Friday, 19 July 2013

A Brief History of Business Websites on the Internet

The modern day Internet (or the "World Wide Web”) has transformed the way we live. To get this in perspective, I would like to take you on a short journey in time:

1989 - Computer scientist, Sir Tim Berners-Lee (who you may have seen on the opening ceremony of the London 20-12 Olympics), presented a paper containing a method by which scientists could share essential documents.

1990 - Early adopters of the World Wide Web were mainly university-based scientific departments.

1991- Saw the world’s first website. Hoorah!

I wonder if you recall when you first saw the Internet. Where were you?  What do you remember? How did you view it? Just a fad maybe, something that wouldn’t catch on? And just how long ago was that? In historic terms, it was just very recently. Yet so much has progressed in terms of the technology and how we use or interact with that technology.

1993 - The first publicly accessible, fairly basic, web browser named 'Mosaic'.

1994 - The first search engine 'Archie', again very basic compared with what we have today. Followed swiftly by more familiar web browsers such as Yahoo and Internet Explorer.

1996 - It became obvious to most publicly traded companies that a Web presence was no longer an option. The increase of two-way communication over the Web led to the possibility of direct Web-based commerce (e-commerce).

1998 - Saw an increase in new web based companies, as well as the birth of what would become the most popular of all search engines - Google

2001 - The Web bubble burst. Many new start-ups went out of business. However, many also survived and went on to do very well. Some Companies which began as online retailers became highly profitable.

2002 - In the aftermath of the ‘dot com bubble’ these Companies success helped enhance the way we used the Internet with the likes of Google, EBay or Amazon.  This new era gave rise to social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. Networking sites for Professionals, Entrepreneurs and Business also appeared such as LinkedIn, Biznik, PROskore.
These sites meant business was now able to communicate with thousands, if not millions of people and this would open up the biggest market place the world has ever known.

As business owners we need to keep up with this rapidly changing medium of marketing, communication and trade interchange.
  • E-mobile technology (mobiles & tablets) is developing rapidly
  • People are becoming co-dependent on this technology
  • The technology is more portable, practical and affordable
  • Twitter & other social media websites are growing
  • The pre-web (older) generation is keen to adopt this technology
  • Popularity of videos, images or photos is increasing … rapidly
  • So too websites such as You Tube, Flickr, Photobucket
  • Websites use images, photos, film & video to enhance the virtual experience
The future of the Net is looking golden.

Technology already allows us to send voice commands to mobiles and computers. Soon we’ll be able to have conversations with them. A mobile phone already developed by Cambridge University, in which a virtual assistant, human looking in every way, interacts with the user. Bit like talking to a personal advisor or personal shopper, who in the future could be advertising your business or products.

There will always be a need for larger viewing platforms for work, design or play However, the use of mobiles is on the increase. We now use them for the things that were previously done on computers and laptops. This market is growing .... fast.
Social media on the increase (especially for business). Where we used to text, we now tweet. Consumers are talking to each other on mass. Through social media people now want to know how a Business or Company interacts with its community. They want to see the human side of businesses.

People are now associating reliable businesses with the Internet, with research indicating that businesses with a website have grown 46% faster than those without.
What is the real value of the Internet to your business?

It can generate and help develop new business opportunities, reduce your expenses and improve business operations.

If you compare other more traditional ways to market or advertise your business. The cost of a one page advert in a local magazine for example. For one edition, reaching 8-10 thousand people, £500 - £600. The average cost to build a 4 page website, there 24/7, for however many years you want it, reaching an audience of millions, £500 - £600. You do the maths.

Will having a website provide customer awareness of my products and services; offer ready information and support; expand my markets; increase my income?  Absolutely.

A website is an adverting and marketing tool for your business. Potential customers will either be looking for you by name; seen your website in an advert or on a vehicle; looking for the services you provide; or just happen to come across you, in their search for other sites.

Websites extend business hours 24-7, any updated information, offers or product promotion is seen immediately. It’s an excellent means of generating new sales & keeping present customers aware of new products or services. It’s a brochure and catalogue all in one. A good website links to social media sites, video sites, professional bodies or associations. And with Pay Pal and the like one can offer safe and secure online transactions. With unlimited space you can convey your message for unlimited time. Your market is increased. New ideas can be tested in real time with instant results.

There is good practical value in having a website:

Statistics on who visits your site helps determine where you spend your money.

There are various ways to achieve increased visibility on the Internet. The main method is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as well as Local Maps Optimisation listings.

Your website advertises your business, products and services. The best brochure; the best billboard and the best commercial, seen by millions. Creating links to other sites such as local directories, Google maps and a strong position on search engines, makes your business stand out from the crowd.

Remember! If you want to ensure you spend you money wisely and get the right product offering the best results always go to a 'professional' Web Design Company. The most successful sites on the Internet are ........ the most visible ones.

Intelligent advertising and connecting with the wider public (through networking sites), will create an awareness and an approachability that people will want to explore. Analysing feedback from Google or potential customers, means you’re able to update and develop your business effectively, efficiently, economically and productively. Offering yourself opportunities for growth and financial reward … profit both in income and personal and professional satisfaction.

Blogger for Bath Business Web Ltd

No comments:

Post a Comment