Windy City Strategies Named One Of The Top Digital Marketing Agencies

Windy City Strategies was named one of the top 19 digital marketing agencies in the Chicago area for 2017 by Expertise.com.

In order to be at the top of the list, the digital marketing companies that were reviewed had to meet certain criteria, such as:

  1. Reputation- A history of outstanding customer service and happy customers.
  2. Credibility- Building customer confidence with licensing, accreditations, and awards.
  3. Experience- Based on years of experience and education.
  4. Availability- Approachable and responsive to their customers.
  5. Professionalism- Provides service with honesty, reliability, and respect.

According to Expertise, Windy City Strategies made the list due to the following:

“Windy City Strategies has been one of the city’s premier digital marketing firms for more than a decade, providing targets solutions and innovative tools designed to help businesses succeed and grow. The award-winning company’s range of services includes customized website design, local and national search engine optimization, and pay-per-click advertising to draw in revenue and reach broader markets. The company also offers a free AdWords audit to first-time customers, giving businesses valuable insights into ways to improve current online tools and strategies.”

If you are interested in learning more about why Windy City Strategies is one of the best digital marketing companies in the Chicagoland area, then contact us for more information today!

Using Social Media For Your Business? The Do’s And Dont’s

Social media outlets are a great way to develop a meaningful connection between your business and your customers and a great way to give you a greater online presence. In fact, most people utilize a source of social media to research your company, what you have to offer, as well as other customers’ experiences.

However, not everyone is using social media appropriately and effectively for their business. This is why it is important to understand how to use social media for your business, doing it correctly, and avoiding making potentially detrimental mistakes.

1. What are you representing? Not only is it important to know your brand and what you have to offer, but you need to identity who you are selling your business to, especially when it comes to speaking on any social media platform. Since you are the one who knows your product, production, company or brand best, be sure to represent it appropriately, or you may lose potential business.

2. Who is your target audience? It’s important to know whom you are targeting. What do they do? When do they get online? Any savvy social media expert will be able to figure these things out and understand their goals, which will allow you to see what is working, and what isn’t.

3. Respond efficiently and appropriately. Let’s face it, you will likely be faced with controversy at some point when using social media. However, the way you handle it will be key to the end result. Since you don’t want to find yourself without a sense of what’s coming next, or responding to a controversy in a way that isn’t professional or consistent, it is important that you remain true to your policies and your brand. Good customer service can play a key role in appealing to customers and clients.

4. Make meaningful connections. Avoid treating your audience as a subject, not as an object. Once you do, your work on social media simply becomes a dialogue. Remember to observe the changes in your audience, ensuring you are learning about them by communicating with them on your social media outlets daily, which will make a positive impact on your audience, developing those meaningful relationships.

5. Understand the difference between social media for business vs. for personal use. Simply because you have a personal Facebook page does not meant that you will k now how to use Facebook for your business needs. Social media for businesses are not the same thing as understanding the scope of what Facebook ads and Twitter-promoted posts can do. Because these platforms are refining and changing all the time, it is important that you have an expert on your team that can help you make your campaign effective.

For more information on how we can help market your business online, or for help with your social media marketing campaign, contact Windy City Strategies today.

 

Looking To Hire An SEO Agency?

Search engine optimization, or often referred to as SEO, is the process of improving and promoting your website within the major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, increasing your visibility online, and bringing traffic to your website.

And with SEO of being of utmost importance to your business, finding a quality SEO agency can be perilous. From things like budget, to timeframe, to your specific needs, there are many things to consider when choosing the right SEO agency.

To make finding the right SEO agency easier for you, the professionals at Windy City Strategies suggests the following steps to ease your business’s search while looking to hire an SEO agency:

Determine your needs. From content marketing, to internal and external links, to the way your website is coded, there are many SEO strategies that can help your business succeed. This is why it is critical to understand your business’s needs before choosing the right SEO agency. And if you do not know what your business needs when it comes to SEO, be sure to consult with the agency, who can help to determine what will be most effective for you.

Determine your budget. Be upfront with your SEO agency, letting them know what your business’s budget is, as well as any basic and essential industry information. It is critical that you know what your business can afford, determining what each agency can do with your budget before making a decision.

Review your choices. From other business owners, to fellow industry people, to other reputable industry leaders online, be sure to use your resources before making a decision. With a plethora of SEO agencies around, it can be helpful to determine what their worth is by reading reviews, understanding their mission and successes, as well as seeing how they interact with the public. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals and references, which can be extremely helpful in making your decision, especially if you are having a hard time narrowing agencies down.

A good SEO agency has all the tools necessary to help your business succeed. For more information on how Windy City Strategies can help you, contact us today!

Are You Investing In A Google AdWords Campaign?

Gaining leads can be a difficult task for small businesses, especially when competing against more established and well known businesses. This often leaves these businesses wondering what they can do to effectively gain an audience, and grow their business.

Perhaps one of the best ways to do this is by investing in a Google AdWords campaign.

What Is Google AdWords?

Google AdWords is Google’s exclusive advertising program that allows businesses to advertise online, targeting the people that are using Google’s search engine, an its affiliates, to search for your products and services.

With a Google AdWords campaign, you must bid on keywords that are related to your products or services. When a person plugs in your keywords into the search engine, your business’s ad will appear as a sponsored link.

What Are The Benefits Of A Google AdWords Campaign?

Big or small, regardless of the size of your business, an effective Google AdWords campaign can drive traffic to your website every day, which not only increases your audience, but your profitability as well.

You only pay for results. When a business advertises on Google AdWords, they have the ability to only pay when someone clicks on their ad. This guarantees that the money that you’re paying is at least generating visits to your website, which allows for immediate interaction with customers, hopefully producing immediate results, or conversions, as well.

You can track your results. Google allows its users to track a variety of metrics. The most important of these metrics, however, is the conversions. Conversions can help to determine the effectiveness of pay per click campaigns, making it easier for businesses to track the return on their investment with a Google AdWords campaign.

You can time your ads. Advertising on Google AdWords allows you to advertise to your audience, when you want. With ad scheduling, you have the ability to show your ads to customers’ at the most ideal times, targeting them on specific days and hours, as well as increase keyword bids for specific days and times.

You can gain web traffic. Even if your website is effectively optimized to appeal to the search engines, there is the possibility that you are not ranking as high as some of your competitors. Since this can put you at a disadvantage, it is important to find a way to gain your website more traffic, which will help to increase your rankings. This is where Google AdWords can help you to draw an audience, attracting them to your business and website.

You are in control. With all of the tools, features, and options that are provided, the amount of control that you have is one of the biggest benefits advertisers can have when investing in a Google AdWords campaign. From the ability to set a budget, to being able to view and act on real-time data, as well as create tests to analyze the most effective landing page and ad copy, Google Adwords allows you to control your own advertising campaign.

It is important to realize that Google AdWords requires a lot of time and patience. If you interested in a Google AdWords campaign, or would like our Google AdWords professionals to manage your account, contact Windy City Strategies today!

Social Media: How It Can Be Used For Your Business

Promoting your business over social media can be an easy way to help drive traffic to your business. However, choosing the most effective platform that will have the most potential to achieve maximum mileage, can be difficult.

In order to help you make the right choice when it comes to your social media marketing strategy, here are a few helpful ideas on each leading social media network, and how it could be used for your business:

Facebook: Facebook has different advantages over the other social networks. Since almost everybody you know has an active Facebook profile, you can ensure you are being noticed. Facebook allows readers to choose the kind of updates they want and what they want to view most often and share and interact with others, which can drive traffic to your business.

YouTube: With some types of businesses, you may wish to have short and informative videos to engage potential clients, which makes YouTube a very powerful network. Google plus can achieve much stronger content that is effective and compelling.

Pinterest: Pinterest is a place to post images and creativity ideas for a future product, or services. This content sharing platforms allows members to “pin” images and videos to their own board, and is made up of a wide audience, allowing you to open up to the public.

Twitter: Twitter is simply another way to text whomever your audience is. With Twitter, you can post what you are thinking, how you are feeling, or use it as another way to post information about your business. As an added bonus, Facebook users can read what they choose to look at, and respond when they want to.

For help choosing the right social media platform for your business, or wish to get started on an effective Internet marketing campaign, contact Windy City Strategies today.

Rank Effectively With Your Keywords

Keywords play an essential role in ensuring your website is successful, especially since they are not only an effective way to drive targeted web traffic to your business, but also because they are free marketing for your business.

It is important to know, however, that using keywords on your website needs to be done appropriately, only using meaningful keywords. In order to help, we want to share with you what you need to do in order to rank effectively with your keywords, as well as what keywords work best.

What Is A Keyword?

Keywords are the words and phrases that Internet users will type into a search engine, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo in order to find the specific website they are looking for.

What Keywords Work Best?

While there are many keywords that will get hundreds of thousands of unique searches a day, there are others that do not get as many. It is important to keep in mind that many of the more high traffic keywords are very competitive, since many businesses are trying to get referrals and traffic from users when they search for those keywords, so coming up with a keyword that is not only relevant to your business, but effective as well is imperative.

Once you have researched keywords for your business, you will want a course of action for implementing those keywords on your website. The best way to do this would be to create pages on your website that target those specific keywords, providing relevant information to online searchers about what they are looking for, which in turn will make you easier to find amongst the search engines.

For more information about search engine optimization and help ensuring your website can be found amongst the search engines, consult with the professionals at Windy City Strategies today.

Get Your Website Noticed With These Creative Marketing Tips

With the growth of Internet marketing, businesses often find their website caught in the clutter, keeping them from being noticed, especially if they do not have the money or resources to spend on their Internet marketing campaigns.

Marketing techniques like social media advertising, paid search listings, and relevant content marketing are all huge contributors to a company’s web presence. And while these may not be right for you, or something you can do at the moment, it is important to ensure you are implementing some sort of Internet marketing strategy to get your website noticed.

Windy City Strategies wants to help your business’s website get noticed by providing you with the following creative marketing tips:

  • Hold an Interview. Providing interesting information in regards to your business, your brand, or your industry will help your visitors take an interest in what you offer, and your interviewee can attract followers that might have overlooked your business.
  • Hold a survey. Build your potential or current customers’ trust in your business by holding a survey, making public your customers’ level of satisfaction with your business, products, or services.
  • Be an industry leader. The best way to be a leader in your industry, separating you from your competition is to provide useful information to your visitors. Simply by implementing a blog, writing a newsletter, or posting relevant articles or videos on your website will help you to become a professional people will want to turn to.
  • Report the latest news. Being in tune with the news shows that your business is aware of the market you’re working in, but only if the information is up-to-date.
  • Host a webinar. Live webinars are a good way to get noticed, as well as drive traffic to your site, creating a more personable experience, which, in turn, may have your visitors coming back to your website for more.
  • Create an infographic. An infographic is a highly graphical visualization tool that is an innovative way of displaying content, attracting the attention of your targeted audience, helping them be easily understood, instead of of overwhelming them with words that they may not read, preventing your content from getting lost.

Windy City Strategies specializes in a variety of Internet marketing strategies, for businesses big or small. For more information and to learn more about our services, contact us today.

 

Social Media Advertising vs. Google AdWords

When it comes to social media advertising vs. Google AdWords, it is often debated on which form of advertising is more effective and more affordable for businesses. In order to help you better understand which type of advertising may be best for you and your business’s needs, here are some of the advantages to both.

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising has been found to be the most effective form of online paid advertising, and as the popularity of social media advertising has increased, it is pretty apparent that most businesses now allocate a good portion of their marketing budget to implement a social media advertising campaign.

The Advantages of Social Media Advertising:

  • The campaigns are easy to track.
  • The potential for immediate traffic to your site.
  • You have total control over your daily budget.
  • You have an instant return on investment, easily defining your cost per conversion.
  • The ability to target particular demographics, including: towns, regions, ages, interests, income brackets, etc.
  • Easy set up.
  • The ability to reach people early on in the buying process.
  • The ability to use images and videos, capturing the interest of your target market.
  • It is inexpensive to implement.

Google AdWords

Google AdWords has quickly gained momentum in the advertising world, making it fairly competitive. However, AdWords campaigns are not for everyone, so it is best to consult with an AdWords professional, like Windy City Strategies, who can help to determine if it is right for you.

The Advantages of Google AdWords:

  • The use of detailed measuring tools to track the effectiveness of your campaign.
  • The potential for a large audience.
  • Immediate traffic to your site.
  • You have total control over your daily budget and maximum cost per click.
  • You have an instant return on investment, easily being able to define a cost per conversion.
  • The ability to target particular demographics, including: regions, time of day, days of the week, and specific websites.
  • The ability to utilize different advertising options, including Display Network, Search Network, and Remarketing.
  • The ability to target those who already have an interest, converting them into sales.

If you are interested in either a social media advertising or a Google AdWords campaign, contact the professionals at Windy City Strategies.

Successfully Market Your Business Online

In today’s marketing world, having an online presence is absolutely necessary. And while your Internet marketing strategy might not be the same as anyone else’s, there are some common strategies when it comes to having an online presence.

In order to successfully market your business, consider following these helpful tips:

  • Build traffic. Simply by having a good content marketing strategy in place, you can increase traffic to your website, which can help boost your sales.
  • Utilize social media. Are you utilizing social media to your business’s advantage? If not, it is critical that you do. Not only will social media put your brand out there for everyone to see, but you can make your visitor’s experience a more customized one, which often will have them coming back to your website for more.
  • Keep up with the marketing world. The world of Internet marketing is always changing, making it essential that you are staying on top of today’s online marketing trends, especially when you want to stay relevant with your customers.
  • Start a blog. Blogs have quickly gained popularity in helping you to gain an online presence. However, it is critical that you are only blogging about relevant content, since things such as length and quality of content can play a big role in the success of your blog.
  • Seek the help from a professional. Many entrepreneurs do not understand how to market their business online. So why not utilize the services of a professional Internet marketing firm? Not only can they help to customize a marketing strategy that fits your business’s specific needs, but they can do it all for you.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can successfully market your business online, then contact Windy City Strategies for more information today.

5 Reasons Your Business Needs A Facebook Account

Social media plays an important role in advertising and marketing today’s businesses, especially when it comes to small ones. With more than a billion registered Facebook accounts, which is the most out of any social media platforms, there are several reasons your business needs a Facebook account:

1. Build relationships with your customers. Not only do businesses that use Facebook have a good way to connect with their customers, but it an effective method to spread the most important word-of-mouth referrals. By building these relationships, businesses can personalize their marketing efforts based on their audience, building offers and promotions based on their customers’ demands.

2. Gain exposure. In addition to building relationships and spreading your name, your business will be generating awareness amongst others, free of charge. With every “like” or “share” of your business’s page or post, the greater your social media exposure will be, which increases the chance that your page will be seen by hundreds of people.

3. Increase traffic to your website. There are a couple of ways you can drive traffic to your business’ Facebook page. One of the most effective ways is when your users utilize FourSquare to “check-in” to your place of business, which lets their Facebook friends know that they are at your business location. Another way is by sharing any of the products or services they may have purchased from your business on their Facebook account.

4. Advertise your business. Facebook allows you the ability to advertise on their network, allowing you to target your customers. With Facebook’s Custom Audiences, you can target your customers using email lists, or with the use of Partner Categories, which targets a specific industry, such as small business owners.

5. Provide high quality customer service. There is nothing more important to a business that input from their customers. By having a Facebook page, your business can reach out to their audience to generate suggestions for future products or services, solicit feedback, or most importantly, show your customers how much you value them, making you stand out form your competition by offering high quality customer service.

Windy City Strategies specializes in customized Internet marketing solutions for businesses big and small. For more information, or to get started on an Internet marketing campaign to boost your business, contact us today.