I still remember sitting down with Netscape Navigator and building my first ever website. It was a pretty liberating feeling at the age of 15. It wasn’t sophisticated and it wasn’t great to look at…but I built it.
There weren’t many websites (relative to today) back in those days but even in the mid 90’s I knew that this whole ‘website’ thing was going to become more and more important.
I’d be lying if I was to try and tell you that I predicted we’d be where we are today but I certainly could see a future in this whole ‘internet’ scene.
It started me thinking…how many websites are there on the internet now. So what did I do? Well I asked Siri and she Googled it for me!
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that we hit 1 Billion websites back in September 2014. We subsequently dropped back a little to the low 900,000’s but this is still a massive leap from the one website we had back in 1991.
You can understand how quickly your site can get lost.
My website back in 1994 was one of only 2,738. It wasn’t hard for people to find. Today, having a website is simply not enough. You have to market your site and you have to give people a reason to want to engage with you.
Content has always been king but it’s never been more important than now.
Pictures, video, copy, layout, interactivity. Each is just so important to the visitor experience.
You also have to proactively drive traffic to your site. While there is a time and a place for SEO, advertising still plays a vital role in driving traffic and extending your message.
With your website essentially a needle in a hay stack, you have to find ways to leverage all your marketing activities to work with each other. A consolidated effort for each of your tools to do a job that ultimately provides you with more customers or clients.
It’s a vehicle. Not a magic cure. You need to fuel it and you need to parade it all over town. Locking it up in the garage is not going to do you much good at all.
While much has changed about how we build and develop websites in the last 20 years, the foundations of marketing your business remain the same. It’s still all about communication. You see, some things never get old…
P.S. If you’re wondering about the picture, that’s Amazon’s site when it launched in 1995. I don’t feel so bad anymore about how awful my site looked back in 1994! Ohhhh how far we’ve come!