So much attention has been given to social media and thought leadership blogs, websites have become almost an afterthought. They are anything but.
Websites have evolved from their beginnings as electronic brochures, where content contained in print brochures was essentially uploaded online.
Websites morphed into information portals that moved beyond print copy to offer layers of information, often in multimedia forms.
Now websites are centers for content marketing strategies. The content spreads out like religious apostles, but a key objective of the content is to cause a click on the holy land of content, your website.
The look and feel of websites has evolved, too. They have gone from hard-to-read to vibrant and colorful, with images and information packaging overtaking the dull columns of copy that marked earlier websites.
Effective websites are layered with information, amply supported with links, videos and podcasts. They have become inviting places, not daunting ones.
The most important change is that websites have become transactional centers. They are the intersection of interested and purchased. When a website does its job, it converts a viewer into a customer.
There is ample evidence that shows the conversion process doesn't occur on the varied landscapes of social media or blogs. While social media site owners and many bloggers look for ways to monetize the real estate they have created, it is websites that remain the gold mine of commerce.
Not every website is designed for the conversion process, which is fine. But it is a role that websites uniquely can play in the online environment. It is why your website matters.