This week we’re sharing the website refresh for Home With Help, a personal care, non-medical, in-home help organization for those who need support. Their services range from errands and homemaking, to medication reminders and monitoring eating, to companionship and nanny care. Having a site that is easy to navigate, highlights pertinent information clearly, looks professional, and conveys trustworthiness is a must. Here’s what we worked on for Home With Help:

Original Site

home with help website refresh

Clarify and Simplify Information

Above is a shot of the original Home With Help home page. As you can see, there is a LOT going on! Our goal was to prioritize all of the information that needed to be on the site, and then organize it so that the result was clear, easy-to-find and understand information. The Home With Help message was underscored for the potential customer, and we increased navigability by creating a menu that scrolls with the user.

In addition, we rebuilt all of the lead forms using a more reliable plugin and updated contact information along with social links.

Rework Color Scheme

The Home With Help team wanted to preserve their existing color palette. To update the site, we decided to add larger blocks of color to visually break up information. The result was a clearer message that was visually pleasing – all while maintaining Home With Help’s established brand recognition through color.

Declutter and Update Images

The original site had carousels of images that were a little distracting. We removed several images and replaced some with softer, stationary images, and others with icons. The icons convey information the same way an image does, but with less distraction.

The Finished Product

Home With Help website refresh

Hammersmith Support Can Refresh Your Site, Too

Thinking that your website might need an update? While Hammersmith Support does rebuild and build from scratch, we often are able to simply utilize the existing framework to refresh a site. Click over to our services page to read more about all that Hammersmith Support has to offer, including redesign services and monthly maintenance.

Curious about how the fully finished product looks? Click here to see the new and improved Home With Help site or visit www.homewithhelp.net!

Simply having a blog on your business website is good for providing value for your clients and boosting your site’s SEO. But you can get even more bang for your SEO buck by physically structuring the blog with some of these layout tips:

Headers

Headers are great for both readers and web crawlers. Visually, they break up large blocks of content. But they also make it easy for readers to scan for information, making it more likely that they will stick around and read the post. In addition, web crawlers love using headers to analyze and rank information. Happy web crawlers = good SEO.

Signal Words

Much like headers, signal words such as first, second, last, in addition, etc. are good for both readers and ranking. When drafting your post, think of signal words as how you can lead readers through the content. Use signal words in chronological order to make the flow clear.

Content Length

Blog posts with a minimum of 300 words are ideal. Posts with 1000+ words are a plus! Posts of that length are considered cornerstone content, or the best content on your site – also the posts you would want to be ranked highest on your site. Cornerstone content should include keywords that most relate to your site.

Title Length

This one may be surprising to some, but the length of your blog title matters. Depending on the length of your post, you may lose a potential reader if it’s not descriptive enough – on the flip side, if the title is too long, it will likely get cut off in the title tag displayed in search engine results. Keeping titles 50-60 characters is the sweet spot between descriptive and fully displayed.

Categories + Tags

Much like headers, sorting blog posts into categories and then tagging each one is good for readers and search engine ranking. Tags are basically keywords for that post. They should be no longer than 3 words, and 1 word is ideal. For example, some of the tags for this post are; blog, blogging, how to, SEO, web crawler, ranking, etc. The better your post is organized, the easier it is to be found.

Images and Their Descriptions

Images in a blog post are great for several reasons; they visually illustrate your post, and they also provide a break in the written content that is pleasing to the eye. But images are also important because they are a sneaky way of boosting SEO. When you upload an image to your post, be sure to fill out ALL of the information including Title, Description, Caption, and Alt Text. Learn more about each of these in our post “Image Information, What’s Important for SEO.”

Want More Blogging Tips?

Click over to our blog page and read “BW Concepts Guest Post: Blogging 101“. Also, catch up on “52 Reasons to Start a Blog.”

Have questions about how your website works? Hammersmith Support is offering free training sessions that include tips on how to maintain and understand your WordPress website.

Book your free WordPress training session today!

WordPress Plugins

You might be asking yourself, “What exactly is a plugin?”. Chances are, your website is already using one if not several plugins. These awesome bites of software add customized functionality to your website – think contact forms, SEO builders, mobile optimization, security protection…the list goes on and on. We’re excited to give you the rundown on plugins and discuss some of our favorites as well.

Plugins 101

Plugins are open-source (meaning the code is adjustable) software made up of PHP code and may include JavaScript, CSS, and images. They are fast and easy to install on your site, and easy to navigate as well. Because they are open-source and the WordPress developer community is vast, a wide array of plugins are available. The result is custom functionality for your site without manually adjusting the site’s code. The other awesome part about plugins? Many versions are absolutely free!

Popular Versions

Hammersmith Support includes plugins on our sites because they add functionality and allow us to customize each site with our clients’ needs in mind. Some of the most popular are:

  • Gravity Forms:  Build complex powerful forms, polls, quizzes and more
  • Yoast SEO: Optimize for keywords, keyphrases, synonyms, build a sitemap, etc.
  • Smart Crawler: SEO page scanner
  • Advanced Custom Fields: Add fields to your pages
  • Defender: A premium security plugin that monitors activity on your site as well as reporting on vulnerabilities and necessary updates

A Word of Caution

We would be remiss if we didn’t tell you about the potential pitfalls of using plugins. Just like your overall website, plugins should be updated on a monthly basis. Taking too long to update could potentially cause your site to be corrupted and not work properly or worse, leave your site open to hackers who exploit outdated versions of plugins to install malware. Once your site is out of date, it is likely that running updates will cause conflicts or issues that will could render parts of your site unusable. In any case, before launching or updating a plugin, be sure to copy your site as is. After activating or updating your plugins, test the site’s functionality (think lead forms, sign-ups, adding new content, etc.) to ensure all is well on the site.

How Hammersmith Support Can Help

If we lost you at backing up your site – let Hammersmith Support help! We offer monthly maintenance packages where we can keep your site up-to-date, running smoothly, including other vital maintenance, and content updates. In addition, Hammersmith Support is offering free training sessions that include tips on how to maintain and understand your WordPress website.

Book your free WordPress training session today!

Have you ever done an online search for a business name and gotten a list of results, along with a quick breakdown of that business on the right side of your screen? That’s Google My Business. Below, we outline several reasons why it’s important and include instructions on how to get started. If you’re already using GMB, read on to find out some additional information that will be useful to you!

SEO

We’ve posted a lot about Google Ranking Factors and Google My Business plays right into that concept. Providing Google with detailed information about what your business is, where it is located, and the types of services that you provide enables your business listing to be up-to-date and informative. In turn, more accurate search results may lead to more potential clients finding your business. Moreover, adding local SEO to your listing means your business information is geographically optimized as well, which is important for many businesses that only serve local customers.

Quick Information

Sometimes a customer doesn’t want to scour your website for information like hours of operation or your address. This is especially important now during COVID restrictions when it may be uncertain if a business is open or closed. In addition, updated information means customers can find your address and directions quickly and easily. There are also Google Reviews that are separate from other review sites like Yelp. These reviews are not able to be sorted by a third party like other reviews sites, meaning you’ll see all the reviews, good and bad.

Because of the visibility of reviews, getting your clients to post Google Reviews is good for business. Make it easy by sending individual notes to each customer, thanking them for their business, and asking them for a review. Be sure to include a link to the Google Review page for your business.

More Places to Post

If you’re already using GMB, did you know that you can post promotions, event information, products, photos, and updates? Quickly get customers in the know and also get some free advertising!

How to Get Started

Ready to get rolling? Click here for the link to begin the process of claiming your business and setting up Google My Business. Once completed, be sure to check in often to keep your information up-to-date. Check out Hammersmith Support’s GMB page too.