Category Archives: Branding

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!

Stay Ahead of The Competition With These Internet Marketing Tips

When it comes to being found amongst your competitors, it is quickly becoming a matter of who has the best website and Internet marketing plan in place. Windy City Strategies wants to help you ensure that you are staying ahead of the competition with these Internet marketing tips:

Know your competition. It is critical to know who you are competing against, especially when it comes to their website. By understanding what your competition has to offer their visitors, you can ensure your website offers more, or is more user friendly.

Know your brand. The way your brand is represented online is very important to your business. Simply by communicating to your audience who you are and what you represent, you can better sell your business, separating you from all the others.

Market your business. From social media, to blogging, to local or national advertising, you need make your business be heard and found by increasing your online presence. It is important to work with a full service Internet marketing company in order to determine what type of Internet marketing campaign is right for you and your specific business’s needs.

Use your email. Everyone has email these days, so why not use it to your advantage? An email marketing campaign is a good way to reach prospective clients and customers, as well as returning ones. Email marketing also allows you to get a better understanding of its effectiveness, understanding how you may need to alter or change your marketing strategy.

Consult with a professional. An effective marketing strategy can be time consuming. By allowing a professional Internet marketing company take over your online marketing campaign, you can rest assured your campaign will not only be effective, but more closely monitored, keeping you one step ahead of your competition.

Windy City Strategies is dedicated to helping you and your business with any of your Internet marketing and web design needs. Whether you are interested in pay per click advertising, our content writing services, or are interested in re-branding, contact us for more information today!

Allow Windy City Strategies To Take Care Of Your Marketing Needs

Creating an Internet marketing strategy that not only meets your business’s needs, as well as increases traffic and sales for your business, can be a daunting and challenging task. This is why it is important to leave it to the professionals and allow Windy City Strategies to take care of your Internet marketing needs today!

Blogging and 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, you simply contact Windy City Strategies to get one started!

Branding and Marketing- 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.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising- If you’re in the market for fast traffic, you simply can’t beat pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.  However, given the steep learning curve that’s sometimes associated with this marketing method, you’d be wise to take heed of the resources and advice Windy City Strategies can offer on how to manage these campaigns effectively.

For more information on how Windy City Strategies can help boost your business with our Internet marketing campaigns and our customized websites, contact us today.

Seek The Help Of A Professional Internet Marketing Firm

Deciding to implement an Internet marketing strategy in order to gain more online exposure, which in turn will increase traffic and sales to your website and business, can be a challenging task. For this reason alone, you may wish to seek the help of a professional Internet marketing firm, like Windy City Strategies, in order to help ensure your Internet marketing campaign is not only right for your specific business needs, but is effective as well!

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

If you’re in the market for fast traffic, you simply can’t beat pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. However, given the steep learning curve that’s sometimes associated with this marketing method, you’d be wise to take heed of the resources and the advice that Windy City Strategies can offer, especially when it comes to managing these campaigns effectively.

Blogging and 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, you must contact Windy City Strategies to get one started!

Branding and Marketing

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 and/or resources to develop their brands in the past.  If you find yourself in this position, be sure to talk to Windy City Strategies to find the best branding solutions for your business.

Link Building

Link building remains important, but it’s safe to say that this aspect of SEO has changed more than any other.  If you’re concerned that your link building techniques may be out-of-date, the it is important to turn to a professional like Windy City Strategies who can help to ensure your are up-to-date with your practices.