Tag Archives: responsive design

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!

Stay One Step Ahead With These Internet Marketing Tips

The Internet Marketing world can be very competitive. This is why Windy City Strategies wants to help you stay one step ahead of the game with the following helpful tips:

Optimize your content. One of the best ways to draw people to your website, establishing authority, is simply by writing valuable and optimized content. This content typically consists of relevant information to your particular business, providing insight or entertainment to your targeted audience. This will not only allow your company to build a rapport with your clients and potential customers, but develop a loyal following as well.

Implement social media. It has been a common practice for many companies to draw in clientele through social networks like Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These social media outlets allow businesses to engage with their audience, providing helpful tips, offers, and information.

Be mobile friendly. Smartphones and tablets are everywhere these days, which means it is essential for your business to be optimized, especially when you want your business to rank higher on the search engines. By ensuring your website is designed to display well on mobile devices, you can capture your audience as quickly as possible, driving new business leads and sales.

 

Windy City Strategies is an industry leader in Internet marketing solutions. For more information or a free consultation, contact us today.

Trends In Web Design We LOVE!

It’s important to make your website perfect when it comes to your business identity. The first clause of the having the perfect website would be to make sure it’s the perfect design that you want. This website is going to represent your business’s visual outlook, and having an eye soothing design that’s responsive is a must! The web world is changing everyday, and having a new trend is always a good thing to follow so your business is able to survive!

  1. One Page Website
    It’s been proven that one page long scrolling web site format is staying for a few more years. Users are so accustomed to vertical scrolling that it’s easy for the users to look at all the content in your site.
  2. Hidden Menu
    Embracing design for smaller screens has also affected how menus are displayed – and with space being at a premium, fly out, slide out and hidden menus are becoming more popular across the board. It’s all about bringing an app-like feel to an entire site.
  3. Flat Design Layout
    One design layout that most designers love the most is called Flat Design. This design is using objects that are flat in color and appearance. With mobile devices and responsive design, it’s hard to create textures that will work well across multiple devices. Flat design gives the feel of layers and depth but also flat colors, and again having that minimalist design.
  4. Parallax
    Parallax design and coding trend has been very popular! The definition of Parallax means two or more parallel objects that are moving at different speeds. Now with parallax scrolling technique it is used to break up the linear monotony of a website, which is by having various objects scrolling at different paces.
  5. Simplicity
    You want to make your site as simple as possible for your users. Take away unnecessary concepts and pages. Don’t overwhelm your viewers by giving them multiple choices. Focus more on the design then the content. Also it might be good for you to start using large visual headings so it attracts the readers’ eye more.

For more information about what trends are new this year for website designs, contact Windy City Strategies! You want to be able to give your users what they want; keeping things simple and easy to follow is key!

phone

Which Trend Is Better For Your Website, Responsive or Adaptive?

There has been an on going battle between having a responsive and adaptive web design. Trying to figure out which design will work best for you! This isn’t just an opinion, this requires the understanding of what makes these two types of styles different and then figuring out the pros and cons on why the mobile traffic is so important.

Having A Responsive Design 

The goal to having an responsive web design is to make sure your website is fully functional at any display size. This does require a fair amount of coding, and understanding the different sizes while having a clear image of how the scaling process will work. This is why you should leave it in the hands of a professional designer. 

Responsive design creates fluid layouts that can automatically scale in size to make all elements fit in any type of resolution. This may cause some of the photos that were originally floating to the left of the text to drop the space in between the two paragraphs, scales up the text while it’s scaling down the side of the column in which it’s being placed.

With having a responsive design, it’s the number one most standard favorite with all designers and the majority of businesses. Not just because it often takes less technical work than having an adaptive layout but it makes the website fully compatible with any resolution. With all the new smartphone and other mobile devices that come out every year the resolution only gets higher! Responsive design assures you that you do not have to update your site every time a new iPhone comes out. Having an Adaptive layout is a different story.

Having A Adaptive Design

Some entrepreneurs that have a decent amount of experience with web design may not fully be familiar with the terms and concepts of an adaptive web design, but it does have its share of benefits.

Adaptive layouts are designed for specific resolutions and display sizes depending on the browsing window you are looking at. With an adaptive layout it checks what the resolution of your browsing screen is and loads the code for that webpage in a different way in order to display properly for that resolution. It sounds like a lot of extra work right? Actually adaptive design offers a level of fine-tuning and control that responsive layouts can’t do. Also by having full control over the design at multiple resolutions you are able to ensure that your website is always going to display exactly how you want it too look.

A responsive layout generally performs better than adaptive. The experts do admit that in case of some complex web applications and fields that need to be fine-turned, adaptive is the better choice then responsive. When you are able to fine-tune and customize your site layout at any resolution you can be completely sure that your embedded app or complicated order form displays perfect for both mobile and desktop.

Why Mobile Does Matter

When it all comes down to choosing responsive or adaptive for your business, it really doesn’t matter, just as long as your website has a mobile friendly page. With roughly 3 out of 5 visitors who access your site through any mobile device, your company can’t afford to miss out on the mobile traffic any longer!

For more information on which type of layout you want to go with contact Windy City Strategies for more details!

phone

What Designers Need To Know, Before Moving Forward With Your Site

First tip to designing a website would be to communicate with your designer. We know more about what it is you want before we can start creating the site, but we aren’t mind readers.

  • Color Palette: Many clients seem to like the basic colors of blue, white, or green. Not every business has the luxury of accessing a branding specialist, so that’s why they normally chose those colors. Many new customers could possibly need a logo design, so typically when you create their logo, you can figure out what colors to use of their site.
  • Ideas From Other Websites: Our eyes are trained to see the same design all over the Internet, and when you come across different sites that you like, that’s when you need to write them down. For example. Many websites have a large image towards the top of the site or in the middle. It stretches across the screen so you can see the whole picture. They are also very responsive, clean design, and east to follow. Give your designer at least 5 to 6 different sites that you love, and sites that you don’t like. So they can determine what mockup to design and show you. You can even tell your designer that you liked a previous work from a client they had recently.
  • What’s Your Marketing Goal:  It’s important to know who your targeted audience is going to be. Your content, design, and pages are going to depend on who your audience is going to be. For example, teachers, doctors, photographers, graphic/web designers, or even catering for food. Once you figure out who your audience is, you can start to find out what your wanting in a website. If your business is working with professionals, you can choose a formal tone, and as for retailers can choose an informal design.
  • How People Will Find Your Site: Once your website is complete, your goal is to direct traffic towards your site. Let your designer know if you are want to advance and invest in social media integration. If you do not have traffic coming to your website, something is going wrong, and you don’t want to lose potential customers.

For more information about what designers need to know before designing your site, contact Windy City Web Strategies. They can talk with you more, and figure out what all needs to be done first, before moving forward with the design process.

phone

SEO Techniques You Should Think About

SEO techniques may sound a little funny for the New Year. But content and search engine optimization is still hand in hand. You wonder what’s the point of high quality writing that will probably just end up on page 25 of Google’s search results, and nobody is going to go that far into those pages. If your material isn’t worth the read, and doesn’t serve that purpose, your page rankings will not do you much good.

Being the online writer, the key to create quality content that people are going to want to read and for search engines to want to index it. If you do this right you are bound to feel successful on the web. Follow these next couple techniques to work into your digital marketing plan.

Using A Calendar — Planning is very important especially when you are the online marketer! This is why you need a content calendar, when creating this it enables you to plan and visualize the writing activity for the year. It will let you be able to plan around important dates, and maintain publishing consistency, which is very important for readers and SEO.

When creating this calendar it also forces you to research topics and your keywords. Since you’re the one writing all your headlines in advance, you have the view on your content, and it’s unlikely you will repeat yourself. If you do this correctly your pages and site will start to attract and retain more visitors then you had before.

Creating Outlines — Creating your detailed outlines for your blogs and articles in advanced it does save you time, effort and enables you to structure your content for better readability. Makes you think about the message that you are trying to convey in your SEO writing, and can help avoid you from fluffing.  Your outline will contain the three elements: a SEO headline that will pack a punch, a hierarchy keyword subheading, and the main message.

Writing To Your Viewers — A lot of business today are still churning out articles for search engines. Yes SEO really does matter, but finding you content and engaging with it are two different things. For example, a prospect runs a search and comes across your page, opens the page up, then reads the first two sentences and scans the rest of the page. SEO doesn’t buy your services, products or ideas the viewers do. If you have highly optimized content that is unpersuasive, incoherent or boring, your SEO writing is going to look like it was written for search bots. You want to write for your prospects, and optimize your content with good keywords when you are done.

Incorporating Keywords — Everyone in the business world should know the value of using keywords. What they don’t know is that how you use them can affect your rankings and user experiences. Looking at it from an SEO perspective, keywords are not as important as they use to be, but relevance, density and prominence do matter. The questions you need to be asking yourself are:

  1. Do you have main keyword(s) in your heading and at least one subheading that are close to the beginning as possible?
  2. Have you been able to maintain a safe keyword density?
  3. Have you incorporated LSI keywords or long tail phrases?

These are important questions to ask, so you can see what you are doing correctly and what you’re missing.

Using Pictures — This wouldn’t be considered a writing technique, but it can bring your SEO writing to life. Using images to complement your text can increase the likelihood that readers will read and engage with your content more. Everyone is naturally drawn to pictures. Picture quality is very important! If you have pour quality images this can potentially turn away readers and potential customers even. Using images can boost your SEO and if you do this correctly you can generate traffic and boost those rankings up.

For more information about SEO techniques contact Windy City Strategies!

phone

Creating A Website Yourself Vs. A Web Design Company

People use the Internet every day to find things that they need. Having a well laid out website can be provided in all sorts of useful information to those who might need what you have to offer. Such as hours of business, email address and information as to why they should pick your company over the others.

When designing and planning a business website, you generally have two options. Building the website yourself or contact a web designer or programmer. Before rushing into a lengthy do it yourself project or you put out a lot of money to have a professional designer do it. Consider the pros and cons of both approaches to building a company website!

Design Abilities – There are many desktop and online applications that exist that enable you to create websites quickly. Desktop programs like Dreamweaver, Coda, Net Objects Fusion and others ship with templates you can use to create a wonderful website with minimal HTML or Web programming experience.

Many of these easy to use sites or templates produce only basic sites that are more suitable for personal websites. While you’re about to produce an attractive and functional site with the consumer-oriented tools, you must possess at least some type of experience in coding and programming.  So you can add advanced features such as customer management solutions, working shopping cart application, login or even a membership management. If you need these types of features for your website and don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you might want to hire a professional web developer.

Set Up And Implement Your Site – If you know that your business is going to need only a minimal web presence and site that consists of just a couple pages, you can probably use the available web design tools to create your website in just a few hours. If you’re planning to sell products online or have a customer management system, designing and implementing a site can be very time consuming. Selling products online you will want to ensure that every product has a description and you make sure to include everything for that product. Means you must design a new page or database entry for every product your planning to sell.

If your planning to offer helpful content on the site you should attract more visitors, by writing and uploading articles for your site this can take up substantial amount of time in your daily schedule. If creating product pages or content for the pages if this distracts you form running your business and growing, you should seriously consider outsourcing your project.

Repairs And Maintenance – A successful website requires more than just a name and great design. Once you make your website LIVE, it will require continuous maintenance and updating to ensure potential customers that will keep coming back. It’s easy to create a website with modern development software tools, these applications are not very useful if your site starts to have many problems. HTML and code errors, broken links, or corrupted database files are always a main concern for busy websites. Unless you have someone in the business that has the ability to do a quick troubleshoot and resolve the issues that might arise with your website, if your using a professional to design, monitor and maintain this site, it can be saved.

Money – All in all, money will undoubtedly be the major consideration in your decision to outsource your companies website or you do the work at home. A good professional website developers usually don’t work cheap, nor do they ever. Spending some time soliciting ideas and bids from developers, you can find someone who can work within your budget area. If you’re creating the site yourself you will save a lot of money. However, before taking this task upon yourself or appoint the tasks to one of your employees, you should determine if the time you spend on this project could better be used to maintain your business.

For more information about creating a website yourself vs. a web design company, contact Windy City Strategies. They will be more than welcome to help you figure out what is best for you, your business and your pocket.

content-writing

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. 

brochure

Having An E-Brochure For Your Medical Practice

Take your medical practice to the next level; create an online brochure for your users. With this e-brochure, you are able to email it, post a link to your website or any other social media sites that you have promoted your business on.

This e-brochure can be linked to a custom web button on your page, anyone can click on it, and it will open up in a browser window. This e-brochure is user friendly, printable and easily modifiable. It is fast loading, secure, and has rich media with images, links and content. It is fast and easy to look at within seconds of opening it.

This is will help dramatically reduce the expenses and help save on printing costs and shipping, by sending a digital brochure will save you money. Most people now a day’s prefer to have an online copy of brochures, it is more and they do not have to wait around for the mail to come.

You can make changes to your brochure at any time, and then re-upload it to your site. The more you keep your information up-to-date with no downtime; your business will start to grow. The more you change images and text, it can attract more users.

For more information, contact Windy City Strategies.

Build hospital

Predictions On SEO And Medical Websites

Staying ahead of changes that happen in the world of online marketing is a large part of success, when working with medical practices and plastic surgeons. Many practices have fallen over 18 months to Google’s major algorithm updates. Plastic Surgeons websites have jumped up in rankings, which for the other competitor’s sites are penalized. Having top-notch content for your medical professional’s sites is very important.

Having A Non Responsive Medical Site

Google has tested results for mobile users, and studies show that mobile visitors are likely to revisit mobile-friendly sites. Sixty seven percent of users are more likely to buy from a mobile friendly experience and then about sixty one percent are likely to leave a site that is not mobile friendly. If you are, a plastic surgery websites does not respond very well you will lose your ranking and patients.

Brand Mentions Across Social Media 

The quality of links will continue to grow every day, if you do not know what link building is, here are a few things you l should about the different channels.

#1. Many people go out to contact link builders, most companies have website overseas, and these sites have tens of thousands of websites. Most sites are related to gambling or other non-related topics that do not even go with a plastic surgeon.

#2. Produce top-notch content for you medical and do your best to make it published all over. The more popular your practice is the more it has going to be on Google.

For more information about predictions on SEO and medical websites, contact  Windy City Strategies.