“I have definitely increased organic traffic and I’m getting as much if not more than my page SEO provider was.”
Today I’m going to be talking to one of the students from my Recipe for SEO Success eCourse, Debbie Hatswell from www.storymama.com.au.
We’re going to chat about her SEO journey from the very beginnings of her website and her experience using an expert to help her with her SEO to now where she is managing her own SEO, she’s reduced her Google AdWords spend and she’s managing her day-to-day website herself. So let’s get stuck in and see what Debbie has to say about her SEO success journey.
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1. Tell us a little about your business and your website
Story Mama is an online children’s picture book store and we’re the only store with a huge range of carefully curated parent recommended books for children aged 0 to about 7 and the idea of Story Mama is a really curated range of just the great books, not all the other ones. You can easily shop online and you can shop by your child’s age or by milestone if you’re coming up to something like starting school or toilet training and just providing a really easy service so parents and gift buyers of children to be able to get great books online delivered quickly to their door.
Sure, well I initially started with an SEO provider and I knew going into an online store that really SEO for me was going to be a bit like paying rent. I didn’t have a shopfront so I knew I had to put some money towards getting results there.
The SEO provider I’m sure was doing a reasonable job but it all wasn’t quick enough for me and I just felt like I was paying for something I didn’t really understand and wanted to change that and to think that if I had some time and energy I could perhaps do a better job myself if I understood it.
There was some reporting, which has probably just come from someone like Google Analytics.
I didn’t feel like they’d done enough keyword research in terms of they knew what I wanted to rank for but I don’t think they put a lot of effort into knowing what I could rank for in terms of competing against, I have some very large competitors with lots more money than me so yeah, I don’t think they did that kind of keyword research at the same level that I was able to do it once I had done the course.
They were very much focused on link building and perhaps really just meta data. I don’t feel that they were doing page optimisation. It was, you know, cheap. You get what you pay for.
3. What were your reservations about the course before you signed up?
I think naturally the cost of the course is quite an investment. I think I was spending a reasonable amount of money on Google AdWords as well so it really was for me a decision about, well if I’m going to spend the money on this course I do want to be able to reduce the AdWords budget down the track for having done that and I guess you know, with any course, because we hadn’t met, personally you know you do really have to build up a level of trust with someone that you’re going to spend that amount of money on.
But yeah I can happily report it was a good result.
4. Which aspects of the course did you find most useful?
I think all of it was useful. I liked the fact that it really did start from the very beginning and give you some ideas about even building, how you would start building your site again if you’re going to do it properly and I wish I had done that the first time. I will take those ideas into our next upgrade which I believe isn’t too far away. The way I approached the course was to make sure I was trying to keep up with what was happening week on week so I just made sure I did, yeah a little bit of it each week so I could keep my progress going. But really in the 12 months or so since I’ve done it I’m still going back and reading notes and going back and fixing links and optimising pages and things so it has been a real ongoing process for me.
5. How do you feel about SEO since taking the course?
I think perhaps when I just started the course I thought perhaps the way I was writing my product copy and things like that were an issue and one of the things the course taught me was perhaps no it’s not, that’s not the problem at all. It was maybe that I was trying to attack too many keywords and I hadn’t been specific, you know page on page of what I wanted to be achieving.
So certainly since doing the course I’m now much better at writing a fully optimised page that’s going to rank for a keyword, so that’s a win.
I think the other thing is I’ve been able to reduce my AdWords spend, I’ve invested in the Moz Tool, which I know you recommend, which is really helpful in letting me track the keywords that I am ranking over time, what’s changing and building up my domain authority which is, that’s quite a fun little tool, I’m really excited about being able to use that.
I’m in control.. Occasionally I get asked questions by other people.
The course enables me to think, okay so month I’m going to focus on this bit. You know I’ve been able to make it into sort of bite-sized chunks to add to my to-do list so there’s stuff that is happening all the time and I can see it’s progressing over time.
Any organic traffic generally converts higher than my AdWord traffic, which is good.
I mean it’s still a work in progress. I have definitely increased organic traffic and I’m getting as much if not more than my page SEO provider was. Books can be a little bit seasonal so really my peak tend to be towards the end of the year and Christmas time, but I’m just really happy that I’m on the right track and making these little changes every day that will help push it forward. It’s all good.
Over to you
Have you taken The Recipe for SEO Success Course and have an SEO story you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you.