Online Marketing – avoiding a vacuum

I don’t want to mess up your day with a load of technical jargon. That is not what we are about at Turn The Page. I just want to set the table for my thought process in this post. I want you to understand that the speed the internet changes and develops can be a hazard for local business owners who want to succeed online. Firstly; here is a look at how the internet has changed and grown in the last 20 years or so to provide some substance to my position.

The whole online marketing thing got its chance back in 1990 with the arrival of HTTP. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (I warned you) is what allowed the World Wide Web to grow exponentially. Basically it is the pathway and the vehicle that provides the opportunity for information exchange online. HTTP was closely followed in 1991 by HTML1. Hyper Text Markup Language is the building material for the websites you are directed to by HTTP.

Coming up to date a lot has happened in the online world:

  • 1993 HTML2 arrived with the first internet browser: Mosaic.
  • Between 1994 and 1996 more browsers Netscape, Opera and Internet Explorer with an advance to HTML4, cookies, javascript, ssl and java. Yahoo started in 1994 as a link directory.
  • Between 1997 and 2002 all the browsers created better and better versions. Google incorporated in 1998. The dreaded Flash got a foothold, CSS, XML and Ajax came along.
  • 2003 to 2006 brought the new browsers Safari and Mozilla Firefox.  During this period canvas, CSS3 and HTML5 arrived. Facebook launched in 2004. Youtube started in 2005. Twitter started tweeting in 2006.
  • Post 2006 we have seen more and more advances: geolocation, drag and drop, web workers, appcache, css transforms, audio and video tags, 3d css transforms, file API and the list goes on.

I understand you probably read that list and thought…… My point is; the speed the internet grows is amazing. Everyday something changes. It is paradise for innovation, keeping up seems impossible. Search engines are constantly modifying their index and algorithm structure to the point where changes occur daily.  Social Media although a very recent addition to the mix is a critical online marketing component. These rapid fire changes are part of the challenge in online marketing. Most of our time is spent keeping up with what just happened. What just changed? Is a constant theme in our office. It is never ending and it is fun. The question is: “Where should you spend your time?” I think you have to be careful not to create a vacuum by only operating in the rate of change.

The speed the internet grows can create a vacuum

A plane flies (in simplistic terms) because as the air travels above the curved wing it creates a partial vacuum which reduces the pressure above the wing providing lift. The most important requirement for the plane (after wings) to fly is speed. It is speed that creates the vacuum by driving the wings through the air. As a local business you need to be aware that the speed of growth and change in the online world can be your enemy. If you allow yourself to get caught up in all the latest fads and developments you can leave your online presence in a vacuum. My position is that a local business needs an online foundation a solid footing to build on. It is not necessarily the latest fad that gets the biggest result. We work with businesses every day who are growing their business. They have a good online presence built on basic principles to provide a good foundation. In my experience, building that foundation is critical for continued growth. To succeed in online marketing it is important to be the Tortoise not the Hare!

Author Amanda Hall

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