student success story

Natalie came out with a 12-month SEO plan that increased traffic by 68% within the first 3 months.

SEO Course student review Natalie

Natalie Cahill

Newly Certified SEO Strategist

Introduce yourself and your background  

My name’s Natalie Cahill and I’m a marketing professional with more than 15 years’ experience across a variety of industries. Such as retail, manufacturing, media, and publishing. I describe myself as a pro-active, results orientated marketing professional, who’s data driven, analytical and insightful. I have a strong interest in the utilising technology to identify customer needs, transform marketing communications and increase sales. 

For this reason, I have gained skills to a leadership level in the following areas. 

  • Digital Marketing Management 
  • E-Commerce 
  • Social Media Strategy 
  • Content Marketing 
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) Performance Marketing 
  • Direct Marketing 
  • Brand Strategy & Communications   

In addition to traditional above-the-line marketing tactics used to build customer engagement and sales across products and services. 

What do you do in your day-to-day work life?

At the time of completing the search engine micro-credential course I was working as a consultant to a flower delivery business. This business had relied heavily on Google Ads alone to convert customers. In fact, the flower delivery business really is a commodity market, and also a very Google-led category. For example, people will Google ‘flower delivery Christchurch’ then compare prices and order the cheapest option.  

Subsequently, I identified a huge opportunity to grow their organic marketing. By converting more search traffic through targeted keyword campaigns and therefore turning their traffic into qualified leads. 

The primary focus of this strategy was to: 

  1. Reduce our Google spend and cost-per-acquisition (CPA)  
  2. Build a more engaged customer base  
  3. Move engaged traffic down the funnel towards purchasing 

Overall, I wanted to make sure organic users were landing on the right pages and getting the content they were looking for. Thus, leading to making a purchase with ease. 

SEO Strategy for small business

When did you figure out you first needed to acquire Search Engine Optimisation skills?

I have always been fascinated by Google, and its power to attract new customers to your website. Ever since the first website re-architecture and re-platform project I worked on back in 2011. Which was just about the same time Googles most significant (and elusive) algorithm Panda, had launched. 

I knew then just how important it was to try and understand the workings of Google’s algorithm. To make it easier for our pages to rank and so potential customers could find our new website content.” 

As Google’s search engine is ever-changing, I knew if I wanted to stay relevant, I had to keep my finger on the pulse. Especially with these search engine algorithms always updating.  

I had to stay up to date with: 

  • How search engines filter through web content 
  • How they index pages by relevance  
  • The constant different ranking signals 

I figured my current content I worked on didn’t keep up with the Google algorithm updates. Therefore, I’d risk valuable space on the search engine result page! As well as potential new leads or sales for the businesses I worked for.  

To ensure I did not fall on the wayside I have continually tried to build on my digital marketing skills. After noticing new job titles like ‘PPC Performance Marketing Managers’ and ‘SEO Specialists’ I thought it’d be best to gain formal accreditation under my belt.  

How did you come to the decision of choosing NZIE to help you upskill in SEO strategy?

Honestly, I googled you and read some of your previous student reviews. From there, I decided to do the course in the morning. By the end of the day I had my spot confirmed for the May 2021 intake. 

Coming out of the course with a 12-month optimisation plan has been given us a solid road map. It has been 3 months since I completed the course. I have increased organic traffic to the site (based on September’s data) by 68% when compared to the previous period. 

What direct takeaways, outcomes and results did you gain or have seen already because of the strategy you created in the short-course? 

A key component to this was the meta data optimisation project. Using the tools, I learnt throughout the course I was able to complete a site audit. As a result, I easily identified missing meta descriptions, titles and thin content pages. Furthermore, I gained the ability to re-write non-optimised pages with our key targeted keywords. This alone has helped Google understand our website and given more context to how customers search for flowers online.  

The SEO course also helped me review the silo structuring on the site and update to include Primary and Secondary Keywords. Additionally the website had not been using ‘Flower Delivery’ anywhere in the site silo. So we updated many pages with relevant Keywords.  

An example of this is using the common search term ‘send red roses’. We created an organised silo structure to now house these keywords. This helps bots crawl the site and position the website and pages as an expert in this topic. 

 Equally important, it was also great to boost shoppers confidence with the introduction of articles schema and product schema tags. All of which have helped our content and product pages’ visibility.  
 

Lastly how was your overall learning experience with NZIE?


Lasma was an excellent facilitator and incredibly knowledgeable on SEO. I was able to apply a 12-month optimisation plan to my company and see results almost immediately. The Zoom lectures were great, they especially worked for me as I am juggling work and a young family.  

Entry Criteria:

To be admitted into NZ Certificate in English Language Level 4 General, all applicants must meet the following requirements:

a) Be a speaker of English as an additional language; and

b) Hold a NZCEL Applied Level 3 [3667] qualification; or

c) Pass an NZIE entry test that meets the requirements for the CEFR B2 requirements or equivalent; and

d) Be of a minimum age of 16 years or older; and.

e) Be a New Zealand citizenship or permanent residency OR Certificate of Refugee Status and evidence of eligibility to study for the duration of enrolment.

Entry Criteria:

To be admitted into NZ Certificate in English Language Level 3 General, all applicants must meet the following requirements:

a) Be a speaker of English as an additional language; and

b) Hold a NZCEL Level 2 qualification; or

c) Pass an NZIE entry test that meets the requirements for the CEFR mid B1 requirements or equivalent; and

d) Be of a minimum age of 16 years or older; and.

e) Be a New Zealand citizen or resident; or have Certificate of Refugee Status and evidence of eligibility to study for the duration of enrolment.

Fees 2020

Student loans available through Study Link. Check if you are eligible here. 

Fees-Free Study.  

You are only eligible for Fees-Free if you haven’t previously undertaken more than 60 credits (half a year of equivalent full-time tertiary education, 0.5 EFTS) at Level 3 or above on the NZQF – New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

To check if you meet the requirements, visit the New Zealand Government’s Fees-Free website and enter your National Student Number (NSN)

If you do not have an NSN, contact your Student Support Advisor.

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