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.

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!

Should You Add A Video To Your Website? The Pros And Cons Of Both

Are you thinking about adding a video to your website? While videos can have a variety of useful purposes and benefits, it may not be ideal for every website.

Before you post a video or several to your website, be sure to consider the following pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Videos are appealing to your audience. Many people prefer to watch videos, especially when it comes to avoiding having to read over reading content. If this is the case, when adding videos to your site, you open the potential to widen your audience, bringing in new visitors.
  • Videos can help your product or services to make sense. By explaining your product, services, or concepts with a video, will help your brand make more sense. By having a good amount of “how to” articles and videos showing what to do, you can really benefit from the format.
  • Videos allow you to be more interactive. Simply by showing your face, speaking to your users in a video, you are giving your audience the feeling of being on a more interactive and personable scale, developing and building a relationship with them.

Cons:

  • Videos require work, even before you start. Videos require time and effort, especially if you create a video that you want to appear more professional. From the setting, to the setup, to the script, you are putting in a lot of work, before you even start.
  • Videos take time to edit. Once you are finished creating a video, you are going to end up spending more time on editing in order to make it worth while.
  • Videos aren’t for everything. Not all products or services can be suited for a video. This is where it is best to understand if your business should just stick to a list of resources, detailed researches, and articles for your users.

For more information, or to see how we can help enhance your website, contact Windy City Web Designs.

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.

Ensure Your Website Defines Your Business

Your business’s website can act as a virtual extension of your business. This is why it is important to ensure your website truly defines your business, setting you apart from your competition.

Here are some ways Windy City Web Designs can help ensure your business stands out from the rest:

Ensure your website design is attractive. Your website’s appearance, including your logo, color scheme, images, and fonts, are all setting the tone for who your business is and what it represents, which ultimately attracts your targeted audience.

Ensure your website is consistent. Everything on your website should serve a purpose. Being conscious of brand reinforcement will help strengthen your brand. If you simply try to market to a variety of people, or just anyone, the likeliness you will create a murky brand, making your entire business confusing to your audience.

Ensure you have a web presence. Having a website is the first step to gaining presence, but an advertising or Internet marketing campaign is essential step in the process. Be sure to integrate your social media accounts, which will extend your business messaging to a much larger audience, as well as get involved in community and industry events, which will help to give your business a presence not only online, but in your community.

Ensure your content is relevant. Understanding how your audience perceives your business is key to reaching current clients and potential clients. Helping you to do so is your website’s content. You should understand your business’s strong points and prove your business’s value to customers, only providing content that is relevant and meaningful.

If you are interested in learning more about how Windy City Web Designs can help build your business’s brand, create a custom website, or to get started on an effective Internet marketing campaign, contact us 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.

Do You Have 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, as well as 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 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.

Considering Pay Per Click?

While you may have an effective website, it is a s equally important to ensure that you have a solid Internet marketing campaign in place.  When it comes to ensuring you can be found on the search engines, there are limited options to provide you with results.

While there are paid searches, like search engine (SEO) that are available and commonly used, these campaigns will take time to deliver results. However, pay per click advertising (PPC) campaigns are rapidly growing, and can help you get the results you need, almost immediately.

Here are a several reasons why you may want to consider using a pay per click campaign:

Affordability- Since PPC campaigns are not only tailored to your budget, but you essentially pay per click on your ad.

Faster Results- Unlike organic search engine methods, PPC campaigns show almost immediate results since your ad will automatically receive top placement.

Real-time Tracking- With your PPC campaign, constant monitoring of your campaign will be performed. We will track things like the keywords that are, and are not, working, conversion rates, and which ads are driving the most traffic.

Exposure- Since your ad will be placed on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, your ad will be visible on well-known and reliable search engines, which reaches the vast majority of Internet users.

Target Your Customers- By placing a specific and eye-catching ad, you can directly target your customers and draw in only qualified and relevant traffic to your site.

It is important to know that building and maintaining a successful pay per click advertising campaign can be a difficult task, especially when you don’t understand how to manage these services. This is why hiring an experienced Internet marketing and web design firm, such as Windy City Web Designs, that specializes in PPC campaign, and can ensure that your website is achieving optimal results.

Passing The Family Business Down To The Next Generation

Passing down the family business is a dream for all entrepreneurs who want to see the business they started, thrive in the hands of the next generation.

What To Avoid: Many founders have the tendency to hang onto control and not allowing the children to have enough say so or enough investment in the business. Entrepreneurs tend to be very independent, autocratic and wanting things to done a certain way. It’s hard for them to let go of those tendencies, but it has to happen if they want to be successful with passing the company down to the next generation.

What To Eliminate: Just because the last name is “Smith” doesn’t mean you should automatically get a seat at the Smith’s company boardroom table. Entrepreneurs need to set expectations on how kids will get to participate in the family business. 

Have You Asked The Next Generation The Question? : Sometimes founders have a dream that their children will start to take over the family business when it’s there time. However what if the children aren’t interested? This can happen if the founder starts to shut out the family from day to day interactions or if they are busy building the business and not spending time with the family. The children start to resent the business and want nothing to do with it, once they start grow older.

Now if you start to involve the children in the business at an early age, and show a positive way to ensure they can be enticed to join when they are older. Start having those discussions about what the children aspirations are and how the family business can help them achieve certain goals in life.

Being Prepared: When handing the family business down to the next generation, try to set up structures that will control what they need to do, and can do rather than allowing them to just run the company. Doing this can create leadership, ambiguity, and create a stressful work environment.

For more information about what to do when handing down a family business to the next generation, contact Windy City Web Designs. 

Generating Leads And Sales For Your Website

Having a website is an essential business tool to have, because every day business uses there site differently. Some use their site to generate instant revenue through e-commerce sales, and others use it to create leads, phones calls and physical locations visits. Every business wants to have leverage to create more growth.

There are many different ways that you can increase your leads, and sales without having to redesign and rebuild. These next tips are simple, and they can help your business grow significantly.

1. Performing A Conversion

Are you sure your website has been designed to convert traffic? Many web design companies are great at creating these very appealing websites, but they aren’t conversion experts.

If your able to identify problems and correct the changes prior to launching the marketing campaign you can reduce the wasted advertising that is spent and give you a stronger base to start with.

2. Start Call Tracking

If your business is using multiple traffic sources to generate phone calls it’s a great idea to start sending each source to dedicate a landing page that is featuring unique phone numbers. By using a call tracking you will be able to see what sources produce more phone calls. With most call tracking services they do record all calls and this is a great way to determine whether lead quality or your sales staff needs to be addressed.

3. Identify Where Users Click And Scroll Too

Once you know where your visitors are and aren’t clicking it will help you to reposition your offers from the dead zones to areas that are attracting those clicks. There is a heat map tool that will not only show you where the clicks are coming from but also what traffic and referral sources that is producing them. The tool can also show you how far down your pages that your visitors are scrolling too. Example, if they only scroll half way down or if they scroll to the very bottom. Then you can determine what content is located where and why your page isn’t being fully viewed.

4. Installing A Live Chat

Many business owners assume that live chat is good for websites that are generating commerce sales. This is correct, answering pre-purchase questions that can help you save sales and chat operators that can push consumers toward the sale. Remember every website can benefit from having this simple tool.

5. Using A Pop Up Offer Before They Leave The Site

When you drive traffic to your website, it’s not cheap. Even when you aren’t running your pay-per-click traffic and paying for every person that visits your site, by using time and effort that the SEO/social media requires this creates a monetary value for everyone.

Many users that leave your site, will never return, so why not use those opportunities to try and convert them? Try using some popup exit offers these will do a great job at increasing those conversion rates you have needed. When using this exit capture, it can improve your overall return on investments.

For more information about how to generate more leads and sales contact Windy City Web Designs.