How's business? Are you on-line yet?
If you're reading this, chances are this blog is irrelevant to you. But it's still interesting.
Remember back in April 2014 when the human race reached a new pinnacle of mobile device usage? Yes you do, it was when we started to see stats proving that for the first time in history more users were accessing the Interwebs from mobile devices, than those who weren't (desktops, etc.). It's stayed that way ever since, and will continue to grow and remain that way, so long as some apocalyptic event doesn't interfere with our technological ascendance.
Fast forward just over 12 months, and I've got another little bombshell statistic for you all to ponder over while you wrinse the froth from your soy lattes out of your furry mo's.
Pond (Kathleen) and I attended the Google Partners conference in Sydney last week. Was a fun breakfast affair with likeminded people from dozens of agencies. We got to knock heads with some of the fine folk over at Google who presented on a range of topics.
I won't go into too much detail, as I think the partner program for Australia is in its infancy to some extent and I'd hate to steal their thunder by revealing some of the insights that we were privileged to (no I wouldn't, but I still won't).
However, this one particular item was one of those stats that's going to be pretty common knowledge before too long. And I think, for the mums and dads out there, an important statistic to realise.
Currently, 45% of businesses in Australia are now ONLINE. That means 55% are not. And when you think about the shift in trends and businesses becoming more savvy, younger generations moving upwards and onwards in the workforce... it's absolutely inevitable that we are going to reach another milestone moment in history very, very soon. I'll go out and predict it (yep, you heard it here first folks) that it's only a matter of months before over half of businesses in Australia are on the internet. I'll even go as far to say it'll probably happen sometime in 2016. That's potentially just 7 months away.
I hate to state the obvious, but when this tipping point comes, it will mean that any business (anything from the traditional local plumber, to an online only business such as an e-commerce platform) who is not online, will finally be in the minority. Just imagine how that changes things.
What exactly constitutes 'being online' wasn't exactly made clear, but everyone at Geek out with Google was pretty excited none-the-less. Suffice to say, one can use their imagination as to how a business might maintain some form of sufficient online presence to justify their place on the better side of the above statistic. Clearly, having a website would be one avenue (Google would have you know that it MUST be responsive and mobile friendly, don't forget!). A social media presence is also good - got your Facebook or Twitter account all in good order? Adwords and YouTube channels featured highly on the list - no surprises there coming from Google. Still, valid I believe. Incidentally, did you know that Google pretty much accounts for 90% of web search traffic on the internet these days? That's 10% for everybody else combined! Incredible. The poor sods like Yahoo and Bing must just want to neck themselves. I wish they would. Ironically, that source was Google by the way.
Google accounts for over 90% of global organic search traffic, according to one source...
By and large, getting an online presence isn't hard. And with the 50% tipping point for the majority being available in some way, shape or form... it's clear that for any business, being on the internet is as important these days as it once was to be in the Yellow Pages. More so, because whilst Google has replaced the Yellow Pages (your fingers still do the walkin', just on a keyboard!) there's much more to being online than just being found. It's a place of business. For many people its their answer to replacing the traditional bricks and mortar store front. But most importantly, take out of this, that even if you're not a business that OPERATES online, you still need to be FOUND online. And I reckon that with Google search pushing the locality factor heavily these days, it's even more important than ever.
Think about this - even just two or three years ago, if you typed into Google something along the lines of 'Yoga Class' you'd get the results of the business on the other side of town (or even interstate) that had cleverly SEO'd their site the best, and/or spent the most money on search engine marketing, or even adwords (if you were dumb enough not to skip these and go straight to the organic search results). Try the same search now, and your location plays a key role in what results you will see... along with whether or not the sites returned offer a good mobile experience (you need to be on a mobile device to get location based results. This is because Google now places a HUGE emphasis on the relevancy of search results, and content along with location are a key part of that. Search for 'Yoga Classes' from your living room in Bondi and you'll get three yoga studios all situated within the immediate vicinity. And not just because Bondi probably has the highest density of yoga instructors in all of Sydney! *
Any business advisor or consultant worth their salt these days will be advising any startup or existing business client of theirs, to get online quick smart. Join the throngs. Jump on the bandwagon. Before it gets too far away and your business is left behind.
Like I said - no matter whether you are a start-up, sole trader, established business or even a global corporate trading on the ASX - by 2016 if you are not online in some decent manner, you're in the minority and likely suffering as a result. I mean, you're in business to make money, right? You want customers to be able to find you, right?
Come on... do I need to go on? No. This blog is long enough.
Oh, and thanks for brekkie Google, it was great :)
*Fucked if I know really, but it wouldn't surprise me.