Mara came to me with almost two decades of experience in sustainability and permaculture education, hundreds of deeply useful homesteading and natural building blog posts, and an archive of absolutely stunning photographs.
But so much of this was somewhat locked away in an outdated website that was difficult to navigate, not mobile-responsive and rarely showed up in organic search results.
With a modest budget, Mara was seeking to transform her website. She wanted to:
- Attract more overnight visitors to stay in their strawbale eco-cottage.
- Bring more volunteers to her permaculture farm.
- Sell-out tickets to her Italian cooking school and other sustainability workshops.
- Better share the farm’s story via blog posts and email.
- Start selling ethically-raised pork via a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) model.
Firstly, I mapped out key areas of Mara’s business and created a streamlined website page strategy, ensuring elements crucial to Village Dreaming’s profitability were given prominence — including her eco-cottage farm stay, cooking school, homesteading workshops and the newly launched pork CSA.
Next, riffing off a beautiful hand-drawn illustration in Mara’s existing logo, I created a Mini Brand Style Guide to ensure colours and fonts used across all communications were consistent, helping to increase Village Dreaming’s brand recognition.
Finally, working with my colleague Lindy, we completely redesigned Mara’s WordPress website:
- Installed the Divi theme to provide maximum flexibility, full mobile responsiveness and a clean, modern design that would allow Mara’s exceptional photographs to shine on each page.
- Created a new site structure for easier page navigation, completely rewrote every page to improve brand messaging, improved SEO (search engine optimisation), and updated and optimised photos.
- Installed and optimised a plugin that automatically emails subscribers whenever Mara posts a new blog, removing the need for a curated newsletter and helping reduce Mara’s required screen time.
Mara’s site now ranks on page 1 of Google search results for many of the target keywords we optimised for, and her organic web traffic is steadily climbing.
Her email list doubled in the six months immediately after the website rebuild, and multiple workshops sold out.
Happily, shortly after the new site went live, Gardening Australia contacted Mara for a television story on her beautiful permaculture farm — a long-held dream that finally came to fruition.