If the thought of updating your website is terrifying, or if the word “plugin” gives you the heebie-jeebies, this post is for you! Don’t let the idea of redesigning your website keep you up at night; it’s not as spooky as it may seem!

When you work with Hammersmith Support, we pull from our experience ranging from small businesses to large companies and foundations that have multiple sites. Our goal is to help you and your business by creating a dynamic, unique, functional, well-designed and high-performing site. We do this with our three-step system that ensures we understand your needs and are able to educate you about your site to get the best results possible.

Consult

At Hammersmith Support, our first step with every new client is to consult. We want to learn all about you, your business, what’s working, what’s not working, and any other details that will help us to help you. We want to understand the challenges you and your business face. Using all of that information, we’ll create a plan and then help guide you through our process of creating an amazing, customized website for you.

Create

When it comes to creating your site, we never use a template. All of our sites are unique for each client. We build every site with WordPress because we believe it is a superior, very customizable product with an excellent open-source support network. In addition, the sites we build for our clients are not only functional but are also optimized for search engines, speed, mobile devices, and differently-abled users.

Conquer

Once your site is complete, the sky is the limit! While you’re conquering the business world, Hammersmith Support can maintain your site. Our monthly maintenance packages help take the frustration of updating and maintaining your website off of your plate. Website maintenance packages include content updates, backups, security scans, SEO, site enhancements, site optimization, malware prevention, analytics reporting, performance monitoring, and more. We can make changes to your site such as updating inventory or images – anything that will keep your site up to date and running smoothly and securely.

Ready to Get Started?

If you’re hungry for more about website design, click here to download “10 Questions to Ask Your Website Designer!” If you’re ready to talk about your website, schedule your free consultation!

When it comes to building your website, the reason you go to a professional is that you aren’t a web designer, right? But even so, it’s good to ask questions to make sure you are getting not only what you need, but also good value in your site, and someone you feel comfortable working with too.

5 Questions to Ask Your Website Designer

  1. Who will I work with during this process?
  2. What platform will my website be built on? Why?
  3. Do you offer hosting and maintenance?
  4. Do you custom design your websites or use templates?
  5. What if I have a problem down the road, who can I talk to?

Since You Might Be Wondering How We Would Answer These Questions….

At Hammersmith Support, all of our sites are custom-built, not templates, and all are constructed on WordPress. We believe that WordPress is a superior product compared to others on the market, in part because of its customizability and open-source community support. Additionally, we offer WP Engine hosting for all of the sites we build.

We know that all of our clients are unique and therefore their sites need to be as well. We build or refresh every client’s site independently, not from a template. And our full-service approach means we can design for you, or use a design of your choice.

It Can Pay off to Go Small…Business

One of the biggest benefits of working with Hammersmith Support is that we’re a small business – when you hire us, you get us! When you sign up for a maintenance package after your site is done, we’ll help keep your site running smoothly with updates to all aspects of the site including security, as well as make changes you may need to accommodate your business. And the best part? When you call, you’re not waiting on hold to a 1-800 number to talk with someone who has no idea who you are. When you call us, our first-hand knowledge of your site means we’re able to answer your questions efficiently.

Interested in 5 More Questions to Ask a Web Designer?

Download Our 10 Questions to Ask Your Web Designer Top Ten Questions to Ask Your Web Designer

Sign up to receive “10 Questions to Ask Your Web Designer,” including five additional questions to help with your web design process. Or click over to our Calendly link to schedule your complimentary 30-minute consultation with Hammersmith Support.

Our client highlight this week features the rebuild of the Strunk Insurance Group’s website. Teresa Strunk is a fellow W Source Arcadia / Scottsdale member. She and her husband, Casey, are the owners of Strunk Insurance Group, a full-service employee benefits consulting firm founded by Casey’s father, Greg. They reached out to Hammersmith Support to rebuild and redesign their site from the ground up.

The Website Issues

In order to continue to serve their client base effectively, Strunk Insurance Group had several website issues that they needed help resolving. First, the overall look and feel of their site no longer accurately reflected their organization. Their logo felt out of date and their site copy was no longer fitting.

In addition, a security scare led Strunk Insurance Group to prioritize not only the outward look of their site but also the “behind-the-scenes” maintenance. They needed a more robust foundation in conjunction with regular maintenance to ensure that their site was not only secure but also effectively drawing in and capturing potential leads.

Here’s a peek at the site before:

The Website Solution

Knowing that the content on the website needed to be not only informative but also well organized, they also contracted with Katrina Oko-Odoi of Content Worm (also a W Source Member!). She was able to create fresh copy that more clearly describes their often-complex insurance business and the services they offer. That, combined with a new logo and design, resulted in a fresh and simplified site that effectively communicates who and what the Strunk Insurance Group is.

Behind the scenes, Hammersmith Support built a new, modern theme for the design and developed the site using the built-in WordPress Gutenberg editor, which makes updating the site’s back end easier. Hammersmith Support continues to provide monthly maintenance for the Strunk Insurance Group to ensure that their site remains updated, secure and optimized.

The Final Product

Click to see the new and improved Strunk Insurance Group, and the sneak peek below!

Behind Strunk Insurance Group

Casey Strunk

In addition to highlighting the new website, we’re excited to introduce you to Casey Strunk through our Hammersmith interview. Both Casey and Teresa are very involved in the Phoenix community. Casey is the Board Chair of Phoenix EC70, while Teresa is Chair of the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona. They are both active members of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, working as strong fundraisers for the charity.

Casey, what is your “why” and how did that motivate you to start your business?

“Greg Strunk, my father, started the business almost 40 years ago. We have always been focused on the client and we continue to see today what drove Greg to start the agency in the early 1980s. There is an under-served segment of the business community. Those employers with 25-200 employees do not have a benefit PARTNER that is willing to invest the time and energy they deserve when it comes to their benefits package. We treat our clients like family and they continue to be our ‘why’.”

What is unique about your style and product offering?

“Most employee benefits firms help clients with employee benefits. It turns out it is a lot more complicated than that. We help clients quarterback everything related to their human capital. This includes enrollment technology, compliance, IRS filings, human resources, and retirement plans.

Lastly, what advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

“Surround yourself with a great team. This includes my personal board of directors, peer groups, business coaches, other successful leaders, and your employees! I believe that in order to be successful over the long run, you have to constantly be changing and adapting your business.”

Hammersmith Support Is Here to Help

Are you thinking your site may need some updating? Have you had security issues that you are unsure are resolved? Click over to our Calendly link to schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation and see how Hammersmith Support can help you and your business.

Your business blog posts are great at adding value for your site visitor, and they are essential to your website’s SEO. That SEO is based on several factors including the blog structure, which is why your titles and subheadings are crucial parts of your blog. Not to mention being attention grabbers for your readers. We’ve got the breakdown of how to create and use titles and headers that will draw in your readers and increase your SEO advantage.

Don’t Get Cut Short

Titles

The ideal length for the title of a blog is 60-70 characters. After 70, it’s likely to be cut off in the search engine returned results. While this probably isn’t the end of the world in most cases, if your title reads much differently when a few words are cut off, searchers may be confused and possibly even offended by the part that is displayed!

Subheadings

Subheadings are all the headings within your content (“Don’t Get Cut Short” for example). They are important for a few reasons. First, they allow a reader to quickly scan your post. If they can’t get enough information in a few seconds to make a decision about whether or not they want to read the post, they’ll likely skip it and move on. Second, subheadings should pique a reader’s interest. Keeping a subheading snappy and interesting is key.

Keywords and Numbers and Brackets, Oh My

Titles

Using numbers is a great way to grab attention to your post. Think “3 Ways a Great Title Can Make a Big Difference.” In addition, always making sure that your keywords are part of the title is vital for good SEO – this will also ensure that your title isn’t vague or misleading. Lastly, consider using brackets in order to clarify and add details to the title (such as “Blog Titles Really Are That Important [new statistics]”).

Subheadings

The post subheadings are also a great place to put your keywords for the post. If you’re using a number in your title, be sure that your subheadings are following the same format so readers are not confused.

Formatting Matters

Title

In the Hammersmith Support post “How to Structure Your Blog for the Best SEO,” we talked about how formatting your blog boosts your SEO. For titles, WordPress will automatically make your title an H1 tag. But if you have to do so manually, be sure that only your title has the H1 tag. It will make it easier for readers, as well as search engines, to understand.

Subheadings

This post is a good example of formatting that employs several subheadings. You’ll notice that our main subheadings are formatted as H2, and the additional subheadings are H3. That is not only visually pleasing for readers but also helps search engines more readily crawl and rank the content.

Want More?

Click over to our blog to read more about blogging, website maintenance, and women in tech.

We’re here to help! If you have questions about your website or the design process, we’d love to talk with you. Book a free 30-minute consultation.

This week, Hammersmith Support is showcasing an amazing Girl Scouts Silver Award project spearheaded by two exceptional young women, Hazel and Tillie. The foundation of Hammersmith Support is to foster our community and encourage future women in tech. So we were thrilled to have the opportunity to mentor these two inspiring young ladies in learning how to use WordPress so that they could create a website for tweens that focuses on Internet safety. The site will serve as their submission for the Silver Award with the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.

Girl Scouts Silver Award

In addition to being the highest available award for girls grades 6th – 8th, the Silver Award is a national award with national standards. Each project submission should take roughly 50 hours to complete and should focus on a community issue and should benefit 10+ people. Girl Scouts can work as a team or an individual and can recruit help from a few volunteers. The project must also be sustainable rather than a one-time event.

The Website: T-Bex Connections

Tillie & Hazel

Hazel and Tillie worked to create a website that educates other pre-teens about how to safely navigate being online and also provides ideas about things to do when stuck at home while social distancing. Their activities range from recipes to crafts (including homemade face masks!), and includes fun games to play, too. There is also a place where kids can submit questions for Hazel and Tillie to answer, with a little help from their project volunteers.

Future Growth

One of the requirements for a Silver Award is that the project must be sustainable. Because Tillie and Hazel have learned the skills of how to create a website, they’re also able to help T-Bex Connections change and grow as they do. The topics they tackle can evolve to include topics that are interesting to young women their ages.

These young ladies will submit their project to the Girl Scouts of the USA, Cactus-Pine division, later this year. Hammersmith Support will be sure to report the results of the hard work by these talented young women!

Visit https://tbexconnections.com/ to see their (nearly) final product!

This week, we are continuing to highlight local organizations that are doing great things for our community. Hammersmith Support is a member of Local First Arizona, a network for small businesses in Arizona. Local First Arizona is a nonprofit organization that works to create a community, a voice, and a network for small businesses. They offer resources, promotion, and also advocate for a strong and competitive local economy.

What Is Local First Arizona?

Founded in 2003 by Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona’s goal was to create a community for small businesses. By creating this network for small businesses, owners were able to find resources, connect with other companies, find mentors, create collaborations, and more! The result is a vibrant, unique, local, small business economy that brings excitement and diversity to our state.

Our vision is an Arizona economy that is sustainable, resilient, and celebratory of diverse cultures.

Indie Week

Each year, Local First Arizona celebrates Indie Week where individuals and other small businesses are encouraged to purchase from or support a local business. Because 2020 has been quite a different year, Local First Arizona is hosting Indie Week the entire month of September! This year is even more fun because there is a prize associated with your patronage. Complete 5 calls to action in the card below and enter to win a gift card.

Why We are Involved

One of Hammersmith Support’s foundational beliefs is that we need to foster and give back to our community. We do that in several ways, including choosing a local nonprofit for whom we provide pro bono maintenance services. But we also believe that a rising tide lifts all ships and our support for other small businesses is vital to our community and our economy!

Hammersmith Support is Here to Help

While we work with businesses of all sizes, we understand the unique challenges that many small businesses face. Schedule your free consultation today and let’s talk through how we can help you and your business.

This week we’re excited to showcase a Hammersmith Support client, Rancho Feliz, and the amazing work they are doing in our community and across the Mexican border. Rancho Feliz is a nonprofit organization that provides the much-needed services of basic necessities and education for children and families in Agua Prieta, just a four-hour drive from Phoenix. Their philosophy is unique in that their work is thought to change the lives of volunteers at least as much as it does those of the recipients of the services.

Rancho Feliz has been hit hard by the pandemic. The inability to hold in-person fundraisers has lessened the amount of funding available. At the same time, the pandemic has negatively impacted the border towns they serve. Even through adversity, Rancho Feliz is committed to providing for the less fortunate.

Enlightened Self-Interest

Put simply, enlightened self-interest means improving the quality of your own life by serving those not born into the same circumstances. Rancho Feliz’s volunteers travel to Agua Prieta to assist in building and renovating homes for families in need. The process yields a life-changing event in providing reliable and consistent shelter for a family, as well as a life-changing event for the volunteer to fully experience what some live with on a daily basis, simply because they were born into different circumstances.

We don’t believe in welfare. We believe in the dynamic principle of keeping the integrity of the human spirit foremost – and our maverick approach is unlike any other.

Education

Rancho Feliz formed an educational alliance with two fully accredited, private bi-lingual schools in Agua Prieta: Colegio Americano Anais for kindergarten, elementary, and junior high and Colegio Benemerito de Las Americas for high school. Rancho Feliz also provides opportunities to sponsor University students. The schools rely on donations and the funds are meticulously monitored in order to maximize their impact.

Reciprocal Giving

We love this infographic that Rancho Feliz uses to visually explain how their programs work.

Want to Help?

Website: https://ranchofeliz.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RanchoFelizCharitableFoundation

Contact:
7109 E. 2nd Street, #100
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

(602) 538-9192

Hammersmith Support Can Help Your Business or Nonprofit

We helped develop the current Rancho Feliz website and we still maintain it several years later! Thinking it might be time for a website upgrade for your business or organization? Schedule a free consultation to get your questions answered and let us tell you how we can support you.

Hammersmith Support is excited to introduce you to our friend, Rachelle Fender of the Unstoppable Foundation. The Unstoppable Foundation is a non-profit humanitarian organization that brings sustainable education to children and communities in developing countries in order to create a safer and more just world for all.

Tell Us a Little About You. Talk to Us About Your “Why” and How That Motivated You to Become Involved with the Unstoppable Foundation.

I decided to become involved with the Unstoppable Foundation after experiencing the 2008 financial meltdown. It was one of those moments in life, where I was experiencing a lot of loss. Amid the freefall of groundlessness, I finally connected to what I wanted to do professionally. It was more than just a paycheck; it was a life choice that had more meaning, purpose, and creates a lasting difference in empowering others.

 


What Is Unique About Your Style and Organization? 

“Our philanthropy model is unique because we provide a holistic and sustainable model that empowers people in developing countries through education. We help communities go from barely surviving to thriving, so they can become self-reliant, live into their full potential, and never need charity again.”

What Advice Do You Have for Others Professionals?

We all have the opportunity to be an unstoppable force for good in the world. Employees, vendors, customers, and clients can be inspired and invigorated by a business that uses their voice, platform, products, and services to make a difference. For example, you can give back a percentage to a non-profit partner on every sale. You can provide a buy one, give one to someone in need. You can offer a matching grant for every customer that gives to a cause you endorse. You double it.

The fastest way to grow your business and brand in today’s climate is to become a more inspirational, purposeful, and intentional business. You can do this by partnering with a reputable non-profit organization that aligns with your giving goals. By partnering with a trusted non-profit, you can begin to edify your brand from a new angle. Inspire your employees, customers, and clients by inviting them to join you in making a difference. Most importantly, you will make a lasting impact in the world that is a positive and lasting contribution. You can co-create some good news in the world.

Get in Touch with the Unstoppable Foundation

Interested in learning more or getting involved? Click on the links below!

Website: https://unstoppablefoundation.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UnstoppableFoundation

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/unstoppable-foundation/

Want More Interviews with Inspirational Women?

Visit our blog page to read more interviews, industry insights, and more!

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!