It's been more than 30 years since the first website launched on the commercial Internet but we still haven't fully figured out how best to communicate through Websites, much less the Internet at large. While buzz abounds around topics like Web3, NFTs, AR and VR, it still remains the simple Website that offers by far the biggest opportunity for any entrepreneur in any industry. In many ways, it'll be easier for people to figure out VR than it will be for Websites.
Inevitably when VR becomes mainstream, it'll be a similar learning curve as Zoom was during the pandemic. What felt strange at first quickly became familiar because it's fundamentally one person talking directly to another person. VR at scale would be much the same, except much more immersive.
Websites remain difficult for people to figure out because they're still an entirely novel form of communication. At first, developers tried to design them like you would research papers, business cards or brochures. Static pieces of information that conveyed simple messages. Their perceived advantage being that by being online anyone, anywhere could find them.
Under the hood a simple Website is made up of at minimum HTML, a markup language that simply structures a Web page and its content. But, compared to the next closest thing we have to compare Websites to, print media (such as books, magazines and newspapers), that content has no fundamental limitation. It could be text, images, animations, video, even full-fledged 3D.
On top of having no inherent content limitation, it also transcends screen sizes that range from jumbotrons to smart watches. With such boundless opportunity for sheer creativity and expression of communication, it's no wonder that confusion comes with actually coming up with a design that's effective, even among professionals.
Leverage the power sitting in your pocket
Today, we're armed with smartphones that can take pictures and high quality video that were only accessible to high end cameras 10 years ago. In that same device you have an audio recorder that you can transcribe your thoughts with to avoid writing content entirely.
Leverage those strengths and take quick pictures and small videos everywhere and start thinking how you can leverage them digitally, not just on social media, but equally within your own website to provide a compelling and visual reason for people to come to your page and stay on it.
Think visually: like a movie playing out in scenes
Rather than thinking about each Webpage as a long piece of text, think in terms of scenes. What photos and videos can you use to match with the smaller pieces of text that you are writing to entice people? Take advantage of the flexibility of a Website to contain any and all forms of content to mix and match what you offer to people.
When you start thinking like each section of a Webpage is like a scene in a movie playing out going from one point to the next, you start being able to craft an experience that plays to the very strength of the flexibility of Websites: their ability to create highly immersive, visual experiences for people.
The more immersive you can make your story and the more wow factor you bring with accompanying media, the more you'll watch your conversions go up and your industry influence increase.
There's still time because haven't reached the golden era of the Internet yet
Remember, the Internet is still extremely young. The modern Internet is only 18 years old when we count from the onset of "Web2.0" (~2004). Professionals still don't know fully what the best way to use these tools are, even if it might seem like they do.
We're still writing the rules! And that's incredibly exciting because what that means is that in many ways it's still the wild west filled with wonder, opportunity and the potential for immense profits.
There's one definitive thing we've achieved: over 90% of the total US population is online, up from ~74% in 2010. We've reached critical mass, most people know the power of the Internet and the best opportunities are yet to come.