Developing The rentokil.com Website

rentokil.com or prison?If I had committed murder I would have served my time and been rehabilitated into the community faster than it has taken me to rise to the dizzy heights of being Head of rentokil.com! The journey from being a Branch Secretary (working out of a converted stable block in East Anglia) to Head of rentokil.com has been extraordinary.

I have had 18 different job roles in my time with Rentokil, completed my Pest Control Technician’s training, learnt skills that I had previously not heard of, and travelled to places in the world that I would otherwise only have dreamed of… but more of that and some of the associated tales another time.

In 2006 Rentokil invested in the development of a web site that was to be used as the template for our sites throughout the ‘Rentokil world’. Following the successful launch of this new site in the UK in early 2006, it was “suggested” to me that I might “like” to take responsibility to roll the website out in all the other countries we operated in.

The brief seemed simple enough to a novice such as me (but little did I know):

  • Take one website of +/- 100 pages and approximately 20,000 words
  • Localise it for each country
  • Translate it
  • Launch it

Rentokil websites around the worldGermany came first, followed by Spain and Portugal and all three built as static sites and even before they were all live we were making urgent amends to the UK site and V1.2 was born!

Part 2 of the ‘brief’ then kicked in – “Be 1st in Google for our primary search term in the UK”. At that time we were then on the 77th page, i.e.  approximately 770th. 3 months later and Version 1 was in 4 countries, version 1.2 in 1 country, version 2 was under development and we were on page 60 for our primary search term in the UK.

TLAs (three letter acronyms) have become a huge part of my life; not just CMS but SEO, SEM, php, HTML (ok and a four-LA too), CSS, xml and asp are just a few of the things I now dream about.

Let me leave you with your appetites whetted for more exciting facts and figures on ‘The Life and Times of rentokil.com’ by saying that we are now predominantly No. 1 for our key search terms in the UK and many other markets we operate in, our visitor numbers are mind blowing and the success of our web sites as enquiry generation tools phenomenal.

The journey has been many things; stressful, tear jerking, exhilarating, fascinating, uplifting, joyful, depressing, painful, awful and fantastic but NEVER dull.

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