In the last two to three years I have seen a growing trend of specialization on the Web. When I started out in business in 2001, we could do it all for clients: web design, optimization, and site promotion. The Web environment was simpler then. With the advent of e-commerce, that all changed.
Now, you really need specialist in many areas such as e-commerce, mobile website, mobile marketing, pay per click, YouTube videos, web design, and content creation. The days of one business being able to supply all the needs for your online presence is rapidly changing. Why is this so? The degree of complexity and uniqueness of each of these avenues has changed immensely over the last few years.
The best case in point is with e-commerce. As complex as shopping carts are now, and the degree of difficulty in setting up accounts and implementing credit card security you must know what you are doing to be security compliant. Add in issues such as New York state having a terribly complex sales tax situation (where the percentage is driven by zip code and not necessarily by county or city) and you add in another layer of difficulty.
In this year, I expect to see a boon in web design for smartphones and tablets. Although many websites still look good on smartphones having to pinch and drag the screen to navigate to important contact information is simply irritating. Having a great mobile site this year may be one of your most important items on your own wish list.
Specialization in search engine marketing has also been another growth area. With Google AdWords becoming so complicated, many consumers are looking to professional managers, such as ourselves, to off load the degree of difficulty and time it takes to use and understand Google AdWords for online lead generation.
As I look back over the years I’ve been in business, it is interesting to see these trends develop. All I can say is, that I am glad we chose to diversify, and will continue to do so to stay relevant to our customer base.