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.

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.

Responsive Design Vs Adaptive Design?

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

A responsive design is the most popular types 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, but it allows the website to be fully compatible with any resolution, which is good because mobile devices are always being updated, especially when it comes to their resolution and means that you won’t have to worry about updating your website every time a new device is released.

Adaptive Design

Adaptive design layouts are designed for specific resolutions and the display sizes are dependent upon the browsing window that you are looking at in, which means that an adaptive design layout will check the resolution of your browsing screen, loading your webpage in a the necessary way in order to properly display 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-turned, that 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.

9 Tips For Designing Your Website

When it comes to designing and creating an effective website, Windy City Web Designs has 9 important tips for you to consider:

  1. Make sure your website looks professional and is visually pleasing to your visitors. This means that it is essential that you use neat layouts, uniformed navigation, keeping your text in colors and sizes that are easy to read and are web friendly.

  2. Make sure the website displays and behaves properly on all major web browsers in various versions: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome and Safari.

  3. Be sure to optimize each page with include page titles and headings, using bullet points and shorter sentences, including relevant keywords on all pages.

  4. Do not auto-play music or videos.  Users overwhelmingly prefer to start these actions on their own.  If they are forced on them, more often than not, they will leave your site.

  5. Be sure that the contact phone number is in the header of all pages on the website. If you have multiple locations, each with a different phone number, have a clear ‘Contact Us’ section that is accessible from any page.

  6. Don’t overload the pages with heavy graphics and videos. These can cause some user’s browsers to operate slowly, or potentially crash.

  7. Be sure that all hyperlinks (both internal and external) are clearly visible and that they function correctly.

  8. Since 1/3 of internet traffic is now done on a mobile device, it is critical that your website is mobile-friendly. It is important to offer those visitors a version of your site that works within the phone, fits the phone screen and allows for easy tapping of phone numbers and maps. Also be sure you use code that detects when a visitor is coming to your site from a phone and automatically directs them to that version.

  9. Contact Windy City Web Designs today to get started on building or improving your website.

Does Your Website Need A Redesign?

With websites playing an intricate role in today’s life, it is important for your business to have a good website. When your potential customers visit your site, they want to be able to easily navigate your site, which in turn will help you stand out from the competition.

While you may not recognize if your website needs a redesign or not, here are a few reasons you may wish to have Windy City Web Designs help you:

Make your website responsive. More people are viewing the web and looking for your businesses through mobile devices and tablets than they do through computers. When your website isn’t responsive, the likeliness your website will be visited decreases. With a responsive design, your website will detect the phone or tablet, automatically adjusting the screen to fit their specific device, which makes this a more pleasurable experience.

Add to your website. By adding things such as blogs and forums, the chances you will attract visitors will increase, especially when it is informational and beneficial to your visitors.

Keep it modern. With dated websites being clearly evident today, your visitors may choose modern over outdated, leaving your website for your competition.

Get connected. If your website is not utilizing social media, you are likely missing out on potential visitors, which can mean business. Social media is an effective way to keep in contact with your potential businesses, as well as keep them coming back for more.

Windy City Web Designs can help to ensure your website is fresh and modern, keeping you a step ahead of your competition. Contact us 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 he 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.

Windy City Web Designs specializes in creating custom websites, ensuring we are taking your business to the next level. Contact us today to see how you can get started on a unique solution to fit your business’s needs.

Facts About Graphic Design I Bet You Didn’t Know!

Graphic Design is a booming industry that has a ton of secrets I bet your didn’t know. Many designers find new and innovative ideas in making the business easy to stand out to the market and being able to make an impact on their consumers.

With graphic designs like professional logo designs, web designs, social media page layouts designs and hosts are essentials for an effective branding of businesses. A business doesn’t go far without graphic designers!

Hey all you designers out there! Its important to get familiar with your history of graphic design to understand how things are being evolved over the last years and how things have helped shape the designs to this day.

Explore the history of graphic design and see how it’s evolved over the years. Here are some interesting facts that you probably didn’t know.

  1. Logo designs started in the 13thcentury when the ancient Egyptians branded domestic animals with hieroglyphs.
  2. During 2500 BC to 1400 BC Graphic design began with the Sumerian pictographs and Egyptian Hieroglyphics.
  3. Typography started mid-1400s using re-usable Meta. Typographer Johann Gutenberg was the first too develop the first ever movable type and typographer Claude Garamond opened up the first type foundry, developing and selling fonts to printers in the 1530s.
  4. Late 1800s, Art Nouveau emerged as an international art style.
  5. Helvetica typeface was introduced in the 20thcentury and soon it became one of the most used fonts in our daily lives.
  6. Did you know that Pop Art and Psychadelia became popular graphic design styles between 1960-1970s?
  7. Mid-1970s, designers started to pay close attention to word spacing, distorting type, and typewriter type.
  8. The world’s first ever website was launched in 1992.

The list above is just a small list of facts about history of graphic design, and their elements from the last several years. For more information about graphic design or web design, contact Windy City Web Designs for more details!

How To Improve The Speed Of Your Website

It is a question that has had website owners asking for years, “how can I make my website run faster?” And there actually multiple ways to improve the speed of your website. After ruling out the main reasons why your website would be running slow: the server, the connection, and the client, its time to look at the design aspects. Making sure you have an optimized website will increase the chances of a viewer staying on your website longer. People don’t like waiting for a website to load and will leave if it is taking too long.

Images: The size of an image has a great impact on how fast or slow your website is performing. In order to get a faster website it is a good idea to compress the images that you put on your website and to remember to specify the image dimensions as well. Compressing these images will optimize your site, which will make it run at a faster speed.

Javascript: When running a javascript code on an HTML page it is important to remember where to put the code. Putting it in the wrong spot could increase the chances of your website to start running slower.  All javascript operations should be placed in the footer of your HTML page or just before the ending body tag. Doing this will allow your website to be displayed even if the javascript is still loading.

Using CSS3: Using an external style sheet can keep all of your code organized within your pages and can help your website run faster than if it was all coded in just HTML5.  Keeping all of your CSS code in one document will keep everything condensed and be easier to load for your server.

For more information regarding the speed of your website or if you need help with your website running at a faster speed, contact the professionals at Windy City Web Designs.

4 Reasons Your Business Needs A Responsive Website

Like many small business owners, you may believe your business cannot benefit from having a responsive website or that a website is not within your budget.  Or maybe you think because you don’t use a computer, neither do your potential customers.  These are misconceptions.  These 4 reasons show why your company NEEDS a professional website, no matter what size your business.

1. YOUR SMALL BUSINESS WILL GAIN CREDIBILITY

Today, more and more consumers use the internet to search for the products or services they need.  Your small business will gain credibility by having a website.  Without one, potential customers will go to your competitors.  If you already have a website but it is “home-made”, having it professionally redesigned will provide your business with a professional image which will inspire even greater confidence.  For home-based businesses, this is particularly beneficial since you do not have a store front to promote your products or services.

2. IT WILL ENABLE YOU TO KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS INFORMED

Think of your website as being your online brochure or catalog.  It is much easier and quicker to update information about your products and services on your website than in print material, making it an effective way of letting your customers know about the arrival of new products, upcoming events, special promotions, or any new services you now offer.  Unlike print ads which quickly become outdated, your website can provide current information and news.

3. IT IS ALWAYS ACCESSIBLE

A website is available to both your regular and potential customers 24/7/365 providing them with the convenience of reviewing your products and services when your store or office is closed.  With today’s busy lifestyles, this is a great selling point when making a purchase decision.

4. A WEBSITE MAKES IT POSSIBLE TO TARGET A WIDER MARKET

Whether you provide products or services, your website will provide an alternative location to sell them.  As a retailer, a website (eCommerce) is a great place to sell your products to a wider market; even services can be made available globally.  Don’t think you’ll be able to sell your products or services online?  Don’t forget, even cars and houses sell online!

So call Windy City Webdesigns today to create the perfect website for your business!

Things On Your Website That Are Driving Your Customers Away

Often times, many websites have content, pictures, layout, color schemes and more that can negatively impact your website. The amount of people that are leaving your website, because it is aesthetically unpleasant, could be more than you think. In order to decrease the amount of visitors leaving your website, its important to know why they are leaving in the first place, and try to fix those problems.

Having a non-responsive website can cause visitors to wait for your website to load if they are on a mobile device. When a website doesn’t load or when a customer is waiting for a page to load because it is slow can result in a customer having a bad experience which means they will never want to come back. They will also most likely tell others of the bad experience they had which can cause damage to your company. To improve the speed of your website, make sure images are compressed and try to stay away from content management systems if at all possible because they take longer to load.

Providing quality content that is quick and to the point is what will keep customers coming to your website. Visitors come to your website and want to know what your business is about and what you can provide for them. The content that is on your website should reveal honest facts, whether it is about client testimonials or your customer satisfaction guarantee.

The layout of the overall website is the first thing customers see and it is their first impression of your company. You want to make sure it is a good one by making sure there is an equal amount of information and pictures in order to balance the website as a whole. Color schemes and font sizes and styles are equally important because the font size and style will express to your viewers the tone you are trying to get across to them. Using a more serious font would work well with content whereas a fun font would be ideal for a sales or promotion image on your website.

Windy City Web Designs has certified professionals that can help you increase the number of people who visit your website. We use special strategies in order for your website to succeed. For help to reach your goals and to maximize the number of new and returning customers to your website, contact a member from our web development team today.