimization

BBC (2013) describe the internet as one large library, containing pretty much anything from data and information to software, they explain that search engines act as an index to allow the user to navigate the vast information and find what they are looking for. Search engines are vastly popular because users rarely know the exact URL of the page they are looking for, these websites allow them to search millions of websites by using keywords, and the search engine will even rank them in order of relevance and popularity. Another benefit is the speed that information can become readily available, any question can be answered in literally a matter of seconds. Other helpful features include the use of speech marks when searching for a particular phrase, because without the speech marks the results will contain pages with each word appearing anywhere on the page.

Search engine optimization is the process that these websites go through to ensure that their websites are set up to have the best change of receiving traffic generated through search engines (Search Engine Land 2015) . This is important because for many online businesses the traffic generated by these websites is huge and can therefore be the difference between the success and failure of the business. One of the most common and effective ways of doing this is through the use of keywords, because this is how the search engine decide on the relevance of the page against your search. So for example if you were an online site selling cakes and other baked goods, it would beneficial to use words such as bakery, cookies, cakes and sale in you website URL, image names, descriptions and all around your site to give you a fighting chance of being near the top of certain searches. This area of online business is becoming much more important as now larger organisations are hiring professionals that specialise in search engine optimization and getting businesses to the top of these searches.

When businesses are deciding on the sort of keywords to use for SEO they should look at their competitors, and check the sorts of keywords they are using and use them as a guide. They could also do different types of research on slang words and include some of them, another tool available is google trends, to find out which searches are popular and use any that are relevant to your organisation. Although it is critical that businesses take advantage of SEO, they need to be aware that they can overuse and misuse keywords and the search engines will pick up on this and act accordingly, for instance if general popular phrases are used when they bear no relevance to your business.


With my WordPress website there are Plug-ins available like the one pictured below, which work with the user to use keywords in the right way. It does this by making you choose a focus keywords and ensuring that the chosen keywords appears on your website multiple times, to give you the best chance of success.

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Now that I have the plugin downloaded and activated when I begin to create a new post a box below appear titled “WordPress SEO by Yoast”, that contains details of how effective the post will be with regards to SEO. I can type in my focus keyword and an area will come up with live updates informing me how many times it appears in my post. It also give a meta description area which should also contain keywords because the search engines will also pick up on this as it is the area that shows under the title on the search engine results, so it important that it catches the audiences interest.

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BBC. (2013) What is a search engine? [Online] Available from: [Accessed 5 May 2015].

Search Engine Land. (2015) What is SEO/Search Engine Optimization? [Online] Available from: [Accessed 5 May 2015].

HTML Email Campaign

Nowadays email is used religiously, this is because information can be sent instantly at the click of a button, containing text, images and attached files. The Radicati Group (2013) reported that in 2013 there were over 3,899 million active email accounts, this is an opportunity that businesses should not be missing out on. Businesses can use email campaigns for promotion purposes, for example contacting potential customers informing them of new products or a discount sale. The purpose of a promotional email campaign is to entice the consumer into spending money on your product or service. As well as bringing in new customers, these campaign are great for customer retention as they remind your consumers that you are still trading, and interested in their business (Windsor Circle 2015).

Marketing in this way is known to give a great return on investment, 66% of companies rated their returns either excellent or good in 2013 (Email Monday 2014). This is due to how cheap this form of marketing is in comparison to many of the other alternatives such as, TV adverts and billboards which can be extremely expensive and are indirect, so reach is not guaranteed. The amount of people using email is also showing growth, which is great for businesses because it means a further increased number of potential customers. The design of the emails you send is also highly important because they need to appear trustworthy and professional otherwise, the public will need to differentiate between your email and the thousands of spam email sent each day. This means that the design of banner images and creating the text that will sit in the email can take time and can also become another expense if this work needs to be outsourced.

As well as the design, the time that these emails are sent are crucial to their success. Marovt (2014) explains that you need to understand your audience, then decide when they are likely to be monitoring their emails. Also if you want them to spend money on your product or service, it may be good practice to send promotional email towards the end of the month when most people are paid. It is also important to consider how often you are going to send emails as if they are sent too often, the recipients will unsubscribe and you will lose reach.

My Email Campaign
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I have created two different email campaigns for Keem’s iPhone Accessories, the above campaign is just an informative introduction about the organisation. It contains a banner with our logo and a small paragraph to explain who we are and the type of products that we are offering. The email also contains a link to our website so that the recipient can browse our products if they wish. Below that you will also notice that there is a link which reads “unsubscribe from this list”, this is because it is now a legal requirement to have this option on all promotional emails received.

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The next campaign had a completely different purpose, it was to promote a 50% weekend sale which would hopefully generate sale. It has a prominent banner at the top that reads “50% OFF SALE” this is to draw in the audience and make sure that they take notice when the preview pops up. The title states that the sale is for “This Weekend Only” add urgency to the situation, it means that if the customer wants the best deal they need to decide and act quickly. I also included some details on two of the best selling products to also tempt them to purchase fast.


Email Monday. (2013) Expert tips to increase Email marketing ROI. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 1 May 2015].

Marovt, J. (2014) Best times to send out your e-commerce email campaigns. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 1 May 2015].

The Radicati Group. (2013) Email Statistics Report, 2013-2017. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 1 May 2015].

Windsor Circle. (2015) Segmented Promotional Email Campaigns. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 1 May 2015].


Youtube is a video sharing website that was launched in May 2005, since its creation  users can create, watch and share millions of videos each day (Youtube 2015). It is a great service as videos can reach huge numbers of views very quickly, this is because users can quickly share videos on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Reddit and Twitter. The image below shows the share button found on the youtube page of my video, this means it is extremely easy for these videos to travel across the internet.

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MashableUK (2015b: online) define a viral video as “a video that becomes popular through the process of Internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites, social media and email”. If a business can create a viral video it would be excellent, as it is a free form of advertisement and it can reach a huge audience very quickly and gets a lot of people talking about it. Videos made by businesses can have many different purposes, for example they can be for general promotion of a product or the organisation, or they can be informative videos.

My Promotional Video

I created the video above mainly for promotional purposes, I wanted my audience to understand what Keem’s iPhone Accessories do and the type or products that we offer. I could have explained what my products were on my social media page, but I feel that a video is so much more interesting, meaning I have more chance of grabbing people’s attention. I tried to ensure my video looked professional throughout. As you can see in the screenshot below, I did this with clear visuals and sleek background and a common house style.

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I spent a lot of time deciding on the sounds throughout my video, as I believe the music track enhances the video by giving it an element of fun, because with the video being around one minute long I was conscious that it could get boring easily. But the sound involved in this video, does not only refer to the music featured. For example throughout the first twenty seconds the visuals are building up as you can see with the screen shots below, I wanted to match the audio to this and did so with some very subtle ambient sound effects to add suspense. Then once the suspense was over I contrasted that with brighter colours on-screen and much happier music while some of the products that we sell were showing.

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I included the links below to the store and social media platforms in the video, so that once the viewers had taken an interest in the video, they need to know where there can purchase my products. Also having a large social media audience is invaluable to businesses today, because it can be one of the most effective forms of marketing due to the fact there can be almost no cost (Mashable 2015a).

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MashableUK. (2015a) Social Media Marketing. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 5 May 2015].

MashableUK. (2015b) Viral Video. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 22 April 2015].

Youtube. (2015) About Youtube. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 21 April 2015].

Social Media: Facebook & Twitter

In recent times social media has become a critical aspect in the success of a business, especially when their business is centred around sales of a product or service. This is apparent with many large organisations now dedicating full teams dedicated to creating an effective social media presence. Evans (2012) believes that the vast growth of social media is due to the intrusive tendencies of traditional marketing strategies. He also explains that social media does not have this quality, it in fact allows the individual to make a decision on whether they are going to engage with the organisation. However Social media can just be as intrusive as leaflets through your letter box for example, organisations can pay a fee to have their posts appear on your feed without you even subscribing to their posts.

Social Media is characterised by content ratings, reviews and comments (Evans 2012). This is great when it comes to businesses because it allows the organisation to have instant feedback on their products and services. The organisation can then use this feedback to further improve what they are offering to the consumer. Richardson (2013) evidences this by discussing the effectiveness of feedback and how it increases the chance of success. Although I have also found that feedback through social media is not always helpful and constructive. Furubayashi (2014) reinforces this point by explaining that a lot of the time people can be extremely ruthless on social media, and a great quantity of messages received are spam.

Facebook –
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Facebook is a useful tool as it allows the user to create a business page on their personal account, so this is what I did for my business. It meant that I had to create a banner image, I tried to made sure it looked professional and shared a house style with my website.

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These pages are used for advertising and marketing purposes, because it is possible to post to a very large audience very quickly. The example above shows me using the page to promote new bamboo cases that are available on my website, and it has allowed me to post a direct link to my webpage, which would stand out to anyone on my page. You will also notice that there is a blue button entitled ‘Boost Post’, if the user clicks this button it allows them to pay to have the post appear on more potential buyers screens, potentially generating more revenue. Very similarly to this I have posted a screenshot above that shows the ‘Promote Page’ button which can show the page on the side of more users home screens if the owner chooses to pay the fee.

Twitter –
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Twitter is a very powerful social media tool as it allows great interaction with your audience, but one downside is that it can take a very long time to build up a strong audience. Users and businesses have to put in a lot of work to get people to want to follow them, a way in which a business could generate followers is to run competitions. With my page I once again spent time to create and add a header image to ensure that my page looks professional. Also because there are so many celebrities on the site with millions of followers, it means that celebrity endorsement is extremely effective. Even if many of the people do not purchase your product of service, many people will be speaking about it and they will recognise your brand in the future.
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Twitter post are limited to 140 characters so it is important that the things written make a strong impact or they will just become lost in a mass of tweets. Similarly to Facebook the posts can be effective used to promote products, the screenshot above shows examples of two tweets I have used. The top one is a Youtube promotional video that Twitter has automatically embedded, this is helpful the the business because it was draw in the audience because it stands out on a page. It also allows me to post links to my actual webpage so users can purchase my products with ease.


Evans, D. (2012) Social Media Marketing: an hour a day. 2nd Edition. [e-book] Canada, John Wiley & Sons. Available from: [Accessed 10 February 2015].

Furubayashi, J. (2014) A Quick Guide to Handling Negative Feedback on Social Media. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 21 April 2015].

Richardson, A. (2013) Great feedback. Training Journal. [Online] 1, 67-69. Available from: EBSCO Host [Accessed 24 February 2015].

Use of Images

Images are a great accompaniment to the text on your website, they can enhance the user experience of your website. You should always ensure that the pictures you use are not covered by copyright, and that you have permission to use the images. Copyright laws were not initially created for authors to deny their work but to encourage original work creation (Hawkins 2011). In conjunction with this it is also paramount that the images you use are relevant to the purpose of your website, because if they are not once again it could make your website seem highly unprofessional.

Right Move
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A good example of images used well and professionally on a website is with Right Move. Their business is focused on selling properties, so a vast proportion of their images are of houses. They are all good quality images, this allows the user to make an informed decision this is even more important in their industry because their users are potentially spending hundreds of thousands of pounds. Each property page has a gallery feature which allows the user to scroll through images without loading a new webpage.

BBC IPlayer
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BBC IPlayer’s users are browsing to find a program to watch and other than the very brief description the images are all that they have to go off. The images are all very high quality and show significant scenes in the program so the users can make the distinction on what they would like to watch.

Keem’s iPhone Accessories
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I have tried to replicate some of what I have learned from my research, I have made sure my images are copyright free. Also I have tried to get the best quality images to ensure my website looks as professional as possible. Furthermore to make it easier for my users I have added a gallery to the products on my website with more than one image, this allows the images to scroll through automatically on a timer.
Hawkins, S. (2011) Copyright Fair Use and How it Works for Online Images. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 01 December 2014]

Website Content

Content is a very important factor in the success and appeal of a website, when someone enters your website it is usually because they require information, data, a product or service. Due to this the content of your website needs to be relevant to the the users of your site. If you can fulfil their needs they will be happy to return to your website.

My website “Akeem’s iPhone Accessories” will be selling products to accompany Apple devices, so this means that my content should be relevant to the audience of Apple product users. For example if I was selling Samsung phone cases or clothing it would be completely unsuitable for my audience.

Another aspect of maintaining relevant information would be to ensure it is kept up to date. For instance if I was to do a christmas promotion sale, I would endeavour to ensure it was taken down in January. This is because it looks unprofessional if the information is out of date, also it can make the website seem untrustworthy because of this.

A website that is very content rich will have a substantial amount of text with not many images, this is a benefit because it will be search engine friendly (NRJ Design 2013). This means it will be must more readily available for the people that need the information. When composing the content in your website, it is important that you do not use jargon that your audience may not understand.

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(Currys 2014)
With the Currys website you will notice the large image showing the Christmas promotion, this is highly relevant because the date I took the print screen was 25th November. So many people will be heading to the Currys website to do their christmas shopping, so the image and link will be highly useful to them.

Dark Circle

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(Dark Circle Clothing 2014)
Dark Circle sell clothing so it is even more important that the content of their website is updates as fashion changes and seasons come and go. The menu header that I have highlighted “AW14” stands for Autumn Winter 2014, which is their new collection of hooded sweatshirts, coats and wooly hats. This is important because if they hadn’t made this change they would still be selling t-shirts and shorts which would not be very successful as the weather becomes increasingly cold in the UK.

My Website (Keem’s iPhone Accessories)
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With my website you will notice that I have highlighted a section on he homepage where my latest blog post is situated. I use this section of my website to inform my user of things that may interest them, for example the blog post showing is that we are currently working on having some new cases made specifically for Keem’s iPhone Accessories.

Currys (2014) Homepage [Online] Available from: [Accessed 25 November 2014]

Dark Circle Clothing (2014) Homepage [Online] Available from: [Accessed 25 November 2014]

NRJ Design (2013) How important is content to a successful website. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 25 November 2014]

Use of Colours on Websites

The use of colours on a website is one of the most important aspects of website design, because it is one of the first things that you notice when you open a webpage.

Some common mistakes that are made around colours when designing websites are:

  • They pick inconsistent colours
  • They use too many colours
  • They apply colours to the wrong places

(UX Movement, 2011)

If these mistakes are made it can mislead the user and they can distrust the website if the colouring makes it look un-professional. Also from an availability point of view, text needs to be easily visible, so it can be read by the user quickly.

Consistent colours
So to prevent making the common mistakes it is important to decide on a theme of colours, it would be good to incorporate these colours onto your your logo if possible. It also means that your website will look as professional as possible (UX Movement, 2011). Also you should consider the nature of your website when choosing colours because certain colours have different meanings. For example Red is associated with heat and possibly aggression so this needs to be taken into account (Colour Affects, 2014).

How many colours?
I believe that a website should contain very few main colours, this is because a website that has less colours is much more memorable than a website that has a lot (UX Movement, 2011). Although this does not mean that you can only use one or two colours, i believe you can use up to 5 and remain professional.

Where to apply colours
Once you have your colour scheme chosen, this does not mean that you should add these colours everywhere possible. There are some areas where these colours will work best for example logos, menu buttons and links (UX Movement, 2011). You should be very careful when using your brand colour for text, because it should always be a high contrast against the background, so they remain easy to read.

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Barclays colours

It is clearly apparent that Barclays has decided upon a clear theme, with three consistent colours which have been incorporated into their logo as well as their menu buttons. The amount of main colours that Barclays have chosen is good because it gives them a clear brand image, anyone who enters this website will definitely associate blue with the brand from now on-wards.

Some psychological associations with the colour blue that Barclays may have considered are:
– Intelligence
– Communication
– Trust
– Efficiency
– Serenity
(Colour Affects, 2014)
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Cruise colours

With it is not really clear whether they have chosen a colour scheme at all with a total of 8 colours including white. The disadvantages to designing a website like this is that it looks busy and this can mean that it can seem unprofessional. This only becomes a problem when they lose customers because people can find it hard to trust a website like this. As you can see there is a large red advert showing vacancies on cruises.

Some psychological reasons may have considered when choosing red for that advert:
– Energy
– Stimulation
– Alarm
– Strong visual impact
(Colour Affects, 2014)

My Webpage (Akeem’s iPhone Accessories)
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Iphone Accessories Colours

While designing my website i made sure that i stuck to a theme, I also tried to repeat colours where suitable. For example the dark green in the colour chart above, was repeated in my logo and on my menu buttons. The colours i’ve used are mainly monochromatic with a dark green to add some interest to the website. I have only used 4 colours to ensure my pages look professional and can be trusted by the users.

Below are my psychological reasons for choosing green:
– Refreshment
– Environmental Awareness
– Harmony
– Balance
– Go
– Growth
(Colour Affects 2014, Pallas Art 2014)

Barclays (2014) Homepage. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 4 November 2014]

Colour Affects (2014) Psychological Properties Of Colours. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 4 November 2014]

Cruise UK (2014) Homepage. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 4 November 2014]

Pallas Art (2014) Making Effective Use of Colours in Websites. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 4 November 2014]

UX Movement (2011) How to Use Color to Successfully Brand Your Website. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 4 November 2014]

Wireframing a Webpage

This week in the seminar I concentrated on getting one of my pages wire-framed, my reason for doing this was so I could plan how my website was going to look, and what sort of information I was going to include within it.

Firstly a wire-frame is a blueprint for your website and gives the designer direction, without it they would merely be guessing. It therefore helps the customer and the designer understand the relationship between the products content, pages, elements and functionality (Powell 2014)

There are three different types of wire framing, Low-Fidelity, Mid-Fidelity and High-Fidelity. this refers to the complexity of the wire-frame.Lo-fidelity wire-frames are usually just a rough layout document in black and white to show where items may be located on the page. High-fidelity wire-frames are in full colour most of the time and will contain some functioning areas, real images and meaningful text. Mid-fidelity will be found somewhere in-between the two.


Company Logo
This is where my logo will be, some possible functionality of this will be a hyperlink to the homepage, which could be useful to the customer. I have now decided on what my logo design will be and it is posted below.

Akeem Accesories Logo

Menu Bar

This shows the headings that the users will use to navigate through my website. Under the heading for “Products” there will be a sub-menu for the products that i will be selling. These products will hopefully appear in a drop-down sort of menu. This is not completed I may decide to add some more heading in the coming weeks.

Large Promotional Image
This are may hold new products that have been added to the site or possibly seasonal products. The box would hold a large picture of the product and then within that would be a description of it. Another use for this area could be to show promotional offer that I might have on at the time, it would be great for that because it is large and on the home-page so anyone who enters the website will not be able to miss it.

Brief Website Description
This area of the page will just hold some text regarding the background of my website.

Product Areas
I have decided that I am going to have some direct links to some of the most popular products on my homepage so users can see some of the things that might interest them straight away.

Powell, N. (2014). Why Designers Use Wireframes: Planning & Collaboration. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Oct. 2014].

Branding & Logo Ideas

Today our lecture was based around logos and how eCommerce website brand themselves effectively.

Using the article written by Cass, (2009) I have learnt that logos are used by business to make their brand easily and quickly recognisable by the public. So for me this means that a logo need to be unique, so it can be easily distinguished against competitors that might be selling a similar product. Also it needs to be simple, and portray certain qualities such as trust, implied superiority and professionalism.

Following this research I have found some logos that I believe to tick all the boxes, when it comes to  successfully fulfilling the above qualities:

Windows –

The Windows logo had historically contained four window panes, in some cases they are coloured and the window appears flag-like. The colours make the association between the logo and earth through fire (red), water (blue), fauna (green) and flora (yellow) (, 2014). I believe the strongest aspect with this logo is the brand recognition, because whenever someone sees the four quadrants it is immediately affiliated with Windows.

Starbucks –

The first thing you will notice about the Starbucks logo is the mermaid-like creature in the centre. After doing some research I had found out that she was called Siren, and the reason she is situated there goes back to 1971. Back to when Starbucks was first starting out, in a search to find out some history behind coffee and it’s seafaring roots in Seattle, they came across her in some old marine books (Starbucks Coffee Company, 2014). Once again this is a great use because they have chosen an image for their brand, and stuck with it over time. This means that they have generated a specific brand image that will be recognisable to the public.

Olympics –

With the Olympic logo it has a slightly different meaning to the other logo examples I have used. This is down to the fact that the five rings of the Olympic logo traditionally represent the five different areas of the world involved in the Olympics (North and South America, Africa, Australia, Asia and Europe). Also the fact that the rings are linked symbolises the fact that athletes from the five areas come together to compete in the Olympics (Soltis, 2014). This a great branding strategy because individuals with see their logo and understand that it reflects the unity between the areas for the sporting event.

Great American Pizza –
The above logo is for pizza business located in the United States, I have included this logo as a contrast to the successful included in this post. Just Creative (2008) believe that a logo should be simple, I do not think the Great American Pizza Logo meets that criteria, because it holds too much information. I think information such as the business address and contact number could be displayed in other areas than on the logo itself.

Cass, J. (2009) Vital Tips For Effective Logo Design – Smashing Magazine. [online] Smashing Magazine. Available at: [Accessed 30 Sep. 2014]., (2014) Windows Logo – Design and History of Windows Logo. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Sep. 2014].

Just Creative. (2008) How To Design A Logo. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Oct. 2014].

Soltis, G. (2014) What Do the Olympic Rings Symbolize? [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Sep. 2014]

Starbucks Coffee Company. (2014) So, Who is the Siren?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Sep. 2014].


Introduction to Web & E-Business

I spend a lot of my time on the internet browsing for things to buy, more often than not it’s clothing!

Below are a few examples of clothing websites I have visited in the past..

Out of the websites listed above my favourite based on its look and usability is the ‘Dark Circle’ site, this is due to the simplicity of the pages. In my opinion it changes the whole feel of the webpage and makes it seem much more professional.

However I believe this could be down to the size and range of products that both ‘Karmaloop’ and ‘Asos’ sell. I know that between these websites sell thousands of products, whereas the ‘Dark Circle’ store sells just under on hundred products.

Due to this I believe it would be extremely difficult for the two larger stores to simplify their homepage’s and still maintain the scope across the large customer base they have.

I have some opinions on what improves the user experience and what hinders it.

Simple design
Sleek/clear Images
Only text where necessary
Things where they should be historically (logo in top left, shopping cart top right, etc)
Clear product descriptions

Too much animation
Too many vibrant colours
Large Adverts
Loads of text