At the end of August 2019, I received a Facebook Messenger from Ginger Spaulding Stalheber, her and her husband Tom used to be clients of The X Concept in 2004/2005 for their business called Residential Resource is Bethesda, MD. Fast forward 14 years, Ginger tells me that they are looking to redo their current website – OBX Cottage Renovations.
OBX Cottage Renovations is located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. In Kitty Hawk exactly, yes the town that was made famous by the Wright Brothers. This is where they did their first controlled flight in 1903. OBX stands for Outer Banks.
They had a wordpress website that was built by a local provider, but were looking to achieve more. The first step was to do a complete audit and action plan on their website, which is a standard occurence whenever a leads comes to us. We run their website through a few graders, and give them a full report of how their website is performing, and how it is seen by different algorithms. Here are their original results from one of our graders.
You can see that the results are not that good, from the SEO side of things, as well as the lack of SSL Certificate to maximize security. That was the analytical side of things. We then ran them on GT Metrix to look on how the processes were optimized.
On this screenshot you can see a glimpse of the previous interface as well. This is what Tom Stalheber was really after. He wanted a website that is bright, and showcases his work to his clients appropriately. Having a modern looking interface is really important when it comes to branding. We also looked at the general branding.
He had a logo designed a few years back by the same person that did his website. He liked the color combination and the general symbol, but wanted to modernize the appearance and the image of his branding. Contemporary, and high end. We then took part of the original symbol designed but the graphic artist and matched it up with a type font that was more legible, and matching the corporate identity of the organization.
We retained the color combination and used it throughout the website and the identity, on printed items such as business cards and yard signs.
Website Interface for OBX Cottage Renovations
When people are shopping around for someone to renovate their home, they are looking for proof of concepts. Meaning they need to see what the contractor has done, and in details. This is why we used large photos and a layout that is clear. Defining the span of the services they provide and showcase examples of what has been done in the past. The projects that were completed by OBX Cottage Renovations is magazine ready, as the long list of awards they have received in the past shows. So, showcasing their portfolio as well as their current projects was key.
We retained the WordPress CMS that was already present on their current website, this way we kept the links the same and managed to keep their SEO on a positive slope. We updated the core files, consolidated their plugins and added our special selection of plugins to maximize SEO and security.
SEO Optimization of the website
The Keywords people are using throughout Search Engines also need to be found in the keywords and the copy written on all the pages. That way it is easier for potential visitors to find their website on their favorite search engine. This is key from the page titles, meta descriptions, headings and have everything in the sitemap. I am sure you remember the screenshot above. The SEO section on their website was lacking SEO points. Let’s look at what we achieved.
You can see a 25 points improvement on the grader score from a 69, which ranks as OK, to a 94 which ranks as great. SEO has been fully maximized. We installed a SSL Certificate, and developed a more visual interface.
Now let’s look at the GTMetrix results, you can see a 20% increase on the PageSpeed score. The website is heavier (more images), has more requests (more features), then loads a little slower, because of the combination of the two reasons listed. Meaning that we have something that is more visual, and has more requests and features, but scores better. This Pagespeed score comes directly from google. This is how they measure the accuracy of a website. The Yslow score on the other hand, comes from yahoo, and only saw a 3% increase. In the actual conjuncture with digital marketing, would you rather concentrate Google or Yahoo? We do too.
We also installed a contact form and a newsletter subscription form that are both supported by Google Recaptcha V3. This Anti Spam protector is one of the most efficient one on the market at the moment (sometimes even a little too efficient…).
You can check out their full website here.