Hello to Amasty blog readers!
Today we’d like to introduce a new Amasty partner, which joined our professional family a couple of months ago. Please meet SmartSites! To put you in touch with this company, we interviewed Michael Melen, SmartSites Co-Founder.
— Could you please tell us about SmartSites?
SmartSites is an online marketing firm whose goal is to help companies and businesses succeed in the online sphere. The company was was founded in 2011 by my brother Alex and myself.
From the very beginning, client feedback has guided SmartSites. We began as an SEO-only agency, but quickly expanded our offerings to include design and development. In addition to SEO, clients asked if we could help them out with web design; we wondered too, so we gave it a try and it worked! SmartSites now offers the digital trifecta: web design, PPC, and SEO.
Whether it is through building a new website, implementing strategic SEO initiatives, or launching an aggressive PPC campaign, we like to get creative. Everything the SmartSites team does is unique to our specific clients’ needs. Since our inception in 2011, the team has expanded to over 40 full-time employees, but we never lost our personal touch.
— What is your main advantage when it comes to the online marketing sphere? Why should business owners turn to you, not to your competitors?
Our client-focused approach is probably our strongest suit. While it takes a team of over 10 people to plan, design, and develop a site, each project that we take on is assigned a dedicated project manager to work with the client every step of the way. We offer unbeatable personal attention that the larger companies simply cannot rival.
This leads to proven results time and time again. While it would be nice if online success relied on pretty designs, that is not realistic. Numbers matter and we know it. Not only do we create beautiful designs, but we also develop winning marketing solutions to support them. Feel free to check us out on Facebook and Yelp; we have five-star reviews across the board and are very proud of it!
— Can you share the most unusual project you’ve worked on?
LPM, a precious metal retailer based out of Hong Kong, was a project that certainly pushed our boundaries. There were a variety of challenges we tackled while building this website. Working with the Southeast Asian geography was new, as was implementing the Hong Kong Dollar as the main form of currency. This proved interesting, as very few credit card processors take Hong Kong currencies
Then there was the challenge of live market pricing, which needed to be updated by the minute according to the changes in prices of gold and silver. This was coupled with tiered pricing, which was based on quantity and payment method. It was not an easy project, but the results proved quite rewarding.
LPM now rivals some of the US bullion retailers and grows daily. We still work with them to continually improve the website and are actually in the process of incorporating auto-hedging on the site.We’ve learned not to limit ourselves with regards to what we can offer; who knows what will come next?
We offer unbeatable personal attention that the larger companies simply cannot rival.
— Can you share the most difficult project you’ve worked on?
The client Cut Sheet Labels comes to mind. They were the first company we worked with on a Magento 2 project, so it was a challenge to figure out the kinks that inevitably come along with trail-blazers. We didn’t want to compromise quality, but we also had to be honest in the fact that we were operating with a newly-released edition that did not yet have the proven track record of Magento 1.
Another challenge with this project was incorporating a custom design tool that one of our developers, Sergey, built from scratch specifically for Cut Sheet Labels. This was another element that we had never done before, but wanted to incorporate because we had confidence that it would be beneficial in the long run.
Now that the site is now live and flourishing, we have implemented an ongoing SEO plan. All of the hours developing the website were worth it, as we see the sales continue to grow month after month.
— Let’s talk about Magento 2. Do you have plans to work with it in the future when it comes to site design and development?
We already work with it! As mentioned above, Cut Sheet Labels was our first Magento 2 project, but certainly not our last. In fact, we are actively working on 5 more Magento 2 projects that are due to launch in the coming months. It’s an exciting time in the web development space, especially with regards to ecommerce platforms. We feel lucky to be at the forefront of all of these changes.
— Do you have your special marketing/web design superpower?
We have the advantage of starting out as a marketing company and evolving into a full service agency. Because of this, all of our projects have a huge focus on SEO. Instead of just jumping into design like many agencies do, we create a comprehensive website roadmap so the client knows exactly where the project is going at all times from the day of the kickoff to the launch of the website.
— How often do you choose Magento as a platform for your clients’ projects? And why?
Magento is our go-to for ecommerce sites. If a client plans on selling products online, we recommend Magento immediately. Clients come to us because they are not web developers, so we want to give them a platform that is user friendly for both us and them. We don’t think it’s fair to keep the secrets of the trade hidden in the SmartSites vault…because there isn’t one! SmartSites provides our clients with utmost transparency and Magento allows our clients to be as involved in their projects as they like.
In a select few cases where the ecommerce portion of the site was minimal and secondary, we opted for WordPress Woocommerce. Otherwise, if we know a site is going to have a significant e-commerce portion, we go with Magento. It’s a no-brainer.
We’re excited about the upcoming partnership opportunities with SmartSites and wish them good luck in making their clients happy!