How To Tell If You Have Good or Bad Online Reputation

Having a good reputation online will increase sales, and draw in more clients to your company. When searching for a company we result in Google or Facebook for more information. If a negative review pops up or if your information is incorrect, you run the risk of losing business.

Good vs Bad :

  1. Search Results –When searching for your company, you want to make sure that it applies correctly. Nothing that is similar or entirely devoted to someone else that could share the same name as you. Google your company, and see what pops up.
  2. Correct Information – When connecting with other businesses on LinkedIn, they are going to want more information about what your company does. Having accurate information on Google will help others get to know your company more.
  3. Lack of Information / Search Results –For anyone who Googles your business, if no information is found , negative reviews, or false information it can cause lack of credibility for your company, and potentially make you lose customers. Requesting good reviews can help your company generate relevant and positive content.
  4. Unnecessary Content –Having inappropriate or embarrassing photos , controversial opinions, and bad reviews can become a huge problem. You never want to post compromising photos that could reflect your company poorly. In doing so, you risk the chance of losing future clients.

Review Management Can Be Fixed

Repairing your company’s reputation online doesn’t happen overnight. Achieving this goal can be incrementally fortifying the search results with preferred content to create suitable results. This will allow you to focus on your business.  Here at Windy City Web Designs, we can show you how to manage your online reviews, and help monitor the good vs bad.

For more information about how you can improve your Review Management contact Windy City Web Designs.

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!

How A Blog Can Boost Your Business

Blogging has quickly become an effective form of content marketing for businesses of all sizes. Blogging has many benefits to a business, including perhaps the most important, increasing your web presence.

If your increased web presence is not enough of a reason to have Windy City Web Designs add a blog to your website, then here are several other ways a blog can boost your business:

  1. A blog is a simple and easy-to-use platform, which will allow you to connect with your customers.
  2. Your blog fuels search engine optimization (SEO).
  3. According to surveys, 60% of businesses who blog acquire more customers.
  4. Blogs gives your company a voice, creating a place to talk about new products and services, comment on timely news topics or market trends, and share company initiatives beyond your website, which will all help to let your customers know more about your brand.
  5. Blogs share your expertise, allowing you to become an expert in your industry.
  6. A blog creates a two-way conversation with customers, prospects and industry peers, encouraging interactions, comments and feedback.
  7. A blog keeps you focused on your content marketing strategy, especially since it is important to schedule and stick to it in order to continuously deliver purposeful content.
  8. A blog builds confidence, relationships and sales. Customers will look to you as a reliable resource for information on your industry.
  9. Blogs will help you stay ahead of the curve, especially when it comes to your competition.
  10. Blogs are cost-effective marketing investments. Every post you publish is a long-term asset that helps build brand awareness, as well as promote your expertise, products, and services.
  11. Blog analytics allow you to track your readers, links, popular topics, shares and comments, helping you to better know your audience.
  12. If you are not a writer, and prefer to have someone else do the blogging for you, there are Internet marketing firms out there that will do the hard work for you, like Windy City Web Designs. Whether you are interested in adding a blog, are in need of a custom website design, or are looking for an effective Internet marketing campaign, contact Windy City Web Designs for more information today.

Starting Your First Blog!

Starting a blog doesn’t cost anything and it’s not complicated. More people start blogging daily, and it seems everyone or business related is doing this! You get to see what they are thinking or what their business has to offer, and it draws their attention. The more and more you do blogging the more likely to have customers coming to your doorsteps asking for your business. They can like and share blogs, or learn from them!

Step 1: Setting Your Blog Up

Using WordPress is a great platform to use; you can use this on any smartphone, computer or tablet. WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms out there and with very good reasons.

Step 2: Choosing A Topic

This is the part where you decide what you want to talk about to your users. Pick a topic to talk about and just write about. Share some thoughts, ideas, trends, and images to go along with the content. If your business is related to Graphic Design, or Web Design share some ideas, thoughts and trends to go along with that. Keep it in your range of business.

Step 3: Learning From Your Peers

Don’t be afraid to admit that when you first started to learn how to blog that you made many countless mistakes. That’s perfectly okay and normal! Blogging can be tricky at first, but after you get the hang of it, you’ll be a pro through out your career/ personal life when it comes down to it. Benefit the knowledge you get from users, and your peers when they visit your site. If your images are too large, you can learn how to fix that issue. If you have spelling or grammar issues you can fix that also.

You can also look up other blogs from other sites, and see what they are doing, and how it’s become effective. Get some ideas and try it out for yourself on your own site.  Just DO NOT copy someone else blogs!! That is a big no! You can look at what they have, and take their topic idea but put everything in your own words as much as possible. Search engines don’t like seeing copyrighted material on the Internet, you can lose rankings by doing that.

If you have any other questions about starting a blog today contact, Windy City Web Designs.

How To Increase App Installations

Email marketing can help increase your app installations for mobile devices, if done the correct way. Be patience and work hard build up that database of subscribers, stick with it, and it will speed up for process.

For you to succeed with email marketing, you must first look directly at acquiring customers to engage their leads. Once you have followers that want to hear from you, trust you and knowing that your going to give them guidance it will come to that point where choosing the product and service that’s best suited for their needs.

Email Addresses

Collecting email addresses from people that are interested in hearing from you, or want to know more about your business. This is one of the most important factor of email-marketing. Find ways to get your users to share their information with you, be conscious of what you are offering to the audience. For example, offer a free eBook, or whitepaper.

Email Signups

Another great way to capture more signups for your website, when users click on your page make sure you show them the value of what you have to offer, along with the signup form. Let the users know how often you send out emails, so they aren’t worrying about how many emails a week they are going to get. Sending to many emails annoys a user and makes them mark your email as spam. Not good.

Subscribers

Once you got your users attention and engaged them continue to engage them. This also is a great way for them to refer them to your network. A way to keep them engaged is to send content to your audience they love to read which would increase the chances of them sticking around. Ensure your content is from some of the best blogs and publications in your industry.

For more information about how to increase your app installations contact Windy City Web Designs. 

Balancing Composition For A Website

I want to explain why having balance of composition for your website is important. By gauging the overall composition you are going to feel better about how things should be laid out and how it will be presented to users. This process is a bit lengthy, by adding icons, typography and a wire-frame process.

Orientation

Picture yourself as a new user, think about some aspects on what to do on the site, and where would you be able to find the functions.Two types of websites, static and dynamic. Static is for companies you have simpler needs and how often they present information on products or services. Dynamic is for those who needs more interaction like signup forms, buttons or search fields. The idea on how to create a page with elements is by drawing attention. Arrange a simple list of what the website’s primary goals are and go with them.

Stability With Whitespace

The use of whitespace is one of the biggest parts of any composition. For example paintings, websites, composition for music, and any other sort of designs. Having space between the content above and below gives the user a chance to look through the site easily. Having things too tight and difficult to read makes the user want to leave the site.

Having A Pattern

Z-layouts and F-layouts are the generic stencils for crafting a interface. The endpoints represent noteworthy locations on your page and they are easily able to draw someones attention. There is a science behind patterns, balance and symmetry, where there is also an art in composition.

Value

3 core principles of color are hue, saturation and value. Hue is a choice of color, while saturation intensifies a color  to white. Where as value is the measurement of color that is on a sliding scale from dark to light. Value is one of the more important aspect of designs and art. It has more meaning to it and measures the other values on the page.

Closing

Study other great websites to give yourself ideas and inspiration on what to do to your own site. Analyzing and copying will help you remember patterns of a great composition.

 

For more information contact Windy City Web Designs on how to balance  your website

 

6 Professional Skills To Add To Your Web Design

#1. Writing & Editorial

An effective designer is more likely skilled with writing and editing than creating graphics with Photoshop. Crafting a series of web pages into a conversation that can communicate and inform.  Writing effectively is one of the number one singular importance in having a successful web page.

– Having effective wording is a key brand communication, it’s an attention getter. How efficiently you can communicate your site and explain what it does and for whom. The more getable your page appears the more people that will stick around to find out what they want and how you’re able to help.

– Usability is very vital. Words in navigation can unequivocally where you are, where you can go, and what can you do. Well organized navigation makes a web page effective and keeps visitors on your page longer.

#2. Multiple Angles

The ability to look at  a problem from all sorts of angles at the same time, and be able to come up with a solution that balances appropriate all various requirements, goal and risk  factors. When visiting a website you want the initial brand impression, choice of words and imagery to create the right tone. Having an effective site that is able to be on different browsers and is ease-to-use, no technical issues and maintenance issues and much more.  A good web designer has the ability to step away from their work and think like someone else.

#3. Theory of Design

Far more important core basics are the higher aspects. Having these

The core basics:

When using these basics your design will be effective, irrespective of the finish. Having a basic structure for the actual surface layer, includes:

  • Typography

  • 3D effects

  • Custom imagery

Getting both right you can have a compelling web page that will work on all levels. It will work effectively and you can end up with great results.

#4. Self-Learning

Web design is one of the richest domains you can choose. It’s a giant pile-on of visual design, technology, psychology, coding, human factors. You’ve got to be capable of learning on a daily basis. You need to pick up new styles, new techniques, and new constraints every time you sit down to work.In this industry, the moment you think you may know enough is the moment you drop off the pace. You have to do it constantly, really; that’s the whole point. Here are some pointers on how to teach yourself:

– Research and bookmark trustworthy web sites as starting points.

– Build a network of other skilled people you can turn to and share question.

– Learn how to refine Google search results to focus on the information you really need in less time.

– Take short cuts by going direct to the source of success.

#5. Search Engine

First step in usability, in branding, in design – is search results. Your visitor’s experience of your site/brand begins with typing in a search term, and scanning the list of results. If you want to be an excellent designer, you can’t ignore web page optimization.

#6. HTML & CSS

Using HTML & CSS is many times more efficient than to do designs out of ignorance to the constraints of the technology through which your vision will eventually be delivered.

For more information about Website design contact Windy City Web Designs

What Is SEO And Why Does My Website Need It?

You’ve heard all about it and that many businesses use it for their websites, but what is SEO and why is everyone telling me that my website needs it? SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a marketing strategy used by Internet marketing companies including Windy City Strategies, to help market the websites of companies who would like to broaden their target audience.

There may be reasons why one may not want to get it because they think they can easily do it themselves or because it will cost too much money. But in all reality, SEO is an investment that will end up helping the success of your business. By tracking the data of your web analytics, you are able to see which keywords are improving and what phrases the search engines are picking up on. Through this technique, you are able to use this data to make changes to improve your website. Without SEO, your website is missing out on opportunities for the search engines to find you.

Different SEO techniques can transform an unknown website to a popularly searched website with the help of blogs, internal and external link building, onsite keyword analysis, and integrating contact forms onto your website. Although you may think the content that you have on your website will be enough, knowing the keywords that people are searching for can put you ahead of your competitors by including them into your content.

Creating a blog for your website will not only help increase the traffic to your website but it is a form of introducing yourself informally and telling your customers about the different services you provide. It gives you a chance to appear less corporate and allows your customers to see the friendly side of your company.

Contact forms are important for every website to have. Installing a Google conversion tracking code will allow you to see the number of viewers who have converted while visiting your website. There is a high chance that a majority of these people could be potential regular customers.

Windy City Web Designs provides a variety of services for companies looking for either a website redesign or Internet marketing. We encourage our web design clients to look into our SEO packages and try it to see the successful results their website will produce.

Is A Content Management System Right For You?

Windy City Web Designs has worked with a variety of clients doing website design work, creating logos, remarketing ads, business cards and more. Our clients range from doctors, lawyers, electricians, and plumbers. Depending on the client we have, some will request a hand coded website versus using a Content Management System. If you are having trouble deciding which one to choose for your website, here are a few pros and cons of having either a Content Management System or a hand coded website.

Content Management System

A Content Management System or CMS, is a better choice for businesses who are looking to do many edits to their website after it is created. You are given login information so you can make the necessary changes at your leisure. Some businesses such as restaurants need to update their website as often as once a week to change out the weekly specials and would rather make the changes on their own. CMS allows you to have full access to your website 24 hours a day.

There are many plugins that you are able to install with a CMS that are quick and easy and allows you to customize it if necessary. Such plugins include calendars, SEO friendly plugins, and social media plugins that automatically post to your Twitter and Facebook accounts if you blog. Some clients also use CMS if they have an E-commerce website or need a shopping cart. WordPress and other Content Management Systems allow you to import products for your business and link it to your PayPal account.

Hand Coded Websites

HTML5 hand coded websites are more versatile than content management systems. They allow you to have more freedom as far as the way you want your website to look whereas a CMS website is more of a template version and you have to stick with that specific theme throughout the whole website. HTML5 websites are coded so they run faster on the Internet so your users aren’t waiting as long to get to your site. We encourage our clients to use this web development style if they are looking for a redesign or a brand new website mainly because we are able to customize the website to exactly the way you want it to look. And our main goal is for our clients to be happy with the website we have created for them.

For more information about the options Windy City Web Designs has to offer visit our website or call us today and a representative would be happy to speak with you about any questions regarding Content Management Systems and HTML5 and what choice would be right for you.

Designing To Boost Your Blog

Content rules…enough said. In most effective content campaigns, well written blogs are a must and will enhance your credibility with the search engines, increasing your rank amongst your competitors. It is imperative, however, to consider your website’s design in order for your blog to be highly effective. Whether you are looking for social shares, newsletter subscriptions, or purchases of your products or services, if your users have a positive experience on your website will directly relate to your conversions.

In order to optimize your website for blogging, there are a few design considerations you may want to implement in order to provide your readers with the best experience possible.

1. Place newsletter sign-up call to action below your blogs. Since newsletters and blogs are one reason why many users will return to your site, it is important to offer the opportunity to gain their email addresses and get them to sign up for your newsletters, making it more convenient for them to read your articles and increasing your conversions.

2. Use high contrast calls to action. Calls to action are an effective way to catch the viewer’s eye, as well as draw them in to find out more about your brand. By highlighting these calls to action and using high-contrast elements, you can ensure the viewer won’t miss it. It is important to remember that simple is best, and will draw all the attention you need without overwhelming the viewer.

3. Keep blog navigation simple. By providing only a few navigation links on your blog posts, you are keeping form distracting and overwhelming your readers. It is essential to provide some links to popular posts, call to action for your business, and key blog categories on your blog page, but be careful of how much content you put on there.

4. Include high-impact imagery. Although blogs are not all about the pictures, many people are attracted to some sort of visual element. These images can consist of pictures, illustrations, graphs, tables, charts, or anything that can support your blog’s topic. When doing this, it is important per copyright issues, to ensure that you have either paid to use the image, or you are using a free image or one of your own.

5. Include social sharing buttons. Your ultimate goal is not only for your readers to keep coming back, but you also want them to share your content with others, encouraging more traffic to your site. By either placing floating social sharing buttons along the side of your blog, or at the top of your article, you can help to encourage readers to share your content.

When designing for blogging, it is always important to create a design that flows with the rest of the website. By doing so, your viewer is not left feeling like they have left your website, but feeling like they can identify your company. Contact Windy City Web Designs where our professionals can not only create a design for your blog, but our writers can also create a blog that is not only relevant to your business, but will increase your online presence.

By Bjorn Torling