Monthly Archives: August 2013

Finding The Best SEO Agency

The search for a quality SEO agency is perilous. You never know if you’ll see eye-to-eye on essential things like budget, timeframe, and more. Windy City Strategies suggests the following steps to ease your business’s search while looking to hire an SEO agency.

1. Determine Your Budget: When looking for an SEO agent, your business should be upfront about your budget. Letting your SEO agency know your business’s budget and basic and essential industry information. Know what your business can afford and determine what each agency can do with your budget. You also have to be aware of the timeframe your business will be looking at.

2. Build Your Business’s Choices: Use nearby resources first – other business owners, fellow industry people, and other reputable industry leaders online. There’s a plethora of SEO agencies out there, and figuring out their worth is tough. Stake them out by reading reviews, understanding their mission statement, and seeing how they interact with the public.

3. Avoid Sales People: Sales people are meant to sell the product no matter what. Try to talk to someone you’ll be working with day to day before signing the contract. Understand how they work within their industry and see if your business’s goals align with theirs. Project leaders will also be able to tell you about past projects similar to yours. You can also determine their communication style and efficiency.

4. Work Out a Contract: Patience is necessary in Internet marketing; results in SEO can take usually 8 to 12 weeks. Our contracts go month to month, giving our clients time to evaluate successes along the way. Non-disclosure agreements give your business more ability to share information and protects you from competitors.

Finding your business’s perfect SEO agency is tough. Windy City Strategies will help your business succeed online, contact us today.

New Organic and Paid AdWords Reports

Last Thursday Google announced two new reports within Google AdWords to help businesses better understand how people are finding their business online. Windy City Strategies shares how the new paid and organic reports can evaluate your business’s search engine performance.

1. Finding more keywords. The organic report will show where your business appears in organic search results that have no paid ads.

2. Optimizing high value queries. Within this report, you’ll be able to improve your presence with paid results and track organic results.

3. Reviewing made easy. Using these reports, you’ll be able to see the impact from bid adjustments, budget changes, or keyword variations.

4. Track trending traffic. In efforts to integrate multiple Google services, Google has offered the report to evaluate trends over any time period – daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly.

With last month’s Google AdWords change to Enhanced Campaigns, mobile marketing has taken center stage. Internet marketers are encouraged to start their mobile campaigns and pay mind to their business’s image on mobile. Google is trying to provide businesses with as much information as possible to help businesses understand even the small details of their business’s performance.

Success online is hard to achieve if you don’t understand your current standing. To start your business’s Internet marketing campaign, contact us today.

Yahoo Beats Google in Unique Visitors for July

For those who always saw Google as the insurmountable search engine, don’t write Yahoo off just yet. ComScore’s monthly rankings for July showed Yahoo’s unique visitor count beat out Google’s. Windy City Strategies suggests just how Yahoo achieved their ranks.

During July, Yahoo beat Google’s number of unique visits by 4.3 million. Many people ignore this accomplishment, however, because ComScore’s ranking has yet to add the growing community of strictly mobile users. Still Marissa Meyer, Yahoo’s CEO, deserves some credit. Her efforts in redesigning Yahoo’s sites and apps have proved advantageous. The apps new user friendly interfaces have attracted more people, and the numbers show it.

Another strong point results from last month’s purchase of Tumblr. The picture blogging website landed the #28 spot independently with over 38 million unique visitors. Yahoo’s growth over the past year is impressive, and Yahoo’s shares have risen 75% during Meyer’s career.

Lastly, this accomplishment is a good sign for Yahoo, especially because ComScore hasn’t ranked Yahoo number one since early 2011. Yahoo’s endeavor’s under Meyer’s leadership has ended Yahoo’s competition lull and concession.

For more Internet and search engine news and information, click here.

Surviving Search Engine Environment Changes

Internet marketers central challenge remains: how to survive search engine algorithm updates. With every change in the algorithm, internet marketers sit on the edge of their seats, waiting to see how the changes affected them. Our team Windy City Strategies, however, focuses on doing Internet marketing right. We’ve compiled a list of essential strategies to keep your Internet marketing campaigns unsusceptible to the ever-changing search engine environment.

1. Great Branding Brings Great Rankings: It’s no secret that the big brands have an advantage in their industries. They have bigger budgets, history, and prestige. They’re well known, and they have been. They didn’t gain fame overnight worrying about links and keywords. It took time to build their brand and  earn recognition. It’s natural that they rank higher than small businesses known to a smaller community. Your business will naturally resonate anywhere with strong branding.

2. User Experience: Having overwhelming amounts of content may help search engines find your website, but it shouldn’t hinder users’ experience. You want an easy to navigate, user friendly, and good looking website. If people are returning to your website and sharing it, following you on social media sites, and participating as an active member of your business’s online community, you’re doing it right. Google wants to promote quality websites, so having an inviting environment is key.

3. Take Advantage of URL Seniority: URLs with history get more attention from Google. They’ve been around longer, and ranking these sites higher is like an award for persevering through search engines updates. When you’re adding a blog, new products or services, or even changing your business’s website completely, stick with the same URL. You’ve worked your way up the search engine results with that URL, and you have traction, don’t abandon camp.

To start an SEO campaign to withstand any search engine, contact Windy City Strategies today.

Mobile Usage Skyrockets, Mobile Marketing is a Must

With smart phones and tablets saturating the market, the trend is now evident. Mobile usage is beginning to skyrocket. Although most people use desktop during working hours, smartphones and tablets take over during down time, like the early morning commute and winding down before bed. Windy City Strategies analyzes how the move toward mobile affects Internet marketing and how to succeed in the new environment.

Last month Google AdWords updated their platform to an Enhanced version. The switch reflects how society uses the Internet. Nowadays mobile usage dominates desktop users. Since more people are on the go, mobile websites have become a must for businesses. The technology, real estate, and financial services industries have grown the most on mobile, but their industries are experiencing less conversions than they experience on desktop. The same is true for other industries, too. While smartphone usage has grown 125%, mobile only converts at a third of the rate of desktop.

On the new Google AdWords platform, desktop and mobile marketing campaigns are separated. This means, just like desktop, simply having a website doesn’t insure online success. The mobile market can be difficult to conquer, too. With smaller screens, there is less room at the top – literally. On most mobile devices, only the top two search results are displayed, so mobile requires more attention and better tactics. Our mobile marketing team suggests a couple essential tools, like search engine optimization and pay per click campaigns specifically for mobile. Creating a campaign devoted to how your customers use your services on the gives your business an edge over companies that don’t have mobile campaigns at all.

Contact Windy City Strategies today to start your mobile marketing campaign.

Google Gets Personal

Thought Google was smart enough to answer just about any question that came to mind? If you didn’t think that before you should now. Today Google announced a new feature that will be implemented when using the search tool. It allows you to find your own personal information through Google search. Google will now enable you to get information regarding airplane flight numbers, reservations at a restaurant, or the tracking number for a package delivery you are expecting.

Instead of this being a multiple step process to get information for any of the following listed above, Google has created a one-step process where you can get all of that with the click of a button.  When you use this new feature there is one thing to keep in mind.

Google has to be pulling this data from services that the user uses such as Google+, Gmail and Google Calendar. Google notes however, that you must be signed in to one of the previous accounts mentioned in order for this feature to work. Much of this information is pulled from your Gmail account with the exception of photos, which are pulled from your Google+ account.

Any user will have access to this new feature and will be available on any platform including desktop, tablet or mobile device.

Keep yourself informed with all the latest technology updates from Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and more through Windy City Strategies.

Internet Marketing 101

Promoting your businesses in the highly competitive online market successfully requires link building. The process can be confusing to those unfamiliar with the concept, but link building remains a key tool to any Internet marketing campaign. Our team at Windy City Strategies works closely with our clients to walk them through the details of their search engine optimization campaigns. We explain search engine optimization – from what it is to why it’s needed – to each client no matter their prior knowledge.

We start all our Internet marketing campaigns with an evaluation of your business’s current online performance. Using this information we can determine worthwhile directories, industry-specific keywords, and other suitable marketing avenues. With these details in hand, we can start increasing your business’s exposure. We’ll do this by building links that point to your website, blogging for a myriad of audiences, and adding your business to business directories and local listings. These tactics will help gain online exposure by making your business known on countless sites.

In today’s world your business’s online presence matters, so understanding the importance of things like link building, blogging, or social media management. Explaining the reason behind the actions and evaluating the results of your business’s marketing will prove your business’s online growth and progress. The Internet acts as the world’s ultimate information hub, so it’s dire to reach online acclaim.

Get started on your Internet marketing campaign today by contacting our team at Windy City Strategies.

Google is North America’s Favorite Search Engine

Google is by far the most popular search engine in the US accounting for more than 25% of the Internet traffic. That makes Google more popular than Facebook, Netflix and Twitter combined.

It is typical for Netflix to eat up more bandwidth than Google for a few hours each day, but the streaming video site’s peak traffic occurs just during “prime-time” hours. Google still averages a larger chunk of Internet traffic during the entire day. In a recent survey it has been discovered that Google is growing faster then the Internet as a whole. The last study in 2010 showed the Google only represented 6% of the Internet traffic.

Google has seen an alarming growth from mobile devices as well. The company commands the largest chunk of the smartphone and tablet markets with its Android devices, and those devices all regularly check in with Google for updates throughout the day. Smartphone runner-up Apple’s default search engine is Google, which adds to Google’s Internet traffic share.

Google is not only the most popular search engine for users, but for businesses well for marketing purposes. It takes up early 85% of searches world wide on a daily basis. Business now more than ever are drawn to Google for it’s amazing marketing capabilities and it’s overall presence as the top search engine.

By Alisha Lowans