Over the summer we have had the pleasure of working with a great local charity, Dementia Carers Support. They provide support to those that care for people with dementia. The charity is based at the John D Club in New Haw Community Centre, supporting carers throughout Runnymede and the surrounding Surrey area.
The charity had two clear objectives when we sat down to discuss their needs, firstly to simplify their website structure and messaging, and secondly to improve online visibility for people who would benefit from their services and activities, when they try to find out information. This would be achieved through improved SEO.
Web design and development
Dementia Carers Support had originally had their website created a few years ago, but following discussion with members and users they decided that the customer journey needed to be smoother and the key messaging simplified.
The original design system was maintained, but we removed most of the animation and simplified the website structure. Given the target audience we also ensured that all content was accessible and easy to view.
Local SEO & Google My Business
The first step was to ensure that the website was optimised for search engines, so we renamed pages, headings, images, and titles and then created a sitemap to ensure that search engines understood what the website was all about.
The next step, and this is relevant for all organisations anThe next step, and this is relevant for all organisations, both commercial and not for profit, is to create a ‘Google My Business’ account. The account set up is free and helps Google know who you are, what you do and where you are located.
By building a profile it helps Google to position your company in search results which are relevant to your products and services and also importantly for searches made in your area.
If someone in Manchester is looking for a plumber, unless they specify the location, they probably want plumber close to where they are in Manchester, and not plumbers in New York or Amsterdam. Using geolocation data Google can see where you are and customise the search results most appropriate to you.
Another benefit of having a GMB profile is that you can showcase your business, providing opening times, product images and service descriptions, as well as collect customer reviews. GMB is a free powerful marketing tool that every organisation should have.
The final step was to set up Google Search Console, which is a free service offered by Google that helps you understand and improve how Google sees your site. Search Console offers various tools to help you monitor, review and troubleshoot your websites presence in Google search results.
SEO is not a magic wand and in the case of Dementia Carers Support it will take some time to fully meet our objectives, so it will continue to be a work in progress. Good SEO acts as a virtuous circle, in that the greater visibility and relevance that search engines think that you have, the greater thevisibility and relevance you will get in search results!
Should anyone wish to donate to this charity, they have an ‘enthuse’ charity page set up on the following link.