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.

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.

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!

 

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.

Consider These Aspects Of A Website Before Designing Yours

Looking to start 2017 with a new website design? If so, there are several important aspects of your website that you need to consider, especially before meeting with your web designer.

What Is Your Color Palette?

Many people tend to go with basic colors, sticking to blue, white, or green, especially when designing their website themselves. However, when working with an experienced web designer, you may find yourself speaking with a branding specialist who better understands the importance of certain colors, especially as it pertains to your business.

Did You Get Ideas From Your Competitors?

Looking at different websites can be beneficial in deciding what you do and don’t like in a website’s design. You should consider things like images, color palettes, responsiveness, clean design, and how easy the website is to use and follow. Give your designer a few different sites that you like, and sites that you don’t like, so they can help to determine what kind of website you are looking for.

What’s Your Marketing Goal? 

There is nothing more important than knowing who your targeted audience is going to be. From your content, to your web design, all aspects of your website is designed around  who your audience is going to be and what their needs are. Once you figure out who your target audience is, you can start to find out what you are wanting in a website. If your business is working with professionals, you can choose a formal tone, and as for retailers, a more informal design may be necessary.

How People Will Find Your Site?

Once your perfect website has been completed, your next big goal is to direct traffic to your website. With social media integration, you can easily gain more of exposure, in turn, increase your traffic. If you do not have traffic coming to your website, something is going wrong, and you don’t want to risk losing potential customers.

Contact Windy City Web Designs for more information on how we can help drive your business with a new user-friendly website.

Your Website: How To Streamline Your Business

While you may know how to successfully run your business, do you know how to better your business practices by streamlining? If you answered no, here are some helpful tips to help you better streamline your business when it comes your website?

Managing Your Website

In today’s world, it is important that you have a website that helps to market your business, especially when growing your businesses. However, it is as equally important that you are not going without maintaining, caring for, or providing ample attention to your website, updating it regularly.

If this is an issue, it may be a good idea to invest in a managed hosting company to work for your business. Managed hosting gives you are variety of benefits, including: added security, higher speed, automatic updates, zero downtime, expert technical support, as well as backups performed daily.

Monitoring Your Website With Analytics

Google Analytics has become an extremely useful tool in monitoring the impact of your website, providing you with helpful information that can give you a better insight into where customers are coming from, when they are finding you, as well as what content is most relevant and driving traffic.

There are other things that website analytics tools can do to help monitor your website. From the ability to notify you of issues you may have with your site, such as broken links, and providing you with helpful tips to help you increase your traffic, these analytics tools enable you to make your website run more efficiently, allowing you to focus on your marketing efforts in order to help improve your online visibility.

Let Your Website Do The Work

Your website is a great tool, so use it. Your website is your main access point to your clients and customers, which is why it is important that you are offering them with the ability to access information about your products or services, which can keep them from needing to contact you directly for the very same information they can get directly off of your website, preventing them from getting frustrated and leaving, or worse, going to your competitor.

Many web design companies, like Windy City Web Designs, can provide you with effective, reliable, and customized websites, providing you with the tools necessary, including the ability to set up online purchasing and billing.

If you need help with managing or monitoring your website, or are interested in learning more about how your website can help to streamline your business, contact Windy City Web Designs today for more information.

Ways To Make Your WordPress Website More Search-Engine Friendly

Are you looking for additional ways to make your WordPress website more search-engine friendly? If you answered yes, then these helpful tips are just what you need:

Regularly post new blogs. Since Google has a bias towards fresh content, giving preference to more recent results, it is important that you are publishing new and meaningful content, regularly.

Review your blog titles. It is important that you take time to review your blog post tiles first before publishing them, especially since your blog post titles are vital to your SEO rankings. Be sure to compare the keywords you used in your keyword list, and make your blog title more keyword rich.

Create meaningful keywords. If SEO is of utmost importance to you, then developing a keywords list is a must. An effective list of keywords and phrases should describe your products and services, including words from search terms that are likely to be used to find your business online.

Use an SEO plugin. A plugin will allow you to set keyword-rich custom titles and Meta descriptions for your posts for the major search engines. Consider using the All in One SEO Pack to make this an easier task.

Avoid spam comments. Often times people will leave spam comments on your blog. And since it counts as content, according to Google, it is important to eliminate comments that do not pertain to your products or services, as this will ruin your keyword relevancy and hurts your rankings.

Utilize social media sharing buttons. With Google, if it recognizes that your blog article is getting a lot of posts and shares on social media, it will then boost your blog’s ranking, making it easier for readers to share your content.

If you need help with your website’s search engine optimization, contact Windy City Web Designs for more information today!

SEO: Successful Marketing Strategies

A successful Internet marketing strategy is just like building anything. It is critical that you start with a solid foundation and a good understanding of how an effective Internet marketing campaign works.

That foundation comes from understanding three basics of Internet marketing:

  1. Search Engine Optimization
  2. Content Marketing
  3. Social Media Marketing

However, simply because you know what each facet does for your website, this isn’t enough to ensure your marketing strategy is going to work. Applying even well-established marketing techniques incorrectly can hurt your rankings, which means in order to maximize the benefits, you also need to understand the shortcomings.

Search Engine Optimization

When people think of marketing and the search engines, SEO, or search engine optimization, is usually the first thing that comes to mind. SEO is used to create a site that the search engines will rank as one of the most relevant pages for a matter of time. Since 95 percent of people who use search engines click on a page that appears on the first page results for the major platforms, such Google, Yahoo, or Bing, you can see why search rank is a huge deal to your business.

Building a solid SEO strategy consists primarily of selecting relevant keywords, and providing valuable content that is related to those keywords. In the past, SEO was driven by factors like keyword placement, keywords density, and even how many times a keyword was used to link to that page, but the search engines quickly discovered that keywords could be easily manipulated.

A page that had nothing to do with a keyword could be ranked in top three, just by optimizing the page. Today, this means that sites who rely solely on keywords are often ignored by the search engines.

It is important that your SEO includes the following:

  1. Relevant keywords.
  2. Valuable and meaningful content that is shared.
  3. website that loads quickly and is user-friendly.
  4. Images and content.

An effective SEO campaign requires dedication and work. If you feel that you need help, be sure to contact a professional firm that specializes in SEO and web design, like Windy City Web Designs. Contact us for more information today!

Get Your Business Noticed With These Web Design Tips

Not only is it important in today’s competitive business world that you have an up-to-date and modern website, it is as equally important to ensure that your website can easily be converted and is optimized for the search engines.

With some simple web design changes, you can rest assured you are getting your business noticed, keeping you ahead of the competition.

  1. Draw out your plan. In order to give you a better idea of what you want your website to look like, it is always a good idea to draw out your overall site layout offscreen first. This will help you get an idea of where you want specific elements of your website to go, helping you to better understand what may r may not look good or work.
  2. Go responsive. Websites that aren’t responsive aren’t an option anymore. With the use of mobile devices and tablets being at an all time high, it is critical that your website will be easily accessible to your visitors.
  3. Think big when it comes to your fonts. While you don’t want your font to take up the entire screen, it is important to use a larger font size, especially since this will help to grab your visitors’ attention. By ensuring your font size is at a minimum of 18 points, you not only increase the readability of your text, especially on mobile devices, but you can also place focus where it is needed on your website’s content.
  4. Avoid too much clutter. Simply by minimizing the amount of clutter on your website, instead including more space around and between your website’s elements will better help your visitors to be able to navigate your site, providing more of a focus on what your visitors may be looking for.
  5. Create a much simpler navigation. Complicated navigation systems create way too many options, often turning your visitors away. By eliminating sidebars, placing fewer items in your navigation menu, and avoiding the use of too many links, you can draw more attention to your site, as well as ensure you are reducing clutter.

Windy City Web Designs specializes in building search engine friendly websites. For more information or to get started on a customized website design for you business, contact us today.

Need Leads? Using Your Website To Drive Your Business

Your website is perhaps one of the most powerful business tools you will have. But are you utilizing it to your advantage?

While every business has varying needs, and will use their website differently, every business wants to utilize it to their advantage, having the leverage to create more growth, which, in turn, will drive their business.

If you feel that you are need of help and do not know how to generate leads, using your website to drive your business, there are a variety of things you can do to help grow your business significantly:

Start tracking your success. First and foremost, it is critical to ensure you are benchmarking your current state of lead generation, before you begin any performance conversion tracking for your website. Tracking your conversion rates are an essential part of determining what is or isn’t working for your website, better understanding which landing pages are converting, and which ones that may require optimization.

Perform a conversion. Do you know for sure your website has been designed to convert traffic? Many web design companies know how to create modern and appealing websites, but do not excel at ensuring your website converts. It is important to determine if your website converts, seeking the help of an experienced web designer that specializes in websites that convert.

Make your website more personable. Unique content allows you to make visiting your website a memorable and more meaningful experience. Simply by ensuring you are using images, buttons, and product options that are specifically tailored to their interests, you are more likely to convert. Better yet, personalized calls-to-action convert almost 50% more than basic calls-to-action, making personalization a great tool in generating more leads.

Utilize live chats. Live chats are a good practice for websites that are generating commerce sales. Simply by answering pre-purchase questions, your chat operators may better be able to push the consumer towards the sale, making this tool beneficial for every website.

Use pop ups. Driving traffic to your website is not cheap, even if you aren’t utilizing a pay-per-click campaign. Most people are using not only time and effort, but other forms of marketing, such as SEO, social media, and content marketing, which all create a monetary value for you. This is why you want as many leads as possible to make the money you have put into your website worth it. One good tool to do so is by utilizing a pop up with an exit offer. These are helpful in increasing those conversion rates you need, improving your overall return on investments.

Windy City Web Designs wants to help ensure you are generating leads with your website. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.