Category Archives: Bing

Starting An Email Marketing Campaign

A great way to ensure success with your company is known as email marketing. Take a look at these benefits below, that you can use during your email marketing.

Brand Name Awareness – Email Marketing will increase the likelihood of clients reaching out to you when they need your services. Create a brand name awareness, so they know to go to you vs your competitor.

Loyalty With Customers – Showing appreciation towards your customers is a great way to show them you care, and you’re letting them know your concern will extend beyond the appointment. Once you build that loyalty with them, they won’t go to any other company, besides yours.
Getting Referrals – When you start an email marketing campaign, a get way to get more referrals is to include a (Send To A Friend) button, so then they can share the information with others.
Staying Ahead of Your Competitors – Everywhere you go, there will always be someone trying to take your clientele from you, but with you already having this email marketing campaign started, you’re ahead of the game.

To get more information about starting an email marketing campaign, contact Windy City Strategies today!

SEM or Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing is one of the things we do best here at Windy City Strategies.  But sometimes, people don’t exactly know what that is.  So this blog post is to help explain it to our clients who may not know for sure.

A search engine is something going to www.google.com and putting in a search term like “Chinese Food” in the search bar, or searching for something on the web on Yahoo, or Bing.  Google is the most popular search engine, so we will use this as our example.

According to Google:  “The primary objective of any search engine is to help users find the information, products or services they’re looking for online, quickly and accurately. When the user types a word or phrase, called a query, into the search engine, a set of results that are relevant to the query is displayed.”

So- if you wanted to find a law firm in Crystal Lake- you might type in the search field “Law Firm, Crystal Lake”.

Windy City Strategies provides consultation and services in all areas of Search Engine Marketing-

The shaded area at the top of the page is called Pay-Per-Click advertising- this is a paid section, where your advertising will be posted to the top of the search engine.

The paid results are in the pink area, and the organic  (or Google selected) results are in the green area.  You will notice that there are local listings first in this green area.  That is the location portion of Google’s results- which displays local results from where your computer is searching from.

Windy City Strategies will help your business soar in the ultra-competitive web marketplace through our proven Internet marketing campaigns. We manage Google, Yahoo, and Bing accounts and we offer pay per click campaign management services as well as search engine optimization, website development, and internet marketing consultation. Please contact us for a free proposal and analysis.

Facebook Earnings Increase

Facebook has had a major increase with many people using this website, but it still has to grow in both numbers of users and revenue. The major reason Facebook has seen a decrease is from people accessing Facebook on a mobile device, rather than using it on a desktop computer.

Facebook recently released their second quarter earnings for the year and the findings reveal that the number of active mobile users have increased by 51% over the last year to 819 million monthly users. Ever since Facebook updated its strategy in mobile advertising, there have been more that 1 million active advertisers, many of them including local businesses. This creates a great opportunity for not only these companies but a little bit of hope for our economy.

As for advertising, the numbers shot through the roof with an astounding $1.8 billion in revenue, which is a 61% increase from last year.  Almost half of the money that was earned from advertising, which was $1.6 billion, came from mobile advertising.

According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “People on average are spending more time on Facebook than ever before.” The numbers are there to prove it, showing that users spent over 20 billion minutes on Facebook during the month of June.

For more information about Facebook for your business, contact Windy City Strategies.

Why a Redesign May be Necessary

Every successful business owner knows that developing a strong website properly selling your products or services plays an intricate role in attracting a new and loyal customer base. From being found through search engines, having easy navigation, to representing your brand and its products, a website is pivotal to your business’s success.

If your website is proving to be a barrier for your business, you should consider these benefits and possibilities of redesigning your website.

Better attract customers: When Google or the various other search engines are ranking websites, they take a lot of things into account, but the important thing to know is that updating your website improves your online presence to gain more customers.

Modernize your website: Everything nowadays should be “modern” – sleek and elegant websites are the best way to attract new customers. Stay with the times and keep your website up to date.

Integrate social media: One of the most powerful aspects of the internet is social media and the ludicrous amount of exposure any company can get. When you properly integrate your social media accounts into your website, you will be able to easily spread your message and products.

Stay competitive: The importance of staying competitive in your business’s field cannot be emphasized enough. If even one part of your business begins to fall behind, your entire business will take the load as well. Be sure to have a competitive website to properly sell your products and brands.

Running a website can be a very difficult task for business owners, but the importance of having a new and updated website cannot be emphasized enough. If you ever have any questions or would like to talk with a professional, contact us at any time and we’ll quickly get back to you.

Why your Website Needs HTTPS

Ever since Google announced a couple years ago that the security of your website will affect its rankings on Google, there has been a huge push to get SSL (secured socket layer) on websites who previously used HTTP. If you are unaware of what HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) does, here’s a brief summary: in essence, HTTP is the format in which all data is sent across the general internet (excluding the deep web, for obvious reasons). This format breaks apart the data being sent into small pieces called packets, which are then sent to many servers and computers until the information reaches the correct IP address.

This method of data transfer has been around for ages, nearly since the beginning of the internet. However, HTTP easily allows for a middle man, an attacker, to gain access to the data being sent. For obvious security reasons, most people don’t want their sensitive information to be looked at by anonymous third parties. This is where HTTPS and SSL come into play. SSL, as mentioned earlier, is the standard for setting up a strongly encrypted link between a web server and a web browser/computer.

In order to ensure the data is truly being sent through an SSL secured website, the website URL will display https://yourwebsite.com rather than http://yourwebsite.com. This additional layer of security creates a peace of mind for most users online.

Not only is Google cracking down on websites that have yet to get an SSL certificate, but so are payment authorization companies. Most websites will not be allowed to take credit card information – or any private information – unless the website is fully encrypted through the use of an SSL certificate.

If the vast majority of the previous information flew right over your head, here’s what you should take away: in order for your website to be ranked higher on Google, and therefore be seen by many more people, it is important to get an SSL certificate which will fully encrypt your website and reduce the risk of your website being hacked and your user’s information stolen. If you have any questions or would like to get a quote for the services you are looking for, feel free to contact us at Windy City Strategies, and we’ll promptly get back to you.

How to find the Right Keywords

Perfecting your client base is crucial to your success and the overall growth of your business. The best way to do so is by consistently updating your keywords used for your advertisement campaigns and SEO titles and descriptions. To properly ensure you are going about the process correctly, there are a couple tips and tricks you should keep in mind.

  • Test Keywords with PPC: In order to properly understand how your keywords are being looked at and processed, you should use some of your pay per click campaign budget towards keyword testing. When you do this, you will spend a little now to gain a lot later.
    • To properly do this, you should begin with broader terms you feel might apply to your business and then slowly work your way into more narrow and specific terms. If your business sells fake flowers, begin with broad flower terms and work your way into more specific names and colors.
  • Compare Keywords: One thing many advertisement campaigns fail to do is compare keywords against one another. Once you have a list of relatively effective words you plan on using, begin to sort your advertisements by playing with the synergy of the words and their context.
  • Know your Audience: Understanding what demographics your advertisements and business is targeting is crucial to determining which keywords will be most effective. If you are selling professional grade laptops, you will likely not want to have children or the elderly viewing your advertisements.
  • Control the Websites: When you are running advertisement campaigns, you will typically have control over which websites you do and do not want your advertisements to show up on. This is known as whitelisting and blacklisting, a technique that proves time and time again to be very effective in more efficiently targeting possible clients.

Having the ability to control who sees your advertisements and when they see it is crucial to building an effective advertisement campaign. If you have any questions or would like to become better versed in developing a powerful advertisement campaign, be sure to contact us at Windy City Strategies.

Choosing the Most Effective Social Media Platform

Promoting your business over social media can greatly benefit your business, especially when it comes to increasing your online presence. However, there are a variety of social media platforms available. Choosing the most effective social media platform can hold the potential to achieve maximum mileage, so it is important to choose wisely.

Facebook

Facebook has different advantages over the other social networks due to its popularity, making it perhaps the most used social media platform. With Facebook, readers can choose the kind of updates they want, what they want to view most often, as well as the ability to share and interact with others. Facebook is also a great way to advertise your brand, special promotions, and provide you with an opportunity to be seen as an expert in your industry.

YouTube

Some businesses will have short and informative videos on YouTube in order to engage potential customers. YouTube is a very powerful network. With YouTube, you can achieve much stronger content that is effective and compelling.

Pinterest

Sometimes images can say more than a words, which allows Pinterest to be a powerful social media platform. From posting images and ideas, to creative ideas for a future product or service, this content sharing platform allows its members to “pin” images and videos to their own board. Pinterest has a wide audience that can open up to the public, making your business, products, and services easier to find and share with others.

Twitter

Twitter is similar to the idea of text messaging others. With Twitter, you can post what your thinking, how you are feeling, or post information about businesses. In addition, Twitter users can choose what they want to look at, and respond if they wish to.

If you need help deciding which social media platform is best for you and your business, contact Windy City Strategies today.

Ensuring Your Business Can Be Found Online

With the Internet, users can quickly find everything they need about your business, simply by using their tablet, computer, or mobile device. Since this is the primary way for people to find businesses today, it is essential that you ensure your business can be found online and is listed on all applicable online sources.

Be Found On Search Engines

The following list of search engines are most recommended and popular directories for businesses, which can help your business be found:

  • Google my business- Receives about 6 million searches a day and it is easy, free to register for your business.
  • Yahoo- This is the third most popular search engine and you can list your business on here for free.
  • Bing- Second most search engine used, it too is free, and easy to use. You can add more than one business location at the same time, and able to add all other content to your listings, such as pictures and videos.
  • Angie’s List- This site is a well-respected online directory  and is known to provide accurate reliable reviews for users.
  • Manta- Receives 30 million visitors a month and able to increase website traffic with paid business packages and highlight your product or brand on your profile.
  • Yelp- Best options on the Internet for users to find reviews about businesses, this is a site your able to communicate to your customers within the account.
  • Foursquare- With this site, you get benefits of a popular directory and social networking, and you are able to add a map so people can check-in when they come to your business.

Be sure your listings consist of your business’s name, address, phone number, as well as any other information that you feel is important to your users.

If you need help increasing your business’s online presence, contactWindy City Strategies for more information.

What Is Pay Per Click Advertising and How Can It Help My Business?

One of the most successful online marketing techniques utilized by businesses these days is Pay per click marketing (PPC). You may be asking two things right now: What is pay per click advertising, and how can it help my business?

Windy City Strategies has some helpful information about a pay per click advertising campaigns, which will help you to decide if PPC is right for you and your business:

What is Pay Per Click Advertising?

Pay per click marketing (PPC) are paid keyword search campaigns. Your business will pay to have an ad posted on search engines, making you easier to find. When an Internet user clicks on your business’ ad, they will automatically be directed to your website. You, the advertiser, will only pay a fee when your ad is clicked.

In order to have an effective PPC marketing campaign, it is important that you have the right keywords; otherwise your campaign will be less effective and will result in a loss of potential traffic to your site. This is why PPC is not something that can be done once, but will take time, thought, and effort in order to ensure success.

How Can Pay Per Click Advertising Help My Business?

An effective PPC marketing campaign will drive more traffic to your website, which will often result in increased business for you. Here are the ways a PPC marketing campaign will drive traffic to your website:

  • Change and improve your campaign ads
  • Expand your keyword lists
  • Organize your keywords and ad groups
  • Analyze the data, improving your actions based on these results
  • Filter unwanted keywords, create a negative keywords list to refrain from using these again
  • Continually monitor your campaign’s progress

How Do I Run a Successful Pay Per Click Advertising Campaign?

Pay per click and search engine optimization (SEO) require continuous updating. Not only it is critical to understand the importance of staying on top of managing your PPC campaign, but it will help you to stay ahead of your competition as well.

In order to do so, it may be essential to hire a PPC and Internet marketing firm, like Windy City Web Designs. We not only manage your AdWords account for you, but help you to ensure you are using the most effective and affordable keywords to drive traffic to your website.

Windy City Strategies is Chicagoland’s leader in Internet marketing and web design. From custom web designs, to successful Internet marketing and PPC campaigns, we are available to meet your business’ specific needs.

Trends In Web Design We LOVE!

It’s important to make your website perfect when it comes to your business identity. The first clause of the having the perfect website would be to make sure it’s the perfect design that you want. This website is going to represent your business’s visual outlook, and having an eye soothing design that’s responsive is a must! The web world is changing everyday, and having a new trend is always a good thing to follow so your business is able to survive!

  1. One Page Website
    It’s been proven that one page long scrolling web site format is staying for a few more years. Users are so accustomed to vertical scrolling that it’s easy for the users to look at all the content in your site.
  2. Hidden Menu
    Embracing design for smaller screens has also affected how menus are displayed – and with space being at a premium, fly out, slide out and hidden menus are becoming more popular across the board. It’s all about bringing an app-like feel to an entire site.
  3. Flat Design Layout
    One design layout that most designers love the most is called Flat Design. This design is using objects that are flat in color and appearance. With mobile devices and responsive design, it’s hard to create textures that will work well across multiple devices. Flat design gives the feel of layers and depth but also flat colors, and again having that minimalist design.
  4. Parallax
    Parallax design and coding trend has been very popular! The definition of Parallax means two or more parallel objects that are moving at different speeds. Now with parallax scrolling technique it is used to break up the linear monotony of a website, which is by having various objects scrolling at different paces.
  5. Simplicity
    You want to make your site as simple as possible for your users. Take away unnecessary concepts and pages. Don’t overwhelm your viewers by giving them multiple choices. Focus more on the design then the content. Also it might be good for you to start using large visual headings so it attracts the readers’ eye more.

For more information about what trends are new this year for website designs, contact Windy City Strategies! You want to be able to give your users what they want; keeping things simple and easy to follow is key!