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.

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.

What To Look For In Your Designer

It can be hard to find the right designer for your web design and logo design needs, especially with all the people out there that claim to be the right designer for you and your needs. In order to help you choose the right designer, here are some things to look for:

They are experienced. When choosing your ideal design, it is important to hire someone who understands your needs, creating a design that is effective and attractive for your business. When an experienced designer has previous projects, you can get ideas on what skill level your designer is at, and what you should expect from them.

They have published work. Be sure to ask and see if your designer has any previous work that has been printed or published, checking them out so you can better understand their design style and level of experience. Ask for their portfolio, as well as any testimonials or recommendations they may have.

They are professional. Time management, attention to detail, strong communication skills, and trustworthiness are all vital in a designer’s level of professionalism. Another thing to look for is the way they handle your questions, and how long it takes them to respond, with customer service skills being an important factor in a designer’s professionalism.

They take an interest in your needs. It is important to look for someone who is curious and wants to learn more about your business and what your brand represents, asking a variety of questions in order to find out your wants and needs for your design, and ultimately for your business.

They are affordable. Since every business has different design needs, the best way to determine what the cost for your specific design will be is to get a customized quote. The service is usually quite evident on what you are going to get.

Windy City Web Designs is a full service web design, branding, and Internet marketing company. For more information and to get started on a customized website design, contact us today.

Make Your Website Stand Out From The Competition

Ensuring your website stands out from the competition is a must, especially when it comes to selling what your business has to offer. The first step in making this happen is by taking a look at your website’s design.

Since your website represents your brand, it is important to consider including the following web design trends when creating or updating your website:

Responsive Web Design- Simply by ensuring your website is responsive to any device that the user is using when visiting your website, you can guarantee they can find you and have a more user-friendly experience, making them more inclined to revisit your website in the future.

One-Page Website– One-page, long-scrolling web sites have been found to be very effective, giving your website a modern and professional feel. Since users are more accustomed to vertical scrolling, one-page websites will make your website’s content easier to view, ensuring a more user-friendly experience.

Flat Design- With flat design, designers will use objects on your website that are flat in color and appearance, creating textures that will work well across multiple devices. Flat design also gives the feel of layers, depth, as well as flat colors, giving your website that minimalist design feel.

Simple Design- It is important to avoid making your website overwhelming and overly stimulating for your users, ensuring your website is as simple as possible. Be sure to avoid any unnecessary concepts and pages, also avoiding giving your users too many choices. By simply focusing on your website’s design and content, you are making it more appealing, separating you from your competition.

Windy City Web Designs specializes in modern and customized websites, as well as Internet marketing solutions to meet your business’s specific needs. For more information on how we can help your business stand out from the rest, contact us today!

Hiring A Professional Web Design Firm Is The Answer You Are Looking For

Coming up with the right website design and an effective Internet marketing plan may seem like an easy process, but most business owners find themselves not having the amount of time necessary to create a website on their own, asking themselves how can they do this on their own. This is why hiring a professional web design and Internet marketing firm may be the answer they are looking for.

Windy City Web Designs specializes in working with business owners, creating a customized website that fits their specific and business’s needs. All these entrepreneurs have to do is help with the following, and we will do the rest:

Ensure you own your site.  When starting a website, it is essential that you ensure you hold the rights to it. When using a company with proprietary software, or easy to use on-line website editors, they often will hold your website hostage, forcing you to pay a financial settlement. Be sure the company provides you FTP information or your WordPress login and password that is under your name, or your company’s, which will allow you to have access to your website.

Use meaningful content. Whether you choose to provide your own content, or utilize our content writing services, be sure to avoid using duplicate, or cookie cutter, content. Some companies will use this method to keep costs down, recycling content, typically only changing the city and company name. Meaningful content will not only help your website be found by the search engines easier, but by your visitors as well.

Provide your own images. Many businesses nowadays are getting dinged big time for using images that they find on-line, often finding themselves having to pay a hefty fine. This is why you should always check with your web design company company in order to ensure they do not use copyrighted images. When designing your website, you are better off either providing your own images, or purchasing the rights to the ones you want.

Your website is a big investment. That is why you should leave it to a professional full-service web design and Internet marketing firm like Windy City Web Designs to ensure your website is not only done properly, but it effective as well. Contact us for more information or for help with your web design and Internet marketing needs today.

Helpful Tips When Creating Your Website

Creating the ideal website can be an intimidating process. From your logo design, to colors, to your content, your website must have all the right pieces in place in order to be effective. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when designing your perfect website:

Tip #1: Hire a professional web designer. Not only are web designers familiar with the right and wrong way to create a website, they are also experts in helping you to come up with the things your website will need in order to help your stand out for all the rest. Be sure to communicate regularly with your designer, as they will customize your site with your vision.

Tip #2: Know your audience. One of the most important things you will need to consider is who your targeted audience is going to be. A lot of the essential pieces in your website, like your content, design, and interior pages, are going to be dependant on who your audience is. For example, if your business is working with professionals, you may wish to have a more formal tone in their design, while certain retailers will require more of an informal design.

Tip #3: Get ideas from other websites. It is a good idea to search other websites that catch your eye, noting the things that you like or don’t like. For example, things like responsive websites, with clean and simple design, are easy for your visitors to use and follow. Simply by giving your designer a few different sites that you like, as well as sites that you don’t like, they can better determine what kind of website may be right for you.

Tip #4: Design the right logo. Something as simple as a logo can help to allow your website’s design to fall into place. With a logo, you will better be able to figure out the colors of your website, which can be a trying task in itself.

For more information and to see how Windy City Web Designs can create the ideal website for you and your business, contact us today!

Helpful Hints For Creating An Effective Homepage

The average website visitor will make a decision about your website in 6-8 seconds, leaving you not much time to impress and capture their attention. This is why it is critical to ensure that you are optimizing your webpage, turning those visitors into leads, who can potentially help your business in the long run.

Here are some helpful tips for creating an effective homepage:

  1. Choose a layout that is not only clutter-free, but easy to navigate as well. Be sure to avoid too many images and icons, as well as super long texts or banners as these can be overwhelming, turning your visitors away.
  2. Since a picture says a thousand words, you should always use high quality and informational photos on your landing page. However, take caution in using too many photos on your homepage, since this can overwhelm the eye. Also, remember to maintain a professional appearance by avoiding the use of low quality photos.
  3. Use a “call to action button”, but keep in mind, that these buttons should not contain more than four words, which makes that button even more tempting to click. Also remember that the improper placement of your call to action button can create a potential problem, making it often going unseen.
  4. Keep your content simple and current. Be sure that your information is always current and resourceful to your users, as well as avoid too much text on your website. When there is too much text, users will often be turned off and tune out.
  5. Be sure to include your contact information and address. This will come in handy when users would like to contact you or are looking for your location. Avoid making this necessary information hard to find.

Windy City Web Designs is a full service web design and marketing firm, that specializes in custom websites and Internet marketing solutions for all types of business. Contact us for help with any and all of your business’s needs today.

How Web Designers Drive Your Business

Small businesses often find themselves as the owners of under performing and unattractive websites. This is likely due to their small budgets, or hiring a web designer that lacks the expertise and knowledge to create an effective website.

It is a web designer’s job to drive the direction of your website, so while it is important to leave it to the professionals, it is critical that you find a web designer that can drive your website and business.

Find A Professional Web Designer

One thing to consider when looking to hire a web designer is their experience and education in web design. Ensure they have had plenty of time to learning the craft that you could not have, as well as a designer who has patience and communicates well.

Power Of Design & Your Business Strategy 

Once you’ve become comfortable with your web designer and have developed an understanding of your goals, then it is time to start implementing your business strategy in your design. Designers have much more creativity than your average business professional, which allows them to create something new and revolutionary, helping your website stand out from the rest.

Make Sure Your Website Makes A Good First Impression 

Everyone knows that a first impression is everything. You want to ensure your website users have an overall positive experience, which will make them want to purchase your goods or services, as well as come back time and time again. If they feel it is a bad design, you are going to lose potential customers.

Leave It To The Professional

Since web designers know what works and doesn’t work, be sure to trust them. However, if you are not happy or experiencing issues, be sure to communicate with them. It is also important to know that an effective and well designed website cannot be created in a half hour. Be sure to always keep your designer involved and have them do your web design work.

For more information about how our web designers can drive your business, visit Windy City Web Designs.

The Dos And Don’ts Of Designing The Ideal Homepage

It takes a matter of seconds to capture your potential user’s attention. For this reason, it is important to ensure that your website’s homepage is functional as well as informational, attracting and keeping their interest.

Here are some basic dos and don’ts when designing your ideal homepage:

Do: Choose a layout that is not only clutter-free, but easy to navigate as well.

Don’t: Avoid too many images and icons, as well as super long texts or banners.

Do: A picture says a thousand words. This is why it is critical to use high quality and informational photos on your landing page.

Don’t: Using too many photos on your homepage can overwhelm the eye. Also remember to keep a professional appearance and avoid using low quality photos.

Do: Call to actions buttons are essential. Keep in mind, however, that these buttons should not contain more than four words, making that button tempting to click.

Don’t: Improper placement of your call to action button can create a potential problem, often times going unseen.

Do: Keep your text simple and current. Be sure that your information is always current and resourceful to your users.

Don’t: Avoid too much text on your website. When there is too much text, users will often be turned off and tune out.

Do: Include your contact information, including your address. This will come in handy when users would like to contact you or are looking for your location.

Don’t: Avoid making this necessary information hard to find. Typically, your business information should be located in the same place on all of your pages, making it easy to locate no matter where they land.

Windy City Web Designs specializes in providing businesses throughout the Chicagoland area with custom websites and Internet marketing solutions. Contact us for help with your business’s needs today.

How Responsive Design Can Help Your Online Marketing Campaign

Responsive web design has gained in popularity and importance over the past year. Not only is it beneficial to your Internet presence, but is also critical because it allows for those millions of mobile and tablet users to have a more user-friendly experience when visiting your website, keeping you ahead of your competition.

What Is Responsive Design?

Responsive web design is an approach in which a website is designed to respond to the user’s behavior, regardless of what type of device is being used. For example, if someone is visiting your website from their mobile device, the will detect what device is being used and adjust itself for optimal viewing by the user.

How Responsive Design Will Help Your Online Marketing Efforts?

  • Content Marketing- When implementing content marketing campaigns such as blogs or newsletters, your users will be able to read your posts much easier with responsive design, as well as use their social sharing buttons.
  • Search Marketing- With responsive design, your users will be able to click on a specific page link, and be directed to the desired page, instead of being redirected to your homepage, allowing for a much more user-friendly experience.
  • Social Media Marketing- Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are not only good ways to interact with your customers and build your brand, but they are perhaps the most inexpensive way to implement a marketing campaign. This can especially be effective when your users wish to visit your social media page from their mobile device.

The Other Benefits Of Responsive Design

  • Increase your sales and conversion rates.
  • Consolidate all of your tracking and analytics.
  • The ability to manage and maintain a single site.
  • Increase your audience.

Take your website to the next level with a compatible responsive web design, contact Windy City Web Designs to get a customized quote today!