In the past 10 years, which is a relatively short period of time, websites have evolved quite a bit. Search engine optimization and social media have transformed the way people do business and challenged web designers to stay on top of the latest trends.
To create a successful website, you have to be willing to accommodate and adapt to the changing needs of your customers and what they are looking for. This can be challenging if you don’t take the time to see where websites started and what they offer today.
In the early days of the Internet, before search engines were an integral part of the global economy, a website was just a static web page found on the Internet. In many cases, businesses were creating these simply because their competition had one, rather than a source of conversions, sales and engagement. However, even today, with the worth of a website being extremely high, 55% of small businesses still don’t have a website.
As more and more businesses caught on that the Internet was the “next big thing” in terms of marketing, more and more websites began to be published. With this influx of sites, the development of directories occurred, which led to the creation of search engines. These were portals that essentially organized the information published to ensure it was easy to find by those who were searching. It is during this phase of website evolution that people began to realize the importance of organic SEO. No longer was publishing nonsense content, stuffed with irrelevant information and keywords going to cut it with the huge amount of competition catching on to this online trend.
The next notable upgrade was the development of content management systems, such as Drupal, Joomla and WordPress. This allowed individuals and businesses to self-publish content easily and quickly – on their very own sites. With this new power and ability, users had the ability to reach and engage new audiences, increase conversions and build authority. Social networks followed closely behind and increased the way that self-published content could be shared across the internet. This helped websites generate social signals which worked to enhance organic search visibility even further.
For a number of companies, websites are no longer considered to be a cost of doing business or a business expense. Instead, they are considered core investments and revenue generating assets. The most effective and profitable websites are created to be a hub that integrates all of a company’s education, communication, advertising and marketing efforts. When done properly, with all the tools and innovation in place, websites can drive a company’s ideal client to them and convince them to take a certain action (i.e. purchase, leaving information, etc.). this is a power that is unmatched by traditional types of advertising, such as radio, television or other well-known methods.
While it may not be completely clear what is next for websites, there is no question that the reach of the Internet is expanding. Businesses that have yet to invest in a website are only going to continue to fall behind. With Google alone processing more than 3 billion searches per day, the reach and ability of the internet is going to continue to grow.