Category Archives: Google

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.

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.

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.

How A Marketing Campaign Is Effective For Your Business

Setting up an Internet marketing campaign is essential to every business plan because it can help you build customer relationships and awareness for your company. When implementing an effective marketing campaign, there are a few important factors that can increase potential customers and let your brand be known.

Having valuable content with relevant keywords and phrases on your website will make other businesses within your industry work harder to compete with what is on your site. Everyone’s end goal is to show up naturally on Google in the first spot.  To start achieving this goal, review the content on your site and make sure you are staying competitive with other businesses.

PPC & SEO Campaign :  A PPC or SEO campaign will allow your company to be found easily and increase your rankings in popular search engines. With a PPC plan in place, you can set your own budget to control your costs and see results immediately, unlike waiting for your organic search to show up. Certain SEO techniques can drive more traffic to your site, and help give your company better search results.

A successful marketing campaign will require you to separate yourself from your competition.  Think about what is unique about your company or why your customers should choose you over other brands.  Take information and use it to your advantage so people will remember you. Grabbing the attention of your viewers will make you stand out in the crowd.

Contact Windy City Strategies for more information about how you can get started with an Internet marketing campaign today.

 

 

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!

Pay Per Click Advertising: Explained

One of the most successful online marketing techniques utilized by businesses these days is pay per click marketing, or 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 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 is, in essence, a paid keyword search campaign. Your business will pay to have an ad posted on search engines, making you easier to find. Then, when an internet user clicks on your bussines’ 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 is it critical to understand the importance of staying on top of your PPC campaign to reduce waste, but it will also 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 also 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 de designs to successful internet marketing and PPC campaigns, we are available to meet your business’ specific needs.

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.