You’re ready to hire a web designer to create a website for you, but you don’t know where to start. Or maybe you have an existing site, and you need a redesign to make it more user-friendly.
Whatever your needs are, this article will show you how to find a web design agency in Mississauga who will create a website that is aligned with your vision, brand, tone and voice all while ensuring cutting edge design and functionality.
When it comes to building a website, many people prefer to use a web designer because they believe it will make their site look more professional. But many other benefits come with hiring an experienced web design agency.
A few of the benefits are cost and time savings. Experienced professionals who understand the key elements and metrics of using your site. Who have specialists for content writing, and best SEO practices. Your website is your biggest digital asset.
What is web design?
It is a mixture of art, usability, and marketing. It’s about creating an attractive, easy-to-use, and relevant website that caters to your business and its target audience. It’s about creating a brand identity for your business.
It is the art of making a website functional and visually appealing to web users. In the past, websites were designed for fixed screen size and limited bandwidth.
What are the skills of a web designer?
A web designer needs to have certain skills to create a well-designed website. These include a good design sense, an understanding of color schemes, a good eye for composition, a good knowledge of usability, and best practices understanding your overall vision and making that come to life using a series of techniques and content.
They should have a good knowledge of the design trend, but not just the current one. It’s good to know what the trends are, but also the history of web design should be known. They should have a good knowledge of usability and user experience.
What is the importance of good web design?
The importance of good web design is crucial as all of your marketing efforts are intended to drive traffic to your site where your visitors and customers will engage with your products and services and understand your brand. The first impression always counts. Afterall your site should work to convert your visitors into customers. Once they land on your page they should easily be able to navigate your site for the information they want. Your brand should also showcase your story and content should keep them engaged. As a digital marketing agency we understand the importance of iterative web design and how to marry UX & UI for a sustainable competitive edge.
How does web design engage new customers and convert leads?
Many small businesses and internet marketers don’t realize that it’s not enough to create an attractive-looking website and wait for the customers to come knocking. Your website should aim to convert prospective customers into clients.
Creating a website with Zand Marketing a web design in Mississauga that looks attractive is more than just that. It’s about making it work on multiple devices and screen sizes, like phones and tablets. It’s about taking the visiotr on a journey and directing what actions you would like them to take, Engaging them with relevant and on trend content all while delivering a cutting edge user experience. Design a website to grow with your business. We use best practices and the latest trends and technology.
Great web design is essential to engaging new customers and converting leads. With over half of internet users using mobile devices, businesses need to optimize their websites for mobile users. In addition to creating a responsive website, businesses should be optimizing their websites for social media platfoms and using only white hat SEO techniques. Engage with your audience the way they want to be engaged. Ensure their interactions are seamless, that your content is engaging, that your design is functional and attractive and that you are ultimately taking them on a journey to champion your brand.
Pay-per-click marketing, popularly known as PPC advertising, is one of the most effective marketing channels, considering the control and data it provides. And marketers agree on that. “Around 35% of marketers consider pay-per-click to be the most effective digital marketing tactic.”-Databo So if PPC is not a part of your marketing arsenal, this article will convince you to include it.
Why Your Business Needs A PPC Campaign?
We believe that PPC is a must-have marketing tool for every business because: •Better ROI Statistics show that “Pay-Per-Click advertising has an average ROI of 200%.” – Smallbiz. Two key reasons make PPC profitable: •You pay for the click on your ad, not the impression. •You can run highly targeted ads. •Instant Results You don’t need months of content creation and link building before getting visible. Since PPC gives immediate results, you can also run A/B tests effectively.
High-Quality Leads and Customers Unlike most marketing channels, PPC generates high-quality, warm leads that are already searching for a particular service, product, or information.
Goals and KPIs of PPC Campaign Depending upon your business needs, you can set various goals for your PPC campaign. Here are the three most common aims of running PPC ads and their KPIs. Goal 1: Double Website Traffic If you plan to double your website traffic through PPC ads, then your main KPI should be click-through rate. Goal 2: Get Leads For those who aim to get leads from PPC, focus on your email sign-ups, cost per lead, and ROAS. Goal 3: Generate Sales Monitor your ROAS, cost per acquisition, conversion rate, and a few other metrics if the prime purpose of your PPC campaign is sales
Why Should You Hire A Marketing Company For PPC?
You or your in-house marketers may have marketing skills, but PPC is neither everyone’s cup of tea nor a piece of cake. It’s, thus, imperative to hire a marketing company that understands all the nuts and bolts of PPC. Here a few good reasons to seek help from a marketing agency.
Greater Returns, Lesser Investments No matter how good ROI you’re getting from PPC ads, there’s always room for improvement. A marketing company can cut your costs and increase the returns simultaneously by: •Doing thorough keyword research and going for long-tail keywords. •Targeting the audience more precisely. •Increasing your Quality Score. •Boosting conversions by improving landing pages.
Detailed Reporting, Analysis, and Consultation
There are more indicators than ROI, clicks, conversions, and impressions. You get tons of data from PPC campaigns. Using all these metrics, a marketing company can do in-detail reporting and analysis. Often, a simple tweak in PPC does wonders.
PPC experts also provide customized consultation, answering questions like: •Which campaign should you focus on? •How much budget should you set aside for different campaigns? •How to target your audience more effectively?
Utilize their Expertise Marketing companies have a team of PPC professionals who are updated with the latest trends, are experts in different industries, and have vast experience. They have access to more information than your in-house marketers. Using their expertise and information, marketing companies can help you run successful campaigns.
In a nutshell, if you’re not employing PPC, you’re missing out on lots of traffic. And if you’re running PPC campaigns without marketing companies, you’re losing money on every click. Contact us today to transform your PPC results & strategy.
This year, and current market conditions are off to a challenging start for a lot of businesses in Canada, so it’s a good time to re-evaluate your marketing strategies. If you haven’t incorporated marketing automation as one of your leading strategies, then you’re certainly not making the most of your budget or time. Email marketing helps you build your brand and get better customers who spend more money with you.
The upside to adopting email marketing can be quite significant. It generates the highest return on investment (ROI) out of the most common digital channels, earning businesses an average of $38 for every dollar invested, according to a VentureBeat Insight study. It also cites that “84% of marketers believe email is important or critically important for customer loyalty.”
According to Grand View Research, the global marketing automation software market is expected to reach $ 7.63 billion by 2025. Automation is clearly the future of marketing. It can turn a lean marketing team into a momentum-driven force to be reckoned with. Given the hypercompetitive environment businesses operate in today, marketing automation can be the driving force for a start-up to compete with larger enterprises.
Email marketing and marketing automation clearly have a place for the modern company looking to grow in a challenging and competitive landscape. The results and case studies are clearly showing the impact it is having on companies that are adopting this technology, but are there strategies that can be implemented in conjunction with the use of the technology tools? Does creativity and execution play a role?
Automated email campaign ideas to engage your prospects.
Before we dive in, let’s not forget that a good marketing automation package may have all the features you need, but the pilot does have a role to play in the ultimate success of a campaign. Knowing your customers, and coming up with engaging content and creative can be the edge you need to go above and beyond.
1. The Lead Magnet — You can send an email to your prospects with the link to a recorded webinar, or video promotion. This will allow your prospects to view the content whenever they want. However, in order to view it, they’ll need to fill out a form to register, generating warm leads in the process.
2. The Welcome Email— The content of the email should introduce your business and how you can solve the problems of your potential customers. It should talk about what exactly they can expect from you. You can also choose to combine the lead magnet email along with this.
3. Content Specific Responses – General thank you email responses are missed opportunities. Segment your leads by opportunity so you can target the right content to your inquiries. For example, you run a music lessons website that offers piano and guitar lessons. Have a page that focuses on each offer so when a lead is generated you know what page it came from and can target the lead with a “12 weeks of piano tips” nurturing campaign.
3. The Testimonial — You can share the story of how one of your customers saw amazing results after using your products or services. Also, don’t forget to mention where your prospects can buy your services or products. These emails can help to establish your credibility.
4. The FAQ Email— Once your prospects know about your offer and your product features, they might have additional questions. Create an email with some of the commonly asked questions and your answers to them. You can include basic questions about your returns and refunds policies or warranty periods.
5. The Complete Offer — In this email, you can pitch your products or services. And if possible, offer a limited time incentive. This can increase the chances of your prospects buying your products.
6. The Final Call — This email serves to remind your prospects that it’s the last chance to grab the lucrative discounts you’re offering.
Some key statistics to consider
· 78% of marketers say automation increases revenue and 75% of brands using automation see an ROI in under 12 months
· A 250% increase in your reply rates by automating your outreach and follow up emails
· Using an automation tool can save 80% of your time on content scheduling and workforce management.
Wow. So, Are Companies Finding Success with Marketing Automation?
91% of the most successful users agree marketing automation is “very important” to the overall success of their marketing.
Let’s dive a little deeper to see why marketing automation is important for marketers and business owners.
1. It Saves Time
You no longer have to go into a tool every morning and schedule your campaigns for the day. Thanks to marketing automation, you can schedule everything you need ahead of time, which will free you up to do other marketing activities.
2. Warm up your prospects so you don’t have to
Let your campaign do the work for you. A good nurturing campaign will gradually entice your prospects with value-added benefits that your company offers. When they are ready to buy they will let you know.
3. Set goals
Once you have your strategy in place, you’ll want to consider how you’ll measure progress and measure the success of your campaign. It’s important to define objectives for different elements of the strategy and to establish some benchmarks. Keep in mind that these should be SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
An example of a SMART goal for marketing automation might be something like this: “Increase leads by 25% and sales conversions via email marketing by 10% by the end of Q2 in 2020.”
In the beginning, you’ll have to estimate your benchmarks and then adjust accordingly once you have some data to work with that will help you better project what realistic goals are around your different marketing automation efforts. Over time, your benchmarks and goals will likely change based on what you’re working to accomplish (and what’s achievable.) This is wise, as a strategy for marketing automation isn’t a “one and done” effort. Instead, it needs to evolve over time according to what works (and what doesn’t.)
4. Optimize your campaign and then optimize some more
Marketing automation can significantly up the number of visitors to your website. However, while elevated traffic is great, it isn’t very useful if visitors do not convert. It’s your responsibility to make sure that your website has what it takes to convince visitors to take action.
Here are a number of strategies you can implement to help optimize your website for higher conversion rates:
· Ensure fast load times of your pages
· Use strong call to actions
· Do A/B testing
· Include testimonials (video if possible)
· Target your emails in conjunction with your landing pages
No matter what size your organization is, marketing automation will drive efficiency and productivity from the get-go. Today’s modern marketers are lean marketing machines, and are constantly under pressure to deliver more, do more, spend less, and increase productivity with minimal resources.
Marketing automation helps increase leads, and improve conversions. To learn more please get in touch with us here.
Everyone manages projects — even if “project manager” isn’t your official title. Whether you’re a marketing manager, website designer or an IT professional, project management is essential to achieving business objectives.
First, let’s get crystal clear on the proper terms and definitions. What is a project? The Project Management Institute defines it as
A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product service or result.
In other words, it’s a temporary initiative that is agreed, planned and executed to achieve a specific goal. Let’s break this down with some terms.
Projects have a strict expiry date with activities to meet the output of a unique product or service. You can think of it as the output of a project. This output can be a product like a building a new home, a kitchen redesign or service such as improving existing business process. The output, together with the work done to create it, is called project scope.
This refers to a project being a temporary initiative. It is distinct from normal business operations in that it has a predetermined start and end date. Normal day to day activities that don’t necessarily have an end date will usually fall out side of the definition of a measurable item within the scope of a project.
Project scope is the part of project planning that involves determining and documenting a list of specific project goals, deliverables, tasks, costs and deadlines.
The final key attribute is cost, which is the resources specifically dedicated to accomplishing the goal in mind. These attributes form the project management triple constraint. Time, scope and cost are dependent on each other. After determining them at the start, if one of them changes, it will trigger a change in one or both of the others.
The project goal refers to achieving a desired outcome (performance goal) at a specific end date (time goal) tracking a series of milestones and tasks to accomplish the goals within a project. Think of goals like apples and bananas, related in a category but not necessarily the same thing.
Identifying the project and getting it going
Now that we have few key terms let’s dive a little deeper. A project must relate to a business strategy. But how are the two connected? And what creates the demand for a project in the first place? There are a few key triggers that will jump start a business into executing a project.
· There might be a market need
· There might be a customer need
· There might be a internal need
This is when your company wants to develop a product or service to address a need or to keep up with the competition. For example, ABC Music School needs to develop new guitar program. But in order to get it done, the school needs to buy guitars, setup a new classroom, hire a new teacher, and plan a marketing budget to attract new students. This all has managed with time and budget constraints.
Also, the demand for a project may arise from the success of a previous project. The guitar program was so successful that ABC Music School is now launching an electric guitar program.
Urgency is a key factor when selecting projects, say a new regulation is imposed, which requires your music school to comply with the latest standards or lose access to government funding. You can bet that the stakeholders of the school will prioritize a project that resolves this first.
This process is referred to as project selection. It’s an essential task for top management. They must select the projects which bring the most value to the company, financial and non-financial. In the eyes of the stakeholders. Projects are investments, with the objective of seeing a worthwhile return for the business.
As you can probably guess, several projects are usually on the go at the same time.
That said, when the stakeholders are presented with possible projects, they often select several of them and add them into a project portfolio. The stakeholders then engage in what is called project portfolio management. This is the process of prioritizing projects and the administration and control of large sets of projects and programs.
Basically, the objective is to achieve the results and combined resources across projects in an optimal way.
Projects are investments, and with any investment, the need to be viable and profitable. Projects can consume large amounts of resources, money, time, effort and attention. So if they’re not aligned with the business strategy, then they’re a massive waste.
Roles of a Project Manager
Project managers play the lead role in planning, executing, monitoring, controlling and closing projects. They are accountable for the entire project scope, project team, resources, and the success or failure of the project. So once we have our project and that project has been selected by the stakeholders as the current initiative, it’s down to one person to make sure that project’s execution is successful.
The project manager is the CEO of the project. They will be accountable for the project’s success and for a project to be successful, it needs to accomplish the specific goal of the project within the prior agreed time and budget constraints. Everything needs to fit neatly into the project management triple constraint triangle. In fact, by assuming the project manager position for a project, the project manager implicitly agrees to work within these constraints and still meet the goal.
What if the time-frame and budget are insufficient? A project manager can’t shoot themselves in the foot and take on a project that is unlikely to be successful. Therefore, when the project management triple constraints are put in place, they must be realistic.
Have no fear! You already have the skills to get the job done. But I will list them for everyone else who is reading this blog 🙂
Project Management Skills
Effective project managers need more than technical know-how. The role also requires a number of non-technical skills, and it is these softer skills that often determine whether a project manager — and the project — will be a success.
Project managers should have strength in the following skills in order to be an effective manager: Accountability, leadership, organization, communication, Focus, problem-solving, and adaptability.
The most effective project managers are fully vested in the success of the organization and are able to roll with setback and pivot a project where appropriate. The dynamics of a project inevitably change mid-stream and the skills listed above are what will determine the outcome of the project.
You want to strive to be the Wayne Gretzky of project management by focusing on where the puck is going, not where it is.
Highly effective project managers are:
· invested in the success of the organization
· supportive and encouraging other members of the project
· focused on the positive outcome for all stakeholders
· of high integrity and accountability
· fully committed to the success of the project
· are creative problem solvers
And this is by no means an easy task. And often project managers will be accountable for multiple projects at the same time.
What does it mean to be accountable? The formal definition would be
to commit to achieve a certain result and then deliver this commitment.
Simple enough, but a lot easier said than done. Let’s shed light on the magnitude of this commitment.
Without accountability, there’s no reason to lead a project or be on a project team as you’re doomed for failure. Yet this isn’t nearly as easy to achieve as it might seem. Often, the members of a project team report to a different organizational leader, and so direct authority can be non-existent.
Leadership is an obvious skill for anyone in the project management industry, and with good reason: If you can lead, you can deliver. But most importantly, leadership is often what is missing in the project manager’s arsenal of highly developed technical skills. If you’re a project manager, I can guarantee you have felt the need to improve yourself as a leader at some point.
Project managers are accountable not only for their own tasks, but also all the tasks that other parties must work on and complete.
Every day managers have to schedule tasks, assign and track them, know where the project is at the moment, what resources are on the project, what is to be done next and plenty of other things. And it all should be planned and referred to at any required moment.
So, be sure before taking any project in any sphere, be it construction, IT, event or web development project that you firstly can organize your time, plans and all business goals.
One of the essential skills for project management is the ability to communicate well — understanding and being understood. Research in this space says, 70–90% of all project time takes communication. No one can plan and manage a project not expressing and sharing ideas, visions and points to others. Moreover, good communication skills of project managers are obligatory as they need to talk to stakeholders, collect their requirements, express own and then deliver them to everyone from a team.
Throughout the project management process, you might find yourself simultaneously overseeing dozens of workers and tasks to remain on schedule and hit your deadlines on time. While managing concurrent tasks, you must remain focused on hitting the metrics and reaching the overall goals for the project.
Steve Jobs is an excellent example of a relentless leader with total focus on a particular target, despite distractions vying for his attention at every turn.
To ensure the success of Apple, for example, Jobs cut 70% of the product line to focus on the profitable sectors of the company.
His focus on perfecting profitable products and technology ensured Apple could recover from the losses and eventually come to turn a significant profit, year after year.
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done.
Having a structured approach to solving problems always yields positive results. Critical and quick thinking is one of the skills for project managers that want to stay relevant in the fast-paced economy of today. If it takes you a week to come up with the “perfect” solution someone else might have beat you to the punch with a good solution that got the job done.
If you think you don’t have critical thinking or problem-solving skills, no worries! Think of some really good thinkers, problem solvers and people who really excel at what they do, keep them on a short list for a quick impromptu lunch or coffee. Spending just 15 to 30 minutes with a person who has the skills and brain power that can help you might just be the quick solution to a project that gets stuck.
Adaptability is about adjusting with the environment to overcome the challenges that come along with the project. Project managers need to understand that project management is evolving with an alarming rate. If the managers don’t adopt what is necessary, there will be no time to regret later.
In a survey, it was concluded that more than 55% of the projects fail if they don’t evolve with time and adopted the necessities that are required to complete the project successfully.
This is an era of evolution. Things, people, and systems are changing in the blink of an eye. If project managers don’t take this opportunity to learn, unlearn, and relearn, they will face serious consequences in the future.
Developing these skills and this knowledge is not a linear progression, however. Think of these skill-sets as containers, each with a tap above them and connected by tubes. They fill at different speeds and in varying orders, but it’s near impossible to fill only one.
Although there are things like negotiating, risk management, cost management, and effort required to deliver each project, a great project manager will be really strong in some key areas, good in others and “needs work” in some. That is ok, being aware of them is more than half the battle.
Hopefully this blog has shed some light on areas of your life, business or role within a company.
My final point
Work can be stressful and very serious at times. Don’t forget to have fun and keep your team on their toes with good humor. An ability to see the funny side of project management will keep you on an even keel during difficult times.
In this blog we will take a look at the fundamentals of project management. We look at the key terms project managers use, and look at some of the overall techniques that are used by professionals in this space.
To get started we are going to take a look at 12 project management terms that every project manager should know.
This blog is for people who are looking to take on more responsibilities that have project management requirements. Words like RAG, GANTT and TRIPLE CONSTRAINT are going to be words and terms that roll off your tongue with ease after you read this blog.
This one is simple. It stands for RED, AMBER, GREEN. It is a very common term used to determine if something is on or off track. Much like a traffic light, red means something is stopped or stuck and needs immediate attention. Amber means, things are slowing down and a stop might be in the near future, and green means all things are good and on track.
A Gantt chart is a horizontal bar chart used in project management to track projects from start to finish. Simply put, a Gantt chart is a visual view of tasks scheduled over time. Gantt charts are used for planning projects of all sizes and they are a useful way of showing what work is scheduled to be done on a specific day. They also help you view the start and end dates of a project in one simple view.
WORK BREAKDOWN STRUCTURE (WBS)
This is one of the first steps in being a project. It is where you break your project into manageable pieces and have some logic around it. Simple things like tasks, time, budget and the people who will be working on it.
The triple constraint is the combination of the three most significant restrictions on any project: scope, time/schedule and cost/budget. The triple constraint is sometimes referred to as the project management triangle or the iron triangle. A change in one factor will invariably affect the other two. In other words, it’s all about trade-offs. As project manager, it’s your job to balance these triple constraints and manage expectations so everyone understands what it takes to achieve project success.
This is the framework used to manage the project. Some of the more common frameworks are Agile, Prince2, PMBOK or a combination of them. At the end of the day these are designed to provide a method that can be applied to a project to provide structure to keep the project on a critical path.
The business case is usually a document that provides the reason for the project. It is important for the project manager to understand the why of the project and not just the execution. Great project managers will have a deep understanding of the business case in order to execute the project in line with the reason it exists in the first place.
The requirements of a project are the must-have items that can’t be left out of the completion of a project. For example, the construction of a home has to have hardwood flooring through-out the home. The colour of the hardwood flooring could end up being up to the construction company, unless otherwise specified, but the flooring can not be carpet.
A project should be able to identify risks that could creep into the project and delay or run the project over budget. Being aware of the possible risks could help the project move along the desired path. If the risks are identifiable, then a good project manager will have prepared for the possible rise of the issue.
Speaking of issues. Issues are the warning sign that the risk to the project might be coming into play. Project managers should listen for the signs of risk and get in front of them quickly. Where there is smoke there is often fire.
A project milestone is a way to observe, measure and monitor the progress and/or performance of a project. Milestones in general exist as intermediate stages that must be fulfilled before reaching a final goal or objective. In terms of their usefulness, milestones can be defined and provide a foundation from which to monitor progress.
A stakeholder is any person, organization, or group that has a stake in the project. Thus, stakeholders can be internal or external to the business or project. A stakeholder will have a vital interest in the business or project because the end result will have a direct impact on them.
This is a group of people that have been tasked to provide advice, insight and guidance to the project. The committee is there to support the project manager and has a stake in the final outcome of the project.
Get the visibility you need to make the best resource decisions with time-tracking capabilities
Organizations are embracing different ways of working across the business. In order to ensure strategic alignment is maintained, there is an ever-increasing need to understand what work team members are spending their time on, no matter how that work is delivered.
SmartDesk has developed a project management application integrated into a cloud based CRM. Project management teams and sales teams now have the ability to seamlessly connect their accounts for greater transparency and efficiency.
The latest disrupter in the CRM market
Initially a lead management solution with some integrated solutions like websites and blogs, SmartDesk has evolved into a multi-channel marketing hub with over 50 full-service features that come standard with the software. The SmartDeskCRM team worked closely with clients to build out solutions that addressed common pain points. The team at SmartDeskCRM has taken the approach of providing companies with easy bite-sized data points to quickly view the health of your marketing activities and prospects activity. A lot of CRM solutions are offering these metrics but the way SmartDesk has put the dashboards and navigation together makes it a truly unique experience.
It’s problematic for companies to become experts in using all of the various digital tools in the marketplace. At the end of the day the goal is the same: make it all work so you can have more leads, more clients, and more sales. SmartDesk gives companies and agencies one application to use for their digital marketing, email marketing, website, leads, blog, and sales, project management, all in one environment.
From the beginning, SmartDesk had a vision to bring small and medium companies to the global marketplace. For these businesses to survive against the larger chains, they have to be able to compete in the digital marketplace, not just the physical.