A website was one of the first ways people used the Internet publicly. People were excited to see plain text pages (with a shiny-blue hyperlink!) published and shared with each other. Fast forward 30 years and we’ve seen the growth of Amazon, a trillion-dollar Internet company, a mobile app/social media explosion, and a taste of alternate realities through the Internet (think VR/AR, video games, and even Zoom meetings). On top of that, we’ve just entered a world where a decentralized, peer-to-peer economy is putting digital assets on a pedestal. The technology built on the Internet has grown up fast and a website’s capabilities and importance continue to grow with it.
Websites are still being used in the modern world as a foundation and growth tool for a successful business. People continue to look at a website to make a real first impression and decide whether they will take action and buy what’s being sold or decide to work with a business. A website is also a place for a business’s existing community to come back to for resources, support, and reassurance, which plays into increasing the lifetime value of each client.
Amazon isn’t the only company that built a business around a successful website. Millions of businesses continue to generate millions of dollars because of their websites and brand new ones continue to repeat that model today. The two biggest problems a business owner will face with their website is that they either don’t think it needs to be worked on after the initial build, or they don’t care to update it, which can be detrimental to their business.
It’s not only about how great a website is, it’s about how it’s used. It can be an extremely basic or the most comprehensive website, either way, it has the opportunity to be a cornerstone of a business’s growth. A website is often the starting or ending point (and sometimes a pit-stop!) of a customer’s journey.
Advertising and marketing on places like Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram are currently the core of digital marketing, but if a website is poorly designed, the results will be weak, regardless of how amazing the marketing campaigns are. People ultimately end up on the website from marketing campaigns and will leave very quickly if they are provided with a poor experience. Think of a website as a digital storefront. If the storefront isn’t amazing and constantly maintained, it won’t matter how much outreach you attempt or how good your product/service is.
There are hundreds of ways to hear about a website or company: word of mouth, Google Search, Social Media, Reddit, Discord communities just being some. Usually, when it’s a company that interests someone, they will visit the website to make their impression on the business and ultimately take action (even if that means leaving the website). To someone browsing online, a website is a reflection of who a business is. If someone goes to a website with a poor user experience, most times they will never do anything or ever come back. It’s so crucial to have a beautifully-designed and properly-structured website. When someone visits your site, they take 0.5 seconds to make an impression, and 9 times out of 10 they will go to a competitor’s website after having a poor user experience.
A business is a community and people will come back to the website to purchase items, learn more about the products and services, get assistance, or simply check in to see if the company is the same company that they stand behind. The importance of resources and information on a website is often overlooked but is usually the reason why people stand behind a business for a lifetime.
People get confused. It’s not websites or apps, websites or social media, websites or web 3.0: it’s websites and all of the innovations that come after it. The importance of a website is still high, even as amazing technologies follow. Website technology has also advanced tremendously, providing the ability for beautiful works of art and highly-functioning software and machines at very fast paces.