All of us at Hammersmith Support have been anxiously waiting to share this interview with Lindsay Danielson with you! Not only is Lindsay a valued client, she has become a friend as we have learned about her story – it is fascinating. Lindsay is a mortician turned life coach…you may be thinking “that’s a hard left turn,” and you’d be right! Her journey is amazing and we consider ourselves privileged to know her story and to create a website for Lindsay that truly represents her passion as she works to champion others.

Tell Us a Little About You.

Embalming was my first professional passion. I always knew I wanted to serve in a unique and profound way but I did not know what that looked like for me until around 21 years old. You may be thinking, why embalming?! Well…unexpectedly, death became a part of my life when I was 13 when my father was suddenly killed in a car accident. As you might expect, it ripped my life apart.

When I mustered up the courage to see him prior to his cremation, what I thought would be traumatizing became a moment of comfort and curiosity. This curiosity evolved into me dreaming of becoming a therapist to help other youngsters who had lost a parent. The idea of therapy evolved into more of the medical side of pathology, which later sparked my interest in embalming. And as they say…the rest is history.

Since entering the industry almost 13 years ago, I have worked in various roles including 10 years of leading several crematory, embalming, and decedent removal teams.

What Does Being a Life Coach Mean to You?

Leading and supporting other leaders is my passion now. I have learned that everyone wants to be seen and heard and as leaders, we achieve that by acknowledging and validating our team in a meaningful and compassionate manner. Communication and community is everything in the workplace and building a culture that allows your associates to thrive is critical in today’s competitive work force.

What Is Unique About Your Style and Product Offering?

What I offer is not about me, it is about clients and guiding them to move past their bullshit so they can gain momentum and ultimately achieve what is most valuable them. Although the majority of my time is spent coaching leaders in the funeral industry, I continue to work with and take on private clients. My style is a unique blend of coaching and mentoring with a dash of tough love to lock in the most important piece of the client and coach partnership, accountability.

In addition to working with me one-on-one, you can get some free life coaching from me and my co-host Jena on our podcast, The Art of Getting Your Sh*t Together (TAGYST). Jena and I started TAGYST because with the constant demands in life and business, we wanted to create an impactful platform of real talk, expert advice and actionable steps to help others live their passion-filled purpose.

What Advice Do You Have for Other Entrepreneurs?

Remember, everything you want is outside your comfort zone but you have to be ready to fight against all the shitty stories you are telling yourself and you do not have to go it alone. Get support! Seeking support does not mean you are stupid or weak. It means you are resourceful and resilient. The most successful people did not get to where they are because they hustled their ass off alone. Do what you need to do to get you to where you want to be. No excuses or apologies.

Want to Know More?

Click on the links below to visit Lindsay’s website, follow her on social media, find the postcast and more:

www.lindsaydanielson.com

Instagram: @lindsay.danielson & @tagyst_podcast

Facebook & LinkedIn: Lindsay Danielson

For more on inspiring women in business, click over to our Hammersmith Support blog for other profiles.

How familiar are you with your website’s security? If you’re like the majority of website owners, you may not know much about your site security at all, which means there’s room for improvement! Here we’ll tell you exactly what website security is, why it’s important for all websites, and how Hammersmith Support can help.

What is Website Security?

Does your URL have an “s” in the “https” portion? If so, your website does have a layer of security attached to the data transferred between the web browser and web server. HTTP stands for “hyper text transfer protocol” and it is the most common way to transfer information. The “s” added to the end of HTTP is the security layer and stands for “secure socket layer.” An SSL comes with a certificate to prove that the site is transferring information securely. Most web browsers will check for the SSL automatically and will alert you if it’s not present on the site you’re visiting. Some may show the URL as green or with an open or closed lock to alert you to the security level of the website.

Why Is Site Security Important?

It’s obvious why a website that sells goods and or takes personal information would want to have a secure site. Keeping a customer’s information safe from hackers is a given. But what about a site that only collects emails? Or doesn’t collect any information? Why would those sites need security?

The answer is that even sites that don’t collect personal information, or any information at all, are still vulnerable to hackers and/or malware. Hackers can steal email addresses and at the very least, cause a headache for your clients. But malware could take your site down completely by corrupting the pages – costing you time and money to repair and replace.

Further, Google ranks sites with security higher than those that leave their users at potential risk. So having that all-important “s” in your URL, will only add to your SEO.

How Hammersmith Support Can Help

One of the things we love most about our services at Hammersmith Support is that we keep your website running smoothly while you do what you do best: run your business. Our Website Maintenance service packages include not only ensuring that your site has an SSL certificate but also scanning the site monthly to look for any security vulnerabilities. In addition, we keep full backups of your website so that if the worst should happen, your site is back up and running securely as quickly as possible.

Here at Hammersmith Support, we’ve been highlighting the various ways to boost your website’s SEO organically – meaning without paid ads / services. Fresh content, both internal and external links, using Google Search Console are all important parts of SEO. But what about the videos and images you’re using in your content? Are you getting the maximum SEO boost that you could from those images? Here are 5 items to consider for each visual post to ensure you are getting the biggest bang for your image bucks:

File Name

When uploading pictures to your website for a blog or any purpose really, be sure that your file name is complete. Web crawlers look to the name of each image to categorize it. Be sure to use plain but distinctive language and avoid keyword stuffing at all costs. For example, if using this image:

Hammersmith Support Website Maintenance

The image name could be “Hammersmith Support Website Maintenance”. This allows search engines to categorize the image and keeps your site name prominent as well.

Alt Text

Alt Text is often over looked because most don’t understand what it is and what it does. Alt Text are the descriptive words that appear should an image fail to load. The wording is also used for those who are visually impaired. Similar to the image name, using a short and plain, but distinctive description works best for web crawlers to analyze and catagorize. The difference is that the description should also include model numbers, years, anything that is specific to the image.

For this image, the Alt Text could be “Meridian Search Consultants Website Build 2019 Graphic on Laptop Screen”.

Meridian Search Consultants Website Build 2019 Graphic on Laptop Screen

Size Images

Keeping the size of your images in mind is important because an image that is too large won’t load quickly. This is an issue for both SEO and for your visitors. Most are not going to wait around for 3-5 seconds for an image to load. So keeping image size on the smaller side is important. On that same note, keep image sized uniform as well. This is less for SEO and more for the visual appeal of your site – which is important for keeping visitors there longer.

Captions

While these are analyzed for SEO, captions are utilized mostly by readers. Captions are the short descriptions under an image – they’re descriptive, yet not literal like Alt Text. Readers scan captions quicker than the body of the page content – if they don’t find what they’re looking for, they’re likely to bounce out of the site. So good captions keep readers.

The caption for this image could read “At Hammersmith Support, understanding our client’s needs is the paramount to our work.”

Hammersmith Support

Use Relevant Images

Slapping just any old image on your site won’t do you any good with boosting your SEO. Be sure that the images you choose are relevant not only to your business, but more importantly, be sure that they are pertinent to the content around the image. Using relevant images to your topic is important from a few angles. First, it lends validity to your site from a search engine standpoint, and a visitor one as well. Second, it gives an informative and professional appearance to your site. Avoid posting any images that don’t work with your content – the result is spammy and will turn off readers and search engines.

Don’t have any images to use? Don’t worry! There are tons of free stock photo sites out there – our favorites are Canva and Pexels. Just be sure your images are on topic.

Google Analytics has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years. Why is that? On top of being easy to navigate and offering great insights into who is visiting your website, this tool offered by Google is FREE. Yes! So what does Google Analytics do for your website and business? We’ve got the breakdown for you:

What Exactly Does Google Analytics Do?

Through JavaScript, Google is able to capture information about who is visiting your site, how they get there, and how long they stay on each page. Which means you’re now able to see not only how many visitors are coming to your page but also if they’re using a phone, tablet or desktop to get there. You can see how long they stay on each page and which pages have the highest bounce rate.

Some of the areas that are tracked and analyzed are:

  • Audience Behavior: new versus returning visitors, frequency of visits, how the audience is engaging with the site
  • Mobile: smart phone versus tablet
  • Acquisitions: campaigns, searches, keywords
  • Realtime: locations and traffic sources can all be tracked as they are happening

Each of these sections is broken down into individual reports, making it easy to see the data from several angles.

Why Is That Important?

You may be thinking “sure that’s nice, but I don’t need all that data.” Even if you don’t use all the data provided, there are certain aspects that you can absolutely use. Say the reporting shows that the majority of users on your site are viewing on their mobile phones. What if your website is not optimized for mobile? You risk users leaving your site because it’s not easy to navigate on mobile. That’s information you can use! Updating your site’s infrastructure so that it is mobile-friendly can reduce your bounce rate and increase the length of time that audience members spend there.

This data can play a huge role in your website content, too. For example, if your site is written to explain how WordPress works, you need to be sure that your wording is directed at your target visitors. Said another way, you wouldn’t explain WordPress to a Millennial the same way you would to a Baby Boomer. Knowing the demographics of who is visiting your site can help you shape your content to ensure it’s being presented in the most effective way possible.

Why Not Use Google Search Console?

Here’s the best part: Google Analytics and Google Search Console work in tandem! Analytics is the breakdown of who is visiting your website, how they get there, and how long they stay. Google Search Console is the analysis of your site and how it’s performing for those visitors. Using both tools simultaneously gives you a comprehensive view of your website from an outside perspective. In addition, both Search Console and Analytics are designed to be used with the suite of other Google apps, including AdWords.