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.

How To Do Marketing On Twitter

Have you looked at most companies’ social media activity? Chances are, their Twitter presence is going to have the smallest, but still rapidly growing. Did you know that Twitter was originally created for sharing short thoughts, and yet it has been growing into one of the three core social media platforms?!  It’s very important to pay attention to your tweets.

Tweets are motivational and inspiring. Everyone has his or her own different ideas. The point is to grow your Twitter presence throughout the compelling content. Potential followers won’t waste time on your page if your tweets aren’t very interesting to them, or seem to catch their attention. With about 302 million active users as of right now, Twitter is a platform you should not miss out on. To ensure you too make the most of your account, utilize these three keys:

Favorite / re-tweet content

Finding content that is based on hashtags (#) can be the KEY to growing more followers to your page. When you (favorite) something that is posted on Twitter, Twitter uses the word as a verb. When your able to keep in contact with those who follow you this is called the white-hat approach. Which enables you to interact with real people while you’re seamlessly growing your Twitter following.

Tweets

In order for your account to stay active, it’s recommended to at least tweet something once a day. Now if you are running a Twitter account for your brand, there really isn’t going to be a limit on tweets. Tweet away! It’s recommended to Tweet at least five minutes.

Interact with your followers

Tweeting your own tweets is just as important as responding to what other people are saying to you while being on twitter. If someone were to tweet (@yourtwittername), make sure to respond in a timely manner, because oftentimes brands actually use Twitter as an extension to their customer support activities.

Trends

The best way to integrate your brand on Twitter is by voicing your opinion on trends. If some of your Tweets are going viral through a hashtag, chances are your Twitter following will start to increase dramatically! Now to see what is trending daily on Twitter simply head to the homepage and look at the bottom left hand corner. If something seems to catch your eye, tweet about it! Tweet what you think about it, and see if anyone has something to say. It’s one way of showing your interest on Twitter.

Twitter is continuing to grow as you read this blog and it should be an essential part of your company’s marketing strategy. Simply by interacting with your followers, you will be able to find that they will become more loyal to your brand.

For more information about how to do marketing on twitter contact Windy City Web Designs. 

How To Make Your Online Ads Clickable

We’ve all seen ads that grab our attention, but now we’ve also seen ads that can leave us speechless, and wondering what the advertiser was trying to accomplish. How are you able to create text banner ads on LinkedIn that can attract your target audience? Start by writing effective headlines, and see where that gets you!

A KEY to writing online ads is to put yourself in the shoes of your viewers who are going to be reading your ads. Picture how they are feeling, understand why they are frustrated or in pain. Once your able to get into their heads, you can write ads that can grab their attention quickly and make them feel comfortable with you and your products or services.

These great ads are more than just words, it’s about telling a story or creating an unforgettable experience and make you have to read more. Follow these factors that can make your ads more clickable to your viewers!

Being Curious

We all are curious by nature and want to learn more about subjects that interest us. If you start your headline with phrases like “How do I …” or “How I… ” The reader will be curious. You want them to read the entire headline. You can also use contradiction in your headline to confuse your readers so you’re able to grab their attention also. Here are a few examples of headlines that use curiosity to grab attention:

  • “How do I get top search rankings in Google for my business without spending a lot of money?”
  • “Social Media is NOT your only way to get web traffic”

Some Benefits

By providing a clear understanding of the benefit in your headline, people will click on your ad to find out how they can benefit from what you are offering. Implying that they will learn something new that can give them a competitive advantage. Here are a few examples of benefit-driven headlines:

  • “How to Convert More Web Visitors into Raving Customers”
  • “How to Work Less and Earn More”

Emotions

Everyone responds to certain key words, especially when they trigger some type of emotion. Using the right words can make people click on your ads. If you watch those infomercials, you’ll be able to hear and see the steady stream of emotion-triggering words like amazing, incredible, excellent, and free. You may also hear them say something like “This amazing formula will help you feel incredible, and make you completely irresistible.” Now who wouldn’t want to buy that product? Here are a few more examples of some emotional headlines:

  • “Ten Free Social Media Tips That Will Generate More Incredible Comments on Your Blogs”
  • “Easily Learn a New Language in Just 20 Minutes a Day!”

For more information about how to make your online ads clickable, contact Windy City Web Designs. 

Why Real Estate Agents Should Embrace Mobile Apps

Real estate agents already know that most property searches are now done online. However, did you know that one-fifth of real estate searches are done on mobile devices and smart phones?  Mobile formatted websites and mobile searches have skyrocketed in past years.  This means that mobile searching activity for property has quadrupled.  This year, mobile searching is projected to overtake searching via a desktop computer completely.

What does that mean for your business?

As for realtors, take action and become apart of this change.  Mobile searching is exploding in just about every industry, and real estate is no exception; in fact, it is one of the main industries to utilize mobile web and mobile apps.  Those realtors who start integrating mobile into their businesses will see it pay off in dividends.  Creating a mobile app and having a mobile-optimized website will throw you light years ahead of your competitors.

The benefits of going mobile.

You can utilize mobile apps for your business in a variety of helpful ways.  Through a mobile app, you can connect with your clients like never before, offering them the ability to stay in touch with you at all times via email and private message; you can send them push notifications and messages based on their needs and interests; easy to use email and contact forms for potential new clients to state their needs; property listings at their fingertips; price and other comparisons so your clients can shop via their phone, and more.

Gain an advantage over your competitors in the real estate market.

In the past, when shopping in the real estate market, potential buyers have had to search around town, meeting with realtors, viewing homes, and spending days on end touring homes.  Then comes the price comparisons, and all the other extensive research that goes into buying a property.  Now, with optimized mobile sites and apps, your clients can do most of that legwork right from their own home or office, with their smart phone.  You will eliminate all the running around and time consuming, exhaustive searching that comes with shopping for real estate.  Your clients will appreciate being able to browse at their leisure, and having you available to be contacted via phone, email or text any time they need you.  It is a win win for both you AND the client.  You can also use QR codes on “For Sale” signs in your areas, so that when a potential client sees a home they like, all they have to do is scan the code to find out more, rather than taking the trouble to call.

Make the change for real estate business.

Listings are the main reason that real estate companies develop apps, but that isn’t all.  You can use them for marketing and promotion, too. Using geofencing and push notifications, you can recruit new clients right from the app, based on their own needs, interest and location.

Still not sure?

Customers are guaranteed to grow in with any type of internet marketing, including any mobile website format.  This only goes to show you that having your realty company mobile compatible is not only a good idea – it’s a necessity.  Get in touch with Windy City Web Designs today to start building your own app.

Reasons To Consider A Responsive Design

Since there was a good reason 2013 was deemed “The Year of Responsive Web Design”, it might be time for you to consider if this could be the best decision you may make this year when it comes to your business. Here are the many advantages to going responsive:

Responds to the user’s behavior. Since responsive web design is just that, responsive, this means that the screen will automatically adjust accordingly for optimal viewing, according to the specific type of device that is being used. Responsive design uses technology like HTML5, which provides for the use of more fluid grids, flexible images, and CSS3, allowing for consistent user experience, which, in turn, will create higher conversion rates.

Increase your search engine optimization. Not only does Google prefer that your website be responsive in order to improve your visibility in the search engines, but by having a website that is responsive will allow you more time to focus on a single SEO strategy, as opposed to one for each type of site you have. Additionally, this prevents the dreaded duplicate content, which happens when managing sites for both desktop and mobile.

Keep ahead of your competition. Since responsive design is still a relatively new trend, by jumping on the opportunity now will keep you ahead of your competitors and keep ahead of the game, especially in this very technologically driven world where there have never been more smartphones and tablets.

Allows for easier monitoring and analysis. Unlike situations in which you have separate desktop friendly and mobile friendly sites, having a responsive website means that this will be the only site you will have to spend your time monitoring. Additionally, site analytic tools, like Google Analytics, are now optimized for handling of mobile devices and reporting of responsive sites.

It is essential to not only provide your users with optimal experience when visiting your website from any device, but most importantly, keep them coming back. Windy City Web Designs is Chicagoland’s leader in web design and Internet marketing solutions. To take your business, and website, to the next level, contact us for a consultation today.

By Bjorn Torling

What a professional Web Designer Will Provide For Your Business Vs. a Web Designer In Their Basement

While the era of technology has only just begun, thousands of armatures are now able to create websites in the blink of an eye.  Many a times people will claim to know every bit and bolt about we design.  This is not always the case.  Web design is more than just putting pretty pictures and fonts onto a page and calling it a website.  A true web designer has to know what will catch the viewers eye from a marketing stand point as well as making sure the website flows nicely (and yes, looks pretty).  If you are hiring an unprofessional web designer to create your site, you are truly getting what your 200 dollars payed for, just pretty pictures and no true structure.

This is a home page to a website designed with absolutely no flow.  The designer knew how to put pictures and text onto a website with a rough lay out of a non successful website.

It is also important to hire a professional who will actually check your website after designing it.  This so called “designer” obviously did’t check to see what their website looked like while on line, that explains the stretched out look.

 

Even worse than a website with bad looks is a website with little to no content.  If someone had to explain content writing in just a few sentences it would go a little like this:

Content is all of the text in your website that make it rise higher on the sear engines’ results.  The more outstanding content you have, the higher you are in the list.  This means your website will be viewed more than others if it is one of the first websites in the search results.

With that, it is crucial that you hire a knowledgeable and professional web designer that will provide your website with the correct look and tools to reach the top of the charts and provide easy browsing for your customers.  Windy City Web Designs provides experienced web designers, each with a hard working team eager to help you create the perfect and most profitable website for your business.  Whether your company is in need of strategies to bring you to the top and gain more traffic on your site (like content writing) or hoping to improve the look and customer experience on your website, we can provide you will all of your businesses marketing and webdesign needs.

 

 

Much Needed Update Released For Google Analtycis

Google just announced a new (much needed) update for the Google Analytics Android app, which includes reporting tools, and increased functionality for already existing tools. This new update allows you to access all of your data from both web and app profiles. All of your important information is stored and tracked to whatever device you are using.

Lead project manager from Google, Russell Ketchum reports, “We’re also introducing new visualizations designed with tablets and phones in mind. Rather than getting overwhelmed with too much information on a small screen, you now see just the most relevant metrics on cards, so you decide when you want to drill-down for details or just get a quick update on your performance.”

This app closely resembles the same layout as the web version but also has a new design with side navigation. To be able to summarize key metrics for each report, or get a dimension based drill down of the most available reports, there is an overview screen.

Google created this app to utilize advanced segments. For example, Google Tag Manager allows it to add new reports, change navigation and visualizations without actually having to update the app. This will be a helpful feature for the future.

Contact Windy City Web Designs if you are looking to add Google Analytics to your website. We offer web design and internet marketing services to help improve the quality and income of your company.

New Mobile Analytics Tools

The most popular mobile analytics platform on the market, Parse Analytics, have announced that they are introducing new tools to improve the platform and make it work better. Parse Analytics released five new tools that will enable developers to create apps more easily. One of the new tools are called custom analytics and what it does is “track arbitrary events with an arbitrary set of dimensions.” This new app joins two other features that are out currently called push analytics and API request tools which track user interactions with push notifications and API requests.

This analytic platform company also released a new product called SDK for Unity. This will allow developers to integrate its analytics platform into their unity-powered games. Since Unity is software built to support anything from game consoles and PC to mobile devices.

Parse Analytics also runs a service called cloud code. Cloud code allows designers to run app code from Parse’s servers instead of their own. Two new cloud modules are now available in cloud code. These modules are called image cloud module and user session module. Parse is becoming one of the most widely used mobile analyticsplatforms on the planet.

Windy City Web Designs creates custom mobile websites and have mobile web design abilities.  We will make sure your website is optimized for any mobile device. Contact us if you are looking for a mobile web design or redesign for your business.