Tag Archives: web-design

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.

Why a Redesign May be Necessary

Every successful business owner knows that developing a strong website properly selling your products or services plays an intricate role in attracting a new and loyal customer base. From being found through search engines, having easy navigation, to representing your brand and its products, a website is pivotal to your business’s success.

If your website is proving to be a barrier for your business, you should consider these benefits and possibilities of redesigning your website.

Better attract customers: When Google or the various other search engines are ranking websites, they take a lot of things into account, but the important thing to know is that updating your website improves your online presence to gain more customers.

Modernize your website: Everything nowadays should be “modern” – sleek and elegant websites are the best way to attract new customers. Stay with the times and keep your website up to date.

Integrate social media: One of the most powerful aspects of the internet is social media and the ludicrous amount of exposure any company can get. When you properly integrate your social media accounts into your website, you will be able to easily spread your message and products.

Stay competitive: The importance of staying competitive in your business’s field cannot be emphasized enough. If even one part of your business begins to fall behind, your entire business will take the load as well. Be sure to have a competitive website to properly sell your products and brands.

Running a website can be a very difficult task for business owners, but the importance of having a new and updated website cannot be emphasized enough. If you ever have any questions or would like to talk with a professional, contact us at any time and we’ll quickly get back to you.

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!

Marketing Your Business With A Website

Small businesses commonly find themselves victims of performance-lacking websites. And since a modern and user-friendly website is essential to driving business, for companies big and small, an effective website plays a critical role in marketing your business.

For this reason, hiring a professional full service Internet marketing and web design firm can help your business achieve their desired results, not only increasing your online presence, but creating a functional and user-friendly website as well.

 

The Importance Of Hiring A Professional

Since first impressions are everything, our designers will ensure your users have a positive experience every time they visit your website. From your landing page, to your logo design, to your ability to be found on any device, we will work with your to ensure your website meets your business’s needs, as well as your users.

Our professional web designers will also work with our team of search engine optimization specialists to ensure your website is conversion friendly, allowing you to be one step ahead of your competition, being found easily amongst the search engines.

We want to ensure you are comfortable with your web designer, which not only helps you to develop a bond, but helps them to better understand your brand and how you want to be represented. This allows your web designer to be involved in creating your business strategy, helping you to create something new and revolutionary, making your business unique.

Let Windy City Strategies help build your business with our customized Internet marketing and web design services. For more information on how our web design can help drive your business’s marketing, contact us today.

Should You Consider Freshening Up Your Website?

Have you noticed less traffic to your website lately? Are your conversions just not where you want them to be? Then it may be time for you to consider freshening up of your website! By asking yourself these questions, you may be able to decide if it is time for you to consider a new look:

Is your website user-friendly? Whether you are on your desktop, or your mobile device, your website should be easy to use and navigate on any type of device. If your website is not responsive or mobile friendly, the more likely users are avoiding your website, visiting your competitors instead.

Does your website get your users’ attention? You only have 3-5 seconds to grab your users’ attention, so you better be using your website to your advantage. Is your website modern, attractive, and easy to navigate? If you answered no to any of these, then you may need to consider changing your homepage.

Does your website have too much going on? Whether it be videos, images, or content, by having too much on your website, you can overwhelm and turn away your users. Since the idea is to grab their attention and draw them in, be sure to keep things simple and unique to you and your business.

Does your website closely resemble your competitor’s? If your website isn’t original, or looks too much like others in the same industry, your customers are likely to not see you as offering them something no one else can. By showcasing your brand and making your website yours, you are not only standing out from your competitors, but you are making yourself much more memorable.

By asking yourself these questions, you can help determine if it is time for a new and improved website. Windy City Strategies has been specializing in customized websites and Internet marketing campaigns for more than 10 years. Contact us for more information today!

Maximize Your Website’s Design With These Tips

In order to ensure your website is helping to better your business, here are some helpful tips to ensure you are maximizing your website’s design:

  1. Make sure your website looks professional. In order to make sure your website is visually pleasing to your visitors, be sure to use neat layouts, uniformed navigation, as well as keep your text in colors and sizes that are easy to read, in a web friendly font.

  2. Make sure your website is responsive. It is necessary that your website displays and behaves properly on all major web browsers in various versions:  Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome and Safari, as well as adapts to the device that the user is trying to access your website from.

  3. Make sure your content is relevant. Be sure to optimize each page with include page titles and headings, use bullet points and shorter sentences when possible, as well as be sure to include relevant keywords on all pages.

  4. Make sure your visitors can contact you. Be sure that the contact phone number is in the header of all pages on the website. If you have multiple locations, each with a different phone number, have a clear ‘Contact Us’ section that is accessible from any page.

  5. Make sure your hyperlinks work. Be sure that all hyperlinks (both internal and external) are clearly visible and that they function correctly.

  6. Make sure you contact a professional. While building your own website may seem like the more affordable option, it is not always the case. By working with a professional designer, you can rest assured that your website is effective and successful.

Windy City Strategies is a full service web design and Internet marketing company dedicated to boosting your business. For more information, or to see how we can help your website and its online presence, contact us today.

What Is Pay Per Click Advertising and How Can It Help My Business?

One of the most successful online marketing techniques utilized by businesses these days is Pay per click marketing (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 a 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 (PPC) are paid keyword search campaigns. Your business will pay to have an ad posted on search engines, making you easier to find. When an Internet user clicks on your business’ 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 it is critical to understand the importance of staying on top of managing your PPC campaign, but it will 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 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 designs, to successful Internet marketing and PPC campaigns, we are available to meet your business’ specific needs.

content-writing

Quick Facts About CSS Layout

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, this is a language that defines how the HTML elements are going to be displayed. External style sheets are stored in the CSS layout and this also saves a lot work. When you start to add font colors to your layout, HTML is intended to define the content, CSS layout is the place you add all your font choices in certain sections of the layout, font colors, paddings, margins and etc.

CSS saves the web designers a lot of work, the style definitions are save in the external files, and with having that external file, and you can change the look of your site at any given time. When creating a website, you want your readers to be able to read right to left with no issues, to make it clear for the readers to follow.

When working in the CSS, the rule set consists of a declaration and selector. With the declaration block it contains one or more declarations that are separated by semicolons. Now with the selector it points to the HTML elements that you want to have in your style sheet. For example; the selector is h1 and the declaration is {color: pink; font-size: 14px;}

When creating the layout of declaration you can put each code on there own line so it’s more readable. For example;

P {

       Color: pink; 

       Text-align: left;

}

Now, when creating a CSS layout comments are used to explain your code and it may help you when you go back to edit the source code at a later time. The browsers ignore them, so that doesn’t show up when someone looks at your site from the front end. A CSS comment starts with a forward slash /* and then ends with a */. Example of adding a comment to the code would be;

P {

       Color: pink; 

         /* This is a single-line text comment*/

       Text-align: left;

}

Comments can also go on multiple lines and it doesn’t affect your code at all. When using comments they become very helpful, when you start to have issues with adding images or a graph you can make a note and come back to it later.

Creating a CSS is really easy once you get the hang of where things go and how to place it in the style sheet. Lynda.com and W3Schools are both very great places to look up tutorials on how you can create a great CSS layout, where it’s easy to read, easy to follow and your able to make comments.

For more information about CSS layout contact Windy City Strategies!

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. 

seo

How To Get Customers To Notice Your Online Business

It’s estimated that there are more than 468 billion web pages that are spanning the Internet and with more than 570 new websites coming online every minute. It’s crazy how fast websites all over are being made, and every site fits the needs and wants customers are looking for! Look at these tactics and see what you can do to get more interaction.

By content to your pages, quickly and easily start by converting your site to a blog or by adding a blog area to the home page, where you are posting new content. Set up a schedule for when blogs are posted, for example, every Monday, and Friday or every other day if you want. This depends on your website.

Make sure to update all content with images, graphics, or videos to attract more customers to your page. Search is still a primary driver of web traffic daily and most of the search engine algorithms out there will rank sites higher that have fresh new material to show.

The trick here is consistency and this tactic requires commitment, this could take a few months to a year to build up your sites steady traffic stream.

With millions of websites out there they have a singular focus to try and convert visitors into customers. Many sites have that backwards! The truth is those sites have a low conversion rate and it they do somehow make a sale, it’s unlikely for them to generate a repeat business, because their is no relationship that is build up. The key to standing out is by focusing from grabbing quick transactions to building that long-term relationship with those clients.

The number of entrepreneurs who fall back on the old marketing strategy would shock you. When they start selling their products features without understanding their customers needs and wants. With having an online business, it’s very important to build a relationship with potential customers by first giving them what they want.

For more information contact Windy City Strategies.