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.

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.

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.

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.

How To Tell When Your Site Is Boring

If you start to notice your website being attracted only by a couple of customers, then chances are something is wrong with your site. Ask yourself maybe the design, or the layout? How about the content? Responsive Design? Read the next couple ideas, and hopefully you change your mind into making your site much better!

  • No Action :  If you open up your website right now in a new window, what’s the first thing you feel or notice without even thinking about it already, any positive or negative thoughts? Are you interested? Intrigued or Impressed? Surprised or even frightened? When clicking on your home page and their is no reaction in the first couple seconds of opening the page…you have a boring page.
  • Not Staying On Topic : Now start clicking on different pages in your website, and act as if you are the customer. Look at the graphics and read the content. If you start to find yourself wandering, choose what you intended to be the most informative chunk of content on your website and read through it. Once you have read the first couple sentences, and you feel you are drifting in a different direction, chances are you have boring content.
  • Duplicated Content : If your site has many layers of images, or colors, and if the readers have to read a lot of copied content, in order to gain anything from what your site is, they will be quick to hit the close button on the site. Stay away from having too many images that are the same, or the content is exactly the same on some pages. You want to be able to draw your customers in and grab their attention. Keep in mind, the more people that exit your site the more your losing in potential customers.
  • Familiar To Others? : Does your site look like a competitor of yours? Or do you find that your site lacks the originality? If you answered yes to both, then it probably is very familiar and lacks the importance of what your site is. You webpage needs to stands out from all the other ones that are out there in a way for your customers to remember who you are. If you can’t do that, and they feel it’s just another website or another lawn service, they probably won’t stick around.

If you find that your site shows some of these signs, you can contact Windy City Web Designs, and they can take a look at your site for you, and see where your losing the customers at, and how the traffic flow is from previous days, to the present.

Tips For Web Designers That Want To Keep Learning!

Do you want to learn more skills that could possibly help advance you in your career as a web designer? Take a look at these educational sites that are listed below. When working in the web design industry, you learn something new everyday, and it’s also a great idea to keep up on your skills. Take a look at these tips and hopefully they can help you improve or excel in your area of experience.

Tuts+: With Tuts+ it provides a wealth of knowledge for designers and developers, on helping other people learn online. Tuts+ offers a huge range of video based and text videos.  The offer free tutorials, and publish subscription based courses that will give you many different types of courses varying from HTML & CSS, WordPress, Adobe Cloud Programs and much more!

Treehouse: Treehouse is aimed towards beginner web designers and to help them land careers. They provide web development, web design, iOS development training and it also induces PHP, and SEO. What’s great about Treehouse is they provide some interactive challenges and quizzes and once you complete them you are awarded a badge that is placed on your profile. Certain companies do recruit new employees from Treehouse that is based on the number of badges that person has earned.

Lynda.com: This is my favorite place to go for online learning videos! They help any one that wants to learn new creative skills, and technology. The industries leaders teach all of these videos. This site allows you to control the viewing experience of any course, and you can watch them on your mobile device and computer. You can also create your own playlist of videos that you have watched or you can share them! Lynda.com has over 1000 different courses that are based on your typical web design courses, and other courses in business, operating systems, and even networking.

For more information about places to go to learn more about web design contact Windy City Web Designs!

How To Make Your Online Ads Clickable

We’ve all seen ads that grab our attention, but now we’ve also seen ads that can leave us speechless, and wondering what the advertiser was trying to accomplish. How are you able to create text banner ads on LinkedIn that can attract your target audience? Start by writing effective headlines, and see where that gets you!

A KEY to writing online ads is to put yourself in the shoes of your viewers who are going to be reading your ads. Picture how they are feeling, understand why they are frustrated or in pain. Once your able to get into their heads, you can write ads that can grab their attention quickly and make them feel comfortable with you and your products or services.

These great ads are more than just words, it’s about telling a story or creating an unforgettable experience and make you have to read more. Follow these factors that can make your ads more clickable to your viewers!

Being Curious

We all are curious by nature and want to learn more about subjects that interest us. If you start your headline with phrases like “How do I …” or “How I… ” The reader will be curious. You want them to read the entire headline. You can also use contradiction in your headline to confuse your readers so you’re able to grab their attention also. Here are a few examples of headlines that use curiosity to grab attention:

  • “How do I get top search rankings in Google for my business without spending a lot of money?”
  • “Social Media is NOT your only way to get web traffic”

Some Benefits

By providing a clear understanding of the benefit in your headline, people will click on your ad to find out how they can benefit from what you are offering. Implying that they will learn something new that can give them a competitive advantage. Here are a few examples of benefit-driven headlines:

  • “How to Convert More Web Visitors into Raving Customers”
  • “How to Work Less and Earn More”

Emotions

Everyone responds to certain key words, especially when they trigger some type of emotion. Using the right words can make people click on your ads. If you watch those infomercials, you’ll be able to hear and see the steady stream of emotion-triggering words like amazing, incredible, excellent, and free. You may also hear them say something like “This amazing formula will help you feel incredible, and make you completely irresistible.” Now who wouldn’t want to buy that product? Here are a few more examples of some emotional headlines:

  • “Ten Free Social Media Tips That Will Generate More Incredible Comments on Your Blogs”
  • “Easily Learn a New Language in Just 20 Minutes a Day!”

For more information about how to make your online ads clickable, contact Windy City Web Designs. 

New To Internet Marketing?

Here are some very helpful tips for those of you that are new to internet marketing. This will also give some fundamentals, and where to start at from the beginning. Let’s get started and take a look at the list below on the important parts for being new to internet marketing.

Important Points For Being A Beginner

  • Do not worry about digital, electronic, internet product creation
  • Keyword Research > Traffic > Conversion > Product
  • You need to FOCUS on the Market and Keyword Research, this part is a very critical system for Internet Marketing
  • Try to find DEMAND before you think about SUPPLY
  • Take ACTION
  • Try to have fun because if you can’t then you aren’t going to do so well, so have confidence!
  • Figure out the easiest way to make the first dollar
  • Once you figure out that step, replicate that until you’re ready to move forward
  • Now your product is last, so you don’t need to worry about that right now or how to write a sales page, you will get to that last
  • Create a goal that has a deadline, an amount of money that is desired to spend on this and the things you want to trade for the results your looking for
  • Take small consistent steps toward that goal
  • Profit

New To Internet Marketing Isn’t Just For Beginners Nor Is It About Product Creation

You want to start getting you basic skills going first before you start to go onto the advanced stuff. Focus on your marketing research, where to find the demand, and how to generate traffic flow to your website. Finding simple advertisements, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), affiliate promotions and product creations.

With affiliate marketing is to sell other peoples products and take a commission. It’s much easier and faster to trail this, and therefore you will learn much more! Takes a lot to create a good product, and instead of wasting your time on the product creation skills, it’s better to be focused on your internet marketing.

Having Goals

In the beginning of this post I mentioned goals, you must put a definitive and objective value on your goals. Give the dollar value of how much you want to achieve. You also must set a deadline and with these features you will be able to drive yourself to those achievements! Internet Marketing for beginners is all the learning process and how to apply market research or keyword research. Once you can master these, you can learn about non crucial things. For example:

  • Buying a Domain and a hosting website
  • How to display your ads
  • SEO skills
  • Content Writing
  • Traffic generation techniques
  • Social media marketing
  • Creating banners, logos, headers, and a favicon (which is like your logo but this shows up in the URL next to your website address)

Once you can outsource this list above, and after you’re able to make your first dollar using these, stick to it for a while. Once you’re able to master this for a while, move on to a new advanced technique.

If you need more information about Internet Marketing for being a beginner contact, Windy City Web Designs.

Web Design Trends For 2015

In this post I will be talking about how web design trends for 2015 will impact the Word Press Community from the existing Word Press themes and plugins to the new and improved opportunities. Let’s get started.

Having A Responsive Page

Over the last few several years responsive design has solidified itself as the new standard for a web design. No one is saying let’s get rid of responsive design, because more sites are opting to go in this direction. If your page is not responsive for all types of screens, you have the risk of losing potential customers.

More Emphasis On Choosing The Right Typography

Traditionally web type-kits are being allowed to create those beautiful fonts and typefaces to be used on websites. These use to be really expensive, and many sites were leaning heavily on typographic designs that will require larger budgets and leaving the WordPress users out of the fun. Now these type-kits are starting to become more affordable like Google Fonts, so there is more freedom for designers to work with a small budget. So no more spending tons of money of typefaces, that are now open to you for free or at a low cost.

Using Big Background Images And Videos

Another bit hit for web pages now a days are the use of large background images and videos. It’s the simplest way to make your site stand out by having great content that is being shown. The trend is wonderful and will show an elegant and powerful design.

Flat Design To Material Design Rising Up

With Flat Design it has achieved a lot of momentum within the last few years and has shown to keep going forward in the New Year. Flat design is growing up into material design. Material design is something that Google has unveiled this year which is in the direction for mobile and design. The word material is a metaphor that is unifying theory of rationalized space and a system in motion.

What Are Microinteractions?

Microinteractions contains experiences or moments within a product or maybe a module on a website that can revolve around a single use case. For example some sites have an email signup box that will show up first thing once you click on certain sites. It can wiggle back and forth to draw your attention in. This is considered a microinteraction, and this promotes an increase in user engagement.

For more information about Web Design trends contact, Windy City Web Designs.

What To Expect When Adding Videos To Your Site

When adding videos to your website, it can have many benefits, and then sometimes you will figure out that it carries some drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons for what to expect when adding videos to your site.

Pros To Adding Videos To Your Site

1. Videos Can Appeal to multiple audience- There are a number of online users daily that prefer to watch videos over reading content. When adding videos to your site, you widen the potential audience and bring in new visitors.

2. Show And Tell- When you explain your concepts with a video it makes more sense. Have a good amount of how to articles and videos showing what to do, can really benefit from the format.

3. Personal Video- When showing your face and speaking to your users in a video, it gives them a stronger way to be able to interact with you.

 

Cons To Adding Videos To Your Site

1. More Preparation- If you create a video that is more professional, you are going to need to work on the setup, and script and work even more on it before it starts.

2. Takes Time To Edit Videos- Once you are finished creating a video you are going to end up spending more time on editing it to make it better.

3. Not Fitting For All Topics- Not all videos can be suited for a video. You might want to stick to a list of resources, detailed researches, and articles for your users.

Video is the next coming years are going to play a big part in the web, eventually. It is worth a shot at trying out.

For more information, contact Windy City Web Designs on what to expect when adding videos to your website.