Category Archives: Internet Marketing Strategies

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.

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.

Website Consistency is Imperative to Success

Imagine you are traveling the world and are hopping from country to country every week, spending your time exploring the cities and lifestyles. This trip would be great if it were not for the fact that every country has a different currency. This one, minute discrepancy poses a large issue that can potentially halt your entire adventure and destroy all your plans.

This same issue is found in web design all the time. Website owners and designers seem to enjoy letting their “creative juices” flow too much, making for a difficult and unpleasant user experience due to large variations in design.

To avoid this catastrophic issue – lacking consistency – there are several things your website should incorporate into its design to make for a fun and pleasant user experience.

Verbiage/Wording

When you are advertising for your business, it’s important to stay consistent with the titles of your products and services you offer. If you are selling a simple, wooden door, call it just that. Perhaps throw in the type of wood and of course the dimensions, but stick with that naming. Do not veer away from it; a “majestic opening and closing mechanism” is not a proper name for that product.

Menus and UI Elements

Typically, web designers try to create the most visually appealing website they can, which often means they will have to “spice up” the drop down menus and UI elements, ultimately making for sluggish loading times and a laggy user experience.

The choice to enhance the elements is rarely a good one, so be sure to consult your designer and web designer and ask for their opinions prior to adding these elements to your website. You want a fast website that keeps its visitors, not a website where the visitors are driven away due to a poor element.

Layout

Similar to the menus and UI elements, your website’s layout plays an integral role in attracting customers. Not only does it have to be a smooth design, but it also has to look similar and follow the common website design rules: navigation bar at the top, title/company name in the upper left, search bar in the upper right, content for the main page, and contact information with a general sitemap as the footer.

General Consistency

Putting all the nitty-gritty bits and pieces of websites aside, it’s important to maintain an overall feeling of consistency. If you have a modern home page, then the rest of the website should also be designed with a modern aesthetic. Maintain the same color palette, open links that take the user to a third party’s site in a new tab, etc.

Ensuring your website’s visitors have an enjoyable experience and are able to easily navigate throughout your website is crucial, yet an area that is often overlooked by designers. Humans like consistency – it’s wired into our brains – so take advantage of our instinctual traits to leverage your business. If you would like assistance developing your website, be sure to contact us at Windy City Web Designs to make for a beautiful and elegant website.

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.

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.

Get Faster Results With Pay Per Click

A solid Internet marketing campaign plays an essential role in ensuring your business can be found when you are being searched for on the search engines. With there being a variety of options when it comes to search engine optimization, there really is one Internet marketing campaign that will give you the results you need…and as soon as possible.

What Is Pay Per Click?

Pay per click (PPC) advertising is an Internet marketing technique in which businesses place paid ads on the search engines, paying for them when a user clicks on it. When your ad is clicked on, the user will be automatically directed to your website. However, in order for this Internet marketing method to be effective, a pay per click campaign must be effectively managed and performed over a period of time.

Benefits Of Pay Per Click

There are a several reasons why you may want to consider using a pay per click campaign, including the following:

  • Affordability- Since PPC campaigns are not only tailored to your budget, but you essentially pay per click on your ad.
  • Faster Results- Unlike organic search engine methods, PPC campaigns show almost immediate results since your ad will automatically receive top placement.
  • Real-time Tracking- With your PPC campaign, constant monitoring of your campaign will be performed. We will track things like the keywords that are, and are not, working, conversion rates, and which ads are driving the most traffic.
  • Exposure- Since your ad will be placed on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, your ad will be visible on well-known and reliable search engines, which reaches the vast majority of Internet users.
  • Target Your Customers- By placing a specific and eye-catching ad, you can directly target your customers and draw in only qualified and relevant traffic to your site.

It is important to know that building and maintaining a successful pay per click advertising campaign can be a difficult task, especially when you don’t understand how to manage these services.

This is why it is important that you only hire an experienced Internet marketing and pay per click management firm, such as Windy City Strategies. For more information, contact us today.

Does Your Business Need A Website?

Many small business owners make the mistake of not having a website to sell their products and services, often missing out on potential revenue by their ability to broaden their exposure and increasing their audience, giving them a competitive edge.

In today’s technological world, it is especially important that small businesses are using things such as social media and websites in to help their customers and clients find them on the internet. Failure to do so can be detrimental to their business.

If your business does not have a website, then you should get one immediately! There are so many advantages to having one, including the following:

The potential to gain more customers. Your small business can be missing out on a lot of customers, especially if they can’t reach you. In fact, about 80% of Internet users in the United States from the ages of 14 and up will use the Internet to look up products and/or services.

Gives your business much needed online presence. In today’s world, the likeliness that people are going to pick up a phone book to search for your business is not great, instead most will go straight to the Internet to search for it. If they don’t see you listed online, they may think you are no longer in business, or do not even know that your business exists. Having an online presence will show your customers you do care, and you want them to continue coming to you for merchandise. That’s why having a website is very important for your business!

Increase your profits. Simply by being visible online, you can exponentially increase your profits by making your products and services readily available to everyone. Have you thought about the profits that you can potentially be making if you increase your user base?

You can better market your business. With making yourself available online, you are better able to retrieve feedback from emails, online surveys and social media functions, telling you how good your marketing is doing. There is also technologies that you can use to determine the type of people who visit your site, and what products or services they are searching for, using this information to build better business marketing strategies.

If you are need of a website for your business or help with your Internet marketing strategy, contact Windy City Strategies for more information today!

Windy City Strategies Named One Of The Top Digital Marketing Agencies

Windy City Strategies was named one of the top 19 digital marketing agencies in the Chicago area for 2017 by Expertise.com.

In order to be at the top of the list, the digital marketing companies that were reviewed had to meet certain criteria, such as:

  1. Reputation- A history of outstanding customer service and happy customers.
  2. Credibility- Building customer confidence with licensing, accreditations, and awards.
  3. Experience- Based on years of experience and education.
  4. Availability- Approachable and responsive to their customers.
  5. Professionalism- Provides service with honesty, reliability, and respect.

According to Expertise, Windy City Strategies made the list due to the following:

“Windy City Strategies has been one of the city’s premier digital marketing firms for more than a decade, providing targets solutions and innovative tools designed to help businesses succeed and grow. The award-winning company’s range of services includes customized website design, local and national search engine optimization, and pay-per-click advertising to draw in revenue and reach broader markets. The company also offers a free AdWords audit to first-time customers, giving businesses valuable insights into ways to improve current online tools and strategies.”

If you are interested in learning more about why Windy City Strategies is one of the best digital marketing companies in the Chicagoland area, then contact us for more information today!

Using Social Media For Your Business? The Do’s And Dont’s

Social media outlets are a great way to develop a meaningful connection between your business and your customers and a great way to give you a greater online presence. In fact, most people utilize a source of social media to research your company, what you have to offer, as well as other customers’ experiences.

However, not everyone is using social media appropriately and effectively for their business. This is why it is important to understand how to use social media for your business, doing it correctly, and avoiding making potentially detrimental mistakes.

1. What are you representing? Not only is it important to know your brand and what you have to offer, but you need to identity who you are selling your business to, especially when it comes to speaking on any social media platform. Since you are the one who knows your product, production, company or brand best, be sure to represent it appropriately, or you may lose potential business.

2. Who is your target audience? It’s important to know whom you are targeting. What do they do? When do they get online? Any savvy social media expert will be able to figure these things out and understand their goals, which will allow you to see what is working, and what isn’t.

3. Respond efficiently and appropriately. Let’s face it, you will likely be faced with controversy at some point when using social media. However, the way you handle it will be key to the end result. Since you don’t want to find yourself without a sense of what’s coming next, or responding to a controversy in a way that isn’t professional or consistent, it is important that you remain true to your policies and your brand. Good customer service can play a key role in appealing to customers and clients.

4. Make meaningful connections. Avoid treating your audience as a subject, not as an object. Once you do, your work on social media simply becomes a dialogue. Remember to observe the changes in your audience, ensuring you are learning about them by communicating with them on your social media outlets daily, which will make a positive impact on your audience, developing those meaningful relationships.

5. Understand the difference between social media for business vs. for personal use. Simply because you have a personal Facebook page does not meant that you will k now how to use Facebook for your business needs. Social media for businesses are not the same thing as understanding the scope of what Facebook ads and Twitter-promoted posts can do. Because these platforms are refining and changing all the time, it is important that you have an expert on your team that can help you make your campaign effective.

For more information on how we can help market your business online, or for help with your social media marketing campaign, contact Windy City Strategies today.

 

Looking To Hire An SEO Agency?

Search engine optimization, or often referred to as SEO, is the process of improving and promoting your website within the major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, increasing your visibility online, and bringing traffic to your website.

And with SEO of being of utmost importance to your business, finding a quality SEO agency can be perilous. From things like budget, to timeframe, to your specific needs, there are many things to consider when choosing the right SEO agency.

To make finding the right SEO agency easier for you, the professionals at Windy City Strategies suggests the following steps to ease your business’s search while looking to hire an SEO agency:

Determine your needs. From content marketing, to internal and external links, to the way your website is coded, there are many SEO strategies that can help your business succeed. This is why it is critical to understand your business’s needs before choosing the right SEO agency. And if you do not know what your business needs when it comes to SEO, be sure to consult with the agency, who can help to determine what will be most effective for you.

Determine your budget. Be upfront with your SEO agency, letting them know what your business’s budget is, as well as any basic and essential industry information. It is critical that you know what your business can afford, determining what each agency can do with your budget before making a decision.

Review your choices. From other business owners, to fellow industry people, to other reputable industry leaders online, be sure to use your resources before making a decision. With a plethora of SEO agencies around, it can be helpful to determine what their worth is by reading reviews, understanding their mission and successes, as well as seeing how they interact with the public. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals and references, which can be extremely helpful in making your decision, especially if you are having a hard time narrowing agencies down.

A good SEO agency has all the tools necessary to help your business succeed. For more information on how Windy City Strategies can help you, contact us today!