iheartoliveoil.com has been in business since late 2008. They have two full time employees and a handful of part-time employees depending on the time of year or event. The business started out as an online retail shop. Over time they have expanded into participating at high end food related events around the US such as the Boca Raton Food & Wine Festival. The company has also ventured into importing and wholesaling products. i heart Olive Oil is now the exclusive importer for some award winning olive oils from Europe such as iO & Surat.
Mike: Tell me how you selected the name iheartoliveoil.com. Were there other names you were considering?
Beth: I wanted the name to encompass the brand, company, and product. iheartoliveoil.com was one of the names I was considering. Since I started the website first it was important that the company had the same name as the website domain name. Some of the names on my list were not available. So making sure the domain was available was most important before we incorporated.
Mike: How did you get involved with olive oil to the point of selling it online?
Beth: I have worked in the food & beverage industry for over 15 years. Specifically starting out my career as a chef. I have always had a love for olive oil from working in the industry, but after a trip to Spain one summer I was truly enlightened. I was amazed on how passionate other people were about olive oil. So, with the support of my husband from the technology side I decided to build a store that would encompass the love of olive oil.
Mike: Can you share the volume of traffic that your site receives?
Beth: Our volume of traffic has certainly been increasing year over year. Specifically in the natural search range, as we continue to build more content and get our name out there. As well the direct traffic is continuing to grow. This is mostly due to repeat business and getting the name out in the marketplace.
53% Search Engines
23% Direct Traffic
23% Referring Sites
Mike: Do you have any online marketing strategies that you follow?
Beth: We try to focus most of our online marketing on coming up in natural searches or from social marketing. Optimizing our content really helps to bring customers naturally without paying a lot of money for ads and banners. I think it is important to not have a hard sell to the customer, but rather educate them. This creates repeat business.
Mike: Any advice for start ups, small business, or business of any size for that matter on choosing the right domain name?
Beth: Yes. Don’t settle! Nowadays everything is virtually online. If you settle for a name and decide to change it later it can hurt your business by loosing customers and your brand image. People are very brand conscious these days and if you switch your name you ruin the risk that they may forget about you.
So don’t settle on your name if the one you choose is not available at first. It may push you to be open minded with your name which is fine, but always think long term.
Mike: Any other information you’d like to share?
Beth: I believe it is also important to remember that online retail is not just about getting people to your website. It is important to keep them there and have them return. Make sure your site is user friendly, has a lot to offer, and you continue the customer service all the way until the package reaches the customer’s door.