LKM Parts Manufacturing Limited
LKM Parts Manufacturing Limited
LKM Parts Inc wanted to rank higher in Google using natural content optimization before delving into paid advertising. I first led a business analysis to identify areas of improvement on their website and outlined a plan to optimize their site based on the real underlying goal: to guide users from select keywords through to the LKM Parts contact form.
While my client had already identified some high-level keywords to target, I knew that additional research would be necessary before much of the optimization could take place. In order to keep myself organized and my client informed, I developed a very basic critical path outline:
To foster a positive dynamic, I needed to set expectations for communication. I made clear my availability for phone calls and meetings, but most importantly, set the example for regular communication by providing project updates on alternating Mondays. Since the weekend was the best opportunity to make strides on our project, I prepared reports that would be waiting in the client’s inbox on Monday morning. As a result, I received client responses well before my next block of time the following weekend.
Thanks to my client’s responsiveness and our established plan, this project was completed ahead of schedule.
Ontario Trial Lawyers Association: Blog and Weekly Newsletter
These two digital publications are key workhorses for external and internal communications in day-to-day work with OTLA. The staff lead for both initiatives divides time between content coordination, layout design, analytical reporting, and list management.
In their infancy, both projects suffered from the same malady: inconsistency. Content for these online publications is predominantly sourced from association volunteers, but also includes material from association staff and sponsors. I was fortunate to inherit these projects after they had made some progress and had a few keen contributors, but offerings were still hit-and-miss; they lacked a robust value offering, regular implementation, and a fail-proof content strategy to back them up.
The blog platform was developed to connect with public audiences on topics relevant to the association, primarily: insurance, personal injury, safety, and access to justice.
The weekly newsletter was developed to connect members with ongoing initiatives, market upcoming events, and provide added value in the form of case summaries.
I set about identifying strategies for improving the value and regularity of the blog and weekly newsletter. It was my intention to:
- publish fresh content on each platform according to schedule,
- increase key engagement metrics:
- open and clickthrough rates for the newsletter
- clickthrough rates and subscriptions for the blog
- achieve goals without additional overhead cost
Sorting out the submission schedule was my first priority. I recognized that contributors’ competing priorities made timely submissions difficult. Additionally, members were reluctant to volunteer their time to a fledgling initiative when there were other uses of time that were more apparently profitable; I wasn’t going to easily win over prospective contributors that did not already appreciate the value of online communications.
Relying on a single contributor each week set me up for failure should any commitment fall through. It was essential to double the number of contributions each week, so that if one contributor was unable to submit, another would be in place. There were two ways to achieve this: add more contributors, and ask contributors to submit content more frequently. Ultimately, the successful strategy balanced both.
I scoured industry sites like lawblogs.ca, monitored Twitter for active accounts, and browsed members’ websites to recruit skilled writers. I approached these writers, framing their contribution as a way to build a profile with the public and with other members. I also enlisted colleagues within our member engagement staff team – the most frequent contact points of the association – to encourage members to consider contributing to either publication. Finally, I made it easy to contribute by creating a (strategically placed) content request/submission form that would passively collect material and contributors.
In discussion with contributors, I adjusted the rotation schedule so that contributors provided content in a slightly more accelerated manner. With established onboarding guides for contributors and seeking consensus through discussion, the change to the rotation (and fail-proof results) was met with enthusiasm.
I simultaneously updated the functional aspects of each platform to improve the user experience and optimize the acquisition process. The blog theme was updated to reflect a new brand identity, and layout changes provided more flexibility to follow best practices for web design. The newsletter layout was updated to reflect the new brand identity, be more flexible on varying screen sizes, and to highlight key content without detracting from the primary value driving the publication.
A|B testing was used to evaluate the success of these design changes before full implementation. One such test determined whether
- to continue the practice of including case summaries in full in each newsletter, or
- to publish summaries separately on the blog platform and use an excerpt in the newsletter to link to the content
I predicted that moving summaries to the blog platform would not only improve awareness of the fledgling channel, but would free up valuable newsletter real estate for other content that provided greater returns to the organization – things like event marketing and member bulletins. The combined effect of this functional change and updates to the content hierarchy resulted in improvements to key engagement metrics.
Emerge Conference – Web Executive
Status reporting, team leadership and liaison
Each year, the graduating cohort of the Media Studies program at the University of Guelph-Humber organizes the annual Emerge Conference (as well as an Emerge Magazine and photography exhibition, in which I had limited involvement). After successfully applying to serve as Web Executive, I was responsible for the team of six that would design and build the event website. In consultation with my team, we delegated roles for each member based on their skills and interests. Since the bulk of my contribution would be in acting as project manager and liaison with other conference executives, I offered to take on the less popular aspects of site creation – namely organizing and optimizing content – while other team members focused on design, development, user testing, and other essential roles.
As team lead, it was my responsibility to provide updates in the form of presentations before the entire cohort. I took on this task with the knowledge that only a limited number of the gathered cohort had a vested interest in what I had to say, and even fewer would need to take any action based on my presentation. As a result, I tailored my presentation to provide an expedient overview punctuated with humour and relevance, saving the finer detail and calls to action for private meetings with the executive team.
Ultimately, our website was recognized by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association in their 32nd Gold Circle Awards program with the award for Digital Media Advertisement.
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