“I’d kind of gone, “Look, I need to get a handle on this myself. I need to understand what’s going on with it. I need to know enough so that I can, even if I do end up engaging someone to do it, I can know if they’re not pulling the wool over my eyes.”
As part of the SEO Love In Week, I’m interviewing some of my favourite past students from the Recipe for SEO Success course. And just talking about their SEO journeys, not just to kind of flog the course but also to pass on some useful tips for anybody in the group who maybe isn’t going to take the course but just wants some advice on their SEO journey and what they should be doing.
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Norelle Hentschel is a Naturopath based in Crows Nest, Sydney. She provides tailored consultations focused on improving your energy, health, and wellbeing. You’ll get the tools, knowledge, and guidance to be in control of your health. Check her out at YourRemedy.com.au
Hi it’s Kate Toon again. To our love, SEO, Facebook lives. In a day, you are such lucky people. And as part of the SEO Love In Week, I’m interviewing some of my favourite past students from the Recipe for SEO Success course. And just talking about their SEO journeys, not just to kind of flog the course but also to pass on some useful tips for anybody in the group who maybe isn’t going to take the course but just wants some advice on their SEO journey and what they should be doing.
Kate Toon: And so today I’m very excited to be talking to Norelle. Hello, Norelle.
Norelle Hentschel: Hello, Kate. How you doing?
Kate Toon: I’m good. Would you like to introduce yourself to the group and tell us a little bit about your business, like what you do?
Norelle Hentschel: My name’s Norelle Hentschel and I’m a naturopath and herbalist based in Crows Nest in Sydney. Basically, I help people feel better, have better health. But I have a special interest in sleep issues and hormonal balance for women.
Kate Toon: Okay, fantastic. And so you came on the course in the last round, the most recent round actually.
Norelle Hentschel: Yes.
Kate Toon: And where were you up to in your SEO journey when you started the course? What had you done already to kind of learn about Google and SEO and all that kind of stuff?
Norelle Hentschel: : Well, I’d sort of looked at a lot of the Google stuff, but I found some of that is not so easy to kind of understand what it is.
Norelle Hentschel: ‘Cause I don’t have a background in that. When I went out on my own in business, which was three years ago now, that was the first time I’d ever had a website. So the whole website and the backend of websites was all pretty new to me. So I had been looking at that. I’d been also just reading blogs from, I think, Yoast, ’cause Yoast was on my site so they send out a blog. But not kind of finding anything that had sort of a broad understanding in the way that you understand that your car has an engine and it’s important to look after it
Norelle Hentschel: But there was no way I could feel confident enough to delve in and start fixing and repairing. And I was a bit nervous about, oh, I don’t want to break my site. Because my [inaudible 00:02:20] things is part of that website. So it’s mission critical for me to have my website running for my business.
Kate Toon: Yeah, I’m the same. I mean, even as even as an SEO specialist I have a big folder on my desktop of articles I should read. And every kind of couple of months I get depressed by how many are in there, and then I delete them. And then I start a new folder called “Articles I should read.” And I think the problem with the articles, which are great and there is so much great information out there, is it needs to be implementable. Like it’s all very well and good knowing that this thing is important, but you actually need to know exactly what you do.
Kate Toon:And also what happens if I do click the button that you’ve said to click and it doesn’t do the thing that you said it was going to do? That’s the bit that worries a lot of people. So you decided to buy the course. What was the turning point? What made you, I was going to say, fall over the cliff? That’s not a very good analogy. What was the point where you decided to take the plunge?
Norelle Hentschel: Well, I’d sort of got to know about you through some other Facebook groups. I think it might’ve been Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine. Sorry. And there was a couple of others. And I had sort of lurked around your website and done the 10 day SEO challenge. It’s a little mini-course that you had. And I was like, “Okay, I can start to see a bit more of this.
Norelle Hentschel: Hentschel: But in the meantime, I’d decided to. I’d sort of been on the line of, oh, I don’t know if this is an investment I want to do. Da, da, da, da, all that kind of thing. And then I decided to redo my website. And, actually, I did this the wrong way. So I would not advise doing what I did.
Kate Toon: Cautionary tale, people. Cautionary tale.
Norelle Hentschel: : I decided to just, like I’d looked at some different people and I engaged someone because they’d been in the SEO space as well and it seemed all quite legit what they were saying. But when you don’t know things, you don’t know what you don’t know. So you’re not able to make a good judgment in areas you’re not an expert on.
Norelle Hentschel: And so I got the site done and part of that was to pay for some basic SEO, because I’d gone, “Yes, I want SEO. It’s so important and this is going to be great, and someone’s going to set up the basics.” However, then, once it was up and running, I just wasn’t getting the exposure that I thought the site should have. Because with the keywords that I was looking at targeting it’s limited, especially for low volume.
Kate Toon: Quite narrow?
Norelle Hentschel: Yeah, it was quite narrow. And I thought I should have had a bit more of a chance. And then I started to kind of … The process of the website building was a little bit started to ring warning bells in my ears, just how it was managed and handled. And then I just went, no, this isn’t right. And I’d kind of gone, “Look, I need to get a handle on this myself. I need to understand what’s going on with it. I need to know enough so that I can, even if I do end up engaging someone to do it, I can know if they’re not pulling the wool over my eyes.”
- Hentschel: And all this time I’d been sort of, I think, I’d been subscribing to your newsletters and I’d seen stuff you’d written on Flying Solo and places like that. So I was kind of building up trust in that you knew what you were talking about.
Kate Toon: That’s cool.
- Hentschel: Yeah. So I signed up for the course in February. Which has been, well, it’s been a fantastic move but it was disheartening at times with your week.
Kate Toon: One of the things we do in the course and one of the things I teach everyone how to do is to fully audit their own site. Like not just with one little blunt tool that someone’s recommended in a Facebook group, but to fully rip their site apart and find everything that’s wrong with it.
Kate Toon: And when we pulled back the lid of your site, kind of it was a Pandora’s Box of horror. And it is disheartening, especially since you’d paid extra to have the site SEO’d, whatever that meant. And I remember it was on a particular coaching call where we started to go through it. And I was like, “Oh, this shouldn’t be here.” And I could see your face just going uh, uh, uh. But the good news, people, and one thing that I’m so proud of you for doing, is that you have meticulously gone through and fixed all those problems yourself, which has been amazing. And when you come back and you’re like, “Yeah, I managed to take that thing off.” And I’m like, “Yes.” You know?
Kate Toon So I guess that that’s been pretty empowering and pretty cool to be able to turn it around yourself?
Norelle Hentschel: Definitely. And by doing that, I guess also it reinforces the learning. Well, for me anyway because that’s how I learn best is if I actually get in there and muck around in it. And I think I’ve become not so scared of actually playing around in the backend of it, right?
Kate Toon: Yeah.
Norelle Hentschel: Except the robot’s text file. I’m not touching that. But, yes, no, it was good to do that. And good to sort of know, okay, well I can actually see what the issues are and, you know, just accept that, yes, I’d wasted my money on that. That was money down the tube from the previous thing. But, you know, that’s all part of the business again.
Kate Toon: Always the wrong ones.
Norelle Hentschel: Everyone’s probably got a story like that if you’ve been in business.
Kate Toon: Yeah. Well, I guess I’d say at least 20% of the people on the course have thrown money down the toilet in terms of website builds, SEO copy or SEO consultancy. So you’re definitely not alone. And I think for those watching, this is an important part to stress about this course is it’s not just the learning. I don’t just explain the why and the what.
Kate Toon: We very much do dig into the how and the whole point of it is that there are actions in there that you can then take and then come back into the group and onto the course and go, “I did the thing and the thing didn’t do the thing. So what do I do now?” Because that’s often, you know, obviously there are heaps of SEO courses on Udemy and other places. But for me, I think the reason why I don’t have an unsupported version of the course is I don’t think the course can be done without the support. I think you need to be able to go back and ask questions.
Kate Toon: Because, yes, implementation is where you really learn. It’s all very well and good reading a book about riding a bike, but it’s not until you get on the bike that you learn how to ride the bike, you know? So it’s very important. So now the course is done, although it’s never really done. It’s one of those courses that never ends, ’cause I’m updating week one as we speak so there’ll be a new thing. I guess, where do you feel you are now with everything? Like what’s your plan moving forward? What are you going to be focusing on?
Norelle Hentschel: Well, I’m getting some technical stuff that’s a little bit beyond me. I’m working with Marco to look at tweaking, especially on site speed. Because when I went on I really actually wanted the degustation part on the course. But I’d registered too late. You’d already had a low spot so, as you know, I booked in a session with you too. Because from just doing the course and looking at the 10 minute turn reviews, which a lot of people will have seen who haven’t even done the course, I just thought that it was going to be a worthwhile investment in my money to get some detailed strategic overview of my website.
Norelle Hentschel: ‘Cause I look at my website as my key marketing and business lead generation, so to speak, strategy. Because I’m not really that great on social media and stuff like that and I don’t sort of have the time. But I am happy to invest in the website because it can work for me even if I’m not there is sort of my philosophy. So, yes, doing that. And depending on the outcome of our chat in the next couple of weeks, look, I’m sort of heading towards I may need to look at some redesign based on what I kind of learnt from the reviews of other people’s sites.
Norelle Hentschel: I encourage people to look and listen. If you’re thinking your site needs some work, just look at whatever, at anyone else’s stuff because you can pick up gems. I picked up some interesting stuff just the other day on, I think, the Google My Business. A couple of little tips that I hadn’t thought of. So I went quickly in and asked myself a couple of questions on that.
Kate Toon: Yeah, yeah. But that’s what it’s all about. It’s about it’s little wins. Like if we looked at the whole SEO elephant, none of us would do anything because it’s just totally overwhelming. You just have to do little things, little treats, tiny improvements. Even moving a button in the navigation two points to the left can make a big difference and improve your conversion optimization.
Kate Toon: And I think the other thing is it’s very hard for you to look at your site objectively yourself. And it’s very hard to get anybody else to look at it because they’ve got a vested interest in finding things wrong because they want to fix them.
Norelle Hentschel: Yes.
Kate Toon: So that’s one reason why I no longer offer ongoing SEO. I no longer offer SEO copywriting because it enables me to be completely impartial. And I am quite brutal. I’m sure I’ve made people cry. Like I will bring up their website and I will tell you everything. I don’t hold back because someone’s got to tell you. Someone’s got to tell you and it’s no good, say, getting your mom to look at your site or your friends because they’re going to go, “That’s lovely, Norelle. It’s really pretty.”
Kate Toon: But I’ll come in and say, “This is great but this needs to change and if you don’t change it, this isn’t going to happen.” And sometimes we need that tough love. It’s a tough love kind of course, I guess.
Norelle Hentschel: Yeah. But, I mean, I guess that’s what you pay the money for, though, because if someone’s not going to tell you that or you’re not going to get that information, then, you know, we’ve always got plenty of people around that can pat our backs and make us feel good at the end of the day.
Kate Toon: Exactly. Well, it’s like an iron fist in a velvet glove, that’s all. Something like that. I think that’s the analogy. Maybe or a … I don’t know. Anyway, so, look, let’s finish up with some tips and advice for other business owners. So obviously you are not a marketeer. You are not a copywriter or a technical person or a developer. You want to focus on actually running your business and doing what you’re best at. You know, helping people.
Norelle Hentschel: Yeah.
Kate Toon: But if you were to talk to someone else in a similar industry to you, or doing the same as you, what would you say to them is one of the first steps when they’re thinking about marketing their business, setting up their business? What would you say to them, with all your knowledge now, to focus on?
Norelle Hentschel: Do your course first.
Kate Toon: Oh, no. Don’t say that. Say something else.
Norelle Hentschel: No, seriously, think about the SEO before you build your website or as you’re building a website, because there’s a lot of technical stuff. And that week is pretty tough going in the course, but it’s got so much in it if you really just get in and do it. Because I found that the technical aspects of that was the thing that was really dragging my site down.
Norelle Hentschel: So I would say just make sure you understand about that. Understand what the tools that Google has, like Search Console or Webmaster Tools. That is, it’s free, it gives you so much information about your site. So, yes, definitely. And title tags and meta descriptions.
Kate Toon: Yeah, all that good stuff. But I think you’re right. I think the technical thing is the bit that people avoid because they think it’s going to be undoable. But we do break it down. We do show exactly step-by-step how to do things and there is support. And then you do get to a point where if you don’t want to learn that technical thing, you can outsource it with confidence.
Kate Toon: That’s the thing. You can tell someone to fix something and you know how to test if they’ve actually fixed it. That’s the difference. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Because I don’t like doing code. That’s not my favorite thing. But I need to understand it enough that I can brief someone, understand that they’re not overcharging me, and be able to tell that they’ve actually done it when they say they have. That’s empowerment and that leaves me able to focus on the things I want to do and the things that I enjoy.
Kate Toon: And I think another thing with your site which is a great example is it can look perfect from the front. It can look really pretty from the front end, but underneath it’s all broken. You know, messy. And you just don’t know what you don’t know.
Norelle Hentschel: Yeah. And I would say that I’ve learned that, yeah, it’s that backend, that structure, needs to be good. I mean, you can always pretty things up and keep tweaking that. But if there’s a payoff, I would say the development is more important than the design. But I know there are a lot of people that would disagree with that.
Kate Toon: No. I think it’s hopefully the perfect marriage of form and function. It needs to function and it needs to look good. But you shouldn’t sacrifice functionality for good looks, which is unfortunately what a lot of web designers do because they’re coming from a design and aesthetic perspective, not from a fast speed, crawlable, mobile friendly perspective. But you can have both. They are not mutually exclusive.
Norelle Hentschel: Yes. Yeah, speed. And I will. I will have it with both.
Kate Toon: You will. You will get there. So, look, thank you so much, Norelle. I will share and link to your website underneath. You can check Norelle out and watch her progress with her website, but also maybe book her for some amazing services. And I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with me today. It’s been great.
Norelle Hentschel: My pleasure.
Kate Toon: Thanks a lot, guys.