The Distributed Web

A few years ago, your homepage was the most important part of your website – after all that is where someone entered your online business. Soon it became apparent however that customers didn’t just enter your website from the home page – they might enter on a specific product page or some other lower-level content page because that is where either a search engine or external link brought them into your site.

So your home page was no longer the center of your online universe. Instead, it is just one of many points of entry to consider as you fashioned your online business presence.

Today, your online presence isn’t just distributed across your website, but across multiple channels and platforms. You need a  consistent online brand presence that includes not only one or more websites, but also mobile phones, social media sites, e-mail, video sites, and blogs. And you must also mange incoming links from sources such as directories, news sites, coupon sites and more. The web has become highly distributed and it is not easy to keep up with everything you must do to really brand your online presence.

Does this mean the end of your website as you know it? Not now, and maybe never. But for many firms, a website accessed from a desktop or laptop computer is no longer the hub of their digital business world but just another spoke. For most companies however, your online presence still requires a hub, and your website is the best place to accomplish that.

But whether your website is the hub of your internet business of just another spoke, to thrive in this new digital model, you will need to make your brand accessible and relevant to people regardless of how they choose to interact and purchase from you. You cannot simply repurpose existing website content for other platforms. You must create new experiences that make sense for the media on which they are consumed. I have always promoted the fact that you can’t just put up a website and expect to make money. And today, you can’t just put up a YouTube channel of Facebook fan page either – you must work every aspect of your online business just like you would any other business. If you don’t dedicate the time and resource necessary you will not achieve the results you are looking for.

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