Category Archives: Mobile Marketing

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.

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!

Why SEO Is Crucial to Your Business’s Success

The online presence of your website essentially determines the level of success for your business. Keeping this in mind, it is important you devote enough time and resources into enhancing your website’s SEO, or search engine optimization, to ensure everyone can see it.

Large search engines such as Google and Bing use very complex algorithms that are always changing to ensure no one company or organization is able to “crack the code” to find exactly what elements play into how the search results are ranked to increase their own ranking. So, without a sure-fire way of knowing what the search engines look for, it is important you diversify your website and its content to make your website better favored by search engines.

As you may already know, there are two main ways of arriving at websites on the internet: going directly to their URL (http://www.google.com/) or simply Googling it or using some other search engine to have an algorithm very quickly sort through the billions of websites to deliver sites closest to your initial input. Since there are very few people who know every website’s exact URL and never use a search engine, it is crucial that your website is highly ranked in search engines’ rankings. Through many studies, it has been shown that even if your website is displayed on the second page of Google ahead of thousands of competitors, only one search result away from the first page, there is only a less than 10 percent chance of the searcher seeing your result listed. This is clearly not ideal, and because of this, you should really begin to focus more on your website’s search engine optimization.

Here at Windy City Strategies, not only do we assist with all your advertising and pay per click needs, but we are also highly trained in search engine optimization. Our dynamic team of designers and consultants know which elements are important to increasing your website’s views, so feel free to call or contact us at any time.

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Hiring A PPC Expert For Your Business

In the daily marketing world SEO and PPC are always in a constant competition with each other. Google changes out there algorithms, and companies start to find they competing against moving goal posts.

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): These guys can be a slow process and businesses in competitive industries may not be able to hold the number one rankings like we all desire. This is why we spend more money on PPC advertising.
  • PPC (Pay Per Click): With PPC advertising it does have a lot of potential that can deliver targeted traffic flows.

Now if you are planning to open up your own Google AdWords account, do not do that! There is a reason why PPC professionals are charging a fee for management. If your fairly new to PPC, you could be unaware that it will cost you less to hire an expert then doing it yourself.

These are the reasons why you should hire a professional PPC Management Expert.

Keyword Research: This task isn’t easy; this research is very crucial to your success. It’s something PPC experts spend a lot of their time on initially. Choosing the WRONG keywords can quickly exhaust your budget and with your campaign you could have poor returns.

There are some free keyword tools out there, like Google’s Keyword and its open for anyone to use but the better tools are the ones you have to pay for now. Paying for a keyword tool would give you a competitive advantage but it’s going to cost you. These paid tools can cost upward of $100 monthly in addition to other expenses. Now for an expert in Pay Per Click they don’t just use one of these tools, they use multiple data points to form a more complete sales landscape for you.

Low Conversion With Wrong Ad Copy: One of the many strengths of a PPC expert is they have the ability to perform a competitive research. They understand how to find a good copy and they study your competition, which helps them form ads based upon what they know will work. Having that kind of copy isn’t something anyone can do overnight, because every single word that is used, means something.

Tracking: Having a good PPC program they can track your sales and also figure out where those sales are coming from. Good analysis can show you which placements and what keywords are likely to bring you these conversions. Also if you are tagging your campaigns it can allow you to see which tags are most effective. This involves a tracking code that is installed for you. This does require some basic HTML knowledge, so if you don’t have those sorts of knowledge leave it up to your web developer.

Understand PPC Terminology: We should all know what PPC stands for, but now do you know what CPM, CPC or CPA means? How about the difference between impressions, views, hits and what retargeting is? Understanding these terms is really important in our day-to-day management of campaigns.

Staying Up To Date: Every online marketer out there has to stay up to date with the latest trends. By either reading the online news articles, journals, or forums. They can also attend industry trade shows for several times annually or by attending networking events. If you are feeling you can’t handle doing that, hire an expert to do it for you! They will keep you up to date on everything, so you aren’t missing out.

Having The Time: Being a business owner, your already busy with hundreds of other tasks daily. Are you going to be able to manage time for your own PPC account and give it the attention?

Hiring an expert or an agency to handle things for you will be best. For more information about why you should hire someone to do your PPC contact Windy City Strategies.

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Managing Your Emails Effectively

Email is the number one most used communication tools in business. This allows everyone to connect with one another whenever they want and it gives us the ability to work together as a team on sharing our files or notes. It’s fast and easy to use which is making it very popular.

It’s important to manage your emails properly, or else many people could feel a bit overwhelmed. If your inbox is in a clutter we could possible miss those important emails. Therefore, we need to be organized and keep all unread messages to a minimum. Use these hints on how to manage your emails effectively and it could increase your productivity.

Setting Up A Time To Answer Emails – Setting up a time to answer your emails will make you more productive during the day. Every time you come into work give yourself at least a half hour to read all emails and be able to reply to them. If you keep up with the routine you could do it again for after lunch or in the afternoon. This will help you keep up with the important emails that come your way.

Delete Unwanted Emails – When going through your inbox, go through the unread emails that are from spam or promotional and just delete those. You don’t need to open them, just look at the title of them. You should be able to identify from the subject line if that email does require an action or not. You can even unsubscribe from those emails so you are no longer getting them. Do that on your spare time, in the mean time continue to go through the emails that you don’t really need, to help clear up some space.

Organize Inbox With Folders – When you start getting new projects make a folder for them and label the emails according to specific tasks and deadlines. This will help you keep track of your emails more quickly and effectively. The next step would be prioritizing and sort these emails that are in different folders. You can also set up these emails to directly go to that folder once it arrives. This will help keep your inbox clean and organize.

Sending Fewer Emails – The only way to receive fewer emails is to send fewer emails! You do not need to send the email to everyone who works with you, if you only want to answer from a specific person. If it is necessary you can “CC” the others and don’t need to put their email addresses to the “TO” section.

For more information about how to mange your emails effectively contact Windy City Strategies. 

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Healthcare Marketers

In 2015 the medical cost has increased by 6.8%. Reports have shown that part consumers who have postponed non-essential procedures or treatments is the reason for that increase.

Healthcare marketers take notes on how the recession of a consumer preferences and on buying decisions. The media plays a big part in the strategy of moving forward, and this allows healthcare marketers to start conversations, and control the message. They earn media efforts, and get paid for the content marketing efforts.

Affordable Care Act in 2015 will tie up physicians payments for the quality of care they are providing. This is putting a huge emphasis on value over volume. When the physicians see their payments modified, those who provide higher value will care to receive higher payments. Over the past several years healthcare plans and their providers have tailored messaging to individual consumers and that increase the content marketing.

In 2014 a survey said in 2015, marketing companies have earmarked nearly a quarter for marketing budgets and content development/management. Marketers are looking to build some sort of relationship with there consumers on content platform experiences.

There are 27 states offering federally facilitated and 14 states for state-based marketplaces. 7 for state partnership, and then 3 for federally supported marketplaces. This is creating relevant content targeted demographically and geographically. Marketers will help plans and providers build and sustain long term relationships with targeted audiences.

For more information about your healthcare marketing contact Windy City Strategies. 

What Medical Professionals Should Have On Their Site

Being a medical professional, website designs have changed dramatically. In today’s society 25% of patients look up reviews on a doctor and 75% of people use the internet to do research on them. Now the question you have to ask yourself is, does your practice have a web site and if it is up to date? One way to keep up to date with your site is look up other medical professional sites and see how they connect with their patients and communicate their brand.

Having a Responsive Site:

Having a responsive web design is being able to view your site on different screen sizes and resolutions. You want to ensure that when a patient opens and views your site from any device that it opens smoothly. If things look all jumbled, no one is going to stay on the site for long. If your site is not adapting you have the chance at losing a potential patient, which is not good for business.

Simple Design:

When you create a site that has simplicity, it allows your website to tell a better story about what your practice is and what the mission behind it is. Having a crisp typeface and images to show your information about your site draws patients in. You want to utilize all space on your page, and insure to also de-clutter information. Have it straight forward and give it a professional touch.

Effective navigation:

Search functions allows a user to find a piece of information through your site. There is even a choice for patients to have the ability to search specifically through topics such as doctors, services and more. If the search bar follows the patient throughout the site it gives them a better chance to go back to the beginning instead of restarting their search.

References:

Some patients find it hard to trust a physicians judgement and advice. They like seeing and hearing feed back from other patients. Hearing about the experience and opinions from the patients themselves will give them a better feel on what to expect. First time patients more likely listen to peers at first, before they decide to go in. Those are your best ambassadors. Having references is a free marketing tool to communication your practice and brand to anyone that visits your site.

For more information about Medical Web Designs contact Windy City Strategies

Increase The Mobile Traffic To Your Medical Practice Website

Creating a website for your medical practice is the best thing to do to help increase the number of patients, and help market your practice to potential new clients. Now that you have a website for your practice, it is time to expand your marketing to mobile and tablet users to accommodate their needs. A recent study shows that mobile traffic for medical websites has increased about 10-15% in just one year and the results expect to continue this way.

Making sure that you have a responsive website is the first step to increase the amount of mobile users that visit your website. Speak with a representative from Windy City Strategies to make sure your medical practice has the correct format and is functioning properly on any mobile device or tablet. The practices that have seen the highest percentage increase in mobile traffic is Pediatrics with a 32% increase followed by Ophthalmologists with a 25% increase and not far behind that is OBGYN with 24%. These numbers are continuing to grow so here are some ways to help increase that number even more.

Keyword Research:

Know your patients and the popular keywords that they are using to find your practice and others like it. Once you know what words they are using to search your practice it is important to emphasize those words within the content of your website so they find you instead of your competitors.

SEO:

SEO both internal and external can increase the number of people visiting your website and can even produce a number of conversions. If your website has a blog it is important that you post blogs a couple times a week using keywords that you know your visitors are using to search you.  Using these keywords within your text will also increase your chances of being found within the search engines.

Windy City Strategies is a medical Internet marketing company that offers a variety of pay per click and search engine optimization services to all medical and dental practices. We are a reliable company that delivers quality results through our Internet marketing and website design services. To get your practice found on all the major search engines contact Windy City Strategies to get started today.

Massive mobile Marketing Trends in 2014

Five months into 2014 and so much has changed.  It seems like 2014 has begun a tipping year for brands and agencies to finally seriously start thinking about mobile in their marketing strategy.  It’s a totally new media channel that requires simplification, engagement, and quick response.  Companies like Facebook and Yahoo, once completely thought of as a desktop brands, are now calling themselves and positioning as mobile first brands.

Here are the 4 biggest mobile marketing trends for 2014:

1)      Big Data Grows Up:  I think we’re all a bit sick of the term ‘big data’, but it’s been coined that way for a reason over the past few years.  Mobile opens up a world of data that no other channel can provide, with access to a user’s on-the-go lifestyle, consumption habits, social, transactions and is the fabric to connecting to the world around us – it truly tells marketers who their consumer is.

2)      Mobile Ads stand on its own two legs:  Mobile in general has been the little child of desktop in terms of creativity since its inception.  This heavily started to change and take shape in 2013, with social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter leading the way.  The data normally speaks for itself, and although standard baby banners show some results – new ad units are trumping the results in terms of quality consumers being acquired or engaging with brands.  The rage is all about native units in 2014, which allows brands to simply embed their message into a publisher’s site / app and match the look and feel of the publisher, without being intrusive.

3)      Value of Sponsorships:  Some of the smartest brands out there are going beyond just the simple idea of running banner ads and looking at sponsoring apps with large reach / frequency (don’t hear that enough in mobile, eh?).  A perfect example of this is taking over and immersing your brand in a sports app.  Just think about the amount of time this demographic opens the app just in one day.  They’re opening the app because they literally see it as a piece of their life, and by placing your brand messaging in a non-intrusive way – you are now forming a new rich connection that is much more valuable than a standard desktop sponsorship.  This is due to the intimacy and brand affiliation with the apps you’re sponsoring.

4)      Quality over Quantity:  With over 1 million apps in the iOS App Store and in Google play, the shift from pure number of downloads to quality is changing every day.  On iOS, the number of downloads directly effects your ranking.  With the number of apps rapidly increasing, the costs to get to a specific rank is beginning to not benefit advertisers like it did in the past. In 2014, the shift to driving quality engaged users, and maintaining them will continue to grow.  Brands should stop looking at a simple ‘cost per install’ or ‘cost per download’ and go beyond to measure in-app events from user registrations, purchases, social sharing and more.  As mentioned above, with a trend towards mobile and social increasing, so should your strategy on how to achieve that.

2014 is an exciting year for the mobile landscape.  Things are really starting to take shape for both marketers to continue to increase the ROI in mobile, and for consumers to finally get the experiences they’ve been asking for.  If you’re not getting this education / testing from your agencies or partners, it’s time to make sure you get ahead of the curve before it’s too late.  Finally, trust Windy City Strategies to put you ahead in the game.