Chris Gallagher from The Gift Station shares his thoughts on how crucial SEO is for any online based company…
Q. Chris how did you get into the gift basket business?
I’ve been in sales for 11 years now and I thought I’d like to get out of the corporate type environment. I thought I’d have a look at an opportunity out there and we came across the gift station. We purchased it two years ago and have been running it ever since.
Q. What made you want to learn about SEO and what it could do for your business?
With the gift station we are an online based company so we don’t have a bricks and mortar shop to rely on. That’s why it’s essential that we have as many people as possible finding us online. So our main motivation was to create a greater visibility of our company, and the best way to do that was through SEO.
“A+ was the whole package when it came to
professionalism, service and cost as well.”
– Chris Gallagher
Q. What made you choose A+ over the other SEO companies out there?
Being a typical Kiwi, originally we tried to do it ourselves. What we realized was that it took a lot of time, not simply doing the SEO work but also coming up with strategies and learning about it. We tried it for a while and found all the time we were spending on SEO could have been spent on the core business.
We were approached by Haiming last year and arranged to meet. We were extremely impressed by his professionalism but more importantly they wanted to know about the business first hand. They learnt about the business, asked a lot of valid questions and then worked with me to come up with a solution.
We had also talked to a number of other SEO and online reputation management companies but due to various reasons we choose not to go with them. Mainly due to their lack of professionalism, there were some horror stories we had to deal with. Also cost, it was amazing what they wanted to charge us. A+ was the whole package when it came to professionalism, a great service and cost as well.
Q. Were you skeptical about the results that we said we could achieve for you?
I don’t like to think that I’m skeptical by nature but you’d understand that we receive hundreds of requests from various parties every month where they promise the world. I have to admit we have tried out a few, not just SEO, but other companies as well and they very seldom lead to results.
Regarding dealing with A+ it’s definitely worked for us. We are very happy with the outcome of our investment. It’s been great.
“It took less than two months to get onto the first page of
Google and see a great return on our investment.”
– Chris Gallagher
Q. When you began with A+ how much did you invest and how long did it take to see results?
You guys told us that it would take about three months to see results, we actually co-ordinated coming onboard with A+ Search Engine Marketing before one of our peak times of the year which Is Mother’s day. We were hoping that the investment would be paid back if possible, even though it was getting close to Mother’s day. For that reason we were apprehensive as to whether or not the SEO work would take effect in time. Incredibly it did within two months which was a lot better than we originally thought. From this we found that over the Mother’s day period the SEO investment we made was quickly paid for. I was elated, you guys came to the party and we got great results and return on our investment, which is what it’s all about.
Q. How would you compare the results you’ve got from SEO to any other sales and marketing strategies you’ve used?
We’ve had quite a few marketing campaigns thorough email marketing, sponsorships, leaflet drops etc. By far the best results we have ever had are from SEO, through the organic search engine listings. We have also tried Google Adwords and even though it’s quite effective its usually only effective during the peak seasons and not in between times. Plus it can get very expensive as well. So we’ve found that having organic search engine listings have been the most effective form of marketing for us.
“SEO has produced by far the best results we have ever had out of any marketing strategy.”
– Chris Gallagher
Q. What would you recommend to other business owners, who are interested in getting more traffic to their site through SEO?
Well you could do what we tried to do by doing it yourself. But it takes up a lot of time, and time is money! My suggestion is to do it properly by hiring the services of a professional Search Engine Optimisation company to get it done. That means you can then focus on your core business and the results will be a lot better and quicker than if you were trying to do it yourself.
Q. What’s next for the gift station?
We’re in discussions with you guys at the moment because we’re so happy with the service. The next step is to increase the keywords we rank for and improve our organic listings. The aim is to increase the sales through the website but we also have some very exciting projects on the way as well to increase the amount of visibility and product range we deliver to our clients.The Gift Station SEO Case Study"/>