67 search results for “Simon Heaton”

4 Quick Ways to Build Trust With a New Client

4 Quick Ways to Build Trust With a New Client

How to Build Trust With a New Client: Emails

Trust is arguably the most important part of any successful business relationship. When a client hires you to work on their website, they assume a certain degree of risk and hope the work will actually get done to the level of quality that was promised.

Today, we'll walk through four simple techniques you can start using with new clients to win their trust quickly.

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4 Tips for Building a Shopify App That Sells

4 Tips for Building a Shopify App That Sells

Building a Shopify App That Sells

If you’ve ever tried to tackle an app design project — whether for Shopify or not — you know that conceptualizing, designing, and marketing an app that stands out from the crowd is no small feat. To help you get started on your next app project, we took a close look at some of our most popular apps to find out if there were any secrets behind their success.

Here’s a list of tips guaranteed to help you create a Shopify app that sells.

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5 of the Best Prototyping Tools to Test Out Your Web and Mobile Designs

5 of the Best Prototyping Tools to Test Out Your Web and Mobile Designs

prototyping tools

Prototyping is an integral part of the design process, as it lets you and your team review concepts and share feedback in the early stages of a project. By creating an interactive mockup of a website or mobile app, you are able to identify any shortcomings in the flow and usability of your design before investing too much time or money into development.

In this article, we cover five of the best prototyping tools for every designer’s unique set of needs. Click through to find the perfect tool to test out your web and mobile designs.

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5 Simple Google Analytics Reports You Should Create for Every Client

5 Simple Google Analytics Reports You Should Create for Every Client

Integrating Google Analytics with your clients' websites is something you should aim to implement on every build you complete. Not only will it help them track the success of their online businesses, but it will also give you the opportunity to lengthen your professional relationship with them by offering analytic reporting and optimization services.

However, some of your clients will be completely unfamiliar with Analytics, and opening their dashboard without direction could leave them feeling intimidated. Luckily, you can help solve this problem by setting up some simple, custom reports when you hand over their store. That way, even your least analytical client can get a quick snapshot of what’s working and what isn’t in regards to their online business — without having to be a Google Analytics pro.

Below are five simple Google Analytics reports that will help give your clients extra insight into their online businesses and will take you mere seconds to set up.

Note: Before using these reports, please follow the instructions for installing Enhanced Ecommerce Reports, which will enable ecommerce tracking on your client's store. All reports have been pre-generated and can be imported into your client’s Google Analytics by clicking the hyperlinked report. Just make sure you are logged into their account before clicking.

Looking to grow your service offering and delight clients?

This comprehensive guide will walk you through additional services that you can use to retain existing web design or development clients.

Download your free guide

1. Customer acquisition report

Google Analytics Reports: Customer Acquisition

The Customer Acquisition report offers a simple but crucial perspective for any online business. This report will show your clients how their customers are landing on-site and what channels are contributing the most revenue to their business. Ecommerce data for each acquisition channel is broken down to total revenue, average order value, and conversion rate. That way, they can identify what specific channels they should increase (or decrease) their marketing efforts on.

Download the report.

2. Organic traffic landing page report

Google Analytics Reports: Organic Traffic Landing Page Report

Most ecommerce owners will, at the very least, implement a fundamental search engine optimization strategy with the goal of boosting organic traffic to their store. In an attempt to control the abuse of search optimization on all websites, Google does not share the organic keywords used to arrive at your website — instead you see the dreaded [not set].

The Organic Traffic Landing Page report tries to circumvent this barrier by allowing you to see your top performing landing pages for organic traffic. Not only does this report filter your traffic by organic session landing pages, but it will also allow you to see a snapshot of your most profitable landing pages for organically-sourced visitors. By using landing pages as your primary dimension, you’re able to make a manual assessment of what content or keywords could be driving your organic traffic, as well as what pages could use some extra SEO love.

If you want the full picture of your client’s SEO efforts, couple this report with an SEO-specific tool like SEMrush or Moz.

Download the report.

3. Email assessment report

Google Analytics Reports: Email Assessment Report

If your client plans to use email marketing to drive return traffic to their store, the Email Assessment report will help them understand the role their campaigns play in sales. By understanding which campaigns lead to the greatest amount of transactions or revenue, your client has additional data — aside from open and click-through rates — to optimize their email marketing efforts.

For the “Email Campaign Assessment” tab of this report to function properly, your client needs to ensure they are using UTMs for their email marketing campaigns.

Download the report.

You might also like: How to Help Your Clients Get Results with Email Marketing

4. Device comparison report

Device Comparison Report

The way people shop online is changing. In 2016, mobile and omni-channel commerce are slated to be bigger than ever and merchants need to be one step ahead. Mobile users behave differently than desktop users — they will arrive on your client’s site through unique channels and will interact with the site in unique ways. Because of this, it’s important that you help set up your clients for success from the get-go.

The Device Comparison report includes two views that allow your clients to better understand the differences between their mobile and desktop customers. They’ll understand how user behaviour differs based on device, as well as what acquisition sources are driving the most profitable customers based on device.

Download the report.

5. Time of day / day of week transaction report

Google Analytics Reports: Time of day / Day of week transaction report

The Time of Day / Day of Week Transaction report offers your clients a detailed view of their past week of sales. The report helps identify which hours of the day, days of the week, and combination of both lead to their highest levels of sales.

What’s great about this report is that it will allow your client to isolate particular days or hours that are performing poorly in terms of revenue. This information presents an opportunity for them to run special marketing promotions during these periods to increase traffic, as well as sales.

Download the report.

Bonus: Conversion Funnel Visualization report

Google Analytics Reports: Conversion Funnel Visualization Funnel

While this isn’t a custom report in Google Analytics, it will probably be your client’s most valuable report in their data arsenal. The Conversion Funnel Visualization report comes standard in Analytics, and will help your client understand the effectiveness of their checkout funnel. It will allow them to see where potential customers are dropping off in the checkout flow, which can be used to drive optimization efforts.

Before you can access any conversion funnel data, you’ll need to set up a funnel in your client’s Analytics account. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Once you’re signed into their Google Analytics account, click “Admin” in the top navigation bar.
  2. Make sure you’ve selected the right “View” in the right-most column and click on “Goals.” Select “+ New Goal.”
  3. Name your goal (“Checkout” works) and select “Destination URL” as your goal type. Press continue.  
  4. Enter your post-checkout page as your destination (normally, this is your payment confirmed or thank you page). Turn on the “funnel” option and enter the page extensions for each step of your checkout funnel in order.  
  5. Save your goal, and voila! Start tracking the effectiveness of your checkout flow.

Once your conversion funnel is set up, you can access the report in the left navigation bar under “Conversions” → “Goals” → “Funnel Visualization.”

You might also like: Why Every Shopify Store Needs a Marketing & Sales Funnel

Help your clients with analytics

Custom reports are one of the most powerful tools in Google Analytics. The reports shared above are simple versions that will help get your clients started with ecommerce analytics. Feel free to alter them as you see fit to meet your clients' specific needs. And while you’re at it, consider offering web analysis as an add-on service for your web design projects.

What other analytics reports do you and your clients find useful? Let us know in the comments below.

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5 Simple Hacks for an Optimized Mobile Ecommerce Design

5 Simple Hacks for an Optimized Mobile Ecommerce Design

Mobile Ecommerce Design Tips

The widespread adoption of mobile as a platform for ecommerce is no longer something you can ignore. Not only does mobile now account for more than half of all ecommerce traffic, but it now also exceeds desktop as the number one source of Google searches. And as of last year, these increases in mobile traffic have led to one third of all ecommerce sales happening on mobile devices. With these kind of numbers, the trend is clear: mobile is growing and soon it will be the dominant platform.

To make sure your next build is made with the mobile consumer in mind, here are five simple-to-implement design hacks for an optimized mobile ecommerce experience.


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5 Websites to Download Free Subtle Textures and Gradients for Flat Design 2.0

5 Websites to Download Free Subtle Textures and Gradients for Flat Design 2.0

5 Websites to Download Free Subtle Textures: Email

As we move deeper into 2016, we’re beginning to see a trend towards something the industry has dubbed flat design 2.0 – the subtle usage of three-dimensionality in websites to create depth, and increase the saliency of flat focal elements.

With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of our favorite websites for downloading free, high-quality textures and gradients that work beautifully with flat design 2.0.

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6 of the Best Time Tracking Apps for Designers, Developers, and Agencies

6 of the Best Time Tracking Apps for Designers, Developers, and Agencies

time tracking apps: 2016

Time tracking is a hot topic in the creative industry. Some believe that projects should be planned out in advance and based on a flat rate (known as value-based pricing), while others charge by the hour for their services. If you are part of the latter, or even the former but work on retainer, you’ll need to diligently track the time you spend on each project, client, and task throughout the day.

Manually tracking your hours can prove to be a highly ineffective use of your time, not to mention potentially inaccurate and exceptionally mundane. To avoid wasting time – while tracking time – you should say goodbye to lengthy spreadsheets and invest in a robust time tracking app. Instead of wasting billable hours researching the perfect app to fit your needs, I've included six of my favorites below.

You might also like: A Web Designer's Guide to Pricing Strategies

1. Harvest

time tracking app: HarvestHarvest is an industry standard when it comes to time and expense tracking. It offers a beautiful and intuitive interface that works across all desktop and mobile operating systems — it even has an Apple Watch app and a desktop widget for added convenience. Harvest also allows you to track your time per client, project, and individual task. You can even deduct “idle time” from your hours for those instances when you get distracted from the project at hand. Once you’re done with the project, Harvest can produce itemized invoices ready for delivery to your client.

What sets Harvest apart from other time tracking tools is that it fully integrates with 70+ other business management services including Quickbooks, Slack, Stripe, Trello, and Asana. The company also has a great track record (Ha! Get it?) for their customer support and focus on user satisfaction.

Like most software, Harvest has a free and paid version. The free version is perfect if you’re a solo freelancer working on no more than four clients and two projects simultaneously. However, if you require the comfort of unlimited clients/projects, a solo paid account is only $12 per month with additional $10 fees for extra users.

Takeaway: Harvest is great for an advanced freelancer or creative team that has a keen eye for detail and relies on other business software as well.

2. Toggl

time tracking apps: Toggl

Toggl is a simplified version of your average time tracking app. Its one-click tracking style allows you to effectively track time in real-life without the other bells and whistles. Toggl offers all the core functionalities you’d expect, specifically time tracking and invoice generation. Once a job’s done or an invoice is needed, you can export reports to Excel, CSV, or PDF formats to share with your clients. You can also organize your timesheets by projects, clients, or other unique tags. Just like Harvest, Toggl works well on all mobile and desktop operating systems, and even includes a Google Chrome app.

Toggl is very much suited to team-based environments, as you’re able to segment team members into specific user groups. That way, you can limit accessibility privileges of team members based on their role — a great solution if you’re working in an agency with designers, account managers, and developers all working on the same project.

Toggl’s free plan offers pretty much everything you’d need as a freelancer: basic tracking and reporting, unlimited projects, and teams up to five. If you want some extra functionality, you can opt for the Pro or Business plans — both of which offer additional benefits like unlimited team sizes, billable rates, time estimates, and priority support for an added cost.

Takeaway: Toggl is great for collaborative groups of freelancers or a lean creative team working on a restricted budget.

You might also like: 5 Professional Life Hacks to Get Bigger and Better in Your Freelance Design Career

3. Hours

time tracking app: Hours

Built solely for Apple desktops and mobile devices, Hours is another elegantly designed time tracking app that should be on your radar. Its user interface and experience are extremely simple and focus almost entirely on functionality, making it easy to open the app and start time tracking without any obstacles on your first go. You can easily manage various projects or tasks by color coding them, and timestamps are easy to edit if needed. Hours also offers simple reporting that can be viewed in-app or downloaded and emailed to clients in CSV or PDF formats.

Due to its focus on simplicity, Hours is missing some core features and platform integrations found standard in other time tracking apps. But what it lacks is balanced out by its price tag: Hours is entirely free, making it a great solution for freelancers trying to keep operating costs at a minimum.

In its current state, Hours is primarily set up for individual time-tracking, which makes it a great solution for freelance projects or a retainer budget for specific employees within an agency. But if you’re looking for something your whole agency can use to track billable hours, then Hours isn’t the tool for you. The team at Tapity, which built Hours, claim they’ll be releasing a team version as well as a web-based version of their app shortly, but for now it’s a one-man app.

Takeaway: Hours is time tracking plain and simple. If you’re an independent freelancer, or work in an agency on retainer, this free app could be the perfect solution for you.

4. Tick

time tracking app: Tick

Tick is designed to be more than just a time tracking app by including a strong focus on time management optimization. When logging time into Tick’s timesheets, known as timecards, you’ll receive feedback on how much time is left to complete a certain task or project. That way you aren’t only tracking time, but are being kept on track yourself with consistent reminders on whether you are going above or below your estimated schedule.

Timecards can be organized by project or client, and they offer subcategories to track time for specific tasks (say design vs. development). You can actually set monetary or time budgets for individual tasks within a project; that way you’re able to catch problem areas within your workflow early on. Tick also removes the manual effort needed to track your usage of retainers on recurring projects by offering an option to set automatic resets for certain jobs.

Tick connects with over 400 third-party platforms and web apps, including highly functional integrations with project management software Basecamp and accounting tool QuickBooks. Plus, if you’ve got an Apple Watch, Tick has a beautifully simple app for tracking time on the go.

Pricing plans range from free one-project trial accounts to unlimited plans priced at $149 per month. All plans offer unlimited team members and access to the Basecamp integration, but if you’re working on multiple projects simultaneously or are doing work on retainer, you’ll need to opt for a more expensive plan.

Takeaway: Tick is a great solution for a team looking for an all-in-one time tracking and time-optimization app, especially if you use Basecamp as your main project management software.

5. Timely

time tracking app: Timely

Timely acts as a bridge between time tracking and scheduling. Its simple interface resembles your standard calendar app, giving you the ability to proactively schedule the flow of your work day.

From an organizational perspective, Timely is agile enough for team projects. As the account owner, you’re able to assign projects or tasks to specific team members, check on their individual workloads, and reorganize as needed. You can quickly assess logged time against forecasted time to make sure your project is on the right track.

The app also integrates with the most popular calendar apps, including Apple Calendar and Google Calendar, allowing you to sync your existing schedule to your timesheets. This means that whatever you put in your calendar will automatically patch over to Timely, making the adoption of this tool undisruptive for your workflow.

Timely offers two pricing options: Free and Regular. Free is the perfect plan for a freelancer, as it allows only one user and a maximum of five projects to be tracked at once. The Regular plan, at $14 per user per month, is more suitable for a team or agency and offers no limit on the total amount of projects allowed.

Takeaway: Timely is a time tracking app and scheduling assistant in one package. It's most suitable for beginner freelancers juggling no more than five projects, or lean teams of three to five.

6. TrackingTime

time tracking app: TrackingTime

Finally, we have TrackingTime — a simple, one-click time tracking app that is entirely free. You read that right: this tool offers you the ability to create an unlimited amount of projects, user accounts, and clients without adding to your overhead. It works great on all devices and desktop operating systems, and just like Toggl it includes a Chrome app. TrackingTime also includes minor project management capabilities like to-do lists and real-time updates to ensure your projects and teams stay organized.

While there’s no promise that it’ll stay free forever, the company has guaranteed that its tracking and collaboration features will remain free perpetually. I would definitely recommend you check out this tool before investing in anything more complex.

Takeaway: The perfect time tracking tool for a small-time freelancer trying to keep overhead costs at a minimum.

Looking for other ways to streamline your workflow? Check out some of our other favourite design and freelance resources.

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