A decade back, everyone wanted a website in order to get a leg up on the rest in their industry. But with limited bandwidth, dial-up connections and hefty budgets required for web solutions, this presence was the privilege of a few companies and individuals. Of course having a website was not enough in of itself; it had to be discoverable by your potential customers in order to give some return for the effort, time and money invested in the online presence.
The subsequent evolution of the web made websites dynamic, commercial, interactive and more visitor-centric. The search engines soon updated their algorithms to rank the dynamic websites made in ASP, PHP and other such development platforms. The evolution, improvements and enhancements on the hardware and telecom scenario reduced the cost of hardware and web solutions with improved bandwidth and connectivity , thus making the internet accessible nearly to every household in the metro cities as well as the remote underdeveloped areas.
With more and more people going online came the era of the social web and there was the concept of communities, groups, sharing, blogs, etc. its like the real world being transported to the virtual world where each one can have a personal presence and a professional presence.
The company can use the social fabric of the web to weave its sales pitch and the customer can use the same space to voice his opinion about the same product or service positively or critically.
Search engines have confirmed the influence of the social media on the rankings of the websites. Hence, social media is also one of the most important off page factors affecting your rankings. Just like only having the website was not enough it needs brilliant content and visibility, similarly just having social media accounts is not sufficient , they have to be maintained and managed efficiently and used as a tool for mass communication, for establishing an online brand and a WOM generating platform.
With the search engines confirming the influence of the social media presence on SEO , social media and SEO have developed an inseparable association. They both supplement and support each other rather than compete with each other. If a company is only focusing on SEO and ignoring the social scene then it is sowing the seed for an online presence but not nurturing it enough for making the root stronger and the branches more fruitful. Though using social media directly for promoting products is not the right thing but it gives you the platform to project the right image of the company thereby instilling the confidence in the online buyer to take a decision in your favor. Integration is the keyword. You need a presence on all the search options and have a voice, aura and persona on the social media .
With the flourishing of social media and online communities, the issue of online reputation has to follow. Online reputation has to be given a serious thought to. Every word posted on social media has an exponential reach and it can either give publicity or can defame the concerned person with critical evaluations from every corner. Hence, managing the social media accounts is not just about keeping them updated with regular tweets and posts but what impression that is going to create in the minds of your followers about your business and brand is of utmost important.
The social media platform in fact encourages openness and honesty in the conversation as both the parties involved in sharing information or resolving a dispute know that the whole conversation is accessible to all the people interested in following it. It is kind of a broadcast to the followers and fans.
According to Pew Research, the social benefits of internet use will far outweigh the negatives over the next decade, according to experts. They say this is because email, social networks, and other online tools offer “low friction” opportunities to create, enhance, and rediscover social ties that make a difference in people’s lives. The internet lowers traditional communications constraints of cost, geography, and time; and it supports the type of open information sharing that brings people together.
After the social media weaving its way into the lives of the people the use of the mobile web is something which will make the internet, search engines , social media and the Apps available an indispensable part of every human being. The web is going mobile and the smart phone is the extended brain that no one would like to part with giving a rise to the Apps.
According to a blogpost on smartphone sales between July and September this year amounted to 4.7 million units, which is a plus of 270% when compared to the same quarter last year.
Makers generated US$1.48 billion in revenue in that time frame with smartphones – almost 50% of their overall revenue. Expect these numbers to keep growing.
With the ease of internet access from anywhere and everywhere and the increasing enhancements on online security and payment gateways the tendency of buying online is increasing thereby giving an impetus to the ecommerce culture and industry. Online shopping and retail is surely on the rise and there is no reason why it will not improve further.
According to the Forrester Forecast : Online Retail Sales Will Grow To $250 Billion By 2014
The digital technology has got woven into the fabric of our lives and the motifs being woven are becoming more and more sophisticated and integrated with every aspect of our lives. It sure is the time for a digital boom period ahead but will all this be a boon for us or a bane that shall depend on how well we balance our real and virtual lives.