Mobile Search Stats On The Rise: Are You Ready?

The number of people using their mobile phones today to find businesses, services, and products, are at an all-time high. In fact, according to Smart Insights, 80% of Internet users own a smartphone and use it to access the Internet. With mobile search stats on the rise, this makes having both a mobile-friendly website and an effective mobile marketing plan essential to your business and your conversion rates.

Mobile Design

Mobile websites are designed to serve as an adapted version of your desktop website, in order to fit the mobile device that your user is using. There are many advantages to using a mobile site including benefits such as: user-friendly navigation, clean visual design, operates at a faster navigation speed, and instant mobile marketability by attracting both new and repeat customers.

Responsive Design

Responsive websites are developed by using a single website that automatically adjusts itself to fit any device that your user is using, based on the screen size and platform. Responsive web design uses code like HTML5, which provides benefits such as: more fluid grids, flexible images, and better screen resolution.

Mobile Marketing

Due to the increase in number of smartphone and tablet usage, not only is it important to have a mobile-friendly website, but it is as equally important that you have an effective SEO and digital marketing strategy, especially since most of your traffic will be through the use of a mobile device.

According to Marketing Land, by 2019, mobile advertising will represent 72% of all US digital ad spending, making advertising online to desktops a thing of the past, strictly focusing on marketing to mobile devices.

If you are interested in learning more about how Windy City Web Designs can help you optimize for mobile, as well as create a mobile marketing strategy specific for your business, then contact us fir more information today.

Have You Considered These Marketing Trends?

An effective Internet marketing campaign can help you to stand out from your competition. And since the Internet is always changing the way information is being shared, it is important to know what marketing trends are current and that you should consider implementing.

Content Marketing

One of the easiest ways to draw visitors to your website is by ensuring your content is relevant and valuable. Not only will this allow you to establish authority, insight, and even entertainment, but this is a beneficial way to help you be found amongst the search engines as well and allows your brand to build rapport with your clients and potential customers.

Social Media Marketing

There is perhaps no easier way to draw in and build relationships with your clientele than by using social media networks like Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. Social media outlets are not only beneficial in allowing businesses to engage with their audience, but they also help to provide a more personalized experience for your customers.

Mobile Marketing

The use of mobile devices continues to rise, making accessibility a must. If your website is not designed to display well on mobile devices, then you are likely missing out on potential customers. By ensuring your website is mobile friendly, you will capture your audience, which in turn, will create new business leads, potentially ending in sales.

From customized websites, to our personalized Internet marketing campaigns, Windy City Web Designs wants to help you business succeed online. For more information on how we can take your Internet marketing to the next level, contact us to schedule a free consultation today.

Responsive Design Vs Adaptive Design?

When it comes to the ideal website, it can be difficult determining which type is best for your business’s needs, especially when it comes to responsive or adaptive design. In order to help you better understand, we are breaking down the differences between responsive web design and adaptive web design.

Responsive Design 

With a responsive web design, you can rest assured that your website is fully functional at any display size, no matter the device being used, which means that your website is very user-friendly and will automatically adjust to the screen the on the user’s device.

A responsive design is the most popular types of design that web designers use, and is preferred by the majority of businesses. Responsive design requires less technical work than having an adaptive layout, but it allows the website to be fully compatible with any resolution, which is good because mobile devices are always being updated, especially when it comes to their resolution and means that you won’t have to worry about updating your website every time a new device is released.

Adaptive Design

Adaptive design layouts are designed for specific resolutions and the display sizes are dependent upon the browsing window that you are looking at in, which means that an adaptive design layout will check the resolution of your browsing screen, loading your webpage in a the necessary way in order to properly display for that specific resolution.

While a responsive layout generally performs better than adaptive, designers admit that in specific cases where there is some complex web applications and fields that need to be fine-turned, that adaptive design is better than responsive for that particular website. Whether you are using a mobile device or a desktop, with the ability to fine-tune and customize your site layout at any resolution, you can be sure that things like your embedded app or order form are displayed correctly.

Mobile-friendly websites are imperative in today’s world, so regardless of which design you choose, as long as you are allowing for a more positive user-friendly experience every time someone visits your website. For more information on which type of design is best for you and your specific needs, contact Windy City Web Designs.

9 Tips For Designing Your Website

When it comes to designing and creating an effective website, Windy City Web Designs has 9 important tips for you to consider:

  1. Make sure your website looks professional and is visually pleasing to your visitors. This means that it is essential that you use neat layouts, uniformed navigation, keeping your text in colors and sizes that are easy to read and are web friendly.

  2. Make sure the website displays and behaves properly on all major web browsers in various versions: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome and Safari.

  3. Be sure to optimize each page with include page titles and headings, using bullet points and shorter sentences, including relevant keywords on all pages.

  4. Do not auto-play music or videos.  Users overwhelmingly prefer to start these actions on their own.  If they are forced on them, more often than not, they will leave your site.

  5. Be sure that the contact phone number is in the header of all pages on the website. If you have multiple locations, each with a different phone number, have a clear ‘Contact Us’ section that is accessible from any page.

  6. Don’t overload the pages with heavy graphics and videos. These can cause some user’s browsers to operate slowly, or potentially crash.

  7. Be sure that all hyperlinks (both internal and external) are clearly visible and that they function correctly.

  8. Since 1/3 of internet traffic is now done on a mobile device, it is critical that your website is mobile-friendly. It is important to offer those visitors a version of your site that works within the phone, fits the phone screen and allows for easy tapping of phone numbers and maps. Also be sure you use code that detects when a visitor is coming to your site from a phone and automatically directs them to that version.

  9. Contact Windy City Web Designs today to get started on building or improving your website.

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.

Does Your Website Need A Redesign?

With websites playing an intricate role in today’s life, it is important for your business to have a good website. When your potential customers visit your site, they want to be able to easily navigate your site, which in turn will help you stand out from the competition.

While you may not recognize if your website needs a redesign or not, here are a few reasons you may wish to have Windy City Web Designs help you:

Make your website responsive. More people are viewing the web and looking for your businesses through mobile devices and tablets than they do through computers. When your website isn’t responsive, the likeliness your website will be visited decreases. With a responsive design, your website will detect the phone or tablet, automatically adjusting the screen to fit their specific device, which makes this a more pleasurable experience.

Add to your website. By adding things such as blogs and forums, the chances you will attract visitors will increase, especially when it is informational and beneficial to your visitors.

Keep it modern. With dated websites being clearly evident today, your visitors may choose modern over outdated, leaving your website for your competition.

Get connected. If your website is not utilizing social media, you are likely missing out on potential visitors, which can mean business. Social media is an effective way to keep in contact with your potential businesses, as well as keep them coming back for more.

Windy City Web Designs can help to ensure your website is fresh and modern, keeping you a step ahead of your competition. Contact us 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 he 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.

Windy City Web Designs specializes in creating custom websites, ensuring we are taking your business to the next level. Contact us today to see how you can get started on a unique solution to fit your business’s needs.

Why You Should Have A Website For Your Business

Many small business owners find that they do not need a website. They feel they’re selling their products and services in the neighborhood just fine to their loyal customers. What they don’t understand is that having a website, can potential drag MORE customers to there business from all over! Every business needs to have that competitive edge! No matter how specialized or concentrated you think your business is going, there will always be a competitor that is popping up to have their slice of the profit.

Having a business without a website is going to make it very hard to get new customers coming to you. If your a fast food restaurant and don’t have a site for people to order online or even find your number on the internet is really going to hurt your business.

Having A Business Without A Site: If you are like anyone else that is from the 21st century you will understand the frustration of looking up a number though Google, and you can’t seem to find it, because the business doesn’t even have a site! So then your directed to another company of your liking to find whatever it is you needed in the first place. This company could have had amazing food, or great customer service or even the cutest trinkets, but the fact that they didn’t have a website, pushes the potential clients away. Which could possible harm your business. Check out these techniques on why you should have a website for your business.

  1. Contacting Your Business: Your small business will be missing out on a lot of customers, if they can’t reach you! About 80% of Internet users in the United States from the ages of 14 and up look up products or services online.
  2. People Who Know Your Business: With the new generation of children nowadays, no one is going to pick up a phone book, and check the yellow pages for your business. They are going to search it on the Internet. If they don’t see you anywhere, they might think you are no longer in business. Having an online presence will show your customers you do care, and you want them to continue coming to you for merchandise. That’s why having a website is very important for your business!
  3. Broadening Your Horizon: With the money you make from your local customers, can increase exponentially by making your products and services available online. Have you thought about the profits you will be making if you fraction in the user base?
  4. Your Targeted Audience: The joys of having the Internet at your fingertips! Your able to retrieve feedback from emails, online surveys and social media functions that can tell you how good your market is doing. There is also software that you can use to determine the type of people who visit your site. You can use this information to build better business strategies.

It bothers many designers that some businesses that are out there that do not have a website. They don’t seem to take advantage of this relatively cheap but highly effective business technique! If you have any questions about why you need a website for your business, contact Windy City Web Designs!

How To Tell When Your Site Is Boring

If you start to notice your website being attracted only by a couple of customers, then chances are something is wrong with your site. Ask yourself maybe the design, or the layout? How about the content? Responsive Design? Read the next couple ideas, and hopefully you change your mind into making your site much better!

  • No Action :  If you open up your website right now in a new window, what’s the first thing you feel or notice without even thinking about it already, any positive or negative thoughts? Are you interested? Intrigued or Impressed? Surprised or even frightened? When clicking on your home page and their is no reaction in the first couple seconds of opening the page…you have a boring page.
  • Not Staying On Topic : Now start clicking on different pages in your website, and act as if you are the customer. Look at the graphics and read the content. If you start to find yourself wandering, choose what you intended to be the most informative chunk of content on your website and read through it. Once you have read the first couple sentences, and you feel you are drifting in a different direction, chances are you have boring content.
  • Duplicated Content : If your site has many layers of images, or colors, and if the readers have to read a lot of copied content, in order to gain anything from what your site is, they will be quick to hit the close button on the site. Stay away from having too many images that are the same, or the content is exactly the same on some pages. You want to be able to draw your customers in and grab their attention. Keep in mind, the more people that exit your site the more your losing in potential customers.
  • Familiar To Others? : Does your site look like a competitor of yours? Or do you find that your site lacks the originality? If you answered yes to both, then it probably is very familiar and lacks the importance of what your site is. You webpage needs to stands out from all the other ones that are out there in a way for your customers to remember who you are. If you can’t do that, and they feel it’s just another website or another lawn service, they probably won’t stick around.

If you find that your site shows some of these signs, you can contact Windy City Web Designs, and they can take a look at your site for you, and see where your losing the customers at, and how the traffic flow is from previous days, to the present.