Tag Archives: search-engine-marketing-agency

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!

The Importance Of Content Marketing And SEO

While everyone understands the importance of search engine optimization (SEO), it is often times misunderstood how quality content can help to boost your SEO. And with the constant evolution of SEO, it is even more difficult to understand how to optimize your content in today’s search.

The purpose of SEO has always been to serve users with the highest quality and most relevant content possible. As time has progressed, many sites began flooding the search results pages with low quality, but highly optimized content, which in turn, caused an issue for those of us trying to produce high quality content. In order to fix this issue, Google began implementing the Panda update, in which Google now implements algorithm refinements to surface higher quality content.

Not only is Google taking thing seriously when it comes to content and SEO, but Yahoo and Bing are also following in pursuit, providing more contextually relevant search results. For this reason, it is critical for websites to implement an effective content marketing plan.

Since Google’s Panda updates, it is difficult be ranked on the search engines, but without quality content, it would be impossible, thus increasing the importance of content marketing and SEO. You may now be asking…how can we ensure we are providing quality content and increasing our search engine capability?

A good content marketing plan will include strategies to both help improve your website, as well as promote it. With an SEO package from Windy City Strategies, you will gain relevant traffic to your website by the use of link building, blogging, social media sharing, and the production of more search engine friendly content on your website’s pages.

It is most definitely in your best interest to seek the help from a professional Internet marketing firm when it comes to optimizing your website’s content. Contact Windy City Strategies to see how we can customize a solution that meets your business’s needs.

By Stephanie Brown

Google’s New Keyword Tools

Google is constantly trying to expand its reach to customers and gain a full understanding of how people search online. One way they are doing this is by releasing a new “guide to keywords” for advertisers which includes best practices for keyword targeting for search campaigns.

Google’s Matt Lawson said “As people search for things on Google, advertisers target those searches, or queries, using keywords, the relationship between queries and keywords is at the heart of search advertising with AdWords.”

This helps us determine if we should be targeting an exact keyword, the meaning of a search, the language a searchers may or may not be using, keyword length, negative keywords, match types and their effects and  gives us a frame work to expand the keyword list for miss opportunities.

The kind of topics that the new guide will be providing are:

  • Align Keywords with Your Business Goal
  • Manage Match Types for Growth and Control
  • Find New Targeting Opportunities
  • Expand the Reach of Existing Keywords
  • Refine Your Traffic with Negative Keywords

For more information about expanding your keyword list, and to take advantage of these opportunities, contact Windy City Strategies.

Could An SSL Effect Your Google Ranking

It was about a month ago that Google’s Matt Cutts mentioned that he would like to see Google make and SSL site a signal in the Google ranking algorithm. While this has not happened yet, this is something many search engine marketing companies have been keeping up to date on.

While many people seems to be upset about this possibility, there could be some good reasons behind it. Have an SSL on a website, particularly for shopping carts is a great way to know if your working with a reputable company. Companies that do not have an SSL enabled might not be as easily trusted. If the SSL signal was to take place sometime in the future it is likely that it would not hold a huge weight within the algorithm. Google will still always want to provide the best user experience and content to users.

We all know the motivation to improve search rankings is a never-ending process, and if making it better is through making sites more secure, this isn’t a bad option. But then again, will Google launch a new algorithm update to penalize website that are more secure in order to influence search engine rankings similar to how it penalizes those websites who try to get links to get better rankings?

While we could spend endless amounts of time trying to figure out all of the Google algorithms, Windy City Strategies will leave the fine details to the Matt Cutt’s of the world and continue to improve clients online exposure by following all the latest updates and approved search engine marketing techniques.

By Alisha Lowans

How “Other Services” Can Help Your Internet Marketing Strategy

Often times when we think of Internet marketing solutions, things like SEO and PPC come to mind. While these services are essential to an effective Internet marketing campaign, it is important to not forget about the additional services Windy City Strategies can provide your website, taking your business to the next level.

Video Creation- Not only is this an eye-catching and effective way to capture your audience, but video creation also gives you an edge on your competitors and sets you apart form others.

Image Ad Creation- Another effective tool used to capture your customer’s attention is by creating a memorable image. Our images are not only customizable, but is designed with you are your business’ needs in mind. Additionally, using a pay-per-click image ad can help to further reach your target audience.

Google Map Listing- In order to ensure your business is found, it is essential to place your business listing online, especially on Google maps. Not only do we optimize your Google map listing to be search engine friendly, but will help you to maintain an online presence.

Blog Creation- Blogging is gaining popularity in being used as a key component in an effective Internet marketing strategy. Blogs are index-able pages that gain more credibility with search engine, increasing your rankings. Additionally, blogging helps you to become an expert in your industry and will keep your customers and visitors coming back.

Content Writing- By arranging relevant content and adding specific keywords and phrases to your website, you will enable your website to rankings within the search engines and allow for your visitors to find the information they are looking for right away.

Press Releases- Since press releases are picked up by hundreds of search engines, this is an effective way for businesses, big and small, to give their brand exposure and draw in potential customers.

Windy City Strategies specializes in working with you to create an individualized marketing strategy for your business’ unique needs. Contact us today to find out how we can help your business grow.

By Stephanie Brown

Ways to Implement Your Internet Marketing Strategy

An effective marketing strategy is essential in any business plan. Much like traditional marketing, Internet marketing can help to build customer relationships and create brand awareness. However, implementing an online marketing plan is not as easy as a traditional one. It is best to seek professional Internet marketers, like ours at Windy City Strategies, to ensure your strategy is not only effective, but is designed to your specific needs. Here are some types of strategies you may consider for your business:

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)- A good SEO campaign can drive results and traffic to your site, but this happens over time. SEO works to make popular search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo recognized your website so that your organic search results will rank higher on search results pages.

2. Pay-Per-Click (PPC)- With PPC, you can be provided with almost immediate results. The main difference with PPC is that you essentially pay per click on your ad. This is a very cost-effective way to market your business since you can set a budgeted limit on clicks.

3. Content Marketing- Usually this method is used in combination with a good search engine marketing plan. By producing relevant content you can attract current and potential customers with information that they are looking for. Additionally, content is also effective when attractive images and videos are added to your site as well.

4. Social Media- Nothing is more important these days than being social media ready. By establishing a positive presence on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, you not only are able to promote your brand, but target a specific audience for your business.

5. Blogging- Another way to add more credibility with the search engines, increasing your rankings, is by creating a blog. When blogging about relevant information, your business will be looked to as a go-to professional, further developing long-lasting relationships with your customers.

Windy City Strategies will work with you to create an individualized marketing plan that fits your business needs. Contact us to speak with our team of professional marketers, writers, and designers to find out how we can help your business grow online and stand out amongst your competitors.

By Bjorn Torling

How To Approach Your Content Strategy

A content strategy is an essential factor in delivering what you have to say. By developing a strong content strategy, your ability to attract and retain the attention of your targeted audience will significantly increase and provide you with optimal end results. Your content strategy is your plan, and your plan needs to be in place in order for your business to succeed.

Your content strategy must start with who is your targeted audience. By determining who you are selling to and what your are selling, you can narrow it down to ensure you only have relevant and effective content. By taking things like customers’ demographics, needs, challenges, and even their online behavior into consideration, marketers can create content designed not only around your customers’, but your business’ needs as well.

Another important factor to consider is the type of content your user is looking for. Do they prefer the use of videos or articles? By tracking the types of content you put out, you will have a better understanding of what is successful or not. By ensuring you are including the more highly used forms of content on your site will help to drive traffic to your site. Switching things up isn’t a bad idea either…especially when your targeted audience is composed of various types of buyer personas.

In order to keep leads coming in, you must develop a content marketing strategy. A good way to do this within content marketing is by creating a blog. Blogging provides your business with the opportunity to create more index-able pages, provide you with higher credibility with search engine rankings, in turn increasing your ranking with your competitors.

Most importantly, don’t forget your SEO. This can be easy to overlook when creating content. By identifying keywords and phrases that cater to both your business and your targeted audience, you can ensure you will be found in search engines and by your potential clients.

It is essential for your business’ success to consult with an Internet marketing firm that is comprised of a team of professional marketers, content writers, and bloggers. For help or questions in developing your content strategy, contact Windy City Strategies, Chicagoland’s leader in Internet marketing.

Understanding the Basics of Building an Online Marketing Strategy

Building a successful online marketing strategy is just like building anything – it starts with a solid foundation. That foundation comes from understanding three basics of online marketing:

But knowing what each facet does for your website isn’t enough. As many people discovered after the certain Google updates, applying even well-established marketing techniques incorrectly way can hurt your ranking. To maximize their benefits, you also need to understand their shortcomings.

Search Engine Optimization

When people think of online marketing and the search engines, SEO is usually the first thing that comes to mind. SEO is used to create a site that the search engines will rank as one of the most relevant pages for a given term. The fact is, 95 percent of searchers click on a page that appears on the first page results for Google, Yahoo! or Bing. You can see that search rank is a big deal!

Building a solid SEO strategy consists primarily of selecting relevant keywords and providing valuable content related to those keywords. In the past, SEO was driven by factors like keyword placement, keywords density, and even how many times a keyword was used to link to that page.

But the search engines quickly discovered that keywords could be easily manipulated. A page that had nothing to do with a keyword could be ranked in top three, just by optimizing the page. Today, this means that sites who rely solely on keywords are often ignored by the search engines.

Instead, SEO should include:

  • Relevant Keywords

  • Valuable Content that is Shared

  • A Website that Loads Quickly

  • Both Images & Content

  • Backlinks from Respected Websites

Find an expert

Windy City Strategies specializes in SEO, PPC, internet marketing basics, and much more.

What to Look For in Your SEO Agency

When it comes to marketing your business on the web, nothing is more important than deciding on the right search engine optimization, or SEO, company. Unfortunately, there are many supposed Internet marketing companies out there that make promises that they simply cannot keep. In order to ensure you don’t fall victim for their antics, here are some things to look for before making that big decision.

What are your business’ needs? Since most SEO firms offer a wide variety of services, it is important to decide what your business needs. Are you looking for an SEO audit, content marketing, pay-per-click advertising campaign, or link building? Be sure to have a set goal in mind when consulting with an Internet marketing firm and know how they can help you achieve that goal.

SEO requires time and effort. SEO is a long-term investment. With that being said, if an SEO firm is promising you fast results, then you are more than likely being scammed. Unlike pay-per-click advertising, SEO requires work with you and your website over time in order to achieve results. Even then, on-going website monitoring and updating will need to be done in order to keep your search engine rankings higher.

Customized marketing plans- Upon your first consultation, it is important that you are becoming educated in the process. If you walk away failing to have a full understanding of the process and you have unanswered questions, you more than likely should look somewhere else. A good firm will explain each detail, answer your questions, and work with you to ensure your marketing plan is not only individualized to fit your needs, but to your satisfaction.

Ask to see references. With any business nowadays, reviews and references are ultra important in helping to make the right decision. By proving you got the job done successfully with similar businesses, potential clients will be more inclined to see you as the one can provide them with results.

One thing is for certain, all websites need to have a good SEO campaign. Our team at Windy City Strategies not only specializes in SEO and PPC campaigns, but we also offer web design and Internet marketing consulting. Contact us so we can help your business succeed and become a business leader in the ultra-competitive web marketplace.

A Blog about Bloggimg

There are many reasons why your business should have a blog.  To start off, blogs allow you to be simple and straightforward when writing about your business.  Unlike a formal business letter, you can get really simple and down to earth with blogs.  With that, simply listed below are 19 more reasons why your business should have a blog.

Enjoy!

  1. A blog is a simple, easy-to-use platform for connecting with and sharing timely and relevant information with customers.  It’s your direct communication channel.

  2. Your blog fuels SEO.  Search engines love valuable content and will reward you for it.

  3. You don’t have to be a professional designer.  Many blogging platforms like WordPress are people-friendly and don’t require any real graphic skills.

  4. 60% of businesses who blog acquire more customers, according to a recent HubSpot survey.

  5. Your blog is the heart of all of your content marketing efforts.  It’s fodder for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email newsletters, e-books, etc.

  6. It gives your company a voice.  A blog creates a place to talk about new products, or services, comment on timely news topics or market trends, and share company initiatives beyond your website.  It’s also the place let your brand’s personality shine and show people what you’re all about.

  7. Blogs share your expertise.  How else will you position yourself as a subject area expert and thought leader?

  8. A blog creates a two-way conversation with customers, prospects and industry peers.  It encourages interaction, comments and feedback. Make sure you reply to all comments!

  9. It can be fun.  Blogging can be energizing, stimulating, and something you look forward to.

  10. Blogging makes you think…about newsworthy topics, your industry, your customers and the world around you.

  11. A blog keeps you focused on your content marketing strategy.  You must create a schedule and stick to it to continuously deliver purposeful content.

  12. It creates free PR.  Business bloggers are often interviewed by journalists as industry experts.  Get some press!

  13. A blog builds confidence, relationships and sales.  Customers will look to you as a reliable resource for information on your industry;  Then come to you to buy.

  14. Blogging sharpens your business focus.  To create a blogging strategy you must define who you are blogging for and why.  A blog with no focus attracts no readers.

  15. Helps you stay ahead of the curve.  You have to stay on top of news, trends and competitors to be a successful blogger.  It helps you be a leader, not a follower.

  16. You can tell your brand story.  A blog is a great place to offer more insight into your company, philosophy, employees, and ideas.  Tell your customers why you’re in business and how you can help them.

  17. Blogs are cost-effective marketing investments.  Every post you publish is a long-term asset that helps build brand awareness and promote your expertise, products and services.

  18. Gives you insight into your audience.  Blog analytics allow you to track readers, links, popular topics, shares and comments.  You can even tell what day of the week your visitors prefer to stop by.

  19. Blogging is inspiring.  You’ll start to see ideas all around you…talking with friends and colleagues, watching movies, reading, and just walking down the street.

Perhaps the best part about a blog is that you do can hire real working professionals who known the entire concept of your business and will work with you to create the perfect blog for your business.  Windy City Strategies will do just that.  We specialize in internet marketing strategies, knowing that blogging is one of them.