The year 2022 was a very busy one at Top Of The List. So many things have happened both at Top Of The List itself, and among our clients. Here’s a summary of some of them:
Guiding Light Becomes a Client
A special new client this year is Guiding Light. They are the parent company of The Job Post, an existing client. Having seen how Top Of The List has significantly increased its online visibility and continues to work as part of The Job Post’s team, Guiding Light decided they wanted that too. Guiding Light is special to us because together, the two organizations help the community in unique and important ways.
Guiding Light’s main focus is its addiction rehab and recovery program. Since many of those entering this program are either homeless or in danger of becoming homeless, offering this service at no charge to the client is a practical way to help the community. When participants in the program go through a transformation to a new way of life (their success rate is one of the highest in the area), they become productive members of the community and want to give back.
The Job Post is a public staffing agency that services Guiding Light clients as well as the general public, mostly in the Grand Rapids area. They offer numerous entry-level jobs, only work with companies that offer a living wage, and seek felon-friendly jobs for former felons who really want to get back to work. While they charge companies to use their services, there is no cost to job seekers. In addition, all profits they receive go back to Guiding Light! We’re excited to be working with both organizations and are all in on their goals.
Top Of The List offers New a la Carte Services
There are some services that we offer only to clients, but others that anyone can purchase. Here are two services that we now offer a la carte.
WordPress Website Hosting
We have offered WordPress hosting to our own clients for some time now. After a tedious review of vendors, servers, and clouds, we’ve settled on the right hosting platform and feel confident in offering hosting services more widely. You’ll not have to worry about site outages or slow responses when things go wrong. We’ll keep your site as safe and secure as possible, and be there for your needs 24×7.
WordPress Site Speed Improvement
As Google and other search engines make continuous updates to their algorithms, it can be difficult to keep up with them all. One of the most difficult to comply with is related to page speed on websites. And a very popular platform, WordPress, has not been able to keep up with it. Not only that, but many WordPress plugins can slow sites down even more.
After lots of experimentation at Top Of The List, we have been able to help our clients reduce their mobile page speed time from numbers as low as 10 to 98% in some cases. In addition, Google core web vitals are almost always in the good category. Along with these changes, we have noticed much higher mobile rankings on those same sites. If your WordPress website is slow (according to Google standards), we can help!
Website Development Projects
Since offering website development more widely, Top Of The List has attracted the need for these services both from our own clients and from new clients.
Internally, Ryder Ecommerce by Whiplash has been a major player in requiring redesign work, especially since Ryder acquired Whiplash. Imagine the design changes involved in making one website look very similar to another one when they are quite different initially. They’ve been pleased with the speed and technical aspects of the updates as we continue to work through this project.
In addition to internal web development, we are currently working on a complete redesign for Harrison Electric. The site had been compromised when they approached us and they thought they lost everything. We were able to get a skeleton sight up for them but are now working on a newly designed site which should launch early this year.
West Michigan Dog Sports, Inc. is a brand new website that is in the works. This is a new, non-profit organization in the Grand Rapids MI area. Their goal is to create a climate-controlled facility for dog training and competition. We’re all in on this goal as it is sorely needed in the area.
As design and development projects grow and become more complex, Top Of The List team member Mandie Allietta has been continuing her education in this area as part of her employee benefits package. We’re happy she is taking advantage of this opportunity and continue to see her skills grow more and more!
Exciting Client Happenings
Last but not least, there have been some exciting things going on among our clients.
InnerSpace Healthcare – News blog to Promote High-Tech Products
InnerSpace specializes in stationary and mobile medical storage solutions for healthcare facilities, from cath labs and radiology to central supply and pharmacy. Their products include a wide array of modular medical carts and cabinets with interchangeable components that can be reconfigured as storage needs and supplies change. The exciting thing about InnerSpace is its continued R&D all the way through the sale of its high-tech products.
One such product is the system security and automation feature for Ventaire™ endoscope drying cabinets. This feature completely automates the formerly manual, expensive, and mistake-laden task of endoscope drying into a streamlined, easy, and safe option. Using Smart Solutions, three simple barcode scans initiate the scope drying process without error. The Ventaire system puts all scope-related data in one centralized location, allowing administrators to remotely sync data among cabinets, assign access to cabinets, and track endoscopes from a single computer. Data is captured quickly and accurately, so it can be managed and reviewed by staff as well as auditors.
Another product offered by InnerSpace this year is a high-tech locking system for medications and other supplies. Simple keys can get lost, the right people might not have needed access, and entry into cabinets is not traceable. The high-tech locks by InnerSpace offer options that:
- Require a PIN or a badge swipe, or both, to gain access to the cart or cabinet
- Provide traceability of users and the time each user spends in the cart
- Provide the ability to set up automatic relocks after a set period of inactivity
This resolves numerous issues with everything from regulation compliance to tracking inventory to added security in rooms where patients are present.
In addition to applying digital marketing strategies of SEO, PPC, and Social Media, Top Of The List has been instrumental in finding the right blog writer to gain visibility for InnerSpace’s newest products. We continue to coordinate that program today. There is no doubt that more high-tech products from InnerSpace are on the horizon. We’re proud to play a major role in their digital marketing team.
E&M Design Solutions (EMDS) – Attracting the Right Clients
EMDS provides both training and on-demand, contracted resources for Engineering, Quality Compliance, and Technical Support primarily for the construction and manufacturing industries. They are a busy, growing company. We’re a good fit for each other since, as Top Of The List increases EMDS’s online visibility, the company grows larger. They like the “fast but not too fast” level of growth and request more services from us. Thus the cycle repeats.
This year, EMDS gained one new client through online visibility whose revenue was the equivalent of a year’s worth of digital marketing ROI. Their new client needed many areas of expertise that they offer, from on-site consulting to virtual training courses. They even added new staff to keep pace with demand. Attracting the right clients, not necessarily thousands of them, is their goal.
As a result, EMDS started up a blogging package to provide more detailed information related to their industry and subtly attract students for their technical, business leadership, and compliance training courses. Using their slow but sure approach, the strategy is working well. We’re pleased to be a part of EMDS’ growth and excited for them in this new year!
Signature Streetscapes – Successful Website Mergers
The final client we’re highlighting this year is Signature Streetscapes. They are a growing manufacturer in Muskegon Michigan that produces decorative street lamps and posts, signs, address plaques, and more. They are known for making (or sometimes reselling) high-quality U.S.-made products at a lower cost than comparable competitors.
This year, Signature Streetscapes did a very brave thing. They combined two websites into one mostly-new site. One site was a “catalog” site, which described the products in detail. It was the oldest of the two sites and had excellent SEO rankings … ones that Top Of The List helped build over many years.
Their second site was an online shopping site. This was only a few years old and on a platform that was not as conducive to the best techniques for SEO. It also was not functioning well for their needs, resulting in numerous errors in customer charges that were costing them too much money. So they decided to combine them into one website.
While Top Of The List did not design and develop the new website, we facilitated the change on the SEO end, ensuring search engines received the right signals to understand the changes and keep their high rankings. Because of the size of the shopping site, this was no small project. But it was very successful and we are now working hard using several digital marketing strategies in order to help Signature Streetscapes grow even more and meet their projected sales goals.
If your city, town, neighborhood, or even your own house is in need of their products, check them out. You’ll be keeping the jobs and revenue right here in Michigan, and getting high-quality products at reasonable prices.
What’s Ahead for 2023
While we have no crystal ball here, the projections are for increases in services for our own clients, as well as taking on new ones. We’re currently hiring, so check us out if you’re looking for a growing digital marketing agency where you can apply your skills and talents!
About the Author
Bev founded Top Of The List in 2006 and has over 25 years of experience working with technology. In her free time, she competes in dog agility competitions with her Golden Retrievers, Cosmo, and Finn.
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