Brookhouse Home

Website Redesign & Search Engine Optimization

The Challenge

The Brookhouse Home has been providing quality supports to senior women since 1861. Yet despite its status as one of famed Salem architect Samuel McIntire’s crowning achievements, the home was still largely unknown to area residents. The challenge was simple: put the Brookhouse Home on the map.

Brookhouse Home old homepage screenshot
The home was built in the 19th century …

The Brookhouse Home for Women has been a fixture on Salem’s historic Derby Wharf for over 150 years. The house and its beautifully manicured gardens have long been a point of interest for locals and tourists alike out for a walk along Salem’s waterfront. Additionally, the house is often cited as an example of 19th century Salem architect Samuel McIntire’s finest work. Yet, when the house was mentioned in casual conversation the responses ranged from “yes, I’ve heard of it, but I don’t know what they do there”, or “never heard of the Brookhouse”, or “is that the beautiful red brick house on Derby Street?” So, when a new Administrator was hired, her first order of business was to make sure the Brookhouse Home came out of the shadows. That’s when she called us.

New homepage screenshto
… the website needed to be brought into the 21st

In our initial meeting we learned that the Brookhouse website hadn’t been updated in years. So, it wasn’t surprising that the first item on the Administrator’s list was a complete website overhaul. We reviewed the existing content and threw out anything that was old and no longer relevant and replaced it with fresh content. We recognized that a significant part of the house’s charm is its unique place in Salem’s rich history. To showcase the beauty of the house and landscaped gardens we arranged to have high quality photographs taken. We then placed a photo of the house’s beautiful nineteenth century parlor on the homepage creating a feeling of warmth. After updating the content, redesigning the main navigation, adding beautiful photos to the gallery and ensuring the site rendered properly on mobile devices, step one was complete.

Improved Mobile Experience

Optimizing a website for mobile display used to be a user convenience. Not anymore. It’s a requirement. Not only will Google penalize a website that isn’t optimized for display on mobile devices, users will abandon a site that doesn’t render well on their phones or tablets. That’s why we tested the new Brookhouse website on multiple mobile devices before launching. How important is it? Look at the numbers*.

Mobile optimization screenshots - three views
Analytics screenshot

* The data in the green box shows mobile usage for the period from September 1, 2018 to October 30, 2018 rose a whopping 114% over the previous sixty day period. For the same period, the data in the red box shows desktop usage dropped almost 15%.

Local SEO Campaign

Local SEO three pack screenshot
Keyword research

Determining what keywords the Brookhouse wanted to rank for was the next step in our SEO campaign. We knew that before we began the work, their website wasn’t ranking at all so we spent considerable effort researching the keywords that we believed would attract the right people. We ended up with a comprehensive list and went about building content around those words. The graphic above shows not only page one placement on Google’s SERP (search engine results page), but position one placement in what’s called the three pack or local pack for the keyword phrase assisted living alternative salem ma. Building content around all of their preferred keywords is an ongoing effort but clearly the number one spot is not a bad place to start.

Local SEO Moz citation screenshot
Improved Citation Profile

Citations are directory sites like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Best of the Web, City Pages, InfoGroup and several others that list important information about your business. Here’s the problem. The information they show is not always accurate or consistent. For instance, one site may show an old phone number while a different directory shows the current phone number. Inconsistent information like this confuses Google when people search for your business and often results in people not finding you or worse, a drop in Google’s ranking. The solution is to claim ownership of your listings so you can correct any inconsistencies. We claimed all the major listings on behalf of the Brookhouse and made sure that the information being displayed was accurate and consistent. The green bars indicate the listing site and degree of accuracy. While this is a work in progress, 87% is a very high score.

Crazy Egg heatmap
Tracking User Behavior

By tracking user click behavior we can tell what pages users are most frequently requesting. In the heat map image above, the yellow clusters clearly show that site visitors are most interested in the About and Services pages. This finding is consistent with the assumptions we made when we began working on the site. By adding content to the site and then taking periodic snapshots over a sixty day period, we can determine whether or not users are clicking where we want them to and make the necessary adjustments if they are not.

Donate pagge screenshot
An Opportunity for Giving

The Brookhouse Home is a nonprofit organization. That’s why – in addition to other sources of funding – they rely on and are grateful for charitable donations. In our discussions it was clear that we needed to give users an easy way to donate right from the website. To solve this challenge, we added an option to donate in two places; one directly at the bottom of the homepage and the second a separate page accessible by clicking the orange DONATE button in the top bar.

The Numbers

Measuring the results of our efforts is crucial to the success of our SEO campaign. The data below compares results from the sixty day period September 1, 2018 to October 30, 2018 to the previous sixty day period. The numbers speak for themselves.

Analytics sixty day comparison




New Users







The Result

“The Brookhouse Home cannot say enough about our marketing professionals at Kaneworks who not only redesigned and rebuilt our website but Marvin Kane of Kaneworks also used his marketing expertise to ensure that the Brookhouse Home could increase our traffic and visits on the site. A unique feature that he installed means that we can both answer inquiries about our home in real time while also integrating the features into our marketing efforts through social media, email marketing and our search engine optimization strategies. Marvin is a pleasure to work with and has provided ongoing marketing support and expertise. Top notch.”

Laurie Fullerton
Director of Community Relations
Brookhouse Home