5 Key SEO Design Elements That Can Help Your Site Dominate Browser Searches

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.

5 Key SEO Design Essentials

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.

Understanding The Importance Of SEO Design Elements

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:

Using indexable content:

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.

Strategic URL construction:

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.

Leveraging on page optimization:

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.

Creating no follow tags:

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.

Sharing and protecting your content:

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!

mobile app vs mobile websiteIncreased 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

  • Compatibility: Mobile and responsive web design is compatible across all devices using a single site, whereas apps have their own development and final product that your site. Keeping things linked can be helpful.
  • Instant use: Mobile sites are right at the user’s fingertips. There is no purchase, download, or account required. And when people think of visiting your site, it is much more instinctive to check out the site on the internet browser than to look into an app store.
  • Easy discovery: Websites for mobile devices can be found more easily that apps. Again, users tend to look on internet browsers instead of the app store. People can share these sites more easily. Also, they can find your site through google and industry- specific directories that are not available for apps.
  • Upgradability: Upgrades are easy and instant for mobile sites like they are for normal websites. Our Chicago web design agency can simply make a change at the back-end of the website and the changes appear for the user. With apps, an update download needs to be pushed to users.
  • Less time and money: Responsive web design for mobile use and mobile versions are created by a Chicago web design agency at little to no additional cost. It doesn’t take up all the additional time and money needed for our Chicago web design firm and others to create a new app, so your business benefits by spending less on its internet presence.
  • Support: Web design for mobile use is a process. Work with your Chicago web design agency will continue after the site (or app) is launched. So, using the same support as the website you already have is much cheaper and more sustainable than having a separate upkeep for your app.

When to Launch an App

  • Interactivity: Despite the inherent benefits of responsive and mobile websites, apps remain popular because they are integrated into the users’ lives. It is worth making an app when your industry can be interactive with the consumer. For gaming and other interactive purposes, an app makes perfect sense.
  • Consistent Use: If your company has many return visitors that have reason to frequently return to your site, the app wins in the battle of mobile site vs. mobile app. Someone who regularly shops with you, references your information, or otherwise would use your app a lot, go with an app.
  • Personalization: Targeting users who wish to personalize content, search results, or information can be done through an app. Users love this.
  • Complex reports: If your app will perform complex calculations and reports, then it is worth the resources to build an app. Think banking and investment types of reporting.
  • No connection required: If your audience will appreciate offline access to your pages, they will appreciate an app.
  • Native functionality and processing: For anyone wishing to use a phone’s camera or processing power, apps do come in handy. While browsers can access many mobile features like calling, SMS, and GPS, there are still some limitations.

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.seo inbound vs-outbound marketing

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:

  1. Guaranteed Rankings: No one can guarantee you number one on Google, or even the first page. SEO companies can help you tremendously, but with the constantly changing algorithm, nothing can be promised. A guaranteed top spot comes from paying Google, but this will not satisfy your business’ ROI.
  2. Claims of Google Partnership: Many SEO spam email have scammers claiming to have unique partnerships with Google. This, though, is not possible. Google doesn’t have any such partnerships. Others claim to have cracked the Google algorithm. Again, impossible due to top secrecy and a constantly changing formula to keep people merely speculation.
  3. Fast Results: SEO is a process. It takes time to get top rankings. So, when companies stress quick results, it is clearly spam from a fake company.
  4. Highest Quality, Lowest Price: You get what you pay for. SEO inbound marketing strategy calls for hard work, and hard work is valuable. A good SEO company will charge you a fair price and provide the best quality.
  5. Huge Teams of Experts: SEO spam emails and calls tend to come from a single man in India contacting you from his living room. Yet, they rave about their “teams”, made up of 80+ or 750+ SEO experts working on 150+ or 600+ SEO projects. If you have never heard of the company, and especially if they are reaching out to you, they are not such a powerful team.
  6. Fake Identities: SEO spammers are always using false western names and spam-like Gmail accounts. This is a clear sign not to trust them. Trust a Chicago SEO company that you can see and talk to in real life.
  7. Constant Proposals: If an SEO firms is making multiple attempts to contact you, begging for your business, or even reaches out to you with outbound marketing once, you immediately know that they are not good at what they do.

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?”

outbound marketing doesn't sell inbound marketingThese 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.

 

Chicago web design

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.

 

Focus On The User Experience

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.

Focus On The Content

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.

Choose Design & Promote For The Best In Chicago Web Design

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.social media managment strategies for your business

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 social media management strategiesare 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.

chicago web design agency shares tips for blogging

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.

1. Create User Personas

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?

2. Listen to Your Audience

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.

3. Interview Someone

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.

4. Make a List of Your Top Posts and Summarize them

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.

5. Identify Influencers In Your Industry

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?

6. Offer Insight Into Industry News

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!
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Blog

5 Key SEO Design Essentials

5 Key SEO Design Elements That Can Help Your Site Dominate Browser Searches

For business owners everywhere, creating an effective online website can feel like an arduous process. It’s just not enough to […]

mobile app vs mobile website

Mobile Website vs. Mobile App asks Chicago Web Design Agency

Increased mobile use leaves businesses looking to strengthen their mobile presence and capabilities. The question every business struggles with is […]

seo inbound vs-outbound marketing

Outbound Marketing Doesn’t Sell Inbound Marketing

SEO spammers are notorious for sending out spam emails and making cold calls, making the good SEO companies look bad. […]

Chicago web design

Choose Chicago Web Design That Is Lean And Mean For Top Results

As with hemlines and hairstyles that show up on the streets of Chicago, web design has trends that go in […]

social media managment strategies for your business

Social Media Management Strategies for your Business

Social media is one of the most effective ways to get a business noticed and talked about. But, with so […]

chicago web design agency shares tips for blogging

Chicago Web Design Agency Shares How to Find Good Blog Topics

You’re probably reading this blog post because you’re out of blog post ideas. Or maybe you’re just getting into blogging […]

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

The layouts adapts to the Screen Size of whatever device visitors are using. Nulla consequat.

  • “Bruce and the Design & Promote team never disappoint. Their expert SEO, creative and strategic talent has helped achieve stellar, measurable results for all of our websites”

  • “I engaged the service of Design & Promote to give my website a makeover. Bruce & his team were excellent at pointing out what elements I should focus on and equally important, were able to show me why. I never knew that so many elements of my current web strategy were being underutilized. Once again I am reminded to go with the experts. I really liked their practical down-to-earth approach including how they are helping me see how to get my Linkedin, Facebook, blog, website, etc. all working together. Who knew? Well of course . . . Design & Promote did”

  • “If you are looking for a reputable group to handle your online marketing, branding, and website needs – you are looking for Design & Promote.”

  • “Bruce and his team at Design & Promote are fantastic!!! Not only was he able to create an online presence for my business, but he also helped simplify a process that I was clueless about. I would refer/recommend anyone who wants SEO results his way. Thanks again guys!!! You have been a huge help and its been fun along the way!”

  • “Bruce and his firm, Design & Promote, deliver excellent SEO results and extremely creative websites. I highly recommend you connect with Bruce on your SEO and web design needs. Bruce’s depth of knowledge and experience in these areas is extraordinary. He is truly a trusted source of information in a complicated field”

  • “They are helpful, community orientated and always willing to go the extra mile!”

Search Engine Optimization

seo-company-chicago-ilAt Design & Promote, we are SEO experts. We have the skills, the expertise and the resources to create a customized SEO campaign for your website that will allow you to dominate the search engines, draw more visitors to your website, and convert those visitors into sales.

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Web Design & Development

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Branding & Graphic Design

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Custom Photography

custom-photography-chicago-ilWe offer custom photography services to compliment your design & branding campaigns. From meet the staff photos to virtual office tours, we can provide you with beautiful photos to convey your message!

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Internet Marketing

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