Why Your Website Needs Local Landing Pages

Local landing pages have become an important role in search engine optimization (SEO) for websites today. Simply by developing city specific landing pages on your website, you can increase your visibility, as well as your organic rankings. This is especially beneficial to businesses who are a single-location service area business (SAB).

For example, say you are a landscaper who travels to their clients in a 30-mile radius, in the event that you travel from your home or office in order to serve your customers, your business is considered a single-location service area business (SAB).

Here are some things you should consider when creating your local landing pages:

  1. Identify the cities in which you serve.
  2. Create a unique page of content on your website for each of these cities.
  3. Link to these pages from a top level menu.

It is important that when you create these local landing pages that you are including relevant and helpful content, specific to each location. Here are some ideas to help you develop unique local landing pages:

  1. How long has your business been providing services?
  2. How long have your customers been with your business?
  3. How are your products or services used within the community?
  4. Is your business involved in the community?
  5. Is your product or service in high demand?
  6. How did your business get it’s start? Talk about the people on your team.

If you are interested in adding local landing pages to your website or to see how we can help better your SEO, contact Windy City Web Designs for more information today.

Web Design Tips for Your Small Business

In order for small businesses to stay ahead of the competition, it is best to be on top of how you are marketing your business. This is especially true when it comes to running your website.

If you do not have a website that will attract and hold your customers’ attention, you are in jeopardy of falling behind your competitors and without a website, you are missing an incredible opportunity to engage and connect with your customers.

These web design tips will help your small business be as successful as possible:

Tip#1: Reflect your brand. What are you trying to sell? What do you want your customer’s first impression to be? Be sure to keep your design fresh, simple, and unique. If your site looks similar to others, especially your competition’s, then you risk the chance of being forgotten, instead of making that all-important lasting impression. Your homepage should do all of these things, while appropriately representing your brand and your message you wish to communicate to your customers and visitors.

Tip #2: Include high-quality content. Content rules when it comes to finding your website amongst all the others in the search engines. Quality content and links on your website are key to helping your chances of being found in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Since content does need to be fresh in order to be effective, it is important to keep all your information up-to-date and incorporate content rich items such as blogs on your site.

Tip #3: Use responsive design. In a world where smartphones and tablets rule, it is critical to ensure your website can be easily accessed by these types of devices. It is best to consult with a professional web design firm if you are interested in incorporating responsive design into your website.

Here at Windy City Web Designs, we do everything in our power to create custom, responsive websites for all our clients. Not only do we enoucrage your input for design and layout, but we also explain all of what we are doing, meaning being a computer-wiz is no longer a requirement to become a successful business owner.If you have any questions or would just like to get in touch, contact us today to see how you can get started on a unique solution to fit your business’s needs.

Creating an Effective Marketing Campaign

An effective Internet marketing strategy is essential in any business plan, especially since it can help to build meaningful customer relationships and create brand awareness for your business.

However, implementing an internet marketing plan is not necessarily an easy task, especially when you want to ensure your strategy is not only effective but, also customized to meet your business’s specific needs.

This is where the professional web designers and Internet marketers at Windy City Web Designs can help, providing you with a variety of Internet marketing techniques, such as the following:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A good SEO campaign can drive results and traffic to your site. With SEO, popular search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, will recognize your website, which in turn will allow your organic search results to rank higher on search results pages within those search engines, making you easier to find than your competitors. It is important to recognize, however, that SEO campaigns take time, so you will need to be patient while implementing this Internet marketing technique.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) 

A PPC campaign allows your business to be found easily amongst the search engines, and your potential customers, simply by advertising your business through paid ads. And, with PPC, you can be provided with almost immediate results. The main difference with PPC is that you pay for each click on your ad, which can make this a very cost-effective way to market your business, especially since you can set a budgeted limit on your clicks.

Content Marketing

Simply by producing relevant content, you can attract current and potential customers with the information that they are looking for. Content marketing can also be effective when you have attractive images and videos on your website as well. Also, using content marketing in combination with a good search engine marketing plan can be an especially effective Internet marketing plan.

Windy City Web Designs can help your business grow online, ensuring you are standing out amongst your competitors. Contact us for more information or to get started on a customized website and Internet marketing campaign today.

Advertising and Inappropriate Sites

For the past couple months, there has been an ongoing “scandal” spreading throughout YouTube and Google, and consequently the entire internet. In brief, the issue is that YouTube’s terms of service are written in a way that allows extremist videos to be posted and, as of right now, monetized through advertisements. So, what does this mean?

As of right now, advertisers have minimal control over which videos their advertisements are displayed on. If a YouTube video has selected the option to monetize their video, then there is a chance your advertisement will play, no matter the video’s content. The reason for this, you ask? YouTube utilizes an algorithm that mediates a virtual bidding war – companies will select the maximum amount they would like to spend per view and whomever has the highest bid will get the placement. There is no predetermined advertisement on any videos, in fact, the last advertisement spot you saw was probably bid on by at least 50 different companies, all paying for your attention.

Because of this algorithm, an advertisement supporting the adoption of dogs could play on a video endorsing the adoption of cats. Obviously, this is a benign situation, but nonetheless, the content within real videos and advertisements on YouTube can create quite a bit of turmoil.

Recently, there have been reports of banking advertisements being displayed on videos with homophobic, racist, and terrorist agendas. For rather obvious reasons, these banks and large corporations do not want to be associated with these topics and have therefore pulled their entire advertising campaign from YouTube. In the past three months alone, more than 250 large brands have pulled their advertisement funding, costing YouTube millions of dollars.

Obviously, there is a lesson to be learned from this extreme pullout.

If you are marketing your brand online, it is crucial you know how to properly advertise to your clients and future customers while keeping your current clients happy and content with your business and morals. Today, politics extends into every little bit of life, an unfortunate happening, but something that can easily be leveraged when properly understood. If you ever have any questions or would like to set up an advertising campaign today to build your business, contact us at any time!

Look to Windy City Law Designs for your Law Firm

With the expansion of Windy City Strategies comes companies aimed toward niches with the intent to provide the best possible clientele experience through employees who know and understand how the inner workings of your business runs. This mission has given birth to a new website aimed toward lawyers and law firms: Windy City Law Designs.

The new services offered are geared towards law firms looking for a full service website design and internet marketing company that specializes in affordable and effective law firm website design and online marketing solutions. Similar to what we do at Windy City Web Designs, but you are guaranteed to be working with a representative with extensive law knowledge and will know exactly what you are talking about and how to implement your ideas in a fast and effective manner.

With the huge advantage of working with someone experienced in the field of law, Windy City Law Designs will help your business expand beyond what you previously believed was possible.

In addition to website development, Windy City Law Designs also offers branding and marketing resources for clients. With this, you can begin a pay per click campaign, improve your website’s search engine optimization, and even learn how to properly brand your company in ways that will attract the clients you desire.

The pay per click campaigns Windy City Law Designs will assist you with prove time and time again to be influential upon future clients by rapidly increasing your firm’s online presence, therefore growing your clientele base. With the proper keyword management system and analysis, your law firm will become well-known and market itself without the need for extensive advertising campaigns.

With the backing from Windy City Strategies and assistance provided from Windy City Web Designs, Windy City Law Designs is the best resource for your law firm and business to get up and going or redesign your website. Their effective SEO management and pay per click campaigns combined with efficient branding and marketing will be the catalyst for your firm’s rapid growth. If you would like to get in touch with a representative, feel free to contact them at any time to learn even more about their amazing services.

How to Reduce Size of your Website

In today’s day and age full of young, motivated people, they want their information to be presented to them in an instant. They despise the feeling of slowness, and will ultimately go to a lower tier website if their content isn’t loading quick enough. To keep your website afloat amidst all of this chaos, you must ensure your website loads quickly and the important information is no more than one or two clicks away.

To be perfectly clear, this will not teach you how to reduce the size of your font or how to fit more onto one page, rather, the goal of this post is to provide some tips and tricks on how to reduce file sizes on your website, ultimately decreasing page load times and increasing your user’s happiness and your website’s search engine rankings.

The most time-consumptive part of loading a website is loading the images. The internet browser has to make individual requests for each and every image on the website, thus increasing page loading times. There are two ways to reduce the amount of requests internet browsers have to send:

  1. Reduce Images: The most linear way to reduce the amount of requests is by explicitly reducing the amount of images present on your website.
  2. Use Image Sprites: Image sprites is a quick and easy way to reduce the amount of requests the internet browser will have to send, without removing any of your website’s content. To do this, you have to use CSS (cascading style sheets), which will pull the specific part of the image you need to be displayed in a specific location, while other areas can use other locations from the image.

The best way to conceptualize image sprites is by creating a mashup of your four favorite images in your head. Then, place a grid over the image, sectioning off each image into its own little quadrant. From this, you can pull a specific quadrant’s data (we’ll use quadrant 1) and place it anywhere on the website, while quadrants 2, 3, and 4 can all be placed anywhere else on the website. With this method, the internet browser is only requesting one image’s information, but you are getting 4 times that amount! This method’s efficiency increases exponentially as you add more images and more sprites to the website.

If you are having a difficult time developing a website or would like to completely redesign your site to keep up with the modern times, feel free to contact us at Windy City Web Designs to get the ball rolling.

Know How to Market your Brand

Most business owners, nowadays, are conscious of the importance of branding their services and products. In spite of this general awareness, very few businesses actually understand how and why to brand. Creating a brand for your business is more than just making a bold statement, rather, it’s all about making your customers feel wanted and respected, reducing redundancies, and being unique, among many others.

  1. By and large the most important step in branding your business is actually defining your company; What do you do? What services do you offer? What types of products are being sold? You must consider all of these and many more items to fully develop the idea of what your brand will be.
  2. Holding respect for all of your customers, no matter their role or services they are purchasing, creates a true sense of professionalism for your brand. Every adult and client wants to feel respected when they are interacting with other people. Therefore, it is imperative to your business that you treat everyone with respect.
  3. When developing a main message or saying, keep it short and simple. In addition to this, try to reduce how often it is used; when a saying is loosely thrown around, its meaning and message behind it are lost, an event no business wants to happen to them. To prevent this from transpiring, create one main message and then many sub-messages to create a cohesive brand.
  4. Finally, make your business unique. Everyone knows the big players in all the markets and what they stand for, so your business must be different. Whether it be the warm, at-home feeling your clients get when they walk into your lobby or the feeling of independence, leverage this to its full potential.

Branding is the most effective way of showing your customers and clients that you are different from your competitors. Make your business really stand out and display what it offers in an immersive and cohesive manner. In today’s market, consumers are looking to offer their business to small businesses rather large corporations. Leverage your status in the community to take full advantage of what your business stands for. If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with a professional, contact us at Windy City Web Designs to get your business going.

How to Create a Fluid Website

Ensuring your website is easy to use is very important when it comes to your customers’ and clients’ experiences using your business. If there are dead landing pages or crucial pages that don’t have anything linking to them, then odds are the customers will be very unhappy with your business and your management.

To avoid the possible issues of having a clunky website, it is important to follow these few steps and finally achieve the fluidity you have been yearning for for years.

  1. Reduce Clutter: In general, always try to keep your website as minimal as it can be. Reduce the unnecessary junk and instead make room for the important details and headings.
  2. Use a Navigation Bar: Nearly every website today has a navigation bar at the top of their webpage, which is great. However, many of these navigation bars are cluttered and have links to far too many web pages. Try to keep the links to about five or six.
  3. Use Links: Use shortened links with text over them (hyperlinks) to reduce the amount of needless clutter and random letters and words on your website.
  4. Contact Us: If your website is advertising products and goods, then it is important that you have a contact us page to let your user/customer know that you can be contacted.
  5. Have a Main Body for Writings: When you are typing articles to be posted, it is important that you have a main body paragraph or paragraphs. With this setup, the viewer can much more easily read and get the information they are looking for without reading unnecessary information.
  6. Utilize Sidebars Appropriately: Again, it is important that your website is clean and the links/categories clear. Using sidebars is another great way to display important information and pages without cluttering up the entire web page.

In many cases, your website is all your customer sees. It is always important you are showing yourself as a clean, mature, company that is easy to use and communicate with. If you ever need help with your website, be sure to contact us at Windy City Web Designs to begin improving your website.

Is Your Website Keeping Its Visitors?

The goal of any website, of course, is to inform the visitors and ensure they are staying on your website, allowing you to push your services or products much easier, ultimately boosting your business.

Despite this rather simplistic and general goal, there are thousands of websites that still utilize an old, outdated design that makes it too confusing for its visitors, failing at the goal of maintaining long visit sessions. To clearly avoid making this all too common mistake, there are a couple steps every website developer and owner should take.

  1. Most importantly, your website’s purpose and type should be clearly advertised, allowing the visitor to easily understand where they are and what they can do on your website, reducing their search time on the expansive internet.
  2. Nearly just as important as ensuring your website’s goal is clear is developing a clean and easy to use navigation system. Most modern websites utilize a bar at the top of their website with several broad categories and their respective pages linked to them. Then, within those pages are even more subpages, making for an easy-to-use linear search function. If there are too many categories, it is recommended to place smaller links at the very bottom of the website to the less frequently visited pages, ensuring they are still easily accessible but not in any way cluttering up the web page.
  3. The last key point to hit when developing a website is its ability to adjust to variable changes. With the advent of smartphones, it is becoming even more important that your website is able to adjust to a wide variety of screen sizes and shapes. If your website is beautifully designed to be used on a computer but not properly ported over to a smartphone’s internet browser’s formatting, you will potentially be losing hundreds or thousands of clients that prefer to use their phones over the computer.

For obvious reasons, you must ensure that your website is very user-friendly and focused on the visitor’s experience. If you properly utilize these key points, your website will likely see successes never seen before.

If you ever need help creating, improving, or redesigning your website to further boost your business, be sure to contact us at Windy City Web Designs to fulfill all your needs.

Be Found Online: Is Your Business On The Most Popular Search Engines?

The Internet has become the most powerful tool in helping people find specific information, right when they need it, making it imperative that your business can be easily found online.

From your business information, to your hours, to what your business can offer, users want to quickly find everything they need about your business simply by using their mobile device, their tablet, or their computer.

The following search engines are most popular directories for businesses. Is your business on all of them?

  1. Google my business-Receives about 6 million searches a day and it is not only easy, but free to register your business.
  2. Yahoo-With the third most popular search engine, you can list your business on here for free as well.
  3. Bing-Much like the above two, this is the second most search engine used, and it too is free and easy to use. Additionally, you can add more than one business location at the same time, as well as add other relevant content to your listings, including pictures and videos.
  4. Angie’s List-This well-respected online directory is known to provide accurate and reliable reviews for users, making it a trustworthy resource for people.
  5. Manta- Receives 30 million visitors a month and is able to increase website traffic with paid business packages, highlighting your product or brandon your profile.
  6. Yelp- This is one of the best resources available on the Internet for users to find reviews about businesses, as well as provide the ability to communicate with your customers.
  7. Foursquare- With this site, you get benefits of a being on a popular directory as well as have the ability to socially network. You are also able to add a map so that people can check-in when they visit your business.

It is important to ensure that your listings are up-to-date and contain the essentials to your business, including the name, address, phone number, as well as any other information that you feel is important to your users.

Need help increasing your business’s online presence through an effective Internet marketing strategy or website design? Contact Windy City Web Designs for more information today!