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!

Consider These Aspects of A Website Before Designing Yours

If you have chosen to design and develop your own website without outside assistance, there are several keys you should take into account prior to jumping right in. The worst thing you could do, when it comes to building a website, is to realize you don’t enjoy the design and feel of the website and then be forced to rebuild from square one. To avoid the heavy complications when the website is rushed, here are a few tips to help you throughout the process.

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 are 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 opt for a formal tone; if retailers are your main clientele, a more informal design may be necessary.

How Will People 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, and in turn, increase your website’s traffic. If you notice your website is not garnering much traffic, there is likely an issue in your SEO or social media integration that should be fixed immediately to avoid 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.

How to Increase Sales With Your Website

If the main intention of your website is to sell products, then you’re already doing great. The internet has been an amazing place for new, online budding businesses and just keeps growing and improving the services offered.

Despite the amazing opportunity all over the internet for selling your products, most online retailers are completely unaware of how to properly do it. Some will hide their already obscure products deep within their internal pages while others will provide only one link on their entire website to their shop. Websites like this are destroying their probable profits, but with these few simple steps, can turn their website into a very profitable business.

Display Your Featured Products: To let the customer get a sense of what you are trying to sell and what type of company you are, it is important to display your featured or most popular item. This way, the customers will know that others are purchasing through you and they will also know that you are selling a select niche of products.

Choose a Niche: Customers love cheap products but will favor quality over quantity no matter what. When your business is selling products for a specific niche, the customers will know that you are experienced and will likely have higher quality items, increasing the likelihood of a purchase.

Describe the Product: Today, so much research goes into every purchase, and it is no different when purchasing from your company. Your customers want to be informed, and the more information you offer to the customers, the better. Through thoroughly describing your product, the customers will become more familiar with you and the product, greatly increasing the likelihood of the customer purchasing the product.

Advertising: With the advent of new, innovative, advertising techniques created by Google and others, the power of online advertising is no longer disputable: it’s everywhere and ever-powerful. It is important for you to utilize this power through multiple advertising campaigns, all linking back to your website or shop.

The best way to utilize this method of increasing sales is through a pay per click campaign, or PPC. A PPC will allow you to customize where and how your advertisements are displayed through analyzing the efficiencies of each keyword you are using. You will save money, time, and a lot of frustration by using a PPC for your company.

The internet has transformed the world and must be utilized by all companies to promote their business and boost sales. If your business is looking to start an online store or is simply trying to rejuvenate sales, contact us at Windy City Web Designs to learn more about what we offer!

Web Design vs. Web Development

Many people often confuse the terms web design and web development, using them interchangeably. While they sound alike, and sound like they mean the same thing, their meanings are actually very different from each other.

When making the decision to build or design your website, it is important to know the difference between the two.

What Is Web Design? 

Web design is the part of the website referred to as the “front end”, or the customer-facing part. This part of the website includes the appearance of the website and how the customers interact with it.

A good web designer will know how to put together all the principles of design in order to create a site that is not only appealing, but modern as well. Designers also understand the importance of usability and how to create a site that customers want to navigate through because of the site’s ease of use.

It is important to know the importance of keeping your customers interested in your product or services that you have to offer. If your site is boring, your customers will likely think so too. Be sure to keep your website updated and fresh.

What Is Web Development?

Web development is the part of the website that refers to the back-end of the site, or the programming and interactions side. A web developer focuses more on how a site works and how the customers get things done on the site.

A good web developer knows how to program and code with ubiquitous languages such as HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), PHP (recursively known as PHP Hypertext Preprocessor), and CGI (Common Gateway Interface). Web developers also understand how the web forms work, ensuring they are able to keep your site running smoothly and effectively.

Web Design vs. Web Development

Both Web Designers and Web Developers need to work together to achieve one goal, creating an effective and modern website or app that attracts potential customers to your business.

In order for a website to function properly and be attractive at the same time, both the design and development must be sound. Colors, graphics, and content need to reflect the product, brand, or service that you are offering.

If you have any questions, or need help with your web design or web development needs, contact the professional designers and developers at Windy City Web Designs.

What To Look For In Your Designer

It can be hard to find the right designer for your web design and logo design needs, especially with all the people out there that claim to be the right designer for you and your needs. In order to help you choose the right designer, here are some things to look for:

Experience: When choosing your ideal design, it is important to hire someone who understands your needs, creating a design that is effective and attractive for your business. When an experienced designer has previous projects, you can get an idea of what skill level your designer is at and what you should expect from them.

Published Work: Be sure to ask and see if your designer has any previous work that has been printed or published, looking at their works so you can better understand their design style and level of experience. Ask for their portfolio, as well as any testimonials or recommendations they may have.

Professionalism: Time management, attention to detail, strong communication skills, and trustworthiness are all vital in a designer’s level of professionalism. Another thing to look for is the way they handle your questions and how long it takes for them to respond. Customer service skills are an important factor in a designer’s professionalism.

Interest: It is important to look for someone who is curious and wants to learn more about your business and what your brand represents, asking a variety of questions in order to find out what your wants and needs are for your design, and ultimately for your business.

Affordability: Since every business has different design needs, the best way to determine what the cost for your specific design will be is to get a customized quote. The service is usually quite evident on what you are going to get.

Windy City Web Designs is a full-service web design, branding, and Internet marketing company. For more information and to get started on a customized website design, contact us today.

How Your Website can Create Efficiencies in Your Business

It’s no secret that every business intends to please their customers all the while keeping costs down and efficiency high. For decades, companies have run into issues achieving this goal, however, with the lucrativity of the internet, it is becoming easier and easier to pinpoint issues with your business and make the proper adjustments.

Not only can businesses address internal points of contention causing issues, but they can also address external areas as well. Prior to the internet, you would have to look up the name of the business you’re trying to contact in Yellow Pages, call them, and then be put on hold until a representative can speak to you, however, now there are much easier ways to communicate with businesses.

Listen to Customer Reviews: With Windy City Web Designs’ new Reputation Management Program, you will easily be able to take in their thoughts, complaints, compliments, etc. and use those insights to properly adjust your business model and website. Online consumers base their decision of whether your business is reputable or not within the first three reviews of your business they see.

Some business owners will think to themselves, “Well, why should I risk having reviews posted without my knowledge to gain a few more customers when those reviews very well could be destroying my reputation?”

Despite what appears to be a great deal of awareness in posing this question, it is important to remember that having no reviews is just as bad as having tons of one-star reviews. Our Reputation Management Program will increase the reviews you get overall as well customer visits to your website. In addition to this, our Reputation Management Program will automatically filter out the negative reviews and prevent those from being posted to websites and review centers. Not only will this service boost your reputation, but so will your ability to quickly respond to any and all reviews posted about your business.

Availability of Information: Now that websites can be accessed at any time of the day by anyone in the world, information that your business needs to be visible can be seen hundreds, or even thousands of times by unique visitors, all the while keeping the information shared with each customer consistent with the last. Similar to communication, the efficiency offered through setting up a website to display information is absurd compared to how it used to be made available.

Adjust to Customer Wants and Needs Quickly: In order to survive in the world of business, you must be able to quickly adapt to what your customers want and need. With a custom website, you can quickly completely adjust your business model to a more efficient and better-working one to support your client base. If you would like, some websites can also be designed with the capacity to keep your entire system (client information, products, prices, etc.) available to your employees. By making one change to this, you can completely alter the way your business runs and will easily adjust to satisfy your customers.

The best way to ensure your business is running at its most efficient rate is through the use of a website. Having a resource available for all clients and future customers plays a crucial role in developing your business into a well-respected company. If you are looking for more information regarding Windy City Web Designs’ Reputation Management Program or would like to get started setting up your website, contact us at Windy City Web Designs today!

Responsive Web Design vs Adaptive Web Design

When it comes to the ideal website, it can be difficult determining which type of design 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. This means that your website will be very user-friendly and will automatically adjust to the screen on the user’s device.

A responsive design is the most popular type 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, while still allowing the website to be fully compatible with any resolution. This responsive design hot-switch is imperative now that a large portion of web-users are on their phones or tablets which are constantly being updated with larger screens and higher resolutions.

Adaptive Design

Simply put, adaptive design layouts are designed for specific resolutions. Every browsing window size is different and is dependent upon the size of the device being used. Despite the seemingly large issues presented with this, an adaptive design layout will check the resolution of your browsing screen and load the webpage the necessary way in order to be properly displayed 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-tuned, 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.

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.

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!