Content is King but the web pages are still littered with writing that does scant justice to the word content, least of all creative, useful and valuable content.
The first wave in the internet is finally over when we saw the design and technical elements of a website were the focus areas. Content was merely a catalogue of products, a directory, displayed in all its designer glory and the only content were the verbosity of a corporate introduction which talked in high jargon and least understood. The websites were designed as a corporate showpiece, to create awe without serving much of a purpose – that is providing consumers with information and value.
Technology still has major role in automating processes, creating interactivity and making the human presence felt rather than being a vault of lifeless, cold knowledge. Thankfully technology is recognizing the existence of customers who are human beings. Technology is now recognized as an adjunct to content and not as a replacement for good content.
The second wave in the information technology is very visible and truly begun to dispense rich ‘Information’ a prerequisite for a successful web presence. When we talk of content I take it to mean information which adds value to every aspect of human endeavor whether it is selling to him or providing a service or just plain entertainment.
So what are the emerging trends on the internet?
Online publishing has become an acceptable medium and here to stay and evolve further. We already see over 100 000 ezines catering to every imaginable niche. E-books are a fact of life with every book having its digital equivalent along with the traditional paper based counterpart. You have to look at websites like Barnes and Noble or Amazon to realize what huge market digital publications have created with its convenience of instant downloads once the payments are made online and minimizing hassles of printing shipping and cost of paper. Digital publishing has no recurring cost unlike traditional publishing.
Digital publishing will make consumers truly a king. You can buy books after reading a couple of chapters to check on the quality of content or just buy the required article which you are interested in instead of paying for the entire magazine as in a traditional magazine which you may never read fully. This has already been implemented by Amazon where you can read a few pages of the book before ordering them.
Websites are becoming a storehouse of good quality content thanks to an innovation called search engines. The better and more focused the content better the searchability and rankings of web sites. So now more information is available for decision making and consumers are reaping the rewards of competition. Every website is clamoring for customer attention by offering him the best of information about the products and services. Businesses which do not offer better quality information about products and services and its benefits will get destroyed.
Blogs another innovation on the www has made it easy for any average next door guy with no technical knowledge to set up his own web pages and dispense information on what he knows best.
A major trend that would emerge in the coming years is the quality of products advertised. Not all the person who can pay will be able to advertise due to the high selectivity levels by a consumer on the web.
With attention spans lasting only a few seconds and consumers demanding highest levels of quality, poor products if advertised in a search page or by a website may make the consumers shy away from such sites. To cut the clutter website owners have to become choosy about what they advertise and how they do it. Banners are already out and text is in.
Some have already implemented contextual advertising where you see only related ads of the subject you are browsing. The trend will accelerate and only the best products will be advertised.
Even search engines are listing sites with good content. No amount of optimization can put you on top of the page for long unless you have rich content .
Increasing connectivity, broadband and interactivity will create larger global markets for products and services especially for services with high levels of localization, bringing down costs dramatically further fuelling demand for services which are now considered niche markets.
All this will be achieved by high quality content. So if you do not know how to write the best content for a successful web presence start learning because you may have to pay big when the demand far exceeds supply.
R. G. Srinivasan is a Certified Trainer, Writer and Author with more than two decades of managerial experience. Check out his home-business resources blog at http://www.home-businessresources.blogspot.com for interesting home business resources and opportunities.