We recently took a look back at the way our website has changed and our website’s evolution through the years, and between our moments of nostalgia, we realized these changes have broader implications for how our clients – and Brew City Marketing – do business. From the ways businesses interact with clients, to how consumers use the internet to find products and services, the digital landscape has undergone major changes since 2009. Here are some ways the internet has changed since BCM began:
1) Functionality and E-commerce
Back in 2009, websites were simpler and functioned more like a business card or brochure. They often consisted of just 5-10 main pages and listed basic business information like the business name, contact information and a brief description of services. Our website was also simpler, built with static HTML, and we used WordPress to host our blog separately, integrating it with the main website with feedburner.
“As more businesses created websites, the digital space became more competitive,” Amanda Dalnodar, Founder of Brew City Marketing, said. “Websites went from being just an additional item to have – to an absolute necessity for businesses. Now, businesses have to spend a lot of time and resources on their web presence because that’s where most of their customers find them.” Today, businesses need a way to stand out online. Search-engine optimization (SEO) – or improving your website’s ranking in Google so your business appears near the top – meant websites improved by containing more text, pages, and multimedia.
Brew City Marketing began using WordPress as a hosting service for its customizability and superior SEO capabilities. Additionally, people began shopping for more goods and services online each year. According to an article by BigCommerce, 51 percent of Americans now prefer to shop online. Websites added more content and online buying options to accommodate this growing demand. Businesses also began optimizing their websites for mobile since more and more people are purchasing and researching on their mobile devices. You can see these evolutions in our own websites over the years.
Old Brew City Marketing Website:
Current Brew City Marketing Website:
2) Linking Websites and Social Media Pages
As you can see from our website from 2013, displaying links to your business’s social media pages from websites was an internet trend. Websites used feeds in their websites to display their social media posts and content, like Brew City Marketing’s Twitter feed. This was when social media was newer, and businesses used their website as a platform to gain new followers on social media. Today, that trend has reversed. Now, those website displays have been reduced to simple social media icons in less prominent sections of websites. Why this change? The way people interact with businesses online has shifted. Often, consumers find a business website by finding its social media page first. Today, one of social media’s primary functions is to drive customers to a businesses website – not the other way around.
3) Website Layout and Design
While Brew City Marketing’s layout and design have remained fairly consistent, most websites have seen drastic changes over the years. From polished, clean graphics and less text-cluttered pages, most websites have become easier to use and have phased out flash and using grids and tables to organize information. Brew City Marketing has phased out some old themes and improved with new ones but has mostly remained consistent.
“It hasn’t changed all that much over the years if you think about the general layout,” Amanda said. “We have always used best practices for our clients and our own website. Your eye naturally moves from the top of the page to the right, and then down. So to keep things intuitive, the navigation is at the top, there’s the main image that catches your eye, and we list the main services and value proposition. That’s a general overview of what we’ve always done.”
4) Ways Brew City Marketing has been consistent
Over the years, website aspects have remained the same for Brew City Marketing and our clients. For one, Brew City Marketing has always used Google as a primary search engine because it has the largest market share and presents the most benefit for our clients. Additionally, SEO knowledge is one of the main reasons for Brew City Marketing’s success. “We’re always staying current with the latest SEO best practices,” Amanda said. “We’re continually improving our service through education, research, and trial and error. SEO is at the center of our business. In the end, this is how we can help our clients achieve their internet marketing goals of more leads and calls from the web.”