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Apps Sales & Marketing Websites Tips

Agri Marketing Tool – Sell Online with Local Line!

“Our goal has stayed the same: put suppliers in control of their sales, so they can control their futures.”

Local line is ‘an e-commerce tool for food suppliers’, based out of Kitchener Ontario Canada. Their complete suite of features is designed for farmers and market gardeners to sell and make their stock available online. Their white-label e-commerce, CRM, inventory and logistics makes it easy to setup an online store, communicate with customers, manage orders, deliveries & more. With COVID 19 currently affecting all aspects of the food supply chain, it is an important time for  building new and solidifying current relationships between food suppliers and local consumers.

https://site.localline.ca/

 

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Apps Graphic Design Sales & Marketing Websites Tips

Online Document Creator with focally.io

“Focally helps business pros create stunning documents that close more deals with less work.”

 

 

I took focally for a test drive yesterday. The timing was perfect for introducing me to focally as I have been prioritizing developing my marketing agency’s documents to be more visually appealing for my clients. I was also working on organizing them so that I can process my leads and proposals faster.

Document Templates & Customizer

Focally helps make your proposal game strong. The easy guides and customizer make it a breeze for anyone to create quality documents for proposals, quotes and marketing material.

 

 

Create your own unique documents from scratch or enjoy this web based app’s pre-made templates for business, consulting and marketing purposes. Customize documents with the easy editor that allows you to swap out and rearrange text, images, video & more. The app features a robust library of image assets and you can always upload your own images as well. Branding is a cinch when you can set your colours and fonts at document level. The documents can even include a navigation menu, allowing clients to jump to sections for quick reference. focally allows you to share documents with team members.

Responsive Documents

The app is design to close deals so naturally this includes receiving signatures so your clients can sign and accept your proposal’s. One of the features that most appealed to me was that these documents are responsive, so they adapt wonderfully to any screen size. My previous process of sending docs meant using pdf’s. With so many people using their smart phones to open documents, I had to think about the fact that pdf’s are not responsive and this could pose a barrier for some of my clients.

Close More Deals with focally

The idea is to make my marketing agency’s process of client communication and closing deals as efficient as possible. The app’s team is based in Toronto and is dedicated to great personalized & friendly customer support. I like how focally is helping me to level up my brand and customer experience in a way that makes it easy for both me and the client. focally offers a 14 day trial so you can try it out for yourself. https://focally.io/

 

 

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Apps Social Media

Little Free Libraries – Education Resource Website

Little free libraries are tiny libraries that homeowners and communities put in their yards for anyone to take or leave a book. There is not obligation to return books here! The little free library is a global movement and there’s a website dedicated to it which provides a map of all the little free libraries around the world. They also offer free plans in case you want to build your own.

Check out Little Free Library at https://littlefreelibrary.org/

Little free libraries are one of my favourite things ever. Now I have heard some people are using them as little free pantries as a response to covid 19! People are putting pantry foods in the little free libraries for added food security in their neighbourhoods. Below is a screen shot of all the libraries listed in Canada! Visit https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/

Check out where the little free libraries are in your neighbourhood and feel free to leave or take some non-perishable food items in there. https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/

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Apps Content Marketing Design Freebies Graphic Design Photography Sales & Marketing Social Media Studio Activity Video Websites Tips

Online Designer Adobe Spark App for Social Media, Posters etc

Online Designer for Stunning Social Graphics, Short Videos, and Web Pages too!

Adobe has so many great online designer apps. Adobe Spark is THE must have for any one sharing content online. Not only is it great for social media design, it can also be used for most online visuals like ads, promotions, posts, hero images, videos and more. The app is brilliant and it’s FREE!

The app comes with tonnes of free stock photography, cool fonts and graphics to use. There are so many templates to use for almost any occasion and can be customized for your unique purposes. You can use the app on both desktop and mobile. Get it from the Play Store for Android. I like working on my graphics on my phone mostly because I can easily post to Instagram from mobile. But I use desktop often as well because I can work on the graphics on a bigger scale there. Check out some of my other social media planning apps on my blog here.

 

The Adobe Spark app is great for holiday graphics with templates for your holiday card maker and social media posts. I also recommend the app for promoting your brand, business, services and products. You can design one visual then easily readjust the canvas to any dimensions saving many versions at different dimensions. This makes it easy to develop a brand campaign of stunning and sophisticated visual graphics to represent your brand across all your social media platforms and more.

The app is also great for Wedding templates and more.

Spark comes with plenty of design templates for

  • holidays
  • seasonal
  • weddings
  • events
  • & more
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Apps Content Marketing Sales & Marketing Websites Tips

Teachable – Online Course Creator

Teachable – Create and sell beautiful online courses

Your skills and experiences are unique and valuable. Easily build a beautiful course website, share your knowledge, and be rewarded for it.

Teachable is a very cool app that makes it easy to create online courses. Great for anyone who has a skill, a talent or with knowledge to share, Teachable can help you develop, launch and make money with your online training course. It is free to setup. All you need to get started is your email and the name of your school. This online course creator is a well designed platform that is well organized and visually appealing. The dashboard makes it easy for both you and your students to navigate your course. Develop a course curriculum with optional learning tools like quizzes, lectures, and video.

This top rated online course creator also makes selling your course a breeze. You can choose how you want to receive payment for your course, either by subscription, one time purchase or by payment plan. If you want to you can even share your course for free 🙂

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Apps Content Marketing Design Freebies Sales & Marketing Social Media

Planoly Social Media Planning App for Instagram

Planoly

Visually plan, manage, and schedule your Instagram Posts with Planoly

Create draft grids to test out the look of content without having to commit to publishing. Make social media management easy by planning ahead with Planoly!

“Manage, plan and schedule your Instagram posts from your computer and mobile phones. Create a cohesive Instagram feed and manage multiple Instagram accounts.”

Planoly is an official partner of Instagram (and Pinterest too!) that makes it easy to plan your posts and preview them laid out as a grid, just the way they will look once they’ve been posted to Instagram. One of the best features is the ability to auto post your scheduled posts (I use Facebook Creator Studio to auto post too, see my post about it here).

“It’s the First visual planner for Instagram. Clear and to the point web and mobile app – PLANOLY is the most effective visual social media planner on the market (oh, and you can schedule too)!”

Planoly makes developing content easy with access to a free library of stock images. You can also track your success and learn more about your audiency with analytics insights.

And if you’re into e-commerce, Planoly is great because you can add shop links to Instagram and tag your products on posts.

You can also use Planoly for Instagram stories!

 

 

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Apps Content Marketing Sales & Marketing Social Media Websites Tips

Mailchimp and why e-newsletters are a top performer for increasing and marketing business

Mailchimp has been my solution for making and sending e-newsletters. I use it for my business and for my clients. https://mailchimp.com  You can sign up for a free account which is plenty good for many small business’. The free account offers up to 2000 subscribers and provides the means to make quality designed e-newsletters. You can collect email subscribers by adding a sign up form to your website. You can even put the sign up form on your Facebook Page. It’s also possible to add new subscribers to a Mailchimp list manually. For instance, If you have a shop put a sign up form at the till. If you’re a local musician put it at the door to the event. Just make sure you make it clear that you are collecting these emails for the purpose of your newsletter. Mailchimp doesn’t like when people add the emails of those who never asked to be included.

Other features include analytic insights of your audience’s interaction with your e-newsletter once you’ve sent it. I am a data hound and it’s because this kind of data is valuable to understand what’s working, what’s not. You can see metrics for how many people opened your e-newsletter and how often. It also shows how many clicks it got to links within the e-newsletter. It shows the popular times of day when your e-newsletter gets the most opens. These are just some of the helpful features this free app provides.

Here’s an article about how one such store ‘Highway Robbery’ uses e-newsletters to market their business and increase sales. https://mailchimp.com/resources/issue-105-featuring-highway-robery/

 

 

 

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Apps Content Marketing Websites Tips

Yoast SEO – Best WordPress Plugins

Yoast offers free and paid services. Their free services are pretty amazing and likely is good to be on everyone’s wordpress websites. SEO is a tricky thing for most folks to begin to wrap their head around and even for me, a tech savvy coder and SEO services provider, I find their plugin essential to my website strategy. It provides a checkpoint ‘traffic light’ colour code system of how well your web page or blog post is following best standards of search engine optimization.

How to use Yoast SEO plugin?

Once you have the Yoast plugin installed on your wordpress website, you’ll find the essentials of the plugin located under the page editor which is where you are typing in your post/page content. Find something that looks like the screenshot below. Yoast will begin to perform it’s function analyzing your page’s SEO once you have entered your page’s keyword into the Yoast ‘Focus Keyphrase’ field. Shown in the screenshot below, the focus keyphrase is ‘Yoast SEO’.

Analyze your wordpress website and blog post with Yoast SEO

Even if you don’t already know what SEO really even is, how it works or how to do it right, this plugin will guide you through current best practices. Details like text length and whether or not you used images or links will all make a difference for how well you rank on search engines and how well your website is optimized for search engines. Of course there are other things that affect your website’s SEO that Yoast doesn’t help with, like page load times to begin with. But using Yoast helps you with your website and blog’s content and that gives your SEO a major advantage.

Yoast grades with a green, orange or red light for the following SEO features listed below. Handy links of ‘how to’s’ are included for each of these features is provided by Yoast to reference them further. I often follow these links to their website to learn more about improving my blog writing for SEO; particularly for the Readability analysis & to get the list of suggested transition words and also to have ‘flesch reading ease’ described to me (again).

SEO Analysis

  • key phrase length
  • use of internal links
  • use of outbound links
  • page title, slug & description length
  • text length
  • image alt attributes

Readability Analysis

  • paragraph length
  • transition words
  • flesch reading ease
  • passive voice
  • consecutive sentences
  • subheading distribution
  • sentence length

Page Meta

  • page title
  • slug
  • description

One other major thing to understand for SEO is that different keywords are going to be more effective than others. Yoast doesn’t help you choose keywords, but it does analyze for the keywords you set.

One last thing…

What is post / page meta?

One of the highlights of the Yoast plugin includes greater control over your page and blog post meta. Meta is the text information that is shown of your page when it comes up in a search engine search like Google. You can control how the page title appears which in this case I have titled  Digital Marketing Services Winnipeg | Sabourin Web & Media.

The next bit of meta shown here is the slug, so the URL extension. The slug here comes after your domain ie. https://yourdomain.ca/slug.  And finally, the description of the page. SEO is based off of keywords which should describe what the content of the webpage or post are about. You’ll want to use your page’s keywords in each of these locations. Use the keyword(s) in your page title, slug and page description. Use Yoast to enter this meta and take advantage of their handy check point system to see if you are staying on top of your website SEO.

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Apps Websites Tips

Website Development Tutorials & More with Lynda.com

I took the time this past month to update myself on current standards of website development and hit the ground running with Lynda.com – Having completed 7 certificates this past week alone, related to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, XML and running a creative services business, there are dozens more of their courses exciting me about learning over the coming weeks!

Lynda.com educators are leaders in their fields, CEO’s to Animators and in between. What’s more, in 2015 LinkedIn purchased Lynda.com and have integrated it to their social media platform with the option to post achieved certificates to your LinkedIn profile. This is a resource I have found to be accessible, with subscription plans starting at around $40 / month.  The library of Lynda.com areas of interest cover a wide-range of tutorials relating to media, business and education. With more than 2000 tutorials and counting, here is a list of areas of interests they offer, all laid out in easy ways to browse and to advance your education.

  • 3D Animation
  • Audio & Music
  • Business
  • CAD
  • Design
  • Developer
  • Education & E-Learning
  • IT
  • Marketing
  • Photography
  • Video
  • Web

If you haven’t already explored the topics and courses they provide, I highly recommend this online resource to all ages and professionals looking to expand their knowledge base.  https://www.lynda.com/

 

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Apps Content Marketing Sales & Marketing Studio Activity Websites Tips

How To Improve Your Website SEO Ranking Beginners Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization – aka – SEO is the process by which you can improve your ranking score for certain search terms in a search engine like google or yahoo.

Let’s say you own a florist shop called Deloris the Florist in Regina Saskatchewan Canada.When someone searches their preferred search engine with the key words “florist in Regina” will they find you in the first spot, or on the seventh page?

No one usually looks beyond the first few results and very rarely do they make it past the third page of results. For this florist shop to achieve their goal of being on the first page of google when someone searches with those key words, they will need to follow best recommendations for SEO.

First things first is to understand a bit about how your website is ranked by Search Engines. This will help you understand how to optimize your site. Search engines like Google have bots that are searching the web non stop. Bots scrape the text of new websites that have been added to the web and submitted to search engines and will periodically revisit your site. Bots do not have eyes so they do not see pictures, but they do read text. They search the text of a website for terms that are used most often, but not too often otherwise the bots will think you’re spamming them. Bots pay attention to how long a user stays on your page. This is called a bounce rate.

A high bounce rate means people are leaving your page or website too fast. To keep a low bounce rate, you want to be sure to optimize your site with terms that are truly descriptive of the content they will find on your page. Bots will rank your site with favor when they see that your site has a low bounce rate with steadily increasing traffic. Other ways to think about how to keep users engaged with your site and staying on your pages longer is by having plenty of interesting text for both users and bots to index, as well as other engaging content for your traffic, such as images, video and blogging.

Our Beginners Guide to SEO – Search Engine Optimization

1.Optimize your website by making sure it is running well. If your website is slow to load, people leave fast This contributes to a high bounce rate which will damage your search engine ranking. There can be a lot of reasons for a slow website. Luckily it is pretty easy to find out what these reasons are. Here are links to online sites that give you free website metrics, telling you how fast your page is, how it compares to other sites and recommendations for ways to improve your websites optimization.

  • GTmetrix | Website Speed and Performance Optimization

GTmetrix is a free tool that analyzes your page’s speed performance. Using PageSpeed and YSlow, GTmetrix generates scores for your pages and offers actionable recommendations on how to fix them.

Source: gtmetrix.com/

 

  • Pingdom Tools

Enter a URL to test the load time of that page, analyze it and find bottlenecks.

Full Page Test Analysis

Source: tools.pingdom.com/

 

And the Google version…

  • PageSpeed Insights

Learn more about web performance tools at Google.

Source: developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

 

2. Research keywords for your industry to use in your website copy.  The best way to do this is probably using Google Ad Words and have get some training using SEO and developer keyword tools. But for something a bit more accessible we recommend, MOZ PRO

With MOZ you can easily look up keywords and get information back about the search engine relevance of that keyword. We also recommend reading the MOZ Beginners Guide to SEO and Keyword Research https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/keyword-research

 

3. Use an SEO plugin

Yoast is one of the best SEO plugins. Their Search Engine Optimization plugin is one of the most popular WordPress plugins out there. They also have a website that is full of great articles and content about website optimization best practices.

Yoast is our #1 Recommendation for a SEO Plugin

 

SEO for everyone • Yoast

Yoast helps you with your website optimization, whether it be through our widely used SEO software or our online SEO courses: we’re here to help.

Source: yoast.com/

 

4. Monitor your website traffic. You can track your website traffic progress by signing up with Google Analytics. There’s lots of free information that they provide you such as how much traffic your site gets, how people are finding you, and how users behave on your site and you can even get information about the organic search words that people are finding you with. There are ways to identify how to monitor your websites ranking for certain key words. Most of these online resources want you to make a paid subscription which can be very worthwhile. Of these you might like to check out https://www.semrush.com

Google Analytics Solutions – Marketing Analytics & Measurement

Google Analytics Solutions offers free and enterprise analytics tools to measure website, app, digital and offline data to gain customer insights.

Source: www.google.com/analytics/

 

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Apps Content Marketing Sales & Marketing Social Media Websites Tips

Using Instagram for Business Social Marketing Tool

Instagram is a great tool for business.

This is pretty much the #1 tool for online marketing that I am currently recommending to my clients.

Instagram is

  • Easy to Use
  • Free
  • Great for Generating Brand awareness and New Leads
  • Audience Development

You need a smart phone to use it. You can view accounts on your desktop or laptop but can only upload to your Instagram account via a smart phone. Navigate to your phones APP store. On Samsung the App is Play Store, on Itunes it’s the Apple Store etc. From there browse Instagram. Download the App then open it. It will ask you for your login information or to create an account. Create your account or login.

I could continue to explain using Instagram but I’ll save my typing and for a proper orientation I will point you in the direction of HubSpot! which is one of my favourite online resources for all things online marketing. There you will learn everything there is to know, starting with how to setup an Instagram business account. They’ll also show you about linking your account to your Facebook Page, how to create engaging content and more. Find the link below. There’s also a link for a YouTube video that breaks it down in about 5 minutes.

Once you get pretty good at Instagram, you might like to try out some expansion apps for doing things like

If you have a Facebook Page for your business or organization, any advertising campaigns you set there can automatically be shared on Instagram. You can also share your Instagram posts to your Facebook personal or business page, making it as easy to share to two platforms as it is to one.

Using hash tags on your Instagram is a crucial aspect to developing an Instagram audience and to generating new leads.

Include as many as 20-30 Hash Tags with every post. Use relevant hash tags. Do a little research to find out popular hash tags you could use for your posts by searching the internet with a search querie like “Popular Hash Tags Instagram”. Look through the results and develop a list of hash tags that are appropriate for your content. You can be abstract, zany or direct with your choice of hash tags, creativity is usually celebrated here but remember to also try to be descriptive because they do serve to describe your content to your audience, bringing you up in peoples feeds that are relevant to your product or service.

 

Instagram Marketing: The Ultimate Guide

Instagram Marketing: The Ultimate Guide

Learn how to create captivating visuals, grow your following, and drive engagement on Instagram.

Source: www.hubspot.com/instagram-marketing

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Apps

Thrive Solo Review Best Project Management Software App for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs and Business Professionals

Now that I’m committing to this blog, I really can’t help but share all the tricks I’ve picked up along this crazy old thing you call the hustle. My wing man indeedleedoo is Thrive Solo

Thrive Solo

 

“Beautiful award winning Project Management Software for Freelancers. Time Tracking Software, Quotes, and Invoicing Software that’s flexible and easy to use.”

 

I have been using Thrive Solo since 2015. I was excited to discover it because I had been dreaming about it for years, often having already wished to find as good of a project management app as this.
Over the years I have tried a variety tools and I have found a comfortable place with Thrive Solo. It’s effortless and intuitive landscape, sleek design and quality customer support are all the features that get me pretty jazzed.

Thrive Solo Features

  • Time Tracking
  • Invoicing
  • Client Profiles
  • Projects Profiles With Fields for Project, Task, Work Type, User, Date, Duration, Hourly Rate etc
  • Time Sheets
  • To Do
  • Expenses
  • Quotes
  • & more

 

 

 

 

 

 

View and export field specific reports filtering your timeline as you wish; by financial year, just this month, all time and in between. Track your profit margins, budgets, hourly rate and more. Professional invoicing never was so easy.

 

 

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Apps Design Freebies Graphic Design Photography Websites Tips

Image Optimization for Web

The important thing to remember is that every webpage has a PAGE LOAD TIME.
This is calculated by how much data needs to be uploaded to the users computer. The data on a page can also be called the WEB PAGE WEIGHT.

Other factors include the internet providers service, such as high speed vs. dial up.
So more web page weight= more web page load time = poor user experience = poor return rates and poor conversion of web traffic to sales. So keeping your web site load times in check and optimal increases your likelihood of having a successful website.

Sites like Pingdom can help you figure out how fast your websites webpages are loading
https://tools.pingdom.com/

The largest culprits of a heavy page weight/ slow page load time is media. Images are the biggest culprit of a slow website. Video and audio can also be suspect. After that, forms, java script and other special bells and whistles can really drag on a pages load time.

My clients primary concern is images and this is what we will concern ourselves with here today.
Estimates are that you should try and keep your websites webpage weight at under 200 kb. These means that all elements on that page should total the web page weight at under 200 kb.

One image can easily be twice that size if you don’t compress it. But if you know how to save your images for website optimization and if you know how to compress them, you will gain the advantage! Your site will be in control of your image content rather than you image content being in control of your site.

FIGURE OUT YOUR IMAGE DIMENSION AND SIZE
Figure out what you’re working with and how much work you need to do to get your images optimized properly. This should be as simple as right clicking your image and clicking “get info”. This will display some of the info data on the image including these two main factors of “size” & “dimensions”

SIZE THE IMAGE HEIGHT AND WIDTH APPROPRIATELY
Images displayed on your computer use pixels. The quality and amount of pixels needed to display a large printed photo to hang on your wall is much bigger than what you want to display on a computer screen. Typically a full screen background image is ideal with the proportions of 1250 X 800 pixels.
Your camera could be taking photos 3-6 times that amount which is great for printing but very superfluous for use on the web.

So start by saving your photo with smaller dimensions in an image editor on your computer (you can even do this in wordpress itself under “edit image”) so now save it to these full screen background proportions of 1250 X 800 if that’s what it’s being used for. Otherwise you can save it smaller than that for a banner or blog post image which don’t need to be fullscreen and will probably display at half that size or smaller.

COMPRESS THE IMAGE
Next is to compress the image in some file format, usually a jpg
This site offers info on working with the different file formats such as .gif, .png and .tiff
http://inobscuro.com/tutorials/optimizing-images-for-web-35/

How to compress your image for web optimization
1.Use an Image Editor

Compress the newly and appropriately sized image (1250 X 800px or less ) by finding the option in your image editor to save for web . This option should display your compression options and data
THis one is free
https://pixlr.com/
here’s some more..

9 Best Free Image Editors

http://mashable.com/2013/07/22/free-image-editors/#WAVaAS9jzmqo
16 essential photo editor apps
http://www.creativebloq.com/software/best-photo-editor-51411752

2. Use a Plug IN (wordpress)
There are many image optimization plug ins out there for wordpress. If you google image optimization plug in, you can find reviews on several of the most current and relevant.
I have recently tried this popular one called SMUSH IT . It is easy to use, once you’ve downloaded it and activated the SMUSH IT plug in, your image files in your website media library will now have a SMUSH IT botton and all you need do is press it.

SMUSH IT
https://en-ca.wordpress.org/plugins/wp-smushit/

3.COMPRESS ONLINE
Websites like Optimizilla may give you the most efficiency for the least tech proficiency. Just load your images to the site and voila! Compressed jpgs

http://optimizilla.com/
With Optimizilla you can control the amount compressed and preview it with the Quality meter on the right. Lower the quality meter and you reduce the file size. This may sound unfortunate to lose “quality” but for the purpose of a website, a fair bit of quality loss can go mostly unnoticed. Optimizilla allows for you to preview the compressed image rates so you can decide for yourself how much compression the image can take while maintaining a good enough quality image to display.
I hope this covered some of what you need to know to achieve a fast loading website and confidence using images on your website and blogs. Images are a great tool for the web and I encourage you to use them. But you’ll be doing your website a favor if you know how to use them wisely.

Wikipedia explains data compression:

“In signal processing, data compression, source coding, or bit-rate reduction involves encoding information using fewer bits than the original representation. Compression can be either lossy or lossless. … The process of reducing the size of a data file is referred to as data compression.”

Compression is useful because it reduces resources required to store and transmit data. Computational resources are consumed in the compression process and, usually, in the reversal of the process (decompression). Data compression is subject to a space–time complexity trade-off. For instance, a compression scheme for video may require expensive hardware for the video to be decompressed fast enough to be viewed as it is being decompressed, and the option to decompress the video in full before watching it may be inconvenient or require additional storage. The design of data compression schemes involves trade-offs among various factors, including the degree of compression, the amount of distortion introduced (when using lossy data compression), and the computational resources required to compress and decompress the data.[5][6]”
(Read more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_compression )