Category Archives: Internet Marketing

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 are able to 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 that 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.

Do You Have An Effective Content Marketing Strategy?

An effective content marketing strategy is an essential factor in delivering your business’s message to your customers. By developing a strong content marketing strategy, your ability to attract and retain the attention of your targeted audience will significantly increase, which will provide you with optimal end results, allowing for the success of your business.

 

Who Is Your Audience?

Your content marketing strategy must start with your targeted audience. By determining what you are selling and who you are selling your products or services to, you can have a better understanding, allowing your content to be relevant and effective. Also, you should consider things such as your customers’ demographics, their particular needs, as well as their online behavior. Our Internet marketing team can create content designed around both your business’s needs and your customers’.

What Kind of Content Is Your Audience Looking For?

It is important to consider the type of content your audience will be looking for. Do they prefer the use of videos or articles? It is important to ensure you are including relevant forms of content on your website, which will ultimately help drive traffic to your site. You can also use a variety of forms of content, especially when your targeted audience is composed of various types of buyer personas.

Do You Have A Blog?

One of the most popular content marketing strategies today is blogging. Blogging provides your business with the opportunity to not only create more index-able pages but also provide you with more credibility within the search engine rankings, increasing your ranking amongst your competitors.

In order for your business to be successful in today’s technological world, it is important that you implement an effective content marketing and Internet marketing campaign. For more information, or help developing your content marketing strategy, contact Windy City Strategies 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!

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 companies. With more close to two billion active Facebook accounts, the most of any social media platform, 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 is 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, ultimately increasing 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 effectively target your customers. With Facebook’s Custom Audiences service, you can target your customers using email lists or you can use Partner Categories, which targets a specific industry, to better influence your desired audience.

5. Provide High Quality Customer Service: There is nothing more important to a business that input from their customers. By utilizing 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.

 

Starting An Internet Marketing Campaign? Follow These Helpful Tips

An effective Internet marketing campaign plays a huge role in attracting potential clients to your website. This not only increases business and potential revenue for you, but it also enhances the branding and validity of your business’s products or services.

Starting an Internet marketing campaign may seem intimidating, however, our professional Internet marketers at Windy City Strategies have some helpful tips to help get you started:

Tip #1: Consult with an Internet marketing firm. Not only will they help you start an effective Internet marketing campaign, but they will also have the ability to implement a plan that is right for your specific business and needs.

Tip # 2: Understand the importance of SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is important in creating an effective Internet marketing campaign. By improving and promoting your website amongst search engines, you can better drive traffic to your website.

Tip #3: Create a blog. Blogs are a great way to not only interact with your current potential customers, but it also helps you to become an expert in your industry. Blogs are also beneficial in creating more pages for your website, which also helps you to be found easier amongst the search engines.

Tip #4: Write a press release. Another great way to gain exposure is through a press release. Online press releases about your business are also a great way to be found in the search engines. This is also helpful in announcing any news or partnerships that you may have.

Tip #5: Have a user-friendly website. By ensuring your visitors can access your website from any device, you can produce a positive and user-friendly experience, which will bring your customers and potential clients back to your website.

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

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.

Social Media and Your Small Business

Many small businesses are utilizing social media outlets these days in order to drive their traffic and increase their sales. If you have not yet considered joining the social media world for your marketing needs, you should consider doing so now.

Here are other ways social media can benefit your small business:

Social media allows for a greater business outreach: With social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, you are better able to get your business out there to the world, reaching customers near and far, as opposed to just locally.

Social media can help to build your reputation: Not only is social media a good way to manage your online presence, but it is also the perfect opportunity to gain your customers’ trust and loyalty. By giving your business a social media presence, more customers will be inclined to trust your brand, as well as look to you over your competition, especially if they are not as socially present as you are.

Social media can help with customer support: By being available 24/7 with social media outlets, such as Facebook, you can assure your customers that they can reach you when necessary. However, it is critical that you address your customers’ posts and messages as soon as possible in order to maintain your customer service reputation.

Social media can sell your business: Not only can you better advertise your product or services by using social media, but you can also provide opportunities for your customers to purchase your products or services as well. This will provide a much more pleasurable experience for your customers, which will likely keep them coming back.

If you are interested in learning more about what Windy City Strategies can offer your business’s internet marketing strategy, then contact us today.

Is the Font You’re Using Affecting your Conversions?

I’ll bet it’s something you’ve never thought about but as much as we’re wishing it wasn’t true the answer is yes. Different types of fonts can and will have an effect on a number of conversions you see on your website.

Typography is a way to add personality and character through text, and to many people, it is considered an art form. The way you present the style, size, and color of a certain type of text can make the difference between a customer’s decision to stay on the site, leave it, or even purchase the products or services your company is offering. This is an important factor because it can dramatically increase or decrease your conversion rates just from something as simple as the text you decide to display.

The way you display your fonts to the viewer requires more than just a simple copy and paste. It is a proven fact that the human brain likes repetitive and similar layouts; the way that they understand information is understood better when texts, for example, are consistent. If the layout of your text is different on every page, the visitor on your site will most likely note the inconsistency and the discontent they felt rather than the types of products on display and their quality.

You want the content of what you are trying to say to match the mood, feeling or characteristic of the font you choose. If you are displaying information about a topic that is exciting (such as a special, sale, or promotion) you will not want to use a formal or serious font. Rather, the best-suited font would be one that illustrates the joy and specialness of the event. You want your font to correctly reflect the message that you are trying to portray and really sell your product or service.

Windy City Strategies is an Internet marketing company that provides pay per click, search engine optimization, and web design services. Our knowledgeable team can not only help you increase the conversions on your website but increase the number of people who visit it as well. Contact Windy City Strategies today to speak with a representative today!