When our founder, Chris, started Pixel Kicks in 2011 he did so using all of his knowledge as a web designer and developer. Our early growth, therefore, was grounded in website projects and we built a team to do exactly that.
Of course, a new website is only ever going to be as good as the traffic it receives and so a digital marketing arm grew organically, firstly focusing on SEO and PPC and later branching into social media, email marketing and creative content.
We all know that strong internal communication and understanding is fundamental for any agency to grow, and in this piece I hope to summarise how our two departments not only coexist, but work in tandem to ensure our projects run as smoothly as possible.
How our digital marketing team helps web projects
Cross-collaboration between our two departments can come at any stage across a project or campaign timeline. Here, I’ll explain a little more about how my team assists in the delivery of a successful website project.
Marketing input on projects
From time to time our website projects will also require digital marketing input. This can be provided in any of the following ways:
Assisting the onboarding process by requesting access to, and optimising Google properties such as Analytics, Tag Manager, and Search Console. Being present at kick-off meetings to understand content requirements, aiding future content population work.
It is at this stage that we will also run a technical crawl of the client’s existing website. This allows us to take a snapshot of their current sitemap, and assess it to ensure that no content is left behind when the time comes for content population.
From time to time we may get involved in branding or design workshops for large projects. We are also able to run audits ourselves around values, positioning, and tone to aid those sessions along.
If the client’s new website brief has placed a particular emphasis on SEO, then we can also work through a content audit. Here, we work with the client to analyse their sitemap before researching into target keywords for the website. We can produce content guidelines for clients to follow and review their content to ensure it follows SEO best practices.
All of our website projects are put through a rigorous testing process once the content population task has been completed. The size of the website will dictate how many members of the team are involved in this but generally speaking there will always be digital marketers involved at this stage.
For large projects, particularly those with eCommerce functionality, members of the digital marketing team may be required to perform general testing.
Browsing through the website on a staging server, they are required to work through the website back-to-front on their assigned device, interacting with all of the content and functionality as if they were the intended user of the product.
All bugs, usability improvements, and typos are documented in our internal task system where a member of the projects team will assign them outwards.
For all projects, regardless of size, one of our SEO-trained team members will perform specific testing prior to launch.
Here, they are to assess the SEO readiness or the finished product. Is it ready to be launched and indexed in Google, or are there crawlability issues that may hold it back?
Account management for Support clients
Pixel Kicks host hundreds of websites across multiple cloud-based servers, and many of these companies will also retain our support services for a couple of hours per month. This time covers general maintenance of the website, updating the CMS and plugins – that sort of thing. However, in some cases, these clients may use their support time to request additional, ad hoc changes to the website that they cannot do themselves.
In some cases, members of our digital marketing team are on hand to act as account managers for these clients, although this is a legacy service and has since been outdated by the appointment of a projects team to act as a buffer between our client’s requirements and our internal developers.
How our web team supports our digital marketing campaigns
Of course, the interdependency at Pixel Kicks is a two-way street and the digital marketing team frequently calls upon the support of our project coordinators, designers and developers to ensure that our campaigns run smoothly.
Situations often arise where changes are needed to a client’s website. These can be additional requests like adding new tracking code or changing contact information that can’t be reached by the CMS – or, they could be in relation to a bug that the team have found when using the website.
Either way, the timely actioning of support requests is vital for a successful digital marketing campaign, and our development expertise is often called upon to get to the root of technical problems quicker than a marketer can. This is particularly useful if the issue is time-sensitive.
Technical SEO projects
SEO is one of our core expertise areas at Pixel Kicks and our work calls upon both sides of the company to deliver success, particularly when it comes to technical. Technical SEO is concerned with the crawlability, indexability and loading speed of a website product so as you’d imagine, many of the issues that we troubleshoot will require development work to get on top of.
Our development team is responsible for a lot of work in relation to Google Core Web Vitals and ensuring that client websites meet those new standards. They are also responsible for URL management, canonicalisation, server setup, hreflang and a whole host of other bits and pieces that go way over my head!
Without their input and ability to execute the issues we diagnose during the audit, we would not be able to deliver an improved website back to the client.
Naturally, our digital marketing campaigns will almost always be tasked with generating more, high value traffic to a client’s website. But what happens when that traffic isn’t converting at a rate that we would have expected?
Our design team have conducted a number of design audits on aspects of, and even entire websites that we are working to market. These audits often result in tweaks being made to the website to improve conversion rate.
This can include small, subtle changes like CTA placement and layout rearrangement through to large-scale redesigns where the website is failing, but having that knowledge on hand can really help drive value for our clients.
On occasion, our digital marketing clients may send us a brief for a large update to be made to their existing website. This could be the addition of eCommerce functionality, development of a quiz funnel, or even a full redesign and development of an outdated website.
Typically, the client will enquire with their digital marketing executive in the first instance. The executive would take this enquiry to our Business Development Manager who would set up a call to discuss their requirements in more detail, before producing a full quotation that, if agreed, is delivered by our web team.
How our two teams work together efficiently
Pixel Kicks is a busy agency and we’re evolving all the time.
As we’ve grown, we’ve taken measures to improve our interdepartmental processes, something that we will consistently refine as we, hopefully, continue to grow.
First and foremost, all of our clients have dedicated account managers and executives to ensure their requirements are met, and that timescales are communicated clearly through our project management system, Basecamp.
Everything starts with clear client communication. If we haven’t understood or received the information we need, those that are executing the work will suffer as a consequence.
From there, we have internal processes in place to document tasks with accountability considered. Our staff are trained to understand whether task information should go into our task management system (Asana), instant communication (Slack) or run by a member of the team verbally in critical situations, such as a website being down.
We have a weekly touchpoint set up between our two teams. Senior members are present to discuss priority projects and campaigns, putting future work on each others’ horizons and ensuring that we each have everything we need to do a good job for the companies that trust us.
I hope that provides somewhat of an insight into how our two departments contribute to the work that each delivers for our clients. To learn more about our support packages, which draw upon work from both of our teams, simply click the embedded link or contact us directly.
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