HomeSpot HQ is a web-base application that empowers homeowners to manage everything to do with their house. They provide tools to manage maintenance, projects, notes (e.g. paint colors), and an inventory for insurance claims.
The site also includes a blog for bringing together DIY homeowners looking to learn more. The blog is more diverse from the web application as it shares articles on maintenance, decor, projects, cleaning, organization, and more.
The old layout for the blog was too busy. The number of advertisements and calls to action on the sidebar detracted from the user experience. The design needed a clear focus with a clear call to action.
The blog was being updated too infrequently with a lack of intent for each post. To maximize the effort being put into to each post, there needed to be a clear roadmap for content.
The new design features a clean full-width layout that is fully responsive. To help focus conversions, there are three different versions of the call to action to join HomeSpot HQ; in the top menu, after entry section, and footer area.
As a secondary call to action, visitors are prompted with a pop-up to join the newsletter list. Pop-ups are a bit invasive but have proven to be extremely effective when used correctly. The pop-up is only shown after the visitor has remained on the website for a specific period of time. Also, the pop-up is only shown to a visitor only once during a period time (e.g. 90 days). Using this setup, the newsletter subscriber list skyrocketed.
To keep users engaged, we utilized a content pagination, comment subscriptions, and social sharing functionality. Content pagination is a common technique to lower bounce rate and draw visitors into an article. The problem is most websites reload . We utilized a slightly different technique that loads the pages dynamically so only the content section changes. It's the best of both worlds!
The blog layout, colors, and feel was designed to mimic the branding of the main HomeSpot HQ website.
Search Engine Optimization
The key to search engine optimization is the path of least resistance. Find the set of keywords with the lowest competition and good traffic. Brainstorming in a strategic manner is the key at this phase is key. Ideas can always be consolidated.
Once the list of keywords is done, the long-term phase of creating the content begins. It takes time so it is important to carefully optimize each article for the focus keywords. We installed software that empowers each author to just that. It gives straightforward feedback on how to tweak the content until it is ready.
The last step is to solidify the focus keywords with internal linking. Adding links from one article for specific sets anchor text sends a very clear signal to search engines.
The keyword map provided a perfect roadmap for the content strategy. The articles ideas were ready for every category, but it still helped to organize. A content calendar is critical for planning.
Then is off to creating the articles, but that takes a lot of time. It was important that every author was fully trained to make the most of their efforts and be able to moderate content for outside contributors.
A number of DIY bloggers were brought in to bolster efforts. The streamlined process and SEO tools helped empower even novice bloggers. The additional personal helped leverage all the planning efforts to help maximize content, search traffic, and material for social media marketing.