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Keeping up with the Web
The World Wide Web has been available as a public communication network since 1990. In the first 10 years it changed the way we communicate and do business, and permeated into many areas of our daily lives. Businesses and organisations were excited and many invested in the “web”. In some cases the promise did not live up to its potential, this was often due to the limitations of technology at the time and the speed of adoption. Naive investments into theoretical sites with no direct link to income or profit contributed to the dot-com bubble bursting in late 1999.
Another decade has passed and the internet has more than survived, it has exploded. It is now fully living up to those early promises and confidently promising a whole lot more.
Today’s businesses need to capitalise on the potential of the internet. What worked even 5 years ago isn’t cutting it today. The way the internet works and the way we use it is constantly evolving. Web savvy entrepreneurs know this and change with it. We can all learn from their success.
With this in mind we thought it would be interesting to take a look at how a few well-known businesses have changed their websites over the past 5 years. Here’s some exmples of the websites we’ve looked at and what we discovered…
BTW – out of the top five websites in the world, only Yahoo has been around for over 10 years. Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Wikipedia were all started after 2002.
How does this impact me?
Content Management Systems (CMS)
CMSs are now much more cost effective and user friendly. Being able to manage your site’s content is the first step in a sound online strategy. Fresh content gives your browser a reason to come back and can help build and maintain customer relationships, keeping you front of mind the next time they need your services. It also helps achieve better search results. It’s quite easy to regularly and automatically push the site’s updated content to a customer’s preferred medium whether it’s email, RSS or social networks.
When was the last time you updated your website, sent an email newsletter or posted on Twitter?
Your website should be an extension of your brand. It should be easy to use, clean, uncluttered and highly focused on delivering business results. Five years ago this wasn’t as easy but the game has changed. Home dial-up has been replaced by faster and faster broadband Internet connections. Over 95% of all Australians that use the internet have broadband connections. Computer monitors are larger so websites built for standard screens are visibly wider, this changes how sites are designed. Many websites could now be easier to read and much more aesthetically pleasing.
What do you want from your website, is it in-step with modern design and is it really delivering?
iPads, iPhones, smart phones, TV’s, home appliances and games consoles
With over 50% of all internet browsing now via some kind of non-PC based device you have to consider how your site works in different environments. And this trend looks set to continue rapidly. If your site is unusable on these devices you could be losing valuable business.
What does your site look like on an Android phone or iPad?
Online search is the world’s preferred research method. If you can’t be found online you could be missing out. Google is the most popular of all the online search tools by a long way. Showing up in its top-10 search listings under the right keywords for your organisation can directly relate to increased customers and profits. There are two key ways to do this: organic and paid search. In some cases, simple changes to your website could help you appear in Google’s top-10.
If you search Google for your business, using your services as keywords, do you show up on the front page of the search results?
Over 9 million Australians now use online social networks. Social networks can be an invaluable marketing and customer relationship building tool. Companies around the world are successfully increasing their client bases with innovative social networking strategies. Even if you don’t use or understand social networking, you can be sure a large proportion of your customers do.
Do you have a social network presence and if so, what is your strategy?
Taking our own medicine
JobReady knows how important it is to leverage its online presence and has recently completely redesigned and developed it’s own website. We have targeted each of the categories above – JobReady has modernised its web site design, ensured the web site is smart phone friendly, optimised the site for search and built it with a Content Management System allowing JobReady to quickly change and update content such as its online news and blog.
We have recently completed two new websites for Registered Training Organsitations with very different requirements – see the results of our work by clicking these links
- Skillbuild Training – www.skillbuildtraining.com.au
- Performance Training – www.performancetraining.com.au