Is Your Homepage Doing It’s Job?

Did you know that you have 8 seconds to capture your visitors’ attention? Since these seconds are so very important to drawing attention to what your business has to offer, how do you know your website’s homepage is truly doing it’s job?

If you are in doubt, or finding your conversion rates are not ideal, then you may want to look into ways you can give your homepage the update it needs. Windy City Web Designs suggests the following helpful tips to capture your visitors’ attention:

Ensure your navigation is easy to use. Choose a layout that is clutter-free and easy to navigate. Avoid too many images and icons, as well as long texts or banners.

Use images. Use high-quality and informational photos on your landing page. Avoid using too many photos since they can overwhelm the eye and low quality photos in order to maintain a professional appearance.

Include a call to action. Be sure to use “call to action” buttons. Keep in mind, however, that these buttons should not contain more than four words, as should be placed where it can be seen.

Keep content relative and simple. Keep your text simple and up-to-date. Be sure that your content is always current and resourceful to your users. Avoid using too much text as well, which can turn off and tune out users.

Include your contact information. Include your contact information, including your address. This will help your users when looking to contact you or looking for your location. Avoid making this pertinent information hard to find on your homepage.

Whether your homepage needs a little help, or your website needs a major update, contact Windy City Web Designs for help with any of your business’s website design and Internet marketing needs.

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.

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!

Is Your Website Doing Its Job?

Designed to draw in visitors and provide them with the information they are looking for, quickly and easily, an effective website needs to be just that…effective. In order to ensure your website is doing its job, there are a few things you need to consider:

Make your logo meaningful and memorable. Your logo can say a lot about your company. It is sometime the first impression people have on your business. Make sure it is sleek and clean and if it has a tagline is easily read and is understandable as to what your business does or represents.

Make sure your navigation is user friendly. Create a navigation bar that is not cluttered and includes drop-down menus which include appropriate individual pages to help increase your SEO.

Make sure your website is clean and modern. Do not overcrowd your website and include too many options and items for people to choose from. Make sure pages do not have visual clutter that would draw the visitor’s eyes away from the most important part of the page. Also, it is critical that your website is modern and easy to use, otherwise, many visitors may find themselves leaving yours for another.

Look like a professional with your content and images. While adding your own content and pictures may seem like a good way to save money, it is important to consider using a professional to ensure your website looks professional, especially when it comes to its content and images. Professionally written content and high quality pictures can draw a user attention and increase there changes of purchasing or signing up.

Be responsive. Since most people access websites from their smartphone or other devices, such as tablets, it is important to ensure your website is responsive. If your website cannot be accessed by a visitors phone, laptop, or tablet, the likeliness of them leaving your website and not returning goes up.

If your website is no longer effective and doing its job, contact Windy City Web Designs 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.

Helpful Hints For Creating An Effective Homepage

The average website visitor will make a decision about your website in 6-8 seconds, leaving you not much time to impress and capture their attention. This is why it is critical to ensure that you are optimizing your webpage, turning those visitors into leads, who can potentially help your business in the long run.

Here are some helpful tips for creating an effective homepage:

  1. Choose a layout that is not only clutter-free, but easy to navigate as well. Be sure to avoid too many images and icons, as well as super long texts or banners as these can be overwhelming, turning your visitors away.
  2. Since a picture says a thousand words, you should always use high quality and informational photos on your landing page. However, take caution in using too many photos on your homepage, since this can overwhelm the eye. Also, remember to maintain a professional appearance by avoiding the use of low quality photos.
  3. Use a “call to action button”, but keep in mind, that these buttons should not contain more than four words, which makes that button even more tempting to click. Also remember that the improper placement of your call to action button can create a potential problem, making it often going unseen.
  4. Keep your content simple and current. Be sure that your information is always current and resourceful to your users, as well as avoid too much text on your website. When there is too much text, users will often be turned off and tune out.
  5. Be sure to include your contact information and address. This will come in handy when users would like to contact you or are looking for your location. Avoid making this necessary information hard to find.

Windy City Web Designs is a full service web design and marketing firm, that specializes in custom websites and Internet marketing solutions for all types of business. Contact us for help with any and all of your business’s needs today.

How Web Designers Drive Your Business

Small businesses often find themselves as the owners of under performing and unattractive websites. This is likely due to their small budgets, or hiring a web designer that lacks the expertise and knowledge to create an effective website.

It is a web designer’s job to drive the direction of your website, so while it is important to leave it to the professionals, it is critical that you find a web designer that can drive your website and business.

Find A Professional Web Designer

One thing to consider when looking to hire a web designer is their experience and education in web design. Ensure they have had plenty of time to learning the craft that you could not have, as well as a designer who has patience and communicates well.

Power Of Design & Your Business Strategy 

Once you’ve become comfortable with your web designer and have developed an understanding of your goals, then it is time to start implementing your business strategy in your design. Designers have much more creativity than your average business professional, which allows them to create something new and revolutionary, helping your website stand out from the rest.

Make Sure Your Website Makes A Good First Impression 

Everyone knows that a first impression is everything. You want to ensure your website users have an overall positive experience, which will make them want to purchase your goods or services, as well as come back time and time again. If they feel it is a bad design, you are going to lose potential customers.

Leave It To The Professional

Since web designers know what works and doesn’t work, be sure to trust them. However, if you are not happy or experiencing issues, be sure to communicate with them. It is also important to know that an effective and well designed website cannot be created in a half hour. Be sure to always keep your designer involved and have them do your web design work.

For more information about how our web designers can drive your business, visit Windy City Web Designs.