How are you all doing today, my wonderful SEO warriors? I want to share a story with you about how I got started in this crazy SEO business. It all started with a little black cat named Scout.
We rescued her from the old Lorton, Virginia Reformatory. This was a prison that allowed inmates to have pet cats. Since a feral colony lived on the grounds, there was no shortage of kitties to adopt and tame.
Around 2000, Lorton started shutting down for a number of reasons. Several feline rescue organizations went and trapped all the ferals. We wanted a little kitty, so we ended up at an adoption fair, where we found Scout.
Now Scout was very timid, scared and shy. We did our best to make her welcome, but she soon developed the nasty habit of urinating outside her litter boxes.
Long story short, it took over a year and several thousand dollars to replace furniture, rugs, items – you name it – but we discovered the reasons why Scout stopped using the litter box and fixed the issues. Scout returned to the cat litter box and we were happy.
Well, for whatever reason, I decided it would be fun to build a website and share my solutions with the internet. I built my very first website using Site Build It. The way SBI works, is you go through a systematic, step by step process of building an online business with a well-thought out website. One of the major steps you learn to do is search engine optimization.
So, I built my site and diligently applied SEO, and lo…IT WORKED. I thought, how cool is this – you keep building your site and it gets rankings! Of course this was in 2004, 2005, when there weren’t quite so many eleventy billion pages, as our LOL cat friends would say.
Eventually I got feisty and decided to convert the site to an ebook. I wrote and self-published the ebook and built a second site and got it ranked by optimizing it, naturally.
Over the years, the site did pretty well. Scout moved out when I went through a break up, but the ex and I are friends, so I’d still get to see Scout when I visited.
Back to that cat urine odor ebook site…I shut it down last month. I spent about a year, tweaking the sales copy, headlines, images, calls to action, etc. and finally got it to where it hit a steady state.
Over the years, I did not touch the copy, because I was always afraid of messing up sales. Eventually, Google algo and ranking changes caught up to me, and I started slipping in the SERPs for my preferred keyword terms. Finally this summer, I had to face reality: more than 50% of my referrals were other sites, and my Google traffic dropped to almost nothing. Where I’d been getting 3000 unique visitors per month, I was now down to about 1000, and my sales adjusted accordingly.
Talk about timing and/or irony…
Last week, the ex called me at 8AM. Since it was a work day, I figured something was up. Scout was at the emergency vet with very low blood pressure, low body temperature and wonked-out vitals. I asked my ex to keep me posted.
The next morning, Scout was no better. On the way to the animal hospital, the ex got a phone call, urging all speed and haste, because Scout was sinking fast and everything the vet tried to do wasn’t working.
Around 1030 that morning, I got the call that Scout had gone to the ancestors. We cried together on the phone. I made Scout’s picture my Facebook profile shot.
So, this is my story about how I got into search engine optimization. A goofy little rescue cat taught me patience, love, respect and not to give up in the face of a really aggravating, expensive, annoying problem.
It’s hard to write this. Like any pet owner, it’s hard for me to let go of my little furry loved ones. On the other hand, she was not in a good place, and her quality of life was sucky zero, so her passing needed to happen.
How did you get into doing SEO? Do you have a story? Want to share a little bit of it in the comments below?
Thanks for reading. Be safe, be well and treat others with kindness, courtesy, dignity and respect, even if you don’t think they might deserve it. Take the high road.
Until next time, all the very best to you and your furry and human loved ones.
Thanks for your personal story, Nancy. I’m so sorry about Scout. It’s funny how our furry friends are so much a part of us. My kitty, Gigi (or GG for Gray Ghost) had to be adopted out after I got married, because my wife has bad allergies. Gigi went to live at a co-worker’s home with a young girl who *adored* her and had finally worn her father down to let her get a cat. I didn’t see Gigi but a couple more times, but then a few years later, the mom told me that they had had to put Gigi down after a similar situation to your Scout. I was surprised at how sad I was and cried like a baby. Gigi had had a good home, loving little girl to take care of her in her last few years, and that’s what mattered.
My condolences to you on your loss, my friend.
It’s amazing how pets work magic on our emotions. Thank you for your kind thoughts. Even though Scout hasn’t lived with me in more than 6 years, it was pretty wrenching.
Nancy – Scout sounds like an amazing companion. Our “Kitty” lived for 23 years before passing away peacefully. I wish I had your ebook – as the last several years were very trying with lots of litter problems. She’s still mentioned fondly as are all our dear departed pets (well except maybe the rat).
YouTube was a big part of my entry into online marketing – but that’s a story for another blog post 🙂
Thank you for sharing.
23 years?! That has to be some kind of record. I know your kitty loved you dearly and didn’t mean to to be a trial with her litter box problems. Sometimes they communicate the only way they understand, and darned if we can figure it out. Thank you for your thoughts!
As I write this, one of my kittens is sleeping in my lap and the other is sleeping curled up against my back. They are both six months old and we adopted them after they were abandoned on the street.
I hope they both have really long, healthy lives.
Thank you so much for rescuing those babies and giving them a good home! I am sure they will lead long, happy lives. Thanks for reading and understanding!