ALS Construction homepage

ALS Construction (Service Industries)

About the project:

THE NEED

ALS Construction, a custom home builder and family business in the Hilton Head Island, SC area, had secured Hazel Digital Media to redesign their outdated website. Jason Hazel of HDM connected me with Brent Swofford, ALS’s marketing manager. The new site needed cleaner copy that utilized SEO best practices. And both Jason and I strongly recommended a blog to help drive organic traffic.

THE APPROACH

Website

After an audit of the copy transferred over from the old site, I identified and implemented four objectives to improve discoverability and readability on the About and Services (renamed Why ALS?) pages.

  1. Reorganize large blocks of text under headers.
  2. Incorporate target keywords in headers and body text.
  3. Move location keywords (e.g. Hilton Head Island) closer to the top of the page.
  4. Make the text more concise and convert the body text into bulleted lists where appropriate.

Blog

After interviewing Brent, I developed four articles that established the four categories we would focus on over the next six months: cost, process, lifestyle, and the environment. In partnership with HDM, we launched with four articles published weekly, with new content published twice monthly thereafter.

Each article was keyword-researched, content-researched, contained at least one image (stock photography) and was organized under headers according to SEO best practices. We incorporated a CTA (call-to-action) button at the end of each post that links to the site’s contact form.

THE RESULTS

From the April 1, 2019 baseline to September 30, 2019, the ALS Construction website saw net user growth of 80%. As HDM ran a paid Google CPC (cost-per-click) ad campaign concurrently with our blogging strategy, organic search accounted for 21% of users.

This is a classic case of marrying both quantity and quality; though PPC brought in far more users, both the average session duration time and contact form visit rate for organic users was far higher.

Contact Form Visits: Paid vs. Organic

  • Google (CPC): 2.53%
  • Google (organic): 27.48%
  • Bing: 30.16%
  • Yahoo: 11.11%

Overall, 67% of contact form visits came from organic search and about 21% came from the CPC campaign. Rather than revealing that one strategy is superior to the other, I interpret these data to mean utilizing both – if your budget supports it – is best for creating as many sales opportunities as possible. Promoting content (blog posts) via a strong social media presence is also recommended.

Link to site:

Avondale United Methodist Church (Not-for-Profit)

About the project:

THE NEED

Josh Arthur, the new pastor of Avondale United Methodist Church in Muncie, Indiana, understood the church needed a regular social media presence. The small congregation had launched a number of programs from children’s ministry to small group study and a weekly community meal. He hired me to create a content strategy that would increase visibility to aid in developing community support.

THE APPROACH

Website

The church did not have a website, and it had no budget to create one. My first step was to put together a starter Wix site (http://avondalemuncie.wixsite.com/website) to be assigned the church’s own domain at a later date. This met the basic requirement of the site: a place to publish content.

Blog

The core of the content strategy was Josh’s Sunday morning messages, which contained the church’s ethos and biblical basis for its programming. Every Monday morning, I would write and publish a sermon recap. Sometimes I would use stock photography, other times I would use my own photos of Josh or whoever was speaking at the pulpit that Sunday. I would then promote that content on Facebook.

Social

The rest of the week, I promoted church programming via posts and as Facebook events. I would also draw relevant content from local media and resources provided by the United Methodist Church (umc.org) to maintain a routine of daily posting Monday through Friday.

THE RESULTS

Because of our efforts, we were able to increase average monthly impressions for the Avondale UMC Facebook page by 107% over 6 months (from November 2018 to April 2019). Anecdotally, the church received several compliments on its Facebook activity, and Facebook became a common way for people to interact with the church via direct message.

When my contract was up, I prepped a small team of volunteers to divide, continue and expand the work of keeping Avondale UMC and its vital programs visible to the local community.

Link to site:

Antioch College (Not-for-Profit)

About the project:

A TOP-TO-BOTTOM REDESIGN

Antioch College needed a complete redesign of their website. Caylor Solutions had conducted a discovery session with the client to discuss the school’s existing brand and how they wanted it to evolve. They had an experienced team in place that could lay out, design and organize the new site. The only piece they were missing was an experienced content writer.

A MISSING PIECE

Owner Bart Caylor and his team engaged me at the right time – before any design work had been done. They understood that powerful words must drive design. I studied the existing site, notes from discovery sessions Bart had facilitated with key faculty and marketing staff, and watched a recorded video of one of those sessions. From those materials, I worked with the Caylor team to develop a branding guide.

A POWERFUL MESSAGE

Once Antioch approved the guide, I got to work writing and organizing copy for the primary pages – Home, Admission, Academics, Campus Life, and some secondary page material. The effect was a branding message that drove home the themes of self-empowerment, collaborative learning, real-world experience and making a positive impact on the world.

A HELPING HAND

The idea was to provide compelling copy for the highest-traffic areas of the site that would link to pages for which staff and faculty would write their own content. To help ensure the success of client-produced content, Caylor Solutions engaged me to record a custom webinar for Antioch on best practices for writing for the Web.

Link to site:

Why We Love (and Why You Should Care) About Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year: Ultra Violet (Marketing & Advertising)

Photo by Anderson Creative.

About the project:

Anderson Creative is a boutique agency based in the Indianapolis area. In early 2018, they enlisted me to help them launch a series of articles to capture who they are.

The first was about the founder and president, Arin Anderson. An artist at heart, Arin wanted the focus of our fascinating interview to be on the power of color. We explored how ultra violet was a reflection of the cultural moment and how brands utilize color to communicate values.

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE.

How to Prevent Degenerative Diseases (Health)

About the project:

The Logan Institute for Health & Wellness wanted to announce their new physician to the practice. I interviewed Dr. Marwan Mustaklem to discover why patients should be as excited to work with him as his colleagues.

In capturing not only his passion for anti-aging research, but the results he has seen in patients, I created a compelling online companion piece to the waiting room announcement flier created by Anderson Creative.

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE.

Blood, Mouse Poop, Sewage – 3 Things You Should NOT Find in a Grocery Store (Service Industries)

About the project:

This article is one of a limited series of blog posts I produced for Dalton & Co. Professional Cleaning Supply. This headline has some obvious shock value (blood! mouse poop!) that I didn’t choose lightly. Because Dalton & Co. serves both the general public in its retail store and commercial cleaning companies, we had two audiences.

The goal was to reach the general audience with a little shock value while communicating Dalton’s experience providing supplies to clean a specific type of facility. The primary audience, then, was commercial cleaning professionals with grocery stores and other facilities that must maintain health code standards on their client lists.

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE

8 Beautiful, Easy Fall Plants that Will Come Back Next Year (Service Industries)

About the project:

This article is one in an ongoing content marketing program for Clean Cut Lawn & Landscape. I produce two blog posts per month based on a focus keyword I select after researching options with Google AdWords. The focus keyword here, used in the headline, the body, the description for social media promotion and metadata for Google search was “fall plants.” This was used primarily to attract search engines.

The appeal for humans once they came across the article was the brevity (only “8” plants listed), the modifier (“easy”), and the promise (“that will come back next year”). All articles contain a call to action to subscribe to Clean Cut’s email list, through which the company can conduct relational, no-pressure sales.

This was one of Clean Cut’s highest performing posts to date within a 90-day period encompassing August, September and most of October.

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE

Ross Center Judo

Ross Community Center Newsletter May 2018 (Not-for-Profit)

About the project:

The executive director of Ross Community Center, Jackie Hanoman, needed an economical way to both inform the low-income neighborhood where the center is located about what Ross has to offer as well as keep in touch with donors. The solution was a monthly newsletter.

For this ongoing project, I serve as both managing editor and feature story writer. The feature story this month was about not just what the free Judo program is, but the peace of mind it brings to one mother. She knows her daughter has the tools now to keep herself safe.

LINK TO PDF: Ross Community Center Newsletter May 2018

Living on the Edge Ministry Update (Not-for-Profit)

About the project:

Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram hired me to write a series of stories about individuals who have utilized their ministry resources. For the April ministry update, I interviewed a widow who fondly remembers listening to the Living on the Edge podcast with her late husband as they fell asleep at night.

The goal for stories like this is to connect the storyteller with that reader who has had a similar experience or shares similar values. The client is presented as the glue that brings them together. The voice of the storyteller sharing the brand’s impact, rather than the voice of the brand itself, is what compels the reader to want to learn more.

Follow this link to read “Finding Jesus on the Radio”.

Facing Teaching (Not-for-Profit)

About the project:

The Facing Project tackled education in Delaware County, Indiana during the 2017/2018 academic year. The project organizers needed writers to interview educators and write their stories in the storyteller’s voice. I had the privilege of bringing the plight of underpaid, overworked teachers to light through the story of my close friend, Pat McCrory in “It’s Hard to Teach When You Can’t Pay Your Bills”.

LINK TO PDF: Facing Teaching