Virtual Assistant case study: the sustainable architects

Green TweetingVirtual Assistant case study number three. This project saw me provide an Architect couple with information on how to blog, write SEO web copy and use social media. As with the case study of the Baking Teacher, this was also a wide-reaching task because the components all interlinked with each other. 

 The client

The clients were Hove-based husband and wife Architects specialising in sustainable, eco and energy-efficient design. They had a blog on their website but they weren’t getting many visitors as the blog had no SEO and were not using (therefore linking to) any social media platforms.

Their problem

They had been writing a blog but weren’t really sure who they were writing for. The formatting was inconsistent because they had been pasting straight from Word instead of using the text editor, they didn’t have a clear direction, and their blog wasn’t being found through Google as they didn’t have any SEO or social proof.

At our initial consultation it was decided it would be better for me to train them both on blog Search Engine Optimisation and Twitter rather than do this for them, as they were quite tech-savvy and liked the idea of knowing how to do this for themselves.

How I solved their problem

1) I sorted their SEO and helped them structure a blog post – first I installed the Yeost all in one SEO plugin on their WordPress blog and showed them how to SEO (search engine optimise) their blog posts. This included how to add and optimise internal and external links, videos and images, as well as how to write the permalink, SEO title and meta description.

I then talked them through writing and structuring a blog post. We discussed who the blog was aimed at and and what that person would want to know (therefore search for), H1 and H2 headings, the placement and description of images and links, having a clear structure to each post, formatting, headlines and the use of effective and searchable key words.

2) I set up some dashboard analytics – I adding the Clicky analytics plugin to their blog, which is a nice little widget that I personally think is much easier to use than Google Analytics. You can see who’s visiting your site, what they’re looking at and how they found you. You get a stat summary on your WordPress site, but can get a full run-down by going to the Clicky website.

3) I introduced them to Feedly RSS Reader– we decided that Twitter would be the best platform for their business as it was quick and easy to use, they could share architectural and design images and they could tweet and share photos from their phones whilst on site.

Being able to automate a few static posts is essential to managing your Twitter time productively and Feedly is a great way to accumulate useful Twitter fodder. You can then just pop on to Twitter when you’re free whilst knowing that handy info is going out while you’re busy working. So I signed them up and showed them how to add and manage their sources.

It would be lovely to be on Twitter all day, but you’d never actually get any work done!

4) I introduced them to BufferBuffer is a free online app that lets you schedule tweets for the next two days – again saving you more time. So I signed them up, added the extension to their toolbar so they could add a tweet to their Buffer queue from any website. I also showed them where they could see their analytics, as seeing what tweets people click on, favourite, and share is a great way to decide what blog posts to write.

5) I trained them on Twitter – in the afternoon I taught the couple how Twitter works. We added a profile image and wrote their bio using key words for their industry and niche then uploaded an image that reflected the design of their website.

I then showed them how to tweet, retweet, use the search facility and manage followers. We covered hashtags, lists, what to tweet, to whom, for what reason and when. We then discussed how they could best manage their time in order to keep it up to date, and standard Social Media etiquette. They also downloaded Twitter apps to their iPhones so they could tweet on the go.

6) We added social share to their blog – now their Twitter profile was up and running, I asked their web developer to add social media share and follow buttons that were sympathetic to the design of their website. I could have just added them with a social media plugin but thought the icons would look out of place with their existing website design.

7) I followed up – after the session I sent them summaries of all the training, a checklist of how to structure and SEO a blog post, and how to stream from Feedly to Buffer to Twitter.

How what I did helped my clients and made them money

Although what I helped them with didn’t immediately make them money, I did fulfil the brief of what they asked me to do. They now had a blog that read better, would receive more organic traffic and they gained a working understanding of how they could use Twitter to spread the word about what they do. The only downside is that they took in so much information that I think I broke their brains that day!

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