FAQs

Websites

What platforms does Sync use for website design and development?


  • SQAURESPACE: With the ability to create fairly simple sites all the way to complex code, SS is a team favourite.
  • WIX: If a client is looking for a largely informational, straight-forward, professional site, we’ll use Wix.
  • SHOPIFY: The platform used by more eCommerce shops than any other is an in-house favourite. We’ve taken Shopify to the limits and even built several custom apps.
  • CUSTOM: We also build websites from the ground up using the latest in web tech from GitHub and Vercel to View and may others.




Why doesn't Sync use WordPress?


Short Story: Quite simply put, we don’t like WordPress. Long Story: While WP is used by millions of websites all over the globe, we got away from the platform about 5 years ago. The most concerning components of the platform for us were:

  • Security: Quite often plugins create security holes and millions of sites have been compromised over the years due to this approach.
  • The Unknowns: Plugins can be developed by anybody, meaning breaches, loss of data and loss of use are all concerns.
  • Weight: As WP relies heavily on plugins, once adding the site slows under the weight of said plugins. Imagine sitting on a board and then slowly adding weight to your shoulders. As you add weight, what happens? That’s WP summed up.
  • It’s Not the Best Platform: Virtually anything that can be done on WP can be done using the platforms and technologies we have at our fingertips.
We have yet to meet a WP feature that can’t be implemented on other platforms. Our team has also converted over dozens of WP websites and our clients love their new platforms!




How much does website design cost?


Prices vary greatly with website design. Our base level package is $1499 + tax. The average design project is approximately $3499 + tax. It really depends on what you’d like to do. If you just need a place to direct traffic for more details about your business then our base level will do just fine for you. However, the more features and content you require the more the price will increase.




What does the process of website design look like?


Our Website Design process is easy for you, as the brand looking to make a statement on the web. First, we’ll get an agreement and MNDA together. Then we’ll ask you for any and all content (photos, videos, text, etc) that you may have. Once we get that information from you we will build a wireframe (like a blueprint). When you approve the wireframe we will design the site to match your branding. You’ll receive a link to follow along. When that stage is approved, we will implement the content. After that, we connect the domain and your site is live. So, as you can see you have full control along the way! Our Website Design process is easy for you, as the brand looking to make a statement on the web. First, we’ll get an agreement and MNDA together. Then we’ll ask you for any and all content (photos, videos, text, etc) that you may have. Once we get that information from you we will build a wireframe (like a blueprint). When you approve the wireframe we will design the site to match your branding. You’ll receive a link to follow along. When that stage is approved, we will implement the content. After that, we connect the domain and your site is live. So, as you can see you have full control along the way!




Can you take care of our company's website hosting?


Absolutely, in the case of website design, the hosting is provided by our partners (ie: Squarespace). Website development requires separate servers and hosts. We use GoDaddy and Dreamhost for these [more complex] sites.




Do you offer free website and online marketing consultations?


We're happy to have an initial phone call with you to explore whether we might be a great match for your website design, development, or continual improvement project. The focus of the call will be learning about your needs and goals and ultimately determining whether it will make sense to continue the conversation. We're happy to have an initial phone call with you to explore whether we might be a great match for your website design, development, or continual improvement project. The focus of the call will be learning about your needs and goals and ultimately determining whether it will make sense to continue the conversation.




Will we be able to maintain our website internally, or will you do that for us?


This is a great question. Our answer: What would work best for your company? We offer two main website maintenance options:

  • Maintenance Option #1 - Maintenance by Sync: This option is recommended for companies who plan to have sites that won't require regular updating. We make updates to your site per your requests, and those updates are simply billed hourly (with a 30 minute minimum) or on a monthly retainer.
  • Maintenance Option #2 - Maintenance by You: This option is recommended for companies who plan to have sites that will require regular updates, changes, and additions. For this option, we integrate a powerful Content Management System (CMS) into your site that allows your team to quickly, easily, and securely update all of your content with the click of a few buttons.




How long does it take to build a website?


On average, we shoot for a 6 to 8 week turnaround, but the pace of any project is set by each client. How much input you can provide during the initial stages, your availability with feedback, how soon the content is ready – all this affects the speed of completion. The functionality needs may also play a role – more complex sites will take more time to develop. Our record time is a 4 day build and the longest web dev project we’ve worked on was 2.5 years.




Do I need to be local to get a website built by Sync?


Nope! We work with clients all over the world. Our main team works out of our Winnipeg based offices and studios, but we employ web developers from all over the world as well.




Will my website be mobile friendly?


Absolutely! Having a mobile-friendly website is more important than ever! We work hard to ensure your website looks great on a variety of devices, and while your website will always look best on desktop, our design team takes great care to ensure the user experience is a positive one. Additionally, if you’re wondering why mobile optimized sites are so important, it’s because Google is moving to a Mobile First ranking system. Learn more here.





SEO

What is SEO?


Explanation provided by Search Engine Land. What is SEO? SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility for relevant searches. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business. How does SEO work? Search engines such as Google and Bing use bots to crawl pages on the web, going from site to site, collecting information about those pages and putting them in an index. Next, algorithms analyze pages in the index, taking into account hundreds of ranking factors or signals, to determine the order pages should appear in the search results for a given query.

Search ranking factors can be considered proxies for aspects of the user experience. This Periodic Table of SEO Factors organizes the factors into six main categories and weights each based on its overall importance to SEO. For example, content quality and keyword research are key factors of content optimization, and crawlability and mobile-friendliness are important site architecture factors.

The search algorithms are designed to surface relevant, authoritative pages and provide users with an efficient search experience. Optimizing your site and content with these factors in mind can help your pages rank higher in the search results.

Unlike paid search ads, you can’t pay search engines to get higher organic search rankings. Why is SEO important for marketing? SEO is a fundamental part of digital marketing because people conduct trillions of searches every year, often with commercial intent to find information about products and services. Search is often the primary source of digital traffic for brands and complements other marketing channels. Greater visibility and ranking higher in search results than your competition can have a material impact on your bottom line.

However, the search results have been evolving over the past few years to give users more direct answers and information that is more likely to keep users on the results page instead of driving them to other websites.

Also note, features like rich results and Knowledge Panels in the search results can increase visibility and provide users more information about your company directly in the results. SEO Explained New to SEO? Start with this quick and easy to understand video about search engine optimization. It’ll quickly cover the basics:




How much does SEO cost?


The price for SDS SEO can range from $500/month to $100K/month. It really just depends on how aggressive you can be in the space. While a $100k/month SEO contract will surely have major impact on search rankings month-after-month, small businesses can make an impact at $500/month, especially if you have a local brand. No matter your budget, the cool thing about SEO is that you can easily measure the results:

  • Metric 1: Improved rankings.
  • Metric 2: Improved click-through rates.
  • Metric 3: More sales!




Will SEO work for my site?


If done properly, SEO works. If you’re in a competitive industry SEO is very difficult. For popular verticals it is a better idea to focus on other forms of marketing and focus on SEO after a few years. In the meantime, specific SEO tactics will always work. For example:

  • optimizing pages that are already popular
  • watching your 404 errors and correcting them
  • using SEO-friendly permalinks
  • using Alt tags in all images
  • creating cornerstone content
  • & much more!




Are keywords the same as my categories?


Keywords and categories can be the same but don’t have to be. When we’re speaking about “keywords” in SEO, we mean the topics that attract the biggest audience from Google. Keywords are carefully chosen for a variety of reasons:

  • Low Risk: These keywords have very little competition and are used to simply get movement on search engines so they pay attention.
  • Medium Risk: There is some competition for these keywords but nearly any sized budget can rank higher.
  • High Risk: Keywords that require some serious fire power because there’s a ton of competition and they’ve spent big bucks to rank as high as your competitors do.




How long does SEO take?


The time it takes to get your site to the top of Google depends on:

  • the strength of your competition
  • the effectiveness of your keywords
  • the competitiveness of your keywords
  • the SEO position of your site at the outset
  • the effectiveness of your strategy
  • the amount of effort you put in
It is important to note that algorithms change regularly at Google and other search engines. SEO is never done, however once you’ve gotten results for certain keywords you can move onto others, but monitoring is necessary. When you start with SEO you’ll see noticeable results within 3 - 6 months.




How can I learn more about SEO before starting?


Here is one of the best SEO articles on the web. It is important to understand that SEO can be an expensive endeavour and we like our customers to be as informed as possible going into the relationship. The more you know, the more comfortable you’ll be.





Review Management

Are online reviews important for SEO?


One of the things that you may have heard is that Search Engines, including Google now favors local firms for local queries. This is actually a logical progression. It wouldn’t do for someone in Uganda to be shown a list of restaurants in New York when they make a query for “restaurants near me.” Local SEO is actually very important when it comes to small to medium sized business. Take a carpenter who operates out of the garage of his home as an example. This type of business is only going to be able to attract so customers from so many miles around its physical location. Google recognizes that it would be futile to show search results from beyond this local area of operation when someone makes a query. That is why it shows local results first when it comes to such searches as “restaurant near me.” The best local review sites that help boost your business’ SEO include:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Amazon
  • Yelp
  • Trip Advisor




Will positive reviews affect my bottom line?


Absolutely! There are many ways reviews affect your bottom line but let’s talk one in particular. Just consider the fact that if your business has received positive feedback from previous customers, people are likely to spend 31% more on it than would otherwise be the case. Again, it all boils down to building trust, which is the reason why 72% of people tend to be more trusting of a local business that has received positive reviews.




Can we turn negative reviews, positive?


Negative feedback is an inevitable part of life, as far as online reviews are concerned. However, instead of sweating when you get them, there are several things that you can do to turn them positive. Before doing this, you need to consider the fact that people actually expect to see negative reviews on your page. In fact, 68% of consumers say that they are likely to trust reviews more if some customers have left negative feedback about you. The thing is that having only positive feedback makes it appear as if the reviews have, somewhat, been played around with. That’s not to say, however, that you should actively court negative reviews. Indeed, negative feedback is something that you should actively seek to avoid, including by engaging with the concerned customer and making sure that their issue is amicably resolved.





Social Media Management

How much are SMM services?


Our prices for SMM can vary, however there are some good starting points you can count on:

  • Profile Management: $199/month
  • Network Growth: $2499/year - $7999/year
  • Interaction Management: $399/month - $17,499/month
  • Ads Administration: $799/month - $24,999/month
  • Content Administration: $799/month - $34,999/month




What is the key to good social media strategy?


The key to social media can be found in the word social. Too many brands take it upon themselves to post content but rarely interact with their audience on any meaningful level. With our various packages we get social on social media and create community around your products or services.




Do I need to work with my customers if I hire Sync?


While working with SDS is a sure fire way to get ahead on social media, it is up to you to build a relationship with customers in real life. Answers over Messenger are wonderful, but maintaining the tenants of good customer service is still critical to your success. Look at social media as a direct reflection of your customer service policies, and Sync as an arm of your strategy.




Will SMM solve all of my marketing problems? Is it a magic bullet?


We, at Sync, are social media fans, but it won’t fix all your problems overnight; nor is it a magic bullet. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint and you have to give it time and sustained (if low level) effort. We are talking months here, not days. Even with great strategy, SMM is a piece of your overall strategy but you need a good funnel, proper sales strategy, a customer engagement piece in the real world, and various other components to round out your entire marketing plan.




What social media sites should I be on?


You don’t have to be on ALL social media platforms (there are hundreds of them). Start where your customers are and where you have the most fun. It will be easier for you and most effective in marketing terms. Don’t feel like you have to launch three different social accounts at the same time. Just pick one, get used to that, and then add another. Facebook is often the easiest, because you are probably already using it on a personal level.




Worried about jumping into social media?


Many business owners are afraid of social media because they worry about competitors or disgruntled clients saying negative things about them. The truth is that this could happen anyway, so just jump in and relax. Being part of the conversation is always better than being left out.




How many people are on social media?


As of April 2020, a total of 3.81 billion people around the world use social media, putting the worldwide social media penetration rate at 49%.




What is the most popular social media platform?


Based on user count alone, Facebook continues to be the most popular social media platform. It had garnered 2.6 billion monthly active users by Q1 of 2020. The Sprout Social Index XV: Empower & Elevate also found that it’s the most popular platform for both marketers and consumers. Eighty-nine percent of marketers surveyed used the platform while 83% of consumers surveyed used it.




What is the fastest growing social media platform?


While Instagram once held this coveted position, the platform’s growth has tapered off for a while. In fact, its US user growth rate dropped to 6.7% in 2019. Meanwhile, TikTok saw a 97.5% increase in its US user base. There is a caveat; these are growth numbers from almost 0 users in 2018. Granted, these numbers will decline as the hype dies down, projections still show that the platform will continue to see a double-digit growth rate in the coming years.