Oct 20, 2014
For business owners everywhere, creating an effective online website can feel like an arduous process. It’s just not enough to […]
For business owners everywhere, creating an effective online website can feel like an arduous process. It’s just not enough to simply have a business website; in order to truly maximize impact with a specific consumer demographic, a company must tout an easy to find (and even easier to navigate) professional website.
When beginning the design process, entrepreneurs can feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices and options offered from even a single website design. That’s where Design & Promote can help. At Design & Promote, our team of seasoned online marketing experts understands that, while being visually compelling is a must, a truly successful website goes beyond mere esthetics. When working with our clients, we not only offer the very latest user interface innovations to ensure every visitor has a seamless and intuitive experience, but we also offer ever-critical SEO design elements as well.
Not sure what SEO design elements are…or why you need them? SEO design elements utilize a wide range of online marketing strategies and innovations to help fortify search engine results. At Design & Promote, we have an entire team of SEO design experts who not only understand the importance of including these tactics in every solution, but also know how to strategically incorporate critical SEO methods in our website design process for optimal ROI. When working with our team of professionals, we often recommend five critical SEO design elements that have proven invaluable tools in any website creation process. These SEO design resources include:
Indexable content is the content on your site that can be recognized by online search engines. Sound important? It is. That’s why, when working with us, we will strategically incorporate HTML programming and text throughout your site to ensure your site is full of relevant, indexable content.
Your URL links offer a wealth of promotional benefits. Design & Promote helps clients construct concise, impactful URL links that offer insight into your company’s purpose, goals and objectives before they even make it to the actual page itself.
HTML coding, keyword placement/density and meta tags are just some of the ways to leverage SEO benefits on every page of your website. At Design & Promote, we research the very best keyword phrases specific to your business and include them throughout the site for maximum search engine results.
At Design & Promote, we know that there is some content we want the search engines to find…and some content that is okay for them to overlook. When working with us, we can program in no follow tags on non-relevant content to help you strategically leverage the benefits that this resource offers.
Obviously, the point of having an online marketing image is to share your brand identity with the consumer masses; however, it’s also important to have a plan for protecting your online content as well. Design & Promote systematically includes pings, backups and backlinks throughout your site to ensure that you get your marketing message out with maximum content protection security.
Need help with your SEO website design? Contact us today!
Increased mobile use leaves businesses looking to strengthen their mobile presence and capabilities. The question every business struggles with is debating between a mobile website vs. mobile app.
Being a Chicago web design agency leads to a great deal of questions that beg for a better understanding of mobile use. Web design for mobile use is becoming increasingly important. One Device Research Report found that 25% of people in the US are mobile-only web users, meaning individuals who infrequently or never use a desktop computer. In developing nations the number is much greater, as high as 70% in Egypt. Even those who often use computers for internet access rely heavily on their smartphones for constant web access. That being said, businesses must now account their web design for mobile use, which means determining the benefits of a mobile website vs. mobile app. Choosing between making a mobile website vs. mobile app and which is more important depends on a variety of factors.
What is the difference between a mobile site and a mobile app?
Web design for mobile use oscillates between using a specially developed app available for download and a regular website optimized for mobile use. Before determining what to use for your website, you must understand the differences between them. Both options can be created by a Chicago web design agency like ourselves, and both are accessible to anyone using handheld devices like iPhones, Androids, and tablets.
A mobile website is just like any other website, but is displayed in proportion to the size of the screen for easier use. With mobile sites, there are actually two options: customized web design for mobile use can lead to special mobile sites that are formatted differently than your normal website with a different URL, but lately web design customers are opting to use responsive web design templates. Our Chicago web design agency prefers to use responsive web design as it looks even more appealing for people using every kind of device that retails the same URL for more SEO power, and your great- looking website will retain its features on the smaller screens by only shifting slightly.
Apps are actual applications downloaded onto the phone via the iTunes store, the Google store, Blackberry App World, etc. Apps can pull data and content from the internet, or be designed to work without an internet connection. They require a separate creation from the website, which specialists like the web designers at our Chicago web design company are trained to do. App use is typically for returning visitors, because the app remains on the phone after it is downloaded.
Mobile website vs. Mobile app: Which is better?
The best web design for mobile use is never clear cut, even in the mind of a Chicago web design agency. Mobile sites and apps each have their advantages and unique way of working. In the end, the best option depends on the company or organization and their industry, goals, budget, customers, and time.
Generally, Chicago web design advisors say you should focus on creating a mobile site, particularly a responsive website, before getting into any app creation. An app can be great but if people do not always know you have one or want to download it. A good website is always easy access.
The Advantages of Using a Mobile Site
When to Launch an App
Mobile Website vs. Mobile App: The Final Decision
When it comes time to make a choice, take the time to analyze the two mobile options and how they work with your company’s situation and needs. A mobile site is a logical choice when it comes to a marketing-driven purpose; interactive engagement and high workloads for the device are more for apps. As long as mobile use remains a growing and undefined frontier, the debate between the two choices will continue. Ask our Chicago web design agency to help you determine which is about the best web design for mobile use to see what is right for you and your business.
SEO spammers are notorious for sending out spam emails and making cold calls, making the good SEO companies look bad. Stop using outbound marketing to sell inbound marketing!
It is typical problem for those in the search engine optimization business. Countless SEO marketers call and email us, our clients, our colleagues, and our friends, all in hopes of getting some business. They call using Skype and email from remote locations like India without even having a proper business established. These people are trying to sell SEO, but they are not using SEO themselves to sell it. Chicago SEO company Design & Promote does not pay for rankings or use outbound marketing techniques like so many competitors; this is what we believe sets us apart. Our philosophy is this: how can we expect to sell a service if we don’t even use it ourselves? As a large part of SEO specialists use paid-for call and email lists to implore upon people’s lives, they are marketing in the exact way that their services suggest is ineffective.
Those SEO specialists are ruining it for the rest of us, who use SEO inbound marketing strategy to sell their services instead of outbound marketing. People are disheartened by the annoying marketing calls and poor quality junk emails that get dragged straight into the trash. And now, anytime the words search engine optimization are brought up, the concept gets directly associated with spam.
Here are some of the biggest elements of SEO spam:
All too often, our office receives cold calls from these so-called SEO specialists. Our receptionist is left to ask, “you’re an SEO company- are you a good one?” Naturally, the SEO specialist answers yes. Next, our receptionist argues, “Don’t you think that if you were really a good SEO company you wouldn’t need to call people, and instead you would use SEO yourself?”
These SEO specialists need to stop what they are doing and realize that when prospective clients are in search of SEO, they will Google it. Thus, getting a number one ranking in SEO search results is the best option for gaining customers. So, SEO techniques for search engine sand getting backlinks are crucial. And, having a well-converting landing page gets more business when prospects are already on the page. This landing page should give viewers more information and offer some sort of download to learn more about the company.
The key element of SEO is understanding who to market to. And while most have a spam type of connotation, Chicago SEO company Design & Promote doesn’t try to sell to anyone until they are looking for what we have to offer. Our team is only looking to sell to people who are already out looking for our services, rather than bothering people who are not. If you are prepared to see positive SEO working how it should, reach out to us by giving us a call to talk about our SEO packages and get a complimentary website evaluation.
As with hemlines and hairstyles that show up on the streets of Chicago, web design has trends that go in and out. While fashion may seem whimsical, changes in website design are tied to changing Google rules and technology. Online presence is not just a pretty face for companies, so layouts, fonts, and color have a job to do, and current techniques for building a website use these and other aspects to achieve results. Design & Promote, a suburban Chicago web design and internet marketing firm, creates engaging websites that embody what is current in online design today.
Websites have become more responsive to the different formats in which users view the content. With smart phone usage topping 60% and online purchasing exceeding 50%, visitors need websites that are mobile-friendly. Some website owners have multiple websites to accommodate mobile phone and tablet users, but Google advocates responsive web design that adjusts the content to the size of the screen. Responsive websites focus SEO attention on one URL rather than multiple ones.
To facilitate easy viewing on screens of different sizes, many websites incorporate “flat design,” which focuses on presenting images without drop shadows, textures, or gradients. The simple, unfettered design allows websites to load faster than before when “skeumorphism,” which tried to incorporate computerized versions of objects into website design, was prevalent. This minimalized look shows up in Windows 8, which uses tiles to link to programs, and is a major feature of Apple’s iOS7.
Though structured template websites are fading fast, what is popular is a grid layout that organizes thumbnails containing a small amount of text that open to a page with more information once clicked. The total effect of the page that uses this new grid layout is that users can skim the page and easily navigate to the content they want.
Websites have less text and more visuals, including video and interactive content. The content itself, which in the past was laden with keywords to grab search engine attention, has been refocused so that it is more natural sounding. Website copy is still an important part of getting your message across, so the writing should be clear and focused on your audience. Although the trend has moved away from long expanses of content, the information is offered through blogs, articles, e-newsletters, case studies, and videos.
The more minimalist approach to website design has also affected the use of Flash splash pages and even sliders, which display several pictures that may or may not be relevant to the website. Either of these devices take up real estate on the website without adding much value. They slow down page loading, which makes them especially inappropriate for mobile users. While sliders might have a place inside a website, they are less often found on homepages. Flash also continues its downward spiral as HTML5 becomes the standard for providing dynamic and interactive content on all devices.
Write content that has local appeal. Local search is an important traffic driver, so websites should feature information of interest to area buyers, such as business hours, enhanced profiles, and coupons. About 56% of mobile phone users search for businesses, according to some experts, while at least 20% of Google searches include location. Anyone can view a website, but effective Chicago web design pulls in Windy City residents for products and services where local offerings matter.
Interested in updating your website to incorporate the latest trends and effective web design? Just contact Design & Promote at 630-995-7109 or fill out our online form.
Social media is one of the most effective ways to get a business noticed and talked about. But, with so many forms of social media to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which channel you should be using.
With the importance that social media holds in today’s world, it is virtually impossible not to be involved in some aspect of it. If you want to be talked about, you need to put your business in the center of social media. However, with great popularity comes great variety. With so many different social media outlets to choose from, social media management services help you understand what social media strategy to use and how to use it. What is the best social media for business? Chicago social media marketing agency Design & Promote’s social media strategist, Erica Paczkowski, explains the determinants of social media management strategies for your business in order to see productive results.
What Social Media is your Audience Using?
A primary objective of social media management strategies is to analyze a business’ audience. The best social media for business purposes depends on where the target audience hangs out. Crucial to this point is that social media marketing services are geared towards the consumer audience and not the peers. Point in case: If a company run by middle-aged businessmen wants to cater to the college market, they will need to focus on outlets like Instagram and Twitter that appeal to young adults, not the rest of their businessmen peers.
Moreover, choosing the best social media for your business comes down to understanding what your audience wants to see. Each social media site shines in its own way; The key is knowing which one will let your business shine. A cupcake business, for example, will want to use social media like Pinterest, where photos are abundant and the brand can show off what they have to offer in the most appealing fashion. But, any Chicago social media marketing agency will note that a finance firm will probably want to avoid photo forums and opt for something more business- oriented like LinkedIn, where business connections can be made and news can be shared.
Test Run your Social Media Strategy
A/B testing is ultimately the best way for social media management services to determine which social media platforms are right for your company. By trying out different kinds of social media, you will be able to see what your clients and prospects respond to and what gets you more business. As a social media strategist, Erica relies on website analytics to reveal the demographics of your business.
Our Chicago social media company and others observe that there is a general grouping to be made for each kind of business. The divide for social media management strategies lies between business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) companies. The B2B group best utilizes LinkedIn, and Facebook as a secondary source. Facebook Is best for B2C firms; After that, twitter is usually a good option but it varies based on business type.
Focus on Social Media Management Strategies
Social media management strategies encompass an action plan for implementing social media strategy. Erica first points out the common misconception that social media can be an effective web presence without a website. Actually, all businesses need a website if they wish to increase business; social media simply enhances the website and directs people to the site. You should use at least two forms of social media. For example, try out a twitter account for news and written content, and add an Instagram for marketing images, and upkeep a blog on your website to integrate into these social media outlets.
Understand how to focus your energy. If you are just starting out, keep putting out great content with links to your blog and website. If you are trying to grow a following, social media management services advise to generate something that is worthwhile for the people choosing to follow you. A promotion will do wonders to grow your following. In the end, our Chicago social media marketing agency stresses the importance of content, as social media is essentially pointless without it. And, have fun with it!
Learn from a Chicago Social Media Company
Choose a Chicago social media marketing agency to teach you about social media and help you find the right fit for your business. Social media, when used correctly with the help of social media management services, can make your business thrive and bring in more customers than ever. Of course, the core of social media strategy emphasizes targeting the right audience with the right type of social media; after that, it is all about testing and formulating the proper social media management strategies and tactics. Discuss your social media strategy further with our Chicago social media marketing agency and social media strategists.
You’re probably reading this blog post because you’re out of blog post ideas. Or maybe you’re just getting into blogging and you don’t know what to blog about. Whether you’re outsourcing blog content or writing it in house, coming up with blog post topics is time consuming. Here are some tips for making the blog post writing process both fun and simple.
We’re a Chicago web design agency and coming up with user personas is a critical part of our design business. Believe it or not, creating user personas for content writing is important too! A user persona is often used for identifying who your website is for and what his or her specific needs are. The same concept applies to blogging.
For your next blog post, come up with one ideal person you want to write your blog post for. That’s right, Just ONE! Then, think about a common problem they face and write the blog post to help guide them to fix it.
SEO Boost: Put the proper keywords in the blog post to help your post rank in the search engines.
Think about what steps you want this person to take. Do you want them to contact you? Subscribe to your email newsletter? Encourage them to come back to your website or blog? Be sure to include a nice call to action at the end of the post.
Chicago web design agency example: Lets say our person is a 44-year old entrepreneur looking for a new website redesign from a Chicago web design agency. We know that this person’s website is outdated and they might be intimidated by all the technology available to them. We might write a post titled: “What Entrepreneurs Need to Know When Redesigning a Website.” Our call to action might be that we want them to fill out our contact form. Get the idea?
Here’s a simple blog post tip. Use the words from your audience’s mouth. What do they ask you? What problems are they reaching out to you to solve? Keep a pen and paper by you to jot down such questions. Also, pay attention to your client or prospect’s tone of voice. Was this person frustrated? Excited? Confused? Empathy is a much-underrated skill. After gathering this info, you should have an idea on how to answer the question in a blog post.
Ask your audience members if anyone is interested in doing an interview with you. Or ask a client if you can refer to them in a case study. Getting the right kind of feedback from a client or industry leader can build lots of credibility for your company and it can enhance business relationships.
Today, everyone is on information overload. So packaging your posts up can help consolidate your content for people to review and read. Depending on your output, you can bundle up your blog posts at the end of every month.
We’ve dedicated an entire blog post for conducting searches on social media. Searching on social media for what your followers are interested in can help you get an idea for what to write about. Social media can help you identify influencers in your industry. Take note of what they are talking about. How can you become a part of the conversation?
You know your industry the best. As a Chicago web design agency, we know that there are plenty of updates and changes happening in the tech industry. So sharing news that impacts our clients and audience is crucial. Whether it’s a search engine algorithm change or a new WordPress update or a new social media management resource, we’ll write a blog post about it. We hope you’re feeling inspired to write your next blog post. Good luck!
Like this blog post? How about sharing it with you friends?
Oct 20, 2014
For business owners everywhere, creating an effective online website can feel like an arduous process. It’s just not enough to […]
Oct 15, 2014
Increased mobile use leaves businesses looking to strengthen their mobile presence and capabilities. The question every business struggles with is […]
Oct 03, 2014
As with hemlines and hairstyles that show up on the streets of Chicago, web design has trends that go in […]
Sep 16, 2014
You’re probably reading this blog post because you’re out of blog post ideas. Or maybe you’re just getting into blogging […]
The layouts adapts to the Screen Size of whatever device visitors are using. Nulla consequat.