Is Your Website Keeping Its Visitors?

The goal of any website, of course, is to inform the visitors and ensure they are staying on your website, allowing you to push your services or products much easier, ultimately boosting your business.

Despite this rather simplistic and general goal, there are thousands of websites that still utilize an old, outdated design that makes it too confusing for its visitors, failing at the goal of maintaining long visit sessions. To clearly avoid making this all too common mistake, there are a couple steps every website developer and owner should take.

  1. Most importantly, your website’s purpose and type should be clearly advertised, allowing the visitor to easily understand where they are and what they can do on your website, reducing their search time on the expansive internet.
  2. Nearly just as important as ensuring your website’s goal is clear is developing a clean and easy to use navigation system. Most modern websites utilize a bar at the top of their website with several broad categories and their respective pages linked to them. Then, within those pages are even more subpages, making for an easy-to-use linear search function. If there are too many categories, it is recommended to place smaller links at the very bottom of the website to the less frequently visited pages, ensuring they are still easily accessible but not in any way cluttering up the web page.
  3. The last key point to hit when developing a website is its ability to adjust to variable changes. With the advent of smartphones, it is becoming even more important that your website is able to adjust to a wide variety of screen sizes and shapes. If your website is beautifully designed to be used on a computer but not properly ported over to a smartphone’s internet browser’s formatting, you will potentially be losing hundreds or thousands of clients that prefer to use their phones over the computer.

For obvious reasons, you must ensure that your website is very user-friendly and focused on the visitor’s experience. If you properly utilize these key points, your website will likely see successes never seen before.

If you ever need help creating, improving, or redesigning your website to further boost your business, be sure to contact us at Windy City Web Designs to fulfill all your needs.

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!

 

Is Pay Per Click Right For Your Business?

One of the Internet’s fastest growing marketing techniques is pay per click advertising. Perfect for businesses of any size, pay per click advertising can help you increase your business’s online exposure, gaining relevant traffic, as well as put you one step ahead of your competition.

Understanding Pay Per Click

Pay per click ad campaigns are paid keyword search campaigns in which users can click on your business’ ad, directing them to your business’ website, charging you a fee each time the ad is clicked.

While this may seem simple, in order for your campaign to be effective and prevent the loss of potential traffic to your site, it is critical that you ensure you are only using valid keywords that are relevant to your specific business.

For a pay per click advertising campaign to be effective, it is important that you are not doing this only once, but over time. For this reason, you may wish to enlist the help of a pay per click management company, like Windy City Web Designs, in order to ensure your campaign is not only effective, but well thought out, ensuring you are achieving the most success.

Is Pay Per Click Right For My Business?

Unsure if pay per click is right for you? Here is how you can help drive more traffic to your site with your PPC marketing campaign:

  1. Change and improve your campaign ads
  2. Expand your keyword lists
  3. Organize your keywords and ad groups
  4. Analyze your data
  5. Improve your actions based on your analytics
  6. Filter unwanted keywords
  7. Create a negative keywords list, so you won’t use them again
  8. Continuous monitoring of your campaign’s progress

For more information and to learn more about our Internet marketing strategies, including pay per click, contact Windy City Web Designs 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.

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.