How Search Engine Marketing Saved My Business

by Josh Biggs in Digital Marketing on 24th June 2022

Do you have any family traditions? Maybe you make Grandma’s chocolate cake recipe on special occasions. Or maybe your dad used to rush home from grandma’s house to put up the Christmas lights after Thanksgiving dinner so the house would be all lit up when you got home.

Well, in my family, we worked together in the bakery. I spent summers there every year until I graduated college. I loved playing with the dough when I was a kid.

My mom loves telling the story about the first time I got to help make a batch of cookies. She told me to add eggs to the batter. Being a kid and therefore hyper-literal, I dropped the entire egg into the batter, shells and all.

My mom, being diplomatic, smiled. “Great,” she said, without a hint of sarcasm. “Now we get to pick the shells out.” So we set to work, side by side. She smelled like butter and vanilla, the flavors I associate with home.

That summer, we picked egg shells out of dozens of different batters. Finally, my dad had to tell me, “That’s not how we add eggs, pumpkin.”

It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I was allowed to work on the cash register. My dad started me off at easy times, like Tuesday afternoon or Thursday after school. It took months before he put me on the register on a Sunday morning.

That was the busiest time of the week to work at a bakery. People were coming in after church looking for coffee cakes and bagels. Others wanted a dozen donuts to bring to their book club. Others were just out doing their weekend shopping and wanted to stock up on french bread for the week.

Our bakery was the best in town. There was always a line out the door on Sundays. I didn’t want to let my parents down. I tried to do the best I could. 

Back then, our town was a much smaller place. It was easy for people to find out about us through word of mouth advertising. Click here to learn more about word-of-mouth advertising. 

I had many happy memories sifting flour, punching dough, and rolling bagels. But I never thought I was going to run the bakery one day.

I graduated college with a degree in communications and then went on to law school. After three years and a lot of grueling studying, I passed the bar exam. I moved to Baton Rouge and got a job with a firm. I felt like everything was starting to fall into place.

I was working long hours. I was sleeping about three hours a night. It felt like I was burning the candle at both ends. 

My mom called and asked me to come home. I told her I couldn’t. I had too much work to do. I had to prove myself to the partners. It was all I cared about.

I put off visiting home for six straight weeks. It was only a three hour drive. It should have been nothing. But I kept saying no.

And then I got another phone call. 

“You father is dead,” my mom told me.

I was heartbroken. I dropped my paperwork off at the office and told them I was going home and I didn’t know when I was going to be back.

I didn’t care about my job anymore. I didn’t care about anything. I felt empty inside. It was like my dad had died of a broken heart after all he had done for me. I felt like the worst person in the world.

A New Start

My mom was calmer than I thought she would be. Her biggest concern was the bakery.

“I just don’t know how I’m going to run it without him,” she said. “We did everything together.”

“I could stay for a while and help,” I said. “I took a leave from my job.” That wasn’t exactly true, but I didn’t want to say so. How could I worry her when she was already so stressed?

“That would be great, sweetheart,” she said.

I worked at the bakery while mom made funeral arrangements. I was up at three in the morning to make the first batch of batter and dough. It was dark when I got up and it was light when I fell asleep in the afternoon. 

It was heavy, sometimes hot work. Nothing like what I had been doing with the law firm. And I loved it. It brought back so many memories of good times spent with my parents.

The day of the funeral, my mom pulled me aside after the service.

“I’ve thought about it,” she said, “and I can’t imagine running the bakery without your father. It hasn’t been doing very well the last few years. I’m planning on trying to sell it.”

“What’s wrong?” She said as I started to cry.

“I was planning on telling you that I want to come back and work in the bakery,” I said. “I quit my job. I hated it. Working here these past few days has been so wonderful. I don’t want to stop.”

Then she started to cry. “It would have made your father so happy to hear you say that,” she said. “You know he was proud of you. He would have never told you not to follow your dreams. But he always thought you would have been a great baker.”

But she was right. The business was floundering. Sunday mornings weren’t hopping anymore like they were when I was young.

I tried everything I could think of. I was spending hours trying to take the perfect picture to post on the business social media accounts. But nothing was really hitting. We got a few likes, nothing more. And certainly no more business.

So I took the next step. I contacted a Louisville SEO company and told them about my problem.

They assured me that they could get eyes on my webpage. That was all I needed. The business took off from there.

Categories: Digital Marketing