Tag - Chicago Web Design

Marketing and SEO Mistakes Chicago Businesses Should Avoid

When it comes to local marketing there are no set rules but there are some known "no no's". Each community in the Chicago Area, be it Naperville, Glen Ellyn, Barrington, or even as far as Rockford,while related is different; and each individual business has to adjust to its target customer base within that community. Still, there are some basics to marketing successfully to a specific local audience that can't be ignored. If you feel like the return on your local promotional initiatives is hit or miss, you may be neglecting some basics that can bolster your business and reputation in your community. While there are many mistakes to be made, here are five common mistakes are businesses make when it comes to reaching targeted local customers: Lack of Any Web Presence. Chicago Web DesignEven owners of a longtime, Glen Ellyn mom and pop establishments could have benefited from a simple website or inclusion in an online directory. We encountered a client who had absolutely no presence in any directory, yet had been in business in Glen Ellyn for over 30 years.  We thought something like this would be impossible, but he was an internet ghost. It is not often that a local business owner says he or she has “too many” customers(although we may switch keywords at times to keep from peeking). In addition to regular, sustainable and residual customer, a web presence brings in new clientele that happen upon sites when looking for a product or service. Many websites cost very little to create and maintain, and results-driven online directories are affordable too. If you're unsure of where to begin in building an online following, hire someone to help you or contact us today. The money you invest will pay off over time and many companies offer a flat fee to maintain the site for you. Ultimately, if you don't tap the resource, it is an avenue of growth that your business will not experience. Remember that it is not enough to rely on word-of-mouth or traditional marketing techniques to bring in new local customers. Hanging your digital shingle in cyberspace is also vital and easier than ever to accomplish. Give potential customers the answers to their questions in an immediate way in order to win their business and not lose them to more visible competitors. Beautiful Sites Unable to be Found in Search Engine Results. This point is similar to having a lack of web presence but applies beyond the digital realm. Having a website is a great start, but the having one that is invisible to the search engines is nothing more than a place for people to go when they read your business card.  One of our Naperville SEO clients learned this the hard way. He had a brilliant website, that was designed well, and written well; it was just all images and invisible to the search engines (warning, any images of text on your site are absolutely worthless). Ultimately, he brought us to his Naperville office to discuss a way to boost his Search Engine Optimization and elevate his listing in the SERPs. It took an entire rebuild of his site due to the poor decisions of his previous web designer, but we had him on the top of his 5 main keywords within a month. Location Location Location If people do not know where you are located, they cannot give you their business.  We often work start Chicago clients who don't even have access to their Google+ and Local citation sites. This data is absolutely imperative to building business in the local market. This means promoting your web location in addition to your physical address. Unfortunately, people are so programmed to find the answers to all questions immediately that they will not take the time to track you down if a competitor offers ease of information. Additionally, with the improvements in local search functions on smart phones, over 50% of local market share is now going to the top 5-10 listings in a map search.  Do whatever it takes to let people know where you exist, from web presence optimization to the signage outside your location to inclusion in web listings for your industry. Take the Temperature One of our Barrington Web Design clients was absolute in that he didn't care about what his clients thought of his services. That was, at least, until he started reading his reviews online.  He soon found that reputation and feedback management are absolutely critical in the way of local business targeting. There has never been a financial advantage to being an industry “best kept secret.” Ask customers how they found you and how you can improve your physical visibility. Those that are most loyal to your business will want to help and will be honest with you. Do not lose customers to frustration or impatience at having to track you down, instead make it easy to find you and even easier to buy your products or enlist your services. It's Hard to Acquire Community Business without Community Outreach. There is a reason that people say “the more you give, the more you get.” Find simple ways to give back to the community of your loyal clients and build your reputation for future local clients. Simple ways to get involved include sponsoring a local event, donating a product or service to a fundraising auction or volunteering at a local non-profit organization. Align your name with a cause that you believe benefits your client base and one that represents your business ideals. Not only does outreach earn you the respect of the community, but it also creates a culture of social consciousness in your business, encouraging employees to reach out when they are off the clock too. You can feel satisfied knowing that you went beyond the call of duty to help the community and build a strong image of beneficence in the process. Focus on local marketing does not have to be overwhelming. Find simple ways to reach out to your local audience through an online presence, easy-to-find location and outreach programs. By participating in just a few initiatives, you’re taking down some of the barriers that may be holding your business back.  This then allows you to increase your business and root yourself in your community.

Tips to Streamline Online Marketing Budgets

Marketing your business online to prospective customers doesn't have to cost a fortune. Often times, many people waste a lot of money with online marketing that doesn't produce the results they expect - mainly because they do not have a solid marketing strategy in place. In reality, you can experience good results with online marketing on a budget. Here are six effective tips: Tip #1:Your marketing strategy will never be lucrative if you don’t have an audience that is clearly defined. Before you spend a dime on marketing, first identify your prospective market. There is no need to pay top dollar to employ a prestigious market research firm. If you have knowledge of your product, then you should be able to identify the market yourself. Tip #2:You can determine what you’re looking to gain from marketing online, whether it is increased awareness or increased revenue. It is likely you’ll have various goals, but keep track of these multiple goals to measure your achievements. When you reach your initial goals, then you can set new goals for your company to reach success.   Our Naperville Web Design team can help you monitor and keep track of your marketing efforts with our various analytic tools. This will help you with growing your business. Tip #3:Once you are aware of who your target market is and have created goals, you can plan your budget appropriately. The best thing about marketing online is that you can be a success even on a tight budget. You can determine what outlets are the most valuable for your product and have the will to spend some dollars to achieve results. Tip #4:Set yourself apart from your competitors. There is a myriad of companies making an attempt to sell products online. Thus, you need to make your brand id notable. Naturally, this begins with a first-rate website. Our web design company in Naperville, will not only build an aesthetically pleasing website, we will create a website that’s mobile friendly and easy to navigate. Tip #5:Every business owner’s dream is to have his/her website displayed on the first results page of the search engine. This can be achieved with the proper use of relevant keywords, back-linking (white hat) and SEO friendly (and human friendly) Meta Tag titles and descriptions. Tip #6:Social media marketing can also help enhance your brand identity. It’s important that you provide your audience with valuable information that will persuade them to take action. This may include visiting your website or even sharing your content with their friends on various social media outlets. Also, your website, social media sites and marketing materials should complement each other. If you need help building a website or you need to enhance an existing website, our experienced Naperville Web Designers are here to help.  Contact us today or call: 630-803-8998.

Free Website Analysis

Is your website at its optimum performance? Does it bring you business and clients?

In Naperville, we have found a home and community that has been quite good to us.    In looking for ways to give back to the area(including Chicago and Aurora), we decided to offer web analysis to any business owner for free.  This special is being offered through the spring for any business located within Naperville, Aurora and the Chicago Metro Area.hidden links  We will evaluate your website and ensure that it is providing peak performance for your business.  Our staff will use their years of dedicated experience to measure how effective your web design, web traffic, and conversion rates; and ensure that they are in keeping with your business model.

We will conduct our evaluation in typical After Action Review standards.

Keep----->Sustain         All aspects of your web presence that are positive

Lose------>Improve    Portions of your website that may require improvement.

Remember, the website, and your web design are supposed to "work for you", not the other way around.  Our suggestions and rating system will enable your business to find the most beneficial and efficient way to increase your web presence, for the least amount of time and money.

We offer no charge and no pressure, only a desire to interact with our neighbors in the Naperville, Aurora, and Chicago Metro Area.  Feel free to submit your website to us for a free evaluation, and we'll be glad to offer our free analysis to improve your web presence.


Is your site out of date?

When dealing with our clients and giving consultations, we are often asked, "how often should we update our site?"  This is not a pointless or easy question to answer.  Often there are many considerations to be made to find the correct answer for the site owner.   We consider a variety of criteria to decide what the proper choice should be for each individual site.  In this post, we're going to share the top five questions used to determine the need and frequency of site updates and revisions of web design needed to keep the site up to par. hidden links 1. What do your customers and site visitors know you for? To some this may seem like an unlikely question to start with, but it really needs to be the basis of all choices with web design.  Like a logo, letterhead, and all print media associated with a company, a site can be a major branding for the basis of client recognition.  If the website design is one recognized by the readers, it may cause a negative response to make a massive change in the way it's is read.  Likewise, if the website is the weaker link of media associated with the company, it will need to be designed in a way to compliment the company and its preexisting media.  While content will always reign supreme to the search engines, genuine viewership is still the ultimate goal of a website. 2. Is this a vanity website or one meant for inbound marketing? Ok, we've talked about this before and heard negative response for the choice term "vanity site", but it is what it is.  It's  not a negative or positive statement about a website to call it a vanity site.  If the only  purpose of your website is to have one to be followed off of a business card, then you may not be concerned with how the site looks on a regular basis.  The use of these sites, while decreasing, is still common enough to be asked when deciding web design criteria.  It may not be in the interest of the site owner to have frequent and extensive web design if the website is only to be viewed by  a select group of people.   Often major web design updates are associated with a website that is trying to build and convert newer and inbound traffic instead of regulated and specific visitors. 3.  Much like the last question, what is the site to do for you and your business? It's very difficult to design a website or revise one when there is no clear goal to be set.  Some view web design in the same way they would view making a pamphlet or Power Point slide-show. Those who have experienced a bad design have found that web development and web design are key to converting visitors into regular viewers.  If a site is meant to be informative in a serious manner, but looks like  something of a comical nature, viewers will be confused.(one more reason to stop using Comic Sans)  The website design must match the content for readers to truly appreciate it without confusion or blatant distaste.  While there are still debates of how much psychological responses to a design can be felt, there is a consensus that they do impact readership.  Bringing the design of your site in line with the theme of its content will ensure that readers are left with an accurate interpretation of the content meaning. 4.  Code, Code, Code!!!! If your website is still trudging away on legacy HTML with tables, it may be a good time to consider moving to a better framework.  Table usage in websites was never meant to progress to the levels that it did.  They were invented for simple actions, but after some time, were being manipulated to design all aspects of site layout.  With the advent of CSS, these tables are no longer needed in such long and drawn out lines of code.  Your website can move more efficiently, be designed in a better and cleaner way, and... Oh Yeah, the search engines will appreciate it. 5. HTML or PHP It would also be good after asking the previous questions to determine if the HTML in your website should be replaced with PHP. Whether using a database driven CMS like Joomla, Xoops, Drupal and Wordpress, or just wanting a basic PHP scipted website, you'll be able to more easily updated for content.  Regular updates can be helpful to sites that aim to offer newer information to viewers on a regular basis.  It would be good to know before making any site changes to know how often content would need updated.  Be aware that if you should choose to remain with older framework, even content updates will have their cost.  If  the page is to stay static, this shouldn't be a problem and it may be a waste of funds to do a complete update of the code.

Web Design and Color Importance

While adjusting for the thoughts for our new design, I have been thinking a lot about what colors will be used.  Every site will inspire a response with not just the design, but the colors used within the framework of that design.   Now that our web design service is fully available tot the Naperville community, we want to have our site brought to it's peak performance(the new unveiling will be 1 month from today). Designing web-sites involves numerous skilled disciplines from type to layout & color. Color is particularly prominent as it provides the first impression to the user. The correct colors can create a good user experience, while incorrect colors can have a bad impact. To create a good website, the website designer needs to know what affect colors can have on people. People subconsciously react to colors & associate them with different emotions and feelings. Colors don't just stir up emotions & feelings that might influence how a site is seen but they can also be cleverly used to direct users to specific sections of your site. color-wheel-300 Every single color that you can think of can be used on the internet these days, which means that picking the right colors can be a mammoth task. Here is a swift summary of how some colors can provoke certain reactions. Green is linked with nature, peace and jealousy. It is also a truly relaxing color and is perfect to use for a relaxing effect. The color white stirs up feelings of purity, simplicity, emptiness and innocence. If used as the main color of a site, it creates a clean and simple feel. Blue is most commonly associated with business sites as it's a strong color that's associated with confidence, coldness, depression, water and peace. The color blue is linked with confidence, loyalty and coolness. It's the best-known color in the world and it's used by many companies to create a feeling of strength & confidence( plus, blue and orange seem to be the Naperville and Chicago favored colors). Black is linked to feelings of mystery and refinement. For more detail go to: www.instant-video-streamer.com. An extremely popular color in design and photo web sites, it can be used effectively to contrast and liven up other colors. Green is linked to organic, nature and relaxation. The paler end of the green spectrum can be used to give a site a relaxed feel. Grey can be associated with respect, humility, decay and boredom. It's used a lot to form shiny gradients in website design to give a professional, ordinary feel to a site. Orange is strongly associated with spirituality and healing. It's the color that symbolizes Buddhism and it has a calming energy about it. It's a bold color that is not as lively as yellow but not as deep as red. Darker shades of purple can be very deep and luscious. It is linked to royalty, spirituality, arrogance and luxury. Lighter shades can represent romance and delicacy. It's a color that's not really used much on sites. Full of energy, vibrancy and stimulation, orange is a fantastic color to use in designing web-sites. It is used to bring youthfulness to a design. Color's role is not just to make a website look good; it can encourage feelings & emotions from the audience.  In the Chicago and Naperville areas, this can be especially important because of how emotionally driven local customers can be. Choosing colors that annoy the end user can have damaging effects on your website, while cleverly selecting can mean that the website meets user expectation.

Congratulations to Naper Design

As of this morning, Naper Design is the #1 ranked site for the search term "Naperville SEO".  In only 1 month and 12 days, Naper Design has shown the ability  to use non-purchased SEO and natural feeds to build site traffic.  Now our goal is shifting, to also add a top 25 listing fr Chicago.  If anyone thinks that sounds like setting a low goal, please feel free to Google "Chicago SEO".  The goal is not only reachable, but we hope to be listed within this ranking by early October.  We will also be focusing on increasing our rankings for the search terms "Chicago Web Design", "Naperville Search Engine Optimization" and "Naperville Web Design".hidden links bragging Please feel free to verify the results.  We were listed #1 this morning.  As you can see, there is no login to Google, so nothing would be effecting the indexing based on preferences. This is further proof that large cost, local SEO groups are charging more for their services than the average business should be paying.  This is in no small part a benefit of the mapping techniques discussed here