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  • Is Your Site Indexed on Google? Here's Why It Matters

    Is Your Site Indexed on Google? Here's Why It Matters

    We’ve talked again and again about the benefits of SEO. Crafting high quality content, perfectly primed to capture the eyes of curious search engine users, is a surefire way to increase your website traffic, bolstering your chances of retaining hot leads and creating conversions.

    But before you post a blog and call it a day, it’s important to ask yourself one key question: Do the search engines you’re trying to target even know that your site exists?

    The internet is a vast repository of information, so a lot of us naturally take for granted that everything we post is automatically filed away and given the same standing as the other content already housed online. This assumption isn’t wrong, per se, but it is a little misguided.

    Having a website that really succeeds with search engines all comes down to understanding just how Google, Bing, and Yahoo actually catalog and present their data. Let’s explore a little bit of the science behind the search, before breaking down the simple steps that will help ensure your website gets the attention it deserves.

    How Do Search Engines Find and Evaluate Content?

  • Is Your Website Design Right for SEO?

    For any brand concerned with generating new clients or retaining existing ones, nothing is more important than getting discovered on search engines. Across industries, the simple fact is that most of your prospective customers are starting their journey with Google, Bing, or Yahoo.

    To reach these invaluable searchers, it pays to invest in search engine optimization, or SEO; this is our handy shorthand for the artistry behind getting your site to rank highly on search engines. And, believe it or not, SEO begins with your website itself!

    Home to your contact info, content, and more, your website is foundational to your SEO success. Look, feel, function: All of these matter when it comes to ranking on search engines and encouraging fresh organic traffic to visit your site.

    Of course, we could spend hundreds of thousands of words talking about great web design and development. For the sake of your eyesight, we won’t be getting too technical here. (If you want to skip straight ahead to chatting about the nitty-gritty, don’t hesitate to give us a call.)

  • Launching a New Website? Don’t Forget to Check These 10 Key Elements Off Your List

    Website Launch Checklist

    It’s hard to overstate the importance ofhaving a website for your brand. Today, your next customers are connecting with businesses and doing their product research online, via search engines, review platforms, and social media networks - which can all help funnel users directly to your personalized landing page. 

    Having a unique, handcrafted website that isfunctional, responsive, andoptimized for search engines can go a long way in helping your business stand out from the crowd. Your brand website is also a powerful marketing tool. It’s your calling card, your elevator pitch, and your sales funnel, all rolled into one. Your website can help your brand reach new audiences on search engines like Google, and helpconvert curious visitors into lifelong customers. 

    If you’re nearing the end of your website design and development process, you’ve probably been over all this -and then some!You’ve talked about design. You’ve discussed creating compelling calls to action and functional conversion tools. You’ve thought long and hard about the importance of UX. 

    Now, it’s time to move into the last phase, and start fine-tuning your site so it’s ready to launch. It’s time to look over the little details, to make sure your website is going to appeal to audiences, and rank highly with search engines. Before your site goes live, it’s also important to start planning for the future, and develop a strategy for all of themaintenance, performance, and security tasks to come. 

  • On-Page and Off-Page SEO: Understanding the Difference

    On-Page and Off-Page SEO: Understanding the Difference

    Have you ever heard the phrase “a rising tide lifts all boats?”

    In our experience, it’s a great way to think about the principles ofSEO, or “search engine optimization.” SEO is all about doing what it takes to make sure that your brand ranks highly on search engines like Google - and it’s one of the core tenets of our content marketing strategy here at Geek.

    So, with that said, why exactly are we talking about boats? The answer comes down to the two primary aspects behind effective SEO:on-page andoff-page optimization. In order to successfully prime your content to rank highly on search engines, like Google or Bing, you’ll need both on-page and off-page strategies in place.

    But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. For now, remember that rising tide?

    An SEO Story

  • Optimizing Your Site for Lead Generation: Here's What It Takes



    Is your website primed for lead generation and conversions? Let’s dive in and talk about what this important question really means - and how you can take concrete steps towards generating more leads right now.

    Conversions: A Major Part of the Digital Marketing Puzzle

    When all parts of your digital marketing strategy are working in harmony, something amazing happens. Your website is well-designed and responsive. It hosts stunning, informative content, which you amplify over email and on social media to extend your brand reach. Your on-page and off-page SEO are on-point, generating consistent, quality traffic to your site. Everything operating like clockwork - that’s a beautiful thing. 

    But even in cases like this, it’s still possible that you’re not seeing the conversion rate that you might be hoping for. And at this point, worry sets in. 

    After all, you may be thinking,what use is all of this traffic and brand engagement if people aren’t actually signing up or buying anything? 

  • Our Favorite Kind of Website Project

    Here at Geek Chicago, we’re all about making the web work for you. Of course, that means different things to different people, so we go into every single project with a completely open mind, ready to listen and collaborate with our clients to create the unique final product that best amplifies their singular voice, reaches their ideal audience, and fulfills their loftiest goals.

    For Chicago-based wedding and music maestros Cage + Aquarium, that meant building a sleek, modern website with tons of functionality carefully folded into every nook and cranny. We’re thrilled with the way their site turned out!

    A part of Scratch Music Group, one of the largest DJ agencies in the world, Cage + Aquarium matches clients with DJs and photographers ready to elevate any event, from weddings to a craft beer launch party, with hand-picked music and gorgeous, discreet, and authentic photography.

  • Our Websites Are Getting Too Fat

    Our Websites Are Getting Too Fat

    A lot of us these are trying to stay healthy and watch our weight through dieting and exercise. But how many of us are watching the “weight” of our websites?

    It may be more important than you think. In fact, the internet may be in the midst of a major obesity epidemic of its own. 

    What do we mean? We’ll let Wired magazine put it in perspective:

  • Redesigning Your Website? Here's How to Prevent Disaster Before It Strikes

    Redesigning Your Website? Here's How to Prevent Disaster Before it Strikes

    So you’ve decided it’s time to redesign your brand’s website! Great! It’s important to make sure you have an attractive, mobile-ready site that’s primed to help drive traffic into conversions.

    But there are plenty of things that could go wrong along the way – ready to cut them off before they start?

    Here are five surefire ways to keep your website redesign from heading toward disaster:

    1.) Manage Your Expectations – and Your Team – With a Clear “Scope Of Work”

  • Six Web Development Tips for Restaurants and Bars

    Five Web Development Tips for Restaurants and Bars (Source: Pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

    Your craft cocktails may be the best in town. Your prime rib may be the most succulent around. Your servers may be the most efficient in the city. But does your website meet the same high standards you set for your restaurant?

    A responsive, visually engaging website is incredibly important for your restaurant’s bottom line – especially when you keep in mind that 75% of consumers base their decision to dine at a restaurant around their online search results.

    Ready to get started redesigning your restaurant’s website? Here are five web development tricks everyone in the service industry needs to know:

    1.) Use Eye-Catching Visuals

  • The 3 Elements of Web Development (Hint: Don't Start with the Template)

    If you're as addicted to caffeine as we are here at Geek Chicago, you already know that a cappuccino is one-third espresso, one-third milk, and one-third foam. It’s that rule of threes that makes this iconic drink 100% delicious. 

    Now, we’re not saying that building a website for your brand is just like making a cappuccino. But it is a process that takes skill, experience, and, of course, the rule of threes.

    In this case, we know that there are three central elements that go into creating a great website, one that will help you attract and convert customers for years and years. Those three essential elements are:

    • Content
    • Design
    • Template

    … and the order that you should prioritize them in may be different than you’d think!

    For a Great Website, Don’t Start From a Template

    In our experience, many people are quick to jump to that third bullet point, without taking the time to consider the other two.

  • The 3 Keys to Designing and Optimizing Landing Pages

    The 3 Keys to Designing and Optimizing Landing Pages

    In terms of the online buyer’s journey, a landing page works a bit like a gateway, guiding your prospective customers to take the all-important steps that get them from “curious visitor” to “lifelong customer.”

    Whether your users find you from search, social media, or email, the landing page is a critical keystone – so it’s important to make sure that yours are up to scratch.

    Here are three huge things to keep in mind as you begin the process of designing and optimizing your landing page for maximum impact:

    1.) Know the Goal of Your Landing Page

  • The Complete Luddite's Guide to Launching a Business Online

    The Complete Luddite's Guide to Launching a Business Online

    Every business needs to be online. Whether you produce smartphones or artisan butter, your audience is living, breathing, working, and shopping on the web all the time – sometimes even on multiple screens at once.

    It can be daunting to dip a toe into the churning waters of the internet. We understand!

    But it’s important to realize that not using the amazing potential of the web to its fullest extent could be costing you valuable business in the long run. The other thing it’s important to realize? Getting started online is easier than you may think – even for total luddites. 

    A successful online strategy really comes down to three interrelated parts: an original website, regular content, and an active presence on social media. Let’s explore how you – yes, you! – can get started right now.

    Build a Solid Website

  • The Five Most Important Things You Can Do to Get Future Customers to Your Website

    Have you heard of Google Panda? No, it's not a mascot. In fact, Panda was a change made to Google's search results algorithm all the way back in 2011, with the goal of helping to eliminate low-quality sites from searches, while having higher-quality sites appear at the top of the search.

    Ever heard of it? You’re not alone if you haven’t.

    The fact is, Google and its peers in the search engine sector are consistently updating and refining their algorithms and web crawlers, helping redefine the ways in which users search the internet for e-commerce options and content – and how they find their way to your brand.

    Whether that means factoring in mobile devices, updating search engine ranking pages (SERPs) with Knowledge Graphs and Featured Snippets, or taking aim against “blackhat” tactics like keyword stuffing, Google has long been a vital gatekeeper for businesses, either helping to guide internet users to your site – or send them into the arms of your competitors.

  • The Power of Branding for Your Small Business

    The Power of Branding for Your Small Business (Source: pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

    Whether you’re a big fish in a small pond trying to cultivate your own niche industry, or a small business looking to bring your own unique approach to an existing field, it’s important to stand out - for the right reasons.

    The secret to standing out? It all comes down to one key – branding. More than a buzzword, branding is at the heart of what we do here as digital marketers, and developing a strong brand is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your business finds and keeps customers.

    There are many aspects to “branding” today; for our purposes, we’ll think of in terms of the content that your business produces, and how that content reflects who you are and what you represent. Practically speaking, when we discuss branding with our clients, we’re referring to logo design, photography, graphic design, and copywriting, all of which should be consistent and unified across your website, your email marketing, and your social media profiles.

    So, why is having strong branding so important to your small business? Here are three big reasons to focus on creating your brand right now:

    Stand Out in a Crowded Field

  • Three Powerful Upgrades to Add Value to Your Website

    Three Powerful Upgrades to Add Value to Your Website (Source: Pixabay.com)

    It’s never too late to add a little flair and function to your website! Whether you’re considering a total overhaul or simply adding new functionality, there’s never been a better time to take a fresh look at your brand’s web page.

    Considering a redesign? Here are three easy, amazingly effective upgrades to consider now:

  • What is Two-Factor Authentication, and Why Do I Need It?

    What is Two-Factor Authentication, and Why Do I Need It? (Source: Pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

    There’s no shortage of hackers, spammers, and spies trying to steal your information online. And we’re not just being hyperbolic: Major brands, prominent individuals, and institutions across the globe are fighting an increasingly fraught battle with cybercrime.

    And many are losing.

    For proof, just look at the mammoth Sony email leak from last year. Look at the University of Maryland, where thousands of students and employees had their personal records breached in 2014. Look at the digital currency industry, where Gatecoin recently faced a security breach that resulted in the loss of “$2 million in bitcoins and ethers.”

    So how can you help keep your brand’s information – and, more importantly, your employees – safe? Two-factor authentication (commonly abbreviated to 2FA) is a great place to start.

    What is Two-Factor (or "Dual Factor") Authentication?

  • What Those New ISP Regulations Mean for You

    What Those New ISP Regulations Mean for You

    As you may have heard if you’ve been following the news at all recently, Congress recently voted on a measure that could significantly roll back consumers’ internet privacy in the future; that measure has also been signed by the president, making it the law of the land.

    So, what does this bill actually do? You may have heard something about ISPs and your browsing history, but what’s the whole story? How will internet privacy really be impacted, and what will this mean for consumers, internet providers, and marketers in the years ahead?

    Let’s dig into the many possible ramifications – positive and negative – of this legislation:

    The Bill

  • Why Can't I Build My Own Website?

    Why Can't I Build My Own Website? (Source: pexels.com - used as royalty free image)

    Every business should have a website.


    Is it controversial to say this?

    We hope not. Today, that statement isn’t a big swing, but rather a pretty foundational belief; having a web presence is just the cost of doing business in 2017, akin to making sure that your brand was properly listed in the phone book’s yellow pages 20 years ago.

    So if it’s taken for granted that every business needs to be online, why do so many still insist on cutting corners and taking the easy way out at every turn, using free website templates or, even worse, just calling up a friend or coworker to quote-unquote develop a site?

  • Why Pay For Website Maintenance?



    It’s easy to think of a website as a work of art, like a sculpture or painting. A designer conceives its layout, as well as its look and feel. A developer translates this design into a usable form. And then it goes live on the world wide web, where it sits comfortably, waiting to be found and shared. 

    But that may not actually be the best way to think about your site. Because, frankly, it’s not just some item that just hangs on the wall of a museum. Instead, it’s a living, breathing thing, subject to change. It’s active and alive and engaging with users as part of the digital ecosystem. It’s not just some passive object sitting by itself! 

    And even then, think about this: The paintings in museums may look like they’re just sitting there, but there’s actually a lot of work that goes into preserving and protecting them. From hiring security guards, to installing protective features, to regularly restoring or refurbishing a piece of work, art isn’t stagnant either. There’s a ton of behind-the-scenes effort that goes into making sure that an amazing piece of art and sculpture is safe, and always ready to display for new guests. 

    Your website works the exact same way! Developing a brand website is not just a one-time, “set it and forget it” proposition. Even after a site goes live, it’s important to take steps to maintain it, so that it’s safe, functional, and always primed to help your business generate new leads. 

Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).