Mobile Website vs. Mobile App asks Chicago Web Design Agency

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.


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!
Like this blog post? How about sharing it with you friends?

ask a chicago web design companyFor those of you who don’t know what a bounce rate is, a bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that enter a website and leave (or bounce) without visiting another page on the website. For many businesses a high bounce rate can have a negative impact on conversion rates. As a Chicago web design company, we’ve helped many of our clients understand, analyze and address issues with high bounce rates. In this blog post, we’re going to cover some of the most common problems that website owners experience with bounce rates and how to go about fixing them.

Attracting the Wrong Kind of Traffic: Case Study from a Chicago Web Design Company

A client came to us with excitement when they had over 1,000 visitors on their website every month! But they were concerned because they weren’t generating any leads from this traffic. We noticed that they had a bounce rate of 90%. How did this happen? In this case, they were receiving the wrong kind of traffic by drawing visitors in with the wrong keywords.
Part of our process as a Chicago web design company is to find the right keywords that fit the right visitors! A solid SEO strategy is extremely vital when writing copy for web pages as well as designing website layouts.

How to fix:

To find the right keywords you’ll need to filter the number of keywords in all of your web copy. A problem could be that you didn’t use the right keyword in your content on that page. Be sure to refine your keywords or the reader will bounce right back to the Google search results.

Why Should a Chicago Web Design Company Care About Bounce Rates?

Less than great design, poor navigation, and no SEO are all results of a poor website design that can lead to higher bounce rates. It’s the responsibility of both the client and the web designer to work together to build a cohesive website that is designed for the right visitors. For instance, lets say that you’re at a shopping mall and you walk past a really interesting display window. But when you walk into the store you don’t find what you were looking for. In the end, you walk out. This is a classic example of a real life bounce rate caused by poor strategy. Our job as a Chicago web design company is to think like a customer and design with goals in mind.

Attracting the Right Kind of Traffic—Weak Call to Action: Case Study 2 from a Chicago Web Design Company

Sometimes a website page is receiving tons of traffic and visitors leave after visiting that one page. It’s good that visitors are finding what they are looking for, but how is this web page converting visitors into leads?  A strong call to action can help improve this web page. At our Chicago web design company, we believe that the look and feel of a website goes hand in hand with web copy and what visitors are looking for. You need to be able to keep visitors on the page long enough to entice them to take the next step.

How to fix:

If a visitor found what they were looking for and then left, including a call to action at the bottom can help make them take the next step and stay on the site for another click. Something like “sign up for our email newsletter” or “download our free eBook” are some examples of great call to actions. Maybe you want to create shorter steps like “read our next post on______” or “click to read more”. When working with our Chicago web design company, we can certainly review your own unique situation.

Attracting the Right Kind of Traffic—Poor Website Layout: Case Study 3 from a Chicago Web Design Company

As a Chicago web design company, we have worked with many B2B companies with businesses that just aren’t as straight forward or common as other businesses. In this case content needs to be clear, concise and formatted for easy reading. Another factor that leads to higher bounce rates could be that text on a web page isn’t scannable. A lot of times website owners make the mistake of thinking that they need all of their information on the home page. Don’t bombard them with all text and facts on one page. Some people think that they need all of their information on the home page. This isn’t the case, you’ve burnt them out!

How to fix:

Let your users decide if they want to learn more about your company by clicking on your about page, services page and other pages. Place your content with purpose and dedicate web pages for different information elements. It’s definitely okay to link to other pages (encouraged). But we have to keep in mind that that text layout is important for helping readers digest complex information.

Ask a Chicago Web Design Company: What’s an acceptable Bounce Rate?

We say it’s about 20-30%; if you’re at 70-80%, that’s a cause for an alarm! Many other analytics programs calculate things differently so take the numbers with a grain of salt.
Let us help you find out what your bounce rate is and help improve it. Drop us a line here.

Web design tips and strategies to present your small business properly and attract more customers.

A well- designed website from both the visual and the business standpoint is important for any business or organization, but even more so for a small business as it is the best tool to gain recognition. The possibilities for web design are endless, which is why it is important to determine which trends and tools are worth investing in to better your business. As a Chicago web design firm, internet marketing firm, and small business ourselves, the internet marketing consultants at Design & Promote have created a list of the most- necessary features that any small business should add- on to their current website.

Responsive Web Design

As the internet has evolved to be an integral component into every modern individual’s life, technology users demand responsiveness as a way

Website layout using responsive web design.

Website layout using responsive web design.

of maintaining the ease and comfort that it is intended to provide. Attract more visitors and be able to attract them as clients by providing them with the optimal experience as they visit your website. Web design should be created using the principles of color theory and be made up of memorable graphics. Content should be concise and informative with clear calls to action. Websites should be technologically advanced and appealing, yet simple enough for easy access.

Adapting to the changing technology and adding convenience to your website visitors’ experience means creating a responsive website for all forms of media. Web pages should be made in consideration to wide desktop screens, smaller laptops, tablets, smartphones, and mobile phones. The biggest website trend now is making mobile websites for the most convenient viewer experience.

Social Media Feeds

Social media has been revolutionary for businesses and consumers alike. Brand recognition through social media occurs as a presence is established and users view your page. Social media strategy allows for businesses to have their own pages and create a following with updates for potential and current clients. Posting promotions, awards, business updates, and related news can convert followers into customers and

The plethora of social media to incorporate into your website.

The plethora of social media to incorporate into your website.

establishes a small business as a powerful presence, just as larger businesses do. Utilizing social feeds in online marketing establishes credibility- testimonials can be placed directly from the profiles of other social media users and an active communication on the part of the business makes customers feel secure.

Adding these social feeds directly into your small business website allows for easier evaluation and encourages the viewer to follow your social media even after they leave the website. This way, you will not be forgotten. Projecting links or even live feeds of social media in your business’ website makes access even easier and is attractive to clients. Our Naperville web design clients love using an internet marketing strategy that interlinks their social media strategy to web design project as it boosts popularity and encourages quality content in both domains.

Updated Layouts

New trends for web design layout are once again looking to innovate and modernize the digital experience for web users. Parallax scrolling refers to sliding visuals and text that follow as the website user scrolls through the page. Although it is not the most cost-effective solution, it can be useful to certain industries and is an interesting mechanism to watch develop in the future. A trendy web design that is accessible to all is the look of image tiles. Websites like Pinterest and Instagram first started making image tiles popular, and many other companies like Facebook soon followed. With image tiles, websites create a visually appealing layout that is easy for people to discover and digest as well as share with

Pinterest as an example of trendy web design image tiles.

Pinterest as an example of trendy web design image tiles.

others and remember for the future.

Typography is nothing new, but the market for Chicago web design as well as worldwide does not utilize typography to its full potential. The styles of font, text color, and using hierarchy in relation to size throughout the page are all important to optimize the layout of your webpage. The most important information should be at the top of the page and stand out; uniform text is commonly overlooked.

Final Thoughts

In the end, the online market provides small businesses with the opportunities to thrive. Those who take advantage of the internet opportunities are rewarded with bigger brand presence and receive more business. The best web design for a small business should encompass being responsive, presenting updated and trendy layouts, and have desirable features like social media feeds. Get more advice on web design by seeking the assistance of a web designer at Design & Promote.

Everyone wants website visitors. And that’s where a call to action web design comes in.
All the website visitors in the world won’t help your business if they do not “convert” and become customers.  The first step to turning a website visitor into a customer is to impel them to take an action.

If a site is drawing considerable website traffic, but not converting customers, chances are that either the website’s call to action (CTA) is weak, or the site is not engaging the customer enough to motivate a response to the CTA.  Within your site you should provide multiple opportunities for your visitors to engage more deeply with your company and respond in some way. Ideally, these opportunities should be incorporated into the planning stages of a design so that the website design helps convert customers.

Let’s take a look at some home pages and what elements they’ve used to engage their visitors and effectively incorporate calls to action.

INCLUDE CALLS TO ACTION IN SLIDERS website call to action example for recycling company

In the example below, CRI offers a website call to action on each changing image in their slide show. While each slide contains a different call to action button, each one also offers a button to click that promises “more information” on related topics of document destruction and recycling. By incorporating a call to action in the slide show, which in itself is a chief element of visitor engagement,  the visitor actually receives three different and varying calls to action, providing a greater likelihood that one of them will garner a click.  If the first slide does not engage the visitor, chances are the next one, or the next will.


This homepage also attempts to engage the visitor more deeply into the site by using website call to action alongside special offers and incentives. CRI actually offers several, so they address many different types of visitors with varying levels of readiness to convert on one page. A customer who comes to the site already “sold” on the company can easily find and click for the “free recycling audit” and be immediately connected with the contact page. Someone who needs an overall review of what the company does can read the downloadable whitepaper in the bottom right corner, which simultaneously captures their email for the company’s marketing list. A website visitor who just needs more individualized information to start the process can access a calculator on the “try it now” button in the bottom center to get information specific to their company, so they can take the next important step towards conversion.


Customers can become disengaged very quickly if they have to go looking for a contact telephone number. On this home page, the telephone number is conveniently located at both the top and bottom of the home page so there is no need to navigate to the “contact us” page to find a number. At the bottom, a direct call to action in the words “Contact Us Today” even precedes the telephone number.

SET UP CALL TO ACTIONS WITHIN A WEBSITE’S NAVIGATION call to action website navigation

The recruiting firm New Way Search provides two entry points, tailored to their two main audiences, employers and candidates. By providing different entry points into the website, the call to action takes the visitor down the road to conversion by engaging them to the next, and most desired, level of the website.


Color can be a powerful tool for grabbing attention and engaging the visitor. On this page, the “contact us” button is the only dark green element, making it stand out more easily to the site visitor. Depending on the website design, a color that is complementary to the site’s color scheme, or one that is completely discordant can work best. For example, putting a bright orange call to action button on a muted, pastel-based color scheme may be a bold, but potentially effective strategy, depending upon the design and the businesses. Call to action button color is just one of many factors that is often subject to A/B testing because it has so much power to engage visitors and encourage them to respond to the website call to action.


This home page from Belgio’s Catering uses tantalizing, color images of food as an indirect call to action to engage the visitor to the next step. When visitors click on the photo, they go to a page that gives specific information on the meal, including menu options and prices. The decision to use images, over a brightly colored button, conveniently provides more specific navigation to the visitor, but is also a more engaging and enticing target to click!


As you consider how to engage your customers with your website call to action, here are some other do’s and don’ts:

  • Don’t Crowd.  Leave some white space around your call to action buttons. They will stand out more.
  • Don’t Have Too Many Calls to Action.  Your page need not look like the Vegas strip. Design it to direct the visitor to a few strategic actions.
  • Do position the calls to action where people naturally look. The top right corner and center of the page are “hot spots” for the eye.
  • Do use “urgent language”.  Don’t settle for “click here.” Use active, motivational words like “Learn More”, “Join Today,” “Get Started”, etc.
  • Do Experiment with Color.  The button color on the call to action is very important. Consider alternatives.
  • Do Have a Call to Action on Every Page.  The visitor should always know what to do next
  • Do Test the Navigation. What happens after the visitor clicks on the call to action?
  • Do they need to do anything else?  See the call to action through from page to page to make sure your customer is prompted through each step of the conversion process.

From the initial design of the website to the latest revisions, the call to action in web design is one of your most important elements on your site.  By implementing well-crafted, abundant calls to action you will engage more visitors and ultimately, increase your conversions.

If you are noticing high site traffic without conversions, a weak website call to action may be the reason. At Design & Promote, we are great at turning under performing sites into strategic, conversion vehicles.  Call us today for a free evaluation of your site and recommendations on improving its online performance.

301 redirects help prevent 404 errorsThinking about redesigning your website? Or changing domain names? Are you already ranking well for some keywords? Hold up! While we are all for you moving away from an archaic website design to a more modern one, there are somethings to consider.  For instance, what are you going to do with all of those backlinks that are pointing to your old site? If you’re not careful, you can loose your SEO power without utilizing 301 redirects. Without a good integrated web design and SEO strategy you may loose the top spot in Google. And it will come right when you have a new beautiful web design to show off.

What You Need To Know About Using 301 Redirects With Your New Web Design

While redesigning a website is a popular option for business owners, it’s important to remember that every time you change the path of your URL structure you may, inadvertently, be breaking links within your website pages found elsewhere on the web. The result? Your new website may not, initially, deliver the results you had been expecting. In fact, many companies actually notice that, when they first go live with their new site, their visitor traffic plummets. Reconfiguring your existing URL structure can instantly drive your traffic numbers into the ground, taking all of your previous SEO initiatives with it.

The best way to ensure that your new website design doesn’t hurt your SEO initiatives is to implement a 301 redirect as part of your website migration process. Sure, under certain circumstances, you may feasibly maintain your existing URL structure with your new website setup. But if you plan on revamping your content, changing your URL may make the most sense. Enter in, our friend, the 301 redirect. 301 redirects have three primary goals to help save existing SEO power.

1) A 301 redirect informs the search engine that old copy and online pages have moved and no longer exist in their previous locations.

2) 301 redirects automatically reroute website visitors to the newly appointed page for a seamless user transition between old and new URL’s.

3) A 301 redirect tells the search engines to quit indexing your old page and start indexing your new page in the future. (there is also a 302 redirect that says the same thing but only temporary)

Another way of saying it is a 301 redirect tells the search engines that people who want page A will be directed to page B instead.

Using 301 Redirects to Keep Your Credibility

One of the quickest ways to annoy visitors and loose your credibility is to bring them to a 404 page. 301 redirects not only help redirect visitors to the correct pages, they boost your company’s search engine credentials. Search engines have algorithms that help it build “trust” with any online site. This trust is based both on having an aged, established website as well as an SEO initiative chock full of relevant inbound links. Without using a 301 redirect to salvage your existing links to new pages, the search engines will instantly deem your new website as a brand new website and you’re starting over. Google isn’t following the power.

By setting up a 301 redirect from your old site to your new site, your traffic numbers should return to normal within a 1-4 month time span.

If you are getting your website redesigned somewhere else, make sure they know what keywords you are ranking for already and fully understand how to implement a 301 redirect strategy.

If you’re ready to redesign your website and have not selected a team to work with yet we can help ensure that you reap the benefits of a new modern look while sustaining your current SEO rankings.

For more information  contact us.


Website Design

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 […]

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 […]

ask a chicago web design company

Ask a Chicago Web Design Company About High Bounce Rates

For those of you who don’t know what a bounce rate is, a bounce rate is the percentage of visitors […]

Responsive Web Design Layout

Web Design Tips for Small Businesses

Web design tips and strategies to present your small business properly and attract more customers. A well- designed website from […]


How to Engage Visitors with Website Call to Action

Everyone wants website visitors. And that’s where a call to action web design comes in. All the website visitors in […]

301 redirects

The Importance Of Using 301 Redirects With A New Website Design

Thinking about redesigning your website? Or changing domain names? Are you already ranking well for some keywords? Hold up! While […]

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.


Web Design & Development

featured-innovativeWe custom design innovative, hard-working websites that you can proudly stand behind as the online face of your business. We hone in on three key elements for maximum impact: visibility, usability, and converting visitors into customers.


Branding & Graphic Design

brand-guidelines-creationWe know that your brand needs cohesion in order to be effective. That’s why we focus on your complete brand identity. Whether we’re designing your logo, brochure or electronic newsletter, we create brand assets that complement and interact with each other.


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!


Internet Marketing

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