Idea Marketing Group https://www.ideamktg.com Idea Marketing Group of Chicago offers award winning web design, web development and digital marketing services to clients all over the world. Fri, 22 Sep 2017 15:59:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Idea Marketing Group is Hiring! https://www.ideamktg.com/blog/idea-marketing-group-hiring/ Thu, 21 Sep 2017 15:13:07 +0000 https://www.ideamktg.com/?p=8233 Idea Marketing Group is looking to hire a Graphic Designer to join our creative team! Our office is located in Yorkville, IL off of route 47. Perks of working at our company include a 35 hour work week, optional remote...

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Idea Marketing Group is looking to hire a Graphic Designer to join our creative team! Our office is located in Yorkville, IL off of route 47. Perks of working at our company include a 35 hour work week, optional remote Fridays, and a fun and collaborative work environment!

We are looking for someone with a minimum of 4 years experience in design, HTML/CSS knowledge, aptitude for quick and creative thinking with attention to detail, and familiarity in various design software and wireframing. Knowledge of UI/UX design and previous management experience is a plus, though not required!

Although we are looking for the necessary technical skills, we are also looking for someone who is creative, works well in a team environment, and likes to have fun! 

If you’re interested in joining our team, please click here for more information and to apply on our website!

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Idea Marketing Group is Now a Certified Google Partner! https://www.ideamktg.com/blog/idea-google-partner/ Mon, 11 Sep 2017 15:06:39 +0000 https://www.ideamktg.com/?p=8092 Idea Marketing Group is proud to announce that we are now Google Partners! Four members of the Idea team recently earned Google Adwords Certification, allowing us to achieve Google Partner status. According to Google, partner status means a company “has...

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Idea Marketing Group is proud to announce that we are now Google Partners!

Four members of the Idea team recently earned Google Adwords Certification, allowing us to achieve Google Partner status.

According to Google, partner status means a company “has demonstrated AdWords skill and expertise, met Google ad spend requirements, delivered company agency and client revenue growth and grown its client base.”

As a Chicago marketing and web design agency, Idea Marketing Group works with a variety of clients in industries ranging from manufacturing and industrial to non-profits, restaurants, and small businesses.

Since 2007, we have helped local businesses in the Chicago suburbs, as well as clients nationwide, expand their business and grow their brand. This Google Certification will allow us to continue to assist clients in search advertising and provide expertise on the best practices and strategies for their particular business.

Congratulations to Darren, Steve, Becca, and Ashley on passing the Adwords exams!

google certified partner

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The Adalea Launched a New Website! https://www.ideamktg.com/blog/the-adalea-launched-a-new-website/ Thu, 07 Sep 2017 21:29:44 +0000 https://www.ideamktg.com/?p=8144 The Adalea is an event venue located in Cheatham County, Tennessee. The Adalea includes a beautiful 153 year-old white, victorian home and 143 acres of farmland with breathtaking views and white-picket fences that boasts the dream-setting for any wedding, family...

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The Adalea is an event venue located in Cheatham County, Tennessee. The Adalea includes a beautiful 153 year-old white, victorian home and 143 acres of farmland with breathtaking views and white-picket fences that boasts the dream-setting for any wedding, family reunion, corporate meeting, or special event. George and Amanda Williams purchased the home in May of 2016 and opened it to the public soon after. The Adalea now stands as one of the most popular event venues in Tennessee.

People choose to host their event at The Adalea for a number of reasons. Its professionally designed event hall can accommodate guests of up to 200 people. The venue offers 7 fireplaces, a bridal suite, a free-standing staircase, horse stables, a stage, and beautiful balconies that make for stunning photos.

They also make sure to provide all the amenities you’ll need for your event including tables, chairs, silverware, glassware, linens, etc. Working with a number of event vendors, The Adalea team helps you plan hassle-free events from start to finish.

Idea Marketing group, with experience in event web design, helped The Adalea design a brand new, fully-functional website. Their new website was built on the WordPress platform, so anyone with administrative permission can go in and makes changes or updates as needed. The site also features a beautiful video slideshow on their homepage showcasing The Adalea and all of its elegancy. With eye-catching text and visuals, customers hold interest in what their venue has to offer. The information on their site is easy to access with the addition of quick links. Not only that, but the site was built to be SEO strong, so it will receive high rankings in popular search engines.

If you’re planning a wedding or special event in Tennessee and are on the hunt for an top-rated event venue, go check out The Adalea’s new website!

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New Web Presence for St. Patrick High School! https://www.ideamktg.com/blog/new-web-presence-st-patrick-high-school/ Thu, 31 Aug 2017 19:49:48 +0000 https://www.ideamktg.com/?p=8107 St. Patrick High School is an all-male, Catholic school in Chicago that strives to provide its students with the highest-quality education. It is one of the oldest high schools in Chicago and is staffed with some of the most experienced...

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St. Patrick High School is an all-male, Catholic school in Chicago that strives to provide its students with the highest-quality education. It is one of the oldest high schools in Chicago and is staffed with some of the most experienced and influential instructors and personnel.  

St. Patrick High School aims to help their students reach their maximum potential as lifelong learners and assets to society, the community, and the Church. The school provides several athletic programs, extracurricular activities, and academics that provide opportunities for spiritual/academic learning and student engagement.

The students who leave St. Patrick come out as strong, educated, spiritual leaders who are prepared to succeed in life outside of high school.  

With experience in education web design, Idea Marketing Group partnered with St. Patrick High School to help them design a new website that is more engaging for their students and faculty. Through a lot of brainstorming and group-collaboration, Idea brought St. Patrick’s vision to life.

Students and their parents can now easily access the information that’s most important to them including grades, teacher contact information, club organizations, calendars, tuition, special events, and more.

While aiming to make the lives of students and parents easier, Idea also designed their website to be mobile-friendly. This means it can be accessed easily on smart-phones, tablets, and other hand-held devices. The website will also rank well in search engines, as it was built to be SEO strong.

If you’re looking for a Catholic school in Chicago to enroll your son in, Check out St. Patrick High School’s new website today!

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15 Marketing Terms You Should Know https://www.ideamktg.com/blog/15-marketing-terms/ Thu, 31 Aug 2017 14:30:35 +0000 https://www.ideamktg.com/?p=8094 If you own your own business, chances are you’ve been told of the importance of online marketing. You’ve probably even been contacted by companies who promise to help you get conversions, improve your search ranking, and manage your Adwords campaigns....

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popular marketing terms

If you own your own business, chances are you’ve been told of the importance of online marketing. You’ve probably even been contacted by companies who promise to help you get conversions, improve your search ranking, and manage your Adwords campaigns.

But do you know what any of that actually means? If the answer is no, don’t worry. It’s not rocket science! In fact, many of the basic strategies and terms associated with online marketing are quite simple once you know what they are and what they mean.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 15 popular marketing terms we believe everyone should know:

AdWords

Adwords is the search and display pay per click program created and administered by Google. We generally recommend small to medium-size business owners start with an Adwords budget of at least $300 per month.

Backlink

A link to your website from another website. Google treats backlinks as a high priority in search results because backlinks show the content on your site is authoritative and useful.

Blog

The blog, or weblog, is the heart of content marketing. Blogs allow the owner of a website to add fresh new content to their site on a regular basis. Organic Google search results give preference to sites that regularly add new content. Small to medium-sized business owners should consider blogging to be a top priority in their online marketing efforts. Topics should be relevant to the specific industry and blogs should be at least 300 words in length and fairly free of errors. Just one new blog added to your site monthly will provide 12 new pages to your site each year.

Conversions

Conversions are the percentage of website visitors or those that interact with an advertisement who complete a pre-set action such as filling out an online contact form, calling your business or making a purchase. Conversions are measured against the number of people who actually click on the page or ad.

Directory

Directories are online indexes of websites often categorized by specific industry. Completed and accurate directory listings are an important part of digital marketing because they will aid with local organic search rankings and often provide valuable backlinks to your site.

Keywords

Keywords are the words or terms that web users input into search engines while looking for content. It is essential that your website content and titles use accurate keywords that generally match how users will find you.

Landing Page

Individual web pages on your site where users will “land” when clicking on an online ad or other related links off your site. Landing pages are often used to convert users to potential business leads.

Mobile friendly design

Mobile friendly websites are websites that are easily displayed and read on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Search engines like Google and Bing place a heavy emphasis on delivery search results based on the mobile friendliness of your site. Sites without mobile friendly design will not show up as often and as high in search results as competing sites with mobile friendly design.

Organic Search Results

Search engines such as Google and Bing return organic search results when users search specific terms. Organic (or unpaid) results are based on dozens of factors, including the age of the website, worthiness of the content, closely matched keywords and whether your site is mobile friendly.

Pay-Per-Click

Pay per click, or PPC, is a type of paid search engine marketing that places ads for your business at the top or bottom of organic search results in all the major search engines. PPC advertisers pay for their ads based on the number of users who click on their ads.  

Rankings

Ranking is the position your website content is found in organic search results based on specific keywords. Keyword rankings often change from week to week or even day to day based on a number of factors.

Responsive website design  

Responsive web design is creating web pages that respond to the type and size of display it’s being viewed on. For the best organic search results, websites should respond and display correctly on the largest of monitors to the smallest of smartphones.

SEO

Search-Engine Optimization, or  SEO, is the process used in the development of websites that analyzes the content, technical design, and configuration of the site to provide the very best in search engine positioning. SEO strong website rank better in search engines.

Social Media

Social media refers to websites or mobile apps that allow users to generate and share content such as photos, videos and blogs within their social networks. The most common social media channels today include Facebook, Google +, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Social media is key for promoting your business, as it shows you have a strong online presence and are active. It’s also a good way for you to connect with customers and potential clients.

WordPress

WordPress is an online website creation platform with a powerful content management system that is easy to use for even the most novice of website user. Idea Marketing Group builds all of our websites on the WordPress Platform.


Now that you have a better understanding of online marketing, it’s time to put that knowledge into action! If your business doesn’t already have a website, that’s the first place to start. It doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate, but an optimized and responsive website is key to marketing your business and growing your brand.

As a web design agency, we have years of experiencing building custom WordPress website for companies in a variety of industries. Explore our portfolio to see examples of sites we’ve built for clients nationwide.

If you’re not quite sure where to start with marketing, we can help with that as well! Check out our monthly marketing packages to learn how our team can help you grow your business with social media management, personalized blogs, landing pages, SEO optimization, and Google AdWords management.

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The 25th Annual Yorkville Hometown Days! https://www.ideamktg.com/blog/yorkville-hometown-days/ Tue, 29 Aug 2017 16:15:53 +0000 https://www.ideamktg.com/?p=8085 Looking for something fun to do with the family this Labor Day weekend? Consider stopping by the Yorkville Hometown Days Festival! The 25th Annual Yorkville Hometown Days will take place from September 1 – 3 at Beecher Park, off of...

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yorkville hometown days 2017

Photo Courtesy of The United City of Yorkville

Looking for something fun to do with the family this Labor Day weekend? Consider stopping by the Yorkville Hometown Days Festival!

The 25th Annual Yorkville Hometown Days will take place from September 1 – 3 at Beecher Park, off of Game Farm Road. Hosted by Yorkville Parks and Recreation and First National Bank, it is a great way for the community to come together for a weekend of entertainment, delicious food, and good ole fashioned fun.

There’s something for everyone of all ages, from carnival rides for the little ones to a rum & vodka tent for the adults. On Saturday and Sunday from 1pm – 5pm, unlimited carnival ride wristbands can be purchased for $20.

The Yorkville Junior Women’s Club is also hosting a craft fair on the festival grounds, and there will be a bag contest (Baggapalooza) for teams of two to compete to win cash prizes!

Yorkville Hometown Days Attractions:
  • Ultimate Air Dogs Competition: Fri: 5pm – 7pm; Sat: 12pm-6pm; Sun: 1pm-5pm
  • Carnival Rides: Fri: 5pm – 10pm; Sat: 1pm – 10 pm; Sun: 1pm – 9:30pm
  • Touch-A-Truck: Sat :12pm – 4pm
  • Junior Women’s Fall Craft Show: Sat: 12pm – 6pm; Sun: 11am – 6pm
  • Baggapalooza: Sat: 12pm – 4pm
  • Black Dog Distillery Rum & Vodka Tasting: Sat: 2pm – 5pm

Food Vendors include: Homeplate Hotdogs, Fried and and Fabulous Concessions, Pepe’s, Rosati’s, and Mr. Salty’s Kettle Corn.

Musical acts will be performing throughout the weekend, with performances by some of the area’s most well-known local artists and bands. Some of the more notable musical guests are: Yorkville Big Band, Jennie Williamson, I Am They, Ethan Bell Band, Whiskey Romance, Mike & Joe, 7th Heaven, and Hi-Infidelity.

So, if you’re looking for a fun night out for all ages, stop by Yorkville Hometown Days. You just might see some of the Idea team there throughout the weekend!

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Chrome security warnings for non https websites https://www.ideamktg.com/blog/chrome-security-warnings-non-https-websites/ Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:21:23 +0000 https://www.ideamktg.com/?p=8054 Starting October 2017, Chrome (version 62) will show a “NOT SECURE” warning when users enter text in a form on an HTTP page, and for all HTTP pages in Incognito mode. All websites that use form inputs will trigger a...

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SSL Protection for HTTPSStarting October 2017, Chrome (version 62) will show a “NOT SECURE” warning when users enter text in a form on an HTTP page, and for all HTTP pages in Incognito mode. All websites that use form inputs will trigger a new warning in the Chrome browser. The new warning is part of a long term plan to mark all pages served over HTTP as “not secure”.

How to fix the problem

Migrate your website to HTTPS instead non-secured HTTP to prevent the “Not Secure” notification from appearing when Chrome users visit your site, only collect user input data on pages served using HTTPS. Better yet, switch all pages over to HTTPS as you will be better off in the long run. This means your hosting provider or web developer needs to install a SSL certificate and direct all traffic to the secured path. Image links and other file URLs will also need to be changed to support the secured path. If not, errors will appear stating that some of the elements within the page are not secure.

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Idea Designed a New Website for McCabe Kirshner! https://www.ideamktg.com/blog/idea-designed-a-new-website-for-mccabe-kirshner/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 15:55:00 +0000 https://www.ideamktg.com/?p=8024 McCabe Kirshner is a firm that provides captive insurance solutions for companies throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean. Their team has worked specifically within the healthcare industry, and they even formed the first healthcare Portfolio Insurance Company (PIC) in Grand...

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McCabe Kirshner is a firm that provides captive insurance solutions for companies throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean. Their team has worked specifically within the healthcare industry, and they even formed the first healthcare Portfolio Insurance Company (PIC) in Grand Cayman!

McCabe Kirshner specializes in multiple areas of practice including risk management, corporate compliance, litigation, claims administration, and more. They provide companies with the resources, training, and education they need to run their own captive insurance programs.

Bringing years of experience to the table, McCabe Kirshner knows how to assist companies through all steps of the captive formation process from licensure to post-formation operations. Their professional team of attorneys and adjusters are dedicated to providing the best insurance solutions available.

With a background in Business to Consumer (B2C) web design, Idea Marketing Group designed a brand new website for McCabe Kirshner on the WordPress platform.

Their new website introduces all new features including mobile-friendly capabilities, quick links, and a clean design that makes using their website easy and hassle-free.

Being built on the WordPress platform ensures everything on the website is easy to use and fully customizable. Meaning changes and updates to the website can easily be applied as needed. The new website was also built to be SEO strong, so it will rank well in search engines like Yahoo, Google, and Bing.

Check out McCabe Kirshner’s new website today!

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What does the cgi-sys/defaultwebpage.cgi website error mean? https://www.ideamktg.com/blog/cgi-sys-website-error/ Wed, 26 Jul 2017 23:20:30 +0000 https://www.ideamktg.com/?p=7993 This usually happens a hosting server IP changes from one IP to another. This could be the result of a server move, change in service providers, or mismatch of zone records. Besides the giant “Sorry” on the screen, you’ll see...

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This usually happens a hosting server IP changes from one IP to another. This could be the result of a server move, change in service providers, or mismatch of zone records.

Besides the giant “Sorry” on the screen, you’ll see three icons with these headings:

  • The IP address has been changed.
  • There has been a server misconfiguration.
  • The site may have moved to a different server.

Don’t Panic! It is an easy error to fix and usually limited to just your office WiFi and not the general public. You can also take your phone off of WiFi to confirm the site still works.

 

How to fix an IP error on a website?

STEP 1: First, make sure that all of the zone records are being pointed to the correct IP address. Besides the general A Record, there may be other records within the DNS management area (Domain Name Server) that need to be changed as well especially if the IP changed from one to another, all uses of the old IP address need to be updated.

STEP 2: Flush your DNS. The DNS client on your local server/router will often cache IP addresses to help speed up requests to the various services. Overtime, these issues usually work themselves out, however, you can force the change. Whatsmydns.net did a great job in pulling together instructions on how to Flush DNS depending on your operating system.

STEP 3: Clear out your temporary internet files and refresh the website. To help, don’t just refresh the error page you are seeing. Instead, look at the address in the URL.

If you see: http://www.yourdomainname.com/cgi-sys/defaultwebpage.cgi

Try typing this in the address bar instead: http://yourdomainname.com/

It removes the error page at the end and then forces your browser to look at a different path (non-www vs www) which will help with the refresh process. WikiHow provides a good article on how to Clear Temporary Internet Files for various devices and browsers.

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Cheap Websites Will Cost You More in the Long Run https://www.ideamktg.com/blog/cheap-websites-costs-more/ Thu, 20 Jul 2017 17:14:10 +0000 https://www.ideamktg.com/?p=7820 We get it, you want to get the best price you can on a website, but there are questions you need to consider when opting for the lowest price. As appealing as it is, it may actually end up costing...

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We get it, you want to get the best price you can on a website, but there are questions you need to consider when opting for the lowest price. As appealing as it is, it may actually end up costing you more money in the long run with lack luster results.

  • Is your website going to be built and tailored for your business? Or will the designers attempt to fit your business model into a pre-made template that might only cost them $40, but they will charge you thousands for?
  • Will the website scale to allow continued growth for your business?
  • Will you be able to easily update the website without fear of “breaking” something and then being charged to fix it?
  • Is training included to help you learn how to use your website?
  • Is the company you are hiring actually doing the work or are they jobbing it out? Who will be directly working on your project?
  • Are they familiar with search engine optimization or the user experience to aid in lead generation?
  • Will you own the code after the development is done?

Now that the basic questions are on the table, let’s answer them.


Is your website going to be built and tailored for your business?

Your business is unique, and your website should be as well. Yet, we have heard many horror stories of companies spending anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000+ for a website and then when reviewing the HTML code, you can see the designers used a template available on the internet for just $40.

So where do all those extra zeroes come from? Surely copying and pasting text doesn’t take that many hours? For your website to be a true reflection of your business, time should be spent up front learning about your business, who you are, what makes you different, who is your audience, what is the goal of the website, and more.

There is no one set template that answers everything. That is why it is important that the website is custom crafted from the beginning to fit your needs and goals. Corners are often cut to get the job done faster and then when something needs to be changed later, it takes more time than it should, costing businesses even more money.


Will you be able to easily update and scale the website? Is training included?

Do you have to you contact your website designer every single time you want to make a site update? Those updates cost money, but also eat up more of your time to explain them when you should be able to make simple updates within just a few minutes.

In addition, training should be part of the process because what is the point in paying for a content management system if you are not shown how to use it or forced to pay for what usually takes less than an hour to learn through training.

Many times website companies drop the cost of a project to quickly close the sale. However, once the work begins line items are added that escalate the cost far beyond what was originally agreed to.


Who will be directly working on your project?

It is important to learn about the process of how your website will be built. The way a website is built has evolved over the years and requires expertise in many different areas of the build process. A team is often recommended as each individual is specialized in the different areas of the build.

Team members should be experts in the following areas: design (user experience focused), front-end development (the general build of the website and how it looks), backend development (how the website functions and is controlled), search engine optimization (maximizing the impact a website has when ranking in search engines), hosting (setting up the hosting environment and connecting the domain the proper way), and content (writing text that generates interest for human readers while delivering what is needed for search engines).

As you can see, there are a lot of different roles when building a website. Make sure the company you are speaking with has someone who can work well in all of these different areas. If not, you may be paying more because the company may be hiring outside help to fill in gaps and then charging a markup that gets passed along to you.


getting found online organically

Are you getting found online organically?

Organic or natural rankings are when your website appears towards the top of search engine results without having to pay for each click. Organic rankings differ from Google AdWord results that appear at the very top, which costs money each time a user clicks on your link.

This method can get expensive, which is why many small businesses strive to achieve strong organic listings. Websites that lack search engine optimization or those that have been optimized poorly, have no choice but to pay for their traffic. This often leads to more out of pocket expenses to create exposure than if a business was to spend more money upfront and have it built properly from the beginning. Missed traffic opportunities has a direct impact on the business and lead generation.

 

 

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