Trio Web Design
Trio Web Design

Trio Web Design featured in SaskBusiness Magazine - September 2012

posted by Trio Web Design    |   October 1, 2012 13:42

Setting the Standard in Website Design - by Nathan Hursh

website designers saskatoon

In a market where common words are thrown around with no regard to their actual meaning, Trio has established standards to ensure their clients know exactly what they are getting.

The old adage that “opposites attract” may seem like the wrong saying for two people who have grown up together, but for some reason it seems extremely appropriate for the sister duo that started Trio Web Design, Allison Thiessen and Jannah Craig. Opposites attract is usually in reference to how two people can be so totally different that their uniqueness brings them together and with these two, it’s no different except for the fact that they haven’t spent much time apart.

Born in Saskatoon, but raised in Yorkton, the sisters worked together as long as they can remember. “We always started little businesses together when we were younger,” reflects Allison. “My parents’ philosophy in our development was to emphasize that no matter what happens in life, Jannah and I would always have each other to count on. So this propelled us to be the closest of friends. Our friendship was something my parents really nurtured.”

Celebrating each other’s unique traits was also encouraged from an early age and this has given them the foundation of being really great business partners. Before even being out of grade school, the girls had come to the realization that they should be in business together. “Allison was always organizing the products, and I was always making the space look good, whether our pretend business was a restaurant or clothing store located in our playroom,” Jannah laughs while Allison adds, “and these characteristics carried over into our young adult life, as we were always looking for opportunities to work together.”

As life goes, the sisters embarked on different paths with Allison, the older of the two, attending the University of Saskatchewan first, and obtaining a degree in marketing. Jannah followed her passion for art and attended the

University of Saskatchewan, starting in the fine arts program and then branching off to obtain her diploma in graphic design at McKay Career Training. During this time, the desire to work together was still very present, but Allison travelled for some time before coming back to Saskatoon to work for a junior mining company, while Jannah found work with a graphic design firm.

“We hadn’t planned it at all,” explains Allison, “but I was approached by a business owner in Saskatoon who was interested in having me consult for his company on their current marketing strategy. At the age of 26, I didn’t think it was something that I was necessarily qualified to do; however, with my growing interest in internet marketing and my experience in brand development and promotions, he was eager to have me review the business’ marketing strategy. This created an opportunity for Jannah and I to work together, because of the potential re-branding strategy for the company’s print and online material.”

With Jannah’s experience in websites and print design, it seemed like an opportune time for the girls to work together, especially since only a few months prior they met the final part of their trio, Tristan Rawlings. “It just kind of happened,” remembers Jannah. “We met him at a social gathering and casually joked around about the three of us creating a company together.”

“Our conversation was really casual and I think that’s how businesses can sometimes start,” says Allison. “It’s a casual conversation with no pressure, where people can easily talk about their passions, what drives them, and what areas they have expertise in.”

Tristan’s background is in website and database programming and IT support. His experience as a programming specialist with the federal government, and the fact that he also owned a local Saskatoon website hosting company, made him a great addition to the sister duo. “After I was approached for the re-branding opportunity, the three of us revisited our ‘casual conversation’ and we were all really open to working together on this project,” states Allison. Trio grew organically from that moment on.

In the beginning, some of Trio’s initial projects came from Tristan’s web hosting clients who were looking to upgrade their websites. It didn’t take long for the people who had their websites redesigned to start recommending Trio to everyone they knew because of the service they received and the quality of the websites. Trio’s continued growth has almost completely been based on referrals from clients. With this type of organic growth strategy, the business partners found themselves fighting through a few lean months during the beginning stages of the business. “There were days when we would sit and ask each other hard questions about our business growth strategy,” explains Allison. “We would take out our business plan and remind ourselves of why we started Trio, what kind of foundation we were committed to building, and the type of web design company we wanted to become. We all knew the value in the product and service we were offering to businesses and by the end of these talks, the three of us were more committed to seeing the company through lean and robust times.”

“We also had our parents,” declares Jannah, “who were eternally supportive of us. My dad would quit his job and be our personal driver if we would let him.”

It all boils down to three things: a solid business model that puts the customer first, a top-notch product, and a passion that fuels everything. Trio is one of the few web design companies out there that starts every project with a blank page, literally. Jannah will not use a pre-made template or a design that she has created previously; she is creative to the core. She starts with nothing, except for the market research that Allison has done to get down to the heart of the client’s company, by pinpointing the target audience, analyzing the product or service being sold, and thoroughly understanding the message that the client would like to convey online.

Opposites attract, there is no question about it. Allison is the marketing extrovert, Jannah is the artistic introvert. Decisions in the company are made based on each person’s area of expertise and that decision carries authority, and is respected by the other people within the business. “I think why Jannah and I like working together is because we become our best when we work together, which is how it’s been since we were little,” Allison laughingly exclaims. “It’s absolutely huge that Jannah and I don’t compete with each other. We’ve always grown up hearing from our parents to compliment one another and be each other’s biggest supporter. We know one another’s boundaries and we honour each other’s strengths. The same goes with Tristan; he is very gifted at what he does and we respect his area of expertise.”

Since being in business together since 2009, Trio has accumulated over 50 clients and offers each of those clients the same support and service regardless of the business or organization’s size. With Trio’s foundation of producing quality websites and trusted customer service, a plan for expansion beyond Saskatchewan’s borders is a strategy they are carefully assessing. “First, we are focused on grow- ing a dynamic web design business here at home. Now this isn’t to say that we aren’t interested in setting-up Trio outside of our borders, but we believe that you have to build something right the first time before you can successfully export it,” describes Allison. With that being said, Trio is currently expanding here in Saskatoon. They are looking to hire another designer and an administrative assistant to support their business growth going into the 2013 fiscal year.

Allison and Jannah are working hard and are seeing the fruits of their labor. Trio however may not be the only business venture these sisters do in their professional lives, as they are always dreaming and looking towards the future. “Dreaming big dreams is a gift that we all have, and we dream a lot,”explain the girls. “But we know that you can’t only set your gaze on the future, because you will miss out on the greatness of the here and now. It’s keeping our attention on the present that will enable us to one day achieve our dreams. Over fifteen years ago, we had a dream to work together and now here we are business partners and owners. We can’t help but be excited about the future of Trio, but we are even more thrilled about the success of Trio today.”

Regardless of whether Trio is their only business to grow and nurture for a long time to come or if it’s a stepping stone to something else, the one thing that rings true is that whatever they end up doing, it will be done together as partners.

Tags: , ,


Internet and Website Marketing affects your business success

posted by Trio Web Design    |   February 15, 2012 11:01

As more businesses begin to realize the importance of having a website, and not just a basic website - I mean a website that is powered by an Internet Marketing strategy designed to increase their Online Presence, the Internet real estate will become more competitive and the margin of quality results will require more work to maintain. 

Since starting Trio Web Design in Saskatoon, our main drivers have been to educate and implement foundational Internet Marketing practices through the development of our custom designed websites.  At our inception, the term Online Presence was a foriegn term for many businesses, but today the majority of business owners are feeling the "heat" of either their lack of..or...their ineffective Internet Marketing Strategies (Online Presence). 


With this ever growing rush to the Internet and maddash for priority in organic search results, one major "reality" has been forgotten and that is - sustainable, effective, and measurable success takes time, effort, and money.

Business owners that desire to obtain a high priority in organic search results need to have a "full-buy-in" mentality when it comes to developing and maintaining their Online Presence.  Unfortunately, the Internet isn't a win-win environment.  It is no longer as easy as simply putting up a basic website and magically your website has the best priority in the local organic search results.  


Search Engines are continually sifting through websites to determine their relevance and monitor the consistency of new content rich updates. 

I came across a great article this morning titled: 4 Major Internet Marketing Game Changers for 2012 by Steve Toth, from Techwyse Internet Marketing Toronto, see below.  The article highlights some of the important Internet success factors behind developing an Online Presence.  

Internet and Website Marketing are two areas that cannot be overlooked when deciding whether or not a website should be created for your business, or whether or not your current website needs a redesign.  If you are considering either option contact us and we would be happy to help you develop an Online Presence that will grow as your business continues to grow. 

Enjoy the article!


- - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - -


The 2012 IM trends landscape continues to look increasingly competitive. We’re no longer in the age of a few early adopters monopolizing the first page of Google. Now every, dentist, auto mechanic, flower shop etc. is online; not only online, but actively investing internet marketing dollars in the areas of PPC (search and display), SEO and social media. As more players enter the game, the bidding war for ad space heightens. 2012 will see increased barriers to entry to those who are late to the game.

Social is the New Word of Mouth

Facebook’s “talking about this” metric is a nod to what social media really is: a massive network for word of mouth recommendations. You don’t have to share your status to let others know what you’re doing anymore. Facebook is moving in the direction of publishing more than just your like and comment activity. By installing apps like the Washington Post Social Reader, your friends can now see that you’ve read an article, not simply that you’ve liked, shared or commented on it.

The Fracturing of Search Results

Search results are now highly geared towards a user’s location and social network. Browsing habits still play a major factor. All of this leads to fractured search results, where some sites may rank, while others don’t depending on who the searcher is.

Other key shifts will include:

  • The inclusion of socially relevant posts
  • The rise of PPC as the core strategy for online marketing
  • New challenges for SEO
  • Fresh Content will become ever more important, if you don’t have a blog, get on it. 
  • Local search and reviews, Google Places and Yelp will continue to influence buying decisions.
  • Mobile search will be influenced by location, companies with mobile websites will see better conversions from organic and paid traffic.


Google Quality Continues to Get Better

  • The quality of referring links will need to be high. Google will not give credence to poor quality backlinks, link farms and link wheels are a thing of the past. Quality will outweigh quantity.
  • Search results will contain high quality, fresh content that’s been shared.
  • Sites with great user experiences may rank higher, Google can analyze this if the site has Google Analytics installed.
  • Websites with high CTRs, low bounce rates and original content will have an edge
  • An integrated strategy will be needed in order to rank organically – UI, Social, PPC, SEO, Content Strategy.


Referring Sites Will Continue to Proliferate

  • Sites like portals, destination guides and niche resources will be a valuable source of traffic. Don’t be surprised if these sites pop up overnight, as social media is now a primary springboard for many start-up sites looking for traffic.
  • Referring sites are growing more quickly than your competitors, actively research them and get linked to.
  • Consumers will continue to research in more places, and these sites will increase in importance as they provide links, rank for related terms and influence buying decisions.
  • Search engines will continue to reward sites that are present on highly trafficked, socially connected sites.

That’s a wrap! Authentic, original content, is key to your online marketing success in 2012 and moving forward. Produce original content and spread it through social networks. Google’s algorithm will reward you for hard work e.g. consistent content creation, social updates, networking with referring sites and building organic links. Sprinkle in a little PPC and you’ve got a recipe for success!



Trio Web Design
Trio Web Design