There are over 1.2 billion websites active right now and the number is growing all the time. Go ahead, click that link. You can watch the numbers counting upward. But before you do that, here are a few things we think you should know about those websites.
The host with the most
Did you know that over one-quarter of all websites today are either on WordPress, or built on a WordPress platform? This includes our website and our sister company, RLB, as well! Everything from blogs with a readership of “Mom” to massive international tech companies have sites that use WordPress.
Why do so many websites use it? Well for starters, except for domain name hosting and suchlike, the design software, the content management system and platform are a free and open source. Besides that, it’s incredibly customizable, meaning you can build just about any kind of website on it!
The vast majority of these websites don’t ever pay a single cent for their web hosting, and thousands of developers donate their time to building WordPress. But why bother? Well, because it’s so user-friendly that anyone anywhere can create a decent-looking website, and simultaneously so agile that you can use it to build any kind of website. All kinds of developers are happy to spend time developing plug-ins that, in the end, make them money without ever really costing the user anything.
Your audience is bigger than you think
The entire world is your audience and anything you put online could just as easily be seen by a rural farmer in Africa as a partner in your local law offices. Since 2000, the Internet user growth rate for all of North America was 196%, the lowest in the world. The highest growth in that same seventeen years? Africa, with a staggering 7,557%. No, that’s not a typo. More people in Africa today have access to the global store of knowledge, education, and social change than in North America and it has the potential to do an incredible amount of good.
Developing nations have been undergoing a massive boom in mobile technology penetration and, as a result, access to the Internet. Those developing nations include Africa, the Middle East with well over 4,000% growth, Latin America and the Caribbean, with over 2,000% growth and Asia, with a whopping 1,500%+ growth.
Now, while it’s great that there’s so much active development in these countries, it helps to be able to target the right audience for your business. This is where our next interesting piece of info comes in…
Google’s algorithm is your friend
I know it can seem like they’re trying to trick you, but the simple fact is, if you put a good amount of time and energy (and money) developing a good website that is properly targeted towards the audience you actually want, Google is going to push you right up in the search rankings. It’s one of those frustrating things that actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it.
Legitimate companies want the opportunity to showcase themselves without getting drowned out by companies that spam clients and often sell very low-quality products. That’s why, thanks to Google’s algorithm, spammy and illegitimate companies rarely hit the first page. If you, a legitimate company, create a poor quality website that comes across as sketchy, however, you’re going to drop in the rankings. In other words, anyone who is taking their time to do things properly is probably going to reach their target audience a lot more easily.
With that being said, it is worth hiring, full-time or part-time, a person or company that can deal with your content and search engine optimization because doing it properly can take away from your time and focus that you need to get on with business. And understand that even in the fast-moving world of the Internet, it really can still take time for your rankings to increase, and anyone promising to do it virtually overnight is probably using sketchy, or even black-hat, techniques.
No website is an island
It’s not the 1990’s anymore, and it isn’t enough – at least not for a business – to have just a website for your business. Your online presence needs to extend to social media if you hope to drive the right kind of traffic to your business. A growing number of people use companies’ social media channels as their primary point of contact, often not even visiting the company’s website at all (unless they’re looking for something specific).
Even so, it is important to make sure your website has something that will hold the visitor’s attention; that’s why companies are increasingly turning to offering non-sales-related content on their websites, alongside the product information, shopping carts, and checkout options.
Your website doesn’t have to be a gargantuan creation to be successful (unless you’re a massive online retailer, of course). It really has become more about quality than quantity, and by giving your potential clients what they’re looking for, they will find you!