Category Archives: Branding

The Do’s and Don’ts of Search Engine Optimization

The ultimate purpose of SEO is to generate a fantastic user experience, as well as being compatible with search engines to increase the website’s traffic. Windy City Strategies is here to help you get a better understanding of how SEO can help your business.

What is the purpose of SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of communicating with search engines to promote your website. Going through search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing will increase your online viewing, as well as being user friendly which is approved by these search engines.

Your website is filled with numerous things to be found via search engines, this can include the content you have in your website, keywords used, information architecture, content management system, infrastructure, and social media. If your website is missing any of these, it is not the absolute best it can be and it may be time to hire a professional web design company. The search engines are looking for what is appealing for the online viewer based on what they type into the search box.

What is needed to fulfill the expectations of SEO:

Search Engines are looking for websites that are relevant to what the user is searching for.

-Strong content with keywords used appropriately.
-How efficiently your site functions with opening up different links listed in your content.
-Social media present in your website
-Blogging will add fresh content to your website, increasing your online traffic
-Comparing your website to others based on the content you use.
-User friendliness is determined by how smoothly your website is to navigate.

There are several things that can harm you while creating your website’s content, here are a few things to avoid:

-Overusing keywords when it is not needed.
-Purchasing links
-Hard to navigate for users
-Too many clicks

For more information or questions on the purpose of SEO and how it can benefit your website, contact us at Windy City Strategies to improve your online traffic.

Is Your Website Outdated? Tips To Freshen Up

Has your website receives less traffic lately? Have your online sales decreased over time? If you answer yes to any of these questions, it is time to update your website. We here at Windy City Strategies are here to help you freshen up your website with the latest advances to guarantee you have the most efficient and user-friendly website.

Do you have a user-friendly website?
It is essential to have a user-friendly website available for all platforms and devices. If your website achieves this, you will have a better chance of gaining more customers visiting your website. If your website fails to complete this, it is time to start updating this to establish a responsive connection to all devices.

Does your website receive substantial amounts of viewers? You need to grab the audience’s attention when they first click on your website. Does your site have quick and effective facts, as well as graphics and easy navigation? If your website does not have any of these, then it may be time to have a professional web design company to perfect your online platform.

Do you have more information than you need? Does your website have too much information in it? This can include too many paragraphs or graphics and not enough straight to the point facts. Users are not going to read paragraphs, they want quick and hard facts for them to learn the knowledge of your brand in a short amount of time.

Is your website closely similar to competitors? If your website is closely related to your competitors, users viewing your site will not remember your specific brand and could possibly confuse your business with a competitor. It is important to ensure your brand has something different and better to offer compared to the competitors. This will make your business stand out, as well as make you more memorable.

For more information on how to freshen up your website, contact Windy City Strategies for the best services in web design and Internet marketing

Marketing Your Business Online: Tips For Success

It is the 21st Century and you want your business to be known, the best way to do this is to market online. Many brands are well-known through the process of marketing by using the Internet. Windy City Strategies is here to give you the best tips to stay ahead of competing brands.

Know your brand: To ensure you get your message across to your audience, you want to tell who you are and what you do that is better than the competing brands. Make clear of what sets you apart from the competition.

Market your business online: It is crucial to have a user friendly online platform such as social media accounts and blogging. Increasing your online presence is essential to better your brand, such as using an Internet marketing company for services including SEO management. This will ensure you have the best marketing campaign to further your business.

Personalize your content: In order to get more online presence for your company, it is important to establish a connection to the audience. Personalizing your content, such as in blogs, will draw your audience into what you are trying to sell and how it will benefit the customer.

Utilize professionals:
An effective way to save time and benefit your brand is to consult with an Internet marketing company. This will guarantee your online marketing campaign is at the top and you are ahead of your competitors.

In order for your brand to be more well-known, it is important to use the tips above to achieve success. For more information on how to market your brand online, contact us today at Windy City Strategies.

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.

Creating An Award-Winning Website

When creating a website, web design has five key tenets: content, appearance, usability, standards compliance and feature functionality. An award-winning site must be easy to navigate through, no bugs, visually-stunning, seamless to use, and must be filled with information that is worth consuming. Follow the 4 secrets below if you want to have an award-winning website:

  • Using White Space To Your Advantage: When your audiences view your site, the website should be user-friendly and sophisticated. Utilizing white space throughout your site can highlight key elements and make the content pop. Having a simply-designed website that has plenty of white space will make your audience want to stay and explore.
  • User-Friendly Homepage & Navigation:  Make sure your products/services are accessible on the homepage and ensure the navigation bar is intuitive and conspicuous to use on both mobile and desktop platforms. The 3-second rule is one way to test your website and to see if it’s top notch! Make sure all text is clear and easy to understand. Only show a few quality graphics on each page and content that will catch your readers’ attention.
  • Having Customer Reviews / Offers & Promotions: When having an e-commerce site it’s wise to have a few positive reviews your customers have left for you. You could also have a few specials going on, and have coupons/ promotions posted to your site. This gives your readers that extra incentive to take things to the next step in wanting to purchase a product from you.
  • Responsive Design: Having a responsive design allows you to have content to be viewed on any screen; this includes both desktops and mobile devices.

If you have questions on how you can have an award winning website, give Windy City Strategies a call!

How Efficient Is Your Ad-Targeting?

The best way to get your business name out on the internet is through direct ad-targeting; it is imperative that you push your services and products towards the correct audience, however, it is very common for your ads to be targeted toward the wrong people.

To ensure your business is not wasting money trying to attract the wrong clients, you should take several steps to better target your advertisements.

  • Keywords: Nearly all advertisement agencies enter keywords into a complex algorithm to identify which websites your ads should be posted on. The keywords you submit are the MOST important part of your ad-targeting campaign, a detail that cannot be stressed enough. You must evaluate what your business is, what services or products you are trying to sell, and whether or not your pricing is appropriate for the audiences you are targeting.
  • Advertisement Efficiency: If you use a service such as Google’s Adsense, then you have access to a wide array of unique tools to better target your advertisements. One of the most important tools focuses on the efficiency of your campaign: the number of people clicking on your ads versus the number of people not clicking or viewing your ads. This number is the best way to determine whether your ad-targeting is working or not and should be looked at on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Whitelisted Websites: Finally, it is crucial to your business’ advertisements’ success that they are being displayed on the proper websites. If you are a technology company, it is unlikely you would want any of your ads being displayed on a website promoting the Amish way of life, it’s that simple. You must ensure your advertisements are being displayed on appropriate sites for your goals to be met.

If you or your business have any questions, be sure to contact us to begin your business’ successful future.

Leave Your Internet Marketing Campaign To The Professionals At Windy City Strategies

When creating an effective Internet marketing campaign, especially when you wish to increase traffic and sales for your business, can be daunting and requires a lot of time and effort to accomplish. This is why it is important to leave your Internet marketing campaign to the professionals at Windy City Strategies.

Content Marketing

Content marketing has made one of the biggest jumps in importance ever, given the potential for natural link creation this tactic provides.  If you don’t yet have a company blog or a content marketing strategy in place, all you have to do is contact Windy City Strategies, and we can get one started for you right away!

Branding

Google hasn’t shied away from sharing its love of big brands.  From the search giant’s standpoint, this makes sense, as customers are often more likely to report positive user experiences on branded sites than on their “no name” competitors.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always good news for smaller websites, who may have lacked the budget, resources, or the ability to develop their brands in the past. If you find your business in this position, be sure to consult with Windy City Strategies to find the best branding solutions for your specific business.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

If you are looking to drive traffic to your site, and want it fast, then a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign may be just what you are looking for. With PPC, however, there is a steep learning curve that can be associated with this marketing method, so it is important to take heed of the resources and advice that a professional PPC company, like Windy City Strategies, can offer on how to manage these campaigns affordably and effectively.

For more information on how Windy City Strategies can help you and your business with a customized Internet marketing campaign, contact us today!

Do You Have A Local Map Listing?

Ensuring your business has a local map listing is an essential part to being found by your potential customers, especially when it comes to being found on the major search engines.

Before you can add your business to the search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, you must first be sure that you meet their quality guidelines, including having a valid mailing address. However, if promoting a brand, organization, or a product, without an address, you should create an account for a branding page.

Here are helpful tips to get you started on your local map listing on Google My Business:

Step 1- Create a Google account, then navigating to Google My Business.

Step 2- Chose which type of business you are:

  • Storefront: Choosing this option would be if you are intending on serving customers at your business location, such as a retail store, restaurant, or hotel.
  • Service Area: Choosing this option would be if you are intending to service customers at their location or within a certain area. For example, pizza delivery, taxi services or even a plumber.

Step 3- Enter your business information, selecting your business if it appears in the drop-down menu.

Step 4- If you don’t see anything showing up in the menu, you should then be prompted to enter in  your business’s details. Be sure everything is accurate, ensuring your business can be reached  directly.

Step 5- Next, you will need to verify your business. Most businesses verify by postcards, or if you  already have a listing, you can be verified by phone.

If you need help ensuring your business can be found online, contact Windy City Strategies for more information today!

Should You Consider Freshening Up Your Website?

Have you noticed less traffic to your website lately? Are your conversions just not where you want them to be? Then it may be time for you to consider freshening up of your website! By asking yourself these questions, you may be able to decide if it is time for you to consider a new look:

Is your website user-friendly? Whether you are on your desktop, or your mobile device, your website should be easy to use and navigate on any type of device. If your website is not responsive or mobile friendly, the more likely users are avoiding your website, visiting your competitors instead.

Does your website get your users’ attention? You only have 3-5 seconds to grab your users’ attention, so you better be using your website to your advantage. Is your website modern, attractive, and easy to navigate? If you answered no to any of these, then you may need to consider changing your homepage.

Does your website have too much going on? Whether it be videos, images, or content, by having too much on your website, you can overwhelm and turn away your users. Since the idea is to grab their attention and draw them in, be sure to keep things simple and unique to you and your business.

Does your website closely resemble your competitor’s? If your website isn’t original, or looks too much like others in the same industry, your customers are likely to not see you as offering them something no one else can. By showcasing your brand and making your website yours, you are not only standing out from your competitors, but you are making yourself much more memorable.

By asking yourself these questions, you can help determine if it is time for a new and improved website. Windy City Strategies has been specializing in customized websites and Internet marketing campaigns for more than 10 years. Contact us for more information today!