For those that don’t know (and that, i accept, is most people – i know i am a geek!) this year marks web search giant Google’s 10th Birthday. As part of their celebrations they’ve rolled back the clock to 2001 and allowed people to search the web using their oldest index.
It got me thinking about the evolution of our own website. If you search for ‘wormery’ using Google 2001, it didn’t know about the Original Organics website back then (though the first result was one of our customers). Believe it or not, though, we did have a few cobbled together pages with a little info about us back then.
Most of our business at that time was mail order (via catalogues); through local authority ‘schemes’; and dealing with a number of very loyal trade customers. It’s amazing just how much things have changed in just 7 years. Now, a growing number of people contact us by email rather than the telephone – and our website is by far the biggest contributor to the direct sales side of our business. We also have a much larger base of trade customers from small eBay businesses to large mail order organisations and from small, independent, garden centres to retail giants. But even the trade customers usually find out about us and approach us via our website.
We launched our first online shop in 2005, just 3 years ago and after about a year or so of ‘in house’ (i.e. Me!) development and a very steep learning curve! It was a bit ‘rough around the edges’ but it worked (and it was secure!) and as a result we brought our expertise on worms and composting to a much wider audience. After all – we did invent the Wormery – and if people look online they should find us!
We were ‘late’ to the enter the online market if you ask me. I think it was partly because being so rural (less than 1,000 lines on our exchange at the time) we still didn’t have access to broadband. But also because we were so busy elsewhere – most notably with our local authority composting schemes.
Over the last couple of years, however, we’ve put a lot more effort into the online side of our operation launching a new design in 2007 which has seen us through the last 18 months… and we have a lot more planned for 2009. As discussed in a recent Blog post, we have expanded our “Web Team” (that’s me and Paul!).
So now, if you search the internet for “Wormeries” – you should find us fairly near the top!