What Makes A Great Logo

In today’s world, computers do all the design work, and anyone can design a logo. The real question is, how many know what makes a great logo? There is a couple of fundamental design principles that can point you in the correct direction on creating a great logo design.

Simplicity Is Key: This is the number one important aspect of creating a logo design, this is also a key factor that is more forgotten. When you create a logo design, you need to see how it will look in different colors. Keep in mind, some places won’t have the correct colors you have, when printing it out, so it’s best to keep it black and white when submitting it to certain places. Other places will enjoy seeing that creativity you’ve added to your logo.

Having Flexibility: When creating a logo, you need to think about how it can work vertically, horizontally or a standalone icon. Before logos were only used for letterheads, and that was it. Now, you can use it for the web, print, social media accounts, icons and etc.

Being Unique: A logo must be creative and stand out from your competitors. The goal is to make your company known, make sure your logo represents your company so people remember it! If your logo is lacking some design, add a new twist to it.

For more information about your logo design, or if you need any website updates, contact us at Windy City Web Designs Today!

How To Tell If You Have Good or Bad Online Reputation

Having a good reputation online will increase sales, and draw in more clients to your company. When searching for a company we result in Google or Facebook for more information. If a negative review pops up or if your information is incorrect, you run the risk of losing business.

Good vs Bad :

  1. Search Results –When searching for your company, you want to make sure that it applies correctly. Nothing that is similar or entirely devoted to someone else that could share the same name as you. Google your company, and see what pops up.
  2. Correct Information – When connecting with other businesses on LinkedIn, they are going to want more information about what your company does. Having accurate information on Google will help others get to know your company more.
  3. Lack of Information / Search Results –For anyone who Googles your business, if no information is found , negative reviews, or false information it can cause lack of credibility for your company, and potentially make you lose customers. Requesting good reviews can help your company generate relevant and positive content.
  4. Unnecessary Content –Having inappropriate or embarrassing photos , controversial opinions, and bad reviews can become a huge problem. You never want to post compromising photos that could reflect your company poorly. In doing so, you risk the chance of losing future clients.

Review Management Can Be Fixed

Repairing your company’s reputation online doesn’t happen overnight. Achieving this goal can be incrementally fortifying the search results with preferred content to create suitable results. This will allow you to focus on your business.  Here at Windy City Web Designs, we can show you how to manage your online reviews, and help monitor the good vs bad.

For more information about how you can improve your Review Management contact Windy City Web Designs.

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.

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.

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!

 

Considering Pay Per Click?

While you may have an effective website, it is a s equally important to ensure that you have a solid Internet marketing campaign in place.  When it comes to ensuring you can be found on the search engines, there are limited options to provide you with results.

While there are paid searches, like search engine (SEO) that are available and commonly used, these campaigns will take time to deliver results. However, pay per click advertising (PPC) campaigns are rapidly growing, and can help you get the results you need, almost immediately.

Here are a several reasons why you may want to consider using a pay per click campaign:

Affordability- Since PPC campaigns are not only tailored to your budget, but you essentially pay per click on your ad.

Faster Results- Unlike organic search engine methods, PPC campaigns show almost immediate results since your ad will automatically receive top placement.

Real-time Tracking- With your PPC campaign, constant monitoring of your campaign will be performed. We will track things like the keywords that are, and are not, working, conversion rates, and which ads are driving the most traffic.

Exposure- Since your ad will be placed on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, your ad will be visible on well-known and reliable search engines, which reaches the vast majority of Internet users.

Target Your Customers- By placing a specific and eye-catching ad, you can directly target your customers and draw in only qualified and relevant traffic to your site.

It is important to know that building and maintaining a successful pay per click advertising campaign can be a difficult task, especially when you don’t understand how to manage these services. This is why hiring an experienced Internet marketing and web design firm, such as Windy City Web Designs, that specializes in PPC campaign, and can ensure that your website is achieving optimal results.

Windy City Web Designs Wins Business of the Year for Professional Services

Windy City Web Designs is proud to announce their earning of the Algonquin & Lake In The Hills Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year Award for our Professional Services.

From helping small businesses grow their online presence with our customized websites, to effective Internet marketing strategies, Windy City Web Designs has been working hard to help make businesses more successful.

One or our many great success stories is Dana Voyes and her website for her garden and landscape business, Gardens Done Right. Dana originally started with a 4-page website last year, and is now needing to add an additional 22-pages due to a successful year. Dana attributes a big portion of her success to her online presence.

With flexible payment options, our success in designing award winning sites that perform, and our ability to help your company grow, Windy City Web Designs is dedicated to making your website our next success story.

Windy City Web Designs is a full service web, marketing, and branding agency, proudly serving the Chicagoland area. Contact us for more in formation on how we can help increase your businesses online presence.

Top Business Card Designs in 2016

A business card is more then just having your name and contact information of your business to hand out to recipients. Modern day business cards have become a tool for conveying a very strong message to future clients and customers!

With a new year, come new design ideas and trends for business cards. Make your business card unique, be creative with it and make it pop out so it stands out more to clients and customers.

Take a look at the following trends for your next business card design!

  1. Classic White– In the New Year, business cards will now depend on the heavy classic white. This color is the most dominate! They choose white simply because to have it stand out from the other designs that are on the card. Who know maybe a design could be just some bold lettering against this solid white background. Business cards are also going to be much thicker and heavier so they can be identified quicker then most.
  2. Backside Of Cards – You know how many business cards have that plain blank surface on the back side of business cards with nothing on it? Then new trend for 2016 just did a U-turn. This new trend is going to have designers filling the backspace with the company’s brand color and the logo. The backside of the card could have multiple designs printed that will go great with a white space on the front side of the card.
  3. Having Multiple Shapes – The most popular shape design for a business card has always been a rectangle. This shape is ideal to provide more information about a company. Designers now have looked at other shapes that can stand out. Experimenting with shapes that have rounded edges, squares, even diamonds. Creating a new shape is a way to give your business or company an upscale look.
  4. Visual Punch– In the past several years, graphic designers have used colors to give business cards visual punch. In the New Year, they start to experiment other elements such as engraving or adding textures to make the car look more appealing. Be prepared to see more cards with textured images or stamped lettering.

If you need some help deciding on what to do for a business card design, contact Windy City Web Deigns.

Facts About Graphic Design I Bet You Didn’t Know!

Graphic Design is a booming industry that has a ton of secrets I bet your didn’t know. Many designers find new and innovative ideas in making the business easy to stand out to the market and being able to make an impact on their consumers.

With graphic designs like professional logo designs, web designs, social media page layouts designs and hosts are essentials for an effective branding of businesses. A business doesn’t go far without graphic designers!

Hey all you designers out there! Its important to get familiar with your history of graphic design to understand how things are being evolved over the last years and how things have helped shape the designs to this day.

Explore the history of graphic design and see how it’s evolved over the years. Here are some interesting facts that you probably didn’t know.

  1. Logo designs started in the 13thcentury when the ancient Egyptians branded domestic animals with hieroglyphs.
  2. During 2500 BC to 1400 BC Graphic design began with the Sumerian pictographs and Egyptian Hieroglyphics.
  3. Typography started mid-1400s using re-usable Meta. Typographer Johann Gutenberg was the first too develop the first ever movable type and typographer Claude Garamond opened up the first type foundry, developing and selling fonts to printers in the 1530s.
  4. Late 1800s, Art Nouveau emerged as an international art style.
  5. Helvetica typeface was introduced in the 20thcentury and soon it became one of the most used fonts in our daily lives.
  6. Did you know that Pop Art and Psychadelia became popular graphic design styles between 1960-1970s?
  7. Mid-1970s, designers started to pay close attention to word spacing, distorting type, and typewriter type.
  8. The world’s first ever website was launched in 1992.

The list above is just a small list of facts about history of graphic design, and their elements from the last several years. For more information about graphic design or web design, contact Windy City Web Designs for more details!